It can only be what it is...

Monday, March 28, 2011

buddhist monk - self immolation-Not for the faint of heart

I have seen some footage of this before but this is truly the most close up that I have ever seen. It leaves me speechless to say the least. Not for the faint of heart

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Being Vegetarian- is it necessary for one's practice ?

Every now and again this question pops up. A while back I had posted it as a question on an online Zen Forum and was amazed at the ferocity of the replies and statements from people.
It left me with the concrete impression that you can't mess with what people eat.
Defensive doesn't begin to describe people's attitude to their food.

I admit I have a hard time understanding the concept of karma being removed if you are the consumer of meat but not the one who killed, butchered or cooked the meat.

All tremble at violence;
Life is dear for all,
Seeing others as being like yourself,
Do not kill or cause others to kill
Dhammapada Verse 130

Wouldn't one be guilty by association as it were ?
Recently I read that the Dalai Lama eats meat that his doctor had prescribed to him for health reasons.

I can understand I guess, that, in Tibet the climate is not particularly good for farming, and the lack of vegetation pretty much means the populace has to consume Yak or some other meat source for survival.

So I'll ask the question here, if you are Buddhist should you refrain from eating meat ? Does it break precepts ? What do people think about this ?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The day things changed,

Siblings have their ups and downs. Of that there is no question. My oldest daughter was the most overprotective big sister in the universe when my youngest was born. It was funny to see, she would practically tear apart a doctor or nurse approaching her sister. Then came a day of reckoning as it were.

My youngest had caught a nasty virus which caused a pneumonia that forced her lungs to fill up with fluid . A rush trip to the emergency proved the right thing to do as she was starting to have real trouble breathing by the time we got there. Despite everyone's best efforts within a few short hours her lungs were collapsing. Intubation was the only resort -and once intubated and heavily medicated into a medical coma, this state lasted over 20 days.

My oldest was in kindergarten and as my wife and I tried to have a semblance of normalcy for her , we took shifts in staying at the hospital and staying at home and getting my oldest off to school. When we figured out that we were in this for the much longer duration we decided that our oldest needed to visit and see her sister, despite all the tubes, IV drips central lines etc.
One of the nurses suggested that they take a polaroid so that we could explain everything to her first so that it's not a shock when she gets to the hospital. They did and we brought it home and explained everything.
So far so good, our oldest stoically took in all the info and seemed to process it quite well. That is until she asked if she could take the picture to school and show her teacher - she had explained this to her teacher and like we did with her she was eager to share with her teacher her newfound knowledge.
This is when the first shift occured, another child in the class looked at the photo and quite matter of factly said "She looks like she's dead, is she dead"

From that point on my oldest slowly distanced herself from her sister. Even when things got better, her sister recovered and things went forward fairly normal. (As far as normal can be!)
For a while after that incident, everytime my oldest heard an ambulance, she thought it was for her sister.
 I think the distance was a method she used to protect herself.
Not long after our youngest's stay in the ICU , extended family of ours had a child that had died due to complications and Cerebral Palsy that not only further reinforced the fragility of life but for her the distance she must have felt necessary to protect herself from those feelings.
Fast forward a few years slowly we might be returning to that relationship that they should have had. I hope for her that she does.
My youngest has a gift to give , that gift is love, no strings, no ego , just love.
How can you say no, even if it is ephemeral ?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Self-Doubt- The Ambition Assassin

Sometimes we are all a slave to thinking in the past. Try as we might it's pull is deep.
In the present moment we are all capable,
The past is not who we are, and,
it does not define what we can create in the now.
Just because something hasn't happened in the past , is all the more reason to make it happen in the now.
Throw off the shackles of the past, cease to be a slave of the past.
Live Now !

"Breathing in , I calm my body
Breathing out, I smile"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just Breathe

This has been one hell of a week-end. All the news out of Japan is not good to be sure.
I had thought that the nuclear fears of the eighties had passed. Guess that was naive of me in hindsight.
In all of this need to remind myself to "just breathe". James Ure over at  The Buddhist Blog reminded me of this today.
On a personal note I have started to get migraines. I think they are food related, and that something that I am eating is triggering them. Anyone have any ideas on what could be a trigger and how to treat it ?( Aside from pharmaceuticals)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The R word is starting to really annoy me

I have a daughter with special needs. She has Angelman Syndrome, long story short, a chromosonal micro-deletion of chromosone 15. Anyway she has epilepsy, and her motor skills and are behind, and the epilepsy and the syndrome have left her with an intellectual disability as well.

My beef of late is the current acceptability of the word retard in every day common vocabulary. I am not so sure how and when it became socially acceptable for a large portion of society to denigrate and belittle people with the use of this word.
My older daughter's friends use it all the time, example,- Bieber is retarded, or Charlie Sheen on Piers Morgan the other night used it as well.

OK, Charlie Sheen may not be the best example to draw on but I think you can get my point.

How does this happen,

I would like to think that socially we have come a long way from the all the other racial and gender orientated slurs for the most part and yet the word retard is constantly being bantied about.

My daughter understands, she knows when she is being laughed at and so can the multitudes of others that have an intellectual disability she just can't tell someone to back off -
That's become my job.

The passenger

I have been thinking a lot lately about driving and being the passenger. For a long time I really wanted to be the driver, not just my car but in life.
Push, drive goals strive , make things happen. It was my motto.
Didn't work.
Lately I want to be the passenger, watch things happen, as they do ,
Whether I jump up and down or not.
Things change, sometimes better , sometimes not.
The voyage is becoming more important than the destination I guess, and I just want to observe as things go by, be present and enjoy it all.