Saturday Burrito

02009-03-21 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

Friday afternoon I took a walk. Sat down in front of a cafe with a coffee and read a couple of pages…
I am reading Gary Snyder’s book Back on the Fire: Essays on my iPhone (on the free Kindle application) and bookmarked this:

The moon shines on the river
The wind blows through the pines –
who is this long beautiful evening for?

– from the Cheng Dao Ke

Isn’t that wonderful? And here is another passage that struck me. I am quoting Gary Snyder who quotes Gregory Bateson

I would then suggest: as climax forest is to biome, and fungus is to the recycling of energy, so “enlightened mind” is to daily ego mind, and art to the recycling of neglected inner potential. When we deepen ourselves, looking within, understanding ourselves, we come closer to being like a mature ecosystem. Turning away from grazing on the “immediate biomass” of perception, sensation, and thrill…

What I like about ebook reading is that I have always have the books with me, on my phone. Books by Gary Snyder or Ken Wilber or Basho need to be ingested in small bites and well-chewed before they are swallowed. I remember when I first read one of Ken’s books in 1999 I would read a page or two and then put the book down and contemplate what he had written.

The above Gregory Bateson quote reminds me of something Stephen Batchelor said:

Buddhahood is simply the optimum mode of being that can be reached within human existence.

I quoted that from memory and it might not be word for word correct.

It seems to me that, just as every clump of small trees can eventually become a mature forest, humans can reach an optimum way of being, (((whether that’s colored atheist, buddhist, christian, moslem, pagan etc.))) given enought time. With the destruction of our ecosystem the race is on for humans to mature a tad faster, but as a species we handle pressure pretty well. In fact, we don’t seem to do anything until the last minute, until the water heating in the pot becomes so unbearably that we have to jump. :-)

Check this out – the water in that pot is getting hotter!

Played guitar for a couple of hours last night. Sometimes I notice that making music aligns all of the molecules in the universe. Things feel different afterwards. Rahim calls it settling the soul.

It takes an hour just to really warm up the hands and the last half hour of two hours is really fun. And in case you are wondering whether that means that the first half of a concert is a just the warm-up, no that is not the case because we play a lot during the day. Stevo and I find rooms to play guitar in and Jon walks around with his bass plugged into his in-ear monitors and plays a lot. And we always have a soundcheck that can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I’d say on tour we each play an average of 3-4 hours very day. Sometimes more.

I was wondering about starting shows with Silence: No More Longing again. I hope the audience has not grown tired of hearing that song. I find that it perfectly tunes me, the guitar, the room and the air in it, and of course the audience. Afterwards I feel ready to make Music, no, actually that happens at some point during the piece… I enjoy playing it and I really enjoy when I start the tremolo and Jon steps up and plays a solo. Silence is a nice way to introduce the band to the audience, the music to the room, the audience to each other and so on.

Saturday Morning. Early. Santa Fe Baking Company. Breakfast burrito – no bacon, and coffee. You know what I mean, Stevo! Did I mention that a friend introduced me to an elderly woman once, who he said invented (((and he meant that literally))) the breakfast burrito a couple of decades ago. For as much sense as a breakfast burrito makes, it wasn’t always so.

Old school fixie riding!


  1. Linda W

    as a SFe resident I would love to thank that lady that “invented” the breakfast burrito. Santa Fe Baking Co. makes the best I have ever had. I try to get one as often as possible (veggie please… and green)

    as an audience member I can honestly say I will never get tired of Silence: No More Longing being the first song as it gets me aligned with the rest of the people in the room, both audience and musician.

  2. Scott B

    You have my vote for starting with Silence: No More Longing. My wife and I finally got to attend a concert of yours in Denver (flew in from Florida) and it was a perfect introduction to the rest of the concert.

  3. yumi

    “…ingested in small bites and well-chewed before they are swallowed…”
    Because we are never the same…like the ephemeral essence of scent.

    Beautiful poem (Cheng Dao Ke). Early this morning, read Gary Synder’s poems from the book, “Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems”. That book is a treasure of poems, too.
    The changes in the light, textures in the air from the spring rain this morning were such a nice contrast to yesterday’s sun and perfect for reading poetry.
    That poem that you quoted is not only beautiful, but so easy to imagine that I wound up thinking about it for most of day.

  4. Steve

    Quote: “When we deepen ourselves, looking within, understanding ourselves, we come closer to being like a mature ecosystem.”

    This reminds me of a Wendell Berry quote:
    “It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”

    They seem to be complimentary and yet opposed at the same time. Odd.

  5. Ottmar

    Steve: I don’t see the opposition. …not from ourselves… – not from the ego, not from the constricted and contracted self…
    and …better than we are… – greater than just the ego, it’s an openness, a space, the opposite of contraction. I think Wendell is making a different point, but it aligns with the other one. Am I seeing that wrong?

  6. steve

    >Am I seeing that wrong?

    I don’t think so, but tell me what you think here:

    In Wendell’s quote, I was thinking of the Tao as being a kind of instructor but from an external standpoint, and in the case of Gregory Bateson, I was thinking the same thing but coming from within.

  7. Ottmar

    This is interesting, Steve. Why do you see the Tao as external? Why is it separate?

  8. Stevo

    Oh man, that breakfast burrito sounds awesome!!! Man, I MUST have one when I get there. I’m going to OD on green chile while I’m in Santa Fe.

  9. Kaz

    You guys are making me hungry!!
    AOK 4 me 2 start the night out with ‘Silence No more Longing’ This is a song that I usually start my day off with as I drive to work in the early morning sunrise and look ahead to another beautiful day. I have a very positive connotation associated to this particular song (like I know many others do)…Almost like a friendly cup of coffee in the morning.

    2 Good Beginnings.

  10. steve

    This is interesting, Steve. Why do you see the Tao as external? Why is it separate?

    Dunno … VERY good question …

  11. yumi

    A tetragram is the mathematical diagram of the Tao Te Ching.
    First, the question.
    -Second, throw the sticks (I have seen homemade ones!) or coins.
    Here is a link of virtual coins:

    Today is March 22, thought Tetragram 22 would be nice.

    Tetragram 22 summed:
    That ancient saying: “What is curved becomes whole”-
    Are these empty words?
    To become whole,
    Turn within.


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