Slowing down, and becoming more present

1. Introduction

My best wishes to everyone for the coming year.

I am feeling really happy to have finally gotten my first book out into the world, and I want to thank those of you who have already gotten a copy and sent me kind words of encouragement.

I think all of the Amazon stores worldwide are now currently carrying the book. In some locations the book is listed as out of stock, but that is not the case. The U.S. site and the Canadian site already have the book up with the opportunity to “Look inside the book” so if you have yet to order one, please do stop by and have a look.
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Simple-Mind–Wisdom-stories/dp/098482300X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325064187&sr=1-1

We have a lot planned here at Seishindo, and we are looking forward to a fulfilling year. I hope the same is true for you!

All the best,
Charlie

2. Slowing down, and becoming more present

At the end of each year, Japan comes to a standstill as almost everyone takes at least five days off starting on Dec. 30th. My favorite thing to do during this time of year, is “nothing”.

I clean up some of the mess laying around from last year, wash the windows, clean the floors, and sit quietly in a room, contemplating my “self”, my life and relationships, and my emotional state.

By releasing myself from my usual schedule I get the opportunity to experience what I think and feel when the demands on my life have abated. This is what I call a “still pond” state.

If you toss a small stone into a pond buffeted by the wind, it is difficult to discern the effect of the stone on the water. If you toss a similar small stone into a still pond, you can easily notice the ripples that result.

When I slow down and become present, I am much better able to notice the ripples in my system. Sometimes working in harmony, sometimes working in disharmony.

In my practice, one thing I often do is take a quote that interests me, and repeat it to myself numerous times over the course of ten to twenty minutes.

Depending on how well I know the quote or how complex the quote is, I either read it to myself, or simply repeat it to myself. Sometimes with my eyes open, sometimes with my eyes closed.

My process is this-
I take a deep breath, and speak the quote on my exhale. Then, on my inhale I do my best to let all my thoughts pass me by. Then I repeat the quote again on my next exhale. Over and over again. I speak the quote in a low voice rather than simply repeating it internally, because speaking the quote out loud tends to keep me much more involved in the process.

Here are the quotes I will be working with over the next few days. Hopefully they will prove useful to you as well.
(I have made minor yet important edits to these quotes. Sometimes I adjusted the quotes to make them sound better in my ear, and perhaps more importantly, I changed the quotes so they are spoken/read in the “first person”. Thus, the wording of these quotes will appear differently if you search for their origin on the internet.)

“My self is a circle, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”

Carl Jung

“I am the center of the universe. But the universe is so infinitely large, and ‘I’ so infinitely small, that you too are the center of the universe.”
Koichi Tohei

“There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now.”

Eugene O’Neill

“Whether I believe I can, or I can’t, in either case I will tend to prove myself correct.”
Henry Ford

“Failure is simply the opportunity for me to begin over again, this time more intelligently.”
Henry Ford

“Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
Eugene O’Neill

“No matter how carefully I look, it is hard to see anyone but myself. No matter how carefully I look, it is hard to see anything but my own point of view.”
Charlie B.

“Believing, preparing, beginning, adjusting, and continuing. These are the five most important steps in fulfilling my dreams.”

Charlie B.

Wishing you all the best for the coming year!
Please stay connected to the Seishindo community, and please also continue to cultivate a deeper connection to yourself.

In community,
Charlie

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