I am a Buddha. Or am I?
Six years ago, I discovered Buddhism. Five years ago, I started attending a sangha that practiced Thich Nhat Hanh’s style of Zen Buddhism, then a Nichiren Shu temple, then a Soto Zen meditation group that met in a Unitarian Universalist Church. Four years ago, I began a blog called Mindful Living Journal where I wrote about how I as a Buddhist handled the stresses of modern life. Three years ago, unsure of what sect of Buddhism was right for us, my wife and I began creating our own syncretic form of Buddhism combined with Wiccan practices. Two years ago, I struggled just to meditate in our home once a month. One year ago, I stopped meditating and blogging entirely.
Facebook. Google+. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. There are many others, perhaps many that I have never heard about. There are niche social networks like Yelp, GoodReads and so on.
How much is too much?
Facebook. I like Facebook more as a medium for sharing my own posts than for reading the posts of other people, because nobody ever has anything to say that interests me. They probably think the same thing about me. Nobody comments on my posts, so either they have my posts blocked or else they, too, only use Facebook to post rather than to read. With all of this post-but-don’t-read mentality, people actually know less about their family and friends than they did before Facebook. So how is Facebook useful? Yet I still keep my account open because that’s where 80% of the people closest to me can be found. I have tried deactivating my account several times, but I always come back because I feel out of the loop. Will I ever succeed?
I Like Details. I have been obsessed with details as long as I can remember. That’s why I enjoy being a project manager by profession because I get to organize a multitude of dependent tasks. That’s why I enjoyed being a web developer for years because I could obsess over something as seemingly boring as programming code. That’s why I briefly enjoyed being a manuscript editor. I have unintentionally become a neat freak in the past five years, often obsessing over the cleanliness and organization of things. I am borderline OCD. I am over-organized to the point where it actually makes me disorganized. If you understand what that means, you might enjoy this blog.
Should I capitalize all the words in the title except for the prepositions? Should this entire blog really be a separate blog or should I just put these posts on my regular blog and tag them with words that allow readers to filter my blog posts just by those that pertain to simplifying as a means of stress relief? Should I tag this post with “stress” or “simplicity” or “simplify” or “simplifying” or just “simple” or all of the above? Do tags even matter if it is a separate blog entirely? Are these questions listed in a logical, linear order? Should I rearrange them? Oops, I just did.
Are you stressed out? Day after day? Year after year? Do you feel tense from the moment you wake up until you finally manage to fall asleep again? Do you have moments when you wish you were young again if for no other reason than to feel relief from bill collectors, managers, irate customers, disobedient children, and chores and errands that drain the human spirit?
What if I asked you to consider the idea that the most stressful things in life are things of our own making, or habits that we otherwise think we enjoy?
What if I also asked you to consider the idea that the solution is nothing more than to simplify your life?
If I have piqued your interest, come along for the ride.