Practising Happiness by Ruth A. Baer

By Ruth A. Baer

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The quickest way to get there is to walk through a park. Melinda sets out with no time to spare, keeping to the stone path to avoid the damp ground and thinking of what she’ll say during the meeting. Suddenly, she comes upon a work crew. They’ve dug up a large section of the stone path, creating a muddy mess. ‘Oh no,’ she thinks. ‘Why didn’t they put up a sign? I don’t have time to turn back. ’ Melinda feels frustrated and annoyed, but focuses on her goal of getting to the meeting – on time and looking professional.

For now, when thoughts about the lawn come to his mind, he notices them in the same way he notices other things. ‘Hey, there’s a thought,’ he says to himself. ’ Instructions for Your Own Mindful Walk Walk anywhere you like: in a park, your neighbourhood, even an indoor shopping mall. Choose a time when you don’t have conflicting demands. Start by walking mindfully, as best you can. Choose something specific to focus on. For the first few minutes, you might observe sounds. As before, notice them with an attitude of friendly curiosity, even if you find some of them unpleasant.

The Guest House This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. 57 Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

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