Thursday, April 30, 2015

Won't Criticise Executions in Indonesia

After all the harm caused by my country in Asia, as the US ranks 5th on the global execution scale, I think it unwise to be overly judgmental about Indonesia's recent execution of eight foreigners for drug offenses committed a decade or so ago.
If it was the US who executed them, I'd point out the brutality, ignorance, and hypocrisy. As there are powerful and wealthy people in my home country who walk free while many poor and weak are crushed without mercy, how could I decry that in another place? As America in recent years up to now slays countless numbers in the Mideast out of greed, hate, and delusion how could I criticize another country for targeting foreigners?  I will pray for a more effective response, harm reduction, applied scientifically, and sincerely, rather than blind violence, It would surely reduce the suffering all around - if anyone cared to do that. - dc

Objects of Worship

A sacred site, a divine place, a holy mountain, hallowed ground, stops on a pilgrimage, religious altars, inspiring gospels, moving statues, blessed amulets, enlightened saints, compassionate gurus, angels on high - all are there to encourage us, to guide us, to trick us into realizing the ultimate, incomparable divinity of every spot in the universe, every instant in time, every seeming thing and being, - Kabumkan

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nice View

Katrinka and I left our usual Kuala Lumpur haunt, the school where we spent three nights - little kids, messes, small cozy room for us and our stuff - pull down the mattress leaning against the wall to sleep, in a house - said goodbye to our hostess and some parents and kids and headed off in a taxi through massive traffic and infrastructure to the nearby for KL (only thirty minutes) golf club where we're sitting on an outside porch overlooking fairways and trees, dark clouds with brightness breaking through before sunset. A lone building rises above the treeline in the distance. Not the KL scene we're used to. Waiting for Yip Lai Mun, our new hostess, to arrive. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Katharine Cook writes on Flowers

Flowers as Food, Muscle and Memory

     On the Saturday evening of Geography of Hope, after finishing the volunteer duties which allowed me to attend, I was seated up on the hay bales at Toby’s (in Point Reyes, CA), preparing to watch the performances on the stage. 
Finding my view somewhat blocked, I chose a new seat to secure a better one.   Climbing up and over to it on the bales, I was startled to find a woman standing above me with a stone in her right hand.  She swung down, clobbered me on the head with it, which frightened and hurt me so much that I clambered down the bales and started running for home.  It never occurred to me to stay, to file a police report.  I just wanted to be away, safe. I ran to my apartment half a block away, locked the door and went to bed, my head throbbing from the blow.  I sought rest and relief, which I took -- gratefully -- for about a day.  Following that I sought my nurse practitioner, Ben Woodard, for diagnosis and treatment.  I had suffered a blow to the top back of my head  and advised to get a cat scan.
I very much did not want this cat scan, not the expense, nor expense of getting to Marin General, nor the discomfort and anxiety of being bound inside a machine unable to move while it revolved an x-ray camera around me.  I had already had one this year, which I was only able to tolerate with my daughter standing next to the machine, talking and singing to and with me the whole time.  It struck me that having my physical therapist, Amy Schliftmann, do an exam, might satisfy the nurse practitioner, and so I went to her next.  Amy, with her careful and extensive knowledge of the body was able to test my peripheral vision and other capacities, which demonstrated the blow had affected neither my cognitive or visual abilities. I requested a note sent to Ben stating that, and it was done. With neither my perceptions nor cognitive abilities compromised, I was just in pain. . . in the spot on the top back of my head where the stone struck, in my neck and upper back.  I was told to go home and rest, which I did. . . and continue to do.
     I also consulted herbalist, Eden Clearbrook, who suggested homeopathic arnica for  physical  injury.  A light went off inside.  “Arnica” !-- based on that cue, I decided to try arnica as a flower essence.  (Arnica montana as an herb is anti-inflammatory.)  I consulted Good Earth, they carried the flower essence, I bought it, and as soon as I ingested it felt immediate, profound physical relief.  Mood.  Based on observations in the flower essence handbook, I chose Star of Bethlehem, ornithogalum umbellatum recommended for “pain” to go with it.  And although I had none at home, I did have the five-flower remedy from FES which contained it.  I started taking flower essences arnica and five-flower remedy, 4 drops every four hours as suggested, and have since ordered Star of Bethlehem remedy from Flower Essence Services as Good Earth did not carry it.    Amy and I, it turned out, held a shared view about healing -- that the body knows how to heal itself, and will do so if given the chance.  And so I chose for myself, no cat scan, but a program of rest and flower essences four drops, four times a day.  The healing has been steady and progressive and I have recently been able to add chair Pilates exercises which include exercises for the head, neck and shoulders.
       Flowers as “food, muscle and memory”, means what?  I have always been especially attracted to growing flowers.  My father was a highly skilled gardener, an iris hybridizer and pediatrician. During iris season, mid-June in Illinois, and also the time of my birth, our garden was visited by members of the American Iris Society who came from as far away as England.  I originated and managed the flower growing at Green Gulch Farm, when the men insisted that we only grow vegetables in our fields. Then roshi Richard Baker countered that it would not be a monastery without flowers. Flowers offer sustenance to our pollinators, which are responsible for the health and longevity of our food crops, both wild and cultivated, hence “food.”  Flowers are ‘muscle’ in that they create the flexible connection between earth and sky just as muscle creates the connection between bone and skin.  And flowers are “memory” in that they carry the genes and conditions which by their annual and perennial seasonal repetitions connect past to present to future. 
     Given those functions, so specific and universal, it should be no surprise that flower essences can bring about such profound healing on the physical plane.

DC note: Katharine doesn't know who it was or why that hit her with the rock but she did report it to the sheriff's office the next day.

Visa Problem Update

No problem. Turns out the message from the Indonesian Embassy saying they could only give us a one month visa which we'd have to extend in a month was more positive than anything we imagined.
We thought that meant we'd have to fly out after the 2nd month as with a visa on arrival. Not so. Now we have to extend the visa each month after the first month instead of after the 2nd and don't have to leave for six. A minor change in the procedure for the Social/Cultural Visa. What a relief. And the nice woman at the Embassy advised me about getting a KITAS where we don't have to leave and can extend on a yearly basis and get health insurance and driver's license. Don't know how long we want to stay there but we don't want to fly around a lot - budget too tight and we've got a pretty nice routine, not at all what someone would imagine thinking of Bali. I'm thinking of making a little video to show where we live and what we do - not just post card scenes. It includes the beach and traditional dances but not as the main course. Not so hard to deal with these immigration people cause, unlike America where poor people want to get in to work, in Bali, rich (to them) people want to come in and leave their money.- dc

Monday, April 27, 2015

Back to the Embassy

Applied today at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur for a new six month social/cultural visa for Bali.
This is such a big city with so much traffic on wide roads and freeways and many big, tall buildings. After Bali it makes me feel like a mouse. To get to the embassy our host drove us thirty minutes to a train station and from there it was fifteen stops and a cab ride to the embassy. We were all prepared except they wanted our sponsor's phone number and our hosts' here. When we got back we learned that the embassy had called and said they'd give us a one month visa extendable for one month. That's the same as you get with a visa on arrival. We also paid twice what they cost - or used to cost. I hear that fee was dropped entirely. So tomorrow we'll find out what that was all about. It's expensive and time consuming to fly out to get new visas - though interesting. Stay tuned. - dc

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Strong statement by Jimmy Carter on women's equality and religion

Losing my religion for equality - Published July 15th 2009 on this online site (according to Daily Kos). I don't think that's a very good name for it. Titles of pieces are frequently added by publications so maybe it wasn't his. More like clarifying his religion. - thanks Elizabeth Sawyer - dc

Off to Malaysia

Katrinka and I are flying to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. Back on May 4th with new Social/Cultural visas good for six months if all goes according to plan. And tomorrow's Sunday, my no online day. Ta ta! (That's Hindi for goodbye) - dc

Friday, April 24, 2015

NRCAT 2014 Report

Ripe Green Bananas

That's right. They're green and ripe and last the longest and Ben of Annapurna was over and I showed him some and he said that's what he buys too. I just we'd just discovered them. Woman with a banana stand suggested them and I said but they're green and she gave me one to eat and it was good. Now I know what to look for it's go green. He also said that our blender was the best one, what he used in the restaurant, and Katrinka said but it's the cheapest one and he said, yep, it's what the street vendors use too. Last long and easy to fix. Said his mom bought an expensive one and it broke down the first day. Maybe we should blend some green bananas with some mango juice. Yum.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Love Returns by Gail Mueller

Brigid Meier sent the following note.

Gail Mueller has ovarian cancer and she is in hospice in Hawaii. If people would like to write her she can be reached at: Gail Mueller / 590 Kapi'olani St.Hilo, HI 96720. She sent me some of her poems and I produced a small chapbook of her work called Love Returns.  If anyone would like a copy, please email<brigid88 at>.

Quinn Mueller says "Help me help my mom." 
SFZC alum Gail Mueller is in need of help
View image larger after Read more.

A Century Ago

A Rare Historical Look At Old Indonesia - 25 Photos Taken Pre-1920

Chose a photo from the group for here of a Balinese woman spinning because in Northern Thailand a year ago I sat with a woman in a traditional village who was spinning hemp. I watched her go from raw material to usable thread or string. The scene looked much like that photo. Some of the other photos are much more far out.
But I could not get it to show up online. I can see it here in my computer but not online. I even tried doing a screen save of it, changing it from png to jpg and uploading it from my computer rather than linking to it and it still didn't show up. All these photos are for sale so they're using some technology to stop us from showing them or there's some other explanation I can't guess. Anyway, neat photos of days gone by. - dc

A Card Reading Gone Wrong

Clay and I were visiting with Mike Gilmore in Desert Springs a few years back. Mike was an old Zennie who was the worst drunk we ever had at ZC that I can remember. He sobered up in the early eighties and became a rather successful artist and Tarot reader to folks in that area.
He used a standard deck of cards. Had a different sort of system than what I'm used to seeing. Needed a birthday before he started. Stuff like that is fun and it's hard not to pay rapt attention, but I've always preferred winging it with intuition rather than getting too into interpretive systems. So Clay's birthday is April 19th - just a few days ago - and Mike took that in and looked at the cards and began saying things which I don't recall except that I kept saying to him, "No, no, no, that's not him at all." And Mike said, "The cards are never wrong," and I said yeah he'd been more on before but this was not on - it was off. Then he did a double take and went, "Oh no - I made a mistake - I was reading for April 20th." "Well that's Hitler, not my sweet Clay," I said. So Mike started giving another reading and then I had to say he'd nailed Clay. Yep yep yep. That's him. That was an interesting little accidental test. Mike Passed on a few years back. - Read his cuke interview. DC 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dr. Grace Damman Reflects on the Experience of Filming States of Grace

From the SFZC's Sangha News

Grace has come a long way from the day a car slammed into hers on the Golden Gate Bridge. What an effort! 

That bridge is dangerous. When we first got Green Gulch there was an unofficial rule not to drive in the left-hand lane. Some cab and trucking companies had that rule. I've always followed that rule and insisted other drivers do so if I or my kids are in the car. I remember once a car with FBI agents ran into a car with Russian consulate employees, one of which died (as I recall). There's always some plan being discussed or promoted to get a barrier between the traffic going both ways. When rush hour traffic subsides they closed off one or both left hand lanes with traffic cones - until this year. Now, thanks to the efforts of Grace and others, 
A new steel barrier has been placed between the north and south lanes for safety reasons and is designed to prevent head-on collisions [Sputnik news from Moscow]. Movable barrier makes debut on Golden Gate Bridge [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]. I wonder if that's in the movie. I didn't know about it and learned in the middle of writing just was installed in January of this year. Good going Grace. - dc Linking to this in ZC Stories.

Dr. Kim

Took some time to find Dr. Kim, Nyoman had driven me downtown Denpasar to find a Chinese medicinal herb place where the old guy read my pulses. Bali Bill had indicated where to go. But then later Bill said there's a place nearby down the Bypass, the busy street, an obscure Chinese grocery store, If they don't have it they'll get it from their Chinese pharmacy downtown. Mentioned that to Nyoman and he knew about it, pointed it out. Why didn't they tell me about it before?
Said they opened late and stayed open late. Around the corner from our favorite restaurant music dive, Annapurna. Mentioned it to a woman there who's into acupuncture etc and she said the Wong family lives there and they have the oldest Chinese medicine place in the city - and the most common last name in the world. Now we go there. Dr. Kim doesn't get in till nine at night. He's downtown all day, every day. Leaves home at eight thirty in the morning. Both places open at ten. When he returns he runs the cash register till eleven so his wife can have off. I'd seen her first in the afternoon. In front are a couple of food stands with tables. Walk in and there are cans, bottles, bags, boxes, stuff in fridges, not lit well. Nothing about Chinese medicine. She got on the phone to him to see if they could replace a bottle of little black Chinese herb pills Katrinka had bought for 150,000 rupia [bout $12] from an Aussie acupuncturist here. Kim brought the bottle in with him, his charge 30,000, But when he'd read her pulses and found out what Katrinka wanted it for he gave her something else. When he read my pulses all he said is I don't have trouble sleeping. Last night was talking to him. Said I'd stopped taking low dose aspirin as a blood thinner, the only medicine I took, because Dengue Fever thins the blood - it's called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. Asked him if I understood right and if he agreed. Don't know what he knows about that. He just said that it's like your car battery. Don't want the water level too high or too low. Don't want your blood too thin or not thin enough, too much or too little cholesterol, blood pressure too high or too low. Gave me something said will make me feel young. I think he meant sexually. I said I already feel young. He said yes the body follows the mind but that it has an age. He told me not to be competitive in tennis. Just sweat, don't try too hard to get that ball to win. Had a friend who'd died playing basketball.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chinese Ant Chalk

First used this stuff in Japan. Bought some in Thailand a year ago and are using it now inside because a tiny ant colony has been marching into our kitchen area and finding every crumb and unwiped spot that had something they like. I have enjoyed watching them crawl out of the stove fan vent in the ceiling and walk upside down to the column above the dining table.
Time came to thwart their efforts so I circumscribed a line of chalk around the vent and that stopped them. Hope the ones who couldn't return found another route. I bet so as their sisters have found other routes in though we marked them off too. Haven't seen any in a few days. There were more persistent ants on the balcony of our hotel room in Bangkok and I drew a circle around where I sat there and noticed that some got through - they were bigger. Not that big a deal cause they weren't biting ants which seem to be only the bigger red ones. Here's Wikpedia on this most noble stuff

Monday, April 20, 2015

Now it's Monday here.

Enjoying unconnected Sundays. But now it's Monday - so here's a Saunters post. An hour of singles this morning. As the time wears on get weaker, have to focus on gripping the raquet, hitting ball in front, concentrating, shots getting more erratic. Told acupuncturist on other side that a Chinese herb doc told me not to try too hard and he said that just showing up was the important part. Reminded me of Woody Allen saying that 80% of life is showing up. Working on video editing saving the Suzuki for last. Will get to it soon. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ghost in Bemo

Bemos are the VW bus like jitneys that tend to stay to certain routes and pick people up and drop them off. We use Nyoman's old bemo as a taxi. He told me the other day that he had a ghost in his bemo, that it took over and was shaking it side to side and he couldn't control it and finally he could stop it and it didn't come back. He refused my attempts to find a non woo woo explanation. I like woo woo so his take on it was okay by me.

Carbon dioxide triggered ancient mass die-off

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ubud, The One-Trick Pony

From the Bali Advertiser - by Ibu Kat who writes excellent articles regularly published there. Ibu means mother and is like Mrs. or Ms. Katrinka uses Kat a lot and so she also is Ibu Kat. I was in Ubud for over a month in 1992 with Elin, her sister Diana, baby Clay, and son Kelly. It was like a quaint little town, fun to walk around. Unrecognizable now but we still like to go there. Thanks Katrinka for reading me this this morning.- dc

Blue Planet Practice

Update from One Earth Sangha

Register for EcoSattva Training featuring Joanna Macy, It's movie night on Earth Day: watch Planetary with us! Join David Loy in a webinar with GreenFaith and, of course, eco-dharma.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Walter Van Oel just sent some art

My Dream Trees

View Larger by clicking on Read More

Walter lives not far from us in Sanur, Bali. Go to a prior post on Walter with more about him

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hotel Nosedive

A hotel near here just fired all of their employees one morning. Don't know what's happening with it. I imagine just not enough business for them to stay open but it could be a reorganization or something else. I wonder how all these places stay open. There are just way too many. But the main thing I thought when I heard that, was that that way of treating people comes from the West. But on the other hand, I bet they'll all find employment elsewhere before long. - dc

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Just This Is It - Taigen Dan Leighton's latest book

Taigen Dan Leighton's new book, Just This is It is now on the Ancient Dragon website.

He writes, "I have several references to Suzuki Roshi's comments on Dongshan gleaned from the wonderful Suzuki Roshi archives.  Thank you so much for this valuable resource."

Shambhala Publications page for this book

Taigen's cuke page

He also writes: Perhaps of interest to your old neighbors, I will be doing a Sebastopol radio interview about my Dongshan Suchness book Sat. May 23, for The Mystical Positivist radio show broadcast live on KOWS-fm, a community radio station in Occidental, CA, at 107.3 frequency on the fm dial, and also live on the web at From the folks from Many Rivers Book and Tea Store in Sebastopol.  

Clove Cigarettes

Before I came to Asia in 88 I used to smoke an exotic clove cigarette now and then in the States - or smell the aroma when someone else did - on the street, in a cafe, a theater, dance - remember?
Back in 92 that's mainly what there was here in Bali. Seemed like all local cigarettes had cloves - some places had Winston's and Marlboro's. They had three levels of clove strength - light, medium, and strong. I'd smoke a cigarette or two a day  - buy them singly. Learned pretty quick to get the light clove ones but still I got so sick of clove cigarettes that I couldn't smoke one even if I was dying for some nicotine. And they weren't selling the much more expensive American brands singly so I gave up on smoking at all here unless I ran into a foreigner with non clove fags (as some Brits and Aussies called them). But the smell of clove cigarettes was still everywhere. I don't notice clove cigarettes here in Bali anymore. I'm not around tobacco that much but some and just realized I don't recall smelling clove in the air at all. I've seen kids buy single cigarettes a few times but not much - and there are tons of kids around here cause there's a big high school next door. Anyway - stopped bumming and being strung out on that devil weed back in 2004 on July 1st. Not a puff since then. Never missed it for a sec. Thank goodness. - dc

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cost of Parking

There's a lot of traffic and congestion here in south Bali around the big city, Denpasar, and up to Ubud and other places. When Nyoman drives me places he frequently has to pay a parking fee. He does it, not me. I pay him when we're through. I've noticed that the typical fee he pays to park is 2,000 rupia, about fifteen cents. Park your car here as long as you want.

Which Life Form Dominates?

Read this great BBC article on this subject.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bill Schwob's Sculpture

Just featured Bill Schwob's Japan photo essay of Rinsoin, Zounin, and Shoganji a couple of days ago.

These days he's doing more sculpture - quite successfully. Art Limited Magazine put out a top ten list of the bests shows in each major city around the country and his show made the list for San Francisco (#7).

Bill Schwob's Sculpture website

No Proselytizing Here

I remember having them come to my door in Japan. Five foreigners are being deported from Bali for disseminating Johovah's Witness literature which goes against the country's ban on proselytizing or something like that. I know people who would like such a law back in the States. I've also read it was because they were on tourist visas and not authorized to do that sort of work. I know that you can't do volunteer work on a tourist visa. Reminds me. Must go out and get a Watchtower in Indonesian. - dc

Dark Matter more like Transparant Matter

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sirzak our Soursop.

Great juice and fun to eat - over the compost bucket. Lots of seeds like a watermelon with lots of seeds. Sort of gooey inside. It comes apart easy so it's best to eat it at the market. One or two are enough. Scrape the inside of the rind with my upper teeth and pick them clean in my mouth and spit them out one by one. Obviously my mouth knows how to do stuff like this - to separate and not swallow what shouldn't be. I think it has its own little brain.   

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Coconut Review

I see I've mentioned coconut oil which we use a lot but not all the time cause it's strong. Love it though. Use it instead of butter or margarine too - Katrinka sticks mainly to olive oil for that. Also have mentioned coconut syrup - like maple syrup. Haven't mentioned eating coconut meat which we do without trying now and then. We drink coconut water every day - get it fresh from the market in the mornings from a woman who opens the coconuts when I arrive and fills four plastic glasses with snapping lids I bring in a backpack - a liter and a third - for 10,000 rupia - about 75 cents. We split one everyday, frequently after yoga. Great stuff. - dc

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Widodo the Prez Next Door

Jokowi Widodo, the new sort of Obama like even in appearance president of Indonesia and thousands of other big shots are convening at the sprawling Bali Beach Hotel. We live at the back door. Lots of cars, taxis, and police and army - personnel carriers parked out front. The usually almost empty hotel next door is fully booked. We walk through the Bali Beach Hotel grounds a lot. Katrinka did so today and they let her - inquired where she lived and where she was going, were polite. She said there were tanks on the street on the other side. Looking forward to walking over there tomorrow morning to play tennis. If I don't come back, you'll know why. - dc  More pics of Widodo where that came from.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Just for Gags at Immigration Office

Local Indonesian Immigration Office installed a big screen TV in the foreigners waiting room and last two times I stood there laughing as Just for Grabs episodes played. It's a sight-gags silent hidden camera show out of Canada which, due to having no language, works anywhere people can laugh.

The staff are courteous, pleasant, hard working, and I never have to wait too too long. It's also in a new posh area. There is a sign on the wall by counter one that I've seen since last year each time I go for my monthly visa extension. It reads:

Dear Applicants, Our office online system is not working properly. We apologize for the inconvenience. We are trying to fix it immediately. Thank You, Denpasar Immigration Office

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Buddhist Film Festival

Happy Easter

Easter - day of rebirth, enlightenment and all that. Dig it.

For a more thorough look at it, check out Easter's Inner Significance from Teosophia

It's not Easter yet but the cuke staff has rebelled and demanded a day off which is Sunday in honor of the sun, proclaimed by Mr. Turner to be god just before he died, at least in the movie.

Grimace and Pride Points

For the early morning hot water I squeeze the juice out of a lime and drop the squeezed semi-orb in the compost.
The other day I dropped the squeezed peel in my cup after having squeezed the juice into the compost. That was a grimace point. My built in temperature gauges on the other hand are bragging points. One way I measure the heat here is by how hot the pavement, how much I must hop or walk fast, at the pool as I walk around to jump in at the deep end after yoga around noon. Another is how much sweat during yoga which we do with no fans in a closed room. A few days ago went to the pool wrapped in a towel and prepared for the day's measurement of heat, dropped the towel and started to walk. And then I wondered, why was I wearing a towel? I always carry a towel and put it on the table. I wear it to the drying rack to put on my swim suit, wear the towel because I'm naked. Oh -oh. Skipped a step. Put the towel back on, went back to the drying rack, slipped on my swim trunks and resumed the morning ritual. That was another grimace point.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Good Friday

Death of the Small Self Day - cuke version

And it's a public holiday here in Bali as is Easter. Lot of holidays here because of their religious inclusion. Everybody likes em. Three of four of Ben's employees at Anapurna are Christian and they were off yesterday - but not the cook - so he was alone last night serving and making drinks and Thursday night is one of the two big days there. Great blues too. Our laundry is sitting waiting at the travel office nearby cause it's run by two Christian brothers from Flores.

Rosicrucian take on Easter

Overproduction, Overpopulation in Pictures

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chronicles of CTR Important Announcement Receives cuke dot com Award of Excellence!

The Chronicles of CTR is the online archive of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's lectures and oral history. Cuke has been in touch with them and shared info since back in the nineties. Read this "Important Announcement" which was the first email I read this morning - then read my comment below. - DC

Dear Friends,

We are both happy and sad to announce that the Chronicles will be undergoing a significant step in its journey with a substantial (for us) investment from News Corp, and the parent of Fox News, controlled by Rupert Murdoch. They have kindly allowed us to notify our readers before they issue their press release tomorrow.

While this may initially sound strange to many, as you probably know, the news business is changing rapidly, and News Corp several years ago started quietly buying "trusted blogs," as a way to support their existing business. Their model is to put in the money to substantially upgrade the site and market it, keep the content people, and try to keep the user experience very similar, except for targeted advertising for Fox News products. As part of it, we will become a for-profit social enterprise, and will report to the New Properties division of News Corp. We will not be asking for donations anymore.

In addition, what you may not know is that Rupert Murdoch's last wife was a yoga instructor, and through her, he became quite interested in meditation. He is now personally funding a lot of mindfulness research and has, we are told, taken a personal interest in the Chronicles. (We have not met him but hope to.)

Despite our best efforts, we simply couldn't raise the money to make the changes to the Chronicles website and content that we hoped to for some years. We think the advertising, which News Corp assures us will be subtle and non-obtrusive, is a small price to pay for better access to the dharma. (The ads will be targeted, so will direct you specifically to Fox News shows relevant to the content you are reading.) Joanne and I will stay on, and keep control over the content, with only an annual review from the people at News Corp.

The one small change they have asked for, which is part of the standard branding of all of their properties, is to rename the site "Fox Chronicles of CTR." While not tiger, lion, garuda or dragon, we feel Rinpoche might have liked the fox.

Yours in the Dharma,
Walter Fordham,
For The Fox Chronicles

PS: Please forward your comments and feedback regarding this announcement to Your comments will be posted on the Chronicles home page --

[Read them! - DC]

DC here with comment. I fell for this. I forgot it was sent out on April 1st. For those from our international readership who don't know, April 1st is called April Fools Day. It's a day to play tricks on people, to fool them. Here's the Wikipedia page on April Fools. There it's written that "it is well known in India, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and the United States." So it's pretty international. And goes way back. I told Katrinka and sent an email to a few that "I think this is the most astonishing and unlikely bit of news I've ever read that didn't involve violence.” Also - (Can it be true?) was on the subject line and "On the other hand it may be a joke perpetrated by a rival Buddhist hacker." was at the end of my message but not till son Kelly wrote that it was April Fools did I realize that I'd been April Fooled. I usually do an April Fool post on April first but forgot it this year. I repeat a line from my fooled email: God I love Buddhism! 

I often went to the St. Stupid's Day parade in San Francisco on April 1st to enjoy my stupidity with other stupid people. [cuke St. Stupid Day Page]. However, this year, to celebrate my stupidity, it took the CTR Chronicles letter of the 2nd - here in Bali cause we're way ahead of the time in Nova Scotia where they are.

Wrote to

Dear Fellow Buddhists.

I fell for it. See top post on's What's New for today.

Chronicles of CTR Important Announcement Receives cuke dot com Award of Excellence!



Med Sea Plastic Overdose

Plastic in the environment ain't just a problem in Bali - it's a big problem in the Mediterranean Sea. I wonder if we listed problems in order of their species threat and human survival and quality of life hierarchy, where this would go.  - dc

Bali Bill knew Arthur Okamura

Just sent this email to friends and family of Arthur Okamura. Adding to it now. - DC

I play tennis twice a week here in Sanur, Bali, with a man we call Bali Bill who came here from London in 1971. Somehow Bolinas CA came up in conversation and he said he'd been there and asked if I knew Arthur Okamura. I said that I'd known him since the late sixties, had lived for nine years with his prior wife of 20 and mother of his kids, that he'd died in 2009, and that I'd officiated at his cremation (because we couldn't get Mel or any other close ZC priest). Bill said that decades ago - late seventies - Arthur and his mate Suzanne Acevedo were here and they stayed up all night playing music and talking and drinking and so forth. He says the only problem arose when he put on a Neil Young album and Suzanne walked off and he learned Young was an ex of hers. Later Bill stayed with them in Bolinas. He has fond memories of their time together.

Arthur Okamura Memorial Page on

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mangosteens - Brain Food etc

Maybe all those folks on the Internet are just trying to sell supplements, but it's comforting to read all the positive health benefits ascribed to the mangosteen which is called mangis here in Indonesia. I love em. So good and sweet and so easy to eat. Just squeeze and they open up. And as a result my brain will regenerate and memory and other functions will excel and more. Hurray!