We’re now into the third week of our 28-day challenge. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely already overcome a couple of rough patches caused by what Sharon calls
a core group of unhealthy human tendencies that are obstacles to happiness. They’re the states of mind that distract us in meditation practice, and trip us up in the rest of our lives. Broadly speaking, they are: desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness, and doubt.
These basic states manifest in a variety of ways. Aversion, for example, can show up as hatred, anger, fear, or impatience. (Aversion is represented by Grumpy, up above. In case you’re wondering what he’s doing here.) I think impatience is especially relevant for me these few weeks. In our tech-obsessed lives, everything is about “more” and “faster,” and this leads to anxiety and anger when things don’t show up the second they’re expected, whether it’s the webpage we’ve called on our browser, or our friend who is late to meet us for dinner. The relentless incursion of “tools” such as Twitter into our personal lives where they usually have no business, is one of the biggest challenges facing the 21st century person.
So in Week 3, let’s try and slow it down a bit and just live our lives and not worry about missing out on the huge and ever-increasing stream of 0’s and 1’s flowing through our phones and laptops. There’s plenty of things going on in your world right now, and the many flat bright screens you see every day, which take much and give little, are keeping you from your life.
Discuss Real Happiness and the 28-Day Challenge in the Tricycle Book Club. There are hundreds of comments already, and Sharon Salzberg is addressing them all! It’s the perfect place to ask a question or offer your own tip on how to thrive during the challenge.
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.