Monday, September 27, 2010

blowin' it up

pair o' lip-wrapped juice glasses for the folks

fresh-squeezed OJ in fresh-made glass

kale, collard, mustard, chard celery, radish, cuke... pretty in pink!  the lip wrap on these is surprisingly better looking with juice than I expected. I'll be sad to see these go (good to give the presents a trial run before gifting though!)

a glimpse of the first CSA. yes we did manage to eat all the passion fruits. wow.
more sketches for glass are underway - drawing is free and blowing is not, so i'm honing my ideas in pencil for the moment and saving up to get back into the hot shop again soon. all that mandala offering is finally showing up as something more than a pile of barley and stones now that my favorite art form has re-entered my life - and visualization practices pay off big time as I start wrestling with muscle memory lain 5 years dormant. blowpipe, jacks and paper get just as familiar through imagining them as holding them. glassblowing beats poetry, film-making and weaving hands down (well that, and my poor loom is sitting in ohio of all places).

balance, breath and beauty. what more could you ask for.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

rym kick-off event

meditation and movies, buddhas and bikes... stay tuned... more details coming soon

Friday, September 17, 2010

you are here

I started this blog on a total whim when I had this crazy idea about crossing bike culture with buddhism. I practice tibetan buddhism and I ride bikes. well, one bike. and it takes me to work and home again every day. I gave up my car almost a year ago and my bicycle is changing my life.

for the past four years I’ve been participating in a buddhist study and practice regimen that’s basically been like a closed retreat, but done from home. we called it the Home Retreat and in fact, thousands of students all around the world have been participating. nothing like this has ever been tried before. it was immensely meaningful and nobody probably knows the full impact of it yet, not by a long shot. this too, is changing my life.

to do this properly, I made my study and practice my primary focus. I stopped devoting huge chunks of time to other things I used to do, becoming pretty much single-minded in my priorities. this meant cutting way back on ‘everything fun’ - from listening to music and watching movies, to making art and making friends. I walked away from academia, too. almost every day I practiced between 1 and 3 hours of meditation, and also did my best to study the teachings I was receiving. during this time I moved from upstate new york to san diego and didn’t bother a lick to meet people or find community here. I had a retreat to finish. but that’s all changing.

the home retreat is actually still going on, there are a couple years left. but a major shift has taken place both in the program and my own personal practice, and I’m starting to pick up things that I haven’t touched for a while. last week I blew glass for the first time in five years. this is my first blog in nearly seven.  and the first ‘ride your mind’ event, happening at Velo Cult on October 9, is going to be the first community event I pull off in ages too.

I’ll post more about the event soon.

the main thing is, this is the beginning of something new. a re-emerging from within the boundaries of retreat and solitude, taking my creativity and passions back out into the world in a manifest way. it’s also an outlet for me to start playing with words again, images again, and a place to wrestle openly with whatever thoughts or emotions are playing with me, as I continue wobbling along on my training wheels, doggedly determined to ride my fickle mind right to enlightenment, for myself and all sentient beings.

in closing, this is what my precious teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche, has to say:

"The Tibetan word for ‘pliancy’ or ‘flexibility’, shin jang, means that you have some sense of how to ride your own mind. At first, you learn how to tame your mind. Having tamed your mind, you learn how to make friends with it. And having made friends with it, you learn how to make use of it. This is riding your mind.”

so welcome, everybody, aboard this ride.

ride your mind.