healing the howling of the monastery cat

Christopher Reck

When I think about our education system – actually when I think about the purpose of any organised system of human endeavour – I am reminded of the following Zen story:

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smart advice smart students need to know

chrisReck

Tim Ferriss had a great idea. He decided to seek out ‘eclectic mentors’ to help him ‘navigate life’. Read more

the teacher's time out card

Christopher Reck

Teacher: have you ever had one of those moments when you’ve felt like saying to the class,

“Sorry folks…need a little space for myself now… just to take the edge off… See you in five.”

Or have you ever felt like saying to the hand brandishing the ‘Time Out’ card,

“hey, can I have one of those too….please?”

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approaching mindfulness

Christopher Reck

Four summers ago a sunflower appeared where it shouldn’t have: between a crack of paving slab and some scabrous weed.

My immediate response, at its first tender sighting, was to hack it down: a fairly mindless response, I know. 

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all things are ready, if our mind be so

Christopher Reck

In the last post I touched upon the value of role models, and how teaching has to involve role modelling uncertainty as an ignition for learning. This put me in mind of a particular role model of mine. As a teacher I find him a curious case. He’s an ex-grammar school boy who had an apparent disdain for his schooling experience. But boy was he good with words. I mean, just consider for a moment the meaning of the above words and how they might relate to your mindful life.

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teacher in rehab

Christopher Reck

First off, an admission: I’m a recovering teacher. I had a chronic case of MCS (Measurable Criteria Syndrome), so I quit. Quit teaching in a classroom, that is. Mindfulness said: Enough. Be kind to yourself. Recover. So I did. Or, at least I think I did. It’s kind of an ongoing thing.

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your mindful life

chrisReck

For what it’s worth, my own quest for a mindful life side-stepped any epiphanic moment of self-awareness. It wasn’t sudden, or momentous, it just emerged: probably out of weariness with the autonomic toll, the irascibility, the distractibility, the caught-up-ness, the addictive tendencies, the shouting at my kids, the shouting at other people’s kids, the shouting at the parents of other people’s kids, the passive aggression, the muttering at fellow drivers on a particular stretch of arterial road in a small patch of a county in a country that was already in the full throes of losing its collective mind.

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Gratitude Acknowledgement

chrisReck

This  symbol is borrowed. I came across it when I read a post by the meditation teacher, Bodhipaksa Bodhipaksa writing about mindfulness symbol in which he writes: A graphic designer called Giedrius recently wrote to me from Lithuania, telling me that he had created the symbol above to represent “being here and now – the idea of mindfulness.” He said: This is an open source symbol that can universally represent mindfulness. It can also work as a reminder that can help people to be aware of the present moment. His website gives more background information on the symbol: https://radicalcourse.org/

When you see this symbol, anywhere – in public, personal or virtual spaces – it will work as a reminder for you to become aware of this present moment. Firstly, this symbol is presented like a physical representation of present moment. Vertical forms represent time – past and future. Horizontal forms represent space – 360 degrees. And the one is always in the center – being here and now.

Now I’m not a tattoo man but if I were to get something stamped upon my personage this might just be it. A visible reminder to be mindful. If you’re not a tattoo man or woman too then you might want to consider something like a wristband, or some other cue with this logo winking at you to just remember to just bring yourself back into the present moment. 

So thank you Giedrius for allowing me to borrow this beautiful symbol. I hope this blog is worthy of the beauty of its design


Newsletter

Every month or so I'll send out ideas and resources - what I think might be of interest and use to you, such as links to books, articles, podcasts, quotes, stories, art, music, meditations - that I hope will help inspire you to cultivate your own mindful life.