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!



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.

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...