A balanced life.
How to lead a balanced life…
“A Zen monk and friend of mine, Susan O’Connell, taught me something important recently. Susan is Vice President of the San Francisco Zen Center and a movie and TV actress in a former life.
She gave a talk about how she goes through her day, and it was enlightening. I’ve since put her ideas into practice.
Susan says she gives equal weight to every action, to every moment. We tend to do the opposite: certain things we do are more important than others and so we mentally focus on those and give little thought to the smaller things.
Susan gives equal weight to meditating, working on an important project, talking with a stranger, walking to her car in the parking lot, eating a bowl of soup. None is more important than the other. Even the space between things is given equal weight.
The spaces between things: when we move from email to talking to a co-worker, that is a space between things. When we move from eating to putting our dish in the sink, that’s a space between. And we tend to barely register these spaces on our consciousness.
Imagine giving these spaces the same weight as you would something more “important”. What would a day filled with these important spaces be like? In my experience, it means we’re more mindful, that we have a slower and more evenly paced day, that we are calmer and more at peace. It means less stress, and less effort.”
If we could learn to do just one thing, and practice it constantly, this would be it. To apply equal weight to all our actions, throughout all our moments.
“Suddenly I’m no longer killing time. Suddenly I’m living.” – Ray Lai