Human Doing

"Instead of human beings, we are becoming human doings". This is one of my favorite quotes from the mindfulness challenge that I completed today. For a whole month, I have spent every day at least ten minutes being instead of doing. But not everything is about sitting down in the lotus pose and murmuring om. In fact, I have never done any of that. Along with guided meditation, there is often some form of insight. The kind of wisdom that makes one stop and look at essential things, which we often take for granted, from a different perspective. It is by doing so that meditation can help to free the human being from its own doing traps.

Statue of buda at Dalada Maluva, in the ancient garden-city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Choose Ease

It felt like falling asleep. I even had a (very) short dream while I fell from the stool onto the kitchen floor. A few moments earlier I had hit my knee with a sharp edge. The shock and the pain made me faint as I took a seat to recover. I fell like a bag of potatoes. And that was the key. If I had been conscious, I would have instinctively tried to ease the fall with my hand. And I would have most likely injured it. But I barely felt any pain. It reminded me of all the things which are much more painful than they would have to, just because of the fear in our brain, for both body and mind. As the saying goes, pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.

Not all falls are the same, though ;-) Tower IV on Mount Jaizkibel


I don't mind doing the dishes. Or cleaning the floors. The vacuum cleaner does most of the work anyhow. Also, dusting the little furniture I own is fine. And laundry is not a big deal either. But if there is one thing which is boring and tedious while still unavoidable, it is definitely cleaning the bathroom. So. Damn. Boring. Not even music made it better. Until I found that podcast. A German podcast about history. It works! From Caesar to Apartheid, the Boxer Rebellion, the Treuhand, or Buddha, the podcast talks about everything. And by the end of it, the bathroom is clean and shiny again. Time is as flexible and moldable as we want it to be.

These wireless buddies have become my greatest entertainers

Ninety-Five Percent

My new favorite quote goes as follows. "Nobody in their right mind would put 95% of their wealth on a single bank, yet it is common to dedicate 95% of our time to a single person". That person is usually called a partner, and the bond to that person, love. The quote is from a book that admits that such a bond imposes a myriad of artificial constraints, hindering other types of important bonds and demoting them to plain friendships. It finally acknowledges the existance of other types of special people, and the significant benefits of giving them a share of that 95%. That is the share where all those wonderful endless conversations with a great friend fit in :-)

In the book, those other special people are called the "yellow" people

Doing Nothing

One of the most rewarding activities is no activity. Many meditation tutorials warn that this is harder than it sounds. And it indeed is. Doing nothing may be one of the hardest things to do, but it is surprisingly powerful. I recently inherited some balcony furniture from a friend who moved to an appartment with no balcony. I always thought that it would be nice to have such furniture to sit outdoors doing nothing for a while, but paradoxically I was always too busy to think about it. So now, two years after moving in, I finally take the time to be on the balcony to meditate or listen to something on headphones. And it is nice. Who would have said.

Getting some plants for the balcony definitely goes too far ;-)