The Only Moment That Matters is Now

Learn why your mental fitness and peace come before work and other things.

Our Stoic friend Epictetus stated that some things are up to us and some things are not up to us. Stoics, partly for rational reasons and partly as a product of their time, believed in fate. From the ancient Greek myths, fate was represented by the Three Fates: Clotho, who spun the thread of life, Lachesis, who measured it, and Atropos, who cut it. Ancient Greeks believed that our destinies were already mapped out for us, reducing the need to worry about all of the eventualities of life. Modern religions have similar parallels, where there’s a belief that one’s inevitable life trajectory is in the hands of one or more deities.

Full catastrophe living

This relates to how Zen Buddhism treats the present. In fact, Buddhists, and more increasingly the secular West, have been learning about the concept of mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered to be responsible for the popularization of Western mindfulness throughout the past few decades, not through marketing but through science. His seminal book, Full Catastrophe LivingJon Kabat-Zinn. Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation. Piatkus, London, UK, 2013., outlines the work done at the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The eight-week course was a supplement for patients with chronic pain, terminal illnesses, and disabilities. It’s meditation and mindfulness with Buddhism taken out of it. No religion required.

Techniques to practice mindfulness

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