I’m listening to “Start where you are” by Pema Chodrun for the third time. I find philosophical books require multiple listens before they make it into my consciousness in ways that change me at a deeper level. I have listened to “Journey into Yourself” by Ekhart Tolle nine times so far and I’m sure I’ll return to it again.
“Start where you are” covers Buddhist teachings about finding inner peace and living a joyful life. It is full of guidance that directly connects me with that part of myself that knows calm and recognises how easy life has the capacity to feel.
But when I stop listening, my loud brain starts yammering on again about every little thing.
The Practical Implications
Today I made the choice to bring the phrase, “it’s all passing memory” into my thoughts deliberately.
When I get annoyed, I will use this phrase to remind myself that whatever I’m experiencing will pass. That gives it edges and helps me keep it in perspective so I’m better able to respond intentionally rather than reacting instinctively.
I am also going bring this phrase to mind when I’m enjoying life’s wonderful moments too. “It’s all passing memory”. A reminder to appreciate these moments and be joyful within them can only be a good thing.
I’m choosing to these thoughts intentionally in my efforts to let my system learn to “hold things lightly”. Not very many things in life are a big deal but I have a habit of making many things bigger than they need to be – and missing the moments where joy would be easy to experience and express.
While I’m learning, it’s helpful to have a deliberate practice to aid that learning. I once heard these practices described as “rafts” – You use the raft to cross the river but you don’t necessarily carry the raft around with you once you get to the other side. It’s a necessary vehicle rather than a permanent fixture in your life. I imagine this practice will be the same. I will use it for a while as another tool to help me be more present, gain perspective and invite change into my life.
Have you ever tried a practice like? If so, what effect did it have?