Thursday in Denver

02009-07-30 | Uncategorized | 15 comments

Woke up in Denver this Morning.

Yesterday I had dinner in SLC with Mugaku Sensei. Here is something that grew out of our conversation.

I was thinking about Ken Wilber’s AQAL graph, the lines of development, or intelligences, and the levels or stages along those different lines. We all have many lines of development: music, cooking, communicating emotions, social interaction, humor, map reading, physical fitness, poetry, meditation… and we are at various stages of development along those different lines.

Well, what I realized today is that those graphs are too neat a concept. In reality these lines are knitted together, connected at various points and interactive. Music education improves math scores. Knitting can improve coordination and even reading etc.

In other words, it’s a great big mess of lines. I am reminded of building blocks – we may know which building blocks are available, but how will they actually fit together? Can studying one thing improve a completely different area of development? Do poets make better cooks? Do cooks make better musicians? What about drummers? Do athletes who study music or dance move more effectively? I am convinced that there are many interesting connections between lines of development to be discovered.

New topic: Today I received this email on Flickr and I need help with it. It seems that everywhere I turn, somebody gets offended or decides to wear a shoe that was not intended for them. I receive dozens of email like this on all kinds of different subjects. I don’t know what to do about it. Trying to answer them all takes up a lot of time. What do you think? Do you have some advice for me? It’s fine with me if we turn this subscription into a pure media subscription. I’ll stop writing and just deliver the music and video files. I do have a big mouth – maybe I should shut it.


FREEDOM. That’s what we are blessed with in this country. So, if people CHOOSE to put their photos on the internet, they should be allowed to without ridicule.

Albeit, your comment, “maybe we’ll call those people goggle-heads, sounds like bobble-heads” is downright hilarious, it also had a tinge of putting others down because you don’t care to see others’ pics.

Name calling, judging…not a thing I want to see in someone. Especially from you. Are you a monk?

Must say…I am disappointed in your mindset of how you view others. You don’t see others saying anything negative about your photos, professional or not.

I will remove you as my contact so that you do not need to see my photos (far cry from professional, but they are mine and I love my pics, nonetheless). I am proud of my photos. Since I am in the ‘food’ business, many are food related.

I COULD have glossed over YOUR comment, but I want to be true to what I think is right. If I embrace others, I would like to see the same back.

No hard feelings…just staying true…


  1. dave

    To me your comment didn’t seem to be putting down anyone’s pictures, just a joke. Regarding photo’s during a show, maybe you should adopt Robert Fripp’s view. ;-)

  2. Ottmar

    Dave, you mean I should leave the stage when I see a flash from the audience? LOL, I am just not that hardcore.

  3. yumi

    Part 1: “I am convinced that there are many interesting connections between lines of development to be discovered.” Had the same conversation yesterday afternoon! Great!

    Part 2: Strong mindedness..mixed with kindness and sensitivity…it’s good. It’s beautiful to express your opinions…it’s the real deal! Don’t quit writing (smiles)!

  4. Brenda

    “I admire that you shoot straight from the hip.” – Or – “Speaking Your Mind” – ” Not Sugar Coating” – I like it!
    I like it alot! It is refreshing to me that you ARE NOT SMOKE and MIRRORS! So PLEASE CONTINUE JUST BEING YOU! You are not going to please everyone and you should not want to please everyone. So please do not stop writing, WE ALL ENJOY OTTMAR!!!THANKS!!!

  5. Victor Hornback

    Relationship seems to be about reflecting your “stuff” with my “stuff” and back and forth. So, I will see, or read, or hear something and it may set off something in me that wasn’t intended. I have upset others and been upset over words that were never intended to upset. And so it goes…

    I think that being in a position to touch so many lives (i.e. a lot of people love your music and that leads to interest in what you have to say) means more opportunity for unintended reactions (and upset). Knowing that probably doesn’t make it any easier (might even make being in that position more daunting), but I hope maybe there is also a beautiful side to being in that position; a rich field of experience to live in.

    I think your fan lays it out in the open with: “If I embrace others, I would like to see the same back.” I know that feeling. I’ve loved and been ignored and I’ve also ignored people who loved me for no other reason than they didn’t fit my plans at the time.

    So, some interesting questions: Can we truly love everyone? If so can we physically show it? Can we say it is love if it is only a sentiment and not an action? I’m pretty sure there isn’t enough time to talk with everyone, or appreciate everyone’s photos… so then what?

    A forum like this is unusual in that it opens up what is not usually available – a direct line between fan and hero. I hope this story unfolding between hero and fans isn’t through. My advice would be to keep doing what you’re doing, but only if you love it. I think that sometimes we are going to break your heart and sometimes you are going to break ours, but if we keep coming back to “play” together it will be OK.

  6. Victor Hornback

    My mind is still buzzing so gotta say a few more things… Did anyone see that movie “Final Cut” where people could have a memory implant that recorded their entire life? That’s what your “goggle heads” comment brought to mind for me. Might be a possibility in the not-so-distant future. Would any of us really care to look back at our lives that way or would we rather someone clean it all up into a nice momento to leave to our family (like Robin Williams in the movie)?

    I hope your Zen teacher didn’t make you a monk because he thought you had lost all ability to be judgemental! LOL I’m sure he did not but that doesn’t keep someone from holding that over your head. (And that’s where you definitely have my respect as a monk.)

  7. yumi

    Football players at one time took ballet for placement, to learn how to move from their center outward and for flexibility.

  8. Judey Sawyer

    To be personally offended by a very generalized comment regarding some people’s obsessive need to chronicle and document everything in their life with video and pictures seems a bit overreactive to say the least. We have become a very nonselective population that is willing to look at or read just about anything that is posted or published for our mass consumption. What about quality over quantity? What about selectivity?
    I sincerely hope that this never becomes just a pure media subscription-for as long as thought provoking topics and comments come from your mind and mouth, please keep talking!

  9. steve

    I quite like having this website be interactive.

    We can agree to disagree can’t we? Reading what you and your so-called “big mouth” have to say makes this interesting.

    Suppose I express an opinion that you disagree with and you tell me so: maybe I’ll think about it differently. I enjoy having my opinion(s) challenged. So … there’s my ostensible “advice.” I think it would be very boring if we all agreed all the time every time.

  10. Carmen Ortiz


    Thanks for posting. I admire the comments above. I am one that appreciates truth, the light, and growth. I don’t like to kiss a.. or hide behind a facade. It is an interesting concept (the diary) which is quite frankly unique (to me anyway).
    Thank you for your email and clearing what I may have misunderstood.
    Be you…because we all care about your music and YOU!

  11. Brenda

    When I find myself in a unpleasant situation of life, I will continue to search within myself as to why it is the way it is, and then begin voicing concerns to friends and family, and pray for an answer. Wait.. wait.. then decision to go forward to change or leave the unpleasant situation. Then and only then does peace fill my being that I finally faced a fear and found freedom to be me. Be you, Ottmar from one of your many Ottmar-Friends. Many blessings that you find your answer soon. I just recently faced one of mine and the blessings have been overwhelming!

  12. Kaz

    Thursday in Dever: Ottmar! Please keep takin’ like many, I really appreciate it! I think…:)… you need a couple of cheek tattooed Italians for crowd control…just let me know ….they’re ready when you are! smile!lol! Listening 4 u always!

  13. Judey Sawyer

    One of the greatest joys of this journal is the ability to unite people that all have various opinions and ideas but share a common state of awareness and intention in this world. With that in mind, I am asking Ottmar and all Ottmar Friends to please join me tonight (Friday night at 7:30 PM EST) in thought, spirit or prayer as I have the honor of seeing Tibetan folk musician and friend of the Dali Llama Tenzin Choegyal perform at a small intimate concert in Torrington, CT. At the beginning of the performance, it would be amazing to have anyone from this posting who wishes to join in releasing the intention that the Tibetan people are soon freed from their opppression and destruction of their culture and themselves.
    This would be a wonderful conclusion to the email that Ottmar received that started with FREEDOM in capital letters. We have it but not everyone is so blessed as we are.

  14. marijose

    IMHO I think it’s unreasonable for people to expect that you would personally respond to each e-mail you receive. One idea would be to respond with a thank-you for the e-mail that the person sent and an explanation re. why it’s not feasible to interact with each and every person who sends an e-mail. I like author Annie Dillard’s message on her Contact page – . Also, it is hard to beat Neal Stephenson’s Bad Correspondent essay – .

  15. Boris

    Dito on what Maria said. If u feel tired of writing I hope u will do it like sometimes in the past, when u took some weeks off. When u came back it appeared to me that it was always with fresh energy for blogging. And I do hope Stephen drops a word in his blog ’cause there are some fans who really like him! :-)


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