Saturday, November 04, 2006


Rick and I first met at Drew Conley’s house about 4 years ago and it was love at first sight, as some might say. Friend love. He asked if I liked Ken Wilber and I was so happy to have found someone who read Wilber, and who was also a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner.

Thursday morning Rick arrived in a taxi in front of the Junior High school I was working at and he spent the entire day helping me teach about Halloween. Most of the kids made him Welcome to Niihama cards. That evening we visited the secret Zen garden and then the super market to buy food for the vegetarian potluck I was hosting that night and…here is the part of the story that is unbelievable…my “Japanese God Mother” of sorts (the mother of the family that often invites me over for dinner) saw us buying fruit for a fruit salad at the supermarket, asked if we could come over for dinner and when I said we were actually having a potluck at mine and if she and her kids cold come over she insisted on buying all of our groceries, including some more that she gave as presents (fruit, juice) and, if that is not totally amazing, she arrives at the dinner with three more bags of groceries, not for the dinner, but for my fridge and freezer! And she did my dishes. They then invited us out to dinner the next night, and they went to the train station to say bye to Rick and Kieran, and she showerd Rick with gifts and food for his host family! becasue she new he wouldnt have time to shop! what Kindness!

Friday we went to Matsuyama to see Dogo Onsen (the oldest onsen in Japan) Ishiteji (the 51st temple on the 88 temple circuit), teh Glass museum, and my friend Mai perform at a small festival. Here are pics of paper crane offerings, as well as offerings to Jizo, the deity for dead children, Mai performing (he gave me goosbumps he was so good), and a 3-D Womb Mandala found deep in the caves behind the temple. Yup. The womb mandala is one of two used in the mystical sect of Shingon Buddhism and it represents the “luminous realm” of the active, physical world of feelings and colors and sounds and form, while the Diamond mandala represents unchanging Emptiness.

Saturday we climbed Mt. Ishizuchi, the tallest mountain in Western Japan. As you can see at the top is a shrine and rest area. Can you see Rick's legs as he stands at the edge of the tallest peak. It was so dangerous. don't tell my mom. The pictures explain everying fairly well. Walking up the mountain I looked ahead of me and saw the handful of friends that decided to come with us and I almost started to cry. An amazing rush of appreciation filled up my heart, appreciation for their kindness, for their style, for each of their lives and bodies working hard to climb this mountain covered in sunlight, jewels surrounded by jewels all glittering in sunlight and friendship, luminous forms unfolding and connecting and reflecting Love…

That night Trisha came over and we talked for hours with Kieran and Emily (who were also staying the night) about talking, about communication, about semiotics. For example, if we want to have a conversation about love, “love,” we need to first agree upon a definition of love so that we all are talking about he same experience. But, if Keiran says “Ok. Im not talking about the Love for my mother or for the mountain, im talking about a kind of devotional feeling I have for my lover,” well, all those words have different meanings for us…and we'd need to define all those words. For example, “by devotion I mean..” and those would just point to more words, and it soon spirals out of control, with no real referent for us to talk about. But we must find a referent, or co-create one, or the conversation will never be clear, and we will not be able to understand each other. So, we all kind of agree to assume or make beleive that we are talking about he same experience. It was a fascinating conversation. More on this topic later.

The next morning we visited the Zen Monastery to sit with the monks and receive teachings from the head abbot. The End.
Pictured is also the reworking of an old painting. Its called sky womb.


Abigail said...

Wow, amazing! I wish I was there to share in these fun times.
You are such a beautiful writer! Also, your Japanese God-mother is such the sweetest woman in the world. ^_^

Oh has Rick ever been to Georgia? I swear I've met him before. . .

Anonymous said...

I posted before but it didn't show up?
your pictures are gorgeous
you look good, nice to see you again,

Anonymous said...

sounds amazing! wish i was there to share in the moments. i miss the aura you eminated making me feel all calm and able to hear myself breathe. and hugs. like the short hair. take care. love stacey :)

May all beings be Free and in Love.

Blog Archive