Jul 27, 2010

Hurt Tutorial

Take one hurt,
not bigger than a daisy.
Let it flatten between 
encyclopedia pages and
study irrelevant diseases
for seven years.
Cautious not to squash 
any quivering grudges,
glue pretty feathers
around your precious.
Secure the creation onto
your chest with the fear of 
cancer and ghosts of turtles.
Wistfully and alone dance in
the chance of rain.

Art by Kaisu

I Saw a Rainbow Boy!

Be who you are and say what you feel 
because those who mind don’t matter 
and those who matter don’t mind. 
- Dr Seuss

Camden, NJ - Mayhem Festival

Jul 20, 2010

Earth Now

Fog hangs heavy
and smells like 
of a fairy
as she sees
her earth now
teardrops have 
All curled up 
in the corner
of my heart
sadness sits
to a possibility.
my tangled
can’t we just
sneeze out
all greed
and live like
human beings? 

My little sisters in action: photo by Minna, model Kaisu.

Jul 16, 2010

Deeper Understanding of Ahimsa, part 2

(Continuation from my previous post)
The deeper understanding of ahimsa is based on the higher realization of one’s identity. If you realize that you’re not your body but a conscious, eternal being, you see all other beings as such as well. You will also see those who do not have this realization and you will know that they are pretty much puppets in the hands of karma and the three modes of nature (Bhagavad-gita explains the modes of nature; goodness, passion and ignorance, in the 14th chapter). You will know that they will have to be born again and again in who knows what type of bodies (cats, dogs, cockroaches, amebas, trees, etc.) and experience old-age, disease, death and what’s even worse, puberty, over and over again.
Such a realized person will express his compassion by teaching others about their original, non-material nature and connection with the Supreme. These acts of sharing spiritual wisdom then constitute real non-violence because, instead of focusing on protecting the needs of someone’s body and calling that non-violence, these acts actually help the atma, the individual inside the body. And the help that reaches the atma will not be lost at death, unlike material acts of charity toward the temporary body.

On the flip side, if someone has higher knowledge but does not attempt to share it, that is then considered violence. You are prolonging the suffering of others’ atmas by not trying to aid in stopping their cycle of birth and death, when you can.
Alright, I think I have poked around in my brain enough for now. Back to reading the Bhagavad-gita - I’m far from finished.
(Coincidentally, the neighboring van I mentioned in the beginning of this series belongs to a band called Far From Finished, here’s their charming mannequin.)
Come to think of it, aren’t all our bodies like mannequins, made of dead matter, alive as long as the atma inhibits them?

Jul 15, 2010

Ways to Understand Ahimsa, or Non-Violence, part 1

Currently on the Vans Warped Tour, I’m sitting in the shade and reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, which offers quite a contrast to the intense, apocalyptic punk and metal blasting from at least four different stages. My reading is occasionally distracted by female screams and sighs from a shaking van parked nearby in which, I suspect, a musician is, ahem, rendezvousing with another. Or a fan. Or, whatever, but the contrast is great. 
I’m reading the second chapter which talks about the consciousness or soul as the ultimate identity of all beings. The material body is only a covering and it changes all the time, most drastically at death, when the atma/soul receives another body, corresponding to whichever type of consciousness it has developed during its lifetime.
Arjuna is the warrior of the Bhagavad-gita who decides not to fight, seeing friends and relatives on both sides of the armies. Krishna, as Arjuna’s friend and chariot-driver, tells him that as a warrior, he cannot run away from his duty. Arjuna suggests that maybe he should just disappear to the forest and become a wandering ascetic. Krishna says that it’s not possible. Arjuna’s nature is to be a warrior, or ksatriya, and even if he went to the forest, he would fight there. 
So. Ahimsa or non-violence is one of the very, very basic principles of yoga. I’m now talking about the yoga lifestyle, lifestyle of connecting with the Divine, which yoga literally means - I’m not talking about the popular Indian gymnastics going by the name yoga. ;) Ahimsa, as Buddha taught it, means practically to refrain from killing people and animals. Obviously, this includes eating animals. Animals have a much more developed consciousness than plants and so killing them for food, when there really is no necessity at all, is serious business karmically. 
This is one layer of understanding ahimsa - refraining from hurting and killing other beings, or from supporting people and companies that do.
A bit deeper understanding of ahimsa is what struck me right now as I was reading the purport to the mantra 2.3 in which Srila Prabhupada calls Arjuna’s seemingly compassionate refusal to fight “so-called non-violence”. More about that later, I will leave you in suspense for now, see you in a day or too!

Jul 12, 2010

Do You Have a Camera? A Tip on How to Live in the Moment

We got into talking about cameras, and our friend Mathura had a good point. He used to be a photographer but gave that up in pursuit of organic farming and self-sustainable living (I wrote a bit more about that in a previous post). We agreed how nuts it is that nowadays everybody, including myself, is almost like obsessed with taking photos or video of anything even a little bit extraordinary. 
He said, “You’re not living in the moment when you take that photo - you’re thinking that you’ll enjoy that particular moment in the future. Then in the future when you’re looking at those pictures, you’re living in the past, thinking about that time you were there. So in either case you’re not living in the moment. For God’s sake, live in the moment!”
(Here is a perfect example. We happened to be in Washington DC on July 4th, when they had huge fireworks on the National Mall, polluting the air for miles. I watched some of it, and of course, took a bunch of videos and photos, with which, I doubt, I'll ever do anything at all.)

If you think about it, satisfaction can only be experienced in the present. As soon as you think “Oh, I’m having a good time” - it’s gone, because the time you announced having as “good” has now moved to the past and now you’re having some other type of time. More precisely, you’re now having a time of reminiscing how good your time was half a second ago, and, in reality, you have lost the satisfaction you then had because you’re now lamenting for something you used to have in the past.
I feel tempted to dive into a spiral of more and more examples, details and elaboration on the subject but will resist - this is enough food for thought for me for the time being. Heehee.

Jul 8, 2010

"Jedi Side" Hair Do and Crying at the Roots

At Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival this year I talked with a woman who makes amazing, intentional clothing by the name 4D. These two pictures are from Buddhaful.com. I wish I could have found some pics of her hoodies - those are what I fell in love with.


Not only was I inspired by her wares, but man, was I inspired by her hair do! I added a few elements to it, namely the braided bun (hers was without braiding). Here’s the concoction:

I just love how it keeps all the hair off my face, and feels sturdy and unfrizzly all day long. It kind of makes me feel like a Yogi Ninja Warrior of some sort. Here’s how to do this. You need at least four hair bands, I use six. I know that some of you my friends have dreadlocks - unless they’re super thick, you should be able to do this also, and will probably look stunning! :)
  1. Make the top part of your hair into a ponytail, leaving lesser amount of hair loose underneath (for making the side braid later).
  2. Braid the pony tail, use a hair band to ensure the braid won’t start unraveling.
  3. Twirl the braid around the base of the ponytail, completely, and tuck the end of the braid inside the bun. Secure the bun by placing a bigger hair band around it. I use two bands here to make it nice and tight.
  4. Braid the remaining lower hair into a braid, to one side. And off you go, Soul Soldier!

Here it is from the front. I inserted a little blue thingy in there today. We are in Kentucky right now, middle of America basically, getting ready for a big music festival next weekend called Forecastle. 

Here's an adorable little poem that I fell in love with yesterday, by Lizzie Derksen. She is very innovative and sells her poetry zines on Etsy in her Pygmalion Press shop!


Every species is different 
and holds itself beautifully.
Under the trees
one night I
copied their stances.
But then I folded
and cried at the roots.