The Courage To Dream Again

(adapted from a letter to a friend)

Return, Fear, and The Nature of True Dreams.

* * * * *

1. RETURN: Return to whatever dream, if it happened, would fill you up, and make you happy. But really imagine it happening. Is it the work that makes you happy in and of itself, or is it the recognition, the pay-off? What work makes you happy, all by itself? What feels good? If we don’t know what that is, that’s ok. At least we’re opening the door of wonder, to find out.

2. FEAR: We’re afraid to try again because we’re looking at it wrong. Let’s say you starred in your own film, won an Oscar, and I won a Pulitzer for my stuff. Now what? Pressure’s on. Are you a one hit wonder? Am I? There are expectations now. Let’s say we get a few successes, get used to that, but what then? Will it be a lifelong success, or will we fall out of fashion? Become has-beens? Is that less terrifying than being a never-was?

You and I are wrong to think our dreams are broken because our last efforts didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped. There is no finish line, no Destination except this moment; no ending point, except our last breath. Every time we try and hope for something, its always going to be the same risk. Doesn’t matter if the last thing failed or succeeded. The next thing will be just as risky. The same is true for everyone who tries for a dream, at any time at any age.

3. THE NATURE OF TRUE DREAMS: If our dreams are age restrictive, they’re not true dreams. You wanted to be an A-list actor before you were 30, and I wanted my novel to be a best-seller by that time. The reason these dreams weren’t real, is they had a finishline, a delusion disguised as hope that said, “When I hit THIS I’ve made it!

But like the #2 Fear paragraph says, there is no “made it!” No finishline that makes everything great, forever. Success can even increase pressure and fear. So if we still want those same things, if those really are our dreams, we need to change them up in our minds to be True Dreams. A true actor’s dream might be: I’m going to give my all to be the best actor I can be; I will devote the rest of my life to improving my craft to give all that I can.

Who can take that dream away? Who can stop us from doing that at any age? That is a dream independent of circumstance and industry, reliant only upon our Devotion. That is a lifelong mission statement. With that lifelong mission statement, whether failure or success comes, it won’t derail us.

Both success and failure are great at derailing dreamers. Look how many die at the top. Even if success lasted the rest of your life or mine, the fulfillment it brought would leave, unless the work is fulfilling, in and of itself, which takes us back to paragraph #1 RETURN.

That’s why we need to define that True dream, the work that is fulfilling all by itself, and that lifelong mission statement, that is independent of success and failure.

Success and Failure are ripples on a pond. But the True Dream, the Lifelong Mission Statement, is the Pond. We need the pond, not the ripples that come and go.

dream-quotes1

The Hour Of The Changing Light

She teaches me

how fast it all goes,

how to savor This.

Were it not for Her

I may have spent life

not living,

only doing,

fretting and frittering

my fading hours away

in endless to-do’s

and

never

ever

ever

be.

 *

She makes me feel

a soft yet horribly deep sorrow

at the time I’ve lost

within the false state:

Alive, but not recognizing Life! 

The state of unreason

cultures are built upon.

*

She reminds me to honor

in Sacred Devotion and Gratitude

The setting Sun,

sacred in its own right,

and all it represents:

All that Enters and gives Life,

then leaves us alone in Night,

to softly find a way back in,

to lure us into Light again.

*

The cycles of Life,

of Light

of Love,

The cycles of All Creation.

*

All this She Teaches

in Her sensual adieu

To the God of The Golden Orange Light,

whose Emergence and Disappearance

Form the Magic Hour

Where yin and yang kiss,

And become one another,

And the veil between

fades to naught.

*

The realm of opposites join here:

Ra to Luna.

Birth to Death.

Light to Dark.

God to Man,

The hour in which we may

 whisper to Spirits,

And Spirits may whisper

Sacred Truths to us.

 *

She devotes Herself

to Ra’s egress

with all Her Western faces.

Her delicate, graceful fingers,

gently caressing even the last fleeting trace

of precious fading Light.

*

I feel Her yearning, reaching,

even unto the last dying sunbeam.

So glorious, to see a Tree in Prayer!

So glorious to be aware!

So glorious to have Eyes that See,

 if only in shared sunsets,

in which She helps me enter,

The Sacred Awareness.

*

She awakens me

through gentleness

through delicacy,

That I may see with Pure eyes.

*

She lures my Awareness

 into the most subtle aspects of Her Grace

That I may recognize within myself,

all I am drawn to in Her.

In the breath, in the poise, in the fingers,

in the step, in the balance, in the motion,

in the gentleness and the delicacy,

the busy noise of mind can fade

that I may discover

even the to-do’s

are better achieved

When lost in the gentleness and grace of the doing.

*

My Great Teacher,

What greater lesson could be taught,

than how to be Alive in Life?

*

Magic things happen

through the Sacred Awareness,

In the Hour of the Changing Light.

Image

Suzuki and The Recipe

Many words on Presence, Mindfulness.

A Feeling Can Teach.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Calm Still small Slow

after Yoga.

Hummingbirds play and evoke smiles.

Peace.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Then,

an Idea!

I could do THIS!

* * * * * * * * * * *

And my mind leaves

the lovely moment

and does not plan calmly.

It is always in a hurry.

* * * * * * * * * * *

If I read these words I write

If they were from another mind

I would recognize this.

But would I truly learn?

Would I become aware?

Would I change?

* * * * * * * * * * *

A Feeling can Teach.

When I felt the change,

upon arrival of inspiration,

from peace

to Exhilaration! 

I felt in my heart, NO.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I am on my balcony.

Breathing.

Loving My Hummingbirds.

Smiling because.

And inspired thought

must wait its turn.

Its arrival has shifted the energy.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Peace is always here

if i allow it.

Even in a Storm

Peace is within reach.

An inspired thought

does not need a fast energy.

That happens when I think

it is ‘my‘ inspired thought.

(ha!)

I am the little ‘i’.

God, the Great I.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Suzuki says,

“If we are aware that what we do,

what we create, 

is really the gift of the big ‘I,’

we will not be attached to it, 

and we will not create problems 

for ourselves and others.” 

* * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you, great teacher.

Your words live within. 

* * * * * * * * * * *

But it was a feeling that made me See.

Truth is a recipe book.

It means nothing

until we cook.

Image

Suzuki at Sunset

His words stay.

His View Is True.

All Creation Through The Artist Is God. 

We say “I” made this,

Forgetting we are the little “i.”

Forgetting The Source,

We Become Attached To The Creation.

But it is only in non-attachment

We see its True Value.

Just Prior,

the Voice said,

Important is not a word for art.

Art is a child playing freely and madly with God.

In this play,

The child has the little role,

The Father, the Great One.

Image

Somewhere To Go

If I had succeeded

In the Creative Passions & Pursuits

I’ve poured my heart into

and years into,

I would have continued

Striving, trying

to give something else

Good, Useful, Edifying,

Something worth another’s Time.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The success I sought,

if Attained,

would not have been a finish line.

Why on Earth did I let Failure become one?

* * * * * * * * * * *

Some time ago, I opened a door to I-Ching,

and it opened a door in me.

I was guided to words that became a part of me:

“It furthers one to have somewhere to go.”

The Power and Aliveness of this 5000 year old Truth

revealed a bit more of itself during:

I’m-just-going-to-watch-this-beautiful-summer-sky-and-breathe meditation.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I love looking UP on days like today.

I never get bored.

Sky meditation is a Somewhere-To-Go that Furthers

It awakens The Authentic Happiness,

that isn’t based on something ‘happening.’

* * * * * * * * * * * *

When I first read the I Ching wisdom,

I thought the Somewhere To Go

Must be an Impassioned Life-Mission

A Protracted investment of Time and Attention

Today the Sky helped me see a broader interpretation:

* * * * * * * * * * *

Every moment, every action,

Even contemplating a cloud,

Can be a Somewhere To Go that Furthers.

When I am fully invested in the Present

be it a Task, a time of Relaxation, Play, or Creation,

I am in my Sacred Somewhere To Go.

When I’m all in, there is no self

and that is Liberation.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Buddha’s wisdom teaches, “No self, no problem.”

The Somewhere To Go is The Way

To No Self

No Problem.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Even if my Somewhere To Go is Nothingness,

In my Nothingness,

I am in my Somewhere To Go

Out of Self,

Out of Self’s Growing Story,

Out of Self’s need to drag its heavy past

Into every New Fresh experience

*********

So Somewhere To Go offers Liberation from Self.

Liberation from Self offers Liberation

from Attachment to Success or Failure.

Liberation from Attachment to Success or Failure

Liberates the Artist from the Influence,

Of These Two Non-Finish lines

Which consciously or unconsciously affect

The Creativity of all Artists

Not-Free of Attachment.

* * * * * * * * * * *

NOW,

Work may be pursued in the purity

of non-attachment,

In the Earnestness and Openness

Of the Beginner’s Mind.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Creativity may still Stir Us Up,

Drive us Mad,

Thrill us to Unreason!

Clear calm water

May suddenly Storm!

* * * * * * * * * * *

All the more reason to be free

of the unnecessary, non-contributory,

hindering turmoil, in

Egoic Attachment to Success or Failure.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Neither is a destination

Each is only a Step

On an Artist’s Journey.

Of Infinite Footfalls.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In non-attachment

We reconnect

With Our Pure Creator Within,

and have no more expectations,

than we did in pre-school finger painting

as the artist we were at four years old

As The Pure Beginner’s Mind.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Doesn’t that sound Beautiful and Free?

That is the Feeling of

The Somewhere To Go

That Furthers One.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Whether it is Success Or Failure

that my Creation finds,

I am Furthered

When I am All In,

When Self Is Lost,

When Creating is All.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I am not there

When I am in my Somewhere To Go

I Am My Somewhere To Go

ImageImage