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Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2016’



    Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo:From the Six Wonderful Methods for Enlightenment Without Cultivation.

    Here I [Padmasambhava] shall explain the profound meaning of liberation through hearing
    for the ones who have arrived at the time of death.
    Among the three kinds of bardos, the first is the time of the bardo of dying.
    Fortunate one of noble family, listen one-point­edly. Pay heed. Do not wander.
    Every experience in this world is Mara’s dream-like illusion.
    Everything is impermanent, everyone is subject to death.
    Noble one, turn away from further painful states.
    The experiences of whiteness, redness and blackness are all the magical display of your mind.
    These experiences are nothing other than yourself.
    Do not be afraid. Do not fear them.
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    DAD ART PERFORMANCE FOR MUSEUMS/GALLERIES/OTHER SITES an excerpt from the video  DAD  ARThttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9hExtdYLls                 &nb…

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    THE STORY OF “ARE YOU WELL?” Linda Mary Montano, Saugerties NY, 2015
    I preach art is life and life is art and a few years ago I actually practiced it. Here is how my attempt to eliminate the boundaries between the two imploded on me, exposing and exploring my theory . Notice how I didn’t really pass the art/life test of seamless, pleasant, transparent union of the two. Here is the story: One afternoon I was standing on the front of the line at the Port of Authority, NYC, waiting to board the NY to Kingston Adirondack Trailways bus. Usually people are still in city mode and keep to themselves unless they have to go to the bathroom and then they might break silence and ask the person in front or back of them to watch their stuff. So when I heard a voice from way in back  call out in a friendly and cute way, “Hello Linda, are you well?” I bolted, blanched, bleated and barfed a spontaneous spoken word intervention and answer from deep in my bowels and in not so good  performance artist in action fashion, literally sounded, shouted and not so happily addressed the question with the following rude answer to the said female actress I hardly knew. It went like this: “Am I well? Am I well. What do you mean am I well.  I have alzheimers (a fear); dementia (a fear); leaky gut (a fear); urinary incontinence (a fear).”  And maybe I said more. I don’t remember. And then I said,  “Shelly, are you well?” I  am forgetting what happened next because it was all so traumatic, the appearance of my performance artist persona off the stage, that is. And what is notable is that it was dementia-like of me to respond that way which totally complicates the entire scenario. Fabulous art/not so fabulous life.
    Stuffing the event deep into my unanalyzed and therapeutically untreated back brain, it recently got triggered again. You see,  Shelly was a few years ahead of herself using the are you well greeting because NOW, everybody is saying it or emailing their endings, “Be well. Or, hope you are well.” I’m obviously not over the big, pulsing need to correct them when they say the “well” stuff but  the worst part is that the performance artist is over it, but Linda the non performance artist is addressing the situation in a way that is completely embarrassing and out of order. The wreckage is  much more personally damaging than my Port of authority slippage because NOW, I’m  correcting friends, acquaintances and non-friends when the words are heard in my presence or written in emails. And it is not pretty. I don’t know Linda the corrector as well as I do, Linda the performer and as an uncertified stop-wellness officer, I am becoming scary to myself and a persona non grata to those who might want to say Hi to me but are afraid that I might bark a correction. This is not good and it is taking me soon, I promise, to a therapist who I hope will help me trace the trigger to the source. Ooopps, trigger is a bad word too!! And by the way Shelly, if I ever see you again, I will say, ” Remember that day at the Port of Authority? I’m SO sorry. I was wrong, wrong, wrong!”

      But meanwhile, (notice the word mean), I went to my Facebook community and email community and  posed the question. 
    I am collecting 1-2 sentence responses that you FB me to my question, “Why r people saying “ARE U WELL when they greet each other?” And why do they end emails, “Be well. Hope you are well!!” Will include  your responses in an essay. Thanks, Linda

    Here are their answers:

    SUZANNE HELLMUTH: Well,well,well I had to find the entomology. The word comes from Latin vele to wish, & earlier proto-Indo-European that evolved to Germanic, old English, Welsh having double meanings of good/fair/kind/health & related meanings to that group AND drawing/springing forth as water from a spring… tears from the eyes.

        Would a spring or well of water be good as in a fulfillment of wish –thus a water source or a well –& that water-wish word came to also mean for good/fair/kind/healthy…?  Or, having water…is well, is source of well-being– ?  Etc. 
    English have towns with Wells in their name for example, Turndote Wells, where there are natural springs. Wellington, etc. 
       But, really, what is wellness now? 
    Margarat Nee I blame Garrison Keillor for “be well” because he closes his poetry segments on the radio with it. I’ve never been greeted with “are you well” but it seems like a very clunky substitute for the usual “how’s it goin” “how ya doin'” etc.

    (My complaint is that people shouldn’t open with that unless they really want to know, otherwise dopes like me forget sometimes and answer the question)

    Mary Disney good ? I wonder if people are trying to shorten their correspondence and at the same time heighten their meaning with the CAPS. I think people are saying in the emails when they sign off is that they hope their friend is doing all they can to be well. I often end my emails with “Bee well” because I am a beekeeper.


    Abina Manning When I moved to the U.S. and people would ask me “Are you well?” I would answer them. Until I saw their eyes glaze over. smile emoticon.

    Margarat Nee When I was in Ireland it took me awhile to understand that when when folks behind a shop/cafe counter asked “are you ok?” they meant did I want to buy/order something from them.
    CAROL SACHAL  I learned a long time ago, 50 years or more, NEVER to ask my Ukrainian Grandmother, Nanny, “How are you?” when I went to visit her each week, 3 times a week as required in my family.  The reason:  she would tell me:  “This hoits, that hoits, oh my, the pain!”  (hoits=hurts)   If I didn’t ask her, she wouldn’t tell me and it was a much more uplifting visit, so I learned to not ask that question.



    Linda Mary Montano im learning alot keep them coming.

    Eileen Kane Here in Tucson, where lots of my neighbors are elderly, we don’t ever ask that question!

    Victoria Singh In New Zealand people tend to say “howzit goin?” no equivalent to “be well” springs to mind


    Mary Puddycat Collins My friends and I started closing our letters with the Latin “Vale” – be well – that we learned in high school.

     Tobe Carey  Well…or when I ask my “older” friend how he is, he always answers, “Rotting away, thanks.”
    Paul W McMahon Humans need water to survive, even more than food but not air. so if you are well, you are also well and water of life flow thru you. if you are not a well you may be getting swampy so dig deeper in order to be well again! it’s meta 4 4 minstrel psychical. i never met a 4 i didn’t like.
    Gene Loeb (Shinananda)  I think when they ask ” Are you well, ” they are asking u to say to yourself, “Why, do I look like shit?”
    Lizbeth Rymland   ( I cant find her response but I remember she said something like, forget it when it happens or maybe she was saying , it isn’t worth the energy, getting upset about someone saying, “ARE YOU WELL?”


    RICH BRANDES: Research reveals that travelers in Merry Olde England visiting pubs and taverns in unfamiliar villages might ask an establishment if they served a favorite dish known as Beef Wellington.  The question “Are you serving any Beef Wellington?” was shortened to “Are You Beef Wellington?” and later to simply “Are You Well ington?” 
    As meat eating has become less popular the phrase “Are you well” has fallen out of favor.

    CONCLUSION: Thanks to all of the participants, I’m cooled down. I promise I will never correct WELL again when it is said or written because I have found the source of my trigger in Eileen Kane’s response:  “Here in Tucson, where lots of my neighbors are elderly, we don’t ever ask that question!”

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     Linda Mary Montano has been performing her art-life since birth.  Her mother’s pregnancy never “showed” and when Linda  was born her mother supposedly said, “Linda, you were a shock to everybody,”  or something like that. Montano has performed and shocked herself and others for  many years and continues to this day in her upstate NY: SAUGERTIES ART/LIFE INSTITUTE & TRANSFIGUARATION HOSPITAL where she is learning: HOW TO LOVE. 

    Linda Mary Montano is an inspiring figure in contemporary feminist performance art and her work since the mid 1960s has been critical in the development of performance and video by, for, and about women. Attempting to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, Montano continues to actively explore her art/life through shared experience, role adoption, and intricate life altering ceremonies, some of which last for fourteen or more years. Her artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual transformation. Montano’s influence is wide ranging – she has been featured at museums including The New Museum in New York, MOCA San Francisco, SITE Santa Fe and the ICA in London.

    Montano’s first major performance, Chicken Woman (1972) was based on her MFA sculpture show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There she exhibited nine live chickens in three 8-foot (2.4 m) by 16-foot-long (4.9 m) minimalist chicken wire cages on the roof of the art building. It was titled “The Chicken Show,” 1969.

    Linda had moved to San Francisco 1970 with her husband the photographer, Mitchell Payne, and it was there that she established herself with performances like “Handcuff” (1973 with Tom Marioni) where she was physically bound to Marioni, and “Three Day Blindfold” (1974), where she lived for three days blindfolded and had to find her way around via the help of others;  attempting to prepare for life in the future when she might need assistance. The murder of Mitchell Payne,  her ex-husband, led to further exploration of art as a healing modality (“Mitchells’ Death”, 1978) and she continued her art-theology dialogue by living in a Zen monastery for three years and also resided at Ananda Ashram in the 1980s where she studied with Dr. Ramamurti Mishra for over 30 years. His influence and appreciation of her vision encouraged both her art and life. Upon meeting Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh who was looking for someone to be tied to him as art, they performed a collaboration whereby the two artists were bound to each other by a length of rope 24 hours a day for a whole year (from July 4, 1983 to July 3, 1984). They never touched during this endurance and audio taped every word they said and each worked at seperate jobs while tied. 

    From 1984 onwards Montano performed another ambitious project titled “Seven Years of Living Art”, 1984-1991 in which she lived in her home in Kingston wearing strictly monochromatic clothing, spent a portion of every day in a coloured room, and listened to a designated tone, all of which corresponded to the energetic qualities of a specific chakra. She changed colour every year, and after the project was finished followed it up with “Another Seven Years of Living Art”,1991-1998 in part to memorialize her mother, Mildred Montano, who died in 1988 of colon cancer. This time she focused on the 7 Chakras, as taught by her Guru Dr. Mishra, she wore the colour clothes but let go of the many other imposed penances/disciplines, allowing nature to lead her to healing instead of her forced ego. In 1998, Montano inaugurated “Another 21 Years of Living Art ” 1998-2019, a self designed “school” which inspired those attending to choose their own unique way to bring art and healing to the 7 energy centers of the body. Participants were: Betsea Caygill, Michelle Bush, Barbara Carrellas, SC Durkin, Koosil-Ja Hwang, Vernita N’Cognita, Esther K. Smith, Krista Kelly Walsh, with satellite projects by Victoria Singh & Kurtis Champion, Steven Reigns, Elizabeth Stephens, Annie Sprinkle, EK Smith and Nells Fasty.  Montano has always freelance taught performance art, and was on the tenure tract at the University of texas, Austin for 7 years. She came back to upstate NY , 1998, to care for Henry Montano, her father and also collaborated with him on video before his stroke, continuing to tape the 3 years of managing and caring for him at home until his death , 2005. Montano;s interest in self-healing via art has allowed her to share her information with others via “Art/Life Counseling”, a technique she used for seven years at The New Museum where curator Marcia Tucker had built a private room and allowed Montano to counsel people once a month in the window installation which was painted the same color that Montano wore for that year. At that time (1984–1991) Montano used tarot, palm and psychic readings as tools of discovery as well as attentive listening so that she could respond to the questions of her clients and she intended to find the most creative way to respond to their problems and difficulties. (Currently Montano still does “Art/Life/Laugher Counseling” but without the assistance of tarot, palm and psychic readings because they are forbidden by her current practice of Catholicism).

    The influence of her father led Montano to return to Catholicism and ultimately to Church attendance, and since 2005 she has taken gathered prayer requests to more than ten Catholic pilgrimage sites throughout the world. Montano also meets with others in Catholic Churches for 3 hours silent retreats, re-seeing the concept of endurance from new Catholic-eyes. Since returning to Catholicism, Montano has made numerous videos exploring the faith, including Father Lebar: Catholic Priest and Exorcist; Saint Teresa Of Avila By Linda Mary Montano, and she currently performs AS Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and endures, sometimes for 7 hours at a time suspended on a scissors lift, lipsynching as Bob Dylan and Paul McMahon, an upstate musician/songwriter. Since 1975, Montano has used video as a practice and for the last 20 years, her videos have been edited and animated by Tobe Carey of Willow Mixed Media. After Occupy Wall Street when Montano saw a sign that said, COMPASSION IS THE NEW CURRENCY, Montano has offered her videos for free viewing on You Tube, except for “Dad Art” a video-performance document of her father’s last 7 years which is designed to be performed with Montano and 7 collaborators.

    Her work investigates the relationship between art and life through intricate, life-altering ceremonies, some of which last for seven or more years. She is interested in the way artistic ritual, often staged as individual interactions or collaborative workshops, can be used to alter and enhance a person’s life and to create the opportunity for focus on spiritual energy states, silence and the cessation of art/life boundaries.

    Montano’s archive is now at Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU since 2013.

    Videos produced with Tobe Carey’s editing and animation, can be seen online here, and more information is on her blog,lLinda Mary Montano Blogspot, as well as her website, WWW.LINDAMONTANO.COM

    Her seven  published books can be located via her website.

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    MY RESPONSE TO CLARK STRANDS  POST ON FB: CLARK STRAND: THE ALTERNATIVE TO MEDIA…IS MAMA! This past weekend I read an online article that cited the work of contemporary German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, suggesting that the only meaningfu…

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      1. CHILDHOOD The theme and focus of my childhood dreams was always MY NOSE! Nightly the nightmare was that a long, gooey, squidish and unending disgusting mass would unroll from and be able to be slow motion pulled from both nostrils. I was amazed, intrigued and the vision/dream continued for a long time. The only reference I was able to make was to the cultural history of Egyptian funerary rites which indicated that the mortuary people drained the brains from the nose of the dead before mummifying them. Did I dream this? Is it true? I must google the answer some fine day. Eventually the dream stopped.
      2. YOUNG ADULT During high school I was the outsider, having come from a small, Catholic grade school to a not that large high school in our village. Neurotic that I already was, it took this disrupt to activate my anxiety button and I expressed my upset by imagining and insisting that ” I SMELLED!” The collection of and more than once daily use of cancer producing aluminum-infused underarm deodorants never allayed the supposed dispiriting attacks on my happiness so I conscripted a posse of friends to walk close to me and “smell” me and I would ask, ” Do I stink?” They would always say, ” You don’t stink, Linda.” Not appeased for long, I would ask again as we walked down the hall to our next class. That ended and I forget how my fear shifted to my next phobia. I don’t remember asking people that question when I went to college but there was a smell issue in the convent when I “found” some wet/smelly  papers in the “nun-clothes” locker in my cell. Oooopss. Too much info.
    3. ARTIST LIFE My teacher from India, Dr. Ramamurti Mishra, also later known as Shri Brahmananda Saraswati, was a phenomenal genius, radical doctor, McGill trained neurosurgeon, teacher, mystic and friend to all. His knowledge of Ayruveda was included in his tool bag of Cures That Shift Consciousness, and he brought this particular nose technique out as needed. It was called, NASAL NETI. Did he demonstrate the insertion of a snake-like male cathedra into his own nasal cavities so that it could clear the passages and eventually slither out of his mouth? I don’t think so. Maybe he had one of us demo it, I don’t remember. But I do know that I loved it, having spent my childhood focused inside my nose already in dreams and as was my wont, I began including Nasal Neti in my performances as a device that invited audiences to join me in viewing the ART OF SHOCK, a practice I always prefer, which allows the artist and viewer to move from everyday daily worry-hurry mind to the mind of NOW. Case in point, who can think about the insult the neighbor just hurled your way when there is a slimey male cathedra coming out of your nose or the nose of a performance artist trained to offend-as-art? So for years, I used Nasal Neti live, in performance, and in videos even as we speak, thanks to the 20 year collaboration with Tobe Carey video artist/editor who has helped me edit Nasal Neti into my current video: Endurance Then and Now.
    4. CURRENT LIFEIST NOSE EVENTS As a child, my parents had left a medievalish, Nicola Tesla-looking “tanning” sunlamp someplace in the house. Of course I found it and burned myself/face to blisters many, many times and in fact, had almost permanently fused plastic buttons to my closed eyes because I had used button as “goggles,” placing them over my closed eyes so the lamp’s BIG C causing light would not burn my eyelids.( Eyes are the subject of another body modification post most probably forthcoming. A post just as problematic in detail.) Back to my nose. My nose: i’ve always loved it….. it’s aquilineness; it’s long, straight, haughtiness; it’s almost Italian-ness. It is a nice friend of my face but as I age, it rears it’s head, just as it did in childhood when my brains spilled out of it in dream-sleep. A year ago, I presented a bump-scab-raised on my nose something to the over 90 year old skin doctor who treated Nagasaki-Hiroshima WW11 survivors of after-bomb skin injuries and she put a liquid on my nose. For weeks, I walked around as if my nose literally survived Nagasaki because it festered, blew up, spit out gangerous green from both now bulbous external sides. I was a walking leper for awhile and went everywhere like that… a class fool, a pariah, a freak. This time, I wasn’t USING my nose for Art, but my nose was life-performing without my permission and without my wanting to videotape the mess, a practice I always do; for to self-document is to cure, is my creed. This time I was not interested in sending my situation to you tube as a way that I cleverly fix my life via art via Tobe’s collaboration. So it cured, it burned out the toxicities, it ate up the BIG C, the Esteemed and Saintly Dr-Healer said. And then more nose events began.
    A. Somewhere I heard that it is good to put Gas Treatment in your gas tank occasionally. Silly me, I never checked this out with my smart, smart siblings who know everything about everything, so I bought a container of it in Dollar General and left it in the car until I was ready to put it in my now-I like-you car and you can guess the rest. It opened in the car, just a little, BUT the fumes were over the top, fusing themselves into my long, aquiline 74 year old nose. I felt them immediately and now that I am compromised with a neurological chronic affliction called Dystonia, my nervous system said, ” OYE WHATTTTTT DID YOU JUST DO TO ME? IM GOING TO TWIST YOUR NECK AND YOUR BRAIN AND YOUR HEAD IN RETRIBUTION.” So the new medical chess game began…I slapped a Lidocane patch on my neck, called Poison Control whose female voice of reason said, “Don’t worry, there is no poison in Gas Treatment,” and not believing her, I went to my Irish PA who looked up my nose and said to use a gel to coat inside my nasal passage. I sniffed Cocoanut Oil into it instead. And although I was doing SO WELL with controlling neck spasms before this event, they re-appeared with a vengeance and as a result I have to drive my throbbing neck over across the river to get it injected with Botox so that I can fathom sitting on an overnight flight to Ireland in a month. There goes my let’s get off the rat poison Botox injections and let’s use alternative meds plan! I’m afraid to tell my siblings this story.
    B. I wake throughout the night and Ayruveda says that remembering what time you wake, is an easy way to see if one of the organs of the body is asking for attention. That is , 3 am is the liver “calling.” Whatever!!! Two mornings ago, at an hour that I will have to see if I can remember which organ was calling me, I smelled SKUNK. It wafted up the side of the house and into my bedroom window. When I told David and Jeanne this story, she said that skunks are kind and don’t just squirt but warn first and I do recall a kind of scratching sound outside which I interpreted as someone trying to break into the house but no, it was not that, it was the skunk warning the dog next door to pull back, retreat and get out to the way. But no such luck because this beautiful, humongous, furry, gorgeous, smoky black, loving and perfectly behaved canine with 14 inch long fur got squirted. But so did the neighborhood or at least the inside of this house where I am sitting and smelling skunk smell as we speak. I’m a wreck. My nose is on overdrive. I’ve saged and squirted Holy Water in every room. And when I told a really close and dear and totally funny friend about this drama, he said, ” Maybe you stink , Linda,” and that’s the closest that this issue will come to a deeper analysis of the dramas which are inviting  me to want to find out why I am up my nose so much? Too embarrassed to re-call the Poison Control because I might get the same woman, I went to The Church of Google, typed in skunk words, totem animal words, what does skunk smell indicate words and this is what I got:
    “Who hasn’t run up against a lesson from this amazing creature-teacher at one time or another? The smell of Skunk Medicine is something that one doesn’t soon forget. Skunk Medicine brings the lessons of Reputation , Respect, Sensitivity, and Confidence.
    Skunk says, “If your ego is not your amigo, you know it stinks!” When one learns to assert, without ego, what and who you are. Respect follows. Your self-respectful attitude will repel those who are not of like mind, and yet will attract those who choose the same pathway. As the odor of Skunk attracts others of its kind, it repels those who will not respect its space.”
    5. CONCLUSION Deep breath in, deep breath out. It is all medicine.

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    Dear (FILL IN THE BLANK…NOT YET PUBLISHED)  Thank you for inviting me to consider these words. Instead of choosing one word, I have chosen them all and here is my response to your invitation:Ceremony: My first ceremonies were Cat…

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