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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

Group Energy

November 19, 2016 Leave a comment

frost04Whenever people get together and align their intentions, their personal energies combine to create a communal energy that is greater than the sum of its parts.  When I meditate with a group with my eyes closed I can feel connectedness between my life essence and that of the other meditators.  Empowered by this connection, I feel I attain a greater depth of relaxation in the group setting as opposed to meditating on my own.

Feeling shared essential energy is not limited to group meditation.  You can feel it at sports events, where it might be called ‘team spirit’; at religious services, where it’s called ‘religious fervor’; or during political campaigns wherein like-minded people witness a leader who expresses views that resonate with their own experience.  This communal energy produces strong and pleasant feelings of belonging.

However, whereas communal energy in group meditation can create a feeling of universal connectedness, not just with the other humans in the room but with all manifestations of the physical existence, communal energy in sporting events, religious services or in support of a political candidate may create a feeling of connectedness only with others who share enthusiasm for their particular sports team, chosen religion or candidate.

We have all seen or heard about violence at sporting events between the fans of opposing teams, and violence between members of different religious faiths has occurred frequently in human history.  Violence between people with opposing political views is also common.  Just as one can begin to identify themselves as belonging to the group, one can begin to recognize those outside the group as inferior, wrong, or perhaps evil, or to to feel that outsiders may deserve misfortune, or punishment, or death.

Of course the other people do not really usually deserve misfortune, or punishment, or death.  Other people usually deserve the same things we do:  happiness, freedom and justice.

I believe a very powerful response to group energy that has been poisoned by anger, blaming, hatred and other negative emotions is to cultivate openness within the self through a daily practice of meditation.  When one learns to find their own inner light it becomes easier to find that light in others.

If you don’t meditate, try it out.  If you already meditate, invite someone to join you.   If you can open your mind and help one other person open theirs you will have made a profound improvement to our world.

Peace.

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A Month to Prepare

tromboniaYou see yourself in the mirror and you wonder how you got there.   But really, you know.  You seem to remember there was this one and that one, and they said this and that and thus and so.  And they did stuff, too.  Some of this stuff they did and said you came somehow to own a share of, like a squatter, sojourner, stranger in a strange land.  Ends up to be a great shared mass of particles, bits of reality and misconception, outright lie and humble truth.

After all of that you look in the mirror and you either hate or love what you see.  Given the random nature of what is, it doesn’t really matter which.  Pick one, play the part well, and maybe they’ll ask for an encore.

I decided to drop the “Bare Bone” from the EP title and just call it, “The Rubenoff Project”, subtitle, “Songs of Love, Despair and Regret.”   I’ll save “Bare Bone” for a more trombone-centered recording maybe next year.

I could have really gone either way this year, but – and this will sound a bit funny coming from a sexagenarian – but I my sound needs to mature just a bit more.  The Universe has been pushing me toward being a solo act on the trombone, but it is not really what I like.  I like to blend.  Therefore I like somebody to blend with.

Well, it’ll come, or it won’t.  Wait and see.

In the mean time my sessions are booked for August 1st and 2nd, so I have lots of time to make sure I can remember my lyrics.  Lucky for me the people I will be recording with are all better than I am.  😉

 

 

Good Luck, Bad Luck

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

dawnSometimes it can be difficult to face events with equanimity.  It is not a difficult concept to grasp that one cannot with any certainty predict the future, yet the brain often seems to do just that, jumping ahead to negative outcomes manufactured out of its fears.  Never mind that, again and again, the brain has watched the universe unfold in beautifully unexpected ways that delight and inform; still it jumps to fear, blame and anger instead of openness and patience.

When I encounter difficulty, my first instinct is to overcome it with strength.  Yet usually I find that first instinct to be mistaken.  Usually the difficulty will resolve itself when given time to do so.  Usually the exertion of strength leads to imbalance and recurrence of difficulty – unless strength is used to curb the urge to swift action.

Swift action is useful when faced with a real danger.  However, when my “fight or flight” response is triggered by baseless fears, the swift action that may result will often produce negative results.  In truth, one cannot truly recognize danger when they are afraid of it.  I find that when true danger arises the best response is to ignore all emotions and look mindfully, with clear, calm eyes on what is taking place.  Then my response can be sensible.

The feeling of urgency to take action usually comes from the ego clinging to some desired outcome.  To free myself, I detach myself from these and leave myself open to what the universe will bring.

Changes

Philly007

Life is change, so if one loves life I guess one must at least tolerate change.  Yet it seems natural to most of us to resist change, maintain the status quo, preserve the past, etc.  One of the significant challenges of life seems to be to avoid clinging to the past.  However, at times, one finds one must choose between the things (and sometimes people) they love and move toward one, leaving the other behind.  This can be a painful process, and it is difficult to know if one’s decision is the correct one – yet often I find that I am left with no choice but to choose.  Either I make the choice or the choice is made on my behalf by the same forces that brought the choice in the first place.

So I have left Eye On Life and I am no longer a poetry editor, only a poet.  So I continue to write my own poetry, but I no longer publish the work of others.  Now my judgments of others’ poetry are freed from the looming and often conflicting influences of such megaliths as free speech vs. my own tastes and values, the common good of the poetic community vs. the good of the magazine.

Eye On Life remains a good and worthwhile magazine.  I hope it will remain a place where good poetry is published as well as a place to read interesting and unique articles.

Most of my poetic energy nowadays is going into song lyrics and I am having a lot of fun with all that.  Generally I am posting works in progress on SoundCloud and more or less finished products on Bandcamp.  I hope you’ll listen to my offerings at either or both.

In the Door Hardware Genius world my role continues to evolve as I become more involved in training other door hardware geniuses and helping to define and streamline processes where I work.  In serving installers and hardware dealers I find that my depth of knowledge remains useful.  I remain grateful for that, and hope it remains so for years to come.

Slouching Toward September

August 27, 2014 Leave a comment

wachusettPIN62014_003Submissions are up at The Poetry Locksmith, which is COOL. We are blessed that many new poets have found us at Eye On Life, enriching our pages with their work. I (and we) are grateful.  Please stop by and enjoy the voices of Nina Longfield, M. Drew Williams, Valentina Cano and many others.

As I mentioned I have started posting a little of my own work at The Poetry Locksmith, too.  For years I felt it was a conflict of interest, but since we changed the design of the whole site a couple of years ago, and because I do not place ads on other poets’ poems, I have had no place to put ads on the Poetry Unlocked pages. Now I can put ads on my own work and feel that I have not done anyone wrong by marring their work with advertising – only mine. At the same time it gives me a creative outlet. It’s a win-win situation.

Musically things are often quiet in the summer because band members are on vacation, but now things are beginning to flow again.  Gigs are scheduled for Unclaimed Freight and Too Klez for Comfort already, and I hope to schedule a performance of my own work soon. I will be sessioning with a brand new group of musicians at the end of August to see where we can go.  If good recordings result I will be sure to cue you in.

My latest and greatest music can always be found at Reverbnation, a site that offers promotion services for musicians and composers like me 🙂  I have a few tunes there for your listening pleasure.

In the Hardware Genius sector I published an article about electric strikes and another one about how to become an online hardware dealer.

That about sums up my creative activity for now.  Hope you all are having as much fun as I am.

The Conspiring Universe

winter_fruit_treesRecently it has been a time when the swirling influences have gelled in marvelous kaleidoscopic momentary formations.   At other times it has seemed as if I were wearing a trench in the Earth with the sameness of my days, and while there remains an element of that, doors have opened and I have opportunities to pass through them into new and exciting spaces.  So it has passed that my companions, Desire and Despair, have at times been at odds, but as through time I have come to know them well I can greet each with equanimity and detachment for the most part; and being aware of those times that I succumb, I can afford to be amused at my inner stories rather than tortured by them.  As I have said before, I am a very lucky man.

From the vantage of detachment I can look upon the boiling pot of influences and be grateful for all of its patterns – both those I would have chosen for myself and those that I would not.  I can see, also, both the effects of my careful stirring of the pot and of my leaving it be.   I have found (and am advised) that leaving it be is usually best.

So it seems that in my immediate future I will record my own music with fine musicians and have multiple opportunities to play R & B, Klezmer and jazz; in my intermediate future I will perhaps have an opportunity to perform my music in public, and I will be traveling to a distant land with my lovely wife;  and in my later future I have no doubt that many delightful surprises await.  There is some other stuff going on, but I think I have touched on the highlights.  Now we’ll see how it all unfolds.

At Eye On Life the Poetry Contest is off to a slow start with only two poets so far competing for the over $150 in prizes.  If this keeps up one of them will have to win two of the prizes.  That won’t do.  Be sure to enter right away so you don’t have to worry about the March 31 deadline.   At The Poetry Locksmith, Donal Mahoney has continued to bless us with his prolific work and Samuel Vargo has returned with more of his eclectic and thought-provoking verse.

I wrote a couple of articles for newbies to door hardware – “Door Handing for Hardware Dummies” and “How to Order Hardware for Small Commercial Projects” – and a poem.  Also I am working on a how-to article about what to do when your lock explodes, video included.  It should be fun.  I did the video already.   I’ll let you know when it’s up 😉

Turnings

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

stonewall7Practicing detachment, life’s changes become positive points of interest rather than negative points of stress.  One can observe with innocence and wonder as changes manifest, as if watching a living thing grow and change in time-lapse photography; or one can watch with horror as the people and things one is attached to transform themselves into other people and things before our very eyes.  It is a choice, though a difficult one, to decide to let go of what and whom we love, although as we contemplate life we see it is really not a choice between clinging and letting go, because everything and everyone changes whether we cling to them or not.

Current changes for me – besides the usual changes of aging and time – are a much bigger work load at my day job and the ebb and flow of the tides of playing music.  Our band, Unclaimed Freight, that plays popular music is busy now whereas the Klezjam Jazz Project and Klezjam, the Klezmer band are both temporarily shelved.   This gives me a chance to play tastier licks to Amy Winehouse and B.B. King covers instead of my original stuff and pieces like Miami Beach Rhumba and I Can’t Get Started.  Interesting.  I played a pretty good solo the other night.  I’ll see if I can get permission to share it with you.

In poetry, Erren Geraud Kelly is back at Eye On Life this week as the annual Eye On Life Poetry Contest 2013 closes competition on January 31.  Winners will be announced in February.