Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hearing, Teaching and Pizza

Aug 2013  I was teaching a retreat this year where someone asked me at the end whether I had any transcripts of dharma talks available online. I said no, but there are plenty of recordings on this website, and She told me that she could not access them because she is deaf, which made me realize that she had been lipreading the entire retreat in the front row! This summer, another person told me (completely independent of this event) that she wanted to transcribe some of my dharma talks, so started to do so. I will post them on on this website very soon. Thanks to both of you for bringing my attention to this and for doing the work to make the teachings accessible to all.

In other news, there is a great deaf-owned and operated pizzeria in San Francisco, Mozzeria, on 16th St btwn Dolores and Guerrero St. for those of you in town. It’s a good experience for hearing people to enter a different world and see what that is like. And the pizza is good :).

Renunciation and Ramadan

Aug 2012 We can learn a lot from different spiritual traditions. This the month of Ramadan in Islam, where Muslims fast during the daylight hours for a whole month, an admirable example of renunciation.

What is there that we can consider letting go of in our life? What possessions that we are hanging on to are unnecessary? What habits of mind and body can we let go of? Where can we simplify our life for greater focus and even enjoyment?


Slavery and Your Life

Jan 2012 Here’s an interesting (and intense) website that shines the light on the interconnection of our possessions and actions with the human labor that it takes to make them. Like the “carbon footprint” around the environment,  this site lets you know how much slave labor is involved in creating the conditions of your life, even if you don’t see it directly.

Trading in humans is one of the professions that is not recommended as a good way to spend your life or something to support (under “Right Livelihood”) .

Check it out.

Bearing Witness to Suffering through Protest

Nov 2011 Those of you who have been reading my ramblings here can guess that I am excited to see the nonviolent Occupy Wall Street movement and similar protests gathering steam around the world. (See May 2011 blog post). Some say that these movements are not clear in their purpose. To me it seems like a clear statement along the lines of the First Noble Truth: there is dukkha (strain, stress, unsatisfactoriness) in our world now, in particular in the economic realm. Some people are testifying to this with their bodies and lives by bearing witness in public space. The movement has many possibilities for helping raise awareness and catalyze change for a more wise and compassionate society. Stay tuned for the cause, the possibility of removing the cause, and the path to liberation!

Occupy Image