Sunday, May 29, 2011
Linger Cafe and Lounge
533 Atlantic Avenue
between 3rd and 4th Avenues
Albert Einstein, as we know, was a scientific genius. He was also a very, very creative person. As a youth, he had a reputation as a troublemaker and delved into a variety of careers that included vaudeville comedian and solo symphony violinist! After some meandering, he eventually found his way back to his true path which was science and math. He is known for many wonderful quotes, among which is one that I really REALLY like! "Imagination is more important than knowledge." This is an amazing quote, especially coming from a scientist!
But we're talking about Albert Einstein! He used his imagination to turn science on its head .... I'm sure he had a storehouse of knowledge, from his education and his work and his research. But knowledge alone couldn't have served his purposes for what he was trying to discover. He knew that it would take stretching beyond what was already known to come up with a theory that would explain his hunch about space being curved, thus developing his theory of relativity. He pictured himself riding a light beam through space and this imaginary journey led him along a curved path. He then used his mathematical wizardry to prove how that could happen. Pretty creative, right? At the time, there was no evidence anywhere for such an idea.
Using his imagination and his other skills he found a way to prove something that must have seemed impossible at the time; that reality, on a certain level, exists on a quantum level, and has properties that exist in a very different way than we perceive with our senses!
He was at times a misfit, even a ne'er-do'well in some people's eyes. Someone who, as a child, did not speak fluently till he was twelve years old and had been thought to be mentally impaired and yet became one of the most revered scientists of the past century. Ask yourself, now: What seemingly impossible thing you could start to investigate using your imagination to picture it and your skills to bring it into being?
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I think that anyone who has a cat and who loves them in that crazy way that cat owners do (you know who you are!) probably has a lot of names for their cat beyond the "official" one. For example, my remaining kitty's name is Saturn, but here are some of the other names she is called on a regular basis (in no particular order):
Satty Watty Doo Da
I think that covers it. And may I add that I am totally UN-apologetic about this. Do you have some nicknames for your cat? Let's hear 'em! Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Read through it first. This is a long description, because I wanted to describe the subtleties and nuances of it. But the actual meditation is simple and easy to do.
First of all, start by going for a walk. That is always a great way to decompress from tension or worry. Breathe deeply from your belly. Walk to a place where you can be in nature. This can be a park, even a small one...You can actually do this anywhere, even a coffee shop, but it's especially nice out near some trees. Just be sure you can sit quietly without being disturbed. Let your eyes focus in a relaxed way as far into the distance as you can, such as at the sky, down the road to the furthest house you can see, or at the tops of trees. We usually do work that is close up, so this distance-focusing will help balance and relax the eye muscles. Be very gentle about it.
Keep breathing in a relaxed, yet deep way, down into the belly. Whenever you feel ready, start to listen to the sounds around you. Very slowly, and with gentle attention, begin discerning what you are hearing. Use your attention to distinguish the different bird calls you hear. You may be very surprised to realize there are quite a few different birds in the trees around you, all making different sounds. Then focus on what else you hear. Is there a road near you? What sounds are there? Different motors from trucks and cars, the sound of brakes or car doors? How about human sounds? Laughter, babies, women, men? How many dog sounds can you hear? There are also things like tree branches rustling, a paper bag blowing by, a chair being scraped across concrete. See if you can give your attention to actually counting the different sounds you hear (this is just a guide, no need to try to be exact!) Just sit quietly, listening and gently attentive for as long as you like.
This meditation can have a few benefits.
- It quiets the mind (in spite of being about sound!)
- If you feel agitated or anxious, it gives you something specific yet calming to focus on outside of yourself.
- It demonstrates the incredible abundance that is all around you all the time. All you need to do is draw your attention to it.
- It can give you a tremendous appreciation for the subtleties of the sense of hearing.
That's it! I hope you enjoy playing with this "listening meditation." Let me know what you think after you've tried it by leaving a comment. I would love to hear how it worked for you.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Up to about a hundred years ago, people were very, very busy growing their own food, protecting their homes from wild predators and making their own clothes and furniture to think about much else. That kind of focus then was applied to our jobs in the factory and office as culture shifted in that direction. Up until relatively recently in human history, there were usually just a few, isolated individuals who seemed, by some stroke of fate or luck to be able to not have to worry about the daily grind and could indulge in creative and quiet observations about human potential and higher concepts. They were assigned the societal role of "creative type." Yet they were simply doing what we all, always, have had the potential to do, if there had been any energy at the end of the day.
Often, "looking inward" involves prayer or meditation, for which people have traditionally had leaders that taught them how to do those things; what to think about, what the mantra was, who the ultimate hero in the story was, what your focus should be etc etc.
Clearly this is changing. We live in a beautiful new world which is becoming more so everyday, where each person can be their own "guru/priest/teacher/healer" going on their own inner journey to find their spiritual and creative gifts. This is fantastic. Still, it doesn't mean that we don't need teachers or guides. Taking that journey and looking inward has, like it always has had, a lot of ins, outs, ups and downs. It can be good to have a guide or teacher, or more than one at varying times in life.
But one of the most important things to remember when seeking a guide is that the seeking begins within you.
The questions start with you.
The answers will ultimately be found within you.
You may think that looking within yourself is too "simple," or too "close" for it to be significant on a journey as epic as your own life. In truth, inside is where the most promising treasures are waiting for you to discover them, as your true life journey unfolds.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
This is from the summer of 2009 of my beloved cat 99 looking out the window. What I love about the video is that the bright light coming through the window throws everything into shadow making a symphony of silhouettes accented with that patch of blue sky right at the top. (....and my studio, instead of looking just messy, looks interesting and mysterious....)
What I also love about the video is that I even took it. Because about 15 months later, last December 23, 2010 (a year almost to the day that this video was originally posted to Youtube) I had to put my most beloved cat 99 to sleep. She had an aggressive cancer, which she was able to live with for about two months after being diagnosed. This gave me time to spend with her and to adjust to her eventually being gone, time I really needed with her. 99 was a special cat... very smart....and there was a very special bond between us. She found me in 1995, on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, as a 6 week old kitten, and it was true love ever since. It has taken me over two months since her death to even speak of it online, but there you have it. The video is over a minute, and being almost without any sound (the sound was on, there simply was no sound around us during the taping) it has the quality of being like a meditation.