Leggo my Ego

This past weekend I did my first shift as hospitality volunteer at a hospice in my community.  It’s a small, very personal place and, surprisingly upbeat for a facility that revolves around residents engaged in the final journey of their lives. It is a place where you really need to leave your ego at the door – it’s NOT all about …

Life’s a S’more

Last week at work, a colleague left a strange-looking “edible” on the cabinet usually reserved for shared treats (a dangerous locale for the calorie-conscious).  It looked like some kind of burnt offering, oozing with a viscous brown liquid that resembled motor oil… genuinely unappetizing.  I hate to say it, but my first reaction was… “Yuck! What is that?”… and then I …

I Read, Therefore I Am! – A Literary Ramble

“The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings.” -Jorge Luis Borges,The Library of Babel I cannot imagine a life without reading.  This act of communion between a writer and a reader has parallels only with the intimacy between lovers …

My Religion is Kindness

“My Religion is Kindness”: The Charter of Compassion and a New Global Ethic “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.”Tenzin Gayatso, the 14th Dalai Lama It seems inconceivable that in the 21st Century the world is still plagued by greed, selfishness, sectarian hatred and violence… but it is!  The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the reality of …

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going…

I went to see a movie with a friend last weekend… “Uncle Boonmee Who can Recall his Past Lives”, a film by the Thai director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  The film received very favourable reviews and was awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.  My friend and I were both a little dumbfounded… While the film meanders through …

Worry… Worry… Worry… (Not!)

The thing that strikes me most about the Dalai Lama is not his political or religious leadership of Tibet’s community in exile, not his winning of the Nobel peace prize, nor his profound wisdom or encyclopedic knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism; it is his downright simplicity, his aura of peace and humility and his penchant for spontaneous and frequent laughter.  While …

Why did the Buddha Cross the Road? Buddhism and Humour

Q: What did a Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? A: Make me one with everything. We don’t often associate Buddhism with humour.  After all, the principal teaching of Buddhism is suffering, and, at first glance, suffering seems antithetical to humour. The Buddha is often considered to be the Great Physician – one who has diagnosed our human condition, the …

Slow Down Now

“Slow down Jo Anybody ever tell you that you move too fast?Anybody ever tell you how to make a good thing last? Cuz it ain’t like that . . .” Monsters of Folk Do you feel that everything in your life is moving at warp speed, that there’s no time to do all of the things that you need to do …

Thinking Outside the Box

It’s been about a year now, I think, since I gave up my television set, and so far I haven’t suffered any adverse effects.  There weren’t any big moral reasons behind my decision to leave ‘fantasy land’ behind.  Rather, there was no good reason to keep that monstrosity of techno-furniture; it was taking up valuable real estate in my living …

From an Acorn…

Recently, my son and I took a little road trip through New England and down to Boston.  It was a wonderful journey… the best part for me was being able to spend time with my son (He’s sixteen and these occasions when he actually wants to spend time with his old man are precious).  On the walk from our hotel …