My partner, Ryan, and I recently bought a boat named Sophia, which means Wisdom, and we are both very wisely deciding to spend the next few years sailing this vessel around the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Cruising these waters is something we have always wanted to do, and we decided to go now that we are in … More Sophia Means Wisdom, and it is Wise to Sail with her.
All experience is preceded by mind, Led by mind, Made by mind. Speak or act with a corrupted mind, And suffering follows As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox. All experience is preceded by mind, Led my mind, Made by mind Speak or act with a peaceful mind, And happiness follows Like … More Dhammapada, 1:1-2
Life is going fairly well at the moment. I’m so happy, in fact, that I haven’t once descended in my usual grinchy, grumpy pre-Christmas mood. Christians insisting on coercing or manipulating or guilting me and all other Americans into celebrating the holidays as THEY insist you should, believing in the same implausible theories about the … More What love does for you
I wrote these words in my journal when I was at Boudhanath, in Kathmandu: Here is the Buddha himself magnificently before me, strong, rounded, ample, powerful. They say that this place, more than any other place in all the world, is where wishes are heard and answered. What are my wishes: 1. I wish to … More The Place that Grants all Wishes
August 8, 2011 I’m still jet-lagged and consequently did not put myself to bed last night until 5 am. The dogs woke me up a few hours later. I let them lay on the bed with me but they couldn’t settle. So I’m pretty tired right now, plus slightly loopy due to the anti-histamine I … More The Decision to Come Home, Part One
Shit, that was rough. It didn’t seem so during the event. I met my ex-boyfriend for dinner at our neighborhood extra-cool restaurant, ostensibly to thank him for all the wonderful things he did for me before I got home. He stocked the fridge and pantry with all my favorite must-have items (greek no-fat yogurt, blueberries, … More Grown-up Breakups and the Green Tara
If I had known how difficult the journey was going to be, I never would have attempted it. Getting up here to this enormous mountaintop shrine to the Buddha took all my energy. I started out in the heat of mid-morning, with plenty of water and a good breakfast in my stomach, on a walk … More Shanti (Peace) Pagoda, Pokhara, Nepal
7 July 2011 I’ve been pretty sick for the past few days with a cold, an affliction that has beset many people in Pepsi-Cola. The Nepalis blame the rain. I blame the pollution, but who cares? I haven’t had much energy and my spirits have flagged. Lying around in bed, trying in vain to sleep … More Before Leaving for Pokhara
3 July 2, 2011 Yesterday I visited an important Buddhist shrine, Namo or Naya Buddha, with two other volunteers, Shannon and Darima, and a group of Hindu women from the Women’s Center. I teach these Nepali women English, and they taught me more about Nepali spirituality than any book or article I’ve read. They don’t … More Namo Buddha (Hail to the Buddha) and Nepali Women
June 15, 2011 When Brendan was six years old, his father and I separated. I was just finishing my dissertation and felt as though I had to choose between my was-band and my dream of becoming an English professor. I had supported him financially and emotionally as he went on the academic job market; had … More How did I get here? What am I doing?
I’m taking my son, Brendan, to Nepal, for two months this summer. At first he was really excited, but now he tells me that he does not quite understand why he feels so miserable about leaving the United States and going to teach English in a Buddhist monastery. He worries that he will not know … More Pittsburgh to Doha
The quotation from Schiller, “Kannst du nicht allen gefallen durch deine Tat und dein Kunstwerk, mach’ es wenigen recht; vielen gefallen ist schlimm,” loosely translated, reads “If your deed and your art do not please everyone, do it as well as you can; pleasing everyone sucks.” The painting scandalized bourgeois Viennese art viewers because it … More Naked Truth