In the beginning...

13 Oct 2012 -- Since Pat D. and I started our "listening club," our lives have been enriched by the likes of Joseph Campbell, Karen Armstrong, Robert Thurman, Natalie Goldberg, Alain de Botton, and many other philosophers of living. And we have great long chats about how it all fits together and how we might use these great thoughts to improve our experience of life and its mysteries.

Pat and I are both organizers and re-arrangers. We like things put together and in their most useful project boxes. If you pull shit apart you have to put it back better than you found it.

So, a couple of things have emerged recently. I've been trying to nail down some practices (i.e., good habits) that will keep me experiencing life to its fullest, dial up my creativity, and give me more "magic moments." A diagram emerges and I start mind-mapping off of it. (See the bare essentials in the image here.)

Meanwhile, Pat decides to propose that we assemble our own Bible, kind of like Thomas Jefferson did in choosing which parts of the traditional Bible were important to him and which parts he couldn't stand.

I'm not much of a Bible person, but I do like the organization of the Catholic liturgical cycles and canonical hours, which give the year a thoughtful structure and punctuate the day with smell-the-roses opportunities.

We agree. We'll each put together something like a missal or book of hours that captures the rhythms of our lives and gives us "best practices" -- structure, discipline -- that will keep us chugging along at our creative and compassionate best.

Resource: "Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion" by Alain de Botton (2012)

4-box flow