Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Aging As A Spiritual Practice

Lewis Richmond leads a Zen meditation group, Vimala Sangha, and teaches at workshops and retreats throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has published three books, including the national bestseller Work as a Spiritual Practice.

This website is dedicated to his teachings on aging as a spiritual path.

Lewis also leads a discussion on aging as a spiritual practice at Tricycle magazine’s online community site.

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I borrowed the phrase “Aging as a Spiritual Practice” from the title of my first book, Work as a Spiritual Practice. In that book I adapted many of the Buddhist mindfulness practices-such as mindful breathing, walking, awareness of the body and emotions-to the workplace. It was the first book of its kind, and while I’d like to think that the contents of the book made it sell well, I suspect that the title had a lot to do with it (note to aspiring authors: the title matters). Continue Reading »

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The Flu and You

This season’s flu vaccine is expected to be more effective than last year’s, when the vaccine proved to be a poor match for circulating strains of the virus, health officials said yesterday. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that more Americans than ever before get vaccinated against the flu. Children and adolescents ages 6 months to 18 years old should get the vaccine, as should those with chronic health conditions, those who will probably interact with people who have the flu (like healthcare workers), pregnant women, and adults older than age 50.

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Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday said he would declare a fiscal emergency in California so he and state lawmakers can start cutting programs before shrinking tax revenue from the collapsed housing market leaves the state with up to a $14 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half.

The emergency will likely mean cuts to schools, colleges, prisons and aid programs for the poor, elderly, and out-of-work that have already spent nearly half their promised funding for the year.

Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency


How Important Are Good Manners?

Explore the Johns Hopkins University Civility Project. Its purpose was to learn what influence these old conventions retained in modern society. What is the effect of politeness and respect in the work place, and in more tightly closed aggregations like the military and prisons? What are the consequences of their absence?

Johns Hopkins Civility Project makes peace person to person, then nation to nation |

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Not Pissed About the Sub-prime Crisis Yet? This Should Do It.

An analysis for The Wall Street Journal of more than $2.5 trillion in subprime loans made since 2000 shows that as the number of subprime loans mushroomed, an increasing proportion of them went to people with credit scores high enough to often qualify for conventional loans with far better terms.

In 2005, the peak year of the subprime boom, the study says that
borrowers with such credit scores got more than half — 55% — of all
subprime mortgages that were ultimately packaged into securities for
sale to investors, as most subprime loans are. The study by First
American LoanPerformance, a San Francisco research firm, says the
proportion rose even higher by the end of 2006, to 61%. The figure was
just 41% in 2000, according to the study. Even a significant number of
borrowers with top-notch credit signed up for expensive subprime loans,
the firm’s analysis found.  Subprime Debacle Traps Even Very Credit-Worthy –


Medical News:

Waxman Says FDA Plans to Ease Restrictions on Off-Label Marketing – Allow Drug Companies to Make End Run Around Rules

If approved, the FDA proposal “would allow drug and device companies to short-circuit FDA review and approval by sponsoring drug trials that are carefully constructed to deliver positive results and then using the results to influence prescribing patterns,” he said.

Cholesterol Tied to Death Risk from Ischemic Heart Disease but Not Stroke

For every 1 mmol/L decrease in cholesterol, ischemic heart disease mortality dropped by half among patients ages 40 to 49, by a third among those 50 to 69, and by a sixth among those 70 to 89, according to a review of observational studies in the Dec. 1 issue of The Lancet.


Top 5 Christmas Scams to Watch for This Christmas Shopping Season

As the Christmas shopping season shifts into high gear, take time to think carefully before making your purchases and any charitable donations.

Although scammers are always prowling for victims with the following scams, consumers are especially vulnerable during the holidays. With so much to do, many otherwise cautious people let their guards down.

Con artists are ready to exploit busy, distracted shoppers — some desperate to buy popular gift items. They’re also ready to “ramp up” their emotional appeals when posing as representatives of real (or real-sounding) charities.

We believe the following 5 Christmas Scams will dominate the 2007 Christmas season. However, if you use common sense and take our advice, the Grinch won’t have a chance of stealing YOUR Christmas.

Top 5 Christmas Scams to Watch for This Christmas Shopping Season


Two Lessons

They took my Aunt Theresa off life support yesterday. She had a good time on her last day, with reason to be very proud of her granddaughter, and died in the arms of a loved one. It was time to let go of the shell, and her family made the right decision. She is no longer there. At some point today or tomorrow her body will stop breathing, and this part of her journey will officially be over. The details of her departure don’t matter.

What does matter are the lessons to be learned. Continue reading

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News From MedPage Today

Carbohydrate Link to Diabetes Further Refined in Black Women (CME/CE)

— Modifying carbohydrate intake, particularly by increasing
consumption of cereal fiber, might help reduce the risk of type 2
diabetes in black women, investigators here concluded. [more]

Low Testosterone Increases Risk of Death (CME/CE)

England — In otherwise healthy men, low testosterone is associated
with an increased risk of death from any cause as well as from
cardiovascular causes and cancer, researchers here said. [more]

Prostate Cancer Patients Often Get Contraindicated Therapy (CME/CE)

— More than a third of prostate cancer patients have some form of
pretreatment condition that contraindicates the therapy chosen by
clinicians, investigators here have concluded. [more]

Genital Herpes Has Mysteries for Physicians and Patients (CME/CE)

Alberta — Neither patients nor the physicians they consult seem to be
well informed about genital herpes, with diverging opinions about how
the infection is transmitted and treated, a survey here revealed. [more]

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A rural Minnesota football team excels on – and off – the field

Argyle, Minn. – Farming is life here in Marshall County, where sugar beets and wheat grow thick across the flat landscape and small towns simply grow smaller. But in the midst of the troubles that plague much of rural America, two neighboring villages here take great pride in something that is forever etched in the ethics of work, play, and praise.

Football. More specifically, nine-man football. Kids from the towns of Stephen (population 708) and Argyle (656) attend Stephen-Argyle High School, which has become synonymous in Minnesota and the upper Midwest with championship small-town football.

A rural Minnesota football team excels on – and off – the field |