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.
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.
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.