Daily Prompt : Focused

In response to prompt : Focused

Thich Nhat Hanh:  The Miracle Of Mindfulness

In his book, the above author talks about, ‘The Practice Of Meditation,’ he talks about washing dishes, going for a walk, eating an orange, one must focus on these things one at a time.

In this method he emphasizes the need for focus, he says when washing dishes, one must only think of the dishes and nothing else.

Once he told his friend, when eating you should only think of the specific food like if you are eating an orange, you must concentrate on it.

Once he went for a walk with a friend, the author kept quiet while the friend was talking about a  lot of things. When they came back the friend asked why he did not respond, his reply, ‘We were walking therefore we must pay  attention to the task at hand.

I remember my Mom used to tell me, ‘Ranu, do not talk when you’re eating, it’s like reading the Quran, you must never talk while eating.

This to me is how one must focus, it’s not easy to actually do it, but with time and practise it becomes second nature. I haven’t succeeded yet, but I know I can do it!

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Daily Prompt: That Stings

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Franz Kafka said, we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

The book I’m reading now is, ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’, on my trip to Montreal , I rented an apartment from a local French landlord. I noticed his shelf was full of French books, but there were only a few English ones. I picked up one and was fascinated by the title.

I opened the book, the title of the first chapter was, The Essential Discipline, I wanted to find out what he meant by it. I started reading, it was interesting and I continued reading, I noticed on the third page there was a  line ,Washing the dishes to wash the dishes. What does he mean by this I questioned myself, I read on to find the answer. I know I wash dishes morning,noon and night and in-between,I never came across this phrase, ‘Washing the dishes to wash the dishes.’

My curiosity was at its height, I must find out the meaning I thought. On the last paragraph the author explained what he meant by that phrase,he says, “while washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.At first glance ,that might seem a little silly: Why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself,following my breath,conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions.There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.”

I was impressed I decided immediately I must have the book. I went out to Indigo book store, inquired about the book, the lady at the store told me she had two copies, I rushed upstairs, there was only one, I grabbed the book paid for it and came home. I have it now, it’s one  I think should not be read at once. There are a lot of things in it and very valuable.

I’d say this one bit and stung me. It’s worth every penny I spent to get it! 🙂

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