A Quote from Rinzai ( d.866), and Jazz by Kenny Burrell

Today I want to take the time to think about the following quote:

“Today’s students of the Buddha-Dharma need to look for genuine insight. If you have genuine insight, birth and death will not affect you, and you will be free to come and go. Nor do you need to look for worthiness; it will arise of itself.

Followers of the Way, do not let yourselves be deluded by anyone; this is all I teach. If you want to make use of genuine insight, then use it right now without delay or doubt.

Students nowadays do not succeed because they suffer from lack of self reliance. Because of this lack, you run busily hither and thither, are driven by circumstance, and kept whirling by the ten thousand things.-“
Rinzai ( d.866)

I found it very empowering to read “if you want to make use of genuine insight, then use it right now without delay or doubt.”

That makes me feel like a child, who knows without doubt the value of feeling good, of wanting and then receiving a desired thing (be it material, experiential or emotional, mental)…

As an adult I often question the voracity of wanting anything – would it be good if I got it, what if I can’ t  get it…all this just keeps me from living…keeps me in fear, in a place where I am fighting to be “not – alive”….but the statement “use it right now without delay or doubt” opens it all up for me…When I watch a video (like the one I have posted below), I can see without delay or doubt how I will practice today:

…I practice in the wake of the greatness I experience in the videos of  Wes or Herb or other great guitarists.  I will flow with it …for the joy of it…like a child on fire with the delight of mastery — just for the sake of getting lost in the pursuit, not because it will lead to a gig or impress someone else.

Why “Never Talk To Strangers” is a wrong-headed idea

I heard a public service announcement on my public radio station today, the jist of which was be sure to tell your children to never talk to strangers.

Wait!  What???

Since most of the people a child sees any given day (if they live in a metro area) would be people they have never met, that means they are being taught to go around purposely ignoring and treating as threatening almost every other human being they see in the course of their day.

We need to teach children that there is that one nut that will hurt or abduct you.   But what about teaching them SKILLS….

the SKILLS they need to relate to people, meet new people, and navigate each encounter?

I agree in general that CHILDREN don’t need to talk to strangers, but their PARENTS definitely should.  But I typically observe that the parents avoid contact with strangers too, because they are trying to model the behavior they want from their children–and in the process, adults all over the country are ignoring, treating as dangerous. the very people that could become friends, spouses, leads to new jobs or business (if self employed)…  This is complete lunacy!

Parents are the role models.  So what if they model street wise behavior…and model the idea—to use an old cliche–that “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”

Parents can model common streetwise intelligence–how to determine if any given person is safe to talk to:   things like, where is this occurring –a dark alley or a safe place?  And is the person acting appropriately, making eye contact (but not too much) and so on..

What I see are young parents completely isolated from others in a hostile (not) world, ensconcing their children in their apron strings…

…  Both adults and children need the street wise skills to make their way in the world;  skills that are a complete enigma because of this ludicrous blanket admonition of “never talk to strangers”.

So, show your kids HOW to relate to each stranger in a smart fashion, let them begin to practice talking to strangers while you are present, and as they get older, armed with streetwise-ness, encourage them to go out alone with that old cliche:

“A stranger is (might be) just a friend you haven’t met yet.”

Thank You for considering this important concept.  Have a friendly day.

Trella

Words that kill, words that heal, that make a new earth

LOLcat - I Must Go

Words matter…i realized today that words are my passion.

words my mom’s cousin Fletcher Kneble got to be a best selling author using

words that heal

words that kill

words and pictures that were put forth to the public, that angered some insane psychopaths who then killed a lot of people

Words matter, pictures matter, music matters. What is put out via any media outlet MATTERS.

I have been feeling like my life is a bust, since i am over half a century old and have done nothing that really has helped to heal the pain of the human race or make anything better or offer up any solutions to the myriad strife and suffering.

but today i decided to be passionate about making a difference —-and how?

With the words, the words… the words that i offer up…

the words that i write, speak , sing, share on line, or in person or in a magazine or a book or with my family, neighbors, store clerks

WORDS MATTER. i love words and what they can do, they CHANGE the world,…make it better or make it worse…

they have to be considered carefully, p[preferably with love and healing as their aim… and humor absolutely,…

humor in words is one of the best teachers and healers there is or ever will be
I don’ follow news but my heart is hurt so much, at anyone dying , being killed.

it hurts for the killed and the killers and all the relatives and friends, this is a state of deep sorrow for the human race… as was 9 11 and the other acts of terror.
it means we choose and use our words with purpose, with love, knowing that our words have POWER ….they MOTIVATE people do do things, bad things or good things; but words are the foundation of who we are, they are what we have that other species (for the most part) don’t have…
we are the ones who with our words can re-make the entire human race into something better, a human race without war, without hate, without fear….

we can COMMUNICATE with scared and sick people to help them, to comfort them, and sometimes to appease them to make sure they don’t hurt or kill anyone (or at least take it as our duty to be aware of hate and fear inside people who are very sick, that can lead to killing. To be aware that what we do can reduce and eventually eliminate the fear and hate.

that is certainly a reason for me to live, for anyone to live, maybe it is the ONLY reason anyone is on earth at all, to SOLVE these problems… not to futilely seek pleasure, buy things, make gobs of money to hoard…

to be a voice. A VOICE that may appease or heal one or one million who fear and hate, to be a force that is the light that illuminates the dark….

if you think of light,….it doesn’t need to fight or argue with dark…cause anywhere there is light it just magically removes the darkness… merely by existing…no force needed, simply allow the light to be , to be.

The light.

The light.

The light

…the light. Allow it to simply be..,.

The Most Beautiful Motivating Book on Writing that You Will Ever Read: If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland

If You Want to WriteFrom author Brenda Ueland’s book, “If you want to write”

“Why should we all use our creative power and write or paint or play music, or whatever it tells us to do? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and accumulation of objects and money.  Because the best way to know Truth and Beauty is to try to express it. And what is the purpose of existence Here or Yonder but to discover truth and beauty and express it, i.e. share it with others.”

Many famous authors cite this book as a major source of inspiration firing off their creative lives and committment to said.

I urge you to check out this book, as it is one of the most alive, passionate things I have every found to help focus on creative work.

Peace Out

Trella

 

 

Every moment we walk on a beautiful path, if we don’t lose our way

imagesBelow are some words from another post. I gratefully acknowledge the New Earth Heartbeat for posting this most invaluable writing. You can read the entire post via the link below, but I copied some parts below that I wanted to discuss.

http://newearthpulse.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/being-the-boss/

I am moved by the words from that post stating that if we cannot admit we are Buddha then we don’t understand Buddha nature. This means to me allowing Buddha to be, versus trying to explain or prove something about it. No one can get another to use this teaching that does not already have the propensity to do so. That is not to say it is worthless to write and speak about it—for there are many who DO have the propensity, and YOUR WORDS may be just what the doctor ordered to allow them to know and be Buddha nature, to stop seeking to understand, and to know that they already know

And if we seek to understand it, we cannot understand it. This phrase empowers me to tap into what is already there, the part that we all have that is one with nature and with all humanity, that knows what to do, that is always the boss. Focusing on this, I realize that I am the boss, because Buddha nature is the boss, someone far more capable than the ego part of me, someone I surrender to, trust completely to love and be kind to me and everyone else. That is the only way Buddha can be – loving, kind, wise, always able to protect us from losing our way. Buddha nature shows us what to do next, and how to do it, right here and right now—how to eliminate stress, to commit to the next thing–brushing your teeth or painting a glorious work of art, or making a call to set a doctor’s appointment—all those tasks are equal, when done with Buddha nature, all those tasks bring peace and are equally important. There is a way to do each of those diverse things that will bring about loving kindness in yourself today and in everyone you encounter today.

Another part of the post that struck a chord in me is “this means you should not lose your way”….

Today I will not lose my way, even though I did five minutes ago or yesterday or last year or 20 years ago, today I no longer need to lose my way, nothing else matters. If you are lost and you’ve been through many errors, failures, tragedies, and so on—if you have done wrong, or wrong has been done to you…why would you want to continue to be in that mess when you can be Buddha the one that will no longer lose his or her way?

The music of today is in the spirit of knowing that in me is a place beyond consciousness where music and art live in the most beautiful and effortless forms, and from that place things I thought were too hard suddenly become easy, or the process of breaking them down and learning them becomes a basic and joyful labor of love, leading to the level of musicianship infused with love that I aspire to…This process holds for whatever art or job or family rising or relationship making you are doing today.

 

“…When we ask what Buddha nature is, it vanishes; but when we just practice zazen, we have full understanding of it.”

“…So what Buddha meant by Buddha nature was to be there as he was, beyond the realm of consciousness.”

“…Buddha nature is our original nature; we have it before we practice zazen and before we acknowledge it in terms of consciousness.”

“If you want to understand it, you cannot understand it. When you give up trying to understand it, true understanding is always there.”

“…if you are under the idea of doing or not doing zazen, or if you cannot admit that you are Buddha, then you understand neither Buddha nature nor zazen.”

“Wherever we go, we should not lose this way of life. That is called ‘being Buddha,’ or ‘being the boss.’”

“Wherever you go you should be the master of your surroundings. This means you should not lose your way.”

GET A DIVORCE FROM UNLOVING PARENTS

toxicI have read many self-help books written by people who had the parents we all wish for—these books are helpful because they describe a parenting style—supportive and loving—that sets the tone for a child to develop into a competent adult with high self-esteem.

And in describing the parenting style it empowers the reader of such books to clone, as it were, that style—becoming their own loving parent—the one they never had.

Even better, I have read self-help books by people who had horrible abusive parents…and these people become best selling self help authors, just as the ones who had loving parents.

So, which one are you? As you see, it matters not what circumstances you came from—either upbringing can lead you to the success and joy you want as an adult

Get a loving divorce from un-loving parents – by releasing the defeating messages, your parents’ legacy.

Have you ever heard a successful person credit their parents’ unconditional love as the key to their success? Have you felt jealous? “You see, they had good parents so naturally they have a happy life, are wealthy, have a wonderful partner….Wish that was true for me.”

Guess what, just as many successful people had awful parents who told them they were no good, grew up in foster homes with no parents to speak of, or with criminal drug addict parents, or worse.

How is that possible? Because you can use your past as you choose to use it. Those who’ve succeeded at their life’s mission in spite of “bad” parents, have decided to make that the very reason, or motivation for their own success—their key to empowerment. But they’ve become their own unconditionally loving parents, by the way they think and the way they treat themselves.

 Learn to release the messages from those who raised you—messages limiting your joy, success, ability to live the life you want and deserve. Conversely, keep any helpful, encouraging messages from mom, dad, and others you met in childhood, highschool, college, or elsewhere.

Keep in mind, the “divorce” from those who raised you cannot be an angry one, because then they still have emotional hooks in you. Make it a loving divorce, acknowledging those who raised you did all that they could with what they knew at the time.

Accept Compliments: doing so fosters your enjoyment of the transformational process.

Compliments are a form of prosperity, of wealth, even better than the material kind, and they lead to more treasure—material and spiritual.

Do you shun compliments for what you’ve done, feeling “I did not do that well”, or “That person does not know how much better I can do”, or “That just was not very good so I don’t accept their compliment”. Well, this will keep you performing poorly. Learn to accept compliments with grace—they are a gift—better yet, give one back. The good vibes keep flowing with mutual compliments. Rejecting compliments, outwardly or in your own thoughts or feelings, hinders the flow of creativity and energy.

So, rejoice in the ability to accept a compliment—respect the giver as the insightful person who loves and cares to support your good efforts—and love yourself for those efforts. Your powers of productivity and love will double or triple. With that power you can hone your skills, increase your self belief, and  sustain energy for intensive training, practicing, art or whatever you have planned for the day.

How May I Drive Away the Sorrows?

“And now as long as long as there are beings to be found,lake
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world.”

Shantideva – Verse 55 / Chapter 10 of the Bodhicharyavatara

With my music, everything I say, do, think and feel, may I, Trella, be a driver away of sorrows of the world. This phrase moved me and put into focus why I live, why anyone lives.  It is to have a hand in bringing joy and beauty while driving away the sorrows.  What an amazing outlook on life. Today as I learn music and write songs may it be from this perspective.  Perhaps the songs will be heard, downloaded from iTunes…and with each listen, the songs will help to drive away these sorrows.

From a favorite of mine, Blaise Pascal

time heals grief

This Blaise Pascal quote seems simple, and not all that earthshaking at first, but breaking it down, I find that pain of loss, grief, is from mourning that fact that you are no longer the same and vainly trying to be–like a baby insisting on getting their own way–like you were before the person died.

When I read this quote I was renewed, freed of grief for that instant I understood its deeper ramifications.

 

To know that I am in fact no longer the same person, gives me the joy of accepting who I am in the present.  It empowers me to know that there is only the present.  Humans trying to make something stick –trying to make life like a painting that never changes–is what causes the suffering and grief.

Flowing as a LIVE person empowers and mitigates the suffering.  Being in a painting or old photo is only pain and despair, and it is a lie because it isn’t real–you aren’t a real person when you try to pretend that painting or photo of a vision of some sort of perfect life, a fairy tale life, will sustain you.

I need to know that my loved ones who’ve gone would not want me to cling to old photos, that they were once vital in the here and now, loving life, not fixated to a false fairy tale of a life…and they want me to be vital too.  They want more for me than they had.  They want me to live in what they only glimpsed could be–a life fully empowered, with full capacity for joy, success, inner peace and love within my family and my community.

These things I have shared allow me to let go, yet keep the memories and learnings of the person and the past.

Maybe this post will help one of you who also suffers because your life isn’t the fairy tale you hoped for, or thought it should be–a picture painted (probably in childhood) on your psyche–a picture that never was and never can be real.

A picture that your mommy and daddy would be pleased to know you have flown beyond.

 

 

Not pursuing your passion is a form of self-abuse…

passionIsn’t it?  You have that passion…think back:  When you were about 6 or 7 what did you get engrossed in?  What could you do for hours and not even notice the time passing? Then life happened and you had to earn a living, have kids and all.  But here and now is a fresh new chapter in your life, in which to pursue your passion; are you not in anguish if you don’t do it?  And isn’t  that anguish–from denying your passion–a form of self-abuse?  That is, aren’t you the one deciding to deny yourself the pursuit of your passion? Further, if you are abusive to yourself when practicing or pursuing your talent, critiquing every line, every note, every move of the foot, isn’t that self-abuse? When you chide yourself for not practicing your art, ask yourself this:

Am I avoiding my art practice  because I can’t stand another session of cruelty inflicted on me from my inner critic?

I found out why I never wanted to practice, when I realized what I was saying in my head, and sometimes out loud, was so counterproductive and downright abusive, cruel and sadistic. I thought about some bad boss or parent who treats a person like this, and then says, “What is the matter with you? Why are you so lazy?” I don’t approve of those people, yet I was being just like that to myself. NO MORE !!! When I stopped it, I increased practice time from 0 to 3 hours.  When I not only stopped being cruel, but started being kind and loving and gentle to myself when practicing, and caring  for myself as one would a little child playing with a new discovery/instrument/color crayons… I increased the time to 6 hours a day.  Now I can keep going indefinitely.  My plan is to play 6 hours a day for the next 600 days and see how my jazz riffs and improvisation are at that point.  THEN let that critic try and tell me I suck at jazz guitar.  HA! The silver lining in playing music or doing other arts is that you find out that cruel person is in there, and you cannot allow it anymore. If you did not do your art, that person would be in your head being cruel all the time —you would not notice the damage being caused. The art is the vehicle that necessitates you becoming the person you want to be, the kind of person you would admire, respect and cherish. When you decide to create beauty and meaning with your art, you have an automatic inner therapist/coach who helps you to release the baggage, low self-esteem, and soar with your talents…

The following is an excerpt from “Unstuck” by Jane Ann Staw which discusses this issue. This book is great for those faced with writer’s block and similar afflictions:

(When afflicted with writer’s block), “to write is self-punishment, each word a weapon that will be used against you.  Understanding this danger, you can begin to see that it’s not because you write best to deadline, or because you are discouraged, that you cannot sit down to write. It is because writing exposes you to a barrage of your own insults and criticism. Knowing, even unconsciously that we are setting ourselves up as targets for such abuse we…” (would be crazy if we DIDN’T avoid writing).