Daily Doses of Wisdom - Preface
Shakyamuni Buddha is often called the Great Physician, and the liberating medicine he offers us is his teaching. Similarly, the bodhisattva of compassion holds out a medicine jar; she responds with breaking heart to the cries of the world by dispensing the healing balm of Dharma. How lucky are we all to be under the care of such transcendently skilled healthcare professionals! “Steeped in luck,” as the poet Seamus Heaney says, “steeped, steeped, steeped in luck.”
For each of the 365 entries here, we can imagine the Buddha himself, Guanyin herself, lovingly offering us a single luminous spoonful of wisdom—the exact dose we need to meet our day a little more choicefully, to take one step closer to being the person we aspire to be, to find just a little more freedom right here amid the fires of being human. You might want to receive this treatment before you sit down to meditate or as you stand up from your cushion, before you go to sleep or right after you wake up. Indeed, there is no wrong time for the Dharma and no wrong amount—truly the Dharma is, as the Buddha says, “good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.”
Please enjoy Daily Doses of Wisdom—let this book and the teachings in it be part of the way you appreciate your life and care for all beings.
The process of bringing any book into being makes clear just how interdependently connected we all are—and how much more so a book like this, distilled from so many sources, so many teachers, so many bodhisattvas. Each of Wisdom’s authors and all of Wisdom’s books have become teachers to me, companions and trusted friends to me on my own Dharma path—and I offer a deep bow to each of you. After almost thirteen years editing Dharma books for Wisdom Publications, I don’t really feel I can adequately express the depth of appreciation for this great gift.
Even so: Tim McNeill, Wisdom’s publisher—thank you for this opportunity, thank you for your trust and support these many years, and thank you for sustaining Wisdom for so long in the service of so many. David Kittelstrom, thanks for first opening the door for me. I also especially want to thank Laura Cunningham—thank you for doing so much so cheerfully for this book (and many others!). I want to offer appreciation as well to the incomparable Phil Pascuzzo for the magnificently perfect cover design, and Gopa&Ted2 for yet another lovely interior. And finally, I offer thanks also to all my colleagues at Wisdom—present and former (I’m looking at you, Rod Meade Sperry!)—who are working to save all beings, one great Dharma book at a time.
Borrowing words from Zen Master Dogen, let me conclude by saying this: “Please treasure yourself.”
– Josh Bartok
Greater Boston Zen Center