David Michie

‘We continue to believe in the superstition of consumerism: the shared, misguided belief that the golden path of happiness is to be accessed by rearranging the externals of our lives in a particular way. We live in a society which is mesmerized by external reengineering. Look at television output on any one night and you will find the most forensic accounts of fashion design, meal preparation, home decorating, property trading, lifestyle shifting, relationship repairing, garden renovating, cosmetic surgery – you name it. But how often do we see anything about mental reengineering? Along with all the detailed advice on extreme makeovers of the body, wouldn’t it also be useful to have someone guide people through extreme makeovers of the mind – like coaching people to replace habitual negative thoughts with happiness-creating ones?’ (Enlightenment To Go)

I did have a thought that such a thing would be too personal private for television, and then I remembered what reality shows are like these days. In any case, when I went into the Zen Center bookstore a couple of weeks ago to get some useful books for my upcoming class, Arlene kindly suggested I take this one rather than a full translation of Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva. I read a large chunk of it on the way up to Oregon, and finished it while I was at Wilbur – and I may also need to read the Shantideva to feel fully prepared.

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