This week’s exercise is to find your own ‘parrots’ to remind you to stay in the now. Decide on a sound that you will hear regularly throughout the day (the phone ringing, the kids screaming, cars hooting, alarms etc – the more annoying the sound, the more likely it is to draw you out from whatever you’re busy with!) or program something into your phone or computer to go off regularly. If you have one of those phones where you can record your own voice as the ringtone, then record yourself saying something like ‘attention here and now’. Whatever sound you use, make it a reminder to pull yourself out from the grips of any past and future imaginings going on in your head and simply focus on what is going on in the present. Take a moment just to see how wrapped up you get in your mind and to remove yourself from that (even if only for a few seconds) to wallow in the simplicity of just being.
Here are two excerpts from the book (thanks to Wikipedia) to inspire you...
“Nobody needs to go anywhere else. We are all, if we only knew it, already there. If I only knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am. What in fact I am, if only the Manichee I think I am would allow me to know it, is the reconciliation of yes and no lived out in total acceptance and the blessed experience of Not-Two. In religion all words are dirty words. Anybody who gets eloquent about Buddha, or God, or Christ, ought to have his mouth washed out with carbolic soap.”
“Good Being is knowing who in fact we are; and in order to know who in fact we are, we must first know, moment by moment, who we think we are and what this bad habit of thought compels us to feel and do. A moment of clear and complete knowledge of what we think we are, but in fact are not, puts a stop, for the moment, to the Manichean charade. If we renew, until they become a continuity, these moments of the knowledge of what we are not, we may find ourselves all of a sudden, knowing who in fact we are.”
Wishing you an attentive week!