Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Saturday Morning Walkers - November 9, 2008

Hi everyone!

We had a great hike Saturday morning - Christie took Barb, Mary, Irma and I out to the Dowdy Draw Trail out on the road to Eldorado Canyon - it was a beautiful morning with spectacular views of the Flatirons.
Jan joined us for coffee back at Caffe Sole and it was good to catch up with everyone.

Many of us are still celebrating the election results and are optimistic that President-Elect Barack Obama will provide the leadership, inspiration and intelligence to navigate our country through these challenging times. We're especially proud that Colorado came through as one of the swing states.

Book Report: I did finish The 19th Wife the other day and do recommend it - I'm looking forward to talking about it at our December book group. I'm not sure what my next read will be - perhaps Lisa See's Peony in Love or Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.

Cass wants us to know about a book she just read with her Spanish Language Book Group - she, of course, read it in Spanish but it will be available shortly in English and can be pre-ordered on Amazon - it is called Abril Rojo or Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo
Unfortunately, I can only find a Spanish language review so we'll just take Cass' word that it is a great book. Here's a product description in English:
Product Description
Ayacucho, Peru. Celebrations for the 2000 Holy Week are about to commence and local deputy district attorney Félix Chacaltana Saldà var, a romantic fainthearted individual, is about to face the investigation of a brutal murder. This murder marks the beginning of a series of mysterious deaths, where one by one, the people interviewed by him are eliminated. Faced with such horror, he begins to use the non-traditional methods of the Peruvian police and militia. Abril rojo is a novel about Peru s history and secret codes, a novel about the conflict between the military and the Shinning Path during Fujimori s term.

Website of the Week - over the next several weeks, I will feature some great mail-order gift sites - this one is from Amy's Bread - one of the wonderful bakeries I visited at Chelsea Market in New York -

Podcast of the Week - Jack broke down recently and got an Iphone and is now listening to podcasts! He particularly likes Rachel Maddow's podcasts from MSNBC -

Vocabulary Word of the Week - emptiness - this word was a topic of discussion at our Study Group this week - it is another of those words that has a different connotation in the Buddhist world than in the way we generally think of it in Western culture.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

Sociology, philosophy, and psychology
In the West, feeling "empty" is often viewed as a negative condition. Psychologist Clive Hazell, for example, attributes feelings of emptiness to problematic family backgrounds with abusive relationships and mistreatment.[5] He claims that some people who are facing a sense of emptiness try to resolve their painful feelings by becoming addicted to a drug or obsessive activity (be it compulsive sex or gambling) or engaging in "frenzied action" or violence. In sociology, a sense of emptiness is associated with social alienation of the individual. This sense of alienation may be suppressed while working, due to the routine of work tasks, but during leisure hours or during the weekend, people may feels a sense of "existential vacuum" and emptiness.[6]

In cultures where a sense of emptiness is seen as a negative psychological condition, it is often associated with depression. As such, many of the same treatments are proposed: psychotherapy, group therapy, or other types of counselling. As well, people who feel empty may be advised to keep busy and maintain a regular schedule of work and social activities.[citation needed] Other solutions which have been proposed to reduce a sense of emptiness are getting a pet[10][11] or trying Animal-Assisted Therapy; getting involved in spirituality such as meditation or religious rituals and service; volunteering to fill time and brings social contact; doing social interactions, such as community activities, clubs, or outings; or finding a hobby or recreational activity to regain their interest in life

In Buddhism, the realization of emptiness of inherent existence is a "state of pure consciousness” in which the practitioner realizes all particular objects and images to be appearances of the subjective mind. Buddhism, which posits that the ultimate state is a Nirva?a of peaceful emptiness has one of the most developed philosophies of emptiness. In an interview, the Dalai Lama stated that Tantric meditiation can be used for "heightening your own realization of emptiness or mind of enlightenment".[21] In Buddhist philosophy, attaining a realization of emptiness of inherent existence is seen as the permanent cessation of suffering, i.e. liberation.

The Dalai Lama argues that a Tantric yoga trainee needs to realize emptiness of inherent existence before they can go on to the "highest Yoga Tantra initiation"; when realizing the innate emptiness of inherent existence of the mind, this is the "fundamental innate mind of clear light, which is the subtlest level of the mind", where all the "energy and mental processes are withdrawn or dissolved", so that all that appears to the mind is "pure emptiness". As well, emptiness is "linked to the creative Void, meaning that it is a state of complete receptivity and perfect enlightenment", the merging of the "ego with its own essence", which Buddhists call the "Clear Light".[22]

In Ven. Thubten Chodron’s 2005 interview with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Lama noted that we "...ordinary beings who haven’t realized emptiness don’t see things as similar to illusions", and we do not "realize that things are merely labeled by mind and exist by mere name".[3] He argues that "when we meditate on emptiness, we drop an atom bomb on this [sense of a] truly existent I" and we realize that "what appears true... isn’t true". By this, the Lama is claiming that what we think is real-our thoughts and feelings about people and things-"exists by being merely labeled". He argues that a meditator who attains a state of emptiness is able to realize that their thoughts are merely illusions that are labelled by the mind.[3]

Cooking and Dining Report:

Judy shared the recipe for this Yucatan Port Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice from Food and Wine Magazine that she made recently - it looks wonderful!

Another pork recipe that I made this week was actually a dish that Terrie made for our last book group - it is actually from Whole Foods Market - Roasted Pork Loin Stuffed with Baby Spinach, Pine Nuts and Shitake Mushrooms - it was wonderful served with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes from Robert Irvine of the Food Network -

One other winner this week was from the current issue of Fine Cooking - Pan-Seared Steak with Caper-Anchovy Butter - I used a New York Strip Steak and this butter really added something special -

Quote of the Week - from Barack Obama's Election NIght Speech - it was hard to pick just one!

"To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope"



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