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How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love | Brain Pickings

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Good collection of stuff here.

holstee manifesto long

Note that the Holstee Manifesto (pictured) is available to buy as a poster.

"Find something more important than you are," philosopher Dan Dennett once said in discussing the secret of happiness, "and dedicate your life to it."

I like this line from Robert Krulwich:

"You will build a body of work, but you will also build a body of affection, with the people you've helped who've helped you back. This is the era of Friends in Low Places. The ones you meet now, who will notice you, challenge you, work with you, and watch your back. Maybe they will be your strength..."

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Favorite line from "The Holstee Manifesto"?

Stop over analyzing; life is simple.

Sometimes we need to wrestle through the complexity to realize which flavor of simple. There are many simple ways to see the world, most of them quite wrong.

The idea that there are many simples is fascinating.

I thought things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Stop over analyzing; life is simple.

That's the only one I disagree with. If you have any social issues whatsoever, like Asperger's or something, persistent cognitive analysis can often be the only way to determine the reality of a situation, determine the most appropriate behavior, and avoid painful and damaging mistakes.

Persistent analysis is not over analysis.

Over analysis involves vacillation, adding complexity, and second guessing ourselves, unable to make a decision.

Persistent analysis involves staying aware of our environment and the people in it.

mindfulness is not over analysis. compassion is not second guessing.

The Miracle of Zen

A priest of a Buddhist sect once challenged Zen master Bankei, "Our sect's founder had such amazing powers, he once wrote the name of Amida (Buddha of love) on a sheet of paper right through the air, while standing across the river from it. Can you perform such miracles?"

Bankei replied, "Your fox may have performed that trick, but that is not of concern to me. My miracle is that when I am hungry, I eat. When thirsty, I drink."

I love that koan!

You sent me looking for more, and I found this:

Zen students are with their masters at least ten years before they presume to teach others. Nan-in was visited by Tenno, who, having passed his apprenticeship, had become a teacher. The day happened to be rainy, so Tenno wore wooden clogs and carried an umbrella. After greeting him Nan-in remarked: "I suppose you left your wodden clogs in the vestibule. I want to know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs."

Tenno, confused, had no instant answer. He realized that he was unable to carry his Zen every minute. He became Nan-in's pupil, and he studied six more years to accomplish his every-minute Zen.

The Giver Should Be Thankful -

While Seisetsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei, a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodious school. This money he brought to the teacher.

Seisetsu said: "All right. I will take it."

Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.

"In that sack are five hundred ryo," hinted Umezu.

"You told me that before," replied Seisetsu.

"Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred ryo is a lot of money," said Umezu.

"Do you want me to thank you for it?" asked Seisetsu.

"You ought to," replied Uzemu.

Why should I?" inquired Seisetsu. "The giver should be thankful."

I just found their five manifestos for the creative life.

Holstee Manifesto is #3:

"This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love."

I know I've posted it before, but I must again

Inch Time Foot Gem

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day

Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.

Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

Still figuring out what this means. 

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