Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jalil Shahnaz

He was a great "tar" player, a master of traditional Persian music, and in my opinion, a Zen master, LOL

Unfortunately, he passed away yesterday, rest in peace.

Here is the set of all my posts what have a reference to him or a piece he played:


2013-6-24: Shajarian singing in Shahnaz's memory:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shadi and 1Q84

A few months ago Shadi had a post on losing innocence [Link: http://measer-pear.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-post.html). I read it a couple of times and asked myself, when did I lose my innocence?

Tonight, I read the following paragraph from ``1Q84'':
Sunday collection rounds were an absolute rule: no exceptions, no changes. If he caught a cold, if he had a persistent cough, if he was running a little fever, if he had an upset stomach, his father accepted no excuses. Staggering after his father on such days, he would often wish he could fall down and die on the spot. Then, perhaps, his father might think twice about his own behavior; it might occur to him that he had been too strict with his son. ---p. 90, 1Q84
I had a strange feeling, like remembering something quite vague, after reading this. This wish feels very personal to me.


And a video clip that I enjoyed very much:


Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

Monday, June 10, 2013

1Q84: Special Light

When I like a novel (any book?!?) I cannot help quoting it, lol
But this seventeen-year-old girl, Fuka-Eri, was different. The mere sight of her sent a violent shudder through him. It was the same feeling her photograph had given him when he first saw it, but in the living girl's presence it was far stronger. This was not the pangs of love or sexual desire. A certain something he felt, had managed to work its way in through a tiny opening and was trying to fill a blank space inside him. The void was not one that Fuka-Eri had made. It had always been there inside Tengo. She had merely managed to shine a special light on it. --- p. 48, 1Q84
I am creating my own approach to enlightenment and awakening these days, making good progress :) Anyway, I will write about that subject when I feel ready. But I sense an interesting connection to this quote based on my personal experiences. For the past few years, I have met people that would give me this feeling, of a light being shined on some parts of my psyche.

Why? I think terrible and terrifying experiences are not the only ones being dissociated. Another possible reason for dissociation of some experiences/states of our psyche is that they are so good, emotionally riveting and invigorating, that they frighten us. The people that deeply affect us (n the strange way that the quote describes) shine a light on those forgotten aspects of our being!

Lessons in enlightenment! LOL  

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Where I go ... Where I came from

I am conflicted about writing this post. It still feels a bit early. But these are thoughts that I want to write down. So I start the post today, Tuesday June 4 2013, and we shall see when it sees the daylights of being publicly published, lol

I have had powerful dreams these past few days, dreams that, as soon as I wake up or even sometimes during the sleep, I realize their importance but cannot remember them! Dreams are conversations, in symbols and metaphors, between different parts of our mind/psyche. So, I know important changes, discoveries, and revelations await me in the near future :)

These days I have strong intuitions for things that need to be done. For example, after my yesterday morning's meditation, I had a feeling that I would like to let go of everything that I have ``learned'' in the past few years and reach back to my roots and who I really am. This feeling became stronger and then today I knew that I wanted to read the book, ``Writing Down the Bones,'' by Natalie Goldberg. I picked up the book and came across the chapter ``Going Home''. Here are some excerpts:

It is very important to go home if you want your work to be whole. ... you must claim where you come from and embrace it, or at the least, accept it. ---p. 182
I was a Zen student for many years, and then about a year and a half ago every time I sat zazen I felt more and more Jewish. When I spoke to Katagiri Roshi about this, he said, ``That makes sense. The more you sit, the more you become who you are.'' I began to feel that I had been arrogant to turn my back on my own heritage without knowing anything about it. ---p. 183
But don't go home so you can stay there. You go home so you can be free; so you are not avoiding anything of who you are. If you avoid something, it becomes obvious in your writing. For example, if you are uncomfortable with sexuality, it becomes clear because either your writing never mentions it, as though all your characters, animals, and insects had sexual lobotomies, or you go to the other extreme and always write about whores and porno flicks. ---p. 184, Writing Down the Bones

So here we go. I am thinking the only way to discover who I really am, is to own everything that makes me. Every single good and bad thing about me is a part of me. My country, my people, my culture and heritage. Everything. Good and bad. I do not want to be afraid of facing some parts of my identity, anymore. I need to bring this journey back home, to where I started it so many years ago, and let the circle becomes complete, even though I know better that the circle never does get complete, lol

Images help our mind to capture difficult concepts. Another book that I picked up a few days ago, out of sheer intuition, is ``Eat, Pray, Love,'' by Elizabeth Gilbert. A question that naturally arises when we think about completeness and closure, is that how it is done. Here is an image, from the part I read today, that captures a possible answer:

... So what I asked God that night on the Ashram roof was---given the reality that I would probably never speak to my ex-husband again---might there be some level upon which we could communicate? Some level on which we could forgive?
I lay up there, high above the world, and I was all alone. I dropped into meditation and waited to be told what to do. I don't know how many minutes or hours passed before I knew what to do. I realized I'd been thinking about all this too literally. I'd been wanting to talk to my ex-husband? So talk to him. Talk to him right right now. I'd been waiting to be offered forgiveness. Offer it up personally, then. Right now. I thought of how many people go to their graves unforgiven and unforgiving. ... From that place in meditation, I found the answer---you can finish the business yourself, from within yourself. It's not only possible, it's essential.
And then, to my surprise, still in meditation, I did an odd thing. I invited my ex-husband to please join me up here on this rooftop in India. ... Then I waited until I felt him arrive. ... ---p. 186
Much later I opened my eyes, and I knew it was over. Not just my marriage and not just my divorce, but all the unfinished bleak hollow sadness of it ... it was over. I could feel that I was free. Let me be clear---it's not that I would never again think about my ex-husband, or never again have any emotions attached to the memory of him. It's just that this ritual on the rooftop had finally given me a place where I could house those thoughts and feelings whenever they would arise in the future ... ---p. 187, Eat, Pray, Love
So what does all this mean to me?

I want to place them in my story-telling framework. Imagine a big, heavy nautical rope. It consists of thousands of small threads that are woven together. Our life story is that rope and it contains many parallel story lines, like those tiny threads that run through that rope of our life. To find closure and completeness in our life, we need to recognize those parallel story lines. To make it more concrete, think of your parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, wife and children. Each character in our life can be thought of as a story line. To own our life, we would like to know these characters' stories. We want to find empathy and sympathy for all characters of our life, see our life through their eyes.

Wow, this is amazing. Brings chills to my spine! lol

PS-1. Now I realize that moments of sudden intuition, revelation, bliss, and astonishment (like the last line above) are vehicles for transforming our soul :)

PS-2. I don't remember if I have posted this "Tiny Desk Concert" by Mohammad Reza Shajarian here or not, but let's be safe :)


Tuesday, June 04, 2013


I like Huraki Murakami's works, at least the two novels of him that I have read, and I have started reading another one, ``1Q84''. Here is a paragraph from the very first page:

Janacek composed his little symphony in 1926. He originally wrote the opening as a fanfare for a gymnastic festival. Aomame imagined 1926 Czechoslovakia: The First World War had ended, and the country was freed from the long rule of the Hapsburg Dynasty. As they enjoyed the peaceful respite visiting central Europe, people drank Pilsner beer in cafes and manufactured handsome light machine guns. Two years earlier, in utter obscurity, Franz Kafka had left the world behind. Soon Hitler would come out of nowhere and gobble up this beautiful little country in the blink of an eye, but at the time no one knew this hardships lay in store for them. This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: ``At the time, no one knew what was coming.'' Listening to Janacek's music, Aomame imagined the carefree winds sweeping across the plains of Bohemia and thought about the vicissitudes of history. ---p. 3, 1Q84

I have had this feeling about my life, specially since a few years ago, that if I had known what was coming in my life, I would have taken things less seriously. Would be kinder to myself.
Well, these days I am at the pick of being kind to myself and in fact liking myself compared to my whole life. So if anything happens tomorrow, I have little regrets :)

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...