Thursday, November 25, 2010


It is not for me to decide what anyone else should or should not eat, I can only share with you why I choose to eat and live the way that I do.

It's Thanksgiving and I feel it is time for me to put into words my feelings towards eating turkey. Not my turkey, not your turkey but the 45 million turkeys that bejewel American dinner tables across the nation today. Glistening in the sweet succulence of gluttony and grandeur there lie a bird stuffed taut full of secrets; much like the extend-o dinner tables that get longer around holiday season, what you see is not always what you get. Not long before the light or dark meat and various preferable appendages, there was a short-lived “life” of an unhealthy and grossly unnatural animal—a turkey.

“But my turkey is 'Free-Range' 'Organic' and.....” Well, I'm sorry to tell you this but it's all bullshit. Turkeys produced for your palette are so genetically dwarfed that left to their own devices are unable to sexually reproduce and sometimes are often unable to stand on their own two dysfunctional legs. According to the USDA's regulations “access to the outdoors” merely means that the fowl can see the outside through a screen window. Industry can label their animals “organic” and still torture it! All farmed animals live in fear; they suffer and endure unimaginable cruelty and abuse.

Back to Thanksgiving. I believe in gratitude and often I actually feel it. I also believe in sacrifice; however, these turkeys did not jump onto the conveyer belt begging to be slaughtered for my sentimentality or warped sense of tradition. As far as I can see, to eat meat I must turn my head and cover my eyes and open my mouth for the sensual pleasure of the festive moment. I do not and will not take pleasures at the expense of another animals suffering. As Jonathan Safran Foer writes it: “We can't plead ignorance, only indifference.”

America was built on crime and consumerism but the celebration of Thanksgiving is about America's ability to sustain itself. We indulge in the foods that we are able to produce on this homeland—potatoes, corn, squash. Turkey, however, is unbelievably unsustainable!

“Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.”

Can you believe that?!

So not eating animal products, including eggs and dairy, is how I choose to treat the powerless and unloved animals; because I do not eat alone and I do eat by proxy, I feel the need to write these words down, vote openly and speak up with conviction! This is a choice that I have been making for over half of my life. It is undeniable that eating animals is a dubious choice on many levels; an iniquitous commonality that is not limited to ethical, nutritional and environmental consequences.

“ And more than any other food, the Thanksgiving turkey embodies the paradoxes of eating animals: what we do to a living turkey is just about as bad as anything humans have ever done to any animal in the history of the world. Yet what we do with their dead bodies can feel so powerfully good and right. The Thanksgiving turkey is the flesh of competing instincts—of remembering and forgetting.” -Jonathan Safran Foer

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The world is being run on time, by time, for time, and at no time are we free
Just to sit and enjoy even the outward forms of the Beloved's beauty.

Each drop-bubble in time is a sphere bounded, but infinite;
So fragile, yet the whole of creation is in it.

It is a mirror, never reflecting truth, but the drop-soul's desires
No matter how deep one dives in the truth-quest or how high one aspires.

Good man, bad man -- economy-tailored or king-sized --
Each gazes in his bubble-mirror self-hypnotized.

Since the blows of my will are too feeble to break my looking-glass,
At least, Beloved, let it reflect only your beloved face.

Then, though still in time, I will no longer be a fool
Under time's tyranny, but under your benign rule.

The amazing universe and this beautiful earth will vanish, leaving not a trace behind,
When your glance shatters this so-unbreakable mirror of my mind.

~Francis Babazon

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tribute to Alan Watts (8/27/10)

And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.
...But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be. ..Faith is a state of openness or trust... In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all.  
How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.
Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.

We identify in our experience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.

So the Bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing.

So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.
So what is discord at one level of your being is harmony at another level.

The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Friend, this is the only way
English version by Ivan M. Granger
Friend, this is the only way
to learn the secret way:

Ignore the paths of others,
even the saints' steep trails.

Don't follow.
Don't journey at all.

Rip the veil from your face. 

~Sachal Sarmast


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Late Night Tribute to Egon Schiele

"All beautiful and noble qualities have been united in me... I shall be the fruit which will leave eternal vitality behind even after its decay. How great must be your joy, therefore, to have given birth to me."

"Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal."

"At present, I am mainly observing the physical motion of mountains, water, trees and flowers. One is everywhere reminded of similar movements in the human body, of similar impulses of joy and suffering in plants."

"Everything is dead while it lives."

"I am so rich that I must give myself away."

"To restrict the artist is a crime. It is to murder germinating life."

~Egon Schiele

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Profound and tranquil, free from complexity,
Uncompounded luminous clarity,
Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas;
This is the depth of the mind of the Victorious Ones.
In this there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor anything that needs to be added.
It is merely the immaculate
Looking naturally at itself.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

"It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes. But a time came when none of us could use the figure without mutilating it."

"The progression of a painter's work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity.. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea.. and the idea and the observer.. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood."

"Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness."

~Marcus Rothkowitz (Mark Rothko)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Morning Tribute to Joseph Campbell 6/22/10

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."

"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive."

"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths."

"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature."

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging."

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."

"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again."

~Joseph Campbell

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Self deception often arises because you are afraid of your own intelligence and afraid you won't be able to deal properly with your life. You are unable to acknowledge your own innate wisdom. Instead, you see wisdom as some monumental thing outside of yourself. That attitude has to be overcome." -CTR, Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior

Saturday, June 05, 2010

"...For when you experience bliss, it's a sign that desire has temporarily dissolved. When you experience real clarity, it's a sign that aggression has temporarily ceased. When you experience a state of absence of thought, it's a sign that your ignorance has temporarily died. By themselves they are good experiences, but if you get attached to them, they become obstacles."


Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Look at the sun. The sun is shining. Nobody polishes the sun. The sun
just shines. Look at the moon, the sky, the world at its best.
Unfortunately, we human beings try to fit everything into
conditionality. We try to make something out of nothing. We have messed
everything up. That's our problem. We have to go back to the
...sun and the moon, to dragons, tigers, lions, garudas."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Renunciation has both sadness and joy in it: sadness because you realize the futility of your old ways, and joy because of the greater vision that begins to unfold when you are able to let go of them. This is no ordinary joy. It is a joy that gives birth to a new and profound strength, a confidence, an abiding inspiration that comes from the realization that you are not condemned to your habits, that you can indeed emerge from them, that you can change, and grow more and more free.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rest in natural great peace
This exhausted mind
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought,
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

When I walk beside her
i am the better man
when I look to leave her
I always stagger back again
once I built an ivory tower
so I could worship from above
and when I climbed down to be set free
she took me in again

there's a big
a big hard sun
beaten on the big people
in the big hard world

when she comes to greet me
she is mercy at my feet
when I see her pin her charm
she just throws it back again
once I sought an early grave
to find a better land
she just smiled and laughed at me
and took her blues back again

there's a big
a big hard sun
beaten on the big people
in the big hard world

when I go to cross that river
she is comfort by my side
when I try to understand
she just opens up her eyes

once I stood to lose her
when I saw what I had done
bound down and flew away the hours
of her garden and her sun
so I tried to warn her
I'll turn to see her weep
40 days and 40 nights
and it's still coming down on me

there's a big
a big hard sun
beaten on the big people
in the big hard world

-Eddie Vedder

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fall in! Fall in!

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives --
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left --
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one's foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird's pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened

in the night

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,

and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what's coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn't ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean's edge.

I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

~Mary Oliver

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The obliteration of your isolation
the complete explosion
of you fondest notion
This disintegration
is your elevation
It's a grand illusion, it's a grand illusion

You're crying,you're trying so hard now
You'll be laughing
a hundred thousand years
There is only one day
and tonight is the night
It's a grand illusion

The devastation of your separation,
the disillusion of
your constitution,
It's exhilaration,it's your liberation
It's a grand illusion,it's a grand illusion

You're crying,you're trying so hard now
You'll be laughing a hundred
thousand years
There is only one day
and tonight is the night
It's a grand illusion

-Joan Osborne, from her album Righteous Love

Monday, March 01, 2010

O sweet everlasting Voices, be still;
Go to the guards of the heavenly fold
And bid them wander obeying your will,
Flame under flame, till Time be no more;
Have you not heard that our hearts are old,
That you call in birds, in wind on the hill,
In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore?
O sweet everlasting Voices, be still.

-W B Yeats

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

November 7, 1997
"New York City"

"I would like to throw caution into the wind and experience life fully in each moment. No longer postponing life, allowing for all the possibilities...Letting desire have its satisfaction. Seeing the true nature of wanting and inquiring deeply into the intention of each action. I am uncovering that which has been lying beneath the surface of awareness and beginning to see more clearly in the light of conscious living and the investigation of the deathless."

Noah Levine; Dharma Punx: A memoir

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seeing a man who was tilling the earth,
a fool, unable to control himself, cried out,
"Why are you ruining this soil?"
"Fool," said the man, "leave me alone:
try to recognize the difference
between tending the soil and wasting it.
How will this soil become a rose garden
until it is disturbed and overturned?"


Sunday, February 07, 2010

To know Tao
and still the mind.
Knowledge comes with perseverance.

The Way is neither full nor empty;
a modest and quiet nature understands this.
The empty vessel, the uncarved block;
nothing is more mysterious.

When enlightenment arrives
don't talk too much about it;
just live it in your own way.
With humility and depth, rewards come naturally.

The fragrance of blossoms soon passes;
the ripeness of fruit is gone in a twinkling.
Our time in this world is so short,
better to avoid regret:
Miss no opportunity to savor the ineffable.

Like a golden beacon signaling on a moonless night,
Tao guides our passage through this transitory realm.
In moments of darkness and pain
remember all is cyclical.
Sit quietly behind your wooden door:
Spring will come again.

~Loy Ching-Yuen

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

~sogyal rinpoche~

A wave in the sea, seen in one way, seems to have a distinct identity, an end and a beginning, a birth and a death. Seen in another way, the wave itself doesn't really exist but is just the behavior of water, "empty" of any separate identity but "full" of water. So when you really think about the wave, you come to realize that it is something that has been made temporarily possible by wind and water, and is dependent on a set of constantly changing circumstances. You also realize that every wave is related to every other wave.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way."
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Walt Whitman

Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-washed babe, and am not contained between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and everyone good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of the earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)
Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweetheart and the old maid, for me mothers and the mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.
Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away.