Friday, June 30, 2006

what's standing between you and your true nature?

The Dzogchen masters are acutely aware of the dangers of confusing the absolute with the relative. People who fail to understand this relationship can overlook and even disdain the relative aspects of spiritual practice and the karmic law of cause and effect. However, those who truly seize the meaning of Dzogchen will have only a deeper respect for karma, as well as a keener and more urgent appreciation of the need for purification and for spiritual practice. This is because they will understand the vastness of what it is in them that has been obscured, and so endeavor all the more fervently, and with an always fresh, natural discipline, to remove whatever stands between them and their true nature. — Sogyal Rinpoche
Okay, so that is a bit esoteric and not-beginning Buddhist related at all. Yet, it is still so applicable.

How many times do you get so mired in the details that you lose focus of the big picture?

How often do you lose sight of who you are, your true nature?

Sometimes I feel like I'm walking around with dirty glasses. I get so used to seeing things through scratches and dust... Or I begin to believe the distortion of the lens. Maybe if we all just took our glasses off. What would that be like.

(Cynics and naysayers and eyerollers stop reading now). What if we were to commit to one day of believing in our true nature? Really wrapping our arms around it, embracing it, marveling at it?

My hunch is that it would be a pretty spectacular day. And I bet those around you would like it better too.

(So that isn't really what the Sogyal Rinpoche quote was about, but it's been on my mind, so there you have it.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


old crow medicine show, originally uploaded by emdot.

dan: yeah, so we were going to go rollerblading on the railroad safety trail—
kb: railroad SAFETY trail??!! more like bum trail of scaries!!

me and kb have ran into a few questionables on that trail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

foggy beach combing

foggy beach combing, originally uploaded by emdot.

Beachcombing on Morro Strand yesterday with 7-how-7.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

monday after live oak: mid packing up dancing on the tub

Yup! It's that time of year again!

Rebel arrives today.
Calvo arrives today.

And a bunch of us convene in Santa Barbara tomorrow!

hollywood farmers market

hollywood farmers market, originally uploaded by emdot.

sharing the love... how great is that guy's smile?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

perfectly timed

milagro, originally uploaded by emdot.

Today's dharma thought fits in perfectly with the story I posted yesterday. :)

Because the law of karma is inevitable and infallible, whenever we harm others, we are directly harming ourselves, and whenever we bring them happiness, we are bringing ourselves future happiness. The Dalai Lama says:

“If you try to subdue your selfish motives—anger and so forth—and develop more kindness and compassion for others, ultimately you yourself will benefit more than you would otherwise. So sometimes I say that the wise selfish person should practice this way. Foolish selfish people are always thinking of themselves, and the result is negative. Wise selfish people think of others, help others as much as they can, and the result is that they too receive benefit.”

— Sogyal Rinpoche
Perfect timing on that one for myself as well. I think there is someone in my life right now who I am really bugging. I think they may slightly hate me. Okay. Maybe not hate. But I can just tell how much I'm bugging them.

But what can I do about it? What can anyone do about it? Seriously, there is nothing you can do except be yourself and maybe not talk so much. Which I try. Very hard. (But I'm a talker. I know I know.)

And there is a little part of me that gets defensive. And maybe wants to not like them as much as I did before (but the problem is, is that I do genuinely like this person.). Anyway... this reminded me, must not get sucked into trap of defensive not-liking-back.

Good lord, sometimes I sound like I'm 14.

Meanwhile... spread the love people. Spread the love. It benefits others. It benefits you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

flat tires are bad when you don't have a jack or a wrench and yer in the middle of nowhere

the kindness of strangers

Friday night I was driving down to LA. Granted, I'd gotten kinda a late start because Chapin was recovering from a cat fight wound and needed antibiotics but was hiding under the bed and wouldn't come out. And I couldn't get on the road until I'd given him his dose.

So, I had a late start.

And so I was driving kinda fast. Not like super fast. But lets say a little faster than normal.

Right when I'm on that stretch of road that nods off between Santa Maria and Buelton I here a funny noise and feel like maybe something kinda sorta hit my car. But my steering feels fine and I think "musta been a rock" and keep driving (eighty).

And about 90 seconds later I realize hmmm, is that my car making a funny noise and oh shit, my steering isn't working very well.

Slow down. Get out of the fast lane. Get into the slow lane. Get onto the shoulder. Stop.

Shit shit shit.

See, the last time I got a flat tire, the tire folk didn't replace my jack (and I didn't realize it was gone until too late) or that lug nut type of wrenchy dealie bob. I do have a spare. But I've got no way to get the spare onto my car, much less remove the flat as a pancake worthless piece of rubber that is currently underneath my car.

Shit shit shit.

So I call Steve, who is on a train and can't really come and help me. And I call Dan who is out at some ball game with his new girl (and who doesn't have a cell so he didn't get my call until way later). And I don't have AAA (note to self: get AAA. And a jack. And a wrench. And maybe a flash light.).

A few cars go by. And keep going, those rat bastards. It's about 8:00. Soon it will be dark. And I am in the middle of nowhere.

I mean not nowhere completely as there is a little blip of a town just up the highway. But when I say little I mean it has no stop light, no police department, no restaurant staying open past nine. No nothing. Maybe it has a pay phone. Maybe it has a public restroom. But that is it.

Shit shit shit.

And then I met my guardian angel.

Beau was probably pushing past his mid-50s. Covered in tats. Covered. Like the spiderweb on the elbow type of tats. He had a big long beard which he had put in a pony tail at the tip. He had a (cherried out) old truck and on the back of his window he had one sticker.

It said "Lick It."

I was a little worried.

But what choices did I have? He was the only person nice enough to stop. He asked if I had a jack.

"No." I said and knitted my brow.

Did I have a wrenchie dealie bob?

"No," I said again and felt shame cuz I really know better than to drive without these two things.

"Welp," said Beau, "I live about five miles away. Just up the road. I'm gonna go get a jack. I'll be right back."

About 10 minutes Beau came back. He brought a hydraulic jack and a really big four-armed wrenchy type dealie bob. He wouldn't let me touch the tire.

"You'll get all dirty," he said.

"What do you do, Beau?" I asked as he removed the bad tire.

"I'm a retired machinist," he told me. Which confused me for a second cuz my mind heard it as mechanic and I thought oh my god I am so lucky. Then I realized what he said and I asked what kind of things he made.

"I worked for Smith and Wesson," he told me. He'd lived in Los Alamos for about four years. Before that he was in Fresno. My mind reeled at the life Beau had probably lived. Nowadays he fixes up his truck and he has a big old Harley. He rides both in the cruising nights that happen yearly or so around our area.

He asked about the sticker on the back of my car.

"Oh, it's silly," I said. "It's a Buddhist dream flag and it has to do with spreading compassion all over the world."

"What's silly about that?" asked Beau. "Isn't that what it's all about."

"I guess so," I said, ashamed again, but this time because I had been embarrassed to tell someone about what meant so much to me.

"Are you a Buddhist?" he asked.

"I am," I said.

"Well, answer me this," he said. "What do you know about reincarnation?"

"Not much," I told him. "I find it confusing too."

"But I do know that it has to do with karma and the karma that you create in this life time. For instance, you and I now have karma together. You are doing this nice thing for me -- you are building good karma. Like a deposit into a bank. And now, I should do something nice for you or for someone else. But either way, what you have done is an act of kindness which is good karma for you."

"That's good," he said, "cuz I'm kinda in the hole."

I tried to give him money, but didn't have any cash and didn't have a pen to write him a check.

"Do you have a pen?" I asked.

"Wouldn you paying me take away from my good karma?" he asked.

"No!" I said.

He kinda searched around in his truck, but now that I think about it, I realize he wasn't really looking that hard.

"Nope. No pen."

"Well what about your address?" I asked. "I will send you a check!"

"Now how are you going to write down my address without a pen?" Beau asked.

"I don't know," I said.

"Do you know why I stopped to help you?" he asked.

"No," I said.

"Cuz when I slowed down you flashed me that big smile. And I just wanted to help you."

"That is so nice, Beau. You are so nice. Thank you. Thank you for helping me," I said, still wishing there was some way I could give him some money for the huge help he had given me.

"Well, I don't have any way to pay you. But I thank you. I really thank you. Can I give you a hug?"

"That'd be fine," Beau said and we hugged on the side of Highway 101 in the middle of absolute nowhere.

He got in his truck and drove off. I got in mine and drove off, too, finally catching up to him right as he was getting onto his exit.

He waved.

I honked. And I thanked my lucky stars.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm hungry and I've been at work a long time!

love, originally uploaded by emdot.

I should go. Tom is cooking up grub and me, Cami, and Dan are all gonna partake in the eating of said grubbery. And then we're going to the movies to see Prairie Home Companion. That's if I can keep my eyes open long enough to sit in a theater when it is all cozy and dark and sleep sounds so good and I just worked almost ten hours and this morning I got up before the crack of dawn to drive from L.A. to SLOtown.

Phew. Big day. Fun weekend.

I've had this fixation on L.A. for a couple of years now and I swear to god none of my friends or family ever want to go play there with me. So, extra bonus points to be hanging with someone who lives there. Steve and I got on bikes and rode around Silverlake and caught a movie at the Vista. We went to a surprise party for his friend Ela. We caught the Hollywood Farmer's Market and we went to dinner with Orrin and Stacey. Fun fun fun. I was sad to leave. I didn't want to leave. Hence the staying until Monday morning.

June Gloom is in full swing. It finally lightened up some time around 1PM here (typical; expected) and right now the hills outside my office window are glowing goldy-greeny and the sky is a faint purple-ish pinky blue.

And I'm still oh so hungry so I best be putting my camera, lip glass, cell phone and CD back in my purse. Make sure I've got my keys. And head on out of here. Dinner + friends + movie await.

xoxo to all.

Friday, June 09, 2006

baywood: later

baywood: later, originally uploaded by emdot.

If we are interdependent with everything and everyone, even our smallest, least significant thought, word, and action have real consequences throughout the universe.

Throw a pebble into a pond. It sends a shiver across the surface of the water. Ripples merge into one another and create new ones. Everything is inextricably interrelated: We come to realize that we are responsible for everything we do, say, or think, responsible in fact for ourselves, everyone and everything else, and the entire universe.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

maya seems to back in flickr business

me amongst the aspens, originally uploaded by yellerbelly.

Look who I found being all active and shit on flickr: maya! Yea!


Tickets Please, originally uploaded by inkswamp.

(actually "over-read" on flickr central).

said flickr peep inkswamp

Subject: What a disappointment!

inkswamp Pro User says:

Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

I stay up late tonight thinking I'll get to see the end of the world before everyone else and it's just... nothing. 6/6/06... what a let down. No blood-red moon. No whore of Babylon. No dead rising from their graves. This is worse than that time I waited up for the Great Pumpkin. This sucks.

I'm going to bed.

Friday, June 02, 2006

why i love flickr

this photo rocks my little world.

fucked up eyes

something is wrong with my eyes.


this is not good, as i am offiating a wedding tomorrow. i knew something was going wrong yesterday when they itched itched itched itched. and no, it's not allergies. i know my eyes. and i don't get that type of allergy anyway. this kind of freaked me out this morning as the last thing i want is to be crazy contagious for the wedding. or eye weepy of the not tear-kind.

why do things like this always happen when a big event rolls around?

more proof that god is a cruel god. if there was a god. which i don't know.

anyway. this eye thing has left me exhausted. and there feels like pressure behind them and they itch like hell and they are weepy and bloodshot (you see where i'm going with this right?). and i couldn't get an appointment with the doctor which meant sitting in a waiting room for two hours or more and i already went to the doctor this week and i don't want to go back. [but i have been informed and reminded to not fuck around when it comes to crazy contagiousness and eyes and so to the waiting room i go. rzzl frzzl.]

this is a bit of a verbal subdued tantrum i am throwing right now. meanwhile i must be better by this evening, the rehearsal dinner. i mean, i must. there are no options. and sevens is coming into town (yea!) and i don't want to be sick. no sick. no sick.

and it is hot. really freaking frickin frackin flackin flightjackin hot. too hot.

and and and...

on and on.

bright spot of the day? the photo above. so lovely. so lovely. and i know i will get better. i have to. i must. there are no other options.


4:45pm: I'm non contagious! Can I get a collective phew?! Thank you. I was seriously sweating that out. Eye drops with instructions to take it easy. Chill out. Mellow. I love that prescription. ;)