Monday, December 17, 2018

FREE Xmas Meditation Retreat (Dec. 22-25)

Ellie Askew, Sayalay (Nature Center), Ananda M. (DMI), Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

I'm a Siberian mushroom shaman anyway.
Looking for mental recharging and spiritual development over the popular holiday? This retreat will definitely give all participants useful tools for life. We'll enjoy a variety of sitting, standing, and walking meditations, with guidance, Dharma talks and discussions along the way. Sleep over or come over daily: Request for FREE overnight stays at the meditation center accepted, equal numbers of males and females. We'll start each morning with group meditation, 8:30 to 9:30 am, and end each day at 5:30 pm. Simple vegan lunch and afternoon tea provided. FREE/by donation as you wish. First come, first serve. Waiting list to apply. Request your space now.

Early Buddhist art exhibit, Hsi Lai Temple

HsiLai.org; Dhr. Seven, Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Wisdom Quarterly


Prince Siddhartha Gautama
The Hsi Lai Temple art gallery houses a rich collection of Buddhist artifacts from around the world, along with Chinese art and temporary displays -- such as the current photography exhibit of Buddhist art from Northwestern India and modern Pakistan, an area once known as Gandhara, where the earliest and most famous images of the historical Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, come from. In these he appears as a Central Asian king with Western and Eastern features, often wearing a toga in the ancient Greek style of Bactria in old "Shakya Land" (modern Afghanistan according to Dr. Ranajit Pal), mistakenly thought of as Kapilavastu, one of its seasonal capitals, Sogdia, and Indo-Sakastan. Saka=Shakya. Exhibition ends Sunday, 12/23/18. More

    Sunday, December 16, 2018

    Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet (Dec. 18)

    Laemmle.com/films/44543; Wisdom Quarterly
    Broadcast of this performance is part of Laemmle's "Culture Vulture" series (laemmle.com/culturevulture). It comes from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Russia. Here the greatest work of Spanish fiction (North African history), Don Quixote comes to life on cinema screens nationwide. Inspired by heroic African stories of brave knights, with his faithful servant Sancho Panza at his side, Don Quixote sets out on an adventure to meet his ideal woman, Dulcinea. With panache and sparkling technique, principal dancers Ekaterina Krysanova and Semyon Chudin lead the spectacular cast of toreadors, flamenco dancers, gypsies, and dryads in the Bolshoi's critically-acclaimed staging of this exalted performance. It is a quintessential Bolshoi event. Tickets

    Thursday, December 13, 2018

    Meditation for the Holidays (Dec. 20)

    Ananda M.(Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Ellie Askew, Wisdom Quarterly


    End of year POTLUCK. Last week we had a yogi from India explain the "Eight Factors of Yoga" and how to use them to enter deep meditative states. We will use the breathing (pranayama) we learned to enhance our regular practice of meditations (1) serenity, (2) mindfulness, and (3) loving-kindness in addition to group shares. Holiday vegan snack spectacular, refreshments. Plus a Zen story.
    • Dharma Meditation Initiative
    • FREE, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, 7:00-8:30 PM
    • Neighborhood UU Church
    • 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Rm. 23
    • Pasadena, California 91103
    Dharma Meditation Initiative - UCLA - Disclosure Project - Nature Center - PasaDharma

    The Eight Limbs of Yoga

    Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

    Ahimsa is at the heart of spirituality
    The Indian sage Patanjali's writings became the basis for a system referred to as Ashtanga Yoga or "Eight-Limbed Practice." This eight-factor concept, apparently borrowed from the Buddha's revolutionary Noble Eightfold Path, is listed in the twenty-ninth sutra of Book 2 of The Yoga Sutras. These eight factors are:
    1. Abstentions or Yama refers to five things: ahimsa (non-harming other living beings, nonviolence), satya (truthfulness, non-falsehood), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (restraint, chastity, celibacy, fidelity to one's partner), and aparigraha (non-avarice, non-possessiveness).
    2. Observances or Niyama refers to five things: sauca (purity, clearness of mind, speech and body), santosha (contentment, acceptance of others and of one's circumstances), tapas (persistent meditation, perseverance, austerity), svādhyāya (study of self, self-reflection, study of spiritual texts), and ishvara-pranidhana (contemplation of the supreme or of the true self).
    3. Poses or Asana literally means "seat," and in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras it refers to the seated positions used for meditation.
    4. Breathing Exercises or Pranayama: prāna ("invisible life force energy") or breath [Latin spiritus] and āyāma to "stretch, extend, restrain, stop."
    5. Withdrawal or Pratyahara: withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
    6. Contemplation or Dharana: intense contemplation of the nature of the objects of meditation.
    7. Meditation or Dhyana ("absorption"): fixing the attention on a single object.
    8. Concentration or Samadhi: merging consciousness with the object of meditation. More
    What about Buddhism?

    While these eight do NOT correspond to Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, which leads to enlightenment and final liberation, they are compatible and helpful.

    The key difference is Right View, which is missing in yoga. It is a necessary motive for taking up the Buddhism's path. There is initial or mundane right view and confirmed right view brought about through insight practices.

    The contemplation, concentration, and meditation listed here would in Buddhism all come under the heading Right Concentration, whereas Right Mindfulness (defined as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness) is what leads to liberating insight called vipassana.

    Zen

    Rhys Davids and Stede (1921-25), in their entry for jhāna, as well as Kapleau (1989, p. 385), explain that the word zen comes from the Sanskrit dhyāna.

    Pali Text Society Secretary Dr. Rupert Gethin, in describing the activities of wandering ascetics like the Buddha, wrote:
    "...[T]here is the cultivation of meditative and contemplative techniques aimed at producing what might, for the lack of a suitable technical term in English, be referred to as 'altered states of consciousness'. In the technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed 'meditations' dhyāna/jhāna) or 'concentrations' (samādhi); the attainment of such states of consciousness was generally regarded as bringing the practitioner to deeper knowledge and experience of the nature of the world" (Gethin, 1998, p. 10).

    POEM: “Violent Delights Have Violent Ends”

    Caitlin Gildrien (rattle.com, Nov. 15, 2018); Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
    California alleges utility company falsified pipeline safety records (AP.org/mail.com/news).
    .
    “Violent Delights Have Violent Ends”
    I don’t want to write
    about California. I don’t want to look.
    Did you know there were two new litters
    of mountain lions in the Santa Monica mountains?
    A mama can only carry one at a time. I don’t know
    why that’s the thing that breaks me. It’s the world
    that breaks me. We’ve broken the world.

    Just past the tweet that tells me about the kittens
    is a thread about Romeo and Juliet,
    the Claire and Leo movie version,
    and that is what I click through. How I loved that movie,
    the fish tank, the kissing. I wanted to live
    in a world like that, a world like this world
    except slant. Better lighting, better language.

    How you can understand it best
    by not listening too closely. I think too much.
    All the fish in that tank scooped probably from the sea;
    how the sea is failing. I wanted to love someone
    until they would die for me. I wanted to be the one
    they would choose to carry out of the burning world.

    When the fish stocks fail, when the Amazon tips
    past the point for which it can compensate
    with the meager reforestation it is allowed—
    there should be nicer language for this in a poem,
    I’m sorry. I just keep thinking of Juliet, who thought the sea
    was infinite and so a good metaphor for love.
    But we’re determined to find the bottom
    of any bounty. They thought this continent
    was boundless, too, and scraped it clean
    to prove themselves its better. They.

    Did you see that storm of smoke,
    utterly apocalyptic, over the highway?
    It makes a person say God. God, lift me
    by the scruff. Or the throat, maybe.
    All of us, maybe. Shake hard.
    Be rough with love.
    from Poets Respond, Nov. 15, 2018
    __________
     
    POET Caitlin Gildrien: “A friend who is a science writer tweeted about the mountain lion kittens, and though of course the costs of these fires are deep and broad for humans and for the rest of the environment, that fact really shook me—as did the way that Twitter shoves the somber and heartbreaking up against the trivial as though they are equally weighted. I was born in California, though I live across the country now, and it’s been increasingly painful each year to watch the fires become more uncontrollable. It’s one of the many reasons I fear for our future” (Web).

    Yoga as Entrance to Meditation (Dec. 13)

    Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly

    https://www.meetup.com/zen-07/events/Yoga, which means "union" with breath (spirit), lays the foundation for meditation practice. Just as the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path is the Middle Way toward enlightenment and nirvana, so Integral Yoga has Eight Factors or Limbs of Yoga that prepare body and mind to gain profound states of meditation. We welcome back lifelong practitioner from India Swami Adrish Ananda to explain and demonstrate many preliminary things we can do to strengthen and deepen -- in some cases begin -- our daily meditation (development) practice.
    Dharma Meditation Initiative - UCLA - Disclosure Project - Nature Center - Punx

    Monday, December 10, 2018

    George H.W. Bush the war criminal (video)

    The Jimmy Dore Show, Dec. 3, 2018; Pfc. Sandoval, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

    Twitter pounces on George H.W. Bush's WAR CRIMES after death
    What can be said about our collective North American memory? Have many of us already forgotten what war criminals the Bush Dynasty is -- Nazi Prescott Bush, Iraq War mass murderer, and his sons, which included adopted boys Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld? With all his Carlyle Group money and kickbacks, it's possible George H. W. Bush is alive and well in a rejuvenated body, and this is all a sham. But with a state funeral, he'll never be part of the Mandela Effect like Nelson Mandela got, according to a South African school textbook distributed to students, before he made his infamous comeback. Here, enlightening comedian Jimmy Dore gives us the lowdown on the real Bush and his American atrocities for blood and oil, disaster capitalism and Christian fronting.

    Dore has a community for liking, commenting, and sharing to reach a wider audience. Stay positive! Jimmy Dore on twitter, Stef Zamorano The Miserable Liberal, Ron Placone on twitter. Edited by Arno Bolbolian: twitter. About The Show: #TheJimmyDoreShow is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics, and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author, and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on Pacifica stations throughout the country. And it is part of the Young Turks Network -- the largest online news show in the world. Newsvoice app: bit.ly/2Qos8z1. Support the show and independent media: Become a PATRON: patreon.com/jimmydore or a premium member: bit.ly/JDPremium. Upcoming Live Shows: bit.ly/2gRqoyL. The Jimmy Dore Show Online Store: t-shirts, mugs, and more: bit.ly/shopTJDS. Full audio version of The Jimmy Dore Show on iTunes: bit.ly/tjdshow

    Sunday, December 9, 2018

    Dems: Impeachment and Jail for Trump

    Associated Press via mail.com; David Hoffman; Editors, Wisdom Quarterly

    Why and How Germans Bought Hitler's Pitch
    The PBS documentary "How Hitler Lost the War" takes a unique point of view. Rather than talking about who won the war, it explores what Adolf Hitler did that helped lose the war for Germany. Although it happened long ago, it is a frighteningly contemporary story as fellow German Donald J. [Trumf[ runs this country into the ground. See the entire film: createspace.com/204551.

    Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

    WASHINGTON, DC - Top House Democrats have raised the prospect of impeachment or the real possibility of prison time for President Donald Trump if it's proved that he directed illegal hush-money payments to women, adding to the legal pressure on the president over the Russia investigation and other scandals. More

    Friday, December 7, 2018

    Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World (video)

    Brittany Hughes, Seven Wonders; Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


    Massive ancient stupa in Sri Lanka (wiki)
    This kind note comes from Ms. Tharuka Lanka Geeganage: My feeling is that this documentary does not reach the point of introducing Theravada Buddhism. If a person new to Buddhism were to watch it, s/he would think it's a fancy and colorful religion in most cases. Yet the largest [Shakyian/Scythian] Buddhist burial mound, or stupa, in the world -- which houses a large collection of the historical Buddha's remains -- is situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. It is called "Ruwanvali Great Stupa," and it should be counted as the second wonder. I suggest that, if further details are needed on this, Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, who are trained to have in-depth knowledge on Theravada Buddhism and the historical Buddha (Prince Siddhartha Gautama) be sought out and consulted to have this wonder included.

    Major Ed Dames on Remote Viewing (video)

    Ed Dames (learnrv.com);Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

    The mind has many powers.
    The CIA and the U.S. Army developed a protocol with over $20 million of funding called Remote Viewing (RV). It enables the unconscious mind's inherent ability to obtain knowledge about any person, place, or thing in the past, present, or future.

    What separates official Remote Viewing protocols from anyone else that teaches some other system is that virtually anyone can learn this with no previous experience or "abilities" required.

    HOW DOES THE RV TRAINING WORK?
    The Learn Remote Viewing DVD course was built entirely from the ground up to offer a user-friendly experience that provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and interactive lessons to help practitioners proceed through each training stage.
    After each lesson, a person will execute a blind practice target that incorporates what has just been learned, conducting each Remote Viewing practice session right along with classroom students on the DVDs.

    After each session has ended, detailed feedback is immediately provided and the target is revealed. Comparing session results with the actual results of the classroom students makes learning more interactive.

    The feedback segments show how accurately a person hit the target and where pitfalls may have been so that one quickly and continually becomes more accurate. This course was designed to allow one to go through each DVD at one's own pace. More

    Thursday, December 6, 2018

    Is the Sun conscious? (video)

    Rupert Sheldrake (Electric Universe UK; Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

    Recorded at Reconnect 2018 (July 7, 2018) in Bath, UK. This speculative, thought-provoking talk ushers us to look beyond the confines of materialistic science and consider how the consciousness of stellar bodies, such as our Sun (Surya, Sol, Helios), is of interest for anthropological and cultural reasons. Moreover, it is also a valid field of inquiry in modern philosophy, psychology, cosmology, and neuroscience.

    Bhikkhu Bodhi: Bridging two Buddhisms (video)

    Bhikkhu Bodhi (Bodhi Monastery); Dhr. Seven, Ananda, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


    What would the Buddha say about Buddhism?
    There are TWO Buddhisms, the "Teaching of the Elders" (Theravada), the "elders" being the immediate circle of fully enlightened monastic disciples who followed the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, and the later "Big Vehicle" (Mahayana), a kind of Hindu (Brahmanism)-Buddhism syncretism.

    Mahayana (90%) denounced every other Buddhist school as being a "lesser vehicle" until all of these sects/schools went extinct. Theravada (10%) is not one of these "Hinayana" schools but is nevertheless referred to as one by careless accusers.

    What could these two paths -- the one the Buddha explicitly taught and encouraged, and the other more modern interpreters have derived and taken as implicitly taught by the Enlightened One, mixed in with a lot of Asian cultures and practices that have nothing to do with the Buddha's original teachings -- have in common that one should want to bridge them?

    Who is Bhikkhu Bodhi?
    Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
    Scholar-monk Ven. Bodhi
    He was drawn to Buddhism when he was in his early 20s. After obtaining his doctorate, he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the late Ven. Ananda Maitreya, the leading Sri Lankan Theravada scholar-monk of recent times.

    He was appointed editor of Sri Lanka's Buddhist Publication Society in 1984 and its president in 1988.


    Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor, including The Buddha — A Translation of the Middle Length Discourses (co-translated with Ven. Nanamoli (1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha — a New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (2000), and a popular anthology entitled In the Buddha’s Words (2005).

    In May 2000 he gave the keynote address at the United Nations on its first official celebration of Vesak (the thrice-blessed day of the Buddha’s birth, great enlightenment, and final passing).

    He returned to the U.S. in 2002 and currently resides in Upstate New York at Chuang Yen Monastery and teaches there and at Bodhi Monastery.

    He is currently the chairman of Yin Shun Foundation and very active in the Buddhist Global Relief. More

    The First Thanksgiving (short cartoon)

    Uncivil History, Oct. 7, 2018; Xochitl, Crystal Q., Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


    What Really Happened
    This educational animation tells the in-depth story surrounding the first "Thanksgiving" or Native American potlatch Europeans attended. A bibliography follows.

    AUTHOR'S NOTE: This video is meant to give an unbiased account of the events that unfolded in the years leading up to the first Thanksgiving and several years following that feast (roughly 1614-1622).

    An Indigenous Peoples' History of the U.S.
    Native American names may be mispronounced but with deep respect for the First Nations who have had their languages destroyed by European invaders.

    To keep this video below seven minutes, many details were abbreviated. Only the essence remains for a well-rounded view and understanding of this very interesting event. For instance, we do not know what epidemic (called the Great Dying of 1616-1619) killed so many Native Americans, despite numerous theories.

    Squanto died in 1622, never admitting any involvement in a plot to overthrow Massasoit. The events following 1622 could fill many more videos. But there is no political agenda here, only a history student's attempt to give an account that is as close as we have gotten to the truth so far.

    For mind-blowing details, see the incredible work of indigenous historian Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States.

    Mockery: US humor about "Indians" today
    (Family Guy) Genius Stewie and dog Brian go to a universe where Native Americans had guns.

    Sources
    • Los Angeles (haramokngna.org)
      Abbott, John S. C. King Philip: Makers of History. ebook, 2009.
    • Adams, Charles Francis. Three Episodes of Massachusetts History (Vol. 1). Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1892.
    • Berkhofer, Jr., Robert F. The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
    • Bradford, William. Of Plymouth Plantation, ed. Charles Deane. Boston: Privately printed, 1856.
    • Bragdon, Kathleen J. Native Peoples of Southern New England, 1500-1650. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.
    • Cave, Alfred A. The Pequot War. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.
    • Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.
    • D’Argenio, Joseph Ronald. “Building a Pilgrim Utopia; Identity, Security and the Contradiction of Cross-cultural Affairs at New Plymouth, 1620-1640.” Master of Arts, Lehigh University, 2004.
    • Demos, John. A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
    • Drinnon, Richard. Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.
    • Jennings, Francis. The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest. New Work: W.W Norton, 1976.
    • Johnson, Michael G and Richard Hook (illustrations). American Woodland Indians. London: Osprey Publishing, 1990.
    • Konstam, Angus and Angus McBride (illustrations). Elizabethan Sea Dogs 1560-1605. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing, 2000.
    • Kruer, Matthew. “Red Albion: Henocide and English Colonialism.” Master of Arts, University of Oregon, 2009.
    • Mann, Charles. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
    • Mason, John. A Brief History of the Pequot War: Especially of the Memorable Taking of their Fort at Mistick in Connecticut in 1637. Boston: S.Kneeland and T. Green, 1736. Roberts, Keith and Stephen Walsh (illustrations).
    • Matchlock Musketeer 1588-1688. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing, 2002.
    • Roberts, Keith and Angus McBride (illustrations). Soldiers of the English Civil War 1 Infantry.  London: Osprey Publishing, 1989.
    • Standard, David E. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
    • Tincey, John and Angus McBride (illustrations). Soldiers of the English Civil War 2 Cavalry. London: Osprey Publishing, 1990.
    • White, John. “Index of White Watercolors and De Bry Engravings.” virtualjamestown.org...
    • Williams, Roger. A Key into the Language of America. London: Gregory Dexter, 1643.
    • Winslow, Edward. “Good Newes from New England: or a true Relation of things very remarkable at the Plantation of Plimoth in New-England.” In Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth, from 1602 to 1625. Edited by Alexander Young. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1841.
    • Winthrop, John, ed. John Beardsley. “A Model of Christian Charity.” The Winthrop Society Quarterly, 1997.
    • Wood, William. New England’s Prospect. Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1865.
    • Young, Alexander, ed. “The Company’s First General Letter of Instructions to Endicott and His Council.” In Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, from 1623 to 1636. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846.