Life: publishing, teaching, breathing

First, my humble gratitude to the good folks at Blogmandu / Zenunbound for noting my last blog in their round-up. They have a fascinating blog, gathering stories from Buddhist types like myself. There is an especially poignant one on depression and meditation.I also noticed that my letter to the Buddhist Channel on "The Buddhist orientation of homosexuality" was published. It was in response to a woman who had written about the Dalai Lama and homosexuality. She has received some literature … [Read more...]

Buddhism: meditating, working, peace and joy

I'm listening to music from the movie: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring.It is a deep, peaceful melody, tainted with bits of melancholy and mystery. It is slow, artful, and delicate. It teaches you to examine each moment, and as you do, new sounds emerge. It is a loop, the same tones repeating themselves over and over; but it is different each time. It gets deeper, and if you let it, it will draw you into its rich, colorful depths.I am also doing a lot of meta-bhavana (abiding in … [Read more...]

Life: watching the world around me, sadness

New satellite imaging reveals that the destruction to rainforests in the Amazon is much worse than previously known. (links 1, 2, 3)The cause? Beef (links 1, 2 (pdf.), 3). Beef and (mostly) illegal harvest of prized Amazonian hardwoods and other trees (links 1, 2). Who buys it? Not Brazilian farmers and ranchers. Americans, Europeans, and other affluent folks like you and me.Beef: It's cheaper to cut down an acre of rainforest, plant grass, raise a cow, kill and 'process' it, and ship it to … [Read more...]

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 were thankful … [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 planning another retreat which … [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 the … [Read more...]