7 links – how to appreciate yourself

I was in full-fledged flinching from writing the Conclusion section of my thesis (are you as sick of me mentioning this as I am?) so I dug into ZenDotStudio’s lovely offering of 7 Links.  The object is to return to various posts in my blog and find those that can be tagged in the categories below.  (I’ve got this horrible urge to go and find a journal reference for what I just wrote!)  Then I am supposed to invite five other bloggers to do the same.  I’ve listed five of my very many favourite and most frequented bloggers below. I am sorry to say I discovered Adam of Fly Like a Crow is not blogging there any more but go anyway!

Initially, I thought of this as a chance to review the popularity of the posts but after a few sessions with friends and my new Spiritual Coach (Yes!  I have one!), I’m taking this as a chance to truly value the things I do.  It’s also a chance to clarify the values I tried to convey in the posts and to do a little check-in on how aligned I feel to them.  Them are mighty words and only the Shadow knows what I actually intend, as Barry of Ox Herding likes to point out!  

No matter.  I invite you to have this conversation with yourself.  What brings you alive?  What are the jewels hidden in that cloak which hides you so well from your own sight?

Here are the little gems I found in the folds of this blog:

Most beautiful post 

One of the first forays into my personal life, losing & letting go remains my favourite.  Writing it drew out all the pain of dealing with my mother, our relationship, and the third thing, her dementia.  The blog was a poultice.  

Most popular post

My first attempt at the Ox Herding pictures, out to pasture, got the most hits (hits being the count of how many people opened that page but it says nothing of whether they read it or liked it); it also snagged a weekly gig on Tricycle’s Editor’s blog.  questions-1 had the most exchanges in the commentaries but they were related to the renovations of the blog!

Most controversial post

It doesn’t show in the post itself but selling out to sex and sin, my review of Brad Warner’s book, got a few feathers ruffled although the publishers still love me.

Most helpful post

You’ll have to tell me which this is!  However, the post that triggered a round of discussions on other blogs was how the light gets in which was itself prompted by mind of poverty.  

Most “surprisingly successful” post

I took a huge risk in writing this one: flinching from eudaimonism.  At least it felt that way.  I don’t have much confidence in my understanding of the intricacies of Buddhist philosophy and I really should stop that nonsense (the lack of confidence part).  The response the post got were a real surprise and the fact that Justin – Oh Great Scholar! – clicked “like” just (pun intended) made my century!  And that Glen Wallis is pilfering my concept of Hope… well… Oh was that my ego writing… damn!

Most neglected post

Oh.  I’d have to pick the ethics and Chaplaincy ones: in the service of war: Chaplaincy I, II, III .  Really thought it would get the fur flying but… 

and finally….the post that makes them most proud

Oh that’s really easy!  All of them.  Well, OK… I am passionate about the Ox Herding series and I totally loved how I jumped off the 100-foot pole with the last series, i am ox.  I’m still not done with that one; it needs more development and I had wanted to make it my Chaplaincy thesis but reason prevailed!  I’m also proud of the 108 series, 108Buddha and 108Enso.

There’s a category missing which is the most important reason to write posts


I had trouble with the “pick five blogs” rule because there are so many I love to read.  The ones I check in to regularly are listed below but it says nothing about all the ones I love.  Although the intent of this post is to ask them to join in the 7 links, I leave it up to them to follow their heart.  Just reading anything they write is enough for me.  Of course, ZenDotStudio is a perennial favourite but since Carole referred on to me, I don’t know if I can lob it back to her!

Ox Herding

Somewhere in Dhamma/Wake up and Laugh

American Buddhist Perspective

it’s all dhamma

Jizo Chronicles

Snow Branches

book bird writes

Dangerous Harvests

(I lied…) and a bunch more in my blog roll!

I’m off to Rohatsu on Wednesday so sit well, feel the morning star within you already, and love all that you are!

And yes… the thesis is now written.  The rest is in the wind!

blogisattva finalists and those honorably mentioned announced

The finalists and those honorably mentioned have been announced by the judges of the 2010 Blogisattva Awards; the winners for each category will be announced on December 12th.  Congratulations to all the bloggers listed on the Awards Table.  My dear dharma friend, Maia Duerr, author of The Jizo Chronicles, mentioned it at the end of our Rohatsu retreat and I spent the next two days trying hard to read the names of blogs on my tiny cell phone screen.  I have to say it’s inspiring to find myself among an impressive list of bloggers and that we do look even more impressive on my larger computer screen!  The dharma is indeed vast and subtle and you can check it out here.

108 Zen Books received kind mention in the categories of Best Achievement in Wide Range of Topic Interests Blogging, Best Achievement in Design, and Blog of the year, Svaha! And, it is a finalist in Best Achievement in Kind and Compassionate Blogging. A deep bow of gratitude to all of you for these nominations.

Many thanks as well to Tom Armstrong who founded the awards and the panel of judges: Rev. Danny Fisher, Barbara Hoetsu O’Brien, Philip Ryan, and fellow Canadian, Tanya McGinnity for all their diligent work.

Please also take a look at the Blog Directory and, if your blog is not listed, add yourself or any blog you know is missing.  During Rohatsu, Sensei Kaz Tanahashi explained that an alternative translation of the mantra of Perfect Understanding (from the Heart Sutra) is “Arriving, arriving, arriving together, all as one, enlightenment beings, Svaha!”  I love the idea of doing exactly that:

Arriving together in this spaciousness and with boundless support for each other.

Thank you for practising,