Inspiried by a question about whether it would be more wholesome to walk the spiritual path alone or in a community. I would like to share some of my opinions on this. According to Stephen R. Covey, there are 3 dimensions to our life, our public life, our private life and our secret life.The public life is about how we express ourselves in the public, the private life is about how we express ourselves with our family and close friends, and our private life is the way that we experience life when we are quiet and alone, it's about the way we connect with our inner guide or conscience, and the way we connect with our purpose and the way we connect with the universe. In Buddhism, there are the paths of the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, I believe that they each have their merit and speak to the conditions of particular individuals. In my personal experience, I would like to say that a bit of the community-based interaction would be very helpful, since we can guard ourselves from merely living our self-conjured wonderland and we can enjoy the companionship from such an environment and such companions can prove to be very helpful when we are facing difficulties in our life, esp our spiritual path; however, I believe that it's equally important to allow ourselves daily time to contemplate, reflect and meditate on our own, since these periods of time are most conducive to spiritual growth and maturity and it truly deepens our practice. I think that the best way to draw the line is to know ourselves very well, to know our current conditions, and the final decision that we make should always speak to our current conditions. I hope this helps. A talk by Ajahn Brahm which is somehow related.
Even with the model of GTD (Getting Things Done) [see my previous posts], sometimes, we are a bit overwhelmed with a Next action such as clearing your desk because there seem to be some many objects on the desk, I suggest that you can break this task even further down by consider the atomic actions without even the effort to define them. I propose the stack model.
You can relate to a stack in whatever way you like, if you know anything about computer architecture, you can think about the stack model for assembler, whereas if you are familiar with washing dishes, you can think about washing dishes one by one as someone collects them from your kitchen table and piles them up for you to wash.
The main feature of the stack model is that you "push" and "pop" atomic objects, which are objects/actions which cannot be broken down any further, pushing meaning putting objects onto the stack and popping means taking objectcs away from the stack, the only rule is that you can only push to the top of the stack and you can only pop from the top of the stack.
Another cool feature about this model is the flexibility associated, since when you are processing and popping a particular task, you may stumble upon another immediate task, you push the new task onto the stack mentally or on a piece of paper, carry out this task, pop it, and go back to your original task, this is particularly useful since you know that there can be a lot of interruptions when we are doing anything.
Let's take an example of clearing your desk, you know that you objective is to clear the desk so that you can feel your environment being less cluttered and so that you can be more productive. First, you see a rubber/eraser, then you say to yourself, "push rubber", then you say to yourself, "this belongs to the pencil case", then you say to yourself, "pop rubber" as you find your pencil case and put your rubber there, then you proceed to your next object on your table. In this mechanical and robotic manner, you will find yourself accomplishing lots of these little tasks without effort! The core of this method is that you are only filling your mind with one object at a time, i.e. the rubber, and you are very unlikely to be overwhelmed by a single object this small!
Try this method out for yourself and you will be amazed by your productivity. However, use this method selectively, and you need make sure that you understand the bigger picture and that the tasks do actually serve a purpose instead of acting as a kind of distraction!
Tell me what you think. See the related entires on my blog.
Compassion in everyday life: On top of being compassionate to other people and ourselves, we have to be compassionate to our body too, e.g. we should be compassionate to our spots by not picking them, similarly for nose or nails, and similarly any fiddly behaviours with any parts of our bodies. This is an authentic practice of compassion
Use the terminology Being instead of Buddha or God for harmony, so Being is a more meaningful and useful term
To be able to get into the zone, to get into a productive state, one particular way to think of an experience in the past where we have been productive
Rules for planning and visioning
It is helpful to be idealistic when we are visioning but it is helpful to be idealistic when we are planning the steps that we are going to take
Use of mobile phone for productivities:
Use the drafts sections of messaging and the calendar applications to track your to-dos, I have found this very useful, for example, we only need one hand to jot down a note, we need 2 hands to hold a paper and a pen!