More thoughts on the fleeting nature of feelings and our relationship with them.Read More
We base many of our decisions on numbers. Can I afford to take a trip? How much am I gonna earn? How many papers have you submitted? But what if the truly important stuff, the things we should be mindful of are difficult or impossible to measure?Read More
How we perceive things makes a huge difference to our decision-making. The same situation can seem like a blessing to some or a calamity to others. What opportunities are we missing out on because we don't have the right frame of mind?Read More
I've been reading about insight meditation lately, and in his book Mindfulness In Plain English--which I read on the toilet at work-- Henepola Gunaratana mentions how we all naturally label our experiences as either good, bad, or neutral. We seek out good experiences, try to avoid bad ones, and simply ignore the neutral stuff because they are of no value.
A lot gets said about reframing bad experiences as good, and something can also be said about not clinging to good experiences because they will also pass. People however, rarely appreciate how incredible those supposedly mundane moments are.
It might be my training as a scientist, but consider the confluence of events that need to happen every moment for what you call your now to actually happen. The fact that you're reading this means that somewhere out there hundreds of people worked together with incredibly complex machines to produce electricity. The table that you're working on contains several materials that have been sourced, processed, and shipped from many places around the world through the combined effort of thousands of people. The fact that you can read things implies your eyeballs have been able to perceive as many as 7 million colours, which were processed by a fraction of the 100 billion neurons that make up your brain, interpreting the shapes that we call letters as collectively having a meaning based on a social agreement that was influenced by thousands of years of human civilization.
So next time you're bored, just look at your colourful carpet and realize that you're on a tiny rock spinning around a giant ball of exploding thermonuclear gas and appreciate the crap out of that carpet.