“Falling Leaves” – For Kyogen


My teacher, Kyogen, loved a wide variety of music, like Bob Dylan in particular, but also classic Americana, like the soundtrack from the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Somehow, shortly after his memorial service yesterday, I came across this old chestnut by Grandpa Jones. Both the style of music and particularly the lyrics fit how I’m feeling at this point, and also are in tune with what Kyogen taught.

The Memorial

Kyogen Amongst the TreesThe Memorial Service for my teacher, Kyogen Carlson-sensei, will be this Sunday, September 21st, 2014, at the Jason Lee Elementary School, where Dharma Rain is renting space for larger ceremonies until the new Siskyou property is built.

Jason Lee Elementary is at 2222 NE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR 97220 — the intersection is NE 92nd & NE Eugene.

  • 8:30am — Zazen with sanzen
  • 9:00am — Kinhin
  • 9:40am — Full Morning Service
  • 10:10am — Break
  • 10:30am — In Memoriam

I will be the one in back with the puffy, red eyes. Might need to wear dark sunglasses like a faded movie siren no one recognizes anymore, anyway.

The Remembrances Of Kyogen Begin…

IMG_0864.JPGJames Ford, who was Kyogen & Gyokuko’s fellow zen student and monk at Shasta Abbey in the 1970s, now a Minister of a large Unitarian Church on the east coast, wrote this brief but very good remembrance of my teacher. Thank you to good friend and fellow zen student of Kyogen’s, Lisa So’on Mann for posting this.

Good-bye, Great Light

My teacher as I remember him — that big, goofy, welcoming smile and warm heart.

My teacher as I remember him — that big, goofy, welcoming smile and warm heart.

I have posted this on my Facebook, Twitter & Google+ accounts, and I know I haven’t posted here in so very long, but feel this warrants this. Today, my zen buddhist teacher, Kyogen Gary Carlson-Sensei… no, though he eschewed the title, he was still very much Roshi (Great Head Priest of Temple) to me. Here is what I posted elsewhere, and with a devastated and saddened heart I re-post here as I head out to his vigil at Portland Adventist Hospital —

I just received simply horrible news. My zen buddhist teacher, Kyogen of Dharma Rain Zen Center, died this morning of a sudden, massive heart attack and could not be revived. This was the man who taught me, since 1996, most everything, and with such a wonderful sense of humor. This is such an out of the blue shock because he took such good care of himself – regular trips to the gym, bicycling, ate a great vegetarian diet, and always filled with great energy. He was also so energized by the recent move and building of the new zen center Siskyou property. We shared many of the same issues and were both humorous goofs, which is why i think i connected so much with him. I am headed out to Portland Adventist hospital where they are holding vigil with his body. I don’t think i’ll be of much use to anyone for a while. I have lost both a teacher and such a good, warm friend. He touched and helped so many. May we all live such a life. Rest in shunyata, Great Light, Dai Osho.

From my pal, Susan at Collage Creative — What You Can’t Do on WordPress.com (a cautionary tale)

WordPress Official LogoRecently, I did some web development work in WordPress for a friend’s business and brought in the help & expertise of my pal, WordPress & CSS goddess, Graphic Artist, as well as flute & saxophone musician extraordinaire, Susan Langenes of Collage Creative.

Here’s the rub — both Susan and I had done design on lots of self-hosted web sites using the downloaded WordPress Open Source software, but our client was already on WordPress.com, and liked that UI and wanted to stay there. And the reasons for doing so were understandable — your WordPress site is always backed up for you, Automattic, the parent company running WordPress.com, handles most of the security against malware and attacks, they do all the updates, etc. Sounds like a sweet deal, right?

And knowing we couldn’t do any back-end PHP or JavaScript fiddling with code at WordPress.com, everything just had to be in customizable CSS, we figured we’d limit our changes to just that and party! Right?

Well… not exactly.

Turns out there were many more pitfalls that make WordPress.com a much different animal than a self-hosted WordPress.org site. Susan has done an excellent job of detailing what we both went through in getting the web site to where the client wanted it, after much g-nashing of teeth, in this pithy post over on her site, You Can’t Do That On WordPress.com. Much good info for anyone who wants to take a customization job over on WordPress.com. Enjoy. And thank you, Susan, for the great write-up and mentioning me & this blog.

…And Now, Carl Reiner (Marc Maron on WTF)

Carl Reiner Pic - at Bevely Hilton HotelMarc Maron's WTF Podcast logoMonday was one of the legendary comedy Kings, Mel Brooks. Today on Marc Maron’s WTF? The other half of this Comedy Royalty — Carl Reiner.

More wondrous, juicy, comedy history Jewiness than you can handle. Even if you can go back for seconds or thirds, there will still be some yenta there, prodding you, “Eat! Eat! There’s still plenty more! It’ll just go bad!” Only this time, the spread is actually pretty tasty.