Discover more from Happiness PhD with Jackson K.
(Pretty Important) I've Written a Book...
Hey - I wrote a book and if you’re reading this email newsletter then I’m pretty sure you’ll dig it (since I also wrote it).
I’m asking you and the couple hundred people who have been my early supporters here for help.
Here are two ways you can help.
Complete this form if you’re willing to pre-order a copy then give a review or share on social media when the time comes. Here is the form…
In the same form - indicate if you’d like to help in some other way: review my manuscript, introduce me to a publisher or author, marketing ideas, etc…
And, of course, would you like a free digital copy of the manuscript while I figure out the publishing process? If so, hit reply and I’ll send it over. You can tell me if you have ideas RE title or anything else. Here is the introduction and first “pocket-sized essay”…
your happiness nerd,
It was a Friday afternoon in college.
I was on my way home jamming out in my new (used) convertible. I whipped into a side street just as a guy and his dog were starting to cross. I slammed on the brakes. And he jumped backwards.
We froze – staring at each other in mutual startle, confusion, and anger.
He started mouthing and gesturing at me. Autopilot took over - I gave it right back. Next thing I know I threw open my door and started out after him.
As he turned around, I paused. And said - “hey that was my bad”.
He couldn’t believe his ears. Frankly I couldn’t believe mine. "I came in too fast. It was my bad. I'm sorry." He said it was all good and we parted ways.
As I got in my car I thought – what the f**k was that?!
Then I realized – that’s mindfulness. That’s meditation. It's working on you even when you don't know it.
Mindfulness practice isn’t like running where you see faster mile times or step on the scale and see you lost weight.
With mindfulness, progress is invisible. It’s not a 1-to-1 relationship. It’s nonlinear. Progress goes slowly, then all at once.
When you practice you might be transformed and not even notice... Until life happens – and you realize you’ve transformed for the better.
This book is an invitation to mindful living - it includes short stories, life lessons, and a few contemplations on life’s big questions. Mindful living is bringing meditative, contemplative, or spiritual practice into daily life. It is living with intention: cultivating happiness and experiencing with awe the essential mystery we call being.
While sure, I hope you get a few laughs and learn a few things. My hope for this book is that it draws you into a fuller experience of your own life. That it points you towards a refreshed view of life – as the saying goes: change how you look at things and what you look at will change. And that you grow a bit happier each day.
I hope that someday, months or years from now, life will happen - and you realize you’ve transformed for the better.
Joseph Campbell tells the story of a meeting at the 9th International Congress for the History of Religions – Tokyo, 1958.
A US professor of sociology met with a Japanese Shinto priest. The professor said something to the effect of – you know I’ve been to a number of Shinto ceremonies and shrines. But I don’t get the ideology. I don’t get your theology…
The priest paused and fell into deep thought for a moment.
He said - “I think we don’t have an ideology. We don’t have theology. We dance.”
In this book, we dance.
1 Don't soul search, just watch.
“You lived as a zen monk? You must have done a lot of soul searching…”
Nope, not really…
Folks are usually surprised when they hear that.
Zen isn’t soul searching - it’s soul observing. It’s not thinking – it’s awareness: turning the light of awareness inward.
So I say don’t bother soul searching – just watch yourself.
The problem with soul searching is it’s more thinking. It presumes that you’ll think your way out of confusion and ambiguity if you think enough. I’ve found that’s not true.
When you try to think your way out of confusion it leads to more confusion. A confused mind yields confused thoughts.
I’ve done a lot of watching my thinking. And I see it’s full of delusions, biases, and nonsense. Most everything you and I think – especially the emotional stuff (e.g. political views) is based on assumptions and cultural conditioning that we’ve never even noticed – let alone questioned.
So just watch in order to see your mind as it is. Learn all its old tricks. See what’s going on under the hood. If you’re wrapped up in thought you can’t see the forest for the trees. The trees are the thoughts. The forest is you. You want to understand you.
Don’t think so much. Don’t soul search. Just watch. And you’ll see that thoughts are not reality. Thoughts are thoughts. And you’ll realize wisdom isn’t thinking – it’s beyond thinking.