What This Buddhist Monk Taught Me About Writing And Earning More

By Ruth Barringham

There is a Buddhist Monk called Thich Nhat Hanh, whose books I love to read because he teaches so much about achieving more by being patient and quiet (in mouth and mind).

In fact, doing things his calm and careful way leads also to happiness and peace of mind. And isn’t that what we all want?

In one of his books, The Miracle of Mindfulness, he talks about a man who was eating a mandarine while only thinking and talking about his future plans, and another man who rushed through his obligations every day so that he could have more time for things he wanted to do. He even rushed through reading bedtime stories to his young son.

The first man was said to be eating his plans instead of the mandarine, which he didn’t enjoy because he didn’t realise he was eating it.

The second man came to realise that everything he did, including reading to his son, was part of his life, not separate things he had to rush through to get back on with his life. So he slowed down, focused on each task as he did it, and in doing so his life and happiness improved.

And so it is with our own lives as well as with writing.

Chores should be done carefully and mindfully and focus should be kept on only what it is that we are doing in each moment, instead of hurrying to get it finished and get on with the next task.

Everything we do is a part of our lives and not something to be hurried though and forgotten as we rush to get on with the next thing.

And likewise, writing is a big part of life as well as being a part of who we are - or at least it should be.

So give writing the time and attention it needs and above all enjoy doing it.

Don’t rush around and try and fit it in wherever you can, and then rush through it just so that you can get it over and done with and get on with the rest of your life.

It’s wrong to treat it as something separate from yourself that you don’t want to do.

Instead, embrace it, shut out all other distractions while you work, and enjoy being a writer.

I did.

I followed Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice and instead of always putting-off sitting down and writing, I look forward to it.

And working mindfully makes everything I do more enjoyable and I do it well and that, in turn, increases my writing income.

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