Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 29th
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From the Editor


Plus Letters to Good Times

Last weekend, I attended the annual benefit for Life Lab’s Science Program and was impressed with everything that actually goes on at The Farm at UC Santa Cruz. Now celebrating 31 years, this lush garden is really an Eden for the community. Many things stand out, but you can’t help but be impressed with what Life Lab does for youth in this county. There’s something about working in the Earth, with the Earth and for the Earth that feeds the soul, and I suspect that the kids who’ve experienced some part of this program have gone on to appreciate life, people, living in a new way. Catch my on-the-scene interviews at GTv on our website, In the meantime, kudos to chef Jon Dickinson and his mighty crew for serving up some of the freshest, most delicious foods I’ve tasted all year. Dickinson, who impresses at Cafe Cruz, donates all of his time for the event.

Speaking of great guys, there’s also Sven Davis. The humorous writer/columnist returns to GT with a new monthly column. Followers of Davis already know how well the man captures any number of life events in the most amusing ways. His topic this week: Moving. Something we all can relate to around here. Enjoy his experience on page 7. (Nice to have you here, Sven.)

What else? Well, I penned this week’s behemoth cover story, but, if you’re up for a fun time and something that dips into deeper waters, read it over coffee or tea this week. What began as a frenzied internal trip into wildly dramatic places in the MIND, turned out to become an adventure in being willing to let go and just BE. So, at a time when so many of us seem so much more caught up with just KEEPING UP and even more busy—perhaps preoccupied—than ever, I invite you to experience a little bit of Esalen Institute—its mission, i’s opportunity and its curious connection to Santa Cruz. Flip to page 14 and dive in.

As for the rest of the week, I’m following a suggestion I recently received: GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.
Enjoy ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Um ... Umi
I enjoyed reading last week’s cover story about Umi, the self-proclaimed Zen Master but as a Buddhist I can see he has the wrong view on some of what Buddha taught. Often Umi pontificates in terms too general to be helpful.
For instance he states, "The world is divine. So why would you renounce it?"
The junkie needs to renounce heroin. The DUI alcoholic needs to renounce alcohol.
The distracted cell phone driver that just caused an accident injuring innocents needs to renounce their cell phone while driving. Buddha taught Right Livelihood as well. Buddha taught that making weapons is wrong livelihood. This means that the weapons maker needs to renounce making weapons. Heroin, alcohol, cell phone talkers/drivers, weapons of all kinds...they are all part of the world are they not?

Umi also pontificates, "A bad day is, you're not accepting what is." Please do not give this guy Umi a job at the Battered Women's Center because this tutti-frutti philosophy promotes battered wife syndrome. Bodhisattvas aren't supposed to sit on their hands and just accept injustice and say, "You’re having a bad day. Accept what is." That sounds more like something Dick Cheney would say to the wounded children in Afghanistan after a predator drone took out their parents.
Buddha's teachings are very specific on what to accept and what to renounce.
Umi is deluded to promote himself or allow himself to be promoted as enlightened when clearly he lacks the wisdom and clarity to express the Buddha Dharma in a way that helps all the different levels of sentient beings. His way of over-generalizing can reinforce all sorts of neurotic and hurtful behavior, even though he does not mean to.
Stephen Jenkins
Santa Cruz

Food For Thought
Thank you for the wonderful article on the work of Geneen Roth! Your readers might also like to know that there are two extraordinary local women who have worked very effectively for decades with people who struggle with food, body image, and eating disorders. Their names are Andrea Wachter and Marsea Marcus. They are highly skilled, compassionate guides who conduct local classes and counseling, and they have an especially remarkable interactive online program called Defeating Overeating that people can use on their own or with their assistance. Their website is, and their online program is at May many people benefit from this kind of work.
Jeffrey Ringold
Santa Cruz


Best of The Online Comments

On Master Umi ...
I was a part of the magic of Music Industry Arts at Fanshawe College where I met Umi. It was challenging, fun and creative. I thought I was going to be more of a part of the music scene in Canada, then I followed the passion in me, which was certainly one of the many things that Umi encouraged, and am at the end of 25 years of practising Zen Shiatu, which is in each moment a new beginning. I have a signed copy of “The Ship That Rocked the World,” which is fantastic! Full of light and humour. I am thankful, for Umi a wondrous mirror of a soul that passionately claims each moment as an opportunity to play to create, to be.
Tracy Willow

On Radio Free Santa Cruz ...
"Free" if you're fanatically PC. FRSC even censors such a legitimate concern as sustainable immigration—after all, we mustn't upset the poor downtrodden hyper-sensitive open-borders reconquistas who now call the shots at FRSC.
(BTW, why does this story say the previous antenna's location was on the Westside? Were you hoping to mislead the Feds, who already found it on the Eastside?)

Look up electronic Direction Finding (your term with quotation marks making it sound like magic. On the Wikipedia it will direct you to Radio Direction Finding which is what the story is about, radio. You will discover that this high tech app was developed in the 1930s and beyond. But that's great, they're back on the air with something different.
Mr. Winky

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