seattle

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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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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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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Beyond the “Smart” Grid – Letting Go of Fantasies, Embracing the Sun

In the film Take Back Your Power, President Obama, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board uttered these words: “Under my plan for a “cap and trade” system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” For six years, conservative politicians have pilloried Mr. Obama for that statement while accepting millions from the Koch Brothers and their climate denial machine, pretending to be advocates for the common man. Climate warming is very real – no argument there. So what’s the clip doing here, in a film which sets out to investigate the “smart” grid? The modernization of...

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Waves on the Horizon-“Smart Meters” and You

In 2002, after living in India for two years, I returned to Seattle with my wife, ready to begin the next chapter of life. With our first child on the way, I needed a steady job. It was time to get got serious about my acupuncture career. In searching for a location to open a clinic, I was on the road often, sleeping at the homes of friends and in motels, so it seemed logical to purchase my first cell phone. I remember feeling a sense of power and prestige as my mind’s self-image vainly compared itself to media images of business executives on the go, holding a cell phone to the ear....

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Safe, Non-Spying Utility Meters in Seattle

In an earlier existence, some decades ago, my friends and I were fond of a popular slogan from yuppie culture – “whoever dies with the most toys wins”.  Although the religion of self-centered fulfillment and anthropocentric arrogance will never by itself lead to spiritual awakening or lasting happiness, there is a kernel of truth here worth exploring. Everyone dies. The hourglass of this life is quickly emptying, like a river rushing towards the sea, a candle flame burning out. In searching for a happiness and deep existential meaning transcending mere material accumulation, our spiritual...

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