Monday, April 25, 2011

A Bad Workman

I had been looking forward to Saturday's Zen and Neuroscience talk with Paul and Philippe Goldin. There had been a discussion at that morning's breakfast table with one of the participants in the workshop who had come the night before and attended the morning program, and who was excited to see how people in the psychological disciplines had really begun to research and discuss these issues; my feeling is that the Buddhists have known about them all along, but it is still fascinating to see it quantified.
Unfortunately, our technology did not fully support us in our efforts. Laura and I had set up the dining room sound system with the digital recorder and the camera on Friday afternoon and done a successful test run; even more excitingly, Charlie, who is going to be installing our new sound systems, had managed to get his hands on a new wireless lapel mic, and brought it over on Friday evening. I got it out of the box on Saturday after breakfast, and got it working, and the sound system rigged up again, before going off to be doshi for 9:25 zazen.
As before, we were improvising with the forms somewhat, so I had to make sure that at least the shoten and Paul had the same idea about what was going to happen, and then I turned the mics up very carefully. We had sound over the speakers, but not, alas, on the Livestream. It turned out that the record feed from the sound system was not working. I was running around for a while trying to set up an alternative way of doing it, but that didn't work either, so in the end we just ran the Livestream from the camera's internal microphone, as we had for Lou's funeral, and had no high quality recording of the event, and audio for only the second half of the video (scroll through to 19'15").
If you want to know more about how it was, there is always last year's version of the talk, and you can see Philippe talking about the topics with visuals here, and here. And should you want to hear more of Paul, I have just finished uploading two sesshins' worth of talks from Tassajara, which should make Greg happy - he is always encouraging me to get these online quickly, but when confronted by seven talks, or in this case, fifteen, I need to be able to block out a lot of time to get them uploaded, which does not often happen in the ino's world. It ended up taking more than a whole day's work to do all of these, especially as I had to go through and edit out chunks that were a little too intimate for the web, as well as all the usual processes, which I have described before. Even though it can get a little tedious and eye-glazing, I know that these are greatly valued by people who cannot get here, much as when I used to be struggling to stay awake doing live broadcasts at midnight at the BBC, but telling myself that there were millions of people in Burma who were listening avidly to what I was mixing.


windhorse said...

g'day shundo,
yr sound engineer skills,facilitation and dedication to the [sometimes tedious] task are very much appreciated by this sfzc member who [physically] visits infrequently. Live-stream bridges, wonder-fully, the so-called 'tyranny' of distance. Inter-dependency/no separations, revealed via www! many thanx, megan

windhorse said...

ps forgot to mention that Laura - and Jay - are admirable shorthand dharma transcribers, when there are livestream sound system glitches!

Shundo said...

Thanks Megan for being a loyal listener and viewer.

Lee Nutter said...

I can't say how much I appreciate you fine tuning and uploading the podcasts. I've been a listener for years, it was these podcasts that prompted me to go to and find a Zen teacher (I was attending a Tibetan centre at the time) and I've not looked back since.

Even now I try and make time every couple of days to listen to these talks. Of course I'm very involved in the local Zen group as well, and we recently started putting our talks online too, but I get so much out of the SFZC talks, it's amazing to have Paul Haller, Ed Brown, Steve Weintraub etc in my Australian lounge room.

I'll get to SFZC one day (and hopefully Green Gulch, and eventually, a practice period at Tassajara) but until then these talks continue to inspire and move me. I'm so incredibly grateful.

Thank You.


Shundo said...

Thanks very much Lee; I hope you do make it over the Pacific sometime, and in the meantime, enjoy having the teachings in your living room. you reminded me how easy it can be to take for granted the depth of strong teachers we have available to us here...