Dropping baggage

There’s a famous zen parable about the importance of dropping baggage and letting go.

Two monks were at the banks of a river with a strong current when a young woman asked if they could help her cross. Carrying her would be against their vows. But, without a word, the older monk carried the woman across the river and carried on with his journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what happened. A few hours passed before he blurted out – “How could you carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

Simple reminders to reset, like this one, are powerful because we all accumulate baggage on our journeys. We develop preconceptions about some relationships, projects, and ways of approaching problems. These preconceptions erode our ability to approach things with a beginner’s mind and listen for learning. Most importantly, they make it impossible for us to simply “be” in the present moment. The baggage weighs us down and muddles our focus.

Take the time today to think about (or meditate upon) areas of your life that seem spew negativity in your day.

Perhaps it is time to let go and journey lighter.

Open apps

“How many apps are open right now?” – I asked myself as I decided to close apps running in the background on my phone.

I guessed 4 or 5 apps. But, there were close to 20 apps open and running in the background.

This happens nearly every time I decide to close apps. I underestimate how easily app baggage accumulates.

It struck me that mental and physical baggage accumulates just the same way – silently and continuously.

So, it is our responsibility to create a regular de-cluttering routine to clear enough space to enable us to be conscious and engaged. This could be regular reflection, meditation, a walk in the woods or a shower. It doesn’t matter which approach we choose.

It just matters that we choose one.