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Tag Archives: beauty

Solo Road Trip

I have the sense that few can keep up with me – with my exuberance for life, my joyfulness ever-present and available right as I wake up at 5:00am. Thank goodness, then, that I dearly enjoy my own company – because for much of my life that has not been the case.

I used to loathe spending time alone – cringe as I looked at myself in the mirror. I’d have used anything to distract my attention. My D.O.C’s were sugar and boys – and still are, though I no longer partake in either one the impulses are still active at times.

Now, though, I am the very best company I keep and I find that I am enjoying myself more and more each day. It’s been a glorious transformation.

On Tuesday afternoon, I returned home from a 5-day solo road trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It was my 2nd ever solo road trip involving over-night stays – and my 1st one took place 10-years ago, so there was a pretty large gap in-between. It was a rather impromptu trip and I had a simply brilliant time.

Here are some trip pics & reflections of things I enjoyed from my travels:

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Posted by on September 15, 2017 in Travel

 

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Beauty

Beauty changes you in the very instant it unfolds. And the longer you bask in it, the more its influence sways your countenance. And the less you talk, the deeper it penetrates.

The world is different when unaccompanied by your own external chattering – mountains grow more stately and majestic, everything becomes full of heart. It’s as though surface level distinctions sift down to an emission of energy where we’re all connected and intertwined by an infinite web of beauty.

In a manner of speaking, I am anything but solo traveling – I am in relationship with every other being that has ever been present on this mighty planet. I feel them in my bones, they carry on the breeze like the smell of pine when I breathe in and spread like seeds to germinate when I exhale.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2017 in Creative Writing, Travel

 

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American Eclipse 2017

Standing still in one place will grant you the opportunity to bear witness to a full solar eclipse every 375 years. Our moment, was yesterday.

I had been on the fence about traveling the necessary 4-hours south that it would take to be inside the path of totality. Thank goodness our minds were made up by someone who knew far better than we did: a NASA historian we heard speak at the public library, who described the difference between seeing a partial vs. a full solar eclipse to be the difference between reading about chocolate and eating it.

Not knowing what to expect, we prepared for possible pandemonium. Even though we were only making a day-trip, we brought sleeping bags and a tent, in the event we got stuck somewhere overnight; 7-gallons of water, in case there was none to be found; food, playing cards, a cook stove, camp chairs, and cash, like the Idaho eclipse website suggested, just in case the card machines got overloaded and went on strike. We were geared up for the “worse-case scenario” – of course, we were so far removed from an actual worse-case scenario that we would’ve had to hop a train, two jets, and an ocean-liner to even scratch the surface – but our spirits were riding high on the seas of all things hope-related.

Equally fantastic to witnessing the stellar phenomenon of a total solar eclipse was the kind, caring and sweet nature of the pop-up community we were surrounded by in Hamer, Idaho. In the last 2010 census, Hamer, Idaho clocked in at 48 residents – up from 12 in 2000 – and is currently estimated at having a population of 91. So, it’s pretty small. But yesterday, for a few brief hours, Hamer swelled to around 200 wonderful folks and we all enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience together as a global family of strangers.

Today, I sit in awe of the power, inspiration, and magnitude of both the cosmos and community. Each and every moment changes our character and perspective, in some regard. Yesterday’s eclipse viewing might very well turn out to be one of the more influential changes I’ve experienced. It’s beauty was truly a sight to behold and cherish. What a splendid and magnificent universe we live in.

To view my amateur video of the eclipse from Hamer, Idaho:

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Community, Travel

 

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Today is the day

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Today is the Day!

Today is the day to look back over silly pictures I’ve taken of myself with (slightly manic but super well intentioned) popsicle stick friends named Ernesto

Today is the day to smile a smile so bright that its light enfolds into that of the sun’s and becomes one (I mean, we are made of the same stuff after all so I think it’s doable)

Today is the day to be filled with immense gratitude for every big & little thing I am so generously afforded (like hair clips, a refrigerator filled with food, and wi-fi)

Today is the best day because I am alive on this grand design of a planet co-mingling with every breath of every being in every moment (yes!)

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Montana Spring Retreat, 2015

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Our Montana sanghas have had another wonderful retreat.  This past weekend was our annual spring retreat.  Our greater Montana sanghas put together two retreats every year, one in the spring and one in the fall.  This spring we had a family retreat and kids were welcome to attend.  And we had our biggest retreat yet!  71 people all together, including the children.  Our Montana sanghas include Open Way and Be Here Now in Missoula, Flowing Mountains in Helena, and Open Sky in Kalispell.  We’re all one big happy sangha family in the big sky state :)

With the presence of children there was a good deal less silence held during the course of our 2 1/2 day retreat.  But I found that the silence was replaced with joy, laughter, more smiling, and a rich sweetness that can only be offered by children.  I am so grateful for all of the families that came with their kids to experience a retreat together.  The energy of the children enriched our sangha and brought the much needed element of lightness into our retreat.  Sometimes as adults we can become too serious, rigid, and somber.  Children can be wonderful teachers in the art of lightening up and coming back to the present moment with joy and ease.

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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Local Retreats

 

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Spring Time

A picture my friend Luke Johnson took in Hawaii in February

A picture my friend Luke Johnson took in Hawaii in February

 

Thin curved branches topped with new golden mustard shoots

announce spring’s reappearance,

splendid as mountain’s dawn ricocheting on pine bristled rocky spines

echoing to the valley floor spread below –

Breathing in I am alighted by the warmth of the sun

Breathing out I smile to the beauty of nature enveloping me –

And is not everything nature really?

Yes, the earth and sky and waters of course,

the fruits of their labor, their rich colors and sweet fragrance,

but also the glistening web of wires strung from pole to pole coursing with

electricity and information,

brick and mortar buildings,

asphalt and gravel,

big rigs, smoke stacks, metal grain bins, and water treatment plants –

Nothing can be separated from nature,

nothing discarded in the name of connection –

Everything we have created

has come from, and will go back to,

this one sacred and most amazing planet

 
 

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Buddha Garden

 

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Yesterday my stepson Jaden and I went to visit the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee, MT on our way up north to spend the day in Polson on the Flathead Lake.  So, I thought I’d share some pics from the garden.  It’s such a lovely spot.  And the mixture of colors yesterday, from the white dusting of snow, greening valley fields, and gray-blue skies, were just wonderful.

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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Travel

 

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