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446 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - If This Was My Last Da... · 0 replies · +1 points

Hi Vishen-

Your comment about free Dutch beer "flowing" in the waiting lounge of the Amsterdam airport took me back to the Seventies when I took free tour of the Heiniken Breweries in that city. My friend and I kept switching from table to table until we each had nine glasses of my now favorite brew. We wound up frisbeeing coasters down from the top of the brewery.

So if this 500 word piece is any indication of future work, keep stockpiling beer and hanging around airports.

All my best,

Bob Zaslow (misterzee)

446 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - If This Was My Last Da... · 2 replies · +1 points

Vishen- I think it was Mark Twain who said something like "The dictionary has all the words we need to be as brilliant as Shakespeare. It's just a matter of how you arrange them." Congratulations on arranging those 500 words into a concise, insightful commentary on being happy, being in flow, and living in the moment. I know those 500 words aren't just nice-sounding bits of advice because I know you live from that space of Flow. The work you do proves it. So do the results. Thanks for inspiring so many to begin living in Flow.

459 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - This Is What Happens A... · 3 replies · +1 points

In the last fifty days I’ve noticed a change in my attitude in several key areas of my life.
The first is, I’m trusting in what many thinkers in the Notes have called “the Universal Intelligence.” I’m a teacher as well as a playwright and I’ve begun to really tap into this awareness/ intelligence which is far greater than the thoughts rolling around in my own mind. I’ve begun to align myself with this energy and been able to tap into it in a way that’s helped my writing move to a whole new level. I’ve been able to sit down at the computer and just “let the ideas come in.” In fact, I’ve written ten 10-minute plays in the last few months, thanks to trusting, not simply in my ability to write, but in my willingness to tap into this “something greater than me.”
Secondly, I’ve started to meditate again. When dozens of people you respect, like Deepak Chopra and Pema Chodron, remind you that a way to connect to your pure potential is through stillness, it’s time to say, “OK, I’m going to make sitting and following my breath for twenty minutes a ritual again. I believe it’s helped me tap into that Universal Intelligence as it whispers inspiration to me.
Third, I find I’m more present doing whatever I do, whether it’s teaching or washing the dishes or walking on a path near my home, I’m spending less time in the past or future and more time in the moment. I’m really tasting each bite of food instead of reaching with my fork for the next morsel. What a gift!
Which brings me to the fourth difference I’ve noticed-- enthusiasm. The Buddah is quoted as saying, “If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart.” Two days ago, I was pulling weeds in my garden. Not little weeds; we’re talking long, invasive wild rose and wild raspberry vines. I worked for three hours and loved it. (OK, I didn’t love having to take aspirin for my lower back later, but you get the idea…) In the past, I’ve either avoided doing that job or did it half-heartedly.
Seneca said, “The wise person does nothing reluctantly.” That means even the chores that you used to hate. And George Leonard wrote, “Could all of us reclaim lost hours of our lives by making everything—the commonplace along with the extraordinary—a part of our practice?”

A part of our practice. The Notes were a part of my practice for fifty days. Immersed in such great thinkers and great thoughts for fifty days had a transformative effect on me. And I’m so grateful to Brian, Vishen, and the NotePosters who became my friends every day as I read their insights. Thank you, all!

460 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - The Power Of Full Enga... · 3 replies · +1 points

An important message in this book for me is the notion of the importance of ritual in our lives. I remember my grandmother lighting the sabbath candles every Friday night and what an anchor it was to me. Something solid to link me back to thousands of others over thousands of years. In his book, "The Sabbath," author Abraham Joshua Heschel writes something so simple and so profound I wanted to share it with you: "The higher goal of spiritual learning is not to amass a wealth of information but to face sacred moments."

I think that's an important thing to remember when you want to cut through to the truth of who you are and what you really want for your life.

460 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - The Power Of Full Enga... · 2 replies · +1 points

Thank you for the kind words. You've been the gift. Your heart encompasses worlds. The compassion you have for everyone you come in contact with is so evident in every supportive comment you've made. Maybe that's what's been most miraculous about the last fifty days: meeting so many people who care as much as I do about making a difference on the planet. Thank you, puresue. Be well.

461 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - Meditations By Marcus ... · 0 replies · +1 points

This Note helped me focus on gratitude. I was in a car accident recently, so I've been grateful for so many things in the past few weeks, the most important of which is, I'm grateful I'm alive! And I'm continually grateful to be back at school teaching and making a difference in the lives of my students. I was so grateful for each hug I got when I came back on Wednesday. I notice that, as Marcus Aurelius says, I'm grateful in this moment, not in some future moment, and my heart is filled with an experience of serenity and centeredness. Gentleness. Finally, I'm grateful to Brian for doing this wonderful work.

461 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - The Book Of Understand... · 2 replies · +2 points

Wow! What amazed me today was looking at my most important goals, not as a destination but a guiding beacon that I don't have to reach but utilize for the journey. Here's how I transcribed Brian's discussion: "We want to make our ideals not a distant shore that we’re going to get to, but a guiding star, something we strive for, even though we know we won’t get there. You don’t have to be perfectly balanced. The guiding star is an ideal, a beautiful star that allows us to move toward a state that makes us more harmonious."

For me, living with that guiding star as ideal and not as destination takes all the struggle and worry out of whether I'll get there or not. Because I now understand that each pull of the oars, is me lined up with that beacon at the far end of the lake that never ends.

462 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - Pathways To Bliss By J... · 3 replies · +1 points

I've usually tried to avoid or put off doing the drudge work in my life. However, today I promised I'd clean the bathroom before I went on line. So cleaned half of it. Then I read Joseph Campbell's comment about drudgery being an attitude, and how you could turn any job into a spiritual practice. Before I posted this comment, I went back to the bathroom to finish the job. OK, it may not have felt exactly spiritual, but it sure felt like I was a lot lighter about making that bathtub shine. Amazing what can happen when you're just in the moment without the constant chatter of the critic saying, "You should be somewhere else right now."

462 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - The Seven Spiritual La... · 0 replies · +1 points

My "ah ha" moment today was Brian's comment about meditation being like bringing your intuition to the gym.

I try to go to my local health club at least four times a week for the benefit of my body. Now, I'm going to begin meditating again while thinking of it as a habit to benefit my mind / spiritual body. Somehow that simile makes meditation feel less etherial and more down-to-earth. And I'm especially motivated after reading Deepak Chopra's comment that it is difficult to connect to your true self unless you meditate.

I've read this book at least twice, but it wasn't until today, with Brian's comment about the gym, that committing to a a daily routine of meditation made so much sense to me. So once again, thank you, Brian.

462 weeks ago @ FinerMinds - Money, And The Law Of ... · 2 replies · +1 points

Thanks, Tom-
I actually watched the movie a few weeks ago and I too, cried at certain points. Perhaps because it reminded me of how fortunate I am to be a teacher. I've been home with an illness for a few days and I'm anxious to get back to those kids! Best back to you, Tom.