Record-breaking cheese

This one’s from Trev Diesel who’s got a second blog » just for humor. Looks like his commenter Josh first called attention to it:

http://abum.com/files/Movies/970227884.wmv »

Yes, it stretches the definition of a “Maya Hee” webcam video (it’s more a Maya Hee medley), but if you watch it through to the very end (and it **is** worth it), you’ll see just how much *strength* some people get from this crazy song!

BTW, have you tried singing it yourself yet? It’s hard! There’s a seventh and a *ninth* at the beginning!

Snapshot

Sometimes when I let days go by between posts, it’s because I don’t know what to write about. Often this isn’t because my spiritual life is dry (though sometimes it is), but sometimes it’s because I don’t know where to begin.

Here’s as close a snapshot as what I can give you what’s been going on in my life the last month or so, the stuff I usually don’t blog about.

* Since I began studying Zen, I haven’t gone to church nearly as much, but I still attend my parish » and Catholic Campus Ministry » at ODU.
* I’ve become *very* aware of God’s presence again.
* Kundalini effects have been very strong. It feels good for the most part, but there are more headaches.
* I’ve been hanging out with evangelicals for the first time in ages, at a fledging post-modern or “post-Protestant »” church called Symphonic.
* You’ve got to love a church that doesn’t have a noun in its name. In Minnesota, there’s a church named “Bluer. »” (Maybe they should buy a heater!)
* I like it, though I really don’t know why I’m there!
* Among other things, it’s a good place to see Korean horror films ».
* I’ve been corresponding with a seeker who came across my site last month.
* He’s much more “awake” than I am. Yet he’s asking me questions, when I feel I should be asking him.
* The last time he emailed me, I got the email while watching one of my favorite TV shows. His name is the same as that of the main character on that show.
* My teacher is telling me that nothing is coincidence.
* I giggle *a lot* in meetings with my teacher.
* Had a great weekend catching up with two of my friends, although if any of you is thinking of seeing “Son of the Mask,” **don’t.**
* Brewing ginger ale again, and this time, I’ve got *whey.* (Thanks, Katherine!)
* I’m starting to believe that nothing is coincidence.
* Spent a lot of time Web-surfing. God is doing some very interesting things in a lot of places. Impressed by the potential of the “post-modern” movement.
* I feel amazed and blessed and dizzy by just being alive here on Februrary 21, 2005.

Time Travel

I sometimes think of meditation / contemplative prayer as a kind of time travel–leaving the hustle and madness of the 21st century, and going back to the origin, back to when God walked with man in the Garden of the heart. But of course, it’s not going “back” at all, but rather stopping time in a sense–not in the external world of course, but as we listen to God in the deep silence at the center of the soul, time stops internally. In that freedom from time, we meet God, who is eternal, outside of time.

So from the noise of our minds we go back to stillness, and from the noise of our wants, anxieties and ideas, we sink into that stillness, and there, just rest and “be still, and know God.”

It’s strange that practicing this rest for our souls is so difficult. Our bodies demand this deep rest, without thought, emotion, or worry. Any more than a few days without sleep can kill.

Similarly, our spirits suffer just as much without consciously resting in this stillness in which God calls us to meet him. But we can survive (so it seems) without it, so we ignore it.

Who says?

Just sharing an observation from my teacher tonight:

>Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except though me.” Buddha said, “In the heavens above, and the earth beneath, I alone am the Most-Honored One.” Krishna said, “I am the **me** in everyone.”

>This would all seem very confusing, until you realize that Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna didn’t say anything. The One Spirit spoke through them all, and does through all who realize the One.

Dandelion Wine

I finally posted my review of Dandelion Wine. It was much harder for me to write than I expected; it’s so difficult to find to words to speak further about what Bradbury has expressed so perfectly. Something else that makes it difficult is that Dandelion Wine brings up memories of insights and revelations long-lost in childhood. Not only does reading it require processing, but writing about it does, too.

I re-read Dandelion Wine this year, and I was struck by how much had gone completely past me before–for instance, how very *Buddhist* this picture of small-town Americana is, with its lessons on the impermanence and *dukkha* of the world, grasping as the cause of suffering, the freedom of non-attachment, and the courage required of compassion.

It even has a story in it about reincarnation–I never remembered that being there! It’s an amazing book. If it’s been a while since you’ve read it, treat yourself again.

I also posted a poem I wrote on Dandelion Wine, and the original AANVVV version of it as well. A few days ago, I posted my review of The Wisdom of the Enneagram along with mini-reviews of other Enneagram books and links to major Enneagram information sites

Mystery Solved

I solved some mysteries today–not only the “Legolas search,” but also why my bandwidth usage has been so high. According to my statistics, practically the whole world visits my site every day, but my email says otherwise. The problem turned out to be that some people liked the images I have on some of my movie pages so much, they “hotlinked” to them, instead of just copying them. Linking to an image might feel more ethical than copying it, but it’s much more insidious. While the Web works by people linking to **pages**, linking to images is a very subtle form of theft that drains bandwith without visits. None of those images were mine, anyway, they belong to their respective studios as noted, and can be included in other sites as “fair use” as they were here.

The bandwidth drain wasn’t critical, but it might become so if I choose to publicize my site. I decided to cut all the hotlinks now with a .htaccess file. Hey, you like the pretty picture? Just right-click and take it, OK? (Unless it’s a personal picture, or something I’ve obviously taken pains to customize–then ask, please!)

Thinkingfeeling

Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the *jnana* path or the *bhakti* path–the way of knowledge or of devotion, the mind or the heart. On the enneagram, I’m almost an even split between the rational, analytical **five** and the bohemian, emotional **four.** It’s not that I feel split within myself, but I see that this *thinkingfeeling* tends to be divided in most spheres of life.

When I was in school considering my future career, I was torn between the arts and the sciences. I had never fit into a clique–I was too geeky for the bohemians, and too artsy for the nerds. I’m often intolerant of shoddy research and people who simply don’t investigate things. And I’m amazed by people who are oblivious to God and to wonder.

In spiritual practice, there are similar divisions–simply because there is a path for everyone, and most people identify more with the mind or the heart. Most religions tend to favor the heart. Think Christian praise and contemplation, Hindu *kirtans,* Sufi *zikr* dancing, and even some Buddhist chants. But Zen is a rather “heady” way, as is Self-inquiry, and St. Loyola made even contemplation seem rather matter-of-fact.

It doesn’t matter. Either the heart or the mind can be the bridge to the Spirit, as long as the Spirit is allowed to do what It will. When I stopped wondering about wonder… this came:

>i open my eyes
and You . . . are there.
i close my eyes
and You . . . are here.

>all i need to feel
is to stop . . . *feel.*
You . . . *there*
You . . . *here.*

>”Ever desiring,
one beholds the manifestations.
Ever desireless,
one drowns in the mystery.”

>breathing water so sweet,
why should i want to live?

Score one for bhakti? Oh, but then I went to a computer and posted it on the Internet. Feelingthinking.

Legolas? Huh?

I was checking out my site stats, and found one particular statistic that defies explanation. Apparently the search string which has brought the most people to this site so far this month isn’t “mysticism” or “Christian mysticism” or “awakening” or “theosis,” but **”Legolas!”**

Well, it’s true, I *do* have a pic of Legolas on my Lord of the Rings review page. Other than that, I have no idea how entering “Legolas” into a search engine brings folks here. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s probably not what they’re looking for! I actually tried the “Legolas” search myself in Google, Yahoo!, AltaVista, MSN, and AOL. I didn’t see *anything* pointing to my site. *How do they get here?*

Apparently, searching for Shannon Sossamon also brings people to the *Wild Things of God.* Hey everyone, welcome!