Friday, August 31

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Just try and be happy.
By day shines the sun;
by night, the moon;
in armor, the warrior;
in jhana, the Brahmin.
But all day & all night,
every day & every night,
the Awakened One shines
in splendor.
Dhammapada, 26, translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Thursday, August 30

Buddhist Thought of the Day

I know I talk a good game but do I actually and actively practice the compassion I desire from and for myself? I would say that I usually do. Where I falter most often is with those closest to me. I have trouble letting go in general but its even harder when it involves someone I know intimately. I usually get frustrated when people don't seem to understand what I mean. I feel, some might say arrogantly so, that I am easily understood and what I am talking about is easily understood. Also, I would say that I have an easier time seeing the forest than the trees and I get most frustrated at those who areI believe are focused too tightly on the trees. I will keep trying.
Adopting an attitude of universal responsibility is essentially a personal matter. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Imagine All the People"

Tuesday, August 28

My sympathies

Don't know a whole lot about the guy. I heard this on the news last night. This is so sad, he was a kid. Although there is no promise you can stop this kind of thing. Boys and girls you must go to the doctor, you must drink water when exercising and you must tell someone when you feel bad.
Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta dies


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Buddhist Thought of the Day

Buddhism. Keeping it real.
Karma is not something complicated or philosophical. Karma means watching your body, watching your mouth, and watching your mind. Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible is the practice of karma.
Lama Thubten Yeshe, "The Bliss of Inner Fire"

Monday, August 27

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Whenever you hear that someone else has been successful, rejoice. Always practice rejoicing for others--whether your friend or your enemy. If you cannot practice rejoicing, no matter how long you live, you will not be happy.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Transforming Problems Into Happiness"

Saturday, August 25

Buddhist Thought of the Day

I know some of my Christian friends will have trouble with this but this is probably the best summary of what I believe.
Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Friday, August 24

Part of of "a week with kids"


This part involves the kids of friends. We took a road trip to Kentucky to see John, Carolyn and the kids as well as .vek, Christine and the kid. Kevin, Anne Marie, Tara and I went to Georgetown KY where John lives. Tara had met John but not Carolyn or the kids, Anne Marie hadn't met anyone in the family, and Kevin hadn't met the kids. I hadn't seen LiAnna or Lindsey on close to 5 years nor had I met the twins. Honestly, I was nervous. How would the girls remember me? What would they remember?

Thanks to John & Carolyn they loved me! They were dressed up when we got the house and were greeted with enthusiasm and nervousness. The girls warmed to us immediately, LiAnna told Anne Marie secrets and they showed us their dolls and toys and pets. We ate and then Lindsey got a hold of my camera. She took more pictures than I did. I have the pictures up on flickr. Day one wound down and we planned to go to a nature park and Frankfort the next day. Once we got to the nature park if one wasn't pulling on me or wanting to be carried the other one was. It was a blast. The girls are very smart and the twins seemed overshadowed but John & Carolyn said we should not be fooled, they can hold their own.

I had a blast and I enjoyed seeing how they girls had grown. They had turned into little people with vocalized opinions and ideas and dreams and talents. LiAnna said she wants to be a writer and Lindsey showed a talent for photography. John and Carolyn were glad to have somebody else for at least two of the kids to harrass and Tara was glad to see that her husband was good with kids. During those few hours I was king, at least to two very active, talkative little girls. Lindsey told me that her Mom tells about when her Dad and I went to China to get her, and LiAnna told me about her favorite books.


Next we were off to Pewee Valley to visit .vek, Christine & Sierra, all of whom are known by everybody in our traveling party. It was just the adults the first night. We had a good Indian dinner and went to see a Hitchcock Film at the Palace. The next day was all about Sierra. We met for lunch at the Arnett-Conner residence and then we went for Graeders Ice Cream ending up at big park where Sierra showed us about the "soccer monster" and then she got us to do exercises that she created while we were in the exercise area. She is a very bright, thoughtful, and creative little girl.

I am proud of my friends and anxious for my chance to be a father.

Wednesday, August 22

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Ahhh stress...this is what I like about Buddhism. It doesn't just look for sin or pain (although stress can make you sinful and it can definitely be painful) or something like that. It recognizes that if you recognize and accpet the bad for what it is (and you follow the eightfold path - which has to do with being honest, fair and kind) you will be alright in the end, maybe even better than alright, maybe enlightened.
But when, having gone
to the Buddha, Dhamma,
& Sangha for refuge,
you see with right discernment
the four noble truths--
stress, the cause of stress,
the transcending of stress,
& the noble eightfold path,
the way to the stilling of stress:
that's the secure refuge,
that, the supreme refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering & stress.
Dhammapada, 13, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Saturday, August 18

The insult seen around the world.

I prefer the whore that is your sister
Marco Materazzi to Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final that provoked the French star to retaliate with a head-butt.

The truth comes out

Buddhist Thought of the Day

We all have the power do control our minds and emotions.
When everything is clean-clear in your own mind,nobody can create obstacles for you.
Lama Thubten Yeshe, "The Bliss of Inner Fire"

Thursday, August 16

Genius


Jazz pioneer Max Roach dead at 83
An innovator of the highest level, Roach was one of the first jazz musicians to coax lyricism out of the drums. Roach ushered in a new expressive style of percussion in jazz, and subsequently all of pop music.
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Now playing on iTunes: David Murray & Black Saint Quartet - Transitions
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Bend it Like M***Fracking Beckham!

This is what we've been waiting for! Andrea Canales says "Beckham can really play." and the AP story I saw explained how he was talking to the team and egging them on. As girly as he sounds (have you actually heard him speak?) he is a leader. He is what a captain is supposed to be. This start should shut some of the moaners up. He hit a FK, he assisted Landon on a pass and he applauded the fans. What more do you need?
Beckham takes captain's armband to great effect

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The last line is crucial, "The pureness of perfectly balanced action based on seeing the way things are...this is freedom." I so strive for that balanced action but I struggle with the seeing this as they are. I take things personally too often and too quickly. Most times I assume too much. None of that is conducive to seeing things as they are. What's worse is that it sometimes bothers me when people do take things as they are. My wife is an example. She rarely assumes, she, more than anyone I know, says exactly what she means when she speaks and she says she doesn't understand when she doesn't understand. I am jealous of people who think this way and sometimes I am too arrogant to let people know that I don't understand. I've done it this way for so long. I hated asking questions in class, I hated making coments in dlass. I didn't want the attention.
When a person has lived properly and acted generously, he grasps the way things are. He is not dependent on attachments; he is free from anger and aversions; what he does becomes perfect action.

The pureness of perfectly balanced action based on seeing the way things are--this is freedom and the ending of ignorance
Sutta Nipata

Yea Sewanee's Beautiful!

My glorious University made the top of yet another list. I have visited two of the other campuses mentioned and I did like what I saw. I was quite surprised that Wellesley didn't make the list. I thought it was beautiful.

America's 20 Most Beautiful Campuses

Monday, August 13

G-Day

I got a phone call to remind me that I am scheduled to take the GRE tomorrow morning. Yipes!

Let's hope all goes well. If my practice test was any indication I should do well in verbal, ok in quantitative and who knows on analytical (they can't score the practice test versions).

I can't wait to get it overwith!

Family Fantasy (rated 4 stars)

by David Anthony Durham

All I know of fantasy is “Lord of the Rings” and, I guess, Harry Potter but I’m talking about the sword wielding, sorcery bound, warrior fantasy.

I started to read this b/c the author David Anthony Durham is black, I remember good reviews of his “Pride of Carthage” and this book, the first of a triolgy, was getting compared to Lord of the Rings. Maybe because I am a novice at fantasy or maybe because of the writing I had a little trouble getting into it. I had trouble with naming schemes and found myself getting confused about who was part of what “race”. About 150 pages into this 600 page door stop I was hooked. I found myself exciting about moving to the next chapter. Each chapter tells a different point of view and rotates through the 6 or so primary players.

It is the story of a prosperous empire brought down by a surprise assassination of the king and then the use of biological warfare to wipe everybody else out. The three of the four children, ranging from 10 to 17 or so, of the king are scattered to the winds. The rest of the story follows the children coming of age as distinctly different but equally special people. The youngest girl is the voice of a goddess who discovers she has amazing sword skills. The youngest boy is a pirate but also a young leader. The oldest boy becomes the rallying point for regaining the kingdom but changing it for the better and the oldest girl is the concubine who falls in love with the man who orchestrated the takeover of her empire but ultimately becomes a major force to be reckoned with.

A lot happens but what I liked was the ethnic landscape the author paints and his transition into the forthcoming second part. The “Known World” consists of a variety of ethnicities from the pale, Nordic-like Mein to the tropical, pacific island-like Talay. He doesn’t go into lots of details about their cultures but you can feel and see the differences. His set-up for future stories is wonderful. He starts planting seeds and signs that some things are happening that he can’t fully explain yet. You see characters do things that obviously take the story in a different direction but you don’t know their complete motivation. It’s nicely done. It looks like it will be one grand adventure, each part distinct but ultimately one big tale.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

It is not that anger and desire are inherently evil or that we should feel ashamed when they arise. It is a matter of seeing them as the delusions that they are: distorted conceptions that paint a false picture of reality. They are negative because they lead to unhappiness and confusion.
Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

Need I say more?

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Now playing on iTunes: Love - A Message To Pretty
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Thursday, August 9

Buddhist Thought of the Day

[The] defilements are like a cat. If you feed it, it will keep coming around. Stop feeding it, and eventually it will not bother to come around anymore.
Ajahn Chah, "Still Forest Pool"

Amen to that but as everything it's easier said than done. One of the reasons I emotionally like Buddhism is that all it asks is that you try. Do the best you can and keep on moving. None of this "all or none" stuff some brands of Christianity push. Maybe I have trouble with this b/c I have trouble with commitment but I think there is more to it than that. I think it has to do being honest with youself. If you make the commitment to do away with the bad habits or "defilements" you will do this. You don't have to worry about following a certain path and this going to heaven or not. As the Army asks, be all that you can be.

Tuesday, August 7

Buddhist Thought of the Day - The Return

I've been away for a few weeks. What happened? I can't say and I can't worry about. The fact is, I am posting again.
I am not, I will not be.
I have not, I will not have.
That frightens all the childish
And extinguishes fear in the wise.
Nagarjuna, Precious Garland

It's hard to give things up, to let go (and let God, some might add). I have a hard time. I take things personally far too often; the flip side is that I hold things in far too often. I think things but I don't want to hurt people's feelings even when they should probably know what I am thinking. I work on it, both parts. I try to slow down when I recognize that I am taking something personally. I try to anaylize what is being said to recognize whether or not this is something I should appreciate being told or not. As for the holding back part. I don't put the effort into anaylizing this. I don't say something, the moment passes and so with it, the thought or comment I had.

Monday, August 6

GRE

Today I was going to Provence to get my bread (Monday is 1/2 price day), my coffee and chat with my crush who is a baker for Provence and sometimes comes over here to help. I've already told Tara about her so I feel free to chat. This young woman is adorable and I'll leave it at that.

We were talking and this guy walks up behind and asks when I was gonna take the GRE (I had a book in my hand). He was in the library to tutor someone on taking the GRE or SAT but he had a few minutes to spare and he gave me a handful of hints for being a better test taker.

I love where I work.

Sunday, August 5

Sewanee Tigers Football


Good luck to the Tigers and their new coach (my Sewanee classmate and childhood friend), Robert Black.
2007 Sewanee Football

Date Game Site
September 1 Sewanee v. Westminster Sewanee
September 15 Sewanee @ Colorado College* Colorado Springs, CO
September 22 Sewanee vs. DePauw* Sewanee
September 29 Sewanee @ Centre* Danville, KY
October 6 Sewanee vs. Austin College* Sewanee
October 13 Sewanee vs. Millsaps*! Sewanee
October 20 Sewanee @ Trinity* San Antonio, TX
November 3 Sewanee vs. Birmingham-Southern* Sewanee (Home Coming)
November 10 Sewanee @ Rhodes* Memphis, TN
* SCAC game
! Family Weekend
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Now playing on iTunes: Funkadelic - Can You Get to That
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Thursday, August 2

Nashville Public Library = Music in the Courtyard

Why this is called the "Summer Series" when it starts in August I don't know but its that time of year and we love it. For more information go to Library Foundation.
2007 Summer Concert Artist Lineup

August 1
Serenatta
~ Latin Romantic Ensemble

August 8
David Tanner
~ Rockabilly entertainer

August 15
Ellen Britton
~ Country-Americana singer-songwriter

August 22
Riders In The Sky
~ America's Favorite Cowboys

August 29
Judson Spence
~ Rock and Soul talent

September 5
Jim Hoke's Jazz Quartet
Local Jazz Saxophonist

September 12
Chris Casello
~ Rockabilly/Western Swing entertainer

September 19
Radio Daze
~ Big Band Dance Ensemble

September 26
Anna Wilson
~ Pop/Jazz Artist and Songwriter

October 3
Jonell Mosser
~ Blues Rocker
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