David Whyte:”I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life”

When you experience that heartbreak and humiliation, are you able to make it useful in your work?

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David Whyte- I would certainly say so in poetry, and I hope it’s so in human relationships too. I’ve learned there’s a cycle of grief in every art form and relationship. When I finished my last book of poetry, Pilgrim, I realised the tide was about to turn, so I started writing furiously.

There’s that great line at the end of As You Like It, where Shakespeare says: “The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” The songs of Apollo have poetry and lyricism, and Mercury is the messenger god who is getting the work out in the world—through printing it and reading it. I remember when I suddenly wrote a poem in a very different voice and I knew that particular tide was over. There was a kind of a beautiful, poignant grief to it. At the same time there was a sense of completion and harvest, and a sense of thankfulness.

If you read the great German-speaking poet Rilke, around the Duino Elegies, he had an experience of this visitation—of an enormous tidal current of creativity and presence and then the sense of suddenly being left. This feeling of being left is just the fact that you don’t recognise the new territory. You’re meant not to know. I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life, that can put its arms around the part that finds things difficult, that wants life to be different.

Source – https://www.dumbofeather.com/conversations/david-whyte-is-an-everyday-poet/

Michael A Singer:”You start by letting go of the little things that irritate you for no reason”

YJ: How did your practice help you stay centered (and peaceful) during your amazing rise to success as founding CEO of a billion-dollar public company and also during your indictment on federal fraud conspiracy charges (which were later dropped)?

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Singer: 
Though I have consistently maintained daily practices, my true practice of yoga is done inside at all times. It is this internal practice of constantly letting go of whatever disturbance arises within that has allowed me to stay centered through these amazing situations life has presented to me. Yoga is like a fine wine that becomes better over time. You start by letting go of the little things that irritate you for no reason, like the weather, or someone else’s attitude. Of what purpose is it to get disturbed by things that are just passing by and are pretty much out of your control? So you begin the practice of allowing the shifts in your inner energy to just pass through internally. You do this by deeply relaxing and giving them the space they need to pass. It is very much like relaxing into an asana. The more you relax, the easier it becomes, until at some point it becomes an enjoyable experience. It can be the same inside if you begin relaxing and releasing early enough in the process. Then something bigger happens in life that challenges your willingness to relax and let the reactionary disturbance pass by within. Your tendency is to resist the uncomfortable feeling and control your environment so that you don’t have to deal with the inner disturbance. But your commitment to yoga demands that you let go and use each situation life puts you in to go beyond your comfort zone. This is the true practice of yoga, and it becomes your way of life.

But what will happen to my outer life if I commit myself to letting go within? That is the subject matter of The Surrender Experiment. What happens is phenomenal. You begin to see a perfection between what you need to let go of inside and what unfolds outside. You are presented each moment with the perfect situations to bring up the issues you have stored within, which in yoga we call samskaras, and you are then given the opportunity to let them go. If you do this each time, you will achieve the goal of yoga — a liberated energy flow that constantly bathes you with love and bliss as it rises within you. So becoming CEO of a public company and being wrongly charged by the federal government are both the same — they are amazing opportunities to let go of yourself at a very deep level and learn to surrender to the phenomenal perfection of a life devoted to yoga.

Source : https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/surrender-experiment

Seth Godin:”I don’t think my audience owes me anything”

Question: What are the five things that enabled you to be successful?

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Seth Godin: If we define success as the ability to make a living doing what I do, I’d say the following:

  1. No ulterior motive. I rarely do A as a calculated tactic to get B. I do A because I believe in A, or it excites me or it’s the right thing to do. That’s it. No secret agendas.
  2. I don’t think my audience owes me anything. It’s always their turn.
  3. I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there. I’m not in a hurry, at all, to finish the “bigger” project, to get to the finish line.
  4. I do things where I actually think I’m right, as opposed to where I think succeeding will make me successful. When you think you’re right, it’s more fun and your passion shows through.
  5. I’ve tried to pare down my day so that the stuff I actually do is pretty well leveraged. That, and I show up. Showing up is underrated.

Source : https://guykawasaki.com/ten_questions_w-10/

Piotr Anderszewski:”there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense”

Do you not find this paradoxical, in a world which is becoming more and more standardized?

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Piotr Anderszewski: It’s less standardized than you think. At the end of the day, I think I would prefer pianos to be identical everywhere (although I’m sure that would actually make me crazy!). Before, there were more piano makers on the market, and their instruments had more unique traits. Today, if Fazioli tries to gain ground, for example, it’s faced with a quasi-monopoly by Steinway on the concert circuit. But Steinway remains a house of high fashion, which makes hand-sewn products: every one of their pianos has its own personality. The tuning, maintenance, storage, the general state of the piano makes each one different – a Steinway from Hamburg is different from one from London, New York, or Tokyo. That said, I hate nothing more than talking with technicians who come to ask you if you want a piano with a ringing sound or a more muffled one, rich or brassy, heavy or light action. That doesn’t make any sense! I want it to ring and be muffled, I want brassy and rich, I want heavy and light! The worst is when a technician assures you that, if you don’t like the regulation, they can “have it all fixed in 5 minutes” – nothing is impossible, they can change everything – in 5 minutes! That makes me scratch my head. I prefer technicians who tell me outright, “You’re looking for something that this piano cannot do.”

The same thing goes for sound engineers: we don’t speak the same language. I just express my point of view (the idea being of course that I be able to recognize my playing), but this kind of conversation seems rather vain to me. I don’t understand anything, really nothing at all, regarding the changes they say they have made on the tracks. For me, in any case, it’s just as bad as it was when they started! I don’t know a thing about all this business of spacing, placing, positioning mikes. I’m not an expert in instrumental mechanics. Is that wrong? Should I be more like my compatriot Krystian Zimerman? Whatever the case, there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense: you always have to account for the space around it that you have to fill with sound. That’s why I don’t think traveling with my own piano would solve anything. At times, I’ve chosen a piano to record an album in a warehouse or in a backstage room, then once the piano is in the recording studio, I think there’s been a mistake: I’ll check, realize that the serial numbers are the same, but nonetheless I don’t recognize it any more, not the touch nor the sound.

Source : http://www.iplaythepiano.com/piano-mag/piotr-anderszewski-interview.html

Orhan Pamuk:”I think that fiction teaches us something essential about life”

Interviewer  : A year ago, a very famous Dutch art critic came into my house and saw all my books and said, “What a waste of time to read all those novels.” For him literature is something that is really dead.

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Orhan Pamuk: I would say that his kind of understanding of reading literature, which implies that one could have done something more useful with one’s time, is very utilitarian. I think it is very premodern to look at books as objects that will educate you, or benefit you, or to consider reading as an intellectual investment you could somehow rely on in the future. With his statement, this art critic implies that, unfortunately, reading literature is a wrong investment. Right?

Interviewer: Yes.

Orhan Pamuk: Well, I think that fiction teaches us something essential about life. I have learned a lot about life from fiction — from Dostoyevsky, from Tolstoy. My understanding of major categories of life comes from fiction rather than the laws of psychology. But I will tell you something. For me, the urge to write and read fiction is not utilitarian. Instead it is like playing with toys. When I was a kid, I just wanted to play with my brother, or with this toy or that toy, without knowing why. The instinct to write fiction has that aspect, and the instinct to read fiction has that aspect.

Source : http://bidoun.org/articles/orhan-pamuk

Jony Ive:”you have to understand there are measures of focus, and one of them is how often you say no”

Q: How do you clear away — this is almost an organizational question, but it’s an essential question, and in any creative enterprise — clear away the — forgive me — the crap of everyday concerns and meetings that are of modest interest, et cetera, and think down the line in essential ways. How do you organize that? How did you figure out how to do it in your place of work?

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IVE: Well, I — I — I mean, this — this is something very literally I had the most wonderful teacher in Steve, and I have never — I have never met anybody with his focus. And the — the — the efforts — its not you decide to be focused one month and you strung (ph) along, but the hourly, the daily extraordinary effort that it takes to focus.

And I remember sort of early on when we were working, and he was saying that, Jony, you have to understand there are measures of focus, and one of them is how often you say no. And we — we got into this incredibly patronizing deal where he would ask me how often I said no, and I would make stuff up, and one night — no, that’s not quite true. I didn’t make it up, but I wasn’t interested in doing something. So to say no was — was without great sacrifice.

source : https://9to5mac.com/2017/10/06/jony-ive-new-yorker-techfest-live/

Yayoi Kusama :”In recent years the world has become unpeaceful and full of turmoil”

Q: You once said: “I create art for the healing of all mankind.” Is this vision already partially fulfilled for you?
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Yayoi Kusama :In my decades of work, I have always thought of humankind’s love and world peace. I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art. In recent years the world has become unpeaceful and full of turmoil. As an artist, I think it is important to share the love and peace and hope to deliver that to people who are suffering and do not have the opportunity to enjoy the joy of art. The fact that I paint helps me to keep away thoughts of death for myself.