Thursday, August 18, 2016

Refreshing my life

When browsing the web, I get a file of code which the browser translates into the web page.  If I do a little calculation or make other changes, I may have to refresh the page.  In Gmail, if new messages come in while I am on the page, I can get them a little faster if I refresh the page.  Many browsers use a symbol like this for refreshing:

It can be quite small and in both Firefox and Chrome, it is black, not red.  Clicking on the refresh button tells the software to retrieve a more recent file from the same source and replace the older one with that newer, updated one.  Changes since the last version will then be evident.

Between Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street" and listening to Jack Kornfield's "The Inner Art of Meditation", I am prompted to refresh my brain, my idea, my life.  Kornfield is one of the most famous teachers and authors in America on the subject of improving life with better use of our attention.  Another very famous teacher is Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Both of them advocate raisins.

Not for the nutritional value but as a basis for deep attention to eating.  Take one raisin and look it over carefully.  Weird little thing!  They say it used to be a grape.  After getting to know its appearance, take a tiny bite.  Bite slowly, deliberately, carefully, consciously.  Pay attention to the action and to the taste.  Hold the bit in the mouth a while.  Swallow slowly using full awareness of what is happening and what you are feeling.

Whether it is brushing my hair or washing my face or choosing a shirt, tying my shoe or pouring a drink, I can immediately find anything renewed and refreshed by paying careful, deep, slowed attention.  Standing up, sitting down, using tableware - everything can be renewed whenever I am tricked by repetition into assuming I really know what I am doing, where I am living, what is happening.

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