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Heart of Intention

September 16, 2019

Sharon Salzberg (mini-bio below) is offering a free seven-day meditation challenge that starts today and I thought I’d pass the information along in case anyone who sees this might be interested in signing up.

To find out more about the challenge and to register you can click HERE. If that doesn’t work then here’s the link: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/heart-of-intention-registration/

From the website:

Through daily teaching videos, guided meditations, reflections and readings, Sharon brings 40+ years of teaching experience to your inbox, with daily email lessons available to access on computer, tablet or smartphone devices. Sharon offers a robust and accessible program for a week-long dive into an often overlooked arena of life: the inner heart space that drives our actions. 

It’s not interactive so I won’t ‘see’ you there but you’re welcome to reach out to me and talk about what you think of the program and what you’re learning. That would be cool.

It’s amazing to me that this is being offered for free.

Sharon’s Wikipedia page is HERE.

 

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Thinking Twins

September 10, 2019

With 88 wins the Twins boast the fifth best record in Major League Baseball. This is great: interest in baseball is reviving, Twins Territory is thriving and the team is driving toward a pennant which would mark their first appearance in a Division playoff series in nine years. However, a statistic that’s a little scary is that it seems the Twins’ success is only equal to their opponent’s lack of success. That’s a little scary because the Twins are the only team among those top five with a losing record against opponents that have records at, or over, .500. OK, so you’ve looked at the standings and the stats and you found another first-place team that can’t beat lesser teams so you say, “Hey, pal, St. Louis is in first place and, like your hotshot Twins, they also can’t beat good teams.” Yeah, but the point is that I’m talking about the top five teams in baseball and not the top nine. And also, seriously, no one likes the Cardinals unless you happen to live in St. Louis and even then it’s iffy.

The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers record against good teams is an amazing .583. The Houston Astros record against good teams is .576 and Atlanta beats up the bums 57.3% of the time. The Twins, our lovable hometown heroes, play like Godzilla against the bad teams, crushing them a jaw-dropping 74% of the time, but when they’re across the field from a good team they play like… well, they play like the Twins of pretty much the last 10 years, managing to squeak out an embarrassing .460 winning record.

(If we want to break it down even more and look at our record against left handed pitchers then it just gets uglier so we don’t want to do that because we want to enjoy what’s happening and not think about too much of the bad stuff).

In the meantime, we’re not going to be playing many teams in the postseason with records below .500 so while I wouldn’t tell anyone not to believe that there’s magic in baseball – because we all know that there is – it might be a good idea to keep some padding handy should that Playoff Wagon come to a sudden and screeching halt.

To make things even worse, the team announced today that star center fielder, Byron Buxton, will be having shoulder surgery and will be out from five to six months. Buxton is a big reason we’re where we are today and hiss loss creates a huge defensive hole that will very difficult to fill.

Like I said though, there’s magic in baseball, so we’ll what we shall see.

 

One quote

September 10, 2019

In his book “One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism” Joseph Goldstein quotes Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and I liked the quote so much I’m passing it along.

“I would like to pass on one little bit of advice I give to everyone. Relax. Just relax. Be nice to each other. As you go through your life, simply be kind to people. Try to help them rather than hurt them. Try to get along with them rather than fall out with them. With that, I will leave you, and with all my very best wishes.”

Pretty simple advice but apparently very difficult to follow.

I can’t tell you if the book is any good because I just started it.

I was thinking . . .

August 30, 2019

I was thinking that I haven’t blogged in a long time. And then I was thinking that I haven’t had pizza in a long time. Those two thoughts are right now, as I write this, battling it out in my prefrontal cortex, or wherever things like thoughts battle stuff out in a person’s brain. My brain is actually pretty full of thoughts and other thoughts are, I’m sorry to say, are a little pissed off that they’re not getting any space at this particular point in time, but they’ll live.

Let’s listen in. You wanna?

Hey, why haven’t you blogged?
Hmm… mushroom?
You like blogging, no?
You don’t like cheese, yes?
Blogging is fun.
Pizza tastes good.
Writing is fun.
It’s not like you eat pizza every day.
Or sometimes fun.
Or every week.
Most of the time fun.
Or every month.
So go ahead.
So go ahead.
Live a little.
Live a little.
Have fun.
Have a pizza.
Lots of things to write about.
Green olives with those mushrooms?
You’ll think of them.
Peppers too.
And really, who needs an idea to write, right?
Red peppers. Diced.
Because ideas eventually show up.
Oh, almost forgot: don’t forget broccoli!
Hey?
Yeah?
Who’s that?
Who’s who?
The guy listening.
Oh, don’t pay any attention to him.
Yeah?
Onions, too.

Hi, it’s me again. And on and on and on it goes. Those thoughts.

So it goes.” Kurt Vonnegut.

Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday is coming up and I know that because his birthday is right after my birthday.

Interesting?

Not really.

Charles Bukowski just (would have) had a birthday. I know that because I like Charles Bukowski.

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” That’s from a poem Bukowski wrote about all of us; each one of us, me and you and the last person you saw and the next person you see and everyone you know and love and know and hate and you can read it HERE.

I’m guessing that both of those guys liked pizza but I wouldn’t bet on it. Well, I might bet on it if I had a definition of the word “like” as it applies to their appreciation of or disregard of pizza. I wouldn’t bet a lot though, just a little.

It’s not important.

Some people don’t like broccoli on pizza or on anything. That’s not me. I like it a lot.

Close your eyes and listen –

August 29, 2019

Whether being in a Bill Evans mood is a good thing or a bad thing or a happy thing or a sad thing is up to you to decide. The fact that we had Bill Evans is something to be grateful for. This is a long song, but it’s a beautiful meditation. Just close your eyes and let it take you wherever it takes you. Odds are that it’ll be somewhere you need to go.

I hear it’s a great state fair

August 22, 2019

If I had a dollar for every time someone in this great state of Minnesota said, “You goin’ to the fair this year?” or “You makin’ it out to the fair this year?” between August 15th and August 30th I’d have a lot of money on August 31st.

7:40 this morning – –

Guy: “You makin’ it out to the fair this year?”

Me: “No. (don’t say it.) How about you?” (mistake.)

Guy: “I go to the fair once every 10 years and that visit reminds me why I only go once every 10 years!”

Me: <courtesy chuckle> (mistake, I told ‘ya; when can I walk away without looking like a jerk?)

Guy: “Yeah, the fair is blah, blah, blah, blah…

Me: “Hmm.” (I don’t care about any of this.)

Guy: The last time I was at the fair blah, blah, blah, blah…”

Me: (don’t smile and nod; do not smile and nod; don’t encourage him to keep talking) <smile and nod> (damn!) “Yeah.” (i’m stuck here; maybe my phone will ring; please let my phone ring; let someone else walk by; someone test the fire alarm system.)

Guy: “This one time at the fair blah, blah, blah, blah…”

Me: (help)

You Dirty… (Terrible Poetry Contest)

June 26, 2019

The topic for Chelsea’s Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest is small rodents’ opinions on political policies.

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(This started out as a terrible poem and turned into (terrible) prose and I think somewhere along the line it morphed into more of a (terrible) little story than anything else)

You Dirty…

Mrs. Rat said to Mr. Rat: “Why aren’t you watching TV?”

Mr. Rat threw down his hunk of cheese and said: “Because I’m a rat and you’re a rat and everyone on TV is a rat.”

“But…?”

“But we’re good rats and they’re BAD and MEAN and ARROGANT and SELFISH rats. They’re NOGOODNIK rats!”

“You mean?” asked Mrs. Rat.

“Yes. Politicians. All of ’em. He’s a rat…” Mr. Rat said.

“She’s a rat…” Mrs. Rat answered.

“HERE A RAT…” Mr. Rat yelled.

“THERE A RAT…” Mrs. Rat yelled.

And in unison they said: “Everywhere a RAT, RAT” and ended with a two part harmony of, “And there’s no raaat in Democraaat and keep on eye, yes an eye, on the Mobocraaats.

Mr. and Mrs. Rat laughed and Mrs. Rat bent over and picked up her husband’s discarded piece of cheese and started to hand it back to her mollified husband but started nibbling it instead, dreamily thinking of a nice dollop of peanut butter on top of that chunk of cheddar. “Well,” she said. “Now I know why you turned off the TV.” She swallowed the cheese and said, “Hey, I feel better after our little duet.”

“I do, too.” Mr. Rat said as he eyed the piece of cheese clutched in her delicate and attractive hands. Suddenly he lost sight of the cheese as he focused on her long and well-groomed nails.

“What do you want to do now?” Mrs. Rat asked provocatively.

Still eyeing Mrs. Rat’s finely-boned hands and sensing her receptivity, Mr. Rat felt his vibrissae quiver and stiffen. He didn’t know if he could afford another dozen babies, especially after last month’s litter, but he didn’t really know if he cared. He’d think about that tomorrow. After all, he thought, tomorrow is another day. “Uh, I don’t know,” Mr. Rat answered. “How about you?”

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