Nourishing Life #7 - Meditation & Deep Work
This week's blog topic is a diversion from classical Chinese wisdom but the wisdom contained in these books certainly qualifies them as a tool for Nourishing Life.
I have two book recommendations for Christmas.
If you are interested in meditation or need to undertake anything that requires deep, uninterrupted focus I cannot recommend them more highly.
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind - Shunryu Suzuki
The practice and benefits of mindfulness or mindful meditation have been widely studied in recent years.
Some purists have been critical of secular mindfulness practices, bemoaning that the apple has fallen too far from the bodhi tree.
I have no opinion on how one accesses meditation - whether it be secular or spiritual. For me, all roads can lead to Rome and the benefits of a regular meditation practice are extremely valuable.
My personal experience of teachings about meditation happen to have come from a Buddhist perspective. If this perspective is interesting to you, then Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is the quintessential beginners text on Zen practice, philosophy and meditation.
If you have tried meditation or mindfulness, and would like to put more philosophical meat on the bones - this is a brilliant place to begin.
Deep Work - Cal Newport
Cal has a rule.
He shuts his computer down at 5pm every weekday and stops working. No more emails. No more work. The day is done. He then goes home and spends the evening and weekends with his young family.
Cal gets his news from a newspaper and public radio stations. He has no social media accounts and until very recently did not own a smart phone.
Cal is also Professor of Computer Science specialising in distributed algorithms at Georgetown University. He publishes an average 50% more peer-reviewed journal articles per year than his colleagues. He runs a successful Study Hacks blog for college students and has authored four books.
One of which is called Deep Work.
If you want to stop wading in shallow tasks and get laser focussed this book is for you.