Accuracy and Precision

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am interested in the principles of Shambhala Art. This blog begins to clarify my understanding of these teachings, specifically on the point of directness. I hope this writing will be of some benefit to others also investigating these principles.

Page one of True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art describes dharma art as art that springs from

“…an attitude of directness and unself-conciousness in one’s creative work.”

I readily understand what is meant by “attitude”. My attitude refers to my thoughts; my thoughts establish my attitude toward experience and activity.

The term “directness” is not immediately clear to me except as a tautology. But I reread the section on Great Eastern Sun and can understand directness to be the Eastern direction or “the place you see when you can open your eyes and look fearlessly ahead of you.”

I understand directness to be characterized as precise, as concerned with what is pertinent, and as not entertaining extraneous thoughts. Directness also implies accuracy, being able to […]

NYC: Imagine

Yesterday afternoon I arrived in New York. The plane ride was nice and quick. I had a chance to listen to a couple of dharma talks by Gil Fronsdal on loving kindness ? or metta. I’ve practiced metta mediation a few times before, but as I step into the world of New York public education I’m going to make metta part of my regular meditation practice.

I was welcomed by my dear friend Isha and will be staying at her place for a week or so. She gave me a hug, helped me with my bags, and offered me juice. We talked a while, then she said she wanted to take me somewhere special.

After a short walk through Spanish Harlem and a ride on the 2-train, we met her brother Sanjog near Central Park. She took both of […]

Blue Beetle: Antiwar Comic

A couple of years ago I read an essay about the contradictions of antiwar literature. The essay was written by Kenneth Burke in response to a 1930’s publication of an antiwar photography book titled The First World War: A Photographic History. Burke’s essay was titled War, Response, and Contradiction and clarified many of the pitfalls of using shock ? art as antiwar.

The pitfalls of antwar art have many modern examples. Naive artist may in fact be spreading pro-war propaganda disguised as antiwar art.

But John Rodgers, writer of DC Comics’ Blue Beetle manages to invoke the contradictions and pitfalls, while writing in the superhero genre, and come up with a story that sings its antiwar message loud and proud.

The main characters in this issue of […]

Silver Surfer: Antiwar Comic Book

The Silver Surfer has a long reputation as the bleeding heart ? hero of Marvel Comics. I haven’t yet seen the new Fantastic Four movie, which features Silver Surfer, but I hope they keep his tender/compassionate nature.

Just in time for the new movie, Marvel Comics is publishing a 4-part comic series: Silver Surfer Requiem, written by J. Michael Straczynski. This month the 3rd part of the series was published and it was tale of antiwar.

Spoilers Warning

The basic premise of the miniseries is that Silver Surfer has a terminal illness. The first two issues he is on planet Earth saying good-bye to his adopted home and friends. In the third issue, Silver Surfer begins his journey to his home planet, Zenn-La. But on the way […]

Antiwar Text: The Martyr’s Mirror or The Bloody Theatre

I found an interesting lecture by Julia Kasdorf that she gave at Penn State last April on The Martyrs Mirror, an explicitly anti-war text in the Mennonite tradition.

Mirror of the Martyrs: The Martyr’s Mirror (Thieleman J. van Braght, 1660) and its American Legacy

Author: Julia Kasdorf

Fri, Apr 13, 2007

Download File – 57.4 MB

Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)

July 23rd, 2007 | Tags: , , | Category: Ahimsa | Comments are closed

Hogg by Samuel R. Delany

Before taking a creative writing workshop with Sam Delany last summer I read only one of his books, Nova, a science fiction novel first published in 1968. While Nova was an excellent book, with action, drama, and social commentary found in the best sci-fi, I found out later that his most acclaimed science fiction works are Dhalgren and Trouble on Triton. And much of his best writing isn’t science fiction at all.

This summer I decided to read Hogg, a novel that took over thirty years to get published.

This has to be one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. I can understand why it was so difficult to get published. Even Olympia Press refused to publish this book because of its sexual content.

I […]

Hanging with the D.L.

Yesterday I went to see H.H. Dalai Lama in Denver. This is the second time I’ve seen him. The first was at Central Park in NYC.

The place was packed. Leaving Boulder we caught all the traffic. I joked with Doris, What if all these people are going to see the Dalai Lama, too? ? And guess what? They were!

The vibe was different than NYC, maybe provincial is the word I’m looking for. Most people were wearing their Sunday best and it had a very churchy feel to it. When I say churchy what I mean is that sort of bourgeoisie way many Americans divide themselves along racial and class lines every Sunday.

But what the man had to say was cool. He was very funny. […]

Florida 2000 & Ohio 2004

Yesterday in class David Henderson asked us about how we responded to the elections in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. Around the table we all gave similar answers: We turned off our televisions. ? There are four students in the workshop and each of us walked away from media following the 2000 elections. A couple of people had made their way back, only to be heart broken again in 2004.

But I’m still adamantly opposed to media news. I don’t watch TV. I don’t read the paper or news on the internet. About the only way I stay informed about news ? is face to face, personal communication.

David asked us to write about our respones to Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. The first part I wrote a short essay, like a personal statement. For the second part I […]

Human Kindness & 1st Draft of Novella DONE!

I spent yesterday with this man: Bo Lozoff at a workshop for volunteering in prisons. I would like to do some service work with prisoners in the Fall.

Last Friday I wrote the ending of my story. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen until I was writing it, but as I put it down I knew that there was no other way it could have ended. It felt good.

I have 135 pages (about 35,000) words. Looking around on the internet it seems that is not quite a novel. Most places I’ve checked put a novel at 70,000 to 100,000 words. One place had a lower limit of 50,000 words. But by most standards what I have is a novella.

Who publishes novellas? One […]

Enlightened Society

This weekend I am going to a Shambhala Training, level one: The Art of Being Human. This is a one credit course through Naropa. For the past couple of months I’ve been reading Sacred Path of the Warrior.

I’ve been interested in this training since I went to a talk at the Lexington Shambhala Center. At the talk in Kentucky, Lance Brunner described Shambhala training as a secular practice that could be combined with any (or no) religious practice.

I have seen the power of religion. In some very real ways my brother’s life was saved by his finding religion. I remember when he went to the hospital and the doctors told him if he didn’t stop drinking he would not live to be 25. He is now very involved in his church, community, and family in practical ways […]