Thursday, June 26, 2014

Surprise

Everyday is a surprise
You wake up in the morning
And suddenly it's different from yesterday

Perhaps it's useful to experiment
with different ways of expression
in writing, in recording, etc.
Shake things up slightly
Be a little more spontaneous 
not so worried that the "English teacher"
is going to come by and grade you down
for using the "wrong" format for a word

Life and language and art
are infinitely wide open
Why close ourselves off so much from the ultimate sources of creation which we are reflecting in every moment of living with every breath?

Be not worried
Express yourself
Like a child again
All life evolved on this Earth as acts of creation
Some worked; some failed
and with what is called "natural selection" 
leading to evolution of consciousness
leading to technology
leading to this computer
leading to the extension of 
this mind
this moment
this expression
this little act 
this spontaneous
creation  
here and now

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Still Point of the Turning World

Meditation talk at Berkeley City College, June 24, 2014. Title of talk comes from a line in T.S. Eliot's "Burnt Norton" within the Four Quartets.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grounding

We stand on the earth. But we might not be “grounded” – meaning that our heads are “in the clouds”. Mastery is when we are planted here and now in this spot. Rooted in place. So that we cannot be easily pushed over for others who are not being with truth. 

Grounding is a Qi Gong practice. Do the “horse pose”. It is fundamental. Stand with your knees relaxed. Back erect, comfortably, non-forced, yet straight. Your hands softly open and turned inward toward your belly. Arms extending outward a little. (Many variations on this pose exist!) 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not Knowing

Young people in competitive universities often find "not knowing" to be utterly frightening. For them, it feels like life depends on "getting it right". That lesson learned in school often extends into the rest of life. This is unfortunate. Embracing not knowing is "divine ignorance" - it opens us to the possibilities of all that can be. Learning to live with the unknown and knowing that we don't know - may well be the beginning of true wisdom. It is absolutely humbling how little we do know about anything - including our deepest selves. Coming to knowing that we don't know is the cutting edge of wisdom. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Doing Not Doing

"Doing not doing" one possible translation of the Chinese phrase "wei wu wei". It suggests a state of effortless being and action. This is one of the most important ideas within the Tao te Ching.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Unbounded Knowledge

Universities and colleges put boundaries on knowledge. All the arts, letters, sciences are bound within divisions and departments. Of course there is too much knowledge for any one person to grasp. Still, I wonder if we could better serve education by keeping in mind that the fragmentation of knowledge is a convenience not a reality. Real knowledge is unbounded. The mind is happiest when it glimpses the interconnection of all things.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Everyday is different, everyday is new

Everyday is different, everyday is new. We wake up in the morning often surprised by how we feel "today". Suddenly, what seemed important yesterday is not important. Suddenly, something is harder or easier today. Always, somewhat of a surprise as we wake up to today

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Being a Philosopher-at-Large

From time to time, I feel that I'm really a "philosopher-at-large". It's one of my jobs in this life. I reflect on things. I am not a writer, but more a speaker. That's why I use audio so much. That which appears real to me is often unspeakable and un-writable. The best I can do is sing or write a spontaneous poem. So here I am - reflecting on myself, in public, about this occupation of philosopher-at-large. Thankful for so many people who keep visiting this philosopher-at-large blog over all these years. You keep me going.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Sound tracks remixed by listeners of my SoundCloud oral teaching uploads. An amazing development in my work as a "philosopher-at-large".

Re-mix by americ