Category Archives: Asia

Refuge in Laos

As part of preparing for my recent trip to Laos I read a series of mysteries that take place there in the mid-1970’s, just after the communist Pathet Lao came to power.  The main character is the delightful Dr. Siri … Continue reading

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Elephants

While in Laos, my friends and I spent the day at an elephant rescue camp.  These were elephants who had worked in logging camps, where they are routinely pushed to the point of exhaustion, unable to reproduce.  To replenish their … Continue reading

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Finding Refuge

Siem Reap, Cambodia, January 19. Tonight I watched a dozen talented artists paint, play music, dance, and do amazing circus routines as they told the story of their country’s descent into genocide and its ongoing recovery from those horrors. These … Continue reading

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Quiet Mind, Open Heart

As we approach this important election, like many people I find myself nervous and stressed.  Last week I enjoyed photos of the Hindu festival of lights, which I was fortunate to attend in India and Nepal.  In Nepal people make … Continue reading

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Sacred Waters

Last week on a meditation retreat I was inspired to swim in Lake Tahoe at dawn under the full moon.  Joined by my friend Christy (if she hadn’t said yes to my invitation, I might have slept in instead!), we … Continue reading

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Hope

I think Anne Frank said what is in my heart this week: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, … Continue reading

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Five Daily Recollections

Recently, inspired by the meditation retreat she had just attended, our beloved yoga teacher Angela recited the Five Daily Recollections given to us by the Buddha in one of his sermons.  There were two typical types of responses:  “wow, that’s … Continue reading

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Excitement

  When I was twelve, my father took us to an amusement park and I went on a large roller coaster for the first time.  I opened my mouth wide and screamed from the first descent to the very end … Continue reading

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Before, During, After

True confession:  I’ve become a fan of The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, a way to think about, honor, let go of, and/or enjoy the things in my house. Marie Kondo, the author, suggests we hold each object we own … Continue reading

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The Grief

Stephen Levine, insight meditation teacher and author of several books, including Who Dies and A Year to Live, has worked with grief for decades.  Like the Buddha, who pointed out that we will inevitably suffer if we are born into … Continue reading

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Friends

This month friendship is a theme for me.  I spent last weekend with a group of folks I’ve known for almost 30 years.  We consider ourselves to be Family-by-Choice by now, and get together regularly in various combinations. In two … Continue reading

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Love and Generosity

When our pilgrimage arrived at the desolate outpost of Darchen, at the foot of sacred Mt. Kailash in western Tibet, we were all tired, hungry and cranky.  We were met by a group of women who were desperate—we were the … Continue reading

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Nepal Earthquake

This is a guest post by Anne Macquarie, from DharmaZephyr.org.  I have added photos I took near Kathmandu in 2008.   A lot of us at Dharma Zephyr have been talking about how we can best respond to the devastating earthquake … Continue reading

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Back Body

I still remember how startled I was when my beloved yoga teacher Angela asked us to bring our awareness to our “back body.” What? There’s something back there worth paying attention to? I’d never had back pain and seldom used … Continue reading

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The Spice of Life

One of the pleasures of travel is to taste different cuisines.   A constant around the world is the use of herbs and spices.  Chiles are popular almost everywhere I’ve been.           Markets are a fun … Continue reading

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Hair Play

I think people have been obsessing about hair for a very long time. By the time I was eight, I was getting Toni Home Perms, which turned my hair into a frizzy mess. Didn’t stop me, though—I did keep trying.  … Continue reading

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Happiness

I used to have an unconscious belief that I could not be happy until everyone was happy. It somehow didn’t seem right, or fair. But then I understood that if we all waited for everyone else to be happy, no … Continue reading

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This, That

We live in a very black and white world, it seems. Have you noticed? People will say, “I don’t know if I’m happy or sad.” Or “I love him but I’m so mad I hate him.” Or “you are right” … Continue reading

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Favorite

As I write, it was 10 years ago today that Davy and I first spoke. We had spent 80 days working side by side in silence, putting away breakfast food and condiments for 100 people. We had started our work … Continue reading

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Bozos

“We’re all bozos on this bus,” said the Firesign Theater in the 1970’s. I first heard it sometime in the past ten years from someone who was learning to work with her judgments, both of herself and others. We both … Continue reading

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Swinging

When we find ourselves feeling a little out of control (when we are learning something new, going through a stressful situation, trying to figure something out) we tend to tense up, often unconsciously. We clench our jaws, shorten our breath, … Continue reading

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Green Tara

Green Tara is a Tibetan depiction of important feminine qualities: beauty, grace, compassion, nurturing. She is said to protect us from fear and embodies enlightened action. She is depicted in thangkas (scroll-like Tibetan paintings like the one shown here) with … Continue reading

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Diwali

This week Hindus all over the world are celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. It signifies the beginning of a new financial year. When we were traveling by bus in rural India in 2007 on our pilgrimage to Buddhist holy … Continue reading

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Upper Limits

In graduate school I learned about invisible loyalties. Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks write about the Upper Limits Problem in Conscious Loving. In recent years psychologists have been studying the happiness set point. These are all describing ways we can self-sabotage … Continue reading

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Autumn

It’s officially autumn now, and it’s obvious here in northern Nevada. The days are shorter, the nights are getting cooler, the leaves are turning, and there are apples galore all over town. We’re easily reminded of the flow of constant … Continue reading

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Eyes and Teeth

This is a lighthearted story about accepting our limitations and having empathy for the challenges of others: A number of years ago a group of friends and I were camping out after a day of white water boating. It was … Continue reading

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Multiple Voices

Recently I’ve been thinking about voices, both inner and outer, and how powerful both kinds can be. In future posts I’ll talk about inner voices, but for now I’d like to share some examples of the power of outer voices. … Continue reading

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Burning Man

As I write this, 60,000 people are gathered in the Black Rock desert (about 150 miles north of here) for the 28th Burning Man festival. Begun on a small beach in San Francisco, it has been in Nevada for most … Continue reading

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Blessings and Protection

Every culture I’ve visited around the world has some form of  ritual objects to help bring prosperity, well-being, and blessings to people and other beings. These are some I’ve brought home and incorporated into my back yard. The structure is … Continue reading

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