I woke up extra early this morning to meditate, stretch, and listen to some new dharma teachings I just downloaded using limewire, my new friend. (spiritual materialism.) A few quick highlights: Alan Watts talked about Buddhism's aim to ultimately throw away the religion, in the same way one throws away a bottle of medicine after the medicine works. You don’t hang onto the bottle. Pema Chodron talked about being gentle with ourselves when we sit, not getting to upset when our mind wanders, such as when a baby’s attention wonders from the food, you don’t hit the baby, you just say “here’s the birdie” and you bring its attention back. She also talked about getting intimate with our humanness. Wilber explained about the bodhisattva path being like if you all of a sudden get a billion dollars, you want to share it with others. In the same way, "because I have been fortuante enough to find some sort of liberation, freedom and fullness in my being, how can I communicate that to others in a way that benefits them." Saul Williams explained that our five senses cannot sense the fact of our existence and that’s the only fact. Sogyal Sinpoche talked about death and impermanence, Victor Wooten played his bas like a harpsichord, and Thich Nhat Hahn explained that eating meat is like eating our own human family because of all the people that could have been fed with the food given to the animals. We just need to be mindful while we consume, that’s all.
So, my morning was very contemplative,
I then recorded a song for my album and set off for school, determined to look for clues as to what I should paint. ("At the moment of commitment Nature conspires to help you” Bjork). This is usually true. Try it.
So I set off for school, feelin great, alive, peaceful, free. And to add to that, the next two days are the city championship, so my job will be to leisurely visit any school I wish and watch some of the events. Today I went to the ping-pong tournament. Before it started, I stepped outside to eat some of my sea kelp onigiri for breakfast. I smelled rubber cement, and looking down to my right I saw some kids frantically gluing new faces to their ping pong paddles. I looked to my left and I was stunned by the distant blue gray mountains, slowly being erased by the clouds, and fractured into countless geometric shapes by the black power lines, all the background curtain for the few large black crows hopping around and flying across the graveyard standing happily across the street, singing the song of the unavoidable. I saw a dozen or so little kids in yellow baseball hats and red back packs parade past, the wise crows hop up onto the power lines, slicing the mountains, I think of stined glass and painting, return to the rubber cement, the ping pong tournament about to start, and then back to my breakfest.
After watching for a while, I left to visit the cemetery across the street. There I met an old man who was cleaning and lighting incense at one of the sites. We talked for a little bit, small talk, about the weather and how beautiful the cemetery is. Take care. You too. I waked around for a bit and I found a row of beautiful rocks placed as offerings to one of the tombs. I thought “how lovely. Rock offerings.” It made me think of my shrine at home, which has a pinecone, feather, shells, and rocks, all flanking a tiny Buddha given to me by Charlie displaying the freedom-from-fear mudra. I walked a little farther and saw two full asai beer can offerings in front of a grave. Then i saw some cars abondoned in a pocket of nature. I passed by some scarecrows and black flags, more graveyards, some old people on bicycles wearing gloves to keep the sun out of their hands, some flowers, some trash.
When I got home I saw one lonely little red bikey in my parking lot that said “milk kid” on the seat.
I ate lunch with Kieran at a cheap noodle shop, I bought a tire pump and pumped up my tires, Kieran and I talked about fasting and sexuality, vegitarianism, Alan Watts, conciousness, dreaming, and god. I left him to go watch some baseball at another one of my schools, laughed with some kids. Afterwards, I leisurely looked around and my eyes immediately fell upon a couple small round stones and a feather.
I came home, found the owner of that little red bike, recorded another song, read a little bit of “awakening spirits,” a book about native American spirituality that Eli gave me, meditated, and then painted. Here are the pictures.
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