50 Inspiring Quotes from Alan Watts
Quotes, Alan Watts, beautiful, Inspiring, life, meaningful, motivation, quotes
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:32:10 +0000
There are times in our lives when we face hardships that seem impossible to overcome; times when we feel like just stopping and giving up — seeing no reason to go on. It is during those times that we need a bit of inspiration. So we can be thankful for the wonderful gift of life and that, despite the trials, there are always reasons for us to keep moving forward. When you find yourself in need of a jolt to keep going, here are some inspiring quotes by Alan Watts to draw some strength from and understand life along with yourself: To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering. Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything. Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations. You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it’s a drag? But you see, that’s what people do. No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever…. When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you thought it was. If you really understand Zen… you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because… the sound of the rain needs no translation. Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. The sense of wrong is simply failure to see where something fits into a pattern, to be confused as to the hierarchical level upon which an event belongs. The only Zen you’ll find on mountain tops is the Zen you bring up there with you. You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here. To be free from convention is not to spurn it but not to be deceived by it. The more we struggle for life (as pleasure), the more we are actually killing what we love. Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time. Every individual is a unique manifestation of the Whole, as every branch is a particular outreaching of the tree. Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them. Faith—in life, in other people, and in oneself—is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied. The problem comes up because we ask the question in the wrong way. We supposed that solids were one thing and space quite another, or just nothing whatever. Then it appeared that space was no mere nothing, because solids couldn’t do without it. But the mistake in the beginning was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable, like the front end and the rear end of a cat. Cut them apart, and the cat dies. Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space. There was never a time when the world began, because it goes round and round like a circle, and there is no place on a circle where it begins. Look at my watch, which tells the time; it goes round, and so the world repeats itself again and again. There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one’s eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way. To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be. You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing. The menu is not the meal. We seldom realize, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet. The greater part of human activity is designed to make permanent those experiences and joys which are only lovable because they are changing. Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.” Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect. Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep. How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god. Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time.
20 Simple Secrets to Taking Better Photos
Photography, How-To, methods, secrets, simple, Tips, tricks
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 05:08:40 +0000
Whether you are using an expensive camera, which does not guarantee good pictures, or using your camera on your phone, there are a few things you should keep in mind when taking pictures. To take good pictures you do not need to be a professional either. It is all in how you view the world and the things in it. It is the moments that make pictures great! As a general rule there are 20 guidelines you should follow that can change the way you picture the world right away. 1. Get in good and close. If you think your pictures do not stand out or create the feeling you are looking for, take a few steps closer and get into the action. A nice close up can make a picture pop. 2. Practice or shoot daily. Make sure that you spend a few moments every day to practice the tips provided. Make sure you have your camera on you at all times so you do miss a moment. 3. Use the light to your advantage. Don’t take pictures with the sun behind you as most people think. It tends to flatten your picture. However you need to make sure your subjects are facing the light to brighten the picture. To accomplish this use a flash during the day to brighten the mood whenever natural light isn’t sufficient. If you are in a stadium, gymnasium or a museum the only way to get a better picture is to turn off your flash and change your ISO to a higher setting to allow more natural light into the lens. 4. Read your camera or phone manual that describes the camera settings. Knowing how your camera functions is a vital part to taking pictures. Knowing what your camera will and will not do is important for the kind of pictures you want to take. There are also a lot of features that can enhance your photos. 5. Clean your lens. Making sure that soft dirt, dust, and debris are cleared off the lens will keep you from having to discard wonderful pictures you’ve captured. 6. Shoot the moment. Don’t take pictures for the sake of taking pictures. Life is a series of moments. And those moments make excellent pictures. 7. Move around. Pictures do not have to be taken from the same angle. Take shots in the moment by moving around and taking pictures from different perspectives. The change in scenery will amaze you! 8. Focus, focus, focus. Your camera will automatically focus either on what is in the center of the frame or on the object that is closest to the lens. To take amazing pictures you determine what your focus will be. 9. Frame it up! Look for natural frames for your pictures. You can use archways, door frames two trees or anything in a natural landscape. It is a simple technique that draws the focus back to your subject. 10. What’s so funny? A properly timed joke or funny can enhance a photo opportunity. 11. Save a photo by going black and white. At times, you can have a photo that has bad lighting and poor coloring but a wonderful setting and perfect subject matter. Why not convert that picture into black and white? Your camera or phone often will have filters that allow you to recolor a photo. Another way to salvage a photo is to crop out the bad stuff and keep the good. 12. Be in the moment. Don’t be afraid to follow your subject. Get down to eyelevel and bring the camera up and around the subject. Don’t feel like head on is the only way to photograph your subject. 13. Slow down and shoot with your mind. Don’t be afraid to take your time. Notice expressions and gestures. Pay attention to all the details. There may be something you don’t want to miss. 14. KISS your pictures. Keep It Simple Stupid. Too much clutter or elements in a picture will keep people from focusing on your subject. So keep things simple. 15. Don’t buy unnecessary photography equipment. If you want to spend money, you should buy books to give you inspiration and to show you fresh techniques. Too many extras just gets confusing. Keep your equipment small and easy to handle. 16. The rule of thirds. Cut your frame in thirds both horizontally and vertically. A lot of cameras and phones will do this with the boxes that appear on your screen. Make sure to localize your subject in the grid. 17. Get comfortable. Both you and your subjects should be comfortable. You should be accustomed to the feel and the weight of you camera as well as being able to hold it steady. Cameras and phones come with a stability setting and it is a good idea to use it. Your subject should be comfortable as well to keep photos looking natural and not posed. 18. Dusk to dawn. A good time to shoot pictures is at dusk or dawn. The colors are more vibrant and softer. 19. Take out the light. If you cannot get a good picture in the light move to the shade and use a flash. The shade can be a good friend. 20. Finally, be patient, persevere, and break the rules. You will get better over the course of time if you stick with it. Be sure to think out of the box and bend the rules when looking for subject matter and inspiration for beautiful photos. Your moment can be anywhere.