Stories

The Battle to Save the Planet

The most important thing I did in the past month was   n o t h i n g   at all!  Doing nothing is actually quite a task. My wife, daughter and I attended a 3 day family meditation camp at Mountain Lamp Community in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. We spent a lot of time watching our breath and not much else. Our daughter had lots of kid activities with the occasional sprinkling of group mindfulness at the sounding of the bell. Reconnecting with my breath and intrinsic aliveness laid the spiritual foundation for other doings providing the bones of this month’s blog. When I...

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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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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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Surprise Mountain

Namo Lokeshvaraye! You see that all things are beyond coming and going, Yet still you strive solely for the sake of living beings – To you, my precious guru inseparable from Lord Avalokita, I offer perpetual homage, respectfully, with body, speech and mind.   –  Gyalse Tokme Zangpo                                          Heading up to the Cascade Crest on Surprise Lake trail. I left the car at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon on my annual solo wilderness journey. I do not lightly make the decision to venture alone into the wilderness, traveling in a 55 year old assembly of bone...

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Stuart Lake

After diving deep into a new book “An Electronic Silent Spring”, I was especially eager to escape the electro-smog of urban existence. Having scored a precious permit for two nights and three days in the Stuart Lake region of the Enchantments, my only concern as the date drew near remained the epic fires in Eastern Washington – the nearest a mere six miles from the Enchantments. The Leavenworth Ranger station assured me the smoke would only be a problem if the wind blew out of the northeast (unlikely), and that proved to be true as there was no smoke in the Mountaineer...

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Journey to Hope Lake

Your Own Private Cell. It had been two or three weeks since my last escape from the city. We scurry along like rats in a maze, running on our never ending treadmills, tapping at some existential lever, hopeful for our reward of sugar water – or so it sometimes seems. Where is the true meaning in life? Nature is certainly a wonderful listening laboratory to better fathom the answer to that all important question, but it was not my only reason for escaping Seattle. With my daughter on a birthday sleep over, a little quality time with my wife was overdue. I was also planning to pay short visit...

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