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September 27th, 2003

Throw Another Pranayama on the Buddhist Barbie

" A grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said  "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."  The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" The grandfather answered:  "The one I feed." Native American Story

 

Hi folks,

The Darebin Writer's Festival was beautiful last weekend. The theme of the night was 'Spoken Word and Music' and Costas Athanassiou and I performed 8 parts of my C.P. Cavafy songwork, 'When The Lips and the Skin Remember'. (Here are the 15 Cavafy poems in English and Greek:) Cavafy

Also on the program was Mammad Aidani, who, besides reading his own beautiful poetry, gave us the rare treat of being able to experience the poetry of Rumi - recited in the original Persian! He was supported in his performance with some chanting and playing by Sivanganga Sahathevan. I'm not an expert at Indian musical instruments but I think she was playing a Saraswati Veena which looked as big as she was. (Mammad's Site)

I was also knocked out by the vocal improvisations and sound effects of the group Unamonus Quorum, ranging from Tibetan overtone singing to pure gibberish and whispering. I hope to do something with them in the future.

But probably one of the highlights for the audience was witnessing one of my rare Falling-Off-the-Stage performance pieces. In the past, I have performed this outstanding work without rehearsal and usually at the spur of the moment. Climbing up on the stage this fateful night, I failed to notice that there was a 1 foot gap between the back of the stage and the curtain. As both stage and curtain were black and the lights were low, it all looked like one black surface. I put my right foot out and moved it all about and then just about went through the back projection screen.

Surely the most memorable staging of this Wonderous Piece was done by yours truly a few years ago at the Woodford Folk Festival. After a well- received set by our group Difficult Women, I dashed to the back of the darkened stage where I thought the steps were and plunged 15 feet, guitar and all, face-first into a muddy field. I knocked myself out briefly and no one saw it. When I came to, I got up and scraped the mud off my pants and went back for the encore. My partner Lin asked me where I went. I said I needed to meditate for a minute. Using the Pranayama of Mudness within the Uncoordination of Being. (Difficult Women website follows:) Difficult Women



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NU COUNTRY TV - Melbourne Country and Western fans!

Hosted by PETER HOSKING and featuring the video clip, Peter and I made together of my song, 'Crop Circles in My Marijuana.'
Where
: Channel 31 (C31) Melbourne.
When: October 4th, 8 pm.
Nucountry.com.au
--------------------------------------------

Transcript of California Gubernatorial Debate
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Independent Arianna Huffington got stuck into it.

(Excerpt:)
" SCHWARZENEGGER: I love it. Arianna, let me say one thing. Your personal income tax has the biggest loophole -- I can drive my Hummers through it. That's how big your loophole is. Let me tell you something. I don't know what you're talking about. I cannot believe you.

HUFFINGTON: We've got advanced notice in the New York Times that you're going to say that. And you know very well that I pay $115,000 in property taxes and payroll tax. And you know what? I'm a writer. In these two years, I was writing and researching a book and I wasn't making $20 million violent movies. I'm sorry.

MODERATOR: We need to move, we need to move. (More)
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There's a Crowd in every One

'Please remove me from your shitty newsletter.' P.R.

My reply:

" This is an automatic reply from the JOE DOLCE NEWSLETTER SPAM SWEEPER ® software program.

Do not reply to this email as there is no one on the other end to receive it. If you try to reply to it, by some twist of technical Twilight Zoneness, your email gets automatically diverted to 25,000 porno mailing lists. Don't ask why. (We are currrently working on the problem.)

Our SPAM SWEEPER® has detected an Offensive and Banned Swear Word in your recent email to us which has been automatically diverted to our SPAM, OBSCENITY and STUPID HUMAN BEING SECTION. It will not be destroyed (yet) but might be later after we have got it to tell us what we need to know. (Ve have vays of making it talk.)

The Offensive Word you have sent was : shitty. This is a ca-ca word and as such falls under the Ca-Ca Word Removal Word Protocol of 1993 which reads:

" We are dealing with human individualities whose lives are concerned so much more with meaning and significance than with mere facts. (Facts, after all, are that which is finished, excreted, done with: Latin: facio, cognate with faeces !)" Dr. Ralph Twentyman, past Homeopath to the British Royal Family

In future, you might want to replace suspected objectionable language with alternatives that will not trigger our detectors.

Some popular choices are:

Doo-doo face, or doo-doo head,
Poo brain,
'Defecate in Your Hat' (which communicates a big load of imagery with sphincter-like economy.)

One of our personal favourites is:

" Did you get Stupid from being Ugly, or Ugly from being Stupid?'

(You'll notice that there are no offensive words in that sentence, yet the whole sums up the thoughts of the author concisely.)

I hope this FAQ response (for interested FAQ-heads) has been of service to you and once again, because we do aim to serve even anticipated needs, we apologise to ourselves, in advance, on your behalf, for the inconvenience of any further correspondence from you.

This has been an automated reply from:
The Patented Automatic 'Bubble Brain Spluttering' Joe Dolce Newsletter Spam Sweeper Software ®
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THE FLOWER GARLAND SUTRA
from Teachings of the Insentient by John Daido Loori, Abbot, Zen Mountain Monastery.

How are we related to the universe, to each other, to the smallest speck of dust?

Our way of perceiving ourselves and the universe has remained dualistic and virtually static throughout the development of human history. It is a perspective that assumes separation of self and other. As a result of that assumption of duality, we've created forms of philosophy, art, science,medicine, ecology, theology, psychology, politics, sociology, ethics and morality that are basically permutations derived from that initial premise of separation. The emerging consequences create the kind of world we now live in. The issues of nuclear war, pollution of natural resources, the AIDS epidemic, the national drug problem, poverty, starvation, and immorality in religion, politics, and business all share the fundamental idea of how we understand the self. How we understand the self is how we understand the universe, and how we understand the universe determines how we relate to it, and we do about it, and how we combust our lives within it.

Very recently in the West, we've become aware of the existence of an entirely different way of understanding reality. It's origins go back to a piece of writing once known only to Buddhists. In THE FLOWER GARLAND SUTRA, composed in seventh-century China, a universe is described in which everything interpenetrates with everything else in identity and interdependence; in which everything needs everything else and there's not a single speck of dust that does not affect the whole. In the Sutra's most resounding metaphor, the DIAMOND NET OF INDRA, all existence is seen as a vast net of gems that extends throughout the universe, not only in the three dimensions of space, but in the fourth dimension of time as well. Each point of this huge net contains a multi-faceted diamond which reflects every other diamond, and as such, essentially CONTAINS every other diamond in the net. The diamonds represent the entire universe of the past, present, and future. In a sense, what the metaphor depicts is how each and everything in the universe contains every other thing throughout all time.

The Diamond Net of Indra is not just a philosophical postulation; it is a description of realized reality. It is the direct experience of thousands of Buddhist men and women for more than two thousand years. Predictably, not too many people took this teaching very seriously until the twentieth century, which the discovery of one of the unique uses of laser light demonstrated the relevance of this ancient image. Using laser light you can make a photographic image on a photographic plate; when laser light is transmitted through the plate, a three-dimensional image is projected. This in itself is pretty remarkable -- a holographic image you can walk into, that allows you to actually sit among the objects in the picture. Even more remarkable, and what is radically changing our basic way of seeing things,is the fact that you can cut that photographic plate in half and project laser light through only half of it and still project the whole image. You can cut the half in half and project through it and still project the whole image, cut the quarter in half, cut the eighth in half, and so on, down to the smallest piece of that photographic plate. When you project light through it, you project the whole image. Nothing is missing. This indicates only one thing: each part of the plate contains all the information of the whole, just like the gems in the Diamond net.

As a result of that discovery, biologists have begun to examine biology in terms of the holographic model. new brain theory also uses a holographic model, and physicists have begun to look at the universe through through the eyes of a holographic paradigm. So we enter the twenty-first century scientists are beginning to provide experimental verification of the experience transmitted as the Diamond Net for 2400 years by Buddhist practitioners.

Realizing the holographic universe is what I like to call Twenty-first Century Mind because it's only by coming to understand the nature of the universe as a whole that there is any possibility of doing something about the problems we face. Twenty-first Century mind is the mind of ancient
Buddhas; it's the Buddha Mind, the mind of all sentient beings. We already have it, but we've buried it under a lifetime of conditioning -- conditioning by our parents, teachers, culture, nation, and education. When we realize the interdependent universe, there's no way to avoid
responsibility for it; it becomes unavoidably clear that what we do and what happens to us are the same thing. When you realize that deeply, it's no longer possible to postpone, blame, or be a victim. We create our universe -- that's what is realized. That is the empowerment that comes from realization. When we listen to the problems of the world, it's easy to be overwhelmed by a feeling of despair. What can we do? The situation seems hopeless. out of that despair and hopelessness can come a true empowerment, but that will only become real for us when we understand who we really are -- beyond the bag of skin, beyond the words and ideas that describe ourselves. What is the truth, the reality of our existence? What is being-ness itself?
©1999 Mountains and River order
(Thanks to Stefan Abeysekera.)

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The Marathon Monks

 

A Buddhist priest dubbed the "marathon monk" has completed an ancient running ritual in the remote Japanese mountains that took seven years and covered a distance equivalent to a trip round the globe, wearing only a flowing white robe and flimsy straw sandals.

The 44-year-old monk, Genshin Fujinami, returned Thursday from his 24,800-mile spiritual journey in the Hiei mountains, a range of five peaks that rise above the ancient capital of Kyoto.

Dressed in his handmade sandals and robe, with a straw raincoat draped over his head, Fujinami was greeted at the end of his journey by a crowd of worshippers, who knelt to receive his blessings, said an official at Enryakuji Hoshuin, the temple that is guardian of the grueling tradition.

"I entrusted everything to God. I am satisfied," Fujinami was quoted as saying.

Since 1885, only 46 other so-called "marathon monks" of the Tendai sect have survived the ritual, which dates to the 8th century and is believed to be a path to enlightenment, according to temple officials. The last monk to complete it returned in 1994.

A few have done it twice; many more have not lived to finish. Traditionally, any monk, or gyoja, who can't continue to the end must take his own live, either by hanging or disembowelment.

A rigorous regimen dictates that in each of the journey's first three years, the pilgrim must rise at midnight for 100 consecutive days to pray, run along an 18-mile trail around Mount Hiei -- stopping 250 times to pray along the way. He can carry only candles, a prayer book and a sack of vegetarian food.

In the next two years, he has to extend his runs to 200 days.

In the winter, the pilgrim runner takes a break and spends the days doing temple chores.

His most difficult trial, however, comes during the fifth year when he must sit and chant mantras for nine days without food, water or sleep, in a trial called "doiri," or "entering the temple."

In the sixth year, he walks 37.5 miles every day for 100 days. And in the seventh, he goes 52.5 miles for 100 days and then 18 miles for another 100 days, before returning to the temple, located in Otsu city, about 234 miles southwest of Tokyo.
(Thanks to Mark Morford)

Whew! After all that running sounds like he could go for a big plate of:

RECIPE


Padre Jose's Huevos Calabreses Locos
(one of my favourite breakfasts)

ingredients:
2 eggs
three slices pancetta
butter
2 brown mushrooms, sliced
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 teas tomato paste
half cup warm water
1/4 finely chopped red chile pepper or 1 teas hot sauce
2 slices ciabatta bread
salt & pepper

method:
Mix the tomato paste with the warm water. Put the coffee pot on. Toast the bread.
Fry pancetta in skillet until almost crisp. Add sliced mushrooms and toss until golden.
Remove to a heated plate.

Remove skillet from heat. After it's cooled for a few seconds, add a little butter and break the egg into the skillet, keeping it to one side. Let the egg cook for about 30 seconds and then tip the tomato paste mixture to the other side of the skillet. Add the chile or hot sauce. When the egg is almost cooked, gently flip it over. Just for about 10 seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper and turn the over-easy egg and tomato sauce onto the plate next to the mushrooms and crisp pancetta. Place buttered ciabatta toast and jalapeno pepper next to it. Serve with coffee. (note: you can also use traditional warmed corn tortillas, if you have them, instead of bread. Vegetarians leave out the pancetta and use a little olive oil mixed with butter to cook the mushrooms.)

- - - and here's a little something for all my Vegetarian Sanyasins:

Culinary Dharma Discourse

 

KOAN FOR A KARMA-FREE TOASTED SUNFLOWER SEED PESTO

Ingredients:

1 packet of 7th Century Embalmed Lotus Leaves (If your Green Grocer doesn't have it, you can substitute fresh Basil Leaves, but it won't taste the same.)
Sun Sutra Resonating Sunflower Seeds.
Salt, of Illumination, from Lumbini.
Oil of the Rare Olive Bodhi Trees of Uruvela.
Several Cloves of the Twelve Headed Happy Garlic-faced Buddha Bulb of Kushinara.
The Coarse Dust of a Prayer Wheel of Parmesan Cheese, made from the Blind Sheep of Sarnath.

Upaya or Method:

Sit cross-legged on your wooden cutting board.

Put on your Prayer Apron and contemplate Ahimsa.

Bring the hands together in Anjali acknowledgement that your Sunflower Seeds are already in a state of Perfection and gently move them from unpreparedness to preparedness knowing that nothing can destroy that Perfection.

Roast, yet unroast, the seeds in a pan made out of the metal of a Yak's bell, until slightly toasted, yet untoasted, and golden, yet somehow still untouched.

Mindfully crush the Seeds finely (understanding vedana) in the Great Mortar and Pestle (of Being, of course), using a little of the Salt of Illumination, remembering that you are also the Crusher, the Crushed and the Crushing, (as well as the Mortar, the Pestle and the Salt.) If this Remembering makes you a little Wobbly, shout a loud Katsu into your Prayer Apron to relax you.

To achieve better samadhi, add some basil leaves and salt to the Great Mortar and pound, without pounding, until reduced to a sankhara-like paste (which is just a tad before Nothingness.)

Add the Four Noble Truths of Garlic, Seeds, Cheese and Oil and alternate pounding (and non-pounding) some more (and some less). While doing this, practice Anapana-sati: the mindfulness of in-and-out breathing to reach full concentration of the Four Absorptions (jhanas)

Mound the Stupa of Pesto into a dish, or small Nepalese Monastic Bathing Pool, ( if available at the local hardware store.)

Continue down the Eight Fold Path, through Asava, and the cycle of Birth and Death, with the remaining ingredients, all the while visualizing the Ten Oxherding Pictures.

Cover dish with a layer of the Urevela Olive Oil and seal, with one or more of the Three Universal Seals, to prevent contamination by Asubha (the illusion of impurities) or Yakka (the illusion of ghosts or demons). That last one can really ruin a dinner party.

This wonderful vegetarian Dharmakaya dish goes well with a nice-a Kunda-Linguine.

 

Buddhist Barbie

" In the 5th century B.C.
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness"
and "There is no self.
"

In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man
with such a belly could pose,
smiling, and without a shirt. "
~
Denise Duhamel~

 

 

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