Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Love Doesn't Stink: but fear does

the fear at the base of human existence

Intelligent practice always deals with just one thing: the fear at the base of human existence, the fear that I am not. And of course I am not, but the last thing I want to know is that. I am impermanence itself in a rapidly changing human form that appears solid. I fear to see what I am: an ever-changing energy field... So good practice is about fear. Fear takes the form of constantly thinking, speculating, analyzing, fantasizing. With all that activity we create a cloud cover to keep ourselves safe in make-believe practice. True practice is not safe; it's anything but safe. But we don't like that, so we obsess with our feverish efforts to achieve our version of the personal dream. Such obsessive practice is itself just another cloud between ourselves and reality. The only thing that matters is seeing with an impersonal searchlight: seeing things as they are. When the personal barrier drops away, why do we have to call it anything? We just live our lives. And when we die, we just die. No problem anywhere.

--Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen, from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

are you ready?

This applies to all teaching and learning.
Well said Thich Nhat Hanh.

Even if the teaching is very valuable, if you don't make it appropriate to the person, it is not Buddhist [or productive] teaching.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, June 07, 2008

a sleepy town on the prairie grows art

Arts Council on the Prairie

When I was a kid discovering what it means to be alive in the small town of Humboldt, Iowa- population 5,000 (visualize "Little House on the Prairie" with indoor plumbing and I'm Laura)- exposure to the arts was a rarity in the midst of Farm Rhythms and practical solid folks who followed the same routines of eat, work, watch some television, procreate and go to church on Sunday with slight variations.

The Humboldt Arts Council is making an effort to change art deprivation on the prairie. I sing the praise of the council members even though I don't always agree with the choices they make.

Staging "The Odd Couple" would not be not my choice for summer 2008, but there will be one more production in town this year than there was last year. Noted, only one production, but that is better than none.

About Me

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What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.