Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 02/19/2018

Keeping the Mind Occupied

In so many ways, my intentions are to clear the mind. To simplify. To purify. And yet, for all of my efforts I am still a lay man with rent to pay and a business to run and, when I’m ot heedful, I can get into a whole load of trouble. That’s why, in addition to pursuing the Dhamma I’ve decided to take up a learning and mental fitness routine as well.

You see, I’ve alway been fascinated by languages in the most elemental of ways and spent hours reading about them, inventing my own and trying to learn them. Thanks to technology I’m now able to learn a few more at my leisure. Currently I’m really working on Portuguese (which is a little like cheating) and Chinese. Once I complete the Duolingo course of the former I’ll move onto French. If anyone is interested in joining me there here is my profile:

In addition, I’ve also added the goal of reading a book a week, playing a quick game of chess each day and using lumosity once a day. Why? To help keep my mind sharp and occupied so that I can get the hang of this brahmacariya thing. Wish me luck and join me if you feel so inclined.


  1. You’re taking on so many mental projects. What form of Buddhism are you practicing? I’m over here emptying my mind and recognizing that I am not the doer. But it seems like you are filling your mind.

    Duolingo is a great language learning app. You should check out Mango Languages. It’s great.

    • Thank you. Yes, it certainly seems that way. I guess I’m using the approach recommended by Lord Buddha in the Vitakkasanthana Sutta.

      • The removal of thought?

      • The removal of distracting or unskilled thinking.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.