Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Wonderful World of Being in the Moment

When I look at what some people have accomplished and what they know in the realm of mindfulness, I realize that it is going to take me several years to even begin to know what I want to know on the subject. In the field of mindfulness, I am truly a novice; however, I am passionate about it and eager to know more. My interest in the subject began over twenty years ago, in my teens; however, since that time, my life has taken many twists and turns so that I did not pursue it with the gusto that I desired. Now, I have come back to the world of mindfulness and want to dive in full force. One of my inspirations for returning to this concept is the blogosphere. There are some amazing people out there who are blogging about mindfulness and related concepts. Some may wonder why I follow so many blogs about the same subject. The reason is that I get something different from each one. Each person has their own unique "flavor" in tone of writing as well as perception and definition of mindfulness. Each blogger adds their own spice to the wonderful world of being in the moment.

Because of the vast amount of value I have gotten from these beautiful bloggers, I want to take the time to really give them credit for how much they have taught and inspired me so I am going to do a post on each of them. I guess I should start with the first blogger who inspired me, Leo Babuta. He is a blogging legend at this point and has many followers and fans. The reason for this is multi-faceted. What I like about him is he is a good writer and comes across as genuine. I also like him because his writing to me is crisp and fresh, like a cool sip of lemon/lime soda. There is something clear and pure about his way of presenting things. He also comes across as very human in his writing. I first started reading his blog at Now, my favorite blog of his is What is brilliant about his blog on minimaism is the ideas are so simple yet we need reminding. It is about being mindful of what we need versus what we want. In a world of compulsive consumption, Leo writes about bare essentials and the beauty of bare essentials. I also love reading this blog because he does not act like he has perfected the art of minimalism. He talks about his struggles with it and how he has tried to adapt this philosophy to his life. He addresses not just excess in terms of material goods but excess of actions like spending so much time on the internet or watching television. He also challenges social and cultural norms of what a person "needs" to be happy. It reminds me to question why I hold on to things I do not really need and to start to let go of excess. I feel very lucky to be able to read his blogs!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Personal Gospel

Part of being mindful is knowing yourself; paying attention to yourself. Part of paying attention to yourself is noting what attracts you. One aspect of how we know ourselves is by the music we like. I call this a personal gospel by which I mean songs that express an individual's point of view or personal life philosophy. The personal gospel is more than that, though. It is the moment when I feel completely in tune with a song where the sound connects with me and the lyrics express something that resonates deeply with me. Some songs that I consider in this "genre" are:

U2's "One"

Sting's "All This Time"

John Lennon's "Instant Karma"

I'd love to know what other people include in their "gospels".

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Art of Art

above photo taken by me
 In my creative expressions, I am seeking a way to capture the energy of a moment. With photography, it may just be the way a tree curves against the sky or the way the light hits a certain object. To me, the most successul art is when the artist manages to express something intensely personal that is also universal. When something from deep inside the artist touches something deep inside the audience, it unites us in our humanity. This very aspect of art which makes it worthwhile and miraculous is exactly what makes it difficult to master.  That is art's connection to mindfulness--real art is the ultmate expression of mindfulness--being completely in the flow of  a moment.

Therefore, when I try to create something, I am striving for representing my true self in as genuine a way as possible hoping that others will "recognize" it in themselves. This process is long and never-ending; a constantly evolving mission to know my true self and then express it. It is also why I love so many genres of art and am a fan of so many artists who do a wonderful job of creating something genuine and universal. 

I recently read a very thoughtful post about art from Pat Burn's blog (I am a fan of her art): the secret message in art
I would love to know other people's opinions on this topic!