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Mindful : October 2015
louder than his words. Lakha was overseeing a massive project with numerous deadlines and details to manage. There was lots going on, but it did not get to him. He was not busy. On that day I realized clearly that busyness is a choice. We may have deadlines, projects, and activities, but we have the freedom to choose whether we become action addicts and busy- lazy, or just observe the experience of many activities. It’s a choice. And the ability to make that choice comes from developing a clear mind, free of action addiction. Nowadays we tend to all be busy, overbur- dened, and perhaps stressed. It is part of our identity. If we are busy we are important. If we are stressed, it’s because we are committed and working hard. It́s in the DNA of our modern societies. If we are not busy and stressed, we are not trying hard enough. Something is wrong with us. But Lakha showed a clear alternative; having many activities and being highly effec- tive and productive, but maintaining mental clarity and calm—not giving in to action addic- tion. Not being existentially lazy. Busyness is killing the heart There are good reasons to overcome action addic- tion and thereby better avoid busyness. In addition to keeping us from seeing the bigger picture, busy- ness kills the heart. In Chinese, the word “busy” consists of two syllables, one meaning heart, the other death. More explanation is not needed. The busier we get, the more energ y flows to the head and away from the heart. The busier we get, the more we tend to distance ourselves from others and their emotions. Action addiction keeps us busy and away from asking why. And the less we ask, the further we get removed from purpose, meaning, and love. We become effective robots that achieve more. But more is ver y often much less. Because the heart is not in it. → Next time you feel busy, pause for a moment and con- template: What’s keeping you busy? And is it worth it? Are there things on your plate you should let go? And is your mind inherently busy or just pretending to be? Are you choosing to be too busy? October 2015 mindful 75 insight practices Start Here Now: A Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation Susan Piver October 9–11, 2015 An Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Sarah Bowen October 23–25, 2015 The Science and Art of Fulfillment Emma Seppälä November 13–15, 2015 The Mindful Path to Leadership Cheryl Jones November 16–17, 2015 Mindful Parenting: Helping You Focus on What Really Matters Carla Naumburg and Hunter Clarke-Fields December 4–6, 2015 Awaken Everyday copperbeechinstitute.org Our more than 40 meditation and mindfulness-based programs offer opportunities to deepen your tranquility and resilience no matter where you are on your journey. Visit our website for more.