One jar a day


You’re next, Mr Paradiso!

Today I took another glass jar to town with me, it fit just snugly in my bag. I put in the glass container on my way to work.  When I came home from work, I took the spent fluorescent tubes to the supermarket.  (Yesterday it was the fluorescent bulbs, known here as saving bulbs since they use much less energy and last longer.  Well, supposedly they last longer. I don’t see much difference myself – I have changed most of them during these three years I’ve lived here, which is perhaps twice the life of ordinary incandescent bulbs.)

My point today – as if I had not made it before – is that I try to do this each workday.  Perhaps not both of them, but at least get something out of the house every day (not counting the ordinary trash).  Hopefully it will become second nature eventually.  My first nature is to drag things to the cave.  Thinking back to the home where I grew up, there is no doubt that I am descended from packrats.  Actually, now that I live in a house that is vaguely similar to the type of house I grew up in (albeit newer), the similarity is striking.  A living room that is halfway presentable, and several other rooms absolutely stacked with all kinds of objects, but mostly those related to learning somehow.  Yes, I have grown up to become my parents, only fewer in number.

More immediately, however, the inspiration for the (work-)daily activity probably comes from the book Integral Life Practice.  It is quite insistent that one practice each of the four core modules every day – even if only for one minute! It actually has various 5-minute and 1-minute exercises scattered throughout.  If you are busy – or, more likely, if you make yourself busy because you really don’t like one of the modules (such as body, in my case) – you can still not with any shred of dignity or integrity claim that you don’t have 1 minute free over the course of 24 hours.

Michael Mackenzie at Project Meditation says much the same thing.  If you can’t meditate more than 5 minutes, then meditate 5 minutes.  It is far better to do so every day than to start skipping days.  And Bill Harris at Centerpointe Research Institute compares using their product (Holosync) to brushing one’s teeth.  (Although I certainly would not brush my teeth continually for half an hour, much less the whole hour recommended for Holosync.  I can see what he means though.)

So that is what I do now to deal with something that is contrary to my nature.  One jar at a time, or a few light bulbs, or an old CD.  It may be only five minutes, pitiful or ridiculous depending on your view.  But if I don’t forget it and don’t fall out of the practice,  sooner or later I should become a changed person.  And even if not, there will be hundreds fewer objects in the house than it would otherwise have been, if I live here another year.

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