The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The Power of Now

The Power of NowI don't usually review non-homesteading-related books here. But Mark's mantra on the farm is "work smart not hard." And the most powerful tool our species possesses is our a book about using your mind as a tool must be homesteading-related, right?

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm only a quarter of the way into The Power of Now. But there's so much meat that I've been reading it slowly, and I wanted to share while the first part is still fresh on my mind.

The author's thesis (at least in the first quarter) is that our conscious mind is a valuable tool that we should put down and rest when it's not in use. How do you know if you're not using your mind properly? If you're pondering the past or the future rather than focusing on the present, your mind is probably steering you rather than vice versa.

Previously when I've tried meditating, I've found the experience harrowing and frustrating. But using Eckhart Tolle's technique of simply watching my mind and asking myself whether every fleeting thought is past, future, or present, I've finally made a bit of progress in understanding what meditation is all about. And I've seen more mushrooms than usual during the meditation phase of my daily walk too --- proof that resting my mind pays off! If you give it a try, I'll be curious to hear what you think.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Is Quaker Worship Meditation?

I used to think I was a Quaker. The best part of Quaker life for me was definitely Silent worship. So when I moved home, to a Bristol, TN without a Quaker Meeting, I found myself sitting on the floor of Bristol Yoga, learning what mediation means to me. Honestly, I always confused mediation with Quaker Worship. But on a Quaker Speak Video titled Is Quaker Worship Mediation, the answer was a uniform if complex No. (Or yes and no but no.)

Maybe you first heard of mediation in a similar way to me?

I agree, a big part of meditating is about resting the mind. Meditation makes a conscious attempt to be effortless. Part of meditating is about sitting still, being present in the moment where we find ourselves, with an aim being peacefulness.

I am glad that you are trying the easy work of mediating. It is super healthy and good for you.

What mediation is to you should ultimately be defined by you.

I was watching Oprah talk to this author of yours once. He is pretty deep. Good work!

Comment by Maggie Mon Oct 15 11:11:28 2018

By the way, I think that bibliotherapy has been peer reviewed in research studying the benefits of reading self development/help books.

I would challenge the scientists to encourage that people write self help material in their own words (like you are) because sometimes it can feel good to read books like this but then we can quickly forget the reasons or rhyme.

Comment by Maggie Mon Oct 15 11:15:14 2018

First of all I'd like to thank Maggie for the link to the Quaker site. I'm not religuous, but their sense of social justice speaks to me. In the videos they come over as nice and genuine people.

In general I tend to find self-help books unhelpful. Reading the quotes from this book on Wikipedia and elsewhere sets off my woo alert. Between the self-evident and the mumbo-jumbo I'm left with a feeling of meh.

I would recommend looking into modern stoicism. But like all philosophy, it is best imbibed in moderate doses. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Oct 15 15:36:04 2018

Hi Anna,

My plants grow well when they have 'good' soil.

Even when I meditate :).


Comment by John Tue Oct 16 08:17:26 2018

profile counter myspace

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