72. Urban Mindfulness

Cultivating Peace, Presence and Purpose in the Middle of It All
by Jonathan Kaplan

I am an urban dweller and I think I always will be. Nothing against the meticulously planned suburbs or the tranquil quiet of the country, but I need to be able to go to a museum at a moment’s notice or have Chinese food magically appear when I want it.  But as much as I love living in the city, it seems like a lot of other people do as well.  And that can lead to noise, strange smells, crowds and other by-products of lots of humans living in a combined space.  Urban Mindfulness offers us a Zen approach to dealing with the situations that arise from city life. 

The short chapters cover such topics as roommates, pets, waiting in lines, public transportation and finding pockets of nature.  I read through this pretty quickly as I skipped the things that didn’t apply to me (roommates, pets), but that is encouraged by the author.  One of my favorites tips was regarding the sound of sirens that we hear constantly living in the city (especially my neighborhood).  Instead of covering our ears or complaining about how the emergency vehicles speeding through traffic is inconveniencing us, why don’t we send positive thoughts, blessings and prayers (take your pick) to the professionals as they do their jobs and for the well-being of any victims involved. It doesn’t cost a thing and it can change your whole perspective on things.

It’s a short, quick read filled with powerful anecdotes for urban life.

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