Commonplace Wren

A Collection of Thoughts

Living Well

Meditations Chapter 2-5

Concentrate every minute… on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions.

Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.

You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life?

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 11/18/2023

Meditations Chapter 3-6

…then don't make room for anything … that might lead you astray, tempt you off the road, and leave you unable to devote yourself completely to achieving the goodness that is uniquely yours. It would be wrong for anything to stand between you and attaining goodness…

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 11/25/2023

Meditations Chapter 3-12

If you do the job in a principled way, with diligence, energy and patience, if you keep yourself free of distractions, and keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment–

If you can embrace this without fear or expectation–can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, as Nature intended, and in superhuman truthfulness (every word, every utterance)–then your life will be happy.

No one can prevent that.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 12/4/2023

Meditations Chapter 3-16

To welcome with affection what is sent by fate. Not to stain or disturb the spirit within him with a mess of false beliefs. Instead, to preserve it faithfully, by calmly obeying God—saying nothing untrue, doing nothing unjust. And if the others don’t acknowledge it—this life lived with simplicity, humility, cheerfulness—he doesn’t resent them for it, and isn’t deterred from following the road where it leads: to the end of life. An end to be approached in purity, in serenity, in acceptance, in peaceful unity with what must be.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 12/12/2023

Meditations Chapter 4-18

The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 12/26/2023

Meditations Chapter 4-24

If you seek tranquility, do less. Or (more accurately) do what’s essential — what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better.

Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, "Is this necessary?"

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 1/9/2024

Meditations Chapter 4-32

A key point to bear in mind: The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 1/11/2024

Meditations Chapter 5-9

Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human — however imperfectly — and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 2/1/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-23

When you deal with irrational animals, with things and circumstances, be generous and straightforward. You are rational; they are not. When you deal with fellow human beings, behave as one.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 3/28/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-26

Remember — your responsibilities can be broken down into individual parts as well. Concentrate on those, and finish the job methodically — without getting stirred up or meeting anger with anger.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 4/12/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-39

The things ordained for you – teach yourself to be at one with those. And to the people who share them with you – treat them with love. With real love.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 4/23/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-42

All of us are working on the same project. Some consciously, with understanding; some without knowing it.

...Some of us work in one way, and some in others. And those who complain and try to obstruct and thwart things - they help as much as anyone. The world needs them as well.

So make up your mind who you'll choose to work with. The force that directs all things will make good use of you regardless - will put you on its payroll and put you to work.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 5/7/2024