David Petersen's Blog

May 9, 2012

My latest book, "Prayers in Stone: Nagasaki's A-Bomb Heritage Sites" is now available in ebook format.

Richly illustrated and with a wealth of materials never before available in English, Prayers in Stone provides an overview of more than 200 of Nagasaki's A-bomb heritage sites, including: bells; bridges; cemeteries; churches; fountains; memorials; museums; parks; schools; shrines; statues; temples; trees; and tunnels.
The entries are organized into a series of tours for the convenience of tourists actually visiting the city, and to give the general reader a sense of the layout and the proximity to the hypocenter. In addition to a forward, introduction, postscript, and reference section, the book also includes all-new translations of A-bomb literature by several atomic survivors.
Journey to Nagasaki, and discover the lessons the city has to offer.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/david-peters...

Print version coming soon!
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Published on May 09, 2012 06:11 • 113 views • Tags: atomic-bomb, disarmament, hiroshima, japanese-history, nagasaki, nuclear-weapon, peace, peace-studies, travel, world-war-2, world-war-ii

March 4, 2012

Hi all,

Here are this week's picks for Taoist/Buddhist links from across the web. Enjoy!

Walk away - and clear your mind
http://wokensoul.blogspot.com/2012/02...

Re-visioning : the music of the dark
http://taoism.about.com/b/2012/02/24/...

Daily Tao: yield and flex
http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com/20...

Introduction to mindfulness meditation
http://zencast.org/zencast-350-introd...

An examination of pantheism
http://www.budapesttimes.hu/2012/02/2...
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Published on March 04, 2012 01:26 • 121 views • Tags: buddhism, spirituality, taoism

November 27, 2011

Tao 3
Do not praise talent
And the people will not quarrel
Do not esteem goods that are hard to obtain
And the people will not steal
Do not showcase your desires
And the people will not be disturbed
Sages govern by emptying the heart
And filling the belly
Weakening ambition
And strengthening physique
Keeping the people uninformed and free of desires
So that even the clever think twice before acting
Act to economize action
And there will be no lack of leadership

Tao Te Ching / Daodejing  A Fresh Look at the Way and its Virtues by Lao Tzu
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Published on November 27, 2011 08:58 • 134 views • Tags: china, chinese-literature, lao-tsu, lao-tzu, literature, religion, spirituality, taoism

November 6, 2011

Suffice it to say that both Taoism and Confucianism arose as very different responses to the same sociopolitical challenges. When tensions run high, there is a very natural (we might say left-hemisphere) inclination to rush in and impose order on chaos; against this, the Tao counsels the (right-hemisphere) wisdom of harmonization, grounded on holistic appraisal of the overall situation.
The incredible endurance of Taoist and Confucian principles in China is testament to how accurately they reflect the two sides of human nature. Also telling is that fact that the singular pursuit of power that has marked so much of western culture over the last few centuries is now in the process of being tempered by a commensurate interest in Taoism and other esoteric teachings. In all things, including spirituality, nature abhors a vacuum. Or as the Tao Te Ching teaches, “heaviness is the root of lightness.”
Tao Te Ching / Daodejing  A Fresh Look at the Way and its Virtues by Lao Tzu
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Published on November 06, 2011 01:05 • 145 views • Tags: china, lao-tsu, lao-tzu, literature, poetry, religion, spirituality, taoism

August 9, 2011

On this, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, I invite you to reflect on the meaning of this event in the context of Fukushima.
pray for Japan
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Published on August 09, 2011 01:17 • 127 views • Tags: atomic-bomb, history, japan, nagasaki, peace, war
The Green Legacy
I am proud to announce that "Survivors: The A-bombed Trees of Hiroshima" is now featured on the web page of Green Legacy Hiroshima, an initiative of The United Nation's Institute for Training and Research:

http://www.unitar.org/hiroshima/ja/no...

Survivors  The A-bombed Trees of Hiroshima by David   Petersen
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Published on August 09, 2011 01:16 • 76 views • Tags: atomic-bomb, environmentalism, hiroshima, japan, peace, united-nations, war

October 28, 2010

Tao Te Ching / Daodejing  A Fresh Look at the Way and its Virtues by Lao Tsu
Hello again everyone! I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from the introduction to my new book, Tao Te Ching / Daodejing: A Fresh Look at the Way and its Virtues.

The Tao Te Ching is a unique and enduring aspect of world culture. Translated almost as frequently as the Bible, the terse poetry of Lao Tsu’s classic has proven to be a literary, philosophical, and religious touchstone for generation after generation. The intensity of the writing is heightened by its brevity (just over 5,000 characters), and its sketchy, provisional tone, which can seem at odds with the complexities of the truths being addressed. In reality however, the resulting ambiguity masterfully disarms our defenses, freeing the content to work its magic on the periphery of the language mind, much like an incantation or a barely remembered dream. Like all good poetry, the Tao is not so much a finished product as an opportunity for encounter. In effect, we bring our existential concerns to the table, and the book reflects them back to us through the prism of universal experience.

This is not the place for a comprehensive overview of the themes in this terse yet remarkably rich book – a quick trip to the library will uncover an extensive literature of commentary stretching back literally thousands of years. Suffice it to say that both Taoism and Confucianism arose as very different responses to the same sociopolitical challenges. When tensions run high, there is a very natural (we might say left-hemisphere) inclination to rush in and impose order on chaos; against this, the Tao counsels the (right-hemisphere) wisdom of harmonization, grounded on holistic appraisal of the overall situation. The incredible endurance of Taoist and Confucian principles in China is testament to how accurately they reflect the two sides of human nature. Also telling is that fact that the singular pursuit of power that has marked so much of western culture over the last few centuries is now in the process of being tempered by a commensurate interest in Taoism and other esoteric teachings. In all things, including spirituality, nature abhors a vacuum. Or as the Tao Te Ching teaches, “heaviness is the root of lightness.”
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Published on October 28, 2010 17:34 • 160 views • Tags: china, chinese, chinese-philosophy, daodejing, lao-tsu, quietism, tao-te-ching, taoism, translation

August 9, 2010

Hello everyone

I'm blogging from Japan right now, where I was privileged to attend the a-bomb memorial ceremonies in Nagasaki on August 9th. As in Hiroshima, I have encountered no recriminations here, no bitterness - only a commitment to peace and a future unclouded by war and the threat of nuclear annihilation.

a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures
a-bomb memorial pictures

Check out Survivors  The A-bombed Trees of Hiroshima by David   PetersenSurvivors: The A-bombed Trees of Hiroshima
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Published on August 09, 2010 15:28 • 214 views • Tags: activism, atomic-bomb, atomic-weapons, disarmament, hiroshima, nagasaki, ngo, peace, war, world-war-2, world-war-ii

August 7, 2010

The first chapter of The Well-Tempered Body is now available for free in ePub format on Goodreads! Check it out at
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/79...

The Well-Tempered Body  Expressive Movement for Actors, Improvisers, and Performance Artists by David   Petersen
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Published on August 07, 2010 16:33 • 165 views • Tags: acting, drama, improvisation, mime, performance, theater
Reading English News on the Internet  A Guide to Connectors, Verbs, Expressions, and Vocabulary for the ESL Student by David   Petersen Reading English News On The Internet (Bilingual Japanese-English Edition) by David   PetersenThe purpose of this book is to help ESL learners at the intermediate level with the potentially confusing turns of phrase common to English articles online, in magazines and in newspapers. ESL veterans will appreciate that while many books cover English grammar and vocabulary, there are precious few dealing specifically with idioms, “quirky” verbs, and other compound constructs from a practical perspective. My goal has been to create a workbook systematic enough to integrate easily into any classroom situation, and with sufficient explanation in Japanese to make the learning experience as efficient and painless as possible. The text also provides a brief introduction to proverbs and other sayings that find their way into news articles from time to time.

The concept for the book originated in my experience as a Japanese translator. Working at an agency in Hiroshima, I was struck by the number of questions I was fielding from coworkers trying to make sense of English newspaper articles and other challenging documents. On closer inspection, most of the difficulties seemed to involve idioms (”on the loose”, “public outcry”) - constructs that are poorly covered in many textbooks and are difficult to look up due to their compound nature. In discussing this issue with friends and teachers it became apparent that related grammar elements such as connectors (“as…as a…”) and verbs of one type or another (“to show promise”) present similar problems for non-native speakers. I began collecting examples of the most commonly-misunderstood “offenders”, and ultimately put together the manuscript over the course of about two years.

Applications: On one level, the book functions as a simple bilingual reference to the meanings of nearly 200 connectors, phrasal verbs, idiomatic verb-phrases, and expressions. Individual sections can also be introduced a few pages at a time into almost any classroom context, gradually building English comprehension. To develop full lessons of 40 minutes or more, I would recommend supplementation with materials on mass-media, the internet, and current events. The “tips” sections on website content deal with the typical structure of online articles, and are best covered as part of a writing class with internet access. The mini-quizzes at the end of each unit provide immediate feedback about the progress of the students, and can also serve as a template for the creation of your own tests and exams.
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Published on August 07, 2010 16:30 • 180 views • Tags: adult-education, esl, grammar, language-learnings, languages, tefl, tesl, tesol