Fourteen Precepts in Fifteen Days
Seventh: Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain compuosure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.
Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh
My friend Wendy, sent me an email yesterday asking if the next precept was about not intoxicating oneself and others, and lo and behold, yes, I think you could read this one that way. Friday night was great fun, and there’s something to be said for the Dionysian impulse, particularly when one small, winterbound town seems to all come out at once to celebrate our communal joy that spring has once again come around, but on the other hand, at least when I get in that space, I stop actually paying attention to what anyone is saying and wind up in the land of blah blah blah blah blah. That space where you chat people up, and become entertaining and funny, and yet, the next morning you realize that none of those conversations stuck. That they all just flew off into the ozone because you weren’t being mindful. Because you weren’t actually paying attention.