So, what exactly IS an English major supposed to do after college?
This is the beautiful problem that confounds us all, Andrea, and we must face it every morning with as much wit and bravery as we can summon up. What you do, exactly, is get out of bed, pee, put water on to boil for tea or coffee, put bread in the toaster, choose between the apricot and blueberry yoghurt, eat slowly and thoughtfully, take a shower, and put on clean clothes, and by this time you likely will know what comes next. Merce Cunningham faced this problem and so does Michelle Obama and Brett Favre and the Queen of Tonga. If I believed in the efficacy of long-range planning, I'd recommend it, but I believe in luck and improvisation and the gyroscope in your heart and the built-in b.s. detector that English majors are supposed to acquire, having created so much of it in our term papers.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here's something Vlad says in one of his posts that I found a bit amusing:
While siting at a workshop last week, I noticed that several people around me were having trouble paying attention and sitting still. The topic was interesting, the presenter was being extremely engaging and yet here they were, fidgeting. As part of an exercise in non-judgment and listening, attendants were asked to pair up and take turns give advice on problem areas in their partner’s lives. I was not surprised to see that patience was one of the top resources that people frequently wish they had more of...He then goes on to offer three meditation techniques to help us cultivate patience. Go on over there and check them out! Here's the post.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
When we come to a point of rest in our own being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest, and then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud becomes a revelation, and each person we meet a cosmos whose riches we can only glimpse.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
One Easy Step to Enlightenment
First off, and I do mean first
You know in your heart
that the times are changing
Oh so much slower than we thought
and you know in your heart
that the good guys and the bad guys
don't know any more than you what's going on
End of the World?
End of Time?
I'm here to tell you
and yes that is my job
It doesn't matter
This moment and only this moment, matter
It is your heart, your very soul
that will shape this moment
and when we, together
Awaken to the idea
that is this moment
we will reach out
without any thought for
what's in it for us
without any notion of our need
but reach out in one infinitesimal
for no other reason than to
In the Moment
-- Krev Roues
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
There's a nice little article about this book over on The Huffington Post that features Law & Order actor, Linus Roache.
I think I am the most important being in the world, but nobody else thinks it is about me, time doesn't think it is about me, space doesn't think it is about me, the planet doesn't think it is about me. It doesn't take much to get the message that it is actually not about me! But if somebody comes and steps on my toe or wants to take away my strawberries, then suddenly it is all about me again!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It is impossible to be at your best or your worst at all times. Who is always consistent? Everyone changes according to different situations and as they go through life's different phases. There is no point in feeling great pride or great shame simply because of temporary circumstances.Well! He really challenges black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking here, doesn't he?
Monday, July 20, 2009
The tendency to over-react when things go right or wrong brings suffering to ourselves and others involved with us. Thus our minds need training, so that we may find balance and stability whatever the outer circumstances. It is like training a horse that is frightened by the sound of fire. By gradually acquainting the horse with the noise of fire, he will no longer be surprised by it and will cease to panic when he hears it. Similarly, if in meditation exercises we confront anger and pain again and again, over a period of time, we will be able to face and deal with them in life.So, if distressing thoughts come up from time to time in meditation, that's actually what is supposed to happen!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The meditative principles teach us how.
"We cannot direct the wind... but we can adjust the sails."
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Rilke is the poet who so eloquently taught us that living the questions is really more important than searching for answers.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I think we are living in very exciting - if disturbing - times. When you consider all the pain and turmoil in the world, it's easy to think that we are regressing, rather than progressing. On the other hand, when you look at all the amazing things that are happening in different areas, you can see that an awakening is inevitable.Well, I don't know whether the destruction can be turned around or not. What I do know is that, whatever happens, I want to be counted among those who dedicated their efforts to the positive, life-enhancing approach.
There are groups and individuals all over the world striving to make this a better place to be for everyone. The catch-phrase of the moment is 'tipping point' - and everybody can lend their weight to ensuring that we tip into a positive, life-enhancing future, rather than sink further into a negative, destructive one.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In case you don't know much about Leonard Cohen, you can read about him here.
There is a strong message here about meditative practice as I'm sure you'll recognize.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And you know that I'm going to say that the meditation process - both formal sitting and the application of the principles to everyday life - makes it possible for us to cultivate that new way of looking at things. It really does! And not just superficially or temporarily, either. If we continue meditating and learning to let go of ego grasping, our way of looking at things truly changes radically.
One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
My dear friend, Liz Roome, reminded me of the following wonderful Carl Sandburg poem this morning:
Carl Sandburg is the person who once said that the ugliest word in the English language is "exclusive".
Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars,
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl,
So near you are, summer stars,
So near, strumming, strumming,
So lazy and hum-strumming.
Something to think about.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Meditation, in contrast to popular belief, is not deep concentration or the tuning out of external stimulus for the sake of transcending daily life. Meditation, rather, is a return to reality.We really need to let go of that seductive idea that in meditation we're going to tune the real world out. Such an approach is, rather, a way of cultivating the mind poison of delusion.
For most of us, the value in meditation comes from our lack of awareness in day to day living. In the activity of nearly all things we are constantly looking toward the next event, or musing over dead experiences and ideas. Very rarely do we see, touch, smell, hear, and contemplate our present.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Watch your way then, as a cautious traveler; and don't be gazing at that mountain or river in the distance, and saying, "How shall I ever get over them?" but keep to the present little inch that is before you, and accomplish that in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and the river can only be passed in the same way; and, when you come to them, you will come to the light and strength that belong to them.
-- M. A. Kelty
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
EXPERIENCESI'm very sorry. I forgot where I found this so I can't give you a link. Maybe I'll come across it again. If I do, I'll publish the link in an update.
A student went to see his meditation teacher and said, “My situation is horrible! I feel so distracted most of the time, or my legs ache, or I’m repeatedly falling asleep. It’s terrible.” Said the teacher matter-of-factly, “It will pass.”
A week later, the student returned to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive!” “It will pass,” replied the teacher.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Believing in yourself is not just for you; it's for every person who has touched your life in a significant way and for every person your life will touch the same way five minutes from now, or five centuries from now.
-- Jaye Miller
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
You know, so many slogans and sayings of the "conventional wisdom" variety warn of the terrible consequences of wasting time. This takes a whole new approach.
The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour
are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.
And, anyway, what some people call "wasting time", I call giving myself permission just to be. We all need that. And people around us need it in us, too!