Nostalgia: Frosty Cheeks and Orion Rising

Tonight on my evening run to and from the gym in the bitter cold Missoula air I found my mind wondering to deep thoughts. Thoughts of modern communication, nostalgia and the flow of life, and amor fati and meditation. Now first of all it should have been no shock that such thoughts should be arising. I am naturally pensive, introspective, probing, searching for the grand meanings of things. But these days that has been mostly missing.Why? Half I can attribute to the damaging effects of … [Read more...]

Choices: Photos for the show

Next Friday (wow, so soon) some friends and I will be showing our photos from our October trip to Glacier park as part of the UM Wilderness Institute. The following will probably be printed out and probably 5 or 6 of them will be shown. Let me know if you have any favorites (I'm especially curious about preferences between the two Bridge and Shooters pictures):River and SkyMoonMountains and SkyBridge and Shooters (2)Bridge and Shooters (1)Avalanche Creek LightAvalanche CreekThanks and … [Read more...]

Canki Sutta – the Buddhist Way of Knowing

Last night, in a Dharma study group I attend at the local FWBO center, we read and discussed the Canki (pronounced "chunky" like peanut butter) Sutta. What follows is a lengthy but rewarding (I do think) review of the sutta and its meaning for contemporary Buddhists.~The sutta describes a conversation between the Buddha and a very learned young Brahmin on the nature of knowledge: how does one come to know the truth?The Brahmin, Baradvaja, asserts that it is through his faith in the sacred … [Read more...]

Hellgate winds, horny deer, and accomplishing

Tonight the "Hellgate winds" swept in; winds that blow into Missoula from the north-east as opposed to the typical wind from the west. The winds blow through a narrow canyon just outside of town called Hellgate, hence the name. The canyon won its name in one of two ways - or maybe even both, I don't really know. One way might have been for these very winds: icy, icy cold and particularly blusssstry for this otherwise tranquil valley.The other tale has to do with the Native American tribes … [Read more...]

Simple beauties

Sunset from Mount SentinelRelaxed, calm, at peace, the simple beauties of the world seem to flood in. My newest thing is to try to 'run' up Mount Sentinel to the famous 'M', about a 1000 foot climb. The technique, taught to me by a veteran hiker, is to run the southbound switchbacks and walk the steeper northbound portions. I've tried it twice now and haven't made it up the 14 switchbacks without stopping yet. I'll get there.Or maybe I won't. Remember the Zen saying: "the journey is the … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Abuse, or “loving the enemy”

This is an elaboration of a Dharma talk I gave for our campus sangha this week. We have been doing the metta bhavana (cultivation of loving-kindness) for a couple weeks now and a question has arisen:How can we practice non-discriminating openheartedness without potentially becoming a doormat to harmful people in our lives?Or, as I placed the question to a teach of mine recently: How can we love unconditionally even those who have hurt us?My teacher answered by saying we need to differentiate … [Read more...]

Happiest Places on Earth

This came through the wire on one of the Buddhist discussion groups I'm on. All-in-all, Americans are pretty happy. And, given our relative material ease, this makes sense. But if wealth and the ability to consume and travel at will were the main ingredients to happiness, then America should be number one.What might not make sense is why we're tied with the relatively poor Malaysia and behind the even poorer Bhutan. (see partial chart below or full one in the article)So we might ask two … [Read more...]

AAR Poll to guess the real titles…

(for some reason I goofed and left the generic 'answer 5' in there. Obviously don't guess that one!) Which of these was NOT an actual panel or paper at AAR 2008? (no peaking at their website) ( surveys)Oh, and I suppose you'll want to know which is the one I made up.... (click in the comments to find out) … [Read more...]