Posts Tagged ‘Tich Nhat Hanh

23
Jul
13

4/23/07 – Lend Me Your Ears

Hello everyone.  I hope you are all well.  Thank you for stopping in. Let me say up front, I really do appreciate your support – especially the loyal souls who have been with me over the many years; you have been very encouraging – more than you could ever imagine.

Well, what’s been happening …:   I was recently invited to the ASCAP Annual Pop Awards, and to participate in the ASCAP Songwriter’s Expo the same week, here in Los Angeles.  I was a panelist on a song-listening session at the Expo, where I and three other professionals in various areas of the music business, listened to songwriters’ demos and offered them advice and guidance.  I was amazed at how large an audience this particular panel attracted.  I was also involved in “one-on-one” mentor sessions with writers, which I thoroughly enjoyed because of the intimacy of the platform, and I heard some great stuff.  The two days I was at the conference were a pleasure; the enthusiasm I encountered was infectious.  While at both events, the ASCAP Pop Awards Show and the Expo, I met two writers I greatly admire – Jackson Browne and Jimmy Webb.  And, it was a thrill to learn that “These Dreams” is one of Jimmy’s favorite songs.  The ASCAP organization certainly provides a valuable service to the songwriting community; they’re doing an amazing job helping us all realize and understand that songwriting is a noble art form that must be cherished, and they’re continually fighting to protect copyright issues and challenges to our rights, in Washington, D.C.  After the two days spent at the conference, I can happily report that the songwriting community is very much alive and well and hungry to create, which is good for us all!

This last month has been full of more preparation for the release of the new album.  The CD artwork is being designed and an official website is being constructed as I write.  I am also in the pre-production stages of an Electric Press Kit, which is soon to be filmed.  This video will document the making of “In The Temple Of The Muse”, among other things, including the stories behind some of the new songs.  I’m looking forward to filming; it should be a fun project.

When I have been able to step away from the business, I have found myself in bookshops – my favourite place in all the world to be!  For me, there is nothing quite like rummaging through great literature.  I am at my most content surrounded by books.  My mother was the same – she must have passed the addiction on to me!  (I am grateful).  So, I thought I’d share with you three of the books that I am reading and enjoying at the moment:  Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan — a book about Big Questions; The Oracle by William J. Broad – a fascinating look at the mysteries of ancient Delphi; and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Tich Nhat Hanh – a wonderful little book written by an author of great vision and compassion.  Any work written by Tich Nhat Hanh will contain deep insights into the human condition – he is a special teacher.

Well, before I sign off, I want to thank those of you who posted questions and comments here on my Myspace page.  I love hearing what you’re up to, what you’re thinking about, and answering your queries.  To have your feedback brings me a little closer to you, and makes it all worth it…. So stay in touch.

— “The closer you stand to the light house, the darker it gets”

—- Japanese Proverb

Thanks for lending me your ears.  Until next time …

— Martin.

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17
Oct
07

10/17/2007 – The Undiscovered Self

Over recent years, I have found great inspiration and motivation in Eastern religions and their respective philosophies.  Buddhism, in particular, has had a very positive effect on my life.  About 8 years ago, during a period of profound change, re-evaluation and sorrow, I found myself drawn to that part of the library that offered a different viewpoint on life from that of the Western perspective.  Somehow, these teachings connected all the dots for me, and spoke to me in a very real and natural way.  No dogma was involved, and Zen/Buddhism appealed to me more as a “science of the mind” than an organized religion.  I read all that I could get my hands on, and eventually taught myself how to meditate – which, I might add, was a major turning point for me.  Grasping the concepts of compassion, impermanence, selflessness and emptiness – not just on the surface, but to understand these insights deeply – was by no means a “walk in the park” and took some radical soul-searching.  However, once the reality of the four noble truths got under my skin, I began to see my life, and all life, through new and different eyes.  In every aspect of my daily life, the teachings enabled me to see more clearly, be more pliable to life’s twists and turns, to let go of what I couldn’t control, and to see others’ points of view with compassion, empathy and tolerance.  In a nutshell, my life became happier, more peaceful and more fearless.  I took to heart that famous phrase, “know thy self”.  Buddhism allowed me to see my true nature, and in doing so, I saw the world – its beauty, its gifts, its mystery and its problems – in a more subtle and transparent light.  It seems to me, in these threatening and uncertain times, that the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) of 2,500 years ago, are still so very relevant today; for it’s one’s mind – how one thinks and perceives – that forms our world, our reality and our vision for the future.

As Daniel Pinchbeck points out in his book, “2012”, “Today’s technology, its poisonous by-products, weapons of mass destruction, and inhumane repercussions are projections of the human psyche, expressing our current stage of development.”  Carl Jung wrote, “The only thing that really matters now is whether man can climb up to a higher moral level, to a higher plane of consciousness, in order to be equal to the superhuman powers which the fallen angels have played into our hands.  But he can make no progress until he becomes very much better acquainted with his own nature.”

On my inward journey (I’m still traveling), I stumbled across some very special literature; and I hope some of these books are, in some way, helpful to you:

 

TITLE AUTHOR   TITLE AUTHOR
Entering The Stream Samuel Bercholz What is Zen Alan Watts
The Miracle of Mindfulness Tich Nhat Hanh When Things Fall Apart Pema Chodron
Being Peace Tich Nhat Hanh The Wisdom of No Escape Pema Chodron
Two Treasures Tich Nhat Hanh The Book of Life
  1. Krishnamurti
The Four Noble Truths The Dalai Lama The Light in Oneself
  1. Krishnamurti
Healing Emotions The Dalai Lama Inner Revolution Robert Thurman
The Art Of Happiness The Dalai Lama Breath Sweeps Mind Jean Smith
This Is It Alan Watts Compassion Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen
The Way of Liberation Alan Watts What Would The Buddha Do? Franz Metcalf

 

And these magazines, which can be found at the newsstand:  Shambhala Sun and Tricycle

“… Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”

 -PHILO

             Thanks for spending some time with me today.

 

-Martin