Gone Gone Totally Gone

I've been listening to Tibetan mantras at work. There is that point in the day when mindfulness from morning meditation wears off and I need a little pick-me-up. Right now, my favorite mantra is the one from the end of the Heart Sutra - GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA. Meaning is something like this "Gone gone totally gone totally gone over the top, wakened mind, So, ah!" In the rendition above it starts at minute 21. I love how Gyuto monks' chanting got combined with Deva Premal's voice, but I wish there was no music in the background. Those flutes are too much sometimes. :) For more bare bones version, how about Dalia Lama and company?

It would be interesting to try meditating with these.

P.S.: Also, just found this one - Thai flavor, anyone? So good!

Thoroughly Enjoyed

Finished watching The Young Pope. I just had to see it considering it was done by Paolo Sorrentino and wow, what a treat! The beauty, the faces, the music, scenes set up as if they were paintings, and the acting! I never payed attention to Jude Law before, but he was excellent in this. One scene in particular was so impressive - Pope's speech to the cardinals. Jude Law got transformed into totally crazy person!

I was also happy that while there was some sex and nudity in the show, it was not excessive (this being an HBO production), and while certain violence was assumed, it was not displayed in graphic detail.

Have you seen it? What did you think?
ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ

Вы смотрели Молодого Папу? Какой замечательный красивый сериал!

Shoes, Spring 2017 Edition

Once again, I need new shoes. Sneakers, in particular, and also something easy and comfortable. The latest wonderful development is that more and more companies now have vegan models. For example, Birkenstocks and Tom's Shoes. I can't believe I am considering Birkenstocks - I always thought them particularly ugly. The one model I am attracted too is not available in vegan version yet, but I am also thinking of these (in black or dark green) - they might be more comfortable than flip flops:

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(Birkenstock Madrid Essentials)

For sneakers, there are the following contenders:

(Tom's Vegan Del Rey Sneakers)

Or how about these?

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(Native Shoes Apollo XL)

Goodbye and Hello

Working on decluttering here and there. Said goodbye to two things. First, a Buddha, that was a gift and that spent several years with us. Brought him to a nice charity thrift store. He looks the same as when he was gifted to us - a bit beat up around the edges but that adds character. :) Second is the adorable and very soft sheep, that was helping to provide many nights of sweet dreams. She is going to textile recycling. Thank you, things!

But, there is a new arrival also. This pomegranate from far away lands. Welcome!

A Good Day

I've been meditating consistently for couple of months now and one life-transforming realization that came out of it is that once I learned to settle my mind more or less, I started noticing that steps that I was doing before every sit, like expressing gratitude and generating loving kindness (Metta), started to jump out on the foreground and that they are very powerful on their own right. What's more, they spill over into your life and make it amazing. So, here is to meditation and cultivating a good heart!

I stumbled on this video today. It is so good! I will listen to it in the morning, while making breakfast and at night, before bed. It is from a Christian monk who is no stranger to Buddhism - he lived at a Buddhist monastery for some time. Hope it will bring you joy and peace. His website offers even more - http://gratefulness.org.

Twin Peaks - To Watch or Not to Watch?

Knowing that I am not a fan of anything spooky or disturbing, I will probably not watch the upcoming Twin Peaks season. However, I am thoroughly enjoying watching David Lynch in this trailer. Another favorite is this gem: David Lynch making quinoa.

One Day My Closet Will Look Like This

I am strongly drawn to minimalism and feel that a great way to start "living" it is by changing one place that I see multiple times every day and whose messy overflowing look drains a bit of my energy every time I encounter it. The closet. Here is how much stuff I ideally want to have - only the most loved and essential pieces:

This person happens to wear my favorite colors too. :) I like the idea of capsule wardrobes and even more, I love the idea of a personal uniform. For me, it is skinny black jeans and black or gray t-shirt with some kind of minimal logo-free sweatshirt on top. Add motorcycle boots or minimal, preferably logo free sneakers and I am all set - feeling comfortable and, frankly, stylish, in such outfit.

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And, thanks to my favorite blog, I just learned about "Inside Sara Berman’s Closet" exhibit at the Met. Definitely planning to go. It will be my Artist Date and hopefully will provide a push to get to my closet already! How can it not - this incredibly stylish woman, Sara Berman, not only had a beautifully minimal closet herself but would organize closets when babysitting her grandkids, so growing up they thought that was what everyone did on weekends and that "It seemed not just normal but joyful." :)


I just died and went to heaven, I think. Sufjan's entire concert!

Onegin - Perfection!

Слыхали львы? 😂😂😂

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"Eugene Onegin" was perfection last night at the Met! Earlier in the day, I found out that Hvorostovsky, who was supposed to play Onegin, cancelled most appearances due to a brain tumor. I was a bit sad that he would not be performing, as he was so good as Onegin last time I saw this opera. But needless to say, that he should take care of his health and return to the Met one day to sing the role again. But even without him, this opera is just so freaking beautiful. The music almost melted my heart, Anna Netrebko and her partner were great and I was sitting at the edge of my seat, as if I was watching for the first time.

Here is the final scene of the same production from couple of years ago - same singers as last night.

As for production, it was very good and traditional, but the previous one I saw was just striking in its minimalism which brought out the beauty of the story - I hope they will do that one again. Also, I found it unusual that they used rifles for the duel scene. Don't they have pistols as props?

In other news, I started reading Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend yesterday, and I am totally hooked. It is so good! It has very funny bits too, in the style of tough gritty Neapolitan humor (as I imagine it) like: "he had gone to war and died twice: drowned in the Pacific Ocean, then eaten by sharks." It is also making me reflect on my childhood friendships.

Hooray, It's Monday!

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Happy Monday! Updated my meditation journal here.