About Meditation and Rational Spirituality
To me, meditation and spirituality are about learning to see things differently. It’s an inner-science: Close your eyes, look within, and examine what’s there. It’s not necessarily about the universe at large, it’s about your inner experience, moment to moment.
What do I mean by “rational spirituality”? I simply mean meditative practices that do not require belief in deities, membership of a religion, recitation of scripture, magic crystals, or men in robes and long beards. In a society that’s increasingly non-religious, this is important. I think if people are taught to explore their inner lives without the baggage of religion and mysticism, the world could be a better place.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife and our new baby. I currently make my living working for a photo studio that specializes in car photography. My role there is mostly behind-the-scenes: manage the website content, make photographic prints, assist on photo shoots, and input keywords and captions to make the photos searchable on the website.
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My father has been a professional photographer for a few decades, and his work has inspired the way I approach my creative pursuits. He is completely self-taught: Over the years he spent countless hours poring over technical books and articles, learning the art and science of photography on his own. He never tired of honing his skills. He always told me, “You can’t be truly creative until you’ve mastered your craft.” So when I attended Sonoma State University, it was this mindset that inspired me to major in creative writing: I wanted to master the craft of writing. I can now say that I’ve made significant progress, but mastery is an asymptote: a never-ending process of upward trajectory. You’re always reaching a bit further than you did before.
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My grandfather was an architect of some fame. He designed unique homes, schools, churches and shopping centers around the Bay Area and elsewhere. He loved his job and seemed to relish in the process. Before he would start a project, he would visit the open plot of land where the building was to be built and listen, allowing it to directly inspire his creative ideas. He spoke about this in an interview once, “You leave yourself open and it all starts flooding in. You’re listening for more than superficial things. The most powerful things come in when you listen. You have to find the architecture, you don’t come to it preconceived.″
About the Blog
Tyler’s Brain is a blog that catalogues my intellectual, personal, and spiritual interests. I post when I can, but I don’t keep a schedule. I have a pretty wide breadth of interests, but in recent years my three main digs have been: meditation and spirituality, mind sciences (psychology, neuroscience, etc.), and, occasionally, dissecting current political events with a philosophical angle.
The part that I enjoy most about writing and posting on the internet is the feedback: the discussion that ensues when somebody reads something and gets inspired, curious, confused, or pissed off, and feels suddenly compelled to respond—in a comment, a Facebook post, or an e-mail. I hope that you’ll feel these inclinations at some point as you browse my site, and write to me, and that we can have a civil discussion, political argument, or philosophical revelation. I’m game for any. I deeply enjoy good conversation, and I hope we’ll both learn something, so please, fire away!
Connect with me on Facebook or e-mail me at tyler.callister (at) gmail (dot) com