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September 26, 2023 5 mins

My nose was congested when recording this on the first day I finally felt well enough to tape this episode. If you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness. Case in point! Life is not a race. People say they want a life of leisure but rarely do anything leisurely... slow down!

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Episode Transcript

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Welcome to the Buddhist Boot Camp Podcast.
Our intention is to awaken, enlighten, enrich, and inspire a simple and uncomplicated life.
Discover the benefits of mindful living with your host, Timber Hawkeye.

When I moved from San Francisco to Seattle more than 20 years ago,
I was surprised by the slower pace of everything and everyone in the
Pacific Northwest compared to the Bay Area. Relocating to Hawai'i after that was like
downshifting from third gear to first, and then living in three different monasteries
felt like I had taken my foot off the accelerator altogether.

In fact, the second monastery was located miles and hours away from
all other developments. As we drove through nothingness, another student in the van

looked back and said (00:57):
"Goodbye, civilization!" To which the driver replied:
"Civilization? I think you will find our destination significantly more civilized!"
When we got there, the truth of that statement was most evident to me in the
pace of the place, or, more accurately, the stillness of it.
We were told right off the bat that the goal was not to make the monastery our

permanent home, but to take what we learn with us when we leave. Among many things,
I had learned to slow down my heart rate, breathing, movement, and thoughts.
The shift from that blissful flow to the fast pace of life on the outside was jarring.
There was a time in my youth when everything felt urgent.
It was imperative to watch a movie in theaters as soon as it was released,

to stay up-to-date on all forms of pop culture, music, and fashion,
and to keep up with the news. People call it the Daily Grind, the Hustle, or the Rat Race,
none of which sounds appealing anymore.
The world is moving faster than ever, but something within me has shifted; I no longer
feel a sense of urgency to keep up with it.
I'm not suggesting we all live in monasteries or stick our heads in the sand, nor am I telling

you how fast to move. I'm only inviting you to ask yourself the same question I did:
What's the rush?
Why are we trying to do so much?
Who are we trying to impress? To what end?
We are surrounded by constant stimulation specifically designed to provoke us,
but multitasking, impulsive reactions, and running around to the point of exhaustion

are merely symptoms, not the disease.
I have friends going on what they call a Digital Detox because too much media consumption
has literally made them sick. The Internet is known as the information superhighway,
which is great, but I think we need to pull over at Rest Areas from time to time.
We wouldn't even seek such stimulation if we
paused long enough to wonder why we do it in the first place.

People claim to want a life of leisure, but I rarely see anyone doing anything leisurely.
There seems to always be a goal or a deadline before the next thing on the itinerary.
What are you afraid would happen if you were to slow down, get off the roller coaster,
or take a break? When we unpacked these questions at our monthly discussion,

everyone seemed to share multiple reasons for keeping so busy (03:04):
from fear of missing out
to desperately wanting to fit in, delusions of grandeur, or an underlying fear of
being perceived as a lazy, non-contributing member of society.
And when we care so deeply what others think of us, we sacrifice our own well-being for the
sake of protecting our precious little egos. Some people said they try to do so much

because the moment the distractions are turned off, their thoughts are amplified.
And rather than sitting with those thoughts,
the impulse to run away, to get immersed in someone else's drama, or
get as much done as possible takes over; anything in order to never feel left out at
social gatherings for having failed to watch the latest movie or attend the biggest concert

buy the newest gadget, or know every detail about the latest natural disaster.
The problem isn't the passion or the interest, it's that feeling of worthlessness behind it
that we try to soothe by associating our sense of worth with how much we do.
The world has its pace, but life is not a race.
There is a reason I only send out one monthly email and don't have a new

podcast episode every couple of days. As I recently learned from
breaking my foot, which made it impossible to walk for a couple of months,
if you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.
I'm now back on my feet, moving forward, but much more slowly.

As the old saying goes (04:24):
Direction is more important than speed.
It doesn't matter how fast you are going if you are headed in the wrong direction.
So, just in case everyone else in your life is telling you to do more and move faster, I'd
like to be the one voice in the corner inviting you to slow down and do less. Some people
don't even realize that's an option.
Set your own pace.
We are all going to end up in the same place.

Let's get there with grace. What do you say?
If you find value in these podcast episodes and appreciate as much as I do that there are
no sponsors, commercials, or ads, please show your support with as little as $1 a month
You make it possible for us to continue the books to prisons and schools projects,
veteran support programs, and the mental health association.

All of this is possible thanks to you. I appreciate you. Namaste 🙏
Timber Hawkeye is the bestselling author of Buddhist Boot Camp, Faithfully Religionless,
and the Opposite of Namaste.
For additional information, please visit,
where you can order autographed books to support the Prison Library Project,

watch Timber's inspiring TED Talk, and join our monthly mailing list.
We hope you have enjoyed this episode
and invite you to subscribe for more thought-provoking discussions.
Thank you for being a Soldier of Peace in the Army of Love. 🙏
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