Life: post-retreat bliss and dissertation work

I’m still ‘cruising’ or ‘coasting’ (terms denoting when one’s mood is lifted about 3 points on a 1-10 scale following a short retreat or vacation) from my weekend in Bozeman.Matthew is as impressive and energetic as ever, demanding that we deal with issues in our lives that make our time on the mat (meditating) difficult. Mostly he means dealing with things in our past that keep coming up: resentment, grief, and incompletions. Some people found his intensity difficult, but others… Read more

Buddhism: on retreat

I’ll be on a Buddhist retreat for the weekend with Matthew Flickstein in Bozeman MT. I did a 10 day retreat with him in May of 2004 and I was very impressed. He is a former Theravadin (Pali for ‘way of the elders,’ the oldest surviving Buddhist tradition) monk, but incorporated a wide variety of teachings into the retreat which culminated in a Dzogchen (Tibetan: ‘great perfection’) meditation. He also spoke kindly of Christianity as a mystical tradition, and was… Read more

Buddhism: (3 of 3) Karma as radical conceptuality

To be completed…. Read more

Philosophy: (2 of 3) anxiety and association

I’ve been working on a theory lately. It’s rough, but try to follow.Philosophers since Kant (1724-1804) have argued that the world we see is influenced by concepts. This means roughly that my world and the world of the Inuit are probably radically different. The world of Homeric poetry with its epic figures, active gods, and bizarre creatures is certainly different from our modern technologized, bureaucratic, media-driven society. The stories you are told as a child, the people you know, the… Read more

Life: (1 of 3) For the downtrodden

Paralyzed with anxiety, numbed with fear, overwhelmed by minutia…. Symptoms of our society’s ills, manifest in each of us at some time or another. Three things about them:1. They’re natural. The world is a complicated, confusing, chaotic place. Our way of understanding it breaks down sometimes; occasionally even cute puppy dogs bite. Accept the confusion, it is trying to teach you something.2. Take a break. When chaos reigns; or preferably, before it gets that far, take a day off from… Read more

Philosophy: when it all doesn’t come together… or ‘God, Plato, and Morality’

It was another ‘philosophy forum’ day in my happy little life today, and I saw: Philip CattonSenior Lecturer in PhilosophySchool of Religious StudiesUniversity of Canterbury, Christchurch, New ZealandImmanence and Ideality Consider space, time and causality, or morality, or authenticity in art. Rude immanentism concerning them defiles their unity. Transcendentism is however without any footing in what is ours to know. Between immanent and transcendent there is a line of ideality. Wisdom hugs that line – on the inside. And what… Read more

Life: half a pizza and 5 cans of coke later

Yes that’s right: he who lives off of dehydrated lentil soup, oatmeal, soy milk, homemade Indian curries, and pumpkin seeds has resorted to the tactics of cheesy-fatty-starchy garbage combined with a carbonated, high fructose corn syrup and caramel colored caffeine delivery system as aids through the perils of cram-writing an MA dissertation upon which (how much I don’t know) my future hangs.You think that’s convoluted, you should see what I’m writing about Kant’s ethics…Here’s a randomly selected sentence:”Kant gives the… Read more


Written by John Lennon, born on this date 1940. Imagine Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today… Imagine there’s no countries, It isnt hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, No religion too, Imagine all the people living life in peace… Imagine no possesions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man, Imagine all… Read more

Philosophy: flogging and motivation

My lack of blogging flogging seems to have worked, so I think I should flog myself a bit over my lack of dissertation work. Monday is a deadline for giving it to a friend for analysis – so tomorrow has to be the big day for progress. Bad me. Bad me.Maybe I’m not into self flogging at the moment.But I do suddenly remember a film I saw in high school Spanish class, about a Jesuit missionary in the jungles of… Read more

Buddhism: the Dalai Lama agrees

With my last post’s sentiments. In his little book, “Many Ways to Nivrana: Reflections and Advice on Right Living” on page 28 he says: “Sometimes, I feel that my talk about compassion is merely paying lip service. I really admire those individuals or organizations that are involved in helping impoverished people and working in the area of education, and so on. These people are implementing compassion on a practical level. I just sit here on a comfortable seat and talk… Read more

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