A conversation between the Magician and God.

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Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

From a dream, or a half-sleep state, the magician awoke in communication with God. God told the magician that he was about to tell him all there was to know about life, the Holy Grail of truth.

However, there was one caveat.

The magician, in writing down these ideas and insights, had to collect all of the world’s knowledge, and the knowledge of the universe, into a book. The Book of Secrets. Then, upon finishing the manuscript, the magician had to bind the book in a sacred ritual, filling each page with divine intent.

Once the book was complete — filled page by page with the secret to life — he had to place it on a bench in the park on the corner of the street. …

How to use a grief ritual to allow emotional storms to pass.

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Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash

The word petrichor is as beautiful as nature itself. It combines the Greek petra (stone) and īchōr, which in Greek mythology is the “ethereal fluid that makes the blood of Gods immortal.” Petrichor describes the sweet scent of freshly fallen rain, a smell somehow grounding and expansive.

As clouds gather before a storm, there’s tension in the sky and tension in our bones, as if we’re intuitively hardwired to sense an incoming downpour. After a storm, the air changes. The clouds clear. Petrichor fills the air, and we’re hardwired to enjoy the sweet scent of relief.

This natural phenomenon can be compared to emotions. It’s intuitive to use metaphors of weather to describe how we feel. That’s because we are nature, and cycles of emotion mimic the cycles of Mother nature. But so often, the thinking mind does all it can to prevent storms. The thinking mind is averse to clouds, and rainfall. …

How I use the teachings of an enigmatic spiritual guru to mix mindfulness with getting stuff done.

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Common sense says productivity requires zero distractions and laser-like focus. Occasionally, though, optimal solutions are counter-intuitive. What if divided attention — a practice taught by no-nonsense spiritual guru G. I. Gurdjieff in the early 1900s — is the holistic, burnout-resistant productivity tool necessary for these challenging times?

The majority of guidance on productivity doesn’t include spirituality. Equally, the majority of spiritual guidance doesn’t consider productivity. Yet we live in an age where to live a purposeful life, we require a healthy balance of being and doing.

Divided attention is a solution for those looking to be emotionally and spiritually healthy and productive. It doesn’t sacrifice one or the other but places equal value on both. The application of this practice is the purge-list, an alternative system for setting priorities and goals which combines mindfulness with actionable steps. …

Why listening to the body instead of your favorite playlist enhances exercise quality.

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Music adds to the enjoyment of exercise. I get it. Why would you want to listen to the clunks and oofs and background chitchat that make up the cacophony of sounds in a gym? Why would you want to listen to the repetitive thump of sole on concrete, of inhalation and exhalation, of passing traffic?

To drown out distractions, the allure is to tune into your favorite playlist, plug in the earphones, and get super-focused. Indeed, music is a great tonic for motivation, and there is a time and a place for the welcome boost music provides.

However, I’ve noticed that some of my best training sessions are when I train without music. There are subtle ways I use music not to enhance focus, but to distract myself from my routine. …

The Hebrew phrase for emotional bonds unbroken by physical distance has an uncanny link to quantum entanglement.

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How emotional bonds transcend space and time [Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash]

Self-isolation. Lockdown. Quarantine. Social distancing. The buzzwords of 2020 symbolise forced separation in a world so connected yet so far apart. Seeing loved ones is no longer a given, physical touch is restricted, and many are unable to visit the people they care for the most.

Berlin is in the middle of a second lockdown. I’ve lived here for five years, and it’s been nine years since I left Bristol, my place of birth. I recently reached a tipping point and realised the number of people I’m close to in proximity is fairly small.

This is partly due to corona, partly my tendency for solitude, and Berlin’s tendency as a city of transition. Many people move here, drink it all in, and leave. In the past 18 months, I’ve said goodbye to two close friends who moved here at the same time as me. Many people I’ve got to know since moving here have moved on. …

The heart-opening practice of finding beauty in past romance

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Photo by Eri Pançi on Unsplash

Every breakup has what I call the sigh moment. It’s subtle compared to the seemingly eternal sense of loss, the tears, the longing, the denial, the bargaining, the anger, the rumination. But don’t let its stillness deceive you. This quiet breath of relief signifies peaceful surrender.

The sigh moment surfaces when heart and soul settle and the relationship is viewed through a different lens. It’s the moment of letting go, and realizing. . .

It’s done. And it was beautiful.

This isn’t a romanticized view. I believe finding beauty in past relationships is a way of re-opening the heart, experiencing gratitude, and enhancing current or future relationships. The key? …

Develop self-compassion and a growth mindset by applying these four lessons next time you miss your alarm.

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Photo by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash

I meet the morning with a rush of anxiety. 8:03 am. I pull the sheets over my head, close my eyes. “It’s over an hour later than I’d planned to wake up,” I berate myself, “now the day’s ruined.”

Now the day is irrevocably ruined, what else is there to do but stay in bed? Disappointment and shame extinguish my motivation. I’m wallowing in a pillow-procrastinating catastrophe of regret before sunrise.

I eventually surface, but the voice in my head remains. “Now it’s over two hours later than planned — you would’ve had an extra hour if only you woke up straight away.” …

A big barrier to communication is assuming your partner is aware of the obvious

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Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

It’s obvious I love spending time with my partner. It’s obvious I enjoy her unconventional perspective on current affairs and her desire for truth. It’s obvious I admire her courage. It’s obvious I am, to say the least, quite fond of her.

Isn’t it all obvious? And if it’s obvious… why say anything?

I like to think I’m a good communicator. But the truth is, I have a lot of work to do. A lot runs through my mind in quick succession, my thoughts are vivid, my feelings are embodied. …

Rather than wish for a return to the past, here’s how to activate the ‘past-you’ in the present.

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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

The memory resurfaced. Days-gone-by illuminated my consciousness, beckoning me to leave the present and return to the past. “ I miss that time,” I thought, as I remembered a lucid summer from two years ago, a time when I felt vibrantly alive.

I’m content with where I’m at, mentally, spiritually, and creatively, but the summer of 2018 had a different quality to it. I had a powerful spiritual awakening and a huge upgrade in my reality. …

“Desire for the fruits of one’s actions brings worry about possible failure.”

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Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

Inspiration often comes from unlikely places. That’s not to say I was surprised to be inspired by the Bhagavad Gita. It’s one of the most enduring spiritual texts in human history, its wisdom reverberating into hearts, minds, and spirits some 5,000 years after it was written.

What was a surprise was how the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna stoked the fire of creative expression within me. Before diving into Jack Hawley’s translation (conveniently “borrowed” from my partner’s bookshelf and yet-to-be returned) my creative flow had stagnated.

I wasn’t sure why, but my ideas were muddied and sluggish and I was struggling to put stuff out into the world. There was a breakdown between the fruition of an idea and my desire to mold the idea into a fully-formed package. That was until I digested Krishna’s divine wisdom regarding action. …


Ricky Derisz

Writer, Life Coach, Meditation Teacher. Enchanted with life post-depression. Get your copy of my book at www.mindthatego.com/Mindsets-For-Mindfulness.

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