I decided to go to the Zen meditation on Sunday. I absolutely love meditation. I do have experience with meditation and in fact my boyfriend meditates daily. He actually just got back from a 10-day meditation retreat in Georgia called Southeast Vipassana Center. He had an amazing time and said he now has complete mind control! Meditation is really healing and can lead to only positive experiences. I think its good to just work on yourself and really get to know every cell in your body. I thought the experience was going to be like the retreat that Taylor (my boyfriend) went to – but I also thought it wouldn’t be as intense. Although I have practiced meditation I do know how hard it is. This time in particular my mind just kept on coming up with distractions that I couldn’t get off of. I think that is the hardest part about meditation and to become completely awareness is pure bliss. I wanted to wear clothes that covered up because that is another thing that can be distracting! Overall the experience was positive and I plan on doing the same Vipassana meditation retreat in the near future! I heard it would change my life! I want to get ride of the constant chatter in my mind – all it does is cause stress and negatively. I think I am half way there because I am conscious of it but I want it gone.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I decided to watch the peach orchard. I saw many ways in which Shinto can be related to this video. Seeing how the ancient Japanese did not divide matter and spirit was the most obvious to me. They believed matter and spirit to be inseparable. If everything is spiritual then there must be continuity between humanity, nature, and the spirit/gods. The boy was upset because the orchard got destroyed and his reaction was to cry. The gods then wanted to show him the peach orchard one last time before it was gone forever so they made that happen. Although they were picking on him at first I feel as if they knew exactly what they were doing and that it would be a better end result for the boy. The gods with painted faces were dancing like they were to get in contact with the Kami, which is no absolute monotheistic creator God. I think if people really understand Shinto there is lots of opportunities to find connections in the two.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I read this book in one day because I couldn’t put it down. I loved how it was such a simply and easy read that related to my childhood favorite show. Winnie the Pooh was my hero growing up so this book really put him in perspective for me. I love how Pooh is described in the book with little brains but he is the only one that is happy and successful. What I mean by this is that he doesn’t have time to think because he just does with intuition and it always works for him. He gets everything done and has no stress or worries in his life. The whole book was entertaining and enjoyable
I think the metaphor for America as a culture is right on. The busy Backsons really is how most people live their lives. I loved the line on page 94 saying, “all work and no play makes Backson a dull boy”. Besides the fact that it reminds me of the Shinning it’s a great way to put describe the lifestyle. Its so true how people think they have to always be doing something and always getting something done to be special or to be noticed or to matter. I also agree with the fact that if people do this to themselves and live this type of lifestyle and end up failing at it that they will be, as Benjamin Hoff says, “cursing the world, which is not to blame but which is there to help show the way”(99). And what Pooh had to respond to that was so adorable; he said those people end up burning their toast a lot. People make life too hard when they can be happy and fulfilled just by being. (Circumstances don’t matter only a state of being)
Taoism is how I live my life. Although just recently have I made that change and I have just now realized that it’s called Taoism. It’s the simplest secret to living your life and being happy. You can make situations turn positive and you can be happy every morning you wake up. I think it’s the BEST solution to the MANY problems American culture has. Just as the example in the book about the stonecutter that was dissatisfied with his life. He worked his way up to something and every time something better came along he wanted it. Nothing was good enough until he was a stone building that seemed to be the most powerful thing until he looked down and saw that a stonecutter was chiseling him as he felt himself changing. It’s an ironic story that can be applied to many Americans. This book was great and Taoism is my favorite religion I have learned so far in my life. It just seems to work.
Friday, March 4, 2011
2. This video is a perfect example of a stereotype. The man who made this video is Arj Barker who is an actor on the show Flight of the Conchords. He made this video about Buddhists and what they spend their time doing all day – the article I found on it said, “Arj Barker has got your heap of piping hot fashion Buddhist stereotyped on a platter”. In the video he is suppose to be portrayed as the sickest Buddhist in all his krunk and kombucha glory as the lines say in the song. This is not necessarily a bad stereotype but it’s definitely not accurate. In this song he talks about how all the ladies want to meditate with him and how his clothes smell like incense. Also he jokes about being krunked up on kombucha, which actually has fermented alcohol in it. But with lots of antioxidants it’s actually raw and extremely good for you. Unfortunately Lindsay Lohan got a DUI last year for drinking too much kombucha and it got taken off the she for a while. I think that may have been were the drunk kombucha stereotype came from. It really stinks were the media focuses so severely on famous people because half the time they are complete idiots.
3.Brad Warner talks about in chapter 5 if Buddhism really exists in the west. He goes on to say, “In the time I’d been away in Japan, though, Buddhism had become all the rage in America. But the stuff I’d been reading on the Internet and in magazines, and the things I’d been hearing from Americans who came to my Zen classes in Tokyo, had me wondering just what it was that they were calling ‘Buddhism’ back in my homeland”(26). He said that most of the time it really was unrelated to what he had been studying and practicing for the past two decades. The idea of drugs he says was a stereotype that Americans gotten from who knows where. The media also had a wrong depiction of the typical Buddhist, which can stray people from how they really are. It seems the stereotypes Brad talks about in this book are very similar to the ones made in the video. For example how the drug stereotype relates to the alcohol stereotype. Brad also talks about how some Buddhists are scams and is claiming to be Buddhist teachers but really aren’t. This is very interesting to me because the whole idea of being a Buddhist is to not have an ego and be help and teach the ways of Buddhism but if people are faking this and using it for the wrong reasons is really disturbing! I’m really enjoying Brads book and I can’t wait to read what else he had to say about his teachings and experiences.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
When finding these songs I decided to come at it from different angles. For the Worldly Success Songs all the songs I picked are about success, but not all of them in a positive light. The Video I picked was a Rolling Stones song about success being more of a negative thing as well as the Pavement song which talks about how success is never achieved. I wanted to use different perspectives on the topic because everyone has different perspectives of success. The other songs were mostly silly rap songs that I actually think are catchy but are pretty ridiculous. The Drake songs are about making money and just throwing it away. If I were a wealthy artist I really doubt I would want everyone to know I made all this money and what I'm going to do with it is just blow it all away because I can. It grosses me out that people are so egotistical that they have all this power but use it for there ego and to make other people want to be them. They have so much power and success already but all they are doing with it is blowing it away for nothing. I'm not passing judgement because their lifestyle seems fun its just crazy how the world works. For the Liberation songs I picked personal songs that are close to my heart. The video The Thermals returning to the fold is an amazing song about leaving his soul when he didn't know he needed it but realizes that he needs it to feel anything. Then it talks about how he needs God, "like a big brother". The main point of the song is that he still has faith in everything. This to me was a perfect example of a song about liberation. The other liberation songs reached out to me when I was surfing through my itunes library, and i thought they fit pretty well.