An anonymous comment, asking me where I learn what I write about, left me deep in thought. Learning has such expansive origins that it is challenging to even begin the explanation.
Essentially, what I write, both in my blog and in my songs, comes from my heart. I write from the deepest truth of my heart. I write what I have learned from my own experience with other people and within the events of my life. But, the workings of one’s heart do not happen in a vacuum. Our connections with everyone, every creature, everything in our world affect us whether we notice or not. In my experience, we learn from everything that happens in our day to day existence.
I think we go through a constant process of synthesis, taking what we learn and reaching for deeper truths in our own being. What comes out of my particular synthesis is unique, and that takes me back to what I have said about the importance of the special gifts we each bring to life. They are important. We don’t want to lose them.
I read a lot, sometimes science fiction/fantasy, sometimes gardening books, sometimes works about other times like the Aubrey/Maturin stories by Patrick O’Brien, sometimes autobiographies (I just finished the wonderful work by Li Cunxin, Mao’s Last Dancer). I read a great many works by saints or about them, and works about and by people like Mahatma Gandhi, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie (I am currently learning a great deal from The Work which Katie is sharing with others all over the world). I read the works of my own guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship, as well as the monks and nuns in that organization who share their wisdom. I could go on, but you get the general idea.
All of this feeds me, nurtures me, and even those books which seem to be lighter reading fare, such as science fiction/fantasy, can have deep truths in them. These are works by people who have also been reaching for their deepest truths and expressing what is in their hearts and their experience. These expressions of the heart can reach into my own, illuminating something within me. I am inspired in this way by other peoples’ actions, by their heart-felt words, by their growth and learning, the obstacles they have overcome and by their thoughtful reflections on their experiences. I gain new insight, renewed energy to do my own work, and courage to move into whatever life offers me.
This kind of inspiration is not limited to what I read in books. It comes from the dear people close to me in my life and from people I hear about who are thoughtful, whose actions are courageous, kind, and loving. It comes to me from music, from the creatures around me, from the rhythms in the garden…there is no end to the learning and the inspiration which comes from life and from the beings we share our lives with.