Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wanting to be a good person

My friend Jenny is doing her Mussar year. This is a year of doing something she has never done every single day. But it is so much more than that. She is also doing something called Mussar practice (see, telling her readers about that as she goes along, how the practice relates to whatever new thing she has done that day.
I am following along, day by day. And I have been changed by Jenny's writings. I have been led to deep thinking about my own life, my own practices, my experiences. I have written about several of them here. And after today's entry by Jenny, I sought out the Mussar website and read about the practice because I wondered whether it was restricted to Jewish people. I see that it was developed for people of the Jewish faith, but I don't see why a person couldn't adopt these practices in order to become a better person. One would have to read the Torah. I've never read the Torah. I am a Buddhist, I guess I'm actually an agnostic. I believe we are all one in the sense that we are all made of the same materials, we all exist in oneness. I believe in the collective unconscious. I believe in reincarnation or parallel lives or something like it because I know for a fact that as a child I had memories of prior lives as an adult. That came from somewhere. So, I'm not looking to convert to Judaism, because I'm not looking for religion of any sort.
I do believe in morals, ethics, being good to my fellow beings, to the world. And in being thoughtful. Jenny's Mussar practice seems to me to be a practice of deep thinking, one of creating balance in one's life. I don't know whether it is for me. Certain aspects of it have been for me as I have followed her blog this year. Have you checked it out yet? Her post today is one I highly recommend for anyone. It is about all those thoughts that run through our brains when something unexpected happens -- and how she dealt with them, given her practice. Truly something to think about.