My favorite is Nothing, just Focusing on my outward breath, necessary daily in the AM and PM. (For how to’s I recommend Pema Chodron and Jon Kabat-Zinn)
I also do a Druid Prayer Bead meditation 3 times a week.
And when my mind is too busy for even that, I put on my Meditation Podcasts on my Ipod and lay down.
That is just what works for me.
If I could come back as an animal I would certainly be crow. They are intelligent, community oriented, beautiful and they can fly. I am certain no one who knows me is surprised at this. Coyotes, dragonflies and Kermode bear are runners up, in that order.
Time is only a perception, so it is on this perception, not page count, I will answer this prompt.
The longest book I ever read was Ulysses by James Joyce. It was a "new" edition and was a required review inclusion for my column, so its heft was emphasized by time constraint. I remember that I started my review with the statement "There are two kinds of people in the literary world, those who will tell you they have read James Joyce "Ulysses" in its entirety with relish, and those who prefer truth to pretension." I appreciated its art, its shock value and Joyce’s talent but truly felt much of the praise given to the tome reeked of "the Emperor’s New Clothes" syndrome, right down to the intricate and intimate level Joyce’s inner neurosis were nakedly dangled in our faces. Someday I may read it again,just to see if my opinion has changed.
The shortest is tough, but recent books that were devoured so quickly I only wished for more deliciousness and therefore had to re-read and savor again and again are James Owen’s "Here There Be Dragons", Claudia Emerson’s "late wife", and most recently a collection called "Bordertown", in particular the final story by Charles de Lint.
The roll of loving faithful husband, my favorite of his rolls and probably the best acting he’s done. (Was that too snarky?)
I love pancakes.
Best pancakes ever are homemade pumpkin pancakes with either my own lime curd or Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter with a nice squirt of freshly whipped cream. YUM!
Curious, Intelligent, Chivalrous, Droll, Spiritual
Curious (Let learning new things and seeing new places be an ultimate turn on)
Intelligent (Innate aptitude is only a part of this, it also means someone who chooses to learn from each experience)
Responsible (Someone who takes responsibility for their personal physical health and hygiene, financial affairs, and the big things like ecology and peace as well)
Chivalrous (marked by honour, generosity and courtesy)
Droll (having a humorous, whimsical, or odd quality)
Spiritual (seeker and practicioner of any form of enlightenement secure enough in thier own journey to support my path without them necessarily being the same)
Listed in no particular order as All attributes are equally weighted, and it is more my personal goal to be that person than it is my goal to meet that person but this was a good exercise as I am fleshing out my "Hero" in my current novel-under-construction.
Short. It was very short.
The line between absorbing fun and addiction is integrity. There are three ways to tell if something is a recreational choice/ habit or if it has become an addiction.
The first is: Are you telling any lies especially to those you love about where, when, how much, how often you participate in this recreation? If not, no matter what the answers, probably not an addiction. Likewise, no matter how minimal the time spent, if you are lying about this activity then the behavior pattern is addictive.
The second is: Have you missed work, school or important family activities to do this activity? Are you frequently late or unprepared at work, school or home do to prolonging your participation in this activity?" If the answer is yes then the behavior is addictive and warping your priorities.
The third is: Are you taking long term risks with your health to continue this activity even after becoming aware that your health and performance is suffering? In gaming this could mean frequent all-nighters, pounding "monster" drinks to stay awake all night then driving a motor vehicle for instance…
If one of these is yes. Try just taking a break from the activity and see if you can. If you can’t then yes, it is an addiction and time to cold turkey it till you can just approach it as a game.
If two of these are yes, put the game controller down now or step away from the computer. Get in touch with what you are running away from and get a life again, then maybe you can play again.
If three of these are yes. Get help.
My patronus is the crow (not Raven, Crow), although Coyote’s and Bears are my frequent teachers and protectors as well.What is ironic is that these are my animal protectors from an Italian/European Strega background (Wild Yellow Dog was how I knew Coyote growing up) and now I live in the southwest where they play the same roles in the stories. The crow is wise, playful and very loyal. One cannot know crows well without admiring and befriending the species, like many (including humuns) whose jobs are in clean-up Corvids are unfortunately not popular in modern society except for the angst/horror image of ‘Poe’ish Ravens.
That is a very tough question. Many ideas come to mind from the obvious like Homer or Plato or the Tao Te Ching and then circled to the usual suspects like Emerson or Thoreau and then sallied to classical but fun writers like Dickens, Hugo, Bronte, and Twain then I think of current authors whose genius will resonate past their deaths and books have reached Italo Calvino, the author of If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, description of a classic: ‘A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say’. These are authors like Barbara Kingsolver, like Toni Morrison, and A.S. Byatt and Ian McEwan and then took a sharp turn into the books I can never forever put down and also meet Calvino’s description of a classic like C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, James Owen’, Charles de Lint’s Newford books, Stephan Kings Gunslinger series and JK Rowling. The I finally settled on a young readers chapter book called "Wrinkle In Time." by Madeliene L’Engle.
Cause if you can’t pick a "best", pick a "first". This little book has it all including the infamous first line "It was a dark and stormy night…"