Our search for a philosophy of life has been fuelled by so many great works including those by Lao Tsu in China, Budda in India, Jesus in the middle east and Socrates in Greece. What is your philosophy of life? Do you have one? What has influenced your philosophy?
My current philosophy has formed through my experience of Macrobiotics, Zen, Buddhism, Taoism, Wabi Sabi, Feng Shui and modern works by people like Ken Wilber. However, it was when I let go of these, that a philosophy that resided in my head based on external influences became internal and part of me. I no longer think about it as I live it or feel attached to any part of it.
This quote by Zen monk Dogen describes the process.
“To learn the Buddhist way is to learn about oneself. To learn about oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to perceive oneself as all things. To realize this is to cast off the body and mind of self and others. When you have reached this stage you will be detached even from enlightenment but will practice it continually without thinking about it”.
Interestingly the biggest influence on my philosophy of life came through my children. Being a part of their lives helped me understand my own life so much better. My work with people through macrobiotics, feng shui, connection therapy, and healing has helped me explore what it is to be human and through that enjoy insights about myself. My experience and observations of nature helped me understand the process of change, cycles, and evolution.
So far my life has led me to a philosophy that I have never felt happier with. I have found that I can engage in life better through questions, and I am less concerned with answers. I try to reduce the risk of getting attached to ideas or beliefs as these limit my thinking. I am happier seeing life as half full rather than half empty, I try to keep my mind open and stimulate my natural curiosity. I have sought to simplify my mind and focus on those things that are most important to me. I am beginning to realise how little I know and how much more there is to explore.
Out of this I feel a greater trust of life and myself, and out of this old anxieties and fears have melted away. For me spending more time in the moment and connected to my self, or perhaps I could say my soul, has meant that I can experience more feelings of contentment, warmth and love. When I can act out of those feelings, that is the energy I bring to my actions. I feel so much better being guided by love, rather than fear.
I never realised how much difference my emotions could make to my physical and mental health. I used to think outside influences like food and the environment would have the biggest influence, but now I notice it comes from inside and it is the energy or love that I bring into my cooking, home and work that engages me most.
I would highly recommend writing down your own philosophy of life. How would you like to live your life? What are your intentions? How do you want to interact with other humans? What guides your decisions? You can review and update it from time to time as life changes and you evolve through experience.
Simon G. Brown
22 Belsize Square
London NW3 4HT
+44 (0) 20 7431 9897