Is dream-chasing a practice of faith in life’s great mystery?

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What does it mean to chase a dream? [Credit: Johannes Plenio on Unsplash]

What does it mean to chase a dream? A chase hints at desperation: I think of X-Factor contestants who feel they have a God-given talent, only to open their mouths and insult Simon Cowell. What separates the deluded from those who find success after multiple setbacks, because they didn’t stop believing?

All dream-chasing contains a seed of delusion, but at what cost? The chase implies the dream is moving away, that if you don’t follow, it’ll disappear. Perhaps the chase is the ego’s attempt to make a dream a raison de vivre, or a way of feeling worthy or special.

To discover the hidden treasures of the soul, poetry is the language we must use.

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Photo by Michal Mrozek on Unsplash

The ineffable is impossible to capture in language, yet poetry offers an attempt to translate. Merriam-Webster defines poetry as: “ writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”

The word poetic is a symbol for something of indescribable beauty or magnificence. Experiences that shake us to the core, move us in immeasurable ways, or simply catch us in a moment, suspended in time. Poetry speaks in states of wonder, awe, and fascination.

Disillusionment, disenchantment, material science, and apathy towards the divine strips the…

Story Spotlight

Practical philosophy to guide us through challenging times

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Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

The urgent issues facing humanity in 2021 require solutions on multiple levels: the transcendental and the personal, the individual and collective, the vast and the precise.

How do we coexist in harmony and create a better world? How do we protect the planet and look after ourselves? How do we work towards individual happiness and togetherness?

Philosophy has the power to illuminate, inspire, and offer solutions, all of which adam dhalla demonstrates in “The Right Philosophy for Our Times.”

Evoking the “crisp autumn air” of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond, Dhalla explores the nuances of transcendentalism, painting a…

Learning the language of the cosmos is like learning to swim

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Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa [Creative Commons License]

Wave. /weɪv/. Noun: 1. a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore.

August 2020. I tilt my birthday card back and forth. Waves, formidable and frozen behind plastic, shift, ever-so-slightly. They’re foreboding and grandiose, captured at their peak, foam overlapping seabed before the inevitable crash.

I’m not sure if I’m mesmerized by the image, simultaneously familiar and new, or the lenticular effect. Or both.

On the back of the card is a handwritten note. Ever-thoughtful and imbued by her effortless poetry, Sanya refers to a metaphor from Joseph Campbell: “The psychotic drowns in…

Understanding the truth-seeking impulse and the difference between spiritual truth and narrative truth.

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Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

The human impulse to seek truth is like a plant’s impulse to grow towards the sun. It’s an innate part of our DNA. But what represents the sun? What are we instinctively drawn towards? It’s our true nature, the self residing not in the sky, but in the soul.

However, the sun is obscured. We are taught to direct our truth-seeking impulse out there. The world, now more than ever, is full of paradoxes, assumptions, conflicting information, and outright lies. Externalizing the truth-seeking impulse causes confusion and overwhelm.

Here, I’ll explain in detail the truth-seeking impulse and the distinction between…

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 —…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Ricky Derisz

Spirituality Coach. Join and get your free copy of Mindsets for Mindfulness → It’s a bribe, but worth it.

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