Apr 18, 2007

Take your time

Last book that I read:

Take Your Time: How to Find Patience, Peace, and Meaning by Eknath Easwaran: a beautiful book -- beautifully written (Easwaran grew up on Shakespeare) and conveys profound insights in a very casual, relaxed manner. Talks about: how to live an unhurried life and the benefits of it. On how to do only one thing at a time: you'll not only enjoy what you are doing but will become very good at it.

[Half of the book's back cover was ripped off. Why? Because I wasn't taking my time. I was in a hurry to get to the airport. But that was before I started reading the book :-) ]

And here are some key points that I got:

  • "...living completely in the present is the secret of an unhurried mind." [p. 34] [My notes: Hurrying makes us miss the beauty and power of the present moment.]
  • "It is important to realize that we can't read everything, can't keep ourselves entertained every available moment, can't absorb or even catch all the so-called information that is offered to us everyday." [p. 42] These days, while online, at places like reddit or Digg, I click on only 1 or 2 items that really, really interests me and is related to technology. I ignore the rest -- no matter how tempting it is.
  • "...patience is at the very heart of love." [p. 50]
  • "The Buddha called this `living intentionally.' It is a way of life. Slowing down is not the goal; it is the means to an end. The goal is living in freedom -- freedom from the pressures of hurry, from distractions that fragment our time and creativity and love." [p. 54]
  • What every you do, give it your full attention (what Buddhist call "being mindful"). You'll actually enjoy that moment (even if it is something you really don't like to do -- remember, monks do the same thing every single day -- wake up, meditate, do chores, say prayers, etc. -- but from our point of view, that's so very boring. But for them it is something new, every single day. Something delightful. It is because they live in the moment -- they are mindful.); and you'll do a good job of it.
  • It isn't too hard to control your attention -- whenever your attention wanders, bring it back, gently. In the awesome book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche describes meditation as "...bringing the mind home." I didn't understand what he meant back them -- I think this is what he means.
  • All problems that people face -- overeating, stress, etc. -- happens because people are giving attention to certain things, cravings. They can get past these problems simply by controlling the attention they place on things.
  • Inflexibility -- being rigid in one's likes and dislikes -- is a sign that the mind is out of control.
Books that I've bought, but haven't yet read: [Of course I don't by all my books from Amazon.Com. Some from a cool bookstore called ChangingHands. Others from local Borders and Barnes&Noble.]