Starting with the eightfold path

This morning, I’m doing something to try to follow through on the eightfold path mentioned in my last post.

Today, I’m working on:

A. Right view – It’s not a lot, but reflecting on my past “incorrect” views and seeking to understand things “as they really are” at least for today is my start.

B. Right intention – Committing to engaging in good will and thinking towards others, starting with those closest to me first, especially family, students and peers. This involves thinking compassionately in a way that I have not always been able. This intention is manifested through taking time to think more deeply about who and how I support and ensure that I can and do.

C. Right action –  This involves not only abstaining from acts that may harm others, but also seeking to act in a way that supports others. Today, I am cleaning up my overwhelming e-mail going back years so that I can reply and keep up daily, ensuring that I can support others properly and honor my commitments. Sadly, it is taking hours to do, but is necessary to ensuring right action today and in the future. I will have deleted over 20,000 emails all told by the end of today going back to early 2009. That level of overwhelming communication and “hoarding” of messages alone prevents me from engaging in right action or right effort.

D. Right effort – The right action mentioned above will be supported through right effort. Instead of intending to do and failing to finish, I will seek to be disciplined and kind, committing only to that which I can finish. I have two chapter revisions, a chapter, and two article revisions due in the next two weeks. I must complete those in a timely fashion and commit to nothing else until my current spate of writing and research is complete.

I’ll be working on the other four over the rest of the week and will report back on how well I do.

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