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life ...

is filled with




be where love is

what is the benefit
of exerting mental effort
the wrong way?


if we divide into two camps -- even into violent and the nonviolent -- and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. we will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence within ourselves. we must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact. ayya khema




nifty links:
(subject to addition & deletion)

on-demand music:

looking for a particular book?

got a message saying that a url
is down or cannot be located?
find out if it's legit:

to avoid telephone

good listening:

global exotica:

clean water for all:

helping cambodian women
to become self-supporting:

marvelous poetry link (thanks to unthaw):

the word of the day:

as in, those who make one.

stewart brand

sarah chayes

emma thompson

brother blue 

sylvia earle 

john mcphee

ai weiwei

salma hussain

noam chomsky

gertrude stein

gunther grass

camilla villejo dowling

steve kordek

kip tiernan

anthony shadid 

his holiness the dalai lama

the woman is just ... magic.


strut yo' stuff, ms. lang!
(thanks to unthaw)

and more:

can any lock keep love confined within, when the loving heart's tiny tears escape and confess it? the unloving belong only to themselves, but the loving belong to others to their very bones.

st. thiruvalluvar

(thanks to sheri)



(thanks to jesse)


(thanks to crowdog)

the work of nicholas vreeland:


46036ef142784b76f050633baacd6e1aa872fc08      ... peace ...      46036ef142784b76f050633baacd6e1aa872fc08 

the flow of dharma - or the flow of one's own innate buddhanature - is like
water. there are obstacles, but eventually the water will find its way around them.

kd lang

big sur through the lens of edward weston, as narrated by his son kim weston:

i like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that i walk on the wondrous earth. in such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality.

people usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. but i think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. all is a miracle.
thich nhat hanh



it is crucial for you to understand what meditation is. it is not some special posture, and it's not just a set of mental exercises. meditation is the cultivation of mindfulness and the application of that mindfulness once cultivated. you do not have to sit to meditate. you can meditate while washing the dishes. you can meditate in the shower, or roller skating, or typing letters. meditation is awareness, and it must be applied to each and every activity of one's life. this isn't easy.
 ... in meditation, don't expect anything. just sit back and see what happens. treat the whole thing as an experiment. take an active interest in the test itself, but don't get distracted by your expectations about the results. for that matter, don't be anxious for any result whatsoever.
hante henepola gunaratana, 'mindfulness in plain english'

just don't worry about it. it broke. keep meditating.
kd lang


we must expend the bulk of our energy setting good roots today rather than fretting about the plants that are already growing from the roots we set in the past.
aster hsing yun, 'describing the indescribable'



random quotes:

all those beautiful nuances, and i love a nice clause. (

genuine compassion is unbiased. (h.h. the dalai lama)

a wound is just a highway to a new and enlightened kind of confidence. (kd lang)

if you want happiness to bloom within you, simply water the seeds. (t.n. hanh)

don't be discriminatory, don't keep a grasping and rejecting attitude. for this reason it is said truth has no comparison, because it is not relative to anything. (hui-chung)

the direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. (eve merriam)

you want to know my philosophy? one day a peacock, the next day a feather duster. (pat quinn, illinois gov.)

ever tried. ever failed. no matter. try again. fail again. fail better. (samuel beckett)

if you want others to be happy, practice compassion. if you want to be happy, practice compassion. (h.h. the dalai lama)

c'est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell. (chuck berry)

it is a shame to become fixated on any idea. one should always attempt to remain open to any idea which contradicts one's most cherished beliefs. ('roaring silence')

be happy for this moment. this moment is your life. (omar khayyam)

i read that the earthquake in chile has knocked the earth off its axis by a couple of degrees, making the days a bit shorter in some places. but we still persist in not acknowledging that we're on a ball full of molten rock hanging in space. (sujata)

so hard to see, so very, very subtle, alighting wherever it likes: the mind. the wise should guard it. the mind protected brings ease. (dhammapada, 3, translated by thanissaro bhikkhu)

it's disorienting to grasp that the world itself is neutral and that all the familiarity and unfamiliarity i feel is being carried around in my head. ... the road we know is always shorter than the road we don't know - even if the distances are the same. (verlyn klinkenborg)

are you able to stay with whatever is present, and can you let go of outcome? (sr. kovida)

here, have a nose shield. (man on beach to mickey roarke's character in 'angel heart')

all that comes here comes to pass. (the avett bros.)

it is not that anger and desire are inherently evil or that we should feel ashamed when they arise. it is a matter of seeing them as the delusions they are: distorted conceptions that paint a false picture of reality. they are negative because they lead to unhappiness and confusion. (k
athleen mcdonald)

q: i can observe anger and work with greed, but how does one observe delusion?

a: you're riding a horse and asking where's the horse? pay attention. (ajahn chah)

we on the same team now, pritty. ('t-bag' to 'michael')

regarding those things ever-present which would divert us, which would envelop us: 'it's hard to keep the light in your imagination burning brightly, burning clear.' (tom waits)

life costs a lot more than i thought it would. (peaceiem)

do you know what shambala means? in my thinking it's a place in my heart where i feel fine. in tibetan monasteries monks tell believers one place at this time and other time other place. it's not a place outside from us. and this is the reason why i tell chinese garden in my area is shambala. there i feel all things of the week falling down from my heart. (andrew, aka 'believer')

i've had a desultory third quarter. ('freebo' to 'dexter')

i can hear that stuff coming to me before it gets to me and i do it to it. (pinetop perkins)

the manner in which you carry out a deed is more important than the actual deed itself. it is the driving force that determines the consequences. ... the way we do anything is the way we do everything. (ajahn sumano bhikkhu)

bach is for order, mozart for healing. (alexander mccall smith)

arrange whatever pieces come your way. (virginia woolf)

as one door closes, another slams in my face, but i can still use the catflap! (boudica)

him: 'no worries'. me: 'no, worries'. but i leave the comma silent so as not to crush the illusion. (joshua grange)

these three ways lead to the heavens:

asserting the truth

not yielding to anger

and giving. (dhammapada, verse 224)

the hawk flies off, the squirrels begin to venture out, cautious at first, and i return to the yellow pad, my mind cleared of unnecessary words. (elmore leonard)

i believe that the craftsman, the artist, the cook and the silversmith are peacemakers. they instill grace; they lull the world to calm.
(anthony shadid)

in the sunshine in the morning the fish all line up with their noses just breaking the surface, facing the sun.




the human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.
samuel clemens/mark twain


laughter promotes understanding. whereas understanding leads to peace, certainty leads to conflict and violence.
giles fraser



(image courtesy of crowdog)

happiness is not pleasure ... and unhappiness, as the buddhists say, is not the same as suffering. suffering - in the sense of old age, sickness and death - is the law of life; unhappiness is just the position we choose - or can not choose - to bring to it.
pico iyer 

danmalas by kathy klein:





i want
the words to flutter

around you and land softly

on your shoulders in peace.

i want you to hear them

tell you of heaven.

stand still

and they will gather.


image 2017 image


this year, change your mind
an article by oliver sacks



a half-century.
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ...



first impressions
is a folio of thoughts, observations and, in most cases, remembrances. two of the pieces, 'transition' and 'unexpected treasure', were written within the last two years, the other ones within a day or so of the posting date.

i am grateful to have been given a cybercloud on which to rest them, am very grateful to those who take time to read them, and am more grateful still to those who generously offer their comments. such touching of hearts and minds is a treasure.

a full listing can be seen by clicking the show all posts live link below.


first impressions

  1. the hawk

    12/04/09 14:54:49 | 24 comments

    recently, i had an experience which i found both remarkable and deeply moving. the day was lovely...