Monday, June 6, 2011

Today I went to a Tibetan Buddhist temple with two of my friends and one of their boyfriends. I don't even remember how I got caught up in that, but I wasn't doing anything yesterday and they invited me along and I ended up saying YES. It was called the Kadampa Center (website here) and we were lead around by a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She wasn't a native of Tibet or any other Asian country, but she was extremely kind and knowledgeable and she told us she just got back from a long trip to India. Her head was shaved and she wore a red-colored traditional Buddhist nun robe which wrapped around her shoulder. We attended a small service but there was hardly anyone else there... before the prayers and teachings we were told to recite The Four Immeasurables:

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger

I remember thinking that that was an amazing, perfect prayer. I was stunned at the conciseness with which it expressed the overall beliefs of the Buddhists. I think I told myself I really wanted to devote my life to their teachings. But that moment flickered and faded as I remembered what life was really like... After that we chanted a few songs and did a 10 minute meditation. I closed my eyes and could distantly hear train flying past somewhere, going nowhere. It was steaming hot in the inner room of the temple, but for some reason I wasn't that affected by it. The woman had a nice, calm voice, and I let my mind drift away a tiny bit but not too far away. She told me to imagine a blank, black space - to put my mother to my left, my father to my right, those I have an issue with in front of me, and all of my friends and loved ones behind me. Then she told me to generate love in my heart and extend it in all directions. First of all, I can't even picture my dad anymore. And my mom... I wanted to put her in front of me too. Everything became a little fuzzy. I kept picturing all of these people I have hurt in my lifetime, and they were placed all around me in no particular order. All of these people who shouldn't have ever met me and would be better off if they never did. Also I was really hungry and was nervous about my stomach making loud noises because that reeeeally embarrasses me. Love is just... I don't know. The woman said to not worry that the love we generated would run out, because it is an infinite amount of shimmering energy and that we were to imagine it as a bright light. I thought "Love will ruin your mind," and I felt like my mind really was ruined. When, in my whole life, had love brought me anything positive or radiant or beautiful? I can only think of illusions and strange tinges of grief. All the colors of my mind mixing together, runny and dark and drying up, hardening in a center at the core of my existence. I couldn't generate the love in time, before she said to open our eyes... One of the guys that worked there gave me some water when I asked for it. WOW I actually think that is significant, but it was. He was cute. After we left the temple I went to hang up some of my art at this indie coffeehouse place in the really old, desolate part of the city. My art class is having this art show on Wednesday night. I.... am awful at art. I can't even draw a person, cat, or car - I can't draw anything. I guess I can copy pictures alright. But I'm not very artistic in that cool artistic way.

If I think about it, there isn't all that much to me. I'm not a book snob, a film snob, and I'm definitely not an art snob either. I don't know enough about anything to have all of those strong opinions. I don't play that many videogames. All I really know is music and classical music and composers. I guess it doesn't matter.

My grandma said she was buying me a fluffy beach towel for college. And shampoo. She is very nice. I have to finish (I mean.. start) my Chemistry final project. I want to record myself playing a certain song for my friend, so I need to go practice that. I've been working on 4 piano songs, 3 for myself and 1 for my teacher. Here they are, in order of least difficult to most difficult and my estimation of the percentage completed:

Maurice Ravel - Sonatine, III. Animé (95%)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major (30%)
Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 48, No. 1 (80%)
Franz Liszt - Un Sospiro (25%)

On Thursday night I have my last piano recital EVER, ever ever in the history of high school and middle school and elementary school. I am not looking forward to the actual pieces I'm playing (Chopin - Nocturne Op. 27, No. 1 & a Bach Prelude/Fugue) but I am looking forward to the piano I'm playing on! It's a Bösendorfer (a really awesome piano that is extra long). I have played on it before, but that was like when I was 10 or 11. It should be fun I guess. I am graduating on Saturday. My cousin and two aunts are coming to visit us on Thursday.

I haven't been listening to that many complete albums lately, other than this one Frogs album and a Sun City Girls one. I might post those later, but I still don't really know what I think about them. I feel bad for not posting more awesome musics. I want to, really... hnnnnnnngg. Today I heard Grieg's first piano concerto on the radio and it was SUCH a bad recording! I think it was like 50 years old, but seriously... I had to turn it off. I forgot the name of the pianist - a Frenchman whose birthday is today, or tomorrow, I think. At first I thought it was like Rachmaninoff's second or third because I really always get those mixed up with the Grieg, much to my shame. They're just all so beautiful.

More to the point, there are two lists of amaaazing songs that I keep listening to over and over again. Here they are:

list # 1 - random songs that I like
Bombay Bicycle Club - The Giantess
Elysian Fields - Sleepover & Red Riding Hood
Vangelis - Bicycle Riders (Harps of the Ancient Temples) & Chew's Eye Lab
Blouse - Shadow
Pinknruby - Lusima
Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 48, No. 1

list # 2 - songs from M., my new best friend in the whole world
Matt Howden - Intimate; Allude
Anne Clark - At Midnight
10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden
Philip Glass - Symphony No. 3, III.
Niccolo Paganini - Caprice for solo violin in A minor (Theme & Variations), Op. 1/24, MS 2
Joseph Haydn - Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major
Mogwai - Friend of the Night
Current 93 - The Seahorse Rears to Oblivion
Donovan - Celeste

Here is the acoustic version of "Celeste," one of the most amazing things in the universe to me right now:

Also I wrote two poems in my head last night before I went to sleep. I wonder if I can remember them. :3

Here is a picture of Jhonn Balance that I honestly saw for the first time like last week. It is a beautiful, dark picture. I think he looks like an angel.


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