LEVEL 2 = Christ Killer
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Great Salt Lake
Flute instrumental song composed by Coyote for performing solo in Utah nightclubs.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are at the edge of the Great Salt Lake. Coyote moved to Salt Lake City at the end of 1991. The first year was survival for Coyote and family. This was his LEVEL 1 = PEACE OF MIND album which told the story, song by song, of his struggles in Utah.
Now, in LEVEL 2 = CHRIST KILLER, Coyote has settled into the Transwest apartments where he will be holed up until 1999. Unable to find any movie work or gigs as a musician, he resorts to teaching Tai Chi and Kung Fu classes to make some money. He gets hired by a prison to teach his newly founded Shaolin Chi Mantis school programs. In this closed environment, it was very obvious that the dozen inmate students of Coyote, made incredible progress in all areas measured monthly by the prison, which included psychiatric examinations and school testing.
With these proven results, Coyote, (first known as Sifu Richard O'Connor, then Master Zhen, and now Buddha Zhen), taught at Turnabout Rehabilitation, YWCA, Salt Lake Continuing Education, several churches, and several schools.
Similar to artists: Jethro Tull "Bouree"
Wild Cat poem
Sombre poem about a "wild cat" that Coyote experienced being hit by a car.
LEVEL 2 is the second level of spiritual evolution.
In the first level, LEVEL 1, we all seek security, safety, family, job, career, pleasure, satisfaction, relaxation, vacation, comfort, luxury, art, and creativity. Many people have very successful profitable lives without ever maturing out of LEVEL 1.
In LEVEL 2 we add religion. Animals and plants do not have religion. Humans have religion. Apes and gorillas and chimpanzees do not have religion. To have religion, you must imagine God. You must believe in an afterlife. With religion people are capable of learning values and morals that seem irrelevant or unprofitable to LEVEL 1 people. Charity and generosity are only for a reward or payback in LEVEL 1. LEVEL 2 people love their God and support their church just like they would support their own mother or father. They believe their religion just like they believe their mother and father. LEVEL 2 people obey their religion just like they obey their mother and father.
All religions are LEVEL 2.
Peace Of Mind #1
Although this song, "Peace Of Mind," was the first song written after Coyote moved to Utah, American Zen recorded it again, last year in Tujunga, California, and added to Coyote's second album. This battle to survive a harsh winter, being evicted, living out off his van with his cat... was only the beginning of his troubles. The Mormons didn't know he was here yet.
The song, "Peace Of Mind," could also be considered, "Peace Of Mind #1," but it isn't. This song does belong on the the LEVEL 1 = PEACE OF MIND album, where it depicts a family struggling to survive against the harsh elements of nature.
Similar to artists: Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, James Taylor, Beach Boys
American Zen Level 2 poem
This is the title poem of the album, LEVEL 2 = Christ Killer by American Zen of shaolinRECORDS.com The Coyote rips apart his past, his heritage, and his society in search of whatever he is searching for. Like a snake shedding its' skin, Coyote returns to his hippy roots, referring to his parents as "...cogs in some machine..."
If Coyote would have joined up with the Mormons, his years in Utah would have been much more profitable. His acting agent eventually dropped him because he wouldn't "go to Temple." Other acting jobs from later agents were usurped by Mormon actors.
One of Coyote's contracts was ended because a Mormon jail manager wanted less competition from Coyote. That letter threatened to pull funds unless Coyote's program was removed resulted in several people being fired--to cover up the scandal.
God Will Protect
An orchestral rock opera song that criticizes the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The Mormons have many secret customs and rituals.
In LEVEL 2, we all expect God to protect us, just like we expect our father to protect us. That is a good feeling. People in LEVEL 1 do not have this sense of security. People in LEVEL 2 have strength in numbers, teamwork, partnership, and cooperation. Religion binds them together and influences them to help each other more than the people of LEVEL 1 are motivated to help each other.LEVEL 2 is a spiritual family. God has many children, so you have many brothers and sisters. This is how religion has helped the survival and success of humanity for 3,000 years. Historically, people in LEVEL 2 have looked down on LEVEL 1 persons to the extent of killing them, as if they weren't even human.
Features a backwards guitar solo by Rory G, a bass guitar solo by Tom Calder, and a Jethro Tull style flute solo showcasing the amazing talents of American Zen, America's first Buddhist rock band.
Similar to: "My God" by Jethro Tull on AQUALUNG album.
Can't Hold Me Down
Beating on Coyote's homemade drums, the zen boys pound out a weird folk rock protest song anthem. Neat vocals. Coyotewrote this song standing in line inside a Bank of America.
Religions protect their constituents and the members protect the religion...then a long-haired hippie Buddhist Shaolin Tai Chi guy comes to town. The first to flock to him were the "disenfranchised Mormons." Some of them had actually been excommunicated from Heaven by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
So he looked even more like the enemy to them, since their enemies were flocking to him...Life in Utah was a battle on many frontiers, from many directions, from many foes. Fortunately, he also had friends, most of whom were also Mormons. 80% of the people were Mormon in Utah during the 1990s.
Good song for CAR COMMERCIAL or Viagra, or something. Strong hook and cool vibe.
Coyote wrote this lovely long song about his home on 500 South Street in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pretty flute melodies and rich acoustic guitar passages lead a haunting hopeful journey through the many events Coyote endured in his humble 2nd story apartment.
The choir of Nephilim, (you remember who they are right? Old Testament? Half breeds of women and angels?), well, if Nephilim could sing, they'd probably sound like this. If you listen, you'll hear some of the vocals hitting lower notes than Rory's bass can play. And yes, all the vocals on this album are natural, sung by our Zen dudes, without tuning, samples or looping.
The Old Testament of the Holy Bible, is a Hebrew Bible. These stories portray how the Hebrews became more than wild indians in tipis by religion. By obeying God's covenants, they were promised success, despite not receiving it, at all. But this promise of God could not be equalled in power by any living man. They would have given up and stoned him. But this promise of God--well, you can't throw stones at God, you can't call God a liar, and you WANT to believe that this promise of God will come true.
This is a powerful example of how people in LEVEL 2 will succeed better than people in LEVEL 1. The many successes of the Old Testament are based upon a belief in God and the unity of family.
Zen is usually a simple lesson after complicated thinking.
The Old Testament includes many stories of how people who are "the best," eventually prevail and save the day. Family members are sold into slavery, only to become rich and powerful and save the evil family that abandoned them.
Then the New Testament is added with more about how to be "the best." This was going really good until someone decided, "Hey, this guy isn't "best" enough. He needs to fly, come back from the dead, cure the sins of all humanity--and we need a logo and a slogan. Hmmm. Maybe if I can just dream about an "x" and tell people they can't get into Heaven unless they join our club..."
The most basic lesson got lost in all this legendary story telling, "If you want to be blessed, just do your best."
This was one of the reasons for the title, "Christ Killer." We shouldn't have to kill and sacrifice him to appreciate him. And don't ever say you killed him for me, because I didn't ask you to.
Somewhere in this LEVEL 2, Coyote rediscovered God.
Ironically, people become what they fear or hate. Coyote, became a Kung Fu master because of the threats and desire to protect his family. Now Coyote could oppress people--but he didn't.
Coyote hadn't denied the existence of God, he was studying quantum physics and considering life in other dimensions...with many Gods...
Then, October 16, 1993, Coyote met Chief Richard Sparrow Eagle, of the Lakota Sioux. Coyote "knew" he was supposed to attend his Pipe Ceremony that day, even though he had never been to a pipe ceremony. This event took place at the same time as his Shaolin Chi Mantis YMCA class, so he without reluctance or hesitation informed the school that all students were going to attend this Pipe Ceremony with him. They did.
After the Pipe Ceremony, Chief Sparrow invited Coyote/Sifu Richard O'Connor to participate in a sweat lodge ceremony being held that night somewhere else. One of Coyote's students was familiar with Lakota customs and took Coyote out for the required tobacco offerings and gave him a "peace pipe" in a soft white leather pipe bag.
That night Coyote attended the inipi sweat lodge and had such amazing visions, that the Chief annointed him and invited him back to his home on the Rosebud reservation, owned by this Chief. Coyote went.
Even Or Odd poem
How do we define a good person or a bad person?
Who decides what a good person or bad person is?
Who is trying to be a good man?
Who is trying to be a good woman?
Who is trying to be a righteous person, worthy of being a role model?
If good is even and bad is odd, are you even or odd?
Land Of Mediocrity
Coyote's lyrics and acoustic guitar lead the listener through the deserts and mountains of Utah with a gimpse of the Church of Latter Saints, better known as the Mormon religion. With a narration about polygamous lifestyles and family unity, Coyote sings, "The queen ant is home with a half dozen kids..."
Coyote's first hippie instincts were to rebel and criticize the webwork of Mormon authority and influence. After many years of living amidst Mormons, Coyote saw the religion from another point of view, it was a family. The adaptation of the religion to allow polygamy was perhaps a better way to deal with a population of mostly women. Widows weren't as likely to get remarried in the old frontier days, but they still needed a home and family, they couldn't survive all alone.
The Muslims incorporated a similar religious law after the "Mecca Wars," when many men were killed defending their religion. So now there was a surplus of women and polygamy was allowed.
Coyote became friends with several polygamist families and learned to appreciate the opportunities it provided. One woman would do most of the cooking. The newest and youngest might be washing dishes. Whoever was best with the kids took on the home schooling or at least daycare. They didn't always live together. Sometimes each wife had her own home and hubbie would drop by to visit at least twice per week. The housewives often appreciated this financial security and showed her appreciation on the days she could.
If I Can't Die poem
A bizarre look at life from Coyote's psychedelic perspective of time. Even in Utah, the beehive state, where Unions are discouraged, Republicans reign, Church runs the State, and it's a $50 fine to spit on the sidewalk (that's one of the few laws I did agree with), in a state that wanted to be it's own country and now dominates world business... Coyote found solace -- alone -- aware of death -- content.
Becoming immersed in Lakota Sioux spirituality, Coyote rises from LEVEL 1 by accepting death as a spirit guide. Coyote hasn't lost any of his will to survive, he just found new reasons to live for. This is what elevates humans above the other animals. We imagine helping people we don't know, will never meet, and haven't been born. Welcome to LEVEL 2.
This poem will be EXCELLENT IN A MOVIE. It could be used for a murder scene or...
Title song from the album, LEVEL 2 = CHRIST KILLER, by American Zen, featuring The Hippy Coyote on flute, acoustic guitar, and lead vocals.
The backing vocals by the zen dudes create a haunting and inspiring view of western religion. "The spotlight shines, dancing on the chrome..."
I Want To Laugh #2
Rory G's SLIDE GUITAR dominates this instrumental SURF ROCK song that Johnny Winter would be proud of.
American Zen's backing vocals, the Nephilim Choir, once again add an eery spiritual beauty to these earthly troubadour biographies.
The Nephilim were the half-breeds of Angels and humans. That information will be significant if you ever make it to LEVEL 6.
33 Bass Players
Bouncy Irish Jethro Tull style folk rock song led by The Hippy Coyote on flute and acoustic guitar.
We really auditioned 33 different bass players in
Salt Lake City, Utah. A couple of the bass session players got Coyote
some flute gigs later, but they weren't of the rock'n'roll mentality that
Coyote sought. Being a rock'n'roller is a teen thing. When you're in your
twenties, you've gotta get a job and that means dressing the way they
want you to. R-ock'n'roll is a lifestyle. Ask Little Richard. Ask Keith
Richards. Ask John Lennon.
We were always about perfect performances. Now, as I sit here on LEVEL 4 looking down, I can see how this was a limited viewpoint. Our perfect performances may have been a little too sterile and planned. Not fake. No posing in my bands. No makeup either. If you felt it, show it. Another rule was, "If you aren't prepared to give the song 100% we won't play it." That was our rehearsal rule, which forced people to always give 100%, because when you're on stage, there are a thousand distractions and sometimes health reasons why you can't give 100%--but we always did.
Now, on LEVEL 4, I've been showing up to a few open mike shows, and house concerts as a solo performer. I spend a few days or preferably weeks, working out my show, then bounce around and perform. I laugh, giggle, tell stories, and just have myself a real good time. NOTHING bothers me, no matter what goes wrong. People love my shows. The YouTube videos don't really convey the conversations and one-on-one I'm having with the audience--but that's what makes my new shows special--the connecting with the audience.
Oh yeah, after the 33 bass player auditions, we rented an 8-track Tascam cassette tape recorder and I recorded the bass tracks for our entire show with a few click-click-clicks of my nylon guitar pick on the bass string...to create our "INVISIBLE BASSIST." I decided to really cheat and put some additional vocal harmonies. Our concerts sounded like Heaven was descending behind us as I also cut a few hard rock guitars to really beef up the choruses...
This first band had a real identity problem. We weren't THE RICH, the many incarnations of my power pop trio formed in 1978 with Dann Linck and Fred Paul. We weren't COYOTE GRAVEYARD, the band that resulted from performing the COYOTE IN A GRAVEYARD rock opera from 1984 to 1986. We booked gigs as, THE COYOTE...but we became, AMERICAN ZEN.
This last minute addition to the album is one of my favorite poems ever.
Coyote's LEVEL 2 spirituality now defines loyalty as "love without an end."
I Am Not From Here
An elk hide drum that Coyote made from a maple log, pounded in his kitchen by the Zen boys, sounds like barbarians in a cave. Primal Zen?
The boys were on one that night, in more ways than one. The echo of Coyote's kitchen added a nice echo to some of our recordings. Since we only had one spring reverb for my mixdowns, I recorded in the stairway stairwell also for some REALLY COOL echo effects.
"I Am Not From Here" is a cool poetic chant that reminds me of "My Wild Love" by Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Daryoon was an ancient Persian warrior who fought a man-to-man battle to determine the outcome of an entire war.
Daryoon was the Guardian warrior of Prince Arislan.
Daryoon with his sword, represents to Coyote an image similar to the eastern pictures of a demon, god, or Buddha using a sword to cut through delusion to the truth. Another word for Buddhism is, "truth."
Coyote also studied the Knights Templar during this period. As he became a Shaolin Buddhist spiritual warrior, he was also studying the Christian version of holy knights. Little did Coyote know during the 1990s, that by the end of the next decade he would become a Master Mason, which had absorbed the Knights of Templar in centuries past.
This instrumental song is fronted by Rory G on his Pleasant brand Japanese electric SLIDE GUITAR. Coyote on acoustic guitar, plus Tom Calder on string bending bass to support this epic slide guitar song written by our Hippy Coyote.
Just For You
Marriage is a partnership. I kept trying to fix a broken boat.
What I know today in 2010, was not understood back in 1994. I was trapped in a little jar and couldn't see where this jar was located on the river of time or where the currents of time and life were taking it. It had always been easy to plan my life because I was responsible and reliable. So I expected everyone else to be like me. I expected other people to see things my way. I expected people to do what I would do. Boy, was I wrong.
But I kept trying to make things right, but now I see that I was just teaching pigs to dance. Not a worthwhile endeavor.
To be successful in LEVEL 1, you must marry a good wife. A bad wife will abandon you or be dead weight. A good wife will stick by you and always be trustworthy. A good wife will help you to be stronger and help you to be successful. It's as simple as that.
My mistakes are from expecting people to improve or accomplish what I believe they are capable of. When I had control of my kids, I proved that my abilities and intentions can achieve fantastic results. When I have control of my students I improve and transform their lives. No student has ever complained about what I taught them. In LEVEL 2, this submission extends farther than your spouse. So, parents who are not good spouses will not be comfortable in LEVEL 2. Many people complain about church and religion just so they can be lazy and corrupt.
Now that it is acceptable to not be in a religion, to have children without marriage, to be of any religion, interbreed with any race, and be adopted into a family of homosexual parents, religion is of less interest to most people. We are a society without rules and minimal morals. We cuss and swear, use the Lord's name in vain and never expect to be punished by God. It's a brave new world.
Today, in 2010, looking down at LEVEL 2, I implore you to seek a religion. I cherish religions more than ever now. As I see the religions weakening and our society weakening at a corresponding rate--I retract my prejudice towards organized religions. I encourage every human to seek any religion of their interest or convenience. Don't be too picky. Just accept it and deal with it. They are all like high school. Once you graduate, you'll be free to decide your involvement. But until you graduate your religion--pursue it with zeal. Seek to understand your religion and make use of the unique resources offered to you as a member of the religion.
Enjoy your religion!
This song would make a great romantic duet.
Coyote's conflicts with the Mormons of Utah included financial battles and politics. Boycotts were created to hurt our hippie.
A butcher knife in the front door...
Check out the lyrics to learn something about a pioneer religion that grew to be one of the most financially powerful corporations in the world. The Mormons have more money than the Catholics. Howard Hughes accidentally boosted them financially by... (uh-oh, a knock on the front door--)
Quiet City poem
Somewhere between reading a book and watching a late-night movie - - comes this poem.
There are few businesses open at night, anywhere in Utah. Minimal entertainment, and two dance clubs that don't serve liquor.
You have to JOIN AND BECOME A MEMBER of a PRIVATE CLUB to drink liquor outside of your house... So, no cars, no people... A quiet city, at night.
With the security of his apartment, and the quiet of nightime, Coyote writes a dozen books during the early 90s. As a Mr. Mom, this was the only time all day he was uninterrupted and peaceful. Coyote's Utah Heaven.
The End The Horizon
This song is THE END of LEVEL 2 of American Zen's Buddhist Journey.
Check out the development
through the lyrics. He's gone from an adult getting ripped off --
Well, since Buddha Nature is defined as that original spirit you were born with -- maybe he's found it.
LEVEL 2 of the Buddhist Journey of American Zen