Saturday, September 23, 2006

feelings, Dara, and a Path to Peace

The past few days i've been feeling a huge weight of sadness inside. i'd say depression, but i don't usually get depressed. but maybe that's what it is. a big part of it is the reality of the world right now. rob had a bit on his blog about iran and how it is now being claimed that they will not stop enriching uranium. then i went to lydia's blog a few days ago and she had a post about iraq that was horrifying and upsetting. from there i jumped to her ahno's blog and again, more upsetness.

my feeling about nuclear capabilities is sort of complex. i feel like, why are we, here in the US among the few that get to have nuclear weapons capacity? do i want crazy people in charge of nuclear weapons? people, we've already GOT crazy people in charge of them. RIGHT HERE. in our OWN GOVERNMENT. which country has actually USED nuclear weapons? oh yes, that would be the united states. right. anyway, it just seems like, why SHOULD we be among the only ones having them? i do understand some of the other side w/that. but ack!

i am the girl that didn't get to watch The Day After in 6th grade b/c i take it all in too much. when my 6th grade teacher, in her infinite wisdom let the whole class watch the nostrodomus (sp?) program and then said something like "well, we don't really KNOW that he predicted that the world would end in [whatever year it said]. it actually COULD be that it's THIS year." i was mush. i still remember part of it and it still scares the crap out of me. i'm the SAME kid that, in 1981 (i think i have the year right), while visiting my mom and ken in oakland (i was living w/dad and moni in redlands - 500 miles southeast), they were talking about the fact that there might not be any more gas and how they thought that could be exciting - you could walk or ride everywhere. i remember breaking down and crying and they didn't really get why, i think. i was 10 or 11 at the time and could only think about the fact that i couldn't see one set of parents or the other. i'd be stuck in one place or another. it was terrifying to me. i take these things inside and can see how it would be. so...when i read these things and listen on the radio and see the little bit i see on tv, i take it in and realize what it can be. but i know what it COULD be. why can't we all just realize that we are one? what you do to someone else, comes back to you. if you are good to your fellow people, it comes back to you. if you are bad, that comes back to you threefold.

so - that's been weighing on me. then, there's also the fact that my MIL's cancer has come back. well, actually, turns out, it never really went into remission. the ovarian cancer has moved a bit and it's really upsetting. i keep a positive healthy image of her in my mind and i also go to and put her ono the prayerlist at two buddhist temples. which brings me to the next part of my post.

I have a wonderful and very special friend named Dara. You can check her blog out over at daramusing. I've known her now for....hmmmm....gosh! i think it's been more than 5 years now. We "met" on a yahoo group full of mavericks (our motto is My Quilt, My Rules! and we can curse like sailors whenever we want and the group is HUGELY filled with talent!). Dara is a buddhist nun. Today, (which is also the autumnal equinox) marks 18 years since she became a nun. what a wonderful anniversary. Hooray and Congratulations on your anniversary. anyway, Dara sent me an e-mail today to tell me about the Path to Peace. it was like a little light had been added and a little weight had been lifted. around the Stupa that has been built in Sedona, Arizona is a path. the place, from all i've heard from people (including Dara) is very spiritual. very peaceful. a place of reflection and meditation. The buddhist nuns and monks of Kunzang Palyul Chöling are wanting to make it Path to Peace that goes around and through the area where the Stupa is. below is a picture of the 36' Amitabha Stupa.

This is what the pdf file says about this stupa: The Amitabha Stupa is considered to be especially powerful, as Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, vowed to respond to the prayers of all who call upon him.

i'm not doing a very good job of explaining this. so let me share a bit of what Dara wrote: The stupa is the first stage in developing the larger plan of a temple, activity center, and meditation gardens. Connecting these will be a Path to Peace, a walkway lined with inscribed bricks, meandering through the stunning landscape of the beautiful red rocks of Sedona.

she then invited our family to be a part of this beautiful project - this beautiful piece of hope for peace by sponsoring a block. I'd like to pass this on to you as well. this spiritual and special place is not a place just for buddhists. it is a place for people of ALL denominations and ALL kinds of faiths. for people.

there is a pdf file that talks about it and how to you too can sponsor a brick. oh! i just found it on their website! you can do it online as well - right here.

i called Dara after i got her e-mail and talked with her for a while. i let her know that her e-mail and she herself helped me to feel better. if i had endless amounts of money, i'd buy many many of these bricks. we're going to get at least one b/c it feels like something we can DO to help promote peace in these difficult times. maybe i can get some family together and we can get one as a gift for people.

maybe it's something that you'd be able to do or like to do. maybe not. but i wanted to put the opportunity out there just in case. (edited to say, believe me, i understand money being tight! so this might not be something you can do, even though the desire is there)

Daramusing: Anniversary

this is me trying to link all y'all to dara's blog. she explains it all better than i did. *smile*


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is a very lovely idea and I can see how talking with Dara would make you feel better. I only know her from the internet blogging family but I admire her very very much...I don't know that I can donate right now, but perhaps in the's a matter of priorities right now, you know? But if money was no object, I woud buy a brick, immediately.

Here from Michele today, Jristen.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Sorry my dear..that should read finger slipped over to the J. (lol)

kristen said...

oldoldoldlady of the hills -- i certainly understand what you mean - there are so many people i'd like to honor with a brick. that damn money thing...*smile*

Dara said...

Here yesterday to read but didn't post (thank you for such a sweet post!) - here today from Michele's!

Elizabeth said...

kristen, i'm here from michele today.... just got done reading dara's blog.

anyway, your post totally got me in the gut. i completely identify with how you're feeling about what's going on in the world. i've always been like that. on 9-11 of this year, i felt absolutely sick after i saw bush's speech. he left so many things unsaid and my mind was reeling. shortly before that i read an article on 'peak oil'... all about how we're running out of oil. it's heavy stuff. and i can't get it out of my mind.

so i can identify with you. sometimes i just want to hide under a rock, stick my fingers in my ears and shout "i can't hear you!". but that's not the answer, is it?

great post.

kristen said...

elizabeth - thank you for coming over from dara's. and thank you for letting me know i'm not the only one. i was just talking with a friend and it just feels like there is something in the ether right now. but you're right. doing the "lalalallaa i am not listening to jeffrey" thing isn't the answer. i wish i had the exact answer.

Carrie said...

I wish I would have known you were down this weekend. I am normally really tied up on the weekends but when a friend is down, I want to know.

I know how you feel about nuclear weapons because I feel EXACTLY the same way. Things are going to happen regardless of what we do or say. The main thing is to hold your loved ones just a little bit closer and stay strong. We will get things right again. I am sure of it. When I get down about these things, I blog. I don't normally spit it out like you do because people around here would have me hung. But I feel you completely.

As for the Buddhist Path to Peace, that is beautiful. I love the teachings of Buddhism. That is something you could really focus on right now. Love and Compassion for all. I normally feel so lifted when I read stuff from The Dalai Lama. Great stuff.

I'm sorry to hear about your MIL. That is scary stuff but you have to live for today and just make sure that everyone you love, knows it.