Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Hi Shokai,Dear A.,I am trying to practice mindfulness in my daily activities but somehow I end up feeling kind of robotic in doing so, like I am micromanaging every action of the day. Suggestions?
Dear Shokai -Dear A.,I do see your point about mindfulness (or any other focal point of practice). I think for me I have trouble (and discomfort) with non-action, like I feel like I have to be doing something constantly (in this case, doing mindfulness). I have been quite surprised at how difficult it has been for me to simply sit in zazen. My monkey mind is quite strong and active.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The heart attack is merely a coincidence, but three leaping incidents in a little over a week (a Phish concert at Jones Beach, a Swell Season concert in California, and the Haddon suicide in Belgium) is a disturbing trend, and one to which I cannot fathom any link or reason.
Before the Swell Season concert at the Portland Zoo, their first show after the on-stage suicide in California, Glen Hansard wrote on the band's web page, "Making and performing music is what the band has always done in good times and in bad. Our hope is that in this communal experience tonight we can somehow help our own grieving process after what we just witnessed. The show will most certainly be different than any other we have ever played. We wish to continue to be sensitive to family and friends of this individual and hope that in performing it is not viewed as a selfish act. We have not come to this decision lightly. We continue to have them at the forefront of our minds and hearts."
For the record, due to rain alternating with hot and humid weather, I did not go to yesterday's "No-Name" festival at Atlanta's Goat Farm. As far as I know, no one leaped off of anything during the concert. As the picture above implies, I spent most of today practicing Zen with the Chattanooga sangha.
Friday, August 20, 2010
"We can't really say too much about it, because we don't even know his name, or whether his family have been informed, it was a terrible shock. To everyone at the concert, my sympathies are with his family and friends and specially to the children and adults in the audience who had to witness such a tragic thing. Thankfully nobody else got hurt. We will let you know more when we do. We will play our concert tonight, and hopefully move on and continue our tour. This was a deeply tragic event that we and all who were there last night will remember forever. But ultimately, we have to move on. We're all ok. We talked all night and decided we must go on. If this was a suicide, then we can only send him light and move on. . . Our deepest sympathies go to him and all who witnessed this. Glen"
In 1854, days before he died at the age of 59, the Japanese poet Ichimu wrote:
A broken dream -
where do they go
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Long Island's Twin Sister didn't take the stage until after 11:30, but they were worth the wait. Their music's been described as '80s delay-pedal shimmery-ness with nods to '70s muted-fretboard soft rock soul, as well as a pastoral folk thing going on. Basically, dreamy and beautiful stuff. Lead singer Andrea Estella sings in a whispery ruffle of a voice that enchants you the moment you hear it - it's so quiet and yet so confident that you find it hard to believe she can sustain the spell for a whole set (she can and does). The band plays well behind her, blending genres from art-rock to shoegaze to new wave.
Twin Sister necessarily plays quietly for a rock band so that Andrea's vocals aren't lost in the mix, and the sound man at The Earl did a good job with their mix last night. The band waited until the middle of their set to play "All Around And Away We Go," one of my favorite songs of theirs that sounds like something Blondie might have recorded back in her day and a cut that's generating a lot of internet enthusiasm.
But despite the enthusiasm, the audience didn't call them back for an encore, the second time in a row I've seen an Earl audience fail to do so (last time was at Here We Go Magic). Still, Andrea hung around on stage and talked with the audience, and even showed us some of her tattoos (a Winnie The Pooh tableau across her shoulder blades).
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Thoughts arise out of nothingness
And then fade back into nothingness.
Scents, Sounds, Sights, Tastes,
They all arise out of nothingness
And fade back into nothingness.
They no longer are distractions.
Delusions can be Dharma Gates
And the way to end them
Is to enter them.
When we enter them,
We realize nothing needs saving.
Everything, like thoughts,
Appear out of nothingness
Then fade back into nothingness.
We have our moment,
Then we fade back into nothingness.
Nothing is immune.
Mountains are not immune.
Oceans and Rivers are not immune.
Planets are not immune.
Galaxies are not immune.
Universes are not immune.
Life Itself is not immune.
Everything emerges out of nothing,
Has its moment of expression,
Then returns back to nothing.
Nothing wasted, since nothing is used.
Like a thought.
It's all a thought.
I hold up my hand
As the sound of one hand
Fades back into nothingness.
A thought arises:
This thing that breathes
Cannot be found.
Friday, August 06, 2010
That's not meant to be a criticism at all; in fact, it's a good thing. If you're curious about what they actually sound like, here's a little sample:
So on to the main event of the evening, Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic. In recordings, the five-piece band plays a sort of quirky, neo-psychedelic pop, with influences ranging from, well, improvisational jazz to classical music, but on stage tonight they rocked, and rocked a lot harder than anyone would have guessed. After performing the second song of their set, Fangela (one of my favorites), they went straight into the next song without a break, and ended with a long, sustained, wall-of-sound crescendo that just about blew The Earl's walls out into the parking lot. I thought I might have to pick bits of stucco off of my windshield before driving home if they got any louder.
Thursday, August 05, 2010