Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

A Buddhist Perspective

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Books, Photos and Music

The Making of Books

I have taken a four-year sabbatical from launching into writing another book. I wrote one book per year between 1989 and 2003. I suspect that some of them climbed quite high towards the Top of the Least Sellers List. I continue writing articles, poems. Friends kindly transcribed a number inquiry sessions that consists of a dialogue with a practitioner to unravel the deeper truth of the experience or question.

In the past few months, I have carefully gone through my computer to put together the various matters that I have written about in the past few years to see what the potential is to form some new books. I had more unpublished stuff available than I realised. David Cassard, who stated at my home when I was overseas, helped put together the order for the first two books. Continue reading 



Review of The Master and Margarita

In the opening chapter of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, the devil suddenly turns up during the 1930’s in Moscow, the capital of the atheistic and state controlled society of Stalinist Russia. Satan appears in the form of a magician, named Woland, who creates havoc in the lives of those around. There are sudden disappearances of individuals or strange deaths. Woland’s terrifying powers of prophecy drive a young poet into a lunatic asylum after the poet fails to find and stop Woland and his gang.

Continue reading 



The Power of Romantic Love

 

I am deeply interested in love, the experience of it, the transformative power of it and the essential place that it holds in the depth of human life. I am especially interested in the various expressions of love including romantic love, expressions of erotic love, love of family, deep friendship, fearless acts of kindness, love of sangha, service, love for animals (not eating anything with a face) and love of life, such as dedication to environmental ethics, love of the arts and creativity. Continue reading 



LISTEN TO ANTONY, AN ANDROGYNOUS ANGEL

A friend, Jenny, kindly invited me for my birthday to come to watch at Dartington, Totnes on film Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man – a tribute to the Canadian singer-poet, Leonard Cohen. Various artists sang several of his best known songs including “I’m Your Man” Suzanne, Tower of Song and Hallelujah.

Halfway through the concert, a guy dressed in black, a little heavy in build, and with black lanky hair, looking a bit like a mediaeval monk, named Antony of Antony and the Johnsons came on stage and sang a less known song of Leonard Cohen called “If it be your will.” that starting with the words….
“If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true …”

Anthony sang with a haunting sensitivity that expressed itself throughout every note. This voice expressed a very rare quality. I had one of those seminal moments in the act of listening that resonated throughout my whole being of sheer jhanic (deep absorption) happiness – the sweetness of the voice, with his breathtaking range of emotions from an exquisite depth to an angelic high. As soon as I arrived home, I googled his name to find out about his music and the name. Born in Chichester, Sussex, England, Antony has lived for many years in the USA. He is a rare being – he embraces both male and female and through the unity of the two, he reaches out so that several songs feel like a hymn to humanity. Love, forgiveness, sorrow, identity, death feature in the lyrics – very simple and to the point.

In the sweetest of ways, Antony is fearless in terms of his lyrics.

One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful woman
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful girl
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful woman
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful girl
But for today I am a child, for today I am a boy

Antony has clearly touched a chord with those professionals who give their life to music. His 2005 album I am Bird Now won the prestigious Mercury Music Award given by a panel of industry experts, journalists and artists, for the album’s originality and creativity rather than sales success. The chairman of the judges said “I am a Bird Now is not like any album I have heard before or since.”Laurie Anderson, a creative artist herself, said: “When he sings it is the most exquisite thing that you will hear in your life.”

I bought the album the next day and played it one evening on the retreat that Nicole Stern and I were offering on The Power of Intimacy in the Waldhaus, near Bonn, Germany. Listen to it and let your heart sing.

Listen to Antony sing >>




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