Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Rain

In the depth of your eyes
I see the brown of an exhausted river
that once proudly filled its banks
I hear fishermen songs
as they sail contently
and I ask their ghosts
How do you sail back to your lovers
on the shores of a dried river?
A tear blossoms ...



Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Summer of 2010
enticed me to leave
she began a trip
in my dream
and left me behind

I started my journey
as soon as I woke up

I felt extremely lonely
I begged for company
asked all friends
even her
I made new friends

I only realize now
I could not take anyone

Part of me knows
what is happening
maybe even
where I am going
Part of me thinks
I am still dreaming

What if there are no friends
for a journey in dreams?


2046: A film

Monday, December 27, 2010

Peace and Void


A lazy Saturday afternoon
sitting on the couch
feet on the ottoman
listening carelessly to lady friends
watching her preparing tea
snow flakes quiet dance

Something broke

Heard it the next morning
felt it, in my soul
and insatiable need to cry


A lazy Saturday afternoon
sitting on the couch
with my feet on the ottoman

Listening carelessly to our lady friends
a former doctoral student
and a former colleague

Watching Sima preparing tea
and snow flakes quiet dance
I felt something broke

I heard the crack the next morning
and felt the void in my soul
and the insatiable need to cry


My first painting (in black and white :) - acrylic on canvas

Brene Brown on Vulnerability (TED talk)

Amazing talk, HIGHLY recommended:

Plus, an article about wandering mind, or do things wholeheartedly even if it is dish-washing :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


There is an interesting article in today (December 22, 2010) issue of Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger
titled, "How to Keep a Resolution: Forget Willpower, Reaching a Goal Means Retraining Brain to Form New Habits." Here is the (temporary) link:
Updated link:

I have discussed many of these points here before, but it is nice to see someone else telling them in a different way. I specially like the part on willpower experiments that I was totally unaware of. Here are some interesting quotes:

"Willpower springs from a part of the brain, in the prefrontal cortex, that is easily overloaded and exhausted. What works far better, researchers say, is training other parts of the brain responsible for linking positive emotions to new habits and conditioning yourself to new behaviors.

When setting a resolution, simply deciding to change your behavior may work for a while. But when the cognitive parts of the brain responsible for decision-making become stressed by other life events, that resolve is likely to succumb to an emotional desire for instant gratification.
In one study of how emotion and cognition interact in decision-making, Dr. Shiv asked some subjects to complete a challenging mental task, memorizing a seven-digit number, while others were asked to remember only two digits. When the same subjects were later given a choice between eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake or a healthy fruit salad, Dr. Shiv says, those who had memorized seven digits were more likely to choose the cake, suggesting that the mental exertion affected their ability to repress the desire for instant gratification and make a healthy choice.

It may be possible to strengthen your self control before starting your resolution by exercising it on small tasks, says Mark Muraven, an associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. In a study, college students who practiced self control for two weeks by consciously improving their posture or keeping a food diary, performed better afterward on tests of will, such as squeezing a hand grip for an extended time, he says.
Any technique that requires you to suppress a normal impulse should work, such as cutting back on swearing or using your non-dominant hand for routine tasks. "By doing small things that take a certain amount of self-control, you can build up your 'muscle'" for tackling larger changes, Dr. Muraven says.

Planning ahead to reduce other stress in your life will increase chances of success."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vision?! :)

After a few weeks of high traffic, my blog is quiet again. I am not sure whether the nude picture I posted had any effect :) but I will discuss my idea about nudity, art, and pornography in another post.
I have been thinking about the topic of this post for a few days now, and there has been some events that encouraged me to finally publish this.

So, what do you think having visions or intuitions about things in other people's soul?

I have realized recently that it is a curse rather than a gift. Well, the following two aspects are interesting to me:
  1. Visions are like feelings in that they change shape when they are expressed. Once you interpret a vision, you have already put your thoughts into it and pollute it.
  2.  What can you do with a vision? A lot of times you cannot even explain it to the person because it may be too personal. Other times, even if you can explain it, there is no reason that the person would believe it (specially in the light of point "1" above). Ultimately, they turn out to be quite useless.
I do not know why these matter at all. I just felt that I had to write this :)

PS 1. maybe the point is that I have to focus on life as it happens, on people as I see them, and stop obsessing with my feelings and intuitions, and accept that someone's soul is a private place that I have no business looking into :)

PS 2. Funny, here is an example of "1" that just happened. Since it is related to me (and not someone else) I can share it here. So, I was watching "Men of Certain Age", which is a great show on TNT (highly recommended). Right after it finished, CSI-NY started, and it showed a boy shot by a gun and his gun wound. When I saw the wound, I had a very strange feeling. Interpreting that feeling, however, is an obscure job ... I can say that a gun wound will have some significance in my life, or I can be more dramatic and say that I saw that I will die from a gun wound, and ... there are endless other possibilities.
I guess what normal people do is that they take the feeling less seriously and go on with their lives, LOL

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mirror Relationships

I have been dealing with difficulty in my relationships from the time I can remember. For the last couple of years, since I opened up my self, I have been even more disappointed. I have had some intuitions in the past few days that I want to document here, at least for my own reference in the future. Here, "relationship" does not have to be romantic. It is more general, and can be related to work, parents, neighbors, friends, and more.

First, a couple of basic observations:
Observation-0. If you are an adult in a bad relationship, part of you needs or enjoys that relationship.

Therefore,  until you find the root of the bad relationship, even if you terminate one, another will emerge.
Observation-1. There is no point in terminating a bad relationship, learn from them.

Our relationships are the results of our habits. To change habits, the first step is to observe them carefully and non-judgmentally.
Observation-2. Observe your bad relationships with calm and without passing judgments.

Because a lot of emotions are involved, "observation-2" above is much more difficult in practice than it sound. Having a ``fair'' understanding of your relationships can be very helpful.
Observation-3. Relationships can be asymmetric.

What you feel about a relationship can be completely different from what the other side feels. 
Mirror Relationships.  Suppose you are in a bad relationship with "A".
1- Observe your feelings and your thoughts, specially in response to "A"s actions. Also, observe the action and reflection of feelings and thoughts in "A".
2- Find another relationship, say with "B", such that  "B"'s actions and feelings about the relationship with you (as far as you can observe) is close to your actions and feelings in the relationship with "A", and your actions and thoughts in relationship with "B" is close to "A"s actions and thoughts (as far as you can observe) in the relationship with you.
Now, "you <-> A " and "B <-> you" are mirror relationships.
3- Every time you are in a difficult situation in either of the two relationships (with "A" or with "B"), make a parallel to the mirror relationship and try to remember a similar situation there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reality Show

I have been watching a couple of episodes of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" tonight. It has been one of my favorite reality shows, because it is full of raw emotions combined with introspection and reflection.
Anyway, what freaked me out this time was that I felt a deep connection to the addicts and their behavior made perfect sense to me, even though I have not been an addict :)

Some moments, when an addict decided to be present rather than refuge to a habitual behavior, were just beautiful and I just saw it as if it was happening to me. The question of what to do when you face pain,  specially rejection and abandonment, is central to the recovery process.

Another interesting observation was the importance of the support group as a safe place to return to. Similarly, true friends offer a place that you can go back to even after you leave, kind of like the immediate family when you grow up. For most of these addicts, however, the origin of the problem has been childhood abuses and the family not being there as a safe place.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Heart Pounding

Do you remember the first time
you fell in love?
The first time
that seeing someone
would make every cell in your body
would make you heart sink

I was only a kid
seven or eight years young
and I stole a match box
from the small shop
on the corner of our street

And I felt free
and I felt a current
revitalizing me
and I felt my heart
crazy as a wounded tiger
ready to jump out of my chest

I remember that moment


Spatial Inconsistency, or Dream in Dream!

About an hour ago, after quite some time, I had a dream in which I was sleeping and had another dream! How is that possible? Here it goes:

I was driving a small car in a country road to a place in mountains. I have been to this place many times in my dreams but do not know if it actually exists or is completely made up by my mind. Then, I started to feel sleepy while driving. Then, I could not see the road anymore, except when I looked down to a place under the steering wheel! At that point, I realized in my dream that something was not quite right. So I pulled over and stopped by the road. Then, suddenly I could see my car in front of me ... as if I was parked perpendicular to the road ... so me and my car were in two places! I saw the traffic behind me was blocked because I had not completely cleared the road, but I could not move the car, because I was not sure in which direction the car would go! Then, I realized that I was dreaming in dream. The waking up process was quite torturous: I had to wake up from the second dream first and then from the first dream!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sit Tight

  • What do you do when everything seems to go wrong? when everything seems confusing? and your thoughts are all over the place? what do you do?
  • Look, asshole, just sit tight and do whatever small tasks you've got to do, because when you think things are going wrong, it is just you "thinking" and 99% of the time nothing is really happening, at least not until you start panicing!
Disclaimer: This post is supposed to be humorous :) Excuse the language! The underlying idea, however, has helped me recently to cope with periods of anxiety and depression.


    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Remixing [Do You Love Me?]

    I did -not- have any idea that "remixing" can have such an effect on a music video. If you have not heard the original song, first listen to it here [YouTube Link]. Here are two remixes that I found, both of them are interesting. Observe how the whole video atmosphere and your feelings change from original to the remixes!

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Apple Orchard

    Sima found the following quote from this article [Link] from Richard Wiseman web site [Link] She thinks this applies to me very well :)))

    ``Imagine living in the center of a large apple orchard. Each day you have to venture into the orchard and collect a large basket of apples. The first few times it won’t matter where you decide to visit. All parts of the orchard will have apples and so you will be able to find them wherever you go. But as time goes on it will become more and more difficult to find apples in the places that you have visited before. And the more you return to the same locations, the harder it will be to find apples there. But if you decide to always go to parts of the orchard that you have never visited before, or even randomly decide where to go, your chances of finding apples will be dramatically increased. And it is exactly the same with luck. It is easy for people to exhaust the opportunities in their life. Keep on talking to the same people in the same way. Keep taking the same route to and from work. Keep going to the same places on vacation. But new or even random experiences introduce the potential for new opportunities.''

    I am terrific ...

    I wrote my deepest, darkest, emotions in the previous three poems ( OneLetter to Santa , Wolves ) and now I feel relaxed, relieved, and happy to be alive and to be able to express myself!    :D


    Night is descending
    Something moves among trees
    humming, hissing, and howling
    just like an angry beast

    It finds demons inside me
    they are circling around me
    their eyes impatient
    waiting for their feast

    In a moment of weakness
    they will attack me
    tear me apart
    salty sweat and blood mist

    Letter to Santa

    Dear Santa,
    Please ask North Pole winds
    to get me to arctics
    where my thoughts would freeze
    and my soul would rest in peace
    Coldest regards,


    Giant pines
    dancing carelessly
    it will flow
    all over me
    and we'll be united
    in indifferent coldness
    of snow flurries
    and winter gusts

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Engraved - A Story - Part 2

    [Link: Part 1]

    In the beginning, he played a lot with the stones. Specially with the more beautiful ones. Those, he would take everywhere, probably to show off. To be honest, I was amused by how he made everything so complicated. He worried about what others would think of him playing and talking to stones.

    Oh, I forgot to tell you this. As his initial enthusiasm for the stones was wearing off, one day he realized that he could talk to the stones, about his dream, his fantasies, and most importantly, about his insecurities. Even though he felt that stones were much less judgmental, he could not help worrying what stones would make of him. I told you, he thought way too much!

    You see, stones are simple creatures. True, there are young stones, newly broken off a rock or carried by a river, that are too emotional. They feel soft to the touch and willing to express themselves. Consider old stones, on the other hand. They have been through so much pressure for so many years that they have lost interest in everyday worries of life.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Engraved - A Story - Part 1

    He was a man of few words, sitting all day long behind his computer working, except for short cigarette breaks and except for those depression days when he could not even lift a finger. He barely paid attention to his surroundings, and was engaged with his thoughts and worries about work, even when he was not working.

    One day, as he was getting close to the fourth decade of his life, he stopped and looked around. He was mesmerized by a few stones of different types, shapes, and colors. He put them in his pocket and decided to attend to them. Little he knew at the time!

    He was not a man of the world. He was unaware of the simple fact that stones are totally different creatures and, for example, that most of them have very tiny hearts that they prefer not to open up to others.

    Stones - Links


    • I decided to listen to "Shadi A" advice and take my self and my writings less seriously. Well, she did not say that, but it is my very free interpretation of her comment on my previous post    ;)
    • Today, for 1-2 seconds I felt the freedom, that I can choose what my life will be. As soon as I noticed the feeling and started to analyze it, it was gone    :D
    • You are one step closer to Zen when you realize that small fingers can change your world    :P

    Thursday, December 09, 2010


    • Something terrifying is happening. I read my old poems and I find them all BS. ... :P     I do not enjoy reading my posts, poems or otherwise, at all. This is a disaster :D
    • If it is so hard to let go of objects, and even harder to let go of habits, imagine how hard it would be to let go of a friend :(    I guess no one wants to do that unless absolutely have to.


    Our deepest wounds,
    I imagine,
    are secret pathways to the abyss
    where you can watch a soul struggle

    This is not really a poem, it is my interpretation of a famous, very powerful, quote from Friedrich Nietzsche:
    If you stare into abyss long enough, the abyss stares back at you!

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010


    Every now and then
    I remember the day
    we looked you up,
    almost randomly,
    on internet
    A phone call,
    that changed our lives


    You never appreciate
    how fragile trust can be
    until you touch
    a broken heart
    My second version, but the first one is simpler and I think I like it better :)

    We never realize
    how fragile
    trust could be
    Then, one day
    you stumble upon
    a broken heart

    Daisy's version :)

    We never realize
    how fragile
    trust could be
    until someone broke my heart 


    One day, I should write a poem
    about an ordinary, cold, winter morning
    and an old lady,
    wearing velvet gloves,
    walking her dog

    One day, I should write a poem
    about a truck
    stopping on a highway overpass
    and the red Coca Cola flashing
    between green highway signs

    One day, I should write a poem
    about my small fingers,
    my insignificant pinkies,
    and how they are changing
    my whole life

    One day,
    in near future,
    before I forget them all

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010


    You want to know what death is?
    my friend,
    It is the line you just read
    and emotions you experienced
    Life flows in now

    Ahmad Ebadi, rest in piece, improvisation in Shur:

    Monday, December 06, 2010


    Old poem, I do not know the poet:

    You, you always wished to watch me burning
    You should come to see my days now!




    I cannot get Abu Atta out of my system (or get enough of it?) especially when the instrument player is a true master!

    Afshari, Shajarian and Shahnaz:


    Sense of Urgency

    I am eating lunch and listening to Jalil Shahnaz improvisations in Abu Atta [youtube link], debating whether to ask friends who travel back home to bring the CD for me, when I feel that it does not really matter, and I remember a comment that I made earlier today, while watching a set of fine photos with a friend, that I do not know what to do when I see good art (photos, paintings, ...) these days. And suddenly,  a sense of immediacy comes upon me, that my life will change drastically in near future and I should not worry too much about keeping things because they will be gone soon anyway.

    PS 1. Abu Atta is said to be the DASTGAAH for wanderers, as notes move in a "circle that is not round."
    PS 2. Once I felt the sense of urgency, or temporariness, that I described above then it became much easier to appreciate what is happening in the now.

    2013-6-18: I am embedding the video below. This is one of the best pieces of music I have heard in my life, not just Iranian music, any sort!!! Jalil Shahnaz passed away yesterday, rest in peace!


    Life is looking out
    and seeing downtown Atlanta
    in a window of a tall building,
    as an abstract painting

    Sunday, December 05, 2010

    Colors by Tameshk :)

    If I could keep colors of a moment
    I often wonder,
    would it be the end of my gray landscapes?

    This poem is a slightly modified version of a beautiful poem by Tameshk  [link to her blog post]. She also has a delightful picture there that just makes perfect sense with the poem:

    I hope this post is not a shameless plagiarism case :)
    Tameshk jann,
    If you are even slightly bothered by this post, please let me know and I will remove the poem/picture as you wish!!!

    Arab Voices

    While we are in the domain of Arab voices, here are a couple of amazing ones :)

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    Broken into Pieces

    Thoughts pop up in my head
    gradually metastasize into
    deformed monsters that are not
    supposed to see the daylight

    Those who love me dearly
    are the most vulnerable
    so I wait for a madness
    to unleash those monsters
    that will chew their hearts alive

    And someone in the shadows
    is watching me in joy
    as I painfully destroy
    my self and soul of those
    who care for me with love

    Red Lights and Stop Signs

    A close friend called
    on a Tuesday evening
    and invited us
    to Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania

    I said yes, immediately,
    and yet spend the next day, debating
    until the clarity came

    We drove 1500 miles
    within four days
    that would become
    my best Thanksgiving holiday
    a perfect flow

    I was back to work,
    my everyday worries
    and depression

    You drive smoothly
    all lights are green
    til one turns red
    and you cling your fists

    You may not notice
    that a stop is an opportunity
    to come back to present
    to let the moment
    decide the path you take

    You drive on a highway
    and glance at other drivers
    beautiful faces, ugly faces
    happy faces and sad faces
    momentary faces

    And you may not notice
    that a stop is an opportunity
    to look into their eyes
    and say hi
    or waive a goodbye

    Thursday, December 02, 2010

    Hookers, Madmen, and Doomed

    Here is a poem by Charles Bukowski, that I heard on public radio's "writers' almanac'', and I instantly liked it. You can listen to the program (5 minutes, the poem comes at the end) here:


    the hookers, the madmen and the doomed

    today at the track
    2 or 3 days after
    the death of the
    came this voice
    over the speaker
    asking us all to stand
    and observe
    a few moments
    of silence. well,
    that's a tired
    formula and
    I don't like it
    but I do like
    silence. so we
    all stood: the
    hookers and the
    madmen and the
    doomed. I was
    set to be dis-
    pleased but then
    I looked up at the
    TV screen
    and there
    standing silently
    in the paddock
    waiting to mount
    stood the other jocks
    along with
    the officials and
    the trainers:
    quiet and thinking
    of death and the
    one gone,
    they stood
    in a semi-circle
    the brave little
    men in boots and
    the legions of death
    appeared and
    vanished, the sun
    blinked once
    I thought of love
    with its head ripped
    still trying to
    sing and
    then the announcer
    said, thank you
    and we all went on about
    our business.

    "the hookers, the madmen and the doomed" by Charles Bukowski, from What Matters Most is How Well You Work Through the Fire. © Black Sparrow Press, 1999. 

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Picture and Sound

    An old man
    standing by a canary cage
    looking at the camera

    I am listening to his music
    Setar improvisations
    in Abu Atta

    And something in his eyes
    years after his death
    sets me on fire


    I am listening to this clip, , Ahmad Ebadi's Setar improvisations in Abu Atta. And there is this picture, between 3:45 and 5:30 minutes, of him standing by a canary cage, that when combines with his Setar voice affects me in way I cannot describe!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Small Fingers!!!

    In Kyudo, a delicate point is to properly engage small fingers with the bow. Interestingly, it may take up to 20 years to keep an energized contact between small fingers and the bow under the extreme body tension while drawing a bow to shoor an arrow. I have discussed with the sensei thsi issue a couple of times.

    Here is an amazing excerpt from "The New Rules of Posture" by Mary Bond, pages 122-123. Apparently, the small fingers proper engagement (when holding something) helps with relaxation of the upper body and enhance the connection to the core (tanden)!

    ``The bones, muscle, and fascia of the underside of the arm link the fourth and fifth fingers to the shoulder blade and spine. This makes the small fingers important contributors to the power behind any action of the hand. In contrast, the thumb and forefingers connect to the part of the forearm that rotates the elbow joint. This makes these fingers better suited for manipulation and follow-through. ...
    When we hold things in our hands without fully engaging the fourth and fifth fingers, we lose the stabilizing connection between the hands, shoulder blades, and spine. Lacking this connection, we seek stability with the upper trapezius. This leads to the all-too-familiar sensations of neck and upper shoulder tension. It also sabotages the relationship to the abdominal corsets that the serratus can provide.

    .... If you energize your little fingers as you handle everyday objects, you can train your shoulders while you're getting things done.''

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Thanksgiving with Close Friends

    Light out of a single window
    on a hill immersed in deep dark
    and the silhouette
    of dense pines

    I look into your eyes
    you describe the initial bond
    the first eye contact
    between a father and a newborn son

    I tell how much happier you are
    and I'm searching for
    the proper words
    to say goodbye

    my dear friend

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010


    Lost in a wasteland
    right by highways
    we follow a railroad
    to find our way out

    Dirty face soldiers
    trying to be nice
    greet us to a yard
    with tall uneasy walls

    I go down a small ditch
    sit, look at filthy water
    You play with machine guns
    shooting around for fun

    You shoot a sleeping dragon
    just by accident
    I see a black head
    slowly waking up

    Monday, November 22, 2010


     Where is the glow of summer sunsets
     that offered me a cold cola
    after long hours of playing soccer
    in narrow alleys of my neighborhood

    * A Tehran's neighborhood, where I grew up :)

    The first two lines came to me while I was taking a nap today :) I do not know what they mean ;P

    Sunday, November 21, 2010


    to slow
    of a falling

    There is something interesting about this piece, that its feeling changes with how I read it. When I read it normal/fast it becomes upbeat and funny/witty, when I read it slow it becomes sad, and when I read it very slow, it gives me a meditative vibe :D

    Feelings, Actions, and ... Thoughts

    • We cannot control our feelings. However unpleasant, we have to be honest and open to them and channel their energy.
    • Our actions are our responsibility. We can modify them, first, by being mindful and observant, and second, by practice.
    • Thoughts, oh damn thoughts; they are somewhere in the middle and I do not know what to do with them :)

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Two (three) Songs!

    I just listened to this song by "MOEIN" on Daisy-banoo  :) blog. It perfectly fits my day: Sima is gone to Arizona, I have been working at home, seen noone today, and about an hour ago, I was thinking how I miss the time in Iran with plenty of friends, who would stop by my house, every now and then, just to hang out, WOW, and now, if I die at home today, noone will realize until Sunday that Sima comes back :)
    But when I listened to song again, and tried to stay in the moment and not indulge my nostalgia, I realized a change, something was lighter, I was almost happy to have a sorrow in my heart, but still live and grow, :D
    So, the second music is a reflective piece in "Abu Atta" (a mystic tone, many believe) and Jalil Shahnaz is the performer, a masterpiece in the depth and meditative power of Iranian traditional music, it has an unbelievable depth into its sadness, different from the first piece!

    1) MOEIN:

    2) SHAHNAZ:

    Another "Abu Atta" performance, equally amazing, by "Mohammad Reza Lotfi":

     Improvisation in Abu Atta - Setar -  Ahmad Ebadi

    Again, Jalil Shahnaz improvisation:

    My Lovely Sister

    She is an excellent observer. All the things that I have read and experienced and thought through; when I tell her, she comes up with a simple memory, story, or experience of her that captures the point even better. I see her becoming a zen master, LOL
    I talked to her an hour and half today :P

    Symmetry or Asymmetry?

    This is not a philosophical discussion. It is not intended to be an abstract discussion either. It is another side of the "Separation Story" as described in "BESHNO AZ NEY" poem by Molana Rumi.

    Is life symmetric, in the sense that our actions come back to us? Does our feelings (love or hatred) for someone reflects in his/her similar feelings toward us? Is life connected?

    There is no definite answer of course. I propose that the answer depends on our actions, how we live our life, and not so much on what we think or believe.

    Example: An symmetric-disconnected life is like a rock hitting another rock, they contact each other and then go their ways, separate. A symmetric-connected life is like a drop of water on a lake, they contact, they create a small waive and they interact.

    A connected life defines by our actions. Fluidity comes from present, being with the moment as it evolves. Rigidity comes from rigid plans (for futures) and prolonged regrets (over past). In a fluid life, actions are originated in the present, not by plans for future and regrets from the past.

    See also my previous post on "the delicate force of despite" and also a funny example in "the force of despite: example".

    PS. Note that I am not recommending a fluid life. This is a personal choice and there are very good reasons to live an asymmetric life. Even though words have some positive-negative connotations, but I am not judgmental here.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Delicate Force of Despite: Example

    A dear reader-friend has asked me for an example for the abstract notion of the previous post. Here is a very simple and recent example! :)

    So I write the post, I am excited and waiting for a comment, for an hour, two hours: Nothing! I get angry; these so-called friends-readers do not care about what I write. "So I am going to stop writing here." This is a decision out of despite. In the future, I may need to write something here. I may enjoy writing here. And, the best way to stay in the moment is to make the decision (to write here or not) as the occasion comes up. If I take my "despite" decision (not to write here) seriously and follow it for a while, at least two things happen:
    First, I waste a lot of energy fighting with myself to not write here.
    Second, when a situation arises that I have to make the decision (to write or not) I simply follow my old promise (not write) and my actions lose their touch with the reality of the moment. I become indifferent to what I feel inside (my intuition and energy) and what I observe outside (the necessity of the moment).

    Does this make any sense? I hope it does!

    New Self Discovery: The Delicate Force of Despite!

    Here is a very simple observation, and yet, it took me months to understand it and I am giving it to you for free :)
    Well, it is not really free, if you like it I expect you to give me some feedback, or better, some story of how this might have been applied to your case ... Please!

    There are many reasons to lose the contact with the present, for example, being mindless while doing ordinary things. Another, more subtle, reason is having too rigid plans. Once you have a rigid plan for doing things, you become absent from the moment, you have already made up your mind. There is nothing more to observe then and you lose all the wonder, the energy, and the excitement of being in the present.

    One way of getting caught up in rigid plans is out of "despite". "Despite" is very tricky, it conquers your soul without you noticing it.

    My friend, "X", does something that bothers me, say does not pay attention to me or my request. So I decide that from now on, between choices "A" and "B", I always do "A" to get back at my friend. Amazingly, most of the time, this line of reasoning is played very deeply and subtly in my mind so I do not even notice it. (Even worse, sometimes I notice it but the "despite" force is so powerful that I preten I did not!)

    My current strategy, to fight the "despite" motive, is to meditate on present and do not make decision (say, "A" vs. "B") in advance. I try to wait for the right moment to make the decision. A riskier strategy (because I am not sure about its long term outcome!) is to actually go against the "despite" force and, for example, choose "B" in the above example.

    What is more amazing, in my experience, about the delicate force of despite is that when I am able to free myself from it, I get an uneasy feeling of suspension, in the middle of air, without attachments or supports. It is as though forces like despite define me, who I am, and without them I lose that feeling of self definition ... hard to describe this well!

    Anyway, for me (and also for many people I observe) the "despite" force is well disguised and yet influential. Be mindful about it, please! :)

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Life with Depression

    Out in the backyard
    covered with yellow leaves
    casualties of the cold

    At the edge of shadows
    one bright red leaf
    excuberates life
    in its reflection of sun

    a resurrected soul
    in the yellow graveyard
    if only for a moment

    shadows cover the leaf
    dying in front of me
    the beautiful soul
    of my red little friend



    Saturday, November 13, 2010


    Yellow emanating leaves
    An old oak
    Bright, caressing sun
    A late November noon

    Second version:

    Maple erupting bright yellow
    Autumn noon caressing sun

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Anger and Resentment

    My previous post is an "expression" of anger and resentment, anger toward my depression and resentment toward correctness, and it is not a factual statement!

    It has become clear to me that I have two main personalities, say "lotus" and "dead" :) "Lotus" is more of a happy, social, female figure who loves making social connections and finding (mostly female) friends. "Dead" is a serious, competitive, male figure who loves being alone, thinking, analyzing, and planning.
    I am convinced that I cannot make either figure completely dominant (and erase the other one), "being lotus all the time" is not going to work ... I need to get these personalities together and maybe resolve their differences into one common personality. I am tired and worried about the large swings between these moods.

    2013-05-24: Fast forward two and half years: I feel more like having a unified personality rather than ``dissociated'' ones :)

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    If I were ...

    I was thinking today that if I were a doctor, a psychiatrist, I would advice depression patients to consider "suicide" as a viable option :P
    What is the point of living a life that every day could be worse than the previous day?
    People are  too politically correct these days! They are too attached to this fucked up life and all :)

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    To a Friend:

    Why do I joke around, so often these days, about my research and career? Maybe, they are too painful subjects for a serious discussion, a discussion that barely does any good to me (and certainly not to the listener :).

    Your comment today, that without passion you can have a job but not a career, probed the heart of this deep wound. It is unbelievably painful for me not to enjoy my work and not be able to work as much as I used to.

    As I reflected more, however, I realized that I have been working hard to deal with this issue and with my depression. I have tried many changes in my life and the way I work. Even though, at the time, it seems that none of the changes have improved my interest, and efficiency, in doing research, but I should not be too critical of myself.

    This may be the time to stay calm, focused, and happy: if I am going to fall off the cliff, I rather go down with a smile! And we are back to where I started ...

    Thanks for your comment that provided me yet another opportunity to reflect on what I am doing!

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Short Story

    I am going to the gym,
    and I am already late

    Keys, wallet, and cell phone,
    damn, the battery is low

    Should I take it to gym, I ponder,
    or let it be charged, at home?

    Sima's cell phone starts ringing,
    even though she is not home

    I calmly attach my phone to power
    no one, except Sima, calls me anymore


    Every now and then,
    every day, sometimes,
    I receive indications, signals,
    that I am not good at
    what I do
    to earn my living.

    Every  day,
    I receive signals,
    that I am not good at
    what I do.

    Every day,
    I am not good.

    Red American Spirit

    Chilly night of the November second,
    driving back from my Kyudo practice,
    the preliminary results of 2010 midterm elections,
    and I turn off the radio.

    Though a bit tired,
    I change my way
    to buy cigarettes
    from a small package store.

    The Indian owner,
    wearing a big smile,
    greets me from a corner.

    His Latino assistant--
    never asked him where he is from--
    gives me a pack,
    ``There is a nice wine tasting,
    with dinner,
    you should take your wife there."
    It is this Thursday night, in downtown Decatur.

    ``How is the business?"
    I ask the owner;
    he knows I am Iranian.
    ``Slow on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,
    picks up for the weekends,''
    he replies, smiling,
    ``You know,
    you are my only customer
    who buys the `Red American Spirit'.''

    From the paper rack outside the store,
    I take an old `Creative Loafing,'
    Sima is waiting at home,
    and I have not smoked for a couple of days.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    How it happened

    The insight came later
    once the rain started pouring
    and the black lady in skirt and high heels
    took off her shoes

    She could not hear me thinking
    how magnificent she was
    running barefoot
    on the wet concrete
    of the empty street

    Out of reach
    out of control
    as life flourishes
    in the fullness of
    an unexpected moment

    Monday, October 25, 2010


    Things are unfolding in a very curious way ... I am understanding more of myself and what has been happening to me, but the process is strange, nothing close to what I have read in books, or heard from friends, it is just patience and trust combined with mindfulness and good luck ... pretty strange and to be honest a little dull, not really exciting for the most part :P 

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Enneagram Type and Mindful Observer

    My RHETI Enneagram Type Indicator Results

    From the site 
    Your highest score will indicate you basic type, or it will be among the top 2-3 scores. You have answered all the questions -- terrific!

    Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Type 6 Type 7 Type 8 Type 9
    4 3 3 8 6 2 4 0 6

    My Enneagram Type Indicator Results - New Test

    Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Type 6 Type 7 Type 8 Type 9
    -2 2 -5 6 2 1 2 -10 4

    The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram

    Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
    Type 2: The Helper. The caring, nurturing type.
    Type 3: The Motivator. The adaptable, success-oriented type.
    Type 4: The Artist. The intuitive, reserved type.
    Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.
    Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type.
    Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.
    Type 8: The Leader. The powerful, aggressive type.
    Type 9: The Peacemaker. The easygoing, accommodating type.

    An article on "Using the Enneagram to Develop Mindfulness and Your Self Observer"  

    Share Point

    Not sure if it is true for everyone, but I need friends so that I can share my moments. Even when I was a child, some of my closest friends-kids were very cruel to me, but still I had to share things with them.
    And it is only with closest friends that I feel the trust and protection required for sharing deep thoughts, feelings, and moments.
    Obviously, such a level of trust only develops over a long time, years, or maybe under very harsh circumstances.
    An intriguing question is that, why I cannot be my closest friend, as Sima always advises me to be! :)

    Saturday, October 16, 2010


    Maybe we say hello,   for the laments of saying goodbye
    Maybe we love and cherish,  to the disappointment of a turning back
    Maybe we share our pains,  to the ridicule of a wise smile
    Maybe we loose our souls to an eye, to be slaughtered with a blink
    Maybe we should cry from the top of a skyscraper,  to the winds of a cold blue sky

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Pablo Neruda

    Thanks to Veronica N (from here, who apparently found this translation in City Lights' The Essential Neruda):

    Full woman, carnal apple, hot moon,
    thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
    what obscure clarity opens between your columns?
    What ancient night does man touch with his senses?

    Ah, loving is a voyage with water and with stars,
    with drowning air and brusque storms of flour:
    loving is a battle of lightning bolts,
    and two bodies, overcome by one honey.

    Kiss by kiss I travel across your small infinity,
    your images, your rivers, your diminutive villages,
    and the genital fire transformed into delight
    runs through the narrow trails of blood
    until it plunges itself, like a nocturnal carnation,
    until it is and is nothing more but a ray in the shadows.
    (translated by Mark Eisner)

    http: //

    Monday, October 11, 2010


    My unborn children
    deformed, ugly, comic, horrific.

    They are taking them all
    down the heaviest chain
    hanging into darkest ocean,

    to slaughter


    به *** ميگن : کدوم حيوونيه که آدمو صبح براي نماز از خواب بيدار ميکنه؟ میگه : بابام

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    10-10-10 10:10

    Sima tells me, sometimes, that I am a prisoner of my mind in my relationships, that I am not present, in the moment, enough to realize who really loves me and who does not, and to realize that whom I really love and whom I don't.

    This is quite a puzzling situation :)

    On Habits and Sense of Time

    Friday, October 08, 2010

    Women, Food, and Love

    ``Women, Food, and Love,'' a book by Geneen Roth, 2010.

    Interesting excerpts from the book:

    ``When a diabetics tells me that she can't eat what she wants because what she wants will kill her (and therefore she feels deprived), my response is that what will kill her is wanting another life than the one she has, another condition than the one that is hers. Hell is the lack of connection between the thought that she wants to eat the entire cake and the reality that eating the cake would send her into a diabetic coma. It's not the `Guideline' that needs to be examined, it's her argument with reality. It's not her eating that is killing her, it's her refusal to accept her situation.'' p. 184

    ``           The Eating Guidelines:
    1. Eat when you are hungry.
    2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
    3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
    4. Eat what your body wants.
    5. Eat until you are satisfied.
    6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
    7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure. " p. 211

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Rumi and Bach?

    There are some very powerful forces that you may encounter in life. Usually they just pass you by if you keep a safe distance. If you are overly curious and put yourself in their path, though, they simply crash you into pieces, unless you are a force yourself (that is, you have worked consistently and prepared for such encounters :)

    Forces do not have mercy or compassion. It is like asking a hurricane to be nice!

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    Strange Feelings - My Laments

    The past couple of weeks (with increased medications!:) have been strange. I feel really good for a few days, and then depressed for a couple of days. Added to that, recently, even when I feel happy, I also have a deep feeling that something is not "right", a sense of being on a sharp edge such that any moment I can fall (to depression?)  and I am more irritable too.

    It is not that I want to give up, but sometimes the only thing I wish for is to have moments of peace, I guess it is too much to ask :)

    Caution: This video has a very nice music, but some graphic images of violence and such.

    رفتم اگر از جمع عزیزان گله دارم               پیموده ره پاک شهیدان گله دارم
    خودخواهی یاران سبب دلشکنی هاست       زین شیشه بشکسته و پاشان گله دارم
     بیگانه اگر ظلم و جفا کرد ، عجب نیست      از غفلت و بی مهری یاران گله دارم 
    جان در ره جانان شد و یاران همه غافل       با جان بخون خفته ز جانان گله دارم

     I have watched/listened to the video 10-15 times today. Here are some insensitive comments:
     - I really like the Afghanis way of singing Parsi songs, as Hafez would say, there is some "ESHVE" and "TANNAZI" in their voice.
    - They say a person's eye after death capture the last moments of the life. Here, Neda's eye definitely captures her sense of terror and her frightened soul. But more than that there is an innocent "surprise" in her eyes, simply saying, what happened? How did this come upon me? Am I dreaming? Who is the person who is taking my picture?

    Here is another video with an old and favorite song and the same content (about Neda):

    Caution: This video has a very nice music, but some graphic images of violence and such.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Circle of existence

    Thinkers believe they are the center of the existence
    Yet, love knows that they are wondering in this circle


    A friend gave me an amazing insight today.
    In dealing with feelings/intuitions/insights, first be a mindful observer, do not act on them mindlessly!

    By the way, this poem is features in a Shajarian Album, ESHGH DANAD, which is a pure masterpiece of music, period.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Earth is Shaking

    Today I went to see my doctor, and he confirmed my worst nightmare, that all my obsessive, compulsive, paranoid, hallucinatory behavior and thoughts are consistent with worsening of my depression. I have been suspecting and avoiding this for a few months now. Even though I talked and wrote about it, but I was in denial, thinking that meditation and opening up and such is helping me go through a change in my life.

    Now I see how I deceived myself, hurt myself and others, manipulated myself and others all this time. But worst than that, I feel ground is shaking and falling underneath me. If I can deceive myself into all this, then what is real in my life? What am "I" after all? Things seem very confusing at the moment ...

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010


    We never fully realize the vastness of a moment as long as we mentally prepare ourselves for it.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010


    Today, I first have a strange vision of a big void inside me, and I am on the verge of looking at it to find out what it is.

    I feel I have great difficulty answering a simple question, ``what do I want from life?'' I think this is closely related to that void.

    Then, I come across the following lines in Michael Gelbs book, ``Body Learning'':

    ``Alexander continually stressed the importance of accurate sensory appreciation. One of his teaching aphorism was that `feeling when it is right, is of much more use than what they call mind.' As our sensory appreciation improves we may find that we are getting clearer messages about our true needs.

    According to a spiritual teacher ... the path to self-realization involves finding out what one's true needs are and then fulfilling  them. ... Discovering one's true needs is no easy trick; all kinds of excess and silliness are indulged in under the guise of `doing what one really feels like.' If our sensory appreciation is inaccurate we cannot be sure what our true needs are, but as our standard of rightness develops, intuition begins to be a more valuable tool, and it become more difficult to fool ourselves.

    To improve our sensory standard we must temporarily suspend the judgments we make on the basis of it and be prepared to experience something beyond habit. This process of suspending judgement ... involves the cultivation of an objective and detached awareness that will enable us to apply the experimental method in studying our own behavior. This takes some courage, as it may lead us to question our basic assumptions, ... '' (pp. 56-57)

    Friday, September 10, 2010


    Thoughts are shadows, ghosts, spirits
    Or maybe they are more like flies
    They come, they go, and sometimes hang around
    And they leave a stain when you push them too hard

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    Comments on the Jannati's News

    Ahmad Jannati is reported to be hospitalized after a stroke and to be in comma. Here are comments on the web site that reported the news:

    ·         احتمالا اومده بگه ددمنشانه مغزش هنگ کرده
    ·         نه! من که باورم نمیشه. جنّتی؟ واااای سه هزار سال تاریخ پس چی میشه؟ تازه میخواستیم با ژن جنتی دایناسورها را زنده کنیم.
    ·         خدایا به حق این ماه عزیز جنتی رو به ما پس بده، خدا دمناشنه رفتار نکن!
    ·         الهی العفو العفو :((( آقا آخرالزمانه :))))
    ·         احتمالا روزه گرفته غش و ضعف کرده والا جنتی مردنی نیست ، عزرائیل رو به طرز ددمنشه ای . . ددمنیشینه ای . . میکشه ولی جون بده نیست
    ·         این حرکت ددمناشهء...ددمنشنایه منه...ددنشهء دشمن رو محکوم می کنیم
    ·         تازه داشت یه چیزایی از خاطرات بازی با دایناسورا رو تعریف میکرد...حیف بود!
    ·         غنچهٔ ولایت نشکفته پرپر شد، گریه حضار.
    ·         عزرائیل جون مادرت یه فشار دیگه بهش بده یک وقت از کما در نیاد
    ·         یارب این نو گل خندان که سپردی به منش می سپارم به تو از دست حسود چمنش
    ·         فکر کن عزرائیل جرات کنه جون جنتی رو بگیره, اگه این جنتی که در یک حرکت انقلابی عزرائیل رو ضربه فنی میکنه !
    ·         مغزش مرده ولی قلبش بازم میزنه! من شنیده بودم میگفتن اگه سن جنتی رو از میانگین سن امید به زندگی در ایران دربیارن - این سن از 70 سال به 20 سال کاهش پیدا میکنه :))
    ·         عزرائيل امشب شب سختي رو در پيش داره. براش دعا کنيم
    ·         کمای مغزی!!!مگه مغزی هم داشت این بنده خدا؟
    ·         عمرا عزرائيل تنهایی حریف جنتی نمیشه :)
    ·         اگر نامهربان (جلاد) بودیم و رفتیم....
    ·         ای جنتی شیطون فقط آخر عمری می خواستی کروبی و موسوی رو پیش ما خراب کنی , تنهایی 50 میلیارد $ رو خوردن یه آبم روش ما هم اینجا سرمون بی کلاه موند :)
    ·         همه فرشته ها با هم رفتن سراغش...اسرافیل و جبرئیل دست و پاهاش رو گرفتن، عزرائیل داره جونش رو از تنش جدا می کنه :))))
    ·         هنوز تو فایت با عزارییله..بکن برو دیگه..ددمنیشه جون :دی
    ·         یارب این نوگل خندان که سپردی به منشه منشنه. مناشنه..
    ·         حالا یه هشتاد سال هم تو کما می‌مونه!
    ·         می گفتن امسال سال حرکت جمعی به سوی امام هست بی حساب نبوده پس
    ·         با مرگ احمد جنتی، میانگین سنی‌ کشور ایران به ۲۵ سال تقلیل خواهد
    ·         عزرائیل : مسولیت من گرفتن جان انسانهاست نه دایناسور ها :)
    ·         لو رفتن نوار مکالمات بیسیمی حاکی از آن است که عزراییل درخواست نیروی کمکی‌ کرده است
    ·         رهبر ما آن پزشکیست که از اتاق عمل بیرون میاد و در حالی‌ که دستکشاش رو در میاره، سر تکون میده و میگه : متأسفم
    ·         استراحتی کوتاه می‌کنیم تا لحظاتی بعد ضربات پنالتی قهرمان رو از بین احمد جنتی و عزراییل مشخص کنه
    ·         احمد جنتی، تنها شاهد عینی بازمانده قتل قابیل، ترور شد
    ·         یادش بخیر روز 26 رمضون قدیما جشن مرگ ابن ملجم میگرفتن چه نوستالژیک شد
    ·         باورم نميشه!!!!! بالاخره يه چيزي پيدا كردم كه در آينده براي بچه هام! با افتخار تعريف كنم! بگم باباتون مرگ جنتي رو به چشم ديد!
    ·         از بیمارستان خبر رسید کوماندوهای آمریکایی‌ به بیمارستان حمله کردن تا جسد جنتی رو ببرن روش تحقیق کنن
    ·         الان دنیا به ۲ قسمت تقسیم می‌شه : یکی‌ قبل از مرگ جنتی یکی‌ بعدش
    ·         مرگ جنتی مبدا تاریخ عصر جدید محسوب میشه تا پیش از این دانشمندان تاریخ شناس فکر میکردن جنتی نمیمیره حالا تاریخ رو به دوقسمت تقسیم میکنن قبل از مرگ جنتی و بعد از مرگ جنتی
    ·         بالاخره می میره دیگه چه امشب چه ۲-۳هزار سال دیگه
    ·         میگن حورهای بهشتی با دیدن این جنتی اعتصاب غذا کردن و برای همین قرار برگرده به همین دنیا و نماز جمعه را خودش این هفته برگزار کنه
    ·         میگن مشکل فقط سر رضایت شیطان است. شیطان مانع ورود جنتی به جهنم میشود و میگوید: "جون هرکی دوست دارید ولمون کنید، من یکی که حریف این جونور نمیشم"
    ·         عزرائیل پس از راند اول: جنتی از روشهای غیر اخلاقی استفاده میکند
    ·         گزارش میرسه که حال عزارییل هم خیلی خوب نیست.
    ·         جناب آقای جنتی! بهترین کاری که در طول حیاتت کردی همین سکته مغزی بود!
    ·         در پی شایعه مرگ احمد جنتی در جهنم حالت فوق العاده اعلام شد!
    ·         جنتي رفته تو کما، در روش قفل شده، نمی‌تونه بیاد بیرون !
    ·         -گویا کمپین یادآوری جنتی به حضرت عزرائیل دارد جواب میدهد
    ·         پیام عزائیل از بیمارستان : هم اکنون در راند ۸ هستیم متاسفانه به مشکل بر خوردیم
    ·         آخرین خبر از جنتی : عزرائیل میگوید برای گرفتن جانش نیاز به 20 کیلوگرم اورانیوم 100% هست تا با قدرت انفجار روحش در بره.
    ·         گزارش مستقیم: عزرائیل ۱:جنتی ۲ تا دقیقه ی ۷۳ .به گفته ی کارشناسان این آخرین فرصت برای عزرائیل است

    IT'S NOT ...

    .. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...