I Sex Pistols sono stati uno dei più influenti gruppi punk rock britannici e una grande icona della prima ondata punk.
L’inizio del gruppo, originariamente composto dal cantante Johnny Rotten, dal chitarrista Steve Jones, dal batterista Paul Cook e dal bassista Glen Matlock, poi sostituito da Sid Vicious, risale al 1975, a Londra. Anche se la loro carriera durò solo tre anni, pubblicando solo quattro singoli discografici e un album in studio, i Sex Pistols vennero descritti dalla BBC come «la sola punk rock band inglese». Il gruppo è spesso indicato come il fondatore del movimento punk britannico e il creatore del primo divario generazionale con il rock ‘n’ roll.
I Sex Pistols emersero come risposta a ciò che era sempre visto come più eccessivo, come il rock progressivo e le produzioni pop della metà degli anni settanta. Il gruppo creò molte controversie durante la sua breve carriera, attirando l’attenzione su di sé,ma mettendo spesso in secondo piano la musica. I loro show e i loro tour erano ripetutamente ostacolati dalle autorità, e le loro apparizioni pubbliche spesso finivano disastrosamente. Il singolo del 1977 God Save the Queen, pubblicato appositamente durante il giubileo d’argento della regina d’Inghilterra, è stato considerato un attacco alla monarchia e al nazionalismo degli inglesi.
Johnny Rotten lasciò il gruppo nel 1978, durante un turbolento tour negli Stati Uniti; il trio rimasto continuò fino alla fine dell’anno, ma si sciolse all’inizio del 1979. Con Lydon il gruppo organizza un concerto nel 1996 per il Filthy Lucre Tour (“Tour a scopo di lucro”, traducibile anche in “Tour per il lurido guadagno”), anche se senza Sid Vicious, morto di overdose nel 1979 a soli 21 anni.
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they lasted just two-and-a-half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, they were one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music, initiated a punk movement in the United Kingdom, and inspired many later punk and alternative rock musicians. The first incarnation of the Sex Pistols included singer John Lydon, lead guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bass player Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious early in 1977. Under the management ofMalcolm McLaren, a visual artist, performer, clothes designer and boutique owner, the band provoked controversies that garnered a significant amount of publicity. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organisers and local authorities, and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Their 1977 single “God Save the Queen”, attacking social conformity and deference to the Crown, precipitated the “last and greatest outbreak of pop-based moral pandemonium”. Other subjects addressed in their frequently obscene lyrics included the music industry, consumerism, abortion, and the Holocaust.
In January 1978, at the end of a turbulent tour of the United States, Rotten left the Sex Pistols and announced its break-up. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren’s film version of the Sex Pistols’ story, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; since 2002, they have staged further reunion shows and tours. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols—the four original, surviving members and Sid Vicious—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum “a piss stain”
Parole e immagini
Le parole disegnano immagini
che nascondono verità.
Esse solo a te appartengono
– celano il tuo sentire-
il vaso ruppe
tutti i mali
navigarono sul mondo
-ne subiamo i torti-
Nessuno però ricorda
che luce verde era rimasta
in quella giara
il suo nome
aiutami a cercarla
ti regalerò sorriso.
Naviga e ascolta.
Quando avrai raccolto
tutte le lacrime del mondo
– gli inganni-
guarda il vaso colmo
chiediti chi le tue perle
-Io ci sarò-
Solo illusione è la tua
se non vuoi credere
che il mondo poggia
se intorno incontri
Vivere il destino
– non cambia-
quel che si è.
Mentire potrai a tutti
mai a Te stessa.
Cassandra sarei Io
ma Minerva sia
la tua Dea
Quel che ho dentro
quel che è fuori
in me filtra.
Emozioni vedi ora
-sai quel che provo-
Viaggio cattura sensi
in un oceano d’amore
– noi universo vivo-
Il volto mio è specchio
di quel che sono.
Vibrando ci solleviamo in volo
Words and images
The words draw images
that hide the truth.
They belong only to you
– Hide your feel-
the vase broke
sailed the world
-The wrongs we suffer-
But no one remembers
that green light had been
in the jar
Help me to seek
I’ll give you a smile.
Browse and listen.
When you have collected
all the tears of the world
– The deceit-
looks at the jar filled
ask yourself who your pearls
-I will be there-
Illusion only is your
if you do not want to believe
that the world rests
Why would you want
if meetings around
Experience the fate
– No change
what it is.
You can lie to everyone
never to yourself.
Cassandra I would
but Minerva is
What I have inside
what is out
filters in me.
Emotions see now
-You know what I feel-
Travel captures the meaning
in an ocean of love
– Universe we live-
The face is my mirror
of what they are.
Vibrating in the air we raise
E’ negli occhi la pace
il dono che ti sfiora
…ecco che ora
scende dritto al cuore
E’ negli occhi il colore
del nulla o dell’infinito
-cerco per te-
e con il calore di una sera
e del rosso tramonto
ti porto ormai dentro
-non ho dubbi-
nessuna incertezza mi sfiora
nessuna paura mi ferma
è nei tuoi occhi
lo specchio che mi riflette.
In the eyes
E ‘in the eyes peace
the gift that touches you
… Here now
goes straight to the heart
E ‘in the eye color
of zero or infinity
and the warmth of an evening
and the red sunset
I’ll take you inside now
-I have no doubt-
no uncertainty comes to mind
no fear stops me
is in your eyes
the mirror that reflects me.
Artemios Ventouris “Demis” Roussos (greco Αρτέμιος Bεντούρης Pούσσος; Alessandria d’Egitto, 15 giugno 1946 – Atene, 25 gennaio 2015) è stato un cantante e bassista greco.
Demis Roussos ha saputo esprimere il passato ellenico e la bellezza delle terre in cui ha vissuto attraverso un canto poetico e soave, prestato a generi diversissimi, dalrock progressivo, alla disco music, alle tante varianti del pop. Come bassista ha uno stile che ricorda le sonorità e la tecnica di Paul McCartney e di Brian Wilson.
Nato in Egitto da genitori di origini greche, tornò nel paese di origine dopo la perdita di tutti gli averi familiari, in seguito alla Crisi di Suez del 1956.
In gioventù Roussos aveva appreso il solfeggio e aveva imparato a suonare la chitarra e la tromba, divenendo inoltre cantante solista nel coro della chiesa bizantina diAlessandria d’Egitto.
In Grecia Demis Roussos entrò in diversi gruppi musicali (The Idols, Minis,Stormies, We Five e soprattutto Aphrodite’s Child), prima di iniziare la carriera da solista.
Il gruppo degli Aphrodite’s Child, del quale ha fatto parte dalla loro origine fino allo scioglimento, ha prodotto singoli di successo planetario come It’s Five O’Clock, Rain And Tears, Spring, Summer, Winter And Fall, I Want To Live, etc, e un album, 666, considerato dal pubblico e dalla critica come un capolavoro.
Il tastierista degli Aphrodite’s Child, Vangelis Papathanassiou, diventerà famoso compositore di colonne sonore con il nome di Vangelis (notevoli fra le altre: Momenti di gloria, Blade Runner, Alexander).
Demis Roussos è apparso anche in album solisti di Vangelis. Un suo grande successo è stato Race to the End, adattamento vocale del tema portante della colonna sonora di Momenti di Gloria (Chariots of Fire). La sua carriera solistica ha toccato l’apice negli anni settanta: vinse il Festivalbar 1971 con We shall dance che arriva quarta in Austria. Il singolo Forever and Ever fu primo nelle classifiche di molti Paesi (anche nellaUK Singles Chart con l’Extended play The Roussos Phenomenon nel 1976), secondo nei Paesi Bassi e quarto in Austria nel 1973. Altri successi furono My Friend the Wind prima nei Paesi Bassi per due settimane e settima in Germania nel 1973, My Reason prima nei Paesi Bassi per tre settimane nel 1972, Lovely Lady of Arcadia che nella versione Schönes Mädchen aus Arcadia arriva prima per tre settimane nei Paesi Bassi, seconda in Svizzera, sesta in Germania e settima in Austria nel 1973 e Goodbye My Love, Goodbye prima in Svizzera per 12 settimane ed in Germania, seconda in Austria e terza in Norvegia. Molto note furonoSomeday Somewhere che nel 1974 arriva seconda nei Paesi Bassi, Auf Wiederseh’n sesta nei Paesi Bassi nel 1974, Perdoname sesta nei Paesi Bassi nel 1975, Happy to Be on an Island in the Sun quinta nella UK Singles Chart nel 1975, When Forever Has Gone seconda nel Regno Unito nel 1976 ed anche una sua versione di Lost in Love degli Air Supply che arriva quarta nei Paesi Bassi nel 1980.
Fu tra i passeggeri del volo TWA 847 dirottato il 14 giugno del 1985. Percependo una svolta nella sua vita, Demis Roussos si imbarcò in un’operazione di rilancio della sua immagine con l’LP Time, che riscosse un discreto successo e con il singolo da discoteca Dance of Love. Nel 1988 il singolo Quand je t’aime arriva terzo in Francia e nel 1990 On écrit sur les murs quarto in Francia.
Gli anni novanta videro ulteriori sostanziali uscite: si accordò con la BR Music nei Paesi Bassi per produrre Immortal, Serenade e In Holland, utilizzando una gran varietà di strumenti etnici e stili elettronici.
Demis Roussos ha continuato a registrare e ad esibirsi dal vivo fino a poco prima della sua scomparsa. Nella primavera del 2002 fece un tour del Regno Unito. Nello stesso anno ha duettato con Ivana Spagna nel brano Tears of Love, inserito nell’album della cantante Woman.
Il 19 settembre 2008 è stato tra gli ospiti della trasmissione della RAI I migliori anni ed ha ringraziato il pubblico italiano perché proprio in Italia iniziò con successo la sua carriera come solista. Grande ritorno a I migliori anni nella serata del 31 ottobre ed in quella finale del 5 dicembre 2008; nelle edizioni successive è riapparso nelle puntate del 5 novembre e del 17 dicembre 2010: in quest’ultima ha riproposto il suo grande successo Forever and ever.
È morto in una clinica di Atene il 25 gennaio 2015 all’età di 68 anni. Il cantante era malato da tempo.
Artemios “Demis” Ventouris-Roussos (Greek: Αρτέμιος “Ντέμης” Βεντούρης-Ρούσσος, 15 June 1946 – 25 January 2015) was an Egyptian Greek singer and performer who had international hit records as a solo performer in the 1970s after having been a member of Aphrodite’s Child, a progressive rock group that also included Vangelis. Roussos sold over 60 million albums worldwide and became “an unlikely kaftan-wearing sex symbol”.
A Demis Roussos Museum is now planned in Nijkerk, the Netherlands.
After settling in Greece, Roussos participated in a series of musical groups beginning with The Idols when he was 17, where he met Evangelos Papathanassiou (later known as Vangelis) and Loukas Sideras, his future bandmates in Aphrodite’s Child. After this he joined the Athens band, We Five, another cover band which had limited success in Greece.
Roussos came to a wider audience in 1967 when he joined progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Child, with Vangelis and Loukas Sideras, initially as a singer but later also playing bass guitar, achieving commercial success in France and other parts of Europe from 1968 to 1972. They set off for London to break into the international music scene but were turned back at Dover due to visa problems. They retreated to Pariswhere they decided to stay, signing a record deal there with Philips Records. Their first recording sessions were delayed by the general strike of May 1968 but later the same year the song “Rain and Tears” was issued across Europe. the song appeared on the album End of the World in October. Composed by Vangelis and the French lyricist Boris Bergman, the song featured Roussos’s unusual high tenor, The song was only a minor hit in Britain but was successful in many other countries. Roussos’s operatic vocal style helped propel the band to international success, notably on their final album 666, based on passages from theBook of Revelation, which became a progressive rock cult classic.
After Aphrodite’s Child disbanded, Roussos continued to record sporadically with his former bandmate Vangelis. In 1970 the two released the film score album Sex Power (the album has also been credited to Aphrodite’s Child) and also recorded the 1977 album Magic together. Their most successful collaboration was “Race to the End” (also sung in Spanish as “Tu Libertad”), a vocal adaptation of the musical theme from the Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire, while Roussos also guested on the soundtrack to Blade Runner (1982), with a song entitled “Tales of the Future”
luci e cadute
lacrime e sorrisi
anche per te
tremore e linfa
anche con te
piume e voli
forza e attesa
anche in te
apri le ali
lights and drops
tears and smiles
tremor and lymph
also with you
feathers and flight
strength and waiting
senza saper salire
sorprende scoprirla dopo lungo stupore.
scacciare coni d’ombra.
Afferrare lembi nuovi
di speranza salva e sospendere scoramenti.
dopo sospiri avvinti
in nubi di fumo.
sospinge la grigia tempesta.
Ero senza respiro.
without being able to climb
surprising to find after a long stupor.
cone of shadow cast.
Grab the new edges
hope of saving suspend and dejection.
After sighs captivated
in clouds of smoke.
pushes the gray storm.
I was breathless.
Distesa sul prato
forza in abbandono
punto serena al cielo
Nuvole mi parlano
“ Vola Aquila
dispiega le ali
t’accarezza il sole
ti ama il vento”
a seguire rotte:
e cuore che batte.
Attesa e respiro.
Fiori in boccio
i miei sorrisi
i miei pensieri.
anche la luna.
Ho rotto i lacci:
la mia forza.
Lying on the grass
point to the serene sky
Clouds speak to me
filled with emotions
spreads its wings
caresses the sun
I love the wind “
I am happy
routes to follow:
and beating heart.
Hold and breathe.
Flowers in bloom
about the moon.
I broke the strings:
in the quiet
I Doors sono stati un gruppo musicale statunitense, fondato nel 1965 da Jim Morrison (cantante), Ray Manzarek (tastierista), Robby Krieger (chitarrista) e John Densmore (batterista), e scioltosi definitivamente dopo otto anni di carriera effettiva nel 1973, due anni dopo la morte di Jim Morrison (avvenuta il 3 luglio del 1971).
Sono considerati uno dei gruppi più influenti e controversi nella storia della musica, alla quale hanno unito con successo elementi blues, psichedelia e jazz. Molti dei loro brani, come Light My Fire, The End, Hello, I Love You e Riders on the Storm, sono considerati dei classici e sono stati reinterpretati da numerosi artisti delle generazioni successive.
I Doors hanno venduto più di 100 milioni di dischi in tutto il mondo. Tre album in studio della band, The Doors (1967), L.A. Woman (1971) e Strange Days (1967), sono presenti nella lista dei 500 migliori album, rispettivamente alle posizioni 42, 362 e 407. Nel 1993 i Doors furono inseriti nella Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, which itself was a reference to a William Blake quote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.” They were among the most controversial, influential and unique rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison’s death on 3 July 1971, aged 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973.
Signing with Elektra Records in 1966, the Doors released eight albums between 1967 and 1971. All but one hit the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 and went platinum or better. The 1967 release of The Doors was the first in a series of top ten albums in the United States, followed by Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968), The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel (1970), Absolutely Live (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971), with 20 Gold, 14 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone. The band had three million-selling singles in the U.S.—”Light My Fire”, “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me”. After Morrison’s death in 1971, the surviving trio released two albums Other Voices and Full Circle with Manzarek and Krieger sharing lead vocals. The three members also collaborated on the spoken-word recording of Morrison’s An American Prayer in 1978 and on the “Orange County Suite” for a 1997 boxed set. Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore reunited in 2000 for an episode of VH1’s “Storytellers” and subsequently recorded Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors with a variety of vocalists.
Although the Doors’ active career ended in 1973, their popularity has persisted. According to the RIAA, they have sold 33 million certified units in the US and over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The Doors have been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 41st on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold and platinum LPs.
In 2002 Manzarek and Krieger started playing together again, branding themselves as the Doors of the 21st Century, with Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals. Densmore opted to sit out and, along with the Morrison estate, sued the duo over proper use of the band’s name and won. After a short time as Riders On the Storm, they settled on the name Manzarek-Krieger and continued to tour until Manzarek’s death in 2013 at the age of 74.
Three of the band’s studio albums, The Doors (1967), L.A. Woman (1971), and Strange Days (1967), were featured in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 42, 362 and 407 respectively.
The band, their work, and Morrison’s celebrity are considered important to the counterculture of the 1960s.
The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
«Anche se il timore avrà più argomenti,scegli la speranza.»
« La speranza è il solo bene che è comune a tutti gli uomini, e anche coloro che non hanno più nulla la possiedono ancora. »
Aforisma attribuito a Talete nelle massime dei Sette savi
« La speranza è la fiduciosa attesa di un bene che quanto più desiderato tanto più colora l’aspettativa di timore o paura per la sua mancata realizzazione. »
Cfr. Vocabolario della lingua italiana Treccani alla voce corrispondente
Se un albero che non riceve la luce piega il suo tronco in direzione del sole non possiamo sostenere che l’albero spera, perché la speranza in un uomo è legata ai sentimenti e alla coscienza che l’albero non ha. »
Erich Fromm, La rivoluzione della speranza. Per costruire una società più umana. Milano,Bompiani, 2002, p.19
“Though fear will have more arguments, choose hope.”
“Hope is the only good that is common to all men, and even those who no longer possess it yet. »
Aphorism attributed to Talete in the Masses of the Seven Wisps
“Hope is the trusted expectation of a good that the more desired the more the expectation of fear or fear for its failure to accomplish. »
See the Vocabulary of the Italian language Treccani in the corresponding entry
If a tree that does not receive the light folds its trunk in the direction of the sun we can not support the tree hoping because hope in a man is related to the feelings and consciousness that the tree does not have. »
Erich Fromm, The Revolution of Hope. To build a more humane society. Milan, Bompiani, 2002, p.19
Sulla via della pace
Le battaglie nel mondo
Fate ogni cosa con una mente che sappia lasciare andare.
Non aspettatevi nessuna ricompensa o premio.
Se lasciate andare un poco, avrete un poco di pace.
Se lasciate andare completamente, conoscerete la pace e la libertà complete.
Le vostre battaglie con il mondo giungeranno al termine.
La pace è ogni passo
La pace è ogni passo.
Il fulgido sole rosso è il mio cuore.
Ogni fiore sorride con me.
Quanto verde rigloglio tutto intorno!
Com’è fresco il soffio del vento!
La pace è ogni passo.
E fa gioioso il sentiero senza fine.
La pace è ogni passo – Thich Nhat Hanh
© Ass. Santacittarama, 2002. Tutti i diritti sono riservati.
SOLTANTO PER DISTRIBUZIONE GRATUITA.
Traduzione di Silvana Ziviani.
Brani estratti da un discorso del Venerabile Ajahn Chah indirizzato ai monaci e ai novizi.
POSSIAMO DIRE CHE IL RETTO SENTIERO DELLA PACE, il sentiero che il Buddha ha scoperto e ci ha indicato, che conduce alla pace della mente, alla purezza e alla realizzazione delle qualità di un samana, è formato da sila (freno morale), samadhi(concentrazione) e pañña (saggezza). E’ una strada valida per tutti. Infatti i discepoli del Buddha che divennero illuminati, all’inizio erano delle persone ordinarie, come tutti noi. Anche il Buddha all’inizio era uno come noi. Praticarono e dall’opacità fecero emergere la luce, dalla rozzezza la bellezza e dalle cose vane e inutili grandi benefici per tutti.
Sila, samadhi e pañña sono i nomi dati a tre diversi aspetti della pratica. Praticando sila, samadhi e pañña, in effetti, praticate con voi stessi. La giusta sila esiste qui in questo momento, il giusto samadhiè qui. Perché? Perché il vostro corpo è qui! La pratica di silariguarda il corpo intero. Quindi, siccome il vostro corpo è qui, le mani, le gambe sono qui, è qui che praticate sila.
Un conto è tenere a mente tutta la lista dei comportamenti sbagliati da evitare, così come elencata nei libri, un altro conto è capire che le potenzialità che questi atteggiamenti hanno di crescere, risiede in voi. Praticare la disciplina morale vuol dire stare attenti ad evitare certe azioni, come uccidere, rubare ed avere una condotta sessuale scorretta. Il Buddha ci ha insegnato a prenderci cura di tutte le nostre azioni, anche delle più semplici.
Forse nel passato avete ucciso degli animali o degli insetti schiacciandoli o non siete stati troppo attenti nel parlare: il parlare sbagliato si ha quando si mente o si esagera la verità, mentre parlare in modo grossolano vuol dire essere aggressivi e offensivi verso gli altri, dicendo in continuazione ‘imbroglione’, ‘idiota’ e così via. Il parlare frivolo si ha quando i discorsi sono solo chiacchiere inutili, senza senso, sconclusionati, che vanno avanti senza voler dire niente. Ci siamo lasciati andare tutti qualche volta a questo genere di discorsi a ruota libera, quindi praticare silasignifica sorvegliare se stessi, sorvegliare le proprie azioni e le proprie parole.
Ma chi sorveglia? Chi si prende la responsabilità delle vostre azioni? Quando vi appropriate di qualcosa che non vi appartiene, chi è consapevole di quell’azione? E’ la mano? Questo è il punto su cui dovete sviluppare la consapevolezza. Chi sa che state per mentire, giurare o dire qualcosa di frivolo? Consapevole di ciò che dice è la bocca, o è colui che conosce il significato delle parole? Contemplate: ‘colui che conosce’, chiunque sia, deve prendersi la responsabilità della vostra sila. Portate questa consapevolezza a sorvegliare le vostre azioni e le parole. Per praticare sila, usate quella parte della mente che dirige le vostre azioni e che vi porta ad agire bene o male, a cacciare il furfante e a trasformarlo in uno sceriffo. Tenete ferma la mente capricciosa e portatela a servire e a prendersi la responsabilità di tutte le vostre azioni e parole. Osservate ciò e contemplatelo. Il Buddha ci ha esortato ad essere consapevoli delle nostre azioni. Chi è consapevole? Il corpo non ne sa niente; sa solo stare in piedi, camminare e cose del genere. Per poter fare qualsiasi cosa deve aspettare che qualcuno glielo ordini. La stessa cose vale per le mani, per la bocca.
La pratica comporta che si instauri sati – cioè la consapevolezza – in ‘colui che conosce’. ‘Colui che conosce’ è quell’intenzione della mente che prima ci portava ad uccidere esseri viventi, a rubare le cose altrui e a indulgere a una sessualità scorretta, a mentire, a calunniare, a parlare in modo sciocco e frivolo, a comportarci nei modi più sfrenati. E’ ‘colui che conosce’ che ci ha spinto a parlare; esso esiste nella mente. Focalizzate la consapevolezza (sati) – questa costante riflessione consapevole – su ‘colui che conosce’. Lasciate che la conoscenza si prenda cura della vostra pratica.
Usate sati, la consapevolezza, per mantenere la mente riflessiva, concentrata nel momento presente, ottenendo così la calma mentale. Fate che la mente badi a se stessa, e che lo faccia bene.
Mantenere sila – o in altre parole, prendersi cura delle azioni e delle parole – non è poi una cosa così difficile, se la mente sa badare a se stessa. Siate sempre consapevoli, ogni momento e in ogni postura: sdraiati, in piedi, camminando e seduti. Prima di compiere qualsiasi azione, prima di parlare o di impegnarvi in una conversazione, stabilite la consapevolezza, sati; dovete essere raccolti, prima di fare qualsiasi cosa. Non importa quello che direte, l’importante è raccogliersi nella mente. Esercitatevi fino a diventare molto abili. Praticate, in modo da essere sempre al corrente di ciò che capita nella mente; praticate fino a quando la consapevolezza diventi così naturale da essere presente ancora prima di agire o di parlare. E’ questo il modo per stabilire la consapevolezza nel cuore. E’ con ‘colui che conosce’ che sorvegliate voi stessi, perché tutte le azioni vengono da lui. E’ qui che hanno origine le intenzioni che produrranno l’azione ed è per questo che la pratica non avrà successo se fate svolgere questo compito a qualcun altro.
Le vostre parole e le vostre azioni, sempre tenute a bada, diventeranno aggraziate e piacevoli sia all’occhio che all’orecchio, mentre voi stessi, sarete perfettamente a vostro agio all’interno di questa disciplina. Se praticate la consapevolezza e il controllo fino a renderli atteggiamenti naturali, la mente diventerà ferma e risoluta nella pratica di sila. Farà costantemente attenzione alla pratica, riuscendo così a concentrarsi completamente. In altre parole, la pratica basata sul controllo e la disciplina, in cui vi prendete costantemente cura delle azioni e delle parole, in cui siete completamente responsabili del comportamento esteriore che avete, si chiama sila, mentre samadhi è caratterizzato dalla saldezza della consapevolezza, a sua volta derivato dalla ferma concentrazione nella pratica di sila. Queste sono le caratteristiche di samadhi, come fattore esterno della pratica. Ma vi è un lato più profondo e interiore.
Una volta che la mente sia concentrata nella pratica e che sila e samadhi si siano stabilizzati, sarete in grado di investigare e riflettere su ciò che è salutare e ciò che non lo è, chiedendo a voi stessi “questo è giusto? O non è giusto?”, man mano che sperimentate i vari contenuti mentali. Quando la mente entra in contatto con cose visive, con suoni, odori, gusti, con sensazioni tattili o con idee, ‘colui che conosce’ apparirà e stabilirà la consapevolezza del piacere e dispiacere, della felicità e della sofferenza, e di tutti gli oggetti mentali che si vanno sperimentando. Riuscirete finalmente a ‘vedere’ chiaramente e osserverete un’infinità di cose diverse.
Se siete consapevoli, vedrete i vari oggetti che passano nella mente e la reazione che accompagna l’esperienza di essi. ‘Colui che conosce’ li prenderà automaticamente come oggetti di contemplazione. Quando la mente è vigile e la consapevolezza ferma e stabile, noterete facilmente le reazioni che si manifestano per mezzo del corpo, della parola o della mente, man mano che si sperimentano questi oggetti mentali. Tale aspetto della mente che identifica e seleziona il buono dal cattivo, il giusto dallo sbagliato, in mezzo agli oggetti mentali che rientrano nel campo della consapevolezza, è pañña, una pañña allo stadio iniziale, che maturerà con l’avanzare della pratica. Tutti questi vari aspetti della pratica sorgono dall’interno della mente. Il Buddha si riferì a queste caratteristiche chiamandole sila, samadhi e pañña.
Continuando la pratica, vedrete sorgere nella mente altri attaccamenti e illusioni. Questo significa che ora state attaccandovi a ciò che è buono e sano. Diventate timorosi di ogni caduta o errore della mente, temendo che il samadhi ne risenta. Nello stesso tempo cominciate ad essere diligenti nella pratica, ad amarla e a coltivarla, lavorandovi con grande energia.
Continuate a praticare così il più a lungo possibile, fino a quando forse raggiungerete il punto in cui non farete altro che giudicare e trovare errori in chiunque incontrate, ovunque andiate. Reagite continuamente con attrazione o avversione al mondo che vi circonda, diventando sempre più incerti sulla correttezza di ciò che fate. E’ come se foste ossessionati dalla pratica. Ma non preoccupatevene; a questo punto è meglio praticare troppo che troppo poco. Praticate molto e dedicatevi a sorvegliare il corpo, la parola e la mente. Di questo esercizio non ne farete mai abbastanza. Tenetevi ancorati agli oggetti mentali rappresentati dalla consapevolezza e dal controllo sul corpo, sulla parola e sulla mente, e dalla discriminazione tra giusto e sbagliato. In questo modo svilupperete sempre più la concentrazione e rimanendo costantemente e fermamente ancorati a questo modo di praticare, la mente diventerà essa stessa sila, samadhi e pañña, le caratteristiche della pratica come descritte negli insegnamenti tradizionali.
Man mano che continuate a sviluppare la pratica, queste differenti caratteristiche e qualità, si perfezioneranno nella mente. Tuttavia la pratica di sila, samadhi e pañña, a questo livello non è sufficiente per produrre i fattori di jhana (assorbimento meditativo) – la pratica è ancora troppo grossolana. Eppure la mente è abbastanza raffinata (sempre relativamente alla grossolanità di base!). E tale appare a una normale persona non illuminata, che non abbia curato troppo la propria mente e che non abbia praticato la meditazione e la consapevolezza.
A questo livello si può sentire un certo senso di soddisfazione per riuscire a praticare al massimo delle proprie possibilità e lo vedrete da soli. E’ qualcosa che solo il praticante può sperimentare all’interno della propria mente. E se questo avviene, potete ritenervi già sulla giusta via. State camminando solo all’inizio del sentiero – ai livelli più elementari – ma, per certi versi, questi sono gli stadi più difficili. State praticando sila, samadhi e pañña e dovete continuare a praticarli sempre tutti e tre, poiché se ne manca anche solo uno, la pratica non si svilupperà in modo corretto. Più cresce sila, più solida e concentrata diviene la mente. Più la mente è stabile più consistente diventa pañña, e così via; ogni parte della pratica sostiene e si collega all’altra.
Man mano che approfondite e raffinate la pratica, sila, samadhi e paññamatureranno insieme sgorgando dalla stessa fonte, come infatti si sono raffinate sbozzandosi dallo stesso materiale grezzo. In altre parole, il Sentiero ha inizi grossolani, ma raffinando ed esercitando la mente con la meditazione e la riflessione, tutto diventa via via più raffinato.
Quando la mente è più raffinata, la pratica della consapevolezza si focalizza meglio, poiché è concentrata su un’area più ristretta. Anzi, la pratica diventa molto più facile, quando la mente si concentra sempre di più su se stessa. Ormai non fate più grossi sbagli, ormai, quando la mente è presa in qualche problema, quando sorgono dubbi se è giusto o no agire o dire certe cose, semplicemente fermate la proliferazione mentale e, intensificando gli sforzi nella pratica, continuate a volgere l’attenzione sempre più in profondità in voi stessi. Così la pratica del samadhi diverrà vieppiù ferma e concentrata, mentre la pratica di pañña si rafforza, permettendo di vedere le cose più chiaramente e più naturalmente.
Il risultato è che potrete vedere la mente e i suoi oggetti nitidamente, senza dover fare distinzione fra mente, corpo e parola. Continuando a volgere l’attenzione all’interno di sé e continuando a riflettere sul Dhamma, la facoltà della saggezza gradualmente maturerà fino al punto che potrete contemplare la mente e gli oggetti mentali soltanto, ciò significa che state cominciando a sperimentare il corpo come immateriale. Quando l’intuizione è così sviluppata, non andrete più a tentoni, incerti su come interpretare il corpo e il suo modo di essere. La mente sperimenterà le caratteristiche fisiche del corpo come oggetti senza forma con cui essa entra in contatto. Infine, contemplerete solo la mente e gli oggetti mentali, cioè quegli oggetti che arrivano a livello di coscienza.
Esaminando ora la vera natura della mente, osserverete che, nel suo stato naturale, non ha preoccupazioni o ambizioni che la sommergano. E’ come una bandiera che sia stata legata all’estremità di un’asta; se niente la muove rimarrà così, tranquilla. E se si muove significa che c’è del vento, una forza esterna che la fa agitare. Allo stato naturale, la mente fa lo stesso – in essa non vi è né amore né odio, né disapprovazione. Essa è indipendente, in uno stato di purezza che è completamente chiaro, raggiante, non offuscato. Nel suo stato puro la mente è pacifica, senza felicità o sofferenza, – in effetti non sperimenta nessun vedana(sensazione). E’ questo il vero stato della mente.
Lo scopo della pratica, quindi, è guardarsi internamente, cercando e investigando fino a quando troverete la mente originale. La mente originale è detta anche la mente pura. La mente pura è la mente senza attaccamenti. E’ in uno stato di perenne conoscenza e attenzione, completamente consapevole di ciò che sta sperimentando. Quando la mente è così non vi sono oggetti mentali piacevoli o spiacevoli che la possano turbare, non li insegue. La mente non ‘diventa’ nulla. In altre parole, nulla può scuoterla. La mente conosce se stessa come purezza. Si è evoluta verso una vera, completa indipendenza; ha raggiunto il suo stato originale.
E come ha potuto raggiungere questo stato originale? Attraverso la facoltà della consapevolezza, riflettendo con saggezza e vedendo che tutte le cose sono solo condizioni che sorgono dal mutuo interagire degli elementi, senza che vi sia nessuno che li controlli. E così capita anche quando sperimentiamo la gioia e la sofferenza. Questi stati mentali sono solo “felicità” e “sofferenza”. Non vi è qualcuno che ‘ha’ la felicità, la mente non ‘possiede’ la sofferenza; gli stati mentali non ‘appartengono’ alla mente. Osservatelo voi stessi. In effetti, queste sono cose che non riguardano la mente, sono separate, distinte da essa. La felicità è solo uno stato di felicità; la sofferenza è solo uno stato di sofferenza. Voi siete solo coloro che sanno questo.
In passato, a causa delle radici dell’avidità, dell’odio e dell’illusione presenti nella mente, essa avrebbe reagito immediatamente quando entravate in contatto con qualcosa di piacevole o spiacevole, e attraverso questa reazione vi sareste ‘impadroniti’ di quell’oggetto mentale, sperimentandolo come sofferenza o gioia. E così potrà avvenire ancora fino a quando la mente non conoscerà se stessa, fino a quando non sarà chiara e illuminata. Quando la mente non è libera, si lascia influenzare da qualsiasi oggetto mentale le capiti di sperimentare. In altre parole, non ha un rifugio, è incapace di dipendere veramente da se stessa. In questa situazione, quando ricevete una piacevole impressione mentale diventate allegri o diventate tristi quando l’oggetto mentale è spiacevole. Così la mente dimentica se stessa.
La mente originale, invece, è al di là del bene e del male, poiché questa è la natura originale della mente. E’ un’illusione essere felici per aver sperimentato un oggetto mentale piacevole. E’ un’illusione essere tristi per aver sperimentato un oggetto mentale spiacevole. Gli oggetti mentali sorgono con il mondo, sono il mondo. Danno l’avvio alla felicità e alla sofferenza, al bene e al male, e a tutto ciò che è soggetto all’impermanenza e all’incertezza. Quando vi separate dalla mente originale, tutto diventa incerto: solo una catena interminabile di nascita e morte, dubbi e apprensioni, sofferenza e fatica, senza la possibilità di fermare, di far cessare tutto ciò. E’ questa la ruota eterna delle rinascite.
Samadhi significa la mente fermamente concentrata, e più praticate più la mente diventa stabile. Più la mente è concentrata, più essa diventa risoluta nella pratica. Più contemplate, più diventate fiduciosi e la mente diventerà così stabile che non potrà più essere smossa da nulla. Sapete perfettamente che nessun oggetto mentale la può scuotere. Gli oggetti mentali sono oggetti mentali; la mente è la mente. La mente sperimenta stati mentali buoni o cattivi, felicità e sofferenza, perché viene illusa dagli oggetti mentali. La mente che non si fa ingannare non può essere turbata da nulla, poiché nello stato di consapevolezza, vede tutte le cose come elementi naturali che sorgono e scompaiono: solo questo! Si può avere questo tipo di esperienza anche quando non si è riusciti a lasciar andare completamente.
Semplificando, lo stato che è sorto, è la mente stessa. Se contemplate seguendo la verità delle cose così come sono, vi accorgerete che esiste un solo sentiero e che è vostro dovere seguirlo. Significa che sapete, fin dall’inizio, che gli stati mentali di felicità e dolore non sono il sentiero da seguire. E’ qualcosa che dovete capire da soli: è la verità delle cose così come sono! Siete in grado di capire tutto ciò – siete consapevoli con la giusta visione delle cose – ma allo stesso tempo non siete in grado di lasciar andare completamente i vostri attaccamenti.
Qual è allora il modo giusto di praticare? State nella via di mezzo, che vuol dire prendere nota dei vari stati di gioia e dolore, ma contemporaneamente teneteli a debita distanza sia da un’esagerazione che dall’altra. Questa è la via corretta di praticare: mantenere la consapevolezza anche se non siete in grado di lasciar andare. E’ la via più giusta, poiché, anche se la mente è aggrappata ai vari stati di gioia o sofferenza, vi è sempre la consapevolezza di questo attaccamento. Ciò significa che quando la mente si attacca a stati di felicità, voi non le date importanza e non ne gioite e altrettanto non criticate gli stati di sofferenza. In questo modo potete veramente osservare la mente così com’è. Quando praticate fino al punto di portare la mente oltre la gioia e l’infelicità, automaticamente sorgerà l’equanimità, e voi non dovrete fare altro che contemplarla come un oggetto mentale e seguirla, pian pianino. Il cuore sa dove andare per essere oltre le negatività, e anche se non è ancora pronto a trascenderle, le mette da parte e continua a praticare.
Quando sorge la felicità e la mente vi si attacca, prendete proprio questa felicità come oggetto di contemplazione; lo stesso, se la mente si attacca all’infelicità, prendete questa infelicità come oggetto di contemplazione. Finalmente la mente raggiungerà uno stadio in cui sarà pienamente consapevole sia della felicità che dell’infelicità. E questo accadrà quando sarà in grado di mettere da parte sia la felicità che la sofferenza, sia il piacere che la tristezza, quando sarà in grado di mettere da parte il mondo per diventare allora il ‘conoscitore dei mondi’. Una volta che la mente ‘colei che conosce’ – può lasciar andare, è qui che si stabilizzerà ed allora la pratica diventa veramente interessante.
Ogni volta che vi è attaccamento nella mente, continuate a battere su quel punto, senza lasciar andare. Se c’è attaccamento alla felicità, continuate a meditarvi sopra, senza permettere che la mente si allontani da quello stato d’animo. Se la mente si attacca alla sofferenza, afferratevi a ciò, tenendovi ben stretti e contemplando subito quella disposizione d’animo. Anche se la mente è intrappolata in uno stato mentale negativo, riconoscetelo come uno stato d’animo negativo e la mente non ne sarà più distratta. E’ come quando si capita in un cespuglio di rovi; ovviamente non lo fate appositamente, anzi cercate di evitarlo, ma può capitare che vi troviate a camminare tra le spine. E come vi sentite allora? Naturalmente provate avversione. Anche se lo sapete, non potete fare a meno di essere ‘in mezzo alle spine’. La mente continua ancora a inseguire i vari stati di felicità e sofferenza, ma non indulge in essi. Il vostro è un continuo sforzo per eliminare ogni attaccamento dalla mente, per eliminare e per ripulire la mente da tutto ciò che è esteriore, mondano.
Alcuni vogliono pacificare la mente, ma essi stessi non sanno che cos’è la pace. Non sanno che cos’è una mente tranquilla! Vi sono due tipi di tranquillità mentale: uno è la pace che viene per mezzo del samadhi,l’altro è la pace che viene da pañña. La mente che è calma per mezzo disamadhi è una mente ancora in preda all’illusione. La pace che si raggiunge per mezzo del solo samadhi, dipende dal fatto che la mente è separata dagli oggetti mentali. Quando non sperimenta alcun oggetto mentale, allora è calma, e perciò uno si attacca alla felicità collegata a questa pace. Tuttavia, quando c’è il contatto con i sensi, la mente vi si precipita dentro subito, poiché ha paura degli oggetti mentali. Ha paura della felicità e della sofferenza; ha paura della lode e della critica, ha paura delle forme, dei suoni, degli odori e dei gusti. Chi ha la pace per mezzo di samadhi ha paura di tutto e non vuole essere coinvolto in niente e con nessuno. La gente che pratica samadhi in questo modo, vorrebbe isolarsi in una grotta, dove può sperimentare in pieno la beatitudine delsamadhi, senza mai doverne uscire fuori. Appena trovano un posto isolato, vi si intrufolano e vi si nascondono.
Questo tipo di samadhi porta con sé molta sofferenza: per loro è difficile uscirne fuori e avvicinarsi agli altri. Non vogliono vedere forme o udire suoni. Non vogliono sperimentare completamente nulla! Devono vivere in appositi luoghi particolarmente tranquilli, dove nessuno possa disturbarli con la presenza o con le parole.
Questo tipo di pace non è utile allo scopo. Quando avete raggiunto un normale livello di calma, allontanatevene. Il Buddha non ci ha insegnato a praticare samadhi nell’illusione. Se vi accorgete di praticare in questa maniera, smettete subito. Se la mente ha raggiunto la calma, usate questa calma come base di contemplazione. Contemplate la pace della concentrazione e usatela per collegare la mente con i vari oggetti mentali che sperimenta, riflettendoci poi sopra. Contemplate le tre caratteristiche di aniccam (impermanenza), dukkham (sofferenza) e anatta (non-sé). Riflettete e quando avrete contemplato abbastanza, potete ristabilire senza pericolo la calma del samadhi, sedendo in meditazione e poi, una volta riottenuta la calma, riprendete la contemplazione. Man mano che acquistate conoscenza, usatela per combattere le negatività e allenare la mente.
La pace che viene per mezzo di pañña è un’altra cosa, perché quando la mente lascia lo stato di calma, la presenza di pañña la salva dal timore per le forme, i suoni, gli odori, i gusti, le sensazioni tattili e le idee. Vuol dire che ogni volta che c’è un contatto sensoriale, la mente è subito consapevole dell’oggetto mentale e lo lascia perdere – la consapevolezza è abbastanza acuta per poterlo fare immediatamente. Questa è la pace che arriva per mezzo di pañña.
Quando praticate in questo modo, la mente diventa molto più raffinata di quando sviluppavate solo samadhi. La mente diventa potentissima e non cerca più di scappare. E’ questa energia che allontana ogni timore. Prima avevate paura di ogni esperienza, ma ora conoscete gli oggetti mentali per quello che sono e non ne siete quindi più spaventati. Conoscete la vostra stessa forza mentale e non ne siete più intimoriti. Quando vedete una forma, la contemplate; quando udite un suono, lo contemplate. Diventate abili nella contemplazione degli oggetti mentali e comunque essi siano, li potete lasciar andare. Vedete chiaramente la felicità e la lasciate andare. Qualsiasi cosa vediate, la lasciate subito andare. In tal modo tutti gli oggetti mentali perdono la loro forza e non possono più trascinarvi con loro. Quando sorgono queste caratteristiche nella mente del praticante, si può cambiare il nome della pratica, chiamandola vipassana, che significa chiara conoscenza in accordo con la verità. E’ tutto qui: conoscenza in accordo con la verità sulle cose così come sono. Questa è pace al più alto livello, la pace di vipassana.
Il vero scopo della pratica, quindi, non è sviluppare samadhi, sedendosi in meditazione e aggrappandosi a quello stato di beatitudine che procura. Dovete anzi evitare questo stato. Il Buddha ha detto che dovete combattere apertamente la vostra battaglia, non nascondervi in una trincea cercando di evitare le pallottole del nemico. Quando è il momento di lottare, dovete saltar fuori con le armi in pugno, dovete per forza uscire dal nascondiglio. Non potete più stare lì a poltrire quando è tempo di battaglia. Questa è la pratica. Non dovete permettere che la mente si nasconda, acquattandosi nell’ombra.
Ho spiegato la pratica a grandi linee, affinché non abbiate ad impantanarvi nel dubbio, affinché non vi siano esitazioni sul modo di praticare. Quando c’è la felicità, osservate quella felicità; quando c’è la sofferenza, osservate quella sofferenza. E così stabilizzati nella consapevolezza, provate a lasciarle andare entrambe, a metterle da parte. Ora che le avete osservate e quindi le conoscete, continuate a lasciarle andare. Non è importante che meditiate seduti o camminando, se continuate a pensare non fa niente. La cosa importante è essere sempre e continuamente consapevoli della propria mente. Se vi trovate invischiati in troppe proliferazioni mentali, raccoglietele tutte insieme, e contemplatele come se fossero un tutt’uno. Ne taglierete l’energia alla radice dicendo: “Tutti questi pensieri, queste idee e immaginazioni sono semplicemente delle proliferazioni mentali e basta. Tutto ciò è aniccam, dukkham e anatta. In nessuno di loro risiede la certezza”. E poi lasciatele subito perdere.
Peace is every step
Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
Rigloglio how green all around!
How cool the wind blowing!
Peace is every step.
It is the joyful endless path.
Peace is every step – Thich Nhat Hanh
Today I will give a teaching particularly for you as monks and novices, so please determine your hearts and minds to listen. There is nothing else for us to talk about other than the practice of the Dhamma–Vinaya (Truth and Discipline).
Every one of you should clearly understand that now you have been ordained as Buddhist monks and novices and should be conducting yourselves appropriately. We have all experienced the lay life, which is characterised by confusion and a lack of formal Dhamma practice; now, having taken up the form of a Buddhistsamana1, some fundamental changes have to take place in our minds so that we differ from lay people in the way we think. We must try to make all of our speech and actions – eating and drinking, moving around, coming and going – befitting for one who has been ordained as a spiritual seeker, who the Buddha referred to as a samana. What he meant was someone who is calm and restrained. Formerly, as lay people, we didn’t understand what it meant to be a samana, that sense of peacefulness and restraint. We gave full license to our bodies and minds to have fun and games under the influence of craving and defilement. When we experienced pleasant ārammana2, these would put us into a good mood, unpleasant mind-objects would put us into a bad one – this is the way it is when we are caught in the power of mind-objects. The Buddha said that those who are still under the sway of mind-objects aren’t looking after themselves. They are without a refuge, a true abiding place, and so they let their minds follow moods of sensual indulgence and pleasure-seeking and get caught into suffering, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. They don’t know how or when to stop and reflect upon their experience.
In Buddhism, once we have received ordination and taken up the life of the samana, we have to adjust our physical appearance in accordance with the external form of the samana: we shave our heads, trim our nails and don the brown bhikkhus’3 robes – the banner of the Noble Ones, the Buddha and the Arahants4. We are indebted to the Buddha for the wholesome foundations he established and handed down to us, which allow us to live as monks and find adequate support. Our lodgings were built and offered as a result of the wholesome actions of those with faith in the Buddha and His teachings. We do not have to prepare our food because we are benefiting from the roots laid down by the Buddha. Similarly, we have inherited the medicines, robes and all the other requisites that we use from the Buddha. Once ordained as Buddhist monastics, on the conventional level we are called monks and given the title ‘Venerable’5; but simply having taken on the external appearance of monks does not make us truly venerable. Being monks on the conventional level means we are monks as far as our physical appearance goes. Simply by shaving our heads and putting on brown robes we are called ‘Venerable’, but that which is truly worthy of veneration has not yet arisen within us – we are still only ‘Venerable’ in name. It’s the same as when they mould cement or cast brass into a Buddha image: they call it a Buddha, but it isn’t really that. It’s just metal, wood, wax or stone. That’s the way conventional reality is.
It’s the same for us. Once we have been ordained, we are given the title Venerable Bhikkhu, but that alone doesn’t make us venerable. On the level of ultimate reality – in other words, in the mind – the term still doesn’t apply. Our minds and hearts have still not been fully perfected through the practice with such qualities as mettā (kindness), karunā (compassion), muditā (sympathetic joy) and upekkhā (equanimity). We haven’t reached full purity within. Greed, hatred and delusion are still barring the way, not allowing that which is worthy of veneration to arise.
Our practice is to begin destroying greed, hatred and delusion – defilements which for the most part can be found within each and every one of us. These are what hold us in the round of becoming and birth and prevent us from achieving peace of mind. Greed, hatred and delusion prevent the samana – peacefulness – from arising within us. As long as this peace does not arise, we are still not samana; in other words, our hearts have not experienced the peace that is free from the influence of greed, hatred and delusion. This is why we practise – with the intention of expunging greed, hatred and delusion from our hearts. It is only when these defilements have been removed that we can reach purity, that which is truly venerable.
Internalising that which is venerable within your heart doesn’t involve working only with the mind, but your body and speech as well. They have to work together. Before you can practise with your body and speech, you must be practising with your mind. However, if you simply practise with the mind, neglecting body and speech, that won’t work either. They are inseparable. Practising with the mind until it’s smooth, refined and beautiful is similar to producing a finished wooden pillar or plank: before you can obtain a pillar that is smooth, varnished and attractive, you must first go and cut a tree down. Then you must cut off the rough parts – the roots and branches – before you split it, saw it and work it. Practising with the mind is the same as working with the tree, you have to work with the coarse things first. You have to destroy the rough parts: destroy the roots, destroy the bark and everything which is unattractive, in order to obtain that which is attractive and pleasing to the eye. You have to work through the rough to reach the smooth. Dhamma practice is just the same. You aim to pacify and purify the mind, but it’s difficult to do. You have to begin practising with externals – body and speech – working your way inwards until you reach that which is smooth, shining and beautiful. You can compare it with a finished piece of furniture, such as these tables and chairs. They may be attractive now, but once they were just rough bits of wood with branches and leaves, which had to be planed and worked with. This is the way you obtain furniture that is beautiful or a mind that is perfect and pure.
Therefore the right path to peace, the path the Buddha laid down, which leads to peace of mind and the pacification of the defilements, is sīla (moral restraint), samādhi (concentration) andpaññā (wisdom). This is the path of practice. It is the path that leads you to purity and leads you to realise and embody the qualities of the samana. It is the way to the complete abandonment of greed, hatred and delusion. The practice does not differ from this whether you view it internally or externally.
This way of training and maturing the mind – which involves the chanting, the meditation, the Dhamma talks and all the other parts of the practice – forces you to go against the grain of the defilements. You have to go against the tendencies of the mind, because normally we like to take things easy, to be lazy and avoid anything which causes us friction or involves suffering and difficulty. The mind simply doesn’t want to make the effort or get involved. This is why you have to be ready to endure hardship and bring forth effort in the practice. You have to use the dhammaof endurance and really struggle. Previously your bodies were simply vehicles for having fun, and having built up all sorts of unskilful habits it’s difficult for you to start practising with them. Before, you didn’t restrain your speech, so now it’s hard to start restraining it. But as with that wood, it doesn’t matter how troublesome or hard it seems: before you can make it into tables and chairs, you have to encounter some difficulty. That’s not the important thing; it’s just something you have to experience along the way. You have to work through the rough wood to produce the finished pieces of furniture.
The Buddha taught that this is the way the practice is for all of us. All of his disciples who had finished their work and become fully enlightened, had, (when they first came to take ordination and practise with him) previously been puthujjana (ordinary worldlings). They had all been ordinary unenlightened beings like ourselves, with arms and legs, eyes and ears, greed and anger – just the same as us. They didn’t have any special characteristics that made them particularly different from us. This was how both the Buddha and his disciples had been in the beginning. They practised and brought forth enlightenment from the unenlightened, beauty from the ugliness and great benefit from that which was virtually useless. This work has continued through successive generations right up to the present day. It is the children of ordinary people – farmers, traders and businessmen – who, having previously been entangled in the sensual pleasures of the world, go forth to take ordination. Those monks at the time of the Buddha were able to practise and train themselves, and you must understand that you have the same potential. You are made up of the five khandhas6 (aggregates), just the same. You also have a body, pleasant and unpleasant feelings, memory and perception, thought formations and consciousness – as well as a wandering and proliferating mind. You can be aware of good and evil. Everything’s just the same. In the end, that combination of physical and mental phenomena present in each of you, as separate individuals, differs little from that found in those monastics who practised and became enlightened under the Buddha. They had all started out as ordinary, unenlightened beings. Some had even been gangsters and delinquents, while others were from good backgrounds. They were no different from us. The Buddha inspired them to go forth and practise for the attainment of magga (the Noble Path) and phala (Fruition)7, and these days, in similar fashion, people like yourselves are inspired to take up the practice of sīla, samādhi and paññā.
Sīla, samādhi and paññā are the names given to the different aspects of the practice. When you practise sīla, samādhi and paññā, it means you practise with yourselves. Right practice takes place here within you. Right sīla exists here, right samādhi exists here. Why? Because your body is right here. The practice of sīla involves every part of the body. The Buddha taught us to be careful of all our physical actions. Your body exists here! You have hands, you have legs right here. This is where you practise sīla. Whether your actions will be in accordance with sīla and Dhamma depends on how you train your body. Practising with your speech means being aware of the things you say. It includes avoiding wrong kinds of speech, namely divisive speech, coarse speech and unnecessary or frivolous speech. Wrong bodily actions include killing living beings, stealing and sexual misconduct.
It’s easy to reel off the list of wrong kinds of behaviour as found in the books, but the important thing to understand is that the potential for them all lies within us. Your body and speech are with you right here and now. You practise moral restraint, which means taking care to avoid the unskilful actions of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. The Buddha taught us to take care with our actions from the very coarsest level. In the lay life you might not have had very refined moral conduct and frequently transgressed the precepts. For instance, in the past you may have killed animals or insects by smashing them with an axe or a fist, or perhaps you didn’t take much care with your speech: false speech means lying or exaggerating the truth; coarse speech means you are constantly being abusive or rude to others – ‘you scum,’ ‘you idiot,’ and so on; frivolous speech means aimless chatter, foolishly rambling on without purpose or substance. We’ve indulged in it all. No restraint! In short, keeping sīla means watching over yourself, watching over your actions and speech.
So who will do the watching over? Who will take responsibility for your actions? When you kill some animal, who is the one who knows? Is your hand the one who knows, or is it someone else? When you steal someone else’s property, who is aware of the act? Is your hand the one who knows? This is where you have to develop awareness. Before you commit some act of sexual misconduct, where is your awareness? Is your body the one who knows? Who is the one who knows before you lie, swear or say something frivolous? Is your mouth aware of what it says, or is the one who knows in the words themselves? Contemplate this: whoever it is who knows is the one who has to take responsibility for your sīla. Bring that awareness to watch over your actions and speech. That knowing, that awareness is what you use to watch over your practice. To keep sīla, you use that part of the mind which directs your actions and which leads you to do good and bad. You catch the villain and transform him into a sheriff or a mayor. Take hold of the wayward mind and bring it to serve and take responsibility for all your actions and speech. Look at this and contemplate it. The Buddha taught us to take care with our actions. Who is it who does the taking care? The body doesn’t know anything; it just stands, walks around and so on. The hands are the same; they don’t know anything. Before they touch or take hold of anything, there has to be someone who gives them orders. As they pick things up and put them down there has to be someone telling them what to do. The hands themselves aren’t aware of anything; there has to be someone giving them orders. The mouth is the same – whatever it says, whether it tells the truth or lies, is rude or divisive, there must be someone telling it what to say.
The practice involves establishing sati, mindfulness, within this ‘one who knows.’ The ‘one who knows’ is that intention of mind, which previously motivated us to kill living beings, steal other people’s property, indulge in illicit sex, lie, slander, say foolish and frivolous things and engage in all the kinds of unrestrained behaviour. The ‘one who knows’ led us to speak. It exists within the mind. Focus your mindfulness or sati – that constant recollectedness – on this ‘one who knows.’ Let the knowing look after your practice.
In practice, the most basic guidelines for moral conduct stipulated by the Buddha were: to kill is evil, a transgression of sīla; stealing is a transgression; sexual misconduct is a transgression; lying is a transgression; vulgar and frivolous speech are all transgressions of sīla. You commit all this to memory. It’s the code of moral discipline, as laid down by the Buddha, which encourages you to be careful of that one inside of you who was responsible for previous transgressions of the moral precepts. That one, who was responsible for giving the orders to kill or hurt others, to steal, to have illicit sex, to say untrue or unskilful things and to be unrestrained in all sorts of ways – singing and dancing, partying and fooling around. The one who was giving the orders to indulge in all these sorts of behaviour is the one you bring to look after the mind. Use sati or awareness to keep the mind recollecting in the present moment and maintain mental composure in this way. Make the mind look after itself. Do it well.
If the mind is really able to look after itself, it is not so difficult to guard speech and actions, since they are all supervised by the mind. Keeping sīla – in other words taking care of your actions and speech – is not such a difficult thing. You sustain awareness at every moment and in every posture, whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down. Before you perform any action, speak or engage in conversation, establish awareness first – don’t act or speak first, establish mindfulness first and then act or speak. You must have sati, be recollecting, before you do anything. It doesn’t matter what you are going to say, you must first be recollecting in the mind. Practise like this until you are fluent. Practise so that you can keep abreast of what’s going on in the mind; to the point where mindfulness becomes effortless and you are mindful before you act, mindful before you speak. This is the way you establish mindfulness in the heart. It is with the ‘one who knows’ that you look after yourself, because all your actions spring from here.
This is where the intentions for all your actions originate and this is why the practice won’t work if you try to bring in someone else to do the job. The mind has to look after itself; if it can’t take care of itself, nothing else can. This is why the Buddha taught that keeping sīla is not that difficult, because it simply means looking after your own mind. If mindfulness is fully established, whenever you say or do something harmful to yourself or others, you will know straight away. You know that which is right and that which is wrong. This is the way you keep sīla. You practise with your body and speech from the most basic level.
By guarding your speech and actions they become graceful and pleasing to the eye and ear, while you yourself remain comfortable and at ease within the restraint. All your behaviour, manners, movements and speech become beautiful, because you are taking care to reflect upon, adjust and correct your behaviour. You can compare this with your dwelling place or the meditation hall. If you are regularly cleaning and looking after your dwelling place, then both the interior and the area around it will be pleasant to look at, rather than a messy eyesore. This is because there is someone looking after it. Your actions and speech are similar. If you are taking care with them, they become beautiful, and that which is evil or dirty will be prevented from arising.
Ādikalyāna, majjhekalyāna, pariyosānakalyāna: beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle and beautiful in the end; or harmonious in the beginning, harmonious in the middle and harmonious in the end. What does that mean? Precisely that the practice of sīla, samādhi and paññā is beautiful. The practice is beautiful in the beginning. If the beginning is beautiful, it follows that the middle will be beautiful. If you practise mindfulness and restraint until it becomes comfortable and natural to you – so that there is a constant vigilance – the mind will become firm and resolute in the practise of sīla and restraint. It will be consistently paying attention to the practice and thus become concentrated. That characteristic of being firm and unshakeable in the monastic form and discipline and unwavering in the practice of mindfulness and restraint can be referred to as ‘samādhi.’
That aspect of the practice characterised by a continuous restraint, where you are consistently taking care with your actions and speech and taking responsibility for all your external behaviour, is referred to as sīla. The characteristic of being unwavering in the practice of mindfulness and restraint is calledsamādhi. The mind is firmly concentrated in this practice of sīlaand restraint. Being firmly concentrated in the practice of sīlameans that there is an evenness and consistency to the practice of mindfulness and restraint. These are the characteristics of samādhias an external factor in the practice, used in keeping sīla. However, it also has an inner, deeper side to it. It is essential that you develop and maintain sīla and samādhi from the beginning – you have to do this before anything else.
Once the mind has an intentness in the practice and sīla andsamādhi are firmly established, you will be able to investigate and reflect on that which is wholesome and unwholesome – asking yourself… ‘Is this right?’… ‘Is that wrong?’ – as you experience different mind-objects. When the mind makes contact with different sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations or ideas, the ‘one who knows’ will arise and establish awareness of liking and disliking, happiness and suffering and the different kinds of mind-objects that you experience. You will come to see clearly, and see many different things.
If you are mindful, you will see the different objects which pass into the mind and the reaction which takes place upon experiencing them. The ‘one who will automatically take them up as objects for contemplation. Once the mind is vigilant and mindfulness is firmly established, you will note all the reactions displayed through either body, speech or mind, as mind-objects are experienced. That aspect of the mind which identifies and selects the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, from amongst all the mind-objects within your field of awareness, ispaññā. This is paññā in its initial stages and it matures as a result of the practice. All these different aspects of the practice arise from within the mind. The Buddha referred to these characteristics assīla, samādhi and paññā. This is the way they are, as practised in the beginning.
As you continue the practice, fresh attachments and new kinds of delusion begin to arise in the mind. This means you start clinging to that which is good or wholesome. You become fearful of any blemishes or faults in the mind – anxious that your samādhiwill be harmed by them. At the same time you begin to be diligent and hard working, and to love and nurture the practice. Whenever the mind makes contact with mind-objects, you become fearful and tense. You become aware of other people’s faults as well, even the slightest things they do wrong. It’s because you are concerned for your practice. This is practising sīla, samādhi and paññā on one level – on the outside – based on the fact that you have established your views in accordance with the form and foundations of practice laid down by the Buddha. Indeed, these are the roots of the practice and it is essential to have them established in the mind.
You continue to practise like this as much as possible, until you might even reach the point where you are constantly judging and picking fault with everyone you meet, wherever you go. You are constantly reacting with attraction and aversion to the world around you, becoming full of all kinds of uncertainty and continually attaching to views of the right and wrong way to practise. It’s as if you have become obsessed with the practice. But you don’t have to worry about this yet – at that point it’s better to practise too much than too little. Practise a lot and dedicate yourself to looking after body, speech and mind. You can never really do too much of this. This is said to be practising sīla on one level; in fact, sīla, samādhi and paññā are all in there together.
If you were to describe the practice of sīla at this stage, in terms of pāramī8 (spiritual perfections), it would be dāna pāramī (the spiritual perfection of giving), or sīla pāramī (the spiritual perfection of moral restraint). This is the practice on one level. Having developed this much, you can go deeper in the practice to the more profound level of dāna upapāramī9 and sīla upapāramī. These arise out of the same spiritual qualities, but the mind is practising on a more refined level. You simply concentrate and focus your efforts to obtain the refined from the coarse.
Once you have gained this foundation in your practice, there will be a strong sense of shame and fear of wrong-doing established in the heart. Whatever the time or place – in public or in private – this fear of wrong doing will always be in the mind. You become really afraid of any wrong doing. This is a quality of mind that you maintain throughout every aspect of the practice. The practice of mindfulness and restraint with body, speech and mind and the consistent distinguishing between right and wrong is what you hold as the object of mind. You become concentrated in this way and by firmly and unshakeably attaching to this way of practice, it means the mind actually becomes sīla, samādhi and paññā – the characteristics of the practice as described in the conventional teachings.
As you continue to develop and maintain the practice, these different characteristics and qualities are perfected together in the mind. However, practising sīla, samādhi and paññā at this level is still not enough to produce the factors of jhāna10 (meditative absorption) – the practice is still too coarse. Still, the mind is already quite refined – on the refined side of coarse! For an ordinary unenlightened person who has not been looking after the mind or practised much meditation and mindfulness, just this much is already something quite refined. It’s like a poor person – owning two or three pounds can mean a lot, though for a millionaire it’s almost nothing. This is the way it is. A few quid is a lot when you’re down and out and hard up for cash, and in the same way, even though in the early stages of the practice you might still only be able to let go of the coarser defilements, this can still seem quite profound to one who is unenlightened and has never practised or let go of defilements before. At this level, you can feel a sense of satisfaction with being able to practise to the full extent of your ability. This is something you will see for yourself; it’s something that has to be experienced within the mind of the practitioner.
If this is so, it means that you are already on the path, i.e. practising sīla, samādhi and paññā. These must be practised together, for if any are lacking, the practice will not develop correctly. The more your sīla improves, the firmer the mind becomes. The firmer the mind is, the bolder paññā becomes and so on… each part of the practice supporting and enhancing all the others. In the end, because the three aspects of the practice are so closely related to each other, these terms virtually become synonymous. This is characteristic of sammā patipadā (right practice), when you are practising continuously, without relaxing your effort.
If you are practising in this way, it means that you have entered upon the correct path of practice. You are travelling along the very first stages of the path – the coarsest level – which is something quite difficult to sustain. As you deepen and refine the practice,sīla, samādhi and paññā will mature together from the same place – they are refined down from the same raw material. It’s the same as our coconut palms. The coconut palm absorbs the water from the earth and pulls it up through the trunk. By the time the water reaches the coconut itself, it has become clean and sweet, even though it is derived from that plain water in the ground. The coconut palm is nourished by what are essentially the coarse earth and water elements, which it absorbs and purifies, and these are transformed into something far sweeter and purer than before. In the same way, the practice of sīla, samādhi and paññā – in other words Magga – has coarse beginnings, but, as a result of training and refining the mind through meditation and reflection, it becomes increasingly subtle.
As the mind becomes more refined, the practice of mindfulness becomes more focused, being concentrated on a more and more narrow area. The practice actually becomes easier as the mind turns more and more inwards to focus on itself. You no longer make big mistakes or go wildly wrong. Now, whenever the mind is affected by a particular matter, doubts will arise – such as whether acting or speaking in a certain way is right or wrong – you simply keep halting the mental proliferation and, through intensifying effort in the practice, continue turning your attention deeper and deeper inside. The practice of samādhi will become progressively firmer and more concentrated. The practice of paññā is enhanced so that you can see things more clearly and with increasing ease.
The end result is that you are clearly able to see the mind and its objects, without having to make any distinction between the mind, body or speech. You no longer have to separate anything at all – whether you are talking about the mind and the body or the mind and its objects. You see that it is the mind which gives orders to the body. The body has to depend on the mind before it can function. However, the mind itself is constantly subject to different objects contacting and conditioning it before it can have any effect on the body. As you continue to turn attention inwards and reflect on the Dhamma, the wisdom faculty gradually matures, and eventually you are left contemplating the mind and mind-objects – which means that you start to experience the body,rūpadhamma (material), as arūpadhamma (immaterial). Through your insight, you are no longer groping at or uncertain in your understanding of the body and the way it is. The mind experiences the body’s physical characteristics as arūpadhamma – formless objects – which come into contact with the mind. Ultimately, you are contemplating just the mind and mind-objects – those objects which come into your consciousness.
Now, examining the true nature of the mind, you can observe that in its natural state, it has no preoccupations or issues prevailing upon it. It’s like a piece of cloth or a flag that has been tied to the end of a pole. As long as it’s on its own and undisturbed, nothing will happen to it. A leaf on a tree is another example – ordinarily it remains quiet and unperturbed. If it moves or flutters this must be due to the wind, an external force. Normally, nothing much happens to leaves; they remain still. They don’t go looking to get involved with anything or anybody. When they start to move, it must be due to the influence of something external, such as the wind, which makes them swing back and forth. In its natural state, the mind is the same – in it, there exists no loving or hating, nor does it seek to blame other people. It is independent, existing in a state of purity that is truly clear, radiant and untarnished. In its pure state, the mind is peaceful, without happiness or suffering – indeed, not experiencing any vedanā (feeling) at all. This is the true state of the mind.
The purpose of the practice, then, is to seek inwardly, searching and investigating until you reach the original mind. The original mind is also known as the pure mind. The pure mind is the mind without attachment. It doesn’t get affected by mind-objects. In other words, it doesn’t chase after the different kinds of pleasant and unpleasant mind-objects. Rather, the mind is in a state of continuous knowing and wakefulness – thoroughly mindful of all it is experiencing. When the mind is like this, no pleasant or unpleasant mind-objects it experiences will be able to disturb it. The mind doesn’t ‘become’ anything. In other words, nothing can shake it. Why? Because there is awareness. The mind knows itself as pure. It has evolved its own, true independence; it has reached its original state. How is it able to bring this original state into existence? Through the faculty of mindfulness wisely reflecting and seeing that all things are merely conditions arising out of the influence of elements, without any individual being controlling them.
This is how it is with the happiness and suffering we experience. When these mental states arise, they are just ‘happiness’ and ‘suffering’. There is no owner of the happiness. The mind is not the owner of the suffering – mental states do not belong to the mind. Look at it for yourself. In reality these are not affairs of the mind, they are separate and distinct. Happiness is just the state of happiness; suffering is just the state of suffering. You are merely the knower of these. In the past, because the roots of greed, hatred and delusion already existed in the mind, whenever you caught sight of the slightest pleasant or unpleasant mind-object, the mind would react immediately – you would take hold of it and have to experience either happiness or suffering. You would be continuously indulging in states of happiness and suffering. That’s the way it is as long as the mind doesn’t know itself – as long as it’s not bright and illuminated. The mind is not free. It is influenced by whatever mind-objects it experiences. In other words, it is without a refuge, unable to truly depend on itself. You receive a pleasant mental impression and get into a good mood. The mind forgets itself.
In contrast, the original mind is beyond good and bad. This is the original nature of the mind. If you feel happy over experiencing a pleasant mind-object, that is delusion. If you feel unhappy over experiencing an unpleasant mind-object, that is delusion. Unpleasant mind-objects make you suffer and pleasant ones make you happy – this is the world. Mind-objects come with the world. They are the world. They give rise to happiness and suffering, good and evil, and everything that is subject to impermanence and uncertainty. When you separate from the original mind, everything becomes uncertain – there is just unending birth and death, uncertainty and apprehensiveness, suffering and hardship, without any way of halting it or bringing it to cessation. This is vatta (the endless round of rebirth).
Through wise reflection, you can see that you are subject to old habits and conditioning. The mind itself is actually free, but you have to suffer because of your attachments. Take, for example, praise and criticism. Suppose other people say you are stupid: why does that cause you to suffer? It’s because you feel that you are being criticised. You ‘pick up’ this bit of information and fill the mind with it. The act of ‘picking up,’ accumulating and receiving that knowledge without full mindfulness, gives rise to an experience that is like stabbing yourself. This is upādāna(attachment). Once you have been stabbed, there is bhava(becoming). Bhava is the cause for jāti (birth). If you train yourself not to take any notice of or attach importance to some of the things other people say, merely treating them as sounds contacting your ears, there won’t be any strong reaction and you won’t have to suffer, as nothing is created in the mind. It would be like listening to a Cambodian scolding you – you would hear the sound of his speech, but it would be just sound because you wouldn’t understand the meaning of the words. You wouldn’t be aware that you were being told off. The mind wouldn’t receive that information, it would merely hear the sound and remain at ease. If anybody criticised you in a language that you didn’t understand, you would just hear the sound of their voice and remain unperturbed. You wouldn’t absorb the meaning of the words and be hurt over them. Once you have practised with the mind to this point, it becomes easier to know the arising and passing away of consciousness from moment to moment. As you reflect like this, penetrating deeper and deeper inwards, the mind becomes progressively more refined, going beyond the coarser defilements.
Samādhi means the mind that is firmly concentrated, and the more you practise the firmer the mind becomes. The more firmly the mind is concentrated, the more resolute in the practice it becomes. The more you contemplate, the more confident you become. The mind becomes truly stable – to the point where it can’t be swayed by anything at all. You are absolutely confident that no single mind-object has the power to shake it. Mind-objects are mind-objects; the mind is the mind. The mind experiences good and bad mental states, happiness and suffering, because it is deluded by mind-objects. If it isn’t deluded by mind-objects, there’s no suffering. The undeluded mind can’t be shaken. This phenomenon is a state of awareness, where all things and phenomena are viewed entirely as dhātu11 (natural elements) arising and passing away – just that much. It might be possible to have this experience and yet still be unable to fully let go. Whether you can or can’t let go, don’t let this bother you. Before anything else, you must at least develop and sustain this level of awareness or fixed determination in the mind. You have to keep applying the pressure and destroying defilements through determined effort, penetrating deeper and deeper into the practice.
Having discerned the Dhamma in this way, the mind will withdraw to a less intense level of practice, which the Buddha and subsequent Buddhist scriptures describe as the Gotrabhū citta12. The Gotrabhū citta refers to the mind which has experienced going beyond the boundaries of the ordinary human mind. It is the mind of the puthujjana (ordinary unenlightened individual) breaking through into the realm of the ariyan (Noble One) – however, this phenomena still takes place within the mind of the ordinary unenlightened individual like ourselves. The Gotrabhūpuggala is someone, who, having progressed in their practice until they gain temporary experience of Nibbāna (enlightenment), withdraws from it and continues practising on another level, because they have not yet completely cut off all defilements. It’s like someone who is in the middle of stepping across a stream, with one foot on the near bank, and the other on the far side. They know for sure that there are two sides to the stream, but are unable to cross over it completely and so step back. The understanding that there exist two sides to the stream is similar to that of the Gotrabhū puggala or the Gotrabhū citta. It means that you know the way to go beyond the defilements, but are still unable to go there, and so step back. Once you know for yourself that this state truly exists, this knowledge remains with you constantly as you continue to practise meditation and develop your pāramī. You are both certain of the goal and the most direct way to reach it.
Simply speaking, this state that has arisen is the mind itself. If you contemplate according to the truth of the way things are, you can see that there exists just one path and it is your duty to follow it. It means that you know from the very beginning that mental states of happiness and suffering are not the path to follow. This is something that you have to know for yourself – it is the truth of the way things are. If you attach to happiness, you are off the path because attaching to happiness will cause suffering to arise. If you attach to sadness, it can be a cause for suffering to arise. You understand this – you are already mindful with right view, but at the same time, are not yet able to fully let go of your attachments.
So what is the correct way to practice? You must walk the middle path, which means keeping track of the various mental states of happiness and suffering, while at the same time keeping them at a distance, off to either side of you. This is the correct way to practise – you maintain mindfulness and awareness even though you are still unable to let go. It’s the correct way, because whenever the mind attaches to states of happiness and suffering, awareness of the attachment is always there. This means that whenever the mind attaches to states of happiness, you don’t praise it or give value to it, and whenever it attaches to states of suffering, you don’t criticise it. This way you can actually observe the mind as it is. Happiness is not right, suffering is not right. There is the understanding that neither of these is the right path. You are aware, awareness of them is sustained, but still you can’t fully abandon them. You are unable to drop them, but you can be mindful of them. With mindfulness established, you don’t give undue value to happiness or suffering. You don’t give importance to either of those two directions which the mind can take, and you hold no doubts about this; you know that following either of those ways is not the right path of practice, so at all times you take this middle way of equanimity as the object of mind. When you practise to the point where the mind goes beyond happiness and suffering, equanimity will necessarily arise as the path to follow, and you have to gradually move down it, little by little – the heart knowing the way to go to be beyond defilements, but, not yet being ready to finally transcend them, it withdraws and continues practising.
Whenever happiness arises and the mind attaches, you have to take that happiness up for contemplation, and whenever it attaches to suffering, you have to take that up for contemplation. Eventually, the mind reaches a stage when it is fully mindful of both happiness and suffering. That’s when it will be able to lay aside the happiness and the suffering, the pleasure and the sadness, and lay aside all that is the world and so become lokavidū(knower of the worlds). Once the mind – ‘one who knows’ – can let go it will settle down at that point. Why does it settle down? Because you have done the practice and followed the path right down to that very spot. You know what you have to do to reach the end of the path, but are still unable to accomplish it. When the mind attaches to either happiness or suffering, you are not deluded by them and strive to dislodge the attachment and dig it out.
This is practising on the level of the yogāvacara, one who is travelling along the path of practice – striving to cut through the defilements, yet not having reached the goal. You focus upon these conditions and the way it is from moment to moment in your own mind. It’s not necessary to be personally interviewed about the state of your mind or do anything special. When there is attachment to either happiness or suffering, there must be the clear and certain understanding that any attachment to either of these states is deluded. It is attachment to the world. It is being stuck in the world. Happiness means attachment to the world, suffering means attachment to the world. This is the way worldly attachment is. What is it that creates or gives rise to the world? The world is created and established through ignorance. It’s because we are not mindful that the mind attaches importance to things, fashioning and creating sankhāra (formations) the whole time.
It is here that the practice becomes really interesting. Wherever there is attachment in the mind, you keep hitting at that point, without letting up. If there is attachment to happiness, you keep pounding at it, not letting the mind get carried away with the mood. If the mind attaches to suffering, you grab hold of that, really getting to grips with it and contemplating it straight away. You are in the process of finishing the job off; the mind doesn’t let a single mind-object slip by without reflecting on it. Nothing can resist the power of your mindfulness and wisdom. Even if the mind is caught in an unwholesome mental state, you know it as unwholesome and the mind is not heedless. It’s like stepping on thorns: of course, you don’t seek to step on thorns, you try to avoid them, but nevertheless sometimes you step on one. When you do step on one, do you feel good about it? You feel aversion when you step on a thorn. Once you know the path of practice, it means you know that which is the world, that which is suffering and that which binds us to the endless cycle of birth and death. Even though you know this, you are unable to stop stepping on those ‘thorns’. The mind still follows various states of happiness and sadness, but doesn’t completely indulge in them. You sustain a continuous effort to destroy any attachment in the mind – to destroy and clear all that which is the world from the mind.
You must practise right in the present moment. Meditate right there; build your pāramī right there. This is the heart of practice, the heart of your effort. You carry on an internal dialogue, discussing and reflecting on the Dhamma within yourself. It’s something that takes place right inside the mind. As worldly attachment is uprooted, mindfulness and wisdom untiringly penetrate inwards, and the ‘one who knows’ sustains awareness with equanimity, mindfulness and clarity, without getting involved with or becoming enslaved to anybody or anything. Not getting involved with things means knowing without clinging – knowing while laying things aside and letting go. You still experience happiness; you still experience suffering; you still experience mind-objects and mental states, but you don’t cling to them.
Once you are seeing things as they are you know the mind as it is and you know mind-objects as they are. You know the mind as separate from mind-objects and mind-objects as separate from the mind. The mind is the mind, mind-objects are mind-objects. Once you know these two phenomena as they are, whenever they come together you will be mindful of them. When the mind experiences mind-objects, mindfulness will be there. Our teacher described the practice of the yogāvacara who is able to sustain such awareness, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, as being a continuous cycle. It is sammā patipadā (right practice). You don’t forget yourself or become heedless.
You don’t simply observe the coarser parts of your practice, but also watch the mind internally, on a more refined level. That which is on the outside, you set aside. From here onwards you are just watching the body and the mind, just observing this mind and its objects arising and passing away, and understanding that having arisen they pass away. With passing away there is further arising – birth and death, death and birth; cessation followed by arising, arising followed by cessation. Ultimately, you are simply watching the act of cessation. Khayavayam means degeneration and cessation. Degeneration and cessation are the natural way of the mind and its objects – this is khayavayam. Once the mind is practising and experiencing this, it doesn’t have to go following up on or searching for anything else – it will be keeping abreast of things with mindfulness. Seeing is just seeing. Knowing is just knowing. The mind and mind-objects are just as they are. This is the way things are. The mind isn’t proliferating about or creating anything in addition.
Don’t be confused or vague about the practice. Don’t get caught in doubting. This applies to the practice of sīla just the same. As I mentioned earlier, you have to look at it and contemplate whether it’s right or wrong. Having contemplated it, then leave it there. Don’t doubt about it. Practising samādhi is the same. Keep practising, calming the mind little by little. If you start thinking, it doesn’t matter; if you’re not thinking, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to gain an understanding of the mind.
Some people want to make the mind peaceful, but don’t know what true peace really is. They don’t know the peaceful mind. There are two kinds of peacefulness – one is the peace that comes through samādhi, the other is the peace that comes through paññā. The mind that is peaceful through samādhi is still deluded. The peace that comes through the practice of samādhi alone is dependent on the mind being separated from mind-objects. When it’s not experiencing any mind-objects, then there is calm, and consequently one attaches to the happiness that comes with that calm. However, whenever there is impingement through the senses, the mind gives in straight away. It’s afraid of mind-objects. It’s afraid of happiness and suffering; afraid of praise and criticism; afraid of forms, sounds, smells and tastes. One who is peaceful through samādhi alone is afraid of everything and doesn’t want to get involved with anybody or anything on the outside. People practising samādhi in this way just want to stay isolated in a cave somewhere, where they can experience the bliss of samādhiwithout having to come out. Wherever there is a peaceful place, they sneak off and hide themselves away. This kind of samādhiinvolves a lot of suffering – they find it difficult to come out of it and be with other people. They don’t want to see forms or hear sounds. They don’t want to experience anything at all! They have to live in some specially preserved quiet place, where no-one will come and disturb them with conversation. They have to have really peaceful surroundings.
This kind of peacefulness can’t do the job. If you have reached the necessary level of calm, then withdraw. The Buddha didn’t teach to practise samādhi with delusion. If you are practising like that, then stop. If the mind has achieved calm, then use it as a basis for contemplation. Contemplate the peace of concentration itself and use it to connect the mind with and reflect upon the different mind-objects which it experiences. Use the calm ofsamādhi to contemplate sights, smells, tastes, tactile sensations and ideas. Use this calm to contemplate the different parts of the body, such as the hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin and so on. Contemplate the three characteristics of aniccam(impermanence), dukkham (suffering) and anattā (not-self). Reflect upon this entire world. When you have contemplated sufficiently, it is all right to reestablish the calm of samādhi. You can re-enter it through sitting meditation and afterwards, with calm re-established, continue with the contemplation. Use the state of calm to train and purify the mind. Use it to challenge the mind. As you gain knowledge, use it to fight the defilements, to train the mind. If you simply enter samādhi and stay there you don’t gain any insight – you are simply making the mind calm and that’s all. However, if you use the calm mind to reflect, beginning with your external experience, this calm will gradually penetrate deeper and deeper inwards, until the mind experiences the most profound peace of all.
The peace which arises through paññā is distinctive, because when the mind withdraws from the state of calm, the presence ofpaññā makes it unafraid of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations and ideas. It means that as soon as there is sense contact the mind is immediately aware of the mind-object. As soon as there is sense contact you lay it aside; as soon as there is sense contact mindfulness is sharp enough to let go right away. This is the peace that comes through paññā.
When you are practising with the mind in this way, the mind becomes considerably more refined than when you are developing samādhi alone. The mind becomes very powerful, and no longer tries to run away. With such energy you become fearless. In the past you were scared to experience anything, but now you know mind-objects as they are and are no longer afraid. You know your own strength of mind and are unafraid. When you see a form, you contemplate it. When you hear a sound, you contemplate it. You become proficient in the contemplation of mind-objects. You are established in the practice with a new boldness, which prevails whatever the conditions. Whether it be sights, sounds or smells, you see them and let go of them as they occur. Whatever it is, you can let go of it all. You clearly see happiness and let it go. You clearly see suffering and let it go. Wherever you see them, you let them go right there. That’s the way! Keep letting them go and casting them aside right there. No mind-objects will be able to maintain a hold over the mind. You leave them there and stay secure in your place of abiding within the mind. As you experience, you cast aside. As you experience, you observe. Having observed, you let go. All mind-objects lose their value and are no longer able to sway you. This is the power of vipassanā (insight meditation). When these characteristics arise within the mind of the practitioner, it is appropriate to change the name of the practice to vipassanā: clear knowing in accordance with the truth. That’s what it’s all about – knowledge in accordance with the truth of the way things are. This is peace at the highest level, the peace of vipassanā. Developing peace through samādhialone is very, very difficult; one is constantly petrified.
So when the mind is at its most calm, what should you do? Train it. Practise with it. Use it to contemplate. Don’t be scared of things. Don’t attach. Developing samādhi so that you can just sit there and attach to blissful mental states isn’t the true purpose of the practice. You must withdraw from it. The Buddha said that you must fight this war, not just hide out in a trench trying to avoid the enemy’s bullets. When it’s time to fight, you really have to come out with guns blazing. Eventually you have to come out of that trench. You can’t stay sleeping there when it’s time to fight. This is the way the practice is. You can’t allow your mind to just hide, cringing in the shadows.
Sīla and samādhi form the foundation of practice and it is essential to develop them before anything else. You must train yourself and investigate according to the monastic form and ways of practice which have been passed down.
Be it as it may, I have described a rough outline of the practice. You as the practitioners must avoid getting caught in doubts. Don’t doubt about the way of practice. When there is happiness, watch the happiness. When there is suffering, watch the suffering. Having established awareness, make the effort to destroy both of them. Let them go. Cast them aside. Know the object of mind and keep letting it go. Whether you want to do sitting or walking meditation it doesn’t matter. If you keep thinking, never mind. The important thing is to sustain moment to moment awareness of the mind. If you are really caught in mental proliferation, then gather it all together, and contemplate it in terms of being one whole, cutting it off right from the start, saying, ‘All these thoughts, ideas and imaginings of mine are simply thought proliferation and nothing more. It’s all aniccam, dukkham and anattā. None of it is certain at all.’ Discard it right there.
E ora dimmi :
“ Chi mai potrebbe
afferrare una stella
rubandola dal cielo?”
“ Chi mai potrebbe
stringere tra le dita
“Chi mai potrebbe
“Chi mai potrebbe
sondare della vita
Né tu e né io ma tutto
è fascino pur senza risposte.
And now tell me:
catch a star
stealing from the sky? “
the time? “
see the birth
a thought? “
explore the life
each mystery? “
Neither you nor I fascination but everything is without answers.
fatta di noia
che non finisce
m a i.
tutti gli sguardi
s a i.
metti in moto
g u a i.
mille le emozioni
q u i.
di un respiro
che regala vita
solo se tu
v u o i .
p o i.
il suo valore
s e i
e sai donare.
I Pearl Jam sono un gruppo grunge/alternative rock statunitense, formatosi a Seattle nel 1990.
Sono stati tra i gruppi più famosi e di successo degli anni novanta: in carriera hanno venduto oltre 60 milioni di copie di cui 30 milioni soltanto negli Stati Uniti. Nonostante il loro stile differisca molto da gruppi quali i Nirvana e gli Alice in Chains, caratterizzati rispettivamente da profonde influenze punk e metal, hanno creato una di quelle che sono considerate le tre vie del grunge, insieme alle due precedenti, più affine al rock classico degli anni settanta.
Secondo la rivista Rolling Stone, il gruppo «spese la maggior parte degli anni novanta ad allontanare la propria fama» per via del loro atteggiamento anti-commerciale.
Tuttora in piena attività, il gruppo raccoglie consensi di critica e di pubblico, continuando a influenzare numerosi gruppi rock contemporanei.
Pearl Jam is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band’s line-up has comprised Eddie Vedder (lead vocals), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass). The band’s fifth member is drummer Matt Cameron (also of Soundgarden), who has been with the band since 1998. Boom Gaspar (piano) has also been a session/touring member with the band since 2002. Drummers Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons are former members of the band.
Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament’s previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991. One of the key bands in the grunge movement of the early 1990s, over the course of the band’s career, its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make proper music videos or give interviews, and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having “spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart
their own fame.”
To date, the band has sold nearly 32 million records in the U.S. and an estimated 60 million worldwide. Pearl Jam has outlasted and outsold many of its contemporaries from the alternative
rock breakthrough of the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of that decade. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic referred to Pearl Jam as “the most popular American
rock & roll band of the ’90s
La fioritura è un attimo
– forza prorompente
della natura –
e tutto cambia
quel cercare vita
e intanto si preparava
Eroso dal vento
il brullo deserto
sembrava non dar nulla
Era l’attesa carica
di correnti nuove:
soave si spande speranza
The bloom is a moment
– Bursting strength
and everything changes
remains a mystery
look what life
He lay silent
and meanwhile he prepared
Eroded by wind
the barren desert
seemed not to give anything
The wait was charged
sweet spreads hope
Timothy Charles Buckley III nacque a Washington, figlio di Elaine, un’italoamericana, e di Tim Charles Buckley Jr., un pluridecorato della seconda guerra mondiale con origini irlandesi. Trascorse l’infanzia ad Amsterdam, cittadina industriale dello Stato di New York, dove ebbe i primi contatti con la musica: la madre era una fan di Miles Davis e il padre della musica country. Nel 1956 la famiglia si trasferì a Bell Gardens in California.
A tredici anni imparò a suonare il banjo e con il compagno di scuola Dan Gordon formò un gruppo ispirato al The Kingston Trio. Entrò nella squadra di football americanodella scuola, dove coprì il ruolo di quarterback. Durante uno scontro di gioco si ruppe le prime due dita della mano sinistra. Non riottenne mai l’uso completo delle dita, tanto che non poté più suonare il barré e ciò lo costrinse a usare accordi estesi. Durante il periodo delle scuole superiori conobbe Larry Beckett, autore della maggior parte dei testi dei suoi primi brani, e Jim Fiedler. Il 25 ottobre del 1965, a diciannove anni, sposò la compagna di scuola Mary Guibert, dalla quale, un anno più tardi, ebbe un figlio, Jeff Buckley, nato il 17 novembre 1966. Anche egli, negli anni novanta, sarebbe divenuto un musicista.
Finita la scuola iniziò a esibirsi in diversi club di Los Angeles. In uno di questi spettacoli venne notato da Jac Holzman, proprietario della Elektra Records, che lo mise sotto contratto, permettendogli di pubblicare nel dicembre del 1966 il suo primo LP, l’omonimo Tim Buckley. In supporto al disco cominciò un lungo tour negli Stati Uniti, durante il quale partecipò anche allo show televisivo di Johnny Carson.
Nel 1967, ancora per l’Elektra, pubblicò Goodbye and Hello, disco fortemente influenzato dal folk rock di Bob Dylan e dal rock psichedelico in auge in quegli anni. L’album è considerato dalla critica il primo dei suoi capolavori. I brani I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain e Once I Was verranno reinterpretati dal figlio Jeff durante il concerto in memoria del padre, tenutosi a New York il 26 aprile del 1991. Un altro brano, Morning Glory, verrà reinterpretato dalla band britannica This Mortal Coil nell’album del 1986 Filigree & Shadow. Anche a questo disco fece seguito un lungo tour, che giunse anche in Europa, dove si esibì per lo show radiofonico di John Peel.
Nel 1969 uscì il terzo album, Happy Sad, influenzato questa volta più dal jazz, in particolare da Miles Davis, con brani più dilatati rispetto al disco precedente. Anche questo lavoro è ben valutato dalla critica, nonostante lo scarso successo di vendite.
Nello stesso anno rescisse il contratto con l’Elektra, passando alla Straight Records di Frank Zappa e del produttore Herb Cohen. Per questa etichetta pubblicò Blue Afternoon (1969). Nel 1970 uscì per l’Elektra l’album Lorca, che venne registrato contemporaneamente a Blue Afternoon. Proprio Lorca è generalmente considerato dalla critica come l’album di passaggio fra il “periodo folk” di Goodbye and Hello e Happy Sad a quello “psichedelico” del successivo Starsailor.
Nel 1970 realizzò e diede alle stampe Starsailor, disco più vicino alla sperimentazione, considerato da molti critici il suo massimo capolavoro e indubbiamente uno dei più ardui esperimenti sul canto mai realizzati.In questo album è presente il brano Song to the Siren, probabilmente il più famoso di Buckley, la cui reinterpretazione della band inglese This Mortal Coil sull’album It’ll End in Tears del 1984 riscuoterà notevole successo. Il brano verrà inoltre reinterpretato nel 2002 da Robert Plant sul suo album Dreamland, nel 2009 da John Frusciante su The Empyrean e nel 2010 da Sinéad O’Connor.
In seguito allo scarso successo commerciale dei suoi dischi, dopo la pubblicazione di Starsailor Buckley sospese temporaneamente l’attività musicale, cadendo preda della depressione e sviluppando una dipendenza per l’alcool e le droghe. Inoltre, si dedica ad altre attività, come il cinema, scrivendo sceneggiature e recitando nel film mai uscito Why?, di Victor Stoloff.
Nel 1972 vi fu il ritorno sulle scene con l’album Greetings from L.A., che virò il suono verso il funk, a cui fecero seguito nel 1973 Sefronia e nel 1974 Look at the Fool, due album considerati dalla critica come il punto più basso della sua produzione.
Tim Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. on St. Valentine’s Day, to Elaine (née Scalia), an Italian American, and Timothy Charles Buckley Jr., a highly decoratedWorld War II veteran who was the son of Irish immigrants from Cork. He spent his early childhood in Amsterdam, New York, an industrial city approximately 40 miles northwest of Albany; at five years old he began listening to his mother’s progressive jazz recordings, particularly Miles Davis.
Buckley’s musical life began in earnest after his family moved to Bell Gardens in southern California in 1956. His grandmother introduced him to the work of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, his mother to Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland and his father to the country music of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. When the folk music revolution came around in the early 1960s, Buckley taught himself the banjo at age 13, and with several friends formed a folk group inspired by the Kingston Trio that played local high school events.
During his initial high school years, Buckley was a popular and engaged student; he was elected to numerous offices, played on the baseball team and quarterbacked the football team. During a football game he broke the first two fingers on his left hand, permanently damaging them. He later said that the injury prevented him from playing barre chords. This disability may have led to his use of extended chords, many of which don’t require barres.
Buckley attended Loara High School in Anaheim, California, which left him disillusioned. He quit football and cut classes regularly, focusing most of his attention on music instead. He befriended Larry Beckett, his future lyricist, and Jim Fielder, a bass player with whom he formed two separate musical groups, The Bohemians, who initially played popular music, and The Harlequin 3, a folk group which regularly incorporatedspoken word and beat poetry into their gigs.
In 1965, during French class, Buckley met Mary Guibert, one grade his junior. Their relationship inspired some of Buckley’s music, and provided him time away from his turbulent home life. His father had become unstable, angry and occasionally violent in his later years. He had suffered a serious head injury during the war; that, along with a severe work-related injury, was said to have affected his mental balance.
Buckley and Guibert married on October 25, 1965, as Guibert believed she was pregnant. The marriage angered Mary’s father and he did not attend the wedding; Buckley’s father attended, but joked to the priest, “I give it six months”. Shortly after the wedding Mary realized that she was not pregnant after all.
The marriage was tumultuous, and Buckley quickly moved out, but Mary soon became pregnant. After several months, Buckley found himself neither willing nor able to cope with marriage and impending fatherhood. From then on he and Mary only saw each other sporadically. They divorced in October 1966, about a month before their son Jeffrey Scott was born.
By then, he and lyricist/friend Beckett had written dozens of songs; several were to appear on Tim’s debut album, Tim Buckley. “Buzzin’ Fly”, was also written during this period, and was featured on Happy Sad, his 1969 LP.
Buckley’s ill-conceived college career at Fullerton College lasted only two weeks in 1965; Buckley dropped out and dedicated himself fully to his music and to playing L.A. folk clubs. During the summer of 1965 he played regularly at a club co-founded by Dan Gordon. Later in the year he played various Orange County coffeehouses, such as the White Room in Buena Park, and the Monday night hootenannies at the famed Los Angeles Troubadour. That year Cheetah Magazine deemed Buckley an up-and-comer, one of “The Orange County Three”, along with Steve Noonan and Jackson Browne.
In February 1966, following a gig at L.A.’s It’s Boss, The Mothers of Invention‘s drummer Jimmy Carl Black recommended Buckley to Mothers manager, Herb Cohen. Cohen saw potential in Tim and landed him an extended gig at the Nite Owl Cafe in Greenwich Village. Buckley’s new girlfriend, Jainie Goldstein, drove him cross-country to New York in her VW bug. While living in the Bowery with Jainie, Buckley ran into Lee Underwood, and asked him to play guitar for him. From there, they became lifelong friends and collaborators.
Sade ([ʃɑːˈdeɪ] in inglese, /ʃaˈde/ sciadé in italiano) sono un gruppo jazz-pop britannico molto popolare, che prende il nome dalla propria leader Sade Adu. La loro musica fonde elementi di R&B, soul music, jazz e soft rock.
L’album di debutto, Diamond Life, fu pubblicato nel 1984 e raggiunse la posizione n. 2 nella UK Albums Chart, con oltre 1,2 milioni di copie vendute nel solo Regno Unito. L’album si aggiudicò anche il BRIT Award per il miglior album britannico del 1985. L’album fu un successo internazionale, raggiungendo la prima posizione in diversi Paesi e la top ten negli Stati Uniti, dove vendette oltre 4 milioni di copie. A fine 1985 i Sade pubblicarono il loro secondo album, Promise, che arrivò al numero 1 sia nel Regno Unito che negli Stati Uniti.] L’album fu certificato nel Regno Unito con il doppio disco di platino dalla BPI e negli USA con il quadruplo disco di platino dalla RIAA. Nel 1986 la band vinse il Grammy Award al miglior artista esordiente. Nel 2002 Sade ha vinto un Grammy con l’album Lovers Rock nella categoria “Best Pop Vocal Album; for solo artists, duos or groups” . Il sesto album registrato in studio, Soldier of Love, fu pubblicato l’8 febbraio 2010 a raggiunse il n. 4 in Inghilterra ed il n. 1 negli Stati Uniti Nel 2011 la band ha vinto il quarto Grammy Award per la “miglior performance R&B”
Secondo la RIAA Sade ha venduto 23,5 milioni di copie negli USA ed oltre 50 milioni di copie in tutto il mondo. L’emittente televisiva VH1 li ha messi al 50º posto nell’elenco dei cento migliori artisti di tutti i tempi
Sade (/ʃɑːˈdeɪ/ shah-day) are an English soul and R&B band formed in London in 1982. However, three of their members were originally from Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Sade is the lead singer of the eponymous band. Their music also features elements of jazz and soft rock.
Sade’s debut album, Diamond Life, was released in 1984, reaching No. 2 in the UK Album Chart, selling over 1.2 million copies in the UK, and won the Brit Awardfor Best British Album in 1985. The album was also a hit internationally, reaching No. 1 in several countries and the top ten in the US where it has sold in excess of 4 million copies. In late 1985, Sade released their second album, Promise, which peaked at No. 1 in both the UK and the US. It was certified double platinumin the UK, and quadruple platinum in the US. In 1986 the band won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Their 2000 album, Lovers Rock, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Sade’s sixth studio album, Soldier of Love, was released on 8 February 2010, and peaked at No. 4 in the UK, and No. 1 in the US. In 2011, the band won their fourth Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Sade’s US certified sales so far stand at 23.5 million units according to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and have sold more than 50 million units worldwide to date. The band were ranked at No. 50 on VH1’s list of the “100 greatest artists of all time.”
David Bowie, [ˈboʊi]; pseud. di David Robert Jones (Londra, 8 gennaio 1947), è un cantautore, polistrumentista, attore e compositore britannico.
Attivo dalla metà degli anni sessanta, Bowie ha attraversato cinque decenni della musica rock, reinventando nel tempo il suo stile e la sua immagine e creando alter ego come Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack, Nathan Adler, e The Thin White Duke (noto in Italia come il “Duca Bianco”). Dal folk acustico all’elettronica, passando attraverso il glam rock, il soul e il krautrock, David Bowie ha lasciato tracce che hanno influenzato molti artisti.
Come attore, dopo alcune piccole apparizioni ha avuto un ottimo successo nel 1976 come protagonista del film di fantascienza L’uomo che cadde sulla Terra di Nicolas Roeg. Tra le sue interpretazioni più note si ricordano Furyo (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence) di Nagisa Oshima del 1983, Absolute Beginners e Labyrinth del 1986 e Basquiat di Julian Schnabel del 1996 nel quale interpreta il ruolo di Andy Warhol.
David Bowie è sposato dal 1992 con la modella somala Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid ed ha due figli, Duncan Zowie Haywood (nato nel 1971 dal precedente matrimonio con Mary Angela Barnett) e Alexandria Zahra (nata nel 2000), oltre a Zulekha, nata dal precedente matrimonio di Iman. Nel 2008 è stato inserito al 23º posto nella lista dei 100 migliori cantanti secondo Rolling Stone, e tra le sue migliori “tracce vocali” ci sono Life on Mars?, Space Oddity, Starman ed Heroes. Nel 2007 è secondo la rivista Forbes al quarto posto nell’elenco dei cantanti più ricchi del mondo.
Al ritmo di un disco all’anno, Bowie per parecchi anni nel bene e nel male non si è mai limitato a creare un “marchio Bowie” uguale a se stesso e rassicurante: dalle nostalgie beat con Pin Ups, agli incubi orwelliani di Diamond Dogs, al R&B bianco con Station to Station e Young Americans, all’electro pop intellettuale che, secondo molti critici, costituirà la fase più creativa della sua carriera fra il 1977 e il 1979, con la cosiddetta trilogia berlinese di Low, Heroes e Lodger, album in realtà (salvo il secondo) realizzati solo parzialmente a Berlino, ma comunque fortemente influenzati dalle contaminazioni tra rock ed elettronica di cui erano maestri i Kraftwerk e i Neu!, gruppi entrambi tedeschi.
Decisivo l’incontro con Brian Eno, altro reduce dal glam-rock dei primi settanta con i Roxy Music del dandy Bryan Ferry. Altrettanto decisivo un successo ormai consolidato che permette all’artista di sperimentare soluzioni nuove senza inseguire il riscontro commerciale. Nel frattempo il personaggio non è più l’androgino Ziggy Stardust ma un thin white duke (sottile duca bianco) dalle inquietanti suggestioni androgine sotto uno stile musicale esteriormente sempre più virile, colto, e raffinato.
David Bowie (/ˈboʊ.i/; born David Robert Jones, 8 January 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades, and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive baritone voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work. Aside from his musical abilities, he is recognised for his androgynous beauty, which was an iconic element to his image, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in July 1969 when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture.” The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation.
In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the hit album Young Americans, which the singer characterised as “plastic soul”. The sound constituted a radical shift in style that initially alienated many of his UK devotees. He then confounded the expectations of both his record label and his American audiences by recording the minimalist album Low (1977)—the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno over the next two years. Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger, the so-called “Berlin Trilogy” albums, all reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise. After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single “Ashes to Ashes”, its parent album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and “Under Pressure”, a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He then reached a new commercial peak in 1983 with Let’s Dance, which yielded several hit singles. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including blue-eyed soul, industrial, adult contemporary, and jungle. He has not toured since the 2003–04 Reality Tour and has not performed live since 2006. Bowie’s latest studio album The Next Day was released in March 2013.
David Buckley says of Bowie: “His influence has been unique in popular culture—he has permeated and altered more lives than any comparable figure.” In the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Bowie was placed at number 29. Throughout his career, he has sold an estimated 140 million albums. In the UK, he has been awarded nine Platinum album certifications, 11 Gold and eight Silver, and in the US, five Platinum and seven Gold certifications. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 39th on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and 23rd on their list of the best singers of all time.
Il suo stile, con il personalissimo modo di suonare la chitarra, fonde generi come pop, folk, rock, reggae e jazz. Le liriche sono ispirate dalla sua visione umanistica e metafisica della vita vicina all’etica cristiana.
Bruce Douglas Cockburn OC (/ˈkoʊbərn/; born May 27, 1945) is a Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter whose career spans over 40 years. His song styles range from folk to jazz-influenced rock and his lyrics cover a broad range of topics that reveal a passion for human rights, politics and spirituality.
In 2014, he released his memoirs, Rumours of Glory: A Memoir.
Cockburn was born in 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and spent some of his early years on a farm outside Pembroke, Ontario. He has stated in interviews that his first guitar was one he found around 1959 in his grandmother’s attic, which he adorned with golden stars and used to play along to radio hits. Cockburn attended Nepean High School, where his 1964 yearbook photo states his desire “to become a musician”.He attended Berklee School of Music in Boston for three semesters in the mid-1960s. In 1966 he joined an Ottawa band called The Children, which lasted for about a year. In the spring of 1967 he joined the final lineup of The Esquires. He moved to Toronto that summer to form The Flying Circus with former Bobby Kris & The Imperials members Marty Fisher and Gordon MacBain and ex-Tripp member Neil Lillie. The group recorded some material in late 1967 (which remains unreleased) before changing its name to Olivus in the spring of 1968, by which time Lillie (who changed his name to Neil Merryweather) had been replaced by Dennis Pendrith from Livingstone’s Journey. Olivus opened for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream in April 1968. That summer Cockburn broke up the band with the intention of going solo, but ended up in the band 3’s a Crowd with David Wiffen, Colleen Peterson, and Richard Patterson, who had been a co-member of The Children. Cockburn left 3’s a Crowd in the spring of 1969 to pursue a solo career.
Cockburn’s first solo appearance was at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1967, and in 1969 he was a headliner. In 1970 he released his self-titled, solo album. Cockburn’s guitar work and songwriting won him an enthusiastic following. His early work featured rural and nautical imagery and Biblical metaphors. Raised as an agnostic, early in his career he became a Christian. Many of his albums from the 1970s refer to Christianity, which in turn informs his concerns for human rights and environmentalism. His references to Christianity include the Grail imagery of 20th-century Christian poet Charles Williams and the ideas of theologian Harvey Cox.
While Cockburn had been popular in Canada for years, he did not have a big impact in the United States until 1979, with the release of the album Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. “Wondering Where the Lions Are“, the first single from that album, reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in June 1980, and earned Cockburn an appearance on NBC‘s hit TV show Saturday Night Live.
Cockburn was married from 1969 to 1980 and has a daughter from that marriage. He wrote the song “Little Seahorse”, released on In the Falling Dark, in late 1975 about the time when his daughter wasin utero.
Through the 1980s Cockburn’s songwriting became increasingly urban, global and political as he became more involved with progressive causes. His political concerns were first hinted at on the albums: Humans,Inner City Front and The Trouble with Normal. They became more evident in 1984, with his second US radio hit, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” (No. 88 in the US) from the Stealing Fire album. He had written the song a year earlier, after visiting Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico that were attacked by Guatemalan military helicopters. His political activism continues to the present. Cockburn has travelled to countries such as Mozambique and Iraq, played benefit concerts, and written songs on a variety of subjects ranging from the International Monetary Fund to land mines. His internationalist bent is reflected in the many world musicinfluences in his music, including reggae and Latin music.
In 1991 Intrepid Records released Kick at the Darkness, a tribute album to Cockburn whose title comes from a phrase in his song “Lovers in a Dangerous Time“. It features the Barenaked Ladies‘ cover of that song, which became their first Top 40 hit and an element in their early success. This lyric was also referenced by U2 in their song “God Part II” from their album Rattle and Hum.
In the early 1990s, Cockburn teamed with T-Bone Burnett for two albums, Nothing but a Burning Light and Dart to the Heart. The latter included a song, “Closer to the Light”, inspired by the death of songwriter Mark Heard, a close friend of Cockburn and Burnett. Cockburn frequently refers to Heard as his favourite songwriter and he was one of many artists who paid tribute to Heard on an album and video titled Strong Hand of Love.
In 1998 Cockburn travelled with filmmaker Robert Lang to Mali, West Africa, where he jammed with Grammy Award-winning blues musician Ali Farka Toure and kora master Toumani Diabate. The month-long journey was documented in the film River of Sand, which won the Regard Canadien award for best documentary at the Vues d’Afrique Film Festival in Montreal. It was also invited for competition at the International Festival of Environmental Films in Paris.
Some of Cockburn’s previously published material had been collected in several albums: Resume, Mummy Dust, and Waiting for a Miracle. His first greatest hits collection was Anything Anytime Anywhere: Singles 1979–2002, released in 2002.
In January 2003 Cockburn finished recording his 21st album, You’ve Never Seen Everything, which features contributions from Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Sam Phillips, Sarah Harmer, Hugh Marsh, Jonell Mosser, Larry Taylor and Steven Hodges. (Taylor and Hodges, formerly of Canned Heat who performed at Monterey and Woodstock in the 1960s, may be known best for their work with Tom Waits).
Cockburn performed a set at the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario, on July 2, 2005. Speechless, an instrumental compilation of new and previously released material, was released on October 24, 2005. His 22nd album, Life Short Call Now, was released on July 18, 2006.
Canadian senator and retired general Roméo Dallaire, who is active in humanitarian fundraising and promoting awareness, appeared on stage at the University of Victoria with Cockburn. The October 4, 2008, concert was held to aid the plight of child soldiers.
In 2009 Cockburn travelled to Afghanistan to visit his brother, Capt. John Cockburn, and to play a concert for Canadian troops. He performed his 1984 song “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” and was temporarily awarded an actual rocket launcher by the military. Cockburn has stated that, while unsure of the original Invasion of Afghanistan, he supported Canada’s role there.
Cockburn released his studio album Small Source of Comfort in 2011. “Lois on the Autobahn”, a cheerful and experiential instrumental recalling “Rouler sa bosse” from Salt, Sun and Time is a tribute to Cockburn’s mother, Lois, who succumbed to cancer in 2010.
Cockburn married his longtime girlfriend M.J. Hannett shortly after the birth of his second daughter, Iona (b. November 2011) in 2011. As of 2014, the family lives in the San Francisco area, where Cockburn is writing his memoirs up to 2004.
A documentary film, Bruce Cockburn Pacing the Cage, was released in 2013 on television and a brief theatrical showing; directed by Joel Goldberg, gave a rare look into Cockburn’s music, life and politics
I Deep Purple sono un gruppo musicale hard rock inglese, formatosi a Hertford nel 1968. Insieme a gruppi come Led Zeppelin e Black Sabbath, sono considerati fra i principali pionieri del genere heavy metal.
Vengono considerati una delle band più influenti del panorama musicale degli anni settanta, con un substrato musicale molto vario, che spazia dal blues al rock and roll, dal funky al jazz e al folk, dalla musica orientale alla musica classica, fino all’R&B, a cui unirono un certo virtuosismo tecnico. Il suono della band comprende anche elementi di rock progressivo, genere in auge nel periodo.
Hanno venduto più di 100 milioni di copie nel mondo senza contare le enormi vendite di bootleg, ovvero il traffico di dischi illegali spesso registrati durante le esibizioni dal vivo del gruppo.
Il gruppo venne inserito nel Guinness dei primati come band più rumorosa del mondo a seguito di un concerto al Rainbow Theater di Londra durante il quale tre spettatori persero conoscenza a causa dei 117 dB raggiunti.
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-Seventies”. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
Deep Purple have had several line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–1984). The 1968–1976 line-ups are commonly labelled Mark I, II, III and IV Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993. The band achieved more modest success in the intervening periods between 1968 and 1969 with the line-up including Rod Evans (vocals) and Nick Simper (bass, backing vocals), between 1974 and 1976 (Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore in 1975) with the line-up including David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals), and between 1989 and 1992 with the line-up including Joe Lynn Turner (vocals). The band’s line-up (currently featuring Ian Gillan, and guitarist Steve Morse from 1994) has been much more stable in recent years, although organist Jon Lord’s retirement from the band in 2002 (being succeeded by Don Airey) left Ian Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band.
Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme and a poll on British radio station Planet Rock ranked them 5th among the “most influential bands ever”. At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. In October 2012, Deep Purple were nominated for the first time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but were not voted in the following March. In October 2013, the band was announced as a Hall of Fame nominee for a second time, but again was not voted in.
Gli Smiths sono stati un gruppo alternative rock inglese, formatosi a Manchester nel 1982.
Raggiunta la popolarità nel corso degli anni ottanta, hanno avuto grande influenza nello sviluppo della musica rock degli anni successivi ed un notevole seguito di pubblico. Il gruppo si è sciolto nel 1987.
I componenti erano Morrissey alla voce, Johnny Marr alla chitarra, Andy Rourke al basso, e Mike Joyce alla batteria.
The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. Qmagazine’s Simon Goddard argued in 2007 that The Smiths were “the one truly vital voice of the ’80s”, “the most influential British guitar group of the decade” and the “first indie outsiders to achieve mainstream success on their own terms”. The NME named the Smiths the “most influential artist ever” in a 2002 poll, even topping the Beatles.
Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr, the group signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, on which they released four studio albums, The Smiths (1984), Meat Is Murder (1985), The Queen Is Dead (1986) and Strangeways, Here We Come (1987). Four of their albums (including three studio albums) appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. They have also released several compilations, and numerous non-LP singles.
The Smiths had several singles reach the UK top twenty and all four of their studio albums reached the UK top five, including one which topped the charts. They won a significant following and remain cult favourites, although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together. The band broke up in 1987 and have turned down several offers to reunite.
The band’s focus on a guitar, bass, and drum sound, and their fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a repudiation of synthesizer-based contemporary dance-pop – the style popular in the early 1980s. Marr’s guitar-playing on his Rickenbacker often had a jangly sound reminiscent of Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. Marr’s guitar-playing influenced later Manchester bands, including The Stone Roses and Oasis. Morrissey and Marr’s songs combined themes about ordinary people with complex, literate lyrics delivered by Morrissey with a mordant sense of humour.
I Rolling Stones sono un gruppo musicale rock britannico, composto da Mick Jagger (voce, armonica, chitarra), Keith Richards (chitarre, voce), Ronnie Wood (chitarre, cori) e Charlie Watts (batteria, percussioni). È una delle band più importanti e tra le maggiori espressioni della miscela tra i generi della musica rock e blues, quel genere musicale che è l’evoluzione del rock & roll anni cinquanta, da loro rivisitato in chiave più dura con ritmi lascivi, canto aggressivo, continui riferimenti al sesso e, talvolta, alle droghe pesanti.
Per il loro essere trasgressivi furono chiamati i “brutti, sporchi e cattivi” e contrapposti ai più rassicuranti Beatles, anche se tale contrapposizione fu spesso creata dagli stessi Rolling Stones che si comportavano in modo volutamente antitetico rispetto ai Beatles (con i quali ebbero peraltro sempre un ottimo rapporto di stima e amicizia), proponendo così un modello alternativo a uso e consumo della stampa musicale. I Rolling Stones sono stati, e sono tuttora, un’autentica pietra miliare nell’evoluzione della musica rock del XX secolo, portando sotto i riflettori il malcontento e di conseguenza la protesta di intere generazioni, incarnando così il travagliato spirito dei grandi bluesman del passato e scegliendo il titolo di una canzone di uno di questi (Muddy Waters) come nome del loro gruppo.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued as occasional pianist until his death in 1985. Jones departed the band less than a month prior to his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1975. Subsequently, Ronnie Wood has been on guitar in tandem with Richards. Following Wyman’s departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has been the main bassist. Other notable keyboardists for the band have included Nicky Hopkins, active from 1967 to 1982; Billy Preston through the mid 1970s (most prominent on Black and Blue) and Chuck Leavell, active since 1982. The band was first led by Jones but after teaming as the band’s songwriters, Jagger and Richards assumed de facto leadership.
The Rolling Stones were in the vanguard of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the US in 1964–65. At first noted for their longish hair as much as their music, the band are identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. Critic Sean Egan states that within a year of the release of their 1964 debut album, they “were being perceived by the youth of Britain and then the world as representatives of opposition to an old, cruel order — the antidote to a class-bound, authoritarian culture.” They were instrumental in making blues a major part of rock and roll and of changing the international focus of blues culture, to the less sophisticated blues typified by Chess Records artists such as Muddy Waters, writer of “Rollin’ Stone”, after which the band is named. After a short period of musical experimentation that culminated with the poorly received and largely psychedelic album Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967), the group returned to its bluesy roots with Beggars’ Banquet (1968) which—along with its follow-ups, Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile on Main St. (1972)—is generally considered to be the band’s best work and are considered the Rolling Stones’ “Golden Age”. Musicologist Robert Palmer attributed the “remarkable endurance” of the Rolling Stones to being “rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music”, while “more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone”.
The band continued to release commercially successful records in the 1970s and sold many albums, with Some Girls (1978) and Tattoo You (1981) being their two most sold albums worldwide. In the 1980s, a feud between Jagger and Richards about the band’s musical direction almost caused the band to split but they managed to patch their relationship and had a big comeback with Steel Wheels (1989) which was followed by a big stadium and arena tour. Since the 1990s, new recorded material from the group has been increasingly less well-received and less frequent. Despite this, the Rolling Stones have continued to be a huge attraction on the live circuit, with big stadium tours in the 1990s and 2000s. By 2007, the band had made what were then four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time (Voodoo Lounge Tour (1994–95), Bridges to Babylon Tour (1997–99), Licks Tour (2002–03) and A Bigger Bang Tour (2005–07).
The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list, and their estimated album sales are above 250 million. They have released twenty-nine studio albums, eighteen live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed (1969) was their first of five consecutive number one studio and live albums in the UK. Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive number one studio albums in the US. In 2008, the band ranked 10th on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart. In 2012, the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Soft Cell è un duo britannico di musica elettronica dei primi anni ottanta che riscosse un buon successo di pubblico e di critica, composto da: Marc Almond (voce) e David Ball (sintetizzatore) e riformatosi poi nel 2003.
Le loro canzoni, di orientamento musicale synth-pop, oltre che raccontare storie d’amore, si focalizzano spesso su tematiche controverse quali il sesso estremo, il travestitismo, l’uso di droghe e persino l’omicidio.
Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s, consisting of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball. The duo are principally known for their 1981 hit version of “Tainted Love” (#8 US) and 1981 debut album entitled Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.
In the United Kingdom, they had ten Top 40 hits including “Tainted Love” (#1 UK), “Torch” (#2 UK), “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” (#3 UK), “What!” (#3 UK), and “Bedsitter” (#4 UK), and also had four Top 20 albums between 1981 and 1984. In 1984, the duo split but reformed from 2001 to 2004 to tour and record new material, releasing their fifth studio album, Cruelty Without Beauty in 2002.
Soft Cell’s songs have been covered by various artists including Nine Inch Nails, David Gray, Nouvelle Vague, Marilyn Manson, and A-ha. Their track, “Memorabilia”, earned recognition for the band as pioneers of the synth-oriented techno genre. The duo have sold 10 million records worldwide.
che dipingono la vita
e tra le foglie
sfiorano il cuore
che è solidarietà
condividono la sorte
tremule al vento
gelo e tormento
ma siamo gioiose
La vita è Amore!
and the leaves
touch the heart
solidarity that is
share the fate
flickering in the wind
what you know
frost and torment
but we are joyful
Life is Love!
in cambio di nulla
quel che nel cuore
e amore hanno nutrito
in volti in sgomento
che eri madre
e dov’è ora
quel tuo figlio
caduto tra le idee
sparse senza lamento
semi del domani
di fanatiche storie
dove poggi i tuoi passi
a sbiadire nel vento
e lacrime in fiore
what in the heart
love and have nurtured
faces in awe
you were the mother
and where is it now
that your child
fell between ideas
scattered without complaint
seeds of tomorrow
stories of fanatical
hills where your steps
to fade in the wind
and tears in bloom
toglie il fiato
o v a tt a t o.
volo planato :
m u s i c a
Mente – Cuore.
ora posso volare.
m u f f le d
Play the harp
m us i c
Mind – Heart.
now I can fly.
Taglio la nebbia col coltello
e peso le parole
avanzando con passi di piombo
metto gli occhi ad asciugare.
Mentre s’infrangono onde
che non fanno cogliere il nesso,
nell’aria di pioggia
e il pensiero corre.
La fantasia galoppa
In un rapido abbandono:
in distese azzurre
ed è di nuovo estate.
meta / morphosis
Cut the fog with a knife
and weight of the words
advancing steps lead
I put my eyes to dry.
While waves are breaking
who do not see the connection,
of rain in the air
created the atmosphere
The imagination gallops
In rapid evacuation:
lay in blue
I ride the wave
and again in summer.
« Il pregare è nella religione ciò che il pensiero è nella filosofia. Il senso religioso prega come l’organo del pensiero pensa »
La preghiera è una delle pratiche comuni a tutte le religioni. Essa consiste nel rivolgersi alla dimensione del sacro con la parola o con il pensiero; gli scopi della preghiera possono essere molteplici: invocare, chiedere un aiuto, lodare, ringraziare, santificare, o esprimere devozione o abbandono. La preghiera è solitamente considerata come il momento in cui l’uomo ‘parla’ al sacro, mentre la fase inversa è la meditazione, durante la quale è il sacro che ‘parla’ all’uomo.
La preghiera può essere personale, oppure liturgica; solitamente questa seconda forma si ritrova come preghiera scritta (o comunque tramandata in qualche modo). Una delle forme di preghiera più diffuse è il canto devozionale.
Secondo la dottrina cattolica, quando l’uomo prega si eleva a Dio in modo cosciente. Il “tappeto di preghiera” è un piccolo tappeto che i musulmani usano per inginocchiarsi durante le preghiere giornaliere.
Forme di preghiera pubblica
Nell’ebraismo sono previsti per gli uomini tre preghiere nei giorni feriali, in ricordo dei sacrifici di animali e vegetali che venivano praticati nel Santuario: l’Arvith, Shachrith e Minchah. Le preghiere sono quattro il sabato e altri giorni particolari (5 volte per Yom Kippur). L’ordine delle preghiere si trova nel Siddur, il tradizionale libro delle preghiere ebraico. Sebbene la preghiera individuale sia valida, pregare con un minyan (numero minimo di dieci maschi adulti) è considerato ideale. Molte sinagoghe hanno un hazzan, cioè un cantore che guida la preghiera della comunità.
Nel Cristianesimo la forma classica e più antica di preghiera pubblica sono le ore canoniche, cioè momenti fissi durante la giornata in cui vengono recitati (o cantati) dei salmi più altre preghiere, dalla bibbia o composte dalle Chiese, oltre a inni e intercessioni. Di origine antichissima (la struttura è stata ereditata dalla preghiera ebraica sinagogale e del Tempio di Gerusalemme), le ore canoniche ebbero particolare rilievo nelle comunità monastiche come ufficio corale.
Nell’Islam la preghiera canonica è chiamata ṣalāt, prescritta 5 volte al giorno, in forma singola o collettiva, anche se sono previste e consigliate altre preghiere volontarie.
Forme di preghiera privata
Nelle devozioni private esistono vari tipi di preghiere, che hanno un unico fine: elevare l’anima a Dio. Elevare l’anima a Dio è infatti la definizione ufficiale della preghiera così come riportato dal Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica.
In realtà, come dice la Bibbia (Sap 1,7 e At 17,28), noi già viviamo ed esistiamo dentro Dio; come pure affermano alcune tradizioni religiose antiche dei popoli asiatici e americani. Essendo però Dio di natura trascendente e spirituale, la sua presenza non appare sempre immediatamente percepibile ed evidente. Ecco perché è necessario elevare l’anima a Dio, cioè compiere un atto di volontà (la volontà è una delle tre potenze dell’anima insieme alla memoria e all’intelletto) che ci rende più attenti, più sensibili, più partecipi di questa presenza che è sempre e ovunque. I modi di muovere la volontà e dunque l’anima a questa consapevolezza e a questa comunione sono molti e diversi. La tradizione cattolica ne enumera svariate decine che sono state ispirate dai santi nel corso dei secoli passati e che hanno trovato una eco più o meno duratura e diffusa, in funzione della semplicità, della praticità e della bellezza delle stesse modalità di preghiera.
Tra le forme private di preghiera più diffuse dalla tradizione cristiana troviamo:
la preghiera biblica (che utilizza direttamente le parole della Sacra Scrittura oppure che parte dalla lettura della Bibbia per poi aprirsi al colloquio personale con Dio, come fa la lectio divina);
il colloquio personale con Dio (che l’uomo può vivere in qualunque tempo e luogo);
il Santo Rosario (una forma devozionale nata nel Medioevo e diffusa oggi in tutti i popoli cattolici);
il culto delle immagini (fondato sul fatto che l’immagine sacra subito richiama alla mente la persona divina rappresentata e diffuso, oltre che nelle chiese, specialmente nei luoghi dove le chiese e i luoghi di culto pubblico sono lontani); tale culto non è accettato dal Protestantesimo;
la via crucis (devozione nata nel Medioevo e diffusa nel XVII secolo da san Leonardo da Porto Maurizio);
la vigilanza (cioè l’atteggiamento interiore dell’uomo che vigila sui suoi pensieri, discernendo quelli buoni da quelli malvagi per coltivare quelli buoni e rinnegare, dissolvere, dimenticare quelli malvagi);
la ripetizione (cioè l’atto della volontà che dà inizio ad un ciclo ripetitivo di brevi invocazioni o preghiere ben conosciute, che l’uomo ripete dentro di sé fino a formare un tappeto morbido e robusto sul quale l’anima si stende e si rilassa per poi entrare nella contemplazione);
la contemplazione (è la forma di preghiera considerata più santa, in quanto comunione stessa con il Santo, essendo stata definita dall’uomo la santità come la natura stessa di Dio; la contemplazione è la presenza viva di Dio nell’uomo che ispira direttamente pensieri, parole, immagini, azioni, per cui nella contemplazione l’uomo vede ciò che Dio vede, sente ciò che Dio sente, fa ciò che Dio fa);
la meditazione (è il fluire o il sorgere di pensieri che vengono suggeriti, stimolati, ispirati dalle fonti più diverse: ricordi, incontri, discorsi, letture, fatti, immagini, simboli, etc. Essendo immenso il bacino di spunti per la meditazione, essa è probabilmente la forma di orazione più praticata di ogni tempo).
Jörg Zink, Come pregare, Claudiana, Torino 1988.
Giordano Berti, Preghiere di tutto il mondo, Vallardi, Milano 1999.
Gérald Messadié (a cura di), Il piccolo libro delle preghiere, Armenia, Milano 2003.
Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica (di cui la Parte Quarta è interamente dedicata alla preghiera)
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to God or spirit through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others.
Most major religions involve prayer in one way or another. Some ritualize the act of prayer, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practiced spontaneously by anyone at any time.
Scientific studies regarding the use of prayer have mostly concentrated on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous studies, with contradictory results There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted
Forms of prayer
Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer. Some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant mantras. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth and Salah for Muslims (“kneel and prostrate as seen on the right”). Quakers keep silent. Some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others combine the two.
These methods show a variety of understandings to prayer, which are led by underlying beliefs.
These beliefs may be that
the finite can communicate with the infinite
the infinite is interested in communicating with the finite
prayer is intended to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, rather than to influence the recipient
prayer is intended to train a person to focus on the recipient through philosophy and intellectual contemplation
prayer is intended to enable a person to gain a direct experience of the recipient
prayer is intended to affect the very fabric of reality as we perceive it
prayer is a catalyst for change in oneself and/or one’s circumstances, or likewise those of third party beneficiaries
the recipient desires and appreciates prayer
or any combination of these.
The act of prayer is attested in written sources as early as 5000 years ago. Some anthropologists, such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor and Sir James George Frazer, believed that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced something that we would recognize today as prayer.
Friedrich Heiler is often cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer which lists six types of prayer: primitive, ritual, Greek cultural, philosophical, mystical, and prophetic
The act of worship
Prayer has many different forms. Prayer may be done privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer can be incorporated into a daily “thought life”, in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is actually regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, although enforcement is not possible nor desirable. There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer. Some may experience audible, physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random. Some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil; ringing a bell; burning incense or paper; lighting a candle or candles; facing a specific direction (i.e. towards Mecca or the East); making the sign of the cross. One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting.
A variety of body postures may be assumed, often with specific meaning (mainly respect or adoration) associated with them: standing; sitting; kneeling; prostrate on the floor; eyes opened; eyes closed; hands folded or clasped; hands upraised; holding hands with others; a laying on of hands and others. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed. They may be said, chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence while prayers are offered mentally. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance. Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below.
Etruscan, Greek, and Roman paganism
In the pre-Christian religions of Greeks and Romans (Ancient Greek religion, Roman religion), ceremonial prayer was highly formulaic and ritualized. The Iguvine Tables contain a supplication that can be translated, “If anything was said improperly, if anything was done improperly, let it be as if it were done correctly.”
The formalism and formulaic nature of these prayers led them to be written down in language that may have only been partially understood by the writer, and our texts of these prayers may in fact be garbled. Prayers in Etruscan were used in the Roman world by augurs and other oracles long after Etruscan became a dead language. The Carmen Arvale and the Carmen Saliare are two specimens of partially preserved prayers that seem to have been unintelligible to their scribes, and whose language is full of archaisms and difficult passages.
Roman prayers and sacrifices were often envisioned as legal bargains between deity and worshipper. The Roman principle was expressed as do ut des: “I give, so that you may give.” Cato the Elder’s treatise on agriculture contains many examples of preserved traditional prayers; in one, a farmer addresses the unknown deity of a possibly sacred grove, and sacrifices a pig in order to placate the god or goddess of the place and beseech his or her permission to cut down some trees from the grove
An amount of accounts of prayers to the gods in Germanic paganism survived the process of Christianization, though only a single prayer has survived without the interjection of Christian references. This prayer is recorded in stanzas 2 and 3 of the poem Sigrdrífumál, compiled in the 13th century Poetic Edda from earlier traditional sources, where the valkyrie Sigrdrífa prays to the gods and the earth after being woken by the hero Sigurd.
A prayer to the bigger god Odin is mentioned in chapter 2 of the Völsunga saga where King Rerir prays for a child. His prayer is answered by Frigg, wife of Odin, who sends him an apple, which is dropped on his lap by Frigg’s servant in the form of a crow while Rerir is sitting on a mound. Rerir’s wife eats the apple and is then pregnant with the hero Völsung. In stanza 9 of the poem Oddrúnargrátr, a prayer is made to “kind wights, Frigg and Freyja, and many gods,” although since the poem is often considered one of the youngest poems in the Poetic Edda, the passage has been the matter of some debate.
In chapter 21 of Jómsvíkinga saga, wishing to turn the tide of the Battle of Hjörungavágr, Haakon Sigurdsson eventually finds his prayers answered by the goddesses Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and Irpa (the first of the two described as Haakon’s patron goddess) who appear in the battle, kill many of the opposing fleet, and cause the remnants of their forces to flee. However, this depiction of a pagan prayer has been criticized as inaccurate due to the description of Haakon dropping to his knees.
The 11th century manuscript for the Anglo-Saxon charm Æcerbot presents what is thought to be an originally pagan prayer for the fertility of the speaker’s crops and land, though Christianization is apparent throughout the charm. The 8th century Wessobrunn Prayer has been proposed as a Christianized pagan prayer and compared to the pagan Völuspá and the Merseburg Incantations, the latter recorded in the 9th or 10th century but of much older traditional origins
In the common Bible of the Abrahamic religions, various forms of prayer appear; the most common forms being petition, thanksgiving, and worship. The longest book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms, 150 religious songs which are often regarded as prayers. Other well-known Biblical prayers include the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18), the Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), and the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). But perhaps the best-known prayer in the Christian Bible is the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2-4).
See also: Tanakh, New Testament, Prayer in the Hebrew Bible, and Prayer in the New Testament
Jews pray three times a day, with lengthier prayers on special days, such as the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The siddur is the prayerbook used by Jews all over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. Jewish prayer is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah (intention) and keva (the ritualistic, structured elements).
The most important Jewish prayers are the Shema Yisrael (“Hear O Israel”) and the Amidah (“the standing prayer”).
Communal prayer is preferred over solitary prayer, and a quorum of 10 adult males (a minyan) is considered by Orthodox Judaism a prerequisite for several communal prayers.
Rationalist approach to prayer
In this view, ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation. This approach was taken by Maimonides and the other medieval rationalists. One example of this approach to prayer is noted by Rabbi Steven Weil, who was appointed the Orthodox Union’s Executive-Vice President in 2009. He notes that the word “prayer” is a derivative of the Latin “precari”, which means “to beg”. The Hebrew equivalent “tefilah”, however, along with its root “pelel” or its reflexive “l’hitpallel”, means the act of self-analysis or self-evaluation. This approach is sometimes described as the person praying having a dialogue or conversation with God.
Educational approach to prayer
In this view, prayer is not a conversation. Rather, it is meant to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, but not to influence. This has been the approach of Rabbenu Bachya, Yehuda Halevy, Joseph Albo, Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Joseph Dov Soloveitchik. This view is expressed by Rabbi Nosson Scherman in the overview to the Artscroll Siddur (p. XIII); note that Scherman goes on to also affirm the Kabbalistic view (see below).
Kabbalistic approach to prayer
Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) uses a series of kavanot, directions of intent, to specify the path the prayer ascends in the dialog with God, to increase its chances of being answered favorably. Kabbalists ascribe a higher meaning to the purpose of prayer, which is no less than affecting the very fabric of reality itself, restructuring and repairing the universe in a real fashion. In this view, every word of every prayer, and indeed, even every letter of every word, has a precise meaning and a precise effect. Prayers thus literally affect the mystical forces of the universe, and repair the fabric of creation.
Among Jews, this approach has been taken by the Chassidei Ashkenaz (German pietists of the Middle-Ages), the Arizal’s Kabbalist tradition, Ramchal, most of Hassidism, the Vilna Gaon, and Jacob Emden.
Main articles: Prayer in Christianity and Christian worship
Christian prayers are quite varied. They can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Probably the most common and universal prayer among Christians is the Lord’s Prayer, which according to the gospel accounts is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Some Protestant denominations choose not to recite the Lord’s Prayer or other rote prayers.
Christians generally pray to God or to the Father. Some Christians (e.g., Catholics, Orthodox) will also ask the righteous in heaven and “in Christ,” such as Virgin Mary or other saints to intercede by praying on their behalf (intercession of saints). Formulaic closures include “through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, through all the ages of ages,” and “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
It is customary among Protestants to end prayers with “In Jesus’ name, Amen” or “In the name of Christ, Amen” However, the most commonly used closure in Christianity is simply “Amen” (from a Hebrew adverb used as a statement of affirmation or agreement, usually translated as so be it).
There is also the form of prayer called hesychast which is a repetitious type of prayer for the purpose of meditation. In the Western or Latin Rite of Catholic Church, probably the most common is the Rosary; In the Eastern Church (the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church), the Jesus Prayer.
Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation which do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others, e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy performed by others
In Pentecostal congregations, prayer is often done by speaking in a foreign tongue, a practice now known as glossolalia. Practitioners of Pentecostal glossolalia may claim that the languages they speak in prayer are real foreign languages, and that the ability to speak those languages spontaneously is a gift of the Holy Spirit; however, many people outside the movement have offered alternative views. George Barton Cutten suggested that glossolalia was a sign of mental illness. Felicitas Goodman suggested that tongue speakers were under a form of hypnosis. Others suggest that it is a learned behaviour. Some of these views have allegedly been refuted
Christian Science teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God and of the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. Adherents believe that this can result in healing, by bringing spiritual reality (the “Kingdom of Heaven” in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas. Prayer can heal the distortion. Christian Scientists believe that prayer does not change the spiritual creation but gives a clearer view of it, and the result appears in the human scene as healing: the human picture adjusts to coincide more nearly with the divine reality. Christian Scientists do not practice intercessory prayer as it is commonly understood, and they generally avoid combining prayer with medical treatment in the belief that the two practices tend to work against each other. (However, the choice of healing method is regarded as a matter for the individual, and the Christian Science Church exerts no pressure on members to avoid medical treatment if they wish to avail of it as an alternative to Christian Science healing.) Prayer works through love: the recognition of God’s creation as spiritual, intact, and inherently lovable
Prevalence of prayer for health
Some modalities of alternative medicine employ prayer. A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, found that in 2002, 43% of Americans pray for their own health, 24% pray for others’ health, and 10% participate in a prayer group for their own healt
Muslims pray a ritualistic prayer called salah or salat in Arabic, facing the Kaaba in Mecca, five times a day. The command to pray is in the Quran in several chapters. The prophet Muhammed showed each Muslim the true method of offering prayers thus the same method is observed till date. There is the “call for prayer” (adhan or azaan), where the muezzin calls for all the followers to stand together for the prayer. The prayer consists of standing, by mentioning -àllàh o -àqbàr (God is great) followed by recitation of the first chapter of the Quran. After the person bends and praises god, then prostrates and again praises god. The prayer ends with the following words “peace and blessings be upon you”. During the prayer a Muslim cannot talk or do anything else besides praying. Once the prayer is complete one can offer voluntary prayers or supplicate -àllàh for his needs. There are also many standard duas or supplications, also in Arabic, to be recited at various times, e.g. for one’s parents, after salah, before eating. Muslims may also say dua in their own words and languages for any issue they wish to communicate with God in the hope that God will answer their prayers. Certain Shia fiqhs pray 3 times a day.
Main article: Prayer in the Bahá’í Faith
Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and `Abdu’l-Bahá have revealed many prayers for general use, and some for specific occasions, including for unity, detachment, spiritual upliftment, and healing among others. Bahá’ís are also required to recite each day one of three obligatory prayers revealed by Bahá’u’lláh. The believers have been enjoined to face in the direction of the Qiblih when reciting their Obligatory Prayer. The longest obligatory prayer may be recited at any time during the day; another, of medium length, is recited once in the morning, once at midday, and once in the evening; and the shortest can be recited anytime between noon and sunset. Bahá’ís also read from and meditate on the scriptures every morning and evening.
In contrast with Western religion, Eastern religion for the most part discards worship and places devotional emphasis on the practice of meditation alongside scriptural study. Consequently, prayer is seen as a form of meditation or an adjunct practice to meditation
n certain Buddhist sects, prayer accompanies meditation. Buddhism for the most part sees prayer as a secondary, supportive practice to meditation and scriptural study. Gautama Buddha claimed that human beings possess the capacity and potential to be liberated, or enlightened, through contemplation, leading to insight. Prayer is seen mainly as a powerful psycho-physical practice that can enhance meditation.
In the earliest Buddhist tradition, the Theravada, and in the later Mahayana tradition of Zen (or Chán), prayer plays only an ancillary role. It is largely a ritual expression of wishes for success in the practice and in helping all beings.
The skillful means (Sanskrit: upaya) of the transfer of merit (Sanskrit: parinamana) is an evocation and prayer. Moreover, indeterminate buddhas are available for intercession as they reside in awoken-fields (Sanskrit: buddha-kshetra).
The nirmanakaya of a awoken-field is what is generally known and understood as mandala. The opening and closing of the ring (Sanskrit: mandala) is an active prayer. An active prayer is a mindful activity, an activity in which mindfulness is not just cultivated but is. A common prayer is “May the merit of my practice, adorn Buddhas’ Pure Lands, requite the fourfold kindness from above, and relieve the suffering of the three life-journeys below. Universally wishing sentient beings, Friends, foes, and karmic creditors, all to activate the bodhi mind, and all to be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.” (願以此功德 莊嚴佛淨土 上報四重恩 下濟三途苦 普願諸眾生 冤親諸債主 悉發菩提心 同生極樂國)
The Generation Stage (Sanskrit: utpatti-krama) of Vajrayana involves prayer elements.
The Tibetan Buddhism tradition emphasizes an instructive and devotional relationship to a guru; this may involve devotional practices known as guru yoga which are congruent with prayer. It also appears that Tibetan Buddhism posits the existence of various deities, but the peak view of the tradition is that the deities or yidam are no more existent or real than the continuity (Sanskrit: santana; refer mindstream) of the practitioner, environment and activity. But how practitioners engage yidam or tutelary deities will depend upon the level or more appropriately yana at which they are practicing. At one level, one may pray to a deity for protection or assistance, taking a more subordinate role. At another level, one may invoke the deity, on a more equal footing. And at a higher level one may deliberately cultivate the idea that one has become the deity, whilst remaining aware that its ultimate nature is shunyata. The views of the more esoteric yana are impenetrable for those without direct experience and empowerment.
Pure Land Buddhism emphasizes the recitation by devotees of prayer-like mantras, a practice often called Nembutsu.:190 On one level it is said that reciting these mantras can ensure rebirth into a sambhogakaya land (Sanskrit: buddha-kshetra) after bodily dissolution, a sheer ball spontaneously co-emergent to a buddha’s enlightened intention. According to Shinran, the founder of the Pure Land Buddhism tradition that is most prevalent in the US:193 “for the long haul nothing is as efficacious as the Nembutsu.”:197 On another, the practice is a form of meditation aimed at achieving realization.
But beyond all these practices the Buddha emphasized the primacy of individual practice and experience. He said that supplication to gods or deities was not necessary. Nevertheless, today many lay people in East Asian countries pray to the Buddha in ways that resemble Western prayer—asking for intervention and offering devotion.
Hinduism has incorporated many kinds of prayer (Sanskrit: prārthanā), from fire-based rituals to philosophical musings. While chanting involves ‘by dictum’ recitation of timeless verses or verses with timings and notations, dhyanam involves deep meditation (however short or long) on the preferred deity/God. Again the object to which prayers are offered could be a persons referred as devtas, trinity or incarnation of either devtas or trinity or simply plain formless meditation as practiced by the ancient sages. All of these are directed to fulfilling personal needs or deep spiritual enlightenment. Ritual invocation was part and parcel of the Vedic religion and as such permeated their sacred texts. Indeed, the highest sacred texts of the Hindus, the Vedas, are a large collection of mantras and prayer rituals. Classical Hinduism came to focus on extolling a single supreme force, Brahman, that is made manifest in several lower forms as the familiar gods of the Hindu pantheon[dubious – discuss]. Hindus in India have numerous devotional movements. Hindus may pray to the highest absolute God Brahman, or more commonly to Its three manifestations namely creator god called Brahma, preserver god called Vishnu and destroyer god (so that the creation cycle can start afresh) Shiva, and at the next level to Vishnu’s avatars (earthly appearances) Rama and Krishna or to many other male or female deities. Typically, Hindus pray with their hands (the palms) joined together in pranam. The hand gesture is similar to the popular Indian greeting namaste.
Although Jains believe that no spirit or divine being can assist them on their path, they do hold some influence, and on special occasions, Jains will pray for right knowledge to the twenty-four Tirthankaras (saintly teachers) or sometimes to Hindu deities such as Ganesha.
The practices involved in Shinto prayer are heavily influenced by Buddhism; Japanese Buddhism has also been strongly influenced by Shinto in turn. The most common and basic form of devotion involves throwing a coin, or several, into a collection box, ringing a bell, clapping one’s hands, and contemplating one’s wish or prayer silently. The bell and hand clapping are meant to wake up or attract the attention of the kami of the shrine, so that one’s prayer may be heard.
Shinto prayers quite frequently consist of wishes or favors asked of the kami, rather than lengthy praises or devotions. Unlike in certain other faiths, it is not considered irregular or inappropriate to ask favors of the kami in this way, and indeed many shrines are associated with particular favors, such as success on exams.
In addition, one may write one’s wish on a small wooden tablet, called an ema, and leave it hanging at the shrine, where the kami can read it. If the wish is granted, one may return to the shrine to leave another ema as an act of thanksgiving.
The Ardās (Punjabi: ਅਰਦਾਸ) is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.
The Ardas is usually always done standing up with folded hands. The beginning of the Ardas is strictly set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When it comes to conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses word like “Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake” when starting a new task or “Akal Purakh, having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times”, etc. The word “Ardās” is derived from Persian word ‘Arazdashat’, meaning a request, supplication, prayer, petition or an address to a superior authority.
Ardās is a unique prayer based on the fact that it is one of the few well-known prayers in the Sikh religion that was not written in its entirety by the Gurus. The Ardās cannot be found within the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib because it is a continually changing devotional text that has evolved over time in order for it to encompass the feats, accomplishments, and feelings of all generations of Sikhs within its lines. Taking the various derivation of the word Ardās into account, the basic purpose of this prayer is an appeal to Waheguru for his protection and care, as well as being a plea for the welfare and prosperity of all mankind, and a means for the Sikhs to thank Waheguru for all that he has done
Prayer in Taoism is less common than Fulu, which is the drawing and writing of supernatural talismans
Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism, communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life. This is usually accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance, gains access to the spirit world and then shows the spirits’ thoughts to the people. Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers. The native religions in some parts of North, East and South Asia, America, Africa, and Oceania are often animistic.
The Aztec religion was not strictly animist. It had an ever increasing pantheon of deities, and the shamans performed ritual prayer to these deities in their respective temples. These shamans made petitions to the proper deities in exchange for a sacrifice offering: food, flowers, effigies, and animals, usually quail. But the larger the thing required from the God the larger the sacrifice had to be, and for the most important rites one would offer one’s own blood; by cutting his ears, arms, tongue, thighs, chest or genitals, and often a human life; either warrior, slave, or even self-sacrifice.
The Pueblo Indians are known to have used prayer sticks, that is, sticks with feathers attached as supplicatory offerings. The Hopi Indians used prayer sticks as well, but they attached to it a small bag of sacred meat
In Australia, prayers to the “Great Wit” are performed by the “clever wapmen” and “clever women”, or kadji. These Aboriginal shamans use maban or mabain, the material that is believed to give them their purported magical powers
Adherents to forms of modern Neopaganism pray to various gods. The most commonly worshiped and prayed to gods are those of Pre-Christian Europe, such as Celtic, Norse, or Graeco-Roman gods. Prayer can vary from sect to sect, and with some (such as Wicca) prayer may also be associated with ritual magick.
Theurgy and Western Esotericism
Practitioners of theurgy and western esotericism may practice a form of ritual which utilizes both pre-sanctioned prayers and names of God, and prayers “from the heart” that, when combined, allows the participant to ascend spiritually, and in some instances, induce a trance in which God or other spiritual beings may be realized. Very similar to hermetic qabala, and orthodox qabala, it is believed that prayer can influence both the physical and non-physical worlds. The use of ritualistic signs and names are believed to be archetypes in which the subconscious may take form as the Inner God, or another spiritual being, and the “prayer from the heart” to be that spiritual force speaking through the participant.
The Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba emphasized both the beauty of prayer as praise and the power of prayer as petition:
“The ideal prayer to the Lord is nothing more than spontaneous praise of His being. You praise Him, not in the spirit of bargain but in the spirit of self-forgetful appreciation of what He really is. You praise Him because He is praiseworthy. Your praise is a spontaneous appreciative response to his true being, as infinite light, infinite power and infinite bliss.”
“Through repeated sincere prayers it is possible to effect an exit from the otherwise inexorable working out of the law of karma. The forgiveness asked from God evokes from Him His inscrutable grace, which alone can give new direction to the inexorable karmic determination
Essere empatici è come accompagnare
chi vacilla,essere capaci di ascolto
e di offrire le parole più adatte.
Però è necessario saper convivere
con la propria empatia,
non farsi travolgere dalle tempeste
ma saper gestire al meglio la nave.
Being empathetic is like accompanying
who falters, to be able to listen
and to offer the most suitable words.
But it is necessary to know how to live together
with their own empathy,
do not get carried away by storms
but knowing how to better manage the ship.
ho preso vita.
Radici in ombra
e un muro
copriva il sole.
Fatica per crescere
un po’ di calore.
-abbracci d’intenso valore-
le verdi chiome.
Gelo a volte
-foglie in caduta-
linfa e desiderio di vita.
Il muro ho infranto
con le radici.
la certezza ora
è il mio manto
I have come to life.
Roots in the shade
and a wall
covered the sun.
Effort to grow
a little ‘heat.
I tried Light
-hugs-value of intense
the green foliage.
sap and desire for life.
I have broken the wall
with the roots.
is my mantle
Poi riflettei che ogni cosa, a ognuno, accade precisamente, precisamente ora. Secoli e secoli, e solo nel presente accadono i fatti; innumerevoli uomini nell’aria, sulla terra e sul mare, e tutto ciò che realmente accade, accade a me.
Crescita personale,racconti, pensieri
la Conoscenza non riempie un vaso....accende un fuoco
Art, health, civilizations, photography, nature, books, recipes, etc.
Il mio mondo sono i libri!
a rush of light