Posted by: nickwardscenarios | March 4, 2010

Heart to Heart (lamrim)

domestic monad

‘Domestic Monad’ (2008) – I sent a print of this painting to my former agent Judy Daish in Spring of 2009 – it is based on a design by John Dee. Her colours – if I remember rightly.


A lamrim teaching comes to mind. I was given this on CD by Geshe Thubten Tenzin (the Dalai Lama’s blood brother) in Darwin, Australia in late 2004. The recording was made by an extraordinary American former diamond-trading Geshe, Michael Roach, and I’m repeating it here from memory having listening twice in early 2005, with Miri.


Lamrim is the Tibetan name for Atisa’s Stages in the Path as defined by Je Tsongkhapa. Atisha (984 – 1054) is credited with taking Buddhism to Tibet from India.

Je Tongkhapa (1357 – 1419) is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha, Manjushri (he with the double-edged sword).

‘If things you desire do not come, it is due to karma created long ago, therefore keep a happy and relaxed mind’.

warm up:

A verse from ‘Diamond Mind’, Song For Syd Barrett (2005)

ammended 10th May 2011, a Pink Floyd tribute quoting ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and based on the same tune, slightly changed (D/G7/D/G7/D/E/G/D)


The flaming sword is double edged (x2)

The flaming sword, sharp as a butcher’s knife

cuts through twin fears of death and life

And diamond mind is shining still (x2)

I’ll sing my song beneath your window pain

You song, my friend, is very fine.

A dedication


Here goes. Imagine your ‘enemy’. Imagine you are in the same room facing each other. I am imagining  her sitting in a comfortable position with her legs crossed. She is sitting on a cushion which has been embroidered with white lilies with which she identifies.

She is looking straight into my eyes and she is concentrating all her energy in a vindictive way. The hatred begins to manifest physically. She feels a congealing around her heart – emanating from her heart – it becomes liquid-air – a ball of sticky black smoke.

I smile at her – seeing her not as my enemy but as my mother in a different life. The smile provokes a greater intensity of hatred and she opens her mouth. At first nothing comes out. She opens her mouth wide. The glob of foulness removes itself from her heart chakra and begins to rise up through her throat – leaving no trace. It emerges through her mouth and leaves her body. From this point on she  is no longer able to maintain her animosity – it has left her body for ever– but she can still see it! Floating just in front of her nose – and she can smell it. Imagine rotting lilies smelling far worse than weeds (that’s it…) at least she has got it out!

Next comes the dangerous stage. Very gently I use my mind to draw the foul floating gunge towards my own mouth. I open my mouth wide and with the softest of in-breaths I draw the venemous mass into my own mouth… and down my throat. It is heading for my heart. I visualise the cause and effect of this whole damned business as it is about to congeal on my heart. Then an extraordinary thing happens – if the practice has gone according to plan (and if it hasn’t you’re in big trouble) – as it touches my heart it explodes in a puff of pure white light and is no more. It just disappears.

I might try it on Pauline Neville-Jones.


Pauline Neville-Jones, Arms Trader and Shadow Security Minister and National Security Advisor to David Cameron: hard as nail-bombs and much more deadly. Very wealthy too. Why mention that? I hear the Tory-New Labour chorus. Why mention the brokering fee on the sale of Serbian Telecommunications to Italy? The MOD bonuses on the arming of genocidists like Pauline’s old friend Momcilo Krajisnik. Ask no questions and tell no lies, dearies. Pay no tax on smoke and mirror arms deals but squeeze Middle England (and the rest) until the the pips squeak.  Things like that.

Note: Judy Daish was my agent until 2001.

The legal basis for my case against Judy Daish was that she entered into unauthorised dealings with Casa Ricordi (representing Battistelli) after I had left the agency in 2001 (having found out that my rights in the Cenci were unprotected when it was performed in Berlin).

Cornelia Schmaus as Lucrezia Cenci – Photo: © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk

German first performance:
5th November 1999    Hebbel-Theater

Charles Dickens (Bleak House): This is the Court of Chancery, which has its decaying houses and its blighted lands in every shire; which has its worn-out lunatic in every madhouse,  and its dead in every churchyard; which has its ruined suitor, with his slipshod heels and threadbare dress, borrowing and begging through the round of every man’s aquaintance, which gives to monied might the means abundantly of wearing out the right; which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope; so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart; that there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not give – who does not often give – warning ‘Suffer any wrong that can be done to you rather than come here’.

I stand by my right to produce The Cenci without Battistelli’s music (para cut 15/11/2012) added here 20 May 2011:


20th May (posted on Shenton’s View):

Compare and contrast Shenton’s view with formidable opera critic Michael Tanner’s view of Terry Gilliam’s ‘electrifying new production’ of The Damnation of Faust in The Spectator:

‘Anyone who has read Berlioz’s great Memoirs will know how much he suffered from being ignored. If he had seen this production he would have reluctantly agreed that being ignored is not the worst fate’.

Seems to me (The Cenci, Almeida, 1997) that the best way of challenging the form (ie in formal aesthetic terms not just hiring splashy directors-designers with no sense of opera’s defining ‘logic’) is to remove the conductor when the rehearsal phase is complete. For that you need rehearsal time. Big subject generating a tiny amount of switched-on debate, in my view.

which is to say that if Ian had continued with the rehearsal trajectory he would, quite naturally, have emerged as the conductor of the orchestra (in character)-and the experiment would have been truly revolutionary, in my view. Battistelli bottled out! Does ‘opera’ mean ‘conducted’? What does ‘conducted’ mean?

Ghost Sonata (the opera!). What a joy to see Simon Russell Beale as Hummel and  Arvo Pärt scoring it (Pärt’s right up there for me : heart-mystic.) That is not to say he is not a good conductor. Or, indeed, that Giorgio is not an innovator. Apart from being ripped off by this monster, this Diabilo (he’ll like that!)  of the international avant-guard, the experience was amazing, the houses were full and the reviews almost universally full of praise. We pulled of Artaud’s Cenci – that is something to be very proud of and as I have made clear I would never attempt to block a revival of the ‘opera’. I’m just not that kind of guy. When Judy Daish took me back on her books last year – without any consultation – I objected.

‘A tear can be ego.  Anger can be compassion.  It depends where it comes from’. (H.E.Tsem Tulku Rinpoche – Nov 23 2009)

with thanks to Geshe Michael Roach


and for Miriam Asharki (pictured above in my production of Boccaccio’s Decameron at The Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, 1996 – me, on the right) , who provided the literal-literal translation which formed the basis for the text I wrote for Giorgio Battistelli – The Cenci (1997). I did the writing in Rome, in a room, on my own – and showed what I had done to the composer when it was finished. He liked it so much that he didn’t want a word changed and set about composing the music to the cadences of my text – ie, he composed the score without bars – unusually. We did not write the script together – although I liked what Giorgio had done with regards to cutting the original 5 Act play of Shelley/Artuad – up to a point.

Why Card 23? (‘to be equal to the Tao’) It’s the Queen’s perogative to have the bonus possibility, however unconsciously drawn; arrrived at. It was an accident of fate.

Oh, and there’s always the revisions to the Nick Ward Scenarios blogs

Dark Goddess: ?

Jester: That’s interesting.

cut 11 may 2010

added 19th November 2011


added 9/1/13: A great place to stage Splendid Isolation would be in (and around) the Bardi Church – One Arm Point, Western Australia — a production featuring locals.

photo from




  1. […] […]

  2. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]

  3. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]

  4. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]

  5. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]

  6. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]

  7. […] Heart to Heart (lamrim) […]


%d bloggers like this: