The Musicianship of Víkingur Ólafsson


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Still More Pages


“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.”

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”

“Art is, after all, only a trace – like a footprint which shows that one has walked bravely and in great happiness.”

“Do whatever you do intensely.”

“It beats all the things that wealth can give and everything else in the world to say the things one believes, to put them into form, to pass them on to anyone who may care to take them up.”

“There is no art without contemplation.”

“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.”

Quotes by Robert Henri

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In The Preparation


“Are you denying your life now because there is a hint of fulfillment in the future? If so, you don’t understand Zen. You’d better work on understanding your breath. Otherwise, even if your dreamed-of future arises and all of the circumstances of your life fall into place just as you had imagined, you’d just rush past that experience as you did this one and all the others between — on your way to somewhere else. Are you on your way to somewhere else? Won’t you pause for a moment? Please, come in. Take off your shoes. Have a cup of tea.”

“Zen masters have always meant to communicate this identification with pure consciousness, able to contain any sound or sight, smell or touch. Do you get it? It isn’t really all that complicated: there is you and then there is what you experience; there is an awareness — an ability to hear or the “sense of hearing” and then there is the sound. But you can’t just understand the idea; it’s misguided. You can argue with it, finding flaws. You can compare it to other Zen books and lectures and point out discrepancies. You have to really listen. You have to get in the water, not just understand what swimming is about. The tea is in the preparation, in other words. Make some tea. Zen really is that simple.”

Quotes by Wu De

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The Great Sound


“I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
birds and animals and the ants–
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you
in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
what you once knew,
and that’s why everything you do has some weird sense of failure in it.”


“Let’s leave for the country where the Guest lives!
There the water jar is filling with water
Even though there is no rope to lower it.
There the skies are always blue, and yet rain
Falls on the earth.
Do you have a body? Don’t sit on the porch!
Go out and walk in the rain!
The full moon rides the sky all month there, and it would sound silly to
mention only one sun –
The light there comes from a number of them.”


“Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive –
Jump into experience while you are alive –
Think and think while you are alive!
What you call salvation belongs to the time before death.
If you don’t break your ropes while you are alive, do you
Think ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic just
Because the body is rotten –
That is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now, you will simply end up with an apartment in the
City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, during the next moment you will have
the face of satisfied desire.
Plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!”

All poems by Kabir

Happy New Year!   Wishing you an amazing 2023.

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Holy, Holy, Holy


I read this poem recently:

The Healing Time, by Pesha Gertler

Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say holy

Then it made me think of this poem:

Footnote to Howl, by Allen Ginsberg

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul!
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!

Just sharing lots of holy, holy, holy.

It’s all holy.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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The Revolutionary Art of Happiness


“A modern astronomical view says that everything in the universe is moving uniformly away from everything else in all directions into space, so that there is no center point in the cosmos at all. We live with no fixed reference point. From one perspective, this understanding produces the desolate feeling that there is no home. But from another perspective, this realization shows us directly that every point is home. We are free; we do not need to fix on a single center for refuge, for safety. This is love, this is happiness, where our refuge is unbounded, and we are always at home. As the Buddha said, They abide in peace who do not abide anywhere.”

“The path to true happiness is one of integrating and fully accepting all aspects of our experience. […] This unity, this integration, comes from deeply accepting darkness and light, and therefore being able to be in both simultaneously.”

“This is the very nature of life. No one in this world experiences only pleasure and no pain, and no one experiences only gain and no loss. When we open to this truth, we discover that there is no need to hold on or to push away. Rather than trying to control what can never be controlled, we can find a sense of security in being able to meet what is actually happening. This is allowing for the mystery of things: not judging but rather cultivating a balance of mind that can receive what is happening whatever it is. This acceptance is the source of our safety and confidence.”

“The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.”

“This is the work and the power of lovingkindness, the embrace that allows no separation between self, others, and events—the affirmation and honoring of a core goodness in others and in oneself.”

All quotes by Sharon Salzberg,
Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

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The Cosmic Mirror


“The Shambhala understanding of bravery is quite different. Here bravery is the courage to be – to live in the world without any deception and with tremendous kindness and caring for others. You might wonder how this can bring magic into your life. The ordinary idea of magic is that you can conquer the elements, so that you can turn earth into fire or fire into water or ignore the law of gravity and fly. But true magic is the magic of reality, as it is: the earth of earth, the water of water – communicating with the elements so that, in some sense, they become one with you. When you develop bravery, you make a connection with the elemental quality of existence. Bravery begins to heighten your existence, that is, to bring out the brilliant and genuine qualities of your environment and of your own being. So you begin to contact the magic of reality – which is already there in some sense. You actually can attract the power and strength and the primordial wisdom that arise from the cosmic mirror.”

“In addition to the sitting form of meditation, there is the meditation practice in everyday life of panoramic awareness. This particular kind of practice is connected with identifying with the activities one is involved in. This awareness practice could apply to artwork or any other activity. It requires confidence. Any kind of activity that requires discipline also requires confidence. You cannot have discipline without confidence; otherwise it becomes a sort of torturing process. If you have confidence in what you are doing, then you have real communication with the things you are using, with the material you are using. Working that way, a person is not concerned with producing masterpieces. He is just involved with the things that he is doing. Somehow the idea of a masterpiece is irrelevant.”

Quotes by Chogyam Trungpa

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Secrets to Tell You


“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

Poem by Rumi

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