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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Moment is the Great Equalizer

There have been so many feelings rising up and passing through me the past several days that it's easy to lose track of time, and a stable sense of reality. I'm fine, don't worry, I'm pretty grounded right now, but I wonder if I'll be able to deal with these emotions the same way when I need to be out and about.

What I mean is, will I be able to calmly process them the way I do in solitude? And that's what brings me to the million dollar point: The Moment is the Great Equalizer.

I've been so much more in tune with my body lately, understanding how it is the master of the moment. The body always gives you clues as to your disposition, and multiple levels--physical of course, as well as emotional, psychological, and spiritual. The moment, this present moment, is the great equalizer because it is all we as human beings really have. The past, the future--these are fairy tales, a distraction of imagination.

When I have the courage to be completely immersed in the moment, regardless of the experience of pleasure or pain, I can see how I am perfect in it. There is nothing for me to improve or work on. If working on ourselves until we were perfect was the case, we'd be working forever because that thought process will always find something 'wrong'! The moment is when you give up thought, and only look for the cues from body and feelings, if you've learned what to look for.

It can be daunting to see what blockages in ourselves we need to remove in order to see the perfection that we already are, but simultaneously, the fact that love waits immediately beneath every perceived flaw is the unfaltering truth that destroys all illusions of 'perfection' according to the intellect. This truth also allows us to be fully human, and operate from the unifying power of the heart, which creates harmony no matter how incoherent things may look to the mind. It is always in the greatest interest for all creation to live from the heart, and the heart lives in the moment. The beautiful, fully alive moment, shining, unabashedly naked, embracing you AS YOU.

Did I just go on a poetic ramble? Love you all.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Heart of Learning: Goalsetting tips for 2012

Here's a simple yet powerful article on how to set goals for the new year, 2012, from a friend of mine:

Heart of Learning: Goalsetting tips for 2012: I am excited to share with you a simple method I discovered for creating New Year’s goals. I have found that using this method, my goals ...

Heart of Learning: Goalsetting tips for 2012

Heart of Learning: Goalsetting tips for 2012: I am excited to share with you a simple method I discovered for creating New Year’s goals. I have found that using this method, my goals ...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Follow Your Heart, it is Smarter Than You Think

Follow Your Heart, it is Smarter Than You Think

What is Meditation without Dancing?

I live in a meditating community. That is, a community in which most people know about and accept the existence of, and engage in the practice of, meditation. However, in my stark opinion, there is a consciousness that is quite rigid on the form of spirituality that should be expressed by those that meditate. It is so rigid, in fact, that most people in the community refuse to meditate altogether, or, they find that it is best for their life that they not meditate. I am not expressing this to diminish the divinity of anyone--quite contrary. I am expressing this to remark upon the fact that life must be lived in fullness. What is meditation without dancing? What's the point of experiencing wholeness within if you live a sterile life without? What's the point of Father Sky (what I see as meditation, in this case) without Mother Earth (living in the world, in the flow of life)?

What I am saying is, meditation is all well and good if you choose to do it, but remember to move your body; shake your hips and pucker your lips. Walk tall or not at all. Love, sex, and love some more. The wisdom is in the living, once you open your eyes, after all.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stop Resisting

Today I cam across an old email thread between a friend and I in which we weren't seeing eye to eye, and I remembered when I last read it, I was embarrassed to read it. Now I read it and realize how I have grown. My heart is open, and, though I am now just beginning to realize how important that is (in my visceral experience), I am keeping it open, no matter how painful something is. Granted, I have been doing some longer meditations lately, so my sense of peace, well-being, and centeredness in Love is much more apparent. However I want to make a point starkly vivid right now:

Many times I resist the call of my heart for fear of embarrassment. In other words, I make the 'other' person's opinion of me more important than the call of unity within. At the time the thread between me and my friend was written, I could not understand that my friend loved (and loves) me, I only saw that I was vulnerable in my friend's presence and wanted to protect myself from embarrassment. But this was impossible as I could feel my friend could see me inside and out, so I made this person superior to myself in my mind. Now I'm beginning to understand that the Love in my own heart is the ruler of my life, not other people, and every relationship must bow before the King in order to be truly successful.

Again in reading the thread today, my friend wrote something that tingled in my soul: 'Stop resisting and acknowledge the Beauty.' I didn't really know what that meant back then, but I think now I'm starting to get it.

I used to make understanding a race, until I realized my life flows at its own pace. I honor my experience wholeheartedly and forever, and I want that to be reflected in my relationships in exactly the same fashion. I love you all.

Gabriel Goldiamond

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Phony People

Okay, so I have been thinking a little bit about the people in one's life--who they surround themselves with. I have been thinking about the people in my life that have come and gone, whether by their choice or mine, and, given the spiritual knowledge I have learned, I cannot honestly say that any one of my former friends is phony; they simply don't match a more authentic energy and purpose I have for myself now.

I realize there is no need to hate or hold bitterness. Does it come up? Yes. Do I hold on to it? No. Do I still love the people that I no longer hang with? Absolutely yes. It is simply a matter of vibration. If you see the people around you as phony, think about whether you are being real with yourself. If you were, you wouldn't choose to surround yourself with people that don't match your inner authenticity, would you? Something to think about.

Gabriel Goldiamond

Monday, December 12, 2011


You know, I hear a lot of people talking about Love. Talking about fear. Talking about every experience is a choice between these two states of being. Before I make my argument, I'd like to go into the connotational definition of these two terms with regards to those of a particular spiritual awareness:

Love: The State of Being in which you see that everything in existence is One and connected. There is no such thing as separation in this awareness. Everyone and everything is seen as intimately You and intimately a part of You. From this state spring the positive qualities all the sages, gurus, mystics, and spiritual leaders have talked about over the thousands of years of spiritual history such as--compassion, kindness, patience, well-being, generosity, selflessness, empathy, acceptance, happiness and well-wishing for all beings, etc.

Fear: The State of Being in which you see everything in existence as separate and not connected to you. Everyone and everything is seen as an 'other' or 'foreign' to you. There is no thought of connection in this awareness, except to possibly more fear. From this state some of the negative qualities can be expressed in human beings such as hate, anger, contempt, sadness, resentment, insecurity, pride, greed, envy, sloth, lust, gluttony, wrath (anger), etc.

Okay. Those are the working definitions. You can agree with them or not, but these are what I am basing my argument on, so please bear with me...

Every experience that we have provides an opportunity to make a choice on how we perceive and respond to it. Love sees inherent connection and well-being; Fear sees separation and conflict. The Universe, in reality in intimately connected, and fundamentally, One. (Check out the research in quantum mechanics or quantum physics if you don't believe me.) Due to this fact, Fear sees what is not real, but if the choice of Fear is made, then this yields yet another experience that is perceived as even more contracted, more separated than the last.

Fear sounds really bad, right? "I don't want that experience!" I feel you. Being afraid is not fun. But to look at Fear as something to avoid or prevent is still being in the state of Fear!

If we see Fear as the enemy, we will be afraid to experience it--but oops, there is Fear!

The only way to deal with Fear--if you want to have an experience without it--is to LOVE Fear. Yes, LOVE Fear. Love sees connection, remember? That means that Fear is also part of existence, part of the Universe! It is not the enemy! It is just another experience!

When Fear comes up in your life, it is simply a signal of something in which you don't see the inherent connection of the entire Cosmos, y'know, the one that you're a part of?

When it hits, STOP. Stop everything you are doing and watch this experience come into your awareness. Accept it completely. Look into it. Know that it does not define you. Look deeper. Deeper. Allow it to settle in your mind. If you commit to this process, you will find that it dissolves every time or at the very least diminishes. But it always works.

Sometimes there are fears within our selves that keep popping up, that keep wanting our attention. Give it to them in stillness. Embrace the experience of the fear completely. Watch it dissolve. It may come up again--Do the same thing. If you do this enough you will find your life change dramatically over a period of time. This is one reason why many people find meditation extremely helpful for their lives.

Once again, LOVE Fear! It is the only way to get 'past it'! Then from there, you can make more empowered choices about your life instead of reacting to an experience that is not the truth of connection in the Universe! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! And go beyond!

Much Love (lol)

Gabriel Goldiamond

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Income Inequality in the Music Biz by Bob Lefsetz

I'm a smart guy. I was educated at one of America's finest colleges. I'm a member of the California Bar. But even if I struck it rich as a writer, I could never garner the millions a banker or corporate CEO does. It's impossible. It's like asking a sandlot player to bat .400 in the big leagues. It's like paying a street ball player twenty million a year. Never gonna happen.

Twenty million a year. There are bankers and CEOs who make this much each and every year. This is not U2, going on the road, raping and pillaging in stadiums for years. If U2 went out again, they'd have trouble selling tickets. Hell, they had trouble moving tickets for the last leg of their tour. They played it out, they mined the depths, they've got to let it lie fallow. Costs for the U2 360 tour were prohibitive. How much did each member of U2 end up with at the end? I'd say no way a hundred million, but let's just start there, let's go with that number. There are bankers and CEOs pulling down nearly a hundred million dollars a year. It took U2 years to achieve this goal, to make this amount. They're spent, but the bankers and CEOs are still rolling in dough. And the U2 360 tour was the biggest in history!

So you're graduating from college, playing in a band all the time you were in school, and you ask yourself, should I give music a go or get an MBA, go to work for Goldman Sachs?

Now it's no longer the seventies. Take a year or two off and you miss the bus. You've got to start now. There's only one band making mucho coin, but thousands of bankers and CEOs getting rich. Odds are better if you become a CEO.

Or you could go into tech. Mark Zuckerberg is not the only young techie worth millions. There's that guy running Groupon and the guy running Zynga, and so many of the worker bees end up making millions too, that's what all the employees at Facebook are counting on. Do you think you can make millions as an A&R guy?

1. The Labels

Used to be running a label paid well, but it was mostly about the music, the lifestyle. Then, with the advent of MTV and the CD, suddenly Tommy Mottola was far richer than the acts. And Tommy and his ilk started hanging with other rich people in the Hamptons, they felt entitled to their wealth. Such that when Napster blew a hole in the paradigm, everybody was sacrificed but the top guy. The people running the labels are still as well paid as they were before Napster, before the recession. They're keeping up with the joneses, they're in charge, everybody's expendable but them. As for those people still working at the label...they're thrilled to have a job. Glad to be slaves on the plantation.

And everything is driven by the bottom line. Hell, Warner is privately held, Sony and Universal are parts of giant corporations. Theoretically, they could invest in the future, they could leave money on the table, but they won't. The execs want that money in their pockets. And they don't really care about the label anyway, they don't own it. As long as they get paid for their multi-year contracts, they're cool.

Music is not the focus, money is. It's a change in our entire culture, why should the label heads be any different. They've fought their way to the top, the top are handsomely rewarded, usually with double digit million incomes. If the guy running some industrial firm makes this much money, shouldn't they, providing entertainment for the masses?

2. The Acts

The best and the brightest don't go into music. It just doesn't pay. The only people pursuing music as a career are the lower classes, who are struggling to get on top. As a result, they'll do whatever it takes to make it, they'll whore themselves out when they get there, it's all about the bucks.

Ergo the crazy endorsement and product deals. The acts feel they're entitled to the money. Look at all the other half as famous people, they're loaded, so the acts feel they should be loaded too. And the corporations are willing to lay cash on the acts, because the corporations have money to burn, their taxes have been lowered, check the statistics, they're sitting on huge cash reserves. The CEOs can use this cash to hang with stars. This is how the Gaddafi family got household name talent to play their shindigs. This is how that guy who made bad body armor got the biggest stars in the world to play his son's bar mitzvah. Used to be no CEO could afford it. But now, they can. And the acts see no reason not to take it. Hell, they don't want to fly commercial, they too want to vacation in St. Barth's. Music has become about the money. But the odds are low and so is the money, so you get the desperate, willing to do anything to make it, kind of like the athletes. Those NBA players are not model citizens, but they're essentially one-dimensional, it's comes down to their playing ability, their performance on the court. But we believe musicians are their music, that they're three-dimensional, that we can believe in them, but we can't.

a. Artist Development

Few of the classic acts did their best work on their first records. But labels allowed them to marinate and mature, to develop. Now the label says no, because the executive wants his money up front. There is no long term. And that's why there's no "Hotel California". Nobody peaks on their fifth album, there usually isn't even a fifth album.

b. Writing Your Own Material

This is what blew up the rock acts. This is what made us believe in them. Now, material is written by committee. If the label's gonna take a risk, it wants insurance. It doesn't want the act blowing half a million dollars on something that won't sell. So inherently, we've got less believable stuff. Sure, there will always be music, but the heyday of the music business was when the rock star was responsible for everything and was beholden to no one. Ain't that a laugh.

3. Concerts

Sure, there was scalping decades back, but tickets were not the equivalent of a thousand bucks. Because no one had a thousand bucks to blow on a ticket. But the bankers and CEOs do. So the hoi polloi can't get a good ticket. And since the acts need to make as much money as they can, and recorded music revenue is down, the price for all tickets is heavily inflated. Therefore, people go less, they just can't afford it. And they take no risks on new acts, not at these prices. And what are the odds the new acts are good? They're just moneygrubbers like the rest of them.


Meanwhile, everybody fighting his way up the food chain is spreading disinformation, saying his hands are tied. And when finally nailed down, they utter some b.s. about just trying to feed their family. But with the money they've already made, they can feed their children's children's children.

The incentive to be an artist, to make great, lasting music, has been blown away. Used to be, a working act could have a middle class lifestyle and maybe some future performing rights income and other royalties. Now, you're either starving or fighting to hold on to what you've got so the bankers will hire you for a private. It's desperation all the time.

Back when we were all in it together, when the gap between rich and poor was smaller, it was reasonable to be a musical artist. One took a chance expressing himself. You could always give up and go to law school, find a place for yourself on the middle class spectrum. But now if you're not on your way to riches immediately, you're boxed out. Which is why parents push their kids to get into the Ivies, why teenagers are creating websites and apps. They want to get in on the ground floor. Used to be people picked up guitars. Now they flock to their computers.

But what if a label exec couldn't make millions, whether it be as a result of taxes or the demands of employees and acts. What if CEOs and bankers made this same amount. Hell, what if forty acts could make the same amount of money as a CEO or banker, and there were another hundred who were solidly middle class, and being so meant you could live comfortably and pay the bills?

Then you'd have the sixties and seventies all over again. Because this is the way it was.

Conclusion 2

The cost of our diverging economic rewards system doesn't only affect lifestyle, it affects art. There's been no great protest music in this decade, despite there being so much to protest against, because the acts don't align themselves with the oppressed proletariat, but the rich bankers and CEOs. And if you take too big a stand, there goes your endorsement deal, there goes your invitation to the party.

But if you could make enough money without the endorsements, because you just didn't need as much to survive, then the acts could play by their own rules.

Conclusion 3

Blame time and again is being put on the public, on the poor. As if the people stealing the music could afford a grand a ticket. This is just the fat cats turning the argument around. Rather than investigate why the public is fed up, they just label the public thieves and say they're doing nothing different than the bankers and CEOs. Which is paying off Congress to make things go their way. That's what SOPA's all about. If people lose a few rights along the way, what difference does it make? We've got to make our money, we've got to get our check!

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