Portland News Magazine

Jane Comerford’s Book Signing on Jan. 31

January 23rd, 2012 by

Sangha member Jane Comerford’s recently released book, A History of Northwest Portland: From the River to the Hills, is chock full of interesting pieces of information on the development of the NW section of Portland, Oregon. At 160 pages, it is an elegantly designed and well researched coffee table style book filled with over 150 historic photographs, some previously unpublished.

Jane will be speaking and signing books at Powell’s Books (NW), Jan. 31st, 7:30pm; and at Annie Blooms Books (Multnomah), Feb.13th, 7pm. All are welcome to attend.

A History of Northwest Portland begins with the Donation Land Claims of the 1840s, when settlers and early entrepreneurs gambled that Portland would become a major shipping port, and when Captain Couch’s claim and platted addition became the genesis of NW Portland, then known as the North End. It follows the industrial buildup along the waterfront on the north end, filled with wharves, steam sawmills, lumber companies and foundries, and the creation of the immigrant area known as Slabtown. It watches as residential neighborhoods move further back from the river to make room for increasing commerce and industry along the waterfront, leaving behind an area of boarding houses and hotels, filled with ethnic minorities, sailors and transients that would become Old Town. It sees those same residential neighborhoods move still further west toward the hills, making room for rail lines, warehouses and light manufacturing, an area which will later be transformed into the Pearl District. It follows the movement of roads and trolleys as they open up new neighborhoods in the foothills and even the hills themselves, as Willamette Heights and Westover Terraces are born. It tracks the environs of the “merchant prince” mansions and estates on the outskirts of town, as it grows into Nob Hill, the most densely populated part of the city. It observes the evolution of each of these neighborhoods through the passage of time, as they react to specific events, respond to commercial demands, and adapt to the pressures of modernization. It records this NW quadrant of Portland as it moves through its first century and a half, transforming into the vibrant, diverse, unique and exciting place that it is today.

This is Jane’s second book. Her first, At the Foot of the Mountain, (now in its third printing) covers the early history of the coastal communities of Manzanita and Neahkahnie.

Books may be purchased at Powell’s Bookstore, Annie Blooms, Oregon Historical Society, Food Front (NW), Daedelus Books, Oxalis, A Cultured Pearl, Broadway Books, Stella’s on 21st, and on the web at http://dragonflypresspdx.com

Working With Burnout

January 15th, 2012 by

This article is adapted from a Shambhala governance document on preventing leadership burnout and working with it if it arises. The ideas are presented here to make them more accessible to leaders, volunteers and others anywhere.

Working beneficially with burnout involves recognizing factors that can lead to it and bringing them to the meditative path. Key is developing a willingness to relate with one’s own mind in a gentle and tough way.

Factors leading to burnout (and ways of working with them) include:

• Avoiding Meditation Practice
Balance your life so that meditation practice remains central. If you’re too busy to practice, you’re too busy.

• Being Unablae to Say “No”
Learn how and when to say “no” to others’ requests, and even to your own ideas. Look deeply into the experience of having difficulty setting limits.

• Taking Things Too Personally
Leaders will always draw both praise and blame. Cultivate the ability to receive criticism with equanimity, and to work with pride, ambition and attachment to praise.

• Cognitive Dissonance
Learn to accommodate the dissonance between the vastness of Shambhala vision and the sometimes messy reality of day-to-day life. Learn to hold both aspects without being overwhelmed by either.

• Letting “Best” Undermine “Good”
While aiming for excellence can be beneficial, it can become an obstacle if taken to an extreme. Look deeply into the experience of perfectionism.

• Engaging In Harmful Speech
Explore the impulse to gossip, speak harshly or complain. Learn to relate with others’ harmful speech without reinforcing or escalating it.

• Making Things Too Solid
Explore the experience of seeing only problems and doubting the unconditional brilliance and goodness of things as they are. “We are ruling a dream, and we all share the same dream.” ―Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche