Tag Archive | The Beautiful Practice

My Central Focus

To teach any subject is to participate in part in teaching the art of being human. A great teacher whether it is of chemistry, English, Parkour or martial arts is a teacher who calls forth a more profound understanding of that central art. (Rafe Kelley)


I’m a polymath. I have so many interests. The problem is, I’m pulled in too many directions. I’ve been journaling a lot to gain clarity on what the best central focus is.

Finally, it struck me: language.

I’m fascinated by the magical technology we call ‘language’. We’re immersed in it. It’s for us like water to the fish, invisible, yet it shapes our thoughts and feelings and traces the boundaries of our (inter)subjective reality.

I’m currently studying to become an English teacher. It allows me to practice teaching and delve more deeply into the mechanics of language. At the same time, I’ll be exploring ways of learning (and teaching) all language-related skills – and playing with ways of learning multiple at the same time.

The ultimate goal is to create practical handbooks for all the skills I’m interested in and to integrate them into a single master practice which I call The Beautiful Practice.

Natural Pauses

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Appreciate natural pauses.”

What are natural pauses?

Pausing is an essential (and subtle) life skill. By pausing, you’re creating space for awareness and connecting with yourself, for love and play and gratitude and beauty, for reflection and accessing your resources. You can think of it as a micro-meditation.

Think of an impulse, for instance. Much of the time, they are invisible. An impulse arises and we immediately act on it. Sometimes it works for us, other times against us. Pausing after the impulse arises creates a space between stimulus and response to ask yourself:

Do I want to act on this impulse?

Every impulse is an opportunity to practice the skill of pausing.

Natural pauses are pauses that arise naturally when engaged in an activity or when transitioning between activities.

Let’s say you’re browsing the Internet and a page takes too long to load. By default, we tend to think of it as an annoyance. Instead, learn to see and appreciate the opportunity, and make the most of it.

Breathe, connect with yourself, smile, and, for a moment, contemplate all the gifts and miracles that you’re taking for granted: technological wonders like the Internet and your computer and language, the biological wonders that are your BodyMind and all life forms, the beautiful interconnectedness of the world, the cosmic ocean and the universe of the very small, etc. Take a moment to find your way back to wonder.

By creating pauses and taking advantage of natural pauses, you’re creating space to take in the beauty of the world.

Integral Practice

How you do anything is how you do everything. (Josh Waitzkin)

Every moment of human life is a rep. (Frank Forenchich, Beautiful Practice)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is integral practice?”

It is the practice that integrates all other practices. I call it the Beautiful Practice.

We have a tendency to fragment and compartmentalize our experience. Integral practice is the realization that it’s all interconnected.

Every little choice, every little decision, every little movement, every little interaction… every single thing you do and experience is the Beautiful Practice.”

Beautify 3

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I beautify any moment?”

Make it meaningful.

Play
See/Feel/Listen (Awareness)
Relax
Smile
Create
Live/Practice your Values
Take nothing for granted

Live beautiful 2

When people say: “You do so many things. You’re a musician, you’re a painter, you’re a composer, you’re a cinematographer, you’re the editor.” I go, “No, I only do one thing. I live a creative life. When you put creativity in everything, everything becomes available to you. (Robert Rodriguez)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does live beautiful mean to you?”

“As you know, my Ikigai, my life’s purpose expressed in one word is Beautify [<link; short read]. What this means is that I see life through the lens [<link; short read] of Beauty.”

“Is that why you call yourself a Life-Artist?”

“Precisely.

The name of my life philosophy is Playful Living, which flows from my Ikigai.
The core of my philosophy is my central value, the twin value of Loving Play [<link; short read].
The essence of my philosophy is beautifully expressed in Robert Rodriguez’s quote.

Live a creative life. (Creative Living)
– Make your life a work of art.
– Make today a work of art. (Carpe Diem)
– Live each day like it’s your last. (Marcus Aurelius)
– Make this moment of work of art.

Expanded, it means many other things:

Live an extraordinary life.
Become extraordinary.
– Be brilliant every single day.
– Live heroically and serve profoundly. (Brian Johnson)

Live life as deeply as you possibly can, and as beautifully as you possibly can. (Josh Waitzkin)

Live in a beautiful state and find beauty in whatever life brings you. (Tony Robbins)

Live fully in each moment. (Thich Nhat hanh)

Live simply.

Live boldly.
– Live fearlessly.

Live to learn. (Seth Godin)

Live at the stretch zone. (Josh Waitzkin)
– Live on the other side of pain. (Josh Waitzkin)

Live an authentic life.
– Live your truth and share it. (Kamal Ravikant)
– Live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you. (Bronnie Ware)

Live life on your own terms. (Darius Foroux)
– Earn with your mind, not your time. (Naval Ravikant)

Among other things.”

The Choice

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I become the best I can possibly be?”

Choose to be.

Choose to show up powerfully this moment.

Choose to never again settle for less than you can be.

The Memento Game 3

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I remember to practice?”

Access the practice through the feelings, not just the words.

Reality Painting 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is Reality Painting?”

“As a Life-Artist, you’re painting with Meaning.

You’re painting your inner world, through beautifying interpretations and representations. I call this practice, the Art of Perception.

You’re painting the outer world, through turning things in the environment into reminders for your Values. I call this practice, the Art of Anchoring.”

The Art of Perception 8

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

It’s all interpretation.

“What do you mean?”

“We do not respond to events but to our interpretation of events. 

All events are neutral. They’re like a canvas upon which we project our interpretations. 

All events can have multiple interpretations. Yet we have a tendency to settle for the first interpretation that comes to mind.

In an important sense, the Art of Living is the Art of Perception.”

“What do you mean by the Art of Perception?”

“I mean the practice of taking control of – and taking responsibility for – our interpretations.

Some interpretations are explicit, most are implicit. Many we don’t even know we have.

The practice has three main aspects:
– Making implicit interpretations explicit, revealing them for examination. 
– Beautifying interpretations, discovering the most beautiful interpretation in any situation.
– Rewriting our dysfunctional implicit interpretations and replacing them with beautiful ones.

Operationalizing Knowledge

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I failed again.”

“Was it for lack of knowledge?”

“I did have the knowledge. But I didn’t have it available when I needed it.”

“This illustrates an essential aspect of Wisdom:

It’s not enough to have knowledge. You must also be able to access it when the situation calls for it – especially when conditions are less than ideal. (Antifragility)”

“How do you do that?”

“All practical knowledge requires practice.

Practice forwards. Every time you access the right knowledge at the right moment is a rep[etition].

Practice backwards. Every time you access the right knowledge in the past is also a rep – ‘In that moment I could have done x’.

Do this over and over and over again, in different contexts and under various conditions, until you internalize it.

I call this practice Operationalizing Knowledge.”