Sunday, September 14, 2014


Tonight I'm going to Tibet house for an event, and spent today looking over some related literature in my possession, reading passages I've loved again.  I often wonder what attracted me to the land of snows way before I met the Dalai Llama or was involved with Buddhism.  Sometimes I think it was just the mountains.  Something about mountains rising up
over the earth astounds me still.
First USA Edition 1954
"Wherever I live, I shall feel homesick for Tibet. I often think I can still hear the cries of wild geese and cranes and the beating of their wings as they fly over Lhasa in the clear, cold moonlight. My heartfelt wish is that my story may create some understanding for a people whose will to live in peace and freedom has won so little sympathy from an indifferent world."
Tibet House
22 West 15th Street
Introduction to 'Self Compassion'
presented by Elizabeth Pyjov to a packed gallery.
After the session, my generous friend Lori treated us to a lovely meal at Soen.
The eight week course begins on Thursday, October 2nd in partnership with Tibet House
"Compassion is at the center of Buddhist thought, and also the most talked about and rapidly developing topic in psychology and neuroscience. You can discover it in depth for yourself in this eight-week Stanford Compassion course that has been very successfully offered at Tibet House since last spring. Using the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, meditation, lectures, readings, exercises, and class discussion, students learn to have a composed and compassionate attitude to the challenges of everyday life."

Still up this New York Fall night, having clicked on to the Internet in order to download a snapshot taken at a literature event, when I trudged down to East third street between first avenue and A in the sixty degree rainy gloom at seven o'clock to the new location of the famous  St. Marks Bookshop, which, having fought the endemic extinction-by-real-estate war for
so long, finally gave up and found a new location. 
My friend Jee Long Koh, scholar, teacher and poet, and a contingent of writers launched "Starry Island", a journal  of new writings from his original home in Singapore.  It was wonderful: five authors gave us a great, and varied free show with a question and answer session that turned from current immigrant issues
to the politics of censorship.  Brilliant!

Rudely Awakened
My outside doorbell rings incessantly.  I tiptoe out to the intercom-who might be doing this?-see two kinda big guys.  I listen in a minute and ascertain they are some drunks.  I don't know them.
I go back to bed.  Then I hear a key being turned at my apartment door, and shoot out of bed in a panic and back down the hall...

I bang hard on the inside of the door and holler
"Who are you?"--"We live here" they say--"No you don't, you're drunk and at the wrong apartment"--they are not convinced--"I'm calling the police"--I do that, dialing 911 I get an operator right away who takes the information that I'm right across the street from the 13th Precinct.  I check my front window and see a cop outside the precinct smoking.  I think about calling to him, but first, tiptoe back to the apartment door and listen.  Nothing.  I check the intercom.  No one.  Are they still in the building?  I phone the 13th Precinct but get a recording directing me to phone 911.  I'm very agitated, so I sit down and take a few breaths to calm the fight/flight state that's been activated.  Time passes and no one comes.  I hear noise from the alley and look out the side window where I see the same guys in the equivalent
apartment in our twin building next door.

The 'idjits' were in the wrong building!
So I phone 911 again to update the emergency to a non-emergency, and am informed that calls don't get cancelled.  I am annoyed enough to say that at least a half hour had passed without a response to my first call when they were trying to break in to my apartment, pointing out that had this not been just a case of drunk guy stupidity, I'd very possibly be injured or dead.  No reaction.  My update has been noted and the operator identified herself with a number.  End of story I think.
Jeez, life on planet Manhattan is just not what it used to be.  I used to have known neighbors, a community, a direct connection to the precinct, and a lot less feeling of isolation.  It must be so for thousands of us here.  It is sad that's what the City has become.  It's missing the most important elements of real quality of life.  I'm fortunate to have accrued enough inner security through myriad encounters with great teachers who led me to practices that help me stay afloat in these stressful times.



Mo Crow said...


Nancy said...

Sending (((hugs)))

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

we live where we do. where we for so long thought was so grand. Stuff changes, yes, but also WE change. We
feel more vulnerable.'s a combination of that...