At the last new moon, I wrote a list of intentions. Taken together they mean, vibrate higher.
Boost energy, joy, hope.
Be more powerful, and lighter at the same damn time.
Float, fly, soar,
on your own terms.
From the inside.
In your cells.
Spirit. Breath. Light.
High vibration is goddess energy. It is magic stirring.
When I neglect pleasure and beauty rituals,
when I consume nonfood instead of divine nourishment,
when I am not salt bathing or sunbathing, or
any of the things I know to do,
I look around and there I am: stuck, stagnant, heavy.
I feel weak. Powerless.
Even laughs are smaller and too far apart.
I watched a short video this weekend, and it featured excerpts from a piece by Buddhist philosopher and peace activist Daisaku Ikeda. I haven’t felt anything resonate so deeply in a long time. I quickly jotted down all the words I could remember and then found part of the poem excerpted online:
Quietly ask yourself
if it isn’t in fact true
that each of us,
before being defeated by an external adversary,
is first defeated by ourselves.
The weak in spirit,
even before wandering reluctantly
at the foot of the wall
that towers in their path,
shrink first before the sight
of their own shadow.
Terrified of illusory figures
of our own creation,
we are defeated by the bandits
that infest our heart.
are always the conquering masters
of their own minds.
Thus, they fear nothing,
remain unbowed, unflinching.
they live in perfect accord
with the Daishonin’s counsel: The wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat.
They know that they themselves
are like that brilliant monarch, the sun.
Shooting bright beams
through the clouds
of impermanence and change,
they advance, heads held high
into the raging tempest.
From Be an eternal bastion of peace in Journey of Life: Selected Poems of Daisaku Ikeda
I think a lot about art for peace and scholarship for peace, and what it might mean to design a sustainable future. Lately it’s been a mostly private investigation, but I may explore these ideas more publicly in the coming weeks.
Today I want to share a quote from an open letter by world renown artists, fellow Buddhists, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. The letter is meant to inspire and provoke artists, but the encouragement is food for thought for us all. They share 10 points, ending with the hope that we live in a state of constant wonder. They begin with this:
FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITY
We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted in the complexity and curiosity of what it means to simply exist on this planet. Music is but a drop in the ocean of life.