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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.  Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." ~Linda Hogan

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What is the Art of Living?

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The art of living deals with several universal questions, including How do I live? How do I best live? What is the wisest way to live? How do I live creatively and optimally? 

The answers to these questions vary among individuals, cultures and generations.  I personally search for principles that are universal, ones that apply not just to me, but to all people in all times.  It is such principles that guide me in the art of living.

How do I Grow in the Art of Living?

For me, the answers to the above questions, including how to best live, leads me to incorporate art and music into my daily life.  But even before the arts I find that I need to be spiritually grounded, that is, I need to practice and understand the principles of living.  This has led me to various studies, including Psychology, T'ai Chi, Art and the Bible.  Bible study is not about religion to me. It is about the art of living.  It is about learning and practicing a universal system for meek, humble, merciful and just living.  It is a system, which directly takes up the most universal questions, such as What is wisdom and how do I apply it? What is truth? Who is the Creator? What is the Word?

We have all heard the statement, "The truth will set you free".  I believe the truth spoken about here refers not just to facts and historical events, but principles too.  So, it can be said, the principles of Life, or of the Creator, will set you free.

The art of living is a holistic and interdisciplinary affair, and so it is dependent on many disciplines and activities.  There are many fundamental activities, including reading, working, resting, playing & eating, which we need to balance and become somewhat proficient at, in order to grow in the art of living.  When practicing the art of living we can employ art, science, nutrition, philosophy, sports and many other disciplines to help us grow.

Aside from letting any number of disciplines help us, we can also learn and apply universal principles (AKA truth).  In my life, it is the principles that have helped me in immeasurable ways.  Principles are universal rules or laws which were not created by man.  If a law or rule was created by man, then it is not truly a principle.  Principles can be observed by men and principles can be applied by men.  But principles are not created by men.  Principles are part of the invisible and spiritual universe and were created and established by the Creator.

Although it took me years to reach this conclusion, I can sum up my journey in the art of living by saying if principles help me grow, then I simply need to search for and apply them to my daily living and specific activities.  For instance, if I want to play music, I can simply apply universal rules or principles of rhythm, harmony & melody.  Or if I want to paint, I can apply principles of color and composition.  If I want to be healthy or grow in health, I can apply principles of  nutrition, such as eating foods that are rich in anti-oxidants.  On a practical level this means when I go to the grocery store I would need to choose and buy foods that are rich in anti-oxidants.  Likewise, when I'm in the kitchen I need to choose and prepare such foods.  This shows that principles have practical application.  In all these cases the principles were established long before you and I.  Further, they cannot be destroyed nor changed.  They are universal and hence, everyone can apply and grow from them.

 

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