Friday, March 31, 2006


Okay, so there's A Situation at the centre where I'm living. I've gotten a biased third-hand account of it, so the only thing I'm sure of is that I don't know the whole story. I don't think there's any point in going through the details here, but I'd like to know, those of you who have experience in living and working in spiritual communities (Mom and Shugetsu, this means you)--how do you preserve the authority of teachers without giving them a licence for emotional abuse? The situation here involves someone being told by someone in a position of power that telling her side of the situation would be divisive speech, which the Buddha prohibits. That strikes me as manipulative bullshit. So I ask: how do you balance authority with accountability, faith with mutual respect? How do healthy communities work?

too good not to share

a comic strip on a friend's wall...forget the name, unfortunately

Dog: Dog food! Again! They know what I like! I feel so loved! I dance now! Joy joy joy joy joy!
Cat: Cat food. Again. They hate me.

--methinks there's a teaching in there on contentment and how our lives create the world, but I mostly just liked the way the dog was zipping around in the background all full of glee while the cat was glaring sulkily at the food.

Friday, March 10, 2006


So tomorrow morning I set out on my travels again--Austria for a week (workshop at a ski resort, woo!), then Germany for a weekend with my dear friend Kate and her fiance, then to Gaia House for a ten-day personal retreat, then "home" for a couple of days, to re-pack for my next trip: I'm spending April in Vancouver. After that it looks like I may have as much as five weeks here before I'm off to Paris for a couple of weeks. if you don't hear much from me for a while, that's why.
Question: How silly is it that I'm leaving my home at a retreat centre to go on retreat?
Answer: Very. Which is typical.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Q: What's a zombie's favourite breakfast cereal?

...give up?

...okay, I'll tell you.

A: Brain Flakes.

Honestly. I slay myself.

Friday, March 03, 2006

cheeky monks

This evening's class was led by one of the monks, instead of the resident teacher. (He himself is one of the reasons I wanted to live here. The first time I visited the centre, I wanted to make a phone call and was baffled by the incoming-calls-only hall phone. This monk was walking by, so I stopped him and asked for advice. He was so helpful and patient and present that I figured that any place where people like that hang out is a place I want to spend time too.) At one point he was saying something about how on a spiritual path we learn entirely different ways of thinking about the world, and how we don't want to change our habitual ways of thinking, and so we struggle and argue every step of the way. Immediately, at the same moment, two monks on opposite sides of the room piped up and said, "No we don't".

Getting ordained doesn't mean you stop being a smart-ass, apparently.