Friday, February 23, 2018

Despicable Me 3- Movie Review

A long lost twin brother to Gru. Minions. And a man who wants to take over the world! I liked the other two better.

Don't Get me Started - Mitchell Symons

As the title reveals, Mitchell Symons is not too happy with certain things in life. Don't get him started on those. It is the 'very grumpy guide to the most annoying aspects of everyday life'. And he says it is not so much about grumpy as furious. His range starts at Annoyance and increases to Aggravation and on to Exasperation and Irascibility and Outrage and Fury and settles at Raging Fury finally.

Some examples of things that annoy Symons are.

Unnecessary apostrophe's
Post-modernism - whatever it is.
Reality TV shows
People who use toothpicks in public
Bald men with pony tails
People who clearly don't exercise wearing tracks and trainers
Shop assistant chewing gum
Adolescents wearing hoodies
Sycophantic TV interviews of actors and writers
People who use larger words when smaller ones would do. The vaginas.
The word attitude used to describe rudeness and arrogance
Men wearing ear rings
Women showing off tattoos
Writers who use arcane language to show off
Clothes shops boasting 70% off when 99%of the goods is only 10% off
Booker prize winning novels (more in comparison with great books that didn't get it)
Drunk men having to take responsibility for what they do on a date night  when drunk women don't have to
People who confuse excuses with apologies

And so many more. I love the book because it gives me a whole lot of material to base my columns on the most irritating of human behaviors. So I am going to keep it carefully and make that list longer. 

Work - Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a well known Zen Buddhist teachers in the world. His book 'Work' tells us how to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day.

On Work
Work is an expression of our being. It is not separate from our life. We must understand that our work and our home are connected. We must find our home at our work.

Making Work Enjoyable
Work with joy and mindfulness increases our enjoyment of our work.

Being Mindful
Mindfulness is bringing our full attention to the present moment. From the present moment we can be more aware of everything that's happening in the present moment and see it with fresh eyes, without being caught in the past or the future. If you take good care of the present there is no need to worry about the future.

To be mindful is to focus on our breathing and being aware. By breathing mindfully, we unite body and mind. Focusing on our breathing helps us to stop worrying about the troubles of the past or the uncertainties of the future. You will be present. Be present to yourself. You are your responsibility.

Secret to Success
Non-thinking is the secret of success. Don't try to find solutions with your thinking mind. Plant a seed and let it grow.

Practicing Mindfulness
When we wake up every day we can be grateful that we have a new 24 hours to live

"Waking up to the blue sky
I join my palms in gratitude
for the many wonders of life.'

By setting our intention we can live more mindfully through the day.

"Waking up this morning I smile,
Twenty four brand-new hours are before me
I vow to live fully each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.'

Every activity can be done with great mindfulness including brushing teeth, eating, driving, going out of the door, drinking a cup of tea  etc.

"Sitting peacefully, I smile
The new day begins
I make a vow to live deeply, mindfully'

When we find our home at work, we have arrived. A flower has no fear.
When we arrive at work we must accept one thing - Obstacles are our friends, so accept them.
We can set an intention to work with joy and mindfulness.
We can do work in the right spirit.

Mindfulness at work
Some of the activities to practice mindfulness at work are -
  • creating a separate space for mindful breathing
  • having a mindfulness bell
  • sitting for the sake of sitting
  • mindful walking, in the rest room
  • over the phone - words we use
  • releasing and letting go. 
Every moment, say -I have arrived' or 'I am here'.

To be beautiful means to be yourself.

Dealing with our emotions
Our fears, anger, despair - they are our babies. They need us to take care of them. Go to your island and take care of your baby (ies).

To handle strong emotions
1st practice - All emotions are impermanent. Do not fuel the emotions with your thoughts.
2nd practice - Breathe abdominally. Return to your body. Follow your breath.

Handling our suffering
To find a way out of suffering we must accept it and look deeply to understand its true nature and its origins. We are the primary cause of our suffering, not someone else. The other person is just a secondary cause.

Our thoughts, words and actions
Our thoughts, words and actions bear our signatures. When we speak we should be aware of the effect of those words. When angry don't say anything until you calm down.

Mindfulness in communication
Apply deep listening now and loving speech to improve communication. Listen with compassion.
Don't confuse joy and happiness with excitement.

My conclusion
By being mindful every moment we practice being compassionate. We become more aware, more understanding and more knowing. There is no difference then between work or home, this emotion or that. We are deeply observing life as it happens, moment by moment. And in that deep observation we find compassion, creativity and enjoyment.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bladerunner 2049 - Movie


Anjali - But This Day Will Not Come Again

Anjali's new discovery is that this day will not come again so we must do as much as we can with it.

'February 16 will not come again Nanna,' she says in that dramatic tone of hers. 'I want to do as many things as I can this day.'

I try to tell her that its ok to do what we can with more presence. But she does not like that idea.

'No,' she says. 'I want to do as many things as I can in one day.'

Ok great. Do it as you please.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Amarcord - Movie

Italian humor. Italian life. Wonderful. A Fellini.

Anjali - Making Up

Anjali was very upset when she came home. She walked right in, picked up the phone and called someone. She tried two or three times and put the phone away. We could see she was very upset. She went into her room and shut the door. After a while I knocked. 'Can I come in?' I asked.

'Yes,' she said, her voice small.

Then she told me how one of her classmates asked her who her first best friend was and she told her the name of her new friend. Then the one who asked her told Anjali's childhood friend that her first best friend was the new girl. Anjali's old friend stopped talking to her and was not even coming to the phone.

'It is my fault,' she told me crying. 'I should not have said that. It would have hurt her so much.'

I said what I had to and that she could make up with her and tell her that she remains special to her, that there was no first and second and that everyone was special in their own way. And that they had spent so much time since their childhood and that was very special etc etc.

After many more anxious moments and several messages later Anjali got through. Her friend was cool about it all and said she was not upset.

The relief on Anjali's face was something to see and so was the energy in her step all evening. Mostly the learning.

'I was so upset that she was hurt and funnily she was not even thinking about it at all,' she said. We wondered at how much drama we create in our heads and went and celebrated with an ice cream.

But I do agree. So many times I imagined so many things only to find out they had been figments of my own imagination. Good learning. Also to see how much we torture ourselves and how much we deplete our energy with our thoughts.