old friends and teachers

Old friends and teachers

Old friends and teachers have died,
yet in our hearts they remain
constant reminders of wonderful ways
of being

Viejos amigos y maestros

Viejos amigos y maestros han muerto,
pero en nuestros corazones permanecen
recuerdos constantes de formas maravillosas
de ser

on the other side of the black hole

On the other side of the black hole

One the other side of the black hole, precious silence reigned
Those who dwelled there felt no desire to return 
to the way they had lived before
In the stillness thought lost control
and peace blossomed and flowed
of future and past,
in the pitch-black nothingness,
the black hole dwellers abode in calm observation of what is

Al otro lado del agujero negro

Al otro lado del agujero negro, un silencio precioso reinaba
Los que moraban allí no sentían ningún deseo de volver 
a la forma en la que habían vivido antes
En la quietud el pensamiento perdió el control
y la paz floreció y fluyó
del futuro y del pasado,
en la nada negra,
los moradores del agujero negro permanecieron en tranquila observación de lo que es

the stillness

The stillness

On a musical staff
rest symbols flow
while musical notes dance around
in the ever-present stillness

La quietud

En un pentagrama musical
las notas de descanso fluyen
sin interrupción
mientras las notas musicales danzan
en la siempre presente quietud

la flor de flojera

La flor de flojera

La flor de flojera,
floreciendo en su florero,
influyendo la onda
desde el centro de la sala

Tres seres
disfrutando la tarde
a su alrededor:
en un sofá un gato tomando una siesta,
en una hamaca una mujer leyendo, 
en una silla un hombre
saboreando la quietud

The flower of laziness

The flower of laziness,
blooming in its vase,
influencing the vibe
from the centre of the room

Three beings
enjoying the evening
around it:
on a sofa a cat taking a nap,
in a hammock a woman reading,
in a chair a man
savouring the stillness



Knowing less,
having less,
being less:

Sin ataduras

Sabiendo menos,
teniendo menos,
siendo menos:
sin ataduras

beyond the veil

Beyond the veil

Beheld through a hole in the veil of consciousness,
the pitch-dark beingness abides

Más allá del velo

Visto a través de un agujero en el velo de la conciencia,
el ser oscuro como alquitrán permanece



Piedras son maestras
Viven vidas tranquilas
Nunce se quejan
No les importan si llueve o hace calor
No tienen prisa
ni tienen que irse a ningún lugar
Viven contentas
Pensamientos no les molestan
Viven sin drama
Tienen paciencia y compasión infinita
Son libres
de conceptos e identidades
Nos enseñan como ser:
Simplemente ser!


Stones are masters
They live quiet lives
They never complain
They don’t care if it rains or is hot
They are not in a hurry
and they don’t have to go anywhere
They live contented lives
Thoughts don’t bother them
They live without drama
They have infinite patience and compassion
They are free
of concepts and identities
They teach us how to be:
just be!



Thankful for the songs of birds
early in the morning
and for the love and care of friends

Thankful for a warm, dry place to sleep
and for the healthy food on the table

Thankful for good health
and for the awareness that abides
in the stillness



I’m all out of dough,
but I can offer you kernels of corn
in exchange for a place to be
for a while

Do you have Hopi Maize?

Black Aztec and Zamorano Amarillo as well,
enough to plant that field yonder

You can stay until the harvest is over
if you help me plant the field,
and you can take as much as you can carry
when you go

And so the wanderer strung up her hammock
in the proffered yurt
and settled down
for a while

in the dark

In the dark

In the dark an owl hooted
as crickets and toads danced and sang,

while out and about
in the beautiful night,
other beings roamed without fear

and black and white
and all the shades of being in between
and flourished



A time to return home
and be alone
has arrived

And despite all appearances,
deep down we have always been
and aware
between thoughts



On a low grassy hill
on a dark blue summer night,
twenty-nine kalimbas were played slowly and gently,
with plenty of space between notes

Made from oak and teak,
walnut and neem,
they sang

in harmony with all of the crickets and toads
while lightning bugs wove through the song



Crow pheasants sang in the morning,
gently waking other beings,
as butterflies danced in the air

Thoughts dissipated in the calm,
while flowers stood guard,
keeping drama and din at bay

Homemade music,
wordless and gentle,
flowed from porch to porch,
as desires and identities fell away

Stars and lightning bugs filled the sky,
while crickets and toads sang lullabies
in the garden of peace and calm

a place to simply be

a japanese dimension

A Japanese dimension

The town had the good fortune to have
a community of Japanese stoners,
who displayed all of the wonderful
and none of the terrible
aspects of Japan

They were calm and quiet,
peaceful and respectful,
honest and polite,
comfortable with silence,
and when they did something,
they did it well

But then conditions changed,
most of the Japanese moved away,
and the town was no longer as sane without them

And as the year came to an end,
it was clear it was time to go
and make a new home
somewhere with a contingent of Japanese



A gathering of tumbleweeds roamed the land,
leaving seed here and there,
pausing now and then,
making no decisions
and going
wherever the wind took them

Detached from their former identities,
empty of thoughts, opinions and mind,
they were free
to simply be



Autumn had arrived
with cooler weather,
and passion fruit had begun to fall

Coffee beans were ripening
while butterflies made their rounds

Birds sang lullawakes
and crickets lullabies
while flowers silently wilted and bloomed

welcome back

Welcome back

The composition of plants and colors
was different every time

Familiar trees and flowers
greeted the one who had returned

Cicadas and crow pheasants sang throughout the day,
and crickets and toads took over at night,

and the neighborhoods cats and dogs came by,

all to say,
Welcome back, friend

a gathering of clouds

A gathering of clouds

A few clouds appeared and traveled west

without intention,
free of concepts, future and past,
simply being,
free and flowing,

and then they disappeared

an evening fire

An evening fire

 The fire flickered and flamed
until only embers glowed,

 composed for a while and then left to be
like an Italian hilltop village
slowly going to sleep



The jacarandas were in full bloom
here and there
throughout the town

Calm and content,
and free of concepts,
they grew

pause the story

Pause the story

Trains of thought began to slow down
and then finally came to a halt
in the stillness

As the passengers got off
gusts of wind blew their identities away,
leaving them in the space between thoughts

With nowhere to go
and nothing to do
except be,
they rested in the moment



on a cool winter’s eve,
letting herself be known
to those nearby,

who slowed and paused
and stayed a while,
breathing in


thank you for doing nothing

Thank you for doing nothing

In a place where people generally did
as little as possible,
peace and harmony reigned

Thank you for doing nothing,
read a sign near the gate to the village

A bit of music was made
now and then,
and paintings sometimes appeared upon walls,
but for the most part people did nothing
except go on walks and along the way
gather food they wanted eat later on
or sit on a porch and watch butterflies
while crow pheasants sang

Sometimes a blanket would be woven
or a roof mended,
and wood was occasionally split
for an evening fire

A bit of cooking and gardening
also took place,
and nothing felt as though it were work

Everyone lived simply
without greatly disturbing
nature and all the other beings

Dwellings were simple, elegant and low to the ground,
and the village existed in another time:

a time to be quiet and kind,
a time to pause the story,
a time to be still
and aware



Some golden tortoise beetles had moved into the neighborhood
and begun to lounge around
underneath some leaves
here and there

There was a rainbow that sometimes went
from the mushroom field to the house on the hill
and appeared for a while

A great variety of trees and flowers
lived quietly among the bungalows,
simply being

And now and then a silent meow
pierced the stillness

lullawakes and lullabies

Lullawakes and lullabies

Lulled to sleep
by a chorus of crickets
and toads

Woken by the songs of birds
pulling gently,
from a dream and into another

Sitting with friends in silence,
the mind still,
simply now

the end of summer

The end of summer

The rain and damp of summer subsided
as autumn drew near

The clouds had been good friends,
providing cover from the sun
and water for the beings below

The garden,
still a palette of green
and home to a chorus of creatures,
vibrated peace and calm

And among the subtlest of scents,
that of the papaya blossoms held sway
while the milk flower trees were slowly getting in the mood to bloom

trains of thought

Trains of thought

Trains of thought,
coming and going,
each wagon a word in a sentence

The station calm and still,
observing the flow

Trains of thought,
do not stop
at every station

Get on a thought
and let it take you for a ride,
or take a step back
and let it pass by

Passengers are free to get off
at any time

after the show

After the show

The play had come to an end
and the curtain had fallen for the last time

The actors and actresses walked off the stage,
removed their costumes
and went home

They had performed their roles
for a number of years
with varying degrees of love,
and now they were free
to simply be

a lull in the conversation

A lull in the conversation

A gentle melody slowly silenced
those who had gathered to drink tea
and sit quietly,

♫ ♫ ♫

and when all were seated
and the tea had been served,
the kalimba was put away
and only birds could be heard
singing in the garden

♫ ♫ ♫

Stillness reigned
for about an hour,
and when at last some words were spoken,
it was discovered that
no one had much to say

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the end of a story

The end of a story

A story had come to an end

Trains of thought passed by
a station where they no longer stopped,
a place from which they were silently observed,
a wellspring of stillness

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Wanderers on their way
sometimes paused
the mind trip they were on,
set their baggage down
and sat
on the platform
in the stillness
for a while

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And when they continued,
calm and clear,
down the tracks,
it no longer mattered
where they went
or whether they went at all

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eine japanische stimmung

Eine japanische Stimmung

Die alte Stimmung war schon schön,
aber es war Zeit
für eine Veränderung

Hokkaido hieß die Tonleiter vom November,
und Hirajoshi hieß die vom Dezember,
beides japanishe Variationen
von B moll

Die neuen Kalimbas waren alle so gestimmt,
und mit der neuen Stimmung kamen neue Melodien
und stillende Musik

♫ ♫ ♫

Und still war es
um das Abendfeuer herum,
wie die Farmbewohner saßen
und nicht dachten

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Und ab und zu ist ein sanfter Ton,
eine allein tanzende Note,
durch die Nacht geflogen,
um die anderen einzuladen
ihre Kalimbas aufzuheben
und ein neues Lied hervorzurufen,
auf einer wiederholenden Weise
ein paar Noten hinzufügend

♫ ♫ ♫

b minor

B minor

The farm dwellers sometimes sat
on comfortable straw mats
around a low fire in the evening,
enjoying the stillness,
the space between thoughts

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And now and then together they would play
in harmony
on some homemade kalimbas that were lying around,
each tuned to a variation
of B minor,
while some frogs in a nearby paddy sang

A song had come to be one evening
early in November,
and each night it flowed
in a slightly different way,
slowly, gently
and quietly

♫ ♫ ♫

who are you?

Who are you?

A thought,
a wave
in the Sea of Love
I am
from which consciousness flows:
the stage upon which
the divine play appears
to be

Enjoying the show,
being the flow
of actors and actresses
coming and going,
always now,
no future, no past:
flowing Now

While beyond experience
nothing but
silent and still

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Khao Niao lay still
on a patch of grass near her home

Her friends Peter and Mo Ping were gone,
and the dogs down the lane were a bit unfriendly,

but she howled along
with all the others in the neighborhood
each night once or twice,
whenever another began,

♫ ♫ ♫

and she was fine

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Quietly observing
and listening,

now and then going
on a walk around her garden,

sometimes eating a bit from her bowl,

and otherwise doing
nothing at all

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Well connected with all around,
she flowed,

unbothered by innumerable thoughts
she simply was,
an expression of consciousness,
the Sea of Love

along with all the other beings

♫ ♫ ♫

Older now and letting go
identity slipping away
and leaving only That behind

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nothing and all

Nothing and all

Crickets singing in the night,

passion fruit falling
from the vines,

a solitary dog laying
in its sleeping hole

Simply being,
calm and quiet,

nothing and all

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gentle and kind

Gentle and kind

Several beings,
gentle and kind,
had gathered for an evening fire,
sharing a few words
now and then,
sitting mostly
in silence,
surrounded by space,
being all
and nothing

♫ ♫ ♫

Crickets sang
with owls and toads,
bats on the wing flowing

♫ ♫ ♫

And time slowed down
until it reached
a moment that could not be divided

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on the porch

On the porch

On the porch
three friends silent,
birds calling
now and then

♫ ♫ ♫

Trains of thought
slowing down
and then coming to a halt
in the stillness


All luggage left behind,
identities alight
and then vanish in the nothingness
from which they flowed



That in which the manifest dwells,
silent and calm,
observing all
that comes and goes,
undisturbed by thoughts and notions,
simply being

in between

branches and leaves,
musical notes
and all other beings
in this play of consciousness

♫ ♫ ♫



The wildflowers observed
the sun and the moon,
the toads and the cobras
and all of the other beings who passed by

♫ ♫ ♫

Drawing water from the earth below,
they quietly drank their fill,

and now and then they danced
with a gentle wind
or received a visit from a bee
or a butterfly

♫ ♫ ♫

And through all kinds of weather
and perils of various kinds,
the wildflowers remained equanimous
and outside of time


the tree and the stone

The tree and the stone

The tree and the stone had been neighbors
for quite some time,
and as the tree grew quickly larger,
the stone became slowly rounder and smaller

♫ ♫ ♫

Other beings came and went
while the tree and the stone remained silent and still,
except for now and then
when they made music with the wind or the rain

♫ ♫ ♫

While sensing and calmly accepting all that was,
the tree explored the universe
and the stone shed its identity
one layer at a time

♫ ♫ ♫


the gentle side

The gentle side

Blending music
on a warm Saigon night,
DJ Otherwise quietly set the groove

♫ ♫ ♫

Now and then a motorbike
joined the mix
and after a while as well a friend
who was passing through
the gentle side of Saigon

♫ ♫ ♫

underneath a leaf

Underneath a leaf

Leaves had been falling for weeks
and a good many of them covered the ground
during the final days of winter in Pai,
the nights still cool,
but no longer cold,
the afternoons hot
but comfortably warm in the shade

Heat and dryness increasing their presence
in the garden,
many flowers saying goodbye
for now,
preparing to hibernate
until the rains come in June
and revive them

Many shades of green and brown,
pleasing to the eye,
microscopic empires
battling it out
on the undersides of leaves,
unobserved by most
of the other beings in the garden

Still and aware,
around the garden,
birds singing

A shower of leaves
falling slowly,
providing the earth with cover
from the heat of the sun
and shelter for small beings

Little cobra,
pretty stone or feather,
you never know what’s underneath a leaf

a step backward

A step backward

A step backward,
away from identity
and into the stillness


Moment of death,
sight and hearing gone,
awareness levitating
in the pitch black stillness,
calm and quiet


There we shall meet,
my friend,
now and then

night is meant to be dark

Night is meant to be dark

Night had fallen
and here and there the flame of a candle could be seen
dancing in the stillness

♫ ♫ ♫


only very low wattage bulbs or moonlight
were used to see in the dark

There was not much need
to illuminate
or do much of anything that would disturb
the night

Nothing to do except listen
to crickets and frogs and birds,
observe and sense
what was going on
inside and around
and make gentle music and love
all beings

A tribe without a need
for nuclear power or dams,
because it understood
that night is meant to be dark

welcome to earth

Welcome to Earth

Welcome to Earth,
said the gardener to the flower
which had that morning begun to bloom

And in its way it sensed and greeted
all of the other beings around
while calmly growing


Gracefully it blessed the space
with its presence,
natural and equanimous,
calmly being


the silence among words

The silence among words

Seduced by the slowness
with which she spoke
and the silence among her words,
he fell
under her spell

♫ ♫ ♫

Calm and quiet,
gentle and kind,
she flowed

through the stillness

as they drank tea




The hitchhiker lowered her arm
as the approaching bike began to slow down,
and when the unknown rider pulled up alongside her,
she got on
without a word,
and off they went

♫ ♫ ♫

For a while they rode
through the Valley of Flowers
as the sun slowly set

♫ ♫ ♫

Where are we going?


♫ ♫ ♫

a ride

A ride

With Guitar slung across his back,
a kind being walked slowly down
an empty road that wound its way
through a lush forest

♫ ♫ ♫

After an hour or so
a ’63 VW bus slowed down and pulled over

Greetings, friend
Would you like to play?


Get in

The side door slid open
and revealed a comfortable den,
so inside he stepped

We were just about to begin

The bus began to move
and the hitchhiker took Guitar out its case,
and when Violin began to sing,
it joined Djembe, Harmonica and Shakuhachi
and made music for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

So where are you going?

To wherever you’re taking me

Right on

And then through the late afternoon they drove,
calm and still for awhile


bloom and flow

Bloom and flow

A twelvemonth had passed,
a cycle gone through,
and it was nearly time to go
somewhere yet unknown

Slowly and quietly
goodbyes were said
to the trees and the flowers,
who had been such good companions throughout the year

Garden, goodbye
for now
Perhaps we will meet again

Until then we shall bloom
and flow
in different dimensions

Farewell, my friend

in the garden

In the garden

Night began to fall
along with the rain that had been soaking the garden,
and some crickets and toads were singing,

while the jungle relentlessly approached,
growing and creeping

♫ ♫ ♫

If the garden were to be completely tamed,
there would be no time for anything else,
so it was left half wild
in order to have hours to do nothing

♫ ♫ ♫

The butterflies returned to their homes
and the lightning bugs came out
into the beautiful dark,
calm and stillness

fallen flower

Fallen flower

Torn away
from your home and friends,
you are missed

A blessing you have been
to all you have met,
and in our hearts you remain

We weep not for that which never came to be
and instead are grateful
for the time we spent together

For nearly nine years you bloomed,
sharing wisdom, love and joy

and your silent meow echoes
throughout this space

Ash now
you have returned to earth

Thank you, Bamboo

a new song

A new song

From its place on an old wooden table
a Hokema B9 kalimba called out,
Play me!
for it had been a while since it had been touched,
and it felt that it was time
to compose a new song


And so it was picked up and played
until a new song appeared

♫ ♫ ♫

a new dimension

A new dimension

Guitar and harmonica had been playing together for some time
when from not so far away
the voice of a violin could faintly be heard

♫ ♫ ♫

 And her voice gradually soared
as she drew near,
adding a new dimension
to an old song

♫ ♫ ♫

a haircut

A haircut

The sound of the scissors
as they cut through the silence
and through her hair
soothed the woman who sat
on a green wooden chair

♫ ♫ ♫

A bit of talk
now and then

the song of the clippers,
the handles gently being squeezed,
the cutter and comb sliding back and forth,
stilled the slow flow of words,

the improvised rhythm,
irregular and calming,
captured their attention and nurtured
the peaceful vibe

♫ ♫ ♫

cave man

Cave Man

Cave Man lived in a small cave not far
from a small community in a pretty valley,
and he spent his days alone high
in the mountainous jungle
and in silence,
meeting now and then
with a friend or two
for a while

And in his cave sometimes he played
his twelve-string Morris guitar.
beautifully and gently,
alone and with friends,
and always with love

♫ ♫ ♫

precious silence

Precious silence

In a dimension where most of the folk opted
to speak no more than nine hundred words per day,
precious silence reigned

Only essential or beautiful phrases were spoken,
and some chose to speak in haiku

Instead of talking all of the time,
people spent their days and nights listening
to birds and other beings sing
and observing calmly
as they flowed through life,
now and then making music or love

guard flowers

Guard flowers

An army of flowers stood guard
at each gate to the city,
silently reminding
those who wished to enter
to remain peaceful and calm
and to radiate joy and love

In pots and in the ground they grew and bloomed
in and around the city
and into the hearts and minds
of those who passed by,
affecting them subtly,
softening their arrival,
slowing them down

An unarmed force
showing a way
to simply be

lullaby for a fire

Lullaby for a fire

A fire had been burning
for a good part of the night,


and when the flames had calmed down
and only embers, cinders and ash remained,
those who were sitting around in silence
began to make some gentle music
while the glow of the embers echoed
an Italian hilltop town
slowly going to bed

♫ ♫ ♫

the summer beyond love

The summer beyond love

Beyond the ebb and flow of love
some beings sat quietly
in the peace and calm of the stillness


Summer came and went,
emotions seducing those who were willing
to give them some attention
while others simply observed
the flow of consciousness

♫ ♫ ♫


would you like to come out and play?

Would you like to come out and play?

As usual,
Takashi had been in his bungalow all day,
mostly in silence,
now and then practicing his đàn môi

♫ ♫ ♫

And in the late afternoon,
as if to ask,
Would you like to come out and play?
his neighbor came over and began
to play his đàn môi

♫ ♫ ♫

And after a little while Takashi came out
and onto the porch,
and then they made music
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

would you like to come over and play?

Would you like to come over and play?

Would you like to come over and play
your role as a human being
in Life on Earth
give it up
for a while?

Calm and gentle people
are welcome to come and enjoy
the peace and joy of being still
in the company others


A few of those who had seen the invitation
were inspired to follow the directions
to a space in the jungle where
nothing was happening
other than the pouring and drinking of tea


Have some tea
and enjoy a bit of silence


As thoughts and opinions
(lures and bait)
around us,
let them go

And if you do grab hold
of one of them
and allow yourself to be taken on a ride,
remember that you can get off
at any time


We are not limited
to the roles we play
When the show is over,
we can step out of our roles,
take off our costumes
and go home

No need to act all of the time,
just now and then,
remembering always that we are not the roles,
that we are beyond the show,
that we are the stillness


And when the light began to fade
and the four o’clock flowers began to bloom,
those who had come began to walk
out of the jungle and to their bikes,
and then they pedaled home
through the stillness




dark and cool,
the milk flower trees in bloom
later than usual,
their scent falling
on passersby below

Warmer clothing from the wardrobe
for the cooler scene

An evening fire
now and then,
calm and quiet


Some nights before going to bed someone would ring
one or more of the bells on her porch,
and then all of her neighbors would join in
one by one
and play their bells and gongs
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

And afterwards quiet would reign
until dawn


an offer of silence

An offer of silence

A friend came over and smiled,
sat down at the table on the porch
and drank some tea


Both maintained elegant and comfortable silence
the entire time
because they never got around to talking
and instead enjoyed
the stillness


Some birds sang their songs
and some crickets sang theirs,
but no thoughts or words disturbed
the peace and calm
of the stillness


On other occasions they had spoken or made music,
but on this night it did not occur
to either of them
to say or do anything
other than drink tea and be,
and after a while the friend rose and nodded
and then walked home


a drama-free zone

A drama-free zone

A new character arrived on the scene
and immediately began to complain
about this and that

♫ ♫ ♫

this a drama-free zone,
and we maintain a state of peace and calm
Problems are merely thoughts
so please stop talking,
give your mind a rest
and enjoy simply being
for a while

Right now,
at this moment
all is good
Birds are singing,
butterflies are dancing,
and a cloud is blocking the sun

Have some tea,
let go of your story
and be like one of those flowers over there
Just be

And so in the stillness
those who had gathered in the garden
simply were
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

a treat

A treat

or treat?

I don’t know any tricks
Would you accept a treat?


I wasn’t expecting anyone to come
this far into the woods tonight
I don’t have any candy

Something else will do

How old are you?


And what are you dressed up as?


Nice costume

Nice pumpkin
May I come inside?

Yes, come in
Let’s see what we can find

It’s dark in here

The night is meant to be dark

Pretty candle

I offer you stillness
Would you like to sit
in silence?


And so in the dark on the Eve of All Hallows they sat
quietly in the stillness
for a while


And when a cool breeze flowed
in through a window,
a colony of bats descended
onto a large olive tree,
while crickets and frogs sang of love

And what are you dressed up as?


And I am Love

We share a long border

A very soft border

Let’s remove the barrier
that is keeping us apart

The two beings then took off their costumes,
slipped out of their roles
and simply were
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

oli baba

Oli Baba

For a while Oli watched
as two large butterflies danced in the air,
one courting the other

♫ ♫ ♫

Moving slowly,
doing little
and letting go of everything,
Oli played his role gently and flowed
through the drama known as
Life on Earth

♫ ♫ ♫

Cooking for his friends,
sharing silence,
being still,
Oli offered peace
and love

the voice of a violin

The voice of a violin

Through the green dusk and up the path
came a young lass walking
with a violin and bow

Good evening
I offer the voice
of a violin

We’ve been waiting
many moons to meet you

Would you like to play?

We would love to play
with you

And so Violin made music
with Harmonica and Guitar
while fireflies winked at their women
and crickets serenaded their lovers

♫ ♫ ♫

waiting for a cloud

Waiting for a cloud

While waiting for a cloud to come
and cover the sun,
two friends sat in silence
in the shade of a tree
as butterflies danced
and birds sang

♫ ♫ ♫

After a few cups of tea,
a large grey cloud arrived
and mitigated the heat of the sun

The temperature dropped by about twenty degrees,
so the two friends decided it was time
to go to the market

Thank you, Cloud

Yeah, Cloud,
thanks a lot

Then they got on their bikes and rode
into town

♫ ♫ ♫

a lull in the conversation


A lull in the conversation

The amount of talking going on
had become a bit much,
so a woman took out an hourglass,
set it on the table
and began to watch the fine black sand
fall through space
as the others fell silent
and returned to the stillness


In her bag she always had
a few hourglasses,
filled with black sand for silence,
a selection of different sizes:
a five-minute hourglass,
a half-hour hourglass,
a twenty-minute hourglass,
an hour hourglass

And sometimes
when the space between words,
between sentences,
between turns in a conversation
was not enough,
when a lull in the conversion would be nice,
the woman would silence her guests
with an hourglass
for a while


pedaling through the stillness

Pedaling through the stillness

Wearing a face empty of expression,
a man rode silently past,
pedaling calmly through the stillness


Silent strength and presence,
benevolent rule,
kindness and compassion,
and patience,


Teaching by example
there is not really much to say




Two black ants lay on the floor,
one half crushed
by the step of a larger being,
the other
keeping it company,
offering soothing sounds and comforting touch
until death came calling


a silent meow

A silent meow

Bamboo opened her mouth
as if to say, Meow,
but instead she offered silence,
a silent meow


Together they sat on their porch,
the cat and her human,
listening to and observing
the late afternoon


Thank you
for being silent,
for being still,
for simply being


a locomotive has no need for wagons

A locomotive has no need for wagons

Through the lush greens of a late tropical summer,
a locomotive made its way down the tracks
pulling some wagons behind,
one for each year
it had been alive,
filled with memories and emotions,
weighing it down

♫ ♫ ♫

And one day it realized
that it had no need for wagons
and all they contained,
so it uncoupled them
and let them fall behind

♫ ♫ ♫

Free of the past
and without a thought in its mind,
the locomotive continued on,
enjoying the ride
and reflecting for a moment
now and then
whether to go left
or right

♫ ♫ ♫

the joy of new strings

The joy of new strings

I offer the sound of new strings
Put them on last night
and they are wonderful

Jin then began to play
his beautiful twelve-string guitar
and fill the room with music

♫ ♫ ♫

Inspired by Jin’s song,
others began
to sing and dance
or to play along with him

♫ ♫ ♫

an invitation

An invitation

A gentle wind flowed
over a small stone bridge
that led to the other side
while musical notes danced
in the late afternoon
among those who had gathered to listen

♫ ♫ ♫

Your music is beautiful
I don’t have any money on me
and I left my seed pouch at home,
but I can offer a home-cooked meal,
said a radiant woman in an olive green dress
when the song had come to an end

She then dropped her phone number
into the busker’s case,
and slowly walked away

♫ ♫ ♫

shared silence

Shared silence

Those who are interested
in sharing 
and enjoying silence with others
while listening to and observing nature
are welcome to turn off
all of their electronic devices
and then come over,
stop thinking
and simply be —
in the stillness 

To find out how to get here,
send a message to:

That’s what was written
on a small sign in a small café
on the edge of town


Some came alone,
others in pairs
now and then
a few came together
to share some silence
in the stillness


Tea sang softly
as it rested in cups
and butterflies danced
while gentle people simply were
in comfortable silence


cat wisdom

Cat wisdom

Eat and drink,
sleep and play,
be quiet, observe and listen,
make love
and do nothing at all

Enjoy the company of others
and be happy alone

Purr and flow

Be simple

Be natural

Just be



Ash rested peacefully
among the cinders,
still too hot to touch

♫ ♫ ♫

And as the night grew darker,
she cooled down,
and then she began to dance
with Wind

♫ ♫ ♫

The Queen of Love
and the King of Nothing
until they were no more

♫ ♫ ♫



The rainy season had finally begun
and beautiful dark clouds
were hanging out above the land

It was time to give the neighbors
their daily dose of drumming,
so two friends began to play,
and while steadily they sank
into the rhythm,
everyone in the neighborhood rose
and began to dance

♫ ♫ ♫

Deeper and deeper they went
as faster they played,
variations revealed themselves
and the seven beat rhythm flowed
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

Off on a tangent,
almost lost in the rhythm,
one of the drummers went on a journey,
and when he later returned
from that solo trip
he brought the story
to an end

♫ ♫ ♫

Welcome back, friend
Welcome home

be a flower

Be a flower

It was early morning
and the red morning glory had just bloomed
for the first time ever,
so the gardener walked over and said,
Welcome to Earth

The flower smiled
and then continued
simply being,
and the gardener did the same

♫ ♫ ♫

Flowers are cool

Yeah, and wise

Very wise

They come and go
without drama

They never complain

They accept all that comes,
rain or drought,

They don’t care
if they bloom or wilt,
live or die

They don’t think about the past
or worry about the future

Calm and quiet,
they simply are

Butterflies and bees
come and go,
and flowers simply let them flow
and welcome them
if they return

We can learn a lot from flowers


♫ ♫ ♫

And so the army of flowers
grew quietly on the front,
observing all and imparting wisdom,
and inspiring others
to be like flowers

♫ ♫ ♫



It’s hot, man

43 in the shade

I knew a girl in Taiwan named April
She was hot too

April is always hot,
at least in this part of the world

Hot is good

All is good

Nature gives us tamarinds,
and some beautiful trees begin to bloom,
in April

Nature gives us what we need

Nature is never wrong

♫ ♫ ♫

at the end of the road

At the end of the road

The drummers rode
down a paved road that turned
into dirt
and continued on,
as the sun was setting,
into the jungle
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

 And at the end of the road
lay Valhalla,
a jungle bar and a few tents
pitched here and there

Would you mind
if we drummed for a while?

Please do
We’re all on mushrooms


And so the drummers took out their djembes
and began to play
a rhythm,
and several friendly girls
began to dance

♫ ♫ ♫

Rhythms flowed
as the moon rose quietly in the dark,
and after a few hours
it was time to rest

Thank you, brothers
Please come and play
for us again

The drummers smiled and gently nodded,
and then they got on their bikes
and rode away

♫ ♫ ♫

the realm of flowers

The realm of flowers

Flower Man had just cast the last
of his cosmos seeds
along the road that led to town,
so he began to walk to a village nearby,
where some flowers had gone to seed,
to get some more

♫ ♫ ♫

Over the years
his ever-expanding realm of flowers
had grown to the point
where every known color was represented
in and between all the villages
for miles around

And nearly every type of flower
that could flourish in a tropical environment
could be found there

Some seeds would arrive with the wind,
from near or afar,
drifting to the ground,
their feather-like hair slowing the fall

Others were dropped by birds
or carried by insects
or brought by the tread of a shoe

And some were sown
by Flower Man
or one of his friends

On their walks they would collect seeds
from flowering plants and trees,
and they saw to it that it bloomed year round,
giving love and water to plants in need

To the realm of flowers butterflies came
to drink nectar
and then dance in the air,
and most of the women,
and some of the men,
wore a flower
in their hair

The villagers thought of their flowers as gurus
They listened quietly to their teachings
and then bloomed or wilted with joy

♫ ♫ ♫

have you smelled the flowers?

Have you smelled the flowers?


Good afternoon

Do you have a room for the night?

I do

And how much would it be?

Thirteen pounds of pumpkin seeds,
organic only,
or five gallons of coconut oil,
cold pressed,
per month

I only need the room for one night

You’re welcome to stay
for just one night,
but we only offer a monthly rate
Rather than rush
from place to place,
it is much nicer to stay put
for a while

That sounds nice,
but I’m kind of in a hurry
to see as much as I can
before I go home

Have you smelled the flowers?

Which ones?

All of them
You never know
if or when
a flower will give off a scent
often you know,
if you are familiar with their routine,
but sometimes you meet a new flower,
and it’s always nice to check in with old friends
every now and then
to see what they’re up to

Which ones around here
are especially fragrant?

At the moment the jasmine tree
and the yellow trumpet bush over there

♫ ♫ ♫

They smell great
How much longer will they be in bloom?

About a month

What else is there to do around here
besides smell the flowers?

Listen to birds sing,
watch rainbows,
make music,
Best of all is to be quiet
and do nothing for a while

I don’t have any pumpkin seeds
or coconut oil

What can you offer?

I’ve got three kilos of walnuts from Oregon
and thirty grams of Himachali charas,
and I play the violin

Here’s the key to bungalow seven
There’s a communal kitchen behind the banana grove,
we make an evening fire at around seven near the coconut trees
and you are welcome to play anything you find in the music room
Just follow the path
until you get to a big tamarind tree
Your room is the one beside it

Thank you

And so the traveler wound her way
past beautiful flowers and trees full of fruit
until she arrived
at her new home

♫ ♫ ♫

the bridge to nothingness

The bridge to nothingness

A bridge of brick and stone
and love
had just been built
to cross to the other side

The bridge to nothingness
narrowed the gap
between here
and there,
and nothingness,
and led to the space
I am



The afternoon was late
and evening had not quite arrived,
and from behind wheelbarrows piled high
with freshly-cut grass
Lakshmi and Nilama pushed
towards the water buffalo who were gathered
near the stable

♫ ♫ ♫

Nasrudin, Kali and Swaha
looked silently on
with their large black eyes
as the women brought them their meal
and drops of water fell
from their river-soaked hair

A troupe of monkeys sat to the east
among the stones and boulders,
waiting until the road was clear
and they could cross unnoticed
to the freshly-planted peanuts on the other side

And while hundreds of crickets and toads
waited patiently
for right moment to sing,
the ducks and the geese came home

♫ ♫ ♫



could you please try to express
the essence of what you want to say
in the form of a haiku?
Or perhaps you could speak a bit more
like the characters in a Kaurismaki film
I am not used to listening
to such a long stream of words
and I can’t take anymore

Um, okay

And it would be nice to enjoy
a few minutes of silence
before we continue this talk

The two farm-dwellers then fell silent
and watched the early evening
as some birds sang nearby

♫ ♫ ♫

That bird’s song is beautiful

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah
Blah, blah, blah
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah
Blah, Blah
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

That wasn’t a haiku

I don’t speak haiku

It would do us all a bit of good
if you were to talk less
and allow some space in the conversation,
some space between the words

Seventeen syllables?

In three lines of five, seven and five

Give me a moment to think

Take as long as you like

♫ ♫ ♫

The chai is especially delicious today

Thank you, Nasrudin
for sharing your mother’s milk
Buffalo blessing

♫ ♫ ♫

In the dusk garden
scents of fragrant flowers flow
through space around us

The frangipani are divine

♫ ♫ ♫

And so the conversation continued,
slowly and calmly,
into the night

♫ ♫ ♫

aus dem nichts

Aus dem Nichts

Woher kommst du?

Aus dem Traum,
den du gerade träumst

Bin ich dann
deine Traumfrau?


Bist du sicher,
daß ich keine Alptraumfrau bin?

In einem Traum
mag alles sein

Und in diesem Traum
bist du meins

Kommst du mit?


Zu mir
ins Nichts

ich komme mit

the temple to nothingness

The Temple to Nothingness

The Temple to Nothingness was almost complete;
most of the stones had been removed
from what it had been before
and just a few traces of something

The temple was round
and made of dark grey granite
There were no walls, no roof and no floor,
only pillars
and arches between them,
and a few steps leading up
to some stairs that led down
to an empty grass courtyard inside

No statues of deities
or carvings of gods
were to be found

No offerings were made,
no prayers were said,
no ceremonies were held
there was no guru

stillness reigned


on the prowl

On the prowl

The evening fire had turned
into glowing embers and ash,
and the dogs and people had begun
to make their way through the dark and cool late autumn night
to the holes and huts in which they slept

♫ ♫ ♫

And when the crickets finally stopped singing,
the last two beings to leave the fire began to walk
slowly towards their beds

♫ ♫ ♫

Upon reaching the large eucalyptus tree
that stood watch near the entrance to the farm,
the dog took off
and ran faster than he ever had before,
reaching the tractor shed some fifty yards away
in three seconds or less
and leaving his human companion alone
with the leopard
that lay hidden in the shadows a few yards away


Silence reigned
for several moments,
and then the man continued walking
slowly to his room,
while the leopard waited patiently
for something else to eat
to wander into its lair

♫ ♫ ♫



Again it was Monday,
and the snakes on the farm felt it was safe
to move about

The cobras and pythons
and all of the others
left their tunnels and caves
and began to explore
the places they dared not go
when many people were around

♫ ♫ ♫

Quieter than usual,
because the workers had the day off,
Mondays were especially treasured,
and everyone enjoyed the silence



A baby python dropped from a mango tree,
paused for a moment
and then slithered away,
too young to be a threat
to the farmer standing inches away

♫ ♫ ♫

Hidden in the tall grass
along the path leading to the compost heap,
a cobra quickly made its way
to the sugar cane field
as soon as it saw the farmer’s daughter
heading its way,
preferring to avoid
a violent encounter

♫ ♫ ♫

And as the farmer’s wife
on her dark green bike
came riding around a bend in the road,
a bright green viper was crossing,
heading south and towards the rocks

Both stopped
for a few tense moments
and waited to see what the other would do,
and then the snake continued on its way
and the farmer’s wife on hers,
pedaling west and back to the farm
to enjoy a lazy afternoon

♫ ♫ ♫

into the dark

Into the dark

The smell of honey drifted
from the hive near the top of the eucalyptus tree
and mingled with the flames
that licked and danced their way
along the log that lay
upon the glowing embers
of those that had gone before
into the fire,
caressing the wood
as it shed its story
and turned into smoke and ash

♫ ♫ ♫

The story that had been ingrained in the tree,
the record of what had occurred before,
vanished without complaint,
and as the glow of the embers flowed
among the cinders and the ash,
two friends rose and walked into the dark,
leaving their stories behind


another dimension

Another dimension

One morning
while Bui Linh Ha was walking
down a dirt path near a coconut grove,
a flying carpet came and landed in front of her

She took off her shoes,
boarded the carpet
and sat down,
and it then took off and transported her
very slowly
to another dimension

♫ ♫ ♫

The home of the elves
was divided into two regions:
a cool zone
and a warm zone
In the cool zone
each thing was a shade of purple, green or blue,
and in the warm zone
every thing was a shade of yellow, orange or red
The elves passed their time
wherever they pleased,
and they moved freely
between the two

Elf Linh Ha
It is wonderful that you have come to visit
How was your journey?

It was excellent
The carpet took me
through a space
I had never encountered before,
and as we flew
I was slowly transformed
into this transparent figure that is ever changing its hue,
blending in
with objects nearby

you are an elf now, Linh Ha,
and as an elf
you have several powers
that you did not have before
Take a moment
and have a look
at all the arrows in your quiver

Linh Ha then had a look
inside herself
and realized that her song,
enchanting and bewitching,
had the power to paralyze combatants
until they were ready to make peace
and to keep orcs at bay

She also discovered
that her dance could entrance
and make all who watched
forget their troubles
and remember their true nature
as they swayed and flowed along

And when she smiled
no one could resist
smiling as well
and falling in love
with life

I imagine you’d like to have a look around
Shall we go for a walk?

Yes, I’d like that

And so Linh Ha and her new friend
began to explore
the elf dimension

♫ ♫ ♫

We live simply here
and well
There are not very many of us
so there is plenty for all

Your homes are beautiful

They’re made only from what we find in nature:
wood, stone, straw, mud
and things like that
Most are only one or two stories
and none are higher than three

That makes it easier to see rainbows

Clouds and stars too

The clothing here is very nice as well,
elegant and simple

Hemp mostly
It’s quite durable
We use natural dyes,
and most of us make our own clothes

A strong vibration
then traveled through the air
and enveloped the elves

That was the lunch gong
Are you hungry?

I am

Let’s eat

Linh Ha followed her friend
to the dining hall,
where they enjoyed a delicious meal

♫ ♫ ♫

This food is good,
and the water is the best I’ve ever had

We don’t poison our food and water with chemicals
Food grows by itself
and water we get from wells and streams

Many things we eat raw
because the process of cooking
reduces the nutritional value of food,
but of course we still cook
How else could we make pizza
and some of the other dishes we love?

I love pizza

And we cook with wood
Since there are so few of us,
wood is abundant
The forest grows faster than we can use it
and we rarely cut down trees
We just collect what falls to the ground

You live in a sustainable manner

And we collect seeds from the plants and trees
that we especially like,
the ones that make beautiful flowers
or delicious fruit
or hard wood that is suitable for making a drum,
and plant them here and there
There is a food forest around each village
and there is more than enough
for all the beings in this dimension


I like planting flowers and trees too

Would you like some tea?

Yes, please

Green tea was poured
into little purple cups,
and the two friends then drank in silence
for a while

♫ ♫ ♫

We don’t use money here
Instead we use seeds as currency
Everyone has a seed pouch
in which they carry seeds they would like to trade
for goods or other seeds,
and they also keep a selection of their favorites on hand
to offer as gifts

Shall we go for a walk
and collect some seeds?


And so as the sun moved slowly
towards the horizon,
the two elves walked around the village,
through some fields
and in the woods,
gathering seeds
from the plants, trees and flowers
that were ready to offer them

♫ ♫ ♫

Twilight was edging its way across the village
when the elves returned with their treasure
and stowed it away in a variety of jars

A few candles had been lit,
but for the most part the villagers were enjoying
the dark

Thank you
for everything

You’re welcome, Linh Ha
Come again soon

I shall

And before you go,
please accept this seed pouch
In it is a collection of my favorite seeds

Thank you

The others are outside,
and they have something for you as well

The elves left the house
and stepped into the night
and the glow of the crescent moon,
where all of the other elves were waiting

Thank you, friends
You have all been very kind

Linh Ha then took her Melodica out of her knapsack
and played a farewell song
while the elves placed some of their favorite seeds
in her pouch

♫ ♫ ♫

And when she had finished,
she boarded her carpet,
and then,
armed with her song,
her dance
and her beautiful smile,
she gave a wai and took off
and returned to the dimension from which she had come,
flying through the night
to her home in the jungle

♫ ♫ ♫




Dusk had turned into a deep dark blue
on the night of the new moon
and three friends were speaking softly
and slowly
and finishing their evening meal
while crickets sang
around the outdoor kitchen

♫ ♫ ♫


A passion fruit fell
from its vine high up in a tamarind tree
and landed with a soft thud
somewhere in the dark below

♫ ♫ ♫


That’s two

♫ ♫ ♫

They waited a bit longer,
and when it seemed
that no more would fall,

And then one of the friends took some light
and went to find dessert

♫ ♫ ♫



They’re especially delicious
right after they fall

♫ ♫ ♫

mother and father

Mother and father

While two friends made music,
tears fell
from the eyes of a gentle being
as she listened to
and felt
the song

♫ ♫ ♫

Your music is like mother
and father

The three friends then enjoyed some silence
for awhile


cave girl

Cave Girl

 Cave Girl left her home
at seven o’clock each morning
and began the five-mile walk
to school

She didn’t live in a cave,
but the other students called her Cave Girl
because she didn’t have a TV

Instead of spending hours
watching mind-numbing shows,
she passed her time in the garden
and in the forest
with the flora and fauna,
observing and learning

Her parents had built
a mud brick home,
trimmed with wood and stone,
with a thatched river reed roof,
and when she was thirteen
they built her a hogan,
Navajo style,
on a far corner of their land
so that she could have a place
to be alone

♫ ♫ ♫

 I don’t want to go
to school anymore,
Cave Girl announced one morning
shortly after she had turned fourteen

said her father
Your mother and I didn’t care much for school either,
and neither of us feel that it was of much use
Everything important we learned elsewhere somehow

And so Cave Girl began
to enjoy school-free mornings
by following her pet tortoise around,
a friend who constantly reminded her
that slow is good

♫ ♫ ♫



The last week of September had arrived
and most of the milk flower trees had seemingly yet to offer
their sublime scent
to the village of Pai

Since the middle of the month
every night people had been visiting
the milk flower trees that they knew
to see if they had begun to bloom,
and it appeared that they had not

♫ ♫ ♫

They’re late this year

Maybe because we’ve had less rain than usual
I went by the tree at the courthouse a couple nights ago
and the one over by the gas station
Neither were giving off a scent

There’s one out near the hot springs that has begun to bloom
I could smell it last night as I drove by
And today I found another one
It’s near the intersection where the afternoon market begins
I noticed it while waiting for the light to change


♫ ♫ ♫

The rain has stopped
Shall we go for a ride and smell the trees?

Let’s go

And so the two friends
rode through the night
and into town
to visit the milk flower trees they knew
and to look for others that they had not yet met

♫ ♫ ♫



The late afternoon,
cool and beautiful,
as all the beings present
listened to Charlie Parr sing
Just Like Today

♫ ♫ ♫

He plays that twelve string pretty well

and he tells a story worth telling


The banjo version is pretty good too


♫ ♫ ♫

It looks like we might get a rainbow today

The conditions are right

I think your phone is ringing

♫ ♫ ♫

She said there’s a double rainbow to the northeast

Let’s go check it out

And so the two friends walked up the hill
to a place above the trees
in search of the rainbow

♫ ♫ ♫

There it is

What a beauty

Vibrant and vivid

And then in silence
the men enjoyed
darshan with the rainbow
as the light began to fade
and some crickets began to sing

♫ ♫ ♫

hoa sua

Hoa sua

It was the middle of September
and the hoa sua trees had begun to bloom —
and to give off one of the most sublime scents in town

Each tree had its own schedule,
some would begin to bloom in September
and others in October,
and whenever he noticed
that a new tree had begun to bloom,
the cyclo driver would alter
one of his routes to include it

He would pass by each tree at least once a day
and pause for a moment or two
to breathe in its fragrance
before continuing on his way,
pedaling slowly
down the tree-lined streets of Ha Noi

♫ ♫ ♫

linh buddha

Linh Buddha

One beautiful morning
Linh Ha left home
and traveled far and near
across oceans and through jungles
until the day she met
a Buddha
and realized
that there was nowhere left to go

Good beautiful morning,
she said
as she approached an old man
who was sitting on a tree
that had fallen along
the side of the dirt road

Good beautiful morning

I’m Linh Ha

Some people call me Buddha

Our names our kind of similar

but there’s really no difference
between you and me

we’re just different expressions
of the same thing

That’s right it, Linh Ha
You understand
Would like to join me
in silence?


And so Linh Ha sat down
next to Buddha on the tree
closed her eyes
and observed her thoughts
and the ever-increasing space between them


Hours passed
as if they were a single moment,
and when the sun
had begun to set
and the sky had filled
with purple and orange
and pink and red,
Buddha rose and said,
Dance, Linh Buddha

Linh Buddha stood and joined
Dancing Buddha
in the middle of the road,
closed her eyes
and danced
and gracefully,
into the evening

♫ ♫ ♫

And when she opened her eyes,
Linh Buddha saw
that she was alone

by thoughts of the future
and of the past,
she gathered her things and set off
in the direction of the rising moon
while crickets and frogs
sang courting songs
and owls flew overhead

♫ ♫ ♫



 The sun had set
and the early evening vibe was pulsating
as a man made his way across town

 A beautiful young woman crossed the line
and headed straight for him,
only to return to her side of the road
at the last moment
and continue on her way


 Welcome back, brother

 Welcome back, friend

 Hey, foreigner!

 Non-stop reminders
that he was not from around there
flowed around him,
and yet he was home
Hanoi was home
in many ways
that no other place had been

 A town full of cops and robbers
who bore a striking resemblance to each other,
who plied the same trade

 A place where cowboys rode
wherever they desired
on stallions made of steel
and did whatever they pleased
while Indians watched the rapid demise
of what once had been a jewel,
residual beauty and charm
giving way
to modern horrors

 Hidden treasures and precious gems
amidst the pollution,
the greed
and the noise,
patiently waiting
to be discovered

 Me first!
Me first!
cried millions of egos
as they pushed and shoved
their way around

 Never stop,
never apologize
and never empathize
with those whose names you do not know
was the motto of hundreds of thousands
as they rode the wrong way down one-way streets
at night without a light
while composing a message on a phone
and driving through a red light

 And in secret gardens
the kind and gentle
tended to their flowers,
sipped green tea and shared
moments of peace and calm

 And in the middle of busy intersections
those who had lost their minds
danced for hours
without pause
as herds of motorbikes flowed by them

 Bigger, faster,
taller, louder,
many competed to see
who had the worst taste of all

 And young flowers bloomed
and dared to free
from the shackles of stifling traditions

 Old haunts and old friends
offered warm hospitality,
and the city had been kind
to the man who had returned home,
but it was beginning to lose its grip,
and there was not enough oxygen in the air

 Abandon ship!
We’re going down!

 An alarm had been raised
and it echoed around the city

 Don’t go, whispered Temptation

 Stay a while longer, friend

 Casting webs of drama
Hanoians fished
for all that they desired
And while some went after the bait,
others managed to slip through the nets
of pleasure and pain
and swim across the border
to islands of paradise

 The time to go has come, my friends
Come and visit me
beyond the veil

turned off

Turned off

 The concert last was wonderful
without telephones and cameras in attendance
It was so nice
not having to hear
annoying clicks and beeps during the performance

and it was great not having to put up with
people taking videos
and blocking the view of others
and being generally annoying
rather than sitting quietly and enjoying the music

 Having a camera and phone detector
at the entrance to the concert hall
and providing soundproof lockers
to keep annoying objects in
was an excellent idea

It is finally again possible
to listen to music that musicians have composed
without unwelcome additions from the audience

It would be great if cinemas also had phone detectors
and soundproof lockers for mobile phones

 It would be wonderful if there were a cinema like that
that also showed good films

most of the new films kind of suck

they’re really disappointing,
and the camerman often pans the camera so quickly
that it is impossible to fully appreciate a scene

 Aki Kaurismäki makes good films

his films are great
They slowly show
a non-dramatic way of being

 An absence of drama
suits me well

 Me too

 And it’s really nice
that mobile phones are prohibited here on the farm

It’s great not having to listen to horrible ringtones
all day long

 And to one half
of many conversations


 Some people talk really loudly
when they’re on the phone
For some reason they think it’s necessary
They don’t realize that the microphone is quite sensitive

 Some people talk really loudly
all the time


 The Japanese are pretty quiet

the Japanese are great
Sometimes you can barely hear them

 They’re comfortable with silence

 Very comfortable

 Silence is sublime

 Silence is medicine

 Let’s enjoy some silence

 And so the two friends fell silent
and observed some butterflies
for a while


comfortable silence

Comfortable silence

 The quiet four had been sitting
in silence around the fire,
by thoughts and words,
for several hours

 The moon traveled slowly
across the night,
crickets and frogs sang,
owls hooted and dogs howled
and the leopard walked quietly around,
waiting for a chance to grab
something to eat


The fire was kept low,
and now and then it would be fed
another log

 Flames lept and flowed,
embers glowed
and wood slowly turned into ash

 The stars and the planets
flew quietly by,
and one by one
the fire watchers rose
and made their way through the dark
and to their beds
until just one was left
at the fire’s side,
keeping it company
a little while longer


And when the moon was halfway
to the other side,
he too got up
and returned to his hut


the chocolate way

The chocolate way

 The evening meal had ended
and everyone was sitting in silence
when the chocolate guru returned to the dinning hall
with a tray full of chocolate

It’s really good

 Josef Zotter
Walnut marzipan

 Thank you, Peter
It’s delicious

 Just what we needed

 Lindt is good,
and Maestrani is excellent,
but this Austrian chocolate is sublime

 Karl Fazer makes some pretty good chocolate too
His blueberry chocolate is my favorite

Finnish chocolate is great

 They say that many of the enlightened masters
are fond of sweets

 Maybe eating more chocolate
would result in enlightenment


 Maybe we should eat more chocolate

 I think it’s the other way around
The more aware you become,
the more chocolate you eat

 The chocolate guru then went back to his chocolate celler,
made his way through a maze of shelf-lined passages
until he got to the room
where he kept his finest chocolate,
and then
with another tray in hand
he returned to his guests
and offered them some more

 Finnish blueberry!



 It’s really good, Peter

 The chocolate guru and his guests then ate
chocolate prasad
and practiced the chocolate way
in silence
for a while




 Upon finally realizing
that the overuse of cars and motorbikes
was killing the planet,
people began to look for other ways
to get around

 Most began to ride bicyles
and to walk again,
and some decided to stop moving around so much
and to sit quietly and observe instead

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 One day a djembe player from Mali
found a way to ride
through the air on his djembe
on a wave of sound

 He also discovered
that most of the rhythms he knew
fell into three catagories:
rhythms to ascend,
rhythms to descend
and rhythms to fly level
He played variations
in order to turn left or right,
and of course the faster he played,
the faster he traveled through the air

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Within months
almost everyone on the planet
was riding a djembe around town,
across a desert,
through a forest,
among some mountains
or over a sea

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Some djembes were big enough for two
and djembe taxis began to appear,
each with a big strong djembefola powering his ride

 And it was not uncommon to see a woman in a dress
riding sidesaddle through the air
while her friend or lover drummed

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The air is much cleaner now

it’s great being able to breathe clean air again
And I’d much rather listen to drumming
than to horn honking

 Me too
And it’s good that everyone who wants to fly a djembe
first has to take drumming lessons,
so that we don’t have to listen to bad drumming

bad drumming sucks

 A fresh coconut would be nice

let’s go to the coconut grove

 Shall we walk or drum?

 Let’s drum

 The two friends then holstered their machetes,
got on their djembes
and rode off in the direction of the coconut palms,
leaving a trail of rhythms behind

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the edge of nothingness

The edge of nothingness

 All of the others
had gone to bed
and the quiet four remained,
sitting in silence
around the evening fire


 The fire burned
all thoughts away,
and there was nothing left
but flowing space


 Now and then
a word or two was whispered,
a laugh was shared,
a gentle song was played or sung,
but for the most part stillness reigned
because there was little worth saying
that was more beautiful
or essential
than the stillness found
on the edge of nothingness


dance of the dragonflies

Dance of the dragonflies

 It was late afternoon
and mosquitos had been attacking for a few minutes
when dozens of dragonflies
came to the rescue

 They hovered and flew
above a dark green meadow
and among the tall wildflowers that grew there,
eating the mosquitos
they found along the way

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Thank you, dragonflies

thanks a lot guys

 With their bellies full,
the dragonflies brought their dance to an end
and then headed off
towards the rising moon

 ♫ ♫ ♫

rhythm web

Rhythm web

 Several drummers
had been playing a compelling rhythm
for quite some time
when two girls wandered into their web

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Trapped in the rhythm,
the girls began to sway,
and before long one of them began to dance
and the other to sing
while the drummers continued to weave
their web of notes and waves

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 After a while
the drummers stilled the rhythm,
and everyone then enjoyed
a few minutes of silence


We were walking nearby
and heard you drumming

 This rhythm always manages
to entrance, bewitch and seduce
People hear it
and then cannot resist
the call to sing
or dance

 It’s a kind of magnet
that draws one closer to home
and sets one free
from thoughts
for a while

 Would you like to join us?



 The two girls then took
the offered drums
and played with the drummers
while butterflies danced in the air
and birds sang their songs

 ♫ ♫ ♫

across the sea

Across the sea

 The return of passenger ships on the high seas
had been welcomed by many

 Airplanes had been polluting the skies for a century,
and so it was with great pleasure
that people began to cross the seas by ship

 From New York to Hamburg,
from San Francisco to Hong Kong,
and to and from
a few other places
ships sailed once a week,
taking a week or two,
and sometimes three,
to reach their destination

 And they were always full
because many people had finally realized
that it was time to begin doing things slowly
and in a sustainable manner

 The ships resembled those that used to cross the oceans,
in recognition of the fact
that it was generally not necessary
to change a design
every year

 The propellers were quieter than those on earlier ships
so as not to disturb the whales,
and a few other dashes of modernity
could be seen here and there,
but the ships were otherwise as beautiful and elegant
as their foremothers

 The cabins were unpretentious yet beautiful,
and the meals were simple and healthy
There was a music room
for those who had brought instruments
and a meditation hall
for those in need of absolute silence

 These ships were unlike modern cruise ships
in that no food was wasted
and no effort was made
to entertain the passengers
People were encouraged to enjoy simple pleasures
such as watching the passing dolphins,
looking at the stars
and talking with each other
now and then

 On board the Sea Flower
the evening jam was underway,
and a few of the passengers were dancing
while some of the others drank tea
and ate cookies

 Sure, it takes longer,
but why hurry?
I’d rather spend two weeks on a comfortable boat
than twelve hours on an uncomfortable plane

 Me too
It so nice that passenger ships exist again
Trains and ships
are my favorite ways to travel

 Mine too
They don’t pollute nearly as much
as cars and planes,
and one is free to get up and walk around

And we can gradually adjust to a new climate

 It’s really nice
that the use cameras and telephones
is prohibited while on board,
and that there is no access
to the Internet

Here we have the chance to connect
in a different way

 It’s also nice
that there are no plastic bottles on the ship
In fact,
I don’t think there is any plastic at all

our great-grandparents managed to thrive
without plastic
We should be able to do so as well
It’s insane
that people buy water in plastic bottles
That’s one of the reasons the ocean is full of plastic
and the fish are dying
People think that the plastic they throw in the recycling bin
gets recycled somehow,
but often it simply ends up in the ocean
or gets sent to China,
where it is burned in an incinerator
and then comes back with the wind

 And then we breathe it in

Plastic sucks

I prefer to buy drinks
that come in glass bottles

 Me too

 When I am traveling,
I always carry a metal water bottle in my bag,
but sometimes I run out of water and feel thirsty,
so I buy a Coke
It’s often the only drink available
in a glass bottle

And in many countries
those bottles are washed and reused

that’s pretty cool

 Coke has done some pretty uncool things too

 So has Pepsi

They both go around buying lakes
that belong to everyone nearby
and then take away their water

and they pollute the area around their factories

Making Coke and Pepsi
is a rather toxic process


 I used to drink a lot of Coke

 Me too
I like it better than Pepsi

 And then one day I decided to stop eating and drinking
unhealthy things,
so I began to limit myself
to one bottle of Coke a week
I’d have it on Friday after work
with a bag of Kettle Chips

 Kettle Chips are good
Which flavor do you like best?

 Honey Mustard

 Honey Mustard is pretty good
I like Salt and Vinegar too

 After a few months
I realized that I wasn’t enjoying Coke
as much as before,
so I began to drink it only once a month

 Good idea
I’ve cut back on Coke too

 I still have a Coke about once a month,
but now I only enjoy it half the time
Often I tell myself I should stop buying it altogether,
but sometimes it is quite nice

 It would be great
if someone were to produce a healthy cola

one that came in a glass bottle

 Glass is cool


 The two friends then fell silent
and began to observe
the whales that were swimming nearby

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 The court finds you guilty of herbicide
for the slaughter of a Cannabis indica plant
that was growing in your neighbor’s backyard
I hereby sentence you
to three months in the Greenhouse

 As the verdict was read,
the district attorney smiled
and then nodded to the deceased’s friends and relatives
as they sat quietly in their pots
in the front row of the gallery

 The defendant was then escorted out of the room
and taken to the Greenhouse,
also know as Oregon State Penitentiary 420

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Welcome to the Greenhouse,
said a guard
Hopefully during your stay here
you’ll learn to appreciate other forms of life
and to respect their right to live

 The prisoner was given a uniform made of hemp
and then shown to his cell

 His cellmate was smoking a joint when he moved in,
and he declined the offer
to smoke with him

 It’s good stuff, man,
Mendocino’s finest

 I don’t smoke

 They give us space cakes for dessert
after the afternoon meal
No need to smoke

 I don’t take drugs

 It’s not a drug, man,
it’s a plant,
and nature provides it for a reason,
like mushrooms

 I prefer alcohol

alcohol numbs your senses
and too much of it encourages you to act like an idiot
or become aggressive
Thousands of people die every year because of alcohol,
but almost no one has killed anyone
or died
as a result of smoking pot

 I just have a little wine with dinner

 I enjoy wine too
now and then
I have nothing against alcohol;
it has to right to be
My father makes a pretty good apricot liquor

 My uncle makes a nice Cabernet Sauvignon

 Homemade is hard to beat
What I object to is the government supporting something
that in general does more harm than good
and prohibiting something
that does more good than harm
I think the alcohol companies must have bribed the government
to get them to ban weed
so that they could sell more alcohol
I can’t think of any other reason
why they would act so stupidly,
in contradiction
of common sense

could be
The car companies bribed the government officials in LA
and asked them to dismantle the streetcar network
so that they could sell more cars

what a mistake that was
It’s ridiculous that one needs a car
to get around in that town

 What are the benefits of smoking weed?

 It mellows people out,
softens the edge that they project
and inspires creativity
And people who smoke weed
tend to flow better than those who don’t

 Some people flow pretty well
without taking anything

but why deny others
the chance to do something beneficial
that doesn’t harm anyone?
Have you ever tried it?

I’ve heard that it leads to heroin addiction

 Do you believe everything you hear?


 Don’t believe the propaganda
I don’t use heroin,
and I’ve been smoking grass for years
And if you use a vaporizer,
it won’t damage your lungs at all

 What are you in here for?

 For cutting down a large portion of the primeval forest
I was clear-cutting a redwood grove
when the green squad captured me
What about you?

 I killed my neighbor’s marijuana plant

 Dude, that’s not cool

 Neither is clear-cutting the primeval forest —
or any forest

 Right you are
Since I’ve been in the Greenhouse,
I’ve planted thirteen thousand trees —
more or less

 That’s a lot
Where have you planted them?

 They let me out on the weekends
I take saplings from the prison nursery
and plant them in the areas that I deforested

How long have you been here?

 Two years and thirty-seven days
Only three hundred and twenty-eight days to go
How long did they give you?

 Three months

 Three months will pass quickly
You can help out in the nursery if you like
It’s a lot better than sitting in here all day
Since you killed a marijuana plant,
they’ll probably ask you to take care of them

 You grow ganja here in the prison?

It’s legal now
We grow very nice weed,
and we sell it in the prison gift shop
and to the local hospice centers

 Hospice centers are cool

I’d much rather die in a hospice center
or at home
than in a hospital

 I think I’d like to die at home,
surrounded by a few friends playing gentle music
and then be buried in a field
and have a tree planted on top of me
No need for a coffin

 Good idea
Cemeteries take up a lot of space,
and we could use more trees

we could use a lot more trees
Sometimes I have the feeling
that there are more people than trees

 Me too
There are definitely way too many people on this planet
In 1900 there were only around a billion
and now there are more than seven billion

 It can’t continue like this;
it’s not sustainable
If people don’t stop having so many children,
the planet will create a disease
that will kill off most of us —
some kind of plague like they used to have in Europe

I suppose the planet knows how to take care of itself
It’s been very patient with us,
but we’ve really been pushing the limits of tolerance lately

 I recently read that the Japanese government is worried
about the decline in population in Japan
What idiots!
They should be happy
In countries where there are not many people,
the standard of living is much higher
Finland has a lot more trees than people,
and the Finns are doing pretty well
There’s plenty of space for everyone

If every country had a small population,
everyone could live pretty much wherever they wanted
without having to pay rent
or buy groceries
They could just eat whatever they found growing naturally
and plant a garden or a food forest if they felt like it

 The Japanese government
also wants to start using nuclear power again
Anyone who didn’t learn from Fukushima
must be super retarded

Unfortunately we’re still using nuclear power here
I guess our politicians aren’t any smarter
than the ones in Japan

 I’m not sure that any of them are very intelligent —
except for the president of Uruguay

Mujica is okay
He’s clearly serving the interests of the people,
not some big companies —
and he gives away ninety percent of his salary

he’s super cool

 Václav Havel was alright too

and they both served time in prison

 Maybe it’s necessary to do time
in order to be a good president


 Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso was pretty cool too

 Did he serve time?

 I don’t think so,
but he played the guitar pretty well


 And he kicked out the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

 Good riddance
Those guys go around devastating third world countries

 Yeah, I remember when they destroyed Jamaica’s dairy industry
After the government agreed to accept funds from the IMF,
they were required to allow the import of powdered milk from the States,
and because it was cheaper than fresh milk,
everyone bought it
The dairy farmers could not compete and slaughtered their cows,
and then there was no fresh milk in Jamaica
The IMF and the World Bank operate under the pretense
that they are helping poor countries,
but in reality they are merely serving the interests
of businessmen from wealthy countries

 Which company is it
that keeps trying to convince mothers in Africa and Viet Nam
that infant formula is better for their children than breast milk?

And that’s why I don’t buy their products anymore
I don’t want to support a company
that does things like that

 Neither do I
I’ll stop buying their candy bars

 The problem is that most of the big companies
do really horrible things
It’s pretty hard to find a good one,
so I’ve begun to make my own junk food,
a healthier version

 What do you make?

 I really like Cheez-its,
especially the white cheddar ones

 Me too
They’re the best

 The original flavor is pretty good too

but white cheddar is divine

 I looked up how to make Cheez-its online
and I found a video
It’s super easy:
You just fry some cheese in a pan for a few minutes,
flip it over and fry it some more
Then you cut it into squares
Parmesan cheese works really well


 There’s the lunch bell
I’ll show you the way

 The two prisoners then made their way
to the dinning hall

 ♫ ♫ ♫

this soup is really good

tomato weed is my favorite here

 Tomato is a weed?

 No, man,
they put weed in the soup,
like the people in Lao,
to mellow us out

It’s pretty good
Now I understand why the Lao
are so gentle, calm and peaceful
Are we allowed to have another bowl?

We can have as much soup as we like

Maybe I’ll try one of those brownies too

 And so the two cellmates enjoyed their meal
and then returned to their cell

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It’s two o’clock
Time for a walk
Want to come?


 And so the prisoners went out into the yard
and began to mingle with the others

 Some of the guys have a big P on the back of their shirts

 They’re from P Block
The P stands for pollution
Those guys polluted our air and water
with chemicals and fumes from their factories
When they arrive here, they have to drink and shower
with water from polluted rivers for a month,
so that they get an idea of the suffering they have caused other beings,
and if that doesn’t kill them,
they are given clean water,
and they have to stay here for a minimum of ten years
without the possibility of parole

 I’m glad they’re in here with us
I’d love for our rivers and air to be clean again
What about the ones with an A on their shirt?

 They’re architects who designed buildings that are so ugly
that people feel pain in their eyes
or go blind
when they look at them

 A Block must be pretty big

 It’s one of the biggest

 So it’s not just green-collar criminals that get sent here


 I’ve heard of people dying from depression
because they lived in an area full of ugly buildings

 Some have heart attacks
when they are confronted with exceptionally bad architecture

 How long are they in here for?

 One year for each ugly building they made,
and while they’re here
they learn how to make environmentally-friendly buildings,
how to make adobe bricks and thatched roofs,
how to collect and save rainwater,
how to draw a curved line

 Nice thick adobe walls are best
They keep a room cool in the summer
and warm in the winter
How about the guys with an F?

 Those are farmers who used chemicals
They have herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers put in their food
the first month they are here,
and if they survive,
they are given organic food like the rest of us
It sounds cruel,
but many of them only put chemicals on the food they sold,
not on what they grew for themselves
They need to feel the effects of those chemicals
in order to generate compassion among them
for the people they feed
Then they are taught how to farm the traditional way,
without chemicals,
and they learn about companion planting,
using ducks to control pests
and things like that

It’s about time farmers stopped poisoning us
and the bees that pollinate their crops

the bees have really suffered
The chemical farmers have been ruthless

 Who are the guys with Vs,
and why are some of them wearing a ball and chain?

 They’re the violent ones
The ones with a ball and chain have refused to attend
the courses that were designed to turn them into peaceful people
The ball and chain makes it really difficult for them
to go around attacking other prisoners
We can easily avoid them

 What kind of courses do the ones without the ball and chain attend?

 They start with a ten-day Goenka vipassana meditation course,
and then they learn how to grow flowers
They prepare the beds,
plant the seeds,
water and weed,
trim the wilted blossoms
and make nice flower arrangements for the dinning hall
After that they learn how to conduct a Japanese tea ceremony
and finally they are given a pet to take care of

 Sounds like a good way to foster change
and not simply punish

Here at the Greenhouse
the inmates learn other ways of being

 I don’t see anyone with a D on his shirt

 All the people who were in here for non-violent drug offenses
were set free a few months ago
to make space for all of the green-collar criminals
who have recently been prosecuted

 Just then a call to drum could be heard
from somewhere not too far away,
followed by the prison’s drum ensemble
playing Balakuland

 It must be four twenty,
time to smoke a joint and make music
Almost everyone here
has learned how to play an instrument
Lessons are given in the morning,
small groups of musicians meet after lunch or after dinner
to play together,
and at four twenty the drummers let us know
that it’s time for the open jam

Those guys are pretty good

Sometimes they’re let out
so that they can play at parties and festivals
Do you play an instrument?


 Not yet
I’ll take you to the music room
You can choose whatever instrument you like


 And so the two friends made their way through the prison
as the other inmates
continued to play

 ♫ ♫ ♫

waiting for the oleanders

Waiting for the oleanders

 The oleanders have begun
to release their scent

I’ve been waiting for them for weeks

 Me too

 The white ones smell very nice

 The red ones smell pretty good too

 And the frangipani flowers are divine

 They’re extraordinary
Have you noticed the scent of the papaya blossoms?

 Not yet

 It’s quite subtle
but very nice

 Let’s have a smell

 And so the two friends walked over
to where some papayas were growing
and smelled the blossoms
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

school sucks

School sucks

 If I had a child,
I would definitely not send her to school

 Me either
School sucks

 Monkeys don’t go to school
They learn from their parents
and from the others in their troupe

and they seem to be doing quite well
and are perhaps better off than most humans

 They’re pretty smart
When they’re hungry they just pick some fruit
or dig up some peanuts,
and otherwise they just hang out and enjoy being

 We could live like the monkeys
We don’t really need much,
just a bit of shelter,
some warm clothes in winter
and a bit of food

 The only math I’ve ever needed
I learned in primary school

 Me too:
Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

 And I learned how to read and write
in primary school


 Primary school was okay

I liked it too,
but after that school began to suck

What’s the point in writing an essay about Madame Bovary?

 Or the significance of the color blue
in Tonka?

 It would be better to take some blue paint
and paint flowers on a wall

 Or play a song on a guitar

 Or sing

 Or dance

 Or meditate

 Or learn how to roast cashews properly

 No need to go to school
to learn how to sing and dance

 Or to paint or play the guitar

 School kills
a child’s creativity

 Yeah, school kills

 It turns out zombies
that then go about destroying the planet
by creating and consuming garbage

 School teaches children
how to destroy the planet,
how to destroy their home

 It’s because of schools
that we have idiots who create nuclear power
and poison the earth

without schools
the planet would be in much better shape

 People too


 When I asked Mardan to write down his address,
he told me that he didn’t know how to write
He said,
I didn’t go to school
I’m natural

 And he’s one of the nicest men in the village
The ones who can read and write
are not nearly as nice

 Vocational schools are okay

vocational schools are cool
Learning how to be a carpenter,
a chef
or a stone mason
is definitely worthwhile

 We could use a few more stone masons
Stone structures
are much nicer than concrete ones

concrete sucks

 And stones are healthier

 Stone walls are cool

 Stone floors are pretty cool too

and so are earth floors
that have been covered with cow dung

cow dung floors are great
They cover the earth
and they’re very comfortable

 The locals here know how build their own homes,
make their own clothes
and grow their own food and cook,
and they learned how from their parents and neighbors
No need for school

I sure wasted a lot of time in school
learning how to do things I have never needed to do
instead of learning the essential skills
that a human needs to survive
and to thrive

 I have met a few young Europeans
who never went to school
and they are really cool
Their parents let them learn what they wanted
when and how they wanted,
and they turned out just fine
One of them speaks three languages,
plays the guitar very well,
and he has never had to take an exam
or compete for a job
Because he is so cool,
a master guitar builder offered to teach him
how to make guitars,
and he earns a living doing that


there’s the truant officer

 I’ll go sound the alarm

 And soon the village bell was ringing
in a such a way that all the children in the village
knew it was time to hide,
and they climbed up into the trees,
went in one of the caves
or slipped inside a haystack
and hung out with the cobras
while waiting for the truant officer to leave

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 From the evening fire
nourishing energy flowed,
and a few held out their hands to receive it

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 There’s more than heat
coming from the fire

And it’s strong

 Very strong

 And nourishing

 I’ve heard of people who don’t eat,
who get their energy from the sun

 Maybe it’s possible to live off of the fire’s energy

but I wouldn’t want to give up chocolate —
especially that blueberry chocolate from Finland

the Finns make pretty good chocolate

 The two friends then fell silent
and returned their attention
to the fire

 ♫ ♫ ♫

doctor susi

Doctor Susi

 Good morning,
is the doctor in?

 The last time I saw her
she was running around in the forest

 About an hour ago
I saw her digging a hole
in a flower bed

 She was eating the dogs’ food
a few minutes ago

 There she is

 Susi came trotting towards the people
and greeted them with her snout

 She’s —
a pig

 A wild pig

 What kind of medicine does she practice?

 Love and joy
Just hang out with her for a while
and you’ll be cured
of most of your problems

she’s good
She cured Ingo in less than a month

 Susi then took off
and headed down the road

 Looks like she’s heading towards the peanut fields

 Darshan with Susi
is often brief
unless one is willing to walk with her

 A walk would be wonderful

 The woman then took off her shoes
and began to follow Susi
around the farm

 ♫ ♫ ♫

a visit

A visit

 The mistress of the house
heard some commotion
and came out of the kitchen to see
what was going on
And she was just in time

 She yelled at the driver of a car
and told him to stop,
and then three drunken, spoiled and belligerent men from Bangalore
stumbled out of the car
after managing to bring it to a halt
just a few millimeters before the water fountain
in the heart of the farm

 The driver wore only his underwear
and he smoked non-stop,
now and then throwing cigarette butts
here and there

 Who are you to tell me to stop?

 This is my farm

 I have come to visit

 Please move your car
The parking area is near the gate

 I can do whatever I like
Someone told me about this place
and I came here to be free,
to free my soul

 You are not behaving
in respectful manner
You’re drunk
and you almost crashed into the fountain,
and your car does not belong
in the heart of my home
Please move it

 The three drunks had been acting rather aggressively,
so within minutes of their arrival
a number of the farmhands had come,
armed with pitchforks, machetes and scyths,
to protect their mistress

 Shall I kill them, Ama?
There’s plenty of room left in the rubbish pit,
and we’re planning on burning the rubbish later this afternoon

Let’s give them a chance to leave

 Two of the drunks were not quite as drunk as the driver,
so while one of the farmhands
sharpened his machete,
it was suggested that one of them move the car

 I can’t do anything
The driver is my owner

 Your owner is an idiot
Perhaps you should find yourself a new owner

 He might kill someone
if he manages to make it back to the main road
Perhaps we should take his keys

 Those guys are super aggressive
They wouldn’t give up the keys
without a fight,
and beating them up
would have undesirable consequences
We have to either kill them
or wait for them to leave

Killing them would be a bit harsh
Compassion is best
Let’s wait for them to leave

 We could sic the camel on them

 Or the boar

 Yusseff can kick sideways,
and he can pick up a donkey with his mouth
and throw it twenty meters

Yusseff is strong
The driver might drop the keys in fear
if he sees Yusseff coming in his direction

 Susi could ram them with her snout
Then he’d drop the keys for sure
Last year she killeded Raja the ram
when she rammed him
She’s like a torpedo

 A light jab to the gut with a pitchfork
would change their attitude

 I could graze the driver’s neck with the machete
That might motive them to go

 I have the right to be here
I want to be free

 You should come back another time
when you’re not drunk
Perhaps then we could talk
about freeing your soul
Right now you need to move your car
or let someone else move it

 After some time,
the driver finally shut up and got back into the car,
put it into reverse
and very slowly
tried to move backwards

 Drive straight,
you idiot

 The driver had backed into a flower bed
and knocked over a hibiscus bush

 Eventually he made it back to the gate,
but instead of leaving he parked
and the three drunks hung out near the gate alone
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 They’re leaving, Ama


 They just hit the neighbor’s motorbike
and knocked it off the road
and into a ditch

 It would be best if they hit a boulder
before they get to the main road,
so that they don’t kill anyone

 Everyone then returned to sweeping
or weeding
or cooking
or whatever else they had been doing
before the visit

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 She’s a barkaholic, man

And telling her to be quiet hasn’t worked

 Neither has throwing a shoe in her direction

 Shock therapy didn’t work either
One night I threw a bucket full of cold water on her,
but it didn’t help
She kept on barking into the night

 I think she has a learning disability

She’s super friendly,
but she’s also kind of stupid

 This morning I tried talking quietly with her
I told her that if she didn’t stop barking all the time,
Peter would take her to Gangawati
and leave her there

like he did with Rani two years ago

 Rani was a good dog

 She was a great dog,
but she kept destroying Peter’s mosquito net every night
in order to get into his bed

 All beings here are given a chance,
and she’s had more than a year to mellow out,
but even the other dogs seem to be
a bit tired of her barking

they’re like,
Hey, shut up
It’s just one of the dogs from the village
We know him
It’s okay

 The leopard made the right decision
when he attacked her a few weeks ago

The leopard’s not in the habit of making mistakes
He chose well,
but she got away

It’s too bad she managed to escape

 Maybe iboga could cure her addiction
It worked for my father
He was an alcoholic,
and he stopped drinking after taking iboga

 Iboga is a strong medicine,
but I’m not sure it works on dogs

 It might

it might

 Let’s see if we can get some


 It’s almost chai time

 Let’s go

And so the two friends walked over
to where the purple flower vine
was dropping its flowers
and had a cup of tea

 ♫ ♫ ♫

summon your song

Summon your song

 The men had been drumming for a while
when the woman began to sing,
quietly at first
and then with tremendous passion

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 She sang well last night

 Very well

 The drumming helped
to free her voice

Drums are good
at getting people to overcome their fears
and begin to sing and dance

 The way Navila danced to the kalimba
was beautiful

 She was amazing

 She flowed


 A friend once told me
that she doesn’t trust
people who don’t dance

 I don’t either

 Divinity is sometimes revealed
through singing and dancing


 At the fire a few nights ago,
Murti said that the kalimba made his heart tremble,
and since then he’s been full of joy
and he smiles all the time

 It helped to open his heart

the kalimba is good
at opening hearts

 The purple flowers have begun to fall

 It must be time for chai

 I’ll get my drums and kalimba

 I’ll get my guitar and harmonica

 The two friends then went
to get their instruments,
and then they began to play
and to open hearts
while the others drank their chai

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 The train had already left the station
by the time the rider arrived

 He could see it off in the distance
and decided that it might be possible to reach it
before it got to the tunnel

 Where the train crossed a road,
a line of cars waited,
and the rider and his horse jumped over them

 When they got to a stream,
the train crossed over a bridge
and they leaped to the other side

 The rider urged his horse on,
and slowly they drew
closer and closer

 Some of the passengers on the train
had noticed that they were being followed,
and among them was a young woman
who knew the rider
and his horse

 The mountain loomed ahead
and the rider asked his horse
for just a little more

 Soon they were riding
alongside the train,
and the rider held out a scroll to the woman,
who took it and read,

 The mountain is high
and will keep us apart
if you pass to the other side

ride with me
before it’s too late

 The woman’s heart began to race
and she realized
that she had to get off the train

 Leaving everything behind,
she ran to the end of the wagon,
opened the door
and hopped on the horse

She then held the man tightly
as they veered away from the mountain
and rode towards the setting sun

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the neighbor

The neighbor

 The neighbor came over and began to complain
about the farmer’s ducks paddling about in his rice paddy

 It didn’t seem to bother him
that one of his buffalos
had come over during the night the week before
and knocked over three of the farmer’s banana plants
or that three of his sheep
had been grazing on the farmer’s land that morning

 For years he had intentionally grazed
his animals on the farmer’s land,
even though he had been asked many times not to

 And he seemed to enjoy yelling
and was always on the lookout
for an excuse to be angry

 What is he whinning about?

 He says the ducks were in his rice paddy again this morning

 Five ducks swimming about in his rice paddy and eating insects
is not a problem
Tell him that the next time I see his sheep or buffalo on my land,
I’ll catch them and sell them

 The farmhand interpreted for the neighbor
what the farmer had said,
and the neighbor then began to yell more loudly

 Let him yell for a while,
said the farmer
Perhaps he’ll have a heart attack
and cease to be a problem

 The neighbor continued to yell
for a few more minutes,
while everyone else ignored him
and carried on with their work,
and then he walked home

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 His wife is even worse
When she came over looking for her sheep this morning,
rather than apologize,
she yelled at us for tying them to a tree

 She’s definitely one of the most unpleasant women on the planet

 We could dig two graves near the front gate,
place a tombstone at the head of each one
and then put the neighbor’s name on one
and his wife’s on the other
Then we could take a photo of the graves and the tombstones
and have it delivered to them with a note that said,
We’re ready for your next visit
Are you?

 It’s a good idea,
but perhaps there’s a gentler solution

 We could put MDMA in their water tank,
just a small amount every day
That would open their hearts
and mellow them out

that’s a better idea

 It might take a while
Those two are pretty heartless

 I have enough for a week or two,
and I’ll order some more tomorrow

 I’d be happy to put it in their water tonight

 With the problem thus solved,
everyone returned
to watching the sun set

 ♫ ♫ ♫

through the night

Through the night

 It was the middle of winter
and the blanket fairy had just begun
to make her rounds,
going from hut to hut
and making sure
that everyone was warm enough

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Good evening
It’s a bit cool
Would you like another blanket?

 Yes, please
Thank you, Blanket Fairy

 The blanket fairy placed a grey woolen blanket
on top of the man
and then asked,
Would you like some company
for a while?

 You are always welcome
under my blankets

 The blanket fairy then climbed into the bed
and held the man in her arms
until he began to dream,
and then she slipped out of the bed
and into the night

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Good evening

 Hello, Blanket Fairy

 Are you warm enough?


 Is there anything I can do for you?

 My shoulders are a bit sore

 The blanket fairy then joined the woman
on her bed
and massaged her shoulders
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Good evening

 Good evening, Blanket Fairy

 Shall I tuck you in?

 That would be great,
thank you
A bit of cold air
has been coming in near my feet

 The blanket fairy rearranged the blankets
so that they covered the man well,
and then she began to caress his face
and run her fingers through his hair
as he drifted off to sleep

 ♫ ♫ ♫

And so the blanket fairy continued,
moving around the farm
and through the night,
giving everyone
just what they needed

 ♫ ♫ ♫

ein seitensprung

Ein Seitensprung

 Er hat sich entschieden
die Nacht woanders zu verbringen

 Er hat ziemlich viele Liebhaberinnen,
und er kann nicht jederzeit bei allen sein

 Heute war es eher ein Kurzbesuch

er wollte uns nur necken

 Er tut nur so als sei er interessiert

 Wir sind nicht seine Hauptpartnerinnen

das sind wir sicher nicht

 Eine bessere Beziehung mit ihm wäre schön,
ein bissel stabiler,
etwas regelmäßiger
Vielleicht könnten wir uns sogar sehen
an bestimmten Tagen
zu bestimmten Zeiten

das wäre schön

 Wir sollten es versuchen,
ihn irgendwie anzulocken

 Ja, aber wie?

 Vielleicht sollten wir ihn einladen
hier bei uns zu wohnen

dann würde er nicht so viel
herum strömen müssen

 Na ja,
wenn er immer da wäre,
würden wir ihn vielleicht nicht so sehr schätzen

 Er muß frei sein,
kommen und gehen zu können wie er will

 Vielleicht brauchen wir ihn gar nicht

vielleicht hast du recht

 Also Kerzen haben wir,
lesen könnten wir während des Tages —
wenn überhaupt,
einen Kühlschrank haben wir eh nicht,
und die Pumpe könnten wir mit einem Fahrrad betreiben

 Ist recht
Machen wir das

♫ ♫ ♫

 Eines Tages ist der Strom dann zurück gekommen,
und alle durften ihn
wieder genießen

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the color of music

The color of music

 In front of a stone church in Barcelona
stood two young men singing arias,
and the vibrant colors of the notes they sang
as they floated through the night
were astounding

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Maybe they’re students from the music academy


 I didn’t know that each musical note
had a different color

Me either
They’re pretty cool

 It would be great
to be able to see spoken words too

 Perhaps sometimes
Whether or not it would be great
would depend on who was speaking,
what they were saying
and how they were saying it
I already feel the vibrations of words —
and they’re not always nice

tone of voice,
and the matter being discussed
make a big difference
in how a word feels

Maybe it would be better
if people were to talk a bit less
Then we might all feel a bit better

And a lot of bands would sound better
without their singer
Many good songs
have been ruined by horrible lyrics

like Calexico
They make nice music,
but the singer manages to destroy
most of their songs

 Fortunately they have a few instrumental songs


Dirty Three is one of my favorite bands

 Mine too

 They almost never sing

they just play beautiful and compelling rhythms
that take you on a trip

 Horse Stories is a great album

 It’s one of my favorites

 It would be nice if more songwriters
would wait for inspiration
and let a song come naturally
rather than sit somewhere and try to write one
and end up inflicting a bunch of rubbish
on the rest of the world

silence is better than rubbish

 And if someone is going to sing,
they ought to sing clearly,
so that people can understand what they’re singing,
otherwise they might as well just sing vowel sounds,
which is often quite nice

like Leonard Cohen
You can understand every word he sings,
and each song is meaningful

 Dawn Upshaw has a nice voice

 She has a beautiful voice

I love the way she sings Henryck Gorecki’s third symphony

 So do I

Lucy has a beautiful voice too
The way she sang at the fire the other night was divine

 Lucy’s an angel

 Her voice travels
to the depths of one’s being

I could listen to Lucy sing without pause

 Me too
And I could listen to Vannte play his guitar forever as well

They sure make
some beautiful music

check out that constellation of notes

What a combination of colors

 And so the two friends continued to listen
to the opera singers
and to watch the notes drift by

 ♫ ♫ ♫

may you be a blessing

May you be a blessing

 May you be a blessing
to all you meet
May your presence be a gift

 That’s what was written
on a sign at the entrance
to Café Quiet

 Shall we go in?

 I don’t know
Do you think we would make good gifts?

 I’m not sure
I haven’t been that nice to others lately

 Me either

 We could try to be nice

we could try

 And so the two friends went in
and sat down
on some cushions on the floor

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 What a menu

I’ve never heard of some of these teas before

 Me either
Medicinal Dose of Motherly Amor looks interesting

So does Light and Sound Dimension

 I’d like to try both

 Me too

 The waiter then came over
and took their order

 Would you like your tea
in a cup or in a pot?

 We’d like a pot of each, please

 An excellent decision
Please enjoy the silence
while I prepare your tea

 The waiter then went to the kitchen
to prepare their tea,
and the two friends had a look around
at the other patrons,
most of whom were sitting or lying quietly
with their eyes closed
and smiles on their faces

 ♫ ♫ ♫

This tea is delicious

 So is this one

 The two friends continued to drink
until both pots were empty
and they felt that it was time to lie down

 May you inspire others
to be peaceful and kind,
said the waiter in passing

 With that thought in mind,
the two friends melted into the moment
and began to enjoy the silence
of the space

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 This place
is a well of love


 And the walls are breathing

And so is the floor

 I feel good here

 Me too

 The two friends then fell silent
and began to explore
inner space

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 I can’t feel my body

 You don’t have one anymore

you don’t have one either

 We’ve disappeared

 But we’re still here

 I guess we’re not limited
to our bodies

 I guess not


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Who are you?

 I’m not sure
I’m on the edge
of being all and being nothing

 Me too

 Nice space


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It’s pretty quiet here

 Very quiet

 And it’s nice

 Very nice

 I am God

 Me too


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It’s pretty dark and silent down here

 We’re pretty deep

 I think we’re at the center
of the universe

 Could be

 It seems pretty empty here

I don’t see anything —
except that seed over there

 I feel like I’m levitating
in nothingness

 Me too
It’s pretty cool

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 I have access to
an incredible amount of power

 I feel it too
It’s very strong
I could move a mountain

 Or solve any problem

 There are no problems

 Not anymore

 ♫ ♫ ♫

there’s Siddhartha

he’s here too
I can’t tell
where he stops
and I begin

 And I can’t tell
where you stop
and I begin

 I guess we’re made
of the same energy
and are not really separate beings

 Or beings at all

 I am nothing
but pure awareness

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 That tea was pretty good


 I think I lost my ego somewhere

 Me too

 I don’t miss it

 Neither do I

 I feel very present in this moment

 Me too

 Shall we go?


 I don’t know

 There’s nowhere left to go

 And so the two friends decided to stay
at Café Quiet
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the trip

The trip

 The song of a light being
danced through the night

 The most beautiful voice
he had ever heard
entered the traveler
and went deep inside

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The bearer of light went deeper
than anyone else had gone before

 Pure love embraced him
and tears flowed

 I would like to listen
to this song forever,
thought the traveler

 Then deeper and deeper he went
until he reached
the edge of the dream

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 At the center of the universe
on the edge of nothingness,
lay a seed

 Down he looked
into the void,
and silence greeted him


Omnipotent power flowed through him,
problems ceased to exist
and there was nowhere to go

 Welcome home
You made it

 A few others mingled in paradise,
an oasis
of calm and love

 An endless and abundant supply of nourishment
was available to all who had come,
and it was there that the traveler
decided to stay

 ♫ ♫ ♫

ein geschenk

Ein Geschenk

 Ihre Stimme tanzte
durch die Nacht,
leicht und hell,
am heiligen Abend

 Die schönste Stimme,
die er je gehört hat,
war sie

 Von Lucy,
Trägerin des Lichts,
strahlte ein Licht, das tief,
sehr tief,
so tief, daß tiefer nicht möglich wäre,
in seinem Wesen eingedrungen ist,
um ihn zu erleuchten

 Ein Geschenk,
ein heilendes Geschenk,
ein heiliges Wesen war sie
mit ihrem Licht,
mit ihrer Stimme,
mit ihrer Anwesenheit
am heiligen Abend



 Monkeys are coming from the North!

 The alarm was raised,
the shepherd raised his cane
and began to shout at the troupe of monkeys,
and the women who had been cutting grass nearby
ran towards them
and tried to shoo them away

 The monkeys continued to pick peanuts
from the freshly-planted field
and waited until the humans were almost upon them
before retreating to the edge of the forest
and climbing to the tops of the trees

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Peter grabbed his rifle,
mobilized his army of farmhands
and headed down to the front
to do battle with the most elegant animals around

 An excellent shot,
Peter aimed to barely miss
and merely frighten the monkeys
The others shouted
and threw stones and clods of dirt
in their general direction

 The monkeys realized
that they would have to come back later
and made their way back to the river

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The monkeys are cool

I like hanging out with them down by the river
and up among the rocks

 And they’re smart too
They don’t work like people do,
they simply wait for food to grow on its own
and eat it when it’s ready

bananas and papayas
and pretty much everything else
can grow by themselves

When Fukuoka was walking back to his village
after the war,
he noticed that rice was growing in fields
that had not been irrigated or tended to for years
He then began to farm his land
by doing almost nothing at all

 If there were less people on the planet,
everyone would be able to move around freely,
picking whatever fruit and vegetables were in season
There would be enough for everyone
to eat as much as they liked

 We could live like the monkeys

 And the bats

 Yes, and the bats,
and all the other animals that move from tree to tree
and place to place,
eating whatever is ripe and delicious

 We could migrate north in the summer
and south in the winter,
like the birds

They’re coming from the hills!

 Again the alarm was raised
as another troupe of monkeys began to forage,
descending from the stones
that overlooked the farm

 Peter prepared for a showdown
and soon was on his way,
bicycling down to the peanut fields
with his men running closely behind

♫ ♫ ♫



 Would you like to watch TV?

not really
I stopped watching TV
about twenty years ago

 This is a special kind of television
I call it a babavision

 The host then unveiled
a television that had been carved out of stone
and looked like a TV from the sixties

 Now and then I change the channel
by painting a scene on the screen,
but usually I just leave it blank
and watch it like that

 It would be pretty hard
to disturb your neighbors
with a TV like that

 They haven’t complained yet,
and one of my neighbors recently asked me
to carve one for him
His wife is addicted to watching TV
and he’s tired of having to hear
stupid dialogues all day long
He wants to replace his TV
with a babavision

 Good idea
Stones are cool

They’re usually pretty quiet
and they keep to themselves —
except when they decide to slide down a slope
or explode in a fire

Stones are pretty meditative
I have some pretty ones in my hut

 I have a few too

 I used to have a lot of crystals,
but I have given most of them away,
and I don’t collect them anymore
I have the feeling that they enjoy
being deep underground
and that they might be doing
some important work there

Who knows what they’re doing down there

 Maybe it’s time to stop mining
and taking things from places
where humans are perhaps not meant to go

 A small shaft now and then,
here and there
is probably alright,
but a lot of those mining operations
are destroying everything around

some of those holes are pretty big

 Maybe we could do without
a lot of the things we have grown accustomed to
and live more simply,
like the way people did before the second world war

I could live without plastic

 Me too

 And I could live without genetically modified seeds
and chemical fertilizers

heirloom seeds are best
And there’s no need to poison the earth with chemicals

 Organic farming is best

And it’s kind of strange
that we have to say organic
when we talk about the traditional way of farming
It would be better to call the farmers who use chemicals
chemical farmers,
or perhaps poisoners

that’s what they’re doing
They’re poisoning us and the land,
and that’s not cool

 Yet another post-second world war phenomenon:
most farmers have become poisoners

A lot of bad things began after that war:
ugly architecture,
a rapid rise in the population,
the poisoning of our food and water
and the use of plastic

 Chemical farmers should be required
to disclose all of the poisons and other chemicals
that they put on plants
and into the earth

Maybe then people would stop buying their food
and all farmers would return
to a healthy and sustainable way of farming

That’d be cool

 It’s almost chai time

 I’ll get my guitar
and meet you there

 And so the host and the guest
returned to their huts
to get the instruments they wished to play
while everyone drank
their evening tea

♫ ♫ ♫

the dude with the green marble

The dude with the green marble

 Near the tractor shed at Rishimukh
stood a man with a dark green marble
He held the marble up in front of his right eye
and appeared to be looking through it
He held it there for quite some time,
and now and then he would turn to the left
or to the right
and look in another direction
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 He put on a good show,
but nobody paid him much attention
Extremely unusual behavior
often attracted little or no attention in India
Everyone just walked on by
without giving him a second glance

 And when the show appeared to be over,
the man held out his hand
in the hope of receiving a little money,
but again no one appeared very interested
in what he was doing,
so he moved along a bit
and then began to look
through the green marble again

 After this attempt failed as well,
the man began to wander towards the guests’ rooms,
and he was then promptly given an escort
to the gate

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Did you see the dude with the green marble?

I think he was trying to make us believe
that he’s some kind of sorcerer

 He needs to work on his act a bit


 The gypsy women who came and danced last month
earned their reward

they weren’t bad the first time they came,
but a few mornings ago a couple of them showed up drunk
They asked for more money and offered to put on some sort of show,
but no one was interested in paying
two drunken old women to stumble around

 The harmonium player yesterday wasn’t too bad

 He wasn’t that good either

 That’s true
He was a little good


 He comes by about once a year
to play the harmonium and sing a few songs
in exchange for a few hundred rupees

 There’s no end
to the stream of people
who come to the farm in search of money

They all seem to have missed
the real gems this place has to offer:
the silence,
the serenity
the love

 This place is nourishing


 It’s time to water the flowers

 And I need to prepare the fire

 See you at chai time

 See you then

 And so the two friends began their work
while some birds were singing
Good Late Afternoon

♫ ♫ ♫

the lighthouse

The lighthouse

 From his place at the top of a stone lighthouse
several hundred miles inland
a sage sat in silence
and spun around slowly on a revolving platform,
emitting a soft blue light from his right hand
as he went around

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 He’s been up there for about three hundred years
Doesn’t eat or drink anything anymore,
and he never comes down
He just sits like that
in silence
and spins around
very slowly

 What makes the platform turn?

 Two of his disciples
are on the level directly below
riding bicycles that power the mechanism
that turns the platform

How do they get in?
I haven’t seen a door

 There’s a secret tunnel
that leads from the under the lighthouse
to somewhere else
The door was walled up and the tunnel was dug
about two hundred years ago
The sage got tired of people knocking on his door
and wanting to speak with him,
so now there is no door to knock on

 His light is soft
but very strong
And it never dims

He’s got a good connection to the source

He could leave his body at anytime,
but he hangs around
to give us
and all those who pass by
his blessings

 It’s pretty cool that he can live off of prana


 Does he still talk?

 I’ve only heard him sing mantras
and lullawakes

 He sings pretty well

He doesn’t feel the need to talk anymore
He’s in a state of bliss
What is there to say
when you’re in that space?

Talking is overrated
Earth would be a lot nicer
if there were a bit less talking going on


 A lighthouse is a good place for a light being

Some withdraw and stay in caves,
but he’s chosen to sit here among us
and send out waves of light and love

 Maybe he could do something about all the blackouts

 I’m not so sure
He’s from a different line
and he’s off the grid
He has a wireless connection
to another kind of power,
the source of all power

 He’s a kind of transformer

Everyone who wanders
into his sphere of influence
experiences some sort of positive change

 It’d be cool if every town had a lighthouse
with a sage inside

That’d be super cool

 It’s time for lunch

 Let’s go

 And then the two friends made their way
to the dinning space
while some monkeys made their way
to the freshly-planted peanut fields

 ♫ ♫ ♫

at night darkness is best

At night darkness is best

 The daily power outage in Hampi
would sometimes last for three whole days,
but usually it was out
for only eight to ten hours a day

 The power outages were scheduled,
but the men in charge of distributing the power
never stuck to the schedule,
and the schedule changed
from week to week

 They send most of the power to the cities,
which waste it on lighting up the whole town at night

What a waste of power

 The sky at night
is more beautiful
when the lights are off

At night darkness is best
When I need light,
I use a candle
or a low-wattage bulb

 Yeah, no more than forty watts
No need to disturb
all the other beings
that prefer darkness at night

 I like to get up with the sun
and go to bed soon after it gets dark

 Me too
I love going to bed at seven

seven is great

 Sometimes I stay up late,
but usually I go to bed between seven and eight

 I wonder how they decide
when to give us power
It seems to come at random

 I think there is a power struggle going on
in the switch room
Some of the guys want to obey the rules
and keep to the schedule
and others prefer to take bribes from the owners of factories
and other things that consume a lot of energy
and then sell our power to them

 Maybe they arm wrestle for control of the switch,
and the winner of each match,
gets to choose where the power goes
Pinning his opponent’s hand to the table
causes the switch to flip or
stay put
in his favor

 So the strongest guys get the power

 Maybe they just roll some dice now and then
to determine when and where
the power should be sent

 Maybe they’re all drunk
It could be that they spend the whole day drinking
and walking around in a drunken stupor,
and perhaps now and then one of them bumps into the switch by accident
and either cuts off the power
or begins to send it to us again

I like the system in Cuba
They had scheduled power outages when I was there
There would be a power outage in each neighborhood once a week,
and on that day the power would be out all day
In one neighborhood the power would be cut off every Thursday,
in another every Friday
and so on

Cuba has a few good systems in place
Power outages aren’t so bad
when you know when they’re going to be

If the guys at the power station here
were to stick the schedule,
it would make a few things a bit easier


 The power then went out again
and everyone decided that it was time for bed
They made their way to their huts,
lay down
and fell asleep while listening to crickets and toads sing

 ♫ ♫ ♫