Category Archives: new music

Musical Interlude #2 and 2 weekend pictures

Labeled 12 bar blues, this may also be recognized by some as the music to “Banana In My Driveway”.

p12barblues

On a different note, a couple pictures I took on the weekend- click for the full size (big):

Mt Hood, South Slope

Drive-by shot of a nameless waterfall on the Columbia Gorge scenic Highway

Bye for now,

Rick

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Filed under Family pictures, Free Music, mp3, Music, new music

Centering (from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones/ Paul Reps)

I said I’d find it! I love this. It was my favorite part of the Paul Reps book, ZF,ZB. I started studying and practicing it when I was 9 years old. I had many wonderful experiences. Plus I became an even weirder kid than before.

(I did not find the section “10 Bulls”…maybe next time.)

here is the first part, followed by download for the whole thing.

(for the rest of this book see https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/zen-flesh-zen-bones-101-zen-stories/)

Centering Practices:

112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness.

Transcribed by Paul Reps.
From Zen Flesh, Zen Bones*


Zen is nothing new, neither is it anything old. Long before Buddha was born the search was on in India, as the present work shows.

Long after man has forgotten such words as Zen and Buddha, satori and koan, China and Japan and America – still the search will go on, still Zen will be seen even in flower, and grass-blade, before the sun.

The following is adapted from the preface to the first version in English of this ancient work.

Wandering in the ineffable beauty of Kashmir, above Srinagar I come upon the hermitage of Lakshmanjoo.

It overlooks green rice fields, the garden, of Shalimar and Nishat Bagh, lakes fringed with lotus. Water streams down from a mountaintop.

Here Lakshmanjoo – tall, full bodied, shining – welcomes me. He shares with me this ancient teaching from the Vigyan Bhairava and Sochanda Tantra, both written about four thousand years ago, and from Malini Vijaya Tantra, probably another thousand years older yet. It is an ancient teaching, copied and recopied countless times, and from it Lakshmanjoo has made the beginning of an English version. I transcribe it eleven more times to get it into the form given here.

Shiva first chanted it to his consort Devi in a language of love we have yet to learn. It is about the Immanent experience. It presents 112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness. I see Lakshmanjoo gives his life to its practicing.

Some of the ways may appear redundant, yet each differs from any other. Some may seem simple, yet any one requires constant dedication even to test it.

Machines, ledgers, dancers, athletes balance. Just as centering or balance augments various skills, so it may awareness. As an experiment, try standing equally on both feet; then imagine you are shifting your balance slightly from foot to foot: just as balance centers, do you.

If we are conscious in part, this implies more inclusive consciousness. Have you a hand? Yes. That you know without doubt. But until asked the question were you cognizant of the hand apart?

Surely men as inspiritors, known and unknown to the world, have shared a common uncommon discovery. The Tao of Lao-tse, Nirvana of Buddha, Jehovah of Moses, the Father of Jesus, the Allah of Mohammed — all point to the experience.

No-thing-ness, spirit – once touched, the whole life clears.


DEVI SAYS:

O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is tbis life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and
time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!

SHIVA REPLIES

[Devi, though already enlightened, has asked the foregoing questions so others through the universe might receive Shiva’s instructions. Now follow Shiva’s reply, giving the 112 ways.]

1. Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out) — the beneficence.

2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down—through both these turns, realize.

3. Or, whenever inbreath and outbreath fuse, at this instant touch the energyless energy-filled center.

4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped—in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure.

5. Consider your essence as light rays rising from center to center up the vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you.

6. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.

7. Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free.

8. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath-essence to the top of the head, and there shower as light.

9. Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall — until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.

10. Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature.

Here’s the download file:

centering-practices-paulreps

For the sake of dragging in a few more folks, here is some other stuff-

Poetry by Du Fu

a famous 4 part work with literal and literate translations.

Wikipedia has this to say in introduction to Du Fu:

This is a Chinese name; the family name is 杜 (Dù).
Du Fu (杜甫)

There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist’s impression
Born 712
Died 770
Occupation Poet

Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫; pinyin: Dù Fǔ; Wade-Giles: Tu Fu, 712770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets.[1] His own greatest ambition was to help his country by becoming a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest.

Initially little known, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems written by Du Fu have been handed down over the ages. He has been called Poet-Historian and the Poet-Sage by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as “the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire“.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (1)
Du Fu

Heart at water essence land
Clothes wet spring rain time
Penetrate gate utmost beyond step
Deep court really tranquil appointment
Reach door open again close
Hit bell vegetarian meal at here
Cream enhance develop nature
Diet give support decline
Hold arm be many days
Open heart without shame evasion
Golden oriole pass structure
Purple dove descend lattice screen
Humble think reach place suit
Flower beside go self slow
Tangxiu raise me sickness
Smile ask write poem
My heart is in a world of water and crystal,
My clothes are damp in this time of spring rains.
Through the gates I walk on to the end,
The inner court the appointed tranquil space.
I reach the doors- they open and shut again,
Now strikes the bell- the meal time has arrived.
This cream will help one’s nature strengthen and grow,
The diet gives support in my decline.
We’ve grasped each other’s arms so many days,
And opened our hearts without shame or evasion.
Golden orioles flit across the beams,
Purple doves descend from lattice screens.
Myself, I think I’ve found a place that suits,
I walk by flowers at my own slow pace.
Tangxiu lifts me from my sickly state,
And smiling, asks me to write a poem.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (2)

Thin soft green silk shoe
Shine bright white cotton scarf
Deep store for old elder
Fetch use for my body
Self look change without interest
Friendship how still new
Daolin talent not age
Huiyuan virtue surpass man
Rain pour dusk eaves bamboo
Wind blow green well celery
Heaven dark face picture
Most feel moist dragon scale
Fine green silk shoes,
Bright white cotton scarves,
Deep in storage for the elders,
Fetched to wear upon my body.
I see myself as old and dull,
How can our friendship stay so fresh?
Daolin’s talents exceed the age,
Huiyuan’s virtue’s superhuman.
Rain-drenched bamboo by the eaves at dusk;
Wind in green celery at the well;
The sky dark, I face a mural,
Most feeling the damp of the dragon’s scales.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (3)

Lamplight shine without sleep
Heart clear smell wonderful incense
Night deep hall sudden lofty
Wind move gold clank clank
Sky black obstruct spring court
Earth clear dwell secret fragrance
Jade rope revolve cut sever
Iron phoenix dark soar
Sanskrit release sometimes out temple
Bell remnant remain thunder bed
Tomorrow at fertile field
Bitter see dirt sand yellow
The lamplight shines on my sleeplessness,
My mind clear, I smell the splendid incense.
Deep in the night, the hall rears up high,
The wind stirs, and gold is heard to clank.
The black sky masks the springtime court,
To the pure earth clings a hidden fragrance.
The Jade Rope wheels round and is cut,
The iron phoenix seems about to soar.
Sanskrit sometimes flows out from the temple,
The lingering bells still thunder round my bed.
Tomorrow morning in the fertile field,
I’ll bitterly behold the yellow dirt.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (4)

Boy draw water well shining
Agile container rise hand
Wet sprinkle not soak earth
Sweep surpass like without broom
Bright rosy clouds shining again pavilion
Clear mist lift high window
Lean fill cover path flower
Sheet shake end steps willow
Difficulty world affair compel
Hide away right time after
Meet talk agree deep heart
How can all restrain mouth
Offer goodbye return cane riding crop
Temporary part end turn head
Vast expanse mud defile person
Listen country many dogs
Although not free yoke
Sometimes come rest rush about
Near you like white snow
Grasp hot upset how be
The boy draws shining water from the well,
He nimbly lifts the bucket to his hand.
He sprinkles water without soaking the earth,
And sweeps so well as if without a broom.
The rosy dawn again lights the pagoda,
The clearing mist lifts from the higher windows.
Leaning blossoms cover over the path,
Swaying willow leaves reach down to the steps.
I’m driven by these troublesome affairs,
Retirement from the world must be put off.
We’ve met and talked, our deepest hearts agreeing,
How can our mouths be forced completely shut?
I say goodbye and fetch my riding crop,
Parting for now, I turn my head at the last.
There’s so much mud that can defile a man,
Just listen to all the dogs throughout the land.
Although I cannot get free from this yoke,
I’ll sometimes come to rest from all the bustle.
Your presence, Abbot, acts just like white snow,
How can I be upset to grasp what’s hot?

Not enough? Wait! There’s more!

Silly pictures:

and this-

(click for full size)

or maybe…

Halloween costume for your baby:

Ah, but that’s not all! Newly recorded song I’ve posted before but hopefully this is better- it will also go on to the new music page (soon). The song- On the Wind, was conceived as God’s part of a dialogue with me regarding prayer/ meditation.

Lyrics? Chords?

Here-

On the Wind

D       Em—7   A
Reach up,       open your eyes,
Em–7                      A
feel the sky as a wheel that is turning
Em—-7               A                              Em—7                  A
Look out, see the world you have made before your eyes is burning
G                               D                            Em—7
Breathe it in slowly and breathe it out slowly again
D                              G                   A                   D
Sometimes all you can do is cast your heart upon the wind

You can cover your tracks as fine as you please
Throw out all of the things that remind you
Turn away from the heartache you fear; In the blink of an eye it will find you
Or unlock your door and just walk to the light streaming in
Release your song and let it dance upon the wind

***
G                    A                      D
You don’t even know who cares about you
G                           A                            D
The one who stands beside you night and day
G      A         D
It’s so easy to love you
G                       A                          D
and it’s so hard to watch you live this way

***

You can sit down by me; I have always been here
I have waited like the starry night
I know you aren’t ready to stay but I will hold you in the light
And I won’t hold you back, I know that’s just the place you are in
Before you go just button up your coat against the wind

The song download:

p-onthewind91208

That should cover most bases for today.

See you Sunday(or First Day, as the Friends say).

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Filed under buddhism, Chinese poetry, comedy relief, Free Music, mp3, Music, Mystic Poetry, new music, pictures, poetry, silly, Spirituality

Just a couple things…

First, my first attempt at re-recording a song since I got my new Dean Markley Humbucker pick-up mike. This will also go on the new and improved music page under construction. The song is a cover of a short and mostly unnoticed Sons of Champlain number from the album Follow your Heart. My version bears little resemblance.

piler-right-beside-you-9208

Now something completely different- Tom Lehrer:

wernher-von-braun

love and zombies=

fair and balanced-

eh?

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Filed under comedy relief, Free Music, mp3, Music, new music, pictures, silly, Uncategorized

I just got the internet turned back on today: Sufi Poetry Fest!

For some reason my ISP insists that I send them money regularly. Sometimes this conflicts with other priorities (such as eating, paying rent, etc.). I have also updated the music page- some new recordings, some remixed, some just monkeyed with; check it out.

Today mostly I wanted to share some Sufi poetry from various periods (717 CE to the 1300s) and from Persia to Turkey.

Farid ud Din Attar– a mystic poet who lived approximately 1119 -1230 CE. His best known work is Conference of the Birds, an elaborate allegory of the soul’s quest for reunion with God.

Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.
From each a mystic silence Love demands.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
What do they whisper to each other? Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul,
Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds,
Will find the secret of them both, is Love.

translation Margaret Smith -The Jawhar Al-Dhat

In the dead of night, a Sufi began to weep.
He said, “This world is like a closed coffin, in which
We are shut and in which, through our ignorance,
We spend our lives in folly and desolation.
When Death comes to open the lid of the coffin,
Each one who has wings will fly off to Eternity,
But those without will remain locked in the coffin.
So, my friends, before the lid of this coffin is taken off,
Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;
Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers.”

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

So long as we do not die to ourselves,
and so long as we identify with someone or something,
we shall never be free.
The spiritual way is not for those wrapped up in exterior life.

translation also by Margaret Smith

There’s always room for

Rumi:

The Jesus of your spirit is inside you now.
Ask that one for help, but don’t ask for body-things…

Don’t ask Moses for provisions
that you can get from Pharaoh.

Don’t worry so much about livelihood.
Your livelihood will turn out as it should.
Be constantly occupied instead
with listening to God.

Mathnawi II:450-454

Yunus Emre

He lived in what is now Turkey sometime from 1240-1241 to 1320-21 CE.

The drink sent down from Truth,
we drank it, glory be to God.
And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,
glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,
beyond those vineyards and gardens,
we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened.
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,
in whatever hearts, in all humanity,
we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,
glory be to God.

Come here, let’s make peace,
let’s not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and drove into the sea,
and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

We became servants at Taptuk’s door.
Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,
finally got cooked, glory be to God.

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

Ask those who know,
what’s this soul within the flesh?
Reality’s own power.
What blood fills these veins?

Thought is an errand boy,
fear a mine of worries.
These sighs are love’s clothing.
Who is the Khan on the throne?

Give thanks for His unity.
He created when nothing existed.
And since we are actually nothing,
what are all of Solomon’s riches?

Ask Yunus and Taptuk
what the world means to them..
The world won’t last.
What are You? What am I?

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

We entered the house of realization,
we witnessed the body.

The whirling skies, the many-layered earth,
the seventy-thousand veils,
we found in the body.

The night and the day, the planets,
the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets,
the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple,
and Israfil’s trumpet, we observed in the body.
Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran-
what these books have to say,
we found in the body.

Everybody says these words of Yunus
are true. Truth is wherever you want it.
We found it all within the body.

translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan – ‘The Drop That Became Sea’

Your love has wrested me away from me,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.
Day and night I burn, gripped by agony,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

I find no great joy in being alive,
If I cease to exist, I would not grieve,
The only solace I have is your love,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Lovers yearn for you, but your love slays them,
At the bottom of the sea it lays them,
It has God’s images-it displays them;
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Let me drink the wine of love sip by sip,
Like Mecnun, live in the hills in hardship,
Day and night, care for you holds me in its grip,
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Even if, at the end, they make me die
And scatter my ashes up to the shy,
My pit would break into this outcry:
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

“Yunus Emre the mystic” is my name,
Each passing day fans and rouses my flame,
What I desire in both worlds in the same:
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Rabi´a al-Adawiyya

was born in Basra around 717 CE. As a child, after the death of her parents, Rabi’a was sold into slavery. After years of service to her slavemaster, Rabi’a began to serve only the Beloved with her actions and thoughts. Since she was no longer useful to the slaveowner, Rabi’a was then set free to continue her devotion to the Beloved.

Rabi’a held that the true lover, whose consciousness is unwaveringly centered on the Beloved, is unattached to conditions such as pleasure or pain, not from sensory dullness but from ceaseless rapture in Divine Love.

Rabia was once asked, “How did you attain that which you have attained?”
“By often praying, ‘I take refuge in You, O God, from everything that distracts me from You, and from every obstacle that prevents me from reaching You.'”

I have two ways of loving You:
A selfish one
And another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.
In that other love, You lift the veil
And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.

Doorkeeper of the heart:versions of Rabia. Trans. Charles Upton

The source of my suffering and loneliness is deep in my heart.
This is a disease no doctor can cure.
Only Union with the Friend can cure it.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

I have made You the Companion of my heart.
But my body is available to those who desire its company,
And my body is friendly toward its guest,
But the Beloved of my heart is the guest of my soul.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness.
My Beloved is alone with me there, always.
I have found nothing in all the worlds
That could match His love,
This love that harrows the sands of my desert.
If I come to die of desire
And my Beloved is still not satisfied,
I would live in eternal despair.

To abandon all that He has fashioned
And hold in the palm of my hand
Certain proof that He loves me—
That is the name and the goal of my search.

Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Sanai (1118-1152) (Abû’l-Majd Majdûd b. Adam Sanâ’î) is revered as one of the first great mystical poets of Persia. He produced many lyrical poems and a religious epic, The Walled Garden of Truth or the Enclosed Garden of Truth (The HADîQATU’ L-HAQîQAT).

Don’t speak of your suffering — He is speaking.
Don’t look for Him everywhere — He’s looking for you.

An ant’s foot touches a leaf, He senses it;
A pebble shifts in a streambed, He knows it.

If there’s a worm hidden deep in a rock,
He’ll know its body, tinier than an atom,

The sound of its praise, its secret ecstasy —
All this He knows by divine knowing.

He has given the tiniest worm its food;
He has opened to you the Way of the Holy Ones.

‘The Puzzle’

Someone who keeps aloof from suffering
is not a lover. I choose your love
above all else. As for wealth
if that comes, or goes, so be it.
Wealth and love inhabit separate worlds.

But as long as you live here inside me,
I cannot say that I am suffering.

translation by Coleman Barks – ‘Persian Poems’


‘The Way of the Holy Ones’

Don’t speak of your suffering — He is speaking.
Don’t look for Him everywhere — He’s looking for you.

An ant’s foot touches a leaf, He senses it;
A pebble shifts in a streambed, He knows it.

If there’s a worm hidden deep in a rock,
He’ll know its body, tinier than an atom,

The sound of its praise, its secret ecstasy —
All this He knows by divine knowing.

He has given the tiniest worm its food;
He has opened to you the Way of the Holy Ones.

translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Those unable to grieve,
or to speak of their love,
or to be grateful, those
who can’t remember God
as the source of everything,

might be described as a vacant wind,
or a cold anvil, or a group
of frightened old people.

Say the Name. Moisten your tongue
with praise, and be the spring ground,
waking. Let your mouth be given
its gold-yellow stamen like the wild rose’s.

As you fill with wisdom,
and your heart with love,
there’s no more thirst.

There’s only unselfed patience
waiting on the doorsill, a silence
which doesn’t listen to advice
from people passing in the street.

translation by Coleman Barks

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Filed under Attar, Free Music, Mystic Poetry, new music, poetry, Rabia, Rumi, Sanai, Spirituality, Sufi Poems, Yunus

The world is so full of a number of things…

I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

I digress….

had to post this picture:

Mental Health and Mortality

Per our last post, we reported that in Oregon one-third of people treated for mental health diagnosis die before age 50. If you add “co-occurring disorders”, 89 percent of people treated for both mental
illness and substance abuse die before age 50. These numbers are in line with but also in excess of the national data regarding mortality and mental health.

It’s important to note that the figures are based on people who are receiving treatment. It’s also key to point out that these mortality statistics are getting worse not better. Add to these findings the fact that the most significant factor involved in recovery from mental illness is the length of time one has received treatment; that is to say that the longer one receives treatment, the less likely they are to recover.

What conclusions can be drawn?

  1. Mental health treatment is possibly preventing people from getting well and
  2. Our advances in treatment (new drugs, etc.) are killing us faster and faster.

Is anybody listening? Not much, it would appear. In Oregon we are building a new state hospital system at a cost of half a billion dollars. Our mental health treatment centers and support agencies are stuck in a time warp, oblivious to the facts, ignorant of the potential for recovery and blindly pushing the drugs that are killing us at a rate unprecedented for any other major public health issue.

(Note on the incredibly simpleminded continued reliance on large public institutions: I am of the opinion that as long as we have a system that believes that “some people just have to kept in institutions”, we will have a system that incarcerates a large number of people in these settings. It is only when we say that “no one should be treated this way” that we will begin the to take meaningful steps toward an effective community approach to treatment and support. The state hospitals will continue to suck up the majority of the resources at the expense of real treatment, real recovery and real self-determination. The old arguments that we need these places because of “court mandated patients”, “public safety” and the less acknowledged factor of state employees’ unions who resist the shift to community agencies and settings are are all red herrings and scare tactics with no real value in the discussion. Between 1987 and 1999, with fits and starts, the state dismantled it’s large public institutions for people with developmental disabilities (Fairview Hospital and Training Center/ FHTC, the last and largest). The biggest factor in the process taking so long was the repeated arguments mentioned above. In the end, these all turned out to be empty threats that had no value other than their ability to slow things down. Meaningful, secure and recovery based supports can be engineered in the community. Oregon has already done it before. Some of you may say that their is no correlation or equivalence between these populations but that is also just a lie perpetrated by those who would hold back the future. Fairview held hundreds of individuals with mental illness, hundreds who were court-mandated and thousands of unionized staff. It was once a small city; It is now a field of weeds and grass. I was there. I worked at part-time Fairview in the 1970s and was involved throughout the process of it’s closure.)

The institution is not the only problem. Existing community services are often mismanaged, poorly staffed read the Annapolis Coalition report or in Oregon, the Governor’s report) and typically way behind in their acceptance of recovery and self-directed supports (compare your local clinic with the National Statement on Mental Health Recovery).

Are there any silver linings?

We have a consumer/ survivor movement that is gradually learning to work together and spread our collective wings. We have tiny (microscopic in a national sense) new programs that are consumer directed. use peer supports or embrace self-directed service models. We also have a growing emphasis (in Oregon) on “wellness” as a focus and recovery as a real possibility for all people facing mental health challenges (see: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/index.shtml).

Gradually, the public mental health system is becoming aware of the impact of trauma in the lives of people with mental health issues. While some studies show that as much as 95% of persons with a mental health diagnosis are trauma survivors, our treatment programs are remarkable for their tendency to re-traumatize the afflicted. Effective treatment for trauma has come a long way but is still not widely used. At the same time we are seeing the long term effects of mal-treatment that ignores the trauma factor and leads to greater and greater difficulty in the individual’s ability to recover.

New thoughts are emerging and new ideas slowly joining the mainstream. This from a publication from SAMHSA:

Today’s mental health system has failed to facilitate recovery of most people labeled with severe mental illnesses, leading to increasing expressions of dissatisfaction by people using services, their families, and administrators. Only a fundamental change of the very culture of the system will ensure that the changes made in policy, training, services, and research will lead to genuine recovery. In accordance with the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health report, mental health consumers and survivors, representing diverse cultural backgrounds, should play a leading role in designing and implementing the transformation to a recovery-based mental health system.

This paper provides an outline of how consumers/survivors can catalyze a transformation of the mental health system from one based on an institutional culture of control and exclusion to one based on a recovery culture of self-determination and community participation. At the national policy level, this paper recommends that consumers develop and implement a National Recovery Initiative. At the State and local policy levels, State and local recovery initiatives are recommended. On the direct service level, the paper provides a road map for developing services, financing, and supports that are based on self-determination and recovery.

A recovery-based mental health system would embrace the following values:

  • Self-determination
  • Empowering relationships based on trust, understanding, and respect
  • Meaningful roles in society
  • Elimination of stigma and discrimination

Changing the mental health system to one that is based on the principles of recovery will require a concerted effort of consumers and allies working to bring about changes in beliefs and practices at every level of the system. The building of these alliances will require the practice of recovery principles of trust, understanding, and respect by all parties involved.

(The full article re: above can be found at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/NMH05-0193/default.asp)

Another positive sign is the increasing clinical and scholarly acknowledgement of the role of spirituality in the recovery process (see: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787947083.html, http://akmhcweb.org/recovery/rec.htm, http://www.mentalhealthworld.org/34ddnspirit.html, http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/recovery/lesson1.html to name a few resources).

Peer delivered services are supposed to be rolled out in Oregon during the coming year. The state has made necessary changes in it’s Medicaid Waiver to allow billing for peer mentors and service providers.

While the overall system seems to be riding a hand basket to hell, the growing awareness, solidarity and action emerging from the Consumer/ Survivor/ Ex Patient movement is on a collision course with the system that is, was and wishes to always be. It is either a slow motion train wreck or the harbinger of a revolution in mental health treatment.

Things are on the cusp of a change. Part of that change may need to be the collapse of the current system (including our current, mostly pitiful, community service models) under the weight of it’s own silliness. If it happens, this will not be a bad thing.
If all the case managers, therapists, pills and hospitals for treatment of mental illness disappeared over night…

On balance, would we be better or worse off?

On a completely different note:

Pictures I’ve found interesting lately-

windshield grime-art:

I has a cleaning…

Prince says “hai”

Always remember

To check the music page for new stuff.

BTW- I’d love to hear from you about your own music. Do you have any home recordings I can post? Please, no professional quality shite.

Finally,for today, a little video

Avalokiteshvara – Treasury of Compassion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_cYRAIdTs

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If you aren’t Mad you aren’t paying attention

News from MindFreedom and the Bend Weekly News

A State of Oregon study says that Oregonians in the mental health
system die earlier than the general public.

Bend Weekly News in Bend, Oregon, USA covered this news in the below
story, which includes a link so you can download the State of Oregon
study, “Measuring Premature Mortality among Oregonians,” published 10
June 2008.

~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bendweekly.com/Statewide-News/15699.html

Report: One-third of mentally ill Oregonians die before 50

Jun 13, 2008 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Oregonians with serious mental illness are dying years earlier than
their neighbors in the general population, and a grassroots health
movement is under way to reverse this trend.

The Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health
Division (AMH) has teamed with consumers of mental health services
and their families, health care professionals and others to implement
a statewide wellness initiative aimed at improving mental and
physical health and longevity.

Death comes before age 50 for one third of those treated for mental
health problems, according to results of a seven-year AMH mortality
study. A staggering 89 percent of people treated for both mental
illness and substance abuse die before age 50. The average lifespan
of someone who is dually diagnosed is 45.1 years, which equates to an
average 34.5 years of potential life lost.

The recent study, titled “Measuring Premature Mortality among
Oregonians,” compared the death records of persons who received
public substance abuse and/or mental health treatment with the
general population.

The early death toll among this segment of Oregonians falls in line
with similar results from national and state studies. More
importantly, it brings into focus what many individuals with mental
illness
already knew; by taking charge of their health, habits and
lifestyle they can add years – and quality – to their lives, said Bob
Nikkel, DHS assistant director for addictions and mental health.

“National research and this study make it clear that persons being
treated for substance abuse and mental health problems have many
risks that may bring on early death,” said Nikkel. “Our most critical
imperative is to help individuals with mental illness live better and
longer lives.

“Mental health and substance abuse is an important quality of life
issue for Oregonians,” he continued. “Dying prematurely not only
destroys human potential, but it has an economic impact as well.”

The AMH study showed substance abuse and mental health clients have
higher risks of death associated with suicide, homicide and
unintended injuries. In addition, they are economically disadvantaged
and vulnerable to many diseases that cause death. For example,
antipsychotic medications used to treat someone with mental illness
are known to elevate the chance of dying from cardiac arrest; others
may lead to diabetes.

The mortality study is available on the DHS Web site at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/publications/
msur_pre_mort_6_2008.pdf

Nikkel said a DHS/AMH wellness committee is working to improve the
health and longevity of people with mental illness by drawing on
scientific research, literature and successful practices by user
groups. Here are some of the committee’s guiding principles:

*** We must treat and support the whole person;

*** Care coordination and wellness screening are essential;

*** Access to a range of health care options and basic health care
must be afforded to all Oregonians;

*** Early intervention and prevention across the lifespan saves
lives, makes a difference in years of productive life lost, and
improves quality of life;

*** Medication management and empowerment equips individuals with the
tools and strength to ask questions and work with treatment providers
to find healthier and effective ways to support recovery and
wellness; and

*** Disparities in health care coverage and access to service must be
overcome, along with finding culturally appropriate treatment programs.

Committee members are seeking funding for grassroots-level programs
that encourage education and lifestyle changes and for peer-to-peer
support services.

For more information visit the DHS wellness Web site at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/index.shtml

On a different note-

Talking with my guests at KBOO radio last night we got into a discussion of stories we all had from psychiatric hospitals, some funny, some not and different experiences we had with mental health providers. I think Ann had the idea that we need to have a “secret shopper” project; people could go to various agencies and then provide reviews of the services, respect and treatment they receive. We could then publicize the information to produce a guide that would be useful to folks. A related idea was that we should collect current information regarding services and treatment at hospital psych wards. On the air we got into a discussion about the relative merits of Portland area acute care facilities. Conclusions? We agreed that, at least before their remodel, Adventist was the worst place to stay but had the best food. Our choice for best local facility (as if anyone ever has a choice) was Providence NE. We also agreed that the showers at St Vincent’s leak and flood the rooms.

We had a great time on the program and gave away tickets to the National Air Guitar Championships being held at Dante’s in downtown Portland. The winner was chosen from among callers on the basis of how many diagnoses they had been given. A good time was had by all.

New Music- added last night on the Music Page

Check it out.

Pictures friom my son’s blog- Better Bees than Bears

He’s drawing pictures on the sidewalks of San Francisco.

Ready to breathe

The first tadpole crawled out of the water last night at about 11 pm. Won’t be long before they all head off into the world. Sniff.

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Music, Frogs, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, mp3, new music, pictures, tadpoles

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Second Warning!

Mad LiberationBy MoonLight

KBOO Radio 90.7 FM
1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night
(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)
June 20th, 2008

Dedicated to Everyone
who has ever been given a psychiatric label, to anyone who experiences mental health challenges and to anybody who has the misfortune (or good fortune) of being awake at that hour.

You can participate!

Call in at (503) 231-8187
Please call in! Set your alarm!

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am usually following the full-moon, will be a segment on KBOO radio (90.7 on your fm dial, to the left of NPR), also streamed on the internet on their website, http://www.kboo.fm/index.php will be time for of Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

Flier for printing- post it at your place of bidness!

mlbm62008

Check out new music on the music page-

I added 2 songs today.

Pictures

I’m sure you know people like this:

Dignity-

Street sign in Hong Kong-

Graffiti-

The cat is the hat-

New tadpole shots!

They have front legs!!

I’m also seeing signs that some of the tadpoles are becoming newts- the barest expression of gills; I can’t capture on camera yet. Soon

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Potpourri

UK study/ SSRIs

Millions of prescriptions for SSRIs are written up in the UK each year, but a major study says they’re no better than placebo. What now for the citizens of Prozac Nation?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/26/ssri.study

“Perhaps the next time half a million people gather for a protest march on the White House green,” wrote Elizabeth Wurtzel in her bestselling book Prozac Nation, “it will not be for abortion rights or gay liberation, but because we’re all so bummed out.”

From the West Virginia Gazette

West Virginia disability rights groups are fuming after the owners
of a pre-Civil War mental hospital in Weston renamed the property the
"Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum."

article here-

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/200803190655

Looks like Andrew is drawing on the sidewalks again

My son Andrew, who lives in the SF area, likes to draw on the sidewalk. These and other illustrations of his well-spent time are on his blog- listed to the right- Better Bees Than Bears. Click for larger picture.

Mad Liberation By MoonLight

KBOO Radio 90.7 FM
1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night
(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)
June 20th, 2008

Dedicated to Everyone
who has ever been given a psychiatric label, to anyone who experiences mental health challenges and to anybody who has the misfortune (or good fortune) of being awake at that hour.

You can participate!

Call in at (503) 231-8187
Please call in! Set your alarm!

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am usually following the full-moon, will be a segment on KBOO radio (90.7 on your fm dial, to the left of NPR), also streamed on the internet on their website, http://www.kboo.fm/index.php will be time for of Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

Moon Shots

Since this Friday is Mad Liberation by Moonlight, these pictures are to help stimulate your memory so that you stay up at night to listen. Click to make larger.

Found here:

http://www.photon-echoes.com/lunar_images.htm

Mental Health and the ADA-

This is a packet I put together for a training I gave to State of Oregon Human Resource managers.

Click for doc.

mental-health-and-the-ada

BTW: Here’s how the frogs are doing:

Also, check out new recording on the music page…

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Music, Frogs, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, mp3, new music, pictures, tadpoles, Uncategorized

Gone Beyond, Father’s Day mix

Also reposted on the music page- today, 6/13/08.

The story:

When my dad died the family took his ashes to the ocean (he had been a career Navy man) and we all tossed our little cups at the same time. The wind blew straight at us simultaneously as we, in unison, spat and hacked his remains onto the surf.
My dad was a complicated guy in some ways. He was very spiritual and had a very bad weakness for booze. He attempted suicide several times when I was a teenager. I hated him for a long time. By the time of his death in1992 I had grown to respect him. His death from cancer came swiftly- due to botched medical care by Kaiser. I didn’t feel I had time to really talk to him.
A couple months more than a year after my father died I went to the beach by myself and camped at Short Sands (Oregonians will know where I mean). I spent a few days contemplating my relationship with him and the difficulties he faced (and eventually overcame).
The last day I was there I sat on a log where the trail to the beach opens onto the small, hidden stretch that is Short Sands. I wrote this song. That was a Sunday. I went home. I felt open,as though a huge thumb had been on my head for years and it was suddenly lifted. I was soaring.
The following morning I found my daughter dead by her own hand.
You just never know what to expect.

pfathers_day_mix-gone_beyond2

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Song for Andrew, Song for Matt

Two songs I wrote for my boys when they were small-

First, for Andrew, a song based on words from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore.

pwhen_and_why

Words:

When and Why [for Andrew]

When I bring you toys my child
I understand the reason why
there is such a play of color in the water and
why clouds play with shapes up in the sky
why flowers are painted in hues
I know why

When I bring sweet things to your hands
I surely know the purpose now
for the honey in the cup of the flower and
why fruit is worth the climb out on the bough
and why you light up in absolute bliss
I see now

When I sing to make you dance
I know the reason why
There is music in the waves of the ocean and
the wind adds it’s voices from up high
to the chorus of the listening earth
I know why

When I kiss you to make you smile
I finally understand
The pleasure streaming down in the morning light
the feel of bare feet running thriough the sand
the summer breeze against my face
I understand

Second, the song I wrote for Matt on the day of his birth:

p-grateful_for_you

Words:

Grateful for you [Matt’s song]

Life is a spring I know it’s true because I can see
that from earth to sky we live and grow and come to be.
Since you have come into our lives we can see it more clearly this way:
the renewal of our spirit every day.

We left a lot of work to do in this old world where you will live.
We will try to provide you all the tools we know, that we can give.
You are the one who knows what you will need for the work that you’ll have to do-
we trust god to give you the lessons important to you.

Chorus
We are so grateful for you
and the chance we have to walk with you a while.
Take comfort in the love we have for you.
We are so glad you’ve come to be our child.

No black or white, no right or wrong- you will live between.
There is so much more to the world than things that can be seen.
If you close your eyes and look inside the answers are waiting for you
and you will be at peace in all that you do.

We’d like to hold you close in our arms, never see you leaving our home
but the time will come to go on your path and lead a life of your own.
You will take with you all that we can share for the journey you only can know.
Our love will follow you wherever you go.

Chorus

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