I enter my home and it takes a few seconds to acknowledge the culprit responsible for the stripes on my walls. Street lamp light barges in past my window blinds. Whoa, it must be late. The stove clock reports 9pm. I have a whole hour before bedtime. Woohoo!
Sea turtle rescues on video, lengthy political rants and daily selfies. Multiple captures of tasty food and romantic moments. 25 versions of outrage about an appalling news item. It is time to turn down the volume.
For a couple of months I have rehearsed the idea of stepping away from Facebook. After seven years of being able to peer at the veneer of people’s lives, I thought it was time to analyze the purpose of this digital connection. This exploration has inspired me to converse with people who use it regularly, and a few who have either deleted their profile or were never on Facebook. Continue reading
I take one week holidays in the country during Winter, Summer and Fall. Each sojourn is an opportunity for my busy brain to slow down. Although it can take up to three days for my spirit to recognize the reduction in auditory and visual noise, I eventually start to relax. Continue reading
Say that title out loud and it sounds like a country dance. Yet the mood of this post is decidedly quieter with a lower heart rate!
My regular readers know that I practice mindfulness in the form of meditation and walking around my neighbourhood. Even when running (walking?) an errand, I gently notice my surroundings which makes me smile and feel calm as I arrive at my destination. How can we get more of that feeling? Continue reading
by Karl Pruner
What is meditation? There may be as many answers as there are meditators. As a practitioner for forty four years, I can only say for sure what it means to me. Meditation means rest. In meditation, my mind rests in the awareness of the present moment. Noises come and go. Thoughts come and go. I let them come and I let them go, without any action required on my part. I am not distracted because I have no goal, no expectation, no preferred outcome. I am awake but, otherwise, I’m on a short break from choosing, deciding, preferring, wishing, feeling, thinking and/or doing.
There are lots of meditation techniques, most of which develop mindfulness of the present moment by offering the mind a simple task, along with an invitation to gently and uncritically return to the task, each time you become aware that you have become distracted. One of the simplest techniques was described by Buddha. Continue reading
Are you a minimalist?
For over 15 years I have been shedding whatever I perceive to be in my way of living a satisfying life. I don’t remember exactly how this transformation started but I suspect I have been conditioned for it: years ago, living an artist’s life required moving from place to place, transferring whatever possessions that could fit into a borrowed car. However, that just answers the question regarding physical objects. When asked what it is I get out of minimalism, I reply “truth”. So to talk the walk, I believe that managing toxic relationships since I began adulthood is likely the birthplace of my perspective. Once powerful barriers (guilt from expectations mostly) were removed, then I could see the landscape that is my life. Continue reading
As Earth Day approaches, (April 22nd) I have been receiving reports about the challenge I put to my readers to try a No Gadget Night (NGN). With lights off and all electronics put away, what happened? Finding activities to keep occupied did not seem to be a problem. What I find fascinating is the variety of thoughts and feelings around habits of consumption and how we live with technology. Enjoy these great stories! Continue reading