Discussion in 'Funstuff and Inspiration' started by Larinda McRaven, Nov 2, 2008.
this is intersting and amusing:
Nice, btm. Sorry I missed this until now. Very thought provoking.
I agree with BTM for the most part. A better short list, IMO:
1. Tell the truth.
2. Expect others to do the same.
3. Be helpful as best you are able.
4. Be thankful for others who do the same.
5. Clean up your own messes...of every kind.
All the rest is window dressing.
Well. They had to sell some books. lol.
Sorry for the short answer. Got sidetracked by some actual work there for a minute. I like your short list.
I shouldn't get into too much analysis of the kindergarten book because I read it back when it was on the NYT bestseller list for a long, long time. Late 80s sometime, I think.
A couple things, though. One of the things I took away from that book is that, no matter how complicated life situations may seem, answers often boil down to basic principles -- things we already know. Obvious things we learned in kindergarten, like clean up your own mess. We preach it to our little kids. But do we do it ourselves, as you say, with messes of every kind? Or do we overthink or maybe make excuses?
Also IIRC (again, through the fog of having read the book more than twenty years ago,) I don't remember anyone making the argument that every principle applies to every situation simultaneously. The premise, as I understand it, is that sometimes life's conundrums are best resolved by applying a little common sense, which really isn't all that common, sometimes.
thank you for a lesson in my life...
Wake with the sun - There is no purer light than what we see when we open our eyes first thing in the morning. Resisting the morning's first waking moment instantly adds stress to your day. Avoiding the sun, you commence a chase that lasts all day long: running short of time, balance, peace and productivity.
Sit - Mindfulness without meditation is just a word. The search for mindful living is always grounded in a meditation practice. Seated meditation is the easiest and fastest way to clear your mind of anxious, fearful and stressful thoughts. Meditation puts your overactive brain on a diet, so you have more attention to bring to the real life that appears before you. You will be far more productive in the ensuing hours if you begin the day by spending five minutes actively engaged in doing nothing at all.
Make your bed - The state of your bed is the state of your head. Enfold your day in dignity. The five minutes you spend making your bed slows you down from your frantic, morning scrambling and creates a calm retreat to welcome you home at night. Plus, making your bed means you've already achieved an even more challenging feat: getting out of it.
Empty the hampers - Do the laundry without resentment or commentary and have an intimate encounter with the very fabric of life. Doing laundry is a supreme act of personal responsibility. It requires maturity, attention and discipline, and it engenders happiness. Don't believe me? See how you feel every time you reach the bottom of an empty hamper.
Wash your bowl - Rinse away self-importance and clean up your own kitchen mess. If you leave it undone, it will get sticky. An empty sink can be the single most gratifying sight of a long and tiring day.
Set a timer - If you're distracted by the weight of what's undone, set a kitchen timer and, like a monk in a monastery, devote yourself wholeheartedly to the task at hand before the bell rings. The time you'll findhidden in a kitchen timer unleashes more of your attention to the things that matter most.
Rake the leaves - Take yourself outside to rake, weed or sweep. You'll never finish for good, but you'll learn the point of pointlessness. The repetitive motion is meditative; the fresh air is enlivening. Lose yourself in doing what needs to be done, without a thought of permanent outcome or gain. You'll immediately alter your worldview.
Eat when hungry - Align your inexhaustible desires with the one true appetite. Coming clean about our food addictions and aversions is powerful and lasting medicine. Eating is so central to family life and culture that we can pass on our habits for generations to come. Mindless overeating feeds our sickness; mindful eating feeds the body's intuitive, intelligent wisdom and nourishes life well past tonight's empty plates.
Let the darkness come - Set a curfew on the Internet and TV and discover the natural balance between daylight and darkness, work and rest. Your taste for the quiet will naturally increase. When you end your day in accord with the earth's perfect rhythm, you grant the whole world a moment of pure peace.
Sleep when tired - Nothing more to it.
and stroke the cat..
This one hit me between the eyes this morning:
"The only freedom which cannot be taken away is your attitude."
As life's difficulties are sending me back into the embrace of Buddhism, I find myself making a greater effort to show friendliness, compassion, and the benefit of a doubt to everyone.
Separate names with a comma.