Sunday, May 23, 2010

hippy fest and hanging on to stuff

That is Guitar Panda performing at this year`s hippy fest in Imabari. Even though it rained and I didnt get much sleep, I had a great time. Japanese hippies are the best. I met young Japanese people who lived in India, South America, Mexico, Nepal....really cool cats. lots of dreads and tatoos and wonderful foods.

And here are two new marimokkori I got from friends. Can you believe thsi guy!

I'm beginning to pack up my house, organize my papers and pictures, throw away old cards and letters. it`s really hard, throwing away my stuff. for example, i opened up a drawer I hadn't opened in years. I had no idea what was in it, so technically i could have thrown away everything inside, right? i wouldn't have missed any of it. But as I leafed through the papers I found letters from old lovers, pictures of people i might never see again, inspirational articles..all this sentimental crap I wanted to keep. Half of the drawer went into my "important stuff" pile. Damnit!

"Have you noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?" George Carlin

I`m constantly reminded of my favorite Ram Dass lecture "Cultivating the Heart of Compassion", where he talks about putting stuff in boxes that follow him around wherever he moves. We think we will "run out of the here and now", and when we do we can look back at the old days and find satisfaction. But as we get older, the here and now just becomes more and more rich and wonderful...

But I hold onto stuff not just for my own records, but also for my imaginary son...He might want some of this stuff. Or someone i love might find it useful..or i might be able to use this in an art project....I'm a pack rat, like my mother.

i need a fire.

or to be more like Maude.

....Harold gives Maude the tiny ring.

MAUDE: "Ohhhhh! This is the nicest present I've received in years." She kisses it and tosses it happily into the ocean. She turns back to Harold. His face is one of disbelief. He looks out to the ocean and then back to Maude. He begins to form the word "Why?"

MAUDE: So I'll always know where it is.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

holy tree

Over the past five years I've accumulated tons of pictures from friends and family, many of which I put on my refrigerator. Yesterday I took them down and assembled them into a tree. Can you find yourself?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fire, Satoru, and the Tree

This has been an intense time for me. My family’s good friend and spiritual advisor, Dr. Elbert Cole, died a few days ago. He was such an amazing man, huge inspiration, a positively religious figure. "Elbert was the greatest of the greatest generation. He was always there supporting, caring, loving. I have spent most of my life trying to be like him." ~My Dad. And if you met this guy, you'd know immediately---He was enlightened: And an angel. Compassionate heart, clear mind, energy and humor. All the time. I remember when he lead the service at my grandmother’s funeral (I attended via skype). He began the service with the story of the Buddha walking out of the forest for the first time after his enlightenment—a classic story. It was a sunny day, the Buddha, clothed in a simple robe, glowing in love, walked out of the forest. Someone walked over, blown away by his beauty, and asked, “Are you an angel?”

“No” Buddha replied.

“Are you a God?”


“Are you a king?”


Then what are you?

“I am Awake.”

(That story gives the listener an opportunity to ask “Well, am I awake?” and alas, they are! We all have basic wakefulness.)

Dr. Cole then led us in a service of appreciation for the beautiful life that gave us our own: my grandmother. God it was a great service.

Ecumenical, transreligious, serviceful, saintly, (the breadth of his work and sheer number of people he inspired is outstanding.) I’m sad he is gone, sad for my family, but also grateful, and happy that we had the rare opportunity to meet such a great being. What grace and good karma we all have! Grace!!!! I’m thankful for Dr. Cole’s long and inspiring visit, and feel deep joy waving goodbye to him. Thank you for your visit! We are all more awake and in love because of you. Infinitely more, and infinitely less.

Speaking of which, Satoru, another sparkler, is visiting ty, em, and I for golden week!

And, there was a big fire at the sumitomo chemical plant in my town. Everyone gathered in the street to watch. It felt like festival.

view from my apartment

Emily took satoru and I to the tree. The light was spectacular. and I just stumbled accross some old notes:
In "The Phenomenology of the Spirit" (1807) Hegel (echoing Jesus and Buddha) asserted that the human being contains, enfolded and shrouded within, the spirit of the absolute. This indwelling spirit, emanating as consciousness, comes to know itself as infinite only by assuming the limitations of finite existence and triumphing over them. In other words, the human is the vehicle by which God (or Buddha), as infinite Spirit or Consciousness, comes to Self-recognition...
Good to know.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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