Monthly Archives: July 2014

Rumi

Out Beyond Ideas of Wrong doing and Right Doing
By Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
(1207 – 1273)
English version by Coleman Barks

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ’ each other ‘
doesn’t make any sense.

Theodore Roethke

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood —
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks — is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is —
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Exploring Creativity

Creativity, in all its diverse forms – from writing to painting, from sculpture to music, from dance to ceramics – is for everyone. As children we naturally carry with us this wonderful gift of self-expression but somehow, over time, it gradually erodes and then often dies without us necessarily noticing that it’s gone. We assume adulthood, undertake ‘ serious business, ’ befitting our new elevated status and forget about our previous joyous adventure into mystery – this is unforgiveable.

Creativity, in all its expressive forms, is a never ending journey of adventure and discovery. Never miss an opportunity to go with the journey, to experience the flow of the new.

Creativity expands and enlarges us, makes us more aware of the world and all that it offers up. It’s a way of paying attention, of looking at the details of life with a more focused vision.

Creativity requires you to stay in touch with what is happening in your field of interest, to seek out new developments, to critically appraise new research that can contribute to your artistic growth.

Creativity and the new technology are one. Don’t separate yourself from any relevant aspects of it that can move you forward into new areas and arenas.

Creativity is always available to us so don’t moan about not having enough time, facilities, material, etc. Just turn up and do some work, wherever and whenever you can.

Creativity embraces all mistakes as part of an ongoing, developmental journey so stay with it.

Creativity is not age specific; it’s open to everyone to explore, to enjoy its quest of discovery.

Creativity should avoid all notions of perfection because it often stifles our progress and prevents us from improving; it can even inhibit us from even starting if we listen too closely to its over-demanding voice.

Creativity, when engaged with mindfully in the full presence of the moment, is simply flow.

Creativity is discipline – the ability and desire to create whether the muses are with us or not. As Chuck Close says: “ Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Creativity is an engaged process where ideas just come out of it and influence us. All manner of things surface, things will happen and you are there in the thick of it wondering what you should do, and there is only really one conclusion – you must follow it.

Creativity can take us down so many different avenues: intellectual inquiry / contemplation / play / self-therapy / scientific research / mindfulness practice. That’s what makes it so fascinating and worthy of our full attention – it works on so many different and intriguing levels.

Creativity, in its fullest expression, overcomes all resistance. But ask yourself: what is resistance in the first place? For some it’s simply a marker on the road to eventual completion, a customary sign that says you are on the right track.

Michael Lewin
http://www.michaellewin.org

A Manifesto for Enjoying Life

 

 PLAY MORE.

THINK GOOD THOUGHTS.

LIVE LIFE FULLY.

SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE.

WALK IN THE RAIN AND FEEL ITS PRESENCE.

SURRENDER TO THE MOMENT AND FIND INNER PEACE.

DON’T FALL BACK IN FEAR, WALK FORWARD INTO ADVENTURE.

SPEND LESS AND SHARE MORE.

STRENGTHEN YOUR INNER CALM, YOUR INNER PEACE.

AVOID TOO MUCH TV AND LISTEN TO MUSIC, WRITE POETRY – NEVER FORGET, WE ARE HERE TO EXPRESS OURSELVES AND CREATE.

SEE WINTER AS A TIME FOR REST AND RECUPERATION.

CULTIVATE REFLECTIVE AWARENESS FOR DEEPER INSIGHT.

EAT ORGANIC.

SEE EVERYONE AS PART OF THE HUMAN FAMILY.

TRUST IN THE PROCESS, GIVE LIFE YOUR BEST SHOT.

EXERCISE MORE – DIG THE GARDEN.

SPONSOR A GOOD CAUSE AND BECOME INVOLVED.

LIVE GREEN AND STAY GREEN.

WORK LESS, RELAX MORE.

ENRICH YOUR LIFE – TAKE MORE CHANCES.

RECYCLE AND HELP SAVE THE PLANET.

CONSUME LESS AND REPAIR MORE.

TREAT YOUR TIME AS A VALUABLE CURRENCY, AS A PRECIOUS GIFT.

ALWAYS SHOW COURTESY TO OTHER – MAKE IT A COMMITTED PRACTICE.

TAKE UP A CRAFT – POTTERY, QUILTING, WOODWORK AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE.

INVEST IN YOUR LIFE WITH FULL COMMITMENT.

TREAT EVERY DAY AS AN ADVENTURE.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, YOUR DEEPER INTUITION.

ALWAYS ENDEAVOUR TO REMAIN GROUNDED IN THE SPIRIT OF LOVE – LOVE IS EVERYTHING.

FINALLY A FEW WORDS FROM THE SPANISH POET LOPE DE VEGA:

“With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.”

 Michael Lewin

http://www.michaellewin.org

Julia Cameron

Art is a spiritual transaction. Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance – often visible to us, but invisible to those around us. Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it.

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity. . . . Creativity is an experience – to my eye, a spiritual experience. It does not matter which way you think of it: creativity leading to spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not make a distinction between the two. In the face of such experience, the whole question of belief is rendered obsolete. As Carl Jung answered the question of belief late in his life, “I don’t believe; I know.”

The Journey of New Becoming

“Am I ready for the journey? “ I asked myself.
The voice whispered back to me: “ You ARE the journey, it starts with you and finishes with you. All you have to do is engage authentically with it and allow its presence to fill you completely.”
From then on I tried to remember this every single day.

When we are engaged with a deep silence, stillness and solitude a different voice can surface within calling us to leave our existing life – this we must follow .

We walk around not realizing that the decisions we reach in life are often already made on some deeper level and therefore our rational thinking process, that arrives at them, somehow seems displaced.

There is only one instruction for living: BE BRAVE.

Do not be too harsh and judgemental on yourself. ‘ Gentle ’ is the key word if you want to grow as an individual. Become your own best friend and support yourself. Let your higher self walk along side to support and guide you in all that is undertaken.

Difficulties are very much a part of the fullness of life. Recognize and work with this reality.

The power to transform your life, for the better, lies within you and nowhere else.

Failure? What is failure if not an invitation to learn and improve on the road to eventual success.

All life’s difficulties are our teachers. Understand what they are saying, make the necessary adjustments, and move on.

How would we really learn unless there were difficulties arising in our lives giving us corrective feedback?

In silence, in stillness we can start to discover a vast interior landscape of potential within us. Explore this space.

There are times when you will need to abandon the logic of your own mind – your overly rational thinking – and trust in the intuitive voice from deep inside you. But beware: this is likely to take you off into a different life.

The future is a gift to make of it what you will.

Grow and grow….If there is no recognizable growth where is the life?

Do not become a hermit in the desert of your unlived, unfulfilled life.

Have we resigned ourselves to fatalistic outcomes or are we trying to make progressive steps forward in our lives? Constantly ask yourself this question.

Michael Lewin
http://www.michaellewin.org