Author Archives: jespada

Spread the Word – The Answer is Love

I first saw what has come to be known as ‘the human microphone’ during Occupy.  This is where one person speaks, and those around him or her repeat it, so that others can hear.  They begin with saying ‘Mic check!’ ‘MIC CHECK’, the crowd replies. This is a time when we all need to repeat the best things that we hear, a time when we all suffer and struggle together, and whatever wisdom we can gather needs to be spoken far and wide.

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A Sketch of Frank Espada’s Life

63. On 29th St._photo by Jason Espada
On 29th St., in San Francisco.  Photo by Jason Espada

The following was written in 2014, in preparation for visits from curators, who were coming to view the entire range of my father’s work, within the space of a few short days.  I took this as an opportunity to touch upon the most significant events in his life, and to celebrate the man I had come to know more fully through organizing his archive.

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The Puerto Rican Diaspora

Documenting the Puerto Rican Experience in the 20th and 21st centuries

Imagine if you will conceiving of a project that would document the Puerto Rican experience across the United States… Imagine further that this project would be undertaken by someone who is widely respected as an advocate for these people, and that this person, in addition, is a first-rate photographer… Continue reading

The Precepts of Love

There is so much contained in love at it’s best that I thought it would be worthwhile to write a few words about it this morning. I highlight love ‘at its best’ to distinguish it from the fleeting, partial, or limited kinds of affection we all know so well.  The love I would like to talk about is the kind we look to when we want to remember who we truly are and who we can become.

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Interdimensionalty in Buddhism and in American Cinema

If the doors of perception were cleansed,
all things would appear as they are, infinite
…” – William Blake

In a recent movie, Tomorrowland, a young woman touches a magical medallion, and is transported to another world, where it is safe, beautiful, and enlightened. When she lets go of the button, she’s back in her ordinary world. When I first saw this, I thought immediately of how it was just like the working of mantra in Buddhism – under the right circumstances, it can shift a person’s awareness immediately, and produce the vision of a Pure Land that has been right here all along.

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Getting on the same page when it comes to American history

It’s almost impossible these days for people with different political views to have a meaningful conversation.  Each side is so committed to their point of view it seems there’s no basis for communication. On one news program after another, there is very little dialogue, and expressions range from bewilderment, to contempt and insults.

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Confronting Revisionist History – On The Vietnam Veteran Experience

Last year I wrote an article, The New Extreme of the American Left, that describes the way many people who identify themselves as progressives today view the modern soldier. I began my article with what I thought was a given: In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, as American soldiers returned from Vietnam, they were met with scorn, spat on in airports, and called “baby killers”. To my surprise, I learned that there is another narrative, being held up by the left in particular (commondreams, truthout, alternet, seattletimesthat says vets were never spit upon.  I found this hard to believe, and so I did a bit of research.

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The Metta Sutta

Read by Jason Espada.

 

The Discourse On Love {Thich Nhat Hanh translation}

He or she who wants to attain peace should practice being upright, humble, and capable of using loving speech.  He or she will know how to live simply and happily, with senses calmed, without being covetous and carried away by the emotions of the majority.  Let him or her not do anything that will be disapproved of by the wise ones.

(And this is what he or she contemplates:)

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