Dec 10 2011

Conventional and Ultimate Truths

lava~palm trunk

whatever exists is either a conventional truth or an ultimate truth, and since ultimate truth refers just to emptiness, everything except emptiness is a conventional truth.  For example, things such as houses, cars and tables are all conventional truths. Although conventional truths are false objects, nevertheless they actually exist because a mind directly perceiving a conventional truth is a valid mind, a completely reliable mind. Emptiness is not a separate reality existing behind conventional appearances, but is the real nature of those appearances. (even Albert Einstein knew this!)  when one has time…it is quite a fascinating video and story!  to achieve death and have your wisdom eye opened to reveal ultimate truth!  i’ll never forget Steve Jobs last words….”oh wow, oh wow…”  or Manjushri whom giggled with delighted surprise…that is my goal…to achieve a joyful death with family present with love in their hearts, peace within their minds and of courseyes, as with all ordinary humans we will be sad and grieve at random and in different ways it is the path of human nature to suffer….until we realize the truth….we’re all interconnected, we’re all impermanent, we all die and nothing exists independently from anything.  

so put your hate, anger and divisive speech aside and put on your thinking caps, open your hearts and minds and shift your views towards a world that is created by nothing but loving kindness…i begin a 4 -5 week retreat in mantra counting (110,000) to be exact.  it is very structured and goes from morning to sundown, a preparation to become truth, recycled back into the earths elements, to let go in retreat with my guru at my heart.  

Hospice comes next week to discuss my options to keep me comfortable. 

i pray for peace of mind and i pray for you….

Oct 20 2011

getting on with life!

kuzu is calling me back to get my hands dirty, cut, burned and fit.  my mate and family beckons me to spend more time in closeness and quality.  my spiritual path gently holds me upright and at peace however the urgency to pursue more in my meditation practice is paramount!  time like change is constant. if you would like to hear more from hazel…

the asian welder will post her newest works as they are born here and will hold a showing in march for our 4th anniversary!  

special thanks to the “fan of The Four Noble Truths” whom sends me fresh flowers every other week!!  i love my fresh flowers and i love you whomever you are….hazel.


Oct 11 2011


i have made my decision!  i have chosen to STOP treatments in chemo…living dependently upon chemo indefinitely is not a choice for me.  i am not unlike many in this world whom are suffering from the label and all its unknown consequences “Cancer”.  mine has no cure as of yet…all modern medicine can do for me is extend my life (tho they are not gods and have NO idea for how long) thru maintaining the cancer from growing or spreading but at what cost?  

to live dependently upon something or anything is an attachment i have NO attachment to!  i chose to give chemo a go because of my family.  i wanted to try what the “standard of care” in modern medicine could offer me and what i have learned is that like most situations in this life ONE must take responsibility for themselves!  you cannot “spot” treat one area of your body without affecting the whole body.  this is not rocket science…when i think back on my past as a personal trainer in health/fitness i recalled ALL the clients whom came into my studio wanting, pleading and begging to spot reduce my tummy, or the butt, or just help me lose a little under my arm so it doesn’t sag.  i usually giggled when asked for these modern miracles and then went into my rant about how your physical body does not work that way!  when you treat your physical body to something (drugs, food, exercise….) it effects the entire body!  it has been three weeks since my last chemo infusion…my teeth are still numb, the taste buds are pretty much gone, extreme cold/heat affect the extremities, the scalp still itches (tho my hair is growing back) and many other strange side effects….i rejoice for those whom have had great success in treatment and are here today living meaningful lives.  may all sentient beings have the capacity to a happy and long life!

my parents celebrated their 58th anniversary last week….

i love my dad (79) and mom (81)!

i’ve entered a new journey into alternative and or holistic lifestyle changes: raw foods diet (50% of my intake), vitamins/minerals, herbs, reiki, qigong and my Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!  i started exercise with a 3 mile walk once a week, boot camp for women with cancer once a week and will begin yoga in a couple weeks.  swimming will have to wait till next summer!  i’m a pansy when it comes to cold!!  

live conscientiously people…your happiness depends upon it!


Sep 28 2011

A thousand kisses deep…

a song title by Leonard Cohen…since i spend more time these days laying low i have a renewed passion for music and have created new playlists…slowly this body moves, the mind(s) are dancing to their own beat, uncontrolled visions appear before me…like yesterday morning a dead bat (native symbol for death/rebirth) lay at my back door like an offering…a sculpture we’ve had for years fell down and the clay woman was broken off at the waist…the book i was reading before i was diagnosed “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully” (which i could not put down it was so good!)…i asked the Buddha’s a week before my diagnosis for a really good teaching on renunciation, man oh man i wish i could take that one back!!   today i pulled the animal totem of……the bat, now that is no coincidence!!

today is a day of major decisions and yet not really a choice in my mind.  the oncologist met with me to discuss the outcome of my newest latest and greatest scan…..bada bing bada boom….the cancer is stable he says happily!!  stable…i think to myself not happily…stable equates to NO progress in my mind. the fact that the cancer has not regressed or progressed in growth is not what i call a success…tho my oncologist would disagree.  his measure of success with a patient of his; “she has the most severe cancer and is still alive three years later”…how long has she been off chemo my mate asks….never, replies the doctor! to make a long story short if i want to live longer i must live dependent upon chemo….indefinitely and this will NOT cure me, eventually the cells would become resistant and so it goes…on…and on..!  see what i mean by NOT a choice…it’s not a choice about extending time it’s a choice about living a meaningful life with the time we have.

did you know that each chemo treatment runs approx. 20,000$ without insurance!  i am grateful to be among the insured, it’s the one responsible thing i have always done because i was/am a mom. i never wanted my children to be without health care nor did i want them to suffer…of ALL the attachments in/of this world my heart concern is about my own mother in this life.  when her father died she got to spend many years one on one with her mom, when we bought my parents house it was with the condition that they live their remaining days in the guest house, so naturally my thoughts went towards my memories of her and her mother thinking i would be able to have this “quality” time with her after dad passed away.  well, dad is still fighting to live suffering with diabetes and other ailments but his will is strong!  i guess i’ll just have to whisk my mom away for day outings and be grateful for whatever moments we can share. 


 The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done 
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A thousand kisses deep.

Leonard Cohen

cool runnings everyone

“peace be your journey”     

Sep 13 2011

attachments…who cares!

back porch w/lance

went pro active in shaving the head!  truthfully i could not take the itching of the scalp and my head would heat up like a fire ball!  chemo has some definite strange affects!!

positive note:

never felt more alive!

more present in the moment(s)

acceptance/peaceful mind with relation to this journey

my compassion continues to grow…



Aug 7 2011

Pure Land



in my last post i said “i’m ready to get my head into the game now!”  what i came away with from this 15 day experience has nothing to do with my head…but with my heart.  their are many levels of “minds” and the one i needed to connect with was my very subtle mind residing within my heart.  as we ALL know, academia, intellectual knowledge is wasted without application, and to go a step further in faith one must “feel” it, experience this within the heart.  without a heartfelt experience it does not benefit anyone except our minds of self-cherishing or as commonly known the ego!  in one of the first teachings the question was asked “do you want to be a theoretical Buddhist or a practical Buddhist?”  i had to challenge myself many times and ask sincerely within was i practicing with wisdom or was the awakening enough to go on? the intellectual (gross)mind is very strong for me i have always had great difficulty in just accepting love freely without my judging others reasons or my upbringing views i held onto about expressions of love.  i let go my attachments to my old views over the days there and allowed others even strangers show their love without my gross mind getting in the way.  how joyous, how liberating and vulnerable the feelings were and still are.  i feel as though i grew exponentially with compassion for others due to their kindness!

it sounds so easy what i speak about however it is your intellect, your gross mind interpreting or imputing your perception of what you read above/here.  the very subtle mind of compassion is not easy, simple yes in theory, however in true practice of application one has to let go of our ignorance we so dearly hold onto within and that is innate…at least for me!  

there were many insights or awakenings to my Buddha nature within, profound teachings, not just from my spiritual guides but from the people present.  AND i did not lose one pound even with the daily 2hr walks i took!  the lake district outside of the town of Ulverston was home base…a glorious cool 70′s with mist and rain off and on…the sun shone bright most days like blessings.

lake district, england…fog lifting or my interpretation of the fog of ignorance lifting from my wisdom eye

 Sangha mates from Tucson

Manjushri temple, approx. 2600 people in attendance from around the world

the many flowers on the property

 lastly…upon return to home i found a package from my relatives in japan. they made me a Senba-Zuru :  Senbazuru is a Japanese word meaning “1000 Cranes.” It is well-known for the legend which states that whoever folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish.

i bow to all my kind mothers in this life whom have shown me great compassion, patience, love, kindness and riches beyond the material worlds….tomorrow i begin another new adventure, from the non-deceptive nature of Dharma into the deceptive nature of science.  my heart has changed thus so has my mind surrounding this process of chemo, i am more than ready…


Thank you dear kind Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso




Jul 10 2011

my own little bubble…


view of the girls locker room at UA rec center…

with a world population around 7 billion human beings i am just a grain of sand in comparison.  one being suffering compared to that of billions on this planet and that’s not mentioning the other sentient beings like our beloved animals, insects…whom suffer no less but have no voice or capacity to communicate.  

sometimes i get so caught up in my little bubble that i fail to see the bigger picture…

sometimes i forget about today let alone the moment and project the future into this bubble with great unhappiness…

sometimes my mind is so out of control my emotions carry me to and fro like a roller coaster unhinged from its tracks…

tis human nature i guess to struggle so much, this wanting and grasping at external realities when the only thing that can change our bubble we live in is our minds and the awareness’ it brings.  cancer for me has brought a magnifying glass upon “self” and its existence.  yesterday i went to my Dharma center to hear a teaching on “concentration”, something i seem to be lacking these days!  what i came away with are opportunities and possibilities to becoming the person i want to be.  subtle, supple, giving, spontaneous in love/compassion and the tools to be able to change and benefit others…even now with cancer i can be of benefit to others!  how magical and how liberating!  now, if i can just keep this attitude…


how do YOU keep a positive/or happy mind? whom do you strive to become? 

Jul 1 2011

mere mortal

The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.


yippee ki yay…my fave bakery above and that of the many kind and generous people whom have helped by cooking meals and deliveries, most especially my mate who follows me around with fluids and sandwiches, i have now gained 3 solid pounds back!!!

the quote above made me chuckle this morning because i have such a long long way to go before i experience liberation from self!  lately it feels as though the more i understand the less i know. which is OK…i am rather enjoying the NOT knowing, letting go of control of whatever i think i have control over, watching my mind and body stumble as if this body were not attached to this mind or vice verse, it humbles one this vulnerability.  earlier today i was in a terrible funk, feeling overwhelmed with what this life presented and then Laurel called to get some “momma advice”, and then her sister came by to spend a couple hours with me..and then i went swimming!!  swimming for me is like the analogy of riding a bike, no matter how many years i step away from this sport as soon as my body slips into a mass of water i can naturally swim, swim, swim.  today i swam 250 yards, 3 weeks after surgery!  i cannot thank my mate Hank enough!  he not only drives me everywhere he swam in the lane with me! all in all this day totally rocked and kicked that sorry “self” to the curb!!

port for chemo…looks like a golf ball under my skin!

healing nicely from surgery…

Jun 23 2011


are produced thru the causes we create in body, speech and mind. cause / effect in Buddhist terms is called “karma”.  every action in body, speech and mind produces either a positive, negative or neutral effect…

two weeks out from surgery and my “plan” (i use the word loosely) was to start a walking regimen daily to build up endurance,eventually to get me to a pool where i can swim to build upon..these last two weeks have been rest, rest, rest, eat, rest, eat, rest…i fall asleep to (friend/mentor)Gamo’s ipod listening to everything from teachings to mantras…flowers now fill my house from family/friends, food comes by way of ninja like warriors they arrive and leave without my knowledge, beautiful things arrive by mail from people i have not had the pleasure to meet, letters/emails of hope and love and i wonder how i created such a wealth of love in my world?

one thing i am 100% sure on is how precious this life is…not just mine but yours!  the primary cancer i host, in science and medicine say it is caused only by “genetics” and yet nobody in either side of my family has ever been diagnosed with it. the tumor had a life of 5 – 7 years and yet i looked great by society standards and felt great.  it has to beg the question if you’re reading this…can it really happen like this? just did!

hug your loved ones, give, give and then give some more and give to strangers!  stop taking, blaming and wanting  for just one day and do nothing but give…you, your time, materials, fearlessness, a cut in the que, the victory to others…time has no relevance except in this moment.

taken yesterday at the UA campus rec. center!  hehhehe…look peeps this was only a photo opp!  thanks to my mate whom drove me over to there to keep my spirits up this was about the extent of my activity..visiting!

Jun 16 2011

mind games

scene from “anthropologie” boutique, in search for some soft nightie that might make me feel better…? now that was one moment with the lights out!

the surgery thus far has been a huge success, all my pelvic region is free of disease, i just have this tether of a catheder i drag around and hopefully get it removed today. this body i have carried around for over 51 yrs has gone thru a major transformation, oh yeah we’re talking “emptiness” on a whole new level.  from an average over the last 20 yrs of 115lbs i now hover 104lbs. pains and distortions i never knew could exist within such a small frame rear their voice usualy an octave higher than mine own.

there are too many people to thank in my world and when i feel more up to the task i will find you personally to thank you for your incredible kindness’s…because of your kindness and prayer i continue on, even on the dark days in my mind…like yesterday when the final pathology came in:

“my” liver, an organ that is your filtration system for your body has now been labeled; stage T4 N2 M1 poorly differentiated rectal adenocarcinoma with neuro-endocrine features…basically i need a miracle. there is one exception, a man in another country who still lives in his seventh year after treatment…he is the only survivor..thus far! yesterday was my darkest hour. but alas a new day has arisen and with it my belief in miracles, it is why i must train this new body now to gain in weight and strength to get to Manjushri,England by end of july.  miracles in my mind come by way of faith and positive minds, surrounded by the  thousands of Buddhists in retreat for two weeks, the Buddhas and the powerful prayers of the masses i place utmost faith in a miracle arising from this experience more than the science of medicine in chemo.  i will still go thru my round of 6 months of chemo however if there is no significant change for the better than my karma will speak for me.

this was taken yesterday before i had the discharge bag removed and before the final prognosis.  i chuckle at this photo cause you’d think it was taken after with that scowl across my face!!  i’ve yet to turn to anger in mind however the self-grasping ignorance barometer seems to be climbing!  please keep meditating mates…i am who i am thru the kindness of others.

All the attainments i desire arise from merely remembering you

oh wishfulfilling jewel protector of the

dharma please accommplish all my wishes.