Zen and the Art of Making a Living

zenbookThe Flow Factory is offering a playshop based on the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence Brandt. According to the book, “Zen is the integration of the spiritual and material—the shattering of any artificial separation we might impose.” As we move into this new paradigm of interdependence, and the government which has for so long herded us toward independence has now shut down, many of us are seeing the shattering of these artificial separations and realizing the unity of life which actually flows through all things.


Entering into this Renaissance as we move from the Age of Separation into the Age of Reunion, we are blessed with the fruit of the ages that have gone before us and the revolutions they created. Learning from the example of the Agricultural Revolution, we can revisit this concept of growing food where we live to develop the lifestyles of community, creativity, and resiliency that we long for. Drawing from what has worked from the Industrial Revolution, we can systematize our procedures and activities while simultaneously basking in the glow of the Information Revolution and realizing that all we need to know is at our disposal. Separating the wheat from the chaff through the harvest of our history, we have now, more than any other time in our civilization’s evolution, the capacity to incite the Wisdom Revolution.


By beginning to recognize and consciously work with the archetypes presented in this book—the Poet, the Hero, the Magician, the Warrior, and the Student-Sage—one may begin to experience his entire life in a mythic or spiritual context. Everyday life is experienced as a heroic quest and played as a game. In it, we fight for what we believe in, and we learn eagerly as students, and wisely, patiently as sages. All of this is framed within a poetic view of life—a view guided by the heart, alive with the spirit, and nourished in love.


Throughout our collective history, as notorious as our species has been for taking wrong turns and pandering to the wanton nature of avarice, violence, and self-importance, we have all esteemed those sages, prophets, heroes, and messiahs that perpetuated the ideal of love as true power. There is enough intrinsic value in loving what you do, who you’re with, and where you’re doing it to create an absolutely wealthy life even without the trimmings propagated through the commodity world view. Should we love our world enough and ourselves enough to go the extra mile in creating our lives instead of having them created for us, we have the potential for a miraculous shift in the operations of planet Earth.


We must have the love to go for what we know is right, even if it means paying a price. We who love life must work with life for life, while celebrating the mystery that is life. In short, we must be actively engaged in making the world the best it can be, while loving it exactly as it is. We must have the courage to believe that the world we have dreamed will one day be made manifest and that what we do as individuals makes a difference. We must have the courage to reject the idea of settling for work that is destructive to human happiness, or even indifferent to it. We must have the patience to view the movement toward life’s work as a week, a month, a year, or even several years but something that takes a deep commitment and the patience to see it through.


If you would like to take this journey with us, The Flow Factory is offering the Zen and the Art of Making a Living Playshop every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm. The fee schedule for the playshop includes a Pay-How-You-Want platform so that you can choose to support The Flow Factory with $5, 1 time dollar through the Common Wealth Time Bank, or one item from our wishlist. The Flow Factory is located at 2035 Cornell Street and is open 24/7 by appointment only.


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