Saturday, May 23, 2009

...huge, broken, and laced with flame...

"...when he chose the median floors it was a decision that had evolved over many thousands of years, and that had its origins in one great event when something huge, broken, and laced with flame had tumbled through the air after being hurled from a place so bright that compared to it the sun straight on seemed as black as pitch."

from Winter's tale
By Mark Helprin

Friday, May 22, 2009


"The peninsula Avalon in Newfoundland is separated by 4000 km of ocean from legendary Avalon in Wales. Trilobites show that the two Avalons were conjoined half a billion years ago. Fortuitous congruence of names? Or the influence of the Arthurian magician Merlin?"

Summers Butterflies

Summers butterflies
Black with gray wings and
Black stars. Alien
Rainbow butterflies with
Black scary dots
Roses shaped like swords
Grasshoppers and caterpillars
Spiderwebs, snails and worms
And those little worms called maggots

written by Summer, age five

Pied Beauty

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum
The Mani mantra is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras, and open to anyone who feels inspired to practice it -- it does not require prior initiation by a lama (meditation master).

The six syllables of the mantra, as it is often pronounced by Tibetans -- Om Mani Padme Hum -- are here written in the Tibetan alphabet:

Reading from left to right the syllables are:






The vowel in the sylable Hu (is pronounced as in the English word 'book'. The final consonant in that syllable is often pronounced 'ng' as in 'song' -- Om Mani Padme Hung. There is one further complication: The syllable Pad is pronounced Pe (peh) by many Tibetans: Om Mani Peme Hung.

"There is not a single aspect of the eighty-four thousand sections of the Buddha's teachings which is not contained in Avalokiteshvara's six syllable mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum", and as such the qualities of the "mani" are praised again and again in the Sutras and Tantras.... Whether happy or sad, if we take the "mani" as our refuge, Chenrezig will never forsake us, spontaneous devotion will arise in our minds and the Great Vehicle will effortlessly be realized."

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
-- Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones



Trinitite, also known as Atomite or Alamogordo Glass, is the name given to the glassy residue left on the desert floor after the plutonium-based Trinity nuclear bomb test on July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico.