Book review: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno

100 Daily Practices form a Japanese Zen Monk for a Lifetime of Calm and Joy

This straightforward, unpretentious, quick read should be on everybody’s TBR stack because with just subtle shifts in your habits and perspective you’ll be able to live simply. The author is the head priest at a 450-year-old Zen Buddhist temple in Japan and separated his book into four parts:

  1. 30 ways to energize your “present self”—Try making a subtle shift in your habits.
  2. 30 ways to inspire confidence and courage for living—Try changing your perspective.
  3. 20 ways to eliminate confusion and worry—Try to change how you interact with others.
  4. 20 ways to make any day the best day—Try shifting your attention to the present moment.

It begins by reminding us of how we felt the first time we stood on a mountain top and looked out at the great expanse or staring out across the ocean at the horizon. It’s a sense of being refreshed where your heart feels lighter, worries vanish, and you feel more alive.

Our daily life is full of accumulating stress, worries, and feeling burdened. But how do we change our world? That is a monumental task. So, better yet, let’s change ourselves. It only requires slight changes in habits or a subtle shift in your perspective. The author shows us how to do this with the help of Zen which is about habits, ideas, and hints for living a happy life: deep, yet simple life wisdom. He begins by telling us that we shouldn’t be swayed by the values of others, troubled by unnecessary concerns, or place value on wasteful things.

Here are some of the book’s insights:

  • Make time for emptiness by first observing yourself. Be with yourself as you are, but without haste, without impatience.
  • Savor the morning air. The monk’s secret to life is found here. Each day is not the same.
  • Discard what you don’t need. It will refresh your mind. Part with old things before acquiring new ones.
  • Organize your desktop. Cleaning hones the mind. Your desk is a mirror that reflects you inner mind.
  • Exhale deeply. How to eliminate negative emotions. Improve your breathing and your mind will improve, too.
  • Sit Zazen. The effects of sitting and thinking. Human beings are not capable of deep reflection while we are moving.
  • Don’t waste time worrying about things you cannot control. What does it mean to be spiritually lighter? The moment when you suddenly leave yourself behind.
  • Don’t think of unpleasant things right before bed. A five-minute “bed zazen” before going to sleep. Time to reset your mind.
  • Don’t be troubled by things that have not yet happened. Anxiety is intangible. Where does it actually exist?
  • Simply immerse yourself. The tremendous power of being unfettered. Empty your mind, and do not let it settle anywhere or wander.
  • Do not fear change. Cast off your attachment to the past. There is beauty to be found in change.
  • Cast away the three poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance to being a Zen mind-se into your life. Keep your desires and anger in check and strive to understand the nature of things.
  • Notice the changes of the season. It will inspire you to go on. Herin lies the only truth in the world.

This would make a nice bedside table read to page through occasionally to recall it’s insights. To read it in its entirety, go here.

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

What Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do

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  • They don’t accept that each feeling they have implies something
  • They aren’t undermined by not being correct
  • They don’t utilize rationale to deny their feelings
  • They don’t extend significance onto all that they see
  • They don’t have to demonstrate their force
  • They don’t keep away from torment, regardless of whether they fear it
  • They don’t search out others’ imperfections with an end goal to reduce their qualities
  • They don’t say anything negative
  • They don’t sift through specific parts of and encounter to catastrophize it
  • They don’t keep a rundown of things individuals “ought to” or “shouldn’t do”
  • They don’t see themselves as adjudicator of what’s correct
  • They don’t make general determinations from their own encounters
  • They don’t change their character dependent on who they’re near
  • They can tolerate upping for themselves without being forceful or cautious
  • They don’t accept that his is consistently the manner in which their life will be

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

Cognitive Biases that Create the Way You Experience Life

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  1. Projection—our preferences are projected towards what we see and interpret accordingly.
  2. Extrapolation—when we use our present circumstances to analyze our entire life
  3. Anchoring—the first information we hear tends to influence the way we perceive things
  4. Negativity—selective attention makes us pay attention to bad news
  5. Conservatism—when you rely on information you had earlier
  6. Clustering illusion—when your subconscious mind starts seeing patterns in random events
  7. Confirmation—occurs when the information we listen to supports or encourages our ideas
  8. Choice-supportive—the way we make choices towards things we see as beneficial and disregarding the flaws that come with it

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

35 Things to Think of Instead of What’s Consuming You

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  1. How do you see your life 5, 10, or 20 years from now?
  2. The level of progress you have made already this year
  3. The little things you do that change the quality of your life
  4. Your situation as pathway to your dreams
  5. Appreciating the little things
  6. What your life looks like to others
  7. What you have effectively achieved in your life
  8. What different choices exist outside of your default perspective?
  9. How you might conceivably invest more energy into said work that merits your time and consideration.
  10. How you can help others
  11. Other individuals’ inspirations and wants
  12. The truth that you don’t think the specific way others’ think, and maybe the issues you have with them are not issues
  13. The examples of individuals you know, and what they inform you regarrding whom they truly are
  14. The truth that we accept individuals as we envision them
  15. What you would say in the event that you could tell your more youthful self only a certain something
  16. What your overall goal is
  17. What you’d put in the one box at the off chance that you needed to move to the opposite side of the country and could only bring just that
  18. How much your pet loves you
  19. What your future self would think and say regarding whatever circumstance you’re in the present moment
  20. The greatest evenings of your life
  21. The reality that it is difficult to do everything
  22. Aesthetics that you love
  23. Your life’s stories
  24. Your dream minutes
  25. What moves you could make to move yourself forward to the existence you need
  26. The sensation of the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair
  27. The smell of newly cut grass or the smell of an approaching rain
  28. What you can do with your minutes rather than your hours or days
  29. Who you are at the point no one is near
  30. Melodies of tunes that make you content
  31. What characteristics you respect most in others
  32. How limitless the universe is
  33. What “yes” feels like to you
  34. How numerous arbitrary, chance events were associated with essentially every significant headway in your life
  35. A mantra which works to help your resolute conviction that the future will be unique, and you’ll sort out someway to work everything out

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

16 Signs of Socially Intelligent People

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  1. They’re always careful not to let their emotions interfere with communicating with other people.
  2. They don’t directly criticize what they believe is unacceptable.
  3. They take their time before acting to criticism.
  4. They don’t take what they feel about someone as fact.
  5. They don’t judge people by one mistake, rather they’re careful with the language they use with them in order to change them to who they want.
  6. They don’t play around with words.
  7. They try as much to see people’s perspective and never take it personal.
  8. They don’t take advantage of people’s ignorance.
  9. They accept people the way they are without trying to change them.
  10. They dissociate with things they dislike.
  11. They don’t involve themselves in an invalid argument.
  12. They prefer hearing the response.
  13. Their interactions online show their genuine self.
  14. They don’t give ultimate judgment; they rather give suggestive judgment.
  15. They do not attack people’s opinion.
  16. They work well on themselves for improvement because they believe this will affect other people.

This is the result of group work done at the CSPH at the University of Minnesota for a class on resilience. Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

How Your Daily Routine Creates Personality

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  • Your habits and thought patterns are what determines your mood
  • Don’t allow your fears and impulses to decide how you craft out your day
  • Doing more different things do not justify happiness, rather doing the same thing in a more different way
  • Regulating your daily actions limits you to fear and prevents you from actually enjoying something
  • Routine are fears of the unknown, it makes us believe we’ve done something before and not afraid to try
  • Routine gives the feeling of validation where you consistently reaffirm what you’ve already done
  • Training your body response to a daily routine dissolves your worries and ideas and makes you move naturally with the flow
  • Lack of routine makes us believe that fear indicates not doing the right thing, and procrastination comes in, giving us gaps and spaces

This is the result of group work done at the CSPH at the University of Minnesota for a class on resilience. Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

8 Most Prevalent Subconscious Beliefs that are Keeping You from Having the Life You Want

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  1. Believing you’ve failed when things do not work out the way they should
  2. Concluding that success is an arrival point based on the present moment
  3. Assuming that fear and pain is bad, and happiness is good because of your emotions
  4. Distraction makes you not be vulnerable to that which you’re afraid
  5. You think that adopting a new line of thinking is to change belief
  6. Problems are pathways to achieving what you want but you see them as roadblocks
  7. Thinking your past is an unchangeable reality which defines you rather than see your past as what helped in your personal evolution and added to your storyline
  8. Trying to change situations, people and things when anger=self-recognition

This is the result of group work done at the CSPH at the University of Minnesota for a class on resilience. Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor..

20 Signs You’re Doing Better than You Think You Are

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  1. When you have extra after paying your bills
  2. When you see your lapses because you’re able to think
  3. When you have a job that takes care of your basic needs
  4. The ability to create time for yourself
  5. If you have what you need to eat and can decide
  6. You happy because of the enjoyment of life
  7. Having true friends
  8. Affording the little things
  9. Your ability to change and grow
  10. Having spare time to do other things
  11. Having enough clothing to sustain you
  12. Knowing when things are not right
  13. Knowing your inner self
  14. Having control of your space
  15. Losing a relationship and hoping for better
  16. Having an interest in things
  17. Ability to take care of your health
  18. Having a goal and working towards it
  19. Making your present state ideal
  20. Looking back at your past and still standing strong

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

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