Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Zen of Rapping (2 Chainz)

Boo and Tee, recorded and edited by CC Liu and Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Mysterious sign in Macau that may read "No photos" or "This way to WC" (Evs_in_Nz)
Dragon incense bowl (Evs_in_Nz)
"Everything hot, skip lukewarm. Tell Shorty, Bust it open, Uncle Luke on. Got a present for the present and a gift rappin'. I don't feel good, but my trigger happy. Like the stripper happy. Like they wish they had me. And I wish a [brutha] would like a kitchen cabinet. And me and you are cut from a different fabric. I ain't feeling so good, it's a bad habit. [Sista], sit down! You got a bad atti'. Gave her the wrong number and a bad addy. You ain't going nowhere, like a bad navi'. [Back] so big, I told her look back at it, look back at it, look back at it. Then I put a fat rabbit on her Craftmatic..."

Zen: The way to meditate is not to meditate
Zen (absorption) meditation (Jennifer Clark)
Amber: What in the samsara is going on here? Why are you two quoting Zen Master 2 Chainz like he's dispensing koans?
Boo and Tee: It's our meditation! "Im Diffrent."
Amber: How in the world is that meditation?
Boo and Tee: You and Seven say, "The way to meditate is not to mediate." What better way not to meditate than to listen to rap?
Amber: That's not what that means! Zen teaches... [listen to an expert explanation by Alan Watts: PLAY]. Seven, let's explain this to them.
Amber and Seven: Zen Buddhism teaches people to BE HERE NOW. Where else can you be, if you really think about it?
Boo: I have to be here, don't I?
A&S: Do you?
Tee:  No, no, I can go somewhere else!
A&S: Then where would you be?
Boo and Tee: Uhhh...
A&S: Here would be there, and you'd be here. 
Boo: Why?
A&S: Because wherever you are, there you are!
Tee: WTF?
A&S: Where are you, Tee?
Tee: Right here.
Amber: And if we go over there and I ask you, "Where are you, Tee," then where are you?
Tee: Over there? No, right here! It depends where you ask me.
Amber: Does it?
Tee: Doesn't it? 
Seven: No, you always are where you are. And that's always here. Not here-here, but wherever "here" happens to be at the time.
Boo: I get it. [Explains it to Tee.]
Amber: *Laughing*
Seven: Of course, most of us aren't here even while we're here, in spite of the fact that we have nowhere else to be. That's the point.
A&S: That's why in yoga we constantly remind yogis, BE HERE NOW.
Tee: Where else would you be? Where else could you be?
A&S: We're wading back to the past or swimming toward the future like misguided salmon. [It's a space-time thing; we're here in space but not in time.] Sometimes we're trying to rush downstream, down the falls instead of holding still or struggling up. Down is easy. Just do nothing and the stream will take you down.

In the same way, meditation is easy because it is just not doing, not struggling, not striving and, most importantly, not getting in the way or flagging. But in a way it is something: preparing the soil, cultivating it, so that something can grow. And what grows is calm-collected-concentration to zen (jhana), that is, to absorption. This happens by paying constant attention to a single object.

In other words, "The way to meditate is not to meditate." Is not to "try," not to force, not to struggle, not to doze off, not to think, not to drop attention from the object, but just place it there and leave it there and STAY right there. Stay with it instead of going away to something "more interesting." BE HERE NOW. What could be more interesting than right here right now?
Tee: Anything else at any other time. Naw, I feel ya.
Boo: *Giggling*
Boo and Tee: Can? Wait. Can..? Wait. That makes sense.

A&S: It does? Then we should follow our own advice.
Boo and Tee: Don't you?
A&S: I for one think too much. Me, too. But you guys can just drop things, just not think, just "concentrate" -- sequester the mind/heart/attention -- on a single thing so there's nothing else. It's not nothing. It's one thing and one thing only, like the subtle breath at the nostril when the mind is quiet or watching. Or a dot on the wall or a mantra or a candle flame... So the mind can rest and blossom and do what we can't do with it. We can't concentrate, but the mind/heart can, and a concentrated mind can do anything. Like in that scene from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when they're out of control on that all black spaceship. They get it under control by stopping trying to control it. They've just come from the Restaurant at the End of the Universe and realize that it has a far better idea of where they are going, as they time travel (like we are doing right now), than they do. Let go and let Brahman. Trust in the Universe. Karma is not mocked. It's like so many Judeo-Christian terms tweaked slightly to return them to a meaning they once conveyed.
What has rap come to? French Montana (with surprise guest P Diddy) live
at the Key Club, CA, Dec. 1, 2012. The crackling sound is our ear drums.

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