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These are the Dharma Family cats. Zen to the core. Who is watching the store, after all? … [Read more...]

Good Luck, Bad Luck

An Introduction to the Dharma Family Ed Wortz was my friend and mentor. He ushered me through some bad times and was there to toast me when the sun was shinning bright. Thich Thien An was Ed's mentor and initiator in Buddhist philosophy. Ed and Thien-An first met the Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An when Thien-An came to Southern California in the summer of 1966 as an exchange professor at UCLA. Thien-An's father had been one of the monks who self immolated to bring attention to the world of the horrors being perpetrated in Vietnam by the Diem regime. When Saigon fell in 1975, Ven. Thien-An saw his responsibility and helped the boat people and other refugees from his homeland. Thus, the International Buddhist … [Read more...]

Luther, A Tribute

  LUTHER   Other names: Luther, THE dog "BGM" (Big Giant Monster) Lothar the Magnificent Fartmeister Pooch de la booch, de la hootch, de la cootch Cur Big Bezungenungen You loved being petted on the stomach and butt, going for walks in Griffith Park, and riding in the car. You loved men, especially Kirby and Joey, and almost all workingmen. Your walks around the block resembled stations of the cross, with you pausing to savor and seeming to pray at a discreet and unvarying selection of gates, posts, trees and stairwells. Occasionally you would find a fig leaf--a favorite forage--or fresh tender spring grass. Your ferocious yet sad appearance brought smiles to many strangers, and you loved … [Read more...]

Werner Herzog, February 20, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA — Part 2

Werner Herzog continued..."This is what I learned": PART 2 That Werner Herzog is a lover of language and poetry. He speaks of the witnessing, the taxonomy of Virgil's Georgics, a paean to the earth and all that grows and grazes there. Herzog tells of the Icelandic Codex Regius, thought to have been written in the 1270's. How he was allowed to actually hold the delicate document, made up of 45 vellum leaves, and of its return journey to Reykjavík in 1971 accompanied  by  the full Danish military escort. He further narrates on the oral traditions of Iceland preserved and reserved for vital consolation. Women whose husbands have been lost at sea, recite all 800 verses of the Codex to purge their … [Read more...]


Desire is the first datum of our conciousness; we are born into sympathy and antipathy, wishing and willing. Unconciously at first, then conciously we evaluate: “This is good, that is bad.” And a little later we discover obligation. “This being good, ought to be done; that being bad, ought not to be done.” – Aldous Huxley I return repeatedly to Aldous Huxley's Perennial Philosophy. It is a comprehensive compendium of metaphysical thought. It investigates topics ranging from, "Personality, Sanctity, Divne Incarnation" to "Good and Evil" to "Time and Eternity" to "Faith" and "Suffering". Excerpts from authors include Eckhart, William Law, Chuang Tzu, The Bhagavad Gita, Maitrayana Upanishad, Kabir, Rumi and St. John of the Cross. All of us, … [Read more...]

The Invocation to Patanjali

I have been a yoga practitioner since 1984. In the beginning, like many, I tried on different styles, but eventually settled into method of B.K.S. Iyengar. There will be many many posts to follow on the practice of yoga. But first things first. Here is the chant and translation that is recited before every class. The sound clip is of BKS Iyengar himself.   yogena cittasya padena vacam Yoga for consciousness, grammar for speech malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena medicine for the ills of the body; yopa karottam pravaram muninam he gave us these things the sage patañjalim pranjalir anato’smi Patañjali to whom I pay my respects. abahu purusakaram His upper body (arms) of human form, sankha chakrasi … [Read more...]