Tag Archives: Potential

Reflection for today…Deconstructing Happiness -Karl Pilkington

2 Aug

*This post is dedicated to my friend Olly who is the biggest Karl Pilkington fan that I know.

Karl Pilkington is a critical thinker.

Karl Loves To Think Outside The Box…

Part of Karl’s mass appeal is that he stays true to himself. Despite his massive success, Karl seems to still be authentic. He is always honest, curious, humble and so funny. He is best known as comedian Ricky Gervais’ friend and colleague on their very successful podcasts The Ricky Gervais Show. He was the star of an idiot abroad and even wrote a diary about his adventures. His latest creative endeavour is the moaning of life.

*

In this short video clip Karl deconstructs happiness in relation to physical beauty/fitness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnoIj624Wf8

Happiness | The Moaning of Life | Karl Pilkington

For the moaning of life, he meets a man who has had 120 procedures and approximately $150,000 worth of plastic surgeries. Karl posed without his shirt next to the man who’s had all the plastic surgeries. The interviewer says to Karl, “I am quite impressed with that you don’t care. You are happy to stand there posing with your top off. And let’s face it, you haven’t the best body known to man.”

I love Karl’s humble yet refreshing attitude in response to the interviewer. He replies that his body is “not a bad one…it works. But I understand that any women watching this wouldn’t go…oh, look at him. But that’s the reality isn’t it? That’s what most people look like.” Why is Karl’s physique so unattractive or unacceptable?? I don’t think it is by any means. It’s a manner of perception and what we are being sold {in an ideological sense i.e. perfection}. Most people prefer fantasy and illusion instead of truth. Karl Pilkington is the ultimate realist and he employs his critical thinking skills to deconstruct the situation.

Karl inquisitively asks, “So I don’t know what’s happened where they think that’s normal on the left.” Adverting has sent people on a relentless quest for perfection, beauty/sex appeal and youth. Men are now being attacked with similar psychological warfare that women are attacked with {albeit to a much lesser degree}. Even children are being groomed as consumers.

We are reduced to our exterior appearances- not even amounting to the sum of our parts. In the mainstream media, what we look like has solely defined who we are. Our rich inner life, emotions, intellect, spirituality have been erased from the discourse and divorced from our identities. I wonder what consequences this emotional and spiritual disconnection will bring. We cannot allow society, marketing/advertising to dictate to us who we are. Your self identity needs to be your own creation because only you know who you are inside.

The ridiculous new plastic surgery that Karl mentions is testicle ironing. What has happened to people that they need to invent these new procedures? Are they really that bored or obsessed with unattainable perfection? Why don’t people focus on true problems in humanity: poverty; hunger; war; abuse to children, animals, women, the environment; human trafficking; genital mutilation; acid attacks; rapes; racism, sexism, discrimination of all types; social inequality, etc? I always wonder what great things people could accomplish in their personal lives {and humanity as a whole} if we wouldn’t be seduced by this culture of narcissism and distraction.

Will people wake up to their own power in order to enact change in their lives and in the context of the world? Will most remain asleep? Time will tell but hopefully more will realize this matrix is a prison {if we chose to stay enslaved in it}. It is time to wake up and realize that emancipation from society’s brainwashing is in our hands. We hold the key. This quest for perfection, endless youth and eternal beauty is a social construction and an illusion.

No one will argue against self-care as caring about one’s health and appearance is quite healthy. The danger lies in caring too much because it can distract you from more important things in life that are more deserving of your time, energy and attention. Focusing obsessively on such trivial and vain things such as perfection seems like such a waste of energy, time, money and human potential but that’s just my opinion. As Karl says, “don’t worry about it.”

*

Do you agree or disagree with Karl Pilkington?

Why or why not?

{I hope to feature more moaning of life clips and Karl Pilkington in the near future}.

*

Please enjoy Clutching at Straws by Andrea Parker {from her Kiss My Arp cd}….

{I was lucky enough to see her in person when she opened up for Radiohead. It was divine and I loved her music}.

I copied this from her biography page…

“”Known as no1darker – Parker has always been uncompromising, passionate about the music and loaded with don’t–give-a-shit resolve. She has a love of art, arps, photography, architecture, graffiti, 808, concrete, glaciers, adidas, Bass, rust and all things white.  She is incredibly hard to pigeon hole : one minute she will be in the studio making dark, menacing, haunting music-  going from Booty shakin’ beats to string drenched ballads. The next she’ll be climbing mountains and reaching new summits; from Kilimanjaro in Africa to the avenue of the volcanoes in Ecuador.  She has worked for many charity’s, including Crisis, the NSPCC, Get kids going and many more, she even dressed up as Pudsey Bear for Children in Need!!  An old school analogue girl at heart, she still remains a die hard B Girl and is defiantly a freaky B*tch! One things for sure: She’d give the men in white coats a run for their money if they even dared think about taking her away…”

-Time Out magazine

“Beats so phat, so dope and so dark, there ain’t a NYC MC alive (cept maybe Rakim) that could handle them”

-New York Times

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40JbtBCjz1U&feature=share

Knowing our self
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Knowing ourself
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are.”

*

For more information…

Karl Pilkington…http://www.karlpilkington.com/ 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1797453/

The Moaning of Life…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3277670/ 

Andrea Parker…http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/ 

http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/about-andrea

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Surrealism of Life -David Lynch

25 May

I watched David Lynch‘s film Inland Empire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBENalLEnSE

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460829/?ref_=sr_1

{“As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film,

her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.”

Tagline: A Story of a mystery…

A mystery inside worlds within worlds…

Unfolding around a woman…

A woman in love and in trouble.}

*

On the bonus features disc David revealed that he opens his film premieres with an improvisation of the Aitareya Upanishad.

“We are like the spider…

We weave our life and move along in it.

We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.

This is true for the entire universe…” 

David Lynch: The Awakened Dreamer

Dreamer Within A Dream…

Surrealist Spiritual Ascension…

*

Buddhism speaks about life being an illusion.

We are living in a dream within a dream.

The goal is to live our potential by awakening our Buddha nature.

Then we can live accordingly by developing our wisdom and compassion.

*

Please enjoy Karmacoma by Massive Attack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbZPyWI0Wds

This song has such a surreal vibe that reminds me of David Lynch’s art.

It has that Edgar Allen Poedream within a dream” quality.

{I love Massive Attack}.

*

For more information…

David Lynch…http://davidlynch.com/index/

Massive Attack…http://www.massiveattack.co.uk/

*

Have a surrealist day.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection is Fuel for The Creative Process -Gotye

20 Apr

“These songs come out of so many random and contradictory thoughts bouncing around my head- like sound waves between sheets of glass and when I’m lucky they also allow me to reflect on the world around me.”

-Gotye

Gotye – Making Making Mirrors – a short documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s

Gotye – The Making of Eyes Wide Open – documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_iuE_L2wys

*

These short documentaries give a glimpse into Gotye‘s creative process.

I am fascinated by the creative process and creativity overall.

{I hope to explore it more in future posts}.

Reflection is Fuel for the Creative Process…

Gotye’s creative genius shines through.

I love how Gotye uses older and sometimes forgotten/obscure music and recycles it.

{I also love how he used his dad’s art for his album cover}.

Wally de Backer/Gotye reflects on life as a part of his creative process

He is an alchemist {and his studio is his alchemical laboratory}.

Awaken Your Creative Potential…

I love how dedicated Gotye is to his art.

He is so infinitely talented.

Wally de Backer/Gotye is an example of someone who develops his creative potential.

{We all have creative potential and Buddha nature but we don’t all choose to awaken it}.

The most beautiful thing is the happiness and beauty he must feel while creating such beauty.

I have always felt that musicians and artists have the potential to contribute to the healing of the world.

{This is why I have a music therapy category.

It is because music and art have therapeutic powers}.

*

For more information on Gotye,

please visit his official website..

http://www.gotye.com/

*

What are your reflections on Gotye’s short documentaries?

What are your reflections on creativity and the creative process?

I would love to read them…

*

How can you develop your creative potential?

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Power of Compassion -Dalai Lama

15 Apr
“If a person has never encountered love towards himself or herself from any quarter, it is a very sad thing.
But if that person can meet even one person who will show unconditional love– simply acceptance and compassion — 
if he knows that he is an object of someone else’s affection and love, 
it is bound to have an impact, and this will be appreciated.
Because there is a seed in himself, this act of love will start to catalyse or ripen that seed.”

Reflection for today…Self-Actualization -Saul Williams

3 Apr

Now is the time to self-actualize…”

Saul Williams

Saul Williams says the time to awaken your potential is now…

Saul takes a moment of reflection…

Please enjoy “Coded Language” by Saul Williams and DJ Krust

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HerpGwbLSM8

*

For more information on Saul Williams, please visit his official website:

http://www.saulwilliams.com/

*

Sending you the seeds of self-actualization…

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Potential -Doris Lessing

26 Mar

“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.” 
Doris Lessing

Photo Courtesy of: http://intotheshadows.org/

*

Society is not a level playing field.

Equal opporunities are mostly urban legends.

Spoken word poets and hip hop artists often speak about social inequalities and injustice through social commentary.

Some hip hop artists educate, enlighten/uplift consciousness and inspire.

Stic Man & M-1 are Dead Prez: My favourite hip hop artists/activists/revolutionaries

Tupac Shakur was a brilliant poet/artist/activist/revolutionary

This poetic narrative story telling made me fall in love with hip hop because it gave a voice to the voiceless.

It was the poetry of the streets.

tupac-shakur-quotes-sayings-about-yourself-community-wise

Many will not like the social commentary.

It is so incisive and critical but it has to be because the living conditions are full of suffering and injustice.

*

It should be noted that conscious hip hop and punk music have many parallels.

They both fight against the status quo.

They both subvert the dominant paradigm.

*

Black ice is such a gifted poet and spoken word artist.

He shoots from the hip and his poems go straight to your heart and mind.

In his poem Imagine, he meditates on social inequality and how different life would be if equal opportunities actually existed.

He proposes to “put love where the hate is.”

*

Please enjoy his poem Imagine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kVT89O6cLo

What happens in neighborhoods where the self-esteem has been overshadowed by the decay and the children no longer play the way they used to?

Where young boys choose to follow figures that had no father figures…

Whatever happened to that we shall overcome shit?…

Cold winters are sheltered by crack houses instead of recreational centers that they claim to not have the paper to keep open for operation…

What’s a young boy to do when he doesn’t want to do wrong but there’s a lock on the right door?

When he has the heart of a soldier, the aggression of a prize fighter but no one’s taught him what to fight for…

Young Tupac was one of many boys without fathers {as Black Ice says}.
However, the absence of his father was eclipsed by his mother’s fierce love.
Afeni {a former Black Panther} passed on infinite wisdom to her son so it isn’t true that “no one taught him what to fight for.”
“My mother taught me three things: respect, knowledge, search for knowledge.
It’s an eternal journey.” -Tupac.

I included this caption of Tupac because he had “the heart of a soldier and aggression of a prize fighter”- not to mention the mind of a revolutionary leader..
 

In the end, Tupac defined manhood for himself and became quite the revolutionary man.

I would have loved to see Tupac become a father…

 

 

See, most of our families are fatherless and quite poor so we miss out on meals as well as kisses and hugs.

Photo Courtesy of: http://zunlee.com/

You’ve got the audacity to cut the funding for the facilities that keep us off the streets then ask us why we sell drugs.

Imagine if we put down our dices and guns, picked up our daughters and sons and put a little love right there where the hate is…

Imagine if these little inner city kids had the same type of schools that these rich kids have way out there in the sticks…”

Black Ice

*

Imagine we lived in a world where there was no suffering, injustice/oppression, “third world” class distinction or any class distinction whatsoever.

This is the world that I want to live in…

Art by BANKSY

Peace & Namaste.

{More posts about poverty/social inequality/injustice, sociology, spoken word poetry, Tupac, Dead Prez, Black Ice and hip hop coming up in the future…}

*

For more information…

Dorris Lessing…http://www.dorislessing.org/

Black Ice…https://twitter.com/BLACKICETHEPOET

Tupac…http://www.2pac.com/

The Tupac Shakur foundation…http://www.tasf.org/

Dead Prez…http://deadprezblog.wordpress.com/blog/

Tupac’s Legend

Tupac Amaru Shakur was an inspiration to millions.

While  2Pac was most famous for his rap career,  he was also a gifted actor, poet and thoughtful while outspoken advocate for the poor and the overlooked in America. During his life, he produced an immense amount of artistic work, which included studio albums, major Hollywood feature films, and published works.  He was most prolific in the music industry, selling over 75 million albums. 2Pac’s unapologetic lyrics were relevant, important, and reflective of the hard lives led by many. His music earned attention and respect through a poetic style that embraced street vocabulary while being innovative. Today, 2Pac is still considered by many to be one of the biggest influences on modern hip-hop.

2Pac’s career has earned him six Grammy nominations and three MTV Video Music Award nominations. In 1997, Shakur was honored by the American Music Awards as the Favorite Hip Hop Artist.

Born on June 16 1971 in New York City, Shakur’s parents were both members of the Black Panther Party whose militant style and provocative ideologies for civil rights would come to influence 2Pac’s music. At an early age, Tuapc’s love for performance and the arts began to show, as he began acting at age 13 and later enrolled in the Baltimore School of the Arts before dropping out at 17. Shakur broke into the music business with rap group Digital Underground as a back-up dancer and roadie. Eventually Shakur released his first solo album in ’91, 2pacalypse Now. 2Pac’s music career began to grow as his second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z included two top 20 pop chart tracks: I Get Around and Keep Ya Head Up.

Shakur’s legal battles began after he established his rap career. In the early nineties Shakur faced a wrongful death suit which settled out of court, accusations of assaulting police officers where charges were ultimately dropped, and even an incident where Shakur sustained five gunshot wounds from shooter Dexter Isaac. In 1995 2Pac was sentenced one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison for sexual abuse. However, not even prison could slow the success of Shakur’s career.

While incarcerated 2Pac’s latest album at the time, Me Against the World, was number one in the pop charts and would later go double platinum. Shakur became the first artist to reach number one in the pop charts while serving a prison sentence. Making the most of his time in jail, 2Pac became a passionate reader. Among his favorites were the works of Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian Renaissance writer whose works were in part the foundation for western political science. Shakur’s appreciation of his work inspired the nickname: Makaveli.

After serving only eight months of his sentence, 2Pac was out on parole thanks to a 1.4 million dollar bond paid by Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records. Now signed with Death Row Records, Shakur went on to create All Eyez on Me, which featured hits How Do You Want It and California Love.

2Pac’s life was cut short in September of 1996 when Shakur became the victim of a drive-by shooting while his car waited on a red light. While Shakur survived the surgery that followed he was pronounced dead almost a week after the attack.

Even today, 2Pac’s influence is wide-spread. From the Library of Congress where his song Dear Mama was added in 2010 to the National Registry, to artists like 11 time Grammy winner Eminem who in an interview with MTV said:

“He made you feel like you knew him. I think that , honestly, Tupac was the greatest songwriter that ever lived. He made it seem so easy. The emotion was there, and feeling, and everything he was trying to describe. You saw a picture that he was trying to paint.”

2Pac leaves a legacy of honesty and passion in his songs. Respected by many,  2Pac has become an inspiration for artists and a standard in rap music.”

-Copied & Pasted from: http://www.2pac.com/legend/

The Tupac Shakur Foundation

“MISSION

Our mission is to provide training and support for students who aspire to enhance their creative talents. Each and every child desires freedom to creatively express themselves. We provide an environment that encourages freedom of expression, serves as a resource for families, and empowers via education.

ABOUT

The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) is home to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, just outside of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. TASF was founded in 1997 originally as the Shakur Family Foundation by Afeni Shakur, mother of multi-talented Tupac Amaru Shakur. Since its inception TASF has offered performing arts camps, essay competitions, youth book clubs, visual arts workshops, community development projects, and scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate degrees.

On June 11, 2005 the TASF opened the Center! The Center is dedicated to providing youth and the community with educational programs in the arts. It is a fact that early arts education improves school grades, as well as offers invaluable life lessons while building self-esteem and confidence. For nearly 15 years, the Foundation’s programs have served youth of all social and economic backgrounds, giving countless young people the courage to get off the streets and learn vital skills that have the potential to positively impact their communities. The Center is open to the public and hosts several noteworthy events throughout the year.

MORE ABOUT TUPAC

Tupac Amaru Shakur dealt with great obstacles such as homelessness, hunger, and pain, amongst other situations during his youth. Performing arts provided the hope that would seed the expression that would one day influence generations worldwide.

Tupac accomplished a lot before his murder at the age of 25. At an early age, he wrote and organized family productions, casting himself as the lead and his older cousins in supporting roles. Tupac formally trained at the 127th Street Ensemble and Baltimore School for the Arts. At the age of twelve, he experienced his first formal stage role as the character “Travis” in the stage play ‘Raisin In the Sun’ at the prestigious Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Tupac was eventually cast in several feature films and recorded several chart topping albums. In fact, he released the first ever double hip-hop CD.   Today, years after his physical departure, he is the second highest selling Hip-Hop artist of all time. His gift- his words and creative talent- continues to inspire others around the world!

-Copied & Pasted from: http://www.tasf.org/the-foundation/about-tasf/

Tupac Sends You Peace…

Reflection for today…Time is of The Essence -Buddha

27 Feb

“The trouble is,

you think you have time.”

-Buddha

*

Buddha’s reflection on time is that it is taken for granted.

Time is of the essence because death is approaching {memento mori}.

Being mindful gives us awareness of how we use our time. Hopefully our time is being used living our potential and awakening spiritually and otherwise.

The key is to live in the present moment {the now} and do your very best.

*

I wonder about Buddhist conceptions of time.

I found an intriguing excerpt on Buddhist notions of time from www.tricycle.com 

Daniel Goleman: “What is the Buddhist understanding of Time? How can we relate our sense of the process of time to our experience of the present moment?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In Buddhism, the concept of linear time, of time as a kind of container, is not accepted. Time itself, I think, is something quite weak. It depends on some physical basis, some specific thing. Apart from that thing it is difficult to pinpoint—to see time. Time is understood or conceived only in relation to a phenomenon or a process.

DG: Yet the passage of time seems very concrete—the past, the present, aging. The process of time seems very real.

HH: This business of time is a difficult subject. There are several different explanations and theories about time; there is no one explanation in Buddhism. I feel there is a difference between time and the phenomena on which time is projected. Time can be spoken of only in relation to phenomena susceptible to change, which because they are susceptible to change are transitory and impermanent. “Impermanent” means there is a process. If there is no process of change, then one cannot conceive of time in the first place.

The question is whether it is possible to imagine an independent time which is not related to any particulars, any object that goes through change. In relation to such an object, we can talk about the past of that thing, its present state, and its future; but without relation to such particulars, it is very difficult to conceive of an instant of time totally independent of a particular basis.”

*

This video clip is from The Tudors.

King Henry the eighth reflects on loss.

He asks his beloved friend Charles Brandon

What loss is to man most irrecoverable?

Charles answers virtue and then honour.

Henry says that by his actions man can redeem his virtue.

He may  also find the means to recover his honour as he recovers fortune that has been lost.

Henry answers…

Of all losses time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0RME0FD1_k

*

I highly recommend watching The Tudors if you haven’t seen it yet…

Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ performance as Henry VIII is unforgettable to say the least.

Long live the king!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTiL8pgNqhs

Have a surrealist day 😉

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Use Buddhist Teachings As A Catalyst -Dalai Lama

28 Jan

Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist;
use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Butterflies: A Symbol of Metamorphosis
Photo Courtesy of: http://till-we-droop.tumblr.com/

I love how inclusive Buddhism is.

Every life is precious.

Everyone has buddha nature.

Everyone has the potential to reach enlightenment.

I know Buddhism is a religion but I see it as a way of life.

Peace & Namaste…

Japan’s Suicide Forest Teaches About Compassion & The Human Need For Real Connection…

18 Sep

Suicide is a very uncomfortable and necessary subject to discuss.

I recently came across a YouTube video that left such an impact on me that I was not able to write a blog post until now {approx. 18 days}.

The vice documentary left such a deep impression on me that I had to reflect for a while before I could decide what to write.

*

Japan’s Aokigahara (青木ヶ原) forest also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai) or the Suicide forest is a place where many people go to contemplate suicide.

Sadly, many actually commit suicide.

I feel so much compassion for people who are considering suicide as a way to end their pain.

I strongly believe that people do not actually want to die but to end their pain and they do not see another way to achieve this.

Below is an actual suicide note found in the forest.

I find it heart breaking.

*

Many moons ago, I had a friend that was considering suicide.

I pray that he finds the strength to fight against his darkness.

I am still haunted by the fact that he felt this depressed but I could not do anything to heal his pain.

I know that only he can heal his pain.

I did my best to be a loving friend but I know that we cannot truly save anyone.

We can only save ourselves. 

In fact, we always had a friendly argument about saving and being saved.

It revolved around the graphic novel and film Sin City.

Here is the trailer in case you are interested

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKFLrTYKIXk

Please click this link for more information on the movie: Sin City.

*

Marv was so madly in love with Goldie and he loved her so much that he wanted to go to hell to save her.

My friend fiercely defended his thesis of loving someone so deeply that you go to hell to save them.

Art Made By Nat Wellington at http://boodoyouthinkyouare.blogspot.ca/

Conversely, I went for a different thesis. I said that you can love someone so much that you get out of hell because of your love for them and possibly their love for you. Your love for them is so powerful and/or their love for you is so strong that you pull yourself up with your own strength and get out of hell- your personal hell or the other kind. In essence, you save yourself instead of saving someone else.

No one was right or wrong. It was fun to discuss but I stand by my point of view even though I recognize his had merit. It all depends on how you look at things. It was a healthy discussion nonetheless.

*

Can we actually save someone?

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine Photo By Steven Klein

 Azusa Hayano makes me question my beliefs that we cannot save anyone but ourselves.

I do believe we can help someone to save themselves and this is what I think he does so brilliantly and compassionately.

*

We meet an extraordinary soul, Azusa Hayano, in this vice documentary.

He is a geologist that does the most important job of suicide patrol in the forest. {I discovered from another video that the police also seem to do suicide patrol}.

Azusa also studies how people co-exist with nature because he says it is part of environmental research.

He still does not know why people kill themselves in such a beautiful forest (18:53) although he does explain that it may be because of a popular book written in the past.

*

Azusa patrols the forest looking for people who are contemplating suicide in hopes of convincing them otherwise.

He even finds a man in a yellow tent that appears to have been contemplating suicide. According to the VICE website comments found at http://www.vice.com/vice-news/aokigahara-suicide-forest-v3, the man in the yellow tent had been camping in the forest for one month. He had to be taken out in an ambulance.

*

The police even put up signs to try to stop people from committing suicide. They also provide the number for suicide hotlines.

*

I found it fascinating that many people leave a trail of tape to find their way back in case they change their mind. This is hopeful because people who are undecided can finally decide to leave the forest.

*

With his gentle and compassionate manner, one can see how Azusa could convince someone who is struggling to live.

I was struck by how much this man cares.

He really cares and that is so rare these days.

In a forest where traditional compasses do not work, Azusa uses his compassion and wisdom as his guides.

He also looks for people who have committed suicide.

*

Azusa reminds me of the value of a life and how much difference one life can make in the world.

If we could find our purpose and live our potential, then we could make our contribution- our gift to the world.

We need more people like Azusa in this world.

We need more people who really care and have compassion for those who are suffering. I don’t know if he technically “saves” anyone but he does help people to save themselves and this is priceless.

Azusa is actually living the Buddha’s teachings- especially that of compassion.

I am also reminded by how the absence of one life can be a tear in the fabric of existence and humanity. I think about how that person had so much more life to live, love and wisdom to give and receive, experiences to be had and potential to be lived.

I think of the apocalyptic loss for their loved ones.

*

Azusa states in the documentary that the internet and technology may be the reason why there is such a disconnection between oneself and others. It is as if a schism is caused between our waking lives and our onscreen lives. Our lack of face-to-face communication has a price. Disconnection, depression, further loneliness and numbness may develop. Azusa discusses the human need for connection in real life- not through the filter of a computer screen.

“Face-to-face communication used to be vital, but now we can live our lives being online all day. However, the truth of the matter is that we still need to see each other’s faces, read their expressions, hear their voices, so we can fully understand their emotions to coexist.”
 -Azusa Hayano

*

The essence of what Azusa teaches and lives is filled with compassion and wisdom.

This documentary also reminds me of the urgent need to discuss mental health issues.

I am and continue to be a mental health advocate.

I deeply believe in the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

We can transcend our suffering and transform it into something beautiful and meaningful.

The phoenix always rises from the ashes… 

*

To those of you suffering and feeling depressed…I offer you my compassion.

This post is for you.

Please speak to someone who cares- even if they are a stranger.

You will never know what a difference it could make in your life. They might have some life changing wisdom to give you or messages from the universe.

*Please reach out to someone.

I pray that the Buddha’s teachings, wisdom and compassion can alleviate your suffering. 

Conversely, you never know how you can help someone who is suffering and in need.

You never know what impact you can have on someone’s life- even a stranger.

We are all interconnected.

By helping others we are actually helping ourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuUhBuSgmik

*

Here is the documentary friends.

Please be warned of the graphic subject matter of this video and of some sad and possibly disturbing video footage…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDSdg09df8 

Here is part of the transcript:

Aokigahara: Suicide Forest

I’ve been living here for more than 30 years. My job is mainly environmental protection, I study volcanic eruptions and the plantation at the foot of Mt. Fuji. 

In the year 864, Mt. Fuji erupted, and the forest that grew over the dried lava was named “Jukai” or “Sea of Trees”. Aokigahara is the actual name of the place, but people started calling it “Jukai”, because the forest as seen from halfway up of Mt. Fuji, is green all year round, and it looks like the ocean. 

We’re entering the forest now. There’s a car that’s been abandoned for a few months, let’s take a look. I’m assuming the owner of the car went in from here and never came out. I guess they went into the forest with troubled thoughts. 

In the old days in Japan, suicide was mainly known as the samarai’s act, as in “Seppuku” (harakari). In other cases poor families would abandon their elders in the mountains. That’s how it was back then, they weren’t killing themselves cause they couldn’t adapt to society. That didn’t happen like it does now, it’s a modern phenomenon.

This is a sign to stop suicidal people.

“Your life is a precious gift from your parents,
Please think about your parents, siblings, and children.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.”

Then it says to contact the Suicide Prevention Association. 

Locals don’t commt suicide here. As children they’re told not to come near here, that it’s a scary forest. This path is open for the public, but you can’t follow the trail beyond this point. It says not to enter because you can easily get lost. In the Jukai, I think I’ve found more than… 100 suicide corpses in the last 20 years or so. 

I found something strange, I’ll show you. People who are indecisive about dying, wrap this tape on trees along their way, so they can find their way out. There’s something that looks like a tent. I’m going to see if anyone’s inside, please wait here.” -Azusa Hayano, geologist

The forest is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the world’s second most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This popularity is often attributed to the 1960 novel Nami no To  by Seicho Matsumoto, which ends with two lovers committing suicide in the forest. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara dates from before the novel’s publication, and the place has long been associated with death: ubasute was allegedly practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the ghosts of those left to die…”

Copied and pasted from: http://ponury.tumblr.com/post/15293840018/aokigahara-suicide-forest-ive-been-living-here

*

Here is a short video about the Aokigahara forest and the plague of suicide in Japan (2:34). There is thought to be one suicide every fifteen minutes in Japan.

An expert postulates that societal pressures and culture is to blame for the high suicide rate in Japan (1:55). He notes that even from a young age weakness is not allowed to be displayed.

“Whether it is within the family, at work or in society, it is very hard to show weakness. From a very young age, from primary school on, dynamic and happy kids are held up as examples to follow. If you don’t live up to that, other people treat you harshly and that’s is why people don’t ask for help.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq1-0FvME8U&feature=player_embedded

*

This video offers a different perspective of the Aokiagahara forest (4:57).

It attempts to answer the question of why people come to die there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD2cJlx-caQ&feature=player_embedded#!

*

It is intriguing to note that Dante wrote about a suicide forest.

His writing was also translated into art.

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dali’s depiction of the ‘Wood of Suicides’ from ‘Inferno’ 13
©2006 Salvador Dalí, Gala–Salvador Dali Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Challenge Yourself -Charles Bukowski

20 Aug

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.

It could mean not eating for three or four days.

It could mean freezing on a park bench.

It could mean jail.

It could mean derision.

It could mean mockery — isolation.

Isolation is the gift. 

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.

And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.

And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that.

You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.

You will ride life straight to perfect laughter.

It’s the only good fight there is.

Charles Bukowski {Factotum}

I love this Bukowski quote.

It really begs the question of how far any of us are willing to go in order to live our potential.

It is all about sacrifice and isolation according to Bukowski.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Repaying A Teacher -Friedrich Nietzsche

2 Aug

“One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.”

-Nietzsche
What better teacher-student relationship than
Morpheus and Neo from the enlightening film The Matrix?
*
The Matrix is definitely one of my favourite films of all time.
*
For more information on The Matrix…
please visit…
*
Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Development of One’s Potential -Bruce Lee

30 Jan

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth.
To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Smiling

Bruce Lee Reading

How can you live  your potential?

*

For more information on Bruce Lee, please visit his official website:

http://www.brucelee.com/

Peace & Namaste…

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

23 Jan

This is a book I came across years ago. The War of Art book by Steven Pressfield
Its been on my reading list for years- although I have yet to track it get it.

It is really ironic that I have been sort of procrastinating reading this book because it is about battling procrastination.
Well, I haven’t exactly been procrastinating reading it but I have not made it a priority- even though I really want to read it.

I have been battling the demons of procrastination and self-sabotage all of my life. I am now working on transcending the resistance, procrastination and self-sabotage.

***The only cure is discipline regardless of the creative endeavor.***

This book is a guide for overcoming resistance and tapping into creative potential.
It is a creative manifesto.
Just what I need.

Here is an excerpt from Steven Pressfield himself about what The War Of Art is about from his website:
http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-war-of-art/#book-top/

The War of Art
A vital gem . . . a kick in the ass.

—Esquire

I’ve never read a self help book that wasn’t fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It’s amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I’d assign, along with the letters of Flannery O’Connor.
—Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls

BUY: Hardcover | Paperback | MP3 | eBookBOOKS

[This excerpt starts at the book’s very beginning and continues through the opening few chapters.]

“1. WHAT I DO

I get up, take a shower, have breakfast. I read the paper, brush my teeth. If I have phone calls to make, I make them. I’ve got my coffee now. I put on my lucky work boots and stitch up the lucky laces that my niece Meredith gave me. I head back to my office, crank up the computer. My lucky hooded sweatshirt is draped over the chair, with the lucky charm I got from a gypsy in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for only eight bucks in francs, and my lucky LARGO name tag that came from a dream I once had. I put it on. On my thesaurus is my lucky cannon that my friend Bob Versandi gave me from Morro Castle, Cuba. I point it toward my chair, so it can fire inspiration into me. I say my prayer, which is the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, that my dear mate Paul Rink gave me and which sits near my shelf with the cuff links that belonged to my father and my lucky acorn from the battlefield at Thermopylae. It’s about ten-thirty now. I sit down and plunge in. When I start making typos, I know I’m getting tired. That’s four hours or so. I’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. I wrap for the day. Copy whatever I’ve done to disk and stash the disk in the glove compartment of my truck in case there’s a fire and I have to run for it. I power down. It’s three, three-thirty. The office is closed. How many pages have I produced? I don’t care. Are they any good? I don’t even think about it. All that matters is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance.

2. WHAT I KNOW

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t and the secret is this: it’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.

What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

3. THE UNLIVED LIFE

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever resolved on a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever felt a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

One night I was layin’ down,
I heard Papa talkin’ to Mama.
I heard Papa say, to let that boy
boogie-woogie. ‘Cause it’s in him
and it’s got to come out.
—John Lee Hooker,
Boogie Chillen’

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling.. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.

Every sun casts a shadow, and genius’ shadow is Resistance. As powerful as is our soul’s call to realization, so potent are the forces of Resistance arrayed against it. Resistance is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, harder to kick than crack cocaine. We’re not alone if we’ve been mown down by Resistance; millions of good men and women have bitten the dust before us. And here’s the biggest bitch: we don’t even know what hit us. I never did. From age twenty-four to thirty-two, Resistance kicked my ass from East Coast to West and back again thirteen times and I never even knew it existed. I looked everywhere for the enemy and failed to see it right in front of my face.

Have you heard this story: woman learns she has cancer, six months to live. Within days she quits her job, resumes the dream of writing Tex-Mex songs she gave up to raise a family (or starts studying Classical Greek, or moves to the inner city and devotes herself to tending babies with AIDS.) Woman’s friends think she’s crazy; she herself has never been happier. There’s a postscript. Woman’s cancer goes into remission.

Is that what it takes? Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance? Does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we awake to its existence? How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is telling us to? Resistance defeats us. If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, overnight every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage and dandruff.

Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.

4. RESISTANCE’S GREATEST HITS

The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities, which most commonly elicit Resistance:

1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.

2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.

3) Any diet or health regimen.

4) Any program of spiritual advancement.

5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.

6) Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

7) Education of every kind.

8) Any act of political, moral or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.

9) The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.

10) Any act which entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.

11) The taking of any principled stand in the face of potential reprisal.

In other words, any act which disdains short-term gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any act of these types will elicit Resistance.

Now: what are the characteristics of Resistance?

5. RESISTANCE IS INVISIBLE

Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. It is experienced as a force field emanating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its intention is to shove the creator away, distract him, sap his energy, incapacitate him.

If Resistance wins, the work doesn’t get written.

6. RESISTANCE IS INTERNAL

Resistance seems to come from outside ourselves. We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids, distractions. “Peripheral opponents,” as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.

Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.

7. RESISTANCE IS INSIDIOUS

Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stick-up man. Resistance has no conscience. It understands nothing but power. Resistance cannot be negotiated with. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.

8. RESISTANCE IS IMPLACABLE

Resistance is like the Alien or the Terminator or the shark in “Jaws.” It cannot be reasoned with. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack.

This is Resistance’s nature. It’s all it knows.

9. RESISTANCE IS IMPERSONAL

Resistance is not out to get you personally. It doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care. Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively.

Though it feels malevolent, Resistance in fact operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as the stars. When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this.”

MORE: Summary | Excerpt | Review Quotes

Soul On Ice…The Genesis

20 Jan

Soul on Ice was the beginning- the genesis.

I was in high school when I read

Soul On Ice by Eldridge Cleaver.

I was so intrigued and impassioned by the civil rights movement after I read

Malcolm X’s autobiography.

I didn’t just see it as a civil rights movement but as a human rights movement.

Reading Soul On Ice left such an impression on me.

I had no idea the seeds that were planted in my mind as a result of reading this book.

Really, I can say that it is the book that has had the most impact on me as a creative person.

Intellectually and creatively, Soul On Ice gave me breath.

Eldridge Cleaver  received no formal training to be a writer.

He just had the gift- the gift to write truth beautifully even when the truth was so ugly.

The whole book is so REVOLUTIONARY and contentious.
It definitely challenges the status quo and subverts the dominant paradigm!

Aside from its political nucleus, it is full of intellectual orgasms and acidic social commentary.

Eldridge was a Black Panther

 and I believe this to be the real reason for locking him up.

Here is a clip of him speaking:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnCaO2ErCFQ&list=PL628AADF36720D0D8&index=2&feature=plpp_video

He was just too “dangerous” according to “the powers that ruled.” 

The most inspiring thing about Eldridge is that he did not allow “the man” any access to his head.

His mind was all his own.

I shall be re-reading Soul On Ice for the undisclosed time and writing about it again.
There is so much to say!!!

I feel I need to revisit it every so often as each time it offers new insights and creative gems.

It is such a shame that in the university that I went to this book would never be studied- let alone read.

There is so much to learn from it…

*

It is as the poet and writer Henry David Thoreau said,
“For a companion, I require one who will make an equal demand on me with my own genius.”
Soul On Ice is this companion for me.
It demands me to look inside and to awaken my potential just as Eldridge did in writing his Magnum Opus/ his great work.

To honour Eldridge Cleaver, Soul On Ice & Revolution, I offer the song Revolution Solution by a favourite artist of mine named Thievery Corporation {featuring Perry Farrell}.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFn5E2PJPh4

*

Ever since reading Soul On Ice, I have been using the nick name “MYSOULSONICE” as in “MY SOUL IS ON ICE.”

The Love Affair Continues…
and so does the Revolution…