Monthly Archives: October 2008

carnival of eating disorders on hallowe’en

isabella mori on hallowe'en: a fashion mistakeit’s hallowe’en! i’m busy being a fashion mistake – that’s my costume for this year. this picture gives you a bit of a taste of but it doesn’t show the real nice touches – the smeared rouge, the bags under the eyes, the wool socks over the leopard pyjamas under the fancy black skirt – oh well.

oh, and it’s the last of the month and therefore carnival of eating disorders time! i guess i should get serious.


(desparately trashing around trying to find a segue)

{giving up; but if you can think of a good segue, let me know, alright?}

i’ll just start now.

body image – a video that will make you cry
in this powerful post, dr. susan gregg talks about the difference between domination and dominion:

society is based on domination. the way our mind thinks is most often based on domination: black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, positive emotions and negative ones. symbolically this is represented as a line. as we deepen our connection with our spirit, with our true nature we move into dominion. symbolically dominion is represented as a sphere.

after explaining this concept a little more, she then posts a video that illustrates her thoughts in a deeply moving way. everyone who has ever had any issues with body image or any other feelings of “otherness” will know what susan is talking about. please visit her post, judgment, domination and the line.

body image – a striking difference between men and women
kelly turner presents the difference between boys and girls at grounded fitness. an excerpt:

it would futile to try and explain that if a girl asked another girl if she was going to try and lose weight to get a guy, without said girl ever mentioning a dissatisfaction with her current weight, that it would be enough to send her into a downward spiral of self hatred, body image issues and gallons and gallons of ben and jerry’s.

body image and anorexia
lola snow has a post about a mirror in a changing room:

the revelation occurred in the middle of the river island changing rooms.
i tried on nine or ten different outfits, on the final pair of jeans (which i actually had to buy because all my other clothes hang off me in various ways liable to get me arrested for exposure) i noticed. i look like a bag of bones. i look ill. my cheeks are actually sunken in. my hipbones and ribs are more obvious than my boobs. my collarbones protrude far enough to hook a coat hanger on. i actually felt a bit sick, because i feel so breakable. like one of my bones could shatter from a knock or a jar. my skin is patchy, i have an eye infection, my veins in my arms pop out like grey earthworms, my teeth are chipped and yellowed. all in all, standing under the yellow tinted fluorescent hell lighting, shivering in my too-big underwear, wasn’t a good look for me.

i looked like i am pretty close to dying.

what i found really interesting about this is that it looks like she actually saw herself in real life, not as still-too-fat as so many anorexic women do. a small victory, perhaps?

read the whole article on women’s changing rooms here

food and the sound of silence
laura collins, who was so good and hosted the carnival of eating disorders last month muses on the question of what to talk about when not talking about food and eating. what would happen if these topics were taken out of the conversation anywhere and everywhere?

well, a marvellous silence would blanket the land, certainly. there’d be a lot more eye contact, i think. the TV and radio channels would be silent much of the day and night without talk shows and news spots and commercials selling dieting and the necessity of altering our appearance. parties would be odd for a while, but we’d adjust. class reunions… well, no one would go any more because the whole point was to compare notes on aging and diets.

here is the rest of the post.

exercise: fit and fat
carrie arnold (who, incidentally, was the person who first asked the question of what to talk about if not about food) is the owner of one of the best blogs on eating disorders. check it out. her new blog header is really cool. she points out that you can be fit and fat.

a study found that half of adults classified as “overweight” and one third of adults classified as “obese” were metabolically healthy. one in four of “normal weight” adults were not.

exercise and weight loss
pretty much a companion article to the one above is dr. martin russell’s exercise for weight loss. hold on to your seats, i won’t reveal the story. read it for yourself.

that’s it for october! i really enjoyed all these posts and encourage you to go on and read them all. do you have, or do you know, a post that would be a good addition to this carnival? if so, please submit it here or drop me a line, and we can enjoy it next month, at the carnival of eating disorders on november 30.

simplicity and the internet

as someone with a strong buddhist influence, i often think about simplicity, and make tiny, cautious steps towards it. my baroque mind finds this rather ridiculous because life is most fun and exciting when there are lots and lots of decorations and curlicues, when there is boundless abundance and variations upon variations on themes upon themes, n’est-ce-pas?

and still.

some weeks ago, we held a garage sale. the items we sold were spread out on the lawn. there were more possessions than a poor family in haiti ever has – yet so little was missing from our house that no-one noticed a thing.

this left quite an impression on me. ever since then i try to get rid of at least one thing every day, and have tried not to buy too much.

that’s my material life. then there’s other aspects of my life. i know so many people, and i don’t feel i do them justice. they give me their friendship and i only have so much time and energy to reciprocate (or let’s say i think i only have so much time; i truly don’t know whether this is an accurate assessment).

and then there is the internet. sooooo many interesting people. soooooo many interesting words, thoughts, images, so much fascinating music, so many games to play! for all intents and purposes, or, let’s be precise, for the intents and purposes of this person with this mind, the internet is endless, fathomless.

now what?

i’d like to find a way to honour all the good people on the internet that i come across while at the same time moving closer to the principle of simplicity. i’d like to do this with love, with an open heart, in fluidity and organically.

have you found a way?

i’m asking this question, among others, of the buddhist bloggers that buddhist chaplain andy fisher took the trouble the other day to list. here you are. thanks, andy!

fireflies and a buddhist shrine: a sunday inspiration

in this post, i happily join sojourner in her sunday inspiration project.

fireflies. from ancient times we humans have always been fascinated by these little beings. scientists explain that the firefly’s light is produced through a complicated interaction of a number of chemicals. but for me, its light teaches a very valuable lesson: the firefly is not poisonous and does not bite; its lifespan is short and in its brief moments on earth, it just gives off light.

i believe the light it emanates is truly its buddha-nature.

as for me, i am stronger, more intelligent, civilized and live longer, but i cannot give light. it makes me very humble.

this is a meditation by kenryu t. tsuji, the first japanese-american bishop of the buddhist churches of america, of the jodo shinshu path, otherwise known pure land buddhism. it is the path of my in-laws, and every time i visit them, i enjoy getting a little glimpse of that way of life.

the other day i was given the gift of a few moments in front of their little ancestral shrine, spending some minutes bathing in the light of the memory of loved ones that have left this reality. there was a sense of my family – my father, my dog, my cousin – meeting my in-laws’ family – my husband’s aunt, his grandmother, the cat he grew up with.

we are all one.  and the firefly is our teacher.

image by tanakawho

this post can be found at zen school

11 things i learned at millionaire mind intensive

clarity: a green chestnut suspended in the aira few months ago i went to one of t. harv eker’s millionaire mind intensive workshops. i didn’t buy any of their courses (i guess becoming a millionaire isn’t high on my list) but got quite a bit out of it otherwise. if you get a chance to go to one of those workshops for free, i highly recommend them. here are my notes – i offer them to you because i’m still not over this silly cold and my brain still doesn’t co-operate enough for a full-blown, original blog post.

let me know what you think of these notes – any of them useful?

(oh, and i lied.  they’re not 11 things but 27.  i just wanted to start a title with “11 things i learned”)

  1. dream big; you’ll never be bigger than your dreams
  2. what’s your money blueprint? (what’s your blueprint for anything?)
  3. look at the results – that’ll tell you. once you know your blueprint, you can change it.
  4. failure often comes from lack of clarity
  5. clarity = power; power = ability to do and act
  6. no clarity like playing basketball without a hoop
  7. getting by is harder than getting rich. also, getting by sucks
  8. simple works, complicated is interesting
  9. we are programmed to be worker bees
  10. most people start doing something new out of irritation. their models tend to be the people who irritated them (e.g. “i’m not going to do what he did!”, “if she can do it, i can do it, too”)
  11. most people run a business that creates struggle. but it should create wealth.
  12. the opportunity is pure, until you come along.
  13. if fear, anger and resentment are at the (tree) root of whatever i do, event when the results are ok, i’ll have a hard time changing what’s above ground, and my fruits will never be quite what i want
  14. destructive words: “i know that” – they close you off
  15. pride and ego: the most expensive things you own
  16. for many people, success is counterintuitive
  17. fix the habit not the problem
  18. if you want a lot of anything, put in energy
  19. in times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. (eric hoffer)
  20. don’t work hard at something, work hard at yourself
  21. if you show you can handle what you have, you’ll get more
  22. focus on investments (of time, energy, money), don’t focus on expenditures
  23. there are 4 realms: mental, emotional, spiritual, physical. the first three are the roots. the physical is the fruit. if you want better fruit, work on the remaining 75%.
  24. if you have results you probably won’t spend that much time looking for reasons
  25. emotion is like breath – it needs to go in and out
  26. we fear the letting go of emotions but we need it more than anything
  27. who’s choosing the action? you or the feeling?

image by wayne’s world 7

october 2008 buddhist carnival, part 2

here is part 2 of the october 2008 buddhist carnival. you can find the first part here, where we focused exclusively on posts that discuss poverty in a buddhist context.

vipassana no. 1: this, too

i’ve been “enjoying my breath” on the regular four times a week for almost a year. i say hello to my in-breath, and say good-bye to the out. when thoughts arise in my big brain, i note them, label them and release; as is the practice in vipassana or “insight” style meditation. and when a pesky thought appears, there is no need to push it away. following the advice of my imaginary best friends tara brach and jack kornfield i simply bow to that thought saying, “this too.” please, my apartment is not huge, but my heart is! tara and jack told me so! so it goes a little something like this…

in, out, in, out, chocolate cake-thought!, in, out, in, chocolate cake-thought, out, in, out, in, there’s a murderer in my apartment-ahhh fear, out, in, out, in, out, i want to go to australia -planning, in, out, in, out, in, out, ohhh, this is nice-pleasure, in, out, in, out, paula abdul-weird, in, out, in, out….

more of this at sarah jackson’s end of summer metta sale.

vipassana no.2: clear perception
if insight or vipassana meditation is something you’ve been thinking about trying, and if you’d also like to explore its more serious angle, you might find this article useful. it goes into some detail, for example here, where it explains where the word comes from:

insight meditation or vipassana comes directly from the sitipatthana sutra, a discourse attributed to the buddha himself. the pali term for insight meditation is vipassana bhavana. bhavana stems from the root ‘bhu’ meaning to grow or become. therefore bhavana means to cultivate and when used in reference to the mind it means mental cultivation. vipassana is derived from ‘passana’ meaning perceiving and ‘vi’ which means ‘in a special way’ and possesses connotations of both ‘into’ and ‘through’. thus the whole meaning of vipassana is: looking into a thing with clarity and precision, seeing each component as distinct and separate and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing.

read more at meditation – method, effects and purpose within buddhism.

past, future, present
the buddha said

do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

phil picks this saying apart and makes it work for him. i heartily applaud him for doing so – we need to make these sacred texts our own, get our own individual learning from them. (i wrote a whole post about that tailored type of study a while ago over at alex’s blog). i don’t quite agree with phil’s interpretation – but in a way, that’s the point. it needs to work for phil, not for me.

read here what phil has to say about past, present and future.

goddess in my heart
ybonesy has a lovely long post describing her visit to vietnam, and particularly the buddhist temple at cai be, where she found the image of a goddess – a buddha mother – that made a lasting and loving impression on her heart.

people who love others, truly love, will give up anything if it means their loved ones will survive. there are people all across this world and in my country and my life who know that kind of love. they are greater than all the bad, and though i lose this truth when i most need it, it lives even when i forget or stop believing.

i was very touched by this: there are truths that live on, regardless of whether we remember or believe. the buddha did not teach many certainties but the truth of love and compassion – elusive, yes, slippery and fluid and at the same time rock solid – that truth is unquestionable.

please visit ybonesy at her blog, red ravine, and accompany her on her journey. the image for this blog is also her art work.  (mother mudra, doodle © 2008 by ybonesy. all rights reserved.)

comfort zone

finally, a little something at the tao of simplicity. i’m always intrigued by these short little posts. this one, stretch out of your comfort zone, relates to buddhist concepts in the sense that the buddha certainly encourages us not to cling to comfort. too much comfort lulls, and the more we have of it, the more we tend to crave it.

you need to stretch just enough to be uncomfortable. then, rest and let your comfort zone expand naturally. then, stretch again.

hm, interesting. that sounds a bit like yoga.

this, people, is all we have for the october buddhist carnival. if you know of any posts that should appear in next month’s carnival (november 15), please send them to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

my virtual bookshelf

i’m still battling this cold, so i’m just playing around. this personalized bookshelf from shelfari is something i found on virtual wordsmith today. i played around and stocked it with a few of my favourite books, trying to choose some that i hadn’t mentioned here much yet.

what a great waste of time!

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shelfari: book reviews on your book blog