Saturday, September 30, 2017

Puerto Rico

I posted about the volcano here in Bali because I get emails asking about it and our situation and so forth and so I mention refugees from near the mountain and other details. But it's just news and I'm not really making an appeal for Balinese who aren't in their homes now. The infrastructure here is not so bad and Balanese tend to take care of each other and nothing is devastated now and there are a zillion foreigners who care about Bali, who come here now and then. I'd say that Puerto Rico is in dire need of help right now, not Bali. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mt. Agung close to an eruption

Every day we hear an eruption is more likely - from the news and expat sources. Just read this in the Star Online, a Malaysian news service. We're around a lot of locals, more than usual these days because we just moved into a new home and there's a lot of work going on but none of them seem to pay any attention to it. But that's because we're 38 miles from the volcano here. About 150,000 people have left their homes, more than half of them outside the evacuation zone. Katrinka and I decided to be better prepared for possible disruption in services. We've got a water filter and have been storing extra drinking water in containers. Filled a 30 gallon can in the courtyard. Bought two little burners with gas canisters - like you'd take camping, got a bunch of canned and packaged food. All of that is highly unlikely to be necessary but it gives us peace of mind and it's fun. If it does erupt the main danger likely is ash and that means staying inside. Meanwhile there's so much going on at home that we forget what's happening aside from putting stuff here and there, installing fans, and screens doors and so forth. - dc

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mount Agung Refugees Appeal

As you may have noticed in the news, Agung, Bali's highest mountain, is a volcano which is on the edge of having an eruption and so far about 15,000 people have been evacuated. Katrinka made a contribution instead of a planned outing with friends in the Bali International Women's Association which is keeping an eye on the humanitarian angle. Here's how you too can help. It's run by the East Bali Poverty Project and looks quite legit. That's where the poorest people in Bali live - a lot of them are mainly off the grid. - dc

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bali volcano on highest alert

BBC reports

Mt. Agung is 63 kilometers or 38 miles from our new home. Couple hundred thousand are urged to get further away. - dc

Sunday, September 17, 2017


We're moving out of our apartment of three years today to a home a few kilometers away still in Sanur and a short walk to the beach. Just paid two years rent on it at $375 a month. Pardon the tasteless mention of filthy luchre but it's a big part of why we're here. - dc

Friday, September 15, 2017

Indonesia raises alert level for Bali volcano

Mt. Agung is showing signs of waking up. Agung means highest and that's what it is here. It's a whole 58 kilometers from Sanur where we live. That's 36 miles. Down boy. Back to sleep.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Getting up and Moving

at least every thirty minutes and you'll live longer - from this article on BBC site. This isn't new information. Good to repeat. Ariana Huffington has made this one of her causes. But what I always wonder is what about is what about ones posture when sitting. I sit much more with legs up, some in half lotus for zazen but mainly taylor style or comfortably crossed in several ways including an occasional one leg down for I mainly sit with legs up on something where I can put my legs down when I want. I like the Japanese horigotatsu where one sits on cushions on the floor but can drop the legs into a hole under the table (horu, to dig, plus kotatsu, the low table).  I do a little seiza now and then or sitting on the shins and have had to do way more of that "correct sitting" than I wanted to.
I find that sitting in a chair for long periods is not good. Still I try to get up and move freequently - do some yoga, walk, swim, chores. I'll also stand rather than sit if there's no need to sit - but standing for long periods I've found is not good and gave me a foot condition, plantar fasciitis. Foot doctor told me "walking good, standing bad." So if one has to stand a lot it's also important to move frequently - at least a little like going side to side. Shodo Harada Roshi at Sogenji in Japan told me he considered moving from a floor-centered to a chair-centered lifestyle to be at the heart of the demise of Japanese society. Of course it really isn't floor-centered, it's hara-centered, abdomin centered, balanced - at least in this way of looking at posture. Then there's squatting. People who don't have a chair culture squat a lot. People in many cultures can squat endlessly comfortably. I've often seen this. When I weeded with monks in Japan they never touched their knees to the ground. I had to which was to them bad form and got ones work clothes dirty. I am not advocating or defending the practice of sitting with legs up for long hours without breaks. I wonder about how healthy that is. I think there's a hole in the research which I think has likely been done with chair-sitters asuming that covers all sitters. Research is full of examples of new conclusions coming from looking back at assumptions and doing the same tests under new conditions. And there's not only the legs down or up factors to consider, there's the quality of ones posture and practices with each. Is the head always bent down, is one slumping, are the knees up, etc. I await such results and will adjust my habits accordingly, maybe. - dc

Photo from Healthy Benefits of the Natural Squatting Position

Monday, September 11, 2017

Oft Quoted Phrase

Decarte's "I think therefore I am" is one way to look at it but the Hindu and Buddhist way that I've gathered is just "I am"  with the "I" not standing for a separate being but our door to the absolute or whatever. The Advaita Vedanta folks especially emphasize that all beings have the sense of I am and that it is pre thought. Ramana Maharshi said that the an ultimate spiritual statement was the Bible's famous "I am that I am" which god says but god of course is not someone else and not even every man but every sentient being. - dc 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Houston Hurricane victim Dharma Friend needs help

Jamie Avera organized a fundraiser for his relatives who are victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. He's a longtime supporter of Cuke Archives - from the first year - helping with web design, suggestions, and financial contributions which now are monthly. Now he and his loved ones need help. I always prefer to give to individuals with ties rather than institutions. Please send a little something you can afford to help them meet their modest goal. Here's the link to a YouCaring crowdfunding page he set up.
Thanks.- DC

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Favorite Quote from Shakespeare

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 

Or "our philosophy" from another version. I see it as all thought and belief. Hamlet speaking. I recall this especially when I hear thinkers or scientiests expressing great and profound things yet revealing limitaions in their views and beliefs. - dc

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Adding this post minus Aussie image to the Fauna Ahimsa page on (doing as little harm as possible to animals)

Thinking about this section because we're getting a dog for our new Sanur home. Too vast to do more than suggest subjects to investigate.
Do a web search for key words in the following - much to choose from. The list could go on and on

Factory Farming and read about what some consider the greatest crime in the history of the human race.

Pets. Is it ethical to have pets? Feeding pets animal food. PETA on vegan dog and cat food. Rescue animals.

Feral cats - here's an article on their horrendous effect on wildlife (killing billions of birds, reptiles, and mammals.)

The human race has brought about what many now call the sixth great extinction. Our activity is considered by some to be a threat not only to human life continuing but vertebrate life. To be unhypocritically ethical and compassionate with all life and do as little harm as possible, one would have to go to extremes of behavioral limitation such as the Jain monks practiced. I acknowledge my role as part of this holocaust like a law-abiding citizen living near a death camp and make small gestures like eating mainly vegetarian and not killing pests except for mosquitoes which can cause illness and kill us where I live. - DC

Monday, September 4, 2017

Selected Poems and Musings of Venerable Moneyya

Moneyya Chronicles

Also a cool guy we run into here. Hard to miss him with his shaved head and maroon monk's robe. Read his bio at that link.

Good stuff. - dc with katrinka nodding