Carrying the internet in one’s top pocket

Of course when I decided not to use the internet before midday this month I didn’t think too much about my phone.

What I found was that from time to time I would be aware that my phone might allow me to google something or that I could if I wish check my email on the phone.

Then in the next breath I decided not to do so. Not that hard, but it did need thought, it wasn’t automagic.

Do you find yourself walking down the street and checking email when the phone tells you one has arrived?

It’s not so hard

Living without regularly checking email and browsing isn’t too difficult. If I really do want to look something up I can be patient, write it down and after midday when I am at a computer look for that information then.

I’ve noticed that I’m not updating the Secular Buddhism Aotearoa New Zealand website at www.secularbuddhism.org.nz so much.

Just a question of time, or is there more to this? I’ll hold this question.

It’s turned to custard

My intention for May to start writing a book has turned to custard, as Δ and I start to ‘shift’ (move home) for the second time in six weeks.

And It’s clear to me that I’m trying to do far too much, so I’m changing my intended new habit for the month to looking for ways to simplify my life.

Have you ever thought about how you can make life better by doing less?

Email out of working hours

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson write in their book Remote that it is important for people who work at home to have different devices for work and leisure.

It’s an effective way of separating paid work from everything else, they believe.

Right now I’m not in the position to buy another electronic device, so I’ll monitor this urge and put what devices I do have out of reach in the morning.

If you work from home, do you have separate devices for work and leisure?

Living without the computer and the internet before noon

We call the era we live in the 21st century.  As much as most people in what is euphemistically called the developed world this century, I use a computer. And quite heavily.

I use it to communicate with people and I do this using email, various forms of instant message. In particular I like connecting with people using software which allows us to see as well as hear each other – Skype, zoom.us, Facetime.

Online I read articles and blog posts, and download more documents each week than I manage to read. Also a computer is an excellent tool by which to manage what I do.

During May my intention is to not do any of this before noon, only write, or I’ll simply do non-computer tasks. This means that I’ll be posting to this blog after midday.

Instead I’ll create a replacement habit, I’ll write a book. That’s my intention.

I’ll be using my computer to write it, though. Cheating? I don’t think so. What do you think?

Are you giving anything up during May?

Loose lips sink ships

This slogan was used in Britain during the second world war. It was thought there were Axis spies at large, and the less people said about the war effort the better in case they were overheard saying something they shouldn’t.

In reality there probably weren’t too many spies roaming the streets of the country, so along with the changes in diet to a healthier one, which mean that so many people were healthier than ever before, this may have reduced the amount of gossip doing the rounds.

Could this have made the country a better place also?

Is it necessary, is it kind?

Before we blurt out that clever retort, can we pause, can we stop before we open our mouths and utter that wonderfully memorable line that later we regret?

Is what we want to say really necessary, and if we were to say it how would it be received?

If the person opposite us heard it would they understand our meaning? Is it kind, or perhaps unkind?

The folds of the path

The fourth of the four tasks given by Mr Gotama to his followers was what we know in English as the eightfold path – mostly spelled out with initial capital letters as The Eightfold Path even though interestingly Indian scripts don’t actually have capital letters.

Of these ‘folds’ the third is appropriate speech, also known as right speech.

It’s not just about avoiding gossip, slander and lies. By speaking appropriately we are creating healthier communities. That way we can all become happier, and healthier.

What’s your experience of appropriate speech?

The faults of others

When is it appropriate to speak of the faults of others? Should we never ever speak of the faults of others?

In a work situation, it is sometimes necessary to ensure that a colleague does something differently, and this might mean telling them what they’re doing wrong. Consulting with another colleague we can ensure this is done in the best way possible.

While it may be true that the third person would not appreciate what you’re saying about them, done with skill it should improve things for all.

Is this your experience of speaking of others at work mindfully?

Hearsay

Repeating hearsay must be one of the most unkind ways to gossip about people. More often than not we actually have no way of knowing whether what we hear is true, and little chance of confirming the veracity of the statement about the person who’s not there.

Moreover it introduces into the relationship between the two people present a feeling of unease.

So I strongly suggest avoiding repeating hearsay.