Our past is the greatest of teachers.
Yet our future largely hinges on whether or not we realize what history is trying to teach us. To hear its message, we can start by developing a type of radical honesty—an honesty that’s both free of prejudice and full of understanding, built through deep reflection and acceptance.
Deep reflection is a lost art most of us were never taught. Yet, without learning to be truly contemplative, we find ourselves scattered, distracted, or worse—moving faster and faster toward the wrong finish line. Mastering reflection takes lots of practice, and even more patience—because it forces us to stop and look at the map, and regularly reevaluate where we’re going.
Reflection begins with solitude, which means learning how to quiet our mind, embrace the silence, and listen. Through practice, we develop higher levels of freedom, as it allows us to discern the source of our peace—and find clarity in where our lives are headed.
As our meditative practice grows, it only becomes more rewarding. We’ll have a stronger conviction in our decisions, and a fuller understanding in who we are, and a sense of purpose and meaning we didn’t even know we were capable of.
WAYS TO INCORPORATE THIS PRACTICE
Honesty • Quiet • Listen
Take 10 minutes every morning or evening to meditate.
Create a habit of journaling each day for 10 minutes. You can use the bullet space in your Monk Manual or use a separate notebook to collect your thoughts in. Whether you start by just writing down what you did that day, or just free write whatever is on your mind, the important thing is to build the habit and find what works best for you.
Limit technology, email and/or social media to weekdays and let your weekends be a time of connection and reflection. Alternatively, decide no internet or phone before 8am or after 8pm.
“Reflection begins with solitude, which means learning how to quiet our mind, embrace the silence, and listen.”
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