Archive for the ‘Tom D.’ Category

Depression Rocks!

"Depression Rocks!" 24"x30" Oil over Found Painting 2011 by Diane DiMassa

I’ve been feeling like I take the same picture. I don’t have a ton of readers of the blog, but I have enough of an audience that I was feeling self conscious about being dull & repeatitive. Further, I had been finding photography to be less satisfying as it started feeling more stilted. So  I did something I don’t normally do and reached out to an artist friend, Diane DiMassa, and asked her for advice.

“Diane – I have been doing a photo a day project for almost a year. Recently, I feel like I’m taking the same photo over and over and over. Do you have any advice for how to break out of a rut?”
  1. Take some pictures purposely with the worst composition you can.
  2. Frame up a shot then turn around and shoot what’s directly opposite.
  3. Shoot something you despise that you would never think of wasting a shot on.
  4. Take a picture of something you’re not supposed to take a picture of.
  5. Scream at your camera
  6. Turn 12 and take 50 pictures of your junk. Do not post.

I found her advice to be both witty, and very helpful. I haven’t spent a sustained period of time trying to be creative before and I found I was getting very mechanical in what I was shooting. I had prided myself on “taking photos of things people would walk by” but that gets boring after the 17th post of a rusted piece of metal.

An additional comment I got that were help was from my friend Liz. ” Sometimes the answer comes when you figure out what it is that is making you to take the “same” photo over and over. The answer is in the problem…” Of course, Tom D. had to chip in, “You should quit. Art is too hard.”

Diane DiMassa is a pretty awesome artist and her website can be found at www.dianedimassa.com.

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Thich-Nhat-Hanh-Peace-In-Oneself-Peace-In-The-WorldTom closed our meditation group with this Thich Nhat Hanh piece. It’s beautiful.

The Refuge Chant

At the foot of the Bodhi tree, beautifully seated, peaceful and smiling, the living source of understanding and compassion, To the Buddha I go for refuge.


The path of mindful living, leading to healing, joy,  and enlightenment, the way of peace, to the Dharma I go for refuge.


The loving and supportive community of practice, realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation, to the Sangha I go for refuge.


I am aware that the three gems are within my heart. I vow to realize them. I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling, looking deeply into things. I vow to understand living beings and their suffering, to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, and to practice joy and equanimity.


I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning, and to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon. I vow to live simply and sanely, content with just a few possessions, and to keep my body healthy. I vow to let go of all worries and anxieties, in order to be light and free.


I am aware that I owe so much to my parents, teachers, friends, and all beings. I vow to be worthy of their trust, to practice wholeheartedly, so that understanding and compassion will flower, and I can help living beings be free from their suffering. May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts.

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Tom D. found this. It is art + awesome + full of win= post worthy


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Things Tom D. Says

My friend Tom D. says some pretty awesome things at our weekly sitting group. I decided I would start a post where I could add all of my favorites. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten more than I’ll remember but I hope to be updating this regularly. I’ve got a terrible memory so most of these are paraphrased…

  • “Meditation is my chance to watch all the trains of thought go by and I choose to stand on the platform and not get on every one.”
  • On living in the moment: “I have to remember that I’m building a wall, brick by brick, but in my mind, I’m building a Cathedral all at once. But its really just a wall and I can only do it one day at a time.”
  • On how meditation helps us be better listeners: “People mistake me for being a good listener because I don’t talk much myself.”
  • On meditating when on vacation: “Instead of meditating first thing in the morning, I have a few four cups of coffee and then have speedy meditation.”
  • “I want to know Karma and Impermanence like I know gravity. If I knock a glass off the table, I don’t wish it would float or imagine it will suspend in the air, I just know its going to fall and shatter.”
  • On discussing if Tom read the comments on a blog post by a meditation teacher,“[No] There
    should be a cop standing next to them saying “Move along folks, nothing to see here..””
More to come…

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