Go: get a piece of paper.
Write down your four favorite possessions.
Write down your four favorite pastimes.
Write down the four parts of your body you like the best.
Write down the four people you care for most.
Write down your four best personality traits.
Go ahead. Do it now, then come back.
Finished? Now, slowly, one by one, draw a line through each of your favorite possessions. You will lose them all.
Scratch out each of your pastimes. There will come some point in your life where you will be unable to manage them.
Erase each of your favorite body parts. If you’re lucky, they’ll slowly devolve into senescence. If not, you will lose them through illness or injury.
Ink out your favorite people. You will lose them all, either through their deaths or your own.
What you’re left with, at least in the version I learned recently, are your personality traits. However, let’s be honest: you will lose those as well through death, injury, or dementia.
Rip them up. Rip them all up. Either they will die with you, or you will lose them along the way.
The question we all face is how to be happy in the face of these truths.Doug Smith, The Footman’s Snicker, http://secularbuddhism.org/2013/02/22/the-footmans-snicker/
Instead of keeping a diary or journal I keep a lab notebook. But since I spend so much of my life in my lab, my lab notebook is basically my journal. HPLC and SDS-PAGE are my life, guys.
We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.Thich Nhat Hanh (via skeletongarden)
Since all the world is so attached to material things, it’s very difficult for people to grasp how everything originates in conditions and causes. It’s a hard job for them to see the meaning of the fact that everything, including ourselves, depends on everything else and has no permanent self-existence.Majjhima Nakaya
Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey — reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek Generations (1994)
Speed is the enemy of mindfulness. The antidote is being appreciative and observant of life’s every detail.