I was born in San Francisco in November, 1971.  I seem to have absorbed the free-spirited nature of the Golden Gate City and have long sought a life outside of “the box”.  Indeed, I was fairly placed there as a result of my upbringing, which was heavily marked by a variety of dysfunctions and abuses.  It’s been my personal struggle not to be defined by those things while still retaining what I’ve discovered is a great deal of knowledge and wisdom.  Which is what I hope to share here.  Not only do I enjoy writing a great deal, but it is also my deep and abiding wish, my bodhicitta, for someone else to benefit from what I’ve learned.

At the moment, I’m an unemployed mother of one quite remarkable little girl and wife of one quite remarkable software programmer in south central Austin, Texas.  Life largely revolves around the aforementioned remarkable little girl, the husband, and our three cats, two guinea pigs, and 150 gallons of fishtank.  I’ve tried to stop flogging myself for the fairly non-traditional path my life has taken me down, because I’ve learned an awful lot along the way that I would never trade.  Things other people seem to spend decades figuring out.  There’s been a lot of struggle: the “tempest”.  There’s also been a lot of realization: the “Tibetan bowl”.  I often cannot have one without the other.

My tools on this path have been a lot of philosophical introspection, writing, solitary spirituality, yoga, and most recently, karate and meditation.  Each thing has picked up where the previous tool finally left off.  There was only so much thinking I could do: writing and yoga helped me manifest some of those thoughts into something cohesive and energetic.  While yoga has certainly not been left off, and never will be, it still left a few gaps that I needed filling.  Karate took care of that.  Yoga is my yin, karate my yang.  My odd brand of personal spirituality binds it all together. Obviously there’s a lot of Buddhism liberally sprinkled throughout what I write.  You’ll also find a lot of Hinduism here, not to mention Christianity, Sufism, Sikhism, Islam, Shamanism, Paganism, and indeed, little nuggets from virtually every one of faith’s closets and belief’s corners.  I believe God is too big to be picky about how we humans decide to manifest our spirits and that everyone is ultimately working towards the same things.  If that’s true, then it really doesn’t matter what we call it/Him/Her/whatever.

I’m starting this much more public blog after years of keeping a semi-private one because I’ve finally reached a point in what amounts to a psycho-archaeological dig through my family, its past, and myself where I have enough to start putting things together.  Things finally make sense.  If I have been able to make some sense out of what was often sheer chaos, then I feel obligated to share that.  Really, that’s what this is all about: my attempt to create a bit of happiness in this world that seems so bereft of it on occasion.  I’ve gone sifting through piles of emotional elephant dung and found the eyes of the Buddha staring back at me more than once.  I feel it would be irresponsible of me to keep my visions of light amidst darkness to myself, if for no other reason than to light the path of some other soul.  Even if it’s just one.

I know there are a lot of fancy Sanskrit terms to describe what I feel in my heart, and I’m sure we’ll discover them together, but for now, just know that my happiness comes through others’ happiness.  I know that sounds martyrish and self-sacrificing, but it isn’t.  Something else I hope to share with you along the way. So that’s what’s here: the things I’ve learned over the years, in places one might not think anything was worth learning.  I won’t be blowing sunshine up anyone’s ass, so if you’re afraid of that, stick around, and if that’s what you’re looking for, look elsewhere.  If you find inspiration here, it’s not because I’m deliberately manifesting it, but if you do find some, I think that’s awesome and it makes my heart happy in advance.

This won’t be all enlightenment and deep thoughts.  My holiday wish list was my first post!  Not terribly Buddhist of me, I know, but I said I was Buddhist, not the Bodhisattva.  I’m irreverently opinionated but deeply compassionate: expect a lot of intensity steeped in as much politeness as I can muster, and very sharp words when I haven’t.  Expect beauty, and humor, and stuff about my kid and family.  Also food and my garden.  And cats.  Always with some lesson embedded therein.

Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.” – The Gospel of Thomas

Life is never trivial: there is always something to be gleaned from the moment.  Life is also messy: expect that to be reflected here.  In any case, I hope you find something useful here. Namaste, Osu, and Thank You