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.   


Tuesday
May222012

Martyred Mom Cracks Her Shackles!

Martyred Mom Cracks Her Shackles!  arose out of deep frustration over the seeming impossibility of reconciling motherhood and self-fulfillment.  Made in 2005, the video tells the story of a devoted mother’s tortured journey from martyrdom and guilt to freedom and possibility.  It is an amalgam of interview, performance art, and odd experimental technique (because the mother didn't know what she was doing).  The music, by Marty Beller of They Might be Giants, makes it an energizing experience.

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Monday
May212012

Happy Holidays!!!!  Really?

My daughter was surprised when I mentioned that I always get a lot of business this time of year.  "But isn't everyone happy during the Holidays?"  Exactly.   Everyone is supposed to be happy, and woe to those who aren't.  Woe drives them to the shrink.

Among the animals, humans are uniquely gifted with the ability to aspire. 

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Wednesday
May162012

Duet With Doubt

When my friend Marta asked me to do a little (no pressure!) dance at a little (really, no biggie) Festival, I panicked.  Riddled with Doubt is what I was.  During the same week my mother sent a poem that she had written On Doubt.    

Duet with Doubt screened at the Sans Souci Festival of Danceincluding their Texas State University tour, the Austin Woman's Film Festival, and  the Baltimore Women's Film Festival.

A woman confronts her shadow. Reading her mothers poem, On Doubt, the woman engages with the unsavory presence and discovers how to start working. (2:10 min)

Friday
May112012

Mahogany

Here's a funny story:

My daughter and husband are shopping for a birthday card for me.  They see a yellow card with sparkly flowers.  The text reads:  Today is a day for celebrating you and the wonderful mother you are…Today is a day to celebrate everything about you.  Your warmth, your wisdom…your beauty and spirit.  Today is a day for telling you how proud and grateful I am to have you for a mother.  Happy Birthday With Love.

The beige woman at the counter says:  "Are you sure you want to buy this card?"  They are puzzled.  What is the problem?   She replied:  "It’s for black people."   She pointed at the card.  "See, Mahogany,  for black people."   I guess black people love their mothers differently.

Are you laughing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2011

Thursday
May102012

How to Meditate

First off, what is it?   I can't tell you how many times I've heard: I can't meditate.  Right away that tells me that there's some ideal people think they are not reaching.  But reaching is exactly what we don't do when we meditate. So, how do you not reach?  How do you not do?  Start with the certainty that you absolutely cannot do it wrong.   

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Wednesday
May092012

The Change Steps

For real and lasting change, you'll need DIPSDetermination, Intention, Practice, and Support.um..change steps?

D for Determination: When we've banged our heads against the wall enough, frustration points us to a new direction.  Yes, this really is a step.  Banging our heads is quite productive.   It produces pain that leads us to an alternative (unless we have learned helpnessness, which is another conundrum addressed elsewhere.)   We are determined to quit smoking, for example.

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Tuesday
May082012

Bridges

Updated on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:16AM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Let go…..Cleopatra.. said my dance teacher in response to my failure to connect a phrase.   Say what?!  said I, stalling for time. It's a Donkey Bridge, he clarified, let go of the arms, then Cleopatra to make a shape.   A memory device, a connector, so called because donkeys are supposedly too stupid to make it across the river any other way.   In Zen it is said: Every Ass can Pass.   Every one of us can get to the other side but we need the right bridge.  

Words can be a bridge to dance.  Dance can be a bridge to freedom.   Yoga to meditation or meditation to yoga.   The specter of death is a nifty bridge to a satisfying life.  

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Monday
May072012

Your Working Zone

I'm calling It the Working Zone, because of the clarity of its counterpoint--not working.  As in: this is not working!   Because you know when it's not  working, don't you?  You're burned out, or enraged, or stuck, or depressed, or freaking out with anxiety.  In that condition, nothing is more important than finding a way to lower the decibel level of the stress until we can work with it.  Go ahead and sweep that problem under the rug for now.   

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Saturday
May052012

The Monster

In the moments before ballet class was to begin, I was hanging over my legs, trying to find the inner awareness of my spine.  Suddenly, improbably, I felt another body in my space--an intruder!  I quickly rolled up to encounter a grotesque face, and it was actually asking me to take a step back to make room for her.   I concealed my horror and annoyance (I think), and tried to explain that she was not in a good position, having encroached also on the person in front of her, who had nowhere to go.    She didn't understand and I gave up, insuring that I would encounter her at close quarters for the remainder of the class.

Soon it became very clear that she didn't have the least idea of what to do.   If she was lucky, she'd get a fraction of each exercise, but mostly she would stand and shuffle in that panicked way that beginners do.  Please understand that I am normally very very sympathetic to this state of being, because that is almost always my condition. 

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Tuesday
May012012

Bateson's Brilliance

 

"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and how people think."  -Gregory Bateson

 

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