"It’s easier to live in the story you tell yourself about the world rather than the world itself."
~ Nate Staniforth
There are many obstacles to establishing a consistent mindfulness routine. Three big ones are finding time to practice, being distracted by thoughts, and feeling bored.
I discovered an exercise that obliterates all three simultaneously, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to hate the idea of it.
As with any good attention exercise, it leverages an ordinary activity as an opportunity to build capacities that for responding more effectively to the challenges of ordinary life.
"I don’t like when precious things slip through people’s fingers—especially things that seem defenseless or undercelebrated, like old newspapers, but also unheralded people who may have said sensible things at a certain time in history, but who were completely drowned out by other people. Or minor poets whose lives were instructive."
~ Nicholson Baker
"My poems tend to be about being a middle-aged, middle class, straight, white guy living in middle America. I'm thinking, how do I become one of the great mass of people who sort of, well, keeps America's cars clean and lawns mowed? Exploring ways in which that is poetic or sad or beautiful—that's really exciting to me."
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.
"It's not just the moments that we remember. Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It's the invisible things, the minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time. These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth, still developing."
"Often, change doesn't come trumpeting itself in. It comes in quiet, barely noticed ways. No bolts of lightning and grand entrances here. Just a subtle relaxation into the body. A tiny shift towards where you are. An old belief, an outdated story, seen for what it is. A new path emerging in the darkness. A vague, unspeakable hope dawning in the first light of the day you imagined would never come. Everything the same, everything different, everything always resting in motion, and the mysteries of change forever unresolved."
by Tony Hoagland, from Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty
Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in the most precious element of all,
I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water
at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,
hovered over it, then lit, then rested.
I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page
in certain library books,
so the the next reader will know
where to look for the good parts.
Try pausing right before
and right after
undertaking a new action