Sublime Dwelling of the Source

That's me. I'm something like the 9th stage in some sub-lineage of the Chinese Master Linji that has made its way through Thich Nhat Hanh (7th gen, I believe).Today, on the final day of a short retreat, I was given the Dharma name "Sublime Dwelling of the Source." You can call me Sid. Or Justin still works.It was my second Zen retreat in this tradition (I've also done one Soto Zen retreat), the last one being near Missoula many years ago. Beautiful is too simple a word to describe it. Healing. … [Read more...]

26.2 Miles, 3hrs, 50min, 51.25sec

A Marathon. I've read that only 1 percent of humanity will ever run one.The funny thing is, in my experience at least, once you start training for one and talking about it, you find that about 20% of the people you talk to have done one or are planning one. I suppose it's like most things, your attention goes to something and picks out things that are similar and ignores non-confirming data. I'm sure that in fact about 95% of people I've talked to lately have never run and have no plan of … [Read more...]

Shotgun-blogging, life, karma, labels

After the very kind, funny, and ego-inflating mention over at Zen Dirt, Zen Dust, it feels a bit wrong to blurt out a stream of consciousness / here's what's going on in my life / unedited by the Virgin Mary herself kind of post. But oh well.In Life:I'm very happily back together with my girlfriend, Julie. I still have no idea where I'm going in life, let alone where we are going, but it just works in a way that I'm going to hang on to as much as I can. So, as long as she continues to put up … [Read more...]

A Great Weekend

I have a couple good philosophical posts on the way, but for now, a bit of life as a runner in Montana...Saturday, Julie and I headed up to Whitefish for the Two Bear Half Marathon. After picking up our race-packs we immediately made our way to Glacier National Park for a quick shot of nature and a sunset over Lake McDonald.Then it was off to Michele and Cody's (many thanks!) for the night before the big run. Rising early, we picked up some coffee and a bagel and made our way to the Wave … [Read more...]

Psychology of Happiness

I am doing some research on metta-bhavana (cultivation of loving-kindness) meditation and, along with a slew of recent articles discussing its efficacy, I just stumbled upon this little gem:The authors hypothesized that thinking about the absence of a positive event from one’s life would improve affective states more than thinking about the presence of a positive event but that people would not predict this when making affective forecasts. In Studies 1 and 2, college students wrote about the w … [Read more...]

A Proud Fundamentalist Buddhist Scholar White Guy in America

I'm not sure about that title, but judge for yourself.I want to try to tie together threads from three recent blog-conversations where well-meaning and intelligent contemporary Western/American Buddhists have come to loggerheads over practice, definitions, and the likes.These were at:Buddhist Ethics, some Buddhist sayings on Morality, where Tom and I had a brief and cordial back-and-forth.The Reformed Buddhist, where Kyle defends his Buddhist identity and his (wantonly?) breaking the precepts … [Read more...]

Shakespeare and Sunsets

Last night Julie and I and Blake and Amy and her new roommate made our way to UM's Oval to watch Shakespeare's "The Tempest." According to wikipedia it was first cataloged as a comedy but later re-assessed by some as a romance. In this production at least it was the comedy that held center stage as Caliban, a fish-man (comically labeled as a 'monster'), and Trinculo and Stephano, a jester and a drunken butler, funbled drunkenly through a plot to take over the island.Even the budding love … [Read more...]

Gratitude Journal

I am long overdue for a post specifically on Gratitude. It is gratitude that connects our heart with the world around us. Anxiety, fear, anger, greed, and so on all come from a lack of or weakness in this connection.I am working on a conference paper on the Buddhist practice of Metta Bhavana, the Cultivation of Loving Kindness. One of the stanzas there is:Mātā yathā niyaṃ putthaṃĀyusā ekaputtam anurakkha,ewam pi sabbabhūtesumānasam bhāvaye aparimāṇaṃ.Which is well translated as:Even as a mother p … [Read more...]