Via Danny Fisher: Other Buddhist Organziations Join Tzu Chi Foundation in Contributing to Typhoon Morakot Relief Efforts

Rev. Danny Fisher has a new summary on the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot, with links to more information.  Check it out.

Buddhist aid organizations mentioned:

— Master Cheng Yen’s Tzu Chi Foundation

— The late Master Sheng-yen’s Dharma Drum Mountain

— Master Hsing Yun’s Fo Guang Shan


— Master Wei Chueh’s Chung Tai Shan.


The Metta Sutta – Upaya Zen Center


Thanks to the digitalZENDO for pointing this out, and to the Upaya Zen Center for sharing this.

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.)

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


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.”)

“For the love of wildlife”

Thought I’d share the leading article in our local paper last weekend:

For the love of wildlife

The Walton Sun

Walton County Sheriff’s deputies rescue and revive raccoon.

Sgt. Donald Savage has been with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for 5.5 years, but he had never been dispatched on a raccoon rescue mission before last Sunday.

Robine Bascom lives in Gulfview Heights. About 8 a.m. Sunday, she discovered a raccoon’s head sticking out of a hole in a large dumpster at a construction site across the street.

The raccoon was still alive, but its entire body was submerged in water except for its head, which it had managed to stick out of the small hole.

Bascom surmises it had probably jumped into the water-filled dumpster during the night and couldn’t get back out. After swimming for maybe most of the night to keep its head above water, the poor critter became tired and was about to drown. It stuck its head through the small opening in order to breathe.

“It was obvious he was suffering,” said Bascom.

Bascom called Walton County Sheriff’s Department and asked for help to save the critter.

Deputies Lloyd Skipper and Michael Townsend were dispatched to the site and joined by Savage.

Skipper put a rope around the raccoon’s body and pulled while Townsend and Savage pushed on its head with a board.

“He growled and took a couple of chunks out of the board while we were pushing, but we had to get him out or he was going to die stuck like that,” said Savage. “He was probably exhausted and eventually passed out, which helped us to free him.”

When Skipper succeeded in pulling the raccoon free, it flopped lifelessly to the ground.

“He was pretty much gone when we got him out,” said Savage.

Skipper began pushing on the raccoon’s chest with his foot in an attempt at cardiac compression. After about 15 minutes, it finally began to breathe, then moved and finally set up and ran off into the woods.

Bascom saw the revived raccoon later on that evening at her garbage can, looking no worse for his misadventure.

“That was a first call for any of us for a raccoon,” said Savage. “I’ve had calls for snakes and all sorts of critters to get them out of people’s houses, but never to save a raccoon.”


If this embed doesn’t work, and you’ve yet to see Susan Boyle‘s performance (it went viral this weekend on the ‘net) – please click here and watch this all the way through:  YouTube – Susan Boyle – Singer – Britains Got Talent 2009.  (You could also click on the image above to get to it.)  I think you’ll be glad you did.

From from chapter 22, “The Four Immeasurable Minds,” of Thich Nhat Hanh‘s The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching:

The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, nonattachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go.  Upa means “over,” and iksh means “to look.”  You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other.  If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love.  People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent.  If you have more than one child, they are all your children.  Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love.  You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.

Upeksha has the mark called samatajñana, “the wisdom of equality,” the ability to see everyone as equal, not discriminating between ourselves and others.