Is Learning About Yourself Selfish or Selfless?

I recently had an amazing experience visiting Deer Park Monastery here in the San Diego area. It is a Buddhist Temple supported by Thích Nhất Hạnh’s teachings and it houses monks and nuns who devote their lives to meditation and mindfulness.

We meditated, walked, ate and worked in nobel silence. I felt so rested and peaceful at the end of the 3 days, I even stayed an extra day.

One of the many thoughts I observed was; look how much time these individuals spend on themselves and the lifestyle they chose away from modern society. Isn’t that kind of selfish?

I thought about how their families must feel that they have removed themselves from email, cell phones, and normal family functions.

However, on the last day, I was sharing time with an 80 year old monk who use to be a Catholic priest, he had such a depth and capacity to listen and love others that I realized maybe he is being selfless about his choice so he can share more compassion to others that visit and pass through the monastery gates.

What 5 things can we do daily to be more selfless and compassionate? I have 5 below, and would love your input on what has been working for you.

  1. Greet the day with gratitude vs. throwing our alarm across the room: Since my stay at the Monastery I am practicing waking my 5 senses by saying; I am excited to greet the day with love through my sight and perspective, listening to my friends, using words of kindness, touching others lives, and stopping to smell the roses.
  2. Say a silent prayer of gratitude prior to eating meals. Put your fork down at least 3-5 times during a meal to recenter and take breaths.
  3. Play with an animal or child and focus on just them.
  4. Don’t take ourselves so seriously. Find a joke to pass along, laugh at your thoughts that are just down right silly, and prioritize what really matters to you vs. what you think you need to get done.
  5. Pick up trash and smile at a stranger.

As we eat a cleaner more conscious diet, we have extra energy and room for these options in our lives.

We have got your back, the Jump Start program begins on January 5th to help you get rid of the static and back to the basics.

Stay Selfish & Selfless,
Heather Fleming

Thanks to Les Haines for the photo.