Posts Tagged ‘bliss’

Varanasi by Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings

March 16, 2013

I previously posted Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, and Philip Goldberg emailed me to say that someone recently showed him the last poem in her new collection (A Thousand Mornings). He said, “It’s called ‘Varanasi,’ and it’s exquisite.” I started looking for it and found the poem posted by another poet, Bob Arnold, on his website. After reading it I agreed – it’s stunning! That’s why I’m posting it here for you to enjoy. I also came across a musical video of the poem with images from the Ganges. After you’ve read the poem, see Diane Walker’s poetic reaction to it below. But take a break from this busy introduction, and then enjoy the enlightened peaceful simplicity of Mary Oliver’s visit to Varanasi.

VARANASI

Early in the morning we crossed the ghat,

where fires were still smoldering,

and gazed, with our Western minds, into the Ganges.

A woman was standing in the river up to her waist;

she was lifting handfuls of water and spilling it

over her body, slowly and many times,

as if until there came some moment

of inner satisfaction between her own life and the river’s.

Then she dipped a vessel she had brought with her

and carried it filled with water back across the ghat,

no doubt to refresh some shrine near where she lives,

for this is the holy city of Shiva, maker

of the world, and this is his river.

I can’t say much more, except that it all happened

in silence and peaceful simplicity, and something that felt

like that bliss of a certainty and a life lived

in accordance with that certainty.

I must remember this, I thought, as we fly back

to America.

Pray God I remember this.

_______________________

Mary Oliver
A Thousand Mornings
(Penguin, 2012)

Now read this beautiful poetic reaction to the poem, Mary Oliver’s Varanasi, that Diane Walker, a contemplative photographer, posted on her website.

Among the NPR Poetry series is this interview ‘A Thousand Mornings’ With Poet Mary Oliver. You can also read the transcript here. I especially love this remark she makes about poetry:

“One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear. It mustn’t be fancy. I have the feeling that a lot of poets writing now are – they sort of tap dance through it. I always feel that whatever isn’t necessary shouldn’t be in a poem.”

Enjoy this wonderful Maria Shriver Interview With Mary Oliver.

See this remembrance of Mary Oliver with links to more of her poems.

Speaking of another famous American visiting the Ganges, see Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela.

 

David Lynch on His Lifetime Achievement Award at Plus Camerimage’s International Film Festival

December 15, 2012

Plus Camerimage: David Lynch on His Lifetime Achievement Award

Source: Silas Lesnick | November 28, 2012

davidlynchcamerimage1An attendee of the Plus Camerimage’s International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography since 2000, legendary filmmaker David Lynch is, this year, the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award for now-classic works like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, The Straight Story, Mullholland Dr. and many more.

On location in the town of Bydgoszcz, Poland all this week, ComingSoon.net caught Lynch shortly after his awards ceremony and had a chance to speak with the artist on a wide range of topics, including factories, nude women, Transcendental Meditation and sparrows. Check out the interview below and, if you missed yesterday’s report, click here to check out a conversation with Keanu Reeves and the fellow filmmakers behind the recent documentary Side By Side.

I’ve extracted the TM-related excerpts from this interview with David Lynch at the Polish International Film Festival on his receiving a lifetime achievement award. It’s a very interesting article on film, the digital revolution, and that sparrow story. The ending is particularly sweet. URL: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=97425.

CS: What are you working on now?
Lynch:
I’m working on painting and music, lithography, drawing and… [long, long pause] …maybe some other things.

CS: In terms of balancing all of that, what’s a normal day for you?
Lynch:
Get up. Have a coffee. Have a smoke. Then I do my Transcendental Meditation. Then I go to work. It depends on the ideas. I always say, “It depends on the ideas.” But normally in the mornings I work on painting and then, in the afternoon, I work on music. If I’m getting other ideas, I work on those also in the morning and also the afternoon. But I usually end up in the music studio near the end of the day.

CS: I know you’ve been very fond of Transcendental Meditation. What does it actually entail?
Lynch:
Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique. An ancient form of meditation that allows every human being to dive within and experience that deepest level of life. An eternal level. Pure consciousness. The unified field of reality. The Self with a capital “S.” Every time a human being experiences that deepest level, they infuse some of that. They begin to expand consciousness. Whatever size consciousness they had, now it starts expanding. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. Qualities of consciousness in that deepest level, offer unbounded consciousness. Unbounded creativity. Unbounded happiness. Unbounded love. Unbounded energy. Unbounded peace. You start transcending, experiencing that deepest level, whoa, it’s such a beautiful feeling. You infuse that. You grow in that. The side effect is that negativity starts to lift away from the human being. Anxiety. Stress. Traumatic stress. Sorrow. Depression. Hate, anger and fear start to lift away. You start to work in more and more freedom. Gold coming up from within. Garbage going out. And you are unfolding your full potential as a human being. The full potential of every human being is called enlightenment, which total fulfillment. Total liberation. Infinite bliss. Happiness. Totality. It’s the full potential of a human being and it’s every human being’s birthright to enjoy enlightenment. Transcendental Meditation is not concentration. It’s not contemplation. It’s a unique form of meditation which is easy and effortless. You dive within through deeper levels of mind and intellect. At the border of intellect, you transcend and you experience this eternal level. It’s very, very beautiful. A ten-year-old child can do it and a 110-year old adult can do it. If you can think, it will work. Life gets better and better and better.

davidlynchcamerimage2CS: Would you compare the effects of Transcendental Meditation in any way to seeing a film or experiencing another piece of art that truly moves you?
Lynch:
No. You see a powerful film, it’s like seeing a powerful experience in your life. People have an idea that, number one, all meditations are the same and they’re not. There are surface experiences that can be beautiful. Seeing a great film is a thrill. Some films, I think, can enliven deeper levels just like some music can enliven deeper levels. When you feel, “Whoa, man. That took me someplace.” It was so beautiful. So powerful. I don’t know how it happened, but I felt deep. But Transcendental Meditation takes you to the deepest. The first time and every time. It’s so beautiful. It’s so blissful. It’s so profound. It’s a cosmic experience. In brain research they see that, when a person truly transcends. Experiences the transcendent. The big self. The unified field. Ocean of consciousness. They see a wonderful thing on the EEG machine. The full brain lights up. It’s the only experience in life that does it. Any other thing we do — if we play the piano, it’s this little part of the brain. If we do a math problem, it’s this little part of the brain. We paint a picture, it’s this little part of the brain. But here’s an experience that lights up the whole brain. They call it “total brain coherence”. So it shows you the relationship of the human being to this deepest level of life. This is that level of life what they say never had a beginning. It is and it will be forever. That’s the definition of eternal. It’s not a religion to practice Transcendental Meditation. It’s just a technique that will get you there. It’s like being handed a key to the treasury. It will open that door to the treasury within easily and effortlessly. It’s such an important thing for the human being. So that’s the deal.

CS: Coming out of it, do you know what you’re doing with the rest of the day?
Lynch:
You come out feeling refreshed, happier and more energized. That’s the normal feeling. This thing of bliss is a strange feeling. Bliss takes up where happiness leaves off. Bliss is physical happiness. Emotional happiness, mental happiness, and physical happiness all rolled into one. It’s thick happiness. It’s intense happiness. Every human being was meant to feel that. Mankind was not. made. to. suffer. Bliss is our nature. The individual is cosmic. To have a human physiology is a great, great blessing. It has a full potential. It’s just not taught in schools. More and more people are realizing this. They’re called seekers. They’re looking for something and they don’t know what it is, but they know it’s there. It’s built into the human being. It’s very, very beautiful. When they have this experience, like the Maharishi said, when they transcend, more often than not, the first thing they say is, “Thank you very much.” It’s so beautiful.

The Hollywood Reporter also interviewed David about his win and the debate over digital cinema versus analog: David Lynch: ‘Feature Films Have Become Cheap’ (Q&A).

The Hollywood Reporter: Clips from your films were shown before you received your lifetime-achievement award. What was going through your mind while you watched?

David Lynch: First of all, I think I’ve gotten some lifetime-achievement awards before. But I thought it would be something I’d be kind of separated from. I don’t know what happened, but I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe that I’d done it; it was pretty impressive, really.

THR asks him why he isn’t making anything for television anymore and David gives his quintessential answer. Read the short interview: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/david-lynch-feature-films-have-395849.


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