Category : zen shit

Uncategorized, zen shit
6

Zen Col Also Rises

greensunriseFolkies. This is a tale of hope. Or something like that. The return of Zen Col. Am I in the midst of crisis? Yes. Am I on the verge of the next big phase of my life but totes unsure which direction I’ll be headed in? Totes McGoats. But any which way I know I have everything I need and am right where I need to be. THAT, my fellow travelers, is Zen Col.

Last night after work I headed over to Yoga class. It was the first time I’ve been in ages. I’ve been running, yes. But not a significant amount. At all. And my body is just wasting away locked in an office building all day. I gave up my trainer months ago due to monetary constraints. And I am sans basic daily affection and attention. Yes, I still manage to dress it up good and look like a cutie pie. But my vitality-o-meter has been set on LOW… real low.

Last night, I reconnected in Yoga. I remembered why I did it and why I need to do it. It’s hard. It kinda sucks while you’re doing it at certain moments but at the end of it all, dang. It pays off. You realize that none of the stuff you obsess over all day really matters. You loosen up and become calm. You become patient. You become humble and grateful.

After class I headed back to my nabe, stopping off at STICK STONE BONE before heading to the apartment. I bought two new crystals: one for my Dad (Amethyst: Enhances spiritual awareness, mediation, balance, psychic abilities, inner peace, healing, positive transformation, and relieves stress. Brings understanding of death and rebirth. Unlocks spiritual, mystic, psychic wisdom. Very healing.) and one for me (Rose Quartz: Enhances all forms of love: platonic and romantic love, mother love, self love, and divine love. encourages tolerance and forgiveness. Opens our hearts and teaches us to be tender, peaceful, and gentle. Emanates unconditional love and helps us to attract love). Then I went home, packed myself up, packed up the Rufe, set Aretha up and headed on my merry way to Monroe. No traffic on Route 17 that time of night. We cruised.

I am working from my parents’ house on Fridays through the illness or at least until I can get a better handle on things. I was pleased to find that Dad is comfy and doing OK. He has started eating more than he had before our final hospital emergency trip. The realization that the end is nigh must have reawakened his appetite. He is still walking and still has a good grasp on what’s going on. Mostly it’s the short-term memory that’s going. He sleeps an amazing amount. He’s always been a nappy guy but now it’s like 70% of the time.

I get good thinking done when I am not trapped in the box. I love my colleagues, I love my workplace but the notion that your ass should be in the chair from 9-5 Monday through Friday is truly ancient. Fortunately, I am in a flexible place where my honchos understand that solid creative people who have proven themselves time and time again should be given latitude rather than treated like wards of the state.

With me here to man the fort, my Mom was able to do some errands and meet a friend for lunch. As noted, I got a lot of reading and very good thinking done. To reward myself at the end of the day, I looked into local Yoga classes. To my surprise there is a Yoga mecca less than one mile away from my parents’ house. All these years – how many times did I drive by without knowing or seeing? A very substantial place I might have traveled to anyway had it not been down the road from my parents. Sometimes you overlook great things, people or places that are right under your nose.

Turns out I attended the best Yoga class of my life. Better than the Yoga classes on the beach in Mexico? Yes. Because the teacher was hilarious! It was pure comedy start to finish. Now, it was a physically challenging class for sure. But the teacher was hell bent on making us ENJOY the work while we were doing it. He said that the Yoga field has taken itself too seriously and he aims to change it. His philosophy: if you are supposed to practice Yoga for the rest of your life, why not have some fun with it? His nickname for me was “Quiet Mystery Woman in the Corner” He repeatedly made lighthearted reference to what he called “my quietly intense presence,” and compared me to a Shaman, walking silently though the jungle, noticing all even as no one can see me. I laughed along with him and my classmates. He was doing all kinds of crazy voices and impersonations.

I came home after a nice long workout and dined with my parents. Then I took a long, hot bath, and here I am typing this with wet hair as the thunder bellows outside and Rufus chomps on a rawhide. Tomorrow I shall go on an early run downtown and head over to an acupuncture appointment. One of the cool things about spending all this time at my folks’ place is discovering the truly unique area. Nature abounds, as do natural treatments, stores and vibes. It’s very hippy dippy. SO not my parents’ steez … much more my steez. Yoga, dogs, unfettered space to think, breathe and dream = Zen Col  heaven.

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zen shit
0

Q.O.T.D.

We learn as much from sorrow as from joy, as much from illness as from health, from handicap as from advantage – and indeed perhaps more.
–Pearl S. Buck

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love, zen shit
0

currently accepting applications

llcoljfor the last 8 or so months… perhaps longer than that,  i’ve been preoccupied with the death of a close friend, my dad’s ongoing illness, work/economic worries, and other personal crises such as abruptly losing my home  and coming to terms with the painful end of a long-term relationship. a lot of heavy stuff in a really short period of time.

normal things that energize and challenge me… like routine exercise and dating … more or less fell to the wayside as i focused a large amount of my time on other matters like moving, helping out at home, and grieving.  all things considered i believe i’ve held it together pretty well. and now i am getting ready to crawl out of that dark cave i’ve been cocooning in. as part of that effort, i posted a profile online. it’s something i’ve done off and on over the years. never with a winning result, though i have gone on a lot of dates and met some nice people. mostly it’s good for shifting my mind into OPEN mode. like the white light on the top of the taxi saying, “yeah, i’m available.”

for YOUR consideration, here is what i posted in my profile … tell me what you think, please!

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zen shit
0

letting go

The trade-off for not feeling lonely and being close to others is that on occasion, some of those people, a small minority of them, will fail us. Some people that we think well of will let us down. And some times in a few very rare instances, that connection to that trusted person will be irreparable. This price is worth it though when we look around at all the people we have trusted and loved and can appreciate how full and rich our lives are as a result of those people.

And there is one additional bright side to betrayal as well: it opens the way for us to make room for others who will come into our lives some time down the road. I think of it as clearing out the cobwebs, getting my priorities back in line. We no longer need to invest in someone who disappointed us – we can just let them go.
And there’s always Joan Jett’s take:
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love, zen shit
0

giving thanks

heading out at 7 am manana to visit with bro kev & his GF tara in SF. will be there til sunday. hooray! i need a getaway from the ugly. except from y’all, who R all so purty. love and blessings to all!

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zen shit
0

keep calm and carry on

i’m with gem — i am turning off the news today. only gonna listen to music, watch fun stuff and talk with people i love. we can’t control what’s going on …. we can only control our own attitudes. i for one don’t want to add to the negativity, cynicism and fear that is being magnified in the media.

As a matter of perspective, here’s a poster that the British government commissioned during world war two to soothe rattled public sensibilities:

It was feared that in the early months of the war Britain would be subjected to gas attacks, heavy bombing raids and even invasion. The posters were intended to offer the public reassurance in the dark days which lay ahead.

H/T to Christa.

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love, zen shit
0

qotd

“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.  Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.”

– Ram Dass

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zen shit
0

the seven storey mountain

the last couple of times i saw john and had good one-on-one time with him we were engaged in spiritual discussions. not talking about religion (he was a devout catholic and i am not), but spirituality — why we’re here, what it’s all about sort of chats. it was a treat to have someone to talk about these things with — i could go out on a limb with loose, airy words and ideas and he knew what i meant and shared my questions and concerns. he didn’t peg me as some hippy dippy new ageist or a remote intellectual. it wasn’t politics, philosophy or religion that we talked about … it was hard to put a label on it and we never did.

we started sharing book recommendations and the last time i saw him, he gave me a copy of thomas merton’s the seven storey mountain. i opened it a few times and tried to get into it but it is so thick and intimidating, and i am not a huge fan of roman catholicism or organized religion in general so i was admittedly skeptical. now i am definitely going to rededicate myself to the task of reading it, and see what it’s all about. i knew the name thomas merton because they have a whole section on him in one of my favorite bookstores where most of the literature is buddhism-based. in reading about thomas merton today i came across this interesting bit of info:

  • merton was a keen proponent of inter-religious understanding, engaging in spiritual dialogues with the dalai lama, thich nhat hanh and d. t. suzuki.

the last time we had dinner, the night he gave me the book, we got into a chat about the future. we had both been through college, grad school and early manhattan career life together and had both come to similar states of disillusionment.  knowing you can be as accomplished and successful as you want, as rich as you want … but for what? we tended to dwell on “what it is we are meant to do.” he was very clear on the fact that he had found his love and purpose in sara and the kids, and that one day when the kids got old enough they hoped to build a school in latin america, or something along those lines. his only motivation was to live up to his potential and to leave the world better than he had found it. it wasn’t for the glory. he hated to receive praise and recognition. it can seem intimidating to know a person like this … his goodness a reminder of one’s own faults. but john did not show off and he did not judge. he had all kinds of friends from all walks of life and he loved them all as individuals, for who they were —  he didn’t judge anyone. john was genuinely interested just in knowing them and being a good friend to them.

john asked me if i was serious about writing, whether i wanted to be writing books and movies and stuff like that, and if not that then what? i said i didn’t know … that part of me is attracted to it but i that i felt like i lost my ambition and didn’t want to do shallow work. but then i admitted that i was/am afraid of failing. i remember so clearly him saying that i should just go for it, that i had nothing to lose and what is failure anyway? i said i didn’t know what it was i wanted to go for. that was the problem and he said he could relate. i care about art and creativity and new ideas and just want to be able to discover, express, live, make stuff and have fun.  i know there’s a way for me to do that, i know i can and will do that. in the interim … how best to pass the time? we talked about the difficulty of having patience, of how hard it is to let go and let things develop when we’re so used to having direct, ambitious goals and going after them.

now that he died I don’t think the conversation is over. i think it will go on and on and while i am bummed not to have him here to hash it out in person, i know he will always be a part of me … deep in my heart and spirit and those dark corners where only the very best of friends come to visit and stay.

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media, movies, zen shit
0

season premiere

phyll and i saw burn after reading. it wasn’t great. good, but not great. notably, the studio is doing tons of marketing this time, fresh off the academy award for no country. this is not one of the cohen brother’s best. though frances mc dormand is still my hero. and it is funny to see george clooney as a cheesy lothario who wears a gold chain. but you can wait for netflix or cable. for sure. snl wasn’t so good either. breaks my heart. the cast is so talented. granted, phelps was a wet fish −didn’t give them much to work with in the hosting department but the writing was still quite weak. they can pull together and have a good season … just need to get their flow back.

other notable weekend things: in the theme of “being good to myself in a very tough time” i got a facial and had my apartment professionally cleaned. diva. i also slept 15 hours both days, thanks to some pharmacological aids. shwoo, am beginning to feel like a normal person again. ate and drank with pals, went on a 3 hour bike ride in the blistering heat, went shopping and bought some new fall shit. it’s a new season, bitches, and i am ready to go!

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media, zen shit
0

the universe is made of stories, not atoms

get ready for a cryptic zen col on overdrive post.

i totes agree with this … lots of it anyway. it also explains why i dropped out of “journalism,” rarely pay attention to the media while living in constant study and fascination of it. and why i choose art and living.

How did it come to be that what we call the news is reported solely by journalists? There are so many other kinds of events besides the narrow band favored by that highly specialized brand of storytellers. Indeed, there are many phenomena that can literally not even be perceived by journalists. Their training, their temperament, and their ambitions make vast areas of human experience invisible to them.

“Ninety-six percent of the cosmos puzzles astronomers.” I loved reading that headline on the CNN website. It showed that at least some of our culture’s equivalents of high priests, the scientists, are humble enough to acknowledge that the universe is made mostly of stuff they can’t even detect, let alone study.

If only the journalists were equally modest. Since they’re not, we’ll say it: The majority of everything that happens on this planet is invisible to them.

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