Saturday, December 8, 2012

Haiku by Basho - Translated by Robert Hass

Matsuo Basho composing a Haiku
Robert Hass

A ball of snow

you make the fire
and I’ll show you something wonderful:
a big ball of snow! 

A bee

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

The old pond

The old pond--
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.

A caterpillar

A caterpillar,
this deep in fall--
still not a butterfly.

A cool fall night

A cool fall night--
getting dinner, we peeled
eggplants, cucumbers.

A field of cotton

A field of cotton--
as if the moon
had flowered.

A monk sips morning tea

A monk sips morning tea,
it's quiet,
the chrysanthemum's flowering.

A snowy morning

A snowy morning--
by myself,
chewing on dried salmon.

Awake at night

Awake at night--
the sound of the water jar
cracking in the cold.

Blowing stones

Blowing stones
along the road on Mount Asama,
the autumn wind.

Cold night: the wild duck

Cold night: the wild duck,
sick, falls from the sky
and sleeps awhile.

First snow

First snow
on the half-finished bridge.

Coolness of the melons

Coolness of the melons
flecked with mud
in the morning dew.

How Admirable

How admirable!
to see lightning and not think
life is fleeting.


attached to nothing,
the sky lark singing.

Taking a nap

Taking a nap
feet planted
against a cool wall.

The dragonfly

The dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass.

The oak tree

The oak tree
not interested
in cherry blossoms.

What fish feel

What fish feel,
birds feel, I don’t know—
the year ending.

When the winter chrysanthemums go

When the winter chrysanthemums go
there’s nothing to write about
but radishes.

Winter solitude

Winter solitude—
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.

First winter rain

First winter rain--
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

Sick on a journey

Sick on a journey
my dreams wander
the withered fields.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Selected Poems of Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

Little Flute
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail
vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales,
and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in
joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

Closed Path
I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power,---that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

Clouds and Waves
Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me-
"We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon."
I ask, "But how am I to get up to you ?"
They answer, "Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds."
"My mother is waiting for me at home, "I say, "How can I leave
her and come?"
Then they smile and float away.
But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
I shall be the cloud and you the moon.
I shall cover you with both my hands, and our house-top will
be the blue sky.
The folk who live in the waves call out to me-
"We sing from morning till night; on and on we travel and know
not where we pass."
I ask, "But how am I to join you?"
They tell me, "Come to the edge of the shore and stand with
your eyes tight shut, and you will be carried out upon the waves."
I say, "My mother always wants me at home in the everything-
how can I leave her and go?"
They smile, dance and pass by.
But I know a better game than that.
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
And no one in the world will know where we both are.

Keep Me Fully Glad
Keep me fully glad with nothing. Only take my hand in your hand.
In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as you list. Bind me close to you with nothing.
I will spread myself out at your feet and lie still. Under this clouded sky I will meet silence with silence. I will become one with the night clasping the earth in my breast.
Make my life glad with nothing.
The rains sweep the sky from end to end. Jasmines in the wet untamable wind revel in their own perfume. The cloud-hidden stars thrill in secret. Let me fill to the full my heart with nothing but my own depth of joy.

Free Love
By all means they try to hold me secure who love me in this world.
But it is otherwise with thy love which is greater than theirs,
and thou keepest me free.

Lest I forget them they never venture to leave me alone.
But day passes by after day and thou art not seen.

If I call not thee in my prayers, if I keep not thee in my heart,
thy love for me still waits for my love.

Lost Time
On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

Lover's Gifts IV: She Is Near to My Heart
She is near to my heart as the meadow-flower to the earth; she is
sweet to me as sleep is to tired limbs. My love for her is my life
flowing in its fullness, like a river in autumn flood, running with
serene abandonment. My songs are one with my love, like the murmur
of a stream, that sings with all its waves and current.

Lover's Gifts VIII: There Is Room for You
There is room for you. You are alone with your few sheaves of rice.
My boat is crowded, it is heavily laden, but how can I turn you
away? Your young body is slim and swaying; there is a twinkling
smile in the edge of your eyes, and your robe is coloured like the
rain cloud.
The travellers will land for different roads and homes. You
will sit for a while on the prow of my boat, and at the journey's
end none will keep you back.
Where do you go, and to what home, to garner your sheaves? I
will not question you, but when I fold my sails and moor my boat
I shall sit and wonder in the evening, -Where do you go, and to
what home, to garner your sheaves?

Lover's Gifts XL: A Message Came
A message came from my youth of vanished days, saying, " I wait for
you among the quivering of unborn May, where smiles ripen for tears
and hours ache with songs unsung."
It says, "Come to me across the worn-out track of age, through
the gates of death. For dreams fade, hopes fail, the fathered
fruits of the year decay, but I am the eternal truth, and you shall
meet me again and again in your voyage of life from shore to

Lover's Gifts XLIV: Where Is Heaven
Where is heaven? you ask me, my child,-the sages tell us it is
beyond the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day
and night; it is not of the earth.
But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for time and
space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust.
Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your
palpitating heart.
The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe
to kiss you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother-

Lover's Gifts XXVIII: I Dreamt
I dreamt that she sat by my head, tenderly ruffling my hair with
her fingers, playing the melody of her touch. I looked at her face
and struggled with my tears, till the agony of unspoken words burst
my sleep like a bubble.
I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment
she had a dream that rhymed with mine.

My Song
This song of mine will wind its music around you,
my child, like the fond arms of love.

The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing.

When you are alone it will sit by your side and
whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd
it will fence you about with aloofness.

My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams,
it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.

It will be like the faithful star overhead
when dark night is over your road.

My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes,
and will carry your sight into the heart of things.

And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Walt Whitman Selected Quotes

“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”
― Walt Whitman

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
― Walt Whitman

“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?
-- Walt Whitman

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.”
― Walt Whitman

“Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."
― Walt Whitman

“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love.

If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good help to you nevertheless
And filter and fiber your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
― Walt Whitman

“The smallest sprout shows there is really no death;
And if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses;
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”
― Walt Whitman

“We were together. I forget the rest.”
― Walt Whitman

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”
― Walt Whitman

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
― Walt Whitman

“Peace is always beautiful.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Re-examine all you have been told...
Dismiss what insults your Soul.”
― Walt Whitman

“In the faces of men and women, I see God.”
― Walt Whitman

“I am satisfied ... I see, dance, laugh, sing.
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
― Walt Whitman

“Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
and of every moment of your life”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“I act as the tongue of you,
... tied in your mouth . . . . in mine it begins to be loosened.”
― Walt Whitman

“Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“The future is no more uncertain than the present.”
― Walt Whitman

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”
― Walt Whitman

“I exist as I am, that is enough.”
― Walt Whitman

“This hour I tell things in confidence/ I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.”
― Walt Whitman

“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun.... there are millions of suns left,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition

“I am too not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls.”
― Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“I will sleep no more but arise, You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d
alone, bare-headed, barefoot,
Down from the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows, twining and twisting as if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon, late-risen, and swollen as if with tears,
From those beginning notes of sickness and love, there in the transparent mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart, never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man—yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them—but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing. ”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“The question, O me! so sad, recurring -
What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here - that life
exists and identity,
that the powerful play goes on,
and you may contribute a verse.”
― Walt Whitman, The Leaves of Grass

The mark of a true writer is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.”
― Walt Whitman

“Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“And I will show that there is no imperfection in the present, and
can be none in the future,
And I will show that whatever happens to anybody it may be turn'd to
beautiful results,
And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death,
And I will thread a thread through my poems that time and events are
And that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each
as profound as any.”
― Walt Whitman

“Be not dishearten'd -- Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet;
Those who love each other shall become invincible.”
― Walt Whitman

“What shall I give? and which are my miracles?

2. Realism is mine--my miracles--Take freely,
Take without end--I offer them to you wherever your feet can carry you or your eyes reach.

3. Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any
one I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown--or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans--or to the _soiree_--or to the opera.
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring--yet each distinct and in its place.

4. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“I will You, in all, Myself, with promise to never desert you,         
To which I sign my name.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“keep your face always toward the sunshine-and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“I and this mystery here we stand.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Wild Swans (Dikiye lebedi) Russian Animation

The Wild Swans (Russian: Дикие лебеди, Dikiye lebedi) is a 1962 Soviet traditionally-animated feature film directed by the husband-and-wife team of Mikhail Tsekhanovsky and Vera Tsekhanovskaya. Unusual for Soviet films of this period, and especially for animated films, it was filmed in widescreen. It was produced at the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow.

(The Crow explains to Lisa that there is a way to reverse her brother's "swan" curse.)

Directed by Vera Tsekhanovskaya and Mikhail Tsekhanovsky
Written by Yevgeniy Ryss, Leonid Trauberg, Mikhail Volpin (lyrics)
Sergei Martinson
K. Ustyugov
Anatoliy Shchukin
Askold Besedin
V. Tumanova
Erast Garin
Viktor Sergachev
Yelena Ponsova
R. Chumak
Music by Aleksandr Varlamov
Editing by V. Tutubiner
Release date(s) 1962 (USSR)
Running time 60 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

* Note: There are no English subtitles, but the film is based on the story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. See English plot summary following.

Plot Summary:
In a faraway kingdom, there lives a widowed King with his twelve children: eleven princes and one princess. One day, he decides to remarry. He marries a wicked queen who was a witch. Out of spite, the queen turns her eleven stepsons into swans (they are allowed to become human by night) and forces them to fly away. The queen then tries to bewitch their 15-year old sister Elisa, but Elisa's goodness is too strong for this, so she has Elisa banished. The brothers carry Elisa to safety in a foreign land where she is out of harm's way of her stepmother.

There, Elisa is guided by the queen of the fairies to gather nettles in graveyards; she knits these into shirts that will eventually help her brothers regain their human shapes. Elisa endures painfully blistered hands from nettle stings, and she must also take a vow of silence for the duration of her task, for speaking one word will kill her brothers. The king of another faraway land happens to come across the mute Elise and falls in love with her. He grants her a room in the castle where she continues her knitting. Eventually he proposes to crown her as his queen and wife, and she accepts.

However, the Archbishop is chagrined because he thinks Elisa is herself a witch, but the king will not believe him. One night Elisa runs out of nettles and is forced to collect more in a nearby church graveyard where the Archbishop is watching. He reports the incident to the king as proof of witchcraft. The statues of the saints shake their heads in protest, but the Archbishop misinterprets this sign as confirmation of Elisa's guilt. The Archbishop orders to put Elisa on trial for witchcraft. She can speak no word in her defence and is sentenced to death by burning at the stake.

The brothers discover Elisa's plight and try to speak to the king, but fail. Even as the tumbril bears Elise away to execution, she continues knitting, determined to keep it up to the last moment of her life. This enrages the people, who are on the brink of snatching and destroying the shirts when the swans descend and rescue Elise. The people (correctly) interpret this as a sign from Heaven that Elise is innocent, but the executioner still makes ready for the burning. Then Elise throws the shirts over the swans, and the brothers return to their human forms. The youngest brother retains one swan's wing because Elise did not have time to finish the last sleeve. Elise is now free to speak and tell the truth, but she faints from exhaustion, so her brothers explain. As they do so, the firewood around Elise's stake miraculously take root and burst into flowers. The king plucks the topmost flower and presents it to Elise and they are married.

More at:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Spirit of the Beehive

The Spirit of the Beehive
(El Espiritu de la Colmena)
Release Date: October 1973
Directed by Victor Erice
Starring Ana Torrent
Music by Luis de Pablo

Victor Erice
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish cinema, this allegorical tale is set in a remote village in the 1940s. The life in the village is calm and uneventful -- an allegory of Spanish life after General Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. While their father (Fernando Fernán Gómez) studies bees in his beehive and their mother (Teresa Gimpera) writes letters to a non-existent correspondent, two young girls, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), go to see James Whale's Frankenstein at a local cinema. Though they can hardly understand the concept, both girls are deeply impressed with the moment when a little girl gives a flower to the monster. Isabel, the older sister, tells Ana that the monster actually exists as a spirit that you can't see unless you know how to approach him. Ana starts wandering around the countryside in search of the kind creature. The film received critical accolades for its subtle and masterful use of cinematic language and the expressive performance of the young Ana Torrent. ~ Yuri German, Rovi (Rotten Tomatoes)

Memorable lines:
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
El espíritu de la colmena (original title)

Ana: [unable to sleep] Isabel?
Isabel: [opening her eyes] What?
Ana: [whispering] Tell me what you were going to tell me.
Isabel: [whispering] About what?
Ana: The movie.
Isabel: Not now... Tomorrow.
Ana: Now... You promised. Why did he kill the girl, and why did they kill him after that?... You don't know - you're a liar.
Isabel: They didn't kill him, and he didn't kill the girl.
Ana: How do you know? How do you know they didn't die?
Isabel: Everything in the movies is fake. It's all a trick. Besides, I've seen him alive.
Ana: Where?
Isabel: In a place I know near the village. People can't see him. He only comes out at night.
Ana: Is he a ghost?
Isabel: No, he's a spirit.
Isabel: Like the spirit Dona Lucia talks about?
Isabel: Yes, but spirits have no bodies. That's why you can't kill thenm.
Ana: But he had one in the movie. He had arms and feet. He had everything.
Isabel: It's a disguise they put on when they go outside...
Ana: If he only comes out at night, how can you talk to him?
Isabel: I told you he was a spirit. If you're his friend, you can talk to him whenever you want. Just close your eyes and call him... It's me, Ana... It's me Ana...
[they hear what sounds like ominous footsteps and are silent]

Music and drawings from opening credits:


Interview with actor Fernando Fernan Gomeznnn:

More at:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Interviews with Film Directors

Francois Truffaut

Roman Polanski

Bertrand Tavernier

Wim Wenders

Ingmar Bergman

John Carpender

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shunryu Suzuki-roshi - Selected Quotes

Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

Selected Quotes:

- All of you are perfect just as you are and you could use a little improvement.

- Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.

- Take care of things, and they will take care of you.

- In your practice you should accept everything as it is, giving to each thing the same respect given to a Buddha. Then Buddha bows to Buddha, and you bow to yourself. This is the true bow.

- The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.

- Life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have no fear of death anymore, nor actual difficulty in our life.

- Renunciation is not giving up the things of the world, but accepting that they go away.

- Moment after moment, completely devote yourself to listening to your inner voice.

- We have to study with our warm heart, not just with our brain.

- We should not be just a fan of dragons; we should always be the dragon himself. Then we will not be afraid of any dragon.

- Everything you do is right, nothing you do is wrong, yet you must still make ceaseless effort.

- When you say "Wait a moment," you are bound by your own karma; when you say "Yes I will," you are free.

- There will always be war, but we must always work to oppose it.

About the blue jay

- If you want to enjoy the movie, you should know that it is the combination of film and light and white screen, and that the most important thing is to have a plain, white screen.

- Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the garden, not in the bare soil itself. But if you want to have a good harvest, the most important thing is to make the soil rich and cultivate it well.

- When you live completely in each moment, without expecting anything, you have no idea of time.

- When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything.
The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything.

More at:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Music of Sousou & Maher Cissoko

Sousou & Maher Cissoko
Sunkotou Njiima

Allt vad vi på jorden äger - All that we may own in this world (is but transient)

Jangfata (the road is long)



Idong (official video)

More at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Editorial Cartoons of John Jonik

Awful America

Salute to money

The American people have spoken

Medical bill

Home of the brave


Preying in schools

The Zen of the Capitalocracy

Affordable air and water

Pesticide funny business

More at:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Robert Schumann - 5 Songs of Dawn

Op. 133
5 Songs of Dawn
(Gesänge der Frühe, Chants de l'aube)

1. Im ruhigen Tempo (In the quiet Tempo)

2. Belebt, nicht zu rasch (Busy, not too quickly)

3. Lebhaft (Lively)

4. Bewegt (Passionately)

5. Im Anfange ruhiges, im Verlauf bewegtes Tempo (In the beginnings quiet, in the course moving Tempo)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thich Nhat Hanh - Selected Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh (center)

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”

“My actions are my only true belongings.”

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

“Life is available only in the present moment.”

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

“Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

“Our own life has to be our message.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.”

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.”

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”

“The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.”

“Understanding means throwing away your knowledge.”

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.”

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

“In true love, you attain freedom.”

“The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”

“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”

“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace - peace is the way.”

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”

“Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.”

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything - anger, anxiety, or possessions - we cannot be free.”

“If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.”

“If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence”

“If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”

“Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.”

“Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.”

“I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.”

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.”

“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth... Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the futurre. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about hte past or worriees about hte future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. you can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.”

“The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don't need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.”

“You are not an observer, you are a participant.”

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”

“Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sounds. By such means, ...awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world. If we get in touch with the suffering of the world, and are moved by that suffering, we may come forward to help the people who are suffering.”

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.”

“In modern society most of us don't want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book - we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.”

“I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight... I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.”

“Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.”

“Being rich is an obstacle to loving. When you are rich, you want to continue to be rich, and so you end up devoting all your time, all your energy, in your daily life to stay rich.”

“Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.”

“I am inviting you to go deeper, to learn and to practice so that you become someone who has a great capacity for being solid, calm, and without fear, because our society needs people like you who have these qualities, and your children, our children, need people like you, in order to go on, in order to become solid, and calm, and without fear.”

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”

“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.”

“May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”

“If your love is only a will to possess, its not love”

“An oak tree is an oak tree. That is all it has to do. If an oak tree is less than an oak tree, then we are all in trouble.”

There is only the tea, and me, converging.”

“The roots of war are in the way we live our daily lives -- the way we develop our industries, build up our society, and consume goods.”

“You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”

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