In October, 2004 I turned 60 and posted this blog of memories:
I was born on October 25th, 1944, which makes me 60 years old on Monday, please God. That sobering fact cries out for a blog of some sort.
Yes, I, dear reader, predate the end of World War II, the end of the Nazi death camps, the modern, and quite persistent, state of Israel and the age of TV. I have some very early memories, such as:
being too shy (at 3) to visit my father in the hospital after his heart attack, after he had been in for months with no visits from children allowed. The treatment of HA’s is so much smarter now. I know that from personal experience
burning my finger with an electric cigarette lighter (at 4) in the back of my Uncle Bill’s car because I trusted my cousin Jo-Ann when she said that it wasn’t hot after the red colour went away
hoping there would never be another war in which I would have to fight and possibly die (I escaped, but TV reminds me constantly of those who don’t)
Allowing oneself to feel sorrow or any other negative feeling (owning the sorrow) without judging that emotion is OK. This is what the tonglen slogan “Drive all blames into one, ” means. Sorrow and joy are opportunities for growth, and we should be thankful for both.
In his website, heaven4earth, Mario d’Elena has a post called, simply, “Thank You.” It expresses this very well.
In February 2o00 I had two heart attacks one week apart. The first one did about 10% damage and the second one was caught before it did any more, as I was in still in ICU when it happened. The problem was fixed with angioplasty, including stents, and drugs. I changed my eating habits and, after advice from holistic doctors and my own research, I began to take several vitamins, including several antioxidants now targeted by the Cochrane Collaboration and others, for doing nothing or, worse, increasing mortality:
We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.
These attacks on the vitamin industry have been criticized in a post by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation in an article entitled, a little “passionately,” perhaps: Latest Attempt to Discredit Vitamin Therapies: Is it Criminal?.
Rath says that one of the study’s main authors, Christian Gluud, has conflict of interest due to his strong connections to Biologue, a network closely tied to the Danish Pharma Consortium. Dr. Rath also points out that Denmark has seriously restricted the allowable levels of vitamin supplements and that that country is particularly opposed to unregulated vitamins. He believes that this is a major reason why the metastudy was conducted there. Continue reading “To Harper and Big Pharma: Hands Off My Inexpensive Vitamins!”
The title of this blog is one of the slogans used in The Main Practice (Training in Bodhichitta). This is one very useful activity of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhichitta is the state of having an awakened heart-mind. It is useful in alerting us to opportunities to avoid the consequences of giving in to our natural tendencies to react negatively to objects, people or situations..
I am not a Buddhist, but I suffer from unnecessary anger. I also believe in the interconnectedness of all sentient beings. I have found this practice of allowing suffering and healing to “ride the breath” a useful way to become aware of mounting aggression and often avoid losing my temper over something stupid. Continue reading “Three Objects, Three Poisons and Three Seeds Of Virtue”
The slide I personally took, in 1967, of this brilliant, iconic piece of masonry disappeared in 1972 when my wife, Anita, and I moved from England to Canada, where I was born. Eighty choice slides from my two month South America trip somehow didn’t come with us or in our separately-shipped trunks. But that’s another story.
My topic is not about lost slides; it’s about lost ways of thinking, speaking, listening and doing. There is as much, likely more, human creativity, intelligence and “spirituality” in this one stone from the wall of Inca Roca than in the bloated speeches of today’s politicians and works of some popular writers.
Manual dexterity is, today, disrespected. Those artisans who work with their hands in our first world are losing their jobs to robots, offshore workers and offshore workers running offshore robots.
Reading per se never was difficult for me. But, reading a whole book? Resisted that like crazy. Aunts used to give me books and encourage me to read. My parents never pushed, ostensibly quite content with my progress in the world of a pre-teen. Then someone gave me a book called The Treasure Hunt of the S-18. It was about a submarine searching for sunken treasure. I was 12, I think. I braved it. I read it three times, then went on to the Hardy Boys etc. A few years ago I ordered a used version of “S-18″ on the web and read it a fourth time, for old times’ sake. In the world of literature it doesn’t rank, but it got me past the intimidation of something thick. It’s in my collection until someone throws it out after I’m gone.