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Stephaniemiller

Stephanie's books and other things

I like books. I like art. I have opinions.....you've been warned.

Currently reading

A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto
Tavis Smiley, Cornel West
The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5)
Stephen King, Jae Lee
Master Strokes: Watercolor: A Step-By-Step Guide to Using the Techniques of the Masters
Hazel Harrison
The Mad Art of Caricature!: A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces
Tom Richmond (Illustrator)
Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World - David Michie Meditation is hard.

Sitting still and concentrating on your breathing and not thinking of anything else might not sound that hard, but it is. Try this......

Sit in an upright position (Indian style, criss cross applesauce....whatever they call it these days) someplace where you won't be disturbed Close your eyes, and as you breath through your nose concentrate on the tip of the nostrils and count each breath until you get to ten......and DON'T think of anything else, and don't fall asleep. Getting to 4 is a challenge!

I decided I was going to make an effort to meditate on a daily basis. What it does for you is helps you achieve 'mindfulness', basically staying in the present moment during the rest of the time you're not meditating. It's brain exersicing. I know this sounds new age-y, but hear me out, pay attention to your thoughts at any given moment. They are nutty, and almost always about the past or the future. That on the surface doesn't sound that bad until you realize thinking about the past usually brings sorrow or regrets.......paths not taken....... and since the past is fixed there's no point to the torture. The future is usually about fear and worry, which doesn't do anything for you either. Staying present in the moment is loads better.

So, now on my break I go to the local park to do the meditation thing. Some days are better than others. Today? Not so good. It went like this......

Breath....1........
Breath.....2........I didn't think anything, good, Crap that was a thought! Start over.

Breath......1.........
Breath........2.........
Breath.......3........[flash of a women dancing and laughing] WTF? That was a strange image, I should that in the review......AWE COME ON! ......starting over.....

Breath.......1.........
Breath........2.......

Z
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z

*thunder*

.........WHAAAAT? Okay, I'm giving up.

This book was a pretty good introduction to Buddhist Philosophy. It was part biography of the author as well, telling his story about owning a bunch of companies and how all the stress of it nearly killed him. He turned to meditation after his doctor recommended it. This is worth listening to more than once.