^zhurnaly 0.9923

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Howdy, pilgrim! No ads — you're in volume 0.9923 of the ^zhurnal (that's Russian for "journal") — see ZhurnalyWiki for a Wiki edition of individual items; see Zhurnal and Zhurnaly for quick clues as to what this is all about; see Random for a random page. Briefly, this is the diary of ^z = Mark Zimmermann ... previous volume = 0.9922 ... complete list at bottom of page ... send comments & suggestions to "z (at) his (dot) com" ... click on a title link to go to that item in the ZhurnalyWiki where you can edit or comment on it ... RSS

Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

The recent "Cognitive bias cheat sheet" by Buster Benson attempts to take Wikipedia's list of cognitive biases (Anchoring, Availability, Base Rate Neglect, Confirmation Bias, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, etc.) and bring some order to the chaos. Particularly worth remembering is Benson's executive summary:

Or, as Benson explains each of those:

... not a bad start at a taxonomy of error and fallacy!

(cf. Big Biases (2014-01-09), Negative Thinking Patterns (2015-08-28), Cognitive Distortions (2015-09-28), Metacognition and Open Mindedness (2015-11-15), Characteristics of Superforecasters (2015-11-21), Mirror Fallacy (2016-03-10), ...)

- Friday, September 30, 2016 at 04:48:46 (EDT)

2016-09-02 - Tysons Exploration

~7.3 miles @ ~14.6 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Lawn_Dragon_Tysons.jpg"Something weird!" is the route request, as Cait and Kristin and I debate which way to trek in the darkness this morning. We rendezvous before dawn in Tysons Corner, since locker rooms are temporarily closed at our usual location. Maps hint at paths in the woods of Old Courthouse Spring Branch Park. Westward ho, seeking adventure!

Much meandering soon ensues. A somewhat-sketchy overgrown trail looks tempting, but a soggy stream crossing deters us from taking it Neighborhood streets lead to the other side of the same mini-jungle a few miles later. A local dog-walker encourages further search, as do five big deer at the end of a cul-de-sac. But again, recent rain suggests that sidewalks are a better choice today. Front yard dragon sculpture demands a pause for photography.

Trail talk is wide-ranging and cheerful. We listen mindfully, salute each other, and give thanks for friendship and tolerance and diversity and the great good fortune to live in such a wonderful world!


- Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 05:17:09 (EDT)

2016-08-31 - McLean Flashbacks

~8.2 miles @ ~12.2 min/mi

"I know Jimmy — he's a good friend!" Kerry exclaims. Small world: conversation about basketball leads Cait to mention her uncle, Jimmy Patsos, currently head coach at Siena College. Kerry met and worked with him during undergrad days in Boston. One degree of separation!

A few miles later, another flashback as we take a walk break to admire Hickory Hill, the former Kennedy family estate. The driver of a passing car rolls down his window and shouts, "Pick up the pace!" It's Joe, my boss 15 years ago!

The Dawn Patrol rambles east today, starting off by headlamp glow on a cool but humid morning. Kristin and Kerry lead along the forest path through Dead Run Stream Valley Park. We compare notes on yoga classes (Shavasana, aka "corpse pose", is my fave) and concur that, although hotel swimming pools are tempting during long summer conferences, the thought of seeing certain professional colleagues in Speedos is, uh, ...


- Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 06:27:08 (EDT)

Open Readiness

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 15 ("Meditation in Everyday Life"):

Your practice must be made to apply to your everyday living situation. That is your laboratory. It provides the trials and challenges you need to make your practice deep and genuine. It's the fire that purifies your practice of deception and error, the acid test that shows you when you are getting somewhere and when you are fooling yourself. If your meditation isn't helping you to cope with everyday conflicts and struggles, then it is shallow. If your day-to-day emotional reactions are not becoming clearer and easier to manage, then you are wasting your time. And you never know how you are doing until you actually make that test.

The practice of mindfulness is supposed to be a universal practice. You don't do it sometimes and drop it the rest of the time. You do it all the time. Meditation that is successful only when you are withdrawn in some soundproof ivory tower is still undeveloped. Insight meditation is the practice of moment-to-moment mindfulness. The meditator learns to pay bare attention to the birth, growth, and decay of all the phenomena of the mind. She turns from none of it and lets none of it escape. Thoughts and emotions, activities and desires, the whole show. She watches it all and watches it continuously. It matters not whether it is lovely or horrid, beautiful or shameful. She sees the way it is and the way it changes. No aspect of experience is excluded or avoided. It is a very thoroughgoing procedure.

If you are moving through your daily activities and you find yourself in a state of boredom, then meditate on your boredom. Find out how it feels, how it works, and what it is composed of. If you are angry, meditate on the anger. Explore the mechanics of anger. Don't run from it. If you find yourself sitting in the grip of a dark depression, meditate on that depression. Investigate depression in a detached and inquiring way. Don't flee from it blindly. Explore the maze and chart its pathways. That way you will be better able to cope with the next depression that comes along.

Meditating your way through the ups and downs of daily life is the whole point of vipassana. This kind of practice is extremely rigorous and demanding, but it engenders a state of mental flexibility that is beyond comparison. A meditator keeps his mind open every second. He is constantly investigating life, inspecting his own experience, viewing existence in a detached and inquisitive way. Thus, he is constantly open to truth in any form, from any source, and at any time. This is the state of mind you need for liberation.

It is said that one may attain enlightenment at any moment if the mind is kept in a state of meditative readiness. The tiniest, most ordinary perception can be the stimulus: a view of the moon, the cry of a bird, the sound of the wind in the trees. It's not so important what is perceived as the way in which you attend to that perception. That state of open readiness is essential. It could happen to you right now if you are ready. The tactile sensation of this book in your fingers could be the cue. The sound of these words in your head might be enough. You could attain enlightenment right now, if you are ready.

(cf. Moon Over Water (2012-02-12), Quiet in There (2011-05-31), Bare Attention (2016-06-20), ...)

- Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 05:38:07 (EDT)

2016-08-29 - Idlywood Sidewalk

~5.9 miles @ ~12.7 min/mi

"Best. Anniversary. Gift. Ever!" Dr Kerry thanks her husband for his kind present after 22 years of marriage: three coats of polyurethane on the front door! And a bonus: "He and my daughter cleaned out my closet!"

The Dawn Patrol discovers a spiffy new sidewalk on Idlywood Road, making that segment far safer running in the early morning gloom. Kristin tells of her son's loose tooth removal this weekend, via a string tied to his radio-controlled model truck. Caitlin ran fast yesterday along Rock Creek Trail; her graduate work starts tonight at the University of Maryland. Kerry reports on the Laguna Beach "Pageant of the Masters" living-statue art recreation festival, and the "Tiki Beach 10k" that she did on the Pacific shore. Back after a multi-hop red-eye flight, she's somehow cheerful in spite of jet-lag, no caffeine, and just a few hours of sleep. "Welcome home, Dr K — we're so glad you're here!".


- Monday, September 26, 2016 at 04:28:25 (EDT)

Hide the Magic

Where do we put the mountains?
The mountains will give us the valleys.
The valleys will give us the shadows.
The shadows are where we hide the magic.

... comment (quote? source?) by Apollo Robbins, on deception and distraction and ...

- Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 12:57:34 (EDT)

2016-08-28 - RCT with RR

~6.1 miles @ ~11.7 min/mi

"I think you mean 'Dr. WHOM'!?" says the Grammar Dalek t-shirt that Rebecca points out on a passing walker. We're trekking along Rock Creek Trail, chatting about training, life, race course route mismanagement, and how tough summer humidity is sometimes. I meander around the 'hood solo for a mile until RR arrives to pull me along at ~10.5 min/mi, a hasty pace to get her back in time for family visits later this morning. She tries to teach me the names of various comrades we meet along the way; I try to practice saying "Thank you!" instead of arguing with someone who compliments me.


- Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 03:28:58 (EDT)

Mantra - Fine and One and Blessed

We are
  Fine and
    One and

... a reminder from a friend — to always be thankful, aware, loving — for all that we have, all the good in the world, and all that we can do for each other ...

(cf. Opening to Love (2013-09-27), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - Help, Thanks, Wow (2015-01-06), SHIP of Lovingkindness (2015-08-18), Mantra - Safety, Health, Insight, Peace (2015-10-30), Mantra - Stop, Notice, Appreciate (2016-04-03), ...)

- Friday, September 23, 2016 at 04:30:40 (EDT)

2016-08-27 - Maryland HEAT 50k

~32.2 miles @ ~18.2 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MD_HEAT_50k_2016_0.jpg"DFL!" The honor of finishing Dead, uh, Last at the the Maryland H.E.A.T. = "High Endurance Adventure Test" 50k trail run is mine: 54th place of 54 finishers, in 9 hours 44 minutes. (Two 50 km runners drop out; 21 declare victory with 25k after one lap.) Best of all: I win my age group! Can you guess how many finishers were over 60 years old?

It's a great day for a trek in the woods, across streams, over boulders, and up hillsides, solo and with new friends. Near Baltimore in the Patapsco Valley State Park the H.E.A.T. race meanders along trails in the Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove Area. At 0535 comrade Matt Bevan and I salute Race Director Nick Yeates and set off to check course markings before the official event begins at 7am. Matt carries a big roll of pink ribbon; I bear bright orange plastic plates and paper signs decorated with big black arrows. Orion and a last quarter Moon stand high in the sky. The grass is heavy with dew, relative humidity ~90%. Temperatures start in the 70s and rise to the low 90s as the sun rises. A startled frog hops off the path in front of us. A deer stares at us from the brush. Owls call and freight train whistles blow.

Matt knows the course well and leads the way, wielding a tree branch to brush away cobwebs. Course markings are quite good, with minimal need for additional ribbons and none for supplemental signage. The Gun Road bridge takes us over the Patapsco, and then the Grist Mill path leads us to the Vineyard Spring Trail, uphill to a four-way crossing where the course loops around segments of the Soapstone Trail, Bull Run Trail, and Bike Jumper Trail. Back at the crossroads we follow Santee Branch Trail for a couple of miles, past the ballfield where Aid Station #1 will be set up later this morning. The Charcoal Trail and then Sawmill Branch Trail takes us down steeply back to near the river. A scary scramble over big boulders then leads to the most technical climb of the course, up Buzzards Rock Trail. Thick trees block most of the view from the scenic overlook this time of year. Matt discusses the evolutionary biology of omnivorism, running speeds of various species, effects of aging on training and heat tolerance, the benefits of racewalking, and a flock of other fun technical topics.http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MD_HEAT_50k_2016_1.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MD_HEAT_50k_2016_2.jpgThen the oddly-named Drugs Trail takes us back to the train tracks. Fast runners begin to pass by, dancing down the rocks. After a super-steep dirt chute we reach the paved Grist Mill hiker-biker path and thence a swaying pedestrian suspension bridge over the Patapsco. Aid Station #2 is ready here at mile 8. Matt and I refuel, thank the volunteers, and begin a series of climbs with switchbacks. The Cascade Falls Trail brings us past a nice little waterfall and then to the Ridge Trail, which eventually rises again via the Morning Choice Trail and Belmont Trail to Aid Station #3. Trails on private land outside the park boundaries, with traffic noise from I-95 highway as accompaniment, take us to the Rockburn Trail and the river once more. Now "The Wall" looms. But recent flooding has cut its height in half on the upstream side, where silt is piled six feet deep. A scramble up, a traverse, a crawl down, and a few hundred yards later we're back where we began five hours ago. Hooray! Matt's odyssey is done for the day.

I turn in surplus signs, visit the clean latrine (running water, yay!), and start loop #2. In daylight, everything looks different. After a pause to post progress on Facebook and snap selfies at the tunnel under the B&O Railroad's "Old Main Line" (OML) it's time to climb. Here for the first time I meet Kerry Shepherd, a cheerful-lovely lady from Frederick Maryland. She races ahead, I catch up and pass her, she takes the lead again, and for a while we lose sight of each other. A ham radio operator, tracking contestants at the four way intersection, asks for my bib number. "N6WX!" I tell him. It's my Amateur Radio callsign.

Aid Station #1 is closing down now, with all of the 25k club and most of the 50k gang long gone. Kerry and I pick our way over rocks along the stream at mile 22; I lead up Buzzards Rock. After a slippery-steep descent I pause for more selfies by the train tracks at the historic Ilchester Tunnel, described in [1]. More photos at the swinging suspension bridge, more fuel at mile 24 Aid Station #2. Kerry slows a bit now and accepts my offer of a mocha-caffeine energy gel. We play leap-frog in slo-mo as we ascend. Then Kerry's friends David Miller and Rachel Ridgeway join us. Fun conversation follows: we've done many of the same races together, and these folks all know the Catoctin Trail well. We concur that the H.E.A.T. course is perhaps half an hour easier than the Catoctin 50k and significantly harder than Rosaryville, but the three races are all equally charming and well-managed. David did the Cat Run this year and finished ~15 minutes ahead of me, slowed significantly by hot conditions. Today Rachel enjoyed the first 25k of H.E.A.T., took a break, then jogged a few miles upstream on the River Road to join David and Kerry and run the final 8 miles with them. "So you're doing a 40k!" I tell her.http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MD_HEAT_50k_2016_3.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MD_HEAT_50k_2016_4.jpgAt Aid Station #3 who should greet me but Lucas Moten, buddy from Janet Choi's "Ran It With Janet 50k"? After posing for photos with "Wilson", a soccer ball painted like the famous character in the film "Castaway", and recovering with fresh food and drink, it's time: Excelsior! Friendly Karin Smith of Baltimore chats and runs with me; she claims DFL among 25k-ers. At "The Wall" I find a shorter route over and trot ahead to finish. A happy fist-bump from official timer Leah Kauffman and we're done! RD Nick Yeates introduces me to his young son, who identifies me as Santa Claus. Three vegan black bean burgers, a mountain of homemade quinoa salad, a cold Diet Coke, a school bus ride back to the parking lot, and then home.

A great day, with rocks, hills, heat, and humidity adding to the challenge of distance and the delights of beautiful scenery!


- Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 05:26:37 (EDT)


  High, thigh pink
Turn, toss, moist
  Glow, nook-gloom
Sway, swing, arch

(cf. Great Ideas (1999-05-03), Even Odds (2009-05-05), Soft Matter (2016-07-07), ...)

- Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 05:31:45 (EDT)

2016-08-26 - Opalocka Overdrive

~6.2 miles @ ~13.6 min/mi

"Lot of good eating on a mouse!" Kristin says, as a bird with rodent in beak swoops across the street ahead of us. "But not so good for the mouse!" Cait responds. After we finish a gloomy lap at the high school track dawn brightens into a luminous peachy pink. Opalocka Drive beckons, mainly because of the sound of its name. We ponder what the color-word might be to describe the green-blue paint job of a house with glass vases on front window display — teal, perhaps, or viridian. But what's in a name, anyway? It matches the hue of Caitlin's childhood home!


- Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 05:20:03 (EDT)

Only Now

Notice and return
  To awareness:
Breathe, awake,
Observation ...

And when it "fails",
No blame,
  No judgment,
No clinging.

Only now.

(cf. Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Mantra - Notice and Return (2014-11-30), ...)

- Monday, September 19, 2016 at 04:30:55 (EDT)

2016-08-24 - Tysons Corner Circle

~8.3 miles @ ~13.2 min/mi

"Bunny!" calls Kristin, as she leads Caitlin and me along Lewinsville Road and spies a front-yard rabbit. Low humidity today offers a chance to loop past the building where Cait currently is stationed. Kristin and I feel deja vu as memories resurface of the 2016-03-07 - Ancient Moon and Baby Park trek through the same neighborhood. The sun rises and glints off mirror glass of Tysons Corner office buildings. Cait shares stories of friendly intra-family college rivalries: bulldogs vs. an alliance of huskies and turtles!


- Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 03:39:26 (EDT)

Mantra - Let the Mind Pass By

Let the Mind
    Pass By

... from Pragito Dove's Lunchtime Enlightenment:

Remember not to be too serious. Nothing special is supposed to happen. There is nothing to figure out or analyze, no success or failure. You are simply allowing yourself to be less identified with the body, mind, emotions, and environment, which then leaves space for insight or understanding to arise.

Remember, let the mind pass by. These are the five key words for watching the mind. There is no concentration, because concentration creates tension. No forcing, no trying to stop the mind, no fighting with the mind. Just let the traffic of the mind pass by. You are the watcher, observing, disidentified, with no judgment, accepting whatever passes by, as if one would sit high up on a mountaintop, watching life pass by with no attachment or involvement. This will bring you to your essential self.

(cf. Let the Mind Pass By (2010-12-28), Mantra - Let It Go (2014-12-27), Awareness of Thoughts (2016-04-01), ...) - ^z

- Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 05:18:53 (EDT)

2016-08-21 - Rock Creek Park with Barry

~5.5 miles @ ~13.3 min/mi

"I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri!" Barry and I quote dialogue from Dr Strangelove and critique that film versus various versions of Fail Safe as we run in Rock Creek Park on a hyper-humid Sunday morning. The final movement of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 finishes on the radio just before we begin, and continues echoing inside the brain. Barry recommends Krista Tippet's "On Being", an NPR podcast; its latest episode is titled "Running as Spiritual Practice". We compare notes on Rio Olympic events, discuss how divergent the Facebook feeds are that each of us sees, marvel at semi-scandalous social media sharing, and review upcoming race plans.


- Friday, September 16, 2016 at 04:13:49 (EDT)

Moments of Mindfulness

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 15 ("Meditation in Everyday Life"):

The concept of wasted time does not exist for a serious meditator. Little dead spaces during your day can be turned to profit. Every spare moment can be used for meditation. Sitting anxiously in the dentist's office, meditate on your anxiety. Feeling irritated while standing in a line at the bank, meditate on irritation. Bored, twiddling you thumbs at the bus stop, meditate on boredom. Try to stay alert and aware throughout the day. Be mindful of exactly what is taking place right now, even if it is tedious drudgery. Take advantage of moments when you are alone. Take advantage of activities that are largely mechanical. Use every spare second to be mindful. Use all the moments you can.

(cf. Work of a Lifetime (2009-02-01), Plenty of Time (2009-03-09), Every Moment is an Opportunity (2009-03-24), Dimensionless and Therefore Infinite (2010-02-03), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), ...)

- Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 06:01:35 (EDT)

2016-08-20 - Rock Creek Park with John

~10.6 miles @ ~15.9 min/mi

"Whoa — we're twins!" Six miles into the run I belatedly note that fresh-out-of-the-box Brooks "Cascadia" trail shoes, on my feet for the first time this morning, are a perfect match for John Hord's shiny new kicks. Likewise both of us are fans of the Boston Red Sox, share a common circle of ultra-nice ultrarunning friends, have enjoyed the FORTH programming language and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and suffer from a similar self-deprecating style of humor. (Ignore the fact that one of the dynamic duo is younger, faster, handsomer, stronger, has finished multiple 100 milers, and plays lead guitar for Sparklebot!)

This morning's trek begins in gloom just after 6am. One stumble, on a stone near mile 3, scrapes a knee. High waters of Rock Creek rumble far below as we climb the hills of the Valley Trail. It's John's home turf, a loop he knows by heart and has run many times in total darkness. We step aside for fast young runners, pause for selfies at a sign, and return via the Western Ridge Trail. Conversation covers training tactics, blisters, long-term race plans, punk and grunge music, love and friendship, nutrition, and philosophy. A dapple gray mare watches us from an equitation ring.


- Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 04:29:00 (EDT)

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Optimistic, yes. Deep, no. How Full Is Your Bucket?, subtitled "Positive Strategies for Work and Life", is co-authored by the late chairman of Gallup Inc. and his grandson. It's a super-fast read, full of anecdotes to encourage people to be nicer to one another. After setting up a metaphor — one's level of happiness is like a bucket, with a level of water that can go up or down — the authors suggest "Five Strategies for Increasing Positive Emotions":

  1. Prevent Bucket Dipping
  2. Shine a Light on What Is Right
  3. Make Best Friends
  4. Give Unexpectedly
  5. Reverse the Golden Rule

They're each explained in short, large-print discussions:

Not a lot of rocket science, but alas not strikingly well-written and not grounded in any quantitative research. Likely most of the copies sold were mass-purchases by businesses and for employee-motivational classes.

That doesn't make How Full Is Your Bucket?" wrong, of course. But perhaps it should be thought of as a launching pad for more thoughtful, diverse reading in positive psychology, mindfulness, or life-philosophy.

(cf. Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), Tough-Minded Optimists (2009-12-22), Take It Up (2011-05-13), How to Be an Optimist (2011-08-24), Mental Toughness (2015-12-06), How to Master Any Game (2016-02-18), Mantra - Be on Good Form (2016-05-10), ...)

- Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 05:50:38 (EDT)

2016-08-19 - Warm McLean Loop

~7.6 miles @ ~12.9 min/mi

"And with that color arrangement, from a distance it looked SO WRONG!" Cait is describing an unfortunate choice of hues for a high school boys swim team, with lower-body garments too close to typical skin tones. We share anecdotes of winter running clothes, chill body parts, unconventional hat or hand-warmer placement, chafing complaints, and other slightly delicate topics. An orange sunrise portends a hot and humid day.

Kristin leads us to the W&OD Trail, where cyclist-commuters politely swoop by. We experiment with hydraulic pressure coupling between dog-water tap and human-drink dispenser at the Route 7 water fountain. Across the street from Lincoln Park, at the convergence of Great Falls St + Dorchester Rd + Oak Haven Drive, an eye-catching lawn decoration is accompanied by flags honoring Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, and perhaps other military services.


- Monday, September 12, 2016 at 04:21:35 (EDT)

Mantra - Things Can Only Get Better

Things Can Only
    Get Better!

... even (especially!) if the situation is rough right now — don't panictake a breath — and try to smile, and think, just a little bit. Whatever is happening, it is what it is — and in perspective, from the big picture, this will somehow all turn out ok.

... and remember the refrain from the Howard Jones song:

And do you feel scared, I do
But I won't stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better

(... and likewise listen to the 2013 Cedric Gervais remake of "Things Can Only Get Better"; cf. Finding the Quiet (2009-12-05), Mantra - Mind Like Water (2015-05-04), ...)

- Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 05:34:03 (EDT)

2016-08-17 - Metalinguistic Meandering

~3.9 miles @ ~13.0 min/mi

"I don't know what you don't know!" says Kristin, metacognitively, as we set off toward a pastel sunrise. How do spiders build webs across pathways? Obvious to some of us, less so to others!

Cait is done with jury duty and joins in a short-and-soggy trot through trendy Lewinsville communities. We reminisce about high school gym coaches (shot and discus were two of her events), express awe at Olympic decathlon competitors, and successfully avoid falling on cut-throughs and irregular sidewalks. Cooldown conversation turns to the amazing way most kids learn language from few examples — and how adroit they are in picking up curse words from peer and parent usage. Samuel L. Jackson's performance of "Go the F*@# to Sleep!" is mentioned, in lieu of Chomskyan generative linguistic theory. Likewise reading practice, rhyming games, and how wise parents handle inadvertent results: "Out of the mouths of babes!"


- Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 04:02:45 (EDT)

Forty Rules of Love

If only! Elif Shafak's 2010 "Novel of Rumi" titled The Forty Rules of Love has such potential for beauty, joy, and magic. The theme is powerful: awakening and self-discovery. The plot is clever: see-sawing across time between 13th century Persia and modern day America. The situation is historic: the transformational meeting of Islamic theologian-poet Rumi and Sufi mystic Shams, a trainwreck of yang and yin. The characters are engaging — or could be if they had individual voices. But they don't. And the language is ... pedestrian in the extreme. <insert big, audible sigh.>

If only it had been written by Salman Rushdie, or someone with a similar command of words. As Michelle Goldberg says in "Lost in Translation", her New Republic review of the book, "The Forty Rules of Love is a terribly frustrating novel, because almost everything about it is wonderful except for the work itself."

Maybe some day ...

(cf. Meditation Retreat (2014-01-28), The Pearl Buys Itself (2015-07-22), Watch the Wound (2015-07-24), ...)

- Friday, September 09, 2016 at 04:46:53 (EDT)

2016-08-15 - More Training

~7.4 miles @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Mom, I need more training," Kristin's six-year-old daughter tells her, as they watch the Olympic women's 400m race. "When can we go to the track?" Perfect reaction!

Sunrise scatters off pastel pink clouds on a warm and humid morn. We set off not knowing where to go, just thrilled to be out in mindful-friendly company. Kristin recalls a ramble involving an out-of-place car and Christmas lights, which a quick logbook check identifies as 2015-12-21 - Sunrise Survey. So we reenact the route, then extend it to Lemon Road School. At a lawn sprinkler I stop to soak my head. That didn't happen eight months ago with temperatures near freezing!

Trail talk includes how to give feedback on less-than-professional clothing ("You are stretching the envelope for others, but you're also imposing barriers on yourself.") and the sometimes-happy results of frank-and-open exchanges. Sharp-eyed Dr K spies two rabbits and one front-yard deer.


- Thursday, September 08, 2016 at 04:22:40 (EDT)

Simply Deal with It

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 15 ("Meditation in Everyday Life"):

A state of mindfulness is a state of mental readiness. The mind is not burdened with preoccupations or bound in worries. Whatever comes up can be dealt with instantly. When you are truly mindful, your nervous system has a freshness and resiliency which fosters insight. A problem arises, and you simply deal with it, quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss. You don't stand there in a dither, and you don't run off to a quiet corner so you can sit down and meditate about it. You simply deal with it. And in those rare circumstances when no solution seems possible, you don't worry about that. You just go on to the next thing that needs your attention. Your intuition becomes a very practical faculty.

- Wednesday, September 07, 2016 at 04:21:10 (EDT)

2016-08-14 - Georgetown Summer 10 Mile Race with Amber

~10.0 miles @ ~10.3 min/mi

"No need to apologize — that was a German burp!" Dr Amber forgives me. In her household, following Teutonic tradition, it's polite to express one's enjoyment of a meal by audible belching. To insult the cook one can label an eructation as "American".

Temperatures rise from upper 70s to low 90s during this morning's "Price Benowitz Summer Georgetown 10 Miler", and high humidity makes the wheels fall off in the second half. Of 121 starters only 85 finish. But it's still great fun to run through difficulties with a friend!

Amber and I park on Water Street under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown and make our way to packet pickup, where I recognize Bob Platt who's managing the timing and awards today. Beth greets us, and I apologize when I discover that yesterday she served as a course marshal, totally unrecognized by me, at the 2016-08-13 - MCRRC Comus Run 5k XC Race. (Prosopagnosia, anyone?)

We set off too fast, as usual, with mile splits by the GPS = 8:59 + 9:09 + 9:14 + 9:48 + 10:00 + 10:08 + 9:54 + 11:10 + 11:42 + 10:49. But it turns out ok. Many thanks to kind Beth for cold Gatorade at the finish line!

Official results: Gun Time 1:42:16, overall place 25th of 85 finishers, among males 18th of 35 — and DFL of all males over age 60. And that's also first place in my age/sex group - yay!


- Tuesday, September 06, 2016 at 05:25:19 (EDT)

Truth, Love, Awareness

From Chapter 4 ("Three Gateways to Refuge") of Tara Brach's True Refuge, thoughts on "the universal path of awakening":

... For me, the words that best capture the spirit of these gateways are "truth," "love," and "awareness." Truth is the living reality that is revealed in the present moment; love is the felt sense of connectedness or oneness with all life; and awareness is the silent wakefulness behind all experience, the consciousness that is reading these words, listening to sounds, perceiving sensations and feelings. Each of these gateways is a fundamental part of who we are; each is a refuge because it is always here, embedded in our own being.

Brach offers a summary table:

            The Outer and Inner Aspects of Refuge

Meditation; Ethics; Teachings
Realizing the nature of reality;
embodying living presence
Conscious relationships with self and other
Realizing oneness;
embodying loving presence
Inspirational spiritual figures
Realizing and embodying
empty, luminous awareness

Those three big themes lead to the three major sections of the book True Refuge ...

(cf. So I Will See (2016-03-27), Mantra - Worthy of Love (2016-07-24), Mantra - Forgiven (2016-08-02), Wakeful, Open, Tender (2016-08-25), ...)

- Monday, September 05, 2016 at 06:49:25 (EDT)

2016-08-13 - MCRRC Comus Run 5k XC Race

~3.1 miles @ ~9.3 min/mi

"But since the Club President isn't here, let's race!" says RD Monica Bachman. Mercury and humidity are off-chart, but we're all grown-ups and adult beverages await at the finish line. It's the Comus Run, a MCRRC cross-country at the Bachman family farm.

Eric London and Tom Young sprint out with me, and the warm-up initial mile goes by in ~8.6 minutes by GPS. Entering the dark woods with sunglasses on gives Eric a thrill. Mile 2 at ~9.2 and mile 3 at ~10.0 reflect heat build-up and hills to climb. Then suddenly, there's the finish line — yay! Many thanks to Mary Bowman and Barry Smith for the ride to/from the event.

Official results: 49th place of 100 finishers, 42nd of 68 males, 4th of 9 males age 60-64, total time 29:41.

(photo by Dan Reichmann)



- Sunday, September 04, 2016 at 16:31:04 (EDT)

2016-08-12 - Learnable Moments

~4.9 miles @ ~12.1 min/mi

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Sir, but it does not change the fact that ...", Caitin Kenney offers an example of how to professionally respond to a Higher Authority when someone reacts unprofessionally to bad news. Kristin concurs. We're stretching after a soggy-warm dawn trek around Pimmit Hills. Earlier Kerry shares a similarly funny "teachable moment" her son experienced recently, and happy news of her husband gracefully handling someone else's mistake. "Maybe you should keep him!"

No Perseid meteors visible this morning, and no lawn rabbits, but one trainee is on the ground doing sit-ups in the Tysons-Pimmit Library parking lot under the watchful eye of a coach. Kerry tells a Zen story that (as usual) made no sense at the time she first heard it but now is full of wisdom. While Drs K&K talk management issues Cait and I run ahead to discuss her first semester of graduate school, soon to begin at the University of Maryland. "The guys who lock up the track there are friendly," I tell her. "They don't mind if you climb over the fence to run intervals in the dark!".


- Saturday, September 03, 2016 at 06:06:21 (EDT)

Victory Calling

From Elizabeth Weil's essay "Seeing What My Muscles Can Do" in the New York Times (19 August 2016), a comment by the author's daughter about her mother's well-developed muscles:

      "Nice, Mom.
That's victory calling."

(cf. Mantra - The Problem is Not the Problem (2016-08-21), ...)

- Friday, September 02, 2016 at 04:29:53 (EDT)

2016-08-10 - Friendship and Balance

~5.8 miles @ ~13.2 min/mi

"Yesterday I'd have said, 'Sure thing'!", Kristin replies, when asked about lengthening today's run. Overnight weather turns warm and humid, with thick cloud cover that almost makes us wish we had flashlights as we set out. We loop by Tysons, extend the route along Route 7, discover a new (or forgotten?) cut-through to Kilgore Rd, and meander back via Pimmit Hills.

A startled chipmunk freezes mid-sidewalk until we're within a few steps, then flees into the grass. There's much to be thankful for, not least of which are balance and friendship. Kristin leads a final 800m sprint. Two Pokémon eggs hatch. Mantra of the day: "Be a duck, not a sponge!".


- Thursday, September 01, 2016 at 05:24:28 (EDT)

Mindfulness Retreat - August 2016

Quotes to ponder, from a Mindfulness-Meditation Workshop on the theme of "Relationships", led by Patricia Long and held in Bethesda Maryland on 2016-08-21:

Change the rhythm!It has to start with me.No one can diminish you but yourself.
How do you love
with some degree
of separation?
You didn't fail.
The relationship failed.
I can choose.
I'm not stuck.
When things end,
it's not always catastrophic.
It's hard to make a change,
even when it's the right thing.
I spent 21 years
convincing myself
that what I wanted
wasn't what I wanted.
Marriage is great.
Marriage is tough.
Love vs Duty
Joy vs Obligation
Generosity vs Sacrifice
Choice vs Contract
Recognize my own value Allow myself to make mistakes Honor my intention

(cf. Meditation Retreat (2014-01-28), Meditation - Sound, Music, Silence (2014-10-06), Mindfulness Workshop 2015 (2015-03-19), Meditation Retreat - December 2015 (2015-12-16), ...)

- Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 04:35:48 (EDT)

2016-08-07 - RCT with Barry

~5.0 miles @ ~13.5 min/mi

"You don't have to run marathons to be healthy," Barry's doctor tells him on Friday. So yesterday he only does a half-marathon! We laugh as we run along Rock Creek Trail, comparing notes on our various old-guy ailments — vertigo, double vision, joint and tendon twinges, and less-mentionable issues — hypothesizing that if we only upped our mileage a bit we would be cured. Ha!

"Tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat!" echo footfalls from my new shoes within the tunnel under KenGar's railroad tracks. Pokémon abound in the woods, and Barry is tolerant of my attempts to catch them. Rebecca zooms ahead with fast friends. The air is refreshingly cool and low-humidity, in contrast to past (and future) summer mornings.


- Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 05:24:58 (EDT)

2016-08-06 - CCT and RCT with Gayatri

~18.6 miles @ ~13.9 min/mi

"God did not tell you to be mean!" Gayatri quotes a favorite saying of her father, Ganga, who passed away when she was in her youth. "Only the good die young," we agree. Conversation turns to Parvati and mudras, most of which seem to be associated with peace, protection, wisdom, generosity, and other positive traits.

We're on a summer morning ramble along Rock Creek and thereabouts; high humidity makes it challenging. A big doe eyes us from the roadside bushes, then crosses the street when we're safely past. After the first hour groups of other Montgomery County Road Runners begin to stream by. Pokémon lurk in the park and I catch a few, but the game drains phone batteries quickly. Ice offered by friendly volunteers at an MCRRC aid station is a welcome gift as temperatures rise into the mid-80s.

Bruce Flanagan, XMP coach and experienced ultrarunner, joins us for the final segment of today's trek. We talk about 100 miler preparation, blisters, fueling, cramps, and other issues. On the value of training on tired legs, Bruce shakes his head in admiration when he mentions ultra-friend Stephanie's propensity to lead her pace group on long runs the day after she does a 40 mile jog. Wow!

Gayatri provides salt capsules during the journey, and after we finish I follow her home where she insists on giving me a bottle of them. Thank you, Ma'am!


- Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 05:21:07 (EDT)

Mantra - Be Obvious

To catalyze creativity, collaboration, and communication, some calming attitudes:

Be Obvious!

... and

Be Positive!

... and

Don't Do
Your Best!

... all Zen — not-try, not-do — from Keith Johnstone's Impro:

... I encourage negative people to be positive, and clever people to be obvious, and anxious people not to do their best. ...

(cf. Yes, and... (2012-11-14), Positive and Obvious (2012-12-12), Make Mistakes (2013-02-27), Don't Punish Yourself (2013-05-08), Keith Johnstone Improv Quotes (2013-12-26), Creativity Quotes (2014-06-12), Mantra - Yes, and... (2016-01-30), ...)

- Monday, August 29, 2016 at 04:41:35 (EDT)

2016-08-05 - McLean-to-Sterling W&OD Adventure Run

~20.2 miles @ ~14.5 min/mi

"Of course, we have to take it to extremes!" Is Dr K talking about people in general, the nation, our company, or some subset thereof? She can't mean the Dawn Patrol itself! What's extreme about taking off on a quiet workday morning just to run 20+ miles?

The eastern sky glows lavender to match Kerry's singlet, cloud bands like an overcompressed digital image. As we cross the Beltway a rising sun glints gold on a mirrorshade Tysons office building. We debate whether dressage is edgier than steeplechase, then turn to musings on "Simplicity" in the organizational context. Kristin suggests key themes: consistency, stability, shared vision. Acronym-overload and business jargon-du-jour risk losing one's audience. Good communications needs to maximize signal-to-noise ratio by not overloading the receiver.

A big deer prances across the path ahead. At Vienna we pause to refill bottles at a water fountain, then pose for photos in front of the huge train mural. A crowd fills the CrossFit gym, apparently preparing to pump iron. Cyclist commuters, uniformly polite, swoop past. Cloud cover keeps summer temperatures down, though humidity is high.

Then comes Reston, terra nova for Drs K&K. I recall kind Kate's gift of cheese curls and Dr Pepper here many years ago (cf. 2009-10-10 - Andiamo 2009). Kerry cautions against opening a flask of champagne during a foxhunt. At Sunset Hills a lovely lily pond demands a stop to admire. Could they be lotus blossoms? The Flower Sermon comes to mind: {}

Charming downtown Herndon features a multi-level water fountain where we again refill. A young, newly-adopted rescue greyhound out for a walk gets bonus love and petting overload. A biker wearing a bright green helmet greets me: it's Steve, decades-ago office comrade on his way to Leesburg. Kerry and Kristin share small-world stories of similar surprise encounters.

Approaching Sterling we text Kerry's husband Clay, who has kindly volunteered to give us a ride back to work. At the parking lot by Pacific Blvd I send him our GPS coordinates. We continue onward to tag the W&OD Trail milepost 25, then hook back. Perfect timing: Clay arrives just as we do. The return drive to the office feels ridiculously long. Thanks be to best friends for a wonderful run today!


- Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 06:47:01 (EDT)

Watch It All Flow Past

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 15 ("Meditation in Everyday Life"):

Seated meditation is the arena in which meditators practice their own fundamental skills. The game the meditator is playing is the experience of his own life, and the instrument upon which he plays is his own sensory apparatus. Even the most seasoned meditator continues to practice seated meditation, because it tunes and sharpens the basic mental skills he needs for his particular game. We must never forget, however, that seated meditation itself is not the game. It's the practice. The game in which those basic skills are to be applied is the rest of one's experiential existence. Meditation that is not applied to daily living is sterile and limited.

The purpose of vipassana meditation is nothing less than the radical and permanent transformation of your entire sensory and cognitive experience. It is meant to revolutionize the whole of your life experience. Those periods of seated practice are times set aside for instilling new mental habits. You learn new ways to receive and understand sensation. You develop new methods of dealing with conscious thought and new modes of attending to the incessant rush of your own emotions. These new mental behaviors must be made to carry over into the rest of your life. Otherwise, meditation remains dry and fruitless, a theoretical segment of your existence that is unconnected to all the rest. Some effort to connect these two segments is essential. A certain amount of carry-over will take place spontaneously, but the process will be slow and unreliable. You are very likely to be left with the feeling that you are getting nowhere and to drop the process as unrewarding.

One of the most memorable events in your meditation career is the moment when you first realize that you are meditating in the midst of some perfectly ordinary activity. You are driving down the freeway or carrying out the trash and it just turns on by itself. This unplanned outpouring of the skills you have been so carefully fostering is a genuine joy. It gives you a tiny window on the future. You catch a spontaneous glimpse of what the practice really means. The possibility strikes you that this transformation of consciousness could actually become a permanent feature of your experience. You realize that you could actually spend the rest of your days standing aside from the debilitating clamoring of your own obsessions, no longer frantically hounded by your own needs and greed. You get a tiny taste of what it is like to just stand aside and watch it all flow past. It's a magic moment.

- Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 03:30:05 (EDT)

2016-08-03 - Peaceful Dawn

~4.0 miles @ ~11.9 min/mi

"Nothing Special!" A dawn run around Dr Kerry's extended 'hood is uneventful, an opportunity for quiet conversation and peaceful musings about work, life, and progress. Mansions under construction inch toward completion ... road and pipeline workers emerge from trucks and gather tools ... two Pokémon eggs hatch ... plans for the future slowly mature, and perhaps evolve.

We reverse a route oft taken and enjoy climbs that become descents. Kristin, chained to her desk all day finishing a priority deliverable, texts to share sunrise beauty with us. Reply: "TY! HILL!!".


- Friday, August 26, 2016 at 04:19:23 (EDT)

Wakeful, Open, Tender

In Chapter One of Tara Brach's book True Refuge (2013), the section "Natural Presence: Wakeful, Open, and Tender" describes Presence:

Presence is not some exotic state that we need to search for or manufacture. In the simplest terms, it is the felt sense of wakefulness, openness, and tenderness that arises when we are fully here and now with our experience. You've surely tasted presence, even if you didn't call it that. Perhaps you've felt it lying awake in bed and listening to crickets on a hot summer night. You might have sensed presence while walking alone in the woods. You might have arrived in full presence as you witnessed someone dying or being born.

Presence is the awareness that is intrinsic to our nature. It is immediate and embodied, perceived through our senses. If you look closely at any experience of presence, you'll find the three qualities I mentioned above:

Our wakefulness is the basic consciousness that is aware of what is happening, the intelligence that recognizes the changing flow of moment-by-moment experience—the sounds that are here around us, the sensations of our body, our thoughts. It is the "knowing" quality of awareness.

Our openness is the space of awareness in which life takes place. This awareness does not oppose our experience, or evaluate it in any way. Even when our feelings and thoughts are painfully stirred up, it simply recognizes what's happening and allows our emotional life to be as it is. Like the sky when weather systems come and go, the open space of awareness is unstained by the changing expressions of life moving through us. And yet awareness has a natural sensitivity and the capacity to express warmth. This responsiveness is what I call tenderness. Our tenderness allows us to respond with compassion, love, and awe to whatever arises, in all its beauty and sorrow.

We can refer to these as the three qualities of presence, but in fact they're inseparable. Think of a sunlit sky. There is no way to separate the light of the sky from the space it illuminates; there is no way to separate the warmth we feel from the space and light around us. Light, space, and warmth are all inextricable expressions of a whole.

Our longing to live fully—from our beingness—calls us home to this natural presence. Our realization of truth arises from the lucidity of presence. Love flows from the receptivity of presence. Aliveness and creativity flower when we inhabit the openness of presence. All that we cherish is already here, sourced in presence. Each time we cry out for help, our longing can remind us to turn toward our true refuge, toward the healing and freedom of natural presence.

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Kundun (2010-03-31), Fully Present (2011-02-14), Heartfulness and Mindfulness (2014-12-15), Mantra - Worthy of Love (2016-07-24), Mantra - Forgiven (2016-08-02), ...)

- Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 05:35:04 (EDT)

2016-08-01 - Mindful McLean Morning

~5.6 miles @ ~14.3 min/mi

"Here, take this knee strap, now!" Dr K1 offers her velcro band to Dr K2, whose left ITB (or something nervous near it) starts to twinge seriously at mile 3. Good teamwork! We walk a bit, jog some test intervals, pause at Starbucks for iced coffee, pose for Pokémon pics, and ease back into sustained running during the final mile. Fingers crossed that nothing is majorly damaged!

In the gloom Kristin's bunny-eyes pick up the single rabbit-of-the-dawn. Humidity is high and nobody feels decisive about a route, so after a lap around the high school track we ramble eastward, happy just to be out and about. Kerry reports on weekend home improvement work. We concur on its biggest benefit: practice in handling spousal stress with grace!


- Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 04:20:47 (EDT)

Flag Photo

Mark Zimmermann and US flag - by Jae Robinson... a fortuitous image taken by colleague Jae Robinson of me at the office after a stressful-but-successful briefing!

(click for larger version)

- Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 04:44:25 (EDT)

2016-07-31 - MCRRC Riley's Rumble Half Marathon Race

~13.1 miles @ ~9.6 min/mi

"... and I'm carrying an extra 30 pounds!" Jordan Creed glances down at her bib, pinned over a six-month-pregnant tummy, and smiles. We're at mile 3 of Riley's Rumble and the pace feels brisk, given hills & heat & humidity. Jordan explains she's taking the 8k option instead of the half-marathon. At the 2016-05-15 - MCRRC Run Aware 5k XC, where she took a tumble on a rocky/rooty slope but thankfully no harm, we met on her way to trouncing my time. Runners around us concur that a racing stroller should be #1 on her baby shower wish list!

Today is full of fortuitous friendly encounters. Gary Knipling, with Cathy Roberts and Dave Yeakel, fist-bump and chat with Michele Rodriguez McLeod and me before the start. Eric London tells of overcoming recent stressful situations with ultra-grace and patience, then cruises ahead. Barry Smith and I ride to/from the event with Mary Bowman, who turns out to be a fellow member of Pokemon Go "Team Mystic". Adeline Ntam and Mike Edwards serve with enthusiasm at the main Aid Station, and Don Libes & Co. offer life-saving ice at the mile 8.4 turnaround. Gayatri Datta and Ken Swab race, as do a flock of other comrades. Tom Young provides bawdy banter opportunities as he and his buddy Emmanuel Teitelbaum pull me along.

Despite challenging weather and an always-daunting course, it's a happy day. Preliminary official results put me 197th of 415 finishers, 145th of 248 males, 6th of 16 in the age-sex group, with a time of about 2:08 at ~9:45 min/mi pace. Whee!


- Monday, August 22, 2016 at 05:41:27 (EDT)

Mantra - The Problem is Not the Problem

            The Problem is not the Problem —
The Problem is your Attitude toward the Problem

... a saying of Hungarian champion swimmer Katinka Hosszu ("The Iron Lady"), as quoted in Elizabeth Weil's essay "Seeing What My Muscles Can Do" in the New York Times (August 2016).

... much like "The 84th Problem", as told in Ezra Bayda's book Being Zen:

Once a farmer went to tell the Buddha about his problems. He described his difficulties farming—how either droughts or monsoons complicated his work. He told the Buddha about his wife—how even though he loved her, there were certain things about her he wanted to change. Likewise with his children—yes, he loved them, but they weren't turning out quite the way he wanted. When he was finished, he asked how the Buddha could help him with his troubles.

The Buddha said, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you."

"What do you mean?" railed the farmer. "You're supposed to be a great teacher!"

The Buddha replied, "Sir, it's like this. All human beings have eighty-three problems. It's a fact of life. Sure, a few problems may go away now and then, but soon enough others will arise. So we'll always have eighty-three problems."

The farmer responded indignantly, "Then what's the good of all your teaching?"

The Buddha replied, "My teaching can't help with the eighty-three problems, but perhaps it can help with the eighty-fourth problem."

"What's that?" asked the farmer.

"The eighty-fourth problem is that we don't want to have any problems."

(cf. Posture (2009-06-05), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Softening into Experience (2012-11-12), Being Zen (2014-05-26), ...)

- Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 06:34:35 (EDT)

2016-07-30 - Four Mile Run Run

~5.0 miles @ ~9.3 min/mi

"Ha, another Pokémon!" I tell Amber as we sprint along Four Mile Run Trail. She pushes us to a faster pace than I would have thought possible, with a first mile of ~8:30 but then decelerating ~20 sec/mi/mi as a relative humidity of 85% and temps in the low 80s melt us.

"Go, DC RoadRunners!" a passing jogger cheers at the sight of my singlet. We turn back early so Amber can fix her kids' breakfast on time and I can fetch home the CSA veggie box and scones from the farmers' market. It's a hot tempo run on a hot morning — thank you, Dr A!


- Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 04:14:08 (EDT)

2016-07-29 - Epic Run

~4.2 miles @ ~12.4 min/mi

"Not an Epic Run for us!" observes Kerry, as we finish a loop around the Pimmit Hills neighborhood, shortened in order to get everybody back in time for early morning meetings. No sooner said than Kristin spies a front-yard rabbit, then another and another. That's three more than Kerry and her daughter saw on Coney Island just a few days ago!

Storms drift away from the area leaving behind puddles, soggy paths, and 90%+ relative humidity. K&K talk shop about stressful, "challenging" issues — great opportunities for practice in diplomacy, mindfulness, and giving good feedback!


- Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 04:11:18 (EDT)

Mindfulness Can Make You Free

From Chapter 14 ("Mindfulness versus Concentration") of Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana:

Mindfulness is a broader and larger function than concentration. It is an all-encompassing function. Concentration is exclusive. It settles down on one item and ignores everything else. Mindfulness is inclusive. It stands back from the focus of attention and watches with a broad focus, quick to notice any change that occurs. If you have focused the mind on a stone, concentration will see only the stone. Mindfulness stands back from this process, aware of the stone, aware of the concentration focusing on the stone, aware of the intensity of that focus and instantly aware of the shift of attention when concentration is distracted. It is mindfulness which notices the distraction which has occurred, and it is mindfulness which redirects the attention to the stone. Mindfulness is more difficult to cultivate than concentration because it is a deeper-reaching function. Concentration is merely focusing of the mind, rather like a laser beam. It has the power to burn its way deep into the mind and illuminate what is there. But it does not understand what it sees. Mindfulness can examine the mechanics of selfishness and understand what it sees. Mindfulness can pierce the mystery of suffering and the mechanism of discomfort. Mindfulness can make you free.

- Friday, August 19, 2016 at 04:51:02 (EDT)

2016-07-27 - Buck, Rabbit, Chipmunk

~7.1 miles @ ~13.9 min/mi

"Six male deer just up the street!" warns the lady walking her dog. Stags crowd a front yard near the corner of Churchill and Dead Run, lift heads heavy with antlers to stare at Kristin and me, then flee. We're on a soggy-humid summer loop exploring connections between neighborhoods. From the median of VA-123 the sunrise looks like an impressionist painting with feathery-cloud brushstrokes. A road worker holds up a stop sign to a car that wants to blast through a one-lane construction zone and asks rhetorically, "Whatcha doing, playing Chicken?" Kristin tells of seeing an über-cool hoverboard rider with shades and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. We greet a friendly woman with blue-streaked hair, and tally 1 rabbit plus 1 chipmunk.


- Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 05:21:29 (EDT)

Worth Writing Well

In an interview recently with Kelly McEvers on NPR, Dallas Morning News book editor Michael Merschel talks about why it's essential to "... be thoughtful in anything you write" — even if it's just an out-of-office autoreply message:

... we should try. I mean, when you're writing something, there's this magical thing that happens where your words are going into someone else's brain. And so whenever we're putting words on paper in any form, you need to be thinking about who's going to be reading that and how are they going to take it? It does matter. And also, I kind of think life's too short not to have some fun with it. ...

(cf. Reader as Performer (1999-06-10), Ralph Waldo Emerson (2003-08-05), ...)

- Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 04:15:12 (EDT)

2016-07-25 - Tysons Loop

~6.5 miles @ ~13.1 min/mi

"And with 3 seconds to go she was fouled during a 3 point shot, and then made all 3 free throws to tie the game!" Kerry tells of her daughter's cool performance under pressure in yesterday's basketball tourney. (Alas, the other side came back with a buzzer-beater to win.) Tomorrow Daughter flies off to the opposite end of the Earth for volunteer work. Kristin and I admire how cool Mom is under pressure.

We loop through Tyson's Corner on a hyper-humid and already-warm day, fantasies of frigid winter running running through our heads. Kristin's sniffles and sore throat are beginning to fade but still significant. On the way back, near Marshall High School, somebody says, "Let's skip the track workout today!" Drs K&K laugh.


- Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 05:16:36 (EDT)

Mantra - Be a Duck, Not a Sponge

  Be a Duck,
Not a Sponge!

... let it go — don't cling to desires, insults, possessions, positions, ... and maybe not even to "self" itself ...

(cf. Mantra - Be Like a Log (2016-01-26), Mantra - Cling to Nothing (2016-04-17), ...)

- Monday, August 15, 2016 at 04:36:08 (EDT)

2016-07-24 - Rosaryville 50k-ish Trail Race

~28 miles @ ~16.3 min/mi

"... and it's just so humbling!" As we approach the end of today's hot-and-humid Rosaryville 50k ultra-friend Stephanie and I are discussing ultrarunning, and why ultrarunners tend to be such profoundly NICE people — in general friendly, optimistic, trustworthy, caring, helpful, kind, welcoming, etc. Dr Fonda postulates that part of it is the humility that the sport develops (or demands?), even among the fastest of the elite: the realization that to succeed at such a challenge depends on so many huge factors outside oneself. There's no room for arrogance at the finish line!

Awesome and ultra-modest John Hord provides a great example of that, one week after succeeding at the Vermont 100 miler. Stephanie and I run the first half of today's race with him, then wait to applaud his final mile. After sprinting up the hill and across the line, John sits down and lets us cool him with ice, as he curses the fool (himself!) who made him race in this crazy summer weather. We laugh, hug, fist-bump, and pose for photos.

"Call me Ice-Z!" I tell dear Adeline Ntam before the event. The strategy of eating massive amounts of ice at every aid station works well, as it did last week at the 2016-07-16 - Catoctin 50k Trail Run. Stephanie and I trek together at a good pace, walking most of the last few miles to keep a twingy knee happy. Other runners trip and fall, but this time we're fortunate enough not to. A lady walking along tells me that her glasses got broken in a tumble and she can't see the roots any more. "That's ok," I tell her, "my double-vision makes roots enough for us both!"

Race Director Ron Bowman and all the volunteers do a wonderful job, and even the mountain bikers along the trails are polite and cautious as they pass. My GPS glitches and misses ~10 minutes of the final lap, and the course is likely short by a few miles, but who cares? It's a beautiful day for a run in the woods. Dr Fonda and I finish together in about 7:37.


- Sunday, August 14, 2016 at 05:19:00 (EDT)

Gently, Gently, Gently

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 14 ("Mindfulness versus Concentration"):

You can't develop mindfulness by force. Active teeth-gritting willpower won't do you any good at all. As a matter of fact, it will hinder progress. Mindfulness cannot be cultivated by struggle. It grows by realizing, by letting go, by just settling down in the moment and letting yourself get comfortable with whatever you are experiencing. This does not mean that mindfulness happens all by itself. Far from it. Energy is required. Effort is required. But this effort is different from force. Mindfulness is cultivated by a gentle effort, by effortless effort. You cultivate mindfulness by constantly reminding yourself in a gentle way to maintain your awareness of whatever is happening right now. Persistence and a light touch are the secrets. Mindfulness is cultivated by constantly pulling oneself back to a state of awareness, gently, gently, gently.

(cf. Cultivation of Wisdom (2009-02-09), Mindfulness, Concentration, and Distraction (2015-11-23), Awareness of Thoughts (2016-04-01), Bare Attention (2016-06-20), ...)

- Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 06:09:58 (EDT)

2016-07-22 - Dead Run Ford

~12.4 miles @ ~14.6 min/mi

"I appreciate you!" Kerry's daughter texts the words every mom wants to hear. She's serving as a summer nanny and now realizes how much unrecognized work her mother did over the years. Kristin and I applaud and then demand, "Save that message!"

Early on a humid summer morning we ramble across McLean. Rabbit count = 7, plus 2 speedy chipmunks. The woods of Langley Forks Park are muddy, but nobody trips on roots or falls into Dead Run at the water crossing. New mansions are springing up; we admire their architecture. In a front yard bright-hued ceramic pots slant akimbo in deliberate sculptural-artistic design.

During the return trip Kerry and I play rock-paper-scissors to decide who buys the other's iced coffee. She wins the honor of paying. We're tardy getting back for Kristin's morning meeting. "Just say, 'We ran late!'".


- Friday, August 12, 2016 at 04:11:09 (EDT)


Good thoughts — on collaboration, software development, long-term progress, clearer thinking, and other important topics — excerpted and edited from the Oddmuse wiki page "Refactoring":

Good ideas fade away if not implemented fast enough. The problem is, there is not enough time to implement all of your great ideas today. Write everything down and share it! Some day we will sort it out. The chance that we will remember it if is not written down is just too low.

If you think that something requires attention but it feels like your proposed solution is not good enough (too hard to implement for too little gain, or just plain wrong), still write that down. It will help us to keep track of things.

If you find something weird, just edit it. Nothing on this page is cast in stone. Feel free to express your opinion especially if you are against something.

Small tasks are as important as big ones. You can dream big, but if simple stuff is not taken care of, the whole system will never be good.

- Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 05:34:36 (EDT)

2016-07-20 - No-Goal

~7.7 miles @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Eagle house!" Kristin points to a bronze raptor perched on the top of a flagpole, and suddenly I know where we are (cf. 2014-10-15 - Roadkill Raccoon in the logbook). Just down the street is the lovely lavender Victorian cottage (cf. 2016-02-24 - Rainy Ramble). Neighborhood roads dead-end into Kent Gardens Park and Pimmit Run. We explore culs-de-sac in search of cut-throughs without success. A front-yard totem pole mandates a pause for photos.

Rabbit count = 2 confirmed + 2 probable on a cool summer morning. The first 2 miles are sub-11, slowing to a more sustainable pace thereafter. It's great to be free to just ramble without plans or goals. "We'll find our way somehow!".


- Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 04:21:39 (EDT)

2016-07-18 - Gary Knipling with the Dawn Patrol

~8.1 miles @ ~13.5 min/mi

At mile 7, melting in morning heat and humidity, Drs K&K and I pause to watch a video that friend Stephanie took on Saturday. Ultra-tough John Hord is in the midst of yet another 100 miler, and ultra-legend Gary Knipling offers an ultra-inspirational message of encouragement:

"John, you're up there, halfway through Vermont now — you're going to kick ass the rest of the way! I know you are. You are! And at 2 AM, at 3 AM, at 4 AM, when you don't think anybody's with you, we're going to be with you, John. We're with you! You just take it in, and we're going to finish with you. We're all for you!"

... wow! - how can we stop running now?

Ninety minutes earlier: "Baby blanket colors!" A pastel sunrise lures feet eastward. Near mommy doe, two spotted fawns nibble flowers in a McLean front yard. Rabbit count grows to 5 during a ramble over the hills of Lewinsville Heights. Then a new route beckons, North West Street, past a mix of classic architecture and hypermodern angular contra-dormers. Conversation likewise rambles, from Cambodia to athletes' lack of inhibitions. Another beautiful day in the neighborhood!


- Tuesday, August 09, 2016 at 05:46:24 (EDT)


Package Qi — the famously-unscientific mystical "life force" energy — and sell it, to boost people who are feeling spiritually-droopy?

Hmmmm ... maybe call it "QiTos"? And given how seductive evil-food-group-Frito-Lay's Cheetos ("crunchy cheese-flavored snack") already are, hmmmmm ... perhaps someone satanic has done that!?

And a recent personal silly-epiphany: the Cheetos cartoon creature is supposed to be a cheetah, not just some random orange critter with an attitude! His official name is apparently "Chester Cheetah". Ha!

- Monday, August 08, 2016 at 05:28:31 (EDT)

2016-07-17 - Rock Creek Recovery

~4.9 miles @ ~12.7 min/mi

"Mileage OCD, I pwnz you!" This morning's sunrise walkabout with Dr Stephanie ends with 5.99 miles on the GPS, and the run along Rock Creek at 4.99 miles. Yay for (some tiny shreds of) self-control!

Barry shares stories from last weekend's odyssey to Missoula, which included a beer run, a 5k, an über-steep climb to the big "M" on the mountain above town, and oh yeah, a marathon. I'm late arriving to KenGar and apologize to Ken and Rebecca. The gang is amused by Pokémon Go. K&R run ahead for speed & distance.

Earlier, Stephanie and I walk to Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee and discuss vulnerability and friendship, virtue and life. She shares sweet news: after witnessing the niceness of ultrarunners at yesterday's Catoctin 50k, her wise daughter asks, "Mama, when can I run my first 50k?".


- Sunday, August 07, 2016 at 05:48:29 (EDT)

2016-07-16 - Catoctin 50k Trail Run

~33.3 miles @ ~16.4 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Catoctin_50k_2016_zimmermann.jpg"When I fell my chin hit a rock, but fortunately the beard protected it and it wasn't broken - the rock, that is!" Two major stumbles, at miles 21 and 31, punctuate this year's Catoctin 50k trail race. Thankfully damage is limited to minor scrapes and dirt and bruises. As always the course is beautiful, with daunting hills, brutal heat, jagged rocks, and gnarly roots. What's not to love? And after a fifth finish, next year's entry is free. Woot!

Best of all: people met along the way. Paul Sherlock discusses New Zealand, his homeland of kiwis and ferns. ("3 million humans, 30 million sheep!") Trey Williams sets a perfect pace to Hamburg Road where we make a critical cutoff with scant minutes to spare. Faye Weaver gives guidance at tricky trail turns in final miles. Tattooed Tom Mitchell goes off course and adds bonus distance on his last long training trek before a 200 miler at Mt Shasta. Before the start I chase Pokémon and pose for photos with fast Adeline Ntam and ultra-legends Paul Crickard, Tom Green, Gary Knipling, and Race Director Kevin Sayers. Near mile 16 Paul Encarnación and others stop to take care of Judith Weber when she breaks her wrist. Kindness beats competition!

This year's Cat Run is pleasantly peaceful and low-stress despite warm weather. Stepping stones make stream crossings safely passable, and a luxurious mid-course latrine has real toilet paper and running water. Countless cheery volunteers are enthusiastic and encouraging. Hyper-helpful also are ~18 salt capsules, quarts of Gatorade, multiple watermelon slices, and a dozen mini Heath Bars consumed en route.

Extra friskiness and thermal control comes from a new tactic: carry a washcloth and, at every aid station, wrap a big handful of ice inside it - then alternate chewing ice and squeezing cold water onto the old noggin. It helps! (And there's ice to donate for Judith's broken wrist.)

Bottom line: the fellowship of ultrarunning is ultra-inspiring. We're all in this together, not racing against each other. Stephanie Fonda's daughter witnesses it at the finish area, and on the way home asks, "Mama, when can I run my first 50k?"

(cf. GPS trackfile; photo thanks to Jenny Hallberg; prior Cat Run reports at Catoctin 50k 2008, 2009-08-01 - Catoctin 50k Trail Run, 2010-07-31 - Catoctin 42k, 2011-07-30 - Catoctin 50k Trail Run 2011, 2013-07-27 - Catoctin 50k Trail Race 2013, 2014-07-27 - Catoctin 50k Trail Race)

- Saturday, August 06, 2016 at 04:42:36 (EDT)

As Much Nothing as Possible

If less is more, then is nothing everything? A long-ago op-ed ("More Treatment, More Mistakes" by Sanjay Gupta, 2012-07-31 New York Times) begins with the classic Hippocratic "First, do no harm." Gupta discusses overprescription of medications and overuse of diagnostics: "... each additional procedure or test, no matter how cautiously performed, injects a fresh possibility of error." He concludes with a quote from the 1979 novel The House of God by Stephen Bergman, writing as Dr. Samuel Shem. The book's "Rule No. 13" for hospitals is:

The delivery of medical care is to do as much nothing as possible.

... a principle that applies in countless other fields!

- Friday, August 05, 2016 at 19:36:20 (EDT)

2016-07-13 - Pokemon Go and Stop

~5.9 miles @ ~13.8 min/mi

Instead of "Pokémon Go" perhaps it should be called "Pokémon Stop"? Mega-apologies to patient comrade Kerry, as I stare at my screen and interrupt the trek through Scotts Run Nature Preserve to catch virtual creatures. Real bunny count = 0; ditto zero actual deer sightings. On a dirt trail we pass another Pokémon hunter, who looks as though the walk in the woods is the most exercise he has undertaken in quite a while. Good on him, and on the game for encouraging outdoor activity!

"Now we know the answer to that philosophical question!" Kerry observes, after a tree falls in the forest and makes a loud noise. (Yes, we're nobody!) On Churchill St we investigate a potential cut-through behind a stand of bamboo, but the connection to a proper trail is unclear, so we turn back rather than trespass or risk falling into a creek. Kerry catches cobwebs for The Team as she leads, and makes a graceful recovery from a near-epic stumble on a hidden root. A scramble down to the Potomac River yields lovely views and a Magikarp.


- Thursday, August 04, 2016 at 05:19:57 (EDT)

2016-07-11 - McLean Miracle

~6.3 miles @ ~13.1 min/mi

"Take a shot! Take a shot!" Kerry quotes a New Zealand dad, whose daughter was on the basketball team with her daughter and whose court-side shouts were oft misinterpreted. We're rambling around McLean and comparing language notes, especially involving kids, figures of speech, and slightly-naughty slang.

Bunny count = 6 plus an unconfirmed 1, on a pleasantly cool summer morn. Kristin spots a big scary-looking gray bird — heron? crane? — standing in the Evans Farm pond. The Starbucks app apparently causes Runkeeper's GPS recording to pause, so there's a ~22 minute gap and a missing mile-ish in the trackfile that correlates with iced coffee. We explore cut-throughs and discover a new one between neighborhood streets.

"Are you Mark?" asks a man on Margie Drive who's wearing a bright green Bull Run Run t-shirt. It's Charlie Miracle, a fellow Virginia Happy Trails Club ultrarunner. Small world!


- Wednesday, August 03, 2016 at 04:23:06 (EDT)

Mantra - Forgiven


... from True Refuge by Tara Brach, Chapter 10 ("Self-Compassion: Releasing the Second Arrow"), as the author describes a session with a person full of self-blame and self-hatred:

"... take a moment to view yourself as if you could see all this through the eyes of a friend, someone who really cares about you and understands that you are feeling demeaned and ashamed." I paused to give Sam some time to bring this to mind.

"Now," I said, "with that kind of view, begin to send yourself some words of forgiveness and compassion. It might be 'I forgive you,' or 'forgiven, forgiven, forgiven,' or maybe, 'I care about this suffering.' Offer whatever words communicate understanding and care." ...

(cf. Wings of Acceptance (2015-05-26), Watch the Wound (2015-07-24), Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), So I Will See (2016-03-27), Mantra - Worthy of Love (2016-07-24), ...)

- Tuesday, August 02, 2016 at 10:00:37 (EDT)

2016-07-10 - Kensington Ramble

~5.9 miles @ ~11.0 min/mi

"Stick a fork in me!" Rebecca says, when asked if we're done after almost half a dozen miles on a warm and humid morning. Well done!

Ken takes us along the streets and over the hills of Kensington and Chevy Chase View. At every corner we turn in the direction that offers the most shade. A dog-walking woman's shirt reads, Will Run for Cupcakes! Someone wonders, "Is 'Cupcakes' your pup's name?" We cut through the Cedarbrook Swim and Tennis Club and hope that the friendly wave from a member will cancel out the NO TRESPASSING signs we see.

Meandering feet eventually find their way back to Rock Creek Trail, where packs of runners-in-training greet us as we pass. Then comes Nick who in his British accent warns, "Treats ahead!" Though he's from England this isn't (just) naughty British slang — there are indeed bunches of bananas and jugs of orange juice on the picnic table at KenGar, left there by the kind Montgomery County Road Runners club. Thank you!


- Monday, August 01, 2016 at 04:27:10 (EDT)

2016-07-09 - Amy Iced Coffee Trek

~19.2 miles @ ~13.9 min/mi

"It's impossible to take a bad picture of that building!" says a devout Mormon friend, concerning the LDS Temple in Kensington. Maybe he's biased, and maybe he's right! On Rock Creek Trail at sunrise I pause for photos of it, and at the perfect moment spotlights below the spires begin to glow. Beautiful!

Comrade Amy's prep for a November marathon continues well. We meet at ~0620 near Strathmore Hall (where I snap more pics of a totem-pole-like art installation) and proceed north along the Bethesda Trolley Trail. Lines at Dunkin Donuts look long, so we cross the street for iced coffee at McDonalds. The morning is warm and humid; along Rock Creek training group members greet us and eye our cool drinks with envy. (Hi, Edward!) Trail Talk focuses on "Holding Space" for friends in need — practicing nonjudgmental support — and the belated realization that we all need to be better friends to ourselves. Not easy!

Two fawns stand watch near Dewey Park; earlier a pair of large deer stare from beside West Bexhill Rd. Total bunny count = 6. We analyze foot issues and discuss potential blister solutions: grease, tape, shoe-cutting, sock-changing, sole-toughening, etc. Conversation also covers recent sad events in the world, and the need for more empathy among people of all sorts. Both of us are hopeful.

"Sorry, my math is bad!" I confess when we finish our circuit together. Initially I compute Amy's mileage as 8ish ... but apparently 13 - 4 is more like 9, and we do more than that. "Oops!" During the remaining trek home Heather, training for the Parks Half Marathon in two months, introduces herself. We compare notes on treating tummy trouble — candied ginger and "Succeed!" e-caps may help sometimes.


- Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 05:32:44 (EDT)


Leo Babuta in his Zen Habits blog a couple of years ago wrote a beautiful-brief essay on what he called the "Stateless Mindset". Technical background: in computer science state is the internal configuration of a system — all the information stored in it that can influence its future. Statelessness means that when new inputs arrive they are treated independently of the past.

No memory. No grudges. No clinging. Let all it go.

Babuta riffs on the theme and concludes with a lovely-mindful description of what living like that would be like:

Just this task. Just this person. Just this action. Just this moment.

There would be nothing else, just this. It would be your entire universe. It would fill you up completely.

Then it would be gone.

And the next moment would be all there was. Then that would die too.

This is stateless.

Try letting go of all previous moments, right now. Try making the present moment all there is. When you feel a previous request or idea pulling at your attention, let it go.

This is the stateless practice. You'll fail. Let that go too.

Start anew, with all the possibilities of emptiness.

(cf. This (2013-03-09), Clinging Is Optional (2013-08-21), Mantra - No Goals (2015-07-26), Mantra - Cling to Nothing (2016-04-17), ...)

- Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 06:04:50 (EDT)

2016-07-08 - Wonder Twins

~7.1 miles @ ~14.5 min/mi

"I would have been traumatized for life!" Kerry comments, relieved when the car on Churchill Road stops in time for a bunny to cross in front of it. Kristin and I wave thanks to the alert driver. Total rabbit count = 6 today.

We begin with a meander toward the lovely sunrise. On a dead-end street past a huge fallen tree a potential cut-through by an abandoned house is tempting. Maybe next time! We're in the midst of discussing GPS-enhanced Pokémon when, coincidentally, ultra-friend Stephanie texts and calls Drs K&K "The Wonder Twins" — which leads to reminisces about other cartoon superheroes: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Speed Racer, Aquaman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc. At the McLean Public Library there's a pause for selfies in front of childrens-book artwork featuring Babar the Elephant and Madeline. Back in Lewinsville Park the Friday morning farmers market is setting up, with tempting berries and pastries. Maybe next time!


- Friday, July 29, 2016 at 04:23:40 (EDT)

2016-07-06 - McLean Recovery Run

~8.0 miles @ ~14.7 min/mi

"There are worse ways to go!" says the lady at the W&OD water fountain near Route 7. We concur that a heart attack while running is no excuse to stop. "Chest pain is just a sign to up your pace!"

Humidity is high as a summer heat wave settles in. Sharp-eyed Kristin spies a mole crouched by the sidewalk and a baby rabbit, ears sticking up from the high grass of a front lawn. Today's confirmed bunny count = 4, all along Great Falls Street. Blisters that Kerry and I acquired during Monday's long run only begin to complain today when we reach the farthest point from our start. "It is what it is," says Kerry, stoically. She picks up a thorn from the gutter and we think about pricking her toe to let out the fluid. "Ah, if we only had some vodka to sterilize it!" Best solution is probably retail therapy: shop for new shoes!


- Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 05:23:17 (EDT)

Unstained and Invulnerable

From Chapter 13 ("Mindfulness (Sati)") of Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana:

Fully developed Mindfulness is a state of total non-attachment and utter absence of clinging to anything in the world. If we can maintain this state, no other means or device is needed to keep ourselves free of obstructions, to achieve liberation from our human weaknesses. Mindfulness is non-superficial awareness. It sees things deeply, down below the level of concepts and opinions. This sort of deep observation leads to total certainty and complete absence of confusion. It manifests itself primarily as a constant and unwavering attention which never flags and never turns away.

This pure and unstained investigative awareness not only holds mental hindrances at bay, it lays bare their very mechanism and destroys them. Mindfulness neutralizes defilements in the mind. The result is a mind which remains unstained and invulnerable, completely unaffected by the ups and downs of life.

(cf. Purpose of Meditation (2009-04-07), Equanimity (2012-02-01), This Is Equanimity (2015-03-15), Mindfulness of the Body (2015-06-14), ...)

- Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 04:18:14 (EDT)

For back issues of the ^zhurnal see Volumes v.01 (April-May 1999), v.02 (May-July 1999), v.03 (July-September 1999), v.04 (September-November 1999), v.05 (November 1999 - January 2000), v.06 (January-March 2000), v.07 (March-May 2000), v.08 (May-June 2000), v.09 (June-July 2000), v.10 (August-October 2000), v.11 (October-December 2000), v.12 (December 2000 - February 2001), v.13 (February-April 2001), v.14 (April-June 2001), 0.15 (June-August 2001), 0.16 (August-September 2001), 0.17 (September-November 2001), 0.18 (November-December 2001), 0.19 (December 2001 - February 2002), 0.20 (February-April 2002), 0.21 (April-May 2002), 0.22 (May-July 2002), 0.23 (July-September 2002), 0.24 (September-October 2002), 0.25 (October-November 2002), 0.26 (November 2002 - January 2003), 0.27 (January-February 2003), 0.28 (February-April 2003), 0.29 (April-June 2003), 0.30 (June-July 2003), 0.31 (July-September 2003), 0.32 (September-October 2003), 0.33 (October-November 2003), 0.34 (November 2003 - January 2004), 0.35 (January-February 2004), 0.36 (February-March 2004), 0.37 (March-April 2004), 0.38 (April-June 2004), 0.39 (June-July 2004), 0.40 (July-August 2004), 0.41 (August-September 2004), 0.42 (September-November 2004), 0.43 (November-December 2004), 0.44 (December 2004 - February 2005), 0.45 (February-March 2005), 0.46 (March-May 2005), 0.47 (May-June 2005), 0.48 (June-August 2005), 0.49 (August-September 2005), 0.50 (September-November 2005), 0.51 (November 2005 - January 2006), 0.52 (January-February 2006), 0.53 (February-April 2006), 0.54 (April-June 2006), 0.55 (June-July 2006), 0.56 (July-September 2006), 0.57 (September-November 2006), 0.58 (November-December 2006), 0.59 (December 2006 - February 2007), 0.60 (February-May 2007), 0.61 (April-May 2007), 0.62 (May-July 2007), 0.63 (July-September 2007), 0.64 (September-November 2007), 0.65 (November 2007 - January 2008), 0.66 (January-March 2008), 0.67 (March-April 2008), 0.68 (April-June 2008), 0.69 (July-August 2008), 0.70 (August-September 2008), 0.71 (September-October 2008), 0.72 (October-November 2008), 0.73 (November 2008 - January 2009), 0.74 (January-February 2009), 0.75 (February-April 2009), 0.76 (April-June 2009), 0.77 (June-August 2009), 0.78 (August-September 2009), 0.79 (September-November 2009), 0.80 (November-December 2009), 0.81 (December 2009 - February 2010), 0.82 (February-April 2010), 0.83 (April-May 2010), 0.84 (May-July 2010), 0.85 (July-September 2010), 0.86 (September-October 2010), 0.87 (October-December 2010), 0.88 (December 2010 - February 2011), 0.89 (February-April 2011), 0.90 (April-June 2011), 0.91 (June-August 2011), 0.92 (August-October 2011), 0.93 (October-December 2011), 0.94 (December 2011-January 2012), 0.95 (January-March 2012), 0.96 (March-April 2012), 0.97 (April-June 2012), 0.98 (June-September 2012), 0.99 (September-November 2012), 0.9901 (November-December 2012), 0.9902 (December 2012-February 2013), 0.9903 (February-March 2013), 0.9904 (March-May 2013), 0.9905 (May-July 2013), 0.9906 (July-September 2013), 0.9907 (September-October 2013), 0.9908 (October-December 2013), 0.9909 (December 2013-February 2014), 0.9910 (February-May 2014), 0.9911 (May-July 2014), 0.9912 (July-August 2014), 0.9913 (August-October 2014), 0.9914 (November 2014-January 2015), 0.9915 (January-April 2015), 0.9916 (April-July 2015), 0.9917 (July-September 2015), 0.9918 (September-November 2015), 0.9919 (November 2015-January 2016), 0.9920 (January-April 2016), 0.9921 (April-June 2016), 0.9922 (June-July 2016), 0.9923 (July-September 2016), ... Current Volume. Send comments and suggestions to z (at) his.com. Thank you! (Copyright © 1999-2015 by Mark Zimmermann.)