12 March 2017

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown

"There is a pathetically tiny amount of time we have left of our lives.  For me this is not a depressing thought, but a thrilling one.  It removes fear of choosing the wrong thing.  It infuses courage into my bones.  It challenges me to be even more unreasonably selective about how to use the precious time."


11 March 2017

The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, Aldous Huxley

[A.H. looking at particles of sand stuck to his hand]

"Suddenly I saw the exquisite beauty of every little grain of it; instead of being dull, I saw that each particle was made up on a perfect geometrical pattern with sharp angles, from each of which a brilliant shaft of light was reflected, while each tiny crystal shone like a rainbow... the rays crossed and recrossed, making exquisite patterns of such beauty that they left one breathless... Then, suddenly, my consciousness was lighted up from within and I saw in a vivid way how the whole universe was made up of particles of material which, no matter how dull and lifeless they might seem, were nevertheless filled with this intense and vital beauty.  For a second or two, the whole world appeared as a blaze of glory."

There is "beauty locked up in every minute speck of material around us."

10 March 2017

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story, Dan Harris

"According to the Buddha, we have three habitual responses to everything we experience.  We want it, we reject it, or we zone out.  Cookies: I want.  Mosquitos: I reject. Safety instruction on a flight: I zone out.  Mindfulness is a fourth option, a way to view the contents of our mind with nonjudgemental remove."