• Mindfulness: The usefulness of a bowl

    Photo by Hungda

    Mindful Business Traveler
    If you have ever over-packed for a trip, you know you can find yourself lugging items around, feeling them get heavier and heavier, and wishing you had simply left them at home.

    What’s true for your luggage may also be true for your mind.


     

    Allow me to tell you a story.

    A man was walking urgently through the countryside, feeling very distressed. All his cows had scattered, and he was searching for them.

    He came upon a group of monks sitting in the grass. Barely seeing them, he said, “Have you seen my cows?”

     

    They slowly shook their heads no.

     

    The man hurried off, visibly distressed—and very distracted.

     

    At this point, someone commented to the monks, “You are the luckiest people on earth. You have no cows.”


     

    When I hear this story, I relate both to the monks sitting in the grass, and to the man searching for his lost cows.

    What kinds of “cows” might we carry around today? Perhaps fears, or worries, or pre-occupation with the future.

    But possibly your greatest friend when traveling for business is an unencumbered mind. An unencumbered mind is not inattentive; on the contrary, it is fully aware and present, seeing everything around it.

    Consider this very old saying:

    “The usefulness of a bowl is its emptiness.”

    How true!

    Next time you travel for business, a lighter suitcase is good, but a lighter mind may be even better.

     

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    How might we do that? Let’s practice together:

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”

     

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”

     

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    “In.”

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    “Out.”

     

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    “In.”

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    “Out.”

     

    When you realize you’ve been carrying around a cow everywhere you go, you may even laugh.

    After all, peace is every step.

    Your friend,

    mindfulness-logo

    The Mindful Business Traveler


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