“Everything comes to pass; nothing comes to stay.”
—Matthew Flickstein, teacher of insight meditation
What do weekends, holidays, vacations, and happy times have in common?
What do colds, the flu, Mondays, and boring meetings have in common?
What does the first list have in common with the second?
If your answer was that they all come and go, do not last, or that, in mindfulness terms, they are impermanent, you are correct.
Whether you are happy that certain events occurred, or are sad they have come to an end, the law of impermanence is something of which you can be certain.
How can you apply the law of impermanence in your personal or professional worlds in the days and weeks ahead? How might that maximize the Ups and minimize the Downs of life?
“The more you eat, the less flavor. The less you eat, the more flavor.”
Image from Unsplash by Kawin Harasai
The next time you sit down to enjoy one of your favorite meals, try this:
For the first ten minutes, eat only three to five mouthfuls, paying particular note to the texture and flavor of each bite you mindfully chew.
Next, take a “Thanksgiving Size” portion of the same meal, and chow away. Make sure you go beyond your level of satiety to the point of moderate discomfort. Pay particular attention to your awareness of texture and flavor.
Where and how would the practice of eating less in a more mindful manner bring you greater pleasure and perhaps a bit smaller waistline as a bonus?
“Speak when you are angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”
—Ambrose Bierce, 18th Century American Writer and Civil War Soldier
Image from Flickr by Sid
When was the last time you lost your temper and really let someone have it? Perhaps you even rehearsed your speech and shared your seemingly justified attack articulately with equally practiced volume and gestures.
What happened after the initial “feel better” burst of adrenaline and getting things off your chest?
If you are like many, you may have experienced considerable fallout, and repercussions much like the aftershocks of an earthquake.
Where would counting to ten or a hundred, or simply holding your tongue more frequently, dramatically reduce the number of regretful interactions you experience?
“Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.”
—Bhante Henepolo Gunaratana, Sri Lankan Buddhist monk
We’ve all heard the phrase, “The choices we make make us.”
Do you agree? Perhaps if we were all able to make even better choices, we would experience the freedom and fulfillment of an even more wonderful life.
Today’s quote suggests that through increased mindfulness and greater self awareness we can all find time to make better, more discerning choices about how we spend this precious resource.
How can and will you invest a bit more time on a daily basis to strengthen and build your mindfulness muscle?
If you are new to such practices, consider starting with 5 minutes in the morning or evening in a practice such as meditation, gratitude reflection, or some form of life review, to enhance this skill.
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”
– Mary Jean Irion, Pennsylvania Teacher and Writer
Photo from Flickr by Jan
Have you ever sat in front of your TV, eating chips or another favorite snack, only to find your fingers at the bottom of an empty bag, searching for more, and wondering how you could have possibly eaten your way through all those treats?
Just like food we consume mindlessly, our days, months, and years sometimes fly by unnoticed, because we think there’s plenty more “in the bag,” or simply because we do not cherish each moment as a precious gift.
If you knew your days were numbered (which they are) how would you spend this “normal day”?