While curmudgeonly driving home today with LA's Sunday drivers, I found myself riding behind a car with a bumper sticker that read:
"Think less, Breathe more."
I'm not generally a bumper sticker kinda girl, but this one really got me thinking..... and breathing I guess.
Since graduating (UCSB), I've moved home (the San Fernando Valley) and started a corporate job (hoteling) in a failing economy. I've attempted to keep myself balanced and calm in a world of things that are out of my hands by reading about Zen Buddhism. And while applying the core philosophies to my own life, I have managed to alter my outlook and improve my perception of the the here and now....... with the help of my blog, of course. I've missed you since Thursday!
The first Zen book I picked up (at the library) was Brad Warner's second book about Zen Buddhism, since then I have read his other two as well. (He's a truly rockin' author for anyone looking to learn a little bit about Zen or punk rock or plain old life.) He presents the philosophy of Zen and the teachings of Zazen meditation in a hugely palatable and applicable way. One of his teachings that has most impacted me is in his second book, Sit Down and Shut Up in a chapter called, Kill Your Anger. It's about letting go of thoughts (as they ruminate and swell until they erupt into pangs of anger and resentment) and clearing your head of future and past to allow your actions to maintain the unimportance and impermanence of the here and now. The act of breathing and sitting without thinking (essentially Zazen practice) is his way of keeping his balance and staying as far away from anger as possible.
There is something so freeing, so cleansing about taking deep breaths. And before I knew it, I was home and I had thought of my next goal for Urban Ampersand:
Goal #3: To share the soundtrack of my life,
I've always wished I had one & now is as good a time as any.
Today: Emiliana Torrini, Big Jumps.