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Hey there. My name is Tyler Callister.

I work as an image keyword and caption writer for a stock photography company. I work for a stock photography company where I write the image keywords and captions. I live in the Bay Area, right on the border between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. I live in San Mateo, CA, right on the line between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. I’ve lived the Bay Area most of my life. Although I did spend a year living in Portland, OR, where I drank a lot of beer, did some magic mushrooms, and probably tried too hard to not be a hipster (thereby making me hipster).

Now I’m in San Mateo, CA, right on the line between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

On Meditation

I guess what makes me different from your typical spiritual seeker is that I think we can walk the spiritual path with our sense of reason intact. And I don’t think we need “-isms” in order to take on the projects of becoming more compassionate, less neurotic, and less attached to our egos. If the Buddha had any valuable insights, as indeed he did, then those insights transcend Buddhism itself. The Buddha was not a “Buddhist,” nor is it clear that he necessarily envisioned “Buddhism” becoming a major world religion in the way it has today. So what’s the point of propping up this religious artifice?

I think we can talk about meditation, self-transcendence, and the relevant scientific and philosophical topics surrounding it without having to resort to being religious. I also, by the way, don’t think we need to listen to the dreary ramblings of religious studies professors who constantly try to put religion in its “social context.” Religion, in my view, is dogma, plain and simple. Any attempts to interpret holy books as metaphorical, non-literal, or completely open to interpretation, are watering down the ideas so much as to make them unrecognizable. Religious books were not intended to be literature. And although many people throughout the world enjoy them that way, there are too many who don’t. This is dangerous when you encounter lines like,  and

If religious books are just literature, then we ought to place them on the same shelf in the library with Hemmingway or Falkner or whoever else. But we don’t. Religion continues to enjoy a special section—in libraries and in the hearts of people across the world—as providing some deep answers to questions of what to believe and how to behave. But answers to these questinos are too important to be left up to religion. Science, philosophy, and art are handling the job just fine, thank you, and we don’t need religious dogmatists mucking up the situation.

Maybe all of this is a moot point here, because meditation and mindfulness have become maintstream these days. Scientists can now talk about meditation with a straight face. A whoff of scientific studies on meditation—specifically on a certain type of meditation known in Buddhism as “vipassana,”—have come out showing positive psychological benefits, and the media has pounced on it. It seems like everyday a new article comes out—about how Google employees meditate, or about how some prominent figure has begun meditating (when Rupert Murdoch announces he has begun medtating you know the practice is no longer a hippie thing). ABC news anchor Dan Harris, who wrote a book on mindfulness and is himself a religion-skeptic, predicts that one day meditation will prove so valuable that it will be like brushing your teeth—just a daily practice for maintaing basic health. That may happen, and I think tech-spiritual break throughs will be even more significant. If meditation becomes like brushing your teeth, then what will be the spiritual equivalaent of foride or the electric toothbrush?

then the spiritual equivalent of floride and the electric toothbrush could change everything. seems ready to pop out of the mind of brilliant scientist or entrepeneur. then imagine the spiritual equivalent of floride and the electric toothbrush. All it takes is one scientist or entrepeneur to change e

There’s some work going on this realm, such as studies that hook a meditator up to brain scanner that essentially tells

—if meditation becomes like brushing your teeth, then the spiritual equivalent of flouride and the electric toothbrush seems like the next step. that aid us in becoming more mindful or more psychologically at peace with our egos. There’s some studies happening with attaching medtiatioor up to brain scanners and giving them a live biofeedback where they that shows them when they are in a deep meidtatiove state and when they are drifting into thoughts.

So, if finding peace is the goal, then “let go,” of even the religion itself. 🙂

 

 

 

Art, Craft and Process

My father has been a professional photographer for 35 years. His dedication to craftsmanship inspires me. He always told me that you have master technique before you can truly be creative. In photography, for example,

My grandfather was an architect of some fame. He designed unique homes, schools, churches and shopping centers, and Wikipedia says that during a trip to Japan in 1966, “he was impressed by the ‘art of doing,’ emphasizing the process of creation rather than the product itself.” He seemed to relish in the process. Whenever he would start a project, he would go visit the open plot of land where the building was to be built and listen to it, 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.″

I guess that’s what I try to do with the things I make—allow it to come in naturally. Let go of my need to control it. This applies to both creativity and meditation. I’m a master of neither. But I hope this blog helps inspire me and others to keep trying. 

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