Archive for January, 2009

How Hawaii is Different

January 27, 2009

It seems that we are having a bit of an outbreak of “Rat Lung” disease here on the Big Island.  (Yes, humans can get this meningitis like disease.) Unfortunately the local paper doesn’t seem to think it is important enough to report on. Here is the article from an Oahu paper.

This disease has been affecting people in the area of the big island known as Puna. Now if we were on the mainland, and this disease had put 8 people in the hospital, some in a coma, then you can be sure there would be a national stink.
In Hawaii, we are left to rely on gossip and prudent action.

For our part, we aren’t eating any raw greens for the time being.

Peace, Paul

Buddhism and Vegetarianism

January 4, 2009

I confess that I have often been disheartened by the refusal of Buddhist practitioners to embrace vegetarianism as part of the Buddhist tradition.

However today I cam across some statements from H.H. the Karmapa on Vegetarianism and the Kagyu lineage. HH the Karmpa

These are bold statements, and gives me hope that the Buddha Dharma does indeed hold the key to liberating us from the environmental and violent morass that we have created for ourselves on this earth.

Peace, Paul

New Year

January 3, 2009

The New Year has come and gone.  We survived relatively unscathed, staying indoors out of the craziness of fireworks, gunfire, and drunkenness.  The rain has continued, which I am sure put a bit of a damper on the various neighborhood pyrotechnic festivities.

The beginning of the New Year is a time for resolutions and new beginnings.   Which all sounds wonderful until you actually try to make changes in your life.  Then the rubber hits the road and we see how entrenched we are in our comfortable and familiar habits.  We may not like our habits and behaviors but they are what we know.

This is, of course, why practicing the Buddha Dharma is so hard!  The Dharma runs contrary to what is familiar.  In the Buddhist way of thinking it is our habitual patterns that create and perpetuate much of the suffering in our lives and the world.

To begin “anew” we must be willing to see these habitual patterns and recognize that they are the root of much suffering.  This is why the Buddha’s first teaching, after his awakening, is about Dukkha (suffering) and the causes of suffering.  It is a concise teaching.  Yet it is the foundation for the vast and innumerable teachings known as the Buddha Dharma.

“Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of Dukkha: birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, illness is dukkha; death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with what is displeasing is dukkha; separation what is pleasing is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha.”

Peace, Paul