The Kalachakra tradition revolves around the concept of time (kala) and cycles (chakra): from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of human breathing, it teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. The Kalachakra sand Mandala is dedicated to both individual and world peace and physical balance. The Dalai Lama explains: "It is a way of planting a seed, and the seed will have karmic effect. "
The essence of life resulted not from individual molecules, but from the interactions between them. Linus Pauling
Wise, older father-type figure uses personal knowledge of people and the world to help tell stories and offer guidance that, in a mystical way, may impress upon his audience a sense of who they are and who they might become, thereby acting as a mentor. The wise old man is often seen to be in some way "foreign", that is, from a different culture, nation, or occasionally, even a different time, from those he advises. 'If an individual has wrestled seriously enough and long enough with the anima (or animus) problem...the unconscious again changes its dominant character and appears in a new symbolic form...as a wise old man, a spirit of nature, and so forth'. Marie-Louise Von Franz
"Man and his Symbols" Carl G Jung
A wise old man: "Philosopher in Meditation" by Rembrand
Stoic tranquility is a psychological state marked by the absence of negative emotions, such as grief, anger, and anxiety, and the presence of positive emotions, such as joy. If we have any sense at all, we will focus our energies on the things that are up to us. Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.
Live like a Stoic!
The determination between what is good and what is not good is made by the capacity for choice. Practise then from the start to say to every harsh impression, "You are an impression, and not at all the thing you appear to be." Then examine it and test it by these rules you have, and firstly, and chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not; and if it has to do with the things that are not up to us, be ready to reply, "It is nothing to me." We will not be troubled at any loss, but will say to ourselves on such an occasion: "I have lost nothing that belongs to me; it was not something of mine that was torn from me, but something that was not in my power has left me." Nothing beyond the use of our opinion is properly ours. Every possession rests on opinion. What is to cry and to weep? An opinion. What is misfortune, or a quarrel, or a complaint? All these things are opinions; opinions founded on the delusion that what is not subject to our own choice can be either good or evil, which it cannot. By rejecting these opinions, and seeking good and evil in the power of choice alone, we may confidently achieve peace of mind in every condition of life.
"Of things some are in our power, and others are not. In our power are opinion, movement towards a thing, desire, aversion, turning from a thing; and in a word, whatever are our acts. Not in our power are the body, property, reputation, offices (magisterial power), and in a word, whatever are not our own acts. And the things in our power are by nature free, not subject to restraint or hindrance; but the things not in our power are weak, slavish, subject to restraint, in the power of others. Remember then, that if you think the things which are by nature slavish to be free, and the things which are in the power of others to be your own, you will be hindered, you will lament, you will be disturbed, you will blame both gods and men; but if you think that only which is your own to be your own, and if you think that what is another's, as it really is, belongs to another, no man will ever compel you, no man will hinder you, you will never blame any man, you will accuse no man, you will do nothing involuntarily (against your will), no man will harm you, you will have no enemy, for you will not suffer any harm." Epictetus
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland When Alice first falls into the rabbit-hole, there is darkness. Cupboards, bookshelves, pictures, lamps and mirrors all flat past Alice as she falls. These things represent everything that holds us back.If we would travel far, we must travel light. Material and earthly things—and even our intellect and sense of ‘self’—hold us back. We must let go of all these things if we want to ‘see’ and ‘know’ things as they really are. Like Alice, we must remain forever ‘curious,’ for curiosity—one of the important features of a ‘mindful’ mind and for seeing things as they really are. Mindfulness is a wonderful means of freeing oneself from the bondage of self-constructed mental prisons. Alice in wonderland Tim Burton with soundtrack by Danny Elfman
Being and Nothingness "The trees were floating. Thrusting toward the sky? Collapsing rather: at any moment I expected to see the trunks shrivel like weary pricks, curl up and fall to the ground in a soft, black, crumpled heap. They did not want to exist, only they could not help it; that was the point. So they performed all their little functions, quietly, unenthusiastically, the sap rose slowly into the earth. But at every moment they seemed on the verge of dropping everything and obliterating themselves. Tired and old, they went on existing, unwillingly and ungraciously, simply because they were too weak to die, because death could come to them only from the outside: melodies alone can proudly carry their own death within them like an internal necessity; only they don't exist. Every existent is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance. I leaned back and I closed my eyes. But pictures, promptly informed, sprang forward and filled my closed eyes with existences: existence is a repletion which man can never abandon." Jean-Paul Sartre
Sergey Prokofiev: "Dance of the Knights" from "Romeo and Juliet"
Legend has it that if the violin is not with the right person, it will not rest calmly on their shoulder. “She’s a bit of a vixen, this instrument. She’s got a little mind of her own, and she really needs to be properly fit with the musician.”
Pliny the Younger letters to Calpurnia: YOU will not believe what a longing for you possesses me. The chief cause of this is my love; and then we have not grown used to be apart. So it comes to pass that I lie awake a great part of the night, thinking of you; and that by day, when the hours return at which I was wont to visit you, my feet take me, as it is so truly said, to your chamber, but not finding you there I return, sick and sad at heart, like an excluded lover.
You say that you are feeling my absence very much, and your only comfort when I am not there is to hold my writings in your hand and often put them in my place by your side. I like to think that you miss me and find relief in this sort of consolation. I, too, am always reading your letters, and returning to them again and again as if they were new to me - but this only fans the fire of my longing for you. If your letters are so dear to me, you can imagine how I delight in your company; do write as often as you can, although you give me pleasure mingled with pain.
Simon Garfield - To The Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing
The Changing American Family, since 1970's more women began to have children outside marriage, and the percentage of female-headed families began to climb. 41 percent of babies are now born out of wedlock, a fourfold increase since 1970.
I can't find you where I've been looking for you, my elegy. There's all too many graveyards handy these days, too many names to read through tears on long black walls, too many bulldozed bonefilled ditches. And all the animals to mourn, wiped off the earth like mist wiped off a mirror, leaving one face, reflection of itself alone, image of its imagined image; nothing else, no grief, no dirt, no dogs, no elegies.
That desert is no place for you. And so I looked where death is birth and gods are animals and being flows through being as from spring river flows into river to the sea; but what's to mourn, if life betakes itself into another life? Better a rite of passage, painful joyful celebration of the change, warning and welcome to the soul returned forgetful who it was, and we not knowing either, seabird or child, salmon or fern or fawn.
And on the eightfold way, although compassion finds itself at home, all the hard work of sorrow dissolves to breathing in and out the lives let loose from turning turning turning, gone nowhere to do no harm at last, after the long despair...
But I think it may be mine, and if I have a people any more, I will find them in tears.
My elegy, your clothes are out of fashion. I see you walking past me on a country road in a worn cloak. Your steps are slow, along a way that grows obscure as it leads back and back. In dusk some stars shine small and clear as tears on a dark face that is not human. I will follow you.
'I find that I cannot exist without poetry - without eternal poetry - half the day will not do - the whole of it - I began with a little, but habit has made me a Leviathan - I had become all in a Tremble from not having written any thing of late - ' Your sincere Friend, John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain, Before high – piled books, in charact’ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain; When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And feel that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love; – then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think, Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuvan overtone ensemble), Orphan's Lament, voice of Kaigal-ool Kovalyg
Can literature undo what war has done? Khaled Hosseini - And the Mountains Echoed Hosseini’s characters all hold out mirrors to us, his readers. Mirrors that show the tenderness of human beings, even while revealing the selfish and cruelstreaks, and raising dark and gloomy questions in our heads of what tomorrow may hold. He tells us of aging bodies and minds lost in the cloudy mist of uncertainty and lost memory at the most crucial moments of life. “What was I supposed to be, growing in your womb — assuming it was even in your womb that I was conceived? A seed of hope?.. A patch for that hole you carried in your heart? If so, then I wasn’t enough. I was no balm to your pain, only another dead end, another burden. But what could you do? You couldn’t go to the pawnshop and sell me.” Our world may not be Hosseini’s ravaged Kabul with “1,000 tragedies per square mile”, but in this gifted writer’s protagonists, we can see reflections of our own dreams and nightmares and how our actions, even the seemingly selfless ones, are shrouded in ambiguity
Khaled Hosseini - And the Mountains Echoed
And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini A multigenerational-family story revolving around brothers and sisters, about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. The episodeswithin the story are united by bonds that define us and shape our lives—and of what it means to be human and also by sorrowful themes of betrayal, the loss of innocence and the burdens of loyalty and of shame (stories made tangible by tender details: the lapis tiles looted from a bathroom, the creases in an olive suit, the soft heel of a beautiful woman with no nang nor namoos, no honour). “I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.” That startling twist of fate that will quell the ache and make sense of their narrative.
Magdalen laundries for Fallen woman (perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society) State collusion with the Church in the treatment of thousands of vulnerable women who were incarcerated in the work houses known as the Magdalene Laundries run by nuns. While in reality those sent to the laundries were products of poverty, homelessness, and dysfunctional families, the myth of the “bad girl” and “fallen woman” sent to the laundries to reform persisted.
Tchaikovsky - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
If Tchaikovsky had collaborated with Danny Elfman on The Nutcracker, then the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy might have turned out something like this
"For me, my art is not about what I have done, it is about what can be done; it is about art as ammunition for the transformation of society; about using use art and music to keep us far from our graves for as long as possible, and to answer the haters with love." Philippo Lo Grande
Lhasa, as a songwriter, an interpreter and a human being, was someone who spoke deeply to all of us. By living through her music, she became a dear and close friend who tells you a lot about what life is. With her warm, intimate and engaging voice, she connects with you in an authentic human way. Her way of questioning love, life, time, death and the meaning of life resonates in your gut, in your heart and in your life. Her understanding of the circle of life and death was a unique artistic and philosophical contribution to those universal questions. Pierre-Paul Savoie
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No 8 in C minor (Pathétique). This form dominates what Beethoven imagined and composed; a form of his thought. The key of C minor is often a perfect vehicle for tragic, deeply emotive music.
Mozart Piano Sonata No 14 in C minor
Buika soul-drenched vocal style combining traditional Spanish coplas with the Gypsy laments of flamenco and jazz improvisation with haunting husky voice that transcends the boundaries of language and race.