Archive for June, 2006

June 28th, 2006

I’m not known for forwarding stories or emails. So when this came past my desk today, I read it and thought, you know maybe I should put that on the blog. I have no idea where it came from or why, but its a nice tale and you can always choose not to read it. Its a copy and past job and what you see is what I read.
” Subject: Two choices

You make the choice! Don’t look for a punch line; There isn’t one!
Read it anyway. My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children,the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: “When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?”
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. “I believe,that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child.”Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked,”Do you think they’ll let me play?” Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around for guidance and said, “We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.”
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench put on a team shirt with a broad smile and his Father had a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible ’cause Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, “Shay, run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had Shay ever ran that far but made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!”
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to second base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions and he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, “Shay, Shay, all the Way!”
Shay reached third base, the opposing shortstop ran to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, “Run to third! Shay, run to third” As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and those watching were on their feet were screaming, “Shay, run home! Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the “grand slam” and won the game for his team.
That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.
Shay died that winter, so never saw another game, but he died having never forgotten being the hero and making his Father so happy and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people think twice about sharing. The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, including regularly on this board, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you’re thinking about forwarding this message,chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people on your address list that aren’t the “appropriate” ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference. We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the “natural order of things.” So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up that opportunity to brighten the day of those with us the least able, and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:

1. Delete


2. Forward

May your day, be a Shay Day,sunny today tomorrow & always!

Caz, Bob & Alfie xx

June 27th, 2006

Hi all, Dave G here, the resident programmer. My own Buddhist podcast, goshocast, has now moved here.

To subscribe direcly, please use the following link (this is the feed, so for example in iTunes go to Advanced -> Subscribe To Podcast and enter this:

Happy chanting!

June 27th, 2006

Hello everyone, sorry we did not manage to get a show out this weekend. We had to fit in a bit more than usual (is that possible) with work and family. We are planning to record this Friday evening the next Lotus Sutra Lectures!

We had a great Mens Division meeting last night, the theme was “Love and Sex” and the honest and heartmoving exchange of experiences was extraordinarily. The men had so much to say that we are going to continue with the subject next month as well and on until it is all said.

What motivated me to pick this theme was this quote from p715,716 of the Gosho, “Repaying Debts of Gratitude” and it reads, “If the lion is sleeping and you do not wake him, he will not roar”. The theme last night gave the lion a good kick and the roar was deafening.

Best wishes to Leah, Elona and Akenabah and to everyone else!

June 23rd, 2006

Hi all, Dave G here, abuddhistpodcast resident programmer and fellow podcaster. Jason asked me to place a link to the video we created for goshocast, so here it is! Find us at!

June 19th, 2006

I read this today while preparing for this weekends podcast, “Worth is not found in joy alone. Nor is success the only valuable outcome. Suffering is the mother of realisation; worries and failures, so long as we are not defeated by them, enable us to deepen our faith. Our sufferings  become the raw material with which to construct our happiness. This is the principle of ‘earthly desires are enlightenment’. (Daisaku Ikeda, Lectures on the Expedient Means Chapter, p152)

June 18th, 2006

Hi Steve. AutoMeta is a WordPress plugin that processes the contents of each post and creates tags which Technorati then picks up (Technorati is a kind of blog Google amongst other things).

June 14th, 2006

Am in Belfast, lovely warm evening.

Well I hope you like the look of the new site, Dave Goodchild has been great in making this happen, his knowledge of the web is phenomenal!

The Tshirt shop at the moment is just US, I will get the UK shop up as soon as I can catch my breath.

Thank you everyone for downloading the show and for the many wonderful emails.

June 13th, 2006

Here at abuddhistpodcast we examined the major blogging tools available to us and went for WordPress as it offers a robust and flexible blogging solution coupled with an amazing balance of accessibility, standards-compliant structure and design with a great sense of aesthetics.

June 13th, 2006

Loved the last lecture! Dave G here, abuddhistpodcast resident programmer. Have spent the day importing the orginal blog from libsyn and making everything work on this site, it’s all work for kosen rufu! Will keep you all posted of any developments as I get it all working!

June 11th, 2006

Tonight we are taking a brief gap in our series of Lectures on the Lotus Sutra, just for this week! Instead, we are going to study an extract from a letter the Daishonin wrote to Sairen-Bo. The letter is called The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life. Tonight we talk about:
1. Each moment is the last moment of our lives
2. 1000 Buddhas
3. Many in body but one in mind
For the music on tonights show I am grateful to Soccershout, Bitjobs for the Masses, Green Dragon, Tartan Podcast and of course Three from Leith. All of these great podcasters helped me source the music this week which comes from the Podsafe Music Network and was…Death Cab for Cutie singing Title and Registration and Team Salt with Roundabouts.
We are already preparing the 7th and final lecture on Chapter 2 of the Lotus Sutra for the next show! Don’t forget, if you have an experience or feedback or just want to say hello, drop us a line at or
Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement. Have a truly fantastic week!