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.   


Entries in PsychoZen Play (11)

Tuesday
Oct312017

Conversation

I used to say that I was on a mission to shift perspectives through art and conversation, but then I realized that I can’t stand conversation. The older I get the less obligated I feel to participate in what seems to be artifice meeting artifice. Even in ‘talkbacks’ that supposedly encourage audiences to process what they have witnessed, all I hear is people trying to be clever or praising things that actually could have used a little bit more of this or that.

Recently I heard the great Zen master Norman Fisher give a talk about friendship, and it was very powerful and encouraging, and of course he was talking about speaking from the heart, so I asked him: 

"Hey, it’s all well and good to speak from the heart when those are the rules of the game, for example in council practice (no crosstalk etc), but what about chatting? Chatting is all about breaking the precepts," I argued.  "We split people into good and bad, elevate some, dismiss or mock others; we forget to bear witness, give inappropriate advice right and left; we pretend we are doing better than we are; and so on and so on on."

And he said: "You follow the precepts."  And I said:  "Oh. Right."

I was doing exactly what I was complaining about. I was blaming conversation itself when I could have been changing its nature by attending to my own sense of morality.  Since then, I’ve been trying but it isn’t easy.  I really prefer a structure that gives permission via restriction.  Almost anything shakes up a bad habit.  In Fountain of Oldth, improvisational structure led to truth and communion, every now and then.

Friday
Mar152013

Helpers

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:

 

 

2013 

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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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. 
 

Thursday
Jun142012

I am I: A Tribute to Margaret Cho


Inspired by Cho's gestures, energy, and mission, a group of dancers celebrate human diversity in all its splendid manifestations.  

Conceived and Choreographed by Irene Ruiz-Riveros
Video Directed and Edited by Elena TaJo
Music by Steve Elson

I am I: A Tribute to Margaret Cho screened in June of 2010 at Anthology Film Archives as part of an excellent series curated by New York Women in Film and Television.  Running time 5:37 minutes
 

Sunday
Jun032012

What's the Rush?

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:44PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Maybe it was on the millenium or maybe it was 9/11, but on some momentous mark, I resolved to Stop Rushing. Years passed, charged by, actually, as I watched, bewildered, my resolution crushed by the stampede of moments.  Resolution wasn't enough.  I had to ask:  

What's the Rush?  No, Really.  What is it?

First of all, I don't have time to stop rushing--too many other things to do.  The Tyranny of ToDos, I call it.    Except who put the damn things on the list?  

Don't start with me!  I've tried dropping the list.  If I don't have a list, the world runs me down.  My daughter's needs and the bits and pieces of life fill the entire container and I'm still rushing to keep up.  

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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

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
May252012

People Watch

A gang of dancers encounter the people of New York City.  Who is watching whom?  
Conceived and choreographed by Deb Silver of Silco Dance.  Running time 4:19 minutes

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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