Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Horrific Zen

Zen practice is like sharpening a blade, you can use the sharp blade to prepare food and put love in it, or you can use the blade to kill someone innocent. Blade sharpness does not have much to do with the intention of how to use it. Granted,  it is probably much more difficult to reach Zen with a hateful, angry soul, but not impossible.
That is why, I believe, the Zen practice made so much sense for samurai. A samurai is a killer, and there is nothing more horrifying than looking into someone's eye and cut his head. However, they could do it without completely loosing their mind, and ultimately with some form of grace and integrity.
Zen is more like a state of stillness, you can have a day full of anger, resentment, self-hatred, and then go swim and reach a stillness moment.

Words - Natural American Spirit

The Gambler

I see life as a meaningless game, or gamble, and envision no consequences for my actions. I see it all as a joke, albeit cruel and inhumane.

[I do not know who is the poet, maybe Molana Rumi?]

KHONOK AN GHOMAR BAZI      KE BEBAKHT HAR CHE BOODASH
BE NAMAN HICHASH ELLA        HAVASE GHOMAR DIGAR

Loose translation

I envy the gambler    who has lost all he had
only left with             the desire for another gamble

A friend's translation:

I envy the gambler,  who's lost all he had
All, but the craze,  of yet another game

Steel Blade

The beloved poet and mystic figure, BABA TAHER ORYAN, provides another perspective:

ZE DASTE DIDE O DEL HAR DO FARYAD
KE HARCHE DIDE BINE DEL KONE YAD
BESAZOM KHANJARI NISHESH ZE POOLAD
ZANOM BAR DIDE TA DEL GARDE AZAD

Loose trasnlation
Disgusted by the conspiracy of eye and heart
As heart loves the beauty that eyes capture
I will craft a knife with a sharp steel blade
And remove the eye to set heart free

Monday, August 30, 2010

Demons

In the past couple of year,s I have let my demons out, unleashed them on my life, just to cause pain and suffering. It is time now for me to get back the control. If I cannot kill the demons, I am going to torture them so much to make them weak, like starving tigers. Enough with all the drama and wishful thinking, time to go back to what I was, a self-hating, self-loathing, anti-social, aggressive, competitive bastard. There never was, and never will be, anything lovable about me. It is all a rotten wound that has to be kept hidden deep down, away from outside eyes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Kid: A Crazy Story

Even though the following may appear totally crazy, but there is some truth to it!

I have been able to contact "the kid", or my 2-3 years old self as I envision based on a very old photograph. The few encounters have been very emotional and painful.
In the last encounter yesterday, I promised the kid to do whatever he wants, if he agrees to show up! Today, after a week of almost constant depression, I felt really alive and energetic, as though the kid was playing joyfully inside me. I had not felt so much energy and playfulness in a while.
Then, it came to a serious decision and I refused to do what the kid wanted. I did not really think about the decision, and yet, another part of me "felt" the kid's decision was not right. I tried to patiently reason with the kid, but at some point lost patience. And the kid started acting up and forced me back into deep anger, self-hatred, and depression!
Clearly, I cannot do whatever the kid wants because he is very wild. I need to find some way of explaining things to him and convincing him. It is like I have to learn parenting :)

Well, if you have any experience dealing with your inside-kid-self, please share!
Also, if you have suggestions about best ways of dealing with kids and reasoning with them, also please share!
If the post is too crazy for you, well, do not worry ...

Sima is totally fed up with this, she thinks I am crazy and need more/different medications.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swamp

Every time you hit the bottom
You ask the same old question
Man, can I get lower than this?

A couple of good days, though
and you start cheering and singing
like a young, madly in love, crocodile
Or is it? Yes, I meant cardinal!

No glory in the life with depression
Heavy clouds gather, a dark sky
It starts raining
and you try to stay afloat

And the realization hits you,
you are struggling in a swamp
that other people simply avoid

Trying to stay afloat
you waive at occasional friends
so that they turn their faces
to ignore the stink of the swamp

And you ask, why?
retracking the chain of events
and trying to stay afloat

Envy rises to rage,
and rage gives birth to hatred
Man, can it get any lower than this?

Out of Blue

Felt impatient, so started a meditation, and after 10 minutes, out of the blue, decided to call mom. In the middle of conversation, suddenly, asked her, "Do you love me?" and after a few minutes, "Do you love your self?" and at the end told her, "I love you too."

It was a difficult and emotional conversation for me, very much so, and I am surprised how such a simple conversation can be so difficult for a person ....

Simple Rules

  • Define small tasks [doable in 10-15 minutes] and do them mindfully and with whole heart
  • Regain mindfulness and stillness between tasks
  • Avoid extreme and certain thoughts [positive or especially negative], embrace uncertainty and the potentials of a moment
  • Ask tough questions, and be alert and open to their honest answers

The Tyrany of Positive Thinking! :)



http://fora.tv/2010/01/11/Smile_or_Die_The_Tyrany_of_Positive_Thinking

Monday, August 16, 2010

Survival - Child - Parent

1)  I learned a lesson (or, I think so) from 2-3 really bad days last week: Finish small tasks even when you feel so bad that you "think" you cannot do anything :)
I am "trying" to implement the lesson today. As long as I do not think about future or past and give my attention to what I am doing, it is fine. I cannot really do creative work though, but can finish small tasks and feel alive :)

2) There is a concept in life, that when there is an "opportunity" (say to to enjoy), it is better to use it (enjoy it) while it last :) I have a very childish approach to this: I want to shape the opportunity into the way I (my ego?) wants it, and if that cannot happen, I get mad and let go of the whole thing, or even worse, I destroy the opportunity for myself to make sure that I cannot enjoy it anymore, kind of getting even with myself.
I think this is a combination of "perfectionism" and "self-hatred" :)

3) It seems that what I write here is simply for showing off, not for any sort of genuine communication :) I am not sure showing "what" off: my pains and suffering to get sympathy, or my joys and achievements to prove my superiority. Anyway, too much ego is involved here!

Clearly I am quite mad at myself today. I cannot understand why, but going back to "1" above, I should probably just try to let it pass and stay alive by doing small things :) Tomorrow is another day, for my sake!

And then, I just sit and cry hard, for the baby within me, as I see how for 35 years I have pulled and pushed it through all sorts of abuses, as I can see how it is all bruised from the tortures of these long years, standing there shy and waiting for me to see, to stop just for a moment and see the hopeless creature who has been standing in front of me all this time, oh dear, what have I done to you?

My mom and dad are good people and I love them. Both of them were orphans and received little love and affection, and have had a difficult time showing affection, especially for me as their first child. My mom had mild depression and anxiety too, and my dad stayed away from house by going on business trips and such. I grew up to become an angry adolescent, with myself and my parents, and caused them lots of trouble. Once that I had done too much, my mom wrote me a note saying, " ..., I really love you, please accept this gift."
I read the note, and I felt "strange", yes, because I could not remember my mom ever writing to me that she loves me!
My mom and dad are very good people and I love them, they just did not know how to show love and affection ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Words Power

I was a total skeptic about words and their values. That's until I re-discovered art value, and then, poetry and literature. But still then, I was very unsure about some other aspects of "talking". Why do we need them? :)

Well, I have discovered the power of talking. It has a transformational effect on certain issues. Issues that we want to avoid. Those that we feel we "cannot" talk about. Our secrets. Especially if you talk to the right person, who does not betray you, a real friend.

I am sure many people have described this power of words better than my try here. But I had to say it, pay my tribute to it, as I am experiencing it these days, mesmerized by it!!!

PS. This is also a tribute to the value of "real friends" ... they are hard to find and extremely precious. I write more about this later.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sometimes, you feel everything to say is already said. And everything to do is already done. And you are there, sitting with it, just hoping that it will pass.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Parallel Stories

I used to tell a story about what happened in the past year and a half. That I started the mindfulness path (for the lack of a better word :) and got more and more involved in it, that I am opening myself up to my potentials and building a harmony. I may have to change my job or life path, but it is in the right direction.

Today, I came up with an alternative story, which is interesting, educative and horrifying. For the first six months or so after I started the mindfulness, everything was going fine. I had a few month of the best time in my whole life, maybe due to the freshness of the new path. However, as new practices became less "new", instead of simply living the life as it happens, I had to get to newer levels. So, I increased my commitments to change, and broke many attachments. The sad thing is that the whole purpose of mindfulness is to live life fully, not to escape from it!

I do not know which story is happening, time will tell me. The alternative story does not sound good: I will lose my current job, social and economic position in a year. Many people that I have had the fortune to know, and situations that I created, simply depend on my current state, and I may lose all of them. I read this yesterday, "If you make stupis choices, don't look for sympathy as you face the grave consequences!"

A few months ago I wrote on my office board, "ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS, GIVE HONEST ANSWERS!" Now I ask myself, what was my motive for what I did in the past year? Was it really to realize my self, or to escape the life realities, to avoid living the life as it goes? I have to gather my courage to face the honest answer :)))

Coming to think of it, does it really matter why I made those choices? For whatever reason, I made them and I have to face the consequences, and the rest is stories that I tell myself :)

Strange! I just came across a possible answer to my last question [here]: We are the stories we tell our selves!
Link: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/800

Noises

I don't know what to do,
so I look into my heart,
I find emptiness,
and noises talking in my head,
I sleep

Still don't know what to do,
So I search my soul,
I find nothing,
except noises talking in my head,
I start crying

In the middle of crying,
I hear noises talking in my head,
and I laugh,
There is no escape

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I get this email:
``Don't try to Judge yourself.
You are Beautiful, inside and out!''
I reply, "You too ;)"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I cannot stay with myself, there is no where to go to, there is no escape

Confrontation

I am standing on top of a cliff, and feel the energy right in front of me, as if a huge fire is burning. I cannot look down, however, too scary. As soon as I have a glimpse of what is in front of me, I have to turn: Either back to the path I have taken to this point with its ups and downs, or toward the valley out in front of me with all its possibilities. As long as I am not looking down, everything is `normal' and I can walk as if there is no cliff!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Two Approaches to Travel :)

Warning: this post only makes some sense if you have "practiced", otherwise it will be intellectual bullshit :))

I have recently noticed two approaches to (physical) practices that are vaguely classified as meditative-Zen. I call them "external" and "internal".

External Approach: Emphasizes discipline. Uses life hardships to develop the spirit. Will-power has a significant role, which is practiced by enduring difficult physical, mental, and emotional situations.

Internal Approach: Emphasizes harmony. Self-discovery is achieved through loving ones self and staying patient with moments. Will power is mainly manifested in this patience.
Variation (on Internal Approach): In one variation, the main manifestation of will power is in stopping tasks at hand when there is still momentum to continue. This variation is an amazingly simple approach to mindfulness and being-in-the-present that needs practice of some simple rules in daily activities. I have described different elements of this approach in the posts that have "nihil nimus" as a label.
This post develops a similar idea:
http://myimpossibilitytheorems.blogspot.com/2009/06/self-discipline.html
This one explain "stopping" a little:
http://myimpossibilitytheorems.blogspot.com/2009/08/insights-into-stopping.html
The following post lists all elements:
http://myimpossibilitytheorems.blogspot.com/2009/03/decision-making-part-0.html

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Re-Discovering Sohrab Sepehri

After a very long time, I listened to the first side of Shahram Nazeri's album, "DAR GOLESTANE," which features famous poems by Sohrab Sepehri. The poetry is AMAZING! Side 1 of the album started with "DASHTAHEE CHE FARAKH, KOOHHAEE CHE BOLAND" (such wide fields and such high mountains) which immediately merged into memories of a road travel around KASHAN (in my recent trip to Iran). It got more and more emotional, up to the ending part, " KAFSH HAYAM KOO? CHE KASI BOOD SEDA ZAD SOHRAB"
(where are my shoes? who is calling Sohrab?), and at that point I started crying like a baby.
Such an amazing visual poetry, breath-taking!

Someone's calling me again, where are my shoes?

From: http://foroughfarrokhzad.tripod.com/sohrabsepehri/id16.html


In The Meadow
 
golestaneh.jpg



The turfs of such vastness;

The mounts of such heights;

The meadow is engulfed with the fresh scent of the grass.



In that remote parish, I was looking for something,

Maybe a dream, perhaps a fistful of sands,

Or a lightening, a smile,

Yes, something:

a fleeting dream at least.



Behind the willows there is an innocent sense

-of oblivion and of  original void-

That is constantly calling my name.



I stay besides the reeds and I listen:

Who is talking to me?

Who is calling my name?



**&**



A lizard slipped into the river, I leave

Ryes on my way then the green sight of farms

and forgetfulness streaming  in the air...





**&**



I stay by the waterway

ousted my shoes, feet in the torrent:

Oh, so green I feel at this moment!

and my senses are so lucid, so fluid

so aware!

 **&**



Who is behind the trees?

No one, only a lonely cow!







It is the noon of a warm summer day;

Even the shadows know the name of the season.

The shadows are spotless and dense.

In my bright, tidy space

the children of sense

Sometimes play, sometimes rest.



**&**



Life is not empty:

There is kindness,

and apple

and faith.



Life is full

Wherever flowers dare to bloom...





And now,

Now, there is something in my heart

And I am so restless

 I like to run to the end of the perish

to the peak of mountain;

to the end of the perish

to top of the peaks!



**&**



Far away there is a Voice

The Voice

That is constantly calling my name.




By: Sohrab Sepehri

Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani



The poem Dar Golestaneh  was first published in the anthology Hajm-e Sabz (The Green Mass)  1967, Tehran



********************************************************************


The Initiation Call
shoes.jpg

Where are my shoes?
Who is calling my name?
I knew the voice such the leaves know
the breath of the breeze.
My mother is sleepin’
So do Manou and Parvin,
And I guess, everybody in this town.
It is a night of June.
And its heavy breeze,
like the verses of elegies
Flows over the clock’s lengthy hands.
It is a night of June.
And its heavy breeze drags my fleeting nap
from the tear of the jade shades of the sheet
to the underworld.
For my pillow is filled with the feathers of migrating birds,
For the water in this vase is constantly flying to the roof of the night,
For it is a heavy night of June,
I deem it is the time to leave.
I must leave tonight,
For I talked to those people
from the widest open window
with the words of my soul
but none was there to know.

I must leave tonight,
For I watched those people
from the widest open window
with the eyes of my soul
and nobody stopped to see the core of the earth
and nobody dared to awe the truth of the garden’s birth
and nobody cared to love the crows at the time of dearth.
For I see that beneath the shade of the world’s rarest pine
The neighbour girl is sitting reading a holy guide.
So I feel blue, as blue as those grey skies,
grieving the barren heart of deserted ryes.
I must leave tonight.
For I’ve only seen few little things in this land:
The poet who such wondered
the vague verse of the space
that stars laid eggs in her eyes;
And the man who asked me one night
about the exact birth date of the vineyard.
But I must leave tonight,
I must get a bag up to the mass of my lonely wears
And walk the route where those epic woods cling into my sight,
towards that enormous vastness that calls me every night.
Where are my shoes?
Who is there calling my name?
Surely I must leave tonight.


By: Sohrab Sepehri

Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani





The poem Neda-ye Aghaz was first published in the anthology Hajm-e Sabz (The Green Shape)  1967, Tehran


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Suspension

Tonight, again, I have a feeling that my days are numbered. I want to respect my feelings, but they are not making much sense anymore :)

Four weeks

Important four weeks I spent in Iran. When I was leaving, I had a very strong feeling of never seeing my house in Atlanta again. I watched "dead man" and cried a lot my goodbyes. In Iran, I decided to detach myself from everything in the US, which took me a week to complete. Then, I was much more with my surroundings and moments. Not all experiences was pleasant, obviously, but I learned a lot from, and influenced, many.

One realization was important. I used to divide my life into periods of depression (angry, nervous, sad, fighting and hurting people close) and otherwise (not depressed, energized, in a good mood). I realized that this separation has become artificial. That, my depressed self is part of me that has to exist. Today, I started an attempt to recognize and respect the "depressed" side by discussing them, as part of me, with Sima. I explained some of the censored thoughts and feelings that were ignored, marginalized, and repressed, by being labeled as "depression thoughts". It was very difficult to stay calm and process those feelings and thoughts as they appeared, very difficult. Meanwhile, I understood that by repressing them, I have turned them into monsters that fed into my "depression".

The path to self discovery is amazing, if you walk it. No matter how much I read and conceptualized it, nothing happened until I started to walk, step by step, the path. It is not all comfortable and happy, but it deepens and enrich the life experience.

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...