Where Truth Is Told


Album: Means "Sending You Strength"


"The final stage of letting go is being without deception...your self deception, your own hesitation and self-doubt, may confuse other people or actually deceive them...Being without deception is actually a further extension of telling the truth: it is based on being truthful with your self. When you have a sense of trusting in your own existence, then what you communicate to other people is genuine and trustworthy." 

—Chogyam Trungpa


Chew The Thorn


Album: 108 "Songs Of Separation"


“Let me tell you a crazy story about a camel.  Camels have strange behavior. Plodding through the desert for days on end gets them really thirsty.  But there’s no water in sight, which freaks the camel out a bit.  Now the weird part: The thirsty camel walks up to some scraggly shrub brush, sticks his big lips around it, and bites off a thorn.  Smile on his face, eyes staring blankly to the horizon, he begins to chew.  Thorn slices tongue.  Tongue bleeds.  He lets the blood well up inside his mouth and anticipates the pleasure, the wonderful pleasure.  Swallow.  Yes, oh yes–the sensation.  Quench that thirst.” 

—Vraja Kishore Dasa


“There's this background static of slight unease, or maybe fidgetiness, or restlessness, or boredom, or aggression. And so, we begin to use things or act out to try to get some kind of relief from that unease. Things become imbued with an addictive quality because we empower them with the idea that they will bring us comfort. … There [is a] pattern of habituation, of strengthening the ignorance around shenpa and the ignorance that the chain reaction is even happening, the ignorance that you're even scratching, the ignorance that it's spreading all over your body, the ignorance that you're bleeding to death. We are willing to sometimes die to keep getting short-term symptom relief. That's the story of the habitual pattern, of imbuing poison with comfort.” 

—Pema Chodron


What Is Love?


Album: The Hope Conspiracy (self-titled)


“We use the word ‘love’ but we have no more understanding of love than we do of anger or fear or jealousy or even joy, because we have seldom investigated what that state of mind is. What are the feelings we so quickly label as love?  For many what is called love is not lovely at all but is a tangle of needs and desires, of momentary ecstasies and bewilderment—moments of unity, of intense feelings of closeness, occur in a mind so fragile that the least squint or sideways glance shatters its oneness into a dozen ghostly paranoias…how often did you maintain your separateness, nurture it, cultivate it like a poison weed until the gulf between you and another seemed insurmountable and, instead of love, a socially acceptable communication was substituted, a kind of coping?”

—Stephen Levine


“But once you see what you do —how you get hooked and how you follow it and all of this —there's no way to be arrogant. you, from your own wisdom, begin to go more towards spaciousness and openness and unhabituatedness, but it doesn't happen quickly.” 

—Pema Chodron


Bring It To Life


Album: Betrayed "Substance"


“Basic goodness is the ground of being, the nature of everything. It's an indestructible continuum, a diamond hologram with infinite facets.  Through contemplation we discover that like the reflection of a jewel in the sunlight, it is empty.  In continuing to contemplate, we see that this emptiness is vibrant and dynamic—a playful display of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. This is luminosity.” 

—Sakyong Mipham


“We have a fear of facing ourselves.  That is the obstacle.  Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people.  A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves.  That is impossible.  We can't do that.  We have to be honest with ourselves.  We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts.  We have to see them.  That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking.  Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.”


—Chogyam Trungpa


Fever Dream


Album: Bury Your Dead (self-titled)


“Then sooner or later you would become a demon from that person’s point of view. You see right through his body and he has juicy fat and meat that you would like to eat up, so you seem like a vampire to him.  And the more you try to pursue the other person, the more you fail.  Perhaps you looked through too sharply with your desire, perhaps you were too penetrating.”

—Chogyam Trungpa


“To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.” 

—Morihei Ueshiba


“Violence does not equal aggression, and our sex need not follow our mistaken model of violence. There are, after all, different kinds of violence. There is the necessary violence of survival, of the killing of one's food, whether that food is lettuce, onion, duck, or deer. Then there are senseless forms of violence so often perpetuated by our culture: child abuse, rape, military or economic genocide, factory farms, industrial forestry, commercial fishing. But violence also can be like sex: a sacramental, beautiful, and sometimes bittersweet interaction.” 

—Derrick Jensen


Through Struggle


Album: As I Lay Dying "Shadows Are Security"


"We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed.  For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement.  When we are no longer able to change a situation—just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer—we are challenged to change ourselves."


“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.  What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

—Victor Frankl


“Life breaks everyone, but some are strong in the broken places.”

—Ernest Hemingway


Progression Through Unlearning


Album: Snapcase "Progression Through Unlearning"


“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.  To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” 


“Instead of falling prey to a chain reaction of revenge or self-hatred, we gradually learn to catch the emotional reaction and drop the story lines.”

—Pema Chodron


“I asked what to do in these kinds of instances, times when we are just not gentle with ourselves.  Her instruction was to interrupt the self-talk any way you can.  I took the question further: what if interrupting this inner voice just doesn’t work? What if the situation feels impossible, and this mean voice is persistent, like a radio you can’t turn off?  Her response was very direct and clear: drop the storyline and feel the underlying energy.” 

—Tami Simon


Born From Pain


Album: Earth Crisis "Destroy The Machines"


And a woman spoke, saying, ‘Tell us of Pain.’ And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.”

—Kahlil Gibran




Album: The Effort "Iconoclasm"


(Derived from an ancient word meaning "image-breaking," the deliberate destruction within a culture of that culture's own icons, symbols, and monuments.  A frequent component of transformation or change in worldview, of any person who breaks from established dogma or disdains convention.)


"Is it hard to look away?  Is looking away the very thing that is not permitted? Where can you go to find silence and solitude?  Not white noise, but pure silence? Not loneliness, but gentle solitude?  How often have you stopped to ask yourself questions like these?  Do you find yourself committing acts of symbolic violence? Do you ever feel lonely in a way that words cannot even express?  Do you sometimes feel yourself ready to LOSE CONTROL?


But this is how the revolution begins: a few of us start chasing our dreams, breaking our old patterns, embracing what we love (and in the process discovering what we hate), daydreaming, questioning, acting outside the boundaries of routine and regularity.  Others see us doing this, see people daring to be more creative and more adventurous, more generous and more ambitious than they had imagined possible, and join us one by one.  Once enough people embrace this new way of living, a point of critical mass is finally reached, and society itself begins to change.  From that moment, the world will start to undergo a transformation: from the frightening, alien place that it is, into a place ripe with possibility, where our lives are in our own hands and any dream can come true.”

—CrimethInc. Ex-Worker’s Collective


The Things We Carry


Album: Have Heart "The Things We Carry"


"When you see ordinary situations with extraordinary insight it is like discovering a jewel in rubbish."

—Chogyam Trungpa


“How…can life retain its potential meaning in spite of its tragic aspects?  After all, ‘saying yes to life in spite of everything’…presupposes that life is potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are most miserable.  And this in turn presupposes the human capacity to creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive.  In other words, what matters is to make the best of any given situation. … That is, an optimism in the face of tragedy and in view of the human potential which at its best always allows for: (1) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment; (2) deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.” 

—Victor Frankl


"You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering."

—Henri-Frédéric Amiel




Album: Catharsis "Samsara"


(Derived from an ancient word meaning "to flow together," to go or pass through states, to wander between life and death in a cycle of suffering and rebirth.)


“The instruction is to relate compassionately with where we find ourselves and to begin to see our predicament as workable.  We are stuck in patterns of grasping and fixating which cause the same thoughts and reactions to occur again and again and again.  In this way we project our world.  When we see that, even if it’s only for one second every three weeks, then we’ll naturally discover the knack of reversing this process of making things solid, the knack of stopping the claustrophobic world as we know it, putting down our centuries of baggage, and stepping into new territory.” 

—Pema Chodron