Miles Davis Kind of Blue

I think this might be the second jazz album I heard as a kid, from my Dad’s collection. But I hear it for the first time every time I hear it. The peace is just indescribable. It’s a different kind of spirituality than Love Supreme, by Coltrane, who was also in these sessions. So much open space, so much possibility. Whenever I need a time out, a step away from torrential emotion, this is always here for me. The group here is just incredible. Including a clip of some footage of the sessions. basicly impressionist jazz.

Carrying Water

If it was in a minute, a second, or a lifetime,
does it really matter?
So that I could love the world,
I fell in love with it through your eyes.
When you looked at me, 
I could see it, the illusion of the separation
between all things.
So that I could live, I had to die a little
We have all grown a little this year,
Maybe more in lifetimes,
But don’t forget who you once were,
or will be again.

Helping to stop Asian Hate

So much of my interests in philosophy have always been, and are still to this day, as you can see from this site, very influenced by Asian culture. It was shocking and heartbreaking to be reminded of how much of a problem this has become, which is detailed in this site by Google, who also has new art today. This site has a number of resources to help understand, and find ways to help. I’m doing my part, but it’s going to take all of us. Racism, and othering, at all, is something that keeps our world in danger at all times. We have to work to stop this. Without the influence of Asian ideas and culture, our world would be impoverished, and violence and loss of life in Asian communities needs to be addressed. I hope this short blog post gives some resources to help stop it, and I’ll continue to do my part to bring Asian culture to this site as the years go by. I’m with you. To close out this post, I’m sharing two more thangkas, and you can find out more about these forms of art, and all Asian culture at the Asian Art Museum, and there are more resources at the Asia Foundation.

Buddhist Protector Deities

I’ve been thinking this morning about protectors, the heroes we value in our media, wether it be Star Wars, Marvel, DC, or so many other popular and independent publishers. Many of them can seem fierce and unsettling. Yet they are all united in being protectors, non aggressive, but confronting fear in all of it’s forms. In Buddhism, these kinds of manifestations can appear in thankgas and stories reminding us of our own strength within, that can call forth speed, agility, and strength in the moments that we need them the most. There is an incredible resource here that gives some insight into the history and symbolism of these forms of art. Life isn’t always easy, but sometimes we have to call forth their essence so that we can protect our own inner harmony, and allow us to do the peace work that we need to help others around us. As I mentioned in a previous post, these kinds of depictions were at first misunderstood, yet now, in our modern age, they can speak to us. Hoping for the resiliance and passion of all of our compassionate protectors, and taking the rest of the day for peace, equanimity and hope. Thank you, protectors.

Goodbye, and New Moments

I’ve had a lot of time to think tonight. I’m waiting on hearing back about a dedicated period of Zen study, and I’m excited with anticipation about it. As a moment in time, this song resonates with me. When Harriet sings, “Why do you have to assume we’re exactly the same? No, no, you’re talking about yourself,” it really gave me a moment of pause. This to me is a breakup song, but not with another. Its with the writer themselves, and for me, this is the perfect song to mark a transition. For this next period of my life, I’m breaking up with me. I want to find someone who is only interested in peace and wellbeing, for all beings, and I can’t wait to meet them. Maybe in the next few weeks we’ll find the time to get to know one another. And then I can meet everyone, again when we all need it most.

International Women’s Day

There are so many things I could share about today, so many incredible women, who make up my life, and I wish I could thank them all personally. The rich legacy of women artists, who are my favorite composers and musicians, as you can tell from this blog, deserve to be heard. This is a track by Dorothy Ashby, one of the harpists who really convinced me to learn the harp, which I haven’t done in so long. And here is a book I’m adding to my reading list, from Jenny Odell, who I saw speak once at a poetry reading in Oakland, and a fellow SAIC alum, and lastly, without writing a 15 volume history of amazing and inspiring women, I want to give some light to Kristin Neff, who’s work helped me over the years in incredible pain. This is her work on fierce compassion, and the role it plays in defending and protecting women, children, all people and the dharma. Happy International Women’s Day.

Google Today

Google today is absolutely amazing. Their work, the illustrators and animators, and I’m not sure the size or scope of their staff, keep all of us going in this crisis, reflecting the world we live in. It’s extraordinary. The history they honor, the imagination, the beauty of art, is truly incredible. Thank you, Google, and all that you do, the world can’t be without you.

Changing of the Seasons

I really found this article by Charles M. Blow in the editorial section of the NYT this evening, after spending a Sunday off. I don’t often talk about politics, but this isn’t about politics, this is about the injust killing of Black Americans, which is continuing to this day, one of so many others in a long history of racial injustice that must stop. I try to bring peace into my world, and I hope my work can do that, but to change anything, I hope our country, and the world, can begin to take a full view of the violence and racism taking place all over the world, and so close to home in America. I’ll let the journalists tell their stories. They’ve done all the research, endured long hours assembling the facts and presenting them to us. We have to listen, and then act. There is no reason that we can’t stop this violence, and I hope this article, and all of the information it provides, can help begin that exchange.

Moon River

The first time I heard this song was sometime in Chicago, in one of the coldest winters I’ve ever experienced. It is a truly beautiful song, and as I’m entering new journeys, and giving a way seeking mind talk later this morning, which I will share here, it was beautiful to touch on it again. We’re all going through such a crisis, and I hope this helps along the way. 🙂

Mountains and Waters Sutra

Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient buddha way. Each, abiding in its phenomenal expression, realizes completeness. Because mountains and waters have been active since before the Empty Eon, they are alive at this moment. Because they have been the self since before form arose they are emancipation realization. 

Reading this passage after completing the Philosophy section of Moon in a Dewdrop made me reflect a bit on my past experiences. And it was just a moment for me to let it all go. This is from the beginning of the poetry section, and I really feel like it captures the essence of the title of the book. While only being four lines, if you read this passage completely, on all it’s levels, this is a true gateway into realization. 

I won’t give my own thoughts on this passage, because it is such a personal journey that you can go on at any time. That’s the beauty of the poetic form.

I will say though, that tomorrow is my way seeking mind talk with my sangha, and I’ll be preparing for that all evening. If I could invite everyone I would. I might film it later during the day, and post here, though the content is already here on the blog if you care to look.