Thursday, August 31, 2006

cover up

well, I watched some of "911 In Plane Site" and "Loose Change.." I suggest everyone see these films. Also, has anyone seen the French Documentary "911"?
Moreover, here is the feather, pinecone, and 5 stones painiting revisted.

Monday, August 28, 2006

great questions

I'm now on in the "what's new" section. I am so happy about this. My role models are involved with this site. This might be the highlight of my carrer.

and here are some great questions.

(Questions by Gregory Stock, PH.D.)

Were you able to wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, would you do so? Whom would you pick?

Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by five years to become extremely attractive?

Have you ever considered suicide? What is so important to you that without it life would not be worth living?

How many different sexual partners have you had in your life? Would you prefer to have had more or less?

What was your best experience with drugs or alcohol? Your worst experience?

If you were at a friend’s house for thanksgiving dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?

If you were having difficulty on a really important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?

Would you be willing to give up sex for five years if you could have wonderfully sensual and erotic dreams any night you wished?

If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

What are your most compulsive habits? Do you regularly struggle to break those habits?

Is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

If you could choose the sex and appearance of your soon-to-be-born child, would you?

How do you picture your funeral? Is it important for you that people mourn your death?

Would you like to be famous? In what way?

Would you rather die peacefully among friends at age 50, or painfully and alone at age 80?

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

Would you be willing to go to a slaughterhouse and kill a cow?

When did you last yell at someone? Why? Did you later regret it?

Would you like your lover to be both smarter and more attractive than you?

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Have you ever been sexually attracted to someone of the same sex? To someone in your family? If so, how did you deal with it?

Are there people you envy enough to want to trade lives with them? Who are they?

If you could wake up tomorrow and having gained any one ability or quality, what would it me?

If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would you question and what would you ask?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A sermon while shaving my head

I was shaving my head today and it reminded me of the spiritual path. When I started shaving my head, I had the tools (the scissors and the clippers), and I though I could just quickly cut all the hair off. Simple enough. But as I actually engaged in the hair cut, I quickly learned that it takes time, and I can only cut the hair off little by little. This made me a little frustrated since I didn’t have much time, but ultimately I had to surrender to the law of nature and cut the hair off little by little. Same thing with meditation or with spiritual practice. At first, I thought, “well, I have the tools (my mind and the dharma, the eight-fold path) and I know what to do, so it will be a cinch.” But, after a few weeks of practice, I learned that you could only transform little by little. The Zen Abbot in Lawrence Kansas spent 20 years or so just focusing on her breathing. There is something to say for that. Just think if you had that type of concentration, or that type of control over your mind (it makes me ask the question “Who is in control of my mind. Am I using my mind, or is my mind using me?” And meditating on the breath makes it very clear how little control I have over my mind! It wonders away from the breath so quickly. But little by little, “Sukoshi zutsu” in Japanese, i can learn to keep my mind where i place it.

Another interesting thing I thought of while cutting my hair. One reason why consciousness should not be reduced to physiological processes is because that erases all value judgments. For example, different brainwave patterns can be observed using an EEG machine, but the machine cannot say if one pattern is BETTER than another. Hatred and compassion will both register as patterns on the EEG machine, but the machine cannot say if one is better, or more valuable, than another.

SO, let me ask you: which is better or more valuable: Hatred or Compassion? Now I can hear some of my friends saying “You can’t say one is BETTER than another because they are both important and necessary." Or some might say that they are both manifestations of Spirit, they are both equally empty and thus equally luminous. But that nonjudgmental position is maintaining itself as a better or more evolved position than the judgmental one. Or, even better, the scientific position is better than the spiritual one. That itself is a value judgment that is impossible to make if you wish to reduce consciousness to brain processes (or if you wish to commit scientific reductionism, which I, and many of my friends, most honorably wish to do.) Interesting. We are condemned to Spirituality. Consciousness or subjectivity is not found solely in the brain. (And, just look at the Ken Wilber video to the right and notice that he is totally awake and aware even though there is next to no brain activity. In fact, many meditators (myslef included) claim that one is more aware of what is real and going on when there is less brain activity masking or limiting perception. Again, very interesting I think.


Saturday morning I climbed a mountain with a group of foreigners in Saijo. Staring out across the vast mountains range I thought, “Even though my eyes are small, they see huge things.”
That night I danced at a club with all my new friends. Sunday I was stunned with the beauty of the waves of tiled roofs adorning the morning sunlight. After I returned to niihama I went swimming with Trisha at the neighborhood pool, then bought the new Cornelius album “Music,” and saw Superman, which I loved.
You can bet i will be painting a lot of these pics. its just so powerful how a vast mountain range can still the mind while also expanding it (the entire mountain range is INSIDE the awareness!). oh, and see us standing by that stream. we drank that water. first time in my life i think i have ever had fresh spring water.

Friday, August 25, 2006

new pics from matsuyama

These are pics I took using my friend Izumi’s camera while visiting the Kansas High School students in Matsuyama last June. They’re mostly of Ishiteji, the 51st temple in the 88 temples of Shikoku. That is an abandoned kitty in a box. Also, Kannon Bosatsu riding a dragon, wish stones, mom can you see all the paper cranes? There were three or four walls full of them. Also, a 3-D mandala found deep inside one of the caves at the temple.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

family connection

Here is a pic of Mako in front of one of her paintings (the one I decided to buy). Also, Masaki (one of my students) invited me over for dinner again to meet his sister who goes to design school in Tokyo. Afterwards we went to Karaoke. Masaki, if you remember, is the boy whose father died about a year ago from cancer. In between songs he leaned over to me and showed me his cell phone. Playing on the tiny screen was a video of his father playing the guitar. I almost burst into tears; I had never seen his father before and it just was so powerful to think that Masaki (15) keeps this video he took of his father in this cell phone and wanted to share it with me. I’m tearing up now. Remember when he showed me his fathers paint box? His mom and I sang a Paul Simon song together as well as Sweet Dreams. Masaki and I sang some Greenday, and I think I got a little drunk; His mom kept buying me cocktails.

Monday, August 21, 2006

moon worship

I've recently discovered that part of my religion is (and always has been) moon worship. I open my hands and dreamy eyed call out "Homage to the great and holy Vajrasattva Mahasattva, the luminous moon disc from which flows the sound Hum: the fountain of nectar that is the universe in every moment." Devotion to beauty bathes my soul in a cool river of moonlight, I sing out from my small body, out to the clear light, out to the glowing water of awareness behind my eyes, reflecting the unchanging, glowing sphere of light embedded within the womb of the sky. I'm rambling again. The moon never minds. Suddenly she emits rays of white light that wash away the harmful deeds and delusions of all sentient beings, who then give offerings, dance and sing in ecstatic praise. During this, all the accomplishments, kindness, love and compassion generated by beings throughout the history of the universe are reabsorbed into the light, so that Moon becomes an accumulation of brightness, power, and divinity. I open my mouth and swallow the moon. It stays in my throat like a glowing marble, continuously emitting its purifying light into the world.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Bio

Here is the bio Micheal helped me write.
David Titterington was born and raised in Kansas City. He began to
draw at age three, using crayons and markers on his bedroom walls.
Furious but intrigued, his parents sent him to private lessons at six,
and he has studied the visual arts ever since.

David was kicked out of elementary school for possessing a weapon; he
spent junior high vandalizing and stealing. Things turned around for
him in high school, when he began to study Japanese language, Zen
Buddhism, and Ken Wilber, and awoke to a fascination with hospice,
death, and the process of dying. The summer after his senior
year he went to India for three weeks and discovered the writings of
Shunryu Suzuki and the Dalai Lama, inspiring him to begin a daily
practice of meditation and contemplation. At the University of Kansas he
studied painting, mysticism, art history, and Japanese language and culture. He founded a sitting group at the university, returned to India for the Dalai Lama's spring teachings, and participated in spiritual retreats and workshops, including a Buddhist refuge with Khamtrul Rinpoche. He has been involved with Integral Institute since 2004, when one of his paintings was used for the cover of the Integral Ecology and Sustainability seminar brochure. He currently lives, exhibits, and works as an Assistant Language Teacher in Ehime, Japan. He is still a troublemaker, although of a decidedly more legal variety.

About his work, David says "I am fascinated with energetic
patterns found in nature and the way light falls over forms.
I'm also interested in the power of symbols to communicate ideas that
words alone cannot. However, my paintings are primarily intended to
provide the viewer with a simple space for rest."

For more information, please visit


So, last night I hosted a going away party for Stacey. 30 people crowded into my apartment. Pics of all the beautiful guests are below. Can you guess who I am in love with? (or, correctly, whom do I love?)

I am so lucky to have a wonderful group of people living with me in this area of Japan. Philosophers, religion majors, artists. Great connections. Sunday morning, 6 people who stayed over went with me to the Zen temple. Then, in the evening, I helped Mako set up her painting show at the same gallery mine was in.

Right now I am reading Ken Wilber’s "Integral Psychology," honestly a page-turner. One of the best books I have read by him. I’m excited to become part of the artists featured on, for that will mean Ken Wilber will get familiar with some of my work, if he isn’t already (they recently used peekabuddha for the cover of their integral packet “Integral Ecology and Sustainability” sent to Senator Gary Hart and Al Gore.) I’m trying to put together a bio for Integral naked right now. It's tough. What angle should I take writing about myself? What story should I tell? What kind of person should I paint? Michael G. is going to help me i hope.
I’m also reading Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. Recently I saw the new Gibli film "Gedo Senki" based on the third book. Frankly I thought it was pretty boring. Not as stunning and beautiful as the other films. Lots of story I could not understand. Not very much action. I’m also working through this wonderful book Michaela gave me called “The Game of God.” I starting wearing a Tibetan scull bracelet on my left wrist that reminds me to live life to the fullest and embrace everything occurring as precious moments of mind. The spectrum of textures arising moment to moment as my experience are fleeting, falling away continuously like a flowing river, but they are so magnificent; they sparkle and shimmer and announce the richness and fullness of Life in the present moment. The sculls on my wrist help me see this and open as acceptance, even in the face of my own fleetingness. You know, we are all dying. We can talk about it with authority. We all are experiencing dying right now. How does it feel? This slow, luminous, living death?

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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