Sunday, November 30, 2008

I only made it to 43,000 this week

May all beings benefit anyway. I guess I have to do 50,000 this week, just to show myself I can.

Don't these flowers look happy? (I swiped them from here.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Om Mani Peme Hung

Tuesday total is 7,000 and running total is 21,000.

Wednesday total is 7,000 and running total is now 28,000 as of 9pm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday Total: 7,000; Running Total: 7,000

(Thanks, again, to wuhwuh)

UPDATE [7:30pm]: I've got 7,000 today (running total 14k), and may get more if I finish my homework in time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Khenpo Tsultrim's Thanksgiving Project

This letter is from Khenpo Tsultrim about his suggestion for how we can use the Thanksgiving holiday to reflect on the plight of other beings and direct our attention to wishing them happier futures:

Dear Dharma sisters and brothers,

Next Thursday, we in the US will be celebrating the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition in this culture where families and friends gather together to express their gratitude and appreciation for each other and for the blessings that we have enjoyed over the past year. It is a time to reflect, to count our blessings and to be thankful. The heart of Bodhisattva-practice is the repaying of the kindness of others and if reflect deeply we will realize that we are here and alive today due to the kindness of all mother sentient beings.

In this regard, we should also be aware that during this holiday season, an incredible number of turkeys has been or will be killed for the purposes of our celebration. Furthermore, most of these birds have been raised in very poor and inhumane circumstances. In order to more fully integrate our Dharma-practice with our everyday life, I hope we will each do what we can to lessen the unintended suffering that we have caused during this holiday season. To that end, please consider practicing any of the following to whatever degree that you can:

1) Celebrate this Thanksgiving differently - think of other creative ways that do not have to involve the taking of animal lives for this holiday's feast. If this is not completely possible, then minimize the taking of life. Do what we can.

2) Recite as many Mani-mantras (om mani peme hung) or Amitabha mantras (om amideva hrih) as you can and dedicate it to the alleviation of suffering of these unfortunate turkeys and other animals. The TMC will begin this recitation this Sunday (11/23) and we encourage you and your centers to do so until next Sunday (11/30). Please email us at
by next Saturday midnight to let us know how many mantras you have accumulated over the week. We will include that total number at our group dedication prayers conducted at TMC on Sunday 11/30.

3) Make a donation to any no-kill, animal-rescue/shelter that you know of and dedicate the virtue of the donation to the alleviation of suffering of animals killed for food.

Please share this humble suggestion that I have with your family and friends whom you think might be interested.

Yours in the Dharma,
Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin
TMC Spiritual Director

I've got 3,333 accumulated so far, and I'm going for 50,000 by Saturday night. He suggested today we could do mantras in the car instead of listening to music. I do about 1,000 in ten minutes, and I commute about 30 minutes each way, so that's 6,000 per day (or thereabouts) just in the car. So working a 4 day week, that's half of it right there. I think 50,000 is very do-able. I'll post my progress.

My imaginary readers are encouraged to participate in this effort. You can post your progress here and either email TMC yourselves or I can note your contributions when I email Khenpo-La. And if at all possible, join us next Sunday for the dedication. May all beings benefit!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Redheads on a Roll

Well, Carol, anyway. I think Julie's a blonde.

Laugh out loud. It's good for you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Speaking of adorable, musical redheads...

Here's more joy for your heart:

If you have the time, you might want to also check out An Evening with Danny Kaye (in 17 parts!).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just because Shlomo Mintz is such a cutie...

I thought I'd post some more:

The Mendelssohn pieces are great, too, of course, but I'm partial to Sibelius. The Paganini Caprices are just for showing off, IMO, not as much for lay appreciation.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joyful Music

WebMD says joyful music helps the heart by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow, while music that makes people feel anxious constricts blood vessels. Given that yesterday's selection may have been of the kind to produce anxiety, I feel I ought to post some joyful music today, so here's to your heart:

How's that for joyful? Want more?

Sweet! And in conclusion....

J.S. Bach knew his way around some joy, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Repo! the Genetic Opera

How the Rocky Horror potential of this film has been missed is a mystery, but I so wish I could see this in a movie theater instead of having to wait for a DVD in January:

I don't care if it's bad. It could be greatly bad. Paris Hilton and Sarah Brightman in the same movie, c'mon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No One Sleeps

This post is the apology I owe to the glorious art of opera for my impatience with it yesterday when I was trying to find classical music to listen to online while I worked and came up against station after station after station with "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" programming. While I can watch broadcasts or recordings of opera, listening to an entire opera is not my idea of a pleasant background distraction. I finally found WCPE, which suited nicely.

So to apologize to Opera, I post for your listening and viewing pleasure Placido Domingo's performance of Nessun Dorma from Turandot (with Spanish subtitles, even). In English, it's:

No one sleeps!
No one sleeps!
Even you, oh princess,
in your cold room,
look at the stars
that tremble with love
and hope!

But my mystery
it is locked in me.
And my name,
no one will know!
No, no!

On your mouth
I will say it,
when the light
will shine!

And my kiss will break the silence,
that makes you mine!

His name no one will know...
And we shall have, alas, to die, to die...!

Disperse, o night!
Vanish, oh stars!
Vanish, oh stars!

At daybreak, I will win!
I will win!
I will win!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment

Starting tomorrow morning, Khenpo Tsultrim will be teaching from A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, Sunday mornings at 10am all month.

Here is a pdf with a brief (9 pg) biography of Atisha, author of the above.

Thursday, November 6, 2008