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 (14)

Friday
Dec012017

How old are you?

Crones tell it like it is, in about a minute.  with Ara Fitzgerald, Nancy LeRoy, ReW Starr, Elena TaJo.   

Comments welcome on FaceBook.

November 2017

 

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.

Tuesday
Jul292014

Seeing Kara Walker's Subtlety

A brilliant and articulate volunteer guides us through interpretations of “A Subtlety, or The Marvelous Sugar Baby" and the public reaction.  I hope you can forgive the limits of the iphone4.  As a friend and collaborator says often, the best camera is the one you have on hand.  I just had to share what I learned from this installation, all melted and destroyed now, at the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn.  

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 

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.

Click to read more ...

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

Gay "Marriage"

Made in 2008 or so, Gay "Marriage" exposes the dilemma of the maddening and unfair paperwork imposed on gay couples who want the same financial rights as heterosexual married couples.   It is a tragicomedy that blends interview and animation to bring to life the horrifying effects of paperwork unfairly imposed on gay couples:  JTROS, taxable gifts, powers of attorney, HIPAA, and more.   

A star-crossed lesbian couple get the romance knocked out of them as they wake up to legal reality.  Music by Mayra Casales.  Running time, 12:13 minutes. 

Click to read more ...

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