Gathering of Good Minds, Creative Recovery and Buddha’s Teachings

There are a few things I’d like to share. First, the Gathering of Good Minds is almost finished for this year and I just watched my first session and it made me feel good to hear stories of resilience and equanimity.

Which way does one go when stuck in a hurricane? That’s how I’ve felt these last couple of weeks. Some things that have kept me grounded have been those with a good story to tell.

Disney Plus released a recorded Hamilton performance to streaming, which was even better the second time. The first time I saw it in person, I didn’t do much research and missed much of the storyline. This time I looked up Alexander Hamilton and did a fair bit of research. What I found is another story about the Federalist Papers ( Amazon 😉 ).

One thing that struck me about this talk with Jewel was her lesson on hope being the flip side of fear and that she was taught not to hope, but rather to act. I think there is a lot we can do to protect the elders, the vulnerable. My mom mentioned transitioning from transitioning from delivering quantity to quality.

The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron)
I’m just starting this book, but it has already been helpful in understanding my creativity. The premise is that we are all creative and learn to not be creative from outside forces. In order to recover our creativity, the book offers exercises and insights to help protect our inner artist. It has helped me to try drawing, writing and water colors on my hikes.

The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Thich Nhat Hanh)
This book has been instrumental in learning how to transform my own suffering. It goes into a teaching that is over 2500 years old by Buddha, who considered himself a man and not a deity. The book is broken down into 3 sections, the first goes into The Four Noble Truths, the second The Noble Eightfold Path, and the third Other Basic Buddhist Teachings. The book offers a deep understanding of what is called Interdependent Coarising, which has taught me to see myself in all things. It has greatly simplified my life.

Finding meaningful work amid a pandemic can be confusing, but Buddha suggests we repeat The Five Remembrances:
1.) I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
2.) I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.
3.) I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
4.) All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
5.) My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

It’s Ok to take care of yourself, you are worthy. When you fill yourself with joy, you start to radiate joy. By watering the wholesome seeds of joy within ourselves, myself, I spread joy. The middle way is balance, self-awareness and stewardship of the outside world. Ignorance is failure to recognize suffering.

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