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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Cosmic Symphony - a Deeper Look at Quantum Consciousness

Ervin Laszlo, Hungary

(Submitted by the author)

The rise of quantum consciousness could be the biggest step our species has taken since it came down from the trees. It would bring us to a new stage of species maturity - and could also enable us to surmount the problems that threaten our life and our future.

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.


Aldous Huxley, England

(Submitted by Margaret Naylor, England)

In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. We reproduce our kind by bringing the father’s genes into contact with the mother’s. These hereditary factors may be combined in an almost infinite number of ways. Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.

The Joy of Small Things

Subhashini Raghavan, India

(Submitted by the author)

It was monsoon season; the power had gone; I couldn't switch on the computer or the TV or use the phone; the streets were flooded and I couldn't go out. I was bored beyond belief. Then I glanced out my window at the nearest puddle and began to see the life forms floating through: there was the big black ant clinging on to the edge of a floating leaf, making an effort to climb up, as if scaling Everest.
Then, the millipedes crawling away at the corners with what appeared to be a million legs.

The power of love

Julie Raymond, USA

(Submitted by the author)

Some years ago, with the help of two equally concerned women, I ran a modest Great Dane rescue operation from my home. Ten dogs passed through my hands in one year. Each dog had its own history of abuse, or neglect. One dog in particular was so emaciated that every bone in his spine pushed though his skin from the base of his neck to the top of his tail. He couldn’t even be neutered until he gained weight. He was nearly fully grown, unruly, and wild.

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:

The Role of a Lifetime

Michael Douglas, USA

(Submitted by the author and originally published in 'The Art of Living')

It’s hard to balance work and family. I work in an industry that has a relatively short window of opportunity, extremely long hours and can take you away from home for months at a time. The rewards can be fantastic: fame, wealth, artistic gratification, never standing in line for a table at a restaurant. But the guilt of shortchanging your family can gnaw away at you.

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.


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