Reading: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan
I kick started 2016 in a bit of a blur as I was working all through festive and racing against deadlines, and then we left for Singapore on January first, groggy and tired as chef got home late from the NYE dinner service. We drank a delicious 1990 Dom Pérignon that was our wedding gift from a friend, packed our suitcases and ran away with the New Year.
I am still in a bit of daze, but managed to finish and meditate over this wonderful book Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade Meng Tan. Its loving kindness exercises that I hope to practice regularly, if not daily.
The chapters on empathy and kindness are what I would like to work towards.
Here are two meditations that I think are wonderful.
Just Like Me
This person has a body and a mind, just like me.
This person has feelings, emotions and thoughts, just like me.
This person, at some point in his or her life, been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt, or confused, just like me.
This person has, in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me.
This person wishes to be happy, just like me.
The other meditation is something that my Mother introduced to me over a decade ago and it was really nice to revisit.
I wish for this person to have the strength, the resources,
and the emotional and social support to navigate the difficulties in life.
I wish for this person to be free from pain and suffering.
I wish for this person to be happy.
Because this person is a fellow human being, just like me.
Now, I wish for everybody I know to be happy.
Close with 1 minute of resting the mind.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for themselves, wanting to calm their minds, get out of the vicious cycle of “crazy busyness” and the stressful day to day life of trying to catch up with yourself and feel like it’s enough.
One thing that stood out for me and for the last three years of living in Macau I have struggled with where the situation puts me in a very difficult place “Research shows that the one and only experience in life that makes people sustainably happy over time is the quality and quantity of social connections.”
I refused to believe my therapist that I needed to keep seeking my primary needs (engaging conversations with like minded individuals, cultural creative pursuits and interesting things (books, films, art that feeds the soul) elsewhere – I was of the school of thought that a happy and grounded person is a happy person – anywhere. I guess research proves otherwise.
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