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.   


Monday
Feb042013

Breaking Bread with the Crips

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.   

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Monday
Dec102012

Central Park Five, and Me

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.

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Monday
Nov122012

One Lovely Blog. Or not.  

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.  

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Tuesday
Nov062012

Hurricane Hits: The Movie

Struck by the juxtapostion of gigantic problems and tiny but important personal problems, I made this offering.   For New York City, October 2012.  

 

Monday
Oct292012

Hurricane Hits

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.

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Wednesday
Jul042012

Shining Shit

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

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Thursday
Jun282012

Life is Fantabulous

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. 
 

Wednesday
Jun272012

Feeling Thought Loops

It  goes like this:  You have a feeling, say anxiety, and a thought comes with it, say: I gotta get outa here!  It's more like a command, isn't it?  So you obey, right?  You try to get out.  But maybe you can't, so you get more anxious; as you get more anxious, your mind develops the thought, embellishing the fantasy of disaster if you fail to escape.  More anxiety.  Shall I go on?  Have you been there?

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Tuesday
Jun262012

Get your feelings out! 

Not so fast!   If you feel like murdering someone, kicking your dog, running from challenge, eating til you can't breathe....do you do it?

No.  right?  you don't, right?  

Feelings are not facts, but they make our beliefs seem like facts.

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Monday
Jun252012

Take Anger, for example

The problem with anger is that not only are we really not allowed to murder people, but we've been told since day 1 (ok, maybe 121, but still, pretty early) that if we are angry, we are bad and wrong and...crazy...also ugly....and...well, maybe it's just me but it's a rare duck that really surfs with anger.   With all those nasty descriptions, it would certainly seem like a better idea to not get angry.  But we do anyway, right?  So we try to hold it in.

So, then when we were 20something maybe we got the idea that we should let it all out.  We went around telling people the truth about the way I feel.

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