I have learned about stoicism through this blog and I recommend you read it too.
Stoicism made a lot of sense to me because it is a practical philosophy and I admire practicality.
I have also read a small book on Buddhism, Sit Like a Buddha, which I recommend. However, finding a time and a place to practice meditation was always something hard for me but that is not an excuse.
The book Sit Like a Buddha taught me an important lesson about preparing my mind before anything else. A good example of that, in practice, is when I worked remotely. My kids would arrive home from school and as expected, they wanted to tell me everything. It was hard for them to get my attention, my mind was still on “work mode” and it was necessary to have a few minutes for it to move to “father mode”.
Now, working in another city, I have one hour that I spend travelling and can make the shift from “work mode” to “father mode”.
Another important lesson from Sit Like a Buddha is the importance of breathing and doing it the right way. Reading about it I started to understand and apply it to my life, in every moment, breathing the right way.
These are practical suggestions that I can apply to my life and teach my kids.
The meditation part, as I said before, is the real problem but I do have an interest in practising it.
Stoicism came as a great surprise!
There are some main points that I apply daily and also teach my kids.
Rationalize my thoughts:
“You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you” — Marcus Aurelius
Live in the present moment:
“Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand.” — Marcus Aurelius
Practice my “contemptuous expressions”:
“Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Perceptions like that — latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time.” — Marcus Aurelius
The truth and what is right:
“If it is not right, do not do it. It if is not true, do not say it” — Marcus Aurelius
These are all practical things to do, you can do while driving, in a meeting, etc.
If Stoicism and Buddhism were school subjects, I am sure the planet would be a calmer and smarter place.