Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Day At The Office

Noticed that i haven't posted a picture of me spending a day at the office yet this year.

Bottle of water, thermos of tea, salmon onigiri, some cheddar cheese, and a great book — all spread across a clean desk. And to top it off, parking is very, very convenient.

" 'Beauty cannot guarantee truth,' asserted the physicist Robert Mills, the second half of the Yang-Mills duo. 'Nor is there any logical reason why the truth must be beautiful, but our experience has repeatedly led us to expect beauty at the heart of things and to use this expectation as a guide in seeking deeper theoretical understanding of the fundamental structures of nature.' Conversely, Mills added, 'if a proposed theory is inelegant, we have learned to be dubious.' "

The Shape of Inner Space
Shing-Tung Yau

Can the same assertions be made about what we find/see/come to realize about the nature of Being while on our zafu?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I seem to be having a lot of trouble focusing this year. It's gotten so bad that at the beginning of this month i sat down and wrote up a list of the ONLY books i was going to allow myself read this month and in August. There are a few books that i enjoy and want to get through before starting anything new.

Imagine my surprise, then, when i realized last night that i had completely forgone the almighty list and spent the day with two new books! (hanging my head in shame...)

The first, "How to Practice Dharma: Teachings on the Eight Worldly Dharmas," by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has been yelling at me to start it for months. The second, i simply stumbled on. I don't even remember what i was looking for yesterday, but in the online search results up popped a link to a pdf copy of the book "The Shape of Inner Science: String Theory And The Geometry of The Universe's Hidden Dimensions," by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. I had never heard of the book, but when i first opened the file all i had seen was "The Shape of Inner Science," and i thought this was about consciousness, the mind, or something along those lines.

Well, my original list is now in the dust bin as i can't stop. Both books are just too exciting to put down. And lest you think that they have nothing in common, consider these tidbits from Inner Science, where the author is discussing Einstein's use of Reimannian Geometry in his development of his General Theory of Relativity.

"Equipped with Riemann’s metric tensor, Einstein worked out the shape and other properties—the geometry, in other words—of his newly conceived spacetime. And the resulting synthesis of geometry and physics, culminating in the famous Einstein field equation, illustrates that gravity—the force that shapes the cosmos on the largest scales—can be regarded as a kind of illusion caused by the curvature of space and time."

Or this, in the next paragraph:

"Suppose that two people start at different spots on the equator and set out at the same speed toward the north pole, moving along longitudinal lines. As time goes on, they get closer and closer to each other. They may think they are affected by some invisible force that’s drawing them together. But another way to think of it is that the assumed force is really a consequence of the geometry of the earth and that there’s actually no force at all."

Gravity is an illusion? Assumed forces can be the consequence of the geometry of the space you inhabit? The next time someone questions the idea of emptiness and the idea that conventional reality is an illusion, ask your listener if they believe in physics and mathematics.

Two great books to spend the rest of the week with!

P.S., Yesterday it was 100% fine, today it looks like the top of my cherry blossom tree is dying. :-(

Friday, July 5, 2013

Going To The Birds

I built a small bamboo water fountain in the back yard last month.

Besides looking good (IMO), the sound of running/trickling water is incredibly soothing — especially in the evening as the neighborhood starts to wind down and becomes quieter. However, it really started to show promise this afternoon when a cardinal and a yellow finch decided to check it out as a possible bathing site.

I get incredibly happy about the smallest things....

P.S., the cherry blossom tree in the front yard is doing wonderfully. It doesn't look like it was affected by the disastrous broken branch at all. There is even new growth on it. I'll post another picture of it this weekend.