Friday, April 18, 2014

Coachella begins: Weekend 2, 2014 (video)

Eds., Wisdom Quarterly; YouTube/Coachella; Buzzfeed; 98.7; Randall Roberts (LA Times)
Coachella bikini-clad bhumi-devas go on display (Naomi Zeichner/buzzfeed.com)
Eat your hearts out as I do my best Miley acid... She's in the hospital OD'ing on antibiotics?

LA has a $10 alternative in Brokechella but, "Space is far out, man!" (alt987fm.com)


(Coachella) See highlights of Weekend 1. Fan photos. Watch VIDEO
  
Coachella is a one horse polo field in desert
It's a once-in-a-lifetime show like Woodstock '69, but it happens every year, twice. Never mind all that; it's Coac-hell-aaaaaaa! Get in the carpool, and shut up. Here we go again -- the lawn, the price gouging, the sun damage, and the wooooo!

Katy Perry in the audience
INDIO, California - As a giant impenetrable scrum of attendees waited for New Zealand singer Lorde, 17, to take the Outdoor stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, nearby, MGMT played the main stage, and the chorus of its song "The Youth" gusted in toward Lorde's crowd like a portent.
 
"The youth is starting to change," offered singer Andrew VanWyngarden as the band's psychedelic disco slow jam drifted in. "Are you starting to change? Are you, together?"

No one much smiles unless one holds up a camera or until the music whisks a concertgoer away for a moment in an overheated tent or a massive mosh pit (latimes.com).

When I was 17, Wknd 1
A few minutes later, as if conjured by MGMT's query, arrived Lorde. Dressed in white and seeming every bit a future figurehead, she took the stage just after the distant song had arrived at its ethereal ending mantra: "the youth… the youth… the youth." It felt like a clarion call.
Call it coincidence or a mystical accident of fate, but that moment on Saturday seemed to capture this year's festival for me: a musical event firmly listing away from past glory and toward a synthesized future. More

Locals left out when world comes to party
Josie Huang

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been a fixture in Indio [Spanish for "Indian"] for 15 years -- or, in the parlance of some city teenagers, “forever.” And that comes with perks and drawbacks. Big perk: The marching band at Indio’s Shadow Hills High School was invited to perform with the electronica duo Big Gigantic when the festival opened last weekend. More

Sobriety is one of the best things about Coachella Music and Arts Festival (buzzfeed.com)
After 100 Years of Solitude, then what?

Brokechella: $10 Coachella alternative (video)

Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; Alex Cohen, A Martinez (Take Two, scpr.org)
Brokechella: Where Angelenos can get a music fest fix this weekend (brokechella.com)
  
Be sure to wear a flower in your hair! (NME)
Can't make it out to Coachella this weekend or drop $350+? Don't worry. There is still hope for everyone who wants to see a music festival.

Head to downtown Los Angeles for Brokechella (only $10). The one-day event started four years ago as an alternative to Coachella, and has been growing ever since.
 
Negin Singh, Executive Director of cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA is one of Brokechella's organizers.

When Take Two spoke to her yesterday, she began by explaining how Brokechella was born after an event she was throwing happened to land on Coachella weekend. LISTEN

Back for its fourth year! Four MONSTER stages. All new World Initiative. Vendor marketplace with the best of boutique LA shops:
 
cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA, Brownies and Lemonade, and Shifty Rythms, in conjunction with LA Weekly, Eventbrite, and Lagunitas are proud to announce BROKECHELLA 2014 FEST!

Sexy Easter film reviews: Heaven is real

CC Liu, Irma Quintero, Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; SCPR/FilmWeek with Larry Mantle and critics Tim Cogshell, Henry Sheehan, Charles Solomon

Jesus has a pony?
Let's give this pony to Jesus to ride in on.
(SPE) Based on a book by a Christian minister whose 11-y.o. son died (had an NDE), went to a heaven -- perhaps the celestial World of the Four Great Kings (Catumaharajika Deva Loka) or the Thirty-Three (Tavatimsa), and returned to tell about it.

Jesus rides in on an ass, the keychain
The boy (who is based on Colton Burpo) reports that Jesus is white with a tunic and a beard and swears he has a pony, just like his father expects heaven to be. It's an Easter miracle! Or it could be that visions of "heaven" (sagga) during a near-death experience accommodate our views and expectations, as reported by the spirit Seth (Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul) as channeled by Jane Roberts -- whether those expectations are heavenly or hellish.

St. Issa's Jewish Heaven on Earth
Happy Patriots' Day, Mass. Happy Holy Week, Christendom. The New Testament says Jesus rode in on an ass (WARNING: do not click!), butt this is not what the Bible's author(s) had in mind, nor this

SCPR reviewers talk about the week's new film releases including Greg Kinnear in "Heaven is for Real," H2O in "Watermark" (about dams, their consequences, and our relationship to water), Johnny Depp as Him or a computer program or virus in "Transcendence," flagging Woody in "Fading Gigolo," Jane Goodall in "Bears," Kristin Wiig, Hailee Steinfeld, Guy Pearce, and Nick Nolte in "Hateship Loveship," money-thriller "13 Sins,"  "Hank and Asha," Japanese animation from "Short Peace," Marlon Wayans in "Haunted House 2," and more. LISTEN

Wanna? - What, hunt for 'shrooms? (CH)
Holy water on Holy Week comes to a head on Easter, which is based on a sacred entheogenic mushroom forage rather than bunny egg hunt. These practices are Pagan throwbacks. Yet that does not stop Catholics, Christians, and some Eastern Orthodox adherents from wanting more coverage. Well, Hollywood is obliging. And that is rarely a good thing for truth, accuracy, or the long run. So first the nice movies then the perverted sexy ones:
 
Watermark
 
Water is precious but treated poorly.
(TD) Beautifully weaving together diverse stories from the USA and Mexico (Colorado river, etc.), Canada, India and Bangladesh (Ganges), China (Yangste and the largest human construction in history), and around the globe, this documentary shows in stunning detail humanity's relationship with water through the ages. It expresses the magnitude of our need for this rapidly vanishing resource. By showing the various roles water plays in all of our lives, this breathtaking and haunting doc paints a vivid portrait of our planet, illustrating the magnificent force of nature that is being depleted before our eyes. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, released in April 2014.

Bears

Disney Ambassador Jane Goodall (BT)
(CM) "Bears" is in theaters today from DisneyNature not for Easter but for Earth Day. In an epic story of breathtaking scale with the help of super heroine Jane Goodall, this new True Life Adventure "Bears," which showcases a year in the life of two mother bears as they impart life lessons to their impressionable newborn cubs. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and they emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting -- but risky -- as the tiny cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches.  The brown bear families must work together to find food, while staying safe from predators in the wilderness, including an ever-present wolf pack.

Short Peace

Short Peace (ショート・ピース Shōto Pīsu) is a compilation of four short anime films produced by Sunrise and Shochiku. The films were released in Japanese theaters in July 2013 and will be screened in North America in April 2014. Sentai Filmworks have licensed the films for North America. A video game based on the series, Rinko Tsukigime's Longest Day, released in Japan as Short Peace: Tsukigime Rinko no Ichiban Nagai Hi (ショートピース 月極蘭子のいちばん長い日), was developed by Crispy's Inc. in collaboration with Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda, and published by Bandai Namco Games for the PlayStation 3.


The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
Let's live on a tropical island, like in the Tropic of Cancer maybe (zeitgeistfilms)

Sexual intrigue, tropical love, and utopia
Fleeing conventional society, a Berlin doctor and his mistress start a new life on uninhabited Floreana Island. But after the international press sensationalizes the sexual exploits of the Galapagos' "Adam and Eve," others flock there -- including a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun-toting Viennese Baroness and her two lovers. Clashing personalities are aggravated by the island community's lusty free-love ethos. And when some of the islanders disappear, suspicions of murder hang in the air leaving an unsolved mystery that remains the subject of local lore even today. To bring this extraordinary story to life, newly unearthed home movies of these original back-to-nature drop-outs, testimonies of modern day islanders, stunning HD footage of native flora and fauna, and powerful voice performances are interwoven. Macabre yet inspiring, "The Galapagos Affair" is a gripping parable of adventure and utopian dreams gone awry. This biography/documentary (NR) is directed by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller. The cast includes Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgård, and Josh Radnor.
 
Fading Gigolo

Hey, they weren't my biological daughters
(MC) Accused child molested (WQ) Woody Allen made a movie about a threesome, prostitution, and a Don Juan gigolo? No, some John did. He just co-stars. Synopsis: Fioravante decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray. With Murray as "manager," the duo quickly find themselves caught up in the crosscurrents of love and money. (Featuring John Turturro, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone, Woody Allen, and not directed by an accused pedophile whom Scarlett Johansson defends as unindicted and Mia Farrow condemns as unconvicted).

Under the Skin



Earth boys are easy, and I'm a bad deva.
REVIEW: Shelly and J.S. talk about crude sex goddess Scarlett Johansson's role in Johnathan Glazer's film, and Scarlett chimes in, too. What is great about this very creepy "alien sex fiend" movie is that a lot of it was filmed with unsuspecting men using hidden cameras. They don't know this is Johansson, and they don't know it's a movie. She picks up hitchhikers and kills them. But they're happy to get in the car because a beautiful female is doing the inviting. One is reminded of a certain yakshini who recently made the news (FTZ).

Nymph()maniac

"Nymphomaniac: Volume II" from Denmark and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg is directed by Lars Van Trier co-starring Shia LaBeouf and Willem Dafoe. It is the continuation of Joe's sexually dictated life as it delves into the darker aspects of her adult life and what led to her being in Seligman's care.

Transcendence
 
We love Will power! - Me, too, kids.
Depp as Dr. Will Caster examines the promise and threat of AI (artificial intelligence) as he works to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments make him famous, but they also make him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. As they attempt to destroy "Will," they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed -- to be a participant in his own transcendence. Should his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, stop him? Can they? Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a what seems an omnipresent quest for power.

Topanga Earth Day 2014 (April 19-20)

Xochitl, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Moonbeam, TopangaEarthDay.org

Catastrophe on Mt. Everest: avalanche (video)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Daily Mail Reporters (April 18, 2014)
At least six climbers are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mt. Everest on Friday (local time) and hit a route used to ascent the world's highest peak, officials said.

Gathering at base camp before ascent to peak
A Nepalese Sherpa recovers in the hospital after 12 of his friends and co-workers are killed in high-altitude avalanche on Mount Everest while they were preparing route for Western tourists.

A group of Nepalese Sherpas were caught in an avalanche on the slopes of Everest [yester]day, killing 12 and injuring three. The avalanche hit base camps at 6:30 am killing a dozen Sherpas. Four are still missing, and three are in critical condition in a Kathmandu hospital.
 
The avalanche hit below Camp 2 around 6:30 am Friday morning (iantaylortrekking.com)
   
Pem Dorje Sherpa on Everest, May 2005
The first images of one of the surviving Sherpas, named as Dawa Tashi Sherpa, has been released as he and two others remain in critical condition at Grandi International Hospital, Kathmandu.

Four of the Sherpas are still missing and feared dead after what is thought to be the deadliest incident to ever occur on [what is allegedly] the world's highest mountain. [That title might belong to K2/Ketu].

The group had gone up the mountainside early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below the camp around 6:30 am.
 
Buddhist/Bon Sherpa family, Himalayas, Nepal
A spokesman for the Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said the government will pay £400 compensation to the families of the dead. More

NAMES OF DEAD SHERPAS A list of the dead Sherpas were released by the Nepalese government today: 1. Mingma Nuru Sherpa, 2. Dorji Sherpa, 3. Ang Tshiri Sherpa, 4. Nima Sherpa, 5. Phurba Ongyal Sherpa, 6. Lakpa Tenjing Sherpa, 7. Chhiring Ongchu Sherpa, 8. Dorjee Khatri, 9. Then Dorjee Sherpa, 10. Phur Temba Sherpa, 11. Pasang Karma Sherpa, 12. Asman Tamang

Korea Town Night Market (April 18-19)

Wisdom Quarterly; KTownNightMarket.com
FREE admission. Visit the K Town Night Market from the afternoon to midnight.

Korean ceremonial dance on the Buddha's Birthday in Bulguksa (Joonghijung/flickr)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Eurasian eagle huntress (photos)

Amber Larson and Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly;
Golden eagle and falconer Ashol Pan Central Asia (Asher Svidensky/BBC News Magazine)


Moon Goddess Artemis
"I am named of olde by Men, Artemis and Cerridwen..." (The Book of Shadows, Lady Sheba).
 
Even before the ancient Greeks recognized her as Artemis -- Goddess of the Moon, Archery, the Hunt, Katniss to Hollywood, and Diana to the Romans -- the devi (female deva) appeared to inspire others.

Homer in the Illiad (xxi 470 f.) calls her "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals." Here she is celebrated by Bjork and appearing today:

The mythological arrows are no accident
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles.

Kazakh boys in western Mongolia, however, start learning to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. 

Ashol Pan is a good girl and huntress.
Buddhism in Kazakhstan refers to forms of Buddhism especially prevalent along the Silk Road in Central Asia. Its history is closely related to the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism during the first millennium CE. A number of Early Buddhist schools were historically prevalent throughout Central Asia. Three major phases of missionary activities are associated with these chronological sects: Dharmaguptaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mūlasarvāstivāda. The Dharmaguptaka made more efforts than any other sect to spread Buddhism beyond India and Afghanistan, to areas such as Iran (Ariyan-land), other parts of Central Asia [at one time dominated by the ancient Greeks], and China, and they had great success in doing so... More
Map of Kazakhstan (upper left) and Mongolia
Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill as well as the girl, Ashol-Pan

"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. "She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."



Kazakhs have good childhoods (HS-A)
The Kazakhs (Central Asia) of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people who hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practicing falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country's only apprentice huntress. More

Eagle (garuda), pony (named Kanthaka?), and Kazakh falconer Ashol Pan (dailymail.co.uk)
A pony and a wandering, nomadic religion (shramanic Buddhism) for Ashol Pan (BBC)

Note the Uggs and harmony between human and animal realms (Asher Svidensky)
There are no such things as unicorns...except for this one and others like it. They have been bred back into existence by careful animal husbandry (dianapeterfreund.com).


Hunger Games III: "Divergent"

Take a teen angst trip all over again, this time with Shailene Woodley (as Tris Prior) instead of Jen Lawrence. Also starring Kate Winslet and Theo James as the mysterious Four.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yoga: The Art of Transformation

Wisdom Quarterly; ArtDaily.org; Dr. Jeff Durham San Francisco Asian Art Museum
Meditation is gaining popularity as a tool to de-clutter the mind and go from noise, stress, and chaos to peace, empowerment, and wellness. Learn to create positive attitudes and responses to situations by understanding universal spiritual principles through the simple, practical guidance of the ancient art of Raja Yoga meditation (Brahma Kumaris). More
 
Yogi and tantrika (Boonlieng)
SAN FRANCISCO, California - The Asian Art Museum presents Yoga: The Art of Transformation, the first major art exhibition to explore yoga and its historical transformation over the past 2,500 years through more than 130 rare and compelling artworks.

All over the world, millions of people practice yoga to find spiritual insight and improved health. Many are aware of yoga's origins in India, but few outside of advanced practitioner circles recognize yoga's profound philosophical underpinnings, its presence within Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, and Sufi religious traditions, or the surprisingly various social roles played by yogic practitioners over the centuries.

This exhibition shows yoga’s rich diversity and rising appeal from its early days to its emergence on the global stage. Borrowing from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the U.S., the artworks on view date from the 2nd to the 20th centuries, with a majority from the 8th to 18th centuries.

The wisdom of the Vedas from the ancient Vedic civilization is incorporated into Hinduism's Ayurvedic principles of healing herbs, foods, and dietary practices (Kitchen Pharmacy).

 
Throughout the exhibition, stunning examples of sculpture and painting illuminate yoga's key concepts as well as its obscured histories. Early photographs, books, and films show yogis not only as peaceful practitioners, but also satirized as sly imposters.

Artworks and audio guides also reveal yoga’s transformation in 20th-century India and the U.S. as an inclusive practice open to all.

The exhibition’s highlights include an installation that reunites three stone yoginis from a 10th century South Indian temple; 10 pages from the first illustrated book of yogic postures (asanas) from around 1600; and a film by Thomas Edison, "Hindoo Fakir" (1902), the first American movie ever produced about India.

Curated originally for the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery by the associate curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Debra Diamond, the Asian Art Museum’s presentation is organized by the museum’s associate curator of South Asian Art, Qamar Adamjee, and assistant curator of Himalayan Art, Jeff Durham [who will be in Pasadena on Saturday talking about mandalas in Vajrayana Buddhism]. 

Classical Buddhist art (WQ/Boonlieng/SFAAM)
“We are honored to serve as the only West Coast venue in presenting this historic exhibition, one of the most remarkable surveys of Indian art,” said Asian Art Museum director Jay Xu.

“We hope that by illuminating aspects of yoga and its hidden histories to Bay Area audiences, visitors can take new perspectives to their present and future yoga practices.” 

The exhibition surveys the centrality of yoga in Indian culture and focuses on core elements of yoga practice; the role of teachers; the importance of place in yoga practice; the associations between yoga and power; ways in which yogis have been understood and imagined in Indian and Western popular cultures; and the transformation of yoga into today’s contemporary practice.

Kathak Yoga: dynamic footwork and dance as a means to union of breath, body, and mind.
 
Visitors are encouraged to start their journey in Osher Gallery, followed by Hambrecht Gallery, then Lee Gallery. 
  • Osher Gallery: The Path of Yoga - The exhibition begins by introducing visitors to yoga’s origins. Between 500 and 200 BCE, wandering ascetics of the [Vedic Brahminical] Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions developed practices for controlling the body and breath as a means of stilling the mind.
These practices introduced concepts that laid the groundwork for much of what later came to constitute "yoga." By the 7th century, many of yoga’s key concepts, vocabulary, and practices were established. This gallery reveals how artists translated yogic identities, beliefs, and practices into meaningful and eloquent visual forms.

In yoga, the body is both what must be transcended as well as the necessary tool for attaining enlightenment... More