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Close to the Ground: “The Answer is ‘Yes’”

Devote Yourself to Your Own Goal

Columnists
If you stood next to him in an elevator, you would see a handsome man whose shock of white-gray hair, sparkling eyes, and casually expensive clothes suggest a venture capitalist visiting from California, maybe, or someone who owns a string of locavore restaurants along the coast.Robert Burridge is neither. Instead, he is a prolific artist. From morning until late at night, he creates fabulous, bursting-with-color acrylic paintings. When he isn’t in his studio, he teaches around the world, judges art competitions, and prepares for his own museum shows. Standing next to him in that elevator, you would feel his happiness. The man shines.To get to happy, Bob had to give up his career as the head of an extremely successful California design firm. As he tells the story, he was chugging along until he caught a television interview with philosopher Joseph Campbell. Something about Campbell’s classic advice, “follow your bliss,” stopped him in his tracks. Campbell was offering people permission to be exactly who they were and to trust themselves when it came to figuring out what that meant.Bob took the advice an …

Geri Larkin is the founder and former head teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, a Zen meditation center in the heart of inner-city Detroit. She is the author of many books including Stumbling Toward EnlightenmentBuilding a Business the Buddhist Way,Tap Dancing in ZenFirst You Shave Your Head, and The Still Point Dhammapada


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