METTA MIND JOURNAL: PAUL MASVIDAL’S MEDITATION FROM AMSTELVEEN AND ASCHAFFENBURG
Meditation location #31 – CBA tour – Amstelveen – I found a park across from the venue where I sat next to a small pond. Reflecting in the water directly in front of me was an upside down tree. I immediately saw in it the classic ‘Sephiroth’ from Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) teachings. Also known as the ‘Tree of Life’, the image of the Sephiroth has ten energy centers and is basically a diagram that represents how the universe came into being. It’s often seen as linked to the human body. Do a Google image search to get an idea.
Some views consider the Sephiroth to be like a spiritual map, or a neophyte’s key to understanding hyper-dimensional physics. It’s also viewed as the path of a soul’s incarnation in the physical (as we know it) third dimension. Sounds complex, but all this esoteric language has been reduced to bare bones practicality since the post-Madonna endorsement. Her late 90’s album Ray Of Light was a Kabbalah-inspired coming-out record. She essentially introduced pop culture to these teachings and made the ‘red’ string bracelet a valuable piece of yarn. I don’t discount it’s potency for a minute since the placebo effect alone can work wonders on any believing human, and all power to ’em.
Go to any big city Kabbalah center or website and you’ll find these bright pop colored coffee table books written in huge fonts elucidating the essence of the teachings. It can almost appear like candy-coated spiritual materialism on the surface, but inside those eye-catching flashy book covers is some good old universal truth, as found in any great spiritual tradition. They make it all seem blaringly obvious and common sense-like. Jews tend to be good at that!
I have a few close friends who were deep into Kabbalah mysticism, and they piqued my interest, which led me to delve. I was also curious to learn more about the Sephardic blood line in my family tree. Our other group Aeon Spoke actually played a few gigs at Kaballah centers in Los Angeles and London. The London show in particular had a strong spiritual vibe I’ll never forget. I remember huge windows behind and above us, where you could see these beautifully lit London plane trees blowing in the wind against a night sky. Nature and the palpable Kaballistic energies were providing a mystical backdrop for our music that evening. I honored my Kaballistic fascination with a conceptual re-creation of the Sephiroth for the self-titled Aeon Spoke album art booklet and t-shirt.
Amstelveen jammed, as we rocked the usual set of 14 songs. Luckily the esophagus weirdness from the night before mellowed out and the show went off without a hitch. Sonically and aesthetically, P90 is a pro venue. Nice to see some old friends and make some new ones. Dankjewel to all who made it out. Great to see your lovely faces. Peace.
Meditation location #32 – CBA tour – Aschaffenburg – Last show! Number 19 in 19 days, a total of 14 European countries. Wow. We made it. Grateful that none of us got sick and that there were no cancellations. The final show was a perfect ending to the story of this tour. I loved every minute of it. Sean played as solid as ever, Max delivered the chill beast and Brandon unveiled his soul (tastiest improvised “Textures” solo yet).
Like any dynamic and unpredictable tour this one wasn’t without its challenges, but thankfully we made it through because of the safe container created by the people around us. So, thank you to our wonderful team which especially includes our crew, Erin (you have the best day sheets!), Mark (hearty Aussie), Jarrett (Zep-Bolan brother), Omeed (light-saber ninja), our bus driver Max (big love) and of course Brandon (werewolves abound) and Max (chinchilla whippets), who both, in a short period, stepped into Cynic’s music wholeheartedly and completely delivered. Also thanks to Gummi for showing up and so generously offering his drum tech help these last few shows. It was also fantastic sharing a bus and enjoying the music from the guys in Chimpspanner… Swanney, Paul, Jim and Boris. Fun!
Sean and I are eternally grateful for the folks around us today. How fortunate we are to be surrounded by such distinct and good-hearted people who love what they do. Sending thanks also to the crew back home: Andy, Daniel and Eric for holding down the fort. A big hug to Vikki from our U.S. run, as well as Scale The Summit and 3, who killed it every night.
We can mark time now, and close 2011 as a most memorable year. Tremendous life changes, a new home, and a special little album called Carbon-Based Anatomy was shared with the world, along with two successful tours.
On my little meditation bench this evening I looked out into the vast space ahead, and saw twinkling lights, and in those lights flickered the precious uncertainty of moment to moment living. It is with this view into the unknown that I welcome the fast approaching 2012 with open eyes and an open heart. May we all move forward into this potent calendar year with more courage to face life one breath at a time. Keep those hearts open, my brothers and sisters, and if that’s all you can do, it’s more than enough. Kindness is the greatest gesture of all.
I must also note, it’s an auspicious complete circle that our U.S. and European tours amounted to 32 shows which adds up to the number 5 in numerology, the number of the human being. I’ve had a little obsession with the number 5 lately and here we are again with some closure on that number. The upcoming 2012 year adds up to the number 5 as well. Fanfuckingtastical!
Thank you, fans of Cynic. We are in complete gratitude for your support and for being able to take this journey of music and spirit with you. All the love in the universe and more. See you in 2012.
– Paul Masvidal / Cynic