Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Weekly Quick Collage: Copper Cliff

Back to my weekly quick collages, and hopefully, posting much more regularly.

Copper Cliff
collage, 5.5 x 5 inches


Instead of the short quotes I usually post with my collages, I thought I'd share with you some thoughts on mindfulness and happiness from philosopher, Zen Buddhist, Episcopal priest and spiritual teacher Alan Watts.  This comes from an article by Maria Popova entitled, "An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence", which you can find in its entirety here.


"What keeps us from happiness, Watts argues, is our inability to fully inhabit the present:

The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., “everyone will die”) that the future assumes a high degree of reality — so high that the present loses its value.

But the future is still not here, and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present. Since what we know of the future is made up of purely abstract and logical elements — inferences, guesses, deductions — it cannot be eaten, felt, smelled, seen, heard, or otherwise enjoyed. To pursue it is to pursue a constantly retreating phantom, and the faster you chase it, the faster it runs ahead. This is why all the affairs of civilization are rushed, why hardly anyone enjoys what he has, and is forever seeking more and more. Happiness, then, will consist, not of solid and substantial realities, but of such abstract and superficial things as promises, hopes, and assurances."


For most of us, mindfulness, or being completely in the present moment, is very difficult. Yet it seems we would almost certainly be happier if we could achieve this. What, then, is the best way to go about finding this mental state of "presence"? 


16 comments:

  1. une belle hémérocalle du monde en agitation... bonne nouvelle année 2016!

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    1. Thank you, Elfi, and happy new year to you, too!

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    1. Thanks, Mary! Wishing you and yours all the best for the new year!

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  3. Beautiful composition...and the post to match. Have a wonderfully creative New Year!

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    1. Shelby, thanks for visiting and for the wonderfully kind words. Happy new year to you!

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  4. Lovely mix of yellows and greens!
    One of my problems of staying in the 'now' is that I'm hard on myself when I find I've wandered off. The gentle way is the best and I so often forget this vital piece of wisdom.

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    1. Thank you, Mary Ann. Staying in the present is very difficult; all we can do is practice, and keep coming back to it when we stray (which for me is most of the time! :) )

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  5. Your collage looks gorgeous!
    Best wishes for a super 2016 - with lots of creativity, good health and joy!

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    1. Gaby, thanks so much for your kind words! May you and your family have a truly blessed and happy new year!

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  6. Really love this collage - the colors, the composition and I find your use of maps fascinating. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy, and happy new year to you and yours!

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  7. Beautiful collage and what a wonderful quote. It is difficult to stay in the moment, but so worth the effort and with practice it does become easier.
    Happy New Year! xoxo

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    1. Annie, thanks for the kind words. I need a lot more practice staying in the moment, but I do believe it's a worthwhile pursuit. Many blessings to you for the new year.

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  8. "make good art" as Neil Gaiman said in his address to the University of the Arts class of 2012
    https://vimeo.com/42372767
    Fairfarren!

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  9. I liked this post very much.Thank you

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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.