Karma (Part 2)

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Karma (Part 2)[1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
April 23, 2000
Joe Frank, Larry Block, Jack Kornfield
Karma Style, 58 minutes
Preceded by: Karma (Part 1)
Followed by: Karma (Part 3)

"What I'm doing is drinking tequila with a little lemon and salt."

Karma (Part 2) is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on April 23, 2000.


Larry Block describes drinking tequila with salt and lemon, that he drinks too much. He buys groceries that he will regret eating later. He compares himself to Cinderella.

3:10: Joe imagines sitting in a small bar in Rio, watching Kate dancing alone to a band - she's so beautiful. She gestures Joe to join her, but Joe can't move, which makes her angry.

5:00: Joe talks to Kate on the phone: she tells him she danced to a jukebox at an empty Mexican bar that day; the songs included Jobim's 'Brazil'.[1]

7:00: Jack Kornfield describes spiritual practice. He tells of the Burmese monk who wanted to set himself on fire because he had fallen in love with a woman.

11:00: Larry reads Joe a poem, 'My poem is written in a fragile book, unbound…' He compares it to fish dying in a Chinese market. Joe says he'd duct-tape the fishmonger's mouth shut to show him how the fish feels. Joe claims he pushed a fisher off the Venice pier - he didn't just write a poem about it.

14:20: Kate tells Joe she had a dream last night in which Joe was a fish. Joe interrupts her guessing wrongly about her dream. Again a man, Joe has a relationship with a Jewish woman instead of her.

18:50: Kornfield tells of Kalu Rinpoche, a 'wonderful old Tibetan lama'. At the Boston aquarium he prays for the enlightenment of the fish.

20:10: Larry reads the poem he wrote for Rosalie, talks about her desire to collaborate on writing a book about love through the ages; Larry wants to rent a cabin in the Berkshires; she wants to do it via e-mail[2]

26:10: Larry says he'll take Joe's advice, exchange rhyming couplets. He thinks that's funny.

27:30: Kornfield recalls a retreat in Massachusetts 15 years ago. He was scheduled to lead a loving-kindness meditation to close the retreat. Just before that he got a call from his girlfriend, got into a big fight with her, was able to lead it despite his anger.

31:00: Joe tells of a 'late night marathon phone conversation'. Kate remembers Joe supporting her when her father wouldn't. Joe wonders why, now that she's making big money for a film, she doesn't dump him; Joe realizes the depth of her feelings for the first time, but still has a lingering suspicion.

32:30: Kornfield tells of the student who gets his sacred mantra, rushes to the marketplace to tell it to everyone, thereby shows his enlightenment.

34:00: Kornfield tells of of Krishnamurti moving a rock in the road.

34:50: Larry tells Joe he proposes to Rosalie staging Edward Hopper-esque scenes instead.

37:00: Kornfield tells of the psychology class in which every student takes an orange from the bowl, describes it, returns it, then finds his/her orange - they all do.

39:20: Kornfield quotes Gide, 'Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness…'

39:50: Kornfield quotes Camus, 'A person's life is a slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art those 2 or 3 moments in whose presence the heart first opened.'

41:30: Joe and Kate are in the second hour of the conversation. Joe tells her he has to get to work on the show. She hangs up, then calls back to complain about him putting her off with the same excuse. They fight.

51:50: Larry tells Joe that he's withdrawing emotionally from Rosalie, tells Joe about Svengali. He claims it's historical[3] Larry describes the 1931 movie Svengali, which starred John Barrymore.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Larry Block: tequila with salt and lemon. Getting drunk and eating.
  • Joe: imagining paralysis while watching Kate dance coincident with her dancing alone.
  • Jack Kornfield: A Burmese monk decides to immolate himself because of relationship trouble.
  • Larry: A poem about dying fish at a market. Joe suggests asphyxiating the fish monger. Pushing a fisherman into the sea.
  • Joe: Kate dreams of Joe as a fish.
  • Kornfield: A monk in an aquarium.
  • Larry: A poem: "your poet only." Non-competitive love and screen-plays. A collaborative dialog writing by email.
  • Kornfield: Leading a meditation after a fight with his girlfriend.
  • Joe: Kate and finances. Kate gets a starring role in a film.
  • Kornfield: a disciple invites damnation by sharing a sacred mantra with everyone.
  • Larry: Trading scenes by email for "Love throughout the ages," a flip play set in a hotel room.
  • Kornfield: examination by observing oranges
  • Joe: Trying desperately to end a conversation. Leaving things at each other's houses. A prayer for separation.
  • Larry: His email relationship comes to an end. Svengali the hypnotist; "when will you ever stop talking to yourself."


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[W]ith Larry Block, Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, and Joe Frank; recorded and edited by Scott Fritz and mixed by Bob Carlson; production assistance: Esmé Gregson; special thanks to Ariana Morgenstern and Tom Schnabel."[4]


  1. which Joe used a lot in the 'Karma' shows
  2. He and Rosalie have to go to the library to use e-mail, so it would take forever.
  3. it's a novel, Trilby, written by George du Maurier in 1894.
  4. a long-time music host on KCRW