It’s strange how you get into this peculiar head-dance that never seems to want to come to an end. I have a clear memory of my old primary school headmaster whining about how we were wasting paper towels in the toilets. My class teacher said that she only ever used one every time she needed one and we shouldn’t be wasteful and follow her perfect example. Not that interesting, I hear you cry.
Then why, every time I use paper towels at the facilities at work, regardless of number, do I remember this boring incident? Every time if I don’t guard against it. Why? I also use 2 every time as a matter of principle. Why? How much of my day-to-day behaviour is governed by this inconsequential rubbish.
We don’t pay attention enough to what is happening around us. We sleepwalk from one thing to the next. When was the last time you really remembered a long car journey (assuming you have done the journey many times)? I moved off through a red light the other day (thank goodness it was the middle of the night) because my brain decided it has been waiting long enough. How many accidents are caused by this kind of thing? How many life long misunderstandings?
It returns (a little) to a partial theme of my last blog. Selfishness being one of the cardinal and unconscious sins we commit. An uncaring carelessness that hurts others (and damages ourselves) without any awareness. Where does this take you, though? It’s easy to say you need what Buddha called mindfulness, how do you gain it?
As usual, it’s work. You need to learn the calm abiding meditiation with a proper teacher and then learn how to watch your mind and guard it. There is no other route I know of. I need to get back in contact with mine and reestablish my practice. It’s getting late.