Old News?

I did not post a collection of photos from Miami trip as is my usual habit because I had other things I wanted more to share and because I had other things that were higher priority. At this point, a whole lot of living has gone on for me individually and for my social network and for the country and for the globe.
I find myself falling into the general current assumption that the only news of interest to readers of this blog is what has happened in the last few days, though experiences from all times in our lives are still interwoven in how we think and behave, and all of history shapes our current global cultures and relationships.

Is this picture really already old news even though I only get to go on “vacation” a few times a year (and that many are a great blessing for which I than those who fought for the rights of workers over the decades) and the effects are something to be carried through until the next opportunity? Is the photo any less beautiful an artistic offering for my posting it today instead of ten days ago when I took it?

How has your relationship between news and art and knowledge changed with the progressively increasing available of new images and thoughts and information in vast quantities moment to moment? Does it leave a feeling of being overwhelmed or serve as a reminder that the fundamentals, the very essence of things do not change and that if we pause and go deep, the idea of the vast turbulence of the outer world will not itself be our uprooting, though specific events may well challenge us.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.



I went tonight to the space at Flashpoint to see a dance performance by people I know from the Sunday contact improv jam. One of the things that I am finding thought-provoking about the jamming with dancers is dancing for the sake of the dance, but also as a practice for those who perform. I went to support friends appearing in a small venue. I know how much I appreciate it when people make an effort to come to workshops, and in the days when I was still exhibiting art, to my openings. I also went to be able to witness from the space of pure observer, my friends in performance mode, so that I could learn and appreciate more about the dialogue and dialect of dancers and the dance. And I went because it was fun.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


The News

The photos of the aftermath of the earthquake are horrific. I cannot really imagine what it must be like. I found myself today thinking about how it is that I trust that the images are real even though those who offer us “entertainment” give us similar pictures through the same media. How do we stay keenly open to truth and sympathy when our receipt of truth and fiction comes through the same channels? My heart goes out to all those suffering.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


A New Landmark on Capitol Hill (Unveiling of the Dragon)

The weather was perfect last Sunday.  It had been misting and drizzling all morning.  At mid-day, the rain stopped, the temperature went up that which promises spring, and it was almost possible to see things sprouting green all around.  This promise of new growth couldn’t have been a better day for the unveiling of the neighborhood dragon.

Thanks to friends and neighbors at the Kagyu Drupgu Chodzong, there is a new landmark in the neighborhood.  I was privileged to me among those who were present for the unveiling of this most auspicious dragon for all to see and to enjoy.  Whether or not we will be able to recognize any auspiciousness it might bring, it most certainly will be bringing delight not only by its beauty as a work of art, but from the knowledge that our friends and neighbors made the effort to offer such beauty to all of us.

Much gratitude for good neighbors.



Back to the Office (and My Walk Home Past the Capitol)

When I walked past the Capitol sometime after 7, the light in the cupola showing that Congress was still in session was blazing brightly, making my 10 and a half hour day seem short. I returned to my desk after the week in Miami to several dozen emails. By the time it was midday, an new meeting was scheduled for tomorrow that had not been in the emails or existing calendar, my catching up was interrupted by the need to give background to a reporter, and I was asked to chair a meeting tomorrow that I usually just attend. None of this felt stressful, but it did mean that to get enough done to handle my work responsibly and also get a good night’s rest, I could not leave in time for the two-hour Monday night class at Willow Street.

It seems perhaps not quite right that going out of town to study makes it harder to study with and support my local teachers, whom I love and respect. I think they understand, though, when I have been to study with our mutual teacher and bring back to share the energy of our wider community.

And now for a deep, quieting practice and my evening meditation before bathing and bed. It has been a long day.


“There Are More Things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio…” (and DCLAW)

Last night, at the invitation of my massage therapist, I attended the third DC Ladies Arm Wrestling tournament at the American Legion Hall on Capitol Hill.  For those of you who know me–or suspect from reading my blog that you know me to some degree–going to the American Legion Hall for an evening of betting on arm-wrestling might seem just a teensy-weensy bit out of character, perhaps even something beyond anything I could have “dreamt of in my philosophy.”  Not so into wrestling or costumes or betting or bad beer or anything loud.  I am, though, completely into norm-bending, outrageous manifestations of spirit, of which this certainly and rollickingly is one.



“Magic Carpet Ride”

As I was hefting my heavy day pack over my shoulder to get ready to leave for the airport, I said to my roommate for the week, “now is the time I wish I could just take a magic carpet ride.”

“It would be pretty windy,” he replied.

What I wanted from the magic carpet ride was not to have to sit in traffic to get to the airport or deal with the security check in and boarding and potential delays, etc.  The fact that the plane can get me from one climate to another in two hours is pretty magical.

I decided to play “Magic Carpet Ride” on my ipod while I was waiting for my flight to send it magic carpet ride energy–on time boarding, no problems with the plane, a smooth and comfortable ride, which it turned out to be.  Usually I listen to quiet music or recorded teleseminars for my studies with Paul Muller-Ortega when I am traveling.  Yesterday, I decided to see what ipod’s “genius” function would come up with following “Magic Carpet Ride.”  First came something by the Clash, not a bad segue. I wasn’t sure that fit my mood, but decided I would go with it until the plane took off.

To my shock, because one would expect a series of rock and roll songs, the next track was an invocation to Lakshmi–kind of rocked out, but still, not what I would have expected.  That was followed by a series of chants to Siva intermixed with three different versions of the maha mrityunjaya mantra.  “Ah,” I thought, “genius knows I have been practicing yoga all week and then celebrating mahasivaratri.  How very extraordinary sometimes the interplay of the subtle energies and technology!”


When We Choose the Pleasure of the Beautiful (DWTD)

When we choose a tantric path, we choose to experience pleasure as an expression of spirit, rather than seeking to transcend such experience as would one who is on the classical renunciatory yoga path. The choice to remain engaged, to honor mind and body as divine, comes with great responsibility.

When we choose engagement, we choose to experience the divine reality not just of pleasure, but also of pain. The true tantric path does not turn a blind eye to ugliness and suffering. Just taking the pleasure without recognizing its opposite is not authentic practice. If the pleasure of the sunrise is “real,” then the garbage on the beach is just as real.

Recognizing the reality of ugliness and pain as part of the play of the real does not mean, though, that it should diminish our joy in the beautiful and in the dance of the play of opposites of life.

Rather, it is our delight in and engagement with beauty that invites us to serve as best we can to alleviate suffering, to try and clean up the garbage where we can. In other words, as we recognize that ugliness and destruction are part of the play (lila), we seek to be heart-full rather than heart-broken when we witness the suffering from violence to others or our living planet. If we let our hearts break, we become blind to the beauty. Like those who only see what brings pleasure, those who only see the painful are also not experiencing all of the real.

As I head back to the world inside the Beltway, I bring the deepened and replenished sense of beauty and the dance that I always get from collective study and practice. I will try to share the privilege of having this experience by doing my best to clean up what garbage I can, while still dancing and loving in the light.