Another thing I watched last night was a repeat of Bill Moyers: on Faith and Reason. Now Bill is my man in general. I will follow him just about anywhere, because it's a good bet that I'll enjoy either the journey or the destination. Bill is part of my dwindling but beloved holy Pantheon of real journalists. I love him like almost no other, and I deeply mourned his leaving of NOW (though David Brancaccio is keepin' it real). There are very few people in journalism that I respect -- even fewer that I both respect and enjoy. The list breaks down something like this:

Bill Moyers
Charlie Rose
Amy Goodman
Keith Olberman (sp?)
and my TV boyfriend Jon Stewart
(BTW, I know Jon Stewart is not a journalist, but I don't give a damn, he still makes the list!)

But I was particularly interested when I ran across this episode because Bill was going to be spending an hour chatting with Pema Chodron. Pema has amazed me since I read When Things Fall Apart. But to read a book is something altogether different than to hear a person speak. She is a thousand times more amazing to watch.

As I've mentioned briefly in previous posts I have a tremendous love of Buddhism. I would easily be Buddhist if not for the fact that certain tidbits of the larger teachings of it don't fit my own particular world view (though I am fully aware, intellectually, that I might be entirely wrong about any/all of those beliefs). For example, I'm not certain reincarnation occurs (I neither believe nor disbelieve, and am prepared to find out when the time comes), and I believe rather strongly in a permanent and individual soul. So I never became Buddhist, based on these and other discomforts with some of it's structure, but I've always had the softest spot in my heart for it.

So naturally, I was excited to see that Bill was going to be talking to Pema. I thought, "This is gonna be good." I had no idea how good it would really be! I think I've never been so opened by anything in my life. I actually took notes (I swear, I grabbed a notepad and scribbled furiously as she spoke). It's got me thinking seriously about my entire relationship to pain and suffering, and my choices in relation to that. There were so many genuinely enlightened things that she phrased beautifully, but my favorite was when (in discussing her journey to Buddhism) she said she found a 'forward thought', and needed to follow it. I love that! I also really loved when she said that in the midst of groundlessness nothing makes sense but kindness -- Or even better: we shrink from suffering, but love it's causes -- WOW!!!

If you can spare 52 minutes (and 42 seconds) you can watch the whole thing HERE. Or, if your're so inclined, there's also a transcript. But here is a tiny little preview from the folks at iFilm :)

Dharmam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami

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