Finding a Community

I suppose the "now" is key.

Yes, living in the now.

I can be very much in the now - but I also have to be aware of the challenges that lie around it - my parents aging...creating a viable situation for a self-reliant future etc...all these factors, which are very much not in the now - feed into it don't they?

What I have learned about myself is this: I want to know what spontaneity is. Pure spontaneity. I feel that buried in spontaneity is the kernel of our existence - enlightenment if you like. I live for creativity - whether it be architecture, writing or yoga or massage... or of late - building businesses.

Life is an incredible canvas for many creative activities...It takes a lot of risk-taking and interest in multiple fields - as everything is inter-connected - to build an original and dynamic approach to living.

I hear the wisdom in Abraham Lincoln's line that the future lies in the hands of those who learn to make the most of a small plot of land. The Japanese have a lot to teach on this matter - by example. Perhaps the Native Americans too. Indeed, all creative nomads teach us about this art form (very relevant to today's world and the wisdom of 'small is beautiful.') As the population increases and as corporations swell...the ability to remain sane, self-governed and self-motivated is more and more challenging.

The mounting pressures mean simplicity and an authentic, refined vision are critical to a creative life. If you wish to be spiritually minded in your endeaors then these things are even more poignant.

I tend to feel that ashrams are of a by-gone era. Ashrams tend to promote communalism - and though I love the company of creative people - I sort of like them on my own terms. Not a big one for modelled communities I suppose. Self-reliance, privacy and creativity - seem to me inseparably linked. The right company in the right doses is also a big part of that.

I think that ashrams tend to get that equation wrong. They introduces strained ideals and those ideals tend to make a muck of things...especially vision. The future is in being small but connected - at least for those living a life based upon vision, happiness and simplicity.

I once visited an amazing house in the Canary Islands. A talented architect had spent 30 years making it - all meticulously built and quite definitively beautiful. He used one of the areas to teach children with special needs. Though it was overwhelmingly beautiful and harmonious - it lacked the punch of a sacred space.
He had focused too much on the details - on creating his dream home...and, in the process, thrown the baby out with the bath water.

There is a yoga school here which is not so perfectly designed - architecturally speaking - but it has enough space to works...and it is very much a sacred space. Without a heart...our living spaces become inert and mechanical. They mirror our own limitations ultimately...Looking within and prioritising our approaches to living is critical to creating the right kind of space in which to work and live to our optimum. I think if we get these things clear - the right kind of community will automatically build itself around us. In the case of the architect in Spain - I feel he focused too much on the paint and beams - rather than purpose they were there to house. Breathe life into your vision...and your vision will breathe life into the stones that surround you. This is the way of wisdom - not the other way around. It's like the story of the Native american spirit woman. She agreed to marry her husband - an ordinary hunter...if he promised to never touch her miracle basket. He promised. But then he broke it years later, when she was out collecting firewood. He discovered it to be empty. She returned to the wigwam and knew immediately that he had tampered with it. "What is the big fuss about?" he asked as she made to leave him for the last time. "There's nothing there," he stammered in disbelief as she walked away. She turned and looked at him pityingly. He was not ready for her (for what she represented). To him there was nothing in the empty box she treasured above all else. But to her there were great mysteries to which her husband was not privy to.

We must not focus too much on the structures that house our bodies. We must build loosely, but carefully, the struts and frames that shape an organized existence, but, at the same time, we must be sure to have plenty of space - internally and externally - to dedicate our waking moments to the unknown and unformed. Otherwise, we risk being one-dimensional and irreverent of the unseen wonders that lie in wait for us. Such was the mistake of this Native American hunter. He was not spiritually ready for the promise he made his wife (his spiritual teacher in disguise) - ie not to tamper with what she valued most - something beyond space and time...the sacred realm of intangible beauty which should be at the heart of all our constructions and endeavors in this world.

Creating our environment - means being careful about whom we spend time with. It means to be privy to the weighty pertinence of "pearls before swine." It means designing a living space which is simple and sacred. It means having sufficient space to be self-nurturing. It means embracing a wider community, without being suffocated by it. That is the equation to balance.

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Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...