Friday, July 28, 2006


This was in today's paper, unbeknownst to me:

Items worthy of your calendar or PDA for Monday and beyond.

Diverse rock and power pop

Monday: Trev Diesel and Waltz for Venus will team up once again for a night of original rock ‘n’ roll in downtown Lafayette. Diesel has had a great rookie year in the singer-songwriter circuit. His debut disc, The Parachute, shows off Diesel’s diverse sound. Fans of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson will not be disappointed. Waltz for Venus has streamlined its lineup as the power pop group is down to only two original members in frontman Jay Brooks and the enigmatic drummer D. Llama. New bassist Scott Rottler and guitarist Bartek Michael are recent additions to the band.

  • When: 9 p.m. to midnight Monday
  • Where: Sgt. Preston’s, 6 N. Second St.
  • How much: Free
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Tagged (See what you started Amy!!!!!)

    OK already! :-) Like, 3 people have tagged me! Here's the guidelines for when I tag you at the bottom of this entry:

    The first player of this game starts with "5 weird things/habits about yourself". In the end you need to choose 5 people to be tagged and list their names. The people who get tagged need to write a blog about their 5 weird things/habits, as well as state this rule clearly, then tag 5 more victims. Don't forget to leave your victim a comment that says "you're tagged!" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

    1. Breakfast Cereal is one of my favorite foods, ever - especially GrapeNuts.
    2. I don't like to use the "stalls" in public bathrooms if anyone else is present. The urinals are fine. I dunno, guess I've got "poop" issues.
    3. I dislike the taste of most things that are "white and creamy" - mayo, salad dressings, etc. (although I'm getting much better and can now eat and enjoy Cream Cheese, Yogurt and Sour Cream - which I couldn't do five years ago).
    4. I think Grad School in some sort of Contemplative Spiritual Practices arena (say, at Naropa Institute or Chicago Theological Seminary) would be awesome.
    5. I have a set, unconscious, habitual pattern of drying off my body (with a towel) after a shower. It always goes hair, face, left arm, right arm, shoulders, back, left leg, crotchal region, right leg, around the waist and tuck - all with a very efficient (and quick!) ballet-like fluidity. Oh yeah.

    I choose to tag:
    Josh, David, Kevin, Jay & Dan

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006


    Just a quick (second) post for the day to say that I appreciate all of your recent comments and I intend on answering those and visiting your sites within the next day or two to get all caught up... Trev's been a busy sk8rboi...

    Pop Culture RANT

    I know I'm constantly speaking of accepting people for who they are and saying "everything is ok" the way it is...

    ...and that's still the Truth...

    ...but I just feel like ranting a bit. So bear with me, huh?

    My wife sometimes watches the show "What NOT to Wear" on TLC and if you haven't seen it, the premise is that a group of people nominate one of their friends for the show that they think makes poor fashion decisions. Then, the two hosts of the show completely surprise this "fashion disaster" out-of-the-blue and tell them that all of his/her friends think they need a new wardrobe.

    You should seriously see the pain and betrayal in most of these people's faces. Now, granted, at the end of the show they're usually very happy with their new $5,000 wardrobe... but in the meantime, the 2 hosts go through each of that person's outfits one by one and makes fun of them, all the while belittling the person. On yesterdays show the girl was told repeatedly (to her face) that her clothing choices made her look like a dumb bimbo and "trashy."

    I guess what gets me is the arrogance of the hosts - who think they know what looks good and will humiliate anyone that isn't up to their code of dress (they remind me of those kids in high school whose only way to fit in is to get in one of those "lets make fun of everyone else" cliques). I usually spend the entire episode shouting cusswords at the "pompous a$ *#$@s" who think they're better than everyone else.

    I'm sure the hosts and the show creators have good intentions, but their methods are really an injustice and about the most cruel thing I've seen on TV.

    So... maybe it should be renamed "What NOT to Watch?" ;)

    (whew, I feel better now)

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006


    Voltaire said, "God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

    What does that mean to you (if anything)?

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    A Little Levity

    Considering the weightyness (is that a word?) of last week's posts, here's a little internet levity for you.

    I give you...

    Animator vs. Animation

    (be sure to click the PLAY button, it's kindof confusing!!!)

    (no, really, check this out, it's very creative and cool and gets better as it goes)

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
    Drying in the colour of the evening sun
    Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
    But something in our minds will always stay

    Perhaps this final act was meant
    To clinch a lifetime's argument
    That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
    For all those born beneath an angry star
    Lest we forget how fragile we are

    On and on the rain will fall
    Like tears from a star, like tears from a star
    On and on the rain will say
    How fragile we are, how fragile we are

    On and on the rain will fall
    Like tears from a star, like tears from a star
    On and on the rain will say
    How fragile we are, how fragile we are
    How fragile we are, how fragile we are

    ["Fragile," Sting]

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Why Be Good? (FINAL POST!)

    I've decided to forego doing five separate posts on "Why Be Good?" and sum up the last two in this final entry.

    I believe this conversation has been more than useful, if nothing else but to be a mirror for us to see ourselves. And after meditating on these things for weeks now, I'm starting to realize that the very first question itself can be questioned.

    You see, when I ask "Why be good?," I am seeking motivation to continue doing what I consider "good" - because I feel like I am supposed to. Because I believe that behaving properly gets me somewhere (assures me love, acceptance, approval). Because I haven't yet figured out what life means without attaining something or doing things.

    "Do not confuse (goodness) with compassionate. A compassionate person may be what we call (good), but compassion does not try to be (good). (Goodness) comes from conditioning. Compassion comes from the Heart and our shared connectedness."
    [Cheri Huber]

    What if there's nothing to do? What if there's nothing wrong with who I am and how I behave? What if you and I are totally accepted and loved and alive and perfect exactly as we are without labeling certain behaviors and attitudes as good and certain behaviors and attitudes as bad. That thought was not bad. It was just a thought. This action is not good. It is just an action. What if nothing is accomplished? What if we don't save or change the world?

    "We label behaviors good and then continue to do them in order to support self-hate. Perhaps doing in order to be good is what keeps you from realizing that you are already good...We label behaviors bad and then continue to do them in order to support self-hate. Believing that what you do determines who you are could be the real reason for continuing the behaviors."
    [Cheri Huber]

    I realize that a few of you touched on this in your comments - especially Miss Julie who called the question as her opening statement. Trying to behave in a certain way stems from an embedded belief that we should be other than what we are. If, however, after time spent in meditation or spiritual practice, one realizes that "the universe is One, and acting in accordance with Harmony (being kind, compassionate, helping others) brings a peace that can't be found through other avenues" then behaving in that manner will only be the natural mode of operation. If not, it's no sweat off the universe's back.

    "Do or do not. There is no try."

    Hey Trev, it's not necessary to continue trying so damn hard. There's no real need to create universal treatises on good and evil or attempt to justify your (and others) behavior. This is and always will be just this. And it is beyond perfect. As the old saying goes, "God is on his throne and all is right with the world."

    "You are perfect just as you are."
    [Suzuki Roshi]

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Why Be Good? (Post 3 of 5)

    What a wonderful group of comments yesterday! Here's Jon (from The Wild Things of God) and his take on this subject.

    I asked my teacher a while back, with tears coursing down my cheeks, "why is good better than evil?" He said, gently, "who's to say it is?" NOT the answer I wanted to hear! But he loved me enough to tell me the truth.

    Whenever considering spirituality, there's always the two points of view to consider: the Unknowable, Ultimate, Absolute, Unmanifested, Godhead, Brahman on one hand, and the intimate, present, relational, manifest, "Son", Atman on the other. Creator and creation.

    God as Creator knows no-thing, is no-thing, God as creation knows everything by being everything. And one thing all creation informs him about is pain. So in Buddhism, the "moral imperative" isn't so much that at all, but a practical directive to eliminate dukkha. All creation experiences dukkha, anicca, and anatman, and all creation says "this sucks." So the Son is about redemption, love, honesty, and recognizing that the same Self is in all bodies and minds, regardless of which little one your locus of experience is associated with.

    Yet on the other hand, there is the Absolute, from which all things come. The Old Testament is very honest in talking about evil coming from God as well as good--on almost every page. What happens, happens ultimately through God. This is monstrous when God is viewed as a "person.": Why did the six million Jews die?

    But the Absolute is Nothing. Everything comes from Something, and that Something is Nothing. This is even more difficult to talk about.

    From encountering this no-thing, even in the safe, veiled, temporary vehicle called meditation, we can see that no-thing is no conflict, no harm, no ill, well, nothing at all. It is peace, because peace is natural in no-thing.

    So the Absolute perspective, has a foundation of Good... but it is absolutely (pun!) not the Good of good and evil, but simply that fact that evil can only occur where there is care, differentiated selves to have self-interest, and desires and fears.

    But God doesn't have care. (Once my teacher startled me by saying, "God doesn't care if you believe in Him or not!")

    I'd say there's also the individual aspect. If I am not free to rape, murder and destroy, then I am not free to love, heal and build. We are born free, then become conditioned through morality (most of us, anyway, thank God!). But then even morality becomes a shackle as well, and our love is less free giving than conditioned response. Our freedom needs to be felt anew, realized anew, though it does not *need* to have all aspects acted out!

    Neither Paul nor Jesus comprised this teaching. Paul said simply, ALL things are permissible, not all are beneficial. Jesus routinely challenged the edges of the system. I love the story about the fish and the coin. When the collectors of the Temple tax came, he asked his disciples if kings tax their kids or others. Others, they said. Jesus answered, then their own kids are exempt, implying that none of them owed the tax.

    He paid the tax, but didn't take a coin out of the group's treasury, but out of fish's mouth!

    The paradoxes cannot be resolved: it's just the way it is. And "bad" guys and situations are needed for the "good" to work against and work through. When you see that, it becomes easier to love your enemy. All are necessary. The game is no fun without challenge. You want a rollercoaster to make you scream as well as laugh.

    Why Be Good? (Post 2 of 5)

    To continue yesterday's post, here is my own response to the question. It is certainly a work-in-progress and as I've said before, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything or make a universal statement - this is the conclusion that I have made... yours will be totally different.

    The first thing that has struck me as odd is the word should. I find that to be absolutely the wrong word. No one says I should be "good." Believing there are "shoulds" heaps on unnecessary guilt when I break my own good/bad rules and stems from an ignorant starting point.

    If all my bullet-points were true, then it's quite alright for one to be a total bastard. That, too, is a manifestation of Spirit and HAS to exist in order for everything else to exist. Can you have a coin without a "tails" side? That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be stern punishment for the "evil-doers" (in order to allow all to live in a civilized society), but rather they are allowed to be who they are (internally). Wow, how Ken Wilber was THAT!

    That being said, there are way more than enough "unconscious" people who lean toward the dark side without those who are conscious choosing that path.

    It's not about should. It's about choice.

    Knowing that the universe is full of every type of person, every form of manifestation, every side of duality, at least SOME of us must choose (are called or chosen or fated?) to represent the white/light/good side. Just as there are Hitlers, there have to be Zen monks - and everything inbetween on both sides. This doesn't mean that the Light Team should, or even will win each battle, just that the teams are balanced.

    If I feel a pull toward the Jedi side, then may I go for it! I am a manifestation of the Positive and Light side of the polarity. That has to exist too! With all of my might, I can give, serve, love, teach, BE, radiate, paint, see, sit, fight for the white side...

    And, if there is indeed One Self, even if "I" in this place, in this life, choose to fully play for the Light team, I am not imbalanced, as there are other aspects of mySelf in the Universe that balance me out. It's the same reason one should not be covetous, but rather happy, at the fortune of someone else - that's yourSelf!

    At the end of the day, I am realizing that what used to be a focus on morality is being replaced by a focus on compassion. Compassion for no other reason than ... easing pain and suffering (your own and others). On her radio show a few weeks ago, Zen teacher Cheri Huber said that compassion is acting to “free people from suffering. Not to fix them, not to change them, not to judge them, not to criticize them, not to beat them, not to believe they should be different, but just to save them from all that suffering they're feeling.” Does your own suffering and the suffering of others break your heart? Do you think misery "sucks?" Then be a kind and gentle person! Don't beat yourself up when you don't fully make that happen, but at the same time, enjoy the possibilties of compassionate awareness.

    And as far as refraining from the "bad" things, it just comes naturally when you realize that the universal prohibitions - such as the Ten Commandments and the Buddhist Precepts, that say don't lie, don't steal, etc. - are just guidelines to keep you present and centered and from feeling like a separate self. Remember we (and others) are not punished
    for our "sin," but by our sin. But hey, if you or I choose to "be bad," to wallow in suffering, then that's our prerogative.

    As for me, I'm finding that peace comes when I act not out of conditioning, but out of a compassionate centeredness - and from that, there is no good/bad, right/wrong - just the opportunity in THAT moment to act in the most appropriate way.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Why Be Good? (Post 1 of 5)

    Over the next 5 days, I have outlined a series of posts that I wish to share about the basis for morality. Todays post is is a question that I emailed blogger friend, Jon. Then, over the next 4 days, I will post will post his response, my response to myself, as well as a few book excerpts. Here we go.

    TREV'S EMAIL TO JON (Edited)

    What is the basis for morality?


    • is truly (as Jon described it) the projection of light contrasted with darkness upon the screen of The Self (which I believe and experience it to be)...
    • ...light cannot be known apart from darkness and vice versa...
    • ...good and evil are terms that we apply to certain things and situations, when in actuality things just ARE WHAT THEY ARE...
    • ...pain and suffering can be great teachers...
    • ...there will always be good and evil, rich and poor, light and darkness - for ever and ever - because duality is the reason the ONE became the ten-thousand things (all "perfect," all the time is BORING!)...
    • ...samsara is nirvana (we're not looking for a perfectly light, totally "good" - and drab - heaven in the future); or to put it another way: the entire way to heaven is heaven...
    Then why should an individual choose to be moral - or in other words: "not create evil, practice good, and actualize good for others (Zen's Three Pure Precepts)?" Wouldn't a life that deliberately ignores, suppresses or rejects certain attitudes, things and behaviors as EVIL - and therefore abstains from them - be turning their backs on both the beauty of duality and the very basis upon which multiplicity exists?

    Would striving to be "good" and "do good things" not be a one-sided, unbalanced way to live?
    Of course I am exaggerating a bit, because from the root of my being, I will always choose to give my crust of bread to the hungry man and wish no harm on anyone... but I am exaggerating to make a point and for discussion purposes.

    (Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: My response to my own question. Then Thursday I will post Jon's response.)

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Great Radio Show

    If you're the podcasting/internet-radio type, I invite you to check out this show I just discovered called "Open Air with Cheri Huber."

    Cheri is the founder of the Mountain View Zen Center in Mountain View, California, and the Zen Monastery Practice Center in Murphys, California, and teaches in both communities.

    The show is great because it basically consists of Cheri and Michael answering listeners phone calls and emails, and takes awareness practice out of theory and into the realm of real people dealing with it in real life.

    Check it.

    Radio show page (Listen here!)

    Zen Monastery Peace Center

    OR, just type Cheri Huber into the iTunes podcasting search and you can podcast the show.