WHAT IS THE ART OF LIVING GUIDE?

La Danse, Henri Matisse 1909
'La Danse', Henri Matisse, 1909
The Art of Living Guide is a platform to 'pool our resources' by sharing our thoughts and experiences on those aspects of being alive which concern us all – irrespective of our religious or cultural backgrounds - so that we can all help each other learn more about the mysterious and complex ‘art’ of being alive.Read more
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There are always flowers

Henri Matisse, France

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

A Wider Perspective

The Dalai Lama, Tibet

(Submitted by The Office of H.H. The Dalai Lama)

We can cultivate and achieve happiness, remove and eliminate suffering, provided we are able to engage in a practice which is in tune with the law of nature and in tune with how things actually exist. No matter how strong an individual is, we have to live as a human community.

The Way of Birds

Mark Nepo, USA

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

There is a deep and humbling lesson in the way of birds. Their wings grow and stretch and span patches of air. First tentatively and then with confidence, they lift, they pump, they glide, they land. It seems, for birds, it is the act of flying that is the goal. True, they migrate and seek out food, but when flying, there is the sense that being aloft is their true destination.

Thirty-three happy moments

Chin Shengt'an, China

(Submitted by Oliver Brooks, England)

Whilst stranded in a temple with a friend for ten days on account of rainy weather, Chin Shengt'an, 17th century Chinese playwright, counted the truly happy moments of human life, moments in which the spirit is inextricably tied up with the senses:

Keep the channel open

Martha Graham, USA

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and since there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

Darsha

Acharya Mahapragya, India

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

Indian philosophy, or ‘darsha’, is based on perception, or seeing. In fact, 'darsha’ means seeing or perceiving. Its meaning has changed now. The philosophy being taught in colleges and universities today is based on inference and reasoning, but in ancient times it stood for direct apprehension. Not inference, not abstract reasoning, not causation, not universality or pervasiveness, but sheer apprehension. Today, we have lost the power to see and we fail to distinguish between thinking and perceiving.

A New Glasnost for the Planet

Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia

(Submitted by the author)

It may seem paradoxical, but despite having borne witness to the countless humanitarian and environmental disasters of recent decades, I am an optimist. But being an optimist does not mean simply looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses, like Voltaire’s Candide, and declaring everything to be for the best, despite an endless array of misfortunes.

The days that make us happy

John Masefield, England

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

The days that make us happy make us wise.

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