Climbing Mount Shasta

My attention has been drawn to the Breast Cancer Fund Climb Against the Odds expedition to the top of Mt. Shasta in June this year.

At 14,162 feet, Mt. Shasta stands as the most striking mountain in Northern California and is home to California’s largest glaciers. Besides training for the peak attempt, climbers commit to raising a minimum of $5,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund’s work to prevent the disease. We provide the support to achieve both.

The Breast Cancer Fund identifies – and advocates for elimination of – the environmental and other preventable causes of the disease.

When I was a novice at Shasta Abbey in the early 1980’s I was with my ordination sister Goso in the bath-house, where speaking is strictly forbidden. Looking up at the mountain through the window she whispered, We’ll climb that one day. Sadly she didn’t live long enough for us to do that. She died in November 1986, of breast cancer.

Learning from Painful Experience

A small girl of five was playing on some boulders during a walk in the wilderness. One came loose under her. She and the bolder rolled down a hill. When she and the 100 pound boulder came to a stop it was on top of her. The emergency services came quickly and she was set free.

The girl is now at home in a full body caste. She will be laying supine for six weeks, at least. Soon after the accident a family friend instructed her on breathing techniques to help her deal with the pain. Oh! she responded confidently, as soon as the boulder was on top of me I knew I couldn’t fight pain!

That’s a realization many take years, of painful experience, to come to. And many more years to practice that understanding.

Hang in there Miranda and remember what you know.

Memorial Day

Everyday is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.

Class motto of the graduating class at Columbine High School, Colorado. A number of students from this class were killed April 20th 1999 in the Columbine High School massacre.

“I was really touched with what the students chose as their class motto. Pretty amazing for seventeen and eighteen year olds.” Thanks to Jack for bringing this massive tragedy into the light.

It is Memorial Day here in the US. We held a ceremony in which we remembered those killed in wars, we sang scriptures and invocations and offered merit.

Let us remember those killed at Columbine, in peace time.

Love Your Liver

Without the liver there is no life! Therefore: love your liver and treat it well. Source.

First published in the May edition of HepCBC Newsletter
It was inspired by the following poem.

Ode to the liver
There, inside, you filter and apportion
you separate and divide,
you multiply and lubricate
you raise and gather
the threads and the grams of life…

from you I hope for justice:
I love life: Do not betray me! Work on!
Do not arrest my song.
Pablo Neruda

May is Hepatitis C awareness month. Let us not forget.

Topsy-Turvy Views

“We live in the world and we live in the sky,
Just as the Lotus is not wetted by the water that surrounds it,
Pure and beyond the world
is the Mind of the trainee, oh holy Buddha we take Refuge in Thee”

I’ve replaced the as if with, and in the first line of this blessing verse which is sometimes used at the end of ceremonies. Such verses are a statement of spiritual certainty. This one points to the non-dual nature of existence and our functioning within it. The sky, symbolic of that which is without bound, is not separate from the world of work and activity.

What is the cause of topsy-turvy views?

Pictures taken in and around Edmonton Alberta, known as Wide Sky Country. All in all I’d call it Wide Heart Country.