A quick thought here: I’m always promoting the idea that you need music in your life to help enhance it, make you feel good, relax and all that jazz. Today’s musical recommendation: has some music that makes you feel like a superhero! Whether it’s the soundtrack to a movie like “The Dark Knight” or Nancy Sinatra singing “These Boots Were Made For Walkin’”, use it like Green Lantern’s ring or Wonder Woman’s bracelets.
Make sure you have your super-powered music that fills you with amazing strength and makes you feel invulnerable! If you’re a musician, find those pieces to play that light up your adrenal system and give you that unconquerable feeling. Now stop reading this and go to it heroes!
For many years as a kid and young adult, I kept my differences hidden in the proverbial closet. I followed a different drummer (mostly metal skin bashers) and pursued activities like ghost hunting in my friends’ old Victorian houses, keeping a worm farm, drawing weapons of war and superheroes, reading plenty of sci-fi, horror books and comics and being a KISSaholic. Not much has changed except that my illustrations are more creative, I burnt out on sci-fi book and comics and my musical tastes have expanded greatly.
When I finally got to American University, I started to become more comfortable with exposing my uniqueness. I made more friends who were also of the same ilk an we reveled in our differentness. As a psych major, I was a minority amongst the many international studies and political science majors. I worked at the school newspaper as a music and movie writer covering metal and extreme music shows and reviewing horror and sci-fi movies with the occasional drama thrown in for good measure.
Now, as a Buddhist with a general love of open spirituality and an artist and musician, I’m still in the minority and I’m happy about it. I realize that being a unique person has opened up many opportunities for me and enabled me to meet so many great people who are also free spirits.
So to all you dear readers out there, I say to you find what makes you different and revel in that. We are all unique but sometimes it takes more effort to get out of the comfort zones that can bind us. Pursue the activities that make you feel liberated. Spend time with the other free spirits out there. Meet new and interesting people. And, if you’re already doing this keep moving forward and help those who need to be liberated from the shackles of society.
OK now, enough reading. Get going y’all!
His body indeed grows old but his wisdom does not grow.
I have gone round in vain the cycles of many lives ever striving to find the builder of the house of life and death.
How great is the sorrow of life that must die!
But now I have seen thee, housebuilder: never more shalt thou built this house.
The rafters of sins are broken, the ridge-pole of ignorance is destroyed.
The fever of craving is past: for my mortal mind is gone to the joy of the immortal NIRVANA
- The following excerpts are taken from the book The Dhammapada translated by Juan Mascaro published by Penguin Books
There’s a swell part of downtown Phoenix that’s an up an coming artistic section. They have some decent galleries, some really cool indie clothing and gift stores and some odd buildings.
While I was downtown, I did some PR for my meditation teaching gig starting in March and brought my little camera with me. I found some interesting shots.
As a spiritual (but not religious) being, I continuously try to suppress my cynicism around the global obsession with technology. Over 10 years ago, I did a series of computer illustrations about this same problem and damn, 10 years later we all now how much worse it’s gotten. I may try another series that’s more sophisticated but it’s going to be some endeavor!
Many people these days would rather hide in their iPhones, super fancy cars, laptops (no, I don’t hide in mine but is has become an appendage for the better), high-def TVs – you name it, than deal with their spirituality and the afterlife. Maybe millions of people perceive that the world has so many problems that it’s like the Atomic Age where material obsession really started to ramp-up , especially in the U.S,. to help them cope with the possibility of global annihilation.
I don’t profess to fully believe in reincarnation or Nirvana (or even “Heaven”), but I’m open to the possibility. I’ve found lots of slices of Nirvana in my own life so if I don’t get to that spiritual resort in the ether, then so be it; I’ve had plenty of fun and fulfillment in this one. I’ll just do what I can to help others see their own inner light and find their own core of peacefulness and wisdom and hope that as a species, that we can start to find our paths again.
The sublime and sad piece by Max Richter that I listened to while writing this post:
I just started reading a small book by Pema Chödrön called “Practicing Peace In Times of War” and it’s really struck a chord. Many of us struggle with the battles within ourselves as a result of past negative relationships, problematic families, PTSD, physical and mental illness and other mêlées. We’ve created unending battles within our brains and bodies. Look at all of those power-hungry people, the 1% and the politicians and dictators out there. I guarantee you that these sorts of people have major internal battles that lead to personal, political, social and global warfare.
My own war has been with my bipolar disorder, a number of chronic pain issues and some very difficult past family relationships and recently in my former marriage. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that one of the most beneficial paths to my inner peace amongst the skirmishes in my brain and heart has been through meditation. My practice has helped me find plenty of stillness within me and my inner sage has been like the Geneva Convention of my soul.
My story about my struggles is going to be part of a chapter in my forthcoming book so I won’t go into detail here about of the wars that I’ve fought. I’m sure many of you have had similar ones and can relate. One thing though, meditation has only been a part of my overall journey to my inner harmony. I take meds for my illness, exercise (love to swim and hike), do my creative pursuits, take plenty of doses of comedy and spend time with my friends and love ones.
For those of you who aren’t meditators or don’t do it consistently, takes regular practice and commitment. Meditating is about the long-term benefits and the short term ones are less apparent. Do it requires plenty of patience and commitment to yourself. I’ve been meditating for over twelve years and I still feel like it’s a new pursuit.
If you need some guided help, check out my page at
Soundcloud for audio
or on YouTube for video at