Monthly Archives: July 2012

5 Podcasts for the fun spiritual seeker

Interesting resources. Beware, for these may well change your perspective!

1. Alan Watts

To exercise economy of words here: the man knew what he was on about. Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, you name it.

“Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.”

More on the Alan Watt’s Podcast here.

2. Swamiji’s Podcast

“In 1962, after many requests, Swami Jyotirmayananda came to the West to spread the knowledge of India. As founder of Sanatan Dharma Mandir in Puerto Rico (1962-1969), Swamiji rendered unique service to humanity through his regular classes, weekly radio lectures in English and in Spanish, and numerous TV appearances. In March 1969, Swamiji moved to Miami, Florida, and established the ashram that has become the center for the international activities of the Yoga Research Foundation.”

A new one I’ve found. I like it a lot so far. Click here for more.

3. The Hip Tranquil Chick Podcast

The modern, curious & generous approach to yoga, holistic lifestyle, traces of spirituality and mostly self-improvement. Fun!

Tranquility available here.

4. Liloumace

Exuberant, young & fearless, Lilou brings to her audience breath after breath of fresh air. So much insight, knowledge and wisdom to be gained though her interviews and content.

Best viewed on Lilou’s Youtube Channel

5. Joel Osteen Ministries

Uplifting. A very welcomed message of hope amidst this nay-saying world. Here.

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Are Creative Types Messy People?

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Are creative types messy? Personally, I’m quite creative, if I do say so myself, and I am more than quite messy. I don’t replace stuff immediately after using them in order to not ruin my concentration on the task at hand. Stuff end up piling up all around and I usually dedicate some time to clearing up after everything is done and this clearing up process is sometimes quite cathartic.

I’ve long striven to be super-organised with everything around arranged in a tidy yet aesthetically pleasing manner. It’s been an uphill battle.

I came across, randomly, somewhere, that creative types are messy people and this got me curious. Quick googling came up with a bunch of hits and I find that this topic is not a novelty:

But contrarian voices can be heard in the wilderness. An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds…” – NY Times

Malcolm Gladwell says “… their lives and their brains, their brains are messy. Their imaginations are messy.  Why, because they don’t want to throw anything out.  Why don’t they want to throw anything out?  Because they believe on some level that there is always something of interest or value in whatever they encounter.  They know enough about how mysterious and serendipitous and unpredictable the creative process is that they realize that it’s dangerous to kind of make too hasty a judgment about the value of anything that they come across.

image: Sofia Coppola’s office back in the day (ca. The Virgin Suicides & the founding of MilkFed) | via matchbookmag {source}

The Trick to Meditation

I am a lazy meditator and usually spend a little meditative moment at night right before I fall asleep, lying down, no less. Naturally, I don’t get past the ‘falling alseep’ stage of meditation and have been stuck here for much too long i.e. years. I do realise that the one thing getting in the way of advancing my practice is lack of determination. Well. Disgraceful much.

Recently, I’ve stumbled upon two little nuggets of inspiration which have served to nudge along my practice quite significantly:

1. That’s the whole secret of meditation, that you become the watcher.

You are aloof, just the watcher…simply seeing all that is happening around you. You are not the doer, you are the watcher, that’s the whole secret of meditation, that you become the watcher.” – Osho

Simple, obvious, but oh so profound. Right thing heard at the right time makes great impact. I came across the above randomly in one of Osho’s youtube videos (below).

In a similar vein, have you heard of the technique of imagining a little guru sitting on the tip of your nose observation you breath? 😉

2. Presence

Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional.

For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain-body and mistake them for who you are.

To disidentify from the pain-body is to bring presence into the pain and thus transmute it. To disidentify from thinking is to be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior, especially the repetitive patterns of your mind and the roles played by the ego.

In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.

Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now, Chapter 8 – Love & Relationships

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon

I first came across the Invitation on the Hip Tranquil Chick podcast years ago and till now, it still flits through my head every now and then on its own accord:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are,
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreams for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,”Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Morning Routine

Winston Churchill

Despite all this activity Churchill’s daily routine changed little during these years. He awoke about 7:30 a.m. and remained in bed for a substantial breakfast and reading of mail and all the national newspapers. For the next couple of hours, still in bed, he worked, dictating to his secretaries.

At 11:00 a.m., he arose, bathed, and perhaps took a walk around the garden, and took a weak whisky and soda to his study.

At 1:00 p.m. he joined guests and family for a three-course lunch. Clementine drank claret, Winston champagne, preferable Pol Roger served at a specific temperature, port brandy and cigars. When lunch ended, about 3:30 p.m. he returned to his study to work, or supervised work on his estate, or played cards or backgammon with Clementine.

At 5:00 p.m., after another weak whisky and soda, he went to be for an hour and a half. He said this siesta, a habit gained in Cuba, allowed him to work 1 1/2 days in every 24 hours. At 6:30 p.m. he awoke, bathed again, and dressed for dinner at 8:00 p.m.

Dinner was the focal-point and highlight of Churchill’s day. Table talk, dominated by Churchill, was as important as the meal. Sometimes, depending on the company, drinks and cigars extended the event well past midnight. The guests retired, Churchill returned to his study for another hour or so of work.

Barack Obama

Although his presidency is barely a week old, some of Mr. Obama’s work habits are already becoming clear. He shows up at the Oval Office shortly before 9 in the morning, roughly two hours later than his early-to-bed, early-to-rise predecessor. Mr. Obama likes to have his workout — weights and cardio — first thing in the morning, at 6:45. (Mr. Bush slipped away to exercise midday.)

He reads several papers, eats breakfast with his family and helps pack his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, off to school before making the 30-second commute downstairs — a definite perk for a man trying to balance work and family life. He eats dinner with his family, then often returns to work; aides have seen him in the Oval Office as late as 10 p.m., reading briefing papers for the next day.

“Even as he is sober about these challenges, I have never seen him happier,” Mr. Axelrod said. “The chance to be under the same roof with his kids, essentially to live over the store, to be able to see them whenever he wants, to wake up with them, have breakfast and dinner with them — that has made him a very happy man.”

{source}