Sunday, July 30, 2006


Until Blogathon 2007
Thank you again.
And Good Night.

. . . back to the regularly scheduled programing.


You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

"The Home Stretch"

As Blogathon is winding down, and I am more awake than I was at this time yesterday, so why is it that I did this, why did I sacrifice a day to blog for The Tibetan Nuns Project? What, because I am Buddhist and I feel an obligation to help take care of the monastic community? That seems very reasonable to me, but that is not the reason why, but it is in there. I chose to help because I could help, because I could do something to help others. I believe in something so strongly and I am doing something about it, and letting others know as well.

Ignorance is not bliss, and if we as a human species keep turning our backs on each other and every other living creature, then we as a planet are doomed to self-destruction.

There is room to change.
Every little bit helps.


Dhammapada::Attavagga [Self]


If you'd mold yourself
the way you teach others,
then, well-trained,
go ahead & tame —
     for, as they say,
what's hard to tame is you


The fairly usual morning

My stepfather has already gotten up for work. If I would not wake everyone else I would go get the Sunday paper. I had some breakfast, cereal, and in a bit I am going to have some coffee with an Aleve. All the kitties have finally simmered down. They did not know what to do since I was up with them. They were taking and running and wrestling, along with some hissing from Miss Squeaky. There is this huge squirrel that has been eating out by the bird feeder. I think he is looking for me as he has stopped and is now looking toward the house -- I am sure he is not though.


Top 5 Things from 43 Things:
1) stop procrastinating
2) return to regular Buddhist practice
3) re-design my website
4) design t-shirts
5) Learn Japanese

Seems fairly reasonable to me.

Good Morning, again

Is it time for work?

It is finally starting to get light out again. I still cannot believe that I am in as good a shape as I am in, yet this is still not a great shape to be in. I do not even know why I am excited that the sun is "rising" (I know it is I that is moving on the rock; the speck in space), since I normally get up at this time for work. The only obvious difference is it has been a really long time since I have slept.


I am a nut for languages. I really do not know why. The 2 languages that I have been studying for a while are rarely spoken, yet there is a lot of written material. I am talking about Latin and Koine Greek (which is the Greek around/during the period when the New Testament was written). I am also interested in Pali, what many Buddhist suttas are written in. I am teaching myself Japanese. When I was a kid I tried to teach myself Chinese.


from "Interiors"
{current project}



A Favourite Place

Kodak 400VC 120 film


Sitting with an empty head.
Looking at shadows in a box.
Time might as well be standing still.
But it is not.
The lump of rock is turning to warm this side again.


Thursday afternoon I hear a thud, that all too familiar thud of a bird hitting the window. I was not as loud as I have heard them hit. I go to the window and look. Sure enough a bird hit the screen and there it lay. I run outside to see if it is ok, as most just knock the wind out of themselves. I got to its side as it closed its eyes. Baby 2, as I had named it not a couple of hours previous, dies. It was a cardinal and its parents were bringing it to the feeder with them. I immediately felt terrible, saddened that their baby died and they were most likely watching. I picked the baby up and laid it under a pine tree near the edge of the forest. I thought how sad the parents must have felt, but I suppose this is just me attributing human qualities to the birds. This made me think of how short life is, and how quickly it can be over. The parents worked hard to keep their baby alive, and now it was done. There was nothing they could have done to prevent this accident, yet they were able to raise their baby, see it fly, and be with it for the time they had.

Movie Dilemma

I am the only human now awake in my house, and I think there is only 1 cat up and about, ok 2. I think I am going to watch either Jurassic Park 2 (1997) [whatever the name is] or Akira (1988), but then again Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) is on. I really like how the beginning was filmed.

Right now I think TV is what is going to keep me awake, but I really want to read -- reading is bad right now.






Boiling water,
running cats,
2 TVs on different channels,
asymmetry horrors.

Yet there was exploding vampires,
3 Heathers in 1989,
and it is only 12:36am.

Crisis Averted

Tri-colour noodle salad w/ vegan mayo & light Italian dressing.
Stomach covered.

Heathers (1989)
TV covered.

The world continues to spin.
(Right, like hunger and bad TV would stop the rotation of the planet.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Fridge call-ith

Parts of 3 movies later, the debate shifts to what to eat.

The stomach growl-ith.

Oh, the horror of a house with no salsa and saddened nacho chips.

I will think of something, but all options seem blah.


The dark of night,
heavy lids,
Jerry Springer.

Cats staring into the dark,
watching leaves blow,
maybe staring at their own reflection,
wonder who the other cat is.


"Reality is material as well as spiritual. The natural world is comprehended by categories which allow the human mind to construct a model of matter and its mechanism. But for comprehending the historical world of human culture, other categories are required which allow to understand the stuggle which is going on in man's mind. Man, formed by his environment under the spell of the past, is looking towards the future, trying to be creative, "forming", and free. This contradiction of past and future, or the stuggle between environment and individual, takes place in man's mind and heart. It takes place here and now. This "Now" is the "one single present" in which past and future oppose and meet each other."

~ Robert Schinzinger [Trans. of Nishida, ibid.@2:40pm]


The veteran, the legend -- Mr. Socks. Once weighing in at 18(+) lbs. the old man has slimed down, but not slowed down, well not too much. He wakes me up in the morning whether I have to get up or not, and I am talking about around 5:40-6:20am.

Still going, and going

Half way through and have extra coffee waiting. I am a bit tired as I did not sleep well last night. Figures, of all nights not to sleep well. Oh well, I will make it one way or another. I am just amazed I have not forgotten or not been on time, because once I get started on something else there is a good chance that time flies by without me even knowing.


Figure Modeling

Spring Semster 2005
Live model
Plasticine Clay
Mold for a plaster relief

Bunny Rabbit

There is a bunny eating under the bird feeder much like these bunnies -- maybe the next generation. It is funny, I got up to get my coffee and the bunny did not miss a munching beat. The birds make such a mess with the seed that some of it starts to grow -- it is a bunny buffet.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail [Papilio glaucus]



T-max 120 film, scanned

Click, click. There is not much on yet.

Storm is over, for now. Dinner has been eaten. I surfed though all the channels, twice. Nothing caught my attention for more than a few minutes. There was not any good anime on until later. I managed to watch 2 videos on Fuse that were pretty good; Angels and Airwaves and Three Days Grace. I was amazed that there is still a channel that plays music videos. I am going to watch some of The Blob (1988), then pop in a movie. I would read, but then I will fall asleep.

The Metta Sutra [Loving Kindness]

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and safety,
May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short, or small
The seen and unseen,
Those living near or far away,
Those born to be born,
May all beings be at ease.

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child; Her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness all over the entire world
Spreading upward the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outward and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill will.
Whether standing or walking; seated or laying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.



House Finch {F} [Carpodacus mexicanus]

She flew into the window and knocked the wind out of herself. I went outside to see if she was going to be ok. I held her until she could stand on her own, then put her into this pine tree (the tree we call Charlie Brown). I checked on her a few times, the she flew away. I saw her a day or so later; her feathers were still a bit ruffled. Now I cannot tell if she still stops at the feeder or not, but I have a feeling she does.

Storm is Brewing

The sky darkens,
wind picks up,
birds scatter,
little critters take cover,
all anticipating the rain,
dog barks,
people go indoors



The Birds

I had just stepped out onto the porch to see the mondo bizzaro bird feeder bustling with birds. There must of been 10+ birds of varying species, colours, and sizes. They all coexisted without a problem. They ate, looked at each other, and even moved around to let other birds land.

Humans can learn a lot from the birds.


Little Miss Squeaky thinks she is the mama of us all. While she is sleeping now, she was in rare form running around then sunning herself in the porch. She will let you know when she wants to be petted, but for the most part you can pet her anytime; she may look at you and say, "what do you think you are doing?" She also has a cleaning issue, meaning she has to make sure you are clean, cat or human, it matters not. She also loves to sleep under the covers right next to you; it does not matter if she wakes you up at 3am so you will lift the covers for her.

Welcome Guest

Ruby-throated Hummingbird {F} [Archilochus colubris]

from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1856-8)

35. Massaki and the Suijin Grove by the Sumida River
by Ando Hiroshige {professional name}
[歌川広重 Utagawa Hiroshige]

The Unity of Opposites

"Touching eternity in a moment of time, the Now, means nothing else than this: that the moment, in becoming a "true" moment, becomes one of the individual many, which is to say, the moment of the eternal present which is the unity of opposites. Seen from the other side, this means nothing else than that time is constituted as the self-determination of the eternal now."

~ Kitaro Nishida [西田 幾多郎 Nishida Kitarō]

(Intelligibility and the Philosophy of Nothingness: Three Philosophical Essays. Trans. Robert Schinzinger. Honolulu: East-West Press, 1958.)

Rice Dream

Another tasty treat for those oh so hot days -- vegan style.

Mint Carob Chip
Ingredients: Filtered Water, Brown Rice (Partially Milled), Carob Chips (Whole Grain Malted Barley and Corn, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Carob, Soy Lecithin), Expeller Pressed Oleic Safflower Oil, Carob, Carob Bean and Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Sea Salt, Natural Peppermint Flavor.

Serving Size 1/2 cup (92g). Calories 170. Fat Cal. 70. Total Fat 8g. Sat. Fat 2g. Cholesterol 0mg. Sodium 95mg. Total Carb. 26g. Dietary Fiber 1g. Sugars 18g. Protein 1g. Vitamin A 2%. Vitamin C2%. Calcium 2%. Iron 4%.

Note: The packaging has changed.


On Tibet

* Size: 2.5 million kilometers2
* Capital: Lhasa
* Population: 6 million Tibetans and an undetermined number of Chinese, most of whom are in Kham and Amdo
* Religion: Tibetan Buddhism is practiced by 99% of the Tibetan Population
* Language: Tibetan (of the Tibeto-Burmese language family). The official language is Chinese after Chinese occupation in 1959.
* Staple Food: Tsampa (roasted barley flour)
* National Drink: Salted butter tea
* Typical Animals: Wild yak, Bharal (blue) sheep, Musk deer, Tibetan antelope, Tibetan gazelle, Kyang (wild ass), Pica
* Typical Birds: Black necked crane, Lammergeier, Great crested grebe, Bar headed goose, Ruddy shel duck, Ibis-bill.
* Major Environmental Problems: Rampant deforestation in eastern Tibet; desertification, poaching of large mammals
* Average Altitude: 14,000 Feet
* Highest Mountain: Chomo Langma (Mt. Everest) 29,028 ft
* Average Temperature: July 58º F; January 24º F
* Mineral Deposits: Borax, uranium, iron, chromite, gold
* Major Rivers: Mekong, Yangtse, Salween, Tsangpo, Yellow, Indus, Karnali
* Economy: Tibetans: predominantly in agriculture and animal husbandry. Chinese: predominantly in government, commerce and the service sector
* Provinces: U-Tsang (Central Tibet) Amdo (N.E. Tibet), Kham (S.E. Tibet)
* Bordering Countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China
* National Flag: Snow lions with red and blue rays. Outlawed in Tibet
* Political and Religious Leader: The 14th Dalai Lama. In exile in Dharamsala, India
* Government: Communist (after Chinese occupation in 1959)
* Relationship with the People's Republic of China: Colonial
* Legal Status: Occupied


Lunch Haiku

wondrous noodle
swimming around in the bowl
warming my insides


Tasty ramen noodles in veggie broth.


This photograph is from 2002, Rocky is a few months old, and still living outside with his sister (who also lives here, but both never go outside anymore).

Now he is 4 and is 12 lbs., or more, and living the spoiled life. All morning he has been trying to sit with me, but I kept moving around and did not stay seated for long. He misses me when I am at work and/or when I was at school, since he has to sit with me at least once a day. So when I just sat down now he followed and sat at he base of the chair looking up at me with those sad eyes. I said "come on" and no sooner did he hurl himself on my lap, did the circling dance, then threw himself down -- purring. He likes to help type, or prevent me from typing.

What can I say, I am a sucker for Kitty Cuteness, even if he is a Bubba.

The Bill

I have never been so exited to receive a bill in the mail. I got my tuition bill for UB [SUNY@Buffalo] and was glad to see my class listed on the bottom. You see I had to register on the phone and did not get a hardcopy of my schedule. I had to get my UB ID card in order to login to MyUB; the site that has everything you need as a student. The same day I pick up my ID card is the same day the bill arrives. I logged in and everything is the way it is supposed to be -- what a difference to Buffalo State College.

Only after all that excitement did I look at how much the bill is for. :: cringing :: It is not as bad as it could be. I mean after all I am a graduate student, so no bill should shock me.


My niece tuned 1 on July 1st. She started walking about 2 weeks after, and as of the other day, is now running. She really cracks me up. She loves books, cats and to be upside down. She tries to talk to you, and I have heard when she is thirsty she walks up to the fridge and tries to open it.

This photograph is from about half way through the "cake time." She ended up sitting on some, but we can only figure it got there when she was lifted from the chair, yet somehow I doubt it.

Sponsors and Sponsoring

I want to take a moment to thank all those who have sponsored me.

Thank You!

This whole event is inspiring. People from all over coming together to help others. Way to go! I decided that upon completion of Blogathon 2006 I am going to sponsor a Nun for a year, and I am sure it will continue after this year. Anyone interested in knowing about who I sponsor should comment with an email or check back in a few weeks when the sponsorship package arrives. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time, maybe years, and I have always said later. This time there is no excuse, and I should not have made excuses before.

His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama

"His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6th, 1935, in a small village called Taktser in north eastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva (Enlightened Being) of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Lhamo Dhondrub was, as Dalai Lama, renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso - Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshe Norbu, the Wishfulfilling Gem or simply Kundun - The Presence.

The enthronement ceremony took place on February 22nd, 1940, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

Following the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1949-50, the Dalai Lama attempted peaceful co-existence with the Chinese leadership for nine long years. In the absence of a positive response from Beijing, the Dalai Lama was forced to leave Lhasa on the night of March 17th, 1959, to seek asylum in India. Today, the Dalai Lama leads the Tibetan Government-in-Exile from Dharamsala, its temporary headquarters in northern India." source

Visit to the USA

Buffalo, New York, September 18 - 20:
His Holiness will visit State University of New York at Buffalo. While at the University His Holiness will give a public talk, participate in an interfaith service and inaugurate the Tibetan Law Conference.

The Symbolism of the Tibetan National Flag

In the centre stands a magnificent thickly snow clad mountain, which represents the great nation of Tibet, widely known as the Land Surrounded by Snow Mountains.

Across the dark blue sky six red bands spread representing the original ancestors of the Tibetan people: the six tribes called Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra which in turn gave the [twelve] descendants. The combination of six red bands (for the tribes) and six dark blue bands for the sky represents the incessant enactment of the virtuous deeds of protection of the spiritual teachings and secular life by the black and red guardian protector deities with which Tibet has had connection for a very long time.

At the tip of the snow mountain, the sun with its rays brilliantly shining in all directions represents the equal enjoyment of freedom, spiritual and material happiness and prosperity by all beings in the land of Tibet.

On the slopes of the mountain there proudly stand a pair of snow lions blazing with the manes of fearlessness, which represent the country's victorious accomplishment of a unified spiritual and secular life.

The three-sided yellow border represents the flourishing of the Buddha's teachings. The side without a border represents Tibet's openness to non-Buddhist thought.

The beautiful and radiant three coloured jewel held aloft represents the ever-present reverence respectfully held by the Tibetan people towards the Three Supreme Jewels (the Buddhist objects of refuge: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).

The two coloured swirling jewel held between the two lions represents the peoples' guarding and cherishing the self discipline of correct ethical behaviour, principally represented by the practices of the ten exalted virtues and the 16 humane modes of conduct.


Good Morning

I will start off Blogathon 2006 with a blessing for compassion; the mantra of Chenrezig (in its Tibetan form).

Om Mani Peme Hung (- or - Om Mani Padme Hum)

Gen Rinpoche, in his commentary on the Meaning of said:

"The mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful,
because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say
the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the
practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics,
and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and
patience. Pad, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.

So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?" source


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blogathon 2006

I will be blogging for the Tibetan Nuns Project during the 24 hour Blogathon 2006 on July 29 starting at 9:00am EST. Any amount that you would like to contribute will be greatly appreciated. Donations go toward the sponsoring of a Nun's medical, education and basis living expenses, as well as completing the building of Dolma Ling or towards building a new home for the nuns at Shugsep.

    "In 1987 the Tibetan Nuns Project was founded to provide education and humanitarian aid to refugee nuns from Tibet and the Himalayan regions of India."

Sponsor Me!

Thank you.