Some bits from Waking Up to What You Do

Some bits from Waking Up to What You Do

Quotes from Waking Up to what you do

Waking Up to What You Do explores the Zen precepts, and while I gave the book only three stars and am not really reviewing it, I wanted to share with you some bits from it (slightly paraphrased) that I felt worthy of pondering:

  • The self is none other than our beliefs and assumptions
  • When you take action that brings about well-being for yourself, you bring about well being for the world.
  • James Baldwin says, “It is a terrible, and inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own; in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself.”
  • Let your behavior allow for the weaknesses in others to strengthen. Don’t box people in to their failings, and hold them a space where they can improve.
  • By blaming we relieve ourselves the responsibility of taking action ourselves, believing it’s someone else’s responsibility, someone else’s fault. Our blame and negative speech says more about ourselves than others. Avoid speaking disparagingly… How are you using faultfinding to solidify the self’s identity?
  • [You] are not helping to bring peace as long as [you] place [yourselves] in a morally superior position. You can be very good at political action, and very poor at opening [your] hearts and minds to those that oppose [you].
  • Addiction is your requirement. Requirements viewed as addictions reveal how we narrow our awareness and form a rigidity of mind, thus cutting off our awareness of the natural flow of life. When we insist that our experience of any event must be a certain way, this is a form of addiction. When we are afraid to let go of the habitual reactions which bar us from resting in the moment, open and available to whatever comes up, this is addiction, and it closes us off from the juice of life.


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

1 Comment

  1. Dilys 2 months ago

    Thank you, Polly, for sharing . That’s really thought provoking. X

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