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."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Updated Master Index of Geshe-la's Books

I am continuing to update the "master index" of all Geshe-la's books, which includes the index entries for his printed books, as well as additional entries I've added. Indexes from his newest books are included.
Those continuing updates to the index will be on Dropbox
In that Index folder are 2 files:
* main index
* index of analogies, stories and favorite quotes
Please let me know if there are problems.
I'm always interested to hear feedback.

Feel free to give the link to others.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A New Chapter

I apologize for neglecting this blog. To be honest, it will have very occasional updates, but on this occasion I am writing about my health.

If life were a book, this would be a new chapter, but a continuation of the main plot of my "biography" of cancer and the many ways Dharma has helped me. As I said a long time ago, cancer has really helped my spiritual practice. That doesn't mean I'd wish it on anyone else. One purpose of writing it is not just to give scientific evidence - my personal experience - of the power of faith and prayer. But also to document one person's adventure, to dispel the fear of cancer. Even my advanced cancer hasn't been a "bad trip." I can list many, many conditions that are much worse - which I often list for myself to generate compassion and to use as material for taking practice.

When last you heard, I was in remission - my oncologist's term (most women with this chronic cancer call it "no evidence of disease" or NED - because it's very, very rare to have a cure). I have been getting what I call a "non-chemo chemo," a targeted, maintenance therapy that can distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells.

I turned the page as a result of recent scan results: I was very happy with them, because my brain MRI was even better than my last one, and, for the first time in 17 years, I had a bone scan from top to toe and there were no tumors. Bones are one of the most common places for the original tumor to spread to. There are remedies, but my understanding is that it is hard to treat and can be very painful.
But the CT scan of my torso showed a tumor in my iliac lymph node going from "infinitesimally small" size - barely visible on the CT - to 1.4cm round, which is still very small. The ramification of that, however, is that I am back on traditional chemo, one that starts with "Gem." I had my second dose today, and am off next week.

The most important upshot is that I'm cleared for takeoff: I got onsite accommodations for US Festival, which will be followed by one night visiting my Dad and Stepmom, and spending several days visiting my brother's family and going into NY City with them.

It's Vajrapani! I've had a connection with him for a long time, even before Geshe-la started granting that empowerment. I have heard there's a healing practice relying on Vajrapani, and requested the transmission be given if it would be beneficial.

Hope to see you there.