Saturday, February 23, 2013

Late Night TV

A very unusual thing happen to me a week or so ago. An acute case of laryngitis overtook me, sending me into 4 days of total vocal rest. I have no doubt I brought this on myself with a lack of sleep the week before, as well as spending a good deal of time with folks in various levels of being sick in the weeks before.

Im not used to be down and spending long periods in rest or bed.

The first day, I spent reading Deepak Chopra's "Jesus," a Christmas gift. Already a fan of most of his work, I rabidly dove into this book, finishing it that evening. Well written and full of insight, I was almost glad to have been down on vocal rest that day.

The next day, I went back to the book I have been reading since the holidays as well, "How Quantum Activism can Save Civilization." This book is far more dense than the Jesus book, and the first half of the book is spent in teaching the basics of quantum physics. So there was a learning curve. Infinitely interesting, just a little more slow to swim through.

And I took a break in turning on the television.

Which is rare, in general.

My hopes were to find an unending rerun of the Finding Bigfoot show. I have no idea why this show fascinates me. It's absurd. Every episode is basically the same. If they were to find empirical evidence of the existence of Bigfoot, the news would have been all over the place, so you know how it all ends. But I still watch on. Now, I have nothing against Bigfoot, and actually have no problem believing in its existence.

Believing is better than not. I believe in everything. Why limit possibilities?

It's amazing, but quantum physics is everywhere!  

Alas, the show was not on, but I found a few shows every now and then I found enjoyable enough to watch. This same situation happened the next evening as well. As the clock ticked later, I began to notice something interesting.

The commercials.

They were full of ads for pills.

Interspersed with fast food meat ads.

Every break was nearly the same.

McDonalds. Heart pills. Viagra. Burger King. Allergy pills. Diabetes pills. Rallys. Pills to make you not so depressed.

I am wondering if any of the other viewers are seeing this cycle. If they are realizing the cycle of cause and effect spinning round and round.

Each pill ad had a good half of it rattling off all the side effects, which nearly all included things like heart attack, stroke, blindness, and death.

How stuck we and how programmed we are as a society that taking a pill for the rest of your life that could lead you to some extra horrible death is a less radical idea than broccoli and other veggies playing a larger role in your diet?

Advertising for products are mostly pushing things we don't need. If you needed it, it wouldn't need to be advertised. Water and air aren't advertised. Nor are apples, bananas, beans, etc. But all this manufactured, processed toxic stuff is advertised incessantly. I am reminded of people who don't like to have vegans push their ideas upon them. Yet, TV pushes this agenda upon everyone who turns it on.

And more so on late night TV.

The cycle of fast food commercials and pills ads was sad and beyond belief. I don't think I have ever seen such a great cause and effect series.

I would love to see some side effects posted by fruit in the grocery:
Caution! May cause healthy functioning of the body. May increase energy. May cause healthy weight loss. May lead to less doctors visits and less need of other pills. May lead to prolonged feelings of joy and Love.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3 Steps to Peace

Peace is a big word.

It is big because it is the manifestation of Love in our lives and existence.

And Love is a very big word.

Such big ideas can stop a person in their tracks. It's easy to get discouraged by ideas that encompass all things. It's easy to get distracted.

All of this is ok. It helps us to see the entrance to the land of Peace. It's a small door of small deeds. Better yet, you don't need to start anywhere but with yourself. Your own thoughts and actions. You see, peace emanates from within us. It grows from the growth of our compassion, our hearts.

How do we cultivate compassion within?

There are three wonderful steps, I recommend. These are by far not the only steps, however, all major people of peace have suggested these be a part of our daily practice, and I tend to agree with them.

1). Meditation.
This is a broadly misunderstood word. Meditation is not tied to any specific religious tradition. It seeks only to bring you more into your true self, your spiritual self. By regular meditation, you can expand your awareness to the greater truths that all life is connected. At this level, you will see that compassion for others is compassion for ourselves, and vice versa. We can also come to recognize our habits and pre-programmed perspectives and begin to re-write negative programs with positive ones. There are many varieties of meditation, some more potent than others, though I feel all are good. All can take you into the silence, and all can take you to a path to find the true Self. If you've never meditated before, there are a number of groups in every town that practice some sort of group meditation. These are good places to start, as are some internet guided meditations.
Here is a nice short one by Will Tuttle:
This is a good one by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Here is an article on meditation:
Here is another good sight on all the scientific studies behind why meditation works: (this is a great form of meditation, though it takes instruction to fully engage in).

2) Veganism.
Total Nonviolence is our goal, as peaceful people. Perhaps we will never be able to fully extricate all violence from our lives, but it is our duty as spiritual beings to do as much as we can to reduce the suffering of all beings. This can be a tough step for a lot of people. The good news: a vegan diet can give you optimal health and make you feel more energetic. Veganism is not just about food though. It is not just a diet. It really is the lifestyle of bringing ahimsa (nonviolence toward all life) into our daily lives. Much of the suffering in the world stems from violence directly tied to animal agriculture. Whether it be environmental suffering due to pollution from factory farms, or clear cutting rainforests and other habitats for animal or grain farming (usually for animals), or the direct suffering of the animals involved, the suffering of the workers involved in such horrific work, or the suffering we bring upon ourselves from eating these animals and their by-products (including most diseases). When we close off our compassion to any being, we limit our capacity for compassion. The more exemptions there are in our compassion, the less we can actually be compassionate. Whereas, once we open our compassion to even one more life, our compassion grows and seeks to blossom as our true Loving nature.

Good resources for Veganism are:

3) Daily Acts of Kindness
We have to reprogram our minds, and creating positive and kind habits are a good way to start. Small daily acts of kindness will give you the courage and the joy to begin choosing compassion at every decision. It's important to realize that we cannot change the world day one. We cannot ever change ourselves day one. It is a process, and with every step we make greater ripples that end up circling the world. This is a process of fully becoming the change we want to see in the world. Gandhi's adage is still deeply true. Bringing peace to ourselves and others is a lifelong journey. The more we work on ourselves, and open ourselves up, the more we see the many blessings and miracles we are creating and that the Universe/God are creating with/for us.
These acts can be easy and small: giving someone a ride, helping a friend with something, giving hugs to strangers, paying for the next customer's food/groceries, smiling. Forgiveness is a huge act. If you can make steps to that early, you are making huge strides.
Lots of good suggestions here:
There are no limits to kindness. Use your creativity.

Peace is a lifelong journey. Each of us is at different stages of this journey. We cannot compare our progress with that of others. We cannot control others. We can only bring peace to and through ourselves. The more we become this peace, the more it becomes reflected in others we meet and know.

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

Take that first step. The whole Universe is with you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The word activist has many connotations.

I know many folks who hear the word activist and they immediately think radical folks who cause trouble and clash with the police.

Others think of our duty as citizens of this country to speak up for your beliefs.

To me, though it just means being alive and trying to manifest Love as much as I can in the world inside and around me. Every breath is a a Love. In reality then, I am working to change both my inner and outer worlds every second of every day. Would that not be an activist?

Most people come to activism because something touches them personally. And it usually angers them. They use this anger to fuel some sort of action.

There is nothing wrong with a sense of anger being the impetus to act. However, we must work to transform that anger to Love. To act out of anger is like a flame on a candle, which given opposition and time will burn out.

Love, however, is renewing. Love seeks growth. Love seeks not to divide but to unite.

Many activists never make this transition. They burnout and walk away from their fight if they don't see quick enough progress.

All effort made towards shifting our culture to Peace and true Love will take time. It will not walk a straight line to the finish. And many of us may never see the outcomes.

Which is all the more reason to act out of Love. Love allows us to keep giving, whereas anger will eventually run out.

The goal of creating change, of speaking up for your beliefs, is to create a lasting change, a lasting impact. When a conversation or campaign is based in anger, there will be no lasting victories. Even if done in a mostly nonviolent manner, anger will always make demands. Love seeks to create understanding.

This isn't an easy transition, I'll be honest.

It is a struggle. When we see the evil deeds others have done, anger wells up and often deafens the voice of Love. But it's our only real hope, and our only real choice.

And it works. It works better than any other method of changing or acting.

I noticed this article after I wrote this. It talks about Yoga being a way to move your life from fear to love. Yoga is definitely a good way to do this, though not the only way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vegan Myths

Anyone who is or ever was vegan has heard every one of these myths. And many more, to be sure.

It is fascinating to me how deep food goes into our culture and our individual psyches. When we have family gathered together, a meal if usually the central focus. When we celebrate a religious observance, a meal is often a major focus. A chunk of our daily family time revolves around a meal.

The food we eat, then, has taken on an almost sacred significance.

Changing this attitude is revolutionary.

Most of us have a difficult time looking at our attitudes and behaviors in any realistic sense. We know we are right and wrong, but often don't truly care to change.

Most people will do nearly anything to have to even look at these deep truths about themselves.

We create excuses. We create elaborate systems of justification.

We blame others.

It's so much easier to say, "It's someone else's fault." They have to deal with it. I don't have to.

This is the easy way.

In reality, things are not so simple. In reality, our own behaviors and attitudes are shaped and molded by our cultures, family, biases, experiences. In reality, there is only us.

Realizing this brings about difficulty, as now we have to look at our own actions and reactions. Maybe we aren't so sinless afterall ...

Food is a further difficulty because it stretches into so many other aspects of our lives.

When we make a decision to be vegan, we are pushing over a long row of dominoes that stretch around all our behaviors.

This is a beautiful thing! And at the same time, terrifying. It leads us to the unknown. It leads us on an adventure to discover ourselves; our true selves. This true self is often someone we barely know. And most people do not set out to be adventurers.

Once we lift the veil covering the injustices in our food system, we have to change. Our souls yearn for Truth. We may cover it up; pile it over with excuses, but like magnets, we are eventually drawn to it.

A simple step will lead to different Universe.

A Universe where there is only us, and a mirror.

Where we realize we don't want to suffer. We don't have to suffer.

Finally, the end of our suffering, lies in the end of all suffering.

For there is only us, and a mirror.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I am here to change the world.

So are you.

Think about it. We have become manifest from pure spirit, from pure possibility. Why else, but to push evolution along to great compassionate state we are all meant to be.

Our very birth seems to have been a fulfilled prophecy. 

We are made in the image of God. God is in us as we are in God. We have only one path to walk, and that is ultimately towards full realization.

And we're not doing it alone.

We're all pushing humanity, and we're all given powers to help us achieve this.

That's a powerful thought.

We're all super heroes. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


I've been asked to be a Vegan Mentor.

And I'm quite honored.

When I ventured down this path 6 years ago, there was only the internet to help me. My girlfriend and I were the only people I knew who were vegan, and I didn't even know any vegetarians. In fact, food was such a small thought in my life until that point. We would spend hours discussing what we wanted, chicken or hamburger, or fish. But other than that, food never played a conscious role in my, nor any of my friends' lives.

Until my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

And I began to realize that the ancient adage, you are what you eat, had some serious merit to it.

The things we ingest have consequences.

My family is small, with regular contact consisting mainly of my mom and aunt, and they were both very supportive.

One year before going vegan, I distinctly remember asking my mom how to use the stove to warm up soup from a can. Home cooked was not really something my family did much of, certainly not much "from scratch."

So, one of the big first steps I had was to learn about cooking. My girlfriend at the time taught me a lot about cooking, spicing, and we got some great cookbooks, which really helped. Before long, a startling discovery was made ... Cooking was something fun! Rock some good music and dance and make food. What part of that wouldn't make for a good evening?

A little Michael Jackson and an eggplant marinara!


So, now I am part of this community of vegan mentors. Folks who are happy to answer questions, give suggestions, point folks to good web resources, show you around the grocery store. All to help someone's transition into an ethical, healthful, and peaceful way of living.

Send me your questions. I'm happy to help.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Letter from a Pig

Every so often, I get amazing feedback. Feedback that reminds me why I am singing and why this journey is my life.

The following letter is one such example. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read this:

OK, so I've been meaning to write to you since Sunday. This is going to be a long post, be warned. 

Not sure how much you know about pigs, but I thought I'd give you a little info about Eleanor. :) 

So, Ellie is a Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig, she's 13 and a half years old, and we adopted her from a closing farm sanctuary two years ago. When we adopted her, she was significantly under-weight (only 45 pounds!), because she had been residing with three other much larger pigs, who would eat all her food and she wouldn't really get a lot to eat. She's a very slow eater and couldn't stand up for herself. She had also never really interacted with a family before, so when she came to live with us, she was very scared and frightened, and it took about six months or so before she really trusted us fully. She is incredibly intelligent; she learned all of the obedience signals our dog knows in only an hour. She's also incredibly mischievous, as are most pot-bellies. She learned how to un-do pretty much all of the baby-proofing we did in no time at all. She can open doors, screw-top canisters, cabinets, and the refrigerator. She'll do pretty much anything to get to a tasty snack. She's a very healthy 104 pounds now, perfect size for her frame. :)

Ellie has the most wonderful sense of humor. She loves slapstick comedy (Charlie Chaplin and The Three Stooges are her faves), watching pig videos on youtube, and will play tricks on you just to get you to laugh. She is incredibly affectionate, loves to cuddle and have her belly rubbed, and is convinced she is a lap pig. She's highly social, loves being around lots of people, and adores having her pigture taken. When she hears the flash of the camera she grins, showing her teeth, to prompt the picture-taker to take another photo. She's a ham (pun intended).

She has always loved music, but has definite likes and dislikes. She dislikes rap, country, and most popular stuff. She likes blues, opera and jazz. Yet I've never seen her have the reaction to music that she had at the Peace, Love and Wedrose concert where she first heard you perform. She was in. a trance. Not sure how much you saw or heard about afterward, but she raised her bristles in a mohawk (a sign that she is very happy) and tuned into your voice and wouldn't take her eyes off of you the whole time. At the end of each song, when people started applauding, she jumped out of her skin and got frightened each and every time. She had been in such a state of zen that she lost perception of what was happening around her. I have never seen her like that.

Brian D bought her your CD that day, and since then, she has listened to it dozens of times. She always gets so happy listening to your music. It's amazing to watch her.

When I first heard about your concert on Sunday, my only thought was that I had to bring Ellie. So, David was nice enough to agree to a piggy houseguest, and she journeyed the three hours to the burbs to come see you.

Something I left out of her story above... about a year ago, Ellie had a very serious back injury. She was being lifted into my bed, as she was demanding to cuddle with me, and she slipped a disk in her back and lost all ability to control her bodily functions. She couldn't walk, was in incredible pain and was crying hysterically (pigs cry tears just as humans do). Her doctor told me she would probably never walk again. Still he gave her some meds, and we did piggy chiropractic care, herbal salves, acupuncture, steroids, and physical therapy... and amazingly, about four weeks later, she took her first few steps. She definitely doesn't have full mobility, but I'd place it at about 60%, which is incredible considering that I was being told by everyone that it was pretty much a lost cause. She can't do stairs very well at all, has difficulty getting herself to a standing position, and tires very easily, needing to sit and rest. She can barely walk on slippery surfaces and is, justifiably, terrified of floors where she can't get traction (like the floors at David's house). It was difficult for her to get into the bedroom from across the house, as she kept slipping and falling. But, she barely complained since she heard your music coming from that direction. Once in the room, she walked past everyone sitting down and would only lay down in the very front of the crowd, where she could see you.

I tell you all this so that you know of how absolutely amazing it is that she not only willingly crossed an entire house's worth of slippery flooring to get a front row seat for your concert, but even MORE astounding is what happened when you left the room to dance through the house. I couldn't believe my eyes when she got up all on her own and, tail wagging like a metronome, FOLLOWED YOU across the terrifying floor and into the kitchen. She NEVER does that. I have watched the video I shot of it happening over a dozen times and I still can't believe it. She just simply couldn't bear to be away from you, or your music.

Thank you so much for your art, and for making my girl so very happy. I just really wanted you to know how grateful I am for you, and how incredibly loved you are by my porcine baby. We'll be in touch about a private birthday concert for her this summer, if you're willing. I know that nothing in the world would make her as happy as that. ♥ - Corrine DiLorenzo