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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, Terry Riley decided to stay right where he was, which just so happened to be in Japan.

The composer had arrived in the country in February 2020 to do preliminary work for a piece commissioned by an arts festival held on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan.

It was supposed to be the first hop on a three-month worldwide tour with his son, Gyan, to mark his 85th birthday. And then, well, things changed.

“I got here, and then everything canceled,” Riley recalls, speaking over mugs of chai tea at his apartment in Yamanashi Prefecture, a few hours train ride from central Tokyo. “I had no work and nowhere to go, really, so I ended up living here.”

His next album will be a new version of Autodreamographical Tales, performed by New York contemporary-music ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars. The piece was originally released as a solo recording, in which Riley read excerpts from dream journals he had kept during the 1990s.

“I often get ideas for music in dreams, where I’ll actually hear the music,” he says. But it isn’t a simple question of transcribing sounds from his subconscious.

“The actual music in a dream is way too good to ever manifest in an earthly situation,” he explains. “I think you come to understand, after a while, that they’re two different things, and you let the one influence the other. You let the dreams influence your work, without an expectation that they’re going to be the same thing.

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Huntington Ashram Monastery
July 2011

About nine years ago I was working on Long Island a lot, with a little detective work I visited the John Coltrane home in Dix Hills. Historic landmark, but just an empty house…outside, I walked around a bit, had a seat and listened to the silence of the neighborhood around a suburban home.

A link to a 1970 NET 15:40 min segment on Alice Coltrane.


Alice Coltrane – Live in Warsaw, Poland 1987
Lonnie’s Lament /Harp solo


Alice Coltrane – A Love Supreme 10-23-87
live in Warsaw, Poland

20160909_142407-croppedNo, this isn’t it…just some video, so I can find it later.

10 minute Zen Meditation Timer
Zazen Sitting Meditation – 20 Minutes
25 Minutes Zen Meditation Timer
30 Minutes Zen Meditation Timer
45 Minute Meditation Timer with Bells Candle and Incense
Zen – Introduction to zen practice, in Japanese – Taigen Shodo Harada Roshi

Zen talks by Brad Warner

Tony Scott – Music for Zen Meditation not the entire album, just one cut. couldn’t resist tossing this in!

20160909_142407-cropped

The Diamond Sutra read by Kokuu Andy McLellan

“The Diamond Sutra (Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra) is one of the Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Its popularity in this literature is probably second only to The Heart Sutra (Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya Sūtra) which is chanted daily in most Zen centres worldwide.

This audio reading has been carried out for the benefit of Buddhist students and others who would like to read the text but struggle with physical books for whatever reason, or would just prefer an audiobook version. This reading is from the Red Pine (Bill Porter) translation of the text which can be purchased in book format. The book includes an excellent chapter by chapter commentary in addition to Bill’s great translation of the work.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer has given a series of talks on The Diamond Sutra which can be found by searching for The Diamond Sutra at his Everyday Zen site (http://everydayzen.org/teachings/).”

“As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space
an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble
a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning
view all created things like this.”

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