Monthly Archives: June 2013

Edwin Morgan

Balthazar: “ Visions are born in the sands of Arabia.”
Melchor: “ In India as well! …A wise man learns from every living thing.”

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A Better Life…..

THE TEN FOUNDATIONS FOR A BUILDING A BETTER LIFE

Everyday begin as a beginner – again and again. Keep humble, avoid elevating your status, promoting your talents, massaging your pride – forget it all and start again afresh, a clean slate. That way we are sympathetic to the potential of newness that can take us off into fresh growth – an adventure into the unfamiliar, the unknown that can potentially give us a much better life.

Be strong, be patient. We don’t know what life is planning for us – the adventure in store. Just remain with it and act positively. There are many bends and dips in the path and this is to be expected, befriend them all and learn from the experience. We can only really judge our lives in retrospect not necessarily whilst we are in the moment living them out. Work hard, do your best, trust in the process and enjoy the adventure.

Avoid dwelling in the past. As we get older there is a tendency to keep on looking back, constantly running a film through our minds of our past life, frame by frame of what we have done and what others have done to us but unfortunately there is the same old outcome – no change. This repeated habit, can, without doubt deplete our energy level that could be utilized for the new. Make peace with the past and make plans for the future. We are never too old for this re-engagement to life, a living, creative, moving forward life full of proactive pragmatism – give it a try!
Ad meliora – Towards better things

Look for openings. Whatever you are doing from the very large scale, right down to the smallest thing always bring an attitude to it that says:
“ How can I improve this? “
“ How can I make it better in some way? “
Stay with this presence, this concentrated attentiveness trying to detect openings that can allow you to enter even deeper into what you are trying to undertake. Explore with a penetrating mind and amaze yourself in the richness of this creative process.

Be confident in who you are. We are all work in progress none of us are perfect, far from it, so stand up for yourself – this is the first step. Feeling comfortable in your own skin, feeling comfortable about your own abilities will have a positive impact on your attitudes and importantly the result that accrue from them. No one can impose anything on you if you don’t give them permission. Stay strong, stay focussed, stay confident in who you are and your ability to do your very best under the prevailing circumstances. No one else, including yourself can ask for more.

We all want to do the right thing. But often we can’t quite manage it. We stumble and fall, despite our best intentions and often try to punish ourselves afterwards for our ‘ failings.’ This is undoubtedly misplaced and unproductive. We must recognize that we can always make ourselves available to try again, to make the next attempt a success. Life should be viewed as an on-going process of self-discovery and improvement where we are regularly monitoring our undertakings and trying to bring more light to them knowing that we will get there in the end.

Engagement with adversity will take us deeper into life. When adversity strikes our first response is most likely expressed in anger, dismay, bewilderment, denial, confusion, etc. This is understandable for we are all human and have an obvious aversion towards any suffering that heads our way. But what we do when it arrives is a different thing. If we bemoan our lot and get trapped in a negative cycle that prevent us from dealing with it appropriately then we can only suffer more. However, if we see this as an opportunity to go deeper within ourselves, to penetrate our depths in trying to find a way forward then we are assured of some form of eventual success. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “ If it doesn’t kill you it will strengthen you.”

Making the journey to your inner most centre of calm only takes seconds. In times of stress and discomfort remember this thought. It can provide you with a real, valuable source of the peace and power that you need to get your life back on track. Calm and inner peace just a few seconds away – just consider that! First we need to disentangle from our agitated thoughts by bringing our attention to our breath. Then we need to stay with its rhythm, in a relaxed engaging way giving no space for agitation and irritation to re-surface. Prolong this engagement for as long as you can. If possible take it into a mediation session which will, if practiced on a regular basis make a considerable, positive impact on your life.
“ When the minds is still the whole universe surrenders “
Lao Tzu

Don’t overstate or overrate your abilities. Do your work calmly, quietly and methodically, stay present and allow this feeling of working to feed through to accomplish whatever results you are trying to attain. Avoid entangling yourself up in pre-boastful claims and exaggerated talk about what you can achieve which can easily backfire to affect your performance, often detrimentally. People are not concerned about what you say you can do, they are only interested in what you deliver – the results. The time to be ‘ boastful, ‘ if at all is after your achievements, not before.

Give up your need to always be right. If we think in a fundamentalist way, that we are always right then chances are we are definitely wrong. Entrenched views that we cling to in order to protect ourselves, our need to be right could not be more misplaced. The world is far more complicated then we can give credit for and we have to accept this. Our one sided, ingrained, fixed ideas limit us and hence our growth potential. Try temporarily stepping outside the script of your own life, and its inherent belief systems then adopt a stance of rational, objective observation. Look at your views, ideas and beliefs and critically appraise their authenticity. Consider alternatives, adjustments, amendments in an on-going programme of re-assessment and re-evaluation. That way you will stay fresh and alive to the majesty of it all.

Michael Lewin

Wendell Berry

“ Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything readymade. Be afraid to know your neighbours, and to die. Then you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery anymore. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut way in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, everyday do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who doesn’t deserve it.….Give your approval to all that cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, and that you will not live to harvest….Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion – put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful, though you have considered the facts……Go with love into the fields. Lie easily in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiances to what is highest in your thoughts. As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave a sign to mark the trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.”

Saul Bellow

“ I feel art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayers too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.”

I celebrate…

“ I believe in the flesh and the appetites.
Seeing, hearing, feeling are miracles and each part of me is a miracle. Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from. The scent of these armpits – aroma finer than prayer. This head more than churches, bibles and all creeds. “

“ To render the body strong, clear and lovely is a religious duty.”

“ If anything is sacred the human body is sacred. “

Walt Whitman

Kerouac

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.