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Friday, April 19, 2013


There is a deep sadness in my heart in learning that the young men who perpetrated Monday's bombing are from Chechnya. I've usually sympathized with the Chechen struggle but am perplexed at why they would take it to the U.S. That I know of, this is one of the few areas where we haven't had much if any, involvement.

Of course, I'm presuming these two brothers wanted to make a statement. It could be that they were simply criminal thugs out to cause damage from their own hellbound psyches. That said, this evokes profound pity in my heart.

We're in our houses under police orders. The sirens continue outside and I'll check Facebook periodically, but I think I'll make today a day of retreat, meditation and reflection. I feel that all will be well, in the end, but in the meantime, I hope that people are consoling one another and not fanning the fires of fear or anger. "Hatred begets hatred and is not overcome by more hatred; but only by love." This is a rough paraphrase from the first chapter of the Dhammapada. It's something to keep in mind; a good way to train one's thoughts.

Between the helicopters passing over,
The sirens continuing to cry,
I hear birds chirping and singing.

In nature, birdsong is a cry of alarm or hunger. We hear it as music, as happiness.
In our world, a glass of water is just a glass of water; we take a shower and it's merely water and soap cleaning the body.
In the higher realms, a glass of water is anointment and offering; a shower is purification of mind and karma.

The rain of wisdom and compassion falls on all of us. May all beings have happiness. May all beings be free of suffering.

For those of you overseas or in other parts of the country, you can get a better picture of what we have going on here from NPR:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


After yesterday's events, what sticks with me was the selfless response of strangers as well as first responders. This puts a lie to the idea that we are all driven by anger, hatred and self-interest and therefore is the most appropriate answer to the person or persons who perpetrated this awful deed.


I believe it's in "The Dhammapada" that Gotama the Buddha states that hatred isn't overcome by more hatred but by love. In Vipassana meditation, it's characteristic to end the sitting with a few minutes of metta bhavana meditation, wishing all beings to be happy, equanimous and free from suffering. It is also the point of the four immeasurables in Mahayana Buddhism that all beings have happiness, are free from suffering, imbued with joy that has no limits and abide in equanimity.


This is where the basis of my thinking lies today; in the innate goodwill and compassion that I've seen expressed, the truest manifestation of what humanity is.


Lastly, Robert Fripp has what I consider one of the finest articulations of how to navigate through events like yesterday's:


"In strange and uncertain times - such as those we are living in - sometimes a reasonable person might despair. But hope is unreasonable and love is greater even than this."