Blog entry

dance

song of the day: carey / joni mitchell
word of the day: ouch / an expression uttered in a moment of physical, psychological, or spiritual pain

friends, it's been a few days since i've blogged and that's because my attention has been called to other quarters. every blessed minute of it. i have missed you, how are you? oh, don't look that way. come close, come near to me. let me hold that sweet face in my hands... you know i love you. look at me. you know i LOVE you, i wouldn't leave you. daddy had to square some corners, daddy had to plug some holes. you were scared, weren't you? you were scared that something had happened to your pimp daddy, and he wouldn't come back with your junk, huh? you thought the H Train was over, didn't you? you dyin' for it baby? you need some? you gonna beg daddy to stab you with his magic needle? you need a fix pretty bad, hmm?. hmm? HEY! slow down now, you're gonna get your junk. but first, daddy wants his benjamins. where is it? give me the money. don't you lie to me you skank ass ho, get off the mattress, first i'm gonna cut that shyt open, if it ain't in there... wha? huh? you got the money? alright... now that's what i'm talking about. one hundred, two hundred, two fiddy.... aw-ite. roll up your sleeve. you're good. i'm gonna give you the Disney. other arm, that one's lookin' rank. fact, after we fix you, we oughtta get you to a doctor. fact, when we get you to the doctor we oughtta get you that abortion i been promisin' you...

at any rate, i'm BACK.

just what the heck have i really been doing? well, for starters, last thursday my good friend Vidyuddeva flew into Denver for our big Integral Buddhism extravaganza, which delivered. i welcomed Vid to town by having him rip out my bathroom, we gutted the sucker to zero. then built new walls and all that. more on that later. after a good day's work on the bathroom, Vid and I went to the Oxford Hotel in Denver and participated in a panel discussion on Integral Buddhism. the panel included Vidyuddeva, a scholarly gent named Patrick...uh, what is his last name? i am forgetting. Patrick is 21 going on 492. the dude is deep. Swami Sally Kempton was on the panel (transmitted by Muktananda), as was Diane Hamilton (transmitted by Genpo Roshi), Ken Wilber, John Koestler (Genpo's line again), Sam Bercholz, and me. i'm pretty sure i was the only one on the panel who was not officially ordained, transmitted, or recognized by some line or tradition. loose canon.

the discussion ended up permanently veering into the lower left WE space issues withing a community, particularly the student / teacher dynamic. it became quite lively, lots of discussion of abuses, inpropriety, and indescretion from teachers. Sam Bercholz spoke- quite passionately- on the student's need to be accountable, the danger of dilluting or changing traditions, with the emphasis on the Buddhhism and not so much the integral, that's my opinion, anyway. this surprised me quite a bit, cuz he's the dude who owns Shambhala, the publisher that's been the foremost promulgater of 'integral'. Sam went old school on our ass. in the thick of one of the hot spots, Sam and I were going back and forth, and he was saying teachers are PEOPLE and they make mistakes, and we must also beware because the spiritual world is packed with charlatans (agreed!), and i said no one has a problem with teachers making mistakes, we have a problem with teachers making mistakes or abusing people and pretending it's a method of enlightenment teaching- this constant reflex in teachers to 'trump' everything they do with "yeah, but it's TEACHING" is inflationary bullshit. and Sam was like 'those aren't real teachers' and i was like, 'well then, will you be my teacher?' and without skipping a bit Sam said "FUCK YOU". it was awesome! honestly, this is one of those areas where blogging about it ain't gonna do shit. it's all about the context and energy in that moment, and Sam telling me to fuck off was one of the high lights of my life. i will always cherish that moment, and we got it on video! i can't exactly explain why i loved it so much, but a big part of it was i was sitting right next to Sam, and i could totally read his energy in every way, and that statement was a playful, fun, spontaneous, un-self conscious dart that was the perfect response, especially because i was pretty much mocking him by asking. it was a blast!

after the integral buddhism panel, we headed over to the Adam's Mark Hotel, where me and my band (drummer Michael O'Neal, bassist Darren Roubuck) did a show. the highlight of that evening for me? Diane Hamilton and Sam Bercholz dancing right in front of the stage all night. it was perfect! Diane and Sam had been in a back and forth on the Integral Buddhism panel too, and i think there was a sense in the room that it was kind of a rift between some of us and Sam (there isn't), but at the show, seeing them dancing together it was so beautiful! i mean, it's literally a dance. watching them dance six feet in front of the stage all night i was just HIT by the beauty of this dance between lineages, between teachers, between students and teachers, between the past and the future of our traditions, and on and on. and the WAY they danced was amazing. free, uninhibited, joyful.

and the rest of the audience was every bit as radiant. all night, people were dancing, laughing, having a ball. things went positively Klezmer during Doppelganger, and several other songs. we started off with Savoring Samsara and made our way through a set of mostly upbeat tunes (Sexy Messiah, Rock Stars, Human Girl, Anasthesia Necrophilia, Rape Game, Dresden, Fall Awake, Smoke, etc). very, very fun show. a writer from What Is Enlightenment was there reviewing the show for a feature, we did and interview- adorable guy, best magazine out there. the short of it is- and i say this from my heart- it is an incredible privelege to play for this group of people and to be part of this emergent community. i'm blown away over and over again by my friends and acquaintances in this chamber of the Mystery.

after the show, i took a very tired Vidyuddeva back home, let him sleep for a few hours, then we were off again to get back to the Adams Mark for the next day's event. this time around Vidyuddeva and Swami Sally Kempton talked about practice, i moderated. they were brilliant, as Ken remarked afterward, they really are the very best of masculine and feminine vibe. their killer talk started off with Sally talking about Shakti Pat (a phenomenon where a Guru applies physical touch in order to summon or direct the flow of kundalini). her teacher, Muktananda, happens to have been one of THE bad ass Shakti sharpshooters of all time). as great as the trialogue was, it was enough just to sit with Vid and Sally. she buddha, he buddha. stu...dhukka.

Vid and retired back to the house after the talks on practice, and he finished up some mud work on the bathroom, while i prepared for the next day's work with the plumber. have i mentioned my house was built in 1885? it was.

when the plumber showed up and tried to adjust one of my piples (in order to install the pipes for the bathtub), the pipe just crumbled. that pipe was connected to another pipe, that when moved, crumbled as well. yes, you can guess where that led. all the piping was bad. a $150 plumbing job turned into a $3500 catastrophe. we had to rip up the entire fucking (CEMENT!) floor of the bathroom, rip out all the plumbing beneath that half of the house, re-cement it. when i pulled the toiled up, it freaking crumbled too. crumble, crumble. i felt like my house was built with wheat thins. everyone says it, but it's true: you buy an old house, prepare to be sodomized repeatedly by every kind of construction contractor that exists. plumbers LITERALLY charge more than the highest priced record producers in the music business. literally. no exaggeration. that bill was for ONE DAY of work.

fetal position, weeping.

two days later, it's been five days since we've had a toilet. i have shit in boxes, i have peed in the sink, i have not fucking showered in a week (not that i would have anyway, i just like options). my knees are seized, hands are cracked, but the whole while i know it ain't shit. the acharyas in Shambhala do over 100,000 prostrations. although i hear they're doing away with that cuz it's hard. anyway, i've done the equivalent of maybe a couple thousand prostrations. but have i also prostrated my heart? not always. i have been resentful, asleep, angry, distracted for many of those tiling prostrations. i have laid mortar with a hard heart. i have applied grout with martyr's mind. a billion people starving and living without shelter and i manage to find a way to feel sorry for myself. the human mind is a cluster fuck, isn't it? i gotta drop it. i've bought into the story again, hypnotized by drama. as long as i'm lost in the story, my character is useless. so right now i'm just going to notice what is and not call it good or bad. just see it. then, when i'm empty of the Story, i'm going to dance back into it, through it, like Diane Hamilton and Sam Bercholz. i don't have to figure stuff out. it's not my job to make sense of things. it's my job to surrender to love and express that love.

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