Sunday, August 24, 2014

When you don't have to be right

Freshly spun yak/merino blend
As I reread Thich Nhat Hanh's Mindfulness Survival Kit, it is like I am reading it for the first time.  It is hard to believe I only read it six months ago.  The way of thinking is very alien to my milieu--for instance what is referred to as "right view" isn't about being right, or even having views at all.

Back in my journalist days I had to come up with at least an opinion every week--commonly known as an editorial. I recall Jack Sanders, the executive editor of the newspaper group I worked for, telling us that we didn't have to be right, we just had to make a good case.  And when writing articles, I would basically gather and present disparate opinions on any given topic--in local news that would be the school budget or plans for a highway bypass.

So if any of you wonder why when you turn to any news channel/website/paper etc. you are deluged with strong, right seeming opinions, please keep in mind that these people are having these strong opinions for a living.  Yes, it is just a job.  You can ignore all of them if you want.  They know they don't have to be right, they just have to make a good case.

Carded Icelandic--some say it is best combed.
So practicing mindfulness has been no easy task.  Even in a pursuit as seemingly peaceful as spinning and weaving we have have views and opinions--which is wheel is better--which warping method is better.  There is a joke that if you get a half-dozen spinners together you get a dozen opinions on the best wheel.

So really we live in a cacophony of opinion.  Probably way too many opinions for our own good.  And so I will continue to reread the book on mindfulness and hope to at least still to a dull roar my own racing opinions and take a moment to breathe, enjoy the moment and simply be.


  1. Agree. We need to exit the world into our own space and keep the chaos of the world out.