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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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Lhasa meditation


He slows down.
Each step is a breath.
As before, in other planetary places he savors the beginning of a new day in
scenes of becoming—cold, isolated, strange, wonderful mysterious reality. The
street blends into the circuit. Go to the main square. Two large chorten furnaces
are breathing fire, sending plumes of gray and black smoke into the sky.
Figures of all ages and energies, sellers of juniper and sage. Buyers collect their
offerings—throw sweet smelling twigs into the roaring fire, finger prayer beads
and resume their pilgrimage.

He joins the flow, shuffling along. Feel the softness being with the ageless
way of meditation, a walking meditation.

It is a peaceful manifestation of the eternal now. The vast self vibration of
frequencies in the flow. His “restless” wandering ghost spirit feels the peace
and serenity inside the flow.

The sky fills with clear pink light. As above, so below. Prayer flags lining
roofs sing in the wind as incense smoke curls away. The shuffling pilgrims create
a ceaseless wave—the sound of muted consistent steps, clicking of prayer
beads, a gentle hum of turning prayer prayer wheels, murmurs of mantras from lips.

Everything is clear and focused on offering, sacrifice, gaining merit
in the collective unconscious. The river flows.

Dawn light blesses western snow capped mountains with a pink glow.
A black-faced half-naked boy throws himself down and out on his hands
and knees prostrating the length of his skinny skeleton. He wears slabs of wood
on his hands and an old brown apron. He edges forward, pulling himself
along, rises, gestures to the sky, hands together, down along his skin out and
down to the ground scrapping away flesh edging forward inside shuffling pilgrims.
His eyes are on fire!

One completes one circuit after another, circling the Jokhang. More light,
more people ascending into the square—handfuls of juniper feed roaring
Crack! Hiss! Burn! Back to Dust!
You will walk through the fire.
Do this practice every day.


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Chasing the Moon


Someone suggested you see "Inland Empire," by David Lynch with friends, lovers and perfect strangers. Hallucinogenic character becomes mysterious woman inside the outside story where reality and imagination play together. The Rabbit family lives in #47. Who is the Phantom?

We are all extras in someone's film.

Meanwhile, on the overnight "A" train;
oceans, seas, oil freighters,
gas flames light sky
burning the moon.
solitary sea gull air relationships,
rolling along

a woman closes her drapes,
below her blindness
along deserted street
two veiled lovers hold hands
cherishing shadows
escaping the tyranny
of their mutual expectations

long low train whistle blast
distant village, lights,
long haul semi illuminates a ribbon

small early stations,
fenced, barbed wire enclosures
sad long faced men staring at the ground
for life
for their day to unfold
like some precious flower

istanbul commuter ferry water
visions of mosques, spires, domes
waves churning blue
water sky
elemental light

all the moon glows song
sleepless dreams released
under heavy green and purple grapes
delicious and sweet


window bars angle people.jpg


Would you rather be Free or Rich?

Moon dances with clouds.

It will be full soon. Waxing crescent at 19%.

These moons, remembering clouds in August. Such a cruel and heartless forgotten forgiving month,

hearing sky welcoming moon, clouds inside precision.

Approaching full. Running on empty.

A word. A piece of heavy equipment. Lighter than a feather it is capable of knocking things down.

A moon Metro subterranean subway car on Saturday. Speed inside optical tunnels. An old man wearing a crumpled white hat walks slowly with his wife.

She is his noun; he, her verb, her action. "Just get to the verb," he whispers. Their language is a tree filled with autumn's changing colors, sparrows, blue jays, and love's doves.

Far away on a street of memories, a street of regrets, streets spilling potentials, sweet street's passion dances with death.

The moon Metro is picking up speed. We are hurtling through space-time. Silent, salient passengers wear sad eyed desire. They crave sleep.

The tyranny of sheep-less-ness. 

Make a list of 10 things you want to do before you die.

sunset on water.jpg 



How am I supposed to feel?


The articulate kid in his second year of medical school at the university was talking about his career choice.

"How am I supposed to feel when I see these patients?"
"It's a question of finding balance, perspective."

"Yes," he said, "I am one of them. I am a patient. It's hard being a doctor. I don't know enough to help them. I am learning from more experienced students and doctors."

"What do they tell you in the emergency room when you help them?"
"They tell me to wait, how I will learn how to keep my perspective over time."

"What do you do to relax?"
"I go out with my friends to a club. I go to movies. I want to forget about all the terrible things I have seen at the hospital."

"But," he continued, "I am happy being a doctor. When someone puts on the white coat they feel special. They help people. I thought about becoming an engineer like my father but I saw how he only works with machines, how at the end of the day he would come home and talk about electricity. It was interesting but I wanted more out of life. I wanted to understand DNA and genetic structures. I wanted to help others."

"I see," said the blind man.

"Being a doctor is hard. I don't know how I am supposed to feel."


dummies (1).jpg


Make a blood donation


Ah, the great feeling of donating blood. When you travel you give. Giving blood is giving the gift of life. As I have learned from experience, a wonderful little teacher, for the last twenty odd years, giving blood helps someone who needs it more than me.

I have A- which is fairly rare. So, last century, I started donating and yesterday allowed me to donate. The blood mobile is parked downtown near a busy intersection. You walk down the street past pretzel sellers, cascading water fountains, statues of frozen soldiers firing rusty iron guns into cobalt skies and get on the bus.

A smiling nurse from Bulgaria asks you health questions in broken English. Another nurse takes your blood pressure. She attaches a tourniquet to your left arm and says, "You have excellent veins."

She swabs the vein and slides the needle in. Open and close your left hand. Blood flows.

Outside the tinted windows parents hold hands with their children in blinding sun. Scraggly faced men unload boxes of fresh red tomatoes from a white truck. Sunglasses on pedestrians reflect light. Teams of boys fold and crush cardboard boxes in their salvage operation and load them on metal rolling carts.Recycle sales potential.

Sad, oh so serious SAD looking businessmen carry their briefcases filled with secrets. Such a heavy burden.

Blood flows. A little gift.