Saturday, October 17, 2020

Temperament lessons

 While watching the confirmation hearings I am reminded, by way of contrast, with an incident during my law school year. Barrett is a very cool customer, not icy but very calm. This is admirable and unfortunately a strength for someone whose views I oppose. Once the local District Attorney, Jill Ravich, substituted for my law school professor. She has a reputation for biting off the heads of people around her, including staff, but I wasn’t aware of this at the time. I said something unwise in beginning a response to a question she asked of me. She immediately ridiculed me and my anger flared strongly. Although I remained silent, it was obvious I was containing my temper. She let the silence sit until she finally said not to take things personally. This was good advice and the right response would have been “point taken”. I said nothing and felt good that I had not expressed my anger. Much better to do that than what Kavanaugh did, but best of all to be like Barrett. Point taken!

Friday, October 2, 2020

War on the Home Front: Redding, California as a center of opposition to COVID regulations

 Redding is my hometown, where I grew up. It is at the north end of the Central Valley, where the hills rise to border the valley. It is also home to a globally powerful Baptist Church with political aspirations. It is Trump territory, for sure. I hope this story does not portend more of the same, but am afraid it does.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Marking six months of daily meditation practice, a lifetime record

 What once seemed difficult and remarkable is now the norm: I meditate at least forty minutes daily, without fail. Now I consider meditating twice a day as a possible new goal, as well as similar discipline for exercise. While I have gone on retreats of two to six weeks of meditation in past decades, for a total of six months of full time retreat, I always lost momentum after returning to regular life under the pressure of work. Now that I work part time and the quarantine is in effect, I have found it easier to sit every day. My main practice is dzogchen trekcho. I find this very effective, for want of a better word. Many thanks to my teachers and to my wife of nineteen years, who is very supportive! Several friends have reached out for help starting mindfulness practice and I am doing what I can. I recommend two books called “How to Meditate”, one by Pema Choden, who is one of my primary teachers, and one by Kathleen McDonald, who was a friend in college who went on to become a Buddhist nun. I recommend a friend for remote meditation instruction, Lori Wong, who trained at Spirit Rock, among other places. Let me know if you want more information.

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