“The importance of knowing your destination, following your star, correcting your course and tuning in to what is most important in your life”. Jonathan Foust, “Best Year Ever"
As life does, the circumstances of the past 5 months have brought about big changes. Inspired as I listened concurrently to Jonathan Foust’s talk: Best Year Ever, Parker Palmer’s audiobook, On the Brink of Everything, and Ajahn Amaro on “Less is More” I made a note that these conjoined were to be my newsletter theme for February 2020.
Using his template, here is my own Year in Review:
What went well this year?
“Experimentation is how we learn, and a lot of experiments fail. If you live your life experimentally, the failures will be personal, and some will be spectacular. And yet, as every scientist knows, we often learn more from experiments that fail than from those that succeed.” On the Brink of Everything, Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old – Parker J. Palmer
What didn’t go so well this year?
Gotami asked her nephew, "How do I give myself guidance as to what is according to the path or to my habits and preferences? I have a lifetime of conditioning- I can’t always trust my own thinking. How do I discern what is the path and what is not?”. To which the Buddha responded, 'These qualities lead to ease, not to struggle; to being entangled, not to being hampered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to undisturbed, not to entanglement; to vitality, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the way, this is the guidance, this is the skillful action.'" Ajahn Amaro on “Less is More” Gotami Sutta: To Gotam
What am I working toward?
After listening for maybe the eight time, I sent Jonathan and online message of my gratitude: “Jonathan Foust, your timing is, again, uncanny. I am working through moving away from the tradition I began with, finding myself feeling untethered but also being true to myself and my students. I have listened to this talk several times and read your Year in Review several times. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. Actually, I can't thank you enough. 🙏” Jonathan responded, Thank you for letting me know, Michelle ... this is a pathless path .... one step at a time. May your journey be blessed.”