Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Brief Thoughts from My Master

"From a Zen point-of-view, many [*spiritual seekers*,western AND eastern], have been handicapped by their concept of *god* as an objectified *supreme being*." [feel free to substitute *atman* ... any cosmological principle or deity ... or even *field of being* for the above.]
"Even when *in union with god*, they must automatically exclude that which is not-god. The dualistic split between oneness/manyness, being/non-being, life and death remains. [mere extensions of self/other. a picking & choosing.]
For Zen, the endpoint of man's journey is not *union with god* Zen insists there has never been a separation. All that is needed is the flash of insight that allows this to be seen.
~ source unknown ~ [other than my old dog-earred journal]

comments in [brackets] are mine.
i own them. ;) lol
but i'm willing to share ...
take them if you wish.
or not.


Monday, April 25, 2005


In T View by Mister Ghost from Iraqi Bloggers Central of a 23 year old blogger from Sardinia, Stephania. Free Iran, pro USA, and with a "connectedness" world view, at heart her ultimate theme. However, her blog is all over the place, and truly a piece of art.

Also, Ali, a popular Iraq blogger hits a home run with his "Asking Few Questions Makes a Difference", questioning the lack of questioning in the Islamic world.

Sunday, April 24, 2005



Kali as the Supreme Deity
India (Himachal Pradesh, Chamba?)
Ca. 1800
Pigments on paper
6 7/8 x 10 7/8 in (17.4 x 27.6 cm)

This is a remarkable picture in that it not only unambiguously
demonstrates the supremacy of the goddess Kali but gives an
unusual form
of the deity. She is seated on a throne in a
flowering green meadow. In
the foreground flows the river
Ganga, which descends from the hair of
Shiva, who forms one
leg of the golden throne. Wearing a snake as a
necklace, Shiva
sits on an elephant skin. The other three legs of the

throne are formed by the figures of Vishnu with his usual
the four-headed Brahma, and Indra, with multiple
eyes on his body. Thus
there is no doubt about who is in control.

The goddess herself shows some unusual features. She is, of course,
black like Kali but not beautiful. Her large, pendulous breasts, her
distinctive Afro hairdo, the tiny eyes, and the white crescent moon
outlining her face distinguish her from standard forms of Kali. She
wears a yellow dhoti.

However, like Kali she wears a garland of severed heads and has
arms with the same attributes, although they are disposed
in the reverse
order. The severed head is in the upper right and
the sword in the
lower, while the upper left hand exhibits the
gesture of charity and the
lower that of assurance. At first sight,
the posture of the goddess
seems unusual, but, in fact, it is the
classic position for giving birth
and is encountered in early Indian
art in images of other iconographic
forms of goddesses both in
India and Nepal. It is also the posture in
which Kali sometimes
straddles Shiva, when he is supposed to be a corpse
the appropriate seat (asana) in heroic (virachara) tantric praxis.

All text and images © The Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

Friday, April 15, 2005

For Misha

Grief upon grief.
I'll change my shirt,
you pour the tea.

sutra #!

......this is it, here now, as it is, that which is; you are that. Or not......


Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Almanac of Last Things

rom the almanac of last things
I choose the spider lily
for the grace of its brief
blossom, though I myself
fear brevity,
but I choose The Song of Songs
because the flesh
of those pomegranates
has survived
all the frost of dogma.
I choose January with its chill
lessons of patience and despair--and
August, too sun-struck for lessons.
I choose a thimbleful of red wine
to make my heart race,
then another to help me
sleep. From the almanac
of last things I choose you,
as I have done before.
And I choose evening
because the light clinging
to the window
is at its most reflective
just as it is ready
to go out.
~ Linda Pastan ~
(Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wisdom of the Country Cousin

Sometime in the early 1970's, two Buddhist masters met
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of them, Kalu Rinpoche,
was a renowned Tibetan meditation master who had spent
many years in solitary retreat in the remote mountain
caves of Tibet. The other was Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen
master who had recently come to the USA and was
supporting himself by working in a Providence, Rhode Island,
Laundromat, slowly planting the seeds of Zen in the minds
of those coming to wash their clothes.

At this now famous meeting of enlightened minds, Seung
Sahn held up an orange and, in classic Zen dharma combat
fashion, demanded,

“What is this?”
Kalu Rinpoche just looked at him, wonderingly.
Again Master Seung Sahn Asked, “What is this?”
Finally, Rinpoche turned to his translator and asked,
“Don’t they have oranges in Korea?”

(Source of story unknown.)

Monday, April 11, 2005

"Doesn't suffering season a person?"

"It's not the suffering that matters,
but a person's disposition,
for suffering can sweeten or embitter
just as the potter's fire
can char the clay or season it."

~ Anthony de Mello, S.J.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


on the discovery of this interactive computer game called THE WILD DIVINE.

"Build stairways with your breath, open doors with meditation, juggle balls with your laughter, and so much more. The Journey makes biofeedback, a popular method of alternative healthcare, easily accessible and empowers you to take mind-body wellness, literally, into your own hands.

And from:
Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Author of the new release,
The Book of Secrets

"The Wild Divine is helping to transform our mass consciousness to one of peace and harmony through a very practical program that allows people to get in intimate touch with the innermost core of their being. To know that they have more power than they have ever realized, to know that they can influence what is happening in their body, in their mind, in their emotions, as well as in the world that they create everyday."


A summary of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave".
by Thang Xuan Nguyen

There is this cave where prisoners are kept, chained since childhood. It is dark down there, with only the light from a fire and an opening at the opposite end where the prisoners sit. The prisoners spend their days watching the shadows of passer-byers that are cast against the wall. This is all they get to see. And all they get to hear is the echo of the speech of the passer-byers. This is all they have of the truth, or reality. When suddenly they are released. One turns his head and sees the light and the causes of the shadows (which they originally thought was reality). He is confused and in pain from the intensity of the light. He now sees real existence. Perplexed still, he discovers the land above, the land of light. When he returns to the darkness, he is again disoriented (because he was used to the light above) and when he tries to explain the truth to the other cave dwellers, they see him as disoriented (mad) so persecutes and kills him. This is the allegory. The cave is the world where we, the prisoners, live. The chains are our restraint, or limitations to see the truth. The shadows are our illusions of reality. The ascent to light is reaching enlightenment, truth.

"What is the secret of your serenity?"

Said the Master,
"Wholehearted cooperation

with the inevitable."

~ Anthony de Mello, S.J.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Received an always welcomed email from a longtime friend recently, let's call him El Granjero, in which he mentioned a harvest. It took a moment for the connections to fall into place being the early part of April and not a time usually associated with harvest, then light bulb flash. You see my friend is an organic asparagus farmer in a beautiful valley on the western range of the Colorado Rockies and the sprouts of the asparagus plant are the product harvested for market in early Spring.
El Granjero is a highly evolved social progressive who arrived here in Santa Fe soon out of law school, opened a small law office, and very quickly became the head of a rapidly growing successful law firm.
In a profession held not always with the highest regards by the public, this young man quickly became a role model and hero in the community. His unabridged generosity of spirit, unheralded pro bono work, environmental activities and a heart as big as Texas drew people to him from across the spectrum in our town. A lawyer quoting the Dali Lama?
When the AIDS horror hit our small town, this straight man was there front row doing what ever was needed for who ever needed him in a time when only shame and fear were associated with the disease, long before wearing a red ribbon and shining at the charity balls became fashionable.
And in the midst of this success and acclaim the man who had it all seemed simply to pause in his early mid life, selling his law firm, scouting for land in Colorado, bought a farm and has been growing asparagus in a beautiful valley surrounded by like minded folks for the last few years.
And as most conventional farmers take a holiday after fall harvest, I hope my friend has a great and bountiful harvest, and perhaps here are some helpful ideas that he can use his up and coming midsummer holiday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The Road to Oxiana
In 1933 Robert Byron began a journey through the Middle East via Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Teheran to Oxiana--the country of the Oxus, the ancient name for the river Amu Darya which forms part of the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. The Road to Oxiana offers not only a wonderful record of his adventures, but also a rare account of the architectural treasures of a region now inaccessible to most Western travelers.

The Power of Now
Eckhart Tolle is emerging as one of today's most inspiring teachers. In The Power of Now, a #1 national bestseller, the author describes his transition from despair to self-realization soon after his 29th birthday. Tolle took another ten years to understand this transformation, during which time he evolved a philosophy that has parallels in Buddhism, relaxation techniques, and meditation theory but is also eminently practical.

Prefab Modern
Who says dream houses are only for the rich? The ongoing revolution in prefabricated homes brings innovative, contemporary design to the masses, transforming "trailer trash to trailer chic," declares architectural writer Herbers. These diverse projects by 15 firms-from Michael Graves’s Pavilions (designed for Target as freestanding structures or home additions) to Rocio Romero’s LV Home building kit-are not only inexpensive, they’re also sturdy, transportable, adaptable and, most revolutionary of all, purchasable online.

The French Laundry Cookbook

To eat at Thomas Keller's Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry, is to experience a peak culinary experience. In The French Laundry Cookbook, Keller articulates his passions and offers home cooks a means to duplicate the level of perfection that makes him one of the best chefs in the U.S. and, arguably, the world.

And finally, a GREAT book on perhaps the most important issue facing our country and the world in the 21st century. Globalization and the ensuing outsourcing.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Thomas Friedman, the NY Times Foreign Affairs Columnist and 3 times Pulitzer Prize winner whose column appears in 700 newspapers around the world, tells the story of seeing a poster titled, “I Told You So” hanging in the window of a map shop in Washington DC ten years ago. He was strongly taken to the poster, which he purchased, and it has been hanging in his office for the last 10 years.
Jump ahead to 14 months ago, we find Friedman in India’s own silicone valley, Bangalore, working on a documentary for The Discovery Channel on outsourcing and globalization. In the process of taking over 80 hours of interviews for the coming special, Friedman was struck by a statement made by the CEO of India’s IBM equivalent that “The international playing field has been leveled.”
This new book “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century”, developed from this coming documentary along with that CEO’s observation, and when time came to choose a cover for the book, this poster came into Friedman’s mind, was shown to the publishers and then chosen as a perfect cover.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Ike just filled up the world around him. Always knew he was some kinda magician masquerading as a pup. The best argument for the transmigration of souls I've ever seen. Not to mention being the most charming (and sexiest) pooch ever. Big sadness here. Big tears. Glad to have known him -- what a privilege. Lucky you to have had such good company along the way. And lucky him to have had you. Hate the idea of him gone, and you without him. I'm with you on this one . . . you and the Izzy. Be gentle and take care and probably stay away from polling places and like venues for the meantime. Tell the cat tea parties won't be half as exciting without Ike there to bust up the fun.

O my o my o my . . . .

Originally posted by Igniculi

IKE APRIL 4, 1995-OCTOBER 4, 2004

Though I think
Not to think about it anymore,
I do think about it,
And wet my sleeves
Thinking about it.

Ryokan 1758-1831

Friday, April 01, 2005


9000 people die of AIDS each day
30,000 children die of starvation or preventable disease each day
1370 die from war each day

44.3 million Americans have no health insurance
13 million American children go to bed hungry
15 million American children live in poverty

25,000 people die from a lack of clean water each year
1/2 of the world's population (3 billion) live on less than $2 a day

Exxon claimed $26 billion in 2004 profits, up 52% over 2003
Chevron-Texaco claimed $13 billion, up 85%
Shell Oil claimed $19 billion, up 48%

Explain the 'culture of life' again.

Hat Tip: Democratic Underground