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Aug 13, 2015

Wa Wu We: The Beautiful Simpleness of Being

Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a little house with her mother and father, right next to a deep forest.Like all children, the girl was full of curiosity and full of life. The curiosity opened doors to amazing imaginary worlds in almost everything she met on her journeys trough the woods.

One day when the girl was playing in the forest she came to a small glade. It was a peaceful summers day, sunbeams were shining through the canopy and there were songbirds in full throat all around. In the middle of the glade was a big stone, covered in moss. In the middle of the stone there was a hollow which gave it the shape of a big bowl. The night before, a great storm had swept through the forest and the stone bowl was full of rain water. The girl climbed up the stone and looked down into the water. The surface was completely still and in the water floated a purple star, shining so brightly it almost dazzled the girl. She jumped down from the stone, amazed by what she had seen and also a little bit scared. What was it? Could it harm her?

The storm had also torn some old branches from the big trees. She picked up two of these branches and went up to the stone again. As before, the purple star was shining in the bowl. Cautiously, the girl touched the surface with one of the branches, and instantly a beautiful tone rang out. The tone was so alive and resonant that the girl couldn’t say if she had heard it or if the tone was actually part of herself, so deeply did it seem to resonate within her body. The girl touched the surface with the second stick and another, deeper, tone was heard. This tone too seemed to absorbed her, but this time in a slightly different way. She closed her eyes and could sense parts of her body she couldn’t remember ever feeling before. When she opened her eyes, she could see that the star was shining even more brightly than before, creating a hovering light above the surface of the water. The purple light coming from the star was not outside her, she could feel the light shining within her, as if the star and the light were everywhere and everything.

Slowly the girl started to play with the sticks on the surface, each strike on the surface creating a new tone and a new wave of light, building up a song of sound and light. The sound was making the girl dance and the light was lifting her from the ground. Floating several meters above the stone, the girl noticed that she was not alone. The glade was full of different kinds of animal, all moving to the song, in unity but each one in a different way. The trees, the flowers, the clouds in the sky, yes everything was pulsating and vibrating together with the rhythm and melody. She was the sound, she was the light and in its vibration she could feel the animals, the trees and everything else. Suddenly she disappeared. She was everything and she fell through eternity.

The next day when the girl returned to the glade, the rain water in the hollow was gone and she couldn’t see any star. But still, deep inside, she felt the unity of the dance and when she looked around at the trees, the flowers and the birds in the sky, she could sense that they were all part of this deep knowing.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has been telling stories. Her sharing these stories with me helped me to find ways to open doors to creativity. My mother is still a little girl, wandering through the woods. Now with grey hair and a slower pace to her walk, but still with the same vibrating force of imagination and the same love for the stories that comes to her. One of the stories she told me was about a little boy finding a very special drum in the forest, a magical drum filled with the power of dance. The drum helped the boy find his own dance and creativity, and to awaken joy and happiness when sharing it with others. The sort of joy and happiness that give us and the people we meet strength to investigate life; investigate the endless creativity that we all are part of.

Let the drum of Wa Wu We be heard, let it be played and let each of us dance the song of life, moment by moment. In the dance we can express what is now and get a direct experience of … This! … where there is no separation; where there is just for us to be.

Sebastien
Which writer/philosopher inspired or taught you the most?

I try not to have a favorite because it’s my philosophy of life to be open and not to get too inspired from one particularly thing or person, I feel that tend to hinder me from being open for other things. I’m practicing Zen Buddhism on a daily basis, so of course I follow certain teachings. It is something that changed and keeps on changing a lot of things in my life. Zen Buddhism is a very radical, on-the-spot practice where you stay with the presence and you return to consciousness. Part of it is sitting meditation, but it’s a practice you actually do, it’s not something you read or something done with your intellect. I feel the same way when I do music. Music is also something you do, it doesn’t matter if you write it or play it, or even if you’re the listener or a dancer. It’s a process you take part in, you enter the flow, creativity, life – or whatever you want to call it -. When you are on the dance floor, you are doing the dance, you are expressing or letting expressing take place. Zen Buddhism is the same. You are doing the meditation, you are staying present, looking at any shape the presence happens to be in. There is a lot of Zen teachers, or spiritual teachers in general, that are teaching in a very insisting way, but in the end there’s is not so much point in talking about it, the important is to experience it yourself, be part of it and express it in your daily life.

Thus I could say that one person who inspired me a lot is one of my Zen teachers called, but in the same way he hasn’t taught me so much! It’s more a guidance, your teacher is a very active and strong reminder of the presence, which helps ”you” to stay with presence. 

Would you say that Buddhism is a religion / philosophy that fascinates you?

First of all, it’s hard to say if it is a religion or not. I think religion is something personal. They are too many people around the world talking about what everyone else is doing instead of facing what they are doing themselves. In the end, it’s up to the person who is practicing something to define if that is a religion or not.

A lot of today’s modern western psychology and philosophy (and even science) are heavily influenced by Buddhist and vedic views and wisdom. However when it comes to actually be a practice, I really feel that it is a spiritual one. It’s hard to define the difference between a religion and a spiritual practice, but for me a practice would be defined as something you take part in to connect with what you really are and return to the meaning of life. Different religions and spiritual practices have various ways of reminding this to people: meaningfulness. It doesn’t matter whether you are Hindu, Christian, Buddhist or practicing yoga or even sometimes dancing, it’s just different ways, different tools, for being reminded of the presence, returning to the consciousness and who we are. What they all hold is the practice, the doing.

Philosophy has to do with analyzing. You have a view on something on an intellectual basis and you come to different conclusions about it, like what we are doing now basically, having a conversation. A spiritual practice would be an experience you return to. For example when having a philosophic angle on yoga, you would analyze what are its benefits, what happens when we practice it, but at this moment you are not doing yoga. In the end we are not Buddhist, yogis, this or that, we are just beings and we get attracted to an activity that can help us find and return to the meaning of life, the essence that we so naturally are.

In the digital age, could we say that Techno music is a contemporary (3.0) way to reach the light?

I would very much like to see it that way. If you just extract the dance from the whole thing; it has been one of the most powerful and most used tools to return to this moment – or to the light as you say. I believe it helps you being present and accept and appreciate what is going on right now. For me, that is being in the light. Dancing is a wonderful tool and it’s made accessible to a lot of people through Techno music and its whole movement. Dancing for many hours to repetitive and hypnotic rhythms has a strong similarity to different rituals that have been going on as long as humans have been here, on Earth. It’s wonderful that so many people feel attracted to it.

Would you say that your EP is leaning towards initiation? 

I like that idea! When you connect to that beingness, that is your truth, I have the experience that a natural intention arose, an intention that wants to live a life that remind about this beingness. All humans are in the core consciousness, but it’s very easy to forget the simpleness of just being. You get caught up into patterns, dramas and stories and start thinking that they are the truth or the reality. When you ”return” to beingness (consciousness) and get a chance to rest in that more and more in you daily life, you naturally share it in whatever you do.  It can be very small things, like a smile when your look crosses somebody else’s on the street, music to make people dance, writing… I feel that the music I make comes from this intention, it becomes an invitation to get reminded. However, it’s important that the artist doesn’t become some kind of idol or guru. It’s important to remind others, but also to let others remind you, it’s something we share together.

Would you say meditation is a way to observe ourselves in order to be able to observe the world?

I cannot really connect with the question, let me take it from the beginning… 

Mediation is definitely about observing. It is also true that mediation is sometimes observing yourself. In meditation, we stay with the presence and understanding and wisdom unfold itself, ultimately it is just that. I think it is a mistake to see existence as you and the rest, as something that is disconnected from itself and that has many identities. To see yourself and to observe something else that is outside of you is the biggest misunderstanding in the way we live as humans. When we meditate we try not to think about I anymore, but just to stay and observe. You don’t need to decide whether it’s inside or outside of you, possibly there is no inside or outside?  The presence is the presence and inside or outside would be just a reflection of itself. That’s also why I love the dance, it’s not someone telling someone else what it is about. People come in this setting with different emotional states and different openings and restrictions. When you are on a dance floor at the begging you might feel a gap between you and the others, but as hours go by, you start dropping this conscience about what you are doing, you forget the barriers between you and the other people and you let an expressing of the dance taking place, You being the consciousness where it all take place. There is dancing, there is music, and there is awareness about it. 

Finally,you don’t need to detect what is you, and what is not you, the point is to go beyond this habit, and by doing that accept a natural opening into… Meditation is also a very safe way to learn how to let go of this preconceived idea of what you should be. In conclusion, when meditating we observe. 

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What does Wa Wu We stand for?

Wa has two meanings in Japanese: circle and peace. You can see the circle as an image meaning connection. Without connection there is no peace, it’s really beautiful. Wu is the Zen Buddhist term for emptiness. It’s a very important theme in Buddhism. Like I said before, there is not me and the rest, and there is nothing in existence that exists by itself, everything is empty of an independent existence. Any phenomena; thought, emotion, material thing – anything that happens comes from somewhere and is a pattern. Yes anything that happens comes from somewhere (get born) and are becoming something else (dies); you could say all are patterns. But there is a place where all this takes place, a place that always comes Before everything else that you experience (this is consciousness, this is you). Wu is also visualized as a circle, this famous circle made with a brush. And We is English, it’s us, together. For me, its symbol would be people holding hands in a circle.

So Wa Wu We is actually three circles. The logo of Wa Wu We is a triangle with rounded lines and it represents this little place where the three circles connect to each other. 

For us, in music, vibration would represent the forest whereas resonance would reflect the city.

Everyone has different relations to words and interpretations of them, but in this case here I would like to use the words vibration and resonance in another way. I feel that vibration is what is being sent out, everything vibrates in the universe, everything sends vibrations in different ways. I feel that the word resonance is when a vibration is actually moved forward with something else or into something else. For example if you have a piano and you play one middle C, the hammer is hammering the strings, the strings start to vibrate and then this vibration is spread through the air. Everything around that feels a connection with that vibration starts to resonate with it. But the resonance between a C and a G will never be as strong as between two Cs. In music harmony you will have certain tones and frequencies that will start to resonate with other tones that are more like them. That is the beauty of acoustic and analog instruments, they are so alive.

Maybe we are all just vibrations and energy, resonating with everything else? The signals that you send out when you meet someone might resonate or not. Sometimes you feel so much vibrations back and forth between you and somebody else and other times there is absolutely nothing at all. In that way I wouldn’t say that the forest is vibrating and the city is resonating, I feel that anywhere you go you have vibrations and resonance… and you even have it both ways. Everything is interconnected.

What is the influence of the forest in your music? And what is the influence of your music on the forest?

I was raised in the middle of the forrest, I grew up on a little farm and spent a lot of time in nature. The place you come from is very familiar to you and hold a strong feeling of ”Home” and can therefore be a great setting for being reminded of the ”home” within you. If you come from a vivid city with a lot of turbulence, as a child you will find the peace there. I’m sure that all children have very strong moments of presence when they are really awake and live the present moment. Having a place where you experienced that will remind you about this beautiful simpleness of being.

I love the forest, it is a beautiful place to be, I get reminded so quickly about what is essential in life, and part of it is because I was raised here. There is something special with Nature, when it’s left as it is. It teaches us how to let things be, but unfortunately there are not much nature on Earth that is left untouched. The forest is part of my creative setting everyday. It helps me feel the present moment before making music. Everything that is happening has an impact on everything. Music and dancing is very essential to humans and to everything on this Planet. Anything you do that reminds you about the beingness is important for the whole Earth. This is how important You are!  

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