Being an Artist
I will be an artist today and speak what is my innermost truth, share what is in my mind and heart. An artist’s job is both to reflect and lead. It is only when I am willing to be honest that I am close to my own art. Art is not about being right. If it were, I would never create. I will decode life in my own way today and express myself as me.
I will be me.
Nobody really knows why we’re here, obviously. There
are big pieces missing from the pictures offered us by science
and religion. Based on our present knowledge, the
whole thing simply doesn’t make sense. But what’s so
wonderful is that we want it to make sense. and our
need for meaning drives us relentlessly to create. Cave
paintings, totem poles, villages, cathedrals-it is a
never-ending process. Sometimes I think we have become
the creative gods and goddesses of our myths and dreams.
If we do have a purpose, maybe it is to join with the evolutionary
process through our complex artistic creation.
Our stories and poems and lasers are as significant as
diamonds or gold or angelfish.
A Quiet Love of Life
I love my life today. Waking up, enjoying my morning rituals, easing into my day – all of these little moments provide a pleasant and comfortable entry into morning. Today it is enough just to be alive, just to be here. The richest part of my life is spent in my own mind. The contents of my thoughts and the feeling states they evoke are precious to me, they hold me in an inner world of pleasure and beauty. My soul is with me today. It is here with my morning coffee, the paper, the sunlight streaming through the window, a scattered pile of papers. My soul is not far away and separate – it is the very energy that fuels my thoughts, that moves my hand.
Soul is a daily thing.
Lord, my mind is not noisy with desires,
and my heart has satisfied its longing.
I do not care about religion or anything that is not you.
I have soothed and quieted my soul, like a child at its mother’s
My soul is as peaceful as a child sleeping in its mother’s arms.
I recognize that through deep personal suffering comes soul growth. I connect with soul through my inner self. The more deeply I am able to go within, the deeper my relationship with my own soul. Why should life be easy? Isn’t my insistence on its being easy a sort of immaturity? Anyone who has truly felt life knows that there is pain along with pleasure, loss along with gain, fullness along with emptiness. There is a purity and a nobility to suffering that brings me closer to my own divine nature and burns away the debris that blocks my path toward soul. My character is formed in the furnace of my soul, shaped from and strengthened constantly by trying to pull out of myself the best that I have to offer at that time. When I turn my back on what is difficult and painful in life, I weaken my character.
I am willing to feel.
When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold. Whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.
Faith in My World
I am part of an exciting period in history. Those who have given up on the world are not seeing what I am seeing. I see spirit at work. I see deep world cleansing. I see people who are more aware and willing to look at themselves and society. The barricades that used to divide countries and people are falling along with rigid and repressive methods of controlling people. This is a world in flux, moving toward something better.
I will have faith in my world.
This spiritual urge is undeniable. From the beginning of human history, we have been embarked on a search for transcendent meaning. It is as if we were genetically coded to believe that there is a greater force and mystery framing our lives. Which is why the next great improvement in the human condition will occur not through a millennial faith in technology but by uncovering a new, more spiritually satisfying notion of “progress.” one that requires a vertical leap of faith, a leap in our inner development. The answer is not to ignore these issues in schools and institutions. It is to fling open the doors.
The Dynamic of Blame
Blaming another person can become a way of positioning the self as a victim. When children are young and see their parents as the entire world, they are extremely vulnerable and dependent upon their parents’ opinions. If their parent belittles them and makes them feel in the wrong, they will eventually come to do the same, turning that opinion inward onto themselves. In this case, part of the process of healing will be to turn self-hatred outward – back toward the parent as a way of righting the original distortion. This, however, is only a part of the process. Continued healing will happen when the parent is knocked off the pedestal and no longer seen as the ultimate authority when the parents become human for the child, who is now an adult, and when that child can see them with understanding and perspective, realizing that they, too, had a history.
I am not my parents’ opinion of me.
One must first learn to live with one’s self before one blames others.
I believe in the power of my own experience. I trust my own eyes, my own senses. There is no need for me to be dragged from doctrine to doctrine, from belief to belief. I have an inner voice. When I allow myself to be still and listen, I can hear it. There is a difference between being self-indulgent and self-caring. Self-indulgence is an attempt to bribe myself, to get away from what is really going on. Self-caring is treating myself as I wish to be treated. When I am caring rather than indulgent, the messages I get from within are clearer and better reflect truth.
I make up my own mind.
Believe nothing, 0 monks, merely because you have been told it… or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that do believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
– attributed to Buddha
A Breath of Living Spirit
I appreciate the miracle of life. Today I do not need answers and explanations about life in order to feel life is worthwhile. Instead, I will experience it. Talking about life is different from experiencing it. Even understanding life is unnecessary if I am really willing to lift the veil that separates me from the mystery of the present moment, and to allow meaning to reveal itself to me. I am willing to have a personal experience of soul. No one need tell me what soul is, no one need give me permission to live in soul awareness. I am here, I am surrounded by inexplicable miracles. It is enough.
I am part of the mystery.
The soul is a breath of living spirit,
That with excellent sensitivity,
permeates the entire body to give it life.
The breath of the air makes the earth fruitful.
Thus the air is the soul of the earth,
moistening it: greening it.
Hildegard of Bingen
When I was a child, I sometimes felt overwhelmed by situations that I felt were out of control and so, as a childhood defense, I may have repressed the feelings, such as fear, anger or hurt, associated with particular experiences because I felt I could not cope with them in any other way. When, as an adult, feelings from the past get triggered by a present-day circumstance, I can be confused by my own reaction. I can have a hard time feeling these emotions as an adult because in addition to triggering the repressed feeling, the fear and terror from childhood associated with the feeling also get triggered. Then, I scare myself all over again. This is one way in which my past can negatively impact my present. Today I will pay attention to what is being triggered within me that may have been repressed at an earlier time in my life.
I will examine repressed material.
A poorly extinguished fire is quickly re-ignited.