Queen Shrimala of the Lion’s Roar

“Please be compassionate and protect me, causing seeds of the Dharma to grow within me. In this life, and in future lives, please Buddha always accept me”
– Queen Shrimala

“I have been with you for a long time, guiding you in former lives. I now again accept you, and will do likewise in the future.”
Shakyamuni Buddha

 Buddha

Translation from the BDK English Tripitaka.

Returning Home to a Foreign Land

I’m going back to Japan this summer, and I couldn’t be happier. Japan is home to me, a home on the other side of the planet.

When I am in Japan, I feel as though I am in a familiar place, even though I see new things there every day I open my eyes. It is a new home for me.

As a foreigner in Japan, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to pretend to fit in, to aspire to be just like everyone else. In Japan, it’s OK for me to be odd. I’m expected to be weird! Frankly, the fact that I speak a serviceable crude Japanese (with interpretive mime-dance) only makes me more endearing to most Japanese I come across.

I’m returning home to the land of the kami and the buddhas, and my heart is full of joy.

“Big Pharma” & Privilege: Or Why I Wish Allies Would Stop Using This Phrase

You can pry my paxil from my cold dead hands.

Foxglove & Firmitas

A friend posts an article on Facebook about how the United States’ medical system does not meet the needs of those with chronic pain. This is a reality that I have experienced. This is a reality that I regularly speak to others who experience chronic pain have also experienced. About a month ago when I was at the doctor’s office for my annual exam, I overheard 2 medical workers talking about how they hate when patients say they’re in pain, because they know they’re over-reacting. I was horrified, but it wasn’t the first time I’d heard someone in the medical field say something like this.

When we talk about chronic pain, and disability in general, inevitably someone pops up to say something like the following:

I think chronic pain (and other illnesses for that matter) should be tackled with a holistic approach. Putting our faith completely in the medical system…

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Sarasvati and Lakshmi

It’s said that Sarasvati and Lakshmi have a mutual dislike for one another, and that petitioning one will offend the other. They are so unalike, it’s not hard for me to see how they wouldn’t get along. But I have a hard time believing that they’re actually at such odds they’d curse their followers!

I can’t imagine Sarasvati having enemies. She keeps to herself, and doesn’t bother anyone who doesn’t bother her. It’s hard to offend her, though if you have the misfortune to do so, she becomes the Vedic river goddess of old, her wrath breaking the backs of mountains. She really just wants to be left alone with her books.

It’s even harder for me to imagine Lakshmi having enemies. She’s beautiful, charming, witty, and kind. Everybody loves her. Seriously. Everybody loves her. She’s a goddess of love and money. What’s not to like? I may be a Sarasvati girl, but I can’t dislike Lakshmi, either.

So why do they hate each other? Well, I don’t think they really do. They just don’t get along! They’re totally different personalities, and because of that they kind of drive one another crazy and don’t like to hang around each other…but that doesn’t mean they hate each other. That doesn’t mean they’re enemies.

Namo Devi!

Namo Vac, the voice of thunder

Namo Sarasvati, the breaker of mountains

Namo Benzaiten, the keeper of dragons

Namo, Namo, Namo, Namo Swaha

Namo Vac, the water in heaven

Namo Sarasvati, the destroyer of foes

Namo Benzaiten, the bringer of storms

Namo, Namo, Namo, Namo Swaha

Namo Vac, the bringer of words

Namo Sarasvati, the inspirer of thought

Namo Benzaiten, the lover of jewels

Namo, Namo, Namo, Namo Swaha