Peace

The Problem with Saving the World

A little over a quarter of a century ago, I was living at a blockade camp in British Columbia’s, Strathcona Provincial Park. Cream Silver, a multinational corporation had plans to open up, you guessed it, a silver mine smack in the middle of one of the most pristine places on the planet, in the northern remote reaches of Vancouver Island. I remember being asked by a fellow activist: “you want to save the world, right?” Without hesitation I said yes. My home base in the late 1980’s was a one room dome I had built on “Flower Island” somewhere on the wild seashore of Western Canada. Clear...

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Black Lives Matter

In the aftermath of Senator Bernie Sander’s visit to Seattle on August 8, social media and the blogosphere has been abuzz with analysis of the interruption of his planned speech on Social Security and Medicare by two female Black Lives Matter activists.  First, I should mention that I was not there – I was doing acupuncture in my clinic – but immediately started reading accounts from Facebook friends who were. The chronology of events is probably familiar to most so I will not repeat them in much detail. For those needing more background, click on the links at the end of...

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Mountain Bones and Spirit – Bailey Range 2015

I set out on June 30, 2015, planning for a 5-6 day solo trip in the Bailey Range of Olympic National Park. I’ve already written a little bit about the preparations for the trip here. More good resources on planning can be found on (Barefoot) Jake Morrison’s extremely useful site – such as this article here,  and here. See also the Resources section at the end of this article. As with anything I do in life, I always try to establish a positive intention before any action, large or small, to bring benefit to other sentient beings.  How can going for a long walk in the...

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Peace and War

Seattle. Waiting for the light to change. A person is sleeping over there, on angular rocks, in the midst of a concrete wasteland. His soft heart beating life being dashed against the jagged reefs of modern civilization. My mind races with the stop and go wheels of the mechanized existence all around me. What’s in the shopping cart? Random garbage for an improvised wind break? Or? The light changes and I am rolling, the jarring morning visual fading into my rear view mirror. I glance quickly out the window as I ascend the viaduct. Royal Dutch Shell’s Polar Pioneer drill rig...

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Black Dirt and Worms, Murderers and Saints

On this, the third day of spring, the black dirt is rich with decay, fat worms wriggling in abundance. I minimize probing with the steel blade, not wishing to harm soft bellied friends ripening detritus and aerating the beds which I hope will yield food for my family’s table. Bending close to the ground, I witness the vigorous activity now emerging from winter’s darkness. Tapping seeds one by one gently from the envelope, I pause to remember internal cultivation in the infinite fields of the mind: May all beings pull the destructive roots of ignorance, anger, and greed from...

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A Fearless Heart, An Evening with Geshe Thupten Jinpa in Seattle, May 13

In the 1972 film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Franco Zeffirelli‘s adaptation of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, one particular scene beautifully portrays the wide range of emotions – from fear and shame to courage and joy, surrounding our innate instinct to act with a deep sense of compassion: Francesco has been dragged by his father before the local bishop to arbitrate in a family dispute after he tossed expensive clothing from his father’s shop out the window in an act of worldly renunciation. His father, blinded by greed for gold and material gain is weeping, not only...

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