Colbert for President

I am immensely grateful and relieved that Stephen Colbert is running for the highest office in the land. Now, at long last, I have a viable alternative to holding my nose, getting on my knees and acquiescing yet again to that most revolting of compromises, the Lesser Evil. I can go into the voting booth, have an enlightenment experience, jettison all that foolish left-wing progressive delusion, and suddenly become a conservative. Then I’ll write in for Stephen Colbert.
Think I’m kidding? Yeah, I am kidding about the enlightenment part.

a weekend with the Dalai Lama

This past weekend His Holiness was in great form (ouch! no double-entendre intended). A friend and I went to five two-hour lectures on abstruse Buddhist texts about Emptiness by Nagarjuna. I am more interested in Zen than I am in the Tibetan brand, but I invested the time and money in this event because I thought I could learn something from someone so highly accomplished. And I believe I did.
But this was not for wimps, no. This was a dense, cerebral exegesis of a difficult and arcane text. Much of it went over my head. It was hard to stay awake — nay, impossible. I nodded off more than once, especially after lunch at one of those good restaurants on 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth. And magnificent though the interpreter was, I think occasionally the message suffered some in translation, and became less coherent. But in case you missed it: all phenomena are empty, that is, devoid of any independent, intrinsic objective reality. Any questions?
Still, I think all this teaching went somewhere other than /dev/null. Some things are difficult to grasp, and you begin to get it after several passes at it. Moreover, as my own teacher points out, Emptiness is a matter of insight. Therefore, back to the mat.
On Sunday afternoon H.H. gave a “public” talk — geared for general audiences. He spoke the whole time in English, and was superb. The man has an uncommon gift for connecting with audiences. And he is obviously a highly evolved, wise, compassionate, all-around advanced human being. As are a lot of people. I see no reason to deify him.