What began as a simple aim for 2017

What began as a simple aim for 2017

What began as a simple aim for 2017, to self-remember when talking, has blossomed into a new level of understanding in the work I had not bargained for nor knew existed. The aim still exists but it is now part of a greater aim aimed at accepting, moment by moment,...
February 2017

February 2017

A log suitable for firewood didn’t spring up last month. It grew in the course of years. Smaller branches may serve as kindling, but a fully-fledged fire such as the one that warms the personification of February featured atop this post can only be sustained by proper...

Identification with ‘doing’

My aim for this month is to observe and pull against my identification with “doing”. This came about as a result of observing haste in myself. Although I have had very little success at pulling against haste, I have, through observing myself in it, been...
January 2017

January 2017

Where were you a year ago, on the eve of 2016? Were you alone? Were you partying? Were you watching a firecracker spectacle from your kitchen balcony? Wherever you were, 365 days have gone by and the earth has completed a cycle around the sun. The celebratory nature...
What about time?

What about time?

“There seems to be plenty of it,” was all I would answer, when the investigator asked me to say what I felt about time. Take a breath. Experience the sense of I am here in its inhalation. Maintain that sense during the peak of saturation. Exhale consciously. Then...
What is Paradise?

What is Paradise?

What is your aim? To know the truth? To become master of yourself? To be able to Be? This state is represented by Paradise, a garden of abundance where all creatures live in harmony. You are given to enjoy the benefits of this garden on condition that you avoid the...
The Unforeseeable Present

The Unforeseeable Present

“I am Lufthansa flight attendant Hans Schupfer and this is my crew manager Claudia Becker. We are very sorry to inform you that you cannot board this flight.” “What? Why not?” “If we let you on the plane, the Russian’s will not let you off.” “What do you mean, won’t...
Nature’s Trick

Nature’s Trick

“If you ask a man whether he is conscious,” said Peter Ouspensky, “he will answer that he is conscious and that it is absurd to say that he is not, because he hears and understands you. And he will be quite right, although at the same time quite wrong. This is...
Who is the rich man?

Who is the rich man?

“I wish to be famous, rich, and powerful,” I protest. “I need you to be an office-worker,” says God. Reluctantly, I consent. As an office-worker, I must commute five days a week, unwatched by the public, undocumented by the media. Five days a week, I must step out the...
Ritual and Routine

Ritual and Routine

The first half hour of my every day is entirely predictable. I get out of bed, step into the shower, shave, comb my hair, brush my teeth, dress myself, and step into the kitchen to grind coffee. Half an hour a day adds up to three and a half hours a week, 14 hours a...
Is All the World a Stage?

Is All the World a Stage?

Juliet always falls in love with Romeo, always marries him, and always dies with him. A play with any other outcome cannot rightly be called Romeo and Juliet. We, the audience, witness a predetermined progression and end. We enjoy the lovers’ affections, sympathize...
The Narrow Way

The Narrow Way

Our driver has made a mistake. The car is now stranded on one lane trying to merge onto another. Until our destination clears, we are forced to dangerously block the approaching traffic. Cars are racing towards us. I sense a surge crawl from the base of my spine to...
Three Experiments Revisited

Three Experiments Revisited

In the last month, we explored the relationship of the heart and the mind to consciousness. This post brings what we learned to practical use by applying it to a three-part experiment. To get the most out of this experiment, avoid reading the instructions of the next...
The Power of the Mind

The Power of the Mind

“This is a leaf,” I tell my four-month old son. He stares in fascination. His eyes are witnessing something new, but he doesn’t yet know that it is called “leaf.” Nor does he yet know that he is called “Aviv.” Soon I will reverse the lesson: “What is this?” I will ask...
How deep is the moment?

How deep is the moment?

When the wealthy trader Giovanni Arnolfini married Costanza Trenta, he hired the best painter to commemorate their nuptial. After all, this would be their happiest moment, and the value of a portrait conveying that memory throughout the rest of their lives was rightly...
Pocket-sized ideas

Pocket-sized ideas

“Which you like most?” Yang Longming pulls out from his collection a bronze Lohan, a porcelain Kwan Ching, and a miniature Buddha. He sits back with a half-smile and observes me, as if there is an obvious right choice between these three artifacts, and after having...
To Desire and to Want

To Desire and to Want

We get what we want. This is a surprising law. The imagined narrative of our lives seems to contradict it. “Am I guaranteed to enjoy good health, or the benefit of using my talent to earn a living, or the fortune of a positive relationship with my spouse? Are you...
Unfound Solutions

Unfound Solutions

In Hinduism, the health of a cosmos relies on the struggle of good and evil. As long as gods and demons perpetually oppose each other, the cosmos they inhabit remains healthy, but if evil gains the upper hand, its well-being is threatened. At such times, a God of a...
Reviewing our New Year’s Resolution

Reviewing our New Year’s Resolution

On the 26th of December 2015, we invited readers to formulate their New Year’s resolution. We quoted Aristotle, who said, “All man’s well-being depends upon two things: one is the right choice of aim, of the end to which actions should tend, the other lies in the...
Struggle of Yes and No

Struggle of Yes and No

“You can take one photo,” says the stubborn guard. “You mean, a photograph of only one painting?” “Si.” Our negotiations have borne fruit; one is better than none. We step into a hall of a thousand sculptures, portraits, and landscapes, some poorly lit, some nestled...
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