Shambhala Diversity?

I’ve started on my paper for the level 5 shambhala training. The trainings take place at the Shambhala Center in Boulder, CO. And in the meditation hall there is a banner hanging above the shrine with the Stroke of ASHE, a symbol that Chögyam Trungpa created which means confidence beyond ego ?. It is also the symbol given to persons who complete the graduate courses in Shambhala Training. Over the past few weeks I’ve been seeing people all over the place wearing this symbol. I feel drawn to it and am considering continuing with the trainings once I leave Boulder Naropa. During the trainings there were some things said by different Directors that I didn’t fully agree with, that my experience didn’t agree with. But the meditation instruction and essence of the teachings were very helpful and did agree with my own experience. I’d like to find a sangha with the Shambhala community but I’m concerned with the lack of racial and ethnic diversity I’ve encountered. I know there is a center in Lexington and […]


Here’s some info on a reading I’ll be part of March 9th: Albums Bistro & Ahimsa Locos Present: IN XOCHITL ?IN CUICATL Featuring Lorna Dee Cervantes & Tim Z. Hernandez. This is a benefit reading for Boulder Naropa Floricanto ?@ Albums Bistro (On The Hill) Doors open 7PM / Show begins 8PM $5 gets you in! See you there!

Rough 1st Draft – Completed

Last night I completed the rough 1st draft of Josie: 179 pages, 42,000 words. Now I feel like I have something more solid to work with. Large portions of it still need to be edited. The middle and last sections I haven’t even looked at since writing them. But atleast it’s all together now in one document in proper order. Also, I met with Keith Abbott last week and got some feedback from him. You know you’re getting good feedback when the person is telling you something you remember thinking during the writing process. Among his suggestions was to draw out the ending to give it more dramatic impact. I remember writing the ending last summer and thinking that it was rushed ?. But I only had a couple of days before the SWP started and so I just wrote it down. Now I have the opportunity to go back and add some things. There’s also a section in the middle that I noticed last night could use some more work. So all in all […]

Buddhist Geeks & Shambhala Training III

Three Boulder Naropa students have gotten together to start their own blog/podcast. It’s less than two months old but seems pretty cool. If you’re interested check it out: Buddhist Geeks. I’m working on my paper for Shambhala Training V and so have been going back over my past Shambhala papers. I noticed that I stopped posting my responses up here after level II. So now I’m playing catch up. Here are two of my responses from level III: What was the difference between the conventional notion of renunciation and the Shambhala notion of renunciation? The conventional notion of renunciation is about giving up worldly pleasures to focus on spiritual life. For example, monks and nuns may renounce worldly possessions, sexual relations, or even personal identity, as these things are believed to be obstacles on the spiritual path. This idea of renunciation is connected with asceticism and arises from a belief that the world is a bad place that needs to be avoided. In Shambhala, the notion of renunciation is about opening to others, being gentle […]

One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding

One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding. Robert Gover. Titusville, NJ: Hopewell Publications, 2005. 225 pages.

I first heard about One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding last year in a writing workshop with Bobbie Louise Hawkins. She suggested the book for it’s effective use of monologue.

The second time someone mentioned the book to me was after a reading at the The Laboratory of Art & Ideas. I had read the first chapter of my manuscript Beats the Blank, and a man in the audience came up to me afterwards and asked if I’d read the book by Robert Gover. I told him I hadn’t but since it had come my way twice by two different people I would for sure check it out. I ordered it the next week.

In his […]

Response to Runaway by Alice Munro

Our assignment last week was to read the title story from Runaway by Alice Munro and write a response to the class issues in the story. I really love Alice Munro. I listened to the stories in Runaway this summer on a road trip to Kalamzoo, Michigan and the title story was astounding, just astounding.

I workshopped a story this week in class about the friendship between two girls in junior high. Getting Rides has two major characters: a middle-class girl and a lower class girl. The feedback was good. People were pleasantly surprised by the ending. I got some helpful comments as well. Keith Abbott kept a copy to give me written comments later. I’m looking forward to those.

Reading Munro in the context of this course on social class and writing brought me even more insight. There […]

Thesis research, Murakami, and Taste of Salt

I haven’t been writing much these past few weeks. I’ve had some personal issues to take care of instead. But I have been researching my critical thesis. That means I’ve been watching hours of lectures by and interviews with Joseph Campbell. I’ve also just finished reading Kafka on the Shore. I read Wild Sheep Chase a couple of years ago and wrote this review. My response to Kafka on the Shore is lukewarm compared to Wild Sheep Chase. There were sections of the novel that dragged and I had to force myself to continue. But some aspects were delightly such as the librarian assistant who befriends young Kafka, Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders, and the Stone. Now I am reading Taste of Salt. This is a young adult novel about modern Haiti. The three narrators are: Djo, a street boy who begins the novel by telling his story from a hospital bed after being firebombed; Jeremie, a young girl who is being educated by nuns in hopes of escaping the slums of Port-au-Prince; and President […]