Monthly Archives: August 2014

Reflections on Life’s Path

Go deep into life; make it a binding commitment. To live on the surface of things, to seek pleasure in only superficial satisfactions, that quickly evaporate, is a denial of your real self, the deeper self that knows of richer things.

Real empowerment often comes through the grace of giving way, letting go of the will that forces and controls. We are not fully in charge of our lives because they are situated in a bigger, more complex dynamic called life. And once we acknowledge this reality; place our faith in its power to guide and lead us then we will undoubtedly be brought to new horizons.

In our fast paced world we all need to cultivate more patience – the ability to sit with the rhythms of life rather than impose our speeded up version. This more relaxed mode of being will then pay enormous dividends in terms of a diminishment of stress, anxiety and irritation levels.

Life, in all its infinite richness, is full of potential so make certain you find yours.

We must recognize and celebrate what is individual about ourselves. Never aspire to a success that is an imitation of others. We must all follow our own paths and discover what constitutes ‘ success ‘ for us alone.

Finding out who we are and our mission in life is of paramount importance. And if we don’t pursue this quest then we run the risk of becoming someone else – someone we are not meant to be.

Be thoughtful in the decision making process because the decisions we make in life eventually come around and in turn, make us.

Life rewards commitment, passion and the desire to do well.

“ To fall into habit is to begin to cease to be.” Miguel De Unamuno. Try to remember these words when you feel you are repeating behaviours that are getting the same, old results. From this awareness of habit newness can come to reinvigorate and enliven your life.

Never dismiss, out of hand, the minutiae of life. Often the small things magnified take on the cloak of grandeur .

Try putting boundaries around your pain. To keep honouring it with your attention is to commit to its enlargement. If you allow it to spill out all over the place it will start to deplete you and eventually run your life instead of you.

Don’t allow your life to float by unattended, without any real presence, as if it was part of a narrative, a story line that has its own controlling dynamic that sweeps you up and takes you away of its own accord. Your life should be in your own control rather than situated in a movie in which you are acting out a predetermined movie script.

Life should be about breaking new ground, venturing into unexplored landscapes. Staying fixed in the rigid confines of a closed down self will get us nowhere. We must open up and venture forth knowing that the universe will support our endeavours.

So much of our lives fall between the gaps of the unsayable, the unrecognized, the unexamined and we must acknowledge this truth. We are not here to know everything . The world is surrounded and penetrated by deep mystery; of this we can be certain.

Make certain that the choices you make are the determining factors in your life not just chance. To leave things to chance is a risky affair that may well deliver the wrong things for you.

Do not construct barriers in front of your dreams and visions. They surface in our lives for a purpose. They are there to pursue, explore and develop as part of an ongoing adventure into life.

Never feel guilty about the rest you take for it is often in rest that we are able, on an unconscious level, to find solutions to tricky problems that have been bothering us.

Don’t live your life only to find out that it might be all a dreadful mistake. Awaken to the reality of this astonishing world, that contains so many infinite possibilities, and start to live the life you were meant to.

In order to manage change effectively we need to undertake whatever necessary preparations are needed in order to meet it as part of our evolving practice with experiment and discovery.

Everything that we are, our entire being, should be gathered up regularly and poured into meditation / prayer.

Michael Lewin
http://www.michaellewin.org

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Chinese Story

Getting Out of the Rut

Once upon a time there was an Emperor of China who thought he
was dying, so weak, listless and depressed was he. Nothing
pleased him any more and his advisers and physicians, unable to
come up with any cure for his malaise, feared for their lives as the
Emperor became more and more irritable every day. They
scoured the land for anyone who might help them to heal their
master and restore him to good spirits. They were overjoyed when
one day a Taoist sage turned up at the court claiming to have just
the right remedy for the Emperor’s disease. ‘There is,’ he said to
the ill-tempered Emperor, ‘a precious stone in your garden which
will restore you. It is a magic gem and buried deep. Find it, and
you will be well again.’ The Emperor immediately started to give
orders, but the impassive old man cut him short. ‘No sir, others
can not do it for you, for only you can find it.’
Grudgingly, the Emperor heaved himself out of the bed from
which he had not moved for weeks, called for a spade, and
accompanied by the sage and curious counsellors, headed for the
garden which surrounded the palace. They eventually came to a
halt at the spot indicated by the sage. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘is where you
have to dig. Remember, the stone is buried deep.’ The Emperor set
to work. Day one passed with him puffing and blowing with the
unaccustomed effort — but without unearthing the stone. Day two
passed in the same way, the Emperor by now almost invisible in
the deep hole but clearly audible as he cursed the sage and
threatened execution if he proved to be lying. That night the
Emperor’s snores could be heard throughout the palace as he slept
more deeply than ever before in his life. On the third day his
guards were startled early in the morning when he cheerfully
called for a hearty breakfast and then set off, humming to himself,
to resume his digging. By how the hole was very deep and from it
the astonished courtiers heard the recently moribund Emperor
singing to himself as he dug away. Relieved, they summoned the
sage and asked him how long it would be before their master
found the precious stone. ‘Sounds like he’s found it already’, was
the answer. But by now the Emperor (who was no fool) had also
got the message. ‘Who needs a stone?’ he laughed at the end of the
day. ‘Thanks to that old rascal, I’ve never felt better in my life. He
shall be rewarded!’

Reflections on Creativity

Constantly remain open to the new in your life and your work. Cultivate this receptivity as a daily practice to expand you.

Simplify the creative process as much as you possibly can through looking closely at your working methodologies. Try to discover different, more productive ways of working.

Creativity is not a special preserve only for the privileged – it’s for everyone.
With the internet and social network sites our town becomes the world, we are no longer restricted by geography.

Never allow ‘creative blocks ‘ to stop you from working, just continue your craft with a raised ’ perfection/ accepting bar ’ allowing more work to flow through.

Be daring – try something radically different.

‘Success’ is an inner evaluation not an outer one.

See effective communication as a vital part of your life.

Art practice needn’t be solely restricted to a studio – the new technology is changing everything.

Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative path, accept this reality and push yourself forward by learning from them.

Anything that stops us from working at our art ( however pleasurable ) is a form of resistance and must be recognized as such.

Play like a child. Adult behaviour often gets in the way of our potential for throwing up new, creative ideas and solutions.

We are all unique and the obligation is to bring forth an expression of that uniqueness, to give it a life.

Age is not a problem – It’s never too late to engage with the creative process.

Never permit a lack of talent to get in your way of producing work.

Procrastination is the enemy of the artist so be mindful of its surfacing in your life and ignore it.

Research your area of interest, study what similar practitioners are doing.

For every snag/ problem/ glitch/difficulty we face in our work – and life in general -there is a corresponding solution, if only we look deeply enough.

Any creative endeavour requires persistency and tenacity if it is to succeed. Energize yourself, give the process your best shot and see where it will take you. You never know – your best work could be waiting just around the corner, work that could renew and invigorate your whole life.

Michael Lewin
http://www.michaellewin.org

Reality

“….I refuse to be intimidated by reality
anymore. After all, what is reality anyway?
Nothing but a collective hunch….I made
some studies, and reality is the leading
cause of stress among those in touch with
it. I can take it in small doses, but as a
lifestyle I found it too confining.”

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
Wagner