Zen, Tea, and the Art of Life Management

This is a Zen-focused panel featuring Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Susan O’Connell of San Francisco Zen Center, and yours truly.

The content starts at tea, moves to daily rituals, and spans many topics related to good living and productive living, which are not always the same thing. It also answers the question: is Tim Ferriss really as organized as you think he is? Short answer: no, and that should make you happy.

Reader Steven Luibrand pointed out an important omission in the video:

Unfortunately the best question asked at the entire Zen and Tea event (IMHO) didn’t make it on the video, so for those readers not fortunate enough to be there, it’s transcribed (read: liberally paraphrased) below:

Q: If you could give everyone here a “homework assignment” so to speak, something to do that would dramatically impact their life, what would it be?

Jesse: “Walk around with your phone turned off. Unplug. I like to spend time unplugged, and its like being in another world. Going down Market St. watching all the people on their iPhones and crackberries makes me feel like I just dropped out of the Matrix.”

Susan: “Earlier Tim mentioned that doing something five times consecutively is the magic number that forms a habit. My assignment is: for the next five days, just sit. Set a timer for five minutes, and just sit. Don’t try to meditate, don’t try to do anything. Just sit.”

Tim: “Earlier I mentioned long dinners, but I won’t count that…

[Take long dinners with >3 friends at least once per week. This is happiness alchemy.]

… everyone here probably uses some form of digital calendar. Put in an event that repeats every Tuesday that says “PLAN WEEKEND.” Then come Saturday you have plans, so no gadgets. Leave the computer off, and get outside.”

Leo: “Do one thing at a time. Just one thing. In other words: Single-Task.”

QOD: Do you have a helpful morning or pre-bed ritual? If so, please share in the comments.


Odds and Ends: Signed 4HB Copies

Thank you all so much for the amazing response to The 4-Hour Body announcement! Just a quick note, as a few people have asked: the only signed copies were those sold via BN.com, which are now sold-out. None of the Amazon copies are signed at this point. If that means you need to cancel orders, I completely understand and apologize for any confusion. Thank you again!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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229 Replies to “Zen, Tea, and the Art of Life Management”

  1. Oh this is a goodie…

    Wake up…jump on wife. Jump off wife (thats the 3 min cardio sorted). Stagger in to the world to release children from bedroom (two children so maybe thats multitasking…bad dog!). Eat a bowl of cornflakes for brekkie (it has a chicken on the box so that is nearly as good as eggs for breakfast.)

    Head off to work at my utterly pointless job which is slowly killing me (I knew that years ago but after reading 4HWW and Tim…now I REALLY REALLY know it.

    Wait 8 hours, come home to the real world, sync with the family, catch up on the new rich and try to find that elusive muse. Now thats a routine.

  2. Thanks Tim for posting the video. It was fun hearing all you talk about the tweaks to being present. I love your unique spin on things. So many people take this stuff way to seriously and then wonder why their life sucks.

  3. Great post! I really enjoyed the video. My morning ritual starts with 3 early riser kids that always beat me and my wife out of bed. My night ritual is trying to stay awake while reading stories. I need balance, I need Zen!