1. Mindful habits. Reciting a 4-line gatha to myself each morning, taking my first bite of food for my friends and family, setting mindfulness bells to ring every 30 minutes when I open the computer, etc. I have spent the last six months building a solid habit base that I’d like to continue working with. As I’ve written about before habits are critical for long-term change, but they are often hard to implement. One reason why habits have been difficult for me in the past is that my current life environment is constantly changing. This makes things like setting a standard wake-up time or keeping to a specific ritualized practice quite difficult. Here in Plum Village I have worked on habits that don’t require specific times of the day in order to be effective; they are more centered around how I approach daily activities.
2. Voluntary Simplicity. Related to #1, but big enough to warrant its own point. This is about not cramming “just one more thing” into the present moment. Not writing “just one more email” before eating lunch, reading “just one more chapter” before bed or sleeping in “just five more minutes” when I’m due to be somewhere soon. I do this all the time and it squeezes many moments of stillness from my day.
I can really relate to both of these.
Brandon also turned me onto this video, which is spectacular, both in visuals and in sound. The song is “Nuvole bianche” by Ludovico Einaudi.