Zentones

My posts have definitely taken much more of a philosophical turn lately… I apologize for shirking my technological roots!

I have always been into mobile technology, but also respectful of the hold it has on many people.  I have friends who spend hours on their phones, playing games that have no end goal or focus, no real purpose other than to waste time.. I have none of these, I have removed any that I feel are a distraction from the outside world.  They doesn’t mean that I still don’t play the occasional game at home to relax, but mobile platforms give is an excuse to hermit ourselves away and to not focus on the glory that is the world we live in.

If you don't look up, the world will be gone before you know it...

If you don’t look up, the world will be gone before you know it…

I love turning my ringer off, I love wearing a mechanical watch, I enjoy the simplicity of not being tethered to my device.. but there are times when I have to keep it on, to stay in touch with work clients, family, and friends.  Sadly, most notification tones, alarms, calendar alerts, and ring tones (whew!) can be jarring, difficult to hear, or the same as everyone else’s..

Over the last few years, I have assembled a collection of minimal, subtle, and professional tones.  Some are more urban inspired, electronically created simple ringtones, whereas other have a decidedly more Zen-like appeal.  I have zipped and uploaded these to a file sharing site (don’t worry, no viruses or malware here!) so that you can all take advantage of some soothing alerts on your mobile devices. I’ve also included a long meditative droning chant that works well as a soothing alarm to wake you from your slumber, or just to appreciate the glorious emptiness that it creates as a state of mind

These are all in MP3 format, but Apple users can create ringtones in iTines using this video (that I created a couple years ago to help some clients with the same questions!) Note that Android users should install an app called Rings Extended, free from the Play Store.

Get this zip file here, and enjoy… Note that these sounds are all royalty-free, and legal to distribute, so please share this blog/link with your friends!

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New Focus, Same Direction

We cannot control the direction we travel in… we are moving through the small number of days we have been gifted with on this earth in our current physical manifestation.  The end is absolute, and inescapable..

However, we do have the ability to “tilt the board”, guiding our marble onto parallel paths. Some take greater effort than others, while still more are bumpy, or smooth.

Tilt positively, and balance continually, for best results

Tilt positively, and balance continually, for best results

It’s easy to become complacent with our path, to become lazy.. Living in a first world country, we want for very little in the ways of survival needs, and this lets our mind get weak.

I get bad cases of the winter blahs, and even my trusty Phillips goLITE BLU sometimes isn’t enough to get me out of bed in the morning.. I’m solar powered, and certain dark winter days make it next to impossible to get myself up and going.

This blog always gives me the power of perseverance in times when I need it most.. I’ve made some amazing Twitter connections lately, and an old friend has drifted back into town as well.. someone with a very accomplished research history with Buddhism and similar eastern philosophies.

I have refocused my Twitter account, which I use to share positive messages, (as well as to gripe about the obscene amount of snow we get in Ottawa sometimes! Don’t think its all roses!) to reflect the Shoshin state of my mind.

Shoshin means Beginner Mind, and i t refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. (wiki)

Kanji for Shoshin, comprised of Sho meaning "first time; beginning" and Shin, meaning "heart; mind; spirit"

Kanji for Shoshin, comprised of Sho meaning “first time; beginning” and Shin, meaning “heart; mind; spirit”

What is really great about this concept is that even a Zen teacher like Shunryu Suzuki who by all rights could be considered somewhat of an experienced Master of Zen thought sees the value in approaching everything like a beginner would something completely new.  He said “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

So as I reset my priorities, I try to take this humble approach on everything I do.  It allows me to make mistakes and not halt my progress.. I merely stumble, and learn why.

Stick around.. This is going to to get really good.