The Eclipse of the Goats

The eclipse called, so I went further south to spend a couple of days in Raymond with my friends Brent and Kathy. We had a great time. Not in the totality zone, but closer to it than Seattle, we had hiked up a steep small mountain, in the woods, friends together, quietly meditating and doing Buddhist practice–all what I was hoping for–except for the surprise visit of a herd of a dozen goats! who rambled over our little encampment, nibbling and taking bites out of anything they could put their lips around! This included my hair, one shoe, Brent’s sacred text, books, and water bottles. One even took a bite out of a foam sitting pad. It was quite, quite funny. We scrambled to try to gather things up, but when one went off, another two would come to investigate something else.

The gentle goatherd, the owner of the property, a friend of Brent and Kathy’s, kept chatting amiably with Brent. Finally Kathy gave a hint that maybe they could all move on (well, in a very diplomatic way), so the three of us could once again sit down and watch the ongoing eclipse…which they did. He set out, calling them, and they happily kept up. They were beautiful animals, and i loved seeing and brushing up against them, while yanking things out of mouths and telling them to move off!

A whimsical convergence of sacred moment and goats. With the right lens, all arisings have sacred, even humorous, potential.


Too much thinking, no good

Long ago and faraway… When my daughter and i got to know Sonam Gonpo, monk-nephew-attendant of Kilung Rinpoche, in Asia, he was one of the funniest people we’d ever met. He would often have us both in stitches, and Sorrel’s laughter would ring like bells throughout their cement apartment. That was in spite of his little English and our near-zero Tibetan. He would also sometimes try to redirect Sorrel’s teenage mind with this Tibetan saying: Too much thinking, no good. Decades later, we both still carry it around with us, when needed. I’m sure we Americans think too much, but if Tibetans didn’t, there wouldn’t be a saying about it.

More recently, I was listening to a teaching online by British dzogchen teacher, James Low. I took down these words of his:

The fewer ideas you have, the more you’re likely to taste what is going on. The function of meditation is to release our addiction to ideas as the vehicle of truth.

So, you know what to do…put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Soul Portraits


Portrait #10 by Deborah Koff-Chapin

This image is one in a series of 16 “soul portraits” of me by my friend and artist Deborah Koff-Chapin. She utilizes a wonderful technique called Touch Drawing, and gives workshops in it all over the world. Just at the end of my second long retreat (Sept 2016), I sat for Deborah for this coming-out-of-retreat gift, capturing a reflection of one’s ether-realm, like taking the pulse on the unseen at that moment of emergence.

I’ll post others of the 16 portraits from time to time.

Infrequent, Hopefully more whimsical, not irascible

From buddhism to bloggism, my first foray into the latter. I begin with this: How inspiring can a blog be when the term so thoroughly reminds me of a book title that used to be on our living room shelf, The Bog People, by PV Glob. This was an actual book–you can look it up–written by a Danish archaeologist, one copy collected by my then-husband. Much later the term “blog” was invented, and i thought, why? But here we are, in a very different world than then.

This webpage i named “Bloggish” to hint at its predicted infrequency and indeterminate purpose. Currently i’m thinking of it as a catch-all, for things which don’t fit into the other menu categories; the infrequency because i’d like to save my writing energy for a book i’m working on. More on the latter later.

The website came into being because of the need to post event flyers (see Happenings), so this bloggishness just an afterthought, and i hope, occasional enjoyment.