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, February 15, 2014

On Break from Chemo

When I saw my oncologist in mid-January for my monthly chemo, he surprised me by saying not only was I not getting chemo that day, but that I was never having any more of the drug (Doxil), because it was causing my body too much trouble. (I thought that I was finally having a more typical patient experience, feeling like I'd gotten off pretty easy until I switched to this combo in mid-August. None of my side effects was serious or would last after I stopped taking the drug. But he has more perspective, of course, and I don't mind dropping it. I was spending a lot of my day trying to prevent and treat the various skin-related and other side effects.)

Dr K told me to take a 2-week break then see him again for a consultation. When I saw him after that break, he said to take Feb off, but then we decided that I'll get the the targeted drug (Avastin, which is only chemo in the sense of not being surgery or radiation) twice in February, then next month we'll decide on what drug to combine with the Avastin, which will depend on how I'm doing physically, because there's a milder chemo I could choose, but I'd rather go for something stronger.

So yesterday I got treatment. Being at the cancer center was like seeing old friends. As someone who used to be there 3 weeks out of 4, it felt like I'd been away a long time.

I did meet a chemo nurse I hadn't had before, who worked as a pediatric oncology nurse at Children's Hospital for 11 years. Suzanne's creating a nonprofit called Ladybug House, which you can see on Facebook. This is their description: "Ladybug House will be a community-based palliative-care home offering free respite and end-of-life care to children and young adults in a home setting." She's been doing background research for years and said there were only 2 or 3 places in the U.S. like it. Yesterday Suzanne was celebrating because she'd gotten some legal approval, I think it was. (She has a lot of prestigious lawyers, architects, and other professionals working pro bono to make this happen.) There's also going to be spiritual support, and she said she'd appreciate prayers for the project.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Prayers for Sandy's son Isaac

Sandy is a Kadampa teacher in Vancouver and nearby Abbotsford and previously Admin at the latter. Her 29-year-old son recently had an accident that left him a quadriplegic, although they are  already making arrangements so that he can live as independently as possible in Vancouver.
Please make prayers for healing blessings for him and peaceful minds  for him and his family.
Thank you. We all know that mental actions are the most powerful and that the Buddhas keep us in their loving care especially when we make specific requests of them.

Reg for US Fest Opens Tues

Registration for US Festival opens this Tuesday, Feb 11, at noon EST (9am Seattle time). If you want accommodations on-site (aside from camping), plan to be at that page at least a few minutes before then.
The Festival will be Empowerment of Wisdom Buddha Je Tsongkhapa and Teachings on How to be a Modern Kadampa by Gen-la Dekyong!
It runs April 25 – 30.
For more info about accommodations, transportation, costs, etc. see particularly The Festival menu at the top of the website
The closest, best airport is Newark (EWR), NJ.

I am planning to go. If you are thinking about attending and would be flying out of SEA (Sea-Tac), contact me so that we can all try to fly with friends - reliance on Sangha. I will keep a spreadsheet to help everyone coordinate their travels.

Usually I fly in the Thursday before Festival starts, stay at a hotel near the airport (the Wyndham Garden, which is safe, relatively cheap, decent service and has restaurant with a nice breakfast; also a shop crammed with just about any travel supplies you need and a small café in the lobby) to get a good night's sleep, then book the shuttle or take the train (which is a nice option, but note that you need to get a taxi or other ride from Pt Jervis to Glen Spey, which is where the US Temple is; taxi companies are listed on the transportation page).

If you take the train, you have to change at Secaucus Junction, which is easy to navigate. There's a good trip planner on the NJ Transit website, where you can enter Newark Airport Rail Station, Port Jervis Station, the date and time you want you to leave or arrive, and it will give you a list of trains. I think they don't have a schedule yet for April.
I like maps, and you can see a nice one of NJ Transit trains. It's the red or blue line from what's called Newark Liberty Int'l Airport, at the middle of the map just below Newark Penn Station (a terrible name, given New York City's Penn Station), then the change at Secaucus to the yellow Main Line, which you stay on to terminate in Port Jervis.

I am tracking flight costs with an Alert at (which you need to have an account for). I can't think of a reason not to get a non-stop, except if you're booking with miles.

May all obstruction be cleared for those who wish to go, and may many wish to go.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paul Ashton Passed Away

Paul died peacefully on January 29th.
Please make prayers for him and his family.