I look at the modest little yard at the temple I’m living in and can’t help but smile at the abundance in modern life,  in California in particular. We have two lemon trees, a cherry tree, a plum-tree, a fig tree and an apple tree. Figs and apples in the salad with lunch. California, for sure.

Another aspect of living here is the tortuous path political correctness can create syntactically (is THAT even a word?). I go to some AA meetings and when there is reading to be shared from the AA literature (most of it written in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s), and almost all gender references are male with a lot of “God” as “Him”: it often sends the readers scrambling to replace and insert gender-neutral or gender-equal terms. The impulse is pure, but it sure makes for stilted reading and listening and is sometimes quite amusing.
The steady schedule of meditation and activity within the temple is doing its work on me and I seem to be regaining some lost (and much-needed), perspective; kind of like turning the Queen Mary in mid-Atlantic. Very wide turn..
I’ll be here for a while longer, some things may be in the offing as to future choices but nothing that need any attention as yet or in short-term, so I can buckle down a bit and let go of my opinions, judgements and all those pesky fears, doubts and worries that are the handmaidens of the opinionated and judgemental mind.

This weekend we will be setting up a little booth at an event called The Solano Stroll, which is a 15 to 20 block-long street-fair on Solano Ave. which is just a block away from us. Solano Ave. is half in Berkeley and half in Albany and they expect an attendance of almost 250,000 people. So, a big event. Our little booth will be put in a section where they are clumping together all the religious spiritual groups that will have booths, and right across from us is the booth for the Atheists. Buddhism doesn’t actually take any position as to whether there is or isn’t a “God”, but we are taught that all beliefs require respect, and that would of course, also include active non-belief. To make the whole thing a little more amusing is the fact that all these groups are clumped together in the area of Solano Ave. where all the various therapists and counselors have their offices, and since this is California there’s a bunch of those too.

The cultural contrasts abound abound. The surface differences between Bay Area California and the eastern side of Washington State seem many but they pale in comparison to the wonderful humanity shared by all these diverse groups. We really are all doing our very best to live sanely; and that is hard to do no matter which area of the cultural or social spectrum one one identifies most closely with.

We all yearn for a slightly

different Good Old Days;

None of which ever existed

Except in imagination. Is

That true of the present

Too? Makes you wonder…

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