The Generosity of Practice and Working

I started with meditation out of the hopes for increased focus and the ability to get more done. While the internet is the ever present distraction but even more then that when I look back is the rampant emotions that take over what I’m trying to do. Being distracted starts with the emotional state, not doing something other then what your doing. So if I’m not happy I look for something to distract myself.

So I started meditating as a practice in focus. It seems to be providing the missing link for getting things done, a place to practice focus. You would think that after all these years of working on projects I would have focus down. Of course as a kid you don’t have a kid, a house, tenants, a wife, a contract teaching job, life is easier as a callow youth

   1. being Present in the immediate moment, paying attention just to what you are doing exactly
   2. Turning everything into generosity, into giving away everything to everyone else.

I like the moment because in practicing it,  I am building up my attention and focus to stay with my work. My ability to finish anything was lost. It felt like I was being overcome with ADD. So I plunged into meditating trying to get into the moment. If I’m sanding a wall, the strokes of sanding up and down are just like breathing, washing dishes, each dish is just to be washed. Doing the wash is just taking the clothes out of the hamper, into the laundry basket, into the washing machine, fold them after the dryer and repeat. It’s just work that you can pay attention to like you can pay attention to your breath.

While David Allen and getting things done is a great system what it doesn’t have is a way to practice staying on task. Keeping your mind clear if you make a list is a great start but what about all the stories your mind makes up? Meditation by training you to acknowledge the little emotional stories that spring up endlessly in our heads, those stories are just "thinking" and then come back to paying attention to the task.  it’s practice for life, that’s what meditation is. Allen uses lists to keep his mind clear for all the things he needs to do. But for me I can spring up a thousand stories in my head that can set me spinning without having anything to do about them. And since half of them are built off of the past I can’t change them, the other half from the future who knows?

Of course, I’m still pissed at that bully who took my candy in fifth grade. And sometimes those bullies just sit and take over my life. I know it’s just a thought and the lessons say drop the thoughts and be in the present moment but the thoughts have taken me over.

And that is where the generosity come in because when you see that everyone has bullies in their life, when you take in the bullies of everyone into your heart and you send out healing thoughts to them you can break the bullies in a way that isn’t possible in any other way. But what do you do when you don’t want to be generous and just want to be selfish?

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