Monday, August 26, 2002


this weekend i bought myself a hrih (pronounced hree -- where the h is more like wh in whew).

a hrih is a seed syllable. One web site said that the "HRIH is the heart's seed syllable; it encapsulates the compassionate activity of the bodhisattva." i love that.

the caligraphy is one of 108 silkscreens of the vajra regent's original caligraphy; a fund raiser for my sangha. i saw a girl at the parinirvana celebration that had the hrih tattooed on her right arm and it was about the coolest tattoo i've ever seen.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

free free set them free

so i set my first book free in ojai, california. now i'm just crossing my fingers that the right person finds it and is web geeky enough to report it on

(aside: why do some sites still use upper/lower case?)

if you haven't signed up for bookcrossing yet, i'm here to encourage you to do so. and tell 'em emdot sent you.

Friday, August 23, 2002

prayers and tonglen requested


it's a sad day.

yesterday i found out that a friend has passed away. allyson s. was a beautiful, tall, sweet, artistically gifted girl. quiet and easy to laugh. part of the african dance troupe. taller than me, and it's not often i find myself surrounded by taller women. amazingly talented: an artist, a graphic designer, a photographer. her work has appeared in several art shows. she graduated with a degree in applied art from cal poly.

ally was loved and liked. she was easy to be around. she loved sex & the city. she was the person who first told me about the matrix. she was the person who inspired me to apply at web associates (and was my reference). she was the person who introduced me to many new friends. ally is friends with many at the establishment and came to most of our parties. ally designed sites for apple and hp partners while she was at wa.

ally was a sensitive and sweet and beautiful person and will be missed by many. close friends and acquaintances. she touched more lives than she probably knew.

here are three group shots i found online of allyson dancing with her african dance troupe.

top left with the flash over her head; eyes closed; big smile.
center left with ponytail flipping.
right, looking up with blue glasses.

please keep her in your prayers and tonglen practice.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002


shawn: i was just looking at the movie with a different perspective.
rem: of what, a retard?

running in airports

Yesterday went so smoothly, for what could have been a playing out of one Murphy's Law after another.

After having to get up early every morning in Denver to make it to my Shambhala Training classes in Boulder, I slept in on Monday morning then lazily soaked in the perfect comfort of reading in bed. (Lovely Bones. A can't-put-this-down type of read.) Which is why I was totally late in getting on the road to Boulder. Hadn't eaten/hadn't had coffee, so was growly and low-blood sugary while navigating the all-time ugliest rental car anyone's ever had the pleasure to steer down interstates 25 and 36.

Beyond hunger, I knew I wanted two things: something ultra healthy (and proteiny) and something deliciously warm, liquid, and packed with caffeine. I couldn't find the restaurant I wanted to eat at (just Whole Foods, which I'd gone to the night before, but for the life of me I coudn't find it Monday in the daylight). Ended up (again) at the Boulder Bookstore and had the best coffee of my life (an double Americana; I added cream) and a breakfast burrito. Plus, somehow yet another book and dark chocolate-espresso bar made it into my little hands. I bought four books and four magazines and four dark chocolate/espresso bars in four days. I'm still kicking myself for not getting the Boulder Bookstore frequent buyer card on my first day.

The whole purpose of going into Boulder on Monday was to visit my Uncle Ken. And okay, the thought of one more sweep down Pearl street didn't exactly hamper the trip either. I made it to my uncle's without getting lost (and this was after leaving Pearl Street late). I had such a great time. Seeing his place, seeing his new paintings (some finished, some in progress), seeing older paintings on the walls, the beautiful mirrors (in a stained glass style, but only mirrors and no colors) that remind me of my childhood (memories of early childhood are decorated with my uncle's artwork), seeing his computer studio (he edits movies and designs). Then, stayed too late, engrossed in one great conversation after another, and still needing to get to the airline, drop off my rental car, check in, etc. (Of course) I didn't have directions to the airport (but had just come from there four days before... how hard could it be?) and my uncle's helpful instructions were "follow the airplane on the freeway signs." (Which made me laugh cuz those might be the exact directions I would give someone, too). So, I left Boulder late... but it all worked out so easily. Barely any traffic. Expertly found and followed all freeway airplane icons. Made it to the airport in well under an hour. Dropping off the rental could not have been easier. Weaved myself through that damned Denver concourse. Got a window seat.

Then [insert pause], we sat on the tarmac. A thunder/lightening storm was passing through and all groundspeople were pulled off the tarmac, so no luggage was being put into our plane. So we sat and sat and sat. My connecting flight was scheduled to depart only 50 minutes after landing in Los Angeles, so I was beginning to reset my expectations tospending extra time at LAX waiting for the next connector.

With only 20 minutes to spare when we finally pulled into the gate at LAX (not even deboarding yet), I had enough time to look at the departure screen and decide I did not want to wait another three hours at the terminal and I began to run. Airports are one of the last vesibules of approved areas for adults to run when not in jogging outfits. All other times you will be deemed, judged, determined, and stamped "freak." I made it to the gate with not even a second to spare. They scooted me on the shuttle bus that would take me to the airplane (puddle jumper). All this and my luggage ended up making it, too. (Not sure how that worked, but divine intervention has come to mind).

*And* I finished "Lovely Bones." Great book. It even choked me up a few times. Perfect travel read.

Monday, August 19, 2002

egggzzzausted, in that energized sort of way

back from a fabulous four-day stint in denver and boulder. the perfect kind of mini-vacation: i'm feeling rested, motivated, happy... all the rest. i stayed with my sweet friend allison who is a recent denver transplant but who has already made colorado her home quite nicely. and spent my days in boulder doing shambhala training, level 5: open sky. and not to be corny, but that is what it feels like right now: open and friendly.

besides shambhala training and catching up with allison, i had a chance to hit pearl street (specifically the superb boulder bookstore each and every day i was there) for shopping and meals. allison and i caught an e-town taping of patty griffin and the blind boys of alabama. i had lunch with my wonderful uncle ken and got to check out the new paintings he is working on (more about that here when his web site is up and running). actually, my talks with ken were just about as good and meaty as the shambhala training. they were amazing.

boulder was the perfect breath of fresh air. and just what el doctoro ordered. i'm not sure if it was my imagination... or if i was blinded... or just so freakin' pollyanna'd out that my perceptions were skewed, but everyone seemed so amazingly friendly. and open. and healthy. and downright attractive. ha.


stepping off the plane my first day in colorado was like stepping into nebechednezer's furnace. it was hotter than a (you fill in your own blank). i noticed my eyes burning around the middle of friday afternoon, but chalked it up to the altitude. but when i looked up into the sky, it was hazy and darkish and a film seemed to cover the sun and turned it a fantastic shade of creepy, rich orange.

and i knew what that meant: fire.

but fires have been raging in the area for weeks (months, for the state), so no one really seemed taken by it, but me.


saturday night, after etown and while we were trying to decide on which scrumptious restaurant to feed at, i passed a disheveled-looking hippy guy on the street, panhandling.

"spare some money for a high school drop-out?" the able-bodied, articulate, early-20-something guy asked as i walked by.

and i said, "sorry, i already gave my money to the burned guy down the block." which was true. but good god, how cynical has our society become? (meaning the highschool drop out, not me.).

but that said, it is amazing how shambhala training really opens up your heart to people on the streets asking for money. i have shelled out more dough after shambhala weekends then after any other event. people with out-reached cups should perch themselves in front of the shambhala center to hit up the unsuspecting and heightenedly-open-hearted warriors as they leave each weekend.

okay -- lots to say but no patience to edit or make this interesting, so i will just bid you all adieu and catch you all tomorrow with maybe something more meaningful and/or cohesive.

Monday, August 12, 2002

the latest aussie update from rebel

Okay, I attempted this letter about a week ago and the computer kicked me off as I pushed send! Arrgg!

Hey there my beautiful friends and loved ones!

Last time we wrote we were in the lovely Byron Bay between Sydney and Brisbane on the coast. Did I mention what an amazing place it was? I could live there for an eternity. We spent nearly all of our time lounging on the lovely beaches bathed in salt and sand and sunshine. Our second day there we found a great music store that gave free didgeridoo lessons and we took one with a fun little girl named Cherry who gave me a monstrous smack on the ass for talking shit at one point! I think I like that girl!

Day fifteen and we sit a our new favorite restaurant, I sip strong soy lattes and Jeff feeds himself this cardiac arrest breakfast that he has come to love. We rented a surfboard that day but the water was all chop and we couldn't surf, we are also becoming increasingly aware of how dangerous the waters can be with there tremendous rip tides. Jeffrey got a bit grumpy because he couldn't surf that day but he pulled out his harmonica and ripped out what I call "the shitty surfing blues" and immediately appeared to feel better. I also decided to buy my new didge and shipped it home to my sis's house for her to rock the house with, what an amazing instrument! It is created out of many different varieties of Eucalyptus Tree. The termites burrow through long branches hollowing the piece. The Aborigines then paint up the exterior with there individual dreamtime and tribal markings. Mine is lovely!

Jeffrey wasn't sure if he wanted to buy his own so he asked the wonderful man that owned the store if he could rent one and he replied by saying, "rent? why don't I just lone you one?" and without a deposit, social security number, driver's license, or whatever we went to our hostel with one. Have I mentioned what amazing people these Aussies are?

The following day, Jeff and I did our separate things (because we might just have a murder/suicide on our hands soon if we don't!) I went for a beautiful hike along the white beaches and played in tidal pools. I then hiked up to an old lighthouse (1901) first, taking a shortcut where I narrowly escaped with my life as I nearly walked into a spider web that appeared to be made out of nylon rope! (insert horrible images of a gargantuine spider sucking the life out of Rebbie). Then on to a loop track with no one around and I saw a male bush turkey who nearly walked into me before he noticed I was watching him ( I am a stealth bomber when it comes to animal watching!) The male Bush Turkey looks just like the kind you used to draw when you were in Kindy by tracing your hand. They are all black and there tail fans vertically, there heads are bright red and vibrant yellow. Later I found two huge nests that the males were building which apparently take months for them to create and are several yards across and seated on the rainforest floor.

At the lighthouse I had a 360 degree view, 300 degrees of which were open ocean in which the whales are currently migrating. I also got to set foot on the most easterly portion of the Australian continent.

Later, Jeffrey and I went to a local festival/market that takes place on the first Sunday of every month. There were lovely hippies everywhere selling there wares, yummy vegan food, etc.Cherry on the sundae? The delicious drum circle afterwards!

Highlight the next day (besides the lovely ocean of course) was the chocolate shop we stumbled into in the middle of nowhere! When we walked in we were immediately given fresh blueberries dipped in chocolate, mmmm. We were told the main ingredient that they used was love. This place is a kicker! We sampled chocolate covered fresh strawberries, a macadamia butter cup, and the best dark chocolate with chillies in it. After that, more didgeridoo lessons! Jeffrey bought his own didge the next day, I knew he would he hasn't stopped practicing since he borrowed one. He didn't want to ship his home and wants to get rid of some of the weight in his pack so he can have it with him . I got kicked out of the bed so that he can sleep with his didge now, can you believe it?!

On day nineteen, we headed to a place called Surfer's Paradise up the coast. (against my will, I could have stayed in Byron forever!) We had been told that Surfer's was like Miami, Cancun or Hawaii. We hated it, with its skyscrapers right on the lovely beaches, looming over and shading them out in early afternoon. It is a city of hotel sprawl and complete isolation, ugly. We decided to go on a club crawl that night because we met a nice guy that was one of the guides. On the shuttle over to the first club Jeffrey and I crossed our fingers and just repeated our mantra "oh please, oh please, let this be halfway fun!" It was okay after a couple of drinks though. However, the night turned livelier, as I got seriously ill from the food we had eaten earlier on. We had gone to a Thai restaurant that didn't have anything veggie listed on the menu and I foolishly believed the woman when she said it would be easy to make something vegan for me, nodding her head when I listed the things I couldn't have. I ended up explosively vomiting all over the club we went too, it was horribley embarresing! Jeff found it hilarious that I got sick from food in Australia but never in Mexico! It took me two full days to feel better from that one.

Surfer's Paradise was a terrible let down and we struggled to find something to do there. We settled on a weak game of Mini Golf which I won but I suspect that Jeffrey might have let me! We ended our visit there with more walks along the beaches avoiding washed up Jelly fish, and watching Surf Sailing (amazing sport!). The beaches are funky, you have this huge, expansive beach and are only allowed to swim in one area defined by brightly coloured flags that represent the current conditions of the ocean. We suspect that you need to stay in front of the lifegaurds because of dangerous rips, or that the area might me "screened" in due to sharks and salt water crocs. (we read about this previously). Then off to Brisbane the next day.

Okay, out of time, tune in next time kiddos, same bat time, same bat channel. I love you all with all of my sappy little heart and cherish all of the beautiful notes you have been sending us.

My heart to all of you, Rebecca

Sunday, August 11, 2002

why do people turn away from the church?

ohmigod. religion and christianity. what an unsexy topic. (though, i should add here, not as completely unsexy as vin diesel is in TripleX. we saw that last night. the worst movie of 2002, though i haven't seen country bear jamboree yet, so the voting could change. the overwhelming question was, after mourning the money shelled out to watch this waste of two hours, "does he kiss like a guppy or was i just sitting at a bad angle to the screen?").

macker is a friend i made at daveworld. we don't agree on much. for instance, he thinks he makes sense when he starts sentences with phrases like "would that i...". but for the most part we kinda like each other. sometimes he thinks that i don't play nice with others. sometimes he is right.

macker is a born-again, promise-keepin', right-winged, pipsqueakskie from poughkeepsie. (say it three times fast, it's fun. and accurate.). and now, going into non-pokin-fun mode, i believe it really bothers him that people don't see The Light. The Truth. And even more, i think it saddens his heart when he meets people who have fallen away from The Church. cuz that implies that The Church or Its People has let these wayfarers down.

i think this bothers a lot of christians. i had a four-hour heated debate with someone pushing bible-study on a college campus once, now ten or eleven years ago. i said i used to be born again. he said "there's no such thing. obviously you never were born again to begin with." because how else can current bornagainers explain that someone who's seen The Light and heard The Word and walked The Path has later flat-out rejected it as The Way? this becomes The Question. (heh).

last week on his pray naked blog, macker wrote the following: the most startling conclusion I have come to in this process is that, 2000 years after Christ's return to heaven, we still don't have it together as Christians. the whole lot of us. the fact that I was willing to attack a brother or sister in Christ because I was offended is proof positive I haven't arrived any more than they have. and if we continue to be willing to shoot someone in the foot over the minutiae of life, we have lost all credibility with people in need of a Savior. it's no wonder people like mary, marya and deanna, having once been burned, have no more use for the church; we're too busy hating the sin to love the sinner.

minus the savior bit, this is very buddhist of macker. his insight is on, but i believe his conclusion is wrong.

for instance, if man is born of sin and cannot help himself but be a sinner and muddled and clumsy and all the other things that man is, we -- humans -- are never going to have it together.

secondly, of course macker hasn't arrived farther than anyone else. please see previous paragraph.

thirdly. i'm going to stretch and use credibility in the same sense as credentials, not as in in trustworthy. and in this sense credibility is widely and wildly overrated. fuck credibility. the minute you start trying to have credibility to win someone over is the minute you have lost. credibility is nothing more than creating something to make us seem better to ourselves. there are plenty of people with no credentials who are brimming with more insight, more originality, more talent. credibility becomes the emperor's clothes.

finally, assuming that the congregation has burned people and that is why they leave the church is an oversimplification. okay. granted. there are probably more than a handful of people who have been burned by members of a congregation and have decided to leave.

but my point is that macker is not allowing himself to truthfully look for the answer to The Question, outlined above: how can current bornagainers explain that someone who's seen The Light and heard The Word and walked The Path has later flat-out rejected it as The Way?

here is what i posted to macker's blog:

1. i'd like to go on record to say that it was not the 'sinner' that turned me away from the church but that retched misogynist and homophobe, paul himself. take him outta the book and then we can start talkin' again (okay, not really). seriously. paul sucks. and he's turned a lot of people away from the church.

okay. that is harsh, but is my story, which i might tell some time.

2. one more thought about macker correlating christians turning other christians away from the church. there is probably some truth there, though i think it is more some christians being so obnoxious that they keep people away from ever getting to the church at all.

macker, you are not like that. i have really enjoyed our conversations throughout the last few years.

but going back to hating the sinner, etc... you have to realize that these same obnoxious people make up every part of our lives. there is the obnoxious co-worker that makes you want to quit your job. the obnoxious front-desk receptionist at the doctor's office that makes you want to switch to a different gp and on and on and on.

i quickly found out that there are difficult people as buddhists too. and here i thought buddhism was supposed to be all about love and compassion and boddhichitta and being boddhisattvas, etc etc.

but really what you have, same as in church, is a group of people just trying to deal with their shit. you have a group of people looking for tools to help them be better people. to help the see the bigger picture, to help them understand the mysteries that surround us.

so what it comes down to is tools. what tools do you need? what tools will help you build something meaningful that you can stand behind (or in front of or under or on top of) that allow you to see some truth.

for a long while, 10 years to be exact, i found my toolbox filled with christian tools. and then i found out that those tools just didn't work anymore. and i cried for a long time, mourning the loss of the toolbox that i had loved and had taken such care of.

and then (after many years) i found new tools. and these tools look a lot like the other tools i had: they support love (which is the basis of christianity which i think so many christians lose sight of); they support compassion; they support helping others; and most importantly, they support me being easier on myself -- treating myself with love and giving myself a break. and that was the one tool i just never found in christianity.

instead i think you find the berate yourself tool, the judge others tool, the tool of you're-a -sinner-sucker; or the even worse-all-powerful tool known as if-you-were-a-better-christian-maybe-you-wouldn't-be-such-an-embarrasing-sinner.

man, i can't tell you how great it is not to have that tool in the toolbox anymore.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

seajay's guide to health

i was complaining about my propensity to catch the common (and persistent and buggered) cold this year to daveworld and got some sage advice from seajay, an artist of artists who lives in winterpeg canada and has her own battles with immunity's mutinies, not to mention her quest for immune impunity. seajay says that there are six truths we must come face-to-face with in order to live as one with our healthy self. and here they are.

Truth one - do something that causes you pleasure each and every day. (it can be selfish or selfless - so long as it makes you feel actual physical pleasure)

Truth two - listen to your body - it will tell you when it needs iron or starch or sugar or salt. You will crave foods. Eat those things you crave. In moderation. Also listen to your brain and if your craving is marshmallow and chocolate on a constant basis consider looking into that. You don't need to know which things have which particular nutrients - your body speaks their language, it knows what it wants. Just listen.

Truth three - human bodies need rest. Listen to yours and rest when it asks you to.

Truth four - exercise it - the body likes to work.

Truth five - deal with your shit. Your immune system hates dangling swords and shadows. Sucks like hell while you do it and then you can move along.

Truth six - laugh.

Friday, August 09, 2002

how do you approach work?

Work occupies much of our time. Doing work we hate assaults our self-esteem and self-confidence. Yet most workers cannot do the work they love. But we can all enhance our capacity to live purposely by learning how to experience satisfaction in whatever work we do. We find that satisfaction by giving any job total commitment. When I had a teaching job I hated (the kind of job where you long to be sick so you have an excuse for not going to work), the only way I could ease the severity of my pain was to give my absolute best. This strategy enabled me to live purposely. Doing a job well, even if we do not enjoy what we are doing, means that we leave it with a feeling of well-being, our self-esteem intact. That self-esteem aids us when we go in search of a job more fulfilling.

Thoughtout my life I have endeavored to not only do work I enjoy but to work with individuals I respect, like or love. When I first declared my desire to work in a loving environment, friends acted as though I had truly lost my mind. To them, love and work did not go together. But I was convinced that I would work better in a work environment shaped by an ethic of love. Today, as the Buddhist concept of "right-livelihood" is more widely understood, more people embrace the belief that work that enhances our spiritual well-being strengthens our capacity to love. And when we work with love we create a loving working environment. When ever I enter an office, I can immediately sense by the overall atmosphere and mood whether the workers like what they do. Marsha Sinetar writes about this concept in her book Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow as a way to encourage readers to take the risk of choosing work they care about and therefore learning through experience the meaning of right livelihood.

— bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

the tried and trivial

warning: frighteningly girly blog day. you've been warned.

item numbah one. so, i'm over my jealous-envy escapade. was over last week. but feel i need to say so publ-ick-ly. to prove it, here is a link to the fringe festival.

item numbah two. about a month ago my willpower waned and i suckerly became a salon premium member. and now, good lord, i can't imagine what my hesitation was about previously. no ads. ability to read all the articles. plus the fun premium benefits. said benefits has had me listening to the salon music sampler, numero quatro. and playing jeb loy nichols song "they don't know" ten times in one work-day time period. today i went out and bought the album. jury's still out, but man do i love that one song. it's weird, jeb loy seems to be an american southern boy (midwestern? maybe) who lives in london and writes semi-countrified head-boppy music. he's kinda the white shuggy otis.

item numbah three. and speekina music, i got the rising. i've never been this big springsteen fan at all. but the rfxbf is. [sidenote: status was upgraded from "stupid" to "rzzl-frzzl" which fits better]. and for a coupla years there i had to hear said rfxbf go on and on about how damn great the boss was. etc etc. anyhow, when you listen to the rising and kinda put it in septembereleven context you might find a lump in your throat and you might choke back tears while at your desk. either that or you might find yourself premenopausal. take your pic. meanwhile, my friend parker is going through his own hellish break up. and while listening i thought, wow, this is a great break up album as well. so said cd is now sitting on his desk and i hope he is listening to it.

item numbah four. vin diesel = slobbery thug goodness. carrie's organized a little rendezvous saturday to the drive-in. it's a double feature: triple x and goldmember which might make a couple of heads cock to the right if outta context. dan's coming too, so i'm expecting a surprisingly ingenius dolby-surround-sound experience. he's mcgyver that way.

item numbah five. how to be good by nick hornby. good read. i initially wrote fun read and realized that what is fun to me is usually not so fun for others. but i like the little nuances hornby finds for his characters. they have their flaws and you love them anyway. unfortunately i find myself identifying with the converted husband... i understand the wincing he does at sarcasm after he's cut back. and then i wonder, uh-oh, am i also this obnoxious? (ahem. i'm not asking for input here; it's rhetorical folks).

item number six. wednesday was kristin's birthday, so tuesday we surprised her with all-girl pedicure party at a nails place down the street. complete with wine and the proverbial cracker snacks. but it was fun and oh the toes were damn pretty to behold afterwards. we followed this up with three or four episodes of the best of sex&the city. where the best was determined by us. (so far, all-time top two episodes are "booth bitch" and "scootin in heals" [our names for these episodes] we defy you to tell us otherwise.).

Monday, August 05, 2002

ever wonder what a buddhist talk looks like? here are some pictures of a talk the sakyong recently did in boulder. nope, i wasn't there, but i especially liked the picture of all the students on their gomdens listening or scribbling notes. ;) of course, when you are sitting meditation it doesn't look like this.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

pause the in-yer-head made-up scenario chatter

The greatest support we can have is mindfulness, which means being totally present in each moment. If the mind remains centered, it cannot make up stories about the injustice of the world or one's friends, or about one's desires or sorrows. All these stories could fill many volumes, but when we are mindful such verbalizations stop.

Being mindful means being fully absorbed in the moment, leaving no room for anything else. We are filled with the momentary happening, whatever it is — standing or sitting or lying down, feeling pleasure or pain — and we maintain a nonjudgmental awareness, a "just knowing."

-Ayya Khema, "Be an Island"
Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A,

Thursday, August 01, 2002

and the world said hey, it's a brand new dub-a

check out the new wa web site. cool flash menus. cool picture of the big window in our production area. cool new everything.

homestar runner
and when you need to take a break, check out homestar and his pals strong bad and marzipan.