Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tampa Pipet

That means without a straw. That's how I order any drink that might come with a straw. If it's an upscale place I'll say without a plastic straw because some places are using paper or organic tube plant straws or glass. About four out of five times they forget and bring a plastic straw and I gently lecture them on how they don't decompose and often end up in streams and the ocean. There is a movement to get restaurants to stop using them. We're all still doomed but it seems like a good effort to make.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Nyoman who takes care of blind Brit Philip next door mainly by drinking with him, just spent the night in jail for drunk driving. Didn't know that was possible - I think he thought it wasn't. Philip apologized for their conduct the other night. I said it's nothing unusual, like we lived next to a frat house. Meanwhile on the other side the apartment is being used more and more by people in recovery, like just off of a heavy Oxycontin habit and so forth. Our best friend Alice and her mate my best man Danu are overseeing that. Alices little dog ran up on Philip's porch and he told her the stinking dog needs a bath and she does too. Katrinka gently told him she'd appreciate it if he didn't speak to our friends or any people that way around here. Didn't show his face the next day. Landlord is concerned. His house would make a nice addition to the recovery program. I'd miss him and Nyoman. Nyoman's like my private tutor. - dc

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Purnama Kedasa - The 10th Full Moon

Wondered why there were so many closed stalls at the market this morning. Then someone explained. Found the following with the title above on this page date March 23 but heard it goes on for a month.

Location: major temples island-wide [photo of Besakish mother temple grounds]

This special full moon is considered highly significant amongst Balinese Hindus. Known as 'Purnama Kedasa' in the local tongue, the day coincides with many major temples celebrating in festive rituals, attended by thousands of devotees. The famous mother temple, Besakih, holds a special ceremony known as 'Betara Turun Kabeh' on this special day, inviting the gods and deified ancestors for their blessings. A 'melasti' or purification pilgrimage usually takes place on the preceding Sunday, with processions carrying helrilooms and temple objects to sanctified water sources.

It's called Holis in India. - thanks Gregory

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Another Brian Victoria article

A Buddhist View of War: D. T. Suzuki; This essay by Suzuki seems to support the idea of 'holy war'. Written during the Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905), Suzuki promotes Zen Buddhism as a legitimate path to being a warrior. from The Light of Dharma, July, 1904, Vol. 4. No. 2 pp. 179-182 - from the Zen Site

That article is and many more from Brian and others are linked to from the Zen Site's Critiques of Zen page 

Brian Victoria cuke page

True Mirror - wow

It just occurred to me that mirrors aren't what you look like to others. They reverse the face or whatever they're reflecting sideways - left to right but not top to bottom. I'm a little dense I guess and that made me think but I thought into a wall. Duh. So when I used the webcam on my laptop to take a photo which barely showed the scales that caught the cockroach the other day, I put my hand up on the right side and there it was on the left in the image I was looking at. It was a true mirror. I knew I couldn't be the first to think of that and found True Mirror dot com and a Guardian article on why mirrors go L to R but not top to bottom. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Poem

Is and Isn't
 A Clarification to that Material Only Fellow Who's Putting Down Religion and Spiritual Stuff while Just Seeing the Superficial Literal Side not Taking to Heart the Bard's Well-penned More Things that are Dreamt of in your Philosophy

Brian Victoria new article

The Zen of Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) - in Japan Focus

That's a photo of a Hitler Jugend visit to Eiheiji in December of 1940.

Brian Victoria cuke page

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

May the best meditater win!

Meditation Olympics - perfect followup to yesterday's big bucks in meditation post. - Thanks Tony Patchell 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Big Bucks in this biz

Fortune Mag article and video on the current lucrative meditation and mindfulness biz

We here at cuke with cuke.com, shunryusuzuki.com, zmbm.net, and cuke-annex are planning on doubling our charges as a result of reading this article.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Another Discovery

Lying in the pool here on my back after yoga found out by accident that if I cup my hands and bring them straight down then under and turn them around, that lots of little bubbles come up tickling my back and neck. I'm not even trying to discover things but phenomena keeps doing its thing.

Friday, March 11, 2016


A song in Indonesian and English named Offerings (Persembahan Persembahan) which opens and closes with the canang sari, palm leaf offering in Bali, and includes a different type of local offering - intentional and destructive - and mythical figures galore.

Youtube video of Offerings 

Origin of this song

The idea for the song had been on my mind and I'd shared it with a few local musicians, one being a rapper from Flores. Ketut Artana has been our long distance driver for more than two years now. He and his family were at our wedding. He'd taken me on a Sunday morning to join with the crowd walking around the perimeter of a large public park. We ended up at the Hari Krishna tent drinking bubur poridge and grooving on their chanting and music. He, his wife, and I went to the Buddhist temple in Seminyak one eve to meditate with a Burmese monk there. Monday night we'll go to a nearby Buddhist place to meditate. Ketut knows plenty of English but we speak almost entirely Indonesian. If not I'd get someone else. I spend a lot of time at home and when I get out want to deal with people who speak Indonesian as much as possible. Near the end of June, Ketut drove me to Singaraja, the old capital and 2nd most populace city about four hours north. Destination a Buddhist temple there for a ten day retreat. On the way I pestered him about how to say this and that. We stopped for some fruit.

I asked him, "What's that called again/"

"Canang sari." (pronounced chanang sari)

"Oh yeah. I forget."

"And this flower?"


"Marigold in English."

(Weird to use quotes when it's just a translation from the Indonesian)

I'd forgotten what marigold was too. So I made a sentence: "Ada gumitir di dalam canang sari."
(There's a marigold in the palm leaf offering). "Right?"


Good. So I started saying it over and over as we drove off. Then started singing it. Just that one line four times. Soon he joined me. We sang it over and over.

Ten days later Ketut was waiting for me when the retreat was over. A few others joined us to get rides back south. As soon as he started the car and was driving off I sang that line and we sang it over and over till I worried that it might be irritating to our fellow passengers. Then I realized that that would be a perfect fit and a perfect opening for the song I had in mind, one which compared all the offerings people make here to their plastic trash as another type of offering with powerful results. Back home got out the guitar and soon it was done. Checked the Indonesian with a few locals and changed a few words. But the first ones were done with Ketut, my co-author.

See the film, Trashed, about the global problem. Kartika Soekarno, daughter of former great president Soekarno (Sukarno) showed it to Indonesian president Jokowi Widodo.

First wrote about this song idea here on January 31, 2015

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Happy Bali Hindu New Year

Nyepi (see Saunters post from two days ago) at night - really dark - just a hint of light here and there. The whole island still in the day and dark at night. The only place in the world that shuts its airport I heard. Sneaking out we saw clear sky and stars like we were in the wilderness. That's a photo from last night off a friend's Facebook page.

The night before, Ngerupak when the Ogoh Ogoh are paraded was magical. People go out to see them on the streets. There were some around here. There was a late main event we hear which was to be a mile away. We almost didn't go. Walked there at 10:30pm not sure if something was happening there or not. It was. At one point I urged Katrinka and when it wasn't where we'd thought it would be she urged me. Got there. Maybe 25 of these statues were carried to he Matahari Beach grounds where one by one they went to a stage with dancers and gamelan players. Thousands watched. We too watched that and walked around in what Katrinka called a garden of Ogoh Ogoh with their carriers and others sitting around them.  What artistry. Amazing creative creatures based on mythical and other themes. There was one elsewhere of Trump. Another that was elsewhere was banned for its environmental theme but they got around that. Almost all are neighborhood projects. We saw six foreigners there. It went on past midnight. Almost no alcohol. Most people drinking water. Lots of young people. Such a civilized and well behaved crowd. We got lost from each other for a while. Katrinka commented on how comfortable she felt anyway. We went home by the beach walk in the dark. High tide. Waves lapping. 

Dangerous global warming

will happen sooner than thought – study - Guardian - 80% of world energy used for fuel, only 20% for electricity, so alternative fuel most important. Study authors suggest transferring current global 500 billion dollar subsidies for oil and coal to renewables. Predicated population and economic growth plus six-fold increase of energy use per person to lead to two degree rise by 2030 according to model - 1.5 rise by 2020. I find it so weird to watch the business news people talk only in terms of growth good and less growth bad. So deaf and blind. And so representative of what most people in power think. - dc

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ogoh Ogoh!

Tonight March 8th the demons come out and are cremated. Ogoh Ogoh is a great show. Not just demons but mythological and other creatures. A lot of creative statues of wood and paper built by neighborhoods and anyone who wants will be paraded nearby. There will be so many people out at the by-pass intersection that we'll probably stay on the side to avoid the crush. Katrinka took the photo of an enormous Ogoh Ogoh from our neighborhood.

After the Ogoh Ogoh parade (coming from more than one direction) things get quiet and we move into Nyepi.

All day Wednesday, March 9th and all night till dawn the next day is Nyepi, day of silence, quiet, meditation and prayer in which everything is closed including the airport and people are to stay inside and not use lights or electricity if possible. Nothing on the roads but emergency and police. Some people go to hotels that they can do what they want to inside. Some leave town. We love it. Hunker down - and discretely cheat - like to tiptoe out to see the partial solar eclipse in the morning.

Rip Nancy Reagan

I think, according to what I read long ago, that the great thing Nancy Reagan did was to encourage her husband to deal  with Gorbachev to get the US and the Soviets to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. As I read, she did so hoping he'd get a Nobel Peace Prize which I think was a good idea. But so much harm in other ways such as Nancy Reagan's role in the disastrous drug war.

First Bitch - a song from the Defuser archives

Monday, March 7, 2016


Today is the last day of Melasti, a ceremony to purify the "small world." There have been ceremonies here and there for a few days, at the beach near us yesterday - thousands and thousands of people - and flowers. Note the priest sprinkling water on people just like in Zen ceremonies from Japan. This is right before the traditional New Year, but going to the sea for purification is done at other times. A woman standing next to us yesterday watching told me that after the bombing in Kuta in 2003, that there were ceremonies at the beach the next day to purify and atone for having let that happen.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Unique Cockroach Catcher

Asked Katrinka why the scales was on the porch over to the side. She only said one word. "Cockroach."

We don't kill them though sometimes inflict unintended harm in catching. So I asked, "Oh, you used the scales to catch a cockroach?"

"Well, one hid in the scales and I took it outside. So I guess the answer is yes."


Friday, March 4, 2016

Danny Parker report

here on Facebook - from Europe where in Austria he delivered a paper he co-authored on how to most economically get to near Zero Energy in new residential construction in Europe. And it won a award.

Congratulations and good for you Danny!

Weird Coincidence

Was watching a ridiculous film the night before last and stopped in the middle to go to bed. Yesterday I finished a ridiculous piece started a few days earlier and posted it - Jealousy. In it, [spoiler alert] a couple blinds themselves. Later last night finished the ridiculous movie in which [spoiler alert], with no hint of this in what I'd seen the night before, by the end the couple had blinded themselves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A new table

Pak Kardino, a carpenter and fairly old guy for here (old people don't do well here) - 60s I guess - just built me a low table out of scrap that was around on the side - the top a leftover piece of teak plywood and camphor legs and frame below.  He was doing some work next door and I asked if he'd do it when he was through with them, told him do it quick, doesn't have to be perfect. Just want to use it on the porch because the two small round tables out here are a little too high for floor work. We measured and figured I should have 38 centimeters for my legs and the cushion I sit on. He did it in about an hour including teak trim tape glued around the edge of the plywood, nice joints where the legs and horizontal supports meet, finishing it in clear non gloss. It's perfect except I'll sand the legs a little. So I asked how much and he said whatever and I said no you tell me and he said, ok - 50. That's 50,000  rupiah which is $3.75. I gave him 100 and told him don't charge bule, foreigners, that little. He rode off happy on his bike.