Thursday, February 28, 2008

Buddhist Nun to Speak at USC

Special Event!
Finding Inner Peace
with Kadampa Buddhist Nun Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Tuesday, March 4th, 7pm-8:15pm, at USC/Rutledge Chapel
Reception to follow in the Gresette Room/Harper College

In this busy world, our experiences of happiness are fleeting and short-lived, while inner peace eludes us completely. Our negative states of mind, such as uncontrolled desire and anger, create endless problems for ourselves and others, and prevent us from fulfilling our deepest wishes.

Gen-la Dekyong will teach, as presented in Buddhism, how we can find an authentic, longlasting inner peace through meditation practice. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort and so we will experience true happiness.

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition in the United States and Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center California. She has been practicing Buddhism and studying closely with her Spiritual Guide, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for many years. Gen-la Dekyong is a powerful and inspiring teacher who is well-loved for her good heart and clear, practical teachings.

This event is possible thanks to the generosity of the USC Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Philosophy, the Women's Studies Program and the Ganden Mahayana Buddhist Center.

"The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful we shall be free from worries and mental discomfort, and we shall experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful we shall find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions. If we train in meditation our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we shall experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventuallywe shall be happy all of the time, even in the most difficult circumstances."
-Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weekend Excursion

I'm leaving shortly to enjoy a nice weekend away from Columbia. I think I often neglect important relationships and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to nurture this one. It's been so long since I've been able to sit and chat with "Running Man," and I am very much looking forward to it.

This miniature sabbatical will enable me loads of time to think and pray. I've got a lot to ponder: future happenings, current relationships & events, and maybe even try to make sense of some of the past. It will be good to unplug and write more, and talk to one of the people in this world who seems to really 'get' me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sins Galore!

An article that caught my eye from Forbes this morning.

America's Most Sinful Cities

Based on the 7 deadly sins, cities were ranked according to various statistics. The closest one to Columbia is the #2 ranked city for Envy: Charlotte, NC. This was determined due to the high number of petty larceny in the past. Very interesting, indeed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cool Stuff

Scientists Scan Striking Nanoscale Images

For the first time, late last year, a team of British scientists filmed the nanoscale interaction of an attacking virus with an enzyme and a DNA strand in real time.

Maybe this will help in cancer research and development!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Zumba Update

We had a blast! Although our heart rate never really got too high, we had a lot of fun and I definitely smiled A LOT. Especially when we had to some sort of samba and I looked (and felt) more like I was in a hoedown or something. We shimmied and moved our hips a whole heck of a lot, which is ALWAYS a good source of laughter.

So overall, I had fun even though it wasn't a very demanding workout. Tomorrow I start my conquest of the jump rope AND start running again. Mags and I have decided to participate in the Get to the Green 5K on March 15.

I think having this challenge will motivate me in several ways and will only benefit me. Don't worry--I will take it easy when I need to.


This afternoon, Mags and I are off to try something new: a Zumba class. It's a Latin-inspired aerobic workout...should be interesting to say the least! I'm a little nervous about the coordination necessary to keep up, but at least I'll get a good laugh out of it--and give someone a good laugh too! I'll update after class...

Monday, February 11, 2008


I had a soup this evening that transported me halfway across the world. "Mom's" Mulligatawny soup was quite delicious, with exploding tastes and aromas of the Subcontinent. With a little hummus and pita, it felt as if I was back at the Coconut Lagoon--enjoying the air, the smells, the experience and the friendships.

One might recall Mulligatawny from the Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi. If his tasted anything like "Mom's," well, I'd take the chance at his place too.

Bishops vs. Vagina Monologues

An interesting article forwarded to me by SPH.

Bishops Shun Notre Dame

Here are some highlights:
*The Committee on Doctrine is chaired by Bishop William Lori ofBridgeport and includes five other bishops from, respectively, SanAntonio,Washington, Toledo, Paterson, and Oakland. Cardinal George of Chicagois aconsultant to the Committee, as is Dr. John Cavadini, Chair of theNotre DameTheology Department and one of the conference's organizers.

*The Committee's seminar was to be held on campus on February11-13, but when the bishops learned that the Vagina Monologues might be performed, they asked Father Jenkins to bar it. According to a Committee source, the bishops "did everything they possibly could to come to an agreementwith the administration." Father Jenkins nevertheless turned them down.

*The bishops thereupon moved the conference to a convent in Mishawaka and decided to stay at the Inn at St. Mary's rather than the Morris Inn. (St. Mary's does not allow the Vagina Monologues.) Cardinal William Levada, theVatican Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the keynote speaker, was also "in the loop," according to a Committee source.

*Bishop John M. D'Arcy, whose diocese includes Notre Dame, provided confirmation. He said, "Because of the likelihood of the presentation of . . .'The Vagina Monologues' . . . the bishops made a collective decision to move the seminar off campus."

*In a terse statement, the University said that it had "worked collaboratively with the bishops to move the conference" and that it is "sure that our partnerships will continue in the future." Father Jenkins declined to be interviewed. This episode evidences both the degree to which secularization has overtaken the University and also a most troubling estrangement of University and Church.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tag--I'm It (and a little late)

I was tagged awhile ago and have just remembered to participate. So here goes:
* Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
* Find Page 123.
* Find the first 5 sentences.
* Post the next 3 sentences.

Book: Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

Excerpt: "It took some experimentation before I had found the best method of crawling. The soft wet snow made it hard to slide. I quickly realized that facing forwards on one knee and both arms was too painful."

This is describing Joe's struggle to make it back to base camp after falling in a crevasse and breaking his leg--oh, and being abandoned by his friend and climbing companion.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


You know when you've had a rough week and some of the smallest, simplest things make you feel so much better? Well, I had one of those rough weeks and then yesterday I came home to two dozen roses at my door!
Then today, I decided to go to Five Points and just window shop. The shoe store, Sophie, was having an amazing sale so I decided to just take a peek. I found the most adorable pair of shoes that were 75% off! They were way too cute to pass up.
I know that true happiness cannot be found in roses that will eventually die or shoes that fit perfectly, but for the moment I feel incredibly happy and at peace with everything going on. And at a time like this, that is simpy precious.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

More Fun Pics

Killing Time

We were waiting for the Richland County library to open this afternoon and found we had about 30 minutes to kill, so LF's daddy and I went over to the State House on this beautiful Sunday afternoon and took some pictures around the grounds.