- Take a habit that you wish you could break - drinking too much coffee or eating junk food. The next time you do it, instead of spacing out or doing it automatically, turn it into a meditation. Pay close attention as you drink or chew, for example. Notice how your body feels. Whenever your mind drifts off, bring it back to the experience. Do not try to stop or change the habit; just do it as usual, except this time you are doing it with full awareness. Do it the next time, too. And the next time - and see how you feel with each succeeding time. Is your attitude or awareness different?
- Children, especially very young ones, can help us enter into beginner's mind - that state before concepts, conditioning, and defenses insulate us from experiencing directly. What we can do for children's spiritual life in the first five years is to allow their joyfulness to inspire us and encourage them to continue to expand their love and wonder.
- Three elements of the Buddhist Eightfold path (see page 121) are concerned with our mental development. Right effort, the sixth step on the path, means actively cultivating a positive state of mind, which is more likely to result in balanced actions. Tackle negativity and lazy thinking where you find it.