Thursday, April 26, 2018

Love Bomb Meditation, Yoga, Massage (free)


The marriage of wisdom and compassion
What will it take to for Buddhist meditation (the development of calm and insight) to be possible?

FREE $100 massages? At our "Read, Practice, Hugs" session, everyone agreed love is often the missing ingredient.

There were so many endogenous chemicals (third eye/pineal gland secretions of DMT) flowing around the room that we agreed to make a hugging option a regular feature of our sessions.


This week we'll relax with Yoga Massage for self and others, open hearts with powerful Ecstatic Breathwork and Reiki to reach profound states of serenity. Followed by mindfulness exercises and a group reading of the Heart Sutra.

What to bring: Loose comfortable top to expose back, towel, water, crystal (optional), vegan snacks and RAW juices for sharing and socializing.
Dharma Meditation Initiative - UCLA - Disclosure - Dharma Punx - PasaDharma

Bill Cosby convicted! #MeToo, #TimesUp!

Ashley Wells, Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; Associated Press

Bill Cosby's sex assault trial now in hands of jury (NBC News) The fate of Bill Cosby was once again in the hands of a jury after a dramatic retrial at which the American comedian was accused of [serial rape and] sexual assault by multiple women.

[Gloria Allred is delighted more than she has ever been in her 40-year career as a lawyer defending and profiting from women.]

...Defense attorneys attacked her testimony by pointing out that she has a prior conviction for making false statements to police. O'Neill told jurors that... 

Cosby, like Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood types, has been the subject of much publicized sexual assault allegations. With the earliest incidents allegedly taking place in the mid-1960s, Cosby has been accused by at least 50 women of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse (molestation), and sexual misconduct. 

"I want to see a serial rapist convicted!" proclaims a prosecution witness... (Washington Post) NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania - A former actress who has accused Bill Cosby of rape drew gasps from the courtroom audience Wednesday when she declared, “I want to see a serial rapist convicted!” The blunt statement from Heidi Thomas served as a dramatic exclamation point to a cross-examination that... 

Bill Cosby: A 50-year chronicle of accusations and accomplishments (LA Times) A look at milestones in Bill Cosby's career, as well as the timing of alleged sexual assaults. ...Judge Steven T. O'Neill declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against...

Convicted on three counts, sent home until sentencing
More (AP)

Mahayana-Hindu pseudo "enlightenment"

Dr. Oz Show via World Peace; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly

 
Death?
The Mara, the Obstacle, devil, angel of light
Death is not death; we will not die. There is no real "self" to die. But what we cling to as self (the Five Aggregates or form, feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousness), that is perishing now at every moment. And at physical death it takes a big leap and there is the loss of everything held dear. Physical death is not the end. It has never been the end. We have undergone death and been reborn countless times. It has never fulfilled us. It is not capable of fulfilling us. Why have we continued on? We are chasing disappointing-pleasures, now here, now there, anywhere consciousness alights and is let down. So let go. Stop clinging. But how? That is what the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are for; they lead to realization that there is no self to cling to. This is liberating-insight that frees the heart/mind. The Truth will set us free. What Truth? Anatta, anicca, dukkha -- the Three Characteristics of All States of Existence. They are embodied in the Four Ennobling Truths. Noble = enlightened.

Woman comes back from another dimension
Dying To Be Me: Near Death...Healing
Anita Moorjani (born Anita Shamdasani) tells Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D., about her near-death (life-after-life) experience on the Dr. Oz Show. Moorjani is a New York Times best-selling author of the book Dying To Be Me, speaker, and intercultural consultant for multinational corporations.

In 2006, after suffering from cancer for almost four years, her organs started shutting down, and she slipped into a deep coma. She was rushed to the hospital, where she claims to have crossed into the afterlife during a near-death experience (NDE). Upon returning, her body healed from that end-stage lymphoma within a matter of days, and within months she was completely cancer-free.

The Dr. Oz Show is a syndicated television talk show created by Oprah Winfrey, hosted by Dr. Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and teaching professor at Columbia University who became famous for his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He pushes the envelope on health rather than towing the AMA line. So the show has been criticized by the medical community. One study has claimed that 54% of health recommendations were not medically supported.

W.P.'s "enlightenment" story
In 2008 after doing drugs and stuff for years and after having to go to hospital because I [World Peace] was spitting out blood a few nights after I went to sleep, and I saw a very bright light, but it was soothing. I was shown three different extraterrestrial species: a Grey type being, a Reptilian type being, and a Mantis (Insectoid) type being. Past lives? My guides? I don't know yet, but after that event I was changed [in] consciousness... I no longer liked war and stuff. I felt like I walked into a human body and was awake. I had telepathy for a while. It has since faded. I still wish for peace and love for us all.

Hindu ideas, not the Buddha's teachings, formed Mahayana Buddhism
The historical Buddha Gautama (Gandhara)
The Vedas and the Brahmanism (Brahmin religion of the Buddha's day) usurped Mahayana Buddhism, co-opted it, transformed it (by syncretism) into what we now call "Hinduism," which Adi Shankara created a eight centuries ago from traditions in India.

Shankara considered the Buddha a "foreigner," which he was, and wanted a purely native religion for the Bharat empire/country. He came from Scythia/Shakya Land far to the northwest. 

It is very beautiful, but it is NOT what the historical Buddha taught. Talk of "non-duality" (advaita), true self, higher self, merging with the universe, seeing oneself in the All, and so on are very beautiful. But they are not "enlightenment" (bodhi) in Buddhism, awakening, liberation (moksha), complete freedom from suffering (nirvana).

The Buddha called nirvana "the highest bliss" because it was free from all samsara -- the Wheel of Life and Death, the endless cycling through rebirth and suffering. One can have and relish and identify with these "cosmic" experiences and grow attached to them feeling that the little i is actually the Great I AM, the GOD (Brahman, godhead), God (Maha Brahma), or a god (deva). That is not what the historical Buddha discovered, taught, or promoted.

He discovered and taught something far greater. But Mahayana Buddhism, parroting Hindu ideals without realizing it, sings their praises. These experiences are apparently real. Many people from India and elsewhere have experienced them, become blissed out and devoted to devotion (bhakti), particularly with the help of endogenous DMT. But states are NOT freedom, not deliverance, not final liberation.

I reject the Vedas and Brahmanism.
States of consciousness -- and their corresponding planes of existence -- can be wonderful, indescribably awesome, penultimate, so great that we identify them as "self." That state is my "true self," my "higher self," my "God Self." It is like having to choose between two prisons, a filthy dungeon among savage killers, or a golden palace with smiling killers. Both are a kind of jail.

Yes, there is nearly no comparison between them. Go to the better one, but recognize what it is: whether our shackles are made of lead or gold, they're shackles. Whether we become addicted to toxic crack or organic cocaine extract, we would be addicted. We can clearly see that we are not one thing. Can we see that, for the same reason, we are not the other thing?

Shall we fall into the long-lasting animal, ghost, titan, hellish denizen repetition of births? Or shall we play in the heavens and call them our "real home"? If forced to choose, choose the heavens, choose the heavens! But to choose one is to choose the other as well. For we have a tremendous store of mixed-bag karma.

Even if we are reborn into a heaven (of which there are many), live their exalted and in glory for aeons (kalpas) or linger for the common lifespan there, when that merit (good karma) is exhausted, we will fall and carry on being reborn according to our just desserts. We will not have escaped anything.

We will plunge from our high perch into the lower (subhuman) worlds and suffer woefully and seemingly without end for an indeterminate stretch of time. And it needn't be this way, because the Buddha revealed the Path to Enlightenment that culminates in the unexcelled Final Freedom (Nirvana), complete peace, security, refuge from every kind of suffering. It is available now.

How we snuck into Coachella (video)

PeaceLoveCaitlin; You Know; Nameless; Brandon Brown; Connery Callaway; Barbu; Marc Phelps; Niki D; Seth Auberon, Dev, Crystal Quintero, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Remember, Step 1, rationalize the h*ll out of what you're doing, and blame Mr. Coachella for being a jerk. If when caught, start talking like this and bore security to death.
(You Know, April 20, 2016) "Pure adrenaline!" comments Thomas Weinreich. SONG: "Opus" by Eric Prydz, used without permission, natch. Disclaimer: You Know is now serving a 48 hour sentence in his room for talking back to his mom when she said he could not borrow her car to drive out to the desert with his pothead friends again this year. Eh, buy a car, dude, or at least refill her tank when you use it. What kind of society are we living in?

WARNING: If you play by the rules, this will upset you. If you don't, laugh. Be happy some people circumvent the corporate power structure's money-milking mousetrap. Plan A: When sneaking into Coachella for free, which is impossible, take Tiger Mountain by strategy:



Bring a bandana as a dust- and sunblock. Scope out the perimeter. Find and exploit weaknesses in the unmonitored miles of fencing. Be in good shape to jump; bend knees when you land. Then get ready to walk...all weekend long. And after all that trouble and excitement...end up at the front entrance gates? WTH?



(Well, it's a good way to avoid the steep parking fees, we guess, if you guys don't mind parking your mom's car somewhere where it might get towed and where you can't access it to camp, which is required because where will you sleep overnight when the curfews are imposed as one part of the polo field is closed at night until the next day, and you have to sneak in all over again?)

What it's really like inside: Dusty walking


Notice all of the WALKING everyone is doing? That's what "Coachella" is -- walking, waiting in line, and paying through the nose after you arrive.

Anyway, Plan B: Play dumb. It's not like these people get paid that much, so sometimes they just don't care that much. Just walk through. And when stopped, questioned, or caught, RUN! Blend in. Getting in for free is impossible. It's not happening, and neither is this:

Police-Rapist-Thief: Golden State (Serial) Killer

Pfc. Sandoval, Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; Seth Meyers Show


Patton Oswalt talks about the Golden State Killer (previously scheduled)
(April 26, 2018) Comedian-actor Patton Oswalt discusses his late wife Michelle McNamara's book on the "Golden State Killer," I'll Be Gone in The Dark, the most recent development in the case with the arrest of former military man, Vietnam veteran, Officer DeAngelo, and reveals the inspiration for his character... More

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Story of the Buddha Off-Broadway (musical)

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis (Lion’s Roar); Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis and Jennifer Keishin Armstrong* reviewed and photographed “Under the Bodhi Tree” last year for Lion's Roar.

On a Tuesday night [May 2017], an audience of about 50 settled into a small, black box theater less than a block from Broadway.

Over the next two hours, they’d learn about the life of the Buddha the same way patrons of other nearby theaters were getting to know Alexander Hamilton or Sunset Boulevard’s Norma Desmond -- through original, rousing song-and-dance numbers.

We'll turn round and round in this insufferable samsara forever until we wake up.
.
Under the Bodhi Tree started as a Korean script written by Jingoo Lee and Julie Song.

It follows Prince Siddhartha from his royal childhood, through his noble [origins] marriage, and eventually on his journey temporarily away from his family and toward enlightenment.
  • [NOTE: Siddhartha left to find why we suffer and thus bring all suffering to an end. He came back seven years later with answers and saved his family and many, many others].
The diverse, ten-person cast finished a 12-day run at the Royal Family Performing Arts Space, and producers are hoping to bring the show to festivals and regional theaters throughout America as well as to create a Korean tour.
 
The production aims to make Prince Siddhartha’s life and teachings accessible to young, modern audiences, with an introduction set in current day featuring characters suffering over everything from pennilessness to lack of likes on Instagram.

Why do we suffer, and how can we end it?
As the play moves into Siddhartha’s time, the future Buddha comes across as timeless.

He wears a simple white cotton and is played by Joshua Grosso with naturalism -- not to mention a killer Broadway voice and a luminous presence.

Many of the other characters are blatantly styled in Rent-like punk and played with a modern edge.

Siddhartha’s childhood sidekick, Channa [who cared for Sid's white pony Kanthaka], wears a pink sweatshirt and moto-style jeans, providing comic relief -- though not all of the audience, many of whom were clutching Korean translation sheets, seemed to get his jokes.

(For instance, “You look like you need some moral support. I’d offer, but my morals are questionable.”) Jordan J. Ford appears as Siddhartha’s snarky tempter, Mara, in a kilt and combat boots.

Lion's Roar (lionsroar.com)
Those boots would be at home in the current Tony-darling Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. One of the cast members wears a Nirvana band T-shirt throughout -- get it?
 
Even if it doesn’t become the next Jesus Christ Superstar, Under the Bodhi Tree is a delightful way to spend an evening -- and remember why we practice. Source

*REVIEWERS

Buddhist Xmas + Cinco de Mayo Party (May 3)

Ananda M. (Dharma Meditaiton Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly


It's Buddhist Xmas x 3! It's a massive holiday throughout the Buddhist world simply called VESAK (April 29, 2018).

Vesak is the name of an ancient Indian month (April-May) when the auspicious full moon marked the birth of Prince Siddhartha.

It was also under the full moon of this month that saw the great enlightenment (maha bodhi).
 
Reclining into nirvana (parinirvana, Burma)
It was also the night of the Buddha's great final reclining into final nirvana without remainder or parinirvana.

It's also this year Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), the famous American holiday we think celebrates Mexican Independence Day, when it actually celebrates a battle that beat and threw out the Colonial French. 

So it's time to party with a vegan potluck at the Dharma Meditation Initiative. The cold kombucha will be flowing.

And a visit by the American nun Sayalay Aloka (shown below) will center around the theme of the (allegorical) Buddha's life, how and why he gained enlightenment, and how we can, too.

Prince Siddhartha sat under the bodhi tree to overcome Mara (Death) and awaken!
.
Sayalay Aloka Nyani, American Buddhist nun
GUEST: Sayalay Aloka -- who was born and raised in Virginia, ordained and trained in Asia, a former student of Goenka-style insight meditation called vipassana.

She now resides at the Thabarwa Nature Center in Pasadena-adjacent Arcadia.

She visits D.M.I. to answer questions on Buddhist practices, easy meditation, as well as "life, the universe, and everything." There will be answers to everything you ever wanted to know.

Kombucha, tacos, salad, chips
And we'll feast on delicious vegan Cinco de Mayo and Asian Buddhist vegetarian foods by potluck, in the Native American potlatch tradition.

Lots of guacamole, salsa, corn chips, dips, tacos, and spice with noodles, veggies, savories, and sweets. Bring ice, bring cups, bring your favorite dish, even if you pick it up at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, both located nearby on Arroyo Seco Parkway (110 Fwy).
  • Dharma Meditation Initiative
  • FREE, Thursday, May 3, 6:30-8:30 PM
  • Sequoyah School Rm. 23 @ Neighborhood Church
  • 301 N. Orange Grove Bl., Pasadena 91103

Buddha's Birthday (Vesak) on Cinco de Mayo

LA Buddhist Vihara (FB); Jen B., Ananda, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly
 
The historical Buddha, born Prince Siddhartha who became Shakyamuni ("the Sage of the Shakya Clan"), was born on the full moon day in Vesak/May.
 
This year the full moon officially falls on our April 29th. Unofficially, it's celebrated in Pasadena on Cinco de Mayo and is called "Vesak."

We're eating FREE food and celebrating at the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara (facebook), Pasadena's Sri Lankan Theravada temple, which is full of rich island-traditions from formerly Buddhist India.

There are two parts to the day, the spiritual meditation from 8:00 am-6:00 pm and the "cultural celebration" from 6:30-9:30 pm.
 
FREE, all our welcome regardless of religion, race, sex, gender, political affiliation (yes, even Republicans), status, views, or anything. No wankers! Well, yes, even wankers.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The BuddhaFest: Los Angeles (June 1-3)

Dhr. Seven, Ananda (D.M.I.), Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; BuddhaFest, Against the Stream


BuddhaFest embraces the principles of mindfulness and compassion through a unique mix of inspiring films, modern wisdom teachings, meditation, and live music.

The response to this year’s BuddhaFest has been incredible. This is the final week to reserve DISCOUNT SEATS with early bird pricing. This year’s lineup of presenters includes:
"Crane Song" filmed in Himalayan Buddhist India, in Ladakh's capital Leh, home of Hemis Gompa, where Issa/Jesus of Nazareth trained. Tenzin Choegyal sings, "Drops of rain wash away the love songs written in the sand. Love though unwritten remains long after in the Heart"
 
A new feature of BuddhaFest this year is the opportunity to go deeper with individual teachers. Select from one of five daylong intensives to attend on the final day.
 
SATURDAY NIGHT FILMS
  • Zen for Nothing, West Coast premiere
  • Honeygiver Among the Dogs, U.S. premiere
Seats for most events are reserved this year, so get them today for the best selection. Save now with discount TICKETS, early bird deadline: Friday, April 27, 2018.
  • The BuddhaFest (BuddhaFest.org)
  • Friday, June 1-Sunday, June 3, 2018
  • Beverly Hills, UCLA Haines Hall, L.A.
Dharma Meditation Initiative - MARC @ UCLA - Disclosure Project - PD - Dharma Punx

Forecast: manmade drought to continue (video)

Associated Press (ap.org); Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Sandbars fill the Rio Grande north of Albuquerque, N.M. Forecasters said April 23, 2018, that drought conditions across southwestern states are contributing to a wildfire threat.
After brief relief, forecasts indicate drought will continue


Dry weather will prolong the wildfire threat through summer in the Southwestern US, even though weekend showers temporarily relieved drought conditions in parts of the area, forecasters said today.


The drought is rooted in a dry spell that began in October and is considered "extreme" from southern California to central Kansas.

Conditions are even worse in the Four Corners region and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, warranting their description as "exceptional."

"The proverbial spigot shut off," said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. "Drought isn't necessarily a signal for wildfires, but it can exacerbate the conditions that do take place." More