Grasshopper

Grasshopper - click through to view.I stumbled upon Grasshopper tonight.  It’s a short rotoscoped film by the folks who did the film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly.  Sometimes I’m a bit slow to get to these things – it was filmed in 2003, and I’d even seen it mentioned over at the blog at Shambhala Sunspace.

In Grasshopper, park-bench philosopher AJ Vadehra expounds on astrology and more productive avenues of contemplation.  Done all in grey-green, this animated but otherwise unedited interview is a good example of what happens when you approach the right stranger with a camera. Grasshopper premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and has since played in many other festivals worldwide.

Mr. Vadehra has a lot to say in this 14 minute film.  It’s well worth a listen, in my opinion.

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“Relief for Victims of Typhoon Morakot: Over ten thousand Tzu Chi volunteers mobilize”

Please consider helping the Tzu Chi Foundation out.  There’s an IReport at CNN about their help so far.

disaster

Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies at 88

This doesn’t come as a great shock, but I’d like to note Mrs. Shriver’s passing – she was an amazing, compassionate woman.

During my teen years, I volunteered often with the Special Olympics – my first job was Hugger – and it was a fantastic job. ^_^  I miss it and look forward to volunteering again at some point, when we are closer to events.  Please consider getting involved – it’s a total joy!

(Note – today the Special Olympics link forwards to Mrs. Shriver’s foundation site.)

I’m not surprised, but…

…this is unfortunate.

Critters (Long one, sorry!)

American RoachI was delighted to find Gabriel Cohen‘s article “Night of the Cockroach” on Shambhala Sun‘s website.  It appeared in the July 2009 issue, but as magazines are a luxury purchase at the moment, I only stumbled upon it a few days ago.  It’s a quick read, and I recommend it.  If you want to read it with “ambiance” – read, cockroach photos all over the page – check out Cohen’s .pdf of the original article on his website.

Cockroaches and other small critters have definitely played their part in the daily Practice of my life, and it’s good to bump into other people thinking about the potential struggle they provide.

Let me tell you a little bit about my house, and I’ll explain what I mean. Continue reading

On Death…

When ordinary people die they are out of control. Because they have not trained themselves during their life, they are overwhelmed by the experience of death and bewildered as their bodily elements go out of balance and cease to function harmoniously.

~ Lama Thubten Yeshe

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This quote inspired such an amazing moment of awareness and compassion in me.  On a lot of levels, I already knew what the Venerable Lama Yeshe said, but it was good to read and think on this separately.   (Especially as, one of these days, as soon as I can, I want to get involved in hopsice work.  It’s a place I genuinely feel I could help.  And it sort of “runs in the family.”)

Lyndon Harris and his Path to Forgiveness

From the Christian Science Monitor: "People Making a Difference: Lyndon Harris"(no copyright infringement intended)

I found an interesting and inspiring article over at The Christian Science Monitor‘s site detailing Reverend Lyndon Harris’ struggles with forgiveness in the wake of 9/11.

Finally, Harris says, he could hear these words attributed to Nelson Mandela: “Not to forgive is like drinking a glass of poison and waiting for your enemies to die.” Harris admits he drank deeply of that poison – mostly, he says, “because it tasted so good.”

Rev. Harris met Alexandra Asseily who had:

begun a movement to plant a Garden of Forgiveness in her beloved Lebanon after its civil war, which claimed more than 300,000 lives. The greatest gift to one’s children, Ms. Asseily teaches, is to become a better ancestor. And that, she says, is done through forgiveness.

I’ll save the rest of the story for the article, but I will say that since then Reverend Harris has become involved in a movement to plant a Garden of Forgiveness in New York City and even more abroad (in Rwanda, for instance).

In researching this blog entry I found a film called The Power of Forgiveness, which features Ms. Asseily and others working for forgiveness in the world.  I’m sorry to say I missed it’s showing on PBS in 2008.  Hopefully I’ll get to see it soon.  ^_^  In the meantime there are some interesting resources on the film’s site, including outreach tools and forgiveness resources.