Home » Excerpts » Wake Up Earlier To Be Less Busy

Find more time
to live a more meaningful life –
before you run out of time.

– Shilashanti

When we are short on time, this scarcity extends to our heart as well. We automatically say, ‘I’m busy – I don’t have time.’ When we feel this way, our mind becomes even more hectic. But are we really so busy? Aren’t we the ones who are pushing ourselves to hurry? In Japanese [and Chinese], the character for ‘busy’ [忙] is written with the symbols for ‘lose’ [亡] and ‘heart’ [心]. It’s not that we are busy because there is not enough time. We are busy because there is no room in our heart.

Especially when things are hectic, try waking up fifteen minutes earlier than usual. Lengthen your spine, and take slow breaths from the point below your naval – the spot we refer to as the tanden (丹田). Once your breathing is in order, your mind will naturally settle into stillness as well. Then, while you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, look out the window at the sky. Try to listen for the warbling of little birds. How peculiar – just like that, you create space in your mind. Waking up fifteen minutes earlier magically liberates you from busyness.

Zen: The Art Of Simple Living
Shunmyo Masuno

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