Blog: 2013

The Deathless

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.    Henry David Thoreau, Walden We all die. Of course, everyone knows it, but rarely do we stare death in the face and open our heart to the magical gifts that it has to offer. Perhaps we hear about a plane crash, or some other calamity, and for a moment, we think – “wow, that could have been me”. Do we then shudder in fear and bury our consciousness back into our fast tracked life...

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One People One Planet – My Experience Corresponding with a Sex Offender

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a state prison addressed to my Buddhist center. A prisoner was seeking a Buddhist practitioner to correspond with so I wrote back, introducing myself. As a precaution, I used my work address as a return address. Nelson (not his real name), had been in prison for decades. In his second letter, he told me he wasn’t ready to tell me what he was in for, and I didn’t give it much thought, writing back that during our countless lives across the infinity of time, we’ve all done terrible things in the past, but that we all – every living...

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The Supreme Riddle

June is off to a good start. On Saturday when only four people were scheduled, I was caught by surprise when ten people walked in during the last fifteen minutes before closing. Things got a little bit wild, but in the end, everyone floated out the door on an invisible carpet of Chi. Just prior to the walk-in tsunami, I had been doing some internet research at the Washington Secretary of State’s web site, reading up on the rights and responsibilities of non-profit Board Directors (I was recently elected President of my Buddhist meditation center) and discovered that in this state, Board...

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Stepping into the Circle of Healing

As the fourth of July will be upon us after a few more moon circuits about the Earth, and Americans will again celebrate the summer holiday known as Independence day, I’d like to suggest that while it is wonderful to celebrate the cultural, scientific, technological, artistic, educational, athletic (the list could go on and on)…achievements of Americans – the time has arrived – some would say with a grave sense of urgency – that we as planetary citizens, no longer cling to archaic notions of independence but instead recognize how interdependent our world has become. Of course, for many...

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Greedy Lying Bastards

Apologies for the harsh language – normally I don’t think name calling and vilification is an effective conflict resolution strategy. In fact, it probably never is.  I know that many will disagree with me, but in the end I believe anger is a self-defeating strategy. If you want to get angry about something, get angry about your own anger and ignorance – that’s the path of liberation and enlightenment according to the Buddha. Nonetheless, there you have it – Greedy Lying Bastards. Certainly grabs your attention, and maybe that’s what is needed right now – a collective wake up call on climate...

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Taking and Giving

Six years ago, Serena and I launched CommuniChi, our vision for affordable community acupuncture in Seattle. Intentions are powerful, but only if we remember to feed them. Storytelling is one way to remember. In July 2006, I left Seattle for my third trip to post-Katrina New Orleans. I had been captivated by the vision of a ragtag group of acupuncturists calling themselves Acupuncturists Without Borders. It was there on July 4, 2006, on the corner of Decatur and Barracks in the French Quarter that I met “Voice”, one of the survivors of what had been called the largest natural...

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