Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yes, today was my 82 birthday and we had this lovely party in the afternoon.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Until a man knows something, he uses one word: mystery. And mystery means mystery, not something he shall personify.
Recognize, the grandfathers had said, that nothing unnatural exists. And that when man knows the truth, the whole truth, he gives name to that which he once calls mystery. And that when a man needs to know something, a teacher appears

(Ruth Beebe Hill, ‘Hanta Yo’, Warner Books 1980. p.954)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Click to enlarge.

This is where I was for four days. There was no internet connection, so I thank you for your patience and I hope you like the pictures.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I'll be out of town until Tuesday, please have patience and come back!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


In the spring of 76, when I was living in the Buddhist center Kagyu Ling in France, someone brought me a young magpie. It had fallen out of the nest but it was nearly full-grown and almost able to fly. They asked me if I would take care of it and I agreed.
My room was on the second floor and had a French door that I kept open day and night. I named the magpie Max, and he passed the nights in a cage by this door and during the day he was with me, sitting on my shoulder on a paper napkin, for he was not exactly continent. I fed him bread soaked in milk and he took to me right away like Iwas his parent. And as a good parent I tried to teach him to fly, simply by pushinghim off my shoulder. He flapped his wings and landed unharmed.
It took only about a week before Max was full grown and one morning I set him on a low branch of a great tree in front of the house. I didn’t see him all day and I thought he might have left, but just before dark I heard him squawking, and there he was, high up in the same tree. He wanted to fly, but this was not like hopping down from my shoulder and he couldn’t make himself do it. I had to rescue him and luckily the tree was easy to climb. When I got level with him he came hopping along the branch and I climbed down with him on my shoulder.
Next day I left him again on a low branch and found him again in the evening high up, but this time he overcame his fear and threw himself into the air – he was flying!

Now I didn’t keep him in a cage at night, but he always slept sitting on top of the door by where his cage had been. A group of noisy young magpies, who were probably his siblings, came by and wanted him to join them, but he had forgotten his ancestry, and after a few days they gave up on him and stopped coming. It was joyful for me to have a friend who was at home in the air and came gliding down from the sky and landed on me when he spotted me. He liked to sit on my shoulder and pick at my ears or sometimes at my nose and even my mouth, very gently.
Max was mischievous and the more upset somebody would be with him the more sure he was to tease them. A woman was sitting outside painting and Max picked up her brush and flew away with it. Once I came into my room and he was on my desk with my pen in his beak. I knew that I had to totally ignore him or he would be out the door. When I had convinced him that I didn’t care whether I lost my pen or not, he put it down.
One of his habits was to hide things. A small silver Buddha disappeared and I suspected a young boy who had admired it, but later I found it tucked in between my clean t-shirts on a shelf. My seat was a reindeer skin and here, tucked in between the hairs, I found small objects like my eraser, my pencil sharpener - and plums! He brought the ripe plums in from the garden and usually picked a hole in them when he tried to push them into a tight place, so they made a mess. I still have the marks, looking like blood, on my ‘I Ching’ book.

Kalu Rimpoche with Max

Often Max would visit Kalu Rimpoche, the old lama who was the head of Kaguy Ling, and who gave him titbits. Rimpoche’s calm and loving nature must have appealed to him. For Max was very sensitive to vibrations; there were some people that he would not allow to get close.
On one of the last warm days in October I had been wondering how Max would sleep when I had to close the door he was sitting on at night, but something happened that gave me other worries. I was standing outside with Max on my shoulder and I looked down at him, enjoying the shine of his metallic black, when he suddenly pecked me hard right in the eye. I think I screamed; the pain was excruciating and Max took off and was gone. I was in constant pain and could hardly sleep for several nights so I wasn’t thinking too much about Max, but he never showed up; it was like this had been his mission and as soon as it was accomplished he left the scene.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Come! This is the front porch and my window:

Come in this way -

There is Napoleon, emperor of the neighborhood, gracing the backyard with his presense:

It's time for viewing apple flowers-

Just look at this!

This is Eric's palace:

and a corner for this and that:

The front yard is nicer:

Thanks for the visit, shal I give you a ride?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


When I was 6, I started in a private school across from one of the parks that circle the older part of Copenhagen, and we were living in the suburbs just north of town.
I was to take the streetcar all by myself!
Line 14 was my favorite, it was the line that stopped virtually door to door. Another, line 4, had its terminus one short stop before our house, and the short walk home from there went past a candy store and across a bridge over the railway tracks. Line 4 was peculiar in that it had only one car, no ‘bivogn’ (second car). Anyway, riding in ‘bivognen’ was for wussies; the place to be was in front, only separated from the conductor by an iron bar, with the full view of the street. There was not much traffic: bicycles, some horse carts and automobiles, and the streetcar was sovereign and had always the right of way.

I really loved the streetcars. I had a notebook where I noted down the serial numbers of the cars I rode in to keep track of the times I was riding in the same car. All the streetcar lines were identifiable at a distance, at night, by two colored lights, and I knew them all by heart and would sometimes quizz my mother about them.
Long after the last streetcar ran in Copenhagen in 1972, they kept running in my dreams. They seemed to be symbols of desire and I would just miss one, or I would try to jump off one in speed, or I would be the conductor and just barely avoid hitting another streetcar.

Here is a picture from 1958 downtown Copenhagen, and line 11 #325 is just rolling in to the stop that is marked by the art deco sign.

Some of the early models being shown downtown Copenhagen in 69; the two cars of line 3 were still in use when I was a kid.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I like to share with you this picture that I found on the net.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I first met Rick in San Diego. He was neighbor to my friend Ty whom I was visiting. Rick was a blond, muscular surfer and though I wasn’t attracted to him and didn’t even really like him I couldn’t quite resist his attempts at charming me. He gave me a gift, a crystal egg with a Scorpio engraved in the bottom and though I didn’t want it, it is not easy to say no to a gift. It’s costliness impressed me and I guess I was flattered that this tough little hustler had fallen for my charms. So, I thought he was my friend, but I should have made note of Rick’s other ‘gift’ giving. He made a picture from some scraps he had asked me for and showed it to Ty on his birthday in such a way that Ty assumed it was a gift. Later Rick corrected Ty’s false assumption and went off with his picture.
Rick came later to visit me at Vajrapani in the company of a charming boy, a friend of Ty that I had also met in San Diego. I was growing some plants in pots and I just needed a hand moving them up in the forest to a sunny spot where they could mature, and the boys kindly helped me carrying them.

Next time I saw Rick was in the autumn. This time he came alone to my cabin late in the afternoon, saying he couldn’t stay long because his ride was waiting at the bottom of the hill. I was pleased because I was not in the mood to entertain him, but shortly after he left he was back again. His ride had left! I was stuck with him and all I could think of was to get rid of him, so I agreed to drive him to town so he could catch a bus. On the way back from town I suddenly realized that he had set me up. I rushed up to the secret spot and my suspicion was confirmed: the plants were gone.

I called Ty and he said he would try to get the plants back.
Ty’s sister had a boy friend, Tom, who was a kind of superman, incredibly strong. We had all camped out together in the summer and he had exhausted us all with his enormous energy. He came to Vajrapani and we took a walk while he told me his story.
When he heard from Ty how Rick had stolen my plants he decided to take revenge. He kidnapped Rick and took him to his parents’ house to try and get the plants back. The parents were there but Tom had a knife on Rick’s throat and when the father tried to get at the phone Tom tore it out of the wall and then fled by jumping from the cliff into the ocean.

When we came back to my cabin the cops were there, but Tom turned around and fled as soon as he saw them. They took me down to their car and at one point I was handcuffed sitting in the back of the car, but they thought better of it and let me go with a message for Tom to give himself up. When it got dark I decided to put a note on Tom’s car not to leave without seeing me but as I approached the car in the dark a shot rang out. The cops were convinced he was a dangerous criminal and they were waiting for him. Now they thought he was in my cabin and that I was scouting for him but I told them they could come and check the cabin out.
When Tom finally came back to the cabin we talked it through and he agreed to give himself up. In the end the charges against him were dropped after Rick had tried extortion and the judge realized who the real criminal was.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Gangbé Brass Band

Out of Benin, one of the ancient cultural centers in Africa, comes the colorful Gangbé Brass Band. Their music takes from the many traditions of their homeland as well as from the African diaspora in America and it moves from traditional voodoo rhythms to jazz without missing a beat. There is a tight unity in the dense brass section as they shift with the melodious call and response vocals backed up by intricate percussion. It is happy, high-energy music and they had the house rocking last night in our local Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

Here is the translation of their song Awhan-Ho, the War:

Men who had the same origins at the beginning are divided by all kinds of wars.
A whole nation is punished by the mistakes of a single head of state.
Man’s abuse of power and greed increase the sorrow of orphans.
Forget about war! Let’s make peace.