Upcoming Talk

The word is out: http://bit.ly/UWest (thanks Danny!) - If you're in the L.A. area Monday, July 13, come to the University of the West for a talk by yours truly.On a side note, going back to my New Year's resolutions, I see that this fulfills number 5, being my third talk (one in Cheltenham, UK - many thanks to Dave there - and another here at UM - my thanks to Dane at the Center for Ethics), with a fourth upcoming in Montreal in November.I suppose early July is a good time to check in on all of … [Read more...]

Heaven, or Summer in Montana

Finish this Haiku:In Heaven one findsSunsets, meadows, and baseball … [Read more...]

Setting the Conditions for Productivity

We all know Buddhism talks about conditionality:Imasmim sati idam hotiImassuppada idam uppajjatiImasmim asati idam na hotiImassa nirodha idam nirujjhati |When this is, that isThis arising, that arisesWhen this is not, that is notThis ceasing, that ceases.To put it in the common sense language of one of my father's life lessons: "when you're swimming in shit, things don't smell too good."The idea is that the conditions around us pervade or make up our lived experience. If we work with jerks, our … [Read more...]

A Buzzing Blooming Confusion

That title started out as something closer to "Busy, Beautiful Montana" but took a decidedly Jamesian turn well before the typing began. Some random notes on life of late. I completed a 26.7 mile week last week with four runs: 5, 4.3, 4.3, and 13.1 miles respectively. Now I'm on a four day break.I suppose tomorrow I'll get started on the next increment, something like 6.5, 5, 5, and 15 miles. Eesh. The half-marathon (13.1 m) kicked my butt; I can only imagine what 15 will do. But then as we … [Read more...]

A return

So much can be said about the return from a retreat. While every retreat is different, each for me has been a wonderful escape from the daily routine and an always-fresh and new inward journey. This is from my comment on my last post, but it's worth reposting:I agree that we all need to work harder to find peace right where we are. I think retreats serve as a wonderful crutch, or rocket booster, for our meditations and peace-seeking. It gives us a break from our reactive/conditioned minds, … [Read more...]

On Retreat

Photos from a retreat just over a year ago; Camp Child Montana.I'm heading off to a friend's cabin in the woods northeast of Missoula today, after some running around for Father's day. I'll spend six nights there, alone, meditating, reading a bit, writing (no computer, no cell phone).I am long overdue for a 'long' retreat, which for me is anything over four or five days. I have found that that is about how long it takes for the mind to let go of the clutter of daily life and actually settle into … [Read more...]

Usefulness of Philosophy

From the Open University1 Approaching philosophy The 1960s show Beyond the Fringe included a sketch satirizing philosophy. In it, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett play two Oxbridge philosophers discussing the role of philosophy in everyday life. It concludes like this: Jon: … the burden is fair and square on your shoulders to explain to me the exact relevance philosophy does have to everyday life. Alan: Yes, I can do this quite easily. This morning I went into a shop, and a shop assistant was h … [Read more...]

23 Mile Week

No, it's not much improvement from my 22 mile week last month, but it's still somethin'.Today I eeked out a 10 mile run to cap off a good return to regular running (after blowing out my old shoes and slowly breaking in the new ones). The 10 miles were at a decent pace for me at 8min/mile average, and fun.Not everyone thinks of distance running as fun, including some people who do it. Yet I find myself in agreement with this very Zen-like statement:I tell people that there’s no vacation as pure a … [Read more...]