Life, etc.

“All things are passing. When we rest in the present moment, we’re faced with this directly. This realization doesn’t have to be cause for depression. It can be a reminder of the preciousness of our life. Relaxing into the vulnerability of unknowing and facing our direct experience can be courageous. It’s an opportunity to taste vast, interconnected spaciousness — the groundless ground that has no reference points or handles.”

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The irony is that at one time I was everywhere online. Well, maybe not everywhere but in all the hot places, for a little while at least.

But, wow, has the internet become a cesspool of clickbait and mass surveillance! Maybe I’m naive but I remember when people weren’t afraid to post their most inner thoughts without worrying who would scrutinize them — or worse, use that information for profit or shaming.

Maybe I got bored, or maybe I saw the futility in broadcasting my thoughts into a sea of nonsense. But it’s been quite a year, with revelations on crimes committed by the rich and powerful — our overlords — and mostly played out on social media. I’m in Australia and yet I’m well informed about the outing of actors and media moguls who abused their status for personal (albeit fleeting) gratification. I’ve followed Trump from the first time he said Mexico was sending rapists and criminals over the border, and was probably just as shocked as you to hear he won the US presidential race. Read More

Short film about 5 minutes. Hakuin’s self-taught, spontaneous, yet masterly and inspired painting and calligraphy, just like his teachings and writings, expressed the mind and heart of Zen for monks and lay followers alike.

The reason I’ve been unable to contribute what I consider anything of substance to any one of the myriad of online soapboxes is because I didn’t feel like an expert in anything. I had no top ten lists, no gadget reviews, no pitches on how to make money in just four hours a week; all I have are my ideas, perceptions and insights — and even those I keep to myself for the most part.

Sure, I am — or was — good at being a designer and, maybe, a writer. But this, the third extended period of unemployment peppered with the relentless rejection from potential employers has left me doubting myself: I don’t know what I can do, really, having been told over and over for years how I wasn’t successful.

And that’s the key phrase, the one that cuts to the bone now. I thought I had a pretty thick skin (it’s a prerequisite for being in a creative field) but for the better part of the past seven years it’s the only phrase I’ve heard more than any other.

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