Category Archives: Monday Blues

Monday Morning Blues; Get Behind the Mule


I was really tempted to go with Vera Hall’s Wild Ox Moan but this Tom Waits song is the one I’ve had in my head all week.

Despite the titles, the content of this one is more inline with working with the ox.

If Tom Waits is too rough for you, John Hammond Jr. does an excellent cover, here


Monday Morning Blues; Ballad of the Absent Mare



This isn’t my favorite Leonard Cohen song, but if the ratio of Leonard Cohen fans who read this blog happens to overlap the ratio of Zennies, some of you may know why I’m choosing it today.


If not, I’ll just say that this is the beginning of a two-week journey in search of an ox…

Monday Morning Blues; Andante


 Vivaldi • Andante (from concerto for two mandolins)

I know I’ve stretched the use of the terms “Blues” already, including Jazz, Folk, and Country, but thought I’d push it even further this time. (And being just a few hours west of the International Date Line, I realize the term “Monday” is a stretch, too!)

Sitting in meditation each night, I notice that my mind starts reliving the days events, things said, and things typed.

Of course, by the next night the previous day is mostly all forgotten and that day’s experience takes over, which made me think, “Even this will be forgotten tomorrow, there’s not much reason to be so concerned with it now. It’s already finished.”

I started meditating thinking/hoping it would have a positive effect on my life. Not long after, I realized if I lived a more peaceful life, my meditation would benefit, and perhaps let me go deeper. Words usually have the biggest influence on the condition of both.

Like this song, I’m going to try to go wordlessly this week, and maybe the next. There’s something I’ve had in mind for a while, but I have to dig a bit deeper to get it out.

I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do!

Monday Morning Blues; Happy to Be Free


Champion Jack Dupree • Happy to Be Free

Is it possible to be free without being happy?

Happy indeed we live, friendly amidst the hostile. Amidst hostile men we dwell free from hatred.

Happy indeed we live, friendly amidst the afflicted (by craving). Amidst afflicted men we dwell free from affliction.

Happy indeed we live, free from avarice amidst the avaricious. Amidst the avaricious men we dwell free from avarice.

Happy indeed we live, we who possess nothing. Feeders on joy we shall be, like the Radiant Gods.

-Sukhavagga: Happiness

Monday Morning Blues; Buddha’s got the Blues


Original Sloth Band • Buddha’s Got the Blues

Buddha’s go the blues, way down in his shoes
‘Cause nobody travels anymore.

You must wash your toes, where the Ganges flows…

If I had it to do over, I’d have kept last week’s quote for this week’s song, but this one does quite nicely!

They go to many a refuge,
to mountains and forests,
to park and tree shrines:
people threatened with danger.
That’s not the secure refuge,
not the supreme refuge,
that’s not the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering & stress.

But when, having gone
to the Buddha, Dhamma,
& Sangha for refuge,
you see with right discernment
the four noble truths —
the cause of stress,
the transcending of stress,
& the noble eightfold path,
the way to the stilling of stress:
that’s the secure refuge,
that, the supreme refuge,
that is the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering & stress.

from the Buddhavagga Sutta (Awakened)

Monday Morning Blues; Trouble of the World


 Mahalia Jackson • Trouble of the World

Soon it will be done,
…….Troubles of the world

“I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.”

Rohitassa Sutta

It seems to me that in any moment we are all capable of putting an end to our suffering for good. Sooner would be better than later but realistically, if that ever were to happen, it won’t be for a long, long time.