Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

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.



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.

Fancy Hat

November 4, 2015 Leave a comment


Continuing in the vein of making music with my betters, I will be sitting in with the Tracy Clark Trio at Brothers Restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts tomorrow night (Thursday, November 5, 7 PM to 9 PM).  I am playing two pieces with them and the rest of the time carousing with friends.  Bound to be fun.  I’ll have to wait and see if I make it into work on time the next day.  I’ll certainly try.

fedoraComing up Sunday will be the next rehearsal for my upcoming studio date.  I will be producing a recording and I will call it “Fancy Hat” after one of the pieces.  I am sure no one will be surprised at the eclectic nature of the material.  🙂

At work things continue to change.  I am in the midst of an interesting transition there, and see other changes happening on the edges of my circles as well.  I am doing more training and less data entry – a challenging and welcome development.  At the same time I see the forces of inertia rising to conflict with the change.  All very interesting.

Change is exciting (if not a little scary).  As usual, the I Ching counsels admirable traits like equanimity, acceptance, balance, patience, reticence – well you get the idea.  It comes from the land of “Good luck, bad luck:  who knows?”

I’ll keep you posted.

Bubbles and Streamers

July 9, 2014 1 comment

PINNashoba004Motion is a lovely illusion, full of nuance and visual stimuli.  The orderly-seeming motion of water and the mysterious effects of moving air are certainly fascinating phenomena.  Motion only exists because of relative position.   The motion of an object can only measured by its changing relationship to some other object.   It must be traveling either away from or toward some other thing.  Both objects are either in the process of coming to be or ceasing to be.   The path of the moving object is always a curve because both the objects and their relative motion have separate relationships with the energy and motion of the expanding universe.

In the midst of all these unpredictable eddies and currents I write to you unsure of everything, including my own existence – or perhaps yours, or both.   One might ask, why?  But why might one ask?

During the month of June, The Poetry Locksmith feature at Eye On Life was blessed with a good crop of poetry submissions.   We posted poetry from perennial contributor Donal Mahoney, new poets J.K. Durick, Frank C. Praeger, Cynthia Vantresca, Maria Picone and others, and returning poets Michael Estabrook and Diane Webster.   Please stop by and read their fine work.  You can read some of my work there, too.

Things have quieted down musically, as they usually do in the summer when many of the musicians I play with are away.  I will also be away for a couple of weeks and away from my instrument as well, so when I return I can look forward to getting my chops back.  I did manage to get the last piece from our recording session up at Soundcloud if you would like to hear it.

I have been working on some new music and will keep you posted as to my progress.

I wrote a couple more articles about door hardware, too, if that is one of your vices 😉

Thanks once again for stopping by.

Conscious of the Illusion (and other stuff, too)

south_stationFirst of all, please stop by and check out the winners of the last ever Eye On Life Poetry Contest.   There is some good stuff there.  Now on to “the illusion.”

The biggest shell game is time.   Einstein scratched the surface of the complexities of time, including its elasticity.   Planck gave us a clue about universal connective energy.  Yet if you visualize the immense busyness of our galaxy with its ubiquitous time-bending phenomena and dizzying eddies of matter and energy, realizing that it is just a small part of the universe as we know it, the idea of time as an absolute begins to seem absurd.

Given this inherent absurdity the effects of time become suspect; yet locked into our inexorable march from cradle to grave and subjected to rhythmically alternating light and darkness (day and night) we tend to passively watch as things (including people, i.e. us) wear, sag and age.  Flash a light in your face every five seconds for a couple of years and you’ll go crazy.  That’s why we all are.   Crazy, that is.

Speaking of crazy, I took my music into the studio with some friends and recorded four tunes.  You can hear them at my Soundcloud page.  They came out pretty well, I think.  I think “Crazy As Me” came out the best.   Also at Soundcloud are “More Salsa Please” and “No I Don’t Miss You.”

I have spoken with the band leader of Unclaimed Freight and we have agreed in principal to book a gig at The Lilypad in Cambridge next fall.  The idea is that I’ll do two sets and then they (and me) will do two sets.   I’ll keep you posted on all that.   I am writing new music for the occasion to play with my “old stuff”.  Ha.

Too Klez for Comfort will be performing at St. Peter’s Church at 838 Mass Ave, Central  Sq in Cambridge on May 27th, 7 PM.   Yesterday we performed at a private party at Biogen in Kendall Square, Cambridge.  All in all, the Cambridge thing is working out.

Unclaimed Freight will be performing at the second annual Techjam in Boston on June 12 at Boston City Hall Plaza.  Don’t worry, I’ll mention it again.

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 😉

Waiting Is

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

wet_snow_treeA little quote from the Stranger.  I can relate.  This is indeed a strange land.

I trust in the Creative.  Forces are converging and I am instructed to observe and accept, and to tread lightly with compassion, equanimity, grace and modesty.  So I quietly invite success.

My cloud of sound may sport new tracks soon.  Actually I have at least one new track on there now called “Rescue.”  That piece is part of a sonata that I hope to perform someday.  I’ll try to get the entire sonata up on online sometime.

I have an opportunity coming up to record a few of my pieces with some very good players that I am bringing together for the purpose.  I have played with all of them in different venues and capacities, but some of them have never played together.  I am eager to see the result.   I expect my work will be transformed to some extent and I am looking forward to how their influences unfold the music.

Although I have been concentrating on my music I have also been writing a bit.  I wrote a piece for facilities and property managers about how to order door hardware for small commercial projects if you know absolutely nothing about door hardware, and otherwise I have been bouncing ideas around.  It seems I have so little time now to write at the moment, but as this existence is structured, as they say, ‘this, too, shall pass.’

Over at Eye On Life, Donal Mahoney’s prolific streak continues with only minor breaks.  Recently we had a lovely bouquet of haiku from Diane Webster and more eclectic work from Erren Geraud Kelly.   So stop by and make time to enjoy the poetry for a few minutes.  It can only do you good.

Also the Eye On Life Annual Poetry Contest is open for submissions through March, 2014.