January 26th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

The rain is soft.   Karen and I met for sensing with Lee this morning.  I arrived there moving in the softest circles which seemed to expand all through me.  I feel like a pond in which a rock has landed and I am exploring what bounds.

I love this quote.


"He who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass."

- George Herbert

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treatment -

The New Yorker this week has an article on how doctors think.  It is by Jerome Groopman.   When I chose chemotherapy, I was too shocked to think about the particular drugs or the damage they might do.  I was following orders.  I wanted to heal.  I read in this article about Adriamycin, which is called "the red death" by oncologists because of its cranberry color and its toxicity.   The article says, "Not only did it cause severe nausea, vomiting, mouth blisters, and reduced blood counts; repeated doses could injure cardiac muscle and lead to heart failure."  It is odd to read that now from this perspective.   Hmmmm!    No wonder I continue to work so hard to heal, and reach so strongly now toward Sensory Awareness where my body-mind has a chance to right itself from the damage done by the drug Adriamycin. 

There is also an article about Tiki Barber and what the "sport" of football has done and continues to do to his body.   The SF Chronicle recently had an article on what it is like for Joe Montana now that he is fifty as he lives with what was done to him in his years playing football with the 49'ers.  I think as this world expands its concept of peace, the "sports" world and what it does to those who play has to go.

The Romans had their circuses and we thought it was brutal that they placed Christians in a coliseum with a lion, and yet, I wonder if the damage done to players in the name of "sport" isn't much the same.   We can say players today have choice and they do and fame and still how it is sporting to watch men clash and damage mind and body over and over again?    Maybe these articles will lead to change.  
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Dick Olney -

Here are some quotes from Dick Olney, who named his work Self-Acceptance Training.  At the moment of self-acceptance, a person feels "alive and real and open to life."

    "Use your body as if it were a meat thermometer that you stick into a turkey to find out its temperature.  You use your body to find out about yourself, not to tell you what to do, but to tell you what you are feeling.  Always check back to what is happening in your body, because your body never lies."

    "When you are in touch with your body, no harm will befall you."

    "You cannot engage in an experience without feeling it in your body.  Just to understand an explanation of something is not enough."

    "Distinguish between what you feel and what you think, between somatic reality, which is your direct experience, and semantic reality, which is your idea or concept about reality."

    "Meditation is not the art of concentrating on something.  It is the art of bringing yourself back."

"You can see each thought as being just another log floating down the river.  Eventually you will stop seeing the logs, and you will start seeing the river."

    "What would your tears say if they had a voice?"

    "Emotion will not drive you crazy.  What will drive you crazy is the fear of emotion."

    "The great tragedy of being self-conscious is that no one is looking."

    "The need to connect with others is what separates you from others, because to say, "I need to connect," is to say, "I am separate."  There is no need to connect with me because you are me.  For us to be separated physically, there would have to be a thin film of nothing between us, but there is no such separation.  We are a physical continuum."

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The Power of Now -

     Eckhart Tolle says, “Presence is making space,”  

            and awareness of breathing

                    “takes attention away from thinking and creates space.”

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The Warming Hut!

I see the Warming Hut at Crissy Field has been damaged by fire and will be closed several weeks.  It is one of my favorite places, and I am sad to hear it is hurt.   Here is to fragility, preciousness and change.
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Jon Carroll -


Jon Carroll

Friday, January 26, 2007


Last year, as you may recall, Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," was the keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents' Association's annual dinner. You probably read about it, although what you learned depended a lot on where you read the report.

A lot of the initial reports suggested that Colbert wasn't funny and that the audience was unhappy with his show. Later reports, mostly in commentary pieces or on blogs, suggested that he was funny and that the audience did love him. Then a third view emerged: Colbert was funny, but the audience didn't love him because his satire was too pointed.

You can decide for yourself. Google has the complete video at tinyurl.com/lnjpz. My reading is that the audience was mostly bewildered, perhaps because it didn't really know who Colbert was. Comedy Central is not must-see TV in Washington, where the Republicans watch Fox News and the Democrats watch CNN.

Interestingly, as the tape shows, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to be having a wonderful time. He's smart enough to get the jokes, and secure enough not to be bothered by them. Let 'em mock! He's got a lifetime appointment.

Colbert, for those of you tuning in late, adopts the persona of a right-wing talk show host, much like Bill O'Reilly. He does this for satiric purposes, and employs irony -- that is, what he says is not what he means. We are so used to people lying while hoping we think they're telling the truth that people lying hoping that we understand that they're lying can be unnerving.

Colbert called the president his hero. He said: "It is my privilege to celebrate this president. Because we're not so different, he and I. We both get it. Guys like us, we're not some brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We go straight from the gut. Right, sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Did you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than in your head? You can look it up. Now I know somebody will say, 'I did look it up and that's not true.' That's because you looked it up in a book. Next time look it up in your gut. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works."

He also mentioned the media. He congratulated them on their performance early in this Bush administration, noting that they had failed to adequately investigate administration claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that global warming was an unconfirmed theory. "We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to find out."

That may have hit a sore spot. Like congressional Democrats, a lot of reporters are just a wee bit embarrassed by how thoroughly they bought the administration line, particularly during Bush's first term. Sept. 11 made skepticism less fashionable, but journalists, in theory, are supposed to follow the facts and not the fashions. They don't, because journalists are people and people are always influenced by the wisdom of the moment, but they could have tried harder. They're supposed to try harder.

Colbert chastised the press for its later tough questioning of administration officials: "What incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? Nothing satisfies you. Everyone asks for personnel changes, so the White House has personnel changes, and everybody's like, oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. First of all, that's a horrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg."

Now, that's a fabulous line. The reaction to it, a sort of rueful chuckle moving in waves across the audience (presumably as people dredged up "Hindenburg" from their in-mind data banks), suggests that his listeners were having trouble keeping up.

The White House correspondents dinner has long been a sort of Beltway clustergrope for journalists and bureaucrats and second-rate celebrities (these days, an "American Idol" contestant qualifies in the latter category). It dates from an earlier time, when everyone involved was white and male and understood the rules -- and when politicians thought that freedom of the press was important. Then it was about joshing; now it's about spinning.

This year, the group is playing it safe. Rich Little, a comedian who has never had a special on Comedy Central but did appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show," has been asked to host. He told his hometown newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that he had promised the organizers that he "would not even mention the word 'Iraq.' " He explained: "They don't want anyone knocking the president. He's really over the coals right now, and he's worried about his legacy."

Colbert: "I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
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You're fascinating toooooo -

            St. Augustine:

    People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long compass of rivers, as the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.