In yesterday’s post, I took a hard look at my life, especially in the last couple of years, and how my lifestyle lately isn’t very healthy or conducive toward peace of mind.
But what am I going to do about it?
While looking at old posts, I found another post I wrote a couple years ago that had two good links to Sinfest also. Sometimes it’s just helpful to breathe and calm down. Being agitated about my problems isn’t going to help, I need to calmly assess the situation.
I think I need more self-discipline and consistency (less swinging back and forth), but not to get upset and flog myself.
For my diet, my doctor suggests losing 40 pounds in a year. I shouldn’t starve myself, but I really do need to make smarter choices about what I eat. Also, I need to just eat smaller portions and less snacking. When work gets busy or I goof around too much, I neglect to make get enough sleep, which then makes me neglect breakfast and lunch. Then I tend to snack or eat junk food. So, ironically, self-neglect leads to self-indulgence, just as self-indulgence leads to self-neglect.
So, in my case, I tend to snack at night while doing dishes and this is bad. I made a rule for myself to stop eating by 8pm for example, and to eat more tofu (which I love) and less meat and grains. I don’t think I’ll be fully vegetarian, but eating a much more balanced diet is important. Already, I can feel the difference in one week of eating smaller portions: I get full more easily and have less heartburn.
Also, instead of just dieting, I’m focusing on being more diligent to bring enough food to work, get adequate sleep, etc. Snacking and eating starches is a way to compensate for fatigue, so if I am tired all the time, I will constantly crave sugars and such.
For books, I know I need to put down the smartphone from time to time. Even reading a book (as in “paper”) 30 minutes a day is good. Doesn’t have to be a lot. I kind of do this already with my study of kanji using the Heisig method (i.e. timeboxing), so why not do it for reading? It would be nice to read and finish some books again because I have lots of interesting books to read, but I don’t take the time to do it. It doesn’t have to be a lot of reading, but a little bit every day is good.
For Buddhist practice, I think the Pure Land path isn’t working for me. I started having doubts after my experiences in Arizona, plus helpful conversations with a certain monk (hi!) a couple months ago. I haven’t figured out what to put in its place, but I have a pretty good idea. Perceptive readers might guess too. Anyhow, more on that in a later post. ;)
In any case, I can’t just wish my problems to go away, and I can’t get angry at myself either. I just need to apply slow, gentle, steady self-discipline, but that will only work when I realize what the alternative is.
A reasonable amount of self-discipline now will save myself frustration and stress later.
Namu Shaka Nyorai