Friday, September 26, 2014

Knitting and Reading

Boy, does it feel good to be home this evening. Even after a restful Rosh HaShannah yesterday, it was still a jam-packed week. So, I'm focusing on both a book and knitting project that are relaxing. Tomorrow is my birthday so I feel I deserve some R&R.

The sock is the second of a pair, a Hermoine's Everyday Sock. Even though we are having warm weather now, winter is just around the corner in Wisconsin. (Though, according to the New York Times, the Midwest will be much warmer in another 40 years.) This will be a fun pair to wear with Birkies.

I've been meaning to read Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn for years. Maybe even decades. It is one of the classics of American mindfulness. It isn't the type of book that you devour in one or two readings, you need to nibble at it day after day because it gives you so much to think about. That's not to say that it is difficult reading; it's not. Here is a short passage to give you an idea:

"We tend to be particularly unaware that we are thinking virtually all the time. The incessant stream of thoughts flowing through our minds leaves us very little respite for inner quiet." (p. 9) I think that's what is called Monkey Mind, which seems to be my default state.

Earlier this week, I had the honor of meditating with monks and nuns from Plum Village in France. Plum Village is the monastery established in the late 1960s by Thich Naht Hahn, who is second only to the Dalai Lama in the world of mindfulness. It was so thrilling to be in the same room with "sisters and brothers," as they call themselves. It reminded me of how I felt when I saw Bob Dylan in concert in 1978!

If you have ever wondered what this mindfulness stuff is all about, the first book you should look at is Peace is Every Step by Thich Haht Nahn. It is life-changing stuff -- and a smooth, poetic read to boot!


10 comments:

  1. I read Wherever you go there you are...years ago....and am now wondering what ever happened to my copy????!!?? I do need to revisit that.....and I'm going to hunt for the other you recommended! Thanks!!!

    Hope you have a great birthday tomorrow!!!!! happy day!

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  2. I think I live in a state of "monkey mind" far too often. It's hard to empty your mind of wasteful thoughts.

    Love the colorful sock. You'll have happy feet for sure this winter.

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  3. First of all Happy Birthday!!!! I hope you day is wonderful, peaceful and full of knitting. I think you are so blessed to have had that experience. I try and I mean try to meditate everyday. Not always easy. I did it for years and years, but lost it somewhere around the time my kids started getting older. Now I am at least making an effort.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  4. Happy birthday! Pretty, pretty colours in the sock! That book sounds great. I find I have to listen to music to slow the tornado of thoughts some days.

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  5. Mindfullness is something I have never even thought about. One of my roommates here in Texas does some things similar to that - she is very laid back and thoughtful. Interesting indeed. I love your stripey socks, a perfect perk on a cold day for sure.

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  6. Happy birthday! I hope it's a fantastic year. I love your sock so much. Reading and knitting -- wonderful, wonderful stuff.

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  7. Im almost almost ready to knit a pair of socks….not quite! Happy New Year late

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  8. Happy birthday! Those socks are going to be the kind that always bring a smile to your face, so cheerful!

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  9. Hope you had a fabulous birthday! Great socks! That yarn is really fun!

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  10. Peace is every step - I loved the chapter on washing dishes. It's my daily mindfulness.

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