Beginner's Mind

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A League Of Our Own

Anyone out there interested in starting/joining a Fantasy Baseball league with Yahoo? Drop me an e-mail if interested: shearer at

I've never played in one, so we'd be mostly first timers. It costs nothing to play, except time.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ethan and the Present Moment

The experience of the Present Moment is not, I don't think, all that rare, though I suspect recognition of it is. Having a baby enter your life brings those moments of awareness around so often it almost becomes second nature; no, let me restate that: it becomes first nature.

At six months of age, a child is ever in the present moment. He's not old enough to have elaborate schemes for the future. If I'm hungry now, I want to eat, now. If I'm sleepy, I want to sleep, now. And there are times when just curled up on Mommy or Daddy's chest fills all my present requirements. I don't have to have or do anything else, this is just fine as it is, thank you very much.

And if you just join him, as he is curled up on your chest, favorite blanket over the both of you, the Present Moment becomes very apparent, and it is a Present Moment, Wonderful Moment. There is emotion, sure, but there's also a contact with All of It, or, Life, The Universe, and Everything. The only sad fact about it is it isn't possible to explain it, at least not in English words. So, you can't exactly share it. Oh, people try, as I have, but until you've experienced it, such alignment with Now is the stuff of which dreams are made, and that's all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Poking My Head Up From Under the Snow

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and the winter weather that didn't show up until March continued. Snow is expected for most of the week, though the temperatures are predicted to be just above freezing during the day, and just below at night. I got my advertising e-mail from Dakin Farms that the first maple syrup of the season is already available. I haven't checked with the locals, but I gotta believe the sugaring season hasn't really begun yet. I haven't seen any buckets hanging from tree trunks.

I don't have an explanation for the lack of blogging lately. I guess I just haven't been inspired.

Ethan continues to grow, and we have begun the process of having him sleep in his own bed rather than with us. It was rough going at first. Karen consulted a number of books on how to make this transition, though very little of it seemed to be working. However, things have gone much smoother since she effectively tossed the books and worked on instinct.

I have my last class of Level Two training in Shambhala tonight. While the training itself has been illuminating, I think I've gotten more out of the community of both established members and fellow aspiring warriors. It is a very supportive group, but also just plain interesting.

In addition to all that, I've been trying to teach myself statistics and probability. Somehow I was able to get a B.S. in electrical engineering, and an M.S. in computer science, without ever taking a stats class. A couple of months ago I started reading a textbook on pattern recognition, which started explaining Bayesian techniques, and I was lost almost immediately. So, I thought getting some stats under my education belt would help. I started with a Teaching Company course, and am now reading a few textbooks on the subject, including one from the "Demystified" series which is quite good. I guess the most surprising thing about the whole effort is how much I've enjoyed the courses, books, and the entire subject. I'm even beginning to get use of some of those weird buttons on my graphing calculator.

Perhaps the biggest impediment has been the increased muscle pains, coupled with higher than usual headache pain. But, a new drug used to treat people with memory problems has been shown to help people reduce their headaches, so I'm about to try that. And who knows? Maybe it will help me remember things more.

And who knows? Maybe it will help me remember things more.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Still Around

I'm still here, just having a hard time with headaches. And now I've got neck and shoulder muscle spasms. Got good meds for the latter, but it makes me pretty sleepy. So, I'm off for a nap, and hope to wake in time for Shambhala training tonight.

Also missing my wife and child something fierce; they went to Long Island for the weekend, and are due back this afternoon.

Pardon, but I think I hear my pillow calling...

Music in my head: Music from Bizet's Carmen