Monday, September 21, 2009

Healing Our World

From an email I got today...
The term "warrior" in the Shambhala tradition is a translation of the Tibetan word pawo. Pa means "brave," and wo makes it "a person who is brave." The warrior tradition we are discussing is a tradition of bravery. You might have the idea of a warrior as someone who wages war. But in this case, we are not talking about warriors as those who engage in warfare. Warriorship here refers to fundamental bravery and fearlessness. Warriorship is based on overcoming cowardice and our sense of being wounded.If we feel fundamentally wounded, we may be afraid that somebody is going to put stitches in us to heal our wound. Or maybe we have already had the stitches put in, but we dare not let anyone take them out. The approach of the warrior is to face all those situations of fear or cowardice. The general goal of warriorship is to have no fear. But the ground of warriorship is fear itself. In order to be fearless, first we have to find out what fear is.

From "Facing Yourself," in Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, coming in October from Shambhala Publications.

“This is powerful dharma encouragement to awaken our own fearless and wise heart - from one of the most remarkable and brilliant teachers of modern times.” — Jack Kornfield

Sunday, September 20, 2009


streve of the daily coyote wrote a really nice post about her ideas regarding internet hate. and i loved reading it and thinking about it in this new way that streve describes. i think she is right on track.

read streve's thoughts at this untitled post.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

towards the light

towards the light, originally uploaded by emdot.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Ocean

ocean, two, originally uploaded by emdot.

Inspired by Raul Gutierez's Heading East blog post, Kennedy & the Ocean.

ocean, one Pacific Shimmer II

shamel spark sunset, amtrak style, take one.

solstice the longest day of the year

stripes and layers

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

[insert rob breszny platitude here] [you know the drill]

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
  • First of all, my friend, you don't need any second-hand anything, let alone second-hand love.
  • Second of all, dearest, you are hereby ordered not to hang around any third-rate situations where you feel like a fifth wheel. You understand?
  • Thirdly, wonderful one, keep in mind that any eight ball you may fantasize that you're behind is just a figment of your own delusions.
  • Fourthly, lover, I assure you that your sixth sense can now lead you -- if you cleanse it of its excess superstition -- to a place that is, if you have a good imagination, a suburb of the seventh heaven.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

this photo knocks my socks off

, originally uploaded by LunaSol.

by a long-time flickr friend, martha, aka lunasol.

Friday, July 24, 2009

recent poems

family portrait, originally uploaded by Orrin.

o ivaloo
what am i gonna do
you have cheeks i want to kiss
and fingers! hair! i cannot miss

o little ivaloo
what's the world to do
'cept to love and cheer your birth
and smile that you're here on earth

our dear sweet ivaloo
i wonder what you'll do
dreams you'll have and feats you'll take
adventures love and all -- partake

oh baby ivaloo
know that we all love you

For my friend Stephan who will be busking tonight outside of Comic-Con

i wish i were in san diego.
your singing and playing will be en fuego.
i hope when you sing you sound like a dago.
tomorrow for breakfast you can have a bagel.

And with that, I keep my day job!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

mais oui

"At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes, and a yes, and a yes"

— E. M. Forster

Thursday, July 16, 2009

i constantly get confused about hope — good or bad?

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.

— Anne Lamott
Buddhism says that hope is just the flip side of fear; let it go let it go let it go. But so many other things say to believe -- seize! -- go forward -- persevere.

What if I choose to believe the wrong one?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

communicating with other life forms

twenty-eight of 52, originally uploaded by Orrin.

ha ha ha. this makes me laugh. orrin is good with the skype and the what not. so is steve. me? not so much.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In which I ask Rob Breszny to Marry Me

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): O ye of little faith: Do ye not understand that the events of mid-July through mid-August of 2009 are but the fruition of seeds ye planted in September, October, and November of last year? Do not thank or blame the gods, but only thyself, for the destiny that is upon ye. Now please prepare to assume thy new goodies and perks, O favored one, as well as thy new temptations and headaches, with full knowledge that ye are receiving the exact rewards and responsibilities ye earned many months ago.
I've already seen the fruition just this afternoon. I don't know if I should laugh, cry, run, jump on a plane or sit down on my meditation cushion.

Oh who am I fooling? Meditation cushion. It's all about being awake. Right here. And grateful. Right now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

tripping on the sidwalk of the dharma

out west, originally uploaded by emdot.

Life on the practical level does not contain any subtle philosophy or subtle mystical experience. It just is. If we are able to see that isness, so to speak, then there is a sense of realization. We experience sudden enlightenment. Without a sense of hopelessness, there is no way to give birth to sudden enlightenment. Only giving up our projects brings about the ultimate, definite, positive state of being, which is the realization that we are already enlightened beings here and now.

— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Crazy Wisdom, pg 95 via "Ocean of Dharma" mailing list)
This is where I stumble with Buddhism: how do you know when to make a change? When to act? When to change course? According to Buddhism there is none of that; there is only right now.

But I'm not sure that that philosophy always serves you. What if you need to veer a little? What if you need to turn hard? What if staying in the same place, which is fine enough, adds up to a pretty big wrong-direction in the long haul?

If I were so lucky as to be able to ask a good teacher questions, that is what I would ask. But hopefully more eloquently.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I just heard about this...

just what the doctor ordered

And oh man I want to go. This is exactly what I've been wanting: a retreat; to be with Sangha; to hear the Sakyong; to hear Pema; to be in the mountains (oh man I want to be in the Rockies surrounded by aspen yes! with afternoon thunderstorms yes yes!); to sit on my cushion; to simplify everything; to quiet my mind.

I love Shambhala Mountain Center so much. Some places just capture my heart immediately (the high desert has been featured prominently recently, but there are of course others) and SMC is definitely one of those places. I was lucky enough to be at the Consecration of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya back in 01 and things really fell into place for me after that. I would like that very much again.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Ivaloo, originally uploaded by Orrin.

orrin: let us know if you would like to skype with our baby because our baby would probably love to skype with you.

oh Ivaloo you are born into a crazy, connected, wonderful age. :)

love to the andersons and thomases. my heart just pours over with happiness for you. xo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

this comes as no surprise (brezsny version)

love is in the air, originally uploaded by emdot.

(my blog has become less of a blog and simply justs notes to myself). (this note comes from brezsny)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There's a better than even chance that you're about to embark on a Summer of Love. To improve your odds even more, meditate on the following questions.

  1. What qualities do you look for in a lover that you would benefit from developing more fully in yourself?
  2. What do you think are your two biggest delusions about the way love works?
  3. Is there anything you can do to make yourself more lovable?
  4. Is there anything you can do to be more loving?
  5. Are you willing to deal with the fact that any intimate relationship worth pursuing will inevitably evoke the most negative aspects of both partners — and require both partners to heal their oldest wounds?

Monday, June 22, 2009

(note to self)

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
— Anais Nin
And two more things to ponder a la Martha Beck
  • The struggle itself is enough to fill our hearts. — Camus
  • Your path should be chosen by your heart's desires, not by what seems to be working (or not working). — M. Beck.

gentleness brings daring

the longest day of the year, originally uploaded by emdot.

When there is daring, you dare to do something: you put forth your vision fearlessly. People have doubts about big vision because they don't have a sense of gentleness in themselves first. So gentleness brings daring and a sense of fearlessness. Daring is appreciation of letting go in the fundamental sense. First you develop gentleness toward yourself; then you begin to develop daring, which is connected with how to express your gentleness to the world outside, how to proclaim your sanity. Your are not going crazy because you have seen the Great Eastern Sun, which is the symbol of expansive vision in the Shambhala world. Rather, because you have seen the Great Eastern Sun, you are very daring and at the same time very gentle and soft. The softer you become, the greater the message to the world becomes.

— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Sunday, June 21, 2009

father's day

my dad is very political, originally uploaded by emdot.

My dad probably doesn't know this (but I will tell him today when I call him): my dad song is Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers. My dad loves the Allmans. Me too. And he loves that song. Me too. And it always makes me think of him.

My three favorite father/daughter songs:

  • Daugher by Louden Wainwright III
    that's my daughter in the water / everything she owns i bought her
  • Daughters by John Mayer
    fathers, be good to your daughters / daughters will love like you do
  • Father and Daughter by Paul Simon
    as long as one and one is two / there could never be a father / who loved his daughter more than I love you

Friday, June 19, 2009

orrin and stacey had a baby

twenty-five of 52, originally uploaded by Orrin.

some things are very right in this world.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


let your leaf light shine, originally uploaded by emdot.

So, Firefox keeps crashing on me when I try to print. Not every time, but often enough that it unnerves me. And infrequent enough that each time it crashes I'm surprised.

Tyson suggested that I move to Safari.

Me: I don't like it; it's too pared down.
Tyson: Pared down? What do you mean? Too fast? Too efficient?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

rob brezsny, for the love of god can you just freaking spell it out for me?

liminal, originally uploaded by emdot.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A talent scout who has the power to change
your course is drawing closer and closer. Find out why, and capitalize on
it. Meanwhile, a chameleon who has always had your number just lost it.
Find out the details, and take advantage. If that's not enough to keep you
busy, I'll clue you in to the fact that a cool fool only recently realized you
have something that he or she wants. Find out who and what, and exploit
the possibilities. (P.S.: I should also mention that there's a wild thing out
there who would love to lick your hand. Find out why, etc.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

true, true

equal truths, originally uploaded by emdot.

I read one of these in a Facebook comment, the other in a Sierra Club email. I love them both.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Me: Did you know that you can pay your Cal Poly parking tickets online?

Mike: You sound very excited about that. Did you know that you can refuse to pay your Cal Poly parking tickets offline?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

wrapping up loose ends

remains of the day, originally uploaded by emdot.

I love loose ends. I'm way more comfortable to leave things hanging than to tie things up. Tying things up makes me nervous.

But that does not serve me.

A couple of weeks ago I read a little blog post by Christine Kane about loose ends and how these create energy leaks in our lives. She says to wrap things up to have more energy and focus on what your heart really wants to do.

So I made my list. My four-paged list of things left undone. And I began to tackle them. My four-paged list became a three-and-a-half paged list. And a week later and I'm at two-and-a-half pages. Progress.

I'm giving myself four months to wrap it all up. End of September and I'm going to be one wrapped up emdot. And I hoping that this will bring new focus and clarity, a huge sense of accomplishment, and new comfort with resolve and closure.

Monday, May 18, 2009

moonglow lamp low all i need is a rainbow

senora playing serengeti

that's amore

zoom by moon bye

hide. seek.

[Hear the song. I played this song over and over when I first heard it. Oh Eleni. So lovely.]


trying to get our head systems guy to help me out at noon....

marya: is lunch really that important to you?
mark: me ignore you. you go away.


mark: now, don't be offended by this word, but i think it might be Sephardic.
marya: why would i be offended by that word?
mark: ah. well. i...
marya: you're 12.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

blur moon rising

last week's amazing full moon, from Discovery Park in Safford, Arizona. it was a lovely one.

moon rise

moon rise

moon rise

moon rise

moon rise

a docent was walking around with her flashlight, looking for rattlesnakes and the "resident gila monster." and she kept standing too close to the camera, hence the left-side light bursts.

Stella (aunt), Robert (uncle), Evan (brother) and I took a walk to Discovery park as the day turned into dusk. We ran into Rochelle (aunt) on the walk and we all turned around to call it day. But once we got to Robert and Rochelle's Rochelle said, hey let's go up to Discovery Park to see the stars. So we jumped in the car and headed up the easy way (no rattlesnakes or gila monsters). There we innocently crashed an observatory party and got to see Saturn in the telescope and became the life of the party (take my word). And I got a bunch of blurry night shots.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Marya: How hot is it outside?
Evan: Too.


Upon Evan's perplexed and shocked reaction when I announced that he was going to help me clean up after dinner...

Grandma: he's got a puzzle in his eyes.

getting to Reader0

reader must reads

Ever since drinking the Getting Things Done Kool-Aid, I revel in getting to Anything0. Work inbox0. Gmail0. Reader0. Especially Reader0.

I went on vacation and had no internet access for six or so days, which meant I was at Reader>1000 (it stops counting after 1000). Being a big fan of "Mark All As Read" I promptly did so with most of my often-updated subscriptions. Except these. I can't with these. I love these feeds and no matter how much I'm dying to declare Reader Bankruptcy (hit the Mother of all Mark As Read), I can't bear to not read these. :)

So five days home and I still haven't hit my Reader 0 mark. But at least I know I have good things to see and read. Special shout out to Craft and Design*Sponge, my fave of the faves.

I love this photo

Holga Lake, originally uploaded by Echo_29.

Pure magic. From the Echoes.

in the dark despite repeated patterns

sometimes i have to learn the same thing over and over again before it sinks in. and then when it does sink in it feels as if this is a Brand New Thing Never Learned Before Shazam.

for instance, meditation. i'm a pretty good meditator in that i can sit still for hours. not a problem. if my nose itches -- i can sit there with that itch and not even feel a twitch from my hand to scratch. i just sit there with the itch. i know it will go away. i kinda let the itch scratch itself.

this morning i realized (in the shower of course where all ahas happen) that i could treat my emotions the same way. just don't scratch them. don't follow them. don't write them down in my blog (ha ha ha heh). just be still. and let them scratch themselves.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

i love rooftops

i love rooftops, originally uploaded by emdot.

definitely the highlight of my day today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We got a message today, warning us to not get sucked in to a particularly tricky spam email that hit the campus.

Mike: Oh my god. People actually responded to that scam.
Marya: How do you know?
Mike: ITS just sent out an email.... What? Does my mom work on campus??!!


KMC: Design is like flying a kite. Some days are windy and others aren't.

(she's one of my student assistants, off to fly the coop this spring when she graduates in june. she's a good one, that kmc)

i'm very serious

better than abracadabra, originally uploaded by emdot.

try this. soak in it. marinate yourself. see it. taste it. smell it. hear it. know it. put it next to your heart. feel it on your skin. that's a good start.

what a great quote

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.

— Alice Walker
I get a daily email from the Sierra Club called Daily Ray of Hope. Truly, the only reason I get the email is because they pull images from Flickr and there is a chance that one of my photos will be used. :) But sometimes the quotes are so good, it keeps me subscribed even though I rarely submit a photo.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

and now break time

whew. that was like an internets blitzkrieg. and on that note, i'm hitting the road and not taking the internets with me. good bye internets. see you when i see you.

all i want to pack is books

I'm going on a trip tomorrow. All I want to pack is books (I've written about this before). Books, a couple pens, lots of paper. My iPod. That's all I want to take. But I'm thinking I should seriously consider a change of clothes and maybe a toothbrush. :)

Today started out great, but then I got into a weird mood. But the good thing that happened is that I went to look for that packing blog post (referenced above) and instead went down a really fun emdot memory lane. I sometimes get embarrassed that I still blog, but I tell you, it's a fun personal read for me, going back and seeing what was going on five years ago or so.

Things I was reminded of tonight:
  • If I love you, you DO have a nickname in my life. :) (or you will soon; i just realized becky doesn't have a nickname) (and i adore her).
  • I crack myself up
  • overheards are still fun (for me) to read

When you can't run

My foot has been hurt now since mid-February. Look. This isn't going to kill me, but damn if it doesn't hinder what I can do. And all I can tell you is that what I've needed to do for the past three months straight is this: RUN.

And I can't.

And that, my friends, is frustrating.

And it's not that I'm a good runner or super fit or training for some major-run-a-thon. But that my body needs to be moved to physical exhaustion for the benefit of my brain. My brain has all this crazy energy that needs to be released via serious strenuous physical exertion.

I guess this is a complaint blog post. :) I had to share. Thank you, blog, for being a place to share. With strangers. And/or huge internet void. Either way.

Everyone: send me your healing foot vibes so I get get out on a trail or a track again. And I will reward you by being a sane, exhausted person.

Note to self

Fireworks #1, originally uploaded by Camera Slayer.

Note to self (part II)


, originally uploaded by moxiee.

Wow. I really love this photo. Taken by Flickr friend Moxiee/Annie (I was lucky enough to meet her via 7s) at a friend's wedding. This photo gets me in the gut and in the heart. Just so great.

give it time (aka me stating the obvious)

good morning, originally uploaded by emdot.

what i love about life: it all comes around. if you can't find your groove -- sit tight, it will come. lost your focus? your vision? your gumption? it'll come back. just trust and hold on.

lately i've been grasping at my old goals... but not really feeling the passion for them. the drive the mission the focus... all of this has eluded me for a good three months. instead i felt foggy and muddy. and worried that i'd lost my way.

this morning (and maybe i'm being premature; maybe i should hold on for a few days at a time of feeling like this; maybe it's just the coffee) i feel laser sharp and ready to go.


i needed that back. i needed that back to go forward.

and now it's May and I love May and forward I go. and i hope things are good and forward for you, too.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Seeing what was not seen before

yolk / yoke, originally uploaded by emdot.

Dudjom Rinpoche says of the moment when Rigpa is directly revealed: “That moment is like taking a hood off your head. What boundless spaciousness and relief! This is the supreme seeing: seeing what was not seen before.” When you “see what was not seen before,” everything opens, expands, and becomes crisp, clear, brimming with life, vivid with wonder and freshness. It is as if the roof of your mind were dying off, or a flock of birds suddenly took off from a dark nest. All limitations dissolve and fall away, as if, the Tibetans say, a seal were broken open.

— Sogyal Rinpoche
Ain't that the truth, though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

some day i won't bank on astrology

squirrely, originally uploaded by emdot.

that day, though, has not yet come. ;)

Having it out
There is great likelihood of ego conflicts with others today, because the pressure of circumstances will draw you closer to others now than at almost any other time. That is, you have to work with them! You have little or no choice in the matter. Obviously, anyone whom you tend to have difficulty with will be a source of trouble today, because you cannot escape the confrontation. In fact it is a good idea to have it out and get your problems into the open so that perhaps you can clear it up. The point is that you will not derive much benefit from keeping to yourself today. Even if your only encounter with another person is unpleasant, it will be useful to you in the long run. If you withdraw, the initiative will be taken out of your own hands, and you will still have the confrontation.

The interpretation above is for your transit selected for today:
Sun Opposition Ascendant, , exact at 09:24
activity period from 22 April 2009 to 24 April 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

flying concertina

my wonderful friend, 10 cent designer doing her part in calgary canada. lori andrews you are my hero. xo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's okay to hope; just don't book it as a promise

b(l)oom!, originally uploaded by emdot.

I share this because of the post on nihilism a month or so ago. Something I get stuck in. And hope is such a tricky thing for me... The Buddhists say that hope is just the flip side of fear -- and we want to not get sucked into our fears, right? So, I also try not to get sucked into my hope. And I push it away.

So maybe now no more pushing, and instead just open-handed looking.

Regard any sense of promise that comes into your mind, any hope that comes up, as another thought. If there is a strong desire to achieve a result, that will push you back. You could relate to hope as respect for the dharma, or the truth, rather than a promise. — Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

flickr got me in the gut today

It's not's me, originally uploaded by It'sGreg.

here is one of the photos i swooned over this morning with my cup of coffee (here are more). i love this.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

flight of the condors

flight of the condors, originally uploaded by darkmatter.

this photo is rocking my world. this is from darkmatter down irvine way, but looks like he was spending time in the grand canyon. this is not photoshopped -- this is really three different condors.


and finally spring pushes my heart out the door

bask, originally uploaded by emdot.

It's so beautiful and warm and wonderful right now. I wish there was an outdoor yoga class in SLO, because that sounds perfect.

Also perfect = saturday morning coffee with kb, also sitting in the sun. Thanks KB. :)

Also also perfect? Get together last night at our house. Home full of friends and smiles and food and drink. And we all cleaned up last night so I woke up to a clean house. Clean house, fun night, bright sunny morning... and I ask you... what more could make you smile wide on a Saturday?

Well, probably the list is long. But I am quite content with this.


And why "spring pushes my heart out the door"? I dunno. Just feels like it's time to MOVE and DO and JUMP and laugh. No big deal, no little deal. Just is and I'm loving it.

Also, could simply be the third cup of coffee. :)

Life I love you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You Do It Yourself

we're uncovering it, originally uploaded by emdot.

Pema once again stops me in my tracks.

Learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it, making it your ally rather than your enemy.

Really, this is an uncovering process. I've always been taught that way I've always found it inspiring that what we need (the wisdom and strength, the confidence in our Buddha nature, our awakened heart and mind) is here. Now. Always. And we're uncovering it. We're making it available to us. But we're not inventing it new or importing it from somewhere else. It's here.

And that's why you have these moments of insight, when things just naturally open up, and so forth. Because it's here.

That's why you have the sense of being in a fog, then those clouds parting.

It's here.

No one else can give it to you. People will help you and support you with teachings and practices. But you do it yourself.