Posts Tagged ‘wild chickens and petty tyrants: 108 metaphors for mindfulness’

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It’s a new day

January 21, 2009

It’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the inauguration. People are excited and who can blame us? Obama is an orator who inspires us with invitations to the best parts of ourselves. People were queued up outside of Nectar’s (the famed Phish bar) for an inauguration party and the desire to see Obama’s inauguration speech. Millions gathered to be part of history. Obama’s speech was a call to action: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.” This invitation sounds like an invitation to mindfulness. One of the metaphors in Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness talks about falling down. If we can embrace a child-like enthusiasm, as if we were learning to walk, this getting up off the ground can be done in a matter-of-fact, if not a joyful way. We don’t spend our mental energy bemoaning the fact that we have fallen, we don’t berate ourselves for being clumsy. We act in the moment. We move confidently into the future when our attention is trained on this present. Obama concludes with the invitation: “With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.” He invites us to embrace adversity with equanimity, and once again the challenge is to be in the present moment. If the current is icy, we will be cold; if a storm hits we will get wet. To be effective we can’t shy away from these ever-present realities, nor can we complain about them. Instead we engage the present with mindfulness. The metaphors in Wild Chickens provides the tools to make this happen. The book and the wisdom tradition it represents teaches the skills to keep our attention in the present, to scale back our complaining about a difficult present moment or shying away from it. They allow us to move effectively into the present to act, and to do so in ways that don’t cause further harm. We are challenged to move from the excitement of this historical day to embrace our new President’s call to action.

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Wild Chickens in Uncertain Times

January 19, 2009

The current economic challenges we confront may qualify as wild chickens or even petty tyrants (petty tyrants can range from simply annoying to distraction to holding the power of life and death). The financial crisis reveals the impermanent matrix that underlies the workings of the world. Key people and institutions have shown us the dangers of ignorance, greed, and delusion. They attributed a solidity and value to things that were neither. The house of cards now reveals itself. We are confronted with a painful reality. The concept of “wealth” spills through our fingers like water. We are unable to grasp it; we cannot hold on to it. This has always been the case, we are now acutely aware of it. These challenging remind of us of the need to proceed through days with as much mindfulness as we can muster. If we can know in our bones that change is the order of the day we may be able to ride these waves of tumult with more equanimity.

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Happy New Year 2009

January 1, 2009

 

108 Metaphors for Mindfulness

Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness

Greetings from The Exquisite Mind for the New Year: 2009

While the transition to the New Year can be a fruitful time for reflection and review, let’s not forget that every day can be New Year’s Day when we bring a mindful approach to living. I think we enter 2009 with a mixture of uncertainty and excitement.

I am excited for the forthcoming publication of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness and the opportunity to bring the message of mindfulness to my community and the wider world.

I am developing new workshops and classes based on the wisdom of the book.

A website has been created for the book, and you can visit it here (http://108metaphors.com)