The Guest House, by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought,
the shame,
the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ The Guest House, by Rumi

If we think we want to get joy for ourselves ...

“If we think we want to get joy for ourselves, we realize that it’s very shortsighted, short-lived. Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way.”

“You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another.”

~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in The Book of Joy

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness

“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness. The still mind is by definition, pure.”

“Is this the end? Are we there yet? No. There remains the ego, the self, the known self, the impersonator of the Soul. He is the last actor to leave the stage. He lingers even for the very final hand clap of applause. What forces him off the stage? Silence, and retention of the breath.”

~ From the book, Light on Life, by B.K.S. Iyengar

One of those faces alvin February 16, 2018 - 8:21am

A strange thing about being me is that many people I’ve never met think they know me. It happened with almost everyone at the Buddhist Geeks conferences — “Do I know you?” Last week it happened at Whole Foods, where a cashier talked to me like we were old friends, asking if I ever got to do so and so. I had to tell him that wasn’t me.

Due to my most recent illness I haven’t eaten at a restaurant since before October 10, 2017, but yesterday I went to a burger place to try a small burger and see if I could eat it. Right away the cashier said, “Hi! How have you been? Hey, did you cut your hair?” I guess I just have one of those faces.

Steve Kerr on the shooting in Florida and our government

“Nothing has been done. It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It's not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That's demoralizing.”

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives, not just bow down to the NRA because they've financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we'll find enough people, first of all to vote, get people in, but hopefully we'll find enough people to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for millions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It's disgusting.”

~ Steve Kerr

“Vigorous writing is concise.”

“Vigorous writing is concise.” ~ William Strunk

“Succinctness is power.” ~ Paul Graham

Those quotes remind me of writing in general, and writing expressive code in Scala specifically.

A video from inside the school in the Florida shooting

In this video from one of the childrens’ phones inside the school in Florida you can hear the rifle being fired, and hear the young children scream. This insanity has to stop, the United States needs gun reform in a major way. It used to be a shock when there was one shooting in America; there have now been 18 shootings in the U.S. in the first 45 days of 2018. At this pace there will be 146 school shootings this year. Dear NRA and Republican-led congress and White House, how many children have to die before you’ll do something?

Allergic angina (Kounis Syndrome) in mast cell disease patients

Everyone tells me that the cardiologist I see is the best heart doctor in Boulder, Colorado, so on Thursday we were talking and I was telling him that it looks like I have mast cell activation disease, and said, “So that fake heart attack I had last May may have been allergic angina, you know, Kounis Syndrome. If we had known about MCAS at that time I might not have needed that angiogram, yada yada yada.” Then he said, “Wait, what was the name of that disease?”

At first I was upset that he didn’t know what this was, but then I realized how rare mast cell disease is. Statistically there are only 26 other people in Colorado with this disease, and if I was still in Alaska there would only be three or four of us. (This is the same doctor who knew what a Pheochromocytoma is, and told me to get to the Mayo Clinic.)

The good news is that I was able to give him all of the information I have on mast cell disease and Kounis Syndrome, so hopefully in the future he can try giving patients who present unusually some Benadryl and see if that helps. (I started to write, “Give them Benadryl instead of an angiogram,” but the stress test showed a possible dead spot in my heart, so I was getting that angiogram one way or another.)

(This image comes from the book, Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease.)