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Another QOTD

From The Practicing Mind:

Changing our experience of life is well within our grasp, but we have to review a few ideas again and again so that everyday life doesn’t steal them away before they become a natural part of who we are and how we operate.

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Another Beauty

from the same book:

We are so convinced that because our technology is evolving, we must be doing the same. We think that because we have cell phones with cameras in them, we must be more advanced than someone who lived 2500 years ago; but in fact, those people in the past were much more aware of their internal world than we are because they weren’t distracted by technology. We have all this technology, which is supposed to make our lives easier, and yet it doesn’t. They had none of the technology but had much simpler lives and perhaps a better understanding of how their minds worked.

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Closing Note

of The Practicing Mind, beautiful words:

In closing I would like to say this. All cultures begin by expending all of their energy and resources into survival. If the culture survives this infancy, its people eventually pass the point of having to spend all of their time focused on staying alive. They get to a point of what’s for dinner instead of is there dinner. Their days are filled with more and more free time. It is at this point that the society faces a fork in the road. We have been standing at this fork for quite some time. The one path states that you can spend at least a portion of this free time on expanding your spiritual awareness, your knowledge of your true self. The other path leads away from this truth into an endless cycle of meaningless self-indulgence which, at its core, is trying to fill the spiritual void that so many of us experience in our lives. The track record for all the great cultures that have come (and more importantly, gone) is unfortunately not a very good one. We can and must learn from this historical truth.

take time regularly to review all the things that you have acquired in your life all the way back to your childhood. What you will notice is that the toy that was everything to you when you were a child has no significance to you at all now, and yet at the time, getting it consumed your thoughts. What you may also notice is that the joy in the memory of that toy is not in the toy itself, but in the simplicity of life back then, a simplicity that was rooted in your unknowing, present moment living. If you look at all the “things” that you had to have in your life through the years, you begin to see that you don’t really care about most of them anymore, certainly not the material ones. Things like the car or the furniture lose their importance and value to you over time. You may even wonder what you saw in many of those things in the first place.

That moment of realization is a good time to notice if you are just repeating that process of struggling to acquire things that you are convinced will end the anguish and twinges of emptiness you feel inside. You come into this world with only your true self, and you leave the same. Everything that you acquire spiritually expands your true self and becomes part of you forever. We need to get off of this self-destructive train that runs on the tracks of instant gratification. All things of lasting and deep value require time and nurturing and come to us only through our own effort. I think everybody out there is aware of this at some level. We just get distracted by information to the contrary that comes at us every day. You can eliminate a certain amount of that by paying attention to what you expose yourself to in the way of media, be it TV, music or reading material. If it doesn’t enrich you, then you don’t need it.

Most importantly, if we make our first item of business to develop our practicing mind, then the process of becoming is an adventure, and we are filled with peace instead of struggle. I have put down here for you what I am learning in my own life through my own efforts. I hope that it helps you in the same way that those before me have helped me, by taking the time to put down what they have learned. Remember, none of this is new. They are just the eternal truths that we have learned and re-learned over the centuries from those who have questioned and found peace in the answers. This is when the fun begins

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A Small Paradox between Adults and Kids

on being impatient, from the excellent book, “The Practicing Mind“:

Look at an activity such as taking piano lessons. Children can’t see the point in practicing because they have no concept of being able to play well and the enjoyment that would bring to them. That is why they get impatient. Why do it? Adults, however, do possess an understanding of the point of practicing, and it is for the exact opposite reason. They do have a concept of what it would be like to play well and that is the very reason they get impatient.

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Tips on Procrastination

From a psychologist:

  • Try projecting yourself into the future. Imagine the good feelings you will have if you stop procrastinating and finish a project.
  • Just get started. Tell yourself you don’t have to do the whole project. Just do the first one or two steps on it.
  • Stop beating yourself up. Replace the negative thoughts with something more positive.

Truth to be told: “A real mood boost comes from doing what we intend to do—the things that are important to us.”