Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


Adyashanti instructs on how to meditate

(x-posted here to nonduality)

This article in today's Nonduality Highlights (Issue #4483, edited by Mark Otter today) contains a great article about meditation by Adyashanti, who is one of the clearest speakers on contemporary Nonduality practicing these days. His website is here if you want to check out more of his stuff or if you happen to live somewhere that he's giving satsang.
True meditation has no direction or goal. It is pure wordless surrender, pure silent prayer. All methods aiming at achieving a certain state of mind are limited, impermanent, and conditioned. Fascination with states leads only to bondage and dependency. True meditation is abidance as primordial awareness.
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Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette and Pat Metheny play Canteloupe Island

Was reading the New Orleans Jazz Festival line-up this morning, which is filled with a bunch of weird-ass shit having very little to do with jazz:


The Eagles, Tom Petty, The Beach Boys, John Mayer, Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Feist, My Morning Jacket, Steve Earle, Ani DiFranco, Foo Fighters, Bonnie Raitt... Some of those acts I wouldn't mind seeing, but only God knows why they're at the New Orleans jazz festival.

Anyway, I came across this cool video on Herbie's artist page for the site:


I love bassist Dave Holland's facial expression around the 4-min mark; his face finally betrays what he's thinking: "Jesus Herbie, you're on fucking fire, man." Love it. Love that 1980s Yamaha DX-7 synth on stage, too. This must be an older video because Herbie mostly plays on a Yamaha Motif these days, I think.

Pat's solo is pretty inspired, too. What is that solar-panel-looking thing at the bottom of his guitar's body?


!!!! Lindy West's response to Dan Savage


It's great!!! Via willowing's FB. In response in part to comments like this from Dan Savage's often excellent column:
I am thoroughly annoyed at having my tame statements of fact—being heavy is a health risk; rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly—characterized as "hate speech."
The ending to Lindy's rebuttal is brilliant:
But most importantly: I reject this entire framework. I don't give a shit what causes anyone's fatness. It's irrelevant and it's none of my business. I am not making excuses, because I have nothing to excuse. I reject the notion that thinness is the goal, that thin = better—that I am an unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight. That then I will be a real person and have finally succeeded as a woman. I am not going to waste another second of my life thinking about this. I don't want to have another fucking conversation with another fucking woman about what she's eating or not eating or regrets eating or pretends to not regret eating to mask the regret. OOPS I JUST YAWNED TO DEATH.

If you really want change to happen, if you really want to "help" fat people, you need to understand that shaming an already-shamed population is, well, shameful. Do you know what happened as soon as I rejected all this shit and fell in unconditional luuuuurve with my entire body? I started losing weight. Immediately. WELL LA DEE FUCKING DA.


St. Augustine on the nature of time

It's an excerpt from St. Augustine's Confessions from ca. 397, dealing with the perception of past, present and future. This portion of Augustine's Wikipedia page sets some interesting context for the part which I'm about to transcribe:

The latter part of Augustine's Confessions consists of an extended meditation on the nature of time. Even the agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell was impressed by this. He wrote, "a very admirable relativistic theory of time. ... It contains a better and clearer statement than Kant's of the subjective theory of time - a theory which, since Kant, has been widely accepted among philosophers."[44] Catholic theologians generally subscribe to Augustine's belief that God exists outside of time in the "eternal present"; that time only exists within the created universe because only in space is time discernible through motion and change.

I'm not sure exactly where the following excerpt comes from in the entire work, for I read it in a literature review called Lapham's Quarterly and its exact placement in the original text was not noted there. What I have before me also appears to have been translated into ordinary modern English, while several of the translations I saw online are in a sort of archaic format with a lot of entreaties to "O Lord" and the like. This excerpt is very clean and simple, and I really appreciate how lucidly it describes how our perception of time informs the nature of our very existence. (At least, that's how I read it!)

If the future and the past do exist, I want to know where they are. I may not yet be capable of such knowledge, but at least I know that wherever they are, they are not there as future or past, but as present. For if, wherever they are, they are future, they do not yet exist; if past, they no longer exist. Do wherever they are and whatever they are, it is only by being present that they are.

When we describe the past correctly, it is not past facts which are drawn out of our memories but only words based on our memory pictures of those facts, because when they happened they left an impression on our minds by means of our sense perception. My own childhood, which no longer exists, is in past time, which also no longer exists. But when I remember those days and describe them, it is in the present that I picture them to myself, because their picture is still present in my memory.

Whether some similar process enables the future to be seen, some process by which events which have not yet occurred become present to us by means of already existing images of them, I confess, my God, that I do not know. But at least I know that we generally think about what we are going to do before we do it, and this preliminary thought is in the present, whereas the action which we premeditate does not yet exist because it is in the future. Once we have set to work and started to put our plans into action, that action exists, because it is now not future but present.

By whatever mysterious means it may be that the future is foreseen, it is only possible to see something which exists; and whatever exists is not future but present. So when we speak of foreseeing the future, we do not see things which are not yet in being, that is, this which are future, but it may be that we see their causes or signs, which are already in being. In this way they are not future but present to the eye of the beholder, and by means of them the mind can form a concept of things which are still future and thus is able to predict them. These concepts already exist, and by seeing them, present in their minds people are able to foretell the actual facts which they represent.

Let me give you one example of the many from which I could choose. Suppose that I am watching the break of day. I predict that the sun is about to rise. What I see is present, but what I foretell is future. I do not mean that the sun is future, for it already exists, but that its rise is future, because it has not yet happened. But I could not foretell the sunrise unless I had a picture of it in my mind, just as I have at this moment while I am speaking about it. Yet the dawn, which I see in the sky, is not the sunrise, although it precedes it; nor is the picture which I have in my mind the sunrise. But both the dawn and my mental picture are seen in the present, and it is from them that I am able to predict the sunrise, which is future. The future, then, is not yet; it is not at all; and if it is not at all, it cannot possibly be seen. But it can be foretold from things which are present, because they exist now and can therefore be seen.


Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist) on...


The ensuing discussion is very trippy too. Existence as a property. Love it.


The Tug Toner

Very funny.



How to peel a whole head of garlic in 10 seconds

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from SAVEUR.com on Vimeo.


mos def

some new music I've been listening to

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffrends: straight, heavy-handed backbeat with a creative, juicy hook and haunting vocals

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Bicycle: Another creative hook, nearly classical-inspired with an odd-meter feel and a straight rock beat underneath

Hooray For Earth - True Loves: ethereal, thoughtful, bassy and sophisticated white-man funk with cool sound and vocal effects and an actual melody

The Cool Kids - Penny Hardaway (feat. Ghostface Killah): new hip-hop with clean and fresh-sounding string samples, straight-up emceeing with former Wu-Tang member Ghostface guesting on the mic

The Cool Kids - A Little Bit Cooler: infectious, spacious, rocking, medium-tempo club banger with crisp and lighthearted emceeing on top

The Cool Kids - One Two: another medium-tempo banger with a verrry funky old-school synth bassline that needs to be heard more

Beastie Boys - OK: new Beastie Boys track from their new 2011 album, featuring a fresh and inventive synth hook, some terrific retro sound clips and the Beasties rapping like only they know how


Things Apple is worth more than



Baby's First Doctor Visit

A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam.

The doctor arrived, and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned, asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed.

"Breast-fed," she replied.

"Well, strip down to your waist," the doctor ordered.

She did. He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination.

Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said, "No wonder this baby is underweight. You don't have any milk."

"I know," she said. "I'm his Grandma. But I'm glad I came..."


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