I was shocked to come upon news, as I was surfing around online this afternoon, of the death of our friend, the painter Marcia Hafif. Ellie and I were both particularly saddened to have missed visiting her on our last stay at our Laguna Beach cottage, ...

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"The Buddha Diaries" - 5 new articles

  1. MARCIA
  2. A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part IX
  3. A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VIII
  4. A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VII
  5. A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VI
  6. More Recent Articles

MARCIA

I was shocked to come upon news, as I was surfing around online this afternoon, of the death of our friend, the painter Marcia Hafif. Ellie and I were both particularly saddened to have missed visiting her on our last stay at our Laguna Beach cottage, just a stone's throw from where Marcia also lived. Last time we saw her, leaving the the Laguna Beach Farmer's Market one recent Saturday, she seemed in good health and spirits. We are surprised and greatly saddened by her loss.

Marcia was a...

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A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part IX

"Only connect," writes E. M. Forster in Howard's End. “Only connect, the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.”

No coincidence, perhaps, that I find myself thinking about connection on the day that would have been my parents’ wedding anniversary—that still is, indeed, their anniversary, even though they are no longer here to celebrate the occasion. I can celebrate it for them. They were married,...

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A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VIII

So the time has come to give serious thought to my life-long love affair with alcohol. Think of it as an aside, occasioned this past weekend from a moment of awakening in a hotel room in Ojai, California, where we were staying in conjunction with a visit to the delightful Lotusland Gardens in Montecito (by good fortune spared from the terrible effects of both the Thomas fire, earlier this year, and the catastrophic mudslide that followed.) The gardens are simply splendid, rivaling any of the...

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A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VII



More thoughts about death this morning, but this time I’m thinking about the other side of the threshold—what, if anything, might await us there; and how those expectations might affect the way I choose to live my life right now.

First off, I long ago abandoned any belief in the Christian notion of an afterlife. I do not expect my namesake to be waiting for me with his keys at heaven’s gate. I confess to having committed some painfully unskillful acts in the course of my life, but I find the thought of being consigned to...

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A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF--Part VI

It's my firm believe that my sister chose to die. Not in a suicidal way, I need to add; she simply decided it was time to move on to what she called "the next great adventure."

These are the circumstances: she had been suffering for months from stomach pains, which remained undiagnosed--until the doctors finally performed an exploratory surgery and discovered an inoperable tumor. They gave her another few months to live. Ellie and I happened, by good fortune, to be in England at the time...

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