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View Full Version : Playing with Less - Jake Shimabukuro



TwanBG
04-19-2012, 08:02 AM
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Olarte
04-19-2012, 08:15 AM
This is why I like Jake so much, because behind the speed, technique and sheer power, he is a true musician and sensitive soul at heart.

A great video! thanks for posting the link.

Ivan

coolkayaker1
04-19-2012, 08:21 AM
I'd be as happy as a Buddhist monk if I had a JS Signature Kamaka with slotted head and Gilbert tuners. I swear.

efiscella
04-19-2012, 08:41 AM
I spent a good part of the day with Jake last sunday and the thing I walked away with from the entire event is exactly what he talks about here at the end of his video-- that the ukulele does nothing more than convey what is in his soul - his essence. He truly lives in the moment and is happy just to be there with you, enjoying life at the moment. He is very centered but what I saw that really impressed me was how unselfish he is. He is at peace and he is content but he wants to let you in to experience it and to share that with him. Truly Amazing--- and he can really play that ukulele, too :-)

UkueBass23
04-19-2012, 08:49 AM
Amazing. Love it.

Plainsong
04-19-2012, 09:05 AM
I enjoy the overall positiveness of course. I mean what's not to like? But I can't help but think that what he says at first makes no sense when you think about it. It's difficult to be happy when you're alone, and you're done with being alone. It's difficult to be happy in abusive settings, like a bad job. It's difficult to be happy when your basic needs as a human being aren't being met.

It's easy for him to say those things when he's already achieved in his life. It's easy for the Dalai Lama to say these things when he is by design at the top of his caste.

Sometimes, being unhappy is exactly the correct feeling for the situation. I mean I'm happy as a clam (assuming that's pretty happy!) right now, and I can recognize that this is horrible to hear for someone down on their luck.

I figure he means that you should concentrate on the self and everything else is just set decoration that you don't need. But to someone not in a good place, this message will sound like nails on a chalkboard.

I don't mean to offend anyone, and like I said before, I enjoy his positiveness. I'm just saying that he gave this advice on a camera, to be broadcast, and maybe it's not good advice for everyone. Or rather, it's not the right thing that people always need to hear. I've got a friend who's hurting, who has a right to be hurt, and these words would be a slap in the face to them.

I don't know, sometimes we start talking nonsense and sometimes it just so happens to be filmed. I like Jake, but don't agree with what he says at the start.

coolkayaker1
04-19-2012, 09:27 AM
It's actually not Jake's philosophy. It's His Holiness the Dalai Lama that espouses happiness above all.

I read his book (DH, not Jake)...and it's a bunch of pie-in-the-sky platitudes that can only truly be lived by a monk in a monastery.

That said, if Jake can express happiness with three strings, I must have happiness pouring out of me like sweat on a camel: I can only play one string.

Plainsong
04-19-2012, 09:44 AM
It's actually not Jake's philosophy. It's His Holiness the Dalai Lama that espouses happiness above all.

I read his book (DH, not Jake)...and it's a bunch of pie-in-the-sky platitudes that can only truly be lived by a monk in a monastery.

That said, if Jake can express happiness with three strings, I must have happiness pouring out of me like sweat on a camel: I can only play one string.

Yeah, it's good intentions, but ...yeah.... :)

I'm way more happy than you though! I play one fret of one string! Hah! I am the embodiment of Ukulele Enlightenment(tm) (Please send 49.95 in a SASE to Ukulele Enlightenment!)

efiscella
04-19-2012, 10:46 AM
Actually "I THINK I play the ukulele; therefore I DO".

zac987
04-19-2012, 10:55 AM
Please don't mock the idea, guys. Just because it doesn't mesh with your viewpoints doesn't mean that they're inherently wrong.

efiscella
04-19-2012, 11:15 AM
Please don't mock the idea, guys. Just because it doesn't mesh with your viewpoints doesn't mean that they're inherently wrong.

Nah- I was just having fun-- if you see my quote above, I thought Jake was wonderful, and I posted on Sunday that Jake was the most centered guy I ever met, not only is he centered, he is generous, and giving. See the post that I wrote in "Jake in South Jersey"- you will see that I believe that he is quite extraordinary in that he lets you in.

keliiyama
04-19-2012, 11:17 AM
That is one nice ukulele! I love the binding... real nice stuff.

Plainsong
04-19-2012, 11:35 AM
Please don't mock the idea, guys. Just because it doesn't mesh with your viewpoints doesn't mean that they're inherently wrong.

Oh for heaven's sakes... Same thing as in another thread. Someone has to be offended. Look, we were just having a laugh. It wasn't directed at anyone or intended to hurt anyone's feelings or insult Jake in any way. Jeez. Every post here has to come with a disclaimer nowadays and still someone is bound to be offended.

imabuddha
04-19-2012, 12:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sONfxPCTU0

zac987
04-19-2012, 12:38 PM
Oh for heaven's sakes... Same thing as in another thread. Someone has to be offended. Look, we were just having a laugh. It wasn't directed at anyone or intended to hurt anyone's feelings or insult Jake in any way. Jeez. Every post here has to come with a disclaimer nowadays and still someone is bound to be offended.

If someone mocked your religion (if you have one) or deeply held philosophical beliefs, you'd probably be pretty offended too.

efiscella
04-19-2012, 12:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sONfxPCTU0

Thanks for This. We went from Jake to the Dalai lama to Rodney King -- and guess what-- the message is the same! kudos! It certainly is something to aspire toward.

Hippie Dribble
04-19-2012, 12:55 PM
I think this is a really interesting discussion. It is frustrating at times on the forums that, while we love to spread the aloha spirit, sometimes that imperativey prevents us from really getting down to the meat and potato issues of life. I totally see where Kim is coming from, as I see where zac is too I think.

I was a buddhist for most of the 90's. Like many of my gen i was a searcher and had so many issues. For awhile I thought Buddhism was the answer and I really tried to live it. i admire much of what Jake says, primarily because he really lives it. The proof is in the pudding, and all those who have met him testify to a gentle, caring, sensitive nature that is inclusive of others.

Round my parts, Buddhism was kind of taken over by Lefty's who were almost the hippies of the 90's. I was one of em, shaved my head, got a nose ring and got into the karma stuff, the minimalism, peace loving philosophies of the faith. Ultimately it left me cold though and I found something in Christianity that Buddhism couldn't offer me. Forgiveness. I am thankful for that everyday.

While I like hearing Jake speak, his saccarine sentiments do irritate me at times. he's just soooo nice and because I'm so bitter and twisted and frequently depressed, it grates. I sense others sometimes feel the same way. This is not to undermine him, as he is an honest man who deserves the plaudits he gets. His path is different to mine though and that is a matter of personal choice and faith. I wish I could experience his happiness to the depths that he appears to. For me though, life is very complicated and full of trials that I feel more comfortable in taking to Jesus than to Buddha.

foxfair
04-19-2012, 01:17 PM
I enjoy the overall positiveness of course. I mean what's not to like? But I can't help but think that what he says at first makes no sense when you think about it. It's difficult to be happy when you're alone, and you're done with being alone. It's difficult to be happy in abusive settings, like a bad job. It's difficult to be happy when your basic needs as a human being aren't being met.

It's easy for him to say those things when he's already achieved in his life. It's easy for the Dalai Lama to say these things when he is by design at the top of his caste.

Sometimes, being unhappy is exactly the correct feeling for the situation. I mean I'm happy as a clam (assuming that's pretty happy!) right now, and I can recognize that this is horrible to hear for someone down on their luck.

I figure he means that you should concentrate on the self and everything else is just set decoration that you don't need. But to someone not in a good place, this message will sound like nails on a chalkboard.

I don't mean to offend anyone, and like I said before, I enjoy his positiveness. I'm just saying that he gave this advice on a camera, to be broadcast, and maybe it's not good advice for everyone. Or rather, it's not the right thing that people always need to hear. I've got a friend who's hurting, who has a right to be hurt, and these words would be a slap in the face to them.

I don't know, sometimes we start talking nonsense and sometimes it just so happens to be filmed. I like Jake, but don't agree with what he says at the start.

I don't need to defend Jake or anyone, but I disagree right here.

What Jake said is exactly what caused me start playing ukulele: I want a simple(feeling), and happy instrument to start making my own music again. To help me get through my own high stressed real life , which I think is too personal and not necessary to broadcast my story here. But Jake and Dalai Lama totally get the idea. Buddha doesn't laugh out loudly, he smiles. The reason he smiles isn't because he has everything in control, but he learns to use a relaxing and stable attitude to oversee everything.

imabuddha
04-19-2012, 01:27 PM
Buddha doesn't laugh out loudly, he smiles. The reason he smiles isn't because he has everything in control, but he learns to use a relaxing and stable attitude to oversee everything.

I have to disagree slightly with this. Buddha does laugh out loudly when his feet are tickled with a feather.

:rofl:

foxfair
04-19-2012, 01:36 PM
I have to disagree slightly with this. Buddha does laugh out loudly when his feet are tickled with a feather.

:rofl:
Nice one, that is his humanity.

ps: I am not a Buddhist nor claim to know well about the religion. Just happen to read some and keep humble and open in my mind.

philpot
04-19-2012, 01:45 PM
If someone mocked your religion (if you have one) or deeply held philosophical beliefs, you'd probably be pretty offended too.

My religion is mocked daily by the MSM and Hollywood and almost everyone I come across. You get used to it ;)

That said, there's parts of what he said I agree with. But I tend to think it's less about happiness and more about joy. Happiness is dependent on circumstances... joy is a choice.

PedalFreak
04-19-2012, 02:06 PM
Wow! What is funny is I've been working on a song for about the last 6 months that is almost identical to this song! Should've recorded it before he did :)

Teek
04-19-2012, 03:12 PM
Happiness is an inside job. That's what Buddhism teaches, and to me that is what Jake is saying. He's talking about having presence and being in the moment. Of course other people will interpret it differently. The concepts are strange to a Westernized mind. Westerners are deeply stuck in ego, which is a self oriented and judgmental mindset (not that there's anything wrong with that ;)).

Happiness begins within, and where we misstep is in the way we interpret events as causes. Jake refers to this when he speaks about people always wanting more, thinking they will be happier "if" and "when". Jesus taught that "The Kingdom of Heaven is within", because it is, but it wasn't a new teaching even back 2K years. There is no external force or thing that "makes" anyone happy. Blaming circumstances or anyone else for not being able to be happy is just the ego talking, and ego is insidious. Yes, horrible stuff happens and it affects us, but we have the ability to move forward, even if just in our manner of thinking. Whether we do so or stay mired is a choice. We may not be aware that we're making a choice, but we are.

Stephen Hawking could have chosen to be miserable when he got his diagnosis, and when he became restricted to a wheelchair, but if he had where would our general understanding of physics be today? He says he wouldn't change a thing about his life except that he would have preferred M.I.T. not given his computer voice an American accent. Jake also has the energy and presence of a person who understands this and who has applied it to his own life.

@ Jon, are you certain you weren't a Hare Krishna? There is no Buddhist sect that I am aware of that requires putting a ring in one's nose, and head shaving is only required of the clergy and initiates to the clergy, but it's ok to let it grow out again. ;)

blender
04-19-2012, 03:31 PM
I'd be as happy as a Buddhist monk if I had a JS Signature Kamaka with slotted head and Gilbert tuners. I swear.

Ah, but that's the key grasshopper. Play as happy with a Dolphin as with a JS Signature Kamaka....

efiscella
04-19-2012, 03:35 PM
Ah, but that's the key grasshopper. Play as happy with a Dolphin as with a JS Signature Kamaka....
The other night at the south jersey concert with Jake, he picked up a friend's Koa Pili Koko in the lobby and played the loveliest version of AVE MARIE on that instrument and he seemed to be loving it. It's not so much the instrument as it is what you can bring to it.

estreya
04-19-2012, 04:55 PM
Sublime. Thank you for posting this video. I'd not have seen it otherwise.

Hippie Dribble
04-19-2012, 04:59 PM
@ Jon, are you certain you weren't a Hare Krishna? There is no Buddhist sect that I am aware of that requires putting a ring in one's nose, and head shaving is only required of the clergy and initiates to the clergy, but it's ok to let it grow out again. ;)

Great post Teek, you make some wonderful points and I agree with all of them.

Re your particular question to me...I'm not sure what I was over those 6 or 7 years. I was bad at Buddhism. I would have been bad as a Hare Krishna too no doubt. Like I said, it was a trendy lefty uni student thing to do and the fashion that accompanied the few of us that boarded the Buddhism boat suggested the nose ring and shaved head. I do feel much more certain about spiritual issues now I'm in my 40's with children and a family and I'm very grateful for that. Oh, and I would loved to have grown the hair out again but sadly, when I tried, there was none left to grow. :o

coolkayaker1
04-19-2012, 05:45 PM
While I like hearing Jake speak, his saccharine sentiments do irritate me at times. he's just soooo nice and because I'm so bitter and twisted and frequently depressed, it grates.--jon.

i agree with jon on this one, and saccharine sentiments is well worded, actually.

would i like jake better if he were to punch someone in the snout? well, actually, yes, I would.

rasputinsghost
04-19-2012, 07:42 PM
My religion is mocked daily by the MSM and Hollywood and almost everyone I come across. You get used to it ;)


Where could you possibly live in America that Christianity is mocked by 'almost everyone you come across'? 90% of Americans identify as Christians.

Plainsong
04-20-2012, 12:32 AM
If someone mocked your religion (if you have one) or deeply held philosophical beliefs, you'd probably be pretty offended too.

Sorry dude, religions should be mocked. It is a free and open society, and religions should absolutely be mocked. You probably won't separate this idea yourself, but it's possible to mock the religion without mocking the person.

Plainsong
04-20-2012, 12:36 AM
Yes, that's why I did that big disclaimer that no one read. I don't have a bad word to say about Jake and how could I? I just really don't agree that this the right thing to hear for everyone. As a personal philosophy that shouldn't matter.. But it was said on camera is all. :)

And to clarify what I said about mocking religions, any big belief system, dogma, whatever you want to call it, being in a society that mocks beliefs without mocking people... Keeps you honest. Everything is open to criticism.



I think this is a really interesting discussion. It is frustrating at times on the forums that, while we love to spread the aloha spirit, sometimes that imperativey prevents us from really getting down to the meat and potato issues of life. I totally see where Kim is coming from, as I see where zac is too I think.

I was a buddhist for most of the 90's. Like many of my gen i was a searcher and had so many issues. For awhile I thought Buddhism was the answer and I really tried to live it. i admire much of what Jake says, primarily because he really lives it. The proof is in the pudding, and all those who have met him testify to a gentle, caring, sensitive nature that is inclusive of others.

Round my parts, Buddhism was kind of taken over by Lefty's who were almost the hippies of the 90's. I was one of em, shaved my head, got a nose ring and got into the karma stuff, the minimalism, peace loving philosophies of the faith. Ultimately it left me cold though and I found something in Christianity that Buddhism couldn't offer me. Forgiveness. I am thankful for that everyday.

While I like hearing Jake speak, his saccarine sentiments do irritate me at times. he's just soooo nice and because I'm so bitter and twisted and frequently depressed, it grates. I sense others sometimes feel the same way. This is not to undermine him, as he is an honest man who deserves the plaudits he gets. His path is different to mine though and that is a matter of personal choice and faith. I wish I could experience his happiness to the depths that he appears to. For me though, life is very complicated and full of trials that I feel more comfortable in taking to Jesus than to Buddha.

philpot
04-20-2012, 12:05 PM
Where could you possibly live in America that Christianity is mocked by 'almost everyone you come across'? 90% of Americans identify as Christians.

Well, a lot of it is internet contact. The majority of forums I frequent are hostile to Christianity. As are most people in universities that I like to hang out at for the discussion. Our culture is becoming increasingly hostile towards Bible-believing Christians, and that "90%" statistic is marred by people who claim to be Christian whilst talking down to people who actually live out their faith, talk about it, witness, and *gasp* have strong beliefs that differ with pop culture.

Gadzukes!
04-20-2012, 01:05 PM
Sorry dude, religions should be mocked. It is a free and open society, and religions should absolutely be mocked. You probably won't separate this idea yourself, but it's possible to mock the religion without mocking the person.

That's a nice sentiment and all, but I have a feeling the people whose religion you're mocking will disagree.

Of course you're allowed to be mocking of others' beliefs—it is a "free and open society," after all—but it might also make people think you're a jerk. :)

rasputinsghost
04-20-2012, 03:24 PM
Well, a lot of it is internet contact. The majority of forums I frequent are hostile to Christianity. As are most people in universities that I like to hang out at for the discussion. Our culture is becoming increasingly hostile towards Bible-believing Christians, and that "90%" statistic is marred by people who claim to be Christian whilst talking down to people who actually live out their faith, talk about it, witness, and *gasp* have strong beliefs that differ with pop culture.

The internet is a massively different story. You made it sound like you lived in a town where people looked at you funny for being Christian. Huge swathes of the internet is certainly hostile to Christianity, but the country is overwhelmingly Christian, at least nominally. Which, if you're counting, counts for a quite a bit. If you want to experience some actual bigotry or hostility on the internet and in real life, start telling people you're Muslim.

coolkayaker1
04-20-2012, 05:13 PM
If you want to experience some actual bigotry or hostility on the internet and in real life, start telling people you're Muslim.

Or a Buddhist. Except if you're Jake. lol

Hippie Dribble
04-20-2012, 05:56 PM
The internet is a massively different story. You made it sound like you lived in a town where people looked at you funny for being Christian. Huge swathes of the internet is certainly hostile to Christianity, but the country is overwhelmingly Christian, at least nominally. Which, if you're counting, counts for a quite a bit. If you want to experience some actual bigotry or hostility on the internet and in real life, start telling people you're Muslim.
This is weird. In Australia the opposite is happening, I tell you true. In this current age of PC speak, it is more beneficial to be a Muslim in Australia than a Christian. You can't make ANY comment about Islam in Australia or even question the fundamental tenets of the faith without being accused of bigotry, racism, intolerance etc. Even the laws are starting to reflect this. Conversely, Christian's are the frequent butts of TV and radio comedians, the opinion pieces in papers and online, and without anyone publicly questioning such obvious prejudice. It's quite bizarre. I believe similar things are happening in the UK to an even more intense degree. Funny and more than a touch disturbing how traditionally Christian countries are changing face step by step. Doesn't seem to be happening as much in the US for I guess, pretty obvious reasons. As for Buddhists, everyone loves em. :)

PedalFreak
04-21-2012, 09:54 AM
The internet is a massively different story. You made it sound like you lived in a town where people looked at you funny for being Christian. Huge swathes of the internet is certainly hostile to Christianity, but the country is overwhelmingly Christian, at least nominally. Which, if you're counting, counts for a quite a bit. If you want to experience some actual bigotry or hostility on the internet and in real life, start telling people you're Muslim.

I think this depends...many people call themselves "Christian" but not many live up to that name. So the relatively few that do live up to that name are looked at as being different.

Nickie
04-21-2012, 09:56 AM
I'd be as happy as a Buddhist monk if I had a JS Signature Kamaka with slotted head and Gilbert tuners. I swear.

You are too funny!

Plainsong
04-22-2012, 12:37 PM
That's a nice sentiment and all, but I have a feeling the people whose religion you're mocking will disagree.

Of course you're allowed to be mocking of others' beliefs—it is a "free and open society," after all—but it might also make people think you're a jerk. :)

Well then their faith was never really that strong to being with.

rasputinsghost
04-24-2012, 04:18 AM
I think this depends...many people call themselves "Christian" but not many live up to that name. So the relatively few that do live up to that name are looked at as being different.

Please point some other dominant religion that a. huge swathes of our population believe in and b. dominates our national conversation, consciousness, and identity at every turn. I have no idea what 'true christianity' might mean to you but please think about how other groups (like Muslims, or (gasp) atheists!) are treated in this country and realize the privilege that Christians have in America. Do you really think that anyone other than a Christian who talks a big game about God being in his/her life has ANY shot of being president?

Also, Eugene: if you can prove to me that the dominant political/ruling class of Australia is not white christians and in fact Muslims I'll eat my hat.

PedalFreak
04-24-2012, 04:31 AM
Please point some other dominant religion that a. huge swathes of our population believe in and b. dominates our national conversation, consciousness, and identity at every turn. I have no idea what 'true christianity' might mean to you but please think about how other groups (like Muslims, or (gasp) atheists!) are treated in this country and realize the privilege that Christians have in America. Do you really think that anyone other than a Christian who talks a big game about God being in his/her life has ANY shot of being president?

By definition a Christian is one who is a follower of Christ and his teachings. Look at how the majority of "Christians" live their lives, and you'll see what I mean about "relatively few live up to that name." True Christianity would be one's that follow Christ's teachings, and live by them no matter what. 1st Century Christians were looked at as being mad because of the way they lived and the things they did. Eventually the church began to water all of Christ's teachings down and add Pagan teachings with it, hence today we have Christmas (not a Christian holiday, comes from before Christ from pagans that worshiped the sun), and many many things, I could go on and on and on...

Gandhi once said, "I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ." Which is very sad, and very true today.

peewee
04-24-2012, 06:07 AM
Can't we all agree that the universe was created on August 23rd 1879 when the Ravenscrag landed in Hawaii?

I think you should be able to believe any fairy tale you want.

imabuddha
04-24-2012, 06:10 AM
I think you should be able to believe any fairy tale you want.

You can! :)

Of course if you tell others about it & assert that it's the ultimate truth for everyone else then you might get some negative feedback ;)

Plainsong
04-24-2012, 08:18 AM
You can! :)

Of course if you tell others about it & assert that it's the ultimate truth for everyone else then you might get some negative feedback ;)

That analogy of your favorite toys. You should be able to play with whatever toys you like, just so long as you keep them at home, and don't take them out and badger others about them and try to make them play with the toys too. I've got no quarrel with theists, but so many of them have a quarrel with me.

Hippie Dribble
04-24-2012, 11:22 AM
Also, Eugene: if you can prove to me that the dominant political/ruling class of Australia is not white christians and in fact Muslims I'll eat my hat.
Well our primeminister is an unashamed atheist, but there's just not time or space enough here to fully get into this. You're missing the entire point of what I said.