I don't know if anyone reads this or not but if you do, you may have noticed I've been digging on Alan Watts.
Alan was a scholar, studied many religions although he is most famous for helping the West discover Zen Buddhism in the 50's. His philosophies and observations have been fascinating me to no end because they have always been in my life, even before I knew who he was.
It's no secret that Fat City Reprise was a psychedelic enterprise and along the way, all those doses and journeys taught us many things. I have journals full of anecdotes and ideas about how the universe really works across years of indulgences, little snippets of wisdom summarizing hours and hours of discussion on a random starry night. All of these little tidbits of wisdom directly align with the principles of Buddhism. Peace is within, you have the answers to all of your questions, knowledge comes from self-knowledge, connect to your truest self, live in the present.
Alan's big thing in a lot of lectures is living in the present, mindfulness as he calls it. The past is a memory, the future is a promise, the present is everything. Now I have always known that there are many roads to enlightenment and psychedelics are definitely one of those roads, although definitely not the only road and 100% not the road for everyone. I have also always considered the idea of playing/making music to be extremely psychedelic in and of itself but now I think I finally know why. Making music IS mindfulness. While you're playing music, it can only exist in the present. As soon as you stop playing, it goes away. When you're in a room with your best friends in the world and you're all chomping away on some jam, you're communicating without words, you're all in one primal meditation as one vibrating hivemind. This is why drum circles are a thing.
As a kid, music called to me like a siren on a rough sea. When I stopped to listen to music or play music, I felt peace and it all makes sense now. In a world of non-stop advertisements and never-ending distractions, anxiety about the future and regret about the past, music is a moment to exist purely in the present, to let time dissolve around you as you beam forward in the eternal now. I remember getting to Same Old Song on so many gigs and just trying my best to stop and look around, absorb the moment because the whole set had just flown by as if time didn't exist. I specifically remember having talks with Vivas about this, from the first chord to the last song, it was like you didn't even get to experience the show, one big blur of extremely focused mindfulness and life in the now.
Speaking of Vivas, he just crushed a really cool gig with Pat Finnerty for XPN. Pat is a hilarious dude and a gifted musician, he makes an insanely entertaining YouTube series called 'What Makes This Song Stink' and I'm hopelessly addicted to it. Pat much like myself is blessed to have Vivas to rock with, if you get a chance check out both videos below and remember, live in the now.
Hope no one got flooded or tornadoed,
Currently listening to: Hot Stepper by Dr. Dog