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.   


Saturday
Jun022012

It Doesn't Show

Updated on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 11:50AM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:50PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

It doesn't show, they started to say after the surgeries.   This should have been a cure for shame, and maybe it was, but it also produced a new problem.   A deep and integral aspect of my personhood became invisible and unknowable. Don't look. Juvenile arthritis is a peculiar and defining experience.  As a toddler, you get braces and casts instead of the exhilaration of walking.  As a kid, you get the special  role in the ballet recital.  Then, as your wrists are progressively deforming, Phys Ed with its impossible pushups and volleyball falls by the wayside.  You are left with the other rejected kids in Choir and then in Drama Club, where, to vanquish your depression, you pledge yourself a career and vengeance.  The twist (pardon the pun) in the story is that, along the way, you fall in love with dance--the one thing that everyone agrees is totally out of the question. 

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Saturday
Jun022012

It's All Worthy

If you've read What's the Rush?, you already know how my mind complicates the effort to walk a simple line from here to there. What I learned is that I need to surrender to my mind's need to wander, and book myself some play time, some empty time to do and think whatever I want.  Oh yes, it solves everything, except that I have to rush like crazy to get to my scheduled play time.  

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Saturday
Jun022012

Ripe 1: Mommy Doll Gets Old

Ripe1: Mommy Doll Gets Old, an amalgam of documentary and performance art, skewers ideas about aging.   What do you think of when you think of Old?  Does it mean it’s time to give up?  Does it mean we lose our minds?  Does it mean it’s time for plastic surgery?  Or does it mean wisdom?   Mommy Doll Gets Old evoked tears and fascinating conversation at the Garnerville Arts Festival, the Trail Dance Film Festival, the Rivertown Shorts FestivalGIAA (3rd prize), and Digifestival.net 2007.  

Total running time:  11:14 minutes

Friday
Jun012012

You Just Don't Get It

You just don't get it, said her eyes into my silence.  My beautiful dark-skinned friend from a South American country had just told me of her troubles getting a Visa, indicated how hard she worked in a restaurant to support her dancing.   I felt for her, so the distrust was painful.  Was it distrust, or was I projecting my own?   

Like most of my young dancer friends, she asks me nothing about my life, as if it is already established, not in question.  If they did ask, they might hear

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Friday
Jun012012

Michael Jackson, The Whole Man

Is it good manners?   Is it out of some sense of politeness that every column I've read about Michael Jackson makes a brief bow to the latter half of his life, then moves on to massage every detail of his splendid, brilliant early career?   As in: whatever you want to say about the weird thing he became, you have to appreciate how he electrified the world with Thriller.*   Is it good manners or is it that we don't want to face what his gruesome demise might say about us?  About our culture, I could say, except we can't just dis the culture without taking some responsibility.

How do we understand what happened to him? 

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Friday
Jun012012

Jar Indignities

My favorite jam, utterly unavailable--making me utterly dependent.  

 

With all my might, I tried to open it.  Impossible!  So of course I had to drop everything I was doing and make make a video.

 

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Friday
Jun012012

Yes, it IS about Time

It's never really about time or money,  said a wise but mistaken psychotherapist.  

Yes, it IS about time, really.  Time is change, for one thing, and change is our only true master.  Now I write, but in 25 minutes it will be time to go to the podiatrist.  Later it will be time to go home, time to go to sleep, time to wake up, time to work, time to cook, time to do the dishes.  Time seems to move too fast, meaning that I am too slow to change.  I wish I could be time, as Zen Master Dogen teaches; I would be the clock, the moving part, the changing thing.  The problem is that I need time to truly absorb this lesson and I'm in too much of a rush to stop and…. 

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Friday
Jun012012

April Fools | OGReHome Opening Day

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 5:41PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

The joke is on me.  My plan (what is it about plans?) was to open OGReHome on April Fools Day.   Instead, the server had to process the change.  Well, you know what the shrinks (and artists and philosophers and wise women and men) say about process.

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Thursday
May312012

Temporary Disability: Shifting Perspective.

Guest Column by Molly White.

I’m lying in the MRI machine, focusing on the slight changes in pitch of each loud pang trying to distract myself from the weight of the situation.  I send myself all the messages that this machine is not.  I tell myself that I am safe, happy and free from pain and I imagine I am surrounded in white light which is protecting me from any harmful magnetic effects of this 20 minute affront, and pretty soon I am relaxed and yes, relatively pain free.photo by TheeErin.

Pain free.  What a concept!  I have a love affair with pain that is both debilitating and self-fulfilling.  It has gone on so long now that when it comes back after a long two or three month absence I almost welcome it like an old and familiar lover.  Perhaps he knocks on my door and I don’t have the heart to turn him away, so reluctantly I let him stay taking up the space and eating my groceries.  With the pain there, I am forced to lie down to experience any relief, so I resign myself, I drop my projects and deadlines, hoping that in a week or so I will be back on my feet and pain will be gone.  But every time I worry that this time he might stay for good.

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Thursday
May312012

Reading "Henrietta Lacks"

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:47PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks might be the saddest book I've ever read.   If you don't know this story, here's the bottom line:  A Black woman's cancer cells were taken and cultured without her permission and, because of their superhuman ability to thrive, spawned all variety of discovery and cure.  She died, her disease almost neglected; her family remains dirt poor and deeply uneducated.  In the absence of information from the scientists who benefited from Henrietta's cells, the family creates stories of heroism or victimization, depending on what's going on that day.  What is usually going on is a fight for survival against overwhelming odds.

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