An Open Letter: 24 March 2019

This is your weekly open letter from me, Berin Kinsman. It’s not technically a newsletter, but it’s a little bit different from a normal blog post. I’m going to publish one of these every Sunday at around 3pm EST.

An Open Letter: 24 March 2019

Hi, how are you? I’m still recovering from illness, but I’m well enough that the blog is back. Things have shifted a bit, as you may have noticed. After several months of consideration, I’ve taken the site design to a minimalist extreme. The style of the blog is going to be more of a rambling memoir style. It’s more important to me to say what I want to say, to get information out there, and to make a connection with you than it is to have polish and spectacle.

I’ve decided that the “newsletter” format is going to be more of an open letter to you. A cornucopia of stray thoughts. It may be a collection of ideas that weren’t enough to hold their own as individual posts. It could be a longer rumination on a particular topic. We’ll see how it goes, but anything is possible.

A Path With Heart

Writing reviews is something that I never want to do again, for a number of reasons I won’t go into here. A book club could be fun to do, but I have realistic expectations on how well that would work, given this blog’s limited reach and level of engagement. I would like to talk about some of the books I’ve been reading, though. Practical posts, about how I’ve taken things to heart, or adapted them for my own uses. That approach could work with books on productivity, spirituality, writing, or even select works of fiction that touched me.

After reading a sample of Jack Cornfield’s book A Path With Heart,  I went ahead and ordered a physical copy. That’s not something I do often. There’s the fact that most books in English have to be ordered from outside the country, which can get expensive. With limited space in the apartment, and the knowledge that we’ll be moving sometime this year, I tend to stick with ebooks. I knew, though, that this was going to be a book that I’d read repeatedly, scribble note in, and want to curl up with in quiet, electronics-free spaces.

What Kornfield is writing about in this book resonates with me. He talk about integrating Eastern Buddhist practices with the Western lifestyle. The two seem, on many levels, innately incompatible. It’s something that I’ve struggled with. Kornfield studied at monasteries in Asia after college, and living the life was easy there. He was isolated, and surrounded by monks. When he returned to the United States to attend graduate school, he struggled to find the balance between being in the world and maintaining his practice.

I’ll be writing about insights that I’ve gained from this, and other books, going forward.

On the Blog

At the moment I’m back to writing a regular post Monday through Thursday, scheduled for around 9am EST. Data shows that you and other readers don’t come around on Friday and Saturday, so it seems logical to take those days off. This Open Letter will continue on Sundays.

At the moment I’ve been woolgathering about my path to simple, minimalist living. That will continue into next week. It’s ramping up to some posts about living a pseudo-monastic lifestyle, which will continue into April.

Thanks and Gratitude

Even though I’m writing this mainly for my own purposes, it means a lot to have people make the effort to read it and leave comments. Thank you.

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