Thursday, January 17, 2019

My friend Dinah's art

She is an incredible self-taught artist -- I had dinner with her and her husband Dave last night and saw all her art "in person." (~.~)  She has an online site where her art is posted for all to see.  She chronicles life (hers and others' -- as well as her dreams) in her art, which is uniquely and beautifully her own -- and different from anything I've seen before. Her paintings are like a personal diary, capturing moments and the intricacies of life, in events and patterns, to which (it seems to me) anyone can relate. They invite you to look more closely and experience the emotions they evoke, kind of like a modern-day Grandma Moses.  Dinah and I will be attending art class together (not that she needs any instruction!) in my next round of art class.  

After knowing her for many years, during which she lived in Santa Cruz and then in Maryland for several years, fate has brought her now to be my neighbor in Watsonville, living just a few houses down the street from me.  We laugh a lot together and I thought it would be fun to be sitting next to each other as we paint, so asked her if she would be interested in coming to art class.  Am glad she said yes.  I can learn a lot from her. You'll see what I mean when you look at her paintings and read her comments explaining them.  I thought you might like seeing them, too.  I feel very lucky to have so many talented friends, from whom I can learn much about art and life!  Here is the link to Dinah's site:


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Remarkable 3-minute video on water crystals - Beautiful experiments by a scientist that will have you amazed!

Dr. Masaru Emoto is a scientist who has written a very interesting book about water and how it is affected by our consciousness, both positively and negatively.  You can see amazing pictures online in a short video of pictures he's taken of frozen water crystals at:
The video shows how water crystals change simply by thought or prayer or music--or even by words (positive or negative) written on top of the containers filled with water. Dr. Emoto froze that water to see if the words somehow affected the crystals formed from the water. You can see the astounding results on the video.
Following is the info. that is written below the 3 minute online video. I feel certain you will be intrigued by this video and Dr. Emoto's work!
Through the 1990's, Dr. Masaru Emoto performed a series of experiments observing the physical effect of words, prayers, music and environment on the crystalline structure of water. Emoto hired photographers to take pictures of water after being exposed to the different variables and subsequently frozen so that they would form crystalline structures. The results were nothing short of remarkable.. After observing these miraculous results, Dr. Emoto went on to type out different words, both positive and negative in nature, and taped them to containers full of water. The results were that water with negative words written on the container did not produce beautiful crystals. As you can tell, the water stamped with positive words is far more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing than that stamped with dark, negative phrases. If you are reading this article on this particular website, you probably already knew that positive and negative thinking have a major impact on the surrounding environment. That concept is relatively easy to grasp, but this extremely tangible evidence of it is astounding. If the words and thoughts that come out of us have this effect on water crystals, it's amazing to think of what kind of effect they have on the people and events that come into our lives.
Oh and by the way, the average human body is 60% water. Ponder that one a while…


Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Interesting article on Jack Kerouac re Kindness and the Self Illusion

 Note the link in the last paragraph to a short video -- if you ever enjoyed bike riding, it's a good one to view (~.~):

Jack Kerouac on Kindness, the Self Illusion, and the "Golden Eternity"

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Portrait of Jack Kerouac by John Cohen
In the mid-1950s, literary iconoclast and beat icon Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922–October 21, 1969) became intensely interested in Buddhism, which began permeating his writing. It was the golden age of Eastern ideas drawing Western minds, from legendary composer John Cage to pioneering philosopher Alan Watts, credited with popularizing Zen thinking in mainstream Western society. Watts, in fact, at one point criticized Kerouac's writing as being "always a shade too self-conscious, too subjective, and too strident to have the flavor of Zen." But when stripped of his literary self-consciousness, as he was in his private letters, Kerouac had a special way of articulating the most beautiful and eternal concepts of Zen Buddhism with equal parts expansive awareness and crystalline precision.

Kerouac sent one such letter to his first wife, Edie Kerouac Parker, in late January of 1957, a decade after their marriage had been annulled. Found in The Portable Jack Kerouac (public library) — an altogether terrific treasure trove of his stories, poems, letters, and essays on Buddhism — the missive is nothing short of exquisite.

Kerouac writes:

I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.

Echoing Watts's philosophy on death, Kerouac considers the illusion of the solid "self" as he contemplates the life and death of mountains:

We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.

He ends the letter with one of his free-flowing, uninhibited poems:

The world you see is just a movie in your mind. Rocks dont see it. Bless and sit down. Forgive and forget. Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you're already in heaven now. That's the story. That's the message. Nobody understands it, nobody listens, they're all running around like chickens with heads cut off. I will try to teach it but it will be in vain, s'why I'll end up in a shack praying and being cool and singing by my woodstove making pancakes.

More than half a century after Kerouac penned that beautiful letter, director Sergi Castella and filmmaker Hector Ferreño transformed the writer's words into a magnificent cinematic adaptation for Dosnoventa Bikes, with a haunting, Johnny-Cashlike voiceover by James Phillips and beautifully curated music by Pink Floyd and Cash himself. As an intense lover of both bikes and literature, it makes my heart sing in multiple octaves.