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First sesshin experience!

I know I have not updated in a long time but that was mainly because of my studies-which is right now over and I passed with flying colors-Yaay!
First and foremost, friends and Romans, here is a short summary of my first ever sesshin!
I arrived in the cute little town of Brugge and through the hustle and bustle of the ultra touristic city, I entered this building which used to be a Carmelite monastery. Interesting, isn't it? It was very quiet and peaceful inside. We had a friendly welcome and everyone was assigned their rooms after a nice small banquet with tea and cookies: yes, we are in Belgium after all :) People love eating and drinking and they always do it with gusto!
The rooms were quiet clean and had a very lovely view-as you too can see in this picture. After we got settled in, the marathon started!
I tried not to get too caught up with the physical strain of sitting zazen for hours, all weekend but boy is it hard to ignore! My back was cracking, my legs even my arms and…

try not...

After a fun week in England with my sister and niece, I am back home. Only a week till my first sesshin(zen retreat) in Brugge. I must say I am excited and a little nervous-which is stupid. I should just relax and let things fall in place by themselves. However that part in me that constantly tries to control everything cannot relax and is afraid of making mistakes. While browsing the internet for "first sesshin experiences", I came across this article that answered several questions in my head. Here is an excerpt: "This public correction can be very uncomfortable as we usually rush to cover up our imperfections, but in Zen you eventually learn to accept yourself as you are by accepting that your failings are obvious, ordinary, and not special to you. At first I tended to only notice my own mistakes, but as this has become less painful I am seeing my mistakes blend in with everyone else's. Chanting is a good place to notice this as it is difficult for westerners to …

...and now for something completely different...

In between the hectic and stressful schedule of my life as a freelancer, a graphics design student and amateur/obsessed researcher of Komitas, I made the right choice and decided to re-start going to zazen sessions at the local Dojo!! Ta-taaaaa!
My fascination with Zen had started following a course on Non-Western art I took during my art education. I figured I loved reading about the approach of the zen monks to practicing their traditional arts more than reading about the art itself. As a result, I later took another honours course this time on the following book, which many of you probably have read:

It was an amazing course prepared and taught by Lee Adnepos (a wonderful professor; I still remember his calm voice. I used to leave his classroom more inspired and curious than before after each lesson) and I still count myself extremely lucky for having taken it. The whole semester we dissected Pirsig's book, word by word, researched on themes within, and ended up reading several…

in search of Komitas -2 Bibliography

Reading about the Armenian genocide is not at all an easy task. I keep reading about places I know, places I have been to, places I walked on without knowing that thousands had been murdered there. I have to stop every now and then to go out for a walk or open the window the let in some cool air to calm myself down. I also feel more irritable and have less tolerance for silly jokes that target groups of people or cash on stereotypes.
It feels like there is so much hatred in this world.
I think the more I read topics on sociology and history, the more I understand people and their motives. They are selfish and predictable. Animals driven with simple instincts. That gives one a strange sense of calmness, it is like coming to terms with human stupidity. You would then expect that it should not be news that there is so much hatred around-since that too is to be expected from our species. Nonetheless there is also so much good and greatness; like in music, harmony, in arts, in literature, …

in search for Komitas -1

I am still busy gathering resources, books, articles, cd's, anything I can get that can give me more information about Komitas.While I wait for these orders to arrive I am reading about the historical background of the times he lived in, and of course, Balakian's book (where Komitas is mentioned a couple times as well).
Enjoy his music in the meantime, for I definitely do:


new blog entry, new book

I confess, I am a lousy blogger. I owe a lot to this blog actually. Thanks to it, I made new friends, I made new discoveries, I even found clients! I neglect it and do not write often but maybe I should just accept this as a fact and move on. I may even have written exact same words before and do not remember.

Anyways, today was the anniversary of Hrant Dink's murder. A very painful memory... If you do not know what I am talking about here is the wikipedia link where you can read more about him and his assassination.

Today, taking today's meaning for me in account, I decided to start reading a book that I had for a while now, but kept postponing reading it: Grigoris Balakian's Armenian Golgotha. Here is how I came across this book:
Some time ago I took an interest in the works and life of Komitas Vartabed, Armenian musician and pioneer of ethnomusicology . At first I was only interested in his work but then I came across his biography and found out that he was one of the h…