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.
I posted a few weeks back that I was just learning arpeggios and now I am pleased to report I am learning them quite sufficiently. My teacher says that just knowing scales and arpeggios very well will automatically cause me to start improvising. I don’t know if this is so, but I choose to believe it otherwise all I am learning is futile.
That would never happen. Somewhere in me is a female Wes Montgomery–ha ha!
I do study his videos and the amazing thing is how it looks so easy, and I would not claim to be able to play like him, but i can clone on his relaxed and happy demeanor, that should improve my playing instantly.
Busy life these days but will get back to writing posts soon. (ones that actually say something besides just reporting my jazz guitar progress).
I found the following words in my stuff and it hit home with me, maybe with you to. It is by Sir Laurens van der Post, an anthropologist and author from South Africa. A movie was made about his life in 1996. The second quote below pertains to happiness and affirms: Meaning is more important than gratification. Think of Nelson Mandela going through that horrible treatment in prison and yet I believe even then he was doing fine because he knew all along his purpose.
“The spirit of man is nomad. His blood bedouin, and love is the aboriginal tracker on the faded desert spoor of his lost self; and so I came to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird.”
“The Bushman in the Kalahari Desert talk about two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; But the Great Hunger, The Greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There’s ultimately only one thing that makes Human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is the have thrust upon them
A life without meaning…
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness….
But of far more comfort to the soul…
Is something greater than happiness
or unhappiness and that is meaning.
Because meaning transfigures all…
Once what you are doing has for you meaning,
It is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy
You are content—you are not alone
In your spirit—you belong”
(Sir Laurens van der Post from Hasten Slowly, a film by Mickey Lemle)
For your Saturday jazz fix, the one and only Wes Montgomery. If I am down and listen to this it is not possible to remain there. Jazz is this thing, like love or zen, that isn’t translatable to words, really. The feeling that it evokes, when it is good, is just magic
So I am very lucky indeed to be given a chance to learn to play and sing it. As you watch Wes in this video, he is so happy, relaxed, yet exuding joy. Maybe he was feeling how lucky he was to be such a great player. He kinda reminds me of the cat that swallowed the canary, like, if you people only knew how much fun it is to play this music, you would all want to do it too!