Memories of: Stanford Asian Languages

Self must be the only one of her classmates in East Asian Studies (Chinese) that never went to China.

She hopes to correct that oversight, and soon.

In the meantime, she heard about a city on the California coast, a Buddhist city, founded by a fellow student at Stanford, Shari Epstein.

A few days ago, self went trolling for Shari on the web, and she stumbled on a memoir called “Growing Up in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.”  Here’s the first paragraph:

The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was my whole world when I was growing up.  I remember trying to tell one of my classmates in college about it.  I went on for about half an hour, and then he said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.  I can’t even imagine that kind of community.”  My heart sank.  I realized that what had been such a central, dominant and treasured experience in my life was marginal, strange, and inaccessible to most people.  My earliest memories are of attending Sutra lectures with my parents.  (Sutras are Buddhist scriptures).  Every evening we would go to the temple, and I would play with the other kids while the adults chanted and then listened to our teacher, Master Hsuan Hua, give Dharma talks (lectures on Buddhist teachings).  Master Hua was a respected, high monk in Asia but nothing about him made that obvious to me.  From my point of view he was a kindly older monk whom everyone called Shr Fu, a Chinese term meaning literally “teacher-father.”

Shari, now that self has read this amazing piece, she regrets that she never knew you.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More of the Sea: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge 4

RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) Pier in the Reclamation Area, Bacolod, Negros Occidental

RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) Pier in the Reclamation Area, Bacolod, Negros Occidental

The pier at Siquijor

The pier at Siquijor

Funny:  Upon arrival at Siquijor, they have you fill in a form that asks for your age. Self decided to take 10 years off.  When she scanned the other names on the list, she was still by far the oldest. BWAH. HA. HAAAA!

View from Dorn's, Morro Bay on the Central Coast (One day, maybe later in the year, self swears she'll get back there)

View from Dorn’s, Morro Bay on the Central Coast (Caveat:  Breakfasts are HUGE! Only go if extremely hungry)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Way Behind on Her WSJ Reading

Even though the Wall Street Journal is very gung-ho about bombing Syria (“We can’t recall another President suggesting his goal was to miss his military target.  But assuming he does want to hit something and have a military impact, our suggestion would be to take out the regime’s air force.” — Opinion, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013), she still reads it.

But the past week has been brutal.

How brutal?  Tonight, midnight, is the deadline to leave comments on the six stories in her group in Sixfold, and though she’s read and ranked them, she hasn’t been able to leave comments on a single one.

Today, though, things seem to be calming down.

So she settles on the couch and reads about how, on Aug. 20, a “popular North Korean singer” who’d been arrested just three days earlier, was executed in Pyongyang “along with a dozen members of her orchestra.”

Naturally, no one remarked on this, because we have all been soooo distracted by the VMAs and Miley Cyrus’ shenanigans during.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “the charge was that she had made a sex tape, later released in China, with another musician and, incongruously, that they also had Bibles in their possession.”

The executions were reported by a South Korean paper, Chosun Ilbo.

“They were executed with machine guns while the key members of (their bands) as well as the families of the victims looked on,” the Chosun reports . . .  The families of the executed were then sent to prison camps.”

*  *  *  *  *

Pause, pause, pause for shocked reaction.

*  *  *  *  *

Paul Moses has a piece (also in the Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal of Aug. 30, 2013) about Catholicism and his Dear Departed Father.  Moses calls himself “a liberal Catholic” and explains why he “won’t heed calls from the left and right to leave the church.”  It’s a very moving piece.

Self had never heard of Paul Moses before, but his bio describes him as “a journalism professor at Brooklyn College/ CUNY and the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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