Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

Vast Mind: 3 Ways to Open Beyond the Self-Concern of Our Small Mind

By Leo Babauta

Most of the time, we are caught up in what can be called “small mind”: the small world of self-concern, of wanting to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want.

This is the cause of our suffering — always running to distraction, procrastinating, caught up in worries and fears, worried about what people think of us, what we’re missing, what someone did to offend us, and so on.

It’s a small world we get trapped in, this worrying about ourselves all the time. And it leads to stress, anger, hurt, worry, fear, anxiety and distraction.

The antidote is Vast Mind — growing bigger than the small mind we have habitually become stuck in.

What is Vast Mind? It’s opening to something bigger than our self-concern, opening to the freshness of the moment.

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Cooking Healthful Joyful Meals with a Picky Family

By Leo Babauta

Shifting from a convenient but unhealthy diet to one of healthful, delicious joy can be a challenge when you’re living alone — but there’s a whole new level of challenge if you are part of a family.

The problem: while you might want to change to a new style of eating, picky eaters (kids, but also spouses) can disagree with the change.

Who wants to eat kale when fried chicken and pizza are go-to staples? Who wants to eat oats and fruit when Poptarts and sausages are the usual breakfast foods?

Well, me. And maybe you. But how do we deal with a family full of picky eaters?

A woman in my Sea Change Program asked me:

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Why We Struggle to Make Time for Solitude

By Leo Babauta

How often do you take time to go out for an hourlong walk? To just sit out in nature doing nothing but contemplating and enjoying the silence?

I’m sure there are a few of you who indulge in this luxury regularly, but most of us don’t make time for solitude on a daily basis.

For some, it’s too much of a luxury: the struggle of daily existence is too close to survival level to even think about an hour alone in nature.

But for many of us, the main reason is that our brain rationalizes staying busy. We are filled with uncertainty all day long, and that drives us to try to do more, to get control of everything, to cram more into our lives, to stay addicted to technology and distraction.

The main driver of our busyness and distraction is uncertainty.

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Connecting Your Work Tasks to Meaning

By Leo Babauta

I’m really good at getting a lot of things done, taking action, piling up a buttload of completed tasks.

Action isn’t my problem — it’s making the tasks themselves feel more meaningful.

Do any of you have that problem, that your work just feels like busywork, not super meaningful?

By the way, if your problem is not taking action … here’s my action rules:

Pick important things to work onDo only one of them at a timeSet aside everything else and do only that one taskMake it smaller so it’s easier to startFeel the joy of getting stuff done

And yes, getting stuff done is so much fun. But at the end of the day, you just churned through a whole bunch of things, and it doesn’t feel that meaningful. Sure, at least you didn’t just procrastinate all day, didn’t fritter the day away in distractions … but there’s more to life than just churning and being super busy.

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The Zen Habits Guide to Spending Your Time Intentionally

By Leo Babauta

Yesterday I was on a call with an active member of my Fearless Training Program, and she asked a question about how to spend her time more intentionally.

Her key insight for me was that a lot of people in the program (and I think many people reading this blog) would like to do the same thing.

How do we spend our days with more intentionality?

How do we stop from just going through it on autopilot, just running to distractions and busywork all the time, just getting through things? How do we keep from feeling overwhelmed and lost at sea? How do we change our habit of being too busy, never having time for the things we want to spend our life on?

The answer isn’t simple, but I’ve created a guide for spending your time intentionally, things that I’ve been implementing in my life.

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