Those who live, are those who strive, those whose soul, possessed of a firm design, whose mind envisioning a great destiny and a demanding climb, walk pensive, engrossed by a goal sublime.
You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience. There is no end to conscience, for it is God himself. It is a bottomless well into which one may fling the labour of a lifetime, liberty and country, peace of mind and happiness; but in the end one has to fling in one’s heart. Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo was a principled man obsessed with freedom and passion to fight against social injustice. His commitment to the universal values will make him the voice of the weak and the marginalized. Hugo described himself as "spokesperson for humanity," has put his pen to the service "of the oppressed of all countries and all parties."
Documentary is theatre, a "lie that tells the truth." Shots are like pearls, but a piece of string is the structure that turns them into a necklace. Editing is what makes a film live and shine. You have “to know the rules as almost second nature,” but then you have to “let go and allow the material to lead you.” Wolf Koenig
When I was born, I was born alone. When I die, I will leave alone for certain. Knowing this, I take delight, between these two stages, In places of solitude, where I wander, alone. Seeking out the path of liberation.
Birth and death have no essence, So in between those two is merely the unborn, free from fabrication. Self and other have no essence, So in between those two is merely the unborn, free from fabrication: Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
The moral thing I should wish to say is very simple: I should say, love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way — and if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet. Bertrand Russell
“What is music!? How can one define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, a rustling of summer foliage. Music is the distant peal of bells at eventide! Music is born only in the heart and it appeals only to the heart; it is Love! The sister of Music is Poetry, and its mother is Sorrow!" Rachmaninoff Rachmaninoff left behind poetic and brilliantly written works for the piano. His lyricism gives rise to works of epic inspiration such as: Rachmaninoff Concerto No 3 3rd movement
For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity. It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 - 3rd Movement
He who would hear the voice of Nada, "the Soundless Sound," and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana. Having become indifferent to objects of perception, the pupil must seek out the rajah of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion. The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer. For: When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams; When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE – the inner sound which kills the outer. Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat, the true. Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion. Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden fire-fly. Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united just as the form to which the clay is modelled, is first united with the potter's mind. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak - The Voice of the Silence
Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united just as the form to which the clay is modeled, is first united with the potter’s mind. For then the soul will hear, and will remember.
Image by Lois Greenfield
Throughout history, human beings have seen themselves as creatures that exist somewhere between the mundane and the divine. The figure in this image by Lois Greenfield appears to be both descending from the heavens and rising from the earth, briefly suspended between two worlds, engaged in some uniquely human ritual that neither the gods above him nor the beasts below him can fully comprehend. For us, this moment of balance captures the essential tension between the mind and the body, between our higher and lower natures, between the aspirations and the origins of our species. Psychology
"'Don't underestimate what you have given me . . . Don't underestimate the value of friendship, of my knowing I'm not a freak, of my knowing I'm capable of touching and being touched. Before, I had only half embraced my concept of Amor fati: I had trained myself-resigned myself is a better term-to love my fate. But now, thanks to you, thanks to your open hearth, I realize I have a choice. I shall always remain alone, but what a difference, what a wonderful difference, to choose what I do. Amor fati-choose your fate, love your fate.' " Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept
Mencius (Mang tzu) said, “Benevolence is is the natural state of man's mind, and righteousness is his path. How lamentable is it to neglect the path, and not pursue it—to lose this mind, and not know how to seek it again!...The great end of learning is nothing else but to seek the lost mind.” “And so also of what properly belongs to man: shall it be said that the mind of any man was without benevolence and righteousness? The way in which a man loses his proper goodness of mind is like the way in which the trees are denuded by axes . . . Hewn down day after day, can the mind retain its beauty? ... but the feeling is not strong, and it is shackled and destroyed by what takes place during the day. This destruction taking place again and again, the restorative influence of the night is not sufficient to preserve the proper goodness of the mind. And when this proves insufficient for that purpose, man’s nature becomes not much different from that of the irrational animals. When they see this, people think that the mind never had those powers which I assert. But does this condition represent the feelings proper to humanity?” Mang tzu (370-286 BCE)
In another word if a man is constantly subjected to negative influence, his character is bound to be affected accordingly, despite occasional good education. But that is not his true character, or his original nature. His original nature, as Mencius always insists, is good. The evil in him is a result of external influence.
The way in which a man loses his proper goodness of mind is like the way in which the trees are denuded by axes . . . Hewn down day after day, can the mind retain its beauty?
Solitude is an exercise of nurturing your state of mind to achieve interior freedom.
When Goethe became acquainted with Hafez's Diwan he wrote: Suddenly I came face to face with the celestial perfume of the East and invigorating breeze of Eternity that was being blown from the plains and the wastelands of Persia, and I came to know an extraordinary man whose personality completely fascinated me...0, Hafez, how can anyone boast to be thy equal... a miracle of human taste and refinement and a regenerating source of perfection and beauty as well as philosophy and Erfan..
Matsuo Basho lived his peculiar life on the conviction that art could create an awareness that allowed one to see into and communicate the essence of experience. Throughout his life he searched for the state of being one with the object of his poems, something he believed a poet needed to reach in order to write truthfully. This life-long search brought Basho to wandering. He was a serious student of Zen Buddhism setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. "Days and months are the travellers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling... I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind- filled with a strong desire to wander.
Matsuo Basho's "Narrow Road to the Deep North"
Life is a conundrum, You have a chaos thinking about what are the things that should be spoken and the ones which should not be? You deal with doubts that you have about yourself. Conundrums are those difficult little problems in life that have an interesting little twist in their answer that offers an opportunity for deeper learning.
... and this card, Which is blank, is something he carries on his back, Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring... from T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land One would imagine that death would eliminate signs and allow one an unmediated entry into the Absolute. Certainly the poem moves in towards death...To void those empty signs one has to get off the wheel of life - The Reason in a Storm, by Geoffrey Bernard Williams
T. S. Elliot's The Four Quartets considers the relationship between life in time, a life of bondage and suffering, and life in eternity, freedom, and happiness.
I sat by one whom my heart loves, and I listened to her words. My soul began to wander in the infinite spaces where the universe appeared like a dream, and the body like a narrow prison. The enchanting voice of my Beloved entered my heart. This is Music, oh friends, for I heard her through the sighs of the one I loved, and through the words, half-uttered between her lips. With the eyes of my hearing I saw my Beloved’s heart. My friends: Music is the language of spirits. Its melody is like the frolicsome breeze that makes the strings quiver with love. When the gentle fingers of Music knock at the door of our feelings, they awaken memories that have long lain hidden in the depths of the Past. The sad strains of Music bring us mournful recollections; and her quiet strains bring us joyful memories. The sound of strings makes us weep at the departure of a dear one, or makes us smile at the peace God has bestowed upon us. The soul of Music is of the Spirit, and her mind is of the Heart. Our souls are like tender flowers at the mercy of the winds of Destiny. They tremble in the morning breeze, and bend their heads under the falling dews of heaven. The song of the bird awakens Man from his slumber and invites him to join in the psalms of glory to Eternal Wisdom that has created the song of the bird. Such music makes us ask ourselves the meaning of the mysteries contained in ancient books. Khalil Gibran - Al-Musiqah
The most important thing in life is to "Choose your life." Choose your way of thinking and your reactions to things, even if things don't go as planned, and the decision turns out to be not the best one in retrospect.
“Life is a spark between two identical voids, the darkness before birth and the one after death.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept
Hindu philosophers tell us that the soul of a person who has attained liberation from the cycle of re-birth unites with God. The soul has often been termed the God within each of us.
I say to thee weapons reach not the Life; Flame burns it not, waters cannot o’erwhelm, Nor dry winds wither it. Impenetrable, Unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched, Immortal, all-arriving, stable, sure, Invisible, ineffable, by word And thought uncompassed, ever all itself, Thus is the Soul declared! The Bhagavad-Gita
Every day we make decisions. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Such choices as those based on short term gain, often at long-term costs, or erroneous over confidence in our own abilities or to conform with the behavior and expectations of others make us poorer and less healthy.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein Nudge argues that we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society by demonstrating how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice.
With a determination to achieve the highest aim For the benefit of all sentient beings Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem, May I hold them dear at all times. Whenever I interact with someone, May I view myself as the lowest amongst all, And, from the very depths of my heart, Respectfully hold others as superior. In all my deeds may I probe into my mind, And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise- As they endanger myself and others- May I strongly confront them and avert them. When I see beings of unpleasant character Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering, May I hold them dear-for they are rare to find- As if I have discovered a jewel treasure! When others, out of jealousy Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn, May I take upon myself the defeat And offer to others the victory. When someone whom I have helped, Or in whom I have placed great hopes, Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways, May I regard him still as my precious teacher. In brief, may I offer benefit and joy To all my mothers, both directly and indirectly, May I quietly take upon myself All hurts and pains of my mothers. May all this remain undefiled By the stains of the eight mundane concerns; And may I, recognizing all things as illusion, Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.
Awakening Kindness: Finding Joy Through Compassion for Others (Eight Verses for Training the Mind by Geshe Langri Tangpa, Translation from Dalai Lama Website)
Franz Schubert - Impromptus in E-Flat Major, Op. 90, No. 2
Can we reconcile our relationship with nature by letting nature become the foundation of our culture?
The conflict in Vincenzo Bellini's Norma opera is between the native Druids and the Roman soldiers who are occupying the country. The Druids' pray that Norma will come and have the courage to break the peace with the Romans. Then, with the mistletoe in hand, she approaches the altar with a plea to the "Chaste Goddess" Casta diva: Norma raising her hands to heaven . The moon shines in full splendour. "Chaste goddess...turn upon us thy fair face, unclouded and unveiled" Continuing, she pleads that the goddess shed upon earth that peace which she has created in heaven. “O god, quell the inflamed hearts and the ardent zeal of your people, spreading the same peace on earth as she spreads through the heavens"
Vicenzo Bellini, Norma: Maria Callas "Casta Diva"
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy (poem written by Paul Verlaine)
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy (poem written by Paul Verlaine) Your soul is a chosen landscape Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go Playing the lute and dancing and almost Sad beneath their fanciful disguises. All sing in a minor key Of victorious love and the opportune life, They do not seem to believe in their happiness And their song mingles with the moonlight,
With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful, That sets the birds dreaming in the trees And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy, The tall slender fountains among marble statues
Alexander Borodin Quartet No 2, 3 Mov (an irresistible Nocturne) & This Is My Beloved from Kismet
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1 "lullabies to my sorrows" Sleep softly my child, sleep softly and well! It hurts my heart to see you weeping. Picture by George Inness
Francois Boieldieu - Concert for Harp & Strings in C
“A sense of life meaning ensues but cannot be deliberately pursued: life meaning is always a derivative phenomenon that materializes when we have transcended ourselves, when we have forgotten ourselves and become absorbed in someone (or something) outside ourselves” Irvin D. Yalom, Four "givens" of the human condition: isolation, meaninglessness, mortality and freedom
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, op.35
Edvard Grieg. Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 16 (Percy Grainger)
My country, I will build you again, If need be, with bricks made from my life. I will build columns to support your roof, If need be, with my bones. I will inhale again the perfume of flowers Favored by your youth. I will wash again the blood off your body With torrents of my tears. Once more, the darkness will leave this house. I will paint my poems blue with the color of our sky. The resurrector of “old bones” will grant me in his bounty a mountains splendor in his testing grounds. Old I may be, but given the chance, I will learn. I will begin a second youth alongside my progeny. I will recite the Hadith of love and country With such fervor as to make each word bear life. There still burns a fire in my breast to keep undiminished the warmth of kinship I feel for my people. Once more you will grant me strength, though my poems have settled in blood. Once more I will build you with my life, though it be beyond my means. A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems By Sīmīn Bihbihānī
“I have never set out deliberately to write socially or politically engaged poems. Yet, often without intending to or being aware of it, my poems have been very much engaged in this way. Reacting to and provoked by the outside world, I reveal the world within.” Simin Behbahani
Robert Penn Warren -Heart of Autumn
Wind finds the northwest gap, fall comes. Today, under gray cloud-scud and over gray Wind-flicker of forest, in perfect formation, wild geese Head for a land of warm water, the boom, the lead pellet. Some crumple in air, fall. Some stagger, recover control, Then take the last glide for a far glint of water. None Knows what has happened. Now, today, watching How tirelessly V upon V arrows the season's logic, Do I know my own story? At least, they know When the hour comes for the great wing-beat. Sky-strider, Star-strider--they rise, and the imperial utterance, Which cries out for distance, quivers in the wheeling sky. That much they know, and in their nature know The path of pathlessness, with all the joy Of destiny fulfilling its own name. I have know time and distance, but not why I am here. Path of logic, path of folly, all The same--and I stand, my face lifted now skyward, Hearing the high beat, my arms outstretched in the tingling Process of transformation, and soon tough legs, With folded feet, trail in the sounding vacuum of passage, And my heart is impacted with a fierce impulse To unwordable utterance-- Toward sunset, at a great height.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No 8 - Pathetique 2nd Movement
The Okanagan-Similkammen National Park Reserve is a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve this fragile ecosystem from cattle-grazing and inappropriate development and to provide habitat to endangered species
T’Sou-ke First Nation 100-year vision for food and energy security, cultural renaissance and economic sustainability, independence and self-sufficiency