How must she feel now, Trayvon's mother? Like all mothers, I imagine she poured herself into her son, wanting him to have a satisfying life, to do good, and to make her proud. She must have imagined his future many times, many ways. It might still happen automatically now; maybe she has to stop her mind from imagining. Because how is it possible to lose a child, to really know that there is no future for Trayvon? Her son was shot dead for being in the wrong territory, for posing a threat to another man
Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.
Psychology: We project onto others what we reject in ourselves. Some call it a Shadow. Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing.
Zen: There is no separate self. When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.
We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.
Finishing the Boston Marathon 50 minutes before the blast, my ex-husband and father of my beloved child was well clear of the bomb that killed three, seriously injured many, and scared the crap out of a whole bunch more. Trauma proliferated as we shook our heads and huddled with our families. Thank G-d it wasn't us.
But it was.
When something troubles me, I work with it, sit with it, and play with it. This video is a play on the question of help--taking help and giving it. Beautiful dancers, Justina and CJ, improvised on questions and phrases, and this is what emerged:
A packed house, a teen nightmare, a sweet story of communion, and a deeply offensive work of not-art.
Not by Bread Alone features a troupe of deaf blind 'actors' ladling out friendly vaudevillian vignettes that feature pantomime, supertitles, and kinesthetic sign language. Also, they are baking bread. We learn that the deaf and blind "have dreams, too," dreams of love and marriage, and dreams of having hair done by a super duper stylist. Just like us.
Aghast as the movie finished, I sat in the dark watching the six other people in the theatre gathering their stuff. I think I was the only one with beige skin. If you still think that maybe we live in a just world, please try to witness the wreckage of The Central Park Five. Like most White people, I had forgotten or never much thought about what happened to the brown-skinned teenage boys who were wrongly accused of raping the White woman known as the Central Park Jogger.
Plans collapse. Last week, I planned to write a Pedestrian Plea about high art, and then the hurricane hit. This week, I planned to participate in One Lovely Blog, and then my teenager provoked another crisis. Or maybe I provoked it. Don't even talk to me if you have not raised a smart willful teenager in recent times. Yes, it is worse than it used to be. Much, much worse. Someday I'll remove the gag order I've placed on myself, but not today.
My todo list tells me that I need to finish Pedestrian Plea today. I couldn't finish it last week because my teen was creating catastrophe and my mother was in town and my sleep molecules disintegrated completely under the onslaught of psychological collisions. Now today, Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching, and I am compulsively cooking, checking weather updates, comparing Facebook posts with my daughter, wondering when the power is going to shut down.
Pedestrian Plea is all about the accidental absence of life from well-meaning conceptual Art with a capital A. So, wouldn't it be lovely if I can work in something about how the hurricane is life itself, more art than Art? A wake-up call of the highest order.
How can something that has never been soiled be cleaned? asked the teacher when a monk requested the job of Sanitation Officer. When the monk presented his answer, the teacher hit him, the monk broke into a sweat and stepped into enlightenment. In gratitude, he diligently cleaned the toilets in the monastery for 10,000 years. I suppose he was cleaning what was not soiled. Was his shit shining? Steaming and oh, so luminous?
We humans are very interested in cleaning soiled things. We sanitize, kill our bacteria, hide our homeless, cleanse our ethnics, and defeat our dictators. Striving for purity, we
A montage to honor the courage it took to face death for a year. The workshop "A Year to Live," based on Stephen Levine's book, was held at the NYC Village Zendo, guided by Roshi Enkyo O'Hara and Robert Chodo Campbell.