It’s time for our 

“Not Now” brush. 

Preparing to meditate, we turn down the lights, perhaps light a candle or some incense, assume our preferred sitting posture, and close our eyes. As we take a relaxing deep breath, our mind begins to settle.

Then, in an instant, our mind is again distracted. An idea for something we’re writing, a meeting we had forgotten to schedule, our overdue library books—these are all important, just not more than our meditation.

If we’re really concerned that we cannot remember the thought again, we can jot it down and return to our meditation.

What if it is yet another wandering thought? For these thoughts and others that pop up, we get our “Not Now” brush. Mine is like the dustpan brush we had when I was young: sturdy wooden handle, soft black bristles. With our virtual brush in hand, we gently, but firmly, silently murmur “not now” and brush the thought away.

Now we can return to our meditation, our “Not Now” brush ever ready.



When inclined to take the easy way out . . . (Click image for video)


When annoyed by others’ bad habits,

We need to be sure we don’t have the same ones. 

The sad reality is that we often notice annoying habits in others because we have the same ones. We just don’t notice them when we’re the perpetrator. It’s so much easier to see them in others! Perhaps the person is offering his thoughts. On everything. Okay, let’s stop right here. This may be a habit indulged in by a fair number of people, including us.

Voicing an opinion may stem from the person’s (our) sincere wish to be helpful.

Or from an honest belief that they (we) know the answer to a question someone asked at dinner.

Whatever the reason, the person’s seemingly endless stream of replies bothers us. And then one day, we overhear someone mutter to themselves “the world according to….”  And they then say our name, with frustration in every syllable. Wow! Speak of the proverbial bucket of cold water—we too have fallen into the habit of trying to be helpful, informative, etcetera.

And apparently failing. So we, also, are annoying others.