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Archive of ‘Tao’ category

The Wheel of Fortune

By Seamus Anthony

wheel of fortuneThings run in cycles – what was will cease to be, before coming around again into its time, back into existence. But we must learn to prepare for these times of opportune conditions so that we are prepared to capitalise on them while the going is good, before the season changes and the window of opportunity closes again (until next time). This is magic: working with the elements of nature, the stuff of life, the swirling fields of potential.

The cycle of life is represented by the seasons of nature – we sow the seed in spring, tend the garden in summer, harvest our produce in autumn and this sustains us through the fallow ground of winter. By seeing in advance that winter will come, we know to work hard in spring, summer and autumn.

This applies not only to the macro-version of this that plays out in our lives (working hard in our youth to prepare for our old age) but also in many micro-aspects. For example an artist may experience inspiration and energy in her youth, followed by a time of success where the world opens their arms to her endeavours. This may be then succeeded by a (seemingly) long winter where neither does she feel inspired nor does the world pay her and her art much attention.

But if she continues to work and to hold on for better days, eventually her inspiration and desire to shine returns, and fresh new art follows. This new spring may be followed by another summer of growth and in turn by an autumn of harvest in the form of recognition from the world.

We see this cycle play out time and time again for many artists and public figures. Take Leonard Cohen’s long roller-coaster of a career. Of late he has been more popular than ever after some years in the career wilderness. However, while he is obviously enjoying his renaissance, at his age, he must be well aware that even this latest triumphant career upturn will not last forever.

To develop a sense of where we are at in the various cycles of our lives, the little ones and the big ones, is a useful skill indeed. Sometimes it’s easy – it’s not hard to tell when it’s time to move house: for whatever reasons, usually practical, you just know it’s time to go. However at other times it can be more difficult to know how to read the signs accurately. For example: if you have been feeling sick to death of your boyfriend for a few months, is this a sign it’s time to end the relationship or is it just a natural energetic fluctuation in an otherwise healthy relationship?

Here enters free-will. We have the ability to step in and put to use the “stuff of life” to attempt outcomes. You can work for the outcome of becoming a free-agent again, or for the outcome of seeing the relationship through to a return to fun and fulfilment.

This is the magic of our lives … but the magician gambles because we do not always know if our work will actually deliver the outcomes intended and, if it does, whether those results will bring us the benefits we hoped they would.

Dogs May Bark…

… but the caravan moves on.

That’s an old Arab proverb apparently, and I think it speaks on many levels: about how our lives are just brief moments in the vastness of time. About how we do and say things but when you compare our actions to the hugeness of the universe – we seem so small.

And about how songs we write only ever really capture a moment in time. When you sing a song it’s like “this is how I was feeling then”. Hopefully, it’s a universal enough feeling that it resonates with people whenever, but each songs is just a bark in the night really, and the caravan just moves on (baby).

So the thing I did yesterday was to choose “Dogs May Bark” as the title of the CD, and I wrote all of the text for the CD covers, and chose the kind-of-pop-art-version-of-the-painting-in-yesterday’s-post as the cover image. So now it’s over to Ze Arteest to finish it off.

Not sure what I am going to do today, kind of busy with work, but that’s the point right? To, no matter what excuse you come up with, Do One Thing Everyday to move yourself closer to the goal.

RebelZen.com is go!

Me and my mate Steve have started a new blog call Rebel Zen.

You can see by the categories I have chosen for this here post what the theme of Rebel Zen will be about (and hopefully in a refreshing and dynamic way). I guess in some ways it will pick up from where The Contemporary Taoist left off but this time it’s a dynamic duo rather than just me, and also it will be more focussed and *cough* mature 😉

Actually Rebel Zen is going to be more than a blog, but one thing at a time.

We will be posting a fair bit over the next week. Mostly reworked old posts or articles that fit the theme, and then new stuff will begin to go online soon.

Anyway head on over and witness the birthing pains of our new child 🙂

This blog will continue but will probably focus more on music. Not sure yet but probably.

The Five Minute Method to get You Massively, Totally Inspired right now …

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I love our new Mac and I spent all day mucking about getting an iBook G3 (tangerine clamshell) (like these in the pictures) running properly as well.
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It was tiring grinding through Google search after Google search trying to make heads or tails out of obscure geek-speak in forums and what-not. I am NOT a geek. I HATE fiddling around with software trying to make it work (why do you think I love Macs so much?) And at the end of the day, I felt a bit flat. I wondered if I had wasted the day just getting this one computer to work. It most totally had not been my intention that it take, like, so freakin’ long.

Then I started on another task that I had been putting off for a while, clearing up all my old boxes of papers and junk in my new bungalow workspace that I am setting up*. Next thing you know I am confronted with photos and objects and posters and general miscellany that reminded me of my entire life so far. My childhood. My teenage years. My Twenties and the first half of my Thirties.

A fun life so far, if not always noble. A brave life so far, if not always sensible.

And it occurred to me how different I have become in the way that as a teenager and throughout my early-mid Twenties, I was highly driven by pursuing my dreams. Driven to the point where I was generally agitated and/or depressed if I was not either smashed or stoned or actively chasing my fantasies (which were mostly about becoming the next David Bowie or something like that).

I am not really like that anymore because I know that I am already here, and that was all I ever needed all along.

BUT I am still motivated to chase my dreams, just because chasing dreams is work and we all have to work so it might as well be at being a Dream Chaser. And despite my “whole zen trip” it seems my dreams are in some ways more complicated now than they were, deeper rather than just outrageous for the sake it.

Thankfully I am more patient now. Even though I find it easier to remember the rock-out-on-stage-in-front-of-3000-people days than the twiddle-with-the-fucking-computer-until-it-bloody-well-gives-in-and-works-already days, and even though I wonder where the hell those grandiose days went, the truth is these were just a handful of (incredible) moments, the rest of the time was either hard work, or tedious, or both.

There always were twiddle-with-the-computer-days, and there always will be. They are necessary.

Like I said, the trick is to remember that you are already here, and otherwise to keep this nugget by Steve Jobs (the Apple computer guy) in mind:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

You see, dude, it’s a balancing act.

The small tedious parts have to be worth it because of the greater, wonderful whole. I wouldn’t ever have wanted to get bogged down in details all day for nothing, but in the context of achieving my dreams, of living life in a way that makes me and others happy, then I couldn’t have thought of a better thing to do with my time (than fiddle with the fucking computer).

So anyway the five minute method is this:

1) ask yourself if this blog post has you feeling massively, totally inspired right now. If so, get on with it.

2) if not, read the Steve Jobs Commencement address. It’s not breaking news, but if you haven’t read it, then you should. It’s pure gold…

*Finally, The Office of Imagination and Procedure becomes reality 🙂 more on that soon, oh breathless masses!

You Are Already Here

Well I have been busy busy finishing up work for the year and planning next year and so I have nothing much to say right now so I am going to post an excerpt from a free e-book that I was just flicking through that is in my opinion very much spot on.

Note: The following is NOT by me, It is by somebody called Jamie Smart, from an e-book called “The Top 10 Secrets of Unconditional Happiness”, which I downloaded free here.

(In my opinion) most of the book is pretty run-of-the-mill, recycled (but useful) stuff, but the following hit the spot for me in a BIG way:

“You are already here.

The place you thought you’d get to once you’d made the changes, achieved the
goals, completed the journey; you’re already here. In fact, you never left. The only
thing that has ever stopped you from experiencing the reality of being here is the
idea that you need to be somewhere else.

The only thing that is (or can) stop you from experiencing the peace and fulfillment
of now is the idea that peace and fulfillment is elsewhere, in something else, a
different experience, further on down the road.

But it isn’t. You’re here, and you always have been. You’re here, and you always will
be. So you can stop struggling, relax, and feel a sense of comfort in the knowledge
that you are already here.

Now you may protest “But I’m not peaceful, happy, fulfilled! I’ve been trying to
achieve peace for years and I’m not there yet!”

You cannot find something where it isn’t. Stop struggling. Stop searching. Accept
yourself exactly as you are. The search is over. Peace / love / fulfillment / joy; these
are at the core of who you are. When you stop trying to find them elsewhere, when
you give up the search, you will start to experience them.

Here’s the deal in a nutshell: When you are searching for peace, you presuppose that
you don‘t have it. What the thinker thinks the prover proves, so your neurology sorts
and filters all your perceptions to prove that you don’t have it. This becomes more
and more familiar over time, and the search continues. It is a search without an end.
Are you willing to give up the search?

You are already here. You never left. You only thought you did. You are whole and
complete. Relax. Let go. Allow yourself to discover who you really are.”

More on Getting High Without Drugs

Psychedelic Meditation

Now despite the fact that there are very few comments at this previous post: How To Get High Without Drugs I still know thanks to the magic of my web traffic counter thing that this page is being viewed about two or three times a day by people Googling “How To Get High Without Drugs” or very similar.

Now in that post I mentioned the two ways I use to get high without drugs. The first way is performing my music on stage (or in my bedroom for that matter). I also mention that your version of “playing music” might be something else, like for example, racing Galapagos tortoises, or turtles or terrapins or whatever they are correctly referred to as. The point is: lose yourself in an activity that effectively pushes the right buttons for you so that you get high, need I re-iterate, without any drugs.

The second is meditating. I was going to post more about that but got kind of distracted, but it is half finished on my hard drive so I might as well piff it up online bit by bit and hopefully it will help people.

Now I know i could sell this information but at this stage I think I will roll with making it available for free for now. More very soon…

Getting Down with Furry Dudes

Whoops, just posted another tune. Here’s a fascinating excerpt of my “the making of” prattle that accompanies the mp3

” … a spider that was hanging around our lounge room at the time (normal stuff in Australia, and we are talking a big, hairy dude too!). Of course, he was just doing nothing much, as Hunstmen spiders do, and I admired him for this.

This was around the time I was first reading about meditation and Eastern Philosophies like Zen and the like, so I guess this was reflection of that… “

Click here too listen to the tune “Get Down” and lose yourself in the incredible rollicking tales of rock glory!

How To Get High Without Drugs

What if I told you there is a pretty simple, totally free, and thoroughly healthy way to get mind blowingly high everyday?

Well there is. I swear it is true.

But before I tell you how, allow me to ramble on a bit first …

I am pretty open to admitting that I have sampled my fair share of drugs over the years – and why? Because getting high is awesome.

Or at least it sometimes is.

And then sometimes is it not. And the older I (and many people) get the more it is not.

The problem is that drugs actually suck. Half the time they don’t work as well as you’d like and, in my experience at least, there are almost always downsides to the bargain. Like nausea, paranoia (I have never had that problem at least), depression, making an idiot of yourself, “brain fry” (ie. neurological damage), waste of money. And then there are longer term problems like loss of motivation and mental clarity, addiction, and the erosion of health. I could go on and on (but then I’d have to think too hard).

But look everyone knows this right? And when you’re young you don’t really care and when you get a little bit older some of us do start to care. Then some of that group stop or drastically cut down, and others keep going strong to (eventually) devastating consequences.

I have pretty much stopped altogether now. I say “pretty much” to cover myself. I reserve the right to turn around and develop a full blown drug binging lifestyle again at any moment. But it is seriously unlikely that I will.

Even the occasional smoke gets me nowhere these days. None of it really turns me on anymore.

And that sucks. I love getting high.

Well, I have two excellent ways to get high that I use and I am happy to share these with you now.

The first is performing music live in front of an audience. I have never ever experienced a better rush that this, not even when I smoked some heavy new fangled drug that shall remain nameless once a couple of years ago (which was awesome but I was mature enough to know that I would never do it again).

Now I have read that other kinds of performance or activities can give you the same awesome high that I get when I have a rocking gig in front of a receptive crowd. So if jumping off the side of mountains is your thing, or skateboarding, or horse riding or whatever, then just do heaps of that and you’ll never get a bigger kick.

And there’s another way, which is good if you don’t have the kind of passion like the above, and is otherwise good anyway because we can’t always be playing rock god or base jumper, is ….

Meditation.

Last night I spent forty minutes meditating before I went to bed. The last ten minutes of that time I spent watching the roof of my house lift off to reveal a brilliant starry sky, then a brightly coloured UFO came down and then I was suddenly floating on a blue ocean, my head fell back and the sun was shining and warm on my face…

I could go on but let me just point out that this was at about midnight and it was barely above zero degrees outside and we are in the hills miles from the ocean. Get my drift?

So I am not right now going to teach you how to meditate right here and now (later) but let me just assure you that you don’t need to take drugs to get high and that if you have given drugs up, all is not lost, you can still bliss out baby!

Thank God!