Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Weekly Quote

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

- Kurt Vonnegut (11/11/22-04/11/07)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Meditation & Mantram

Using a Mantram

The Blue Mountain Center for Meditation teaches using a mantram during meditation. Even though I had read their recommendations previously I hadn't put them into practice. I started yesterday and found it very helpful. I have always had a hard time meditating without a guided meditation, because I can't seem to quiet my mind and I have a short attention span.

"A mantram is a powerful spiritual formula which, when repeated silently in the mind, has the capacity to transform consciousness. There is nothing magical about this. It is simply a matter of practice. The mantram is a short, powerful spiritual formula for the highest power we can conceive of – whether we call it God, or the ultimate reality, or the Self within. ... Choose whichever version of the Holy Name appeals to you; then, once you have chosen a mantram, do not change it. ...

[T]he mantram can be repeated under almost any circumstances, and it is so brief that it will come to your mind under even the most agitating circumstances. ... The mantram is most effective when repeated silently in the mind. Repeat the mantram whenever you get the chance: while walking, while waiting, while doing mechanical chores like washing dishes, and especially when you are falling asleep. Whenever you are angry or afraid, nervous or hurried or resentful, repeat the Holy Name until the agitation in your mind subsides."

My Chosen Mantram

The mantram I have chosen to use is from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition:

Om mani padme hum
(pronounced: ohm mah nee pahd may hung)
"Hail the jewel in the lotus"

Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same effect -- it is often carved into stones. I have seen jewelry for sale on ebay with it and I am going to go look for something and buy it. I did buy a medallion with it and incorporated it into a set of meditation beads for someone least year.

The meaning of this mantram is not just its literal translation; it is said to contain the essence of the whole of the Buddha's teachings.

  • Om is composed of three letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

  • Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.

  • The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom

  • Hum indicates indivisibility. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom
Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

More here:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's a beautiful world

"I walk with beauty before me
I walk with beauty behind me
I walk with beauty above me
I walk with beauty below me
I walk with beauty all around me
Your world is so beautiful, Oh God."

-- Navajo prayer

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I had never paid much attention to this sculpture. I've been taking pics around town with my cell phone and took this yesterday. It wasn't a very good day for picture taking.

Haddad Riverfront Park, Charleston, WV

The plaque on it says the name of it is "Unity" and it also has two sculptors' names, Dr. Cubert Smith and another that appears to be in Russian. I was only able to find a little info about it online. It appears to have been undertaken via the Charleston-Korolev Connection (which fosters some kind of exchange/sister city program between West Virginia and Russia - Korolev apparently being a town in Russia). The sculpture was a collaboration between Dr. Cubert Smith, a Charleston artist and Director of the City of Charleston's Environmental Resources Office, and Vladimir Smirnoff, a sculptor from Korolev. It's kind of neat.

UFO over Oregon?

Found via

"Headed to Medford there was a shiny thing that caught my eye so I zoomed in with my handycam and got this little clip. 40x zoom so it is bigger than what I could see with my own eyes. Sorry about the shaking but the truck is bouncy and even more so when zoomed in.If you look closely at the clouds you can see that it really wasn't moving. It was headed south just above the hills back behind and in between Eagle Point and White City. It is at regular speed and then I slowed it down to half. Still not sure what it is,probably just a plane maybe a ufo, you decide. Recorded Tues. March 20, 2007 at about 11am"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Memories

I dug these out to post on my sister's MySpace so I'll share them here too. I am the oldest, 4 years older than my sister Tina. Click on them to see larger versions

Easter 1968
easter 1968

Look at that bow on Mom!. I love the expression on my sister's face.
1970 Jamie Tina Mom

Don't know what year this one is. Maybe 1971?
I remember that purse distinctly. Those are some ugly bunnies!
easter jamie tina

20 years ago!!
1987 easter

Weekly Quote

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Google yellow pages - via the telephone!

Call 1-800-GOOG-411. At the prompts, say your city and state, then either the category of business or business name. Then you hear a list of matching businesses. When you decide which one you want to call, just say or press the corresponding list number (such as "number 4") and they will connect you with them. For free. FREE! I just tried it and got a list of pizza restaurants in my area. Pretty nifty!

How do they make money on this?? It's still in Google labs.

Found via:

More info:

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weekly Quote

"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt

More Pet Food Recalls

All sizes and varieties of Purina's "Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy" wet dog food (Date codes 7037 through 7053, followed by plant code 1159. Those codes follow a "Best Before Feb. 2009" date. Bottom of can or top or side of multi-pack cartons.)

Hills Science Diet dry cat food - Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food, 4 pound bag, 52742 42770 (all lot numbers) and Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food, ten pound bag, 52742 42790.

Del Monte voluntarily recalling select product codes of pet treats Jerky Treats®, Gravy Train® Beef Sticks and Pounce Meaty Morsels® Moist Chicken Treats as well as select dog snack and wet dog food products sold under private label brands (Ol' Roy, Dollar General and Happy Tails). See link for complete list of brands, products & codes.

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United Pet Group, Inc., is voluntarily recalling Dingo® CHICK’N JERKY treats for dogs, cats and ferrets due to concerns that they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Products affected were sold at Target, PetSmart and other retailers. Products subject to recall are Dingo CHICK’N JERKY 3.5 oz. and 8 oz. for dogs and Dingo Kitty CHICKEN JERKY 1.5 oz. for cats and Dingo Ferret CHICKEN JERKY 1.5 oz for ferrets. I have these chicken treats and am throwing them away now - the cats didn't like them anyway and only ate a little and haven't had any recently

Petrapport is voluntarily recalling pig ear dog treats because of of potential to be contaminated with salmonella (see link for more details info re brands etc),1891,TRN_5784_5445994,00.html