This is the first of (hopefully) a monthly recap of books I have recently read. I'll give my general thoughts of each book along with a more in-depth look at what I found to be interesting/insightful/inspiring about the books. Or, I may find that things are best left in the words of the author, and leave a few notable quotes for you to digest yourself.

 

Art Inc

by Lisa Congdon

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I found this book to be very practical and full of useful information, especially for up-and-coming artists in the fine art world. I especially liked the mini-interviews with successful artists, which were very informative and motivating. It's fascinating to hear so many different pathways to success, and especially inspiring to learn about artists who have created artistically fulfilling careers without sacrificing their vision. Personally, I skimmed over the two chapters that dealt with exhibitions, galleries, illustration, and licensing, only because I am not involved in those areas, however I would highly recommend this book as a road map for anyone who is interested in those topics.

“As an artist you have the opportunity to create your own unique stamp on the world.”

“Perhaps the most exciting aspect of being a full-time artist is the limitless potential for success. Once you shed the notion that an artist's life is made of struggle, you open yourself up to endless possibilities for exploration, innovation, and growth.”

 

The Power Of Now

by Eckhart Tolle

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This is probably the most profound book I have ever read, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. As I was reading it I started to write down notable quotes, but quickly realized that I would be quoting almost every page, so I stopped writing. If I can attempt to summarize the thesis, it would be that the main cause of suffering in the world is due to our inability to stop thinking. When you are thinking, you are usually mulling over a past event, or anticipating a future event, rather than basking in the joys of the present moment. This book helped me to understand the purpose of meditation, which I have experimented with but have had a hard time committing to yet. I won't try to provide more explanation, but I connected very strongly with this book and would encourage you to give it a try. Here are a few passages that I picked out:

“the Buddha's...definition of enlightenment...'the end of suffering.'”

“Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death...You can know it only when the mind is still.”

“Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.”

“...the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind.”

“The predominance of mind is no more than a stage in the evolution of consciousness. We need to go on to the next stage now as a matter of urgency, otherwise, we will be destroyed by the mind...”

“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”

“In the normal, mind-identified or unenlightened state of consciousness, the power and infinite creative potential that lie concealed in the Now are completely obscured by psychological time.”

“As long as you are in a state of intense presence, you are free of thought.”

“The art of inner-body awareness will develop into a completely new way of living, a state of permanent connectedness with Being, and will add a depth to your life that you have never know before.”

“If you remain in conscious connection with the Unmanifested, you value, love, and deeply respect the manifested and every life form in it as an expression of the One Live beyond form. You also know that every form is destined to dissolve again and that ultimately nothing out here matters all that much.”

“Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race.”

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