Saturday, July 29, 2017

Encased in Technologies

We're encased in technologies of our own making.  I knew a man who took his satellite dish and television on camping trips. 

It's the "age of technology".  We're encased in technologies of our own making.  If you are reading these notes, you're already embedded in a world of technological objects - some of which may even be embedded in you.   Two or three hundred years ago you'd likely be living on a farm or small village. In a short walk, you'd be out in "nature". Now we use transportation machines to get "out" to nature.  So, we drive (not walk) out to the country or the woods.  The automobile may be there near the camp site.  I knew one man who took his satellite dish and television on camping trips.  

Nature has always been a problem to overcome - so as to make ourselves more safe and comfortable.  Because of our soft-wired brains, we keep inventing and transmitting new ways to make life more comfortable and safe.  We use one device after another (i.e., telephones, cell phones, cars, elevators, etc.) We’re embedded in an ocean of devices of our own making.  The quest for the perfect life via technology is an ever receding horizon. 

Holo Sutra © by Americ Azevedo,  2014.05.04 (final unedited draft)  Page 54

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Buffalo Dusk

Buffalo Dusk 

The buffaloes are gone.
And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,
Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
And the buffaloes are gone.
Source: The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (Harcourt Brace Iovanovich Inc., 1970)
As sited by The Poetry Foundation.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Inbetween

I have heard and read that Tibetan Buddhists believe that upon death the body’s spirit goes to an in-between state called the bardo. This is a period after death when consciousness is disconnected from the body. The soul’s disembodied state while awaiting rebirth. It is a time of potentially frightening visions. Eventually the spirit or consciousness finds a body to enter - rebirth occurs. A new incarnation that may reflect the development and lessons learned in previous lifetimes.
   Even within our current embodied lives we experience mini-bardo states such as being between jobs, between morning and afternoon, between life partners, between home and workplace, etc.
   These in-between places give us deep insights into reality.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Street Deer

Saw this deer (and its shadow) walking the street.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Teaching Engineering Ethics

I was the instructor for an Engineering Ethics course offered by the Engineering Department at the University of California at Berkeley. The first day of class was a "disaster". No one talked! Miraculously, on the second day everyone engaged in non-stop talk. Some students stayed after class, to continue the dialogue. They where phenomenal. Bright young people with so many great ideas for improving the world. These young people gave me faith in the future.

Why the change in student response. Well, the first day I was "the expert". But on the second day, I treated the students as experts. I wanted to listen to them, rather than myself. That was all the difference in the world. We learned what we needed to learn, but we did it together. I stopped acting like the center, and allowed everyone to be "at center". It worked!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

The Great Way

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind. 

When the deep meaning of things is not understood, 
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail. 

The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such 
erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

                                                     Opening passages from
                                                     The Third Patriarch of Zen
                                                     Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng-T'san

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Embrace Life

Start your day in wonder
be like a child again
embrace life