Blog: 2013

Meditation – More than Simply Powerful Self Care

Human experience, perceived and filtered through the deeply conditioned and unconscious belief in a separate, inherently existent self, is pure fiction. The ultimate goal of meditation, from a Buddhist perspective, is to remove these faulty perceptual filters, and to free the individual from the confusion and negative consequences of being lost in delusion. Wisdom is the key. In contemporary new age, liberal capitalist thinking, meditation is often promoted as a self-help technique. Therapists and health practitioners advise clients to use it to control blood pressure and calm the emotions....

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Climate Change and Faith

On March 14, local faith leaders participated in a discussion organized by FACT – Faith Action Climate Team, a King County Interfaith Group working on climate issues.  We began by acknowledging that climate change is undeniable. Scientists have near unanimous agreement on this, though “merchants of doubt” representing the profiteers of fossil fuel corporations have cynically manufactured controversy by sowing misinformation that has effectively blocked a full scale climate response. The challenges of discussing climate change – whether with family, neighbors,...

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Citizen Diplomacy – Knowledge Exchange

Yesterday, at the end of a long day of errands, I received a phone call with an India number appearing on my screen. As one of my Dharma teachers lives in India, and I have several friends living there, I answered it, wondering who it was and what adventure might beckon. A man speaking in a thick Indian accent and claiming to be a doctor asked to come see me and expressed a desire to exchange knowledge. As a small business entrepreneur, and sole proprietor, one of my daily challenges in life is navigating cold calls from strangers and making split second decisions on whether to immediately...

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No Hopes or Fears

Hope. I know, the word has been tarnished through overuse and politicization. But I still like it and hereby reclaim it. And we need it desperately. I have some to offer: In recent months, I’ve seen a large uptick in fear based narratives on social media – reports that many well known scientists, including Stephen Hawking, foresee the breakdown in modern civilization happening soon. And then there’s the constant stream of news out of the nation’s capitol where our so-called leaders are reversing protections for the the working class, immigrants, women, national parks,...

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The Art of the Story

In middle school, I remember acting out in class, shooting rubber bands across the room, telling jokes when the teacher’s back was turned, or engaging in other ignominious behavior. Perhaps I was bored academically, or simply rebelling against authority. In any case, on at least a few occasions, I found myself in the principal’s office, feeling frustration and shame under the stern punishing eyes and frown of Mr. Barker. Thus I begin my self-introduction to a group of young men at the Community Center for Alternative Programs, a jail diversion program in Seattle where I have...

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Volunteerism: Path to Peace and Freedom

Years ago, one of my teachers related an incident when she walked into a New Age bookstore and glanced at a magazine rack. A title called “Self” jumped out and it reminded her of how obsessed our egos are with our perceived separate identities.  (Aside – “Self”magazine could rightly be renamed as “How to Get Flat Abs” as that topic seems to be the focus of every issue). Modern materialistic humans are obsessed with their bodies, stories, desires, experiences, plans, fantasies.  Why though, my teacher asked, why don’t we see a magazine called...

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