Getting in the flow – Instructions to the cook

“Pay full attention to your work in preparing the meal; attend to every aspect yourself so that it will naturally turn out well.”

In Buddhism we learn about obstacles to meditation. These are the things that get in the way of meditation, but as our meditation develops we realise that these are things that stop us being in the flow. Anxiety/stress. Laziness/escapism. Ill will. Doubt/lack of trust. Sensory desire.

“If you’re stressed, you are making things more important than they really are.” Actually, the most important thing is mindfulness. That’s your wealth. If something is getting in the way of your mindfulness, i.e. you’re stressed, then you’re mind is upside down. Nothing is more important than you’re own state of mind. The obstacles to meditation are in fact obstacles to our peace of mind, and obstacles to making decisions from the centre of our being.

The first technique AR uses to analyse time is based on important vs urgent. His ideal to do what’s important but not urgent at least 50% of your time. He calls that being “in the zone.” So, I’m going to spend the next week working out just where I’m spending my time.

The second technique is to look at what you’re up to in terms of:- control, influence, no control; and to stay in the spaces where you have control and not bother with no control. There’s no point in stressing yourself about that. When I think about my relationship with wider life, it is clear than I can control where I spend my dollar and my vote. I have very little influence over what the big brands do, or what our prime minister does during his term, but I can exercise a small influence. Community groups give people tools. They influence.

So, getting rid of the things that I can’t control and focusing on important but not urgent, where do I want to spend more time. I’ve decided to build a tool that helps people decide what their day to day purchases will be, for the good of the planet. What brands are doing what. That means I’m going to have to watch a bit less TV, not that I watch a lot anyway, but there is some that can go. And a bit less time on Facebook.

All of this boils down to mindfulness, really.

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