A Good Reason to Ignore Global Warming

Okay, let me be clear up front: I'm not saying it's good to ignore global warming! I am trying to point out that not all our reasons for ignoring it are selfish, lazy, or stupid.I've been thinking about this since my post Can We Really Save the World with Lifestyle Change? A Buddhist acquaintance of mine, Satya Vayu, left a long comment on that post expressing many things with which I agree. In fact, he expressed my views pretty perfectly, pointing out that governments and corporations are in … [Read more...]

Making Money or Giving Myself to a Labor of Love

One half of me wants to live on the edge and try to make this blog into a book. The other half of me knows it's about time to make enough money to support myself and stop mooching off the hard work of others. After all, I'm 43 years old and the peak of my earning career was in 1996 when I earned around $16,000 working for the US Forest Service. Since then it's been graduate school, training as a Zen monastic in a communal setting while living on a shoe string, and then being generously supported … [Read more...]

The Intoxicating Poison of Despair

Before I started Zen practice I was very familiar with despair. It's a state of mind similar to depression, but without the numbness. Despair is intoxicating in that once you start to indulge in it, it affects your whole being and you find yourself inexorably pulled to indulge in even more of it. Despair is poisonous in that it kills off life, slowly sucking away your enthusiasm, creativity, energy, joy...I've made a lot of progress in terms of living without despair, but it's still where my … [Read more...]

Re-establishing a Healthy Narrative

It's been three weeks since I last posted. Life and death have conspired to keep me very busy within the sphere of "my own" life, although as I discussed in Flexible Spheres of Operation, I think we might all be better off if we stopped drawing the line between "my life" and "that which is not my life."Still, at times like the last few weeks, my activity often feels rather small and limited. When I'm very busy with what I identify as my "work," or with taking care of my home or family, life … [Read more...]

Flexible Spheres of Operation

I haven't had a spare moment to post about my journey of conscience for over a week, and it's taught me something about the importance of letting my sphere of operation be very flexible. One week I am contemplating a sincere response to suffering on the scale of climate disruption, and the next week I am sharing sacred space with friends, sitting next to the body of a dear man who had just passed away after a long, painful illness.Add to that an unusually busy time at work, a lost wallet, a c … [Read more...]