Friday, April 28, 2006

Hollywood and Wine

My student, Jolbert Arami, who is originally from Iran, had to do his senior project yesterday in front of about seven administrators, including the head of high schools for LAUSD. He was great. However, he has a slight speech impediment which makes it very difficult for him to say the letter "V". He says it as "W", hence Vine street becomes Wine street. This is quite eye opening for me as a recovering alcoholic. So when he says that he works at BigLots on Hollywood and Wine I find it a touch ironic. So I gave him some encouragement and coaching. I sat with him and tried to teach him to say the "V". Well, no such luck. As the time for his presentation got closer I decided that the closer fricative would be "F". In that way you get "Fine" street as opposed to "Wine". Now isn't that recovery in a nutshell. We are brought to Hollywood and Wine and, if we stay the course, we eventually get to Hollywood and Fine. This may not mean that much to everybody else, but I certainly saw the irony in it.

An open letter to the citizens of Los Angeles

The following is a letter for all citizens of the city of Los Angeles. I understand it may cause some discomfort or even downright hostility. I'm sorry about that. But this is the best way that I can think of to express to my fellow Angeleno's my feelings regarding Monday's impending marches. Some may wonder why I haven't directed this same open letter to congress or the office of the presidency. My response to that would be that I have far more confidence in the individual than in the politician. So this, then, is for the people.

Dear Citizens of Los Angeles,

I am writing you this letter in hopes that I can reach some of you. If I can speak to a handful of people, of those who might hear me, then I will be deeply gratified. I have been instructed to write you this letter. However, the author does not physically reside here in the City of Angels. Then again, he does. He resides in all of us.

I understand the deep seated need to mobilize at this time in our history. It is fully understandable. The last number of years has opened a can of worms that absolutely needs to be addressed. The continuing impact of our current administration, both parties unfortunately, has left many of us with a sense of dread and hopelessness. Mobilizing is an act of courage and change. I applaud you all for wanting to take place in that way.

And yet, I still can't help feeling that, for as long as I've lived, the problems of the mind have never been solved at the level of the mind. When I speak of the mind in this instance I speak of the Ego. Not Freuds Ego, but the Ego as expressed in the great teachings of the East. The false self as revealed in Buddhism, or the Baghavad Gita, or in Zen. The sense of our being a separate self cut off from who and what we really are. The dream self, unconcious and idling. The self that is yearning, particularly at this moment of our history, in awakening to itself.

While collective political action is admirable, it is my feeling that the energy expressed externally in such an action actually deprives us of what in fact we are seeking, and in what we need at this time in history. What we really need is an act so revolutionary and radical that all questions of division and motivation becomes moot. What we need is an act of collective silence.

This upcoming Monday I would like to ask that all citizens of this great city of Los Angeles use this day as a day of deep and collective protest by being quiet for 24 hours. Not to shut up, not at all. But to go inside, to be deeply present, to be aware of our world as it is now. Take to your daily activities, do what you feel is right, whether it is going to work or school, or even showing up at the march. But I ask that you do it in silence. I ask that you become aware of your breathing, of the sounds of nature (which include people and noises), to absolutely resist nothing. See what happens. Be Here Now. If a handful of people begin this act of protest, this inner act of transformation and transmutation, it is my belief that we will begin the process of real change which can only begin at the level of the heart. Until we change we cannot expect the world to change.

the time for meanness has ended. We are on the cusp of a great awakening, only we don't understand this yet. The collective energy coming together is no accident. We can make this about the hate towards one man or to make this about love for all. About love first.

This is my hope for my city.



Monday, April 24, 2006


is the study of other people's Psyche. This is an ironic science, in that other people's psyche's are yours as well. Hence, in order to Psychodonically study another's subconcious mind, you must encounter your own mind in reference to their linked/your/their mind. This can be rather obfuscating. I can understand your trepidation. What might happen, you say, if you cannot differentiate between the vascillating uber-conciousness of this time bound realm and the eternal place of the "hive" mind? Yet, as the alter-egoic beings from Monkey Dust claim: "WE ARE THE CYCLISTS". Yes, we are the cyclists. We have transcended mere matter for a new more elastic, lycra formed fitted shorts. You can be sure that as you run closer, rather than away, from the totality of conciousness, that the Pychodynamic model will appear.

For your information:

1). Psychdonics is the study of other people's Psyche.

2). Your psyche and their psyche are one.

3). This can cause confusion and potential bitterness as you attempt to differentiate between the two.

4). When two are one then goody-two-shoes.

5). Turn it (over).

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gabriela Quintana of Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Another amazing woman guitarist. Posted by Picasa

Katrina Johansson. A great American female guitarist. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 14, 2006

half an hour left

There is exactly a half an hour left in the work week. I am writing this from the classroom and am absolutely wiped out. I say this from time to time, and I will say it again for clarity: absolutely no one I know personally would be able to last one week doing the job that I do. I have no idea where or how I find the strength and patience to get through one day in this kind of work. I love the kids but the collective energy of dysfunction, disability and mental anguish from the adults is so profound, and the system so colossally perverse that by Friday (Good Friday at that) I am praying to simply not have some kind of medical event again.
And yet, I spend virtually no energy in attempting to change my situation. This is not resignation, I feel, but a tremendous and unshakable understanding that all of lives real issues exist in all human situations that are committed to reality, period. Therefore, when one has made the decision to be fully concious, one will be put through trials and situations that are magnetized to the individual who has made the decision to turn one's will and life over to the care and concious realization of the ultimate truth. Thus, the circumstances of one's life become a bizarre kind of boot camp of awakeness and awareness. Industrial Zen, as it were (to borrow the title of John Mclaughlin's new CD).
My path has been the harder path. Have I chosen this or rather am I in a state of acceptance that this is my life. No resistance whatsoever. My mind is in the process of complete letting go and this whole scenario, this drama, is the sturm and drang of the ego, shaking loose the last moorings of it's illusory, non-existent hold on my life. I have been given this unbelievable quality of restraint now that I could never have imagined before. Thereby not hurting anyone, myself most of all. Which is what I have been very good at.
The cacaphony cannot hurt me anymore. There is peace, always. The peace of God.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Under construction

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Mahavishnu Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Enigma's by Pablo Neruda (tranlated by Robert Bly)

This was the poem recited by John Heard at the end of the film Mindwalk by John Heard.

Enigmas by Pablo Neruda

Translated by Robert Bly
(this is the poem recited at the end of Mindwalk)
You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with his golden feet?I reply, the ocean knows this. You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent bell? What is it waiting for? I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.

You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms? Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know. You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal, and I reply by describing how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.
You enquire about the kingfisher's feathers,which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides? Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on the crystal architecture of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now?

You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean spines? The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks? The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out in the deep places like a thread in the water?

I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its jewel boxes is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure, and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the petal hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead of human eyes, dead in those darknesses, of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes on the timid globe of an orange.
I walked around as you do, investigating the endless star, and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked, the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mortgaging the future of the world

In the world there is pleasure and pain. In reality there is bliss. In the world there is winning and losing. In reality there is the one mind. In the world there is the illusion of self which causes self-love, the only love of the world. In reality there is only the self, which brings love of self to the world, the only love there is. In the world there is desire and the need for it's fulfillment. In reality there is only fulfillment. In the world there is separation and anxiety, the endless hampster wheel of the prison of the mind. In reality there is non-duality (Advaita) which cannot produce anxiety or separation as they are unreal. In the world there is birth and death and worse, the fear of them. In reality there is no such thing as birth and death, and the fear of them is absurd as death is of the ego and birth the illusion of something that has already happened. In the world there is confusion and seeking for liberation. In reality these aspirations prevent liberation. In the world there is the mind, the ruler of all that is in the world. In reality there is the self (Brahman) which is beyond all concepts and unknowable whatsoever and is the ever present one-mind that is the ground of all that is. In the world the mind knows it is unreal and must hire an army to conquer the self and it's expression known as body as it is always threatened by it's own death. In reality there is no mind, the world is unreal, and only love exists, forever, as the truth that I AM.
Nothing real can be threatened
Nothing unreal exists,
Herein lies the peace of God.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

He's a Rocketman! Posted by Picasa