Wash Your Bowl

This lovely post I am sharing with you comes from Leo Babauta’s mnmlist.com who also writes  Zenhabits, which I love. Not only does he offer simple advice on how less is more in life, but his material is uncopyrighted.  Love it!

So, read, learn, be inspired, share, reconnect and repeat.  Thanks for reading.


Pottery Bowl

There’s a famous Zen story that goes:

A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.

I’m not going to try to explain that story, as I am far from enlightened enough to understand it. Instead, I’d like to focus the wonderful simplicity of that advice:

Have you eaten your rice porridge? Then you had better wash your bowl.

This is something I think of every time I eat, and in fact whenever I’m done doing something. “Done eating? Now it is time to wash your bowl.”

There is something profound and yet minimalist about this advice. It’s: don’t get your head caught up in all this thinking about the meaning of life … instead, just do. Just wash your bowl. And in the washing, you’ll find all you need.

I’ve found this to be true. I literally wash my bowl after eating, slowly and with mindfulness. It’s satisfying, and takes no money and little resources.

When I take a shower, I hand wash my dirty clothes (if they’re dirty), wring them out, hang them to dry. When I change, I carefully put away the clothes I’ve changed out of. When I prepare food, I wipe the counter and put away the ingredients. At least I try to – I don’t claim to be perfect.

Remembering to do these things when we’re done with the activity isn’t just about neatness. It’s about mindfulness, about completing what we started, about being present in all we do instead of rushing to the next activity.

Wash your bowl, with care and joy.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection in Walden Pond

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

–Henry David Thoreau

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection in Walden Pond

Leaves and reflection of the surrounding trees at Thoreau’s Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard

A good friend and I had a conversation a month or so ago, and what he said is still on my mind.  He kept emphasized the importance of daily practice.  In whatever you are doing…..running, drawing, meditating, being compassionate, the list goes on and on.  There is a  simple brilliance in what he said.  With daily practice, our “practice” become integrated into our lives, and real change can happen.

Since that talk, here are some of my daily practices:

BLOGGINGWorkhouse Laptop that just keeps on ticking. Blogging mission command.
Workhouse Laptop that just keeps on ticking. Blogging mission command.
PAINTING / JOURNALINGMoleskin Watercolor Journal and Winsor and Newton travel paint set.  LOVE.
Moleskin Watercolor Journal and Winsor and Newton travel paint set that allows me to both paint and write. LOVE.

Continue reading ““How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard”

For many years, I have collected folk art during my travels.  Packed carefully away in boxes for now, I take a moment every once in a while to take a few pieces out to admire them.  Each piece is small, transportable by being either stuffed into or strapped to the outside of my backpack, and caught my eye in a new landscape.  Wonderful stories come to mind when I look at the little treasures, and I thought it might be fun to share of few of my favorites.

To kick it off, a nativity scene, brought back from a trip to Peru with a dear friend in the fall of 2005.

Peruvian Nativity Scene

This wee family reminds me of the amazing Peruvian people, and how the sight of their brightly colored clothing dotting the steep, lush green slopes of the Andean Mountains as they walked their daily paths left me awestruck.  Never have I been more impressed at the marvels of built structures then standing atop Manchu Picchu, with thin air and jaw dropping scenery.  Truly seemed like a place of the Gods.

Every culture is unique and beautiful in its own way.  I loved the Peruvian style added to this sweet little nativity set.

Wee family!

The Ten Rules for Being Human

Rule One – You will receive a body.

You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.

Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life”. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons.

Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.

Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned.

Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.

Rule Five – Learning does not end.

There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”.

When your “there” has become “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than your present “here”.

Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you.

You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you.

Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you.

All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth.

You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helix of inner-knowing.

From the book If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules by Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott.

Louie Schwartzberg’s TED talk San Francisco: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Brilliant TED talk blending breathtaking time-lapse photography paired with insights both young girl’s perception of discovering wonder’s of the world as well as an elderly man.

Be grateful for the incredible beauty in this world, and that you are able to see them. Faces, natural landscapes, cities, animals, flowers. The list is endless, but be inspired by each and every expression of beauty you encounter. Every Day.

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Rocky Mountain Fall

This morning I woke up to see the first frost on the rooftop outside my window. Fall has arrived!  With the leaves changing somehow it shifts me into a bit of reflection mode.  The change of light, color, temperature, and the briskness of the air all tell me the summer is coming to a close and will not make full appearance until next year.

Here in high mountain country in Colorado, Continue reading “Rocky Mountain Fall”

Inspiring M*U*S*I*C: Hauschka at NPR: Improvisation

In this incredible display of human creativity, German-born pianist  plays his piano by inserting objects like ping-pong balls, aluminum foil or leather in between the strings or attaches them to the hammers, creating an amazingly layered sound. To learn more about Hauschka, visit his music biography page here.

I think the video, shot at the NPR studios, is well done, and I love the look of concentration and peace on his face. The vibrant display of the human spirit that is unique and beautiful in each of us, never fails to amaze me.

Happy Thursday.

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