Gratitude Journal

1. Accepting our shadow side. How much time do you waste wishing you could be X or not be Y or just a little less Z? Ha. How about seeing that you are greater than all of these. We are each greater than any of our character-traits, any of the labels we or others put on us. This realization is not one of 'overcoming' - but one of acceptance. We can and should wrap warm arms around our flaws just as a mother holds a hurt child. Fight your failings less; embrace them as part of who you are. … [Read more...]

A Peaceful Day

Some of my photos from the recent 4th Annual Ewam Peace Festival in Arlee, MT... … [Read more...]

Borderline Personality Disorder and Buddhism

- the intersection of chaos and awareness.Recent studies of mine have veered in a rather new and strange direction these last couple months. While still pursuing my ph.d. in Buddhist Ethics, I have found myself in the midst of the fascinating - and yet in so many ways horrific - world of personality disorders - (wiki it). My own journey has been interesting in many ways (a person very close to me is most likely suffering with BPD), but far more worthy of attention is the disorder … [Read more...]

Marco Polo and Garrison Kiellor

One of my little pleasures in life in the US is the Writer's Almanac with Garrison Kiellor. Today he featured the great Italian explorer, Marco Polo. The discussion is enlightening for two notable facts. One - Europeans couldn't trade with Asia for centuries due to the closed Islamic rule of the Middle East/Central Asia. It was Ghengis Khan, not often praised for his openness, that finally brought the worlds of Europe and Asia together.Second, we get a glimpse into the explorer's surprising … [Read more...]

Buddhism and animal intelligence

Following the discussion from the last post.Intelligent AnimalsI've had many discussions with friends, classmates, and fellow bloggers over the years about animal intelligence. As one who has experienced the wisdom of non-human animals in countless interactions over the years, I find it puzzling that many people still doubt that non-human animals (or at least certain species) possess intelligence. Of course the intelligence of non-human animals depends on many things, much as it does in … [Read more...]

Save the World – stop eating meat!

(thanks to Dominic, a pal of mine doing brilliant Buddhist things at Harvard for this)The BBC reports today that the number one contributor to human greenhouse gas emissions is not travel, but meat production. [T]he biggest source globally of carbon dioxide from meat production is land clearance, particularly of tropical forest, which is set to continue as long as demand for meat rises. Now, for those of us living in Montana, this may not hit home so much. Most of our meat, we think, must come … [Read more...]

Gratitude Journal

Bark of a Western Hemlock, Glacier National ParkAs life here in Missoula seems to be calming (for me at least), I find myself less and less drawn to blog on personal things. My life, my ego, is losing center stage - enter new studies, adventures with friends, relaxing conversations, service to community and relaxation. So it is more slowly, and perhaps more deliberately, that I dig though my life for that which I am most grateful.1. Ex-girlfriends. It may seem a bit odd to be grateful for … [Read more...]

Montucky – or falling from the family tree

I got Kentucky Roots. Or at least my name does. Or at least sort of...Kentucky, USA has the greatest concentration of Whitakers on earth. That's right, go to Kentucky and you'll be bouncing off Whitakers left and right, at a whopping 908.13 Whitakers per million people. With a population of about 4.2 million people, that means you'll find around 4000 Whitakers in that state alone. Scary.If you want to find deeper roots, and good tea, try crossing the pond and heading up north in England to … [Read more...]