10 July 2009

Knight of Cups onarket St. By NAD

29 May 2009

Proof that chanting is good for you?

From Wired, Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Attention:

“Imagine a spring between your two hands, and you’re vibrating your hands back and forth,” said Desimone. “If you time it just right, your hands are going to have a spring bouncing back and forth at a certain resonance. The neural equivalent of that is a very strong signal in the brain.”

I tend to find that chanting increases the success of my meditation practice (when I remember to do it). I remember the first books I read on meditation were on Vipassana techniques and that’s what I tend to default too. But often, it’s just too difficult for me and my ADD addled monkey brain to do and I get frustrated and give up. But I loves me some chanting. Especially in a group setting. Perhaps this new finding sheds a bit of light on why.

19 November 2008

What Prop 8 is really about

A reader sums it up nice and neat on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish:

The critical point that is put forward in every brief seeking Prop 8‘s invalidation is thatProp 8 stands for more than gay marriage: it stands for the premise that any minority group can suddenly be targeted by the majority for discrimination.  It essentially eviscerates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution.  This because a) the Supreme Court has held (in  Perez, some 20 years before Loving) that marriage is a fundamental right and b) in the Marriage Cases, that homosexuals are a suspect class.  Unless Prop 8 somehow by implication reversed either of those, Prop 8 means that any time we wanted to be mean to some minority group, we could.

Emphasis mine. This is about civil rights and equal protection. And while the courts have been asked to look into it, you can sign the petition to repeal it.

13 November 2008

A reminder of why we have a separation of church and state…

… of why having a theocracy is a bad idea. 

From the Associated Press via MSNBC:

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

5 November 2008

Second-Class Citizen

My heart bleeds drops of disillusioned anguish. I have largely seen the good in people or tried to on most occasions. But today I cannot see it. The day is grey even though the sun is shining. Where yesterday I saw genuinely good people everywhere with the best of intentions and the belief of being equal still defined the country that we live in, today I see only bigotry and fanatical fundamentalism and stupidity. 

Congratulations President Obama. But today I’m going home to be with my sweetie, even if I may never get the chance to legally call him husband.

30 October 2008

How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house. This is not…

A clear and concise explaination of what the current economic crisis is, how we got here and an idea of how to solve it. It’s a bit on the long side, but very worth it.

Debt crisis expert Juan Enriquez details 10 non-partisan financial commandments for the President elect @ Pop!Tech ’08.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Juan Enriquez (2008) Pop!Tech Pop!Cas…“, posted with vodpod
24 October 2008

No special rights for anyone. Equal rights for everyone.

And that’s really what this is about. If proposition 8 passes in California, rights are taken away and marriage will an exclusive special privilege that only heterosexual couples can participate in. For the foreseeable future. 

For a perspective on what’s at stake:

“If Prop. 8 doesn’t pass,” says Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, a gay-rights legal group deeply involved in the same-sex-marriage wars, “the voters will be saying they’re fine with gay marriage. Our opponents will no longer be able to blame so-called rogue jurists. It will be the people who have spoken.” 

Read more on this at LA Weekly.

If you live in California, please vote no on Proposition 8.

16 October 2008

Go forth. Write. Draw. Dance. Sing. Express in a ecstatic outpouring of what you see in the universe with strawberries and whipped cream…

… This was going to be simply an addendum to my previous post about Proposition 8. However I started writing and before I knew it I have another whole post.

Most of the people who read this blog tend to be people I know, but I was just reminded that this is for the world to see. Yesterday my post about opposing Proposition 8 garnered 2 comments almost immediatley after publishing. Those 2 comments are not from people I know, nor are they opinions I agree with, but I welcome them just the same. And it made me realize that in the day when you are force fed opinions from ‘trusted’ news sources and negative television ads, it’s the individuals opinion that can have more power.

In short, if you want to support Prop. 8, blog about it.

Make your opininon and voice known. You don’t have to donate and vote with your dollars. Donate with your voice. Get the dialog going. Comment on others blogs. Our government process will pass you by if you don’t make your voice known. Be your own special interest. 

If you don’t have a blog you can do this on many free services like WordPress, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook or many other sites.

If you have a blog, remove the any tendency to not talk about politics in a fear of offending them. Be yourself. If your opinions offend your friends, they might not really be your friends in the first place. Agree to disagree and agree to keep talking. 

I firmly believe that we create our own reality. By expressing yourself you are helping to shape not only your reality but the reality of the people around you and ultimately the people who are making the decisions about what you can and cannot do where you live.

14 October 2008

Only You Can Prevent Discrimination

Are you registered to vote? If not, please do so immediately.

If you live in California, did you know that you can register to vote absentee on a permanent basis? That means that you’re ballot simply arrives in the mail (mine arrived last week), you vote then drop the ballot in the mail and you’re golden. No disenfranchisement. No pressure at the polls. No “had to hectic a day” on voting day and miss out.

Aside from the Obama vs. McCain debate… there is a proposition on the ballot to remove people’s rights. That’s rights that people already have and exercise. It’s taking away something that people can legally do, today. And that right only affects a certain percentage of the population. It allows some people to exercise those exact same rights and prohibits other people from doing so. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound equal? Does that sound American?

That’s exactly what Proposition 8 does. Proposition 8 eliminates the right for same sex couples to marry. It would take away my right to marry my sweetie. My sweetie of 12 years come November. If Prop. 8 passes, discrimination will be written into the California constitution.

If you would like help get the word out so that this heinous thing does not, in fact, become law,  make a donation. You can make a donation even if you don’t live in California. A large amount of the money that is driving the yes on 8 initiative is coming from mormons in Utah! So stand up, whip out that check card help to keep equality in the California constitution.

If you live in California, please vote NO on Prop. 8.

30 July 2008

The End of Productivity

Get things done. Be productive. Stop procrastinating. Get a handle on this ADD. Work, work, work.

I make lists and then don’t use them. I forget things if I don’t write them down. I’ve read books, watched tutorials, downloaded software, signed up for website services only never to use them consistently. Why?

What is it that I can’t get it together and love the 40+ hour work week? Could the root of this issue simply be that I procrastinate on things that I simply don’t want to do? So why is it that I continually strive to put myself into a mode that I’m clearly not cut out for?

Over at Zen Habits, a guest post from Clay Collins really nails it:

The direct route to productivity is being passionate about what you do. This observation, however, is largely an academic point that doesn’t do much to help the problem. Very few people hear that passion will make them productive and then-out of a dedication to productivity-immediately proceed to follow their dreams and become more productive. So, instead of talking about how passion will make you more productive, I’d like to re-frame the conversation by saying this: unwanted tasks are the the #1 cause of your productivity problems.

If you only did things you wanted to do, you’d probably be the most productive person in the world.

This is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. I have all this guilt wrapped around productivity (or rather, the lack there of). When I get into a “zone”, not only do I get a lot done and very well, I’m happy. It’s not that I don’t like work. I love to create things. I like work. But it must be work that I have some connection too. For example, right now, instead of doing an audit of how a particular feature works on a specific website (what I’m supposed to be doing) I’m writing in this blog. Which one am I more interested in, I wonder?

Well, I’m trying something new. Living my day, moment by moment and analyzing what I am doing and why. Making conscious choices. Many people have things they’ve “got to do”. Well, why is that? “Because I don’t have a choice.” is something I often hear. I hear this from myself as well. We all have choices. And those choices have consequences. So is the statement not, “because I don’t have a choice” but  rather “because I don’t want to live with the consequences?” Or “because I’m afraid of the consequences if I don’t do X?”

So I’m challenging myself. And I’m challenging you. Do everything intentionally. Make choices. Live in the moment of that choice, don’t walk down the street sipping on your coffee talking on your phone and thinking about yet another thing. What are your surroundings like? Who is it that I’m talking too? What are they saying? How does that coffee taste? Pay attention to your life. Make your best effort to enjoy experience. Because no one really knows what happens when it’s over.


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