As part of an 8-week MBSR course you keep a pleasant events diary, recording the experience, feelings (emotional and bodily), mood and thoughts, and as this has been in mind this week it struck me how many pleasant events there are in a day. The purpose of it is to focus the mind towards positive thoughts, away from negative ones, concentrating as Thay says, on 'what's not wrong' instead of what is wrong.
In the MSR workbook there is a page to record one pleasant event per day, but that doesn't allow for all the experiences that actually take place, even the ones maybe judged as unpleasant initially! Yesterday I had a mock viva with my supervisors in preparation for the real thing next week, and whilst I was very nervous beforehand, once we got into it and I was answering their questions it became very enjoyable. It was a pleasure to talk about the research in detail and reiterate points that Thay makes, demonstrating how they are realistic, viable propositions for daily life and not just theory or idealistic notions that have no relevance to real life.
So my diary for yesterday looks something like this;
Seeing friends again for the first time this year
sharing lunch with another friend
talking about Thay and his teachings
feeling positive about the up-coming viva instead of terrified
attending a meeting about a retreat coming up in March
sitting with my Sangha in the evening
enjoying the drive home along a dark and empty country road
sitting by a log fire with my husband
And that's only a few points in the day, a vast day full of richness and meetings and pleasant events.
Let's notice these to increase the positive and decrease the negative!