“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Friday, August 30, 2013

The legend of the Straw Millionaire

A Japanese Buddhist folk tale about a poor man who becomes wealthy through a series of successive trades, starting with a single piece of straw. The story was likely written during the Heian period and the legend has become a common anecdote in Japanese popular culture.

A hard-working but unlucky peasant named Daietsu-no-suke prays to Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, to help him escape poverty. Kannon tells him to take the first thing he touches on the ground with him and travel west. He stumbles on his way out of the temple and grabs a piece of straw. While traveling, he catches a horsefly that was bothering him and ties it to the straw. In the next town, the buzzing horsefly calms a crying baby and the thankful mother exchanges it for three oranges. Taking the oranges, he continues on his journey and encounters a dehydrated woman. He gives her the oranges and she thanks him by giving him a rich silk cloth. The peasant meets a samurai with a weak horse. The samurai demands the silk cloth in exchange for his horse. The peasant nurses the horse back to health and continues west. A millionaire is impressed by his horse and invites him to his home. The millionaire's daughter turns out to be the same woman he saved with his oranges. Seeing this as a sign, the millionaire insists that the peasant marry his daughter, making him a millionaire.
As part of oral tradition, the details of the story have changed over time and there are several competing accounts of the tale. Some versions portray the peasant as a soldier who trades the horse for rice fields and becomes a successful farmer, omitting the arranged marriage.

Put your horseflies to work! and never be afraid to start small...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

wow, this is my roots

came across a documentary "Brother's Keeper" 2002 on Huluplus which Kim is sharing with us - the Derby/Emery world, great movie. Can see almost see how the cops might have seen the brothers, and how the brothers would see the events...completely different worlds.

The cops must have thought the farmers were throwbacks, pitiful monsters - the brothers offered the respect and trust the law deserves which is that culture's view point.

I had a similar moment at the clinic yesterday - woman came into the room like a big truck and challenged me about my living situation - did I live in a monastery? No, then I must be a lay nun, some other blahblah. I told her the living situation was less important than the intention and that I preferred to talk about the Dhamma or Buddhism when both parties are calm and quiet, perhaps over tea. She slowed down and tilted her head, then said "good answer." Apparently she is the judge of the world, well I am glad I was acquitted.
She declined meeting over tea.

Folks need to be given time and honored for who they are. Trouble is so few have time anymore. When we take the time, even just enough to take a breath, what a difference it makes.

Friday, August 23, 2013

mid autumn moon

Did you notice how intense the full moon was this last week? According to one of the Chinese professors this moon is the ghost moon, when chinese set out meals for the "good brothers" (honored dead) seeking their benevolence and we are at that time open to more than usual in the world hence the mild disorientation, klutziness, riskiness of physical pursuits and this morning I noticed I suddenly felt much better now that moon is on the wane. Probably there are other reasons as well. Whatever the reasons may all beings share this well-being imagined this fine morning.

The approach of Fall is always invigorating. Lets dance, do some free form Qigong on this remarkable morning and greet change with intention.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

grandmother is always there

and always knows what to do to help. Today after meditation in the park with Camille a fellow came up to us and greeted her. Turns out he is a graduate of Emperor's just back from 9 months in Nepal where he worked as a doctor treating mostly knee pain and post stroke syndromes and other things rural farmers experience via the organization Mindful Medicine. Founder Grainne McKeown is interviewed on NPR in the link below:


I really needed to hear and be reminded of this now so it was grandmother's timing, zing! right to the mark.

Sad and twisted that we cannot volunteer service here in the states, always the chief consideration is "do you have insurance?" or, "we don't have insurance so you can't offer that here." And it is not the patient being asked for insurance but the practitioner. Even to teach Qigong, venerable has been asked to show proof of insurance...So much for the first world. Therefore we go to the "developing world."

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Actually still messing with it a little bit but it has been fun...it is about 2 x 4 feet, was a painting left in an alley found when out walking the dog, only some blue in the right upper corner remains of the other painting, funny how much fun this was, when added the little green house on the point had such a pleasure, like reading a book. Thought about how hard I have worked to keep painting a pleasure, actually to make painting the pleasure it should be.