Gratitude

As part of the remit for the show, the company is committed to taking the work into schools. This from The Stage: http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/education/2011/11/blue-elephant-workshop-in-a-camberwell-s/index.html
Apparently the actor playing Noah is a ‘charismatic story teller’ and has a ‘gentle strength’. As humbling to read that as it is to have had the good fortune to spend time working on such a worthwhile piece of theatre with a remarkable cast & crew. I feel fit to burst with gratitude.

Peace One Day

Held an impromptu screening of this with an open house at my place this evening with tea and cake followed by chanting meditation in celebration of International Peace Day.
It made for a lovely occasion.
I recommend watching it (preferably with others). I challenge you to not feel inspired:

Josephine

Today, I offered to help a lady of seemingly elderly years home with her shopping…
…. She told me her story. One of the last of the Windmill Girls (‘before it was ruined by the [entreprenuer whose name deserves no mention here]’). Her claim to fame was as one of the act publicised as ‘real virgins on chairs’. ‘…and I *was* you know. He’d make me lay in bed with him but I would always put on two nighties and four pairs of knickers just in case he tried it on while I was asleep..’ quoth she. ‘When I eventually tried it- well, I thought “what’s all the fuss about”. ‘took me twenty years before I worked that one out. And then…[she chortled brassily]’. And so it went, and so it went. and I learned of her progressive osteo perosis and recent stroke and her determined independence and faith that there is nearly always a kind person around to help when she needs to get her trolly of shopping up the stairs. And she showed me the step ladder on her balcony that she climbs atop of in the evenings to be able to enjoy the last rays of the evening sun. And the stories and the jokes flowed. And amongst her parting words were: ‘never mind an apple a day, it’s a *laugh* a day that keeps the doctor away!…’

Favourite Quotes

“Welcome to the present moment. Here. Now. The only moment there ever is.”  Eckhart Tolle
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“How to make the gods laugh: tell them your plans!” via Jim Haynes
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“It is about what it *becomes* in relation to me.” Diego Akselrad
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“The foundation of acting is the reality of doing.” Sanford Meisner

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“Theatre for the actor is a temple. It is a sacred ground! Your life, your honor, everything irreversibly belongs to the stage, to which you surrendered yourself. Your destiny is now at a mercy of the boards… Perform a religious rite or get out” M.S. Schepkin via Olya Petrakova

How to Chant

I have been practising the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin since 1986. The core of the practise is morning and evening chanting meditation. Here is an article that I have found very helpful to provide tips to anyone new to the practise:

HOW TO CHANT HOW TO CHANGE THE CORE OF YOUR LIFE
First of all, before you begin – relax! Clear your head! Clear your heart. But especially your head -your mind. relax emotionally, mentally, physically. It is important to be natural. Secondly~ when you chant, you really need to use your eyes. Focus on Gohonzon, then listen to your voice. Focus on the centre part of the gohonzon (“myoho” – mystical). You have to use your eyes. This is very important When you really use your eyes, your mind stops. When you are busy thinking all the time, your brain sucks energy, which means that your brain is getting stronger (unhealthy), but you your core is not changing, because the energy is not going there. What you have to do is really look at the Gohonzon, and relax.your mind. Gohonzon knows your worries and your desires. Keep everything in your heart -just chant! Then Nam-myoho-renge-kyo comes into tune with the core of your life, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will melt away and dissolve bad karma. It will change into strength, so you can become stronger . emotionally. You should come to enjoy the act of chanting. When you are thinking strategies, you are not changing karma Answer: Positive imagination is good, but not strategies. Positive imagination is good, but if you get to “How to make it happen,” instead of images of it happening, then you are strategizing. Prayer should come from the heart -Gohonzon knows strategies! Keep your desires in your heart and focus on Gohonzon and SIMPLY CHANT. If you can do simple, daimoku and gongyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo gets stronger, goes deeper to expand you; daimoku will dissolve bad karma and generate good -karma. daimoku should come from the heart. If daiinoku comes from the brain, the brain becomes stronger and your life weaker. When you close your eyes or avert them, the power to focus on Gohonzon weakens and the mind plays around. The power to gaze at Gohonzon becomes weaker. Include all five senses. Chant clearly, confidently and comfortably. . We need to keep checking ourselves. We tt:nd to get carried away by force of habit (our old habits); chanting uptight or chanting emotionally. Do not read when you chant, but CHANT! When you read, read. When you chant, chant. After good daimolcu, you may read, or your schedule may require you to get right to work, or do things you need to do. You may have abusy life, but do not have busy daimoku. Do not be busy while you chant -FOCUS! Through good daimoku, you can melt away negative karma.Karma is going to be dissolved. Chanting is the time to cultivate your life, not think about your strategies. Daimoku is the time to enrich your Buddha nature, not the time to have aplanning meeting for your life (or day). In my head: Positive imaginations In my heart: Deep prayer In my mouth: Clear chanting

Via Ted Morinho
http://www.angelfire.com/alt2/mountvernon_ywd/guidance/Change_Core.html

Invitation to special London preview

Special London Preview!!!
Thursday 4th August 7.30pm@Positively 4th Street 119 Hampstead Road NW1 (near Mornington Crescent).
Please come and see what we have made so far and help us celebrate our send-off to Edinburgh in the bar afterwards.
It’s a lovely, intimate venue snuggled between Camden and the west end and it would be lovely to see you there.

What does one do when one wakes up (The Matrix revisited?)

Skimmed tpuc.co.uk. So here’s the thing for me: I was already sold on the idea that many of the components that I had taken for granted as core to my permission for participation as a member of humanity are, in actual fact, just ideas and that some of which are, ultimately, to my detriment e.g. The negative aspects of my birth certificate as a document of ownership of the state [and therefore those who own the state] over my ‘legal’ [slave] identity. And that, in many cases, people are willingly and happily allowing themselves to be farmed like cattle in exchange for rewards of much less true value than that which they are selling e.g. Cash for Authenticity/freedom [ok, yes, what is ‘freedom’- that’s a big discussion for another time].
My problem then is: having arrived at this perspective, what am I to do? How does this serve me/others? Am I destined to now spend my remaining years shouting at windmills?
Much meditation required…

Shakespeare workout (http://bit.ly/aqcum

Shakespeare workout (http://bit.ly/aqcumP) at the Actors Centre, London ( http://bit.ly/9TkjC9 ) – 10th June 2010.
Director: Luke Dixon
During the course of the workshop, which was very hands-on, ‘in yer face’, Shakespeare performance work, a number of background tidbits were thrown-up.
It was inspiring to learn that Shakespeare’s works were performed in Africa ( http://bit.ly/cU1yp6 ) during his lifetime.
Also interesting was that that, again during his lifetime, a replica of the The Globe was built in Gadansk in which his works were performed.

A couple of truly great professional actors participated and so I was treated to a masterclass in how to ‘conjur-up a silence’.

Some great tips/reminders included:
1. Get away from the text from time-to-time e.g. just express the sense with whatever means necessary.
2. Break-up/change the space – avoid ruts.
3. Take risks.
4. Concept of ‘meta-theatre’.
5. Remember:
a. In Shakespeare’s day, acting was a new profession.
b. It was more about hearing a play than seeing a play.
c. The space was noisy.
d. The sun was in the actors’ eyes in the afternoons, at certain times of year (not in the audience’s, as in the recreated Globe).

During the workshop we worked on:
– Hamlet’s advice to the players (http://bit.ly/bQIXsE )
– Portia’s speech to Bassiano over the caskets (http://bit.ly/bRBqqW )
– Mercucio’s queen Mab speech from Romeo & Juliet ( http://bit.ly/9qt2tZ )
– Lady M’s ‘sticking place’ speech ( http://bit.ly/96rGBg )
– Juliet’s realisation speech following Romeo’s being ‘banished’ ( http://bit.ly/94gLnF )

Participating were:Luke, Susan, Paul, Evis, Micheal, George & myself.