Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Way of Sketching

Genuine compassion must be unconditional. We must cultivate equanimity in order to trans cend any feelings of discrimination and partiality.

One way to cultivate equanimity is to contemplate the uncertainty of friendship. First we must consider that there is no assurance that our close friend today will ramain a friend forever.
Thus the purpose of human life is to accumulate experience and from that experience to learn wisdom, and from that wisdom to hear the voice of intuition, which will lead us towards the goal which belongs to everyone, irrespective of caste, race or religion, irrespective of forms of worship of any God.

The world is suffering from the edicts of authority, whereas it should be encouraged to seek understanding. Dig a well in your own garden, rather than follow the urging of the crowd to go to some distant well for the quenching of your thirst.

After all, what is the characteristic of a true genius? The power to conquer circumstances in the light of his perception of the Truth. If his perception is small, he will conquer very little; but if his perception is vast, his desires will be immense, and he will invite mountainous difficulties to be conquered.
When you truly are you can act truly. You cannot separate your being from your action. If there were even a few in the world who really understood, we should create a new world; we should alter the expression of life. But if there is no understanding, another religion, another sect, another church, another god will be created.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Living day to day...

You cannot separate life from any expression of life and yet you must be able to distinguish between life and its expressions

In the heart of everyone is the desire for happiness and liberation. If you follow that desire, you steel your heart against all petty, unessential things, you will attain your goal...

Do not be held in these shelters whose decorations invite you to easy stagnation and easy comfort. Stay rather outside in the open air and be in love with Life.

There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been thought out, every manner of expression has been given to thought, every point of view has been shown. What has been said will always be said and therefore there can never be anything new from the ordinary point of view -you can only vary the expressions, using different words, different connotations and so on.

But to a man who desires to test anything, any idea for himself, everything becomes new. If there is a desire to get beyond the mere illusions of words, beyond the expressions of thought, beyond all philosophies, and all sacred books, then, in that experiment, everything becomes new, clear, vital.

When your minds are suffocated with beliefs, when they are heavy with knowledge acquired from books, then it is impossible to understand life.

Comprehension, enlightenment, is dangerous to the man who subtly or grossly enjoys the benefits of exploitation, authority, fear.

Since thought comes first, it is very necessary that it should be true thought. You have to find out what it is that this life, centred and focused in the individual, is trying to do.

It is the whole that matters, the complete unity of the whole of life. And its various struggles, strifes, pains, sorrows, can only be understood when you have caught a glimpse of the whole.

Life is creation, including the creator and the created, and Nature conceals life -that is, everything in manifestation conceals life in itself. When that Life in Nature develops and becomes focused in the individual, then Nature has fulfilled itself.

To be rid of fear is to realise that in you is the focal centre of life's expression. When there is the desire, the craving for existence and the continuity of separate being, there must of necessity be what you would call reincarnation.

Reincarnation is a series of opportunities for the spiritual realisation of pure being. But if you as an individual are highly concentrated in awareness in the present, then you live that series of opportunities now.

Individuality grows in the soil of hate, love, jealousy, greed, action, inaction, loneliness, the desire for company... Whenever there is sorrow, there is the seeking for comfort, and for the persistence of individual existence.

The whole destiny and function of Nature is to create the individual who is self-conscious, who knows the pairs of opposites, who knows that he is an entity in himself conscious and separate. (So life in Nature, through its development, becomes self-conscious in the awakened, concentrated individual.) Nature's goal is man's individuality... But individuality is imperfection; it is not an end in itself.

Individuality is intensified through the conflict of ignorance and the limitation of thought and emotion. In that there is self-conscious separation... The evolution of 'I am' is but an expansion of that separateness in space and time. The individual held in the bondage of limitation, knowing the separation of 'you' and 'I', has to liberate himself and has to fulfil himself in that liberation.

The individual is the whole universe, not a separate part of the world. The individual is the all-inclusive. He is constantly making efforts, experimenting in different directions; but the self in you and in me and in all is the same, though the expressions may vary and should vary.

Because in your consciousness there is separateness and the cognizance of individuality, of you and I, there must be sorrow. When you are aware of separation, it is a limitation and in its wake must come suffering.

Individuality grows in the soil of hate, love, jealousy, greed, action, inaction, loneliness, the desire for company... Whenever there is sorrow, there is the seeking for comfort, and for the persistence of individual existence.
In the process of experimenting, in the process of liberating the mind and heart from hindrances, there will take place action, result. There is not the replacement of the false by the true, but only the true. And such a life is a life of a consummate human being.

All Quotes from J.Krishnamurti

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Faces and places in SF.

Two of my close buddies Joshua and Bo in the kitchen at Haight and Ashbury. Josh was a handyman and travels to Thailand every year for his businness. He sells trinkets and temporary tattoos at the Shorline Ampitheater.
There were a few places that i had frequented while living the ten years of my life in San Francisco ans as i had always maitained, the Golden gate park was one of the most frequented among them.

While parked facing the paciffic ocean at Ocean Beach I sketched the wind mill located at the end of GG Park that was relected in my side view mirror.
The Flying horsae is one of Josh's temporary tattoos.

I baby sat my children most of their lives evrsince they were born as my late wife was into working. I did not mind it that much as it allowed me alot of free time to roam the City especailly the park area, the Galleries and Muzeums. The kids loved it except when i hung in one place too long like doing a drawing or chatting.

When you have lived in a place for a long enough time you start to discover the negative traits of the people especially when the going gets tough for everyone. Thus the comment in this sketch done of the 'Cliff House' at Ocean Beach.

While living on 2nd. Avenue and Balboa which is about two blocks from the GG Park I used to do my laundry on 5th. and Fulton and while waiting for the laundry to be done i would do my sketching.

This was view of SF rarely seen by many as it was taken from the window of the Davis medical center where my late wife had our son, Karim. I had brought my flute and camera along fo the occaision and while my wife was in labor I watched the World Series on TV. She never let me forget that whenver the subject of being ther when your partner needs you came up. But I was a hundred percent there in my own way.

The AArdVark clothing store was located on Haight and Ashbury and I used to squat with my friend Joshua sleeping under his kitchen table while i was in transition from the Green Gulch to the City life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Green Gulch Farm the Rustic corners..

Hemlocks, I may be wrong about the name of these plants found in abundance in the firelds at green Gulch but it seemed like everyone thought it was so when I was working out there.

The Garden 'Hot House' as it was called was run by Wendy Johnson a great lady and a special friend who was my pillar of support along with her husband Peter Rudnick who manged the farm.

Whenever I look at this wheel barrow sketch I could feel the wooden handle in my palms like a placebo and so with the fork. How much digging and tilling had i done while i was at Green Gulch.

These Stinging Nettles were a pain as their thorns like tiny needles were poisonous to the skin. Brushing against these plants sent electric shocks to your body advoiding them while weeding or harvesting was not an easy task as they grow like all weeds happy and plenty. Their purple flowers are beautiful eventhough they too have the deadly thorns.

The Deer Fence was very tall and stretches all along the hill side to keep the wild deers from getting at the crops of vegetables, but every so often the deers would still be able to jump these fences and had a field day.

The old shack used to house all the farm tools and equipments and it was retreat for some of us who indulged in smoking'weeds' every now and then amidst our practice periods. It helped to let loose and discover some altered states of conciousness other than than what was taught by Shuryu Suzuki Roshi.

One of the cabins built for senior residents located at the entrance to the fields as one takes a walk towards the Paciffic Ocean at Muir Beach.

The old 'Farm Truck' that had srved the community for so many years and in so many ways that it was a miracle that it still ran when I was lving there.

At the Dining Room there was a Samovar and it was like the center piece as far as the Community at Green Gulch went. Make your coffee or tea and keep the samovar filled with water all the time please.

The farm tractor, the machine that kept the fields productive year in year out. Ploughing, tilling, planting, harvesting and laying down pipes for watering among other things.

My friend and Practice Instructor (Tanto)whose hand me down robes i wore during my pratice period at Green Gulch Zen Center. Edward Espe Brown was one of those characters that had inspired me to be who I was and perhaps still am. Ed approached Zen with a great sense of Humour that hid the depth of seriousness in his practice from those who were curious seekers.

Two of my closest brothers and fellow students, Rev.Terry Sutton and Jim Abrams (Bald headed), wihtout these two gentlemen my life at GG would not have been as interesting and productive.

Cattails by the 'Upper Pond' a spot where i had spent many a quiet moments to contemplate my existence messed up as it was while i was living at GG.