No time – 200 words project


Here is this week’s 200 words project:

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“One afternoon at Garrison, Sharon Salzberg spoke about a Buddhist teacher in India, a widowed woman with many, many children who had no time to sit on a cushion, meditating. How had she done it, then? Sharon had once asked her. How had she achieved her remarkable ability to live in the present? The answer was simply this: she stirred the rice mindfully.”

Dani Shapiro in Devotion: A Memoir

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We complain all the time – about time. That we are too busy. That we have no time for mindfulness. That sitting to meditate, even for 5 minutes is a luxury which we of course, cannot afford. Focus, single tasking is for others, not us. Because we are so busy, really, too busy to learn to concentrate.

Well, for all my skeptical beliefs about religion, most religions of the world do show us a path to this. They say, whatever you are doing, do it mindfully. And so do a lot of thinkers of our times.
How about Joan Didion on driving mindfully. How about washing your dishes and brushing your teeth mindfully – as Leo Babuta recommends. Or drink your coffee mindfully as The Dalai Lama’s Cat recommends. Or maybe you would like Sherlock Holmes to help you with mindfulness?

The idea is simplicity itself. When making that PowerPoint, just think about the PowerPoint and not the meeting which comes after that. In the meeting, concentrate on the meeting and not what email just came in the inbox. When reading the email, just read the email and don’t ponder whether to buy that latest gadget or not. And when eating, just eat and don’t worry about texting that friend who is travelling in Panama city.

The opportunities for learning to be mindful are endless. But here’s the catch….Being un-mindful is easy, it is habitual, and we do that all the time. Are we willing to do the hard thing? And learn to be mindful?

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About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!

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