“We should never label our practice sessions as “good” or “bad.” Any time you get to the meditation seat is good meditation.” (Lodro Rinzler, Sit Like a Buddha)
Resist the urge to label your practice efforts!
Our brave new merged world:
A great little read on the changes afoot in the work world and where we live. The physical location of where we live has never felt more significant from a social perspective, while less significant from a work-perspective.
As jobs will less force people to move, people will move areas less often, and the areas where people live will be less set by jobs. As life at work will be less social, people will have to get more of their socializing from elsewhere. Some of this will come from remote socializing, but much will still probably come from in-person socializing. So people will choose where they live more based on family, friends, leisure activities, and non-work social connections. Churches, clubs, and shared interest socializing will increase in importance. People will also pick where to live more based on climate, price, and views. Beach towns will boom, and the largest cities will lose. Because people will move areas less often, the social connections they make in school will last them longer into life. Yet today school is widely talked about as a preparation for work. So schools will be torn between wanting to be in-person to promote local social connections, and remote to promote work skills. Perhaps schools will split, with core work-related classes being remote but electives and “after school activities” being in-person. Work hours will be less rigid, and it will be easier to do non-work tasks during usual work times.
“The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.” (James Clear, Atomic Habits)
The dragon rises yet again:
A great history of Bruce Lee’s struggle to be taken seriously as a film star.
An American citizen, born in a San Francisco hospital in 1940 (the year of the dragon), he was racially and culturally ostracized nonetheless. Lee was turned down for the lead of a wandering Shaolin monk on the ABC action drama Kung Fu for being “too authentic.” (The role went to David Carradine, whose inauthenticity as a white man playing a half-Chinese martial arts master proved more salable.) For all the ballyhoo of social upheaval at the time, the 1960s—with the Japanese internments of WWII a recent memory, and the Vietnam War headline news—were not kind to Asian Americas. “The truth is,” Lee flatly told an interviewer, “I am a yellow-faced Chinese. I cannot possibly become an idol for Caucasians, not to mention rousing the emotions of my countrymen.”
“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”
Book excerpt I was thinking about:
Most individuals who start as active professionals… change their behavior and increase their performance for a limited time until they reach an acceptable level. Beyond this point, however, further improvements appear to be unpredictable and the number of years of work… is a poor predictor of attained performance.” Put another way, if you just show up and work hard, you’ll soon hit a performance plateau beyond which you fail to get any better. This is what happened to me with my guitar playing, to the chess players who stuck to tournament play, and to most knowledge workers who simply put in the hours: We all hit plateaus.” (Cal Newport, So Good They Can’t Ignore You)
The decision constantly is does one push past the plateau in one domain (which requires a lot of focused work) or aim to reach a lot of plateaus in many different domains (also which requires a lot of focused work)?
“Changes that used to take a month and a half now take three. The amount I can exercise is going downhill, as is the efficiency of the whole process, but what’re you going to do? I just have to accept it, and make do with what I can get. One of the realities of life. Plus, I don’t think we should judge the value of our lives by how efficient they are. The gym where I work out in Tokyo has a poster that says, “Muscles are hard to get and easy to lose. Fat is easy to get and hard to lose.” A painful reality, but a reality all the same.” (Haruki Murakami and Philip Gabriel, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Oranges are Orange, Salmon are Salmon:
For centuries, oranges were orange and, still, orange was not a color—it was called yellow-red. It took another two hundred years for the color to earn its name, to become a form that could give itself to others—to be ascribed to flowers, stones, minerals, and the setting sun. To the west, oranges followed the path of Spanish missionaries and lent their name to Orange County and the Orange State. In California, the fruit fed the miners of the gold rush who passed through mission towns. In Florida, there were so many groves that, by 1893, the state was producing five million boxes of fruit each year. In this tropical climate—nights too humid and too hot—oranges would ripen too quickly: they were ready to be eaten while still green. And so, from the twentieth century onward, green oranges have been synthetically dyed orange, coated to match consumer expectations. Orange reveals that humans cannot imagine a species detached from its color, even when we are the ones who detach it.