Hi friends. Wanted to share updates on a few fronts. If you're watching me on Facebook or Twitter you might already know most of this, so, apologies for redundancies.
First things first: by now most of you have probably heard about Friday's near tragedy. If you haven't, the quick version is that we almost lost Baltimore musical icon Ian Hesford due to a medical emergency. I was at the Telesma show where this occurred and was one of several people able to help. Ian is still in serious condition but is stable. His survival is being called miraculous but I think it's a testimony to his strength and determination. The band is posting updates on his condition on their Facebook page. Please keep him in your thoughts, even at the very best he will have a long recovery. And take a CPR class, kids!
Second: I'm on my way to Japan! Posting this from Logan Airport. (Camping on an outlet near a Starbuck's and a Chinese/Japanese place with vegetable sushi rolls -- one of the lower levels of traveler's heaven, perhaps.) I will be in Nagoya for the twentieth anniversary celebrations for the Seido Karate Japan Aichi branch, then visiting Tokyo and Osaka. I wasn't sure if I would stop at Nara but now I feel the need to return to Shin-Yakushi-ji, a temple of the "Healing Buddha" that I visited my first time in Japan, shortly before I started my shiatsu training. If anyone would like to send prayers, meditations, or thoughts for Ian (or anyone else for that matter), post them in a comment here or send them to me privately, and I'll try to figure out an appropriate small ritual. (I think I could stand off to the side of the temple and read them silently off my phone or something like that, without causing a ruckus.)
I was in Japan in April and May five years ago, my three month stay in Osaka where I wrote very early drafts of what became chapters in Why Buddha Touched the Earth, my book on "Zen Paganism". And I'm happy to say that I now have a small press interested in publishing it. We're in negotiations and nothing is final yet, but this is a real possibility. Stay tuned.
Speaking of Zen Paganism, I'll be speaking about that topic, as well as acupressure and shiatsu, at the Starwood Festival in July.
Also on the festival front, several people have contacted me about FSG. I am not involved with it this year, and due to the political situation might not be attending. So, I don't have any info. Please contact the coordinators for information about FSG.
Okay, that's about all the interesting stuff. I could tell you about my car getting broken in to, or my heating oil tank springing a leak, or recent technology headaches at the day job, but, meh. They're (mostly) fixed and in a few hours I'll be on the other side of the world.