Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday to Us!

Friday was the fourth birthday of my old friend, this blog.  The blog was born on the same day as I was - August 22.   It was inspired by my need to focus on anything really which at that point in time happened to be New Age spirituality.  My first entry was on Eckhart Tolle and I share that post below in full for anyone whose interested.

The blog made a difference in my life.  It listened when no one else could.  Never judging.  Always available.  And it did, indeed, help me focus.  Over time, it became a bridge between my steadily expanding world and a long list of others.  The blog led me to books and courses and workshops and people.  It allowed me to share what I was learning and in so doing in some small part repay the debt I owed others - for the wisdom they so freely shared with me.

The blog became a channel for my own spiritual experience and it in turn helped me to define that experience.  As I followed that current I learned things I did not expect to learn.  And that continues till this day.   Finally, I think, it has led me back to the place I most need to be.  

I was poet when I was young and then, for the most part, life took over.  In the late nineties and early 2000s however things changed.   I wrote a series of manuscripts.  Born of my own strong need to escape disappointment and personal tragedy they were wild, impassioned and ultimately flawed - though not perhaps irretrievably.  But the writing of them taught me a few things about the craft writing.  And my work here has taught me too.

I am now following the wisdom of another not so New Age writer, Ray Bradbury.  He was born on August 22nd and his writing is sharp and poetic and filled with passion.  Perhaps because we share a birthday, his writing method appeals to me and I have promised myself that I will take the advice he gives in Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity and write 1000 non-blog words per day.

These words and the time it takes to write them have to come from somewhere and I may be cutting back on things.  Less workshops.  Less radio episodes.  Less down time.  But I will still be here every week for as long as I can type, paying my debt to those who have inspired me and those who care to read what I have written - and to my old friend The New Age Review as well.

Eckhart Tolle: A Short Bio  August 22nd, 2010

I don't read a lot of best sellers or New Age books and have definitely not read a book that spanned both those categories but I am reading Eckhart Tolle.  His book A New Earth is on my night table.  It  has a bright orange cover with a wrapper full of text about an Oprah / Eckhart web event.  And it brings with it a sense of possibility I had just about forgotten. 

I first saw and heard of Eckhart Tolle just last night on public access TV. It was almost 3 a.m. on the morning of my birthday and I couldn't sleep and I eventually found myself on the couch watching late night TV.  Surfing through the channels, I paused at Eckhart Tolle because I liked his voice.

A peaceful voice is a welcome thing on a sleepless night and I liked Tolle's lilt and his ill-fitting peasant vest and hobbit-like demeanor. He talked about spaciousness, attachment to objects and enlightenment. All of interest to me.  And he did not seem to take himself especially seriously which I find appealing in just about anyone.

Curious, I researched Tolle on the internet.  I learned that he was born in 1948 and had an unhappy childhood in the shadow of post-war Germany. He later relocated to Spain then England where he attended the University of London. He completed his post graduate work in 1977. I am not clear on his area of study.

Also in 1977, following years of depression, anxiety and spiritual seeking he underwent a self described spiritual transformation. Following this transformation, he lived with friends at a Buddhist monastery or slept on the open ground of Hampstead Heath in a state of peace and contentment. Following or during this period he began to provide spiritual instruction to individuals and small groups in England.

He found himself compelled to move to the North American West Coast in 1995 and has stated that the energy of northwest Canada made it possible for him to write a book he couldn't have wrote in England. That book, the Power of Now, was published in 1999. Other books followed, including "A New Earth" which I am surprised to find myself reading.

I have been meaning to start a blog for some time thinking that, perhaps, if I make a commitment to review a book I will finish it.  I have fallen into a bad habit lately of wandering away from them.  So this is the blog, please wish me luck with it.

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