Category : zen shit

Uncategorized, zen shit

out of my mind!

notwithstanding a recent episode that put me out of commission for 1.5 days (oh the joys of womanhood), i am feeling good of late. spring has arrived, sort of. i am getting back into a physical routine which is so important for my mental state. i started by going back to my trainer once a week. then i began adding in more yoga. and now i’m back out on the road, running. slowly, for certain. regardless, it feels good.

for the most part, americans are raised to think of the brain, the mind as being of foremost value and the body as a coincidental framework we are obligated to experience the world within. we conceive of ourselves as a house divided — forced to choose between what’s natural and what’s pragmatic. we don’t sleep enough. we consumer food that is devoid of nutritional value. we spend way too much time indoors, hunched over computers. we let our racing-churning-never satisfied minds rule us. we are rarely satisfied or happy.

coming_to_our_senses_vcb2so says the central thesis of buddhism (i think?). i recently picked up a book i started years ago but couldn’t stick with then … am enjoying it the second time around. coming to our senses: healing ourselves and the world with mindfulness. it’s tying together a lot of other concepts i’ve been dwelling in the past few years. i read another book by the author, jon kabat-zinn, and really enjoyed it.

check out this lecture he gave at google to get a taste for what it’s all about. fascinating stuff … going beyond thinking.

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Uncategorized, zen shit

affirmation: saying no to moodiness

jekyll_hyde_bgWhen you grow up with a domineering, moody man dictating the tenor of your existence, you learn to put other people’s desires and impulses ahead of your own. You don’t act – you re-act. You don’t love – you try to be loveable. It took me many years of work – in therapy and on my own – to realize that I don’t have to internalize or react to other people’s moods. I am free to set my own course. If someone is showing erratic, inconsistent or moody behavior towards me, I don’t have to get caught up in it. I can let it roll past. When something (such as love, approval, affection, respect) is scarce or rare, it’s human nature to value it more highly. In a toxic environment or relationship, you’ll find yourself being pathetically grateful for rare scraps of good mood, kind behavior and proper professionalism that come your way. Once you step back at look at the situation, you can see that you deserve more — a lot more. No matter what, real approval/validation has to come from within, not from the outside. Once you get the hang of that, it becomes easier to go towards the things you really desire.

Here’s a good writeup on dealing with the moody type …

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zen shit

there’s no safety

The+Wisdom+of+insecurityWe are all familiar with the vicious cycle of worry. We know that worrying is futile, but we go on doing it because calling it futile does not stop it. We worry because we feel unsafe, and want to be safe. Yet it is perfectly useless to say that we should not want to be safe. Calling a desire a bad name does not get rid of it. What we have to discover is that there’s no safety, that seeking it is painful, and that when we imagine we have found it, we don’t like it. In other words, if we can really understand what we are looking for – that safety is isolation, and what we do to ourselves when we look for it – we shall see that we do not want it at all. No one has to tell you that you should hold your breath for ten minutes. You know you can’t do it, and the attempt is most uncomfortable.

The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts.

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zen shit

time tuesday

digital-clock“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”- Auguste Rodin

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

A few weeks ago I was trying to explain the concept of timeless TV to my Mom … how it will revolutionize society as we know it. We got into a very tripped out metaphysical conversation that took me back to my Aristotle class back grad school. I was unsuccessful in explaining myself then and don’t have the time (pun intended) to explore it at length right now but this is what’s taking up my mental bandwith. Am obsessing on the “ends” of various institutions that once shaped our conceptions of reality. And looking at how they are all morphing across horizontal planes. No more forward and backward. Everything out all around.

Oh boy, time for a nap.

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love, Uncategorized, zen shit

i’ve got a feeling

FALCON-HEENE-PUKEThis day has run the gamut. Smiles and tears. Funny stuff, sad stuff. Lots of memorable stuff. Started my day watching as Falcon, the balloon boy, barfed on the Today Show. Thank you Meredith Viera for suggesting the family take a minute to help the kid and get composed. I only wish I saw the Dad fart on Good Morning America. Later on at the office we all shared our opinions and laughed our asses off.

aha_momentAlso at work, I turned a corner on a story I’ve been working on. An aha moment. Don’t get those every day and when you do it’s satisfying. Nothing else feels as major as that aha. All the drivel and tireless processing pales in comparison.

And beyond the office, I heard stories of tragedy. Things happening to friends. Beginning of life, mid life, later in life: the unexpected can happen at all stages. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to suffer. But I wonder if we’d know delight without suffering. Life is a gift, and it’s fleeting. All the dumb stuff we obsess over. Silly.


Folks, I’m telling you,
Birthing is hard
And Dying is mean
So get yourself
Some loving in between.

– Langston Hughes

dadpendantEnded the day up in Monroe. My Mom gave me her diamond earrings — amazing.I tend to lose jewelry, but will guard these babies with vigilance. I also received a necklace from my Dad. Well, sort of. My Mom had found a gift certificate to Tiffany in one of his drawers. He won it as a sales incentive and the expiration date was coming up. I picked out this piece — the shamrock — for him.

We talked about missing him. We talked about parting ways with his shoes, his coats. How weird it is to have a football season without him. It will be two months on Sunday. We miss him miss him miss him. But onward we march.

I am moving to a new apartment. Trading the West Village and all its celebrities and rich people and trust fund kids for a much more modest nabe in the East Village. I will miss the beauty, I will miss the Hudson, I will miss the charm. But it’s time to move on. New places, new people, new routines. New York. Change is good. All the fun stuff I sacrificed and put off, all the freedom and creativity that I denied myself. Now, it’s coming.

I’ve got a feeling.

It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived–forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking position.  — Søren Kierkegaard

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art, love, movies, Uncategorized, zen shit

Stories I got stories.

heartcollageThey are all building up. Perhaps this coming personal phase will be an explosion of expression. When I blow this mofo out, well … head for the hills.

I was thinking about the film “Paper Heart.” I have not seen it yet … just saw the web site and clips* and I am intrigued. It is a faux documentary that pretends to be real. Understood … faux is faux but the marketing implies that it plays directly off reality. I’m getting all jumbled but if you know what I mean, you know what I mean. Sorta montage collage.

It might be fun, but then it might just be 1.5 hours of hipster bratties in their glasses and hoodies being too cool for school. I’ll reserve judgment. Any which way, I dig the concept and think the creators are badass for getting it done and putting it out there.

I have this theory, unoriginal for sure, that the next phase of entertainment will be organic stories where there is no casting, no fundraising or formal scriptwriting & showrunning. We’ll all be out there blogging, vlogging, tweet-upping and whatnot and the best part of creativity will occur where our experiences just collide. For some of us it will simply be life – not “work” per se. For others it will be the show. The ultimate manifestation of Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage.”

Now, this is already happening for sure. It’s called culture. But entertainment itself shall become less and less institutionalized. The formal, giant artificial machinery will keep giving way until the line is totally blurred. (This will be the progression with all large institutions, BTW). Like the JL quote I trip out, that anchors this here blog: “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

* I am irritated that Charlyne Yi did not interview any women comics or actors in the video clips on the official movie web site. What the frack?

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zen shit

the path

kermitbikeclick. there goes another golf ball. i am typing from the back porch looking out on the grass, then the fairways, then the golfers, then the trees, then the clubhouse, then more trees for miles and miles, reaching up into hills that are mountains that keep going all the way to the bluewhite sky. rufus loves the wind on his face. he lets it blow as he holds his chin up proud …Mount Rufemore we call it.

I am cold. The kind of cold you get after doing a long, tough workout. I biked the Heritage Trail. Didn’t know anything about it in advance. I had seen a bunch of bikers entering the path near the pond where I run downtown. Decided to explore it all by my lonesome. I SPF’ed up and headed down there around 11 and didn’t get home til one. Lots of people around downtown. Walking dogs, having picnics, taking strolls.

The path wasn’t too crowded though. It is plenty wide, and hilly enough to be midly challenging but not a total kick in the ass. Things I passed by as I rode: cornfields brimming with corn, lakes, picturesque farm houses, a deserted factory. A deserted basketball court, complete with atrophying nets. A seemingly ancient cemetery on a hill in a remote part of the woods. Many hard core fit-freak bikers. Many, many Hasidim. Open fields galore. A run down old train on tracks that were overgrown with wild flowers. An old fashioned ice cream shop in a beautiful, semi-lifeless old town.

The ride back was faster. I was chasing the sun for a little. Clouds were spreading on the path ahead and I tried to chase the light, and I didn’t make it. It all went dark for a little and it looked even more beautiful. I was thinking of telling someone about the beauty. That’s the human impulse. It’s not enough to just be, to just take it in. I couldn’t wait to tell someone. To bring someone back with me. Or at least bring a camera. I did think about what it must have been like when Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Thoreau and all those Transcendental literary dudes like that were strolling around in this world, blown away by the beauty of it and wondering where we fit into the whole rigamarole, and writing about it.

It also made me think of a cool excerpt Jake sent along:

“Once more it is autumn, when the sunlight grows golden with the turning leaves and the air heavy with fruition and decay. Somewhere the grapes grow rich on the vine. The leaves of the red maple, whose color all summer anticipated the fall, grow tan. The golden leaves line the river bottom, setting the water aglow in the autumn sun. The forest dies and is renewed in the order of time; the sparkling river bears away grief. In the pained cherishing of that transient world, the human, the dweller between the embers and the stars, can raise it up to eternity. That is the task of humans. The moral sense of nature is that it can teach us to cherish time and to look to the eternity within it.”
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Uncategorized, zen shit

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


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

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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