From Zen to Death and Back

From Zen to Death and Back

Leonard Cohen died with his
Mia culpa hanging on a breath of life not
wanting to be extinguished.

Some want it darker is about as dark as it gets while still sustaining a melody, a small rhythm gnawing from the inside to make its way out into the light for one final view, one final airing. I admire his boldness of Character. A brilliant study on Human Darkness composed of life and sung as a troubadour nearly across the entire globe. He has a message that resonates to the wonderfully misfit, the magnificently imperfect humans who manage to find each other in this every expanding chaos of mind and universe.

What a gift of himself he gave to we wandering souls that catch-up here and there, staying  6 feet behind and following an echo from the past.  It is a function of my generation.  We were brought up to feel appreciation because they knew it could be so much worst. It had been for them and for their parents as well.  Sandwiched in between two World Wars of brutal intent and consequence they wanted us to know we had it good.

IMG_2550-Edit 333.jpg

Here is a listening moment from his very beginning:  Suzanne

 

I can say that I grew up with him.  Canadian from Montreal, I had to love him for his heritage.  Then the liturgy of the Cadillac Church was so interwoven with the culture that he let it become the landscape from which he picked his brilliant metaphors and symbols.

I can say that I find him to be the joy of darkness, the portal to a complete zen acceptance that allows authenticities to be vulnerable appendages rather than the hanging chads of shame and secrecies.

 

Advertisements

Death is Our Last Chance to Get it Right

It has been a difficult few weeks.  Life can be such an acrobat performance, the way we have to squeeze, and roll, and jump and fall, all just at the right time.  Transitions, be they challenges from the physical, mental or the emotional arenas, have a way of throwing us into a regression and making us momentarily forget that in our heart-of-hearts we are relatively well-analyzed, good people.

The storms that pass over head and sometimes right through us cause us to reflect in a deeper and maybe even new way.  The fact that adjustment to conflict is the normal state of affairs take a while for us to understand.  In fact, we do not want to understand it.  We want to believe in a state of nirvana or seventy-seven virgins, or some form of utopian projection that has life portrayed as it was in the Garden of Eden.  We want there to be a God and minions of angels some assigned to us personally.  Our very own personal archangels.  Maybe, if he was 26 and young and smooth and vibrant and inquisitive and playful and he was as attracted to me as I was to him.  Maybe that kind of angel would help me trod along.  But the angels that I do not see have not helped me yet; or, if they have they have not let me know it was them.

Essentially, even if I am able to call on archangels, at some point I have to die alone, with nothing and no one but me, myself and I, facing the grim reaper, the eternal darkness that we dread even when we hate our lives. The facing of challenges at some level is a personal and painstakingly slow process by which we get to learn that we have no control.  We have no control over any of it.  We live in a universe that lives in a universe that is so vast that the smallest atom is still a large mystery.  And yet, this is not the problem.

This grim assessment above is not the problem, it is the solution.  If we do not understand the nature of life, and the chaotic, and the conflicting, and the concentric repetitions, we will fail at death.  And frankly, death is our last chance to get it right.

As human we share with other sentient life the fact that we are driven.  There is born into us an energy, a vitality with a mission, with an aim that drives us toward what we want.  Desire is the solution to the question of conflict or challenge.  We possess no greater tool than to employ our language toward the goal of getting what we want from life.  Desire is biology.  It is our biology of hope and it is our biology of faith and it is our biology of charity and compassion.  Through wanting we improve not only the quality of our lives (while we have them to use), but we improve the entirety of the globe and beyond.

Desire manifests as creative energy characterized by a sense of obligation to the self.  Artists have an obligation to create and we are each the architect and artist of our lives.  It is a direct contradiction to what we know about life and death.  On the one hand we have no control and on the other hand desire sets in motion all kinds of actions that cause conditions to either fall in or out of our favor.

1888680_10201653037997261_1906409878_n

“I want your sun

to reach my raindrops,

so your heat can raise my soul

upward like a cloud”

~ Rumi

Meditation on a Tree

trees & moss
Meditation on a Tree
I love these trees, I love the brillo-wy texture and the color, the
nearly life-less gray.  And it hangs in the wind through rain and
storms.  The moss is old. It has to have been there for a while for it
to have descended from the scrap of seed that landed on that tree,
on that spot in the tree, at that minute–and it took:  it grew and
grew downward nearly touching the ground.  Heading for earth
like smoke heads for the sky.
I like these trees.  They remind me of home.  They remind me that
when life sucks, you still grow; and you keep growing until one day
you just stop, stop growing and the decay sets in immediately.  The
return to dust, the next to final resting place before the eternal boom
of time reaches its super-sonic speed and the whole thing turns into
a mess, decays on the spot, and dispenses so quickly that there will
be nothing to notice that it no longer exist.  It is no longer there, and
you are no longer there–and every one’s ancestors will be gone.  And
there will be no one to notice.
The Universe will not end with a whimper, Mr. Eliot, it will end
with a bang that smother all bangs that have ever come before it.
It is the moment when space and time merge into a darkness, a void,
a vastness of eternal nothing.  No memoires will be left behind, saints
and sinners alike will burn, at first hot and lava like, but eventually
to the flickers of embers. “and who for us will intercede when even
saint’s shall comfort need.”