Throughout the process of writing and arranging and revising the Bunny Buddhism book, I had this overwhelming sense that it was somehow not real. Surely, it was a dream. For months on end, I worried that someone would send me an email saying, “Just kidding!” But then, just the other day, the very first hard copy of the book arrived in my mailbox.
For me, it creates an interesting internal process. As someone who spent many years self-identifying as a tortured artist, I find myself wanting to run around screaming, “It’s a book! It’s MY book! I wrote it, and it’s really real!” I want to label it as the realization of a dream, the single most important and exciting thing that has ever happened to me. Then I catch myself and go down a rabbit hole of questions. What is real? Isn’t this form, and form is emptiness (see the Heart Sutra)? Is this empty? How can it be empty if it is truly a heartfelt attempt to plant seeds of positivity? How can that be? And what does it mean for this really real book of mine?
Well, sure, it is a book. In a sense, it is something I can hold and look at. But I also know it is not an end result, and more than that – it’s not really mine. If I latch onto it as an all-important marker in my life, I stop learning. I close myself off to what comes next. This is not a beginning or an end, this is just where I am right now. And so, I try to experience each moment of this process as if it were the only moment – because it is.
In this particular moment, I just want to share a preview of one of the book’s beautiful illustrations by Durell Godfrey and take a moment to recognize her for her considerable talent and contribution to this project. Thank you, Durell!
So, I think it would be irresponsible for me to think of this as my book. Durell’s contribution is only one factor…I can include everything from the sun and rain that nourished the trees that grew to become the pages of this book to the workers in the lumberyard and the papermill and the publisher. I am sure there are a ton of things I can’t even think of at the moment, and then one day I know the pages of this book will eventually disintegrate and return to the Earth. Instead of thinking of it as my book or as an end result, I can think of it as a pebble of humorous inspiration dropped into the stream of life. And it will only truly live in the ripples it creates when others read it.
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