More No Zafu

I have been working on a piece for some time named, by coincidence, No Zafu.

The drums are taken from an Alan Evans solo from the song, Thor, on Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 1 by the Alan Evans Trio. I broke it into sections and assembled a piece around them. I may still do some minor tweaking, but on the whole, I think it’s “done.” If you think the best thing about it is the drums, I will agree with you 100%.

No Zafu

I was standing in the bus on my way to work and was about to take out my headphones and “plug in” when I decided to meditate instead. You don’t need a zafu, or to sit with your hands a certain way to meditate. All you need to do is to be aware.

Blessings

An expression of compassion involves blessing all things.

Last week, on the train, I saw a religious Jew, probably Modern Orthodox. And I thought, “Yeah man, heavy trip, following the myriads of Jewish laws.” And I felt a fellowship, having lived that way myself. And it evoked compassion in me. I “saw” the other person and immediately wanted to bless him. “Hey, fellow Jew, who does his best to follow all those stress-producing laws. I hope that you will have a day of peace and no stress.”

The right to bless comes not from oneself, but from one’s Self.

How can one not be compassionate when one realizes that ayn ohd bilvado.

Ein Ohd Milvadoh

The following thought occurred to me the other day:

Monotheism is the realization of the Interconnection of all things.

I guess by monotheism I don’t mean just the three Abrahamic religions, but also to include Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions – maybe even the beliefs of some who call themselves atheists.

I chose the word “realization” carefully. Not just the thinking in your head of the Interconnection of all things, but making it real in all ways at all times. In fact this realization is constantly manifested at all times whether we seem to be aware of it or not. In other words, as it says in the Torah:

Ayn ohd milvadoh

In Hebrew, “There is none other than Him.” (Or, as I prefer, “There is none other than the Alone.”)

That is how unseparate creation is from the Divine Self.

Video-games, Children, and Violence

There has been a long debate over whether or not video-games cause violence in children.  Here’s my take.

The other day my four-year-old son came up to me and explained to me that “the evil sharks eat all the skin, and then the blood comes out, and then the bones fall down and break into pieces.”  I asked him where he got this information.  He replied that he learned it from his older brother and “Animal Crossing.”

Animal Crossing is one of the most innocuous games imaginable for the Wii.  Apparently at some point in the game you can capture a shark and add it to your aquarium.  It is a very non-threatening looking Hammerhead.  But apparently my ten-year-old son was not content with this, and felt it necessary to embellish a bit when explaining what a shark is to his younger sibling.

My conclusion:  Video-games do not cause violence in children; rather, children cause violence in video-games.