Out of non-doing (what needs to be done)

by Latrippi on June 20, 2006

All doing must begin in non-doing. Otherwise we are just recycling our old habitual patterns. And what’s the point of that? So we always need to begin with non-doing.

How do we do that? First, we need to train in non-doing, which is what our daily meditation practice is about. And then, in situations, we should take a moment to connect back to that ‘nothing happening’ state of mind, before we proceed.

Out of non-doing, what needs to be done will eventually make itself known. That alone, is real doing. Anything else is ultimately completely ineffectual and futile, although the whole world may be taken in by us and may be bowing down to us in praise for what we have done.

In our non-doing, we should wait until what needs to be done shows itself. We should take the attitude that even if the universe comes to an end, we are going to wait. What if we have to do something sooner than that? We should take the attitude that we are going through the motions, we are not really doing anything at all, we are just wasting time – until something authentic turns up.

Reggie Ray, “Non-doing,” Practitioner’s Notebook

What needs to be done has been making itself known, gradually (very gradually). And yet, suddenly, it’s a lot! There’s cleaning up and catching up, reporting back, setting up, getting going, and, of course, thinking through. All in good time.

Sorry for the long absence! Thanks for stopping by.

Lifted by Hopelandic : Sigur Rós Live (podcast)

by Latrippi on September 11, 2005

As the world melts like the Wicked Witch of the West, chilly things and creatures — icey, arctic places and the products of them — take on the tones of hope. In the case of Iceland’s astonishing Sigur Rós, they actually sing Hopelandic.

Sigur Ros in Hats (green)
Sigur Ros in Hats

Tonight at 9 PM-ish Eastern time, 6 PM-ish on the West Coast, and presumably anytime after, catch the live Sigur Rós concert podcast from Bethesda, Maryland, courtesy of NPR’s All Songs Considered.

For 2 weeks, I’ve been buoyed up by the charming, haunting “Sæglópur” (Lost at Sea), a pre-release from Takk…, (Thanks…), due out tomorrow Tuesday. One critic calls it the group’s “most beguiling, subtle and beautiful album yet.”

According to the message boards, 4 of the 11 songs on Takk… are in Hopelandic (the rest are in Icelandic). Hard on the heels of Katrina, it’s a welcome relief. From an earlier album:

“ég gaf ykkur von sem varð að vonbrigðum.. þetta er ágætis byrjun”
= “i gave you hope that became a disappointment.. this is an alright start”

As I make my way through my own alternately awkward and inspired evacuati — er, make that, exit/strategy, the post-apocolyptic atmosphere of resigned optimism conjured up by Sigur Rós is perfect.

» See also: cheerfulness despite

My Ptolemaic Code

by Latrippi on August 14, 2005

In the interests of having a fresh platform to post from, I did a slap dash site upgrade last spring, switching from Blogger-Zope to WordPress & MediaWiki. But I’m not giving up on Zope! No, I’ve still got a Zope/Plone umbrella in place here for the site to expand into. Now that I’m actually getting underway, though, I’m scrambling to make sense of what I’ve done (!).

The hybrid Zope-Blogger site I’d been using had grown stale, so stale, I simply couldn’t stand to go there. Meanwhile, I was excited about the profusion of tools coming out in MySQL + PHP. I hung back for a long time, watching, but by last spring, sensed a change was in the air and so, with limited time to give, I took the plunge.

“Oh, it’ll be OK,” I told myself of the upgrade process, “It’ll be iterative!” I didn’t realize that it would be months before I had time to see the project through.

I’ve been tweaking code all morning in an effort to quickly fix the weblog layout so I like what I see. The CSS needs a serious overhaul soon. I’m just adding little fixes here and there, to tide me over — epicyles, as it were — that I hope will be easy to track.

Meanwhile, looking more closely, I’m having second thoughts about the overarching site architecture.

Before the upgrade, this weblog and my wiki were subdirectories, folders in Zope. Now, because they’re outside the Zope object database, they’re subdomains instead. It’s the best the sysadmin at my Zope host could do.*

That means that all the pre-existing links to netvironments across the web are broken, including mine. The accumulated history of the site, as written in paths and links, is lost. I didn’t want to be difficult. I didn’t know what else to do. But that’s not very iterative, is it? No, the more I’ve thought about it today, the more I’m realizing that losing that history is a stupid thing to do.

What a quandry!

Maybe an Apache ace could fix it, map the paths on the file system so they look like folders in Zope. At this point, though, is it too late? I don’t know what to do. I’m happy to have branched out into PHP, really. But I’m in over my head, again. “I’m sorry, fish, we went out too far,” as my father once said to me, when we were watching TV together, a old film version of The Old Man and the Sea. . . .

For a couple years now, I’ve been working on a phantom ‘site consolidation project’ while trying out new tools for writing. Every time I strike out to resolve it, I end up trying out a new technology and spawning yet another site, which only makes matters worse.

This time, I’ve really done it — created a coding mess whose complexity is positively Ptolemaic! And yet, I’m optimistic. (Or is that, droptimisitic?) Somewhere out there, a solution’s waiting for me. I just need to approach this in right way. If I scan the right streets in the right light, Kepler and Copernicus are bound to come along soon.

* The main site is still served and managed with Zope, though there’s a redirect on the front page now. In Zope, there’s the archive of my old site, a couple of course sites in Plone, and the draft/placeholder of a larger site, which will house a portfolio, and bridge between that and this weblog and the wiki. At least, that’s the plan.