every once in a while, as if having a rebirth, I pick up my little black notebook and scribble again the things I feel I should hold on to and the things I should let go of. it is a conversation I have with myself, where I try to focus on encouragement and not on blame.
the topic of my last conversation with myself was precisely centered around this idea — Back to Basics. and these were the conclusions:
- back to basics means more “letting go” and less “wanting to”;
- back to basics means meditation instead of yoga or tai chi;
- back to basics means more vegan, less vegetarian;
- back to basics means more 5 precepts, less alcohol;
- back to basics means more right speech, less talking;
- back to basics means more uposatha days, less days that go by unnoticed;
- back to basics means more gym, less sloth;
- back to basics means more clojure, less uplink;
- back to basics means more present, less future.
the common themes?
buddhism. buddhism, whether it’s through meditation, through ethics or through habits, gives me the frame for my life.
food. what I eat is both a reflexion of my principles as it is an acknowledgement of karma - as I display more compassion towards animals, so other people will do the same, leading to less animals being hurt for the purpose of food.
nutrition. which is like mindfulness of food. being aware of what I eat and what I eat it for. not eating by accident by being purposeful when eating more proteins or more carbs, knowing how they help me and my body.
sports. whether it’s about training for the half marathon or weight lifting, exercise is the very reflection of being alive. it is also like a consequence of being alive — that you can exercise is because your body is healthy and you want to keep it like that.
programming. being a good craftsman, being proud of my work and inspire others to do the same.
and again, buddhism. letting go of craving. being mindful. meditating. respecting uposatha days.
Mens sana in corpore sano.
by doing this exercise, I realize I don’t need any other physical exercise or any other mental training. I don’t really need to do yoga or tai chi. I don’t need martial arts and I certainly don’t need to read about taoism. what I need is just to sit down and meditate.
I also don’t need to think about big projects on the future, like creating ebooks for buddhism or creating a magazine or writing iPhone apps or good tutorials on programming. I need to do one thing every day and be content with that. and wherever that will lead me, it’ll be ok.
I certainly don’t need to rest my head and shut down my brain by playing computer. what I really need is to read and write. I need to keep myself lucid, read about art, culture, politics, philosophy, history, the things I have curiosity for.
I don’t need to go to the gym every single day and demand of my body abilities which it was not used to do. I should take it easy, focus on each training day and each recovery day at a time, analyze and review my progress.
and maybe more important than everything else, I don’t need to do any of this. I will encourage myself to do these things but I also know how and when to relax my discipline.
because it is not the same to want something, and to do something. and the purpose here is to do these things, not to want to do these things.