Showing posts from May, 2008
on the World Wide Web
chosen by Lama Surya Das

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Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.

~ Theodore Isaac Rubin

Renting Vs Buying

A good article that accurately describes the dilemma lots of people face between renting and buying your apartment.

I’m still not sure how good our timing was. Based on the backlog of houses on the market, I fully expect that our new house will be worth less in six months than it is today. I’m also not sure that we would have been willing to buy in Boston, New York or much of California, where the rent ratios remain above 20, according to data from Moody’s

In fact, if you’re now renting — almost anywhere — and do not need to move, I’d probably recommend that you wait to buy. The market is still coming your way.

But it’s O.K. with me if our timing wasn’t perfect. After several years of reporting on the housing market, I’m convinced that the most common real estate mistake is viewing a house first as a financial investment and only second as a home. That’s one big reason we ended up in this bubble-induced mess.

Most of the time, the decision whether to rent or buy should be ba…

Swim Vacations

This sounds like a great vacation..

WHAT I remember most about a nighttime tour I took of Alcatraz a couple of years ago was the fact that — given the nearness of the island prison to downtown San Francisco, just a mile and a half offshore — inmates were often haunted by the sounds of life across the water. When city residents held New Year’s Eve parties and their reveling carried across the cold, current-roiled bay, the two shores seemed maddeningly close to the prisoners.

I recalled this fact last October as I stood on an idling fishing boat at the edge of Alcatraz Island, eyeing the distance I was meant to swim. Was it really that close? For a moment, that mile and a half of choppy water might as well have been 10 miles. Yet when I finally jumped into chilly San Francisco Bay, all I felt was the distinct personal thrill of my very own Escape From the Rock.

Swimming-oriented tours and vacations have been around for a while, but lately there are new trips of a single day up to a whole …

Ms Proper




New Hairstyle




Adarsh and Mira


Sea Life




The Mother

It is always better to try to concentrate in a centre, the centre of aspiration, one might say, the place where the flame of aspiration burns, to gather in all the energies there, at the solar plexus centre and, if possible, to obtain an attentive silence as though one wanted to listen to something extremely subtle, something that demands a complete attention, a complete concentration and total silence. And then not to move at all. Not to think, not to stir, and make that movement of opening so as to receive all that can be received, but taking good care not to try to know what is happening while it is happening, for if one wants to understand or even to observe actively, it keeps up a sort of cerebral activity which is unfavourable to the fullness of the receptivity - to be silent, as totally silent as possible, in an attentive concentration, and then be still.
If one succeeds in this, then, when everything is over, when one comes out of meditation, some time later - usually not immed…

Don't Miss this talk

monday 26th may
7.00 pm ‘Indian Women IN THE HOUSE OF FICTION’ – a book release, reading and talk by Geetanjali Chanda

Indian Women in the House of Fiction explores the quiet negotiation of women and the kinds of homes they wish to inhabit. The house is not merely a backdrop in Indian women’s fiction but almost a character that bears witness to the changes taking place in the protagonists’ lives. The architectural and social spaces of havelis, bungalows and apartments impose their own unique patterns of women’s relationships inside and outside the domestic space. In these fictional homes, women find ways to transform restrictive segregated spaces – like the zenana of a haveli – into a potentially empowering ‘womenspace’ that is carried over into both bungalows and apartments. The current popularity of Indo-English literature notwithstanding, the anxiety of conveying an authentic Indianness in what is sometimes still regarded as an “auntie tongue” shadows some authors and their work. Not…

Manneken Pis

Vladimir Radunsky. Manneken Pis. Atheneum, 2002

This story is about a boy who pees on a war. He lives in a town that is beautiful, with parents that adore him. But suddenly a war starts and the peaceful town turns into a sad town. The poor boy cannot find his parents and has to pee. So he pees on the war and this shocks both sides that they stop fighting and start laughing instead. The town then returns back to peaceful times. The turning point in the plot happens when the boy pees on the war.

The writing is large and often the most significant parts of the text are bold faced and even larger than the rest of text. In the epilogue the author tells us that this happened in Brussels and there is a bronze statue of the little boy peeing. I thought this was a wonderful way to talk about non violent ways of ending war to children.

Richard Bartholomew

Gallery has a wonderful exhibition of photographs in Black and White by Richard Bartholomew. The first section deals with his wife, his two sons and his home, which I found the most beautiful. The second section dealt with his work as an art critic, where he photographed lots of the top artists in India, like Hussein, Krishen Khanna and Biren De. His street scence of Delhi were also pretty great. Especially the one of Narender Place on Parliament Street, it looked like it was a quiet road with just a few cars going by, quite a far cry from today.

His son, Pablo Bartholomew, is exhibiting just a few avenues down at Bodhi Art and his was work was quite the opposite, in that it dealt with smoking, drugs, drinks and the aftermath on men and women.

Sepia International is honored to present A Critic’s Eye, an exhibition of photographs by noted Indian art critic Richard Bartholomew (1926-1985). Widely acclaimed as a writer, painter, curator, and art critic, with solo shows of his painting…

Words of Wisdom

on the World Wide Web
chosen by Lama Surya Das

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If people have no patience, they have no patience, and I can't insist that they develop it. But I've observed that human life without patience becomes unworkable. My experience has been that I've been forced to develop patience with unchangeable situations.

~ H.H. the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje

The adventures of Sundari Pari, Mira and Angad

High up in the Himalayan mountains lives a fairy, her name is Sundari Pari. Her small, sweet, stone house is set in a garden that is filled with flowers, trees and lots of animals. She can see snow covered peaks from her home.

She has a beautiful kind face. Her wings are like dragonflies - strong. She likes to see everyone happy, in her garden, the animals, birds, insects and reptiles and also happiness for everyone in the world.

But a wicked magician has put a spell on her. She cannot wave her wand and make everyone's troubles go away. The only way the spell can be broken is, if a young sister and brother come at night to her garden and kiss her wand.

The wicked magician knows that all children are fast asleep at night. Sundari Pari had not been able to find any children to come to her garden in the cold night.

Sundari Pari's garden has a lot of birds with broken wings, rabbits with hurt paws, monkeys and little mice with stomachaches. The monkeys and mice had eaten unripened …


How to develop Viveka or using good judgment by Swami Dayananda, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Pa.

A lack of Viveka is exhibited by our own ignorance and confusion. That’s why we have to develop Viveka, this is where satsang is inevitable. What we are doing now is to develop that. A lot of shifting has to take place in our vision and understanding. And once we get used to a particular type of thinking then we can extend that on to every issue. Viveka has a certain clarity with reference to what I want. What fruits do I want? Sometimes we want all of them simultaneously we are not able to prioritize. That is because everything seems to be equally important. True lots of things are equally important.

But when the situation became acute, it becomes clear what or which is more important. When you are going to work, your child is crying where are you going? And you leave the child with a babysitter? What is more important? The child will be ok if you go away. But if the child is hurt in some ac…

Vivekachudamani by Sankaracarya

translations from Swami Dayananda

Viveka implies a lot of things. People go to the beach, in certain clothes; they do not go to their workplace in those clothes, because it is inappropriate. There are certain times that make certain things inappropriate. To be done or not that is Viveka. When we confront options, whether things are appropriate or inappropriate, Viveka needs to be used all the time.

Ultimate Viveka asks, what is atman what is one or satya how far is it true? What is atman Viveka. I am Viveka Chudamani. This is the crown jewel, it is discriminative inquiry leading to self knowledge and is attributed to Shankara.

The book has 500 verses we have chosen 100 verses. The topics are carefully chosen as the material is complete in itself. It often repeats. All the verses were collected together but have been written at different times.
Selected topic wise.

Viveka is inquiry, one inquiry is of a subject matter that is unknown or inadequately known. Once you make an inquiry th…

Burma and China

Dhamma reflections so accurately represents my feelings on the devastation in Burma and China. I have not been able to look at the images of the suffering, starving, homeless, orphans and parents whose children have been killed due to the cyclones and earthquake.

The recent natural disaster in Burma has led to many reflections as well as opportunities to practice metta meditation. It's hard for me to even fathom the horrors the people in that region must be facing. The live in constant fear from their own inept government and now what little they had has literally been swept away by a natural disaster. We really do live in a very uncertain world in which nothing can be taken for granted. It's my sincere hope that in this time of severe suffering the people of Burma turn to the Dhamma for guidance. I don't just mean the poor citizens of the ravished villages, but the generals as well.

This is a prime opportunity for Than Shwe and his generals to redeem themselves in the eyes …

The Alley Cats Meow

Kathi Appelt. The Alley Cat's Meow. Harcourt, 2002

This wonderful story is about Red, a "dashing" and "smashing downtown kind of cat" and Ginger, "She's jazzy. She's snazzy. She's an uptown sort of gal". They meet at the Alley Cat's Meow and travel the world with their romantic toe-tappin' and quick-steppin' dancing.

The story builds up a good momentum first with the excitement of the dance and then to the blossoming romance of Ginger and Red. The dialogue is musical and filled with jazzy rhythm.

The text in this large picture book is not dominant, the images are. But the text sets the pace for the story and is incredibly creative. I have never read a picture book that is so fresh, a pure delight.

David Barsamian

A talk at the attic by David.

PAKISTAN IS routinely quoted in the American media as "the world's most dangerous country." You can turn to Newsweek, USA Today, Business Week and other magazines and newspapers, and it's always described in those dire terms. How it became that way is never explained. It just happened. It may be something in the genes of Pakistanis, that they are naturally inclined to be dangerous.

But I think it's important to talk about U.S. involvement in Pakistan. Because that explains a lot of why Pakistan is the way it is today. According to the Human Rights Commission of that country, which just issued its annual report, Pakistan is a nation that is "half alive." And 2007 is called "one of the worst years in Pakistan's history, if not the worst."

So I think it's crucial to know a little bit about the background of the country. And it's interesting how India factors in this and especially the U.S. When Pakistan was …

Women in Western Art

Here is a great video on the history of the representation of Western Women in Western Art.

thanks Geeta for the link.

Happy Mother's Day

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

- ee cummings

thanks V. Doula for the link

Before the rains

This powerful movie opened in New York recently to rave reviews. The movie is set in the tea plantations of Kerala in 1937. It sensitively handles issues of colonialism, the Indian Independence movement, master-servant relations and the conflicts that beset people that try to step out of their culture. Nandita Das and Rahul Bose were spectacular.

Fatal culture clash, imperialist entitlement, forbidden passion between master and servant: the ingredients of the Indian director Santosh Sivan’s period piece “Before the Rains” may be awfully familiar, but the film lends them the force of tragedy. From the moment Moores (Linus Roache), an arrogant British planter in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, hands a gun to his loyal manservant T. K. (Rahul Bose), you can be certain that the weapon will be discharged and lives destroyed. “Before the Rains” is a dispassionate study of how power, when threatened, ruthlessly exercises its prerogatives. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times


This Video is making rounds on the Internet. It was featured on British Idol. It's quite incredulous. So a Sikh man cleaning the streets in London is now dancing with his broom!

More Takashi


My fav galleries Middle Eastern Art


female figure


Egyptian Woman

I took this picture from the front, a man came ahead of me and took it from the back.



Love has no end




Ghada Amer

This was an excellent exhibit by Ghada Amer, she used stitching in interesting ways to talk about gender, politics and sextuality.

Takashi Murakami

A wonderful exhibit at Brooklyn Museum.

Pink and Purple




Pink and Green Hair in Kimonos


Open Orange Entrance


Gold Fish