Saturday, September 29

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Take that you close-minded frakin' fraks! OK, that's not the nicest thing to say but everybody knows what I mean. This applies to most of us in some way but it really goes to the heart of the matter of the people who are anti Harry Potter b/c it contains magic.
Some people live closely guarded lives, fearful of encountering someone or something that might shatter their insecure spiritual foundation. This attitude, however, is not the fault of religion but of their own limited understanding. True Dharma leads in exactly the opposite direction. It enables one to integrate all the many diverse experiences of life into a meaningful and coherent whole, thereby banishing fear and insecurity completely.
Lama Thubten Yeshe, "Wisdom Energy"

Wednesday, September 26

A story about "The Hero With a Thousand Faces"

by Joseph Campbell

I first saw Joseph Campbell on PBS replay of “The Power of Myth”. I was amazed and enthralled by what he said. I felt someone was finally explaining the way I looked at religion and spirituality.

Reading this is my first foray into his writing. It’s pretty academic and very heavily annotated, some footnotes are longer than the text on the page. He explores “the hero”; what is the process individuals go through to become a hero? He uses examples from all over the globe. All religions, all traditional societies and cultures and continents are explored to present a wonderfully comprehensive picture of the hero. Joseph Campbell shows us that we are all more alike than not, our heros share the same qualities, our religions are used to teach us and guide us to the same ends. It’s quite heartening.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Again with the high road stuff.
We should not seek revenge on those who have committed crimes against us, or reply to their crimes with other crimes. We should reflect that by the law of karma, they are in danger of lowly and miserable lives to come, and that our duty to them, as to every being, is to help them to rise towards Nirvana, rather than let them sink to lower levels of rebirth.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Monday, September 24

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Compassion is the best healer.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ultimate Healing

This is my new mantra. Although I have work to do on my ability for compassion I know others who really have some real issues with it. If I could just convince them that it isn't the "high road", it is the only road; and it is as much about showing compassion for yourself than others. On the way to work this morning I was reading more of Joseph Campbell's Hero with A Thousand Faces and it dawned on me that Virgos, at least as far as I see myself as a virgo, are naturally inclined towards this mentality. We are supposed to be objective and sympathetic which is the way I see things. People have misinterpreted my objectivity as negativity; that I am taking the other side but that's not it. I have to distance myself from the arguement to sort things out in my head and then I can look at both sides in a relatively even manner. I guess its hard for people to believe that you can be objective. That was kinda tangential. Let's leave it at compassion is the way (no Buddhist pun intended).

Wednesday, September 19

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Preach on brother.
And better than a hundred years
lived apathetic & unenergetic, is
one day
lived energetic & firm.
-Dhammapada, 8, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Monday, September 17

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Words to live by. These are the posts I post for specific people and I know those specific people will never see the posts.
Focus,
not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they've done
or left undone,
but on what you
have & haven't done
yourself.
Dhammapada, 4, translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Sunday, September 16

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Its not easy but I try this everyday.
“Live in joy,
In love,
Even among those who hate.

Live in joy,
In health,
Even among the afflicted.

Live in joy,
In peace,
Even among the troubled.

Look within.
Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of the way.”
from the Dhammapada

Who do you love?

I started this post last summer. I forgot about it but now I have it back.

Paste created lots of controversy with this list of 100 living songwriters but I figured it was a good excuse to list some of mine. These are all I can think of off the top of my head. This list is songwriters in the sense of writing words with music. Some of them are more consistent than others but its art who can truely create the same level of consistency all the time?

In no particular order:
Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Cockburn
Alejandro Escovedo
Neil Young
Bob Dylan
Talib Kweli
Paul Thorn
Steve Earle
Kim Richey
Stevie Wonder
William Bell
Smokey Robinson
Isaac Hayes
David Porter
Ben Harper
David Olney
Lucinda Williams
Booker T Jones
Steve Cropper
Warren Haynes
Common

Saturday, September 15

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Man, do I know some folks who need to memorize this, 'specially that part about seeing danger where there is none. We all anticipate how things sometimes. How things are gonna be and many times we, relying on our own hangups, we create environments and situations that don't need to be the way they are.
Ashamed of what's not shameful,
not ashamed of what is,
beings adopting wrong views
go to a bad destination.

Seeing danger where there is none,
and no danger where there is,
beings adopting wrong views,
go to a bad destination.
Dhammapada, 22, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Doesn't get much better.

Yesterday I turned 40 years old.

I took the day off from work, did some laundry, spent way too much money at Brooks Brothers, and went to the park with Johnders. I haven't really talked about him, have I? I will. Later.

Last night we planned a little dinner party at one of my all time favorite Nashville spots, Bosco's. It is home of the best beer in the state, maybe the country. I hadn't been in a long time and I didn't think it was a real possiblity b/c it tended to be pretty smokey. I don't do smokey as well as I used to and Tara doesn't do smokey at all. Was I pleased to find out that they are non-smoking? You're damn skippy! Come 1 Oct all restaurants will be non-smoking but some, like Bosco's jumped the deadline and U thank them for it. I gave Tara a list of people to invite. Many were out-of-towners who I just wanted to let know something was going on, didn't really expect to see any. Lo and behold two came in specifically for the party. One was Carolyn Allen-Schmidt, the person I have known longer than anyone outside of family. We have known each other since we were 6 or 7. We see each other every few years and we email every few months. She drove from Columbus, OH yesterday afternoon to come to the party and she was leaving today, after she woke up. I am beyond words as to how that makes me feel. The other was Johnna Norris, a former rekkid stow coworker. She doesn't live as far away as Carolyn but she lives in Kentucky and that is far away enough to make me feel extra special.

I said everyday. I am one of the most fortunate people alive. Thank you to all of my friends and family.

Friday, September 14

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"

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Ear Candy of the Moment: DuOud & Abdulatif Yagoub - Wa Rariah
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13

Buddhist Thought of the Day

It sounds so easy.

Abandon anger,
Be done with conceit,
Get beyond every fetter.
When for name & form
You have no attachment
--have nothing at all--
no sufferings, no stresses, invade.

Dhammapada 17, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Wednesday, September 12

MySpace ruined my space.

The past few days I have gone through our public access computer room once or twice a day and a vast majority of the users are on myspace.com. Are they looking for jobs or researching Nashville? If that includes "Power Ass" shaking her stuff then yes I guess they are but somehow I doubt it. I obviously use the internet differently than most. I read blogs and yes, I sometimes look at celebrity wardrobe malfunctions...if you know what I mean but Jesus H. Christ! You are in the library and the only way you can figure out how to use it is trolling myspace? Not only that but not all terminals are hidden from the aisles so if you are walking by, like I have been, you see all of this crap.

I have a myspace page - don't really use it but I have one. I have many friends who have one too but there are so many other ways to waste time on the internet. I don't know what can be done other than myspace setting tighter restrictions. I'm sure from our POV it's a 1st Amendment type thing...freedom of expression. I don't know, I guess I'm just a little frustrated by seeing the same people coming in everyday, sitting on the computer hour after hour and doing nothing productive.

"Have a blessed day."

Have you ever noticed that the people who say this most are the people most difficult to deal with?

I see it everyday. Someone who complains a lot or is unorganized to the point of frustration, both theirs and yours, is the person who is quick on the draw with the "Have a blessed day" exit.

Monday, September 10

Customer Service

A couple of weeks ago I woke up with a case of sciatica. I didn't know what it was at the time I just knew it hurt. I was coming down the stairs and my knee buckled in one of the worst bursts of pain I have ever felt. I struggled through the next week or so trying stretches and whatnot without much change. Then I went to Bonnie, my mother-in-law, who happens to be a Healing Touch practioner and instructor. She worked on me two days in a row and I scheduled an appointment for a massage a couple of days after that. I had begun to feel better but after the massage I really started to feel better and eventhough I'm not 100% yet I felt good enough to go to yoga yesterday.

Not really thinking about it this morning when the phone rang and it was the massage therapist calling to see how I was doing. That, my friends, is customer service. I went to her on the suggestion of Tara, she did a good job, she was filled with info and suggestions about how to get and stay healthy. As is quite often the case I am glad I took my wife's suggestion.

The Masseuse is:
Val Knust, LMT
(615) 300-8331
She's located at East End Body In Balance Nashville.

Wednesday, September 5

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Tara and I haven't picked a specific day but we are trying to plant a tree each year. Earlier this year we actually planted 3. They had a rough summer but I think they will be fine.
On a certain day, month and year one should observe the ceremony of tree-planting. Thus, one fulfils one’s responsibilities, serves one’s fellow-beings which not only brings happiness but benefits all.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, October 1993

Saturday, September 1

2007 Football

Props to the Sewanee Tigers (with new coach Robert Black) and Appalachian State. Sewanee, who usually doesn't field great teams won it's first game of the season as well as getting the SCAC player of the week. I have high hopes!

Now, Appalachian State. What more can you say?? We raced them when I was on the canoe team and for God's sake they are from the hills of NC.

It was a great day for small colleges.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Oh, how I wish people, including myself, worked on this more.
Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one--
himself.
Dhammapada, 8, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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