I was reading this morning from a new favorite book of mine. For the record, I have sworn of non-fiction—with just a few exceptions, and this is one of them. The book is by Rick Hanson, entitled, Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time , and is sort of a day by day program of mental/spiritual health. The best of Neuro-Science meets the best of Mindfulness Practice.
The daily thought I just read deals with SLOWING DOWN. The fungal growths on this tree stump in our woods seem to capture "growing old slowly and thoughtfully". (Young readers may be nonplussed to note the inevitability of bodily decay...not to mention the gradual accretion of all kinds of interesting growths.)
Here are some of the recommendations I read:
1. "Do a few things more slowly than usual."
2. "Back off the gas pedal." (Literally!)
3. "When the phone rings, imagine that it is a church or temple bell reminding you to breathe and slow down."
4. "Resist the pressure of others to get things done sooner than you really need to."
5. "Find what's good about this moment as it is, so you'll have less need to zip along to the next thing."
And here's a great one to accompany stump like and blissful aging, "Over time, wrap up existing commitments and be careful about taking on new ones."
All this on a day when we had high-speed cable internet (not TV, mind you) installed at our house; increasing our download speed from around 6 Mbps (via the old DSL) to 15 Mbps. Faster is better, don't you know.
I take all the ironies of this faster/slower juxtaposition to heart, and will seek to emulate the tortoise and not the hare.
(Many thanks, in the pursuance of this goal, to our sons: one of whom gave us a very generous coupon for a "bed and breakfast" getaway, an invitation to chill out for a weekend away from the endless projects of home, while the other gave us an Aero Press coffee maker, which slows down the morning coffee routine considerably in favor of a truly smooth and rich cup of Joe.)