Welcome to another Meditate or Die newsletter.
It’s been a funny old week here in Australia. We are still in lock down.
In fact, despite having only a few new daily cases, my city has some of the tightest restrictions in the world.
Indeed, this weekend was the first warm weekend this year, and as we head into summer it’s a tradition here to go to the beach. Yet my local government has decided to closes the beaches.
People are not happy – to say the least!
And while these are crazy times we live, in it’s worth noting that everything is impermanent.
Now on this week’s readings.
This Weeks Reading List
This work I’ve been reading, Breath by James Nestor.
This is an important book. For breathing, as it turns out, and the way we breathe, is as important as eating the right foods.
Breathing correctly yields massive health benefits; breath incorrectly and you could be causing yourself all kinds of problems without knowing.
This was me! #DumbAss
I was breathing incorrectly during sleep mainly without knowing and wondering why, and yet doing nothing about it besides living through the suffering of bad sleep.
Suffice it to say, I’ve been able to reduce my life-long sleep apnea problem by 90% with what I learned from this book.
My blood pressure has been lowered. Snoring…gone.
Nestor makes a couple of incorrect statements about the Tibetan Tummo breathing practice, so read with a critical mind. I know this because I’ve been trained by Tibetan masters in this practice.
Still, I highly recommend this book despite, at times, the overly verbose prose.
My Book Project
This week I spent outlining my new book. It is mostly complete.
A good friend put me onto John McPhee and his article on Structure.
This article inspired the structure of my book, which I’m sure I will go into some detail in the coming months.
In a nutshell, McPhee talks about the tension between plot and story – something that mainly filmmaker knows about. So this resonated with me deeply.
Plot is about events and story is what the book/movie is actually about.
If you’re interested you can read the article here – https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/14/structure
My book is about the need for deep levels of self-awareness in order to navigate your life well – all set within the context of my failed PhD!
Plot and Story!
This article was written in 2008 for entry into the Ph.D program at the University of Tasmania.
I published it on my blog as I will be talking about this in the book.
It’s an academic essay on personal identity.
“Tsongkhapa’s philosophical analysis of personhood is about solving the problem of existential suffering.
The solution to this problem is found in the extirpation of the conceptions of reified essence.
The conception that persons possess intrinsic essence functions as the root cause of existential suffering, as it is a necessary condition for the arising of afflicted states of mind.
These conceptions of intrinsic essence pervade the cognitive process of unenlightened beings propelling them into dysfunctional actions, in a self-perpetuating cycle of false appearances and dysfunctional actions.
Read it here – https://clarkescott.com/tsongkhapa-personal-identity
Have a great week!
p.s. this week – I wrote just over 3000 words for the book.