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Archive for the ‘internet wanderings’ Category

New website!

I finally bit the bullet and built a real website. Yes, this involved paying real money and not just hosting on “whatthehoodle” dot com or whatever’s free. It’s pretty great. I’ve spent most of the past two days working on it, and while I’m still futzing to improve functionality as much as possible, I have gone “live” with it. I’m no web-genius, so this is being created using iWeb which is both awesome and somewhat limiting, in that since it’s made for idiots, there’s no real way to “over-ride” a lot of the features. I’m doing my best to maximize its potential because I enjoy the simplicity, but I do imagine that it may take a little while to perfect it.

I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to integrate this wordpress account (namely, its archives) into the new site, so all new updates will be made over there and the archives will remain here, hanging out. The new site does have RSS capabilities, which I think should even work! I think. There’s a button.

Any feedback you’d care to offer about function, readability, etc. would be welcome. I hope you like it and come back to visit it, y’know, more than just once!

sonjaengdahl.com

(Yeah, it’s my name. Professional isn’t always original.)

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I found this via MetaFilter, it’s a great monologue about death. Part of what has always attracted me to Buddhist philosophy is the sort of existential belief that death is what makes life meaningful; that in order to live well, we need to meditate on dying well. Our lives are meaningful because they are transitory – every moment is precious and living in the moment is the only way to “escape” the future. By which I mean, that when we truly live in the moment and cherish every breath that we take, death is no longer a force to be feared. When I realize that I had no knowledge of the world before I was born, and when I die, I will return to the same unconsciousness, my life itself feels eternal because it’s the only life I will ever know – it lasts “forever” because when it’s gone, I won’t know that it was gone or that it ever existed. Every moment that I know is right now and since I won’t be aware that it’s over, it never truly “ends.” One of my favorite quotes is by Ray Charles: “Live each day as if it was your last because someday, you’re going to be right.”

I’m probably not making a whit of sense to anyone but myself, but this video is pretty fantastic anyway. Best part is that it’s narrated by performance artist Vito Acconci.

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One of my Buddha photos is up on Lens Culture’s Buddha Project. There are so many amazing photos in this collection! Oh my. The project description:

Images of Buddha can remind us to take a breath, to look around, to feel calm and compassionate, to be here now. You can notice Buddha almost anywhere — laundromats, store windows, barbershops, farmers’ markets, souvenir stands, tucked away on someone’s night table.

The Buddha Project encourages people worldwide to participate by submitting photos of found Buddha, sacred Buddha, ancient Buddha, kitschy Buddha, handmade Buddha.

My Buddha is from a housewares/antiques store in the South End in Boston. I’ve been noticing Buddhas all over the place, the more I’m aware of them. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I live a short walk from Chinatown!

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The world is in a deep financial crisis. I myself am having a personal banking crisis of near epic proportions. The political situation in the US is downright terrifying. But HEY! Giant squids. xkcd and the Discovery Channel here to remind you that everything is AWESOME. Seriously. (For a teeny bit of relevance, video does contain a brief shot of Buddhist monks!)

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Kat emailed me this post about detachment by Dadi Janki, and I think that there are a few good points here that not only apply to life, but to photography as well. Namely, the idea of a detached observer.

The most important effort you can make at this time is to remember the God. To do this, become detached and bodiless. You have to be detached whilst doing action, because only in this way can you become separate from everything. There is the exercise of three steps: 1. Be detached. 2. Become separate, and 3. Be an observer. You need to do this, because attachment to something or another will pull you again and again. Whether it’s something from the past or something that’s to happen in the future, you find the mind drawn when you’re attached. What do you have to pay attention to in the present? Become detached, separate and an observer.

It’s easier, for me, to put myself one step away from my environment by viewing it through the lens. It’s kind of a paradox that I’m simultaneously more aware of my surroundings and yet, not actively *part* of them. By observing, I am interacting with the world without becoming attached to it in any concrete way.

[ photo by Jamelah ]

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My own blog title being a very bad pun based on a koan, I thought it my duty to pass on [via MetaFilter] these Broken Koans.

I seriously LOLed.

[ photo by Jayel Aheram ]

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Do you want to know what your religious beliefs are, or rather, what the internets think that they are? You’re in luck! Take the Belief-O-Matic quiz!

I found this via Colin Pantall’s blog and it’s a really interesting little quiz. Mahayana Buddhist, which is definitely how I would describe myself, came up… third for me. Huh. The first two were Neo-Pagan, which I would definitely never think of and Unitarian, which makes sense since I went to UU Sunday School as a kiddo.

What about you? How accurate would you say the quiz was compared to how you actually peg yourself? Did it provide any insights?

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