In Eight Steps to Happiness Geshe-la says "'Self' and 'other' are relative terms, rather like 'this mountain' and 'that mountain ... 'This' and 'that' therefore depend upon our point of reference. This is also true of self and other. By climbing down the mountain of self, it is possible to ascend the mountain of other, and thereby cherish others as much as we presently cherish ourself."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gratitude and Generosity

Two of my favorite words, put together in my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.
Hope you all enjoyed your feast, in the company of treasured family and friends. I also hope you reflected on all the good things in your life and developed a wish to pass something on to others.

Now we're into the Season of Giving. Remember that you don't have to give an expensive present - you can give yourself. You can give your time, you can give your kind thoughts ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Radiation Dec 1st Only

Got a call this morning from my Radiation Oncologist's office. My radiation will be Wed, Dec 1st, at 2pm.
It's "one-time only" - sounds like a sales brochure, doesn't it?
I'm surprised Dr. V was able to put together a plan so quickly. Maybe my case is quite straightforward.

On the Swedish hospital site, a patient referred to radiation as the "tumor spa." When I was there the other day, the tech said they have a lot of music, but I'm also welcome to bring my own. Think I'll have them play Medicine Buddha sadhana during the treatment.

Now I have to call my oncologist to plan my chemo ...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Face Mask

Before I got a CT scan and MRI of my head yesterday, I got a custom mask made. It's to keep my head in the same place for the radiation treatments.
(Please note that these scans were just for planning my radiation - the doctors were not concerned about anything new with my cancer.)
At the radiologist's office, in the same room where I'll get my actual radiation, while I was horizontal on a table, they draped a warm material on my face - it felt like rolled-out pastry dough. I read elsewhere getting it was "like a spa treatment," but I've never had a facial treatment at a spa. It cooled and firmed up very quickly, in just a minute or two, so that they could take it off and I could look at it. Because it was a lightweight, molded mesh, it reminded me of chain mail, like medieval knights wore with their armor.
Here's a picture:
When I looked it up on the Internet, I learned the mask is made of "thermoplastic."
If you want to read more, this webpage has especially good info about planning radiation:

When I got the CT scan, they put the mask over my face and attached it to a base so that my head position in the scan is exactly the same as my head position when I get my radiation treatments. (For some reason, I didn't need the mask for the MRI.)
The attendant who accompanied me from the radiologist's office to the scanning office carried my mask, attached to the board, under her arm. When I asked, she said I'd be able to take the mask home after my radiation treatments are done. Maybe I'll put it with the molds of my teeth. ...

Scans for Free!

Joke: Why do you need to pay for a scan when you can get one for free at the airport, asked a nun friend after I got an MRI and a CT scan yesterday? Ha ha ha. We're never satisfied.
a TSA photo that appeared in a NY Times article and this caption:
Body scanners using millimeter-wave and X-ray technologies have been installed in 70 airports around the country.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cancer as a Chronic Condition

Cancer can be a lot of things.

Thirteen years ago I had Stage 1 (early) breast cancer, with surgery and chemo, and it was like a walk in the park.
Before that, my Mom had breast cancer twice, then died of pancreatic cancer, which is very difficult to detect, and so it's quite deadly - they often don't find it until it's too late for surgery. Her pancreatic cancer was considered "Terminal" but obviously she survived her 2 bouts of breast cancer.

Those are two ends of the spectrum.
What I have is ovarian cancer, which is somewhere in between. People talk about it as a "chronic" condition - many women are on and off chemo - or on chemo - the rest of their lives.

You can read more about recurrent ovarian cancer here:

This is the first place I've heard the phrase "durable remission" - that would be something to wish for.

Recurrence - sometimes called "reoccurance" - is like an unwished for encore. (I didn't stand and clap for that. I was hoping it had made its final exit - those were my wishes.) To be more direct: I was initially diagnosed April of last year, officially went into remission last fall, and went out of remission this fall. Therefore, I currently have "recurrent ovarian cancer."

This blog is partly about teaching people about cancer. It used to be many people thought cancer meant death. Now more of us are understanding that's often not the case.
My Mom lost some friends because they thought she was terminal even when she wasn't - it was just too scary for them to deal with. I know that still happens to cancer patients, but I think a lot less often that it used to, now that people understand it better - not completely, but better.
Sometimes people need to be reminder cancer isn't contagious. Everybody knows that intellectually but not emotionally.

As we say in our prayers, "may we all live for a very long time."
I know I could use more time to improve my mind.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Airport Scanners - PHAIM!

In the new "full-body" scanners they're putting in at some U.S. airports, including Seattle and Houston (which we flew through to Brazil and back), they have you stand with you feet on your mark, (like in a play), and put your hands up above your head in the mudra (hand gesture) of PHAIM familiar to Vajrayogini practitioners!

Even though i have a port (aka "port-a-cath" - it's a port and a catheter, which means they can put fluids in and take them out) in my upper chest, and small plates and screws in my head (to hold a bit of my skull in place), I don't set off any airport screening devices because they're all made of titanium. Every cancer patient I've ever heard of who has a port loves it. My Mom also had one that she liked.

I've heard that the individual pat-downs they give you now can be very invasive - and that the scans are quite revealing. You can read more about that in lots of places. I don't want to turn this into a political blog. I will point out that there's better technology - developed by a U.S. company! - but so far only used abroad that is effective but less invasive: U.S. body-scan technology used by Dutch is better than ours.
And in searching for info on that, I found this piece, which made me laugh: "German body scanner protesters remove clothes at airport"- video too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

More on Radiation

I have a bit more info about my upcoming "CyberKnife" radiation.
Monday morning I'll have both my planning MRI and CT scans.  I can't eat for 4 hours beforehand because they'll use contrast.
My radiation doctor will then take about a week, using those scans, to make a plan.

As always, you can see my Treatment calendar online at
(link is also in sidebar at right, underneath the Blog Archive links)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NPR: Origin Of The Word 'Cancer'

Found this interesting - maybe you will too.

"Dr. MARKEL: And he applied the Greek word karkinos, which means crab. A lot of explanations, all of them equally wonderful and all of them equally difficult to prove, but why did he use that? And if you examine a tumor, if you actually feel malignant tumor, you'll note that it's hard as a rock. And so some have explained that it reminded him of the hard shell of a crab. But others have said it may remind him of - may have reminded him of the pain that a malignant tumor induces. It's much like the sharp pinch of a crab's claw. And an even better version is that it suggests the tenacity with which, you know, a crab bites you..."

Another Excellent Writer on Cancer - Dana Jennings

For example, there's "With Cancer, Let’s Face It: Words Are Inadequate" from March:
"... I sometimes think of cancer as a long and difficult journey, a quest out of Tolkien, or a dark waltz — but never a battle. How can it be a battle when we patients are the actual battleground? We are caught in the middle, between our doctors and their potential tools of healing and the cell-devouring horde.

We become a wasteland, at once infested by the black dust of cancer and damaged by the “friendly fire” of treatment. And ordinary language falls far short of explaining that keen sense of oblivion.

As a patient, it’s hard to articulate how being seriously ill feels. In a profound way, we are boiled down to our essential animal selves. We crave survival. We long for pain to end, for ice chips on parched lips, for the brush of a soft hand.

It pays to have a positive outlook, I think, but that in no way translates to 'fighting' cancer. Cancer simply is. You can deny its presence in your body, cower at the thought or boldly state that you’re going to whup it. But the cancer does not care. You’re here, the cancer has arrived, and the disease is going to feed until your doctors destroy it or, at least, discourage it.

Then there’s the matter of bravery. We call cancer patients 'brave,' perhaps, because the very word cancer makes most of us tremble in fear. But there is nothing brave about showing up for surgery or radiation sessions. Is a tree brave for still standing after its leaves shrivel and fall? Bravery entails choice, and most patients have very little choice but to undergo treatment. ..."

If you like this writing, you can find more at

Religion Is Like Ballet

“Believing that religion is a botched attempt to explain the world   . . . is like seeing ballet as a botched attempt to run for a bus.”

"Miss Manners and the Big C"

A new piece written by Christopher Hitchens, who can be very funny.

I think any patient who's ever had someone - a stranger, a family member, a friend - say something inappropriate to them will enjoy it and maybe even laugh. Hitchens is a very good writer - which isn't the same as saying I agree with him on everything. (He's very opinionated and very outspoken about his opinions.)

I'm tempted to quote the whole piece, to entice you to read it. Instead I'll pick out something short:
"I’ll do the facing of hard facts, thanks. Don’t you be doing it, too."

OK, and this too:
"It’s normally agreed that the question “How are you?” doesn’t put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer. So when asked these days, I tend to say something cryptic like “A bit early to say.” (If it’s the wonderful staff at my oncology clinic who inquire, I sometimes go so far as to respond, “I seem to have cancer today.”) Nobody wants to be told about the countless minor horrors and humiliations that become facts of “life” when your body turns from being a friend to being a foe: the boring switch from chronic constipation to its sudden dramatic opposite; the equally nasty double cross of feeling acute hunger while fearing even the scent of food; the absolute misery of gut-wringing nausea on an utterly empty stomach; or the pathetic discovery that hair loss extends to the disappearance of the follicles in your nostrils, and thus to the childish and irritating phenomenon of a permanently runny nose. Sorry, but you did ask ..."

Here's the main point:
"As the populations of Tumortown and Wellville continue to swell and to 'interact,' there’s a growing need for ground rules that prevent us from inflicting ourselves upon one another."

I started another periodic blog, at, to help suggest some "ground rules" (see the post titled "A List of Basic Do's and Don'ts") because people often mean well but don't quite know what to say or how to help.
The blog also has "Favorite Funny Films."

Don't worry about offending me - you can say whatever you like to me. I can deflect it if need be, but I don't expect the need.
But I have heard a lot of cancer patients talk about being offended, so if I can help a bit ...

P.S. As I was almost done with writing this, Richard came by and mentioned that Hitchens has written more about his cancer - including this: "Tropic of Cancer" at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Body as a PET scan, MRI scan, CT scan ...

Going back in time, to things I haven't had a chance to cover yet ...

In Buddhism, as part of our meditation on emptiness, we do a search for our body. When we search with wisdom, our body disappears - but most of the time we search with ignorance. We think we've found our actual body, but we're only finding parts of our body.
It struck me when I was getting all these tests that these machines doing conventional searches for my body could only find parts of my body. For example, a PET scan can only detect metabolic activity.

Let's see if I can remember which scan was which ...
MRI Scan
An MRI is painless but noisy, even with earplugs in. 
But the noises! They're individualized for each person and each test. 
Imagine a minute or two for each mix of strange sounds. For me, there was a bit with someone knocking on a wood board, then a call-and-response bit, then an excerpt from a neighbor with a powerdrill.
If you've heard of anything by Philip Glass, put a bit of that in.
Here's a link to a picture of an MRI machine, complete with sounds:
Because it's so noisy, to say something to the tech (who's in another room), they give you a "bulb" with a cord if you need to alert them - the bulb is like the soft, plastic thing that a nurse pumps to check your blood pressure.
Here's a bit more about them: "Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves - the machine scans the body by turning small magnets on and off. MRI machines look like a big doughnut that has a large magnet inside a circular structure. You lie down face-up in your gown on a table that slides into the opening of the magnet."
MRI of my brain

Tumor is dark round spot at left (my right - you're looking at me from my feet)
PET Scan
Thankfully there's nothing to drink - but they inject you with a glucose "tracer" solution with an enormous metal syringe - which they bring in a metal toolbox(!); it goes into an IV line, not directly into your body. Then they rush you to the machine, because the radiative solution starts to decay as soon as it's injected.

When you're done, they give you a letter so that you can cross the border with radioactivity in your body.

A PET scan is very expensive, so your health insurance needs to OK it beforehand. (Must be that color costs extra - ha ha.)

In other ways, it's like getting a CT scan or an MRI - you wear a gown, take off your jewelry, lie face-up on a table before you're put into the device ...

PET scan of my brain
CT Scan
I've had a bunch of these ...
A CT scan "combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body. The resulting images can be compared to a loaf of sliced bread." according to the WebMD website,

For an abdominal CT, I couldn't eat beforehand.

They injected my port with contrast material.
You have to be still, but the tech talks to you between shots (there's a speaker in the "donut" where you can hear them, and they can hear you).

That open spot on the left is where my tumor was before surgery

I was originally diagnosed last year using ultrasound plus the tumor-marker bloodtest, a CA-125.
You may have seen ultrasounds of a fetus developing - it's like static-ky black & white TV, and you don't know what you're looking at if the tech won't tell you - which they don't usually do, but thankfully did in my case. ("See that spot - it's not supposed to be there.")
My pelvic ultrasound - who knows what it shows (do I see a cat resting? no, that can't be right ...)
Here's a webpage with good info about ultrasounds:
I liked this part of the explanation:
"Ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in the sonar used by bats, ships and fishermen. When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back, or echoes. By measuring these echo waves it is possible to determine how far away the object is and its size, shape, and consistency (whether the object is solid, filled with fluid, or both).
In medicine, ultrasound is used to detect changes in appearance of organs, tissues, and vessels or detect abnormal masses, such as tumors."

I got CDs that have images from all my scans. What's really fun is to look at each loaf of bread, slice by slice, which the software that comes on  each CD lets you do - click the mouse to move from one slice to the next. These pictures are just the beginning of the fun you can have when you're a sick person - I mean, a patient.

NYT: When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays

I'm sure a lot of you have read about this recent research.
I like this particular article in the New York Times ( because of the accompanying art, as well as the writing ("Wherever your mind went — the South Seas, your job, your lunch, your unpaid bills — that daydreaming is not likely to make you as happy as focusing intensely on the rest of this column will." Ha ha.)

The conclusion is what all our meditation teachers have been telling us from the beginning: You're happier when you focus, and that we all have a strong tendency toward negative thoughts.

"'Even if you’re doing something that’s really enjoyable,' [one researcher] Mr. Killingsworth says, 'that doesn’t seem to protect against negative thoughts. The rate of mind-wandering is lower for more enjoyable activities, but when people wander they are just as likely to wander toward negative thoughts.'
Whatever people were doing, whether it was having sex or reading or shopping, they tended to be happier if they focused on the activity instead of thinking about something else. In fact, whether and where their minds wandered was a better predictor of happiness than what they were doing...."

Also note there's an iPhone app called trackyourhappiness that the researchers used.

Update on Radiation

I got a call this morning that the insurance approval came in.
Next step: Scheduling both an MRI and a CT scan for planning - they want "fresh" ones, even though I've had a bunch of them already.
Then I'll get a short series of treatments of targeted radiation - probably the week after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"It's Not About the Bike" (It's About the Name?)

Several weeks ago I read Lance Armstrong's inspiring book about cancer called "It's Not About the Bike." Mostly I was impressed with his determination, not just to get well from advanced cancer, but even to ride competitively again. He's done a lot for cancer patients, cancer research and cancer awareness.

And yet, I couldn't help noticing the advantages of celebrity: Because of his famous name, doctors would see him immediately, even on weekends.
When I was calling doctor's offices and not getting appointments, I would remember that old joke:
You're at the front desk of a hotel that says there aren't any available rooms.
So you ask, "If the President came, would there be a room for him?"
The desk clerk says, "Yes, we'd find him a very nice room."
And you say, "Great, I'll take his room!" Ha ha.

I never said this - but was very tempted - to ask those doctors' schedulers who claimed there were no slots available:
"If Lance  Armstrong needed an appointment tomorrow, would you put him on the calendar?"
Based on his book and common sense, I imagine them saying, "Yes, of course."
So I say, "Great, give me his slot!" Ha ha.

In Buddhism, one of the ways we talk about reality is that it is "mere name," meaning that things exist through naming, through labeling by the mind. (If this is new to you, read Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, which has the clearest explanation of emptiness - or ultimate truth - that I have ever heard.)

Some of our names are more mere than others. (I'm not a "big name.")

P.S. My Skype name contains "Mere" (pronounced by non-Buddhists like "Merry).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five Wishes

Speaking of dying ...
This is one of the best resources I've seen for considering and planning your death. Even though I have some legal documents, I haven't written down all my wishes.

Here's a 12-page sample of their doc
from their website,

As Kadampa Buddhists we mediate, "I may die today," but how many of us believe it?
I have to remind myself I'm not necessarily going to die of cancer - there are so many ways my bubble-like body can be pierced. For me, reading and thinking about the specifics of my death helps make it more real.

A Final Cocoon: Dying at Home

From the NY Times, a story about people dying at home, the importance of smells, art, control, and hospice care.
For those of you who work with art supplies, please note that one man profiled died of liver disease he attributes to chemicals he used on his artwork.
I especially like this part:
"She said to me, ‘I’m dying.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘How long can you stay?’ I said, ‘Deb, I’m staying till the fat lady sings, and she’s only humming now."

I hope reading this piece aids your death meditation, helping it sink in and contemplating your own death and dying, and for generating compassion.

Tomorrow in Seattle we have our monthly powa and will dedicate for everyone who died in the last month, including Eliott, the young Kadampa who recently died in the waters of Brazil.

Note also this article describes a man whose body stayed at rest in his house for 3 days, which is a very Buddhist way to pass. It's something I need to look into for Seattle.

The Big "C"

Ok - the title is a bit of a tease. Usually when people refer to the Big C, they mean Cancer. Here I'm talking about the common Cold.
Yesterday that's what I had - congestion in the front of my face and a sore throat - not even a particularly bad cold. I felt worse than I ever did from my surgeries, abdominal and brain. You feel lousy when your head is fuzzy. The sore throat I could deal with.
Of course, that's just my experience. I wouldn't want you to think no one with cancer suffers.
But I'd also like you to get a sense of how little pain or discomfort I had from my cancer treatment.

Mostly I don't want people to fear Cancer. If you have spiritual refuge, you will deal with it the same way you deal with the many other awful things that happen in samsara.

As Buddhist practitioners. Geshe-la suggests we should fear our delusions more than we fear cancer, because cancer is just of this life. Isn't that a wild concept? I'm not quite there yet, but I like to remind myself: You should  be more scared of your irritation, your annoyance, your clinging to people and things ... .

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Radiation Plan: Cyberknife

Richard & I met with my Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Sandy Vermeulen to talk about what kind of treatment I should have. She took a lot of time with us, describing a few options and answering all our questions. In the end, it sounds like CyberKnife is the better choice, because of the size of my former tumor; GammaKnife was another possibility.
I'll probably have 3-5 treatments over a few days - the radiation team needs more info first.

If you're interested, there's lots of great info about the CyberKnife here, including a nice video:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Favorite Funny Movies

A while ago, I asked a bunch of you to recommend comedies that made you laugh.
Eventually I'll put together something more coherent, but in the meantime, the raw list is here:
Feel free to send more ideas.

When I have time, I'd like that blog to have more info about how to help a friend who's sick, whether they have a bad cold, a new baby or cancer.

My thinking on the movies was that if you'd like to help someone who's sick - even if you don't know them very well - you could offer to rent them a funny movie and maybe food. If you don't cook, you could ask them what they'd like for takeout. Sometimes calling just a day ahead with a specific offer is helpful.
More to come.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Prayers Needed

Please continue to pray for:
* Kees, who is still in the hospital; but thankfully is out of the Emergency Room
* Michael M, who is home from the hospital, but the doctors don't know what's happening with him
* Sally C, who is in pain but the doctors don't know why yet
* Lekmo, who is visiting the doctor again about her infection
Elliot Deslandes, the Kadampa boy who was swept away by a wave in Brazil after Festival; for news stories, see 

Radiation in a Couple Weeks, Then Chemo

When I talked to my oncologist Kaplan last week, he said I'd have radiation first, then chemo later. He said it would take 2-3 weeks to get everything arranged for radiation - in part, because my insurance would need to approve it, even though it's standard treatment for any kind of brain tumor.
First I need to set up an appointment with a Radiation Oncologist, because only she'll be able to say how many treatments I need and whether to use GammaKnife or CyberKnife radiation technology.
Here's more info about radiation treatment, from the Swedish webiste: 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Navigating the Medical System

I found that trying to get an appointment at the University of Washington Medical Center, as a patient of the Swedish system, was like trying to visit a foreign country. It was slow and bureaucratic, when I needed to move fast to get my tumor out.
I'm not saying it's the UW's fault - I suspect people who are in the UW system have a similarly hard time trying to see a doctor at Swedish.
What happened was I was trying to get an appointment with a highly regarded neurosurgeon for brain tumors at the UW. I talked to the doctor's scheduler directly 4 times before he told me the doctor was out of town all week. The scheduler also said they needed my medical records before they'd even make an appointment with me; when I arranged for my oncologist's office to fax the records ASAP, he complained that they were sending too many pages!
I also tried to get a second opinion with an ovarian oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (which is a partnership of the UW and Fred Hutchinson Research Center) who was highly recommended by a friend of a friend. It is considered part of the UW system - that is, not part of Swedish. Again, they wanted my medical records, and it took them a while to call back. Again, I wanted to see one of their "top docs." She had a full calendar, so I was offered an appointment with a colleague, which I declined. Many days later I was offered an appointment with the top doc, by which time I didn't need it anymore.

If you ever need medical care, I hope this is helpful background for you. I feel as though I should give some tips but am not sure what to suggest. To get the fastest care, you'll probably need to stay within your "system."
What you really need is prayers - plus persistence.

I am very fortunate to have good (but expensive) health insurance with Regence. I know specifically that made a difference when I needed a PET scan, which needed insurance approval because it costs a lot of money. Someday healthcare in the US will be more like in Europe and the rest of the developed world, where it's not an issue what kind of health insurance you have, because everyone is covered.
At the Brazil Festival, English and German friends just shook their heads when I said something about the American health system - to them it seems so backward.

In Seattle we are very fortunate to have all these excellent doctors. You could say an "embarrassment of riches"; maybe I should be embarrassed at complaining : )

As it turned out, everything was good at Swedish. You could say I have karma with the doctors there. I'd also say everyone's prayers removed obstacles I had getting to see the doctors I was meant to see, in a timely way. Prayers to the rescue again!

Tumor Marker Down

Yesterday I got the results of my "CA-125" blood test, which is a marker for how much ovarian cancer I have in my system. 
It's down to 43.7, from 61. It's still above normal (20 or less), but much lower than when I was diagnosed (it was in the 900s), and I've read of many women with ovarian cancer whose number is in the thousands.
This is good news!

Later today I see my medical oncologist, Dr. Kaplan, who is going to coordinate all my care. My ovarian oncologist, Dr. Drescher, is both a surgeon and an oncologist. Now that I've had a brain tumor, and need some targeted radiation to the brain, I need someone more to help figure out all my treatment - not just chemo, but also radiation.

Dr. Drescher probably saved my life by sending me for a CT scan of my head, based on my report of a mild headache. I'm told it would not have been good if I had gotten on a plane with a tumor in my head, which I was scheduled to do Oct 16th. Drescher is the best ovarian surgeon in Seattle, and getting the best surgery is very important for treating ovarian. I am immensely grateful to him. 

When I was initially diagnosed with ovarian last year, my "regular" (PCP) doctor, sent me to Dr. Drescher, saying that he was the only doctor to see, even if I had to wait a bit, and that she would go to him herself. As it was, my PCP pulled some strings so that I could see him right away.

Dr. Kaplan called his friend, my neurosurgeon Dr. Foltz, so that I could get operated on in 2 days - which made it possible for me to go to Brazil. "Dr. K" is also my friend Uma's oncologist for a different cancer (Uma's also an MD). He is a great doctor, and very easy to get hold of too, via phone or email.

I believe all these doctors - as well as nurses and other "caregivers" - are emanations, and I believe that your prayers helped them appear for me. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prayers for Sally

Please dedicate for Sally in our Seattle Sangha. She has been having one serious health issue after another and now may be quite ill with an infection.
We know that prayers make a huge difference - please use your mental actions to help her.

NY Times Article: Cancer Sleeper Cell

Highly recommended if you want to learn more about cancer and the future of research; from Sunday's New York Times magazine section and online here - at least for a few days.
Trying to "attack the roots of cancer"and the "stem-cell hypothesis," which is a very different approach than the traditional one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pray for Michael

He is in ICU at Swedish.
Please make prayers for him and his family.

Song Rinpoche

Info about Song Rinpoche (also spelled "Zong" sometimes) and a photo:
(The link to his bio is broken, but the video is still there.)

More Photos of Brazil

from KMC California's website:

Post Fest Retreat Teacher: Tessa

Another big reason to come to the Post Festival Retreat in Seattle this weekend - Tessa Logan, the Teacher!

In Brazil Geshe-la told stories about Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, who both helped bring Buddhism to Tibet from India; our lineage Guru, Je Phabongkhapa; Geshe-la's root Guru, Trijang Rinpoche; Geshe-la's uncle, the Kuten Lama; and Geshe-la's good friend, the Guru Song Rinpoche. Tessa was at Manjushri Center in England when Song Rinpoche visited a long time ago - there are not many people I know of who got to meet him.

Read Tessa's brief bio, from the San Francscico Center's website,
"Tessa Logan is a senior Buddhist meditation teacher in the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT). After completing her college studies in Cambridge, England, she became one of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's first disciples. She moved to Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Center (the Mother Center of the NKT) in 1977, when Venerable Geshe Kelsang himself moved there from India. Manjushri KMC in the UK is the largest Kadampa Center in the world, with over one hundred residents and thousands of annual visitors.

Over the last thirty years, Tessa has studied the entire Teacher Training Program, engaged in many meditative retreats, and developed a vast depth of Buddhist knowledge and experience. She has taught extensively at Manjushri Center itself, as well as at Chenrezig Buddhist Center in Lancaster, England for 15 years, and at both Keajra Buddhist Center in Blackpool, and Vajravarahi Center in Preston for several years. She has also worked at Manjushri Center in many different areas -- administration, book publication, and the education program -- and she helped to organize the large International New Kadampa Tradition Summer Festivals for 5 years."

I hope you are able to go to the retreat this weekend and hear Tessa.

Brazil Festival - again!

If you weren't able to go to Brazil to hear the teachings, and you live in the Pacific Northwest, come to Seattle to the Post Fall Festival Retreat at KMC Washington this weekend, November 5 - 7.
If you were able to go to Brazil, and you want to take it all in again more deeply, come to the Post Fest Retreat!
I'm planning to be there, as are many of us who were at Brazil.

Tessa Logan, the Resident Teacher at Saraha Buddhist Center in San Francisco - and a longtime practitioner -  will be leading a weekend retreat on the essential teachings.

For more information, schedule, registration, etc. see:
KMC Washington Website