Ginsberg-Cherry-Rowan – Buddhism in Song


[Don Cherry]

[Peter Rowan]

Allen Ginsberg]

Don Cherry at Naropa in August of 1976. We featured him yesterday, we thought to include him again today, alongside Peter Rowan (who we’ve previously featured here) in a discussion (and performance) of Buddhism–in-song.  Audio for the occasion is here

Allen begins with a couple of his songs (Gospel Noble Truths and Guru Blues), beginning first with some spontaneous improvisations on the Prajnaparamita, Heart Sutra
Transcription follows.   
AG: ….Do you know “Gate gate, para gate, parasam gate, bodhi svaha”  – so I just made up one verse last night when … Read More

Allen in 1976 – The Vision of Naropa

western buddhist practice, contemporary buddhism, modern buddhism

[ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987)]

Allen Ginsberg, August 8 1976, (early days), speaking on the formation and the vision of the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University)

AG: In the last few days we’ve seen a lot of high American artistic activity presented here from this stage – Wednesday night, William Burroughs, who’s perhaps the dean of American novelists, at top form and funnier than ever, read an enormous beautiful section of.. from old and new work..Naked Lunch to the present year, which actually is, for any art audience in America, a great occasion, familiar and at home

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Spontaneous Poetics – 137 (Political Commitment – 2)

[Original transcription note – the first ten minutes of this side (this new side) of the tape is blank. It is unclear whether any significant portion of the class is missing] AG:… (a recognition that) riotous madness is not going to make the scene. So there’s an element of intelligence in Wordsworth‘s reactionary-ism at the very end. If you were to set it against the mentality of revenge, resentment, aggression and karmic confusion that we set up in the late (19)60’s.  So, at this point, who can be self-righteous anymore? Really. I certainly can’t, and I don’t think that … Read More

What The East Means To Me – Allen Ginsberg at Kyota Seika

Yesterday’s transcription of Allen’s Q & A at the Kyoto Seika University, Japan, on November 2 1988, is followed today by footage (and transcription) of the full lecture – “What the East Means To Me” – Katagiri Yuzuru is once again the accomplished interpreter/translator. Our thanks, once again, to videographer, Ken Rodgers.

AG: So.. the subject is “What the East Means To Me”. So I will give a chronological account. One of my first memories was of the Pop figure, Pop art figure, kitsch figure, or comic-strip figure of a sinister Oriental, a Chinaman, Fu Manchu. He had a long … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 71


AG: But our main theme at the moment is, what form does thought arrive in the brain? and, to what extent does that determine your method of transcription? To what extent does that mean you have to be a painter or a poet, or to use the typewriter, or a notebook carried around all the time, or, can you sit down at the typewriter between 6 and 9 in the morning?, or what? How do you write? It all depends on how your brain works, how your physiology is.  These are considerations in my own verse, which I’ve noticed … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Chogyam Trungpa & William Burroughs Reading, Boulder, 1976

Last weekend’s 1976 Ginsberg-McClure reading was warmly received. Here’s another one, again recorded at Naropa in 1976, (a couple of months later), and featuring, in addition to Allen, Anne Waldman, Chogyam Trungpa (English translations read by David Rome) and – William S Burroughs! Philip Whalen provides the spare but informative introductions. The tape begins with him introducing Allen (some amusement from the audience – it’s early days -when he announces Allen’s been singing)

PW: Mr Allen Ginsberg’s latest book is called First Blues, a lot of which is in the process right now of being recorded with … Read More

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Birthday

[“The Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche drove down from his favorite spot on Bear Mountain for rendezvous with me at his secretary Beverly Webster’s house in Boulder. He’d been ill, rumor’d to’ve been “”Visiting the Dakinis.”” I asked him where the Dakinis were, once we’d got in the living room, he said “”Right there”” pointing to the window-sill above the sofa. “”What do they say?”” I asked, he replied, “”Sometimes they criticize me for teaching too much Vajrayana, too many secrets. Sometimes they tell me to teach more.”” We looked at my photographs, he gave me wise advice on domestic crisis. … Read More

The Poet That Changed America [Allen Ginsberg, Beat Poet, Naropa, Activist]

In 2006 Naropa University Celebrated 50 years of Howl with an event reflecting on their own beginnings, Chogyam Trungpa’s vision, and how Ginsberg & poetry were so crucial in it’s genesis.

Elephant Journal’s tireless editor, Waylon Lewis, has posted a transcript of some of that evening, in this month’s edition of EJ that sums up a remarkable & inspiring legacy by all who helped to create the school. Read transcriptRead More