October 27, 2003
Hover through fog and filthy air

In church yesterday we prayed for the victims of the fires, and came outside to a literal reminder: a great cloud of smoke had descended on us, even though we're some miles from the actual fires. Joel and Lynn have been at Joel's mother's house, which is in the danger zone; thankfully she was spared, but Joel chronicles plenty of destruction on his blog, and provides a link for Red Cross donations. I was also worried about Kynn, who I know lives out that way and didn't post all weekend. He hasn't been personally hit, as it turns out, but this morning he posted some pictures he took of the fires near his house. Lynn also reported from the scene.

Posted by Camassia at October 27, 2003 07:31 PM | TrackBack

My grandmother's cabin is in danger, in Lake Arrowhead. She's out of harm -- my cousin brought her down off the hill a few days ago -- but I am worried about the cabin itself (which was made by my great grandfather's own hands) and my grandmother's large supply of family heirlooms.

I know they are just "things" -- but it would be heartbreaking to my grandmother if her longtime home were destroyed along with all her belongings.

I am glad I don't have to worry about her safety, though.

The Temecula area fire is 55% contained and hopefully will be under control tomorrow morning, which is good. My friends who live near it were spared the devastation.


Posted by: Kynn Bartlett on October 27, 2003 10:35 PM

Reading through...really like your blog. I know David (tangentially, through friends)...that's how I got here. Anyway: re: Oct 23, conversions outside the faith. I left the Lutheran Church--and Christianity, and then theism--at a young age and eventually converted to Buddhism. Talk about outside the faith. The tenuous line between sharing one's faith, supporting the interest and needs of the spiritually searching, and *not* becoming dogmatically rigid and pushy (to put it lightly) is difficult. What were your experiences like "with evangelicals"? Buddhism actually has tenets against proselytizing, so I'm always curious about the ways in which religious and spiritual communities can reach out without being apologists or blind peddlers of dogma...


Posted by: Andi on October 29, 2003 08:49 AM

Buddhism has tenets against proselytizing? Wasn't Buddhism the world's first great missionary religion? I don't know huge amounts about its history, but I've read about Buddhists missionaries going to Southeast Asia, China, Tibet, even the Middle East (hence those big Buddhas that got blown up by the Taliban). Actually, when I was a kid we had a book telling one of a series of Chinese folk tales about a Buddhist monk heading off to bring Buddhism to the peoples of the west, and having adventures along the way.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Which David do you know? I've got a few of them who come here...

Posted by: Camassia on October 29, 2003 06:41 PM

(David Breuner.)

Ah, yes, Buddhism did have many great missionaries. It's proselytizing that contemporary Buddhism--and, historically, Buddhism as a path--frowns so upon. Missionary work, such as the sending or journeying of monks to other countries, is completely normal. But, compared to other religions' highly energetic efforts to convert (say, Christianity), Buddhism is a little different. I would characterize the flavor of Buddhist missionary work to be one of invitation, and often a quiet inviation at that, rather than...I don't know how to put it. Missionaries can be understood in a broad sense as those Buddhists who went out from their places of origin prepared to share. Buddhism has an ecumenical approach to other religions, even to the point that in places like Japan, it has become so secularized that I think it has lost some of its vitality. But that aside, the only generalization I could make about Buddhist missionary work is that there *are* missionaries, but no proselytizers. Argh...does that make any sense? Given the length of a "comment," I feel I've done a poor job of addressing this.

Posted by: Andi on October 31, 2003 08:41 AM
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