While at meditation this morning at the Dharma Center and participating in the discussion afterwards, I was reminded of how my 30 some years of Buddhist teachings and meditation influenced Russell’s character in The Awakening of Russell Henderson and his time with Hannah and subequently with the Rinpoche at the Retreat Center out in Oregon. While Russell was discovering himself in a few intense months, it can, and most generally does, take many years of “practice” before such realization can be made. It usually does take time, effort, and commitment.

I have listened to people over the years who keep struggling with their practice and with their ego and working hard studying texts and reading books from the masters. I feel fortunate that I have had great teachers and good direction that have led me to realize that, while all the study and reading is essentially all well and good, it is living in compassionate awareness, moment by moment, day by day, that makes the difference to others and to yourself. That is the true practice. This is not to say I am some great enlightened being . . . that is far from any truth. However, I simply practice and keep learning, moment by moment, day by day . . . and that IS the practice.

Maybe I need to write a sequel of how many years it takes Russell to come to TRUE awakening after the initial glow has worn off and how he deals with the trials and challenges life can bring such as the loss of parents, loved ones, or maybe even Hanna, Hmmmm?

Be well, be happy and be compassionate with yourself and with others.

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