Tuesday, September 28

Never Accomplish Anything Again, Ever


Addicting Games has oodles of mostly-Flash gaming goodness, including a lovely version of the venerable Pong. I miss the old twiddly knobs, though.

Saturday, September 25

Pain And Satipatthana


Samyutta Nikaya LII.10
Gilayana Sutta
Illness

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.


I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Anuruddha was staying near Savatthi in the Dark Forest -- diseased, in pain, severely ill. Then a large number of monks went to Ven. Anuruddha and on arrival said to him, "What (mental) dwelling are you dwelling in so that the pains that have arisen in the body do not invade or remain in the mind?"

"When I dwell with my mind well-established in the four frames of reference, the pains that have arisen in the body do not invade or remain in the mind. Which four? There is the case where I remain focused on the body in & of itself -- ardent, alert, & mindful -- putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I remain focused on feelings in & of themselves... mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves -- ardent, alert, & mindful -- putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. When I dwell with my mind well-established in these four frames of reference, the pains that have arisen in the body do not invade or remain in the mind."

The Bottomless Chasm


Samyutta Nikaya XXXVI.4
Patala Sutta
The Bottomless Chasm
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.


"Monks, when an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person makes the statement, 'There is a bottomless chasm in the ocean,' he is talking about something that doesn't exist, that can't be found. The word 'bottomless chasm' is actually a designation for painful bodily feeling.

"When an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. This is called an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not risen up out of the bottomless chasm, who has not gained a foothold.

"When a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones who has risen up out of the bottomless chasm, whose foothold is gained."

Whoever can't endure them
once they've arisen --
    painful bodily feelings
    that could kill living beings --
who trembles at their touch,
who cries & wails,
a weakling with no resiliance:
    he hasn't risen up
    out of the bottomless chasm
    or even gained
    a foothold.

Whoever endures them
once they've arisen --
    painful bodily feelings
    that could kill living beings --
who doesn't tremble at their touch:
    he's risen up
    out of the bottomless chasm,
    his foothold is gained.

Friday, September 24

Lift Off


In this morning's meditation, I was doing metta via the phrases, first to me, then to benefactors (Leigh and DaeJa). Then when I went to dear ones, sending to Gini, the rapture really took off. The energy -- felt throughout the body -- is so intense it's kinda uncomfortable. But at the same time it's amazing, and I love the mental quietness, steadiness and unification that come with it... Just need to get more comfortable with it, so I can stay in it longer, then move to the next level where it's calmer...

Thursday, September 23

Which Operating System Are You?


You are Palm OS. Punctual, straightforward and very useful.  Your mother wants you to do more with your life like your cousin Wince, but you're happy with who you are.
Which OS are You?

Wednesday, September 22

VidLit


VidLit is a very cool site with literary Flash animations. Quite brilliant. See "Craziest" especially, the story of a woman's Scrabble obsession.

Monday, September 20

Booklist


Other available ebooks:

Choke - Chuck Palahniuk
Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk
Diary - Chuck Palahniuk
Farenheit 451 - Bradbury
Tender Is The Night - Fitzgerald
Breakfast of Champions - Vonnegut
The Sirens of Titan - Vonnegut
Player Piano - Vonnegut


Other Vonnegut Books I haven't Read -- Not Available as ebooks:
Slapstick
Galapagos
Wampeters, Foma & Granfaloons
Hocus Pocus
Welcome to the Monkey House
Mother Night
Timequake
Bluebeard
Jailbird
Bagombo Snuff Box
Deadeye Dick
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (didn't finish)
God Bless You, Dr. Kervorkian
Fates Worse Than Death
Palm Sunday

Sunday, September 19

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut


Finished reading the ebook of "Slaughterhouse 5" this afternoon, and began "Cat's Cradle." Kurt's amazing, casually strewing about gems like this one:
Miss Pefko wasn't used to chatting with someone as important as Dr. Breed and she was embarrased. Her gait was affected, becoming stiff and chickenlike. Her smile was glassy, and she was ransacking her mind for something to say, finding nothing in it but used Kleenex and costume jewelry.

Arrrrrrr


Avast! Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, September 18

Keeping The Metta Going


It's working. Keeping the metta going throughout the day has been very effective in keeping me out of those hell realms.

Interesting to note: there's definitely a physiological component to all this. In the hell realms, when the mind is full of aversion & hate, there's a very specific physical feeling in the body: very heavy and unpleasant. Conversely, when the mind/heart is full of metta, the feeling in the body is very light, pleasant, buoyant. There must be specific chemistry at work here; I wish I knew what it was. But naming it is not so important; what matters is to keep the metta & mindfulness going.

It Moves!


A really awesome Japanese page of optical illusions.

Friday, September 17

More Anne Sexton


From a poem called "Rumpelstiltskin" which is rumored to have been a partial inspriation for "Twin Peaks" but who knows for sure?
Inside many of us
is a small old man
who wants to get out.
No bigger than a two-year-old
whom you'd call lamb chop
yet this one is old and malformed.
His head is okay
but the rest of him wasn't Sanforized?
He is a monster of despair.
He is all decay.
He speaks up as tiny as an earphone
with Truman's asexual voice:
I am your dwarf.
I am the enemy within.
I am the boss of your dreams.
No. I am not the law in your mind,
the grandfather of watchfulness.
I am the law of your members,
the kindred of blackness and impulse.
See. Your hand shakes.
It is not palsy or booze.
It is your Doppelganger
trying to get out.
Beware . . . Beware . . .

45 Mercy Street


This is the Anne Sexton poem on which Peter Gabriel based his song "Mercy Street."

It begins:
In my dream,
drilling into the marrow
of my entire bone,
my real dream,
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill
searching for a street sign --
namely MERCY STREET.
Not there.

Thursday, September 16

Ticket Out of the Hell Realms


This morning around 5 a.m. I woke with an insight, a knowing: that the past couple of days I've been in a hell realm (in the psychological interpretation of the realms) because of all the pain and consequent aversion and hatred. And as both Chris and Gini pointed out, metta would be the way out of that. All metta, all the time. I hadn't been maintaining that continuity of mindfulness for the past few days, and man, did it show. So, back to all metta, all the time. That's what made the retreat in July (and the period after) so heavenly, all that metta. That's the key, the ticket out.

Wednesday, September 15

Tempting


Amazon.com has Adobe ebooks of Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" and "Slaughterhouse-5." I'm very tempted, as it's been a long time since I read "Slaughterhouse-5" and I don't think I've read "Cat's Cradle" since I was a teenager. I read the sample pages of both, and fell easily into Kurt's rhythms. Tempting. But I shouldn't spend money on things like that...

If only it were easier to get to the library...

But these desires, too, will pass.

So it goes.

Tuesday, September 14

That Eldritch Cyclopean Thingie


I bailed on Lovecraft yesterday when my conscience walloped me into submission: the stories on the dagonbyes.com site are there in violation of copyright, and my rationalization ("It's just like borrowing them from the library") ceased holding water. And I just don't think it would be worth the money to buy the darn books.

So much for another passing enthusiasm.

Signifying Nothing


While Gini was having her hair shampooed at the salon, I started reading The Sound and the Fury. It has a rep for being a difficult book (at least, I have that impression), but I found it surprisingly readable.

But what do I know, I'm an idiot.

Sunday, September 12

More Lovecraftiness


Finished reading "The Shadow Out of Time" last night, and am currently starting "At the Mountains of Madness." Read "The Colour Out of Space" while we were in West Hartford, and had previously read "The Call of Cthulhu."

Some Lovecraftian words:

eldritch
Cyclopean
Paleogean

When you get paid by the word, it tends to make your prose wordy.

Friday, September 10

So Much For Blogging


Keeping a diary is bad for your health, say UK psychologists. They found that regular diarists were more likely than non-diarists to suffer from headaches, sleeplessness, digestive problems and social awkwardness.

Their finding challenges assumptions that people find it easier to get over a traumatic event if they write about it.

“We expected diary keepers to have some benefit, or be the same, but they were the worst off,” says Elaine Duncan of the Glasgow Caledonian University. “In fact, you’re probably much better off if you don’t write anything at all,” she adds.

The study, carried out with David Sheffield of Staffordshire University, was presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Edinburgh.

Saturday, September 4

The Cuteness!


Let's be friends.

Negligent Me


I haven't posted a blog entry in a looooooonnnnnngggggg time.

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