Friday, October 30, 2009

Extreme Point of View

I was thinking today, that a typical human-right activist can be a hypocrite to the extent that s/he does not care for her/his own body ... how can we violates our own basic rights and then fight for others'?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Johann Pachelbel - Canon in D Major

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet variations on Johann Pachelbel - Canon in D Major



Original score:

Experience in Love

Love needs experience, of loving and being loved, not for any romantic reasons, simply to comprehend what things mean, words and actions, with intentions lurking underneath them, almost creepy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mind Clearing Exercise

I found the following Here: http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/MindClearing.html

Mind Clearing Exercise

A gentle, positive exercise for clearing some space in the mind.

Freely adapted from Ernest Wood's book, Yoga (Pelican, 1959)

by Gerald Grow

Available: http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow


Introduction

One of the most important things in learning -- and in life -- is the ability to pay attention when attention is required. This is a simple exercise I teach that helps students clear a space in their busy minds to let something new come in. I learned it because I needed it myself.

Think of the mind as an old roll-top desk with a row of little cubbyholes in it. You can stick something in a cubby, and, when you need it, you can pull it out, spread it on the desktop, and look at it.

Sometimes, though, the desktop becomes cluttered, and all the cubbyholes get filled. Then, before you can bring in something new, or even pay attention to something old, you have to clear some space on your desktop.

This is a gentle, positive exercise for clearing some space in the mind.


Instructions

If you are leading a group in this exercise, first tell them this will take however long you have alloted (start with 10 minutes). Also assure them that what they write now is private: They will not be required to share it with anyone.


The Exercise

Sit with pencil and paper. Allow your eyes to rest gently on the blank paper. Pay attention to what you are experiencing. When something comes to mind (a thought, an emotion, a memory, a sensation), follow this direction very carefully:

Write down just enough that,
if you wanted to,
you could remember what you just experienced.

Then let that experience go, and return to letting your eyes rest gently on the paper. This is important: Do not think about what you wrote. Do not analyze it. Do not resist it or fight it or try to change it. Do not connect it with anything. Simply accept it, note it, and let it go. Then return to an open receptiveness to your present awareness.

To keep yourself from being drawn into the words on the paper, and the thoughts behind them, rotate the page about 15 degrees after writing each thing, so that, as you write more, the words appear on the page as a roughly circular series of jottings.

If a thought recurs, just put a check by it. If it keeps recurring, sit with it a while to make certain you have noted enough about this experience so that you could fully remember it if you wanted to. Then let it go and return to an open-ended focus on your present awareness.

Continue doing this for 10 minutes.

When you have the time, continue the exercise as long as thoughts keep coming. Then continue an open focus for about 5 minutes after the last thoughts came to you.


Notes

When leading this with a group, ask them what their experience was, searching to see if they feel afterwards that they have more attention availble.

I recommend that students use this mind-clearing exercise before any activity that requires full attention--such as an exam, an interview, or a date.

This is a very simple, pencil-and-paper example of the kind of exercise taught in the Vipassana school of Buddhism. For a detailed account, see Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart (Bantam: 1993).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kyudo Learning

Here is what I wrote a couple of weeks ago, and despite being depressed most of the time, have been thinking about on and off. It is evolving into a break-through in how I think about Zen practice: The Zen practice is in the "way of learning" something, not in the "something" we learn.


Kyudo Learning

Kyudo is life.
Practicing Kyudo, with awareness, gradually transforms other aspects of life. At the same time, this awareness makes other experiences in life meaningful and relevant for the Kyudo practice itself!

In the first few weeks of my Kyudo practice, Ed Symmes Sensei mentioned that the traditional method of learning Kyudo in Japan was quite different from the modern method: The former relied much more on pupil's "observation" of the Sensei and much less on formal verbal instructions. Since Ed Sensei mentioned this, I was curious about the differences between the two methods. The modern learning method seems more efficient, so why did the traditional method exist at all?

I came to find an answer in an unexpected place. In the book, "The Inner Game of Tennis," Timothy Gallwey advocates an alternative method of learning tennis, and more generally, any physical activity. The basic premise is that the body, unhindered by the process of analytical thinking, has an extraordinary capability for learning. As children we all learn basic activities this way, but we grow up to become more accustomed with instructions, and self-criticism brought up by our analytic minds. He suggests that in order to re-activate this capability, one needs to refrain from judgmental evaluations of his or her performance, maintain an awareness in observing himself and his teacher, and let the body learns on its own.
Often times, explicit instructions by the teacher are less effective than non-judgmental observation, and to the extent that they provoke evaluations of actions by analytic mind, are in fact counter-productive.

We can extend this line of thought to the Kyudo practice, and realize why traditional Kyudo learning was mostly observation-based, and hence was regarded as a natural "way" to discover the awareness at the core of all Zen practices.

Flood ... Again???

Heavy rains yesterday, limited flooding around Atlanta.
Today is relatively dry :)
Heavy rains in the forecast for Wed and Thu ...

And I am obviously depressed.
Not just because of rain and such.
The past couple of weeks have been strange.
Like old days ...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Isha Yoga and etc.

A friend today gave me an introduction to Isha yoga and tonight in my search to find more information I came across the following discussion. It is WAY over my head. I never thought that yoga has such complex dimensions ....

http://www.yogaforums.com/forums/f16/help-needed-on-isha-yoga-3307.html

Clear Shallow Water

I started reading this novel, `` The Driver ,'' by Hart Hanson , and I did not like it much and decided to stop. But then I came ba...