So I just got this email

Good day. I need Microsoft Office updated on my computer.  I will be on campus tomorrow, and would like to make the updates then.

I made this blog post 10 months ago

Dear Faculty/Staff Mac Users:
It’s time for you to join your PC colleagues and upgrade to Office for Mac 2011. I think the easiest way to do this for all involved would be for you to submit a support ticket by emailing with the subject line “ $yourName Office for Mac 2011 Upgrade” and we can discuss availability from there.

Just wanted to bitch.

Free Thumbdrive is giving away a few hundred flash drives as a back-to-school promotion.
There’s 2 ways to get one:
If you have a blog or website you can mention the promotion and we will mail you a flash drive. This automatically gets you a flash drive.
You can mention our giveaway on twitter/facebook/google+ and we will be raffling another 100 drives off to people who do that. (so far there are no entries so chances are pretty good you will win one).

What I think, and Ango, and Precept Study

Riding my bike into work today I realized that I am not as complex as I once thought. My thoughts, values, and ideals are not mine. I am a mashup artist of thought. If you made a playlist of talks by Allan Watts, Noam Chompsky, Brad Warner, Jello Biafra, Hunter S. Thompson, and Cory Doctorow you have my day to day thoughts. All rushing at 132,32456,732,932 Miles/second. That being said I think I may have had the thought but these men put into words something that I just could not.

And now for something completely Different…

ANGO IS COMING!!! The study period is fast approaching. At Treeleaf is from September 1st to December 1st. Many (almost all) are surly asking themselves, ‘What in the hell is Ango?’

Ango, literally “peaceful dwelling”, is a period of concentrated and committed Zen practice, usually lasting three-months in the Soto Zen tradition. The roots of Ango arise from the earliest days of the Buddhist monastic community in India, when monks and nuns would cease their wandering and settle together in one place for the rainy season.

This will be happening at the same time I am doing Precept study in preparations for Jukai which I plan to do in January.

Jukai is a ceremony in which one “takes refuge in the dharma” and receives a “dharma name”.

All of this will be going on as I work full time, join the Leadership track in Kung-fu, and try to find time for my girlfriend and our new house.

Your prayers/positive thoughts/metta would be very much appreciated :)


FUDCon days 1&2 “The Beefy Miracle Part 2: Let’s Burn This Mama-jama to the Ground!”

Day 1:

The most important thing to note about Day 1 (the day the BarCamp happened) is I WON A RASPBERRY PI! So look forward to many blogposts, micro-messages, and the such where I am pissed because something I dont understand is not working the way I expect 🙂

Lunch was provided by Ivan Makfinsky’s company, Endosys, Inc. (thanks it was great).

I sat in two ARM talks. I’ve never really been interested in ARM but Jared talked about its importantace in the future. I also sat in adamw’s talk about running your own cloud, something that ARM can be very useful in.

FUDPub was a blast I was hanging out with Klaatu for a bit and then found Mario, a new Ambassador with a million crazy stories about his globe trotting, and drank far too much [that is Mario’s fault :)].

Then we were up waaaaaaaaaaaay to late causing hell for the kid who was employed as a security guard.

OH! and once again there was insanity involving a wedding party (this time it wasn’t drunken ladies “enjoying each others company”, but a gentleman that said “don’t judge me” after he said “she’s not my real sister” [gotta love the south]).

Day 2:

Day two was more hackfests. I became a moderator for [which I suck at and need to get my ass some learnin’ about]. I gave some input in on Fedora Insight [which I am super stoked about now], and I got my Ambassador on.

Lunch was again an Endosys, Inc event (thanks again!!)

Speaking of Ambassadors nb, get a hold of me about ILF after you make it home and catch up on some sleep.

Then I had to bail to catch my flight (where I am writting this right now).

I would like to thank the following:

Daddy Shaddow Man
Ben Williams – the host of the event
Robyn Bergeron – who I owe emencely for sorting out my travel and room (because I’m obviously not adult enought to sort this out myself [still]), and dinner ($insert weiner joke here)
Ruth – That Hoodie is awesome!
Spot – for lunch and the funny motorcycle Jesus church story
Paul Frield – for the ride to VT
John Stanley – for getting a hold of Paul for me
Mario – for the booze and ride
Matt Domsch – for the ride to the airport
MarkDude – for sharing a room with me
Senecac Collage – for the Raspberry Pi
Douchie Mc Wantstobeacop – for the lulz
Klaatu – for listening to my long ass diatribe night0, and taking all the shit I heaped on him about sleeping on a plank 🙂

and Everyone else who make FUDCon super awesome.

Fedora Contributors are like the Wu-Tang Clan… nothin’ to f’ with.

FUDCon Day 0 “The Beefy Miracle Part One: Check Out Robyn’s Wiener”

Hackfest: There were a lot of really interesting (and over my head) talks. Some problems were being solved, some new problems were created. One discussion I got in on was about

Lunch: Had lunch at a great pizza/burger joint, had some funny Teebow discussion.

More hackfest fun.

Dinner: went to this really weirdly incestuous restaurant that was attached to a bar. The bar was way to loud so we went into the resturant and most of us ordered hotdogs off the bars menu, and jokes ensued (that’s where the title came from) . I still feel sorry for that waiter. poor guy 😦

After dinner I sat with Klaatu and discussed the ten-thousand things. Well I talked most of the time. I should really be more mindful of that.


This practice is nothing special…..

My brother Yugen posted this today on the forum at Treeleaf. Just thought I’d share.

I don’t as a rule post much or reply a lot on the forum(s) here…. I do visit every day and feel very close to all of you. I just do not feel as facile at commenting or going with the flow of discussion threads. I do, however, increasingly find myself wondering throughout the day how each of you are…. and I think about Eika and his wife, Louis and his sister, Jennifer and her cat, and our sangha mates who experience loss, illness, suffering, and the many occurrences of daily life that we would just rather avoid, ’cause they just hurt too much….

I find that each day I say metta for my friends and a silent prayer. My sittings have grown in length, I chant and say wellness prayers, I read the Heart Sutra, I send time in the morning silently cataloguing the things I have to be grateful for. For me, this is a big deal.

You see, for much of my life I have been a very selfish, self centered individual. I need this practice because without it, I am am not a very nice person. Many vistas have been opened for me since I have been hanging out with you – I cry randomly sometimes when sitting, I think of my friends, and silently breath in and out, sending them warm energy and thoughts. I have also found great joy in snowflakes and monarch butterflies…. In the process, I have found that this practice is nothing that special, because it does not confer any special benefits or powers. It just allows me to be a human being – to feel the joys of sunlight and laughter, to feel the sadness of loss and impermanence, to reach out silently when my friends here go through the ups and downs of life.

So this practice did nothing really special for me today when I got word in the morning that a dear old friend (in the hospital since Friday on a ventilator) had decided to put an end to his suffering – to go off the ventilator and pass on. He announced this to his wife and daughters at 9 AM, and at 2 PM he was gone. He had a mutiple myeloma as well as pneumonia, so the prognosis was not good. He did not want to be a burden to his family… . His wife called me late morning and asked if I would come to the hospital. I went to the hospital and said goodbye to my friend. I saw that he was radiant in the knowledge that he had made a decision after a tiring illness, and I was the one who was a mess – my feelings of loss have more to do with my own resistance to change, with my own struggle with impermanence (which I will lose), and the fact that tonight, I miss my friend. He taught me a great lesson today, even as he had only minutes left on this earth, in this form…. he radiated love and gratitude…. and he taught me something about friendship.

I cried all the way home…. what does Zen have to say about this – “When you feel like crying – cry-” …. I hugged my wife and kids extra hard this evening. I have lit a candle on the kitchen table for my friend, at the place where he used to sit and drink wine while visiting. I will have a small service for him tonight when I sit, and for a my friends here who are experiencing life “as it is”…. regardless of what we want, or desire, or wish to avoid….

This practice has done nothing for me…. so I am able to be just a human being…. the tears flow…. and so does the gratitude…. my time and your time and our time will come but it would not mean anything if we didn’t have only one chance at it. It wouldn’t mean anything if we didn’t have something to be attached to, something to lose, and therefore a practice to help us realize the suffering caused by these attachments and notions of permanence. I need this practice…. every minute of every day. So thank you for practicing with me.

A deep bow,

AHHH! Real Buddhists!

Utne Reader has a story called Bad Buddhist Vibes: Buddhism is America’s fastest-growing religion, and it’s making some people uncomfortable. The story is as follows:

At least 2 million Buddhists currently practice their religion in the United States, and many of their fellow citizens disapprove. A survey conducted by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell, coauthors of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (2010), endeavored to determine how Americans perceive the nation’s major religions and found that Buddhists rank second to last, above only Muslims, writes James Coleman in Buddhadharma (Fall 2011). The same survey reports that whereas a large Christian church coming to their neighborhood would be acceptable, a large Buddhist temple would raise objections from one in five Americans.

The negative image seems to stem from a lack of publicity, which has contributed to the sort of ignorance that fuels fear. “Buddhism has remained something of a stealth religion, virtually invisible to most people outside our cosmopolitan coastal enclaves,” explains Coleman, who entreats practitioners to enter the public discourse, especially since the faith has become America’s fastest-growing religion with numbers rivaling those of Mormons, Muslims, Anglicans/Episcopalians, and practicing Jews. Coleman points to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for inspiration, not only because of his peace-loving message, but also because of his carefully crafted public image.

Original Story:


Universal Oneness and the Karma of Being a Dick

Ok so I have tried to explain the Buddhist theory of Universal Oneness before and failed miserably at it. That is until I read this Koan Story and the later dissatisfaction Dogen had with it. Fist my explanation, then the koan, then the karma of being a dick.

Universal Oneness is the idea that there is no you or I, that there is only you and I, only us. You are I and I are You. (yes I know grammatically that is an abomination but it helps one to understand)

Life is a calm pond, and for this example there are only two beings in it, you and I. You and I are cups in the pond. The only thing that you can define as $YOU is the cup itself. But inside that cup is the same water that makes up the rest of the pond. You don’t normally define $YOU as a meaty shell, but $YOU are something that is inside of you.

Nansen Kills the Cat
(The Gateless Gate, Case 14)

The Case

Once the monks of the eastern and western Zen halls were quarrelling about a cat. Nansen held up the cat and said, “You monks! If one of you can say a word, I will spare the cat. If you can’t say anything, I will put it to the sword.” No one could answer, so Nansen finally slew it. In the evening, when Joshu returned, Nansen told him what had happened. Joshu, thereupon, took off his sandals, put them on his head and walked off. Nansen said, “If you had been there, I could have spared the cat.”

Master Dogen wrote

“If I had been Nansen, I would have said, ‘If you cannot speak, I will kill it; even if you can speak, I will kill it. Who would fight over a cat? Who can save the cat? On behalf of the students, I would have said, ‘We are not able to speak, Master. Go ahead and kill the cat!’ Or, I would have said for them, ‘Master, you only know about cutting it (the cat) into two with one stroke, yet you do not know about cutting it into one with one stroke.’”

Ejo asked, “How do you cut it into one with one stroke?”

Dogen said, “The cat itself.”

Get it?

Ok even if you didn’t let’s move on to another thought I had around this premise.

So here you are floating just under the surface of the pond, full of the pond. When you decide to whip the pond water inside of you, the cup, into a frenzy. Will the frenzied pond water in your cup leave the top and disrupt the rest of the pond? Hell yeah it will. It will make a ripple (at least one) in the whole pond.

Just like the old Choas Theory thought experiment (koan?) about the butterfly that flaps its wings, your frenzy water has an effect on everything else. That is karma, the understanding of Cause and Effect. So when you are in a bad mood 1. It’s your own fault (a still pond can’t stir itself) and 2. your badattude goes beyond you.

Let’s take something really horrible like WW2 and watch the ripples. Hitler was a dick, his badattude rippled. But he wasn’t the only person who caused a ripple every soldier, every medic, every civilian, every P.O.W., every person in the concentration camps, every who killed and was killed caused a ripple in the pond. But the only ones who suffered were those causing the ripples, and the ones who let the rippling effect them. One would be wise to keep “your own” water calm, and do not create ripples. A wise person indeed.


Real Life Updates

Ok so I have been busy as crap doing nothing in particular. I’m still not working but I am in the process of starting a bicycle advertising thing (I’ll be selling adspace on my bike). I’m still doing Kung-Fu and Qigong to the point of making myself sick because I am not resting well. Classes are going well. After failing one of two of my classes last semester chunk, I am passing my personality psych class (right now I have an A). I also joined an online Zendo. So I am planning to kick my sitting into high gear. I haven’t been online much because I’m trying to get myself healthy and late night IRC sessions are not really that conducive to sleep, but I’ll try to be around more often.

Oh and now I am a beggar. If you would like to give me money you can click the flattr button in the sharing area.