Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Interfaith Ceremony

Flow More~Force Less~Find Home

This year was the third year in a row I was invited to represent Taoism at our local Thanksgiving Interfaith Ceremony. It happens in a large Church Hall and is very well attended. I'd say there were close to 200 people there. I usually talk for a minute on the chosen theme of the event, this year it was "Home", and then I play one of my songs.

Here is more or less what I said at this year's Ceremony:

I'm always love being a part of this event because it's a chance to sing for a bunch of quiet, intelligent, sober people. ;~)

It's only five minutes a year, but I'll take it!

I'm Gene Burnett and I'm representing Taoism, even thought the Tao that can be represented is not the true Tao. ;~)

The Orthodox Taoist
cannon is over 12,000 volumes. I like to simplify things so my less orthodox Freestyle Taoist cannon is 4 words: Flow more~Force less.

I take this seriously. It's not a facile little bumper sticker motto. It's actually really difficult to do, especially over time. I've been studying how to "flow more force less" when I write and sing for over 35 years; when I move and breathe with T'ai-Chi practice for over 25 years; and in my heart since I can remember, most recently with my best and toughest teacher, my 15 year marriage with my wife Samarra.

To me, with regard to finding Home, "flow more force less" involves both an inner and an outer search, which are, of course related to each other. The outer search is about finding the right literal physical home. And the inner search is about how to feel at home wherever I happen to be.

The outer search is about listening to what feels most deeply right as you look around and following that feeling until it leads you to Ashland. ;~) The inner search is about embracing the whole of everything, as it is unfolding now.

I'm going to sing a song I wrote that involves the outer search for the right place to call home, as well as the inner search to feel at home wherever we find ourselves.

The song is called "For Now".

For Now by Gene Burnett (©2010)

Let us find the right dynamic—Let’s go transatlantic
Sink our own Titanic—Let’s be real—Not romantic
Let’s be kind but let’s be honest—When we do or do not want it
Fate is blind but let’s not taunt it—It’s the blues not a sonnet
Let’s embrace the spreading night—Let’s not be afraid to fight
When the darkness meets the light—What is left is what is right
For now—For now

We are space junk—We are stardust—We’re afraid that God will card us
Disrespect or disregard us—Make a movie that won’t star us
We’re as big as we are small—Take your pick—Walk or crawl
Either way—We will fall—Through the cracks in the wall
Water skis—Lake of fire—Leaking boat—Pair of pliers
All the help has retired—Need a job? You are hired
For now—For now

Let’s put roots in the sky—Hang our dreams out to dry
See the beauty in the eye—Of every truth—Every lie
Let’s let love lead the way—To the best resume´
While we work—Let us play—When the bill comes—Let us pay
Life is life—Do not fear it—We will never get too near it
If we try to over-steer it—We have cursed it—Now let’s hear it
For now—For now

Not a thing will survive—Let’s be heard while we’re alive
Let our prices take a dive—If you’re broke—Gimme five!
Are we nice—Are we mean?—What’s our motive in this scene?
Are we dirty—Are we clean?—Aren’t we always in between?
Nothing old—Nothing new—What’s the point of your view?
It’s a jungle—It’s a zoo—But it will have to do
For now—For now

Repeat First Verse

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

1 comment:

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