If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass and the weeds. (Mary Oliver)
Most of my students have heard me say the most important thing I can teach is to develop a practice. Show up every day in your sacred making place, your temenos, even if it's only for five minutes. The other side of having a practice is that inspiration often begins elsewhere– that is, the hard work of being in your studio, not happy with what you are doing, etc. requires the balance of doing something you just love to do. Inspiration fills the cup!
I made a list this morning of things I love to do– (it was still dark and I could hear the robins wake up song)–
Going to a farmer's market full of fresh local produce and flowers
Cooking with lovely ingredients and fresh herbs for friends
Meandering in the woods, or the desert, or by the sea
Reading a good book– (The Art of Living, A Joseph Campbell Companion Book, is one of my favorites)
Memorizing a poem until I ingest it
Being with friends, lovely wine, good food, conversation, being and listening
Bringing a dream image into the daytime world by drawing, painting, writing or just placing something that honors the image in my temenos.
Music, live concerts, theatre and comedy
All of these activities have something in common: drifting– (thought– not the usual intention to reach an answer)– so often, instead of going where the real pleasure is (wandering along the path, wherever it is taking me)– I am pushing ahead for some result. But inspiration comes by allowing something to catch me by surprise, out of the corner of my eye. In other words, the indirect meandering is the balance to the direct efforts I make toward applying paint, writing a phrase or making a list.
I was enjoying everything: the rain, the path
wherever it was taking me, the earth roots
beginning to stir.
I didn’t intend to start thinking about God,
it just happened.
How God, or the gods, are invisible,
But holiness is visible, entirely.
It’s wonderful to walk along like that,
thought not the usual intention to reach an answer
but merely drifting.
Like clouds that only seem weightless
but of course are not.
Are really important.
I mean, terribly important.
Not decoration by any means.
By next week the violets will be blooming.
Anyway, this was my delicious walk in the rain.
What was it actually about?
Think about what it is that music is trying to say.
It was something like that.
(poem by Mary Oliver)
What is on your list of things you love to do? I'd love to hear from you.