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Lean On Me

Hybrid-dharma and the Issue of Ownership — Sometimes late at night traveling with my father I'd wake up knowing nothing about where I was but feeling Steve McQueen close, as close as the black sky pressing in on the walls of the motel room. Lying back on the bed I’d imagine the surrounding area as I’d seen it in the headlights a few hours earlier—a landscape of industry and crime and V-8 engines charging out toward vast cobalt skies. I remember traveling through Vegas on one of those long trips, and though the city has been re-made several times since then I half expected, on a recent visit, to find the old flashing neon, and the long heavy cars still gliding through the night. At 5:00 AM in the morning I went looking for … [Read more...]

Field Mapping

Complex Systems and the Six Realms of Dharma —                                                                                         Photograph by Andy Ilachinski It was while reading the somewhat scandalous thinker Wilhem Reich that I first encountered the idea of emotional traumas being encoded into the flesh and blood circuits of the body. Freezing into a kind of “armor,” these encodings work to shape and delimit the ways we perceive the world, hence wielding an out-sized influence over the course our lives take. This was in the early 1990s, and I was reading Reich along with some of the Frankfurt School thinkers (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, etc.) who (broadly speaking) collide psychology and social theory to see what falls out. … [Read more...]

The Six Realms, A Requiem for Lieberson

The Six Realms, Peter Lieberson (25 October 1946 – 23 April 2011) In an interview last March with David Weininger, American composer Peter Leiberson stated “What makes the human life so poignant is the recognition of its profound impermanence.’’ As I casually turned the pages of the paper and read of Lieberson’s passing I was stunned. He died last Saturday in Tel Aviv where he was undergoing medical treatment for lymphoma, a diagnosis he received shortly after his beloved second wife mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson succumbed to breast cancer in 2006. He was 64. The Composer and Impermanence had not been strangers. Lieberson drew great inspiration from his Tibetan Buddhist beliefs and his connection with … [Read more...]

Compassion in Form and Living Color

The Mandala Project, Hammer Museum, Oct. 26 - Nov. 7, 2010 – The invasion, occupation and exploitation of Tibet by the Chinese that began in 1951 has left a unique cultural and spiritual tradition in tatters. Massive engines of information and misinformation variously describe Tibet before the Chinese as a sort of spiritual paradise or conversely, a hell on earth whose cause was taken up by the evil CIA. The ordinary citizen is often left distressed, guessing, interpolating and trusting blindly. I recently asked a Tibetan gentleman about his 1959 escape from the Chinese government troops who had come to his small hamlet. Surely there was a friendly taxi driver, a delivery truck or creaky bus to assist them. His golden, ravaged face … [Read more...]