People go on retreat because it enables them to have insight, and access to inner resources, of creativity, intelligence and love that they can’t reach as easily at home. This has proven itself from generation to generation, and in every culture where Buddhism has become established. When on retreat, we ‘dig a channel to the ocean’, so to speak, and then our daily practice is a matter of keeping this channel open, and drawing forth resources we all have available to use in our daily life, relationships, and social work.
Today marks two years since the first article appeared in LEVEKUNST art of life. Since then the circle of artists and writers has grown to 158 authors. Within a flower mandala of creativity together we have shared and inspired true values of kindness and insights. With 553 articles of essays, poetry and art read in 218 countries, Levekunst is a success that we can be proud of. Skimming through the articles and subjects gives a feeling that we all have created something intriguing and worthwhile.
My approach to astrology, and to most things in general, is to learn, to listen, to be open minded, to research, and then to check it out deeply for myself, using my common sense, my intuition, my body, contemplation, observation, waiting and cross checking. Somewhat like a scientist. Somewhat like a meditator. Somewhat like an artist. I don’t and never have taken things on blind faith, and I would highly recommend you don’t either when you read my posts.
As my meditations and contemplations deepened, I noticed a shift in my writing. I began to experience what felt like direct transmissions from the Source. Wisdom, uncluttered and unfiltered by my ego, began pouring out of me and onto the page. I imagine that all Gnostics or mystics throughout time have written from these deep meditative states.
Ryan Gosling as the male lead in La La Land reminds me of why I like daydreaming so much. Charmingly arrogant, unbearably sexy, effortlessly talented and just the right amount of tortured. He smelled nice through the screen. Do men like him still exist? Did they ever? Do loves like theirs still exist? Is it all just a daydream?
Better to buy a book than to buy weed! Sit, and do your meditation. Go, go, to the cemetery, practice there!’ So I did, for many, many years, night and day. Even though I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder aged twenty-five after many hospital admissions, only my practice kept me well. My faith grew exponentially as a result of this. Even though people mocked me, laughed at me and called me a madman, I continued practicing.
I am facing the loss of an old friend and she is, by turns, weak and failing and then blooming with renewed energy. The spark in her eyes returned as bright as ever. The ebb and flow so remarkable and yet so sudden as to question my role in this play. Who am I to decide when pain and suffering is too much to bear?
A real practitioner is at ease in any situation, no matter where. Along with being at ease, there is some sense of being happy, but sad at the same time, kind of tender, in the sense of being weary of or disenchanted with samsara. Even if samsara has been left behind, there is still weariness with the entirety of samsara. This tenderness embodies devotion and compassion. This tenderness is what causes one to not turn one’s back to even a single sentient being.
We’re not very good at showing affection to one another as a family, but none of us seem to be able to get enough from the dog. Though we very rarely hug one another — usually only before and after long periods apart — the dog gets hugs, kisses, snuggles, and baby talk from all six of us. I can’t remember the last time I gave someone in my family an affectionate kiss on the cheek, but the new puppy can lick my face until the end of next week if he wants too.