Saturday, July 11, 2009

On fear and difference

"I think that one of our most important tasks is to convince others that there's nothing to fear in difference; that difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most invigorating of human characteristics without which life would become meaningless. Here lies the power of the liberal way: not in making the whole world Unitarian [Universalist], but in helping ourselves and others to see some of the possibilities inherent in viewpoints other than one's own; in encouraging the free interchange of ideas; in welcoming fresh approaches to the problems of life; in urging the fullest, most vigorous use of critical self-examination"

- Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Loving Kindness : Metta Sutra

She or he who wants to attain peace should practice being upright, humble, and capable of using loving speech. He or she will know how to live simply and happily, with senses calmed, without being covetous, or carried away by the emotions of others.

And this is what she or he contemplates:

May everyone be happy and safe, and may their hearts be filled with joy. May all living beings live in security and peace—beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small, visible or not visible, near or far away, already born, or yet to be born.

May all of them dwell in perfect tranquillity.

Let no one do harm to anyone. Let no one put the life of anyone in danger. Let no one, out of anger or ill will, wish anyone any harm.

Just as a mother loves and protects her only child at the risk of her own life, let us cultivate boundless love to offer to all beings in the entire cosmos. Let our boundless love pervade the whole universe, above, below and across. Our love will know no obstacles, our heart will be absolutely free from hatred and enmity. Whether standing or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake, let us maintain this mindfulness of love in our heart.

This is the noblest way of living.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Femi Kuti at Montreal Jazz Festival

After only 30 minutes on stage, Femi Kuti had made me reflect, laugh, dance, and forget.

After only 30 minutes, he had also played the piano, the saxophone, the trumpet and the clarinet. I looked at him and imagined Miles and Coltrane... whose names he didn't forget to evoke.

So far, one of the highlights of my 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival.

Conclusion? African people know how to throw a party. Here are a few of my pics.