Risultati della ricerca per: 2002

Nove Sutra sulla Pace – Nina Sutras of Peace – Raimond Panikkar


Nove sutra sulla Pace

I sutra sono fili di un’unica collana.
Insieme formano il gioiello chiamato Pace.

1. La pace è partecipazione all’armonia del ritmo dell’Essere

La pace non altera il ritmo della realtà. Non è statica, né dinamica. Non è nemmeno un movimento dialettico. E non significa assenza di forze o di polarità. L’Essere è ritmico, è ritmo, integrazione a-dualista del movimento e del riposo. La cultura tecnocratica occidentale, coltivando l’accelerazione, ha sconvolto i ritmi naturali: è senza pace.

2. È difficile vivere senza pace esterna; impossibile senza pace interna.

Ogni giorno, dopo l’ultima guerra mondiale, mille persone muoiono vittime della guerra. In tutto il mondo vi sono milioni di profughi, bambini nelle strade e persone che muoiono di fame. Non si deve minimizzare questa degradazione umana della nostra razza. Ma se la pace interna sussiste c’è ancora speranza. D’altronde non si può godere di una pace interna se il nostro ambiente umano ed ecologico è vittima di violenze e di ingiustizie. In tal caso la pace interna è un’illusione. E nessun autentico saggio (da Buddha a Cristo) si rinchiude nell’egoismo e nell’autosufficienza.

3. La pace: non la si conquista per se stessi, né la si impone agli altri. È dono dello Spirito

La pace non proviene né da spiritualità masochiste, né da pedagogie sadiche. I regimi imposti non fondano la pace per chi li riceve: bambino, povero, famiglia o nazione che sia. A noi manca l’atteggiamento più femminile del ricevente. La natura della pace è d’essere grazia, dono. È frutto di una rivelazione: dell’amore, di Dio, della bellezza della realtà, è esistenza della provvidenza, bontà della creazione, speranza, giustizia. È Gabe e Aufgabe, dono e responsabilità.

4. La vittoria ottenuta con la sconfitta violenta del nemico non conduce mai alla pace

La maggior parte delle guerre ha trovato giustificazione come risposta a trattati di pace anteriori. I vinti riappaiono ed esigono ciò che è stato loro rifiutato. La stessa repressione del male non ha risultati durevoli. La pace non è il risultato di un processo dialettico del bene contro il male. Il giovane rabbino di Nazaret invitava a far crescere insieme grano e zizzania. La pace fugge il campo dei vittoriosi (Simone Weil). La vittoria è sempre sulle persone; e le persone non sono mai assolutamente cattive.

5. Il disarmo militare richiede un disarmo culturale

La civiltà occidentale ha sviluppato un arsenale di armamenti, qualitativamente e quantitativamente; deve esservi un che di inerente a questa cultura: spirito di competizione, soggettività, tendenza a trascurare il campo dei sentimenti, senso di superiorità, di universalità, ecc.. Il fatto che i discorsi [per la pace, nella civiltà occidentale] si concentrino sulla distruzione degli armamenti, senza prestare attenzione alle questioni più fondamentali, costituisce un esempio di questo stato spirituale. Allora il disarmo culturale – prerequisito per la pace – è difficile almeno come quello militare. Implica una critica alla cultura e un approccio autenticamente interculturale.

6. Nessuna cultura, religione o tradizione può risolvere isolatamente i problemi del nostro mondo

Oggi nessuna religione potrebbe fornire risposte universali (se non altro perché le domande non sono le stesse). Purtroppo nel momento in cui gran parte delle religioni tradizionali tendono a deporre il manto dell’imperialismo, del colonialismo e dell’universalismo, la cosiddetta visione “scientifica” del mondo sembra raccogliere l’eredità culturale di questi atteggiamenti. Qui bisognerebbe citare la parola pluralismo.

7. La pace appartiene principalmente all’ordine del mythos, non del logos

Shalom, pax, eirene, salam, Friede, shanti, píng-an…: la Pace è polisemica; ha numerosi significati. La mia nozione di pace può non essere pacifica per qualcun altro. La pace non è sinonimo di pacifismo. È un mito, qualcosa in cui si crede in quanto dato. Ma non è irrazionale, anzi rende intelligibile l’atto di intendere. Un tempo la pace veniva firmata in nome di Dio; nella nostra epoca la pace sembra un mito unificante emergente ed è anche in suo nome che si fa guerra. Il mythos non dev’essere separato dal logos, ma i due non dovrebbero venire identificati.

8. La religione, via verso la pace

La religione è stata sempre considerata in passato come via di salvezza. Perciò le religioni erano fattori di pace interiore per i propri adepti e di guerre per gli altri. È un fatto che gran parte delle guerre nel mondo sono state guerre religiose. Oggi siamo testimoni di una trasformazione della nozione stessa di religione: le religioni sono modi di raggiungere la pace (non significa ridurle ad un unico denominatore). E la strada per la pace è rivoluzionaria: esige l’eliminazione dell’ingiustizia, dell’egoismo e della cupidigia.

9. Perdono, riconciliazione, dialogo: solo essi conducono alla pace

Punizione, indenizzo, restituzione, riparazione e cose simili non portano alla pace, non spezzano la legge del karma. Credere che ristabilire l’ordine spezzato risolva la situazione è un modo di pensare grossolano, meccanicistico e immaturo. L’innocenza perduta esige la redenzione e non il sogno di una paradiso ritrovato. La via verso la pace è in avanti e non indietro. La storia umana esige perdono. Per perdonare ci vuole una forza che vada oltre l’ordine meccanico di azione-reazione, ci vuole lo Spirito Santo, Amore pilastro dell’universo.

Da: Raimon Panikkar, Pace e interculturalità, Jaca Book, Milano 2002. (Adattamento. Col permesso dell’A.)

❤ ❤ ❤

Nine sutras of Peace

The sutras are strings of single necklace.
Together they form the jewel called Peace.

1. Peace is the harmony of the participation rate of Being

Peace does not alter the rhythm of reality. Is not static nor dynamic. It is not a dialectical movement. It does not mean lack of power or polarity. Being is rhythmic, it’s rhythm, integration-dualist movement and rest. Western technocratic culture, cultivating the acceleration, has disrupted the natural rhythms: it is no peace.

2. It’s hard to live without external peace; impossible without inner peace.

Every day after the last world war, a thousand people die of war victims. Throughout the world there are millions of refugees, children in the streets and people dying of hunger. We must not minimize this degradation of our human race. But if there is internal peace, there is still hope. On the other hand you can not enjoy internal peace if our human and ecological environment is the victim of violence and injustice. In this case, the inner peace is an illusion. And no authentic essay (from Buddha to Christ) to be contained in self and selfishness.

3. The peace is won not by themselves, nor can it imposes on others. It is a gift of the Spirit

Peace does not come as spirituality or masochistic, sadistic nor pedagogies. The regimes imposed do not establish peace for those who receive them: child poverty, family or nation it is.We miss the attitude of the recipient female. The nature of peace is to be grace, a gift. It is the result of a revelation of love, of God, the beauty of reality is existence of providence, the goodness of creation, hope, justice. It’s Gabe and Aufgabe, gift and responsibility.

4. The violent victory with the defeat of the enemy never leads to peace

Most wars have been justified as a response to earlier peace treaties. The vanquished reappear and demand what they have been refused. The same repression of evil has no lasting results. Peace is not the result of a dialectical process of good versus evil. The young rabbi from Nazareth invited to wheat and weeds grow together. Peace fled the camp of the victors (Simone Weil). The victory is always on people, and people are never quite bad.

5. The military disarmament disarmament requires a cultural

Western civilization has developed an arsenal of weapons, both qualitatively and quantitatively, there must be something inherent in this culture: the spirit of competition, subjectivity, a tendency to overlook the range of feelings, a sense of superiority, universality, etc. .. The fact that the speeches [for peace in Western civilization] focus on the destruction of weapons, while ignoring the more fundamental issues, is an example of this spiritual state. Then disarmament culture – a prerequisite for peace – at least as hard as military. Implies a critique of culture and intercultural approach authentically.

6. No culture, religion or tradition alone can solve the problems of our world

Today, no religion could provide universal answers (if only because the questions are not the same). Unfortunately, when most of the traditional religions tend to lay the mantle of imperialism, colonialism and universalism, the view of so-called “scientific” in the world seems to collect the cultural heritage of these attitudes. Here one should mention the word pluralism.

7. Peace belongs mainly to the order of the mythos, not the logos

Shalom, Pax, Eirene, salam, Friede, shanti, Ping-an …: Peace is polysemic; has many meanings. My notion of peace can not be peaceful for someone else. Peace is not a synonym for pacifism. It is a myth, something you believe as facts. But it is not irrational, even the act of understanding makes it intelligible.Once peace was signed in the name of God, peace in our time seems to be a unifying myth and it is also emerging in his name that makes war. The mythos should not be separated from the logos, but the two should not be identified.

8. Religion, on the road to peace

Religion has always been considered in the past as a way of salvation. Therefore, religions were factors of inner peace for their followers and other wars. It is a fact that most wars were religious wars in the world. We are witnessing a transformation of the very notion of religion: the religions are ways of achieving peace (means do not reduce them to a common denominator).And the path to peace is revolutionary: it requires the elimination of injustice, selfishness and greed.

9. Forgiveness, reconciliation, dialogue: they alone lead to peace

Punishment, indemnification, restitution, reparation and things like that do not lead to peace, do not break the law of karma.Believe that restoring order to resolve the situation is a broken way of thinking crude, mechanistic and immature. The innocence lost and do not require the redemption of the dream of a paradise regained. The road to peace is forward and not backward. Human history requires forgiveness. To forgive takes a force that goes beyond a mechanical action-reaction, we want the Holy Spirit, Love pillar of the universe.

From: Raimon Panikkar, Peace and Interculturalism, Jaca Book, Milan 2002. (With permission from the A Adattament..)

Pubblicità

Sulla via della pace – The Path to Peace


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.
Achaan Chah

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

Il sentiero della pace

del venerabile Ajahn Chah

© 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.

Silasamadhi e pañña sono i nomi dati a tre diversi aspetti della pratica. Praticando sila, samadhi 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 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 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 anatta. In nessuno di loro risiede la certezza”. E poi lasciatele subito perdere.

© Ass. Santacittarama (& Wat Nong Pah Pong), 2006. Tutti i diritti sono riservati. SOLTANTO PER DISTRIBUZIONE
GRATUITA. 
On the Road to PeaceThe battles in the worldDo everything with a mind that knows how to let go.
Do not expect any reward or prize.
If you let go a little, you’ll have a little peace.
If you let go completely, you will know complete freedom andpeace.
Your battles with the world come to an end.

Achaan Chah

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

The Path to Peace

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 DhammaVinaya (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 sīlasamādhi and paññā.

Sīlasamādhi and paññā are the names given to the different aspects of the practice. When you practise sīlasamādhi 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.

Ādikalyānamajjhekalyānapariyosānakalyāna: 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 sīlasamādhi 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 assīlasamādhi 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 sīlasamādhi 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, sīlasamādhi 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 sīlasamādhi 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 sīlasamādhi 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 sīlasamādhi 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,sīlasamādhi 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 sīlasamādhi 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 aniccamdukkham and anattā. None of it is certain at all.’ Discard it right there.


Footnotes

…samana1
Recluse, monk or holy one – one who has left the home life to pursue the Higher Life.
…ārammana2
Ārammana: mind-objects; the object which is presented to the mind (citta) at any moment. This object is derived from the five senses or direct from the mind (memory, thought, feelings). It is not the external object (in the world), but that object after having been processed by one’s preconceptions and predispositions.
…bhikkhus’3
Bhikkhu: Buddhist monk, alms mendicant.
…Arahants4
Arahant: Worthy one, one who is full enlightened.
5
Venerable: in Thai, ‘Phra‘.
…khandhas6
Khandhas: Groups or aggregates: form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), thought formations (sankhārā) and consciousness (viññāna). These groups are the five groups that constitute what we call a person.
7
Magga-phala: Path and fruition: the four transcendent paths – or rather one path and four different levels of refinement – leading to ‘nobility’ (ariya) or the end of suffering, i.e., the insight knowledge which cuts through the fetters (samyojana); and the four corresponding fruitions arising from those paths – refers to the mental state, cutting through defilements, immediately following the attainment of any of these paths.
…pāramī8
Pāramī: refers to the ten spiritual perfections: generosity, moral restraint, renunciation, wisdom, effort, patience, truthfulness, determination, kindness and equanimity.
…upapāramī9
Upapāramī: refers to the same ten spiritual perfections, but practised on a deeper, more intense and profound level (practised to the highest degree, they are called paramattha pāramī)
…jhāna10
Jhāna: Various levels of meditative absorption. The five factors of jhāna are initial and sustained application of mind, rapture, pleasure and equanimity.
…dhātu11
Dhātu: Elements, natural essence. The elementary properties which make up the inner sense of the body and mind: earth (material), water (cohesion), fire (energy) and air (motion), space and consciousness.
…citta12
Gotrabhū citta: Change-of-lineage (state of consciousness preceding jhāna or Path).
Contents: © Wat Nong Pah Pong, 2007 | Last update: March 2008

Preghiera – Prayer


Preghiera

« Il pregare è nella religione ciò che il pensiero è nella filosofia. Il senso religioso prega come l’organo del pensiero pensa »

Novalis
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).
Bibliografia
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
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[10] 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.[citation needed]
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,[15] 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.[15] 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;[16] ringing a bell;[17] burning incense or paper;[18] lighting a candle or candles;[19] facing a specific direction (i.e. towards Mecca[20] 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.

Pre-Christian Europe

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.[21][22] 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
Germanic paganism
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.[26]
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.[28] The 8th century Wessobrunn Prayer has been proposed as a Christianized pagan prayer and compared to the pagan Völuspá[29] and the Merseburg Incantations, the latter recorded in the 9th or 10th century but of much older traditional origins
Abrahamic religions
Bible
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
Judaism
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.
Christianity
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”[34] 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
Pentecostalism
In Pentecostal congregations, prayer is often done by speaking in a foreign tongue, a practice now known as glossolalia.[36] 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;[37][38] however, many people outside the movement have offered alternative views. George Barton Cutten suggested that glossolalia was a sign of mental illness.[39] Felicitas Goodman suggested that tongue speakers were under a form of hypnosis.[40] Others suggest that it is a learned behaviour. Some of these views have allegedly been refuted
Christian Science
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
Islam
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.[20] Certain Shia fiqhs pray 3 times a day.
Bahá’í
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.
Eastern religions
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
Buddhism
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.[48]
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.[49][50][51][52]
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.[53] 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)[54]
The Generation Stage (Sanskrit: utpatti-krama) of Vajrayana involves prayer elements.[55]
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.[56]: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[56]:193[57] “for the long haul nothing is as efficacious as the Nembutsu.”[56]:197[58] On another, the practice is a form of meditation aimed at achieving realization.[citation needed]
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
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.
Jainism
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.
Shinto
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.
Sikhism
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
Taoism
Prayer in Taoism is less common than Fulu, which is the drawing and writing of supernatural talismans
Animism
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.
America
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.[63]
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
Australia
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
Neopaganism
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.
Meher Baba
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.”[66]
“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
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preghiera
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer

Mercato – Market


Mercato

In un cunicolo
di colori
s g a r g i a n t i
febbrili
le mani toccano
-cercano sogni-
tra vocii
e sudore
incamminati
sotto il sole
A g o s t o
contorna
desideri di abiti
n u o v i
tra bambini
sciamanti
su sagome uguali
Occhi
celano vite
tra odori
in miscuglio
-sorrisi in ricerca-
attirare di voci
s u a d e n t i
fantasie
che rompono
noie vaganti
trovando appigli
in brusii intermittenti

09.08.2002 Poetyca

Market

In a tunnel
color
bright
febrile
hands touch
Dreams-try-
between vocii
and sweat
journeying
under the sun
August
surrounds
desire to live
new
among children
swarming
shapes on the same
Eyes
hidden lives
between odors
in mixture
-Smiles-search
attract entries
suaden t i
fantasies
breaking
trouble wandering
finding holds
in intermittent buzzing

09.08.2002 Poetyca

Alba – Dawn


Alba

Scivolo nella notte
a catturare immagini
di oniriche forme
nei sospiri del silenzio
vibra la brezza sognante

Passi scalzi sul cuore
a sfiorare ricordi
d’attimi intensi
e tra sfumati colori
sorridono speranze

Disseto le pagine nuove
che non indeboliscono
le forze
e sfioro luci soffuse
di stelle lontane
a regalare il sogno

L’alba è giunta
con le luci in sorriso
e i nuovi canti
di voli e palpiti
che mi conducono ancora

26.08.2002 Poetyca

Dawn

Slide into the night
to capture
forms of dream
the sighs of silence
vibrates the breeze dreamy

Walk barefoot on the heart
to touch memories
moments of intense
and between shaded colors
smile hopes

Quench the thirst of the new pages
that do not weaken
forces
and cascading soft lights
of distant stars
to give the dream

The dawn has come
with the lights in the smile
and the new songs
flights and heartbeats
I still lead

26.08.2002 Poetyca

Suoni – Sounds


Suoni

Tra suoni
viaggi
e vibrazioni

ti ho trovato
cuore
in attesa.

Nell’impercettibile
sentiero
c’eri tu.

Piccoli passi
portano
sempre lontano.

Ora che stringi
la mia mano
non sciogliere
il volo.

Avvolgimi
portami in alto
respirami e fammi nube
in abbandono nel vento.

Se tutto ha un senso
e il senso è il tutto
– tutto è amore-

Il nostro viaggio
quel insondabile mistero
quella vibrazione
quell’essenza
nata e mai nata
vissuta e in attesa
noi che cerchiamo
e viviamo ora
in alba ritrovata.

Siamo
esseri in vita
sentiero che trasporta suono

vibrazione e anelito lieve

Amore all’unisono
che vibra dello stesso tono.

Danzo nel tuo cuore
e le stelle sono casa
e noi siamo cammino.
Sorrido
….sorrido ancora.

09.06.2002 Poetyca

Sounds

Bet

ween sounds

Travel
and vibration

I found you
heart
pending.

Nell’impercettibile
path
you were there.

Small steps
lead
always far away.

Now you shake
my hand
not dissolve
flight.

Wrap
take me to the top
breath me and let me cloud
abandoned in the wind.

If it all makes sense
and the meaning is the whole
– All is love

Our journey
that unfathomable mystery
that vibration
that essence
born and unborn
lived and waiting
we seek
and we now live
found in dawn.

We
living beings
pathway that carries sound

slight vibration and longing

Love in unison
vibrating in the same tone.

I dance in your heart
and stars are home
and we are walking.
Smile
…. I smile again.

09.06.2002 Poetyca

Oceano – Ocean


Oceano

Al suono
della campana
ho aperto gli occhi
a quest’alba nuova.

Un sogno reale
che non ha mai smesso
e ora esalto i suoi colori.

Abbandono
senza caduta
mani strette senza paure.

Il tutto riconosco
-Nel tempo senza tempo
non esistono confini –

07.06.2002 Poetyca

Ocean

At the sound
bell
I opened my eyes
new to this dawn.

A real dream
that has never stopped
and now brings out its colors.

Abandonment
free fall
hands clasped without fear.

All recognize
-In the timeless time
there are no boundaries –

07.06.2002 Poetyca

Senza Respiro – Without Breath


Senza Respiro

Senza sorrisi,
senza sapore,
senza saper salire
su arcobaleni.

Solitudine strisciante,
sorprende scoprirla dopo lungo stupore.

Sospirando ricordi,
rompere riflessi
restando desti,
scacciare coni d’ombra.

Afferrare lembi nuovi
di speranza salva e sospendere scoramenti.

Sorrisi serali
Svettano ancora
dopo sospiri avvinti
in nubi di fumo.

Lieve brezza
sospinge la grigia tempesta.

Ero senza respiro.

30.01.2002 Poetyca

Without Breath

Without smiles
tasteless,
without being able to climb
about rainbows.

Loneliness creeping
surprising to find after a long stupor.

Sighing memories
breaking reflections
stay awake,
cone of shadow cast.

Grab the new edges
hope of saving suspend and dejection.

Smiles evening
Still stands
After sighs captivated
in clouds of smoke.

Slight breeze
pushes the gray storm.

I was breathless.

30.01.2002 Poetyca

Passaggio Step


Passaggio

Su sassi
dal sole
riarsi
è stato il mio cammino.

Scalza
in piagati ricordi
portati via dal vento.

Volteggio ora
r e s p i r o
oltre l’orizzonte

dove non servono parole.

Visione
che penetra
r e s t a n d o
eterno presente.

Tunnel attraversato:
luce e pace
ecco il mio sentiero.

21.06.2002 Poetyca

Step

On stones
sun
parched
was on my way.

Barefoot
sores in memories
taken away by the wind.

Vaulting hours
breath
beyond the horizon

where they are words.

Vision
penetrating
prejudice
eternal present.

Tunnel through:
light and peace
here is my path.

21.06.2002 Poetyca

Angelo – Angel


Angelo

Senti con me…
il respiro del vento,
l’energia di un lampo,
il calore del sole.

Sfiora con me…
il sussurro del mare,
le armonie celesti,
il vibrante amore.

Stringi con me…
infinite certezze,
sospiri di cielo,
appaganti altezze.

Guarda con me…
quello che resta
e cosa ti porterà
l o n t a n o .

Lo sfiorare di sogni
e la realtà che viviamo.

Dammi la mano
e…sollevati in volo.

02.06.2002 Poetyca

Angel

Listen to me …
the breath of wind,
the energy of a lightning
the sun’s heat.

Swipe with me …
the whisper of the sea,
heavenly harmonies,
the vibrant love.

Tighten with me …
infinite certainty,
I long for heaven,
satisfying heights.

Look with me …
what remains
and what you will
far

The touch of dreams
and the reality that we live.

Give me your hand
… and raised in the air.

02.06.2002 Poetyca

Ancora Natale – Merry Christmas


Ancora Natale

Chimere costruite
a forma di stelle
pronte ad addobbare
ancora una volta
l’albero di Natale

Luci lampeggianti
a richiamare ad arte
sulla scia di parole
precostruite immagini
che spargono inganno

Vita comoda
con calore dipinto
su volti di cera
nell’illusa fabbrica
di ogni illusione

Gioielli sfavillano
ferendo ancora
gli occhi di chi
dorme in un cartone:
è ancora Natale 

21.12.2002 Poetyca

Again Christmas

Chimeras constructed
in the shape of stars
ready to decorate
once again
Christmas tree

flashing lights
to call for art
in the wake of words
pre-built images
scattering deception

comfortable life
painted with heat
on faces of wax
nell’illusa factory
all illusion

Jewels sparkle
wounding yet
the eyes of the
sleeping in a cardboard:
is still Christmas

21.12.2002 Poetyca

Hamdis



Hamdis
Nel nome tuo
– attimo fuggente –
il destino che volle
fuggente il sogno
e nei perduti occhi
d’oriente il taglio
si celava tormento
Nel nome che
ora rivesti
a memoria sua
la ricerca di attimi
che siano profumi
e colori capaci
di raccogliere
dell’antico
il ricordo e valore
04.01.2002 Poetyca
Hamdis
In your name
– Fleeting moment –
the fate that would
fleeting dream
and lost in the eyes
Eastern cut
was hidden torment
In the name
now holds
in his memory
the search for moments
that perfumes
, and color
to collect
ancient
and the memory value
04.01.2002 Poetyca

Forza – Force


Forza

Distesa sul prato
forza in abbandono
punto serena al cielo

Nuvole mi parlano
-chiamano-
ridente sorpresa
colma emozioni

“ Vola Aquila
dispiega le ali
t’accarezza il sole
ti ama il vento”

Eccomi serena
a seguire rotte:
occhi chiusi
e cuore che batte.

Attesa e respiro.

Fiori in boccio
i miei sorrisi
Stelle lucenti
i miei pensieri.

Cammino…
cammino ancora
e afferro
anche la luna.

Ho rotto i lacci:
nella quiete
la mia forza.

13.06.2002 Poetyca

Force

Lying on the grass
force abandonment
point to the serene sky

Clouds speak to me
-call-
pleasant surprise
filled with emotions

“Fly Eagle
spreads its wings
caresses the sun
I love the wind “

I am happy
routes to follow:
eyes closed
and beating heart.

Hold and breathe.

Flowers in bloom
my smiles
Stars shining
my thoughts.

Way …
walk again
and grab
about the moon.

I broke the strings:
in the quiet
my strength.

13.06.2002 Poetyca

The Smiths- Hatful Of Hollow (1984)


[youtube https://youtu.be/ymwJBgcYrIM]

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.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smiths

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.[1] 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”.[2] The NME named the Smiths the “most influential artist ever” in a 2002 poll, even topping the Beatles.[3]

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.[4] 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smiths

Radici – Roots


Radici

Dalla terra
ho preso vita.

Radici in ombra
e un muro
copriva il sole.

Fatica per crescere
e meritare
un po’ di calore.

Luce cercavo
-abbracci d’intenso valore-
disponendo
le verdi chiome.

Gelo a volte
-foglie in caduta-
linfa e desiderio di vita.

Il muro ho infranto
con le radici.
Ecco
la certezza ora
è il mio manto

08.06.2002 Poetyca

Roots

Fromearth

I have come to life.

Roots in the shade
and a wall
covered the sun.

Effort to grow
and deserve
a little ‘heat.

I tried Light
-hugs-value of intense
placing
the green foliage.

Frost sometimes
falling-leaves-
sap and desire for life.

I have broken the wall
with the roots.
Here
sure hours
is my mantle

08.06.2002 Poetyca

Ora vivo – Now I live


Ora vivo

Cercavo l’alba
nel cielo terso
chiedendomi
il senso
delle stelle
e del cammino.

Nessuno a darmi
risposte alle domande
che affondavo
nelle tasche.

Non voglio più
essere bagnata
dalla pioggia
di parole.

Nel silenzio
cerco i raggi
del mio sole.

Depongo
per terra i sogni
-saranno presto germogli-

Con questi
nuovi semi
ORA VIVO.

11.06.2002 Poetyca

Now I live

I was looking for the dawn
in the clear sky
wondering
sense
stars
and walking.

Nobody gave me
answers to questions
sinking
pockets.

I do not want more
be wet
rain
of words.

In the silence
Seeking rays
of my sun.

I place
ground for the dreams
-will soon sprout-

With these
new seeds
I now live.

11.06.2002 Poetyca

Visione – Vision


Visione

In rivoli d’attesa
tra i peggiori anfratti,
mulinelli d’ira
piagati sorrisi consumano,
metamorfosi
di ceneri sparse.

In visione d’incanto,
petali dai mille colori
mettono le ali,
alla brezza del nulla
sciolgono dolori.

Balsamo soave
impercettibile vibra
in fonti nuove.

04.05.2002 Poetyca

Vision

In streams of waiting
among the worst in ravines,
eddies of anger
sore smiles consume
metamorphosis
ashes scattered.

In view of charm,
petals of many colors
give wings,
the cool of nothing
dissolve pain.

Sweet balm
imperceptible vibrations
in new wells.

04.05.2002 Poetyca

Tom Petty greatest hits


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsH4CrwExCQ&list=PLupOSjd2mAJDGEqaZeac4zWVQtJyFQRQY]

Thomas Earl Petty è nato a Gainesville, in Florida, e non aveva nessuna aspirazione musicale finché Elvis Presley non visitò la sua città natale. Dopo aver fatto parte di alcune band come The Sundowners, The Epics, e Mudcrutch (di cui facevano parte i futuri membri degli Heartbreakers Mike Campbell e Benmont Tench) inizia la sua carriera discografica come Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, quando la band irrompe nella scena musicale nel 1976 con l’album omonimo di debutto. La canzoneBreakdown, pubblicata come singolo, entra nella Top 40 nel 1977.

Il secondo album You’re Gonna Get It! uscito nel 1978 conferma le buone musicalità dell’album di debutto, ma i singoli tratti da questo album (Listen To Her Heart e I Need To Know non ripetono il successo di Breakdown. Petty stesso racconta che in quel periodo erano considerati troppo hard per gli amanti del mainstream e troppo soft per i punk.

Nel periodo successivo la sua casa discografica fallisce, scatenando l’apertura di una causa giudiziaria con la nuova per la proprietà dei diritti d’autore delle sue canzoni. Petty finanzierà le spese della causa con un nuovo tour chiamato appunto Lawsuite Tour. In questo stato precario nasce il suo album di maggior successo, Damn the Torpedoes, che raggiunge negli USA il triplo platino. L’album successivo, Hard Promises, ottiene un buon giudizio di critica, ma un minor successo di pubblico, risultando tuttavia un buon lavoro.

Sul suo quinto album Long After Dark (1982), il bassista Ron Blair è sostituito da Howie Epstein, che completa la line-up degli Heartbreakers. Petty in quel periodo ha problemi di stress dovuto al successo e si prende un periodo di pausa dalle scene.

Con il suo album del ritorno Southern Accents (1985) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ricominciano lì da dove avevano interrotto. Secondo il progetto iniziale il disco doveva essere doppio, avendo una parte più acustica dedicata alla riscoperta del sud degli Stati Uniti e una parte più sperimentale alla quale collabora Dave Stewart. Durante le registrazioni si verificano problemi e Petty a, causa della frustrazione, si frattura la mano sinistra, tirando un pugno contro il muro. Per questo incidente l’artista non potrà suonare la chitarra per circa otto mesi e questo farà tramontare del tutto l’idea dell’album doppio. Il singolo tratto dall’album èDon’t Come Around Here No More prodotto da Dave Stewart, il video della canzone vede Tom vestito come il Cappellaio Matto dal libro Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie.

Il tour è un successo, e verrà documentato sull’album Pack Up The Plantation: Live! (1986). Le capacità live della band vengono ulteriormente confermate quando Bob Dylan invita Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers a unirsi a lui durante il True Confessions Tour attraverso USA, Australia, Giappone nel (1986) ed Europa nel (1987).

Durante il 1987, il gruppo incide anche l’album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough), un album in studio che presenta sonorità assimilabili a quelle di un album dal vivo, registrato utilizzando tecniche prese in prestito da Bob Dylan. L’album include Jammin’ Me, che Petty scrive con Dylan.

Prima di Full Moon Fever, Lynne e Petty lavorano insieme nella all-stars band Traveling Wilburys, nella quale sono presenti anche Bob Dylan, George Harrison e Roy Orbison.[1] I Traveling Wilburys nascono per gioco per registrare il lato B di un singolo di George Harrison, ma Handle with Care, la canzone che ne viene fuori, è considerata troppo valida per essere relegata sul lato B di un singolo e infatti ha un tale successo che i membri decidono di registrare un intero album. Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 esce nel 1988 ma pochi mesi dopo la morte improvvisa di Roy Orbison fa calare un’ombra sul successo dell’album, visto anche che Del Shannon, con il quale il gruppo avrebbe intenzione di sostituirlo, si suicida. Nonostante ciò un secondo album, curiosamente chiamato Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 segue nel 1990.

Nel 1989, Petty registra Full Moon Fever, solo nominalmente un progetto solista, infatti altri membri degli Heartbreakers e altri musicisti famosi partecipano alla produzione. Mike Campbell co-produce l’album con Petty e Jeff Lynne. Il disco raggiunge la Top Ten della rivista Billboard e vi rimane per più di 34 settimane, raggiungendo il triplo disco di platino, insieme ai singoli I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin’ e Runnin’ Down A Dream.

Petty si riunisce con gli Heartbreakers per l’album successivo, Into the Great Wide Open nel 1991. È prodotto di nuovo da Jeff Lynne e include i singoli Learning to Fly e la title-track Into the Great Wide Open, che vede gli attori Johnny Depp, Gabrielle Anwar e Faye Dunaway nel video.

Nel 1994, Petty registra il suo secondo album solista, Wildflowers prodotto da Rick Rubin, che include i singoli You Don’t Know How It Feels, You Wreck Me, It’s Good to Be King, A Higher Place e Honey Bee. Petty considera questo uno dei suoi album più riusciti, parere condiviso anche dalla critica.

Due anni dopo 1996 realizza la colonna sonora del film Il senso dell’amore del regista Edward Burns. Nominato direttore artistico del progetto, non riusce però a trovare nessun altro musicista disposto a fornirgli brani validi e decide quindi di usare insieme alle canzoni nuove composte per l’occasione, anche brani non usati nel disco precedente.

Dovranno passare ancora tre anni, periodo travagliato del divorzio dalla prima moglie, prima che esca il successivo album in studio Echo, con cui Petty ottiene un buon successo soprattutto negli USA. Nonostante in questo periodo conosca Dana, quella che diventerà la sua seconda moglie, l’album ha testi molto tristi e sofferti.

Dopo che nel 2000 esce un’altra antologia in doppio CD, nel 2002 esce The Last DJ, in cui parte dei testi esprimono una critica all’industria discografica, che a suo parere schiaccia la vera arte per cercare solo l’utile economico. La critica musicale non è tenera e giudica l’album il peggiore in assoluto della sua carriera, giudizio senz’altro severo visto che il disco benché sia distante dai picchi della sua produzione, resta un disco ascoltabile con qualche pezzo discreto. L’artista stesso si stupirà di come tutte le critiche siano rivolte ai testi senza nessun accenno alla qualità delle canzoni.

Il 24 luglio 2006 è uscito Highway Companion, nuovo album solista dell’artista, realizzato nuovamente con Jeff Lynne e il fido Mike Campbell.[2] L’album prodotto come l’album solista Wildflower del 1994 da Rick Rubin, è il primo inciso per la American Recordings, etichetta del produttore stesso, che fa parte della Warner con la quale Tom Petty incide da più di dieci anni. Si tratta di un album certamente migliore da un punto di vista musicale rispetto al precedente anche se certi capolavori sembrano oramai irripetibili. 

Nella primavera del 2008 Tom Petty riunisce la sua prima band, i Mudcrutch, con cui non aveva mai inciso alcun disco e pubblica l’album Mudcrutch, che stilisticamente non si discosta troppo dalle sue recenti produzioni.

Nel giugno 2010 Petty pubblica, nuovamente con gli Heartbrakers, l’album Mojo, seguito nel luglio 2014 da Hypnotic Eye.

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Petty

 

Thomas EarlTomPetty (born October 20, 1950) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but is also known as a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys (under the pseudonymsof Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury) and Mudcrutch.

He has recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist, many of which remain heavily played on adult contemporary and classic rock radio. His music has been classified as rock and roll, heartland rock and even stoner rock. His music, and notably his hits, have become popular among younger generations as he continues to host sold-out shows.[1] Throughout his career, Petty has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.[2] In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Petty

Sorriso di Vita – Smile for Life


Sorriso di Vita

Quando ti svegli al mattino

Sciogli
lacrime al sole
e fai trasformare
le mille goccioline
in pioggia ridente.

Perle preziose
nascono
e portano pace
ai fiori in attesa.

Fanne dono.

Raccogli
il tuo respiro
e abbraccia
nel silenzio
i cuori in ombra.

Impara
ora a rivelare
la tua presenza
dove giunge
inaspettata.

Dona oggi
Il tuo sorriso
di vita.

08.06.2002 Poetyca

Smile for Life

When you wake in the morning

Melt
tears in the sun
and then transform
the many droplets
laughing in the rain.

Pearls
born
and bring peace
the flowers on hold.

Give a gift.

Collect
your breath
and embraces
silence
hearts in the shade.

Learn
now reveal
your presence
where he arrives
unexpected.

Donate now
Your smile
of life.

08.06.2002 Poetyca

Apprendista – Apprentice



Apprendista
Ai tuoi inganni
non potrò
più cadere
e io resto
-giovane mago-
a giocare
con il destino
Ho tante lucciole
nel cappello
raccolte
con la nera
s o r t e
posso illuminare
il cammino
Acrobata
di questa vita
lungo il filo del pensiero
ho volteggiato
trascinando
i sogni
e il lato oscuro
E adesso
alla luce
della lampada
e alla follia
della ragione
ho solo visto
il nulla
Tutto
resta vago
senza promesse
da mantenere
solo un salto
solo un passo
-la verità-
Non sarai tu
a farmela scoprire
sono fuggito
dalla tua prigione
l i b e r o
attraverso il mio andare
cerco il mio valore
07.08.2002 Poetyca
Apprentice

<!– –>
Your deceptions
I can not
more fall
and I remain
-Young wizard-
playing
with destiny
I have so many fireflies
in the hat
collected
with black
s o t e r
I can illuminate
the path
Acrobat
this life
along the thread of thought
I hover
dragging
dreams
and the dark side
And now
the light
Lamp
and madness
reason
I have only seen
nothingness
All
remains vague
no promises
to maintain
only a jump
only one step
-Truth-
You shall not
to make me discover
fled
from your prison
f r e e
go through my

I try my value
07.08.2002 Poetyca

Amarti – Love you


Amarti

Nelle prospettive
danzanti
di albe
fluttuanti
ho imprigionato la notte.

Nello scorrere
lieve
di mille carezze
ho sciolto il dolore.

Nei sogni improvvisi
come scrosci
di pioggia
ho lavato il grigiore.

Nei sorrisi accesi
di giorni di festa
ho steso le labbra.

Con la bocca appoggiata
sulla tua bocca
ho placato
la furia del vento
che ora i pensieri
t’accarezza.

Con sorrisi fragranti
ho ipotecato
i nostri sogni
garanzia
d’ebbrezza.

Con occhi d’argento
ho fermato
visioni
svettavano decise
malgrado
smagriti colori.

Nel passato perduto
agonia del presente
ho perdonato
ricordi.
Nella speranza vitale
che palpita sempre
ho affidato futuro.

Dalla teoria del nulla
nascevano dubbi………..

………….Dissolti
in abbraccio
ho la balenata certezza
d’amarti.

10.05.2002 Poetyca

Love you

In Perspective
dancing
sunrises
floating
I locked the night.

Scroll through
slight
a thousand caresses
I dismissed the pain.

In dreams sudden
as bursts
rain
I washed the gray.

In the bright smiles
of holidays
I stretched my lips.

With his mouth resting
On your mouth
I calmed
the fury of the wind
now the thoughts
caresses.

With smiles fragrant
I mortgaged
our dreams
Warranty
intoxicating.

With silver eyes
I stopped
visions
soared decided
despite
emaciated colors.

In the past lost
agony of this
I have forgiven
memories.
Hoping life
that beats forever
I entrusted the future.

From the theory of nothing
doubts arose … … … ..

… … … …. Dissolved
to embrace
I flashed the certainty
loving you.

10.05.2002 Poetyca

Ki


Ki (soffio)

Nessuna scelta
determina il passo.
Soffio di vita
vitale respiro.
Al fine restituito
alla sapienza
dell’Universo.

02.06.2002 Poetyca

Ki (breath)

No choice
determines the pace.
Breath of life
vital breath.
In order to return
wisdom
Universe.

02.06.2002 Poetyca

Mix – Shawn Phillips


Shawn Phillips

Un artista peculiare, americano, texano, ma figlio del mondo, perché ha vissuto con la famiglia in ogni parte del pianeta (il padre era un noto autore americano di gialli, che per sua scelta decise di vivere con la famiglia in varie parti del mondo), e poi ha continuato a scegliere liberamente dove vivere. Nei suoi spostamenti ha trascorso anche un periodo non breve in Italia. Ha scelto un posto unico per la sua bellezza, Positano negli anni 70, ma la piccola fama che ha avuto in Italia si deve soprattutto ad un conduttore storico della sezione musicale della RAI, soprattutto noto come DJ di Per voi giovani, Raffaele Cascone, inventore a quel tempo della fortunata formula Il rock del mediterraneo. Cascone passava generosamente i primi dischi di Shawn Phillips dell’epoca, Contribution e Second Contribution, e fece conoscere anche da noi la splendida ballata sull’amico Casey Deiss e sulla sua tragica morte, musicalmente un ponte tra la canzone tradizionale americana, il jazz, la musica classica e lo sperimentalismo.

In un’epoca nella quale i folk-singer erano interessati più al messaggio che al contenitore musicale, era un musicista valido come esecutore (virtuoso di vari tipi di chitarra e anche capace di suonare strumenti etnici), nonché come cantante, essendo dotato di una grande estensione vocale, e un attento sperimentatore, orientato a mischiare le multiformi esperienze musicali che aveva assorbito in giro per il mondo, divenendo in tal modo una specie di anticipatore della world music.

Negli anni seguenti Phillips non ha smesso la sua ricerca, che continua tuttora, facendolo diventare un artista di culto, un modo per dire che è apprezzato (anche moltissimo) da chi lo conosce ma che è sconosciuto ai più, per insufficiente diffusione della sua musica (alias promozione). Ma certo Shawn è ben refrattario a questi problemi.

Per saperne di più:
http://www.shawnphillips.com (sito ufficiale, completissimo, fornito anche di esempi musicali)

http://www.musicaememoria.com/ShawnPhillips.htm
Shawn Phillips

Phillips was born in Fort Worth, Texas. In the 1960s he worked as a session player on several Donovan albums including Fairytale, Sunshine Superman, and Mellow Yellow,[3] performed at the Isle of Wight festival, sang on “Lovely Rita” by the Beatles,[4] and was cast to play the lead in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar (he had to withdraw due to his heavy recording and touring schedule).[citation needed] In February 1969 Phillips wrote and performed, with The Djinn, the music for the controversial Jane Arden play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven at the Arts Laboratory on Drury Lane.[citation needed]

Phillips worked the folk music scene in Los Angeles, New York’s Greenwich Village, and London. In 1967, Phillips moved to Positano, Italy, where he remained throughout the 1970s, recording the albums Contribution, Second Contribution, Collaboration, and Faces’.

Four of his albums Faces, Bright White, Furthermore, and Do You Wonder made it into the Billboard Top 100. In addition, the singles, “Lost Horizon” and “We”, made Billboard’s top 100 in 1973 (63 and 92 respectively).

His album No Category, featuring his longtime collaborators Paul Buckmaster and Peter Robinson, was released in 2002.

In 2007, his first live album, Living Contribution, was released, along with a Live DVD of the same title.

Phillips today lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with his wife Juliette and their son Liam. He is still touring and he divides his time between writing, recording, touring and his work as an emergency medical technician (EMT), firefighter, 1st Officer, Navigator, and Extrication Specialist with the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa (NSRI).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Phillips

Otto – Eight


“ 8 “ (Otto)

Due cerchi
fusi in uno
correnti d’ininterrotto
C A M M I N O

Intercorrente
S C A M B I O
di linfa vitale

volto
all’infinito
A M O R E

Stretta
di mani
e continuo
A L I M E N T O

Porta
s e m p r e
a p e r t a
V E R S O
I L C I E L O

Scoperta
del Sé
in unione
T U T T O
fino al divenire
U N O

23.06.2002 Poetyca

“8” (Eight)

Two circles
merged into one
continuous currents
path

Lag
exchange
lifeblood of

face
infinity
love

Close
of hands
and continuous
food

Porta
always
open
to
the sky

Discovery
Self
in union
all
to become
one

23.06.2002 Poetyca

Cambiamento – Change – Lev Tolstoj


🌸Cambiamento🌸

Tutti pensano
a cambiare il mondo,
ma nessuno pensa
a cambiare se stesso.

Lev Tolstoj
🌸🌿🌸#pensierieparole
🌸Change

Everyone thinks
to change the world,
but nobody thinks
to change himself.

Lev Tolstoj

Phil Collins – En Concert Complet a (Paris 2004)


Philip David Charles Collins (Londra, 30 gennaio 1951) è un cantautore, polistrumentista e musicista britannico, noto sia come solista sia come componente dello storico gruppo dei Genesis.

Collins è uno dei tre artisti (insieme a Paul McCartney e Michael Jackson), ad aver venduto oltre 150 milioni di album in tutto il mondo sia come solisti che come membri principali di una band[1].

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Collins

Philip David Charles “Phil” Collins, LVO (born 30 January 1951),[6] is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer and actor. He gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for the rock group Genesis, and he also gained worldwide fame as a solo artist.

Collins is one of the most successful songwriters and performers of all time, singing the lead vocals on dozens of hit albums and singles in the UK and the US between 1976 and 2010, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. His solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love and often featuring his distinctive gated reverb drum sound, ranged from the atmospheric “In the Air Tonight“, dance-rock of “Sussudio“, piano-driven power balladAgainst All Odds“, to the political and religious connotations of “Another Day in Paradise“. Collins has been described by AllMusic as “one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the ’80s and beyond”.[1]

Collins joined Genesis in 1970 as the group’s drummer and became their lead vocalist in 1975 following the departure of the original lead singer Peter Gabriel. His solo career, which was launched in 1981 and was heavily influenced by his personal life and soul music, brought both himself and Genesis greater commercial success. Collins’s total worldwide sales as a solo artist are 150 million.[7] Collins has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including seven Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards—winning Best British Male three times, three American Music Awards, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Disney Legend Award in 2002 for his solo work.[8][9][10] He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.[11][12] Collins was listed at number 22 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time”.[13]

Collins is one of only three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band.[14] During his most successful period as a solo artist between 1981 and 1990, Collins had three UK number-one singles and seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, as well as a U.S. number one with Genesis in 1986. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, Collins had more top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the 1980s than any other artist.[15] In 2008, Collins was ranked the 22nd most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”.[16] Although one of the world’s best-selling recording artists and a highly respected drummer, Collins has garnered significant criticism over the years from music journalists and fellow artists. He announced his retirement in 2011 to focus on his family life,[17][18] though he continued to write songs and in 2013 he said he was considering a return to the music industry.[19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Collins

Deep Purple-Made In Japan (1972)


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.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Purple

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.[16] 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Purple

Bruce Cockburn playlist


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s2zN9j78LM&list=PLQXCjPp9upb_0J83QGoCj_6Y4dwXJnfiH]

Bruce Cockburn (Ottawa, 27 maggio 1945) è un cantautore canadese.

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. 

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Cockburn

Bruce Douglas Cockburn OC (/ˈkbərn/; born May 27, 1945)[1] 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.[2]  

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.[3] Cockburn attended Nepean High School, where his 1964 yearbook photo states his desire “to become a musician”.[4]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.[5] 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.[6]

In 1970 Cockburn became partners with Bernie Finkelstein in the music publishing firm Golden Mountain Music.[7]

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.[citation needed] He wrote the song “Little Seahorse”, released on In the Falling Dark, in late 1975 about the time when his daughter wasin utero.[citation needed]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[citation needed]

Cockburn married his longtime girlfriend M.J. Hannett shortly after the birth of his second daughter, Iona (b. November 2011) in 2011.[11][12] As of 2014, the family lives in the San Francisco area, where Cockburn is writing his memoirs up to 2004.[13]

A documentary film, Bruce Cockburn Pacing the Cage,[14][15] 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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Cockburn