– 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… Read more

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… Read more

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 humans.Three major factors to human (and… Read more

(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… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

From “The Awakened One: A life of the Buddha” by Sherab Chodzin Kohm.Image of the Buddha from sacredsites.comWe ended the last bit on the life of the Buddha with Siddhartha’s transformation into the Buddha, which took place under the great Pipal tree, aka the Bodhi (awakening) tree.After his awakening, the Buddha contemplated his next steps, doubting that others would be capable of gaining his understanding. Itwas not until a great deva (god), Sahamapati, implored him to teach that he chose… Read more

From “The Awakened One: A life of the Buddha” by Sherab Chodzin Kohm.Image of the Buddha from sacredsites.comWhat follows is a very quick set of notes from the above mentioned book. It’s highly recommended for all who are interested in the life and teachings of the Buddha.Chapters 1 through 4, from his birth through his first teachings.The story of the Buddha begins long before his own birth, where the man who would become the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), in a previous… Read more

Starting point of the Alberton Gorge rafting trip.Yesterday my friend Taryn and I joined a crew of UM international students on a rafting trip to the nearby Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork river. The gorge is a short strip of river carved out by the massive dam-bursts of Glacial Lake Missoula 10-15,000 years ago. The stunning rock walls and giant boulders, in and out of the water, make for a trip as scenic as it is thrilling. (some photos… Read more

Coloma ghost town, Montana (from my recent trip with Jen and Patia)Another day is upon us, sweet new light and life. As much as I love the summers (read sunshine and long days) in Montana, I have to say that I look forward to the fall this year. Along with the transition of the new school year, fall in Montana brings gorgeous colors. But perhaps most of all, the changing season brings the sort of mental ‘settling in’ that I’ve… Read more

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