The Cycle of (Un)Happiness

After a particularly stressful day at work, I caught myself “stress-eating” some leftover catering at the office, which got me thinking about the little self-destructive habits we all have.  Then I found this great video by 8-bit philosophy…   In Buddhism, this cycle of “aimless wandering” or Saṃsāra isn’t just limited to one life, butContinue reading “The Cycle of (Un)Happiness”

Plane-Trotting in Dungeons and Dragons

My kids have been playing campaign at home that has mostly taken them on a handful of interesting adventures across the Sword Coast of Faerun, but eventually the story kind of hit a plateau: how many more times would my kids want to pass through Baldur’s Gate?¹  With that, I decided it was time toContinue reading “Plane-Trotting in Dungeons and Dragons”

Adventurer’s League: Moving On Up

Recently, I wrote about my new hobby playing Dungeons and Dragons’s Adventurers League at a local game shop.  My character Qisandoral Ariestannus, the Elvish answer to Mr Spock or Sam the Eagle, started as a level 1 character back in August, and “Qi” has now reached level 5 and is now considered a “tier 2”Continue reading “Adventurer’s League: Moving On Up”

Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem

There’s a famous Japanese poem that you will often see in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist literature usually translated as “Just Right” or “Just As You Are” or “Sono-mana”. Rev. Taitetsu Unno, who passed away some years ago, translated the poem in one of his books, and it has been popular since among English-speaking Shin Buddhists. Recently,Continue reading “Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem”

In Praise of Japanese Tenugui

Japanese culture has many little treasures in it, but having married into the culture for years, I thought wouldn’t be surprised anymore.  Then, I discovered the tenugui (手拭い).  Tenugui are ubiquitous Japanese cloths of a certain shape and material used for all kinds of tasks: as simple washrags, as wraps for gifts, scarves on aContinue reading “In Praise of Japanese Tenugui”

Medieval Japanese Tax-Evading Oligarchs

Recently, I saw this post on Twitter: I chuckled at this a little bit because the issue with tax-evading oligarchs that wield disproportionate power is not a new phenomenon, and it’s not limited to the Western world. Back in the Nara and Heian Periods of Japan (7th through 12th centuries), the government had institutedContinue reading “Medieval Japanese Tax-Evading Oligarchs”

The Joys of Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s League

Recently, I alluded to a change in hobbies toward Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s League.  It all started one night at the local gaming store when I had yet another losing night drafting Magic the Gathering.  One of the store clerks, who is a fellow Dungeons and Dragons fan, told me about Adventurer’s League.  I hadContinue reading “The Joys of Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s League”