Monday, 17 October 2016

Janet Richardson



                Sister Janet Richardson is also a Dharma heir of Robert Kennedy. She once told her students in Baltimore: “The old song ‘It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it’ is a song about being distracted from what’s going on, from action, by art. To the accompaniment of a magnetic melody, the singer talks about misplaced priorities and the lyrics tell of allowing the means to take precedence over the goal. ‘It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.’ Are the means important? Is art important? Go to a museum any day; listen to a concert; read a book and the answer resounds loud and clear. Must we cherish the means? Of course. The challenge arises when we upset the priorities, as the song says, and allow the WAY it is done to obscure WHAT is done. ‘It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it’ is a songwriter’s warning, a red flag. Be alert, be attentive.”

[Janet Richardson  Catholicism and Zen: 153, 157-66, 167, 189, 196]

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