Fire & Ice – Responding with Wisdom to Climate Change

A few nights ago, in a dream, as I was sitting at the controls of a wide body jet, holding the steering yoke, when I suddenly noticed that we were losing altitude and with a sense of alarm, saw the ground approaching quickly. I pulled back on the controls in an attempt to climb. Nothing, a crash seemed imminent. I asked my co-pilot for guidance and he instructed me to turn on the thrusters, so I did. Problem solved. “If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry. And if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.”          HH the 14th Dalai Lama About a dozen of my...

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Light and Shadow – Fukushima Three Year Anniversary Reflections

March 11, 2014. I am standing on the sidewalk in the shadow of a skyscraper outside the Japanese Consulate in downtown Seattle on a beautiful sunny day, exactly three years after the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. “Good afternoon sir, would you like to learn more about Fukushima?” I extend my arm in a posture conveying energy, friendliness, and openness. My hand holds a flyer with health information regarding the hazards of nuclear radiation, news resources, as well as suggestions for citizen action. A few muscles twitch in...

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Fukushima and the Warriors of the Rainbow

LIFE on Earth began in the ocean depths almost four billion years ago.  The earth’s surface, blasted with cosmic radiation from the sun and lacking an atmosphere, was hostile to life, but the blue black depths of the sea provided the necessary conditions for a protective womb to nurture our microbial ancestors. Images of the fuel transfer operation at Fukushima, conducted underwater in what is essentially an oversized swimming pool, remind me of the first womb of Mother Earth – the oceans.  Now is the time when humanity must unite to preserve this oasis of life, floating in infinite black...

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Journey to the Far Shore

It was twilight or maybe midnight. There was no sense of time. Perhaps I was only watching a movie. My mind was riveted by the impending alignment of cosmic forces – two stars in the heavens orbiting closer to a perfect eclipse. In a few moments, a passageway to immortality would open. I called my wife and two children so they could witness and enter the door to enlightenment. But….wait a minute….I only have one child. How could this be? Ah – but so-called ‘normal’ reality is just a dream, and sometimes our dream-time is the higher truth. I do not see the second child in my...

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Chinese Poetry

Since men still make war Let me lie down and sing with the grasses  Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827)  This week was emotionally painful and stressful for many people, beginning as it did with the acquittal of George Zimmerman by an all white jury in the shooting of Trayvon Martin – a young black male armed with a pack of Skittles and perhaps fragments of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a world where people are not judged by the color of their skin. That dream was cut brutally short, but rather than allow our anger to target a perpetrator acting out an institutionalized role, I invite you...

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Flying Yaks and Other Versions of Reality

2007. Yes-terday, I was at my glorious work place (yes I love my work), CommuniChi, fixing a chair and as I stood up, suddenly my trick knee went out. “That’s the way the meniscus cookie crumbles”, I later remarked to a friend in a moment of lightness. Still, the habit of self pity is deep and my wife had to remind me – “Maybe it’s a good thing.” Perhaps you’ve heard the Tibetan story about the nomad boy who finds a wild horse. “Oh how lucky” everyone says, except for the wise elder. “We’ll see” he says, calmly...

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