A Year of Living Without

Zen Habits author Leo Babauta has embarked on a “Year of Living Without” Project. It’s an experiment to fine-tune his lifestyle in order to “Make Room for Life”

This approach is in line with how I view a lot of my own Mindful Living practices, and people who know me well might share that I’ll often undertake these kinds of projects as well; sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of necessity.

For Leo, July was no coffee month and he claims he” had absolutely no difficulty in giving up coffee, not the first day, not the first week, not at all..”

Next month, Leo will not be sitting down for more than 30 minutes at a time, a big move for anyone whose work requires them to be connected to the internet.

Read more on Leo’s blog.

Mindful Dishwashing

Soapy Dishes

Recently, my partner Maitreya and I had a friend come to stay at our apartment, a very kind musician named Walter. A month or so earlier, we had been travelling with Walter, the three of us in a car, taking in the stunning beauty of the Connemara landscape — we totally bonded.

During his most recent visit, we went for walks, cooked lentils and rice, played music, and joked about the peculiarities of living in Ireland — ‘why on earth do you need a key to unlock doors from the inside?!’ I pondered aloud. I guess what is commonplace to some, seems like a fire hazard to others.

His light-heartedness, which we so enjoyed, lingered even after he had left. It was marked by a great sense mindfulness and presence, exemplified in the way he would clean the dishes after a meal.  Maitreya remarked:

Yeah, it’s like the world is at ease when he washes the dishes.

And it was!  He always took his time, clearing the drain board in full, waiting patiently for the sink to fill with soapy water, washing each dish thoroughly, rinsing with cold water, and then placing intently into the drain board, one-at-a-time.