Wednesday, August 31, 2011

9/11 Day Meditation SIT-A-THON

Wisdom Quarterly

Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Los Angeles

Sign up now and be a part of Against the Stream's Second Annual Sit-a-Thon. Join them for a lovely day of mindful practice dedicated to helping others. Commemorating a fateful day, this fundraiser for ATS's scholarship program is targeted specifically for the October retreat at Joshua Tree. Sitters are encouraged to raise funds by having friends and family sponsor them. They can support practitioners via an online donation, or sitters can bring cash, checks, or credit cards to the sit. All are welcome to come sit just for the sake of good practice -- allowing this to be a day of remembrance. Read about ATS's intention for the weekend.




9/11 FEMA search filmed underground (cbsnews.com)

The Decades' Biggest Scam

Glenn Greenwald (Salon.com)
The Los Angeles Times examines the staggering sums of money expended on patently absurd domestic "homeland security" projects: $75 billion per year for things such as a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar to respond to a potential attack on a lake in tiny Keith County, Nebraska, and hundreds of "9-ton BearCat armored vehicles, complete with turret" to guard against things like an attack on DreamWorks in Los Angeles. All of that -- which is independent of the exponentially greater sums spent on foreign wars, occupations, bombings, and the vast array of weaponry and private contractors to support it all -- is in response to this mammoth, existential, the-single-greatest-challenge-of-our-generation threat:
  • "The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year," said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism. More

An Exposition on "Right Mindfulness"

Ven. P.A. Payutto (translated from Thai by Wisdom Quarterly and Dhamma-Vijaya)


In the Noble Eightfold Path the practice leading to the complete cessation of unsatisfactoriness (dukkha, suffering) is "right mindfulness" (samma-sati).

It is counted as the second factor of the Concentration Section, the "Higher Mental Training." The usual definition of right mindfulness given in the sutras (discourses) is as follows:

"Monastics, what is right mindfulness? The following is called right mindfulness, namely, that a practitioner in this Doctrine and Discipline:

"1. One contemplates the body in the body with effort, clearly comprehending and mindfully, eradicating covetousness and distress with regard to the world;[1]

"2. One contemplates feeling in feelings with effort, clearly comprehending and mindfully, eradicating covetousness and distress with regard to the world;

"3. One contemplates the mind in the mind with effort, clearly comprehending and mindfully, eradicating covetousness and distress with regard to the world;

"4. One contemplates phenomena [2] in phenomena with effort, clearly comprehending and mindfully, eradicating covetousness and distress with regard to the world" (D.II.313).
  • This gradual training is outlined in the discourse on the setting up of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and explained in detail by teachers in a living oral tradition.
"'Mindfulness' might also be defined as 'knowing where your elbow is at all times.' " (Fr.toonpool.com; loosely translated from German by Wisdom Quarterly).

Another definition, which appears in the Abhidharma ("Higher Teachings") texts, runs as follows:

"What is right mindfulness? Mindfulness (sati) means to bear in mind or bring to mind. It is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering [keeping in mind], the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. It means the mindfulness that is a Spiritual Faculty, the mindfulness that is a Spiritual Power, right mindfulness, the mindfulness that is an Factor of Enlightenment, that which is a Path Factor, and that which is related to the Path. This is what is called right mindfulness" (Vbh.105, 286).
  • These are all references to the great importance of mindfulness in the "37 Requisites of Enlightenment" (bodhi-pakkaya-dhamma), where it occurs 14 times.
Right mindfulness, as defined in the discourses, is a synonym for the principles of Dharma known as the Four Foundations (sati-patthana). The four elements of this group have the abbreviated names of:
  1. mindfulness (or "contemplation") of the body (kaya-anupassana);
  2. mindfulness of feelings (vedana-anupassana);
  3. mindfulness of mind (citta-anupassana);
  4. mindfulness of mind-objects (dhammas or phenomena).
Before investigating the meaning of right mindfulness in terms of the Four Foundations, it is appropriate to point out a few things on the subject of sati to serve as a basic foundation for study. More

TRANSLATOR'S NOTES
[1] "Ananda, whatever is of a nature to dissolve (paloka), this is called 'the world' in the Discipline of the Nobles. What is of a nature to dissolve? The eye, Ananda...visible objects...visual consciousness... visual contact... the ear... sounds...mind contact, and whatever arises conditioned by mind contact, whether felt as pleasant or painful or neutral -- that is of a nature to 'dissolve'."
[2] Namely, all mental and physical phenomena (listed and explained in the discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (MN 10)

The Blissful Way to Meditate

Wisdom Quarterly
(Philiproeland/Flickr)

It was only when Siddhartha stopped being afraid of pleasure dissociated from sensuality that he entered upon the path to enlightenment. For it is not by austerity but by happiness that one finds nirvana: "There is no way to happiness; happiness ["pleasure" (sukha) as a factor of absorption] is the way!"

They See Me Rollin' (More happy panda pictures at Kjdrill/Flickr)

Meditative bliss (piti in jhana or zen, dhyana, ch'an) is given shortshrift in this age of insight (vipassana). But profound concentration serves as the best foundation for the work of penetrative wisdom.

It purifies the mind-heart and stabilizes mindfulness. It intensifies the mind making it manifest what it is capable of, things we ourselves would not believe of it.

For example, when coming out of a meditative absorption it is very useful to review the factors of absorption associated with it. In this way one ensures where in the practice one is. This is done by turning attention toward the "mind door" which is located in the area of the physical heart. Without absorption (or at least access concentration), one sees nothing.

But with it one notices something that has always been there: a greenish mirror reflecting whatever is in the mind. One can then check the factors. (Only do this under a teacher skilled in the absorptions for, as the Gavi Sutra or "Cow Discourse" points out, one foolishly loses even the absorption one has already gained to say nothing of going no higher).

Discipline? Mind Your Own Business! (video)

Today In The Park (MSN Lifestyle Video); Wisdom Quarterly (text)


New mom Lauren gets unwelcome parenting advice from someone she meets at the park (Aug. '11). Being a mindful parent is hard unless you are practicing mindfulness, in which case it just naturally rubs off on kids. But will others notice? Might they think they "know better"?

Having a baby is... yada yada yada. We've all heard it. It changed my life. It was the greatest moment ever when s/he was born. Everyone is sick to death hearing about it. Then comes the tough part, actually raising the bodhisattva...without a white pony.

Destined for enlightenment, born to me? I'm not always sure those go together. But assuming they do, there's Buddhist discipline and money management. In Buddhism monastics get it ready-made as the Vinaya. But the closest thing to a Householder's Discipline comes from the advice to Sigala sutra.
Link

The CIA has us constantly brainwashed

Daniel Brandt (NameBase NewsLine, No. 17, April-June 1997)
Obama "authorizes" CIA to destabilize foreign government (rawstory.com)

Journalism and the CIA: The Mighty [Organ]
Alongside those Greek morality plays and biblical injunctions, we are also reminded by history itself that the use of unethical means to achieve a "worthy end" can be self-destructive. Power, by definition, is isolated from the correcting signals of external criticism.

Or perhaps the feeling of fighting "evil" fits so comfortably, that it is difficult to shed even after objective circumstances change.

The history of U.S. intelligence since World War II follows both patterns. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA's predecessor, had jurisdiction over wartime covert operations and propaganda in the fight against fascism.
OSS chief William Donovan recruited heavily among social and academic elites. When the CIA was launched in 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War, these pioneers felt that they had both the right and the duty to secretly manipulate the masses for the greater good.

OSS veteran Frank Wisner ran most of the early peacetime covert operations as head of the Office of Policy Coordination. Although funded by the CIA, OPC was not integrated into the CIA's Directorate of Plans until 1952, under OSS veteran Allen Dulles.

Both Wisner and Dulles were enthusiastic about covert operations. By mid-1953 the department was operating with 7,200 personnel and 74 percent of the CIA's total budget. More

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sold out "Burning Man" begins (watch live)

Madeleine Brand (KPCC)

BLACK ROCK CITY, Nevada - Economic austerity? Not when it comes to entertaining distractions. More than 50,000 people are converging this week at "Burning Man" for the annual arts festival. It reaches its zenith on Labor Day. Among the attractions are a 15 foot tall Pez Dispenser with a giant yellow chicken head and a giant fire breathing dragon that doubles as a Viking ship.

WATCH LIVE

The festival culminates with the torching of an enormous effigy. For the first time in the festival's 25 year history, tickets are sold out. Scalpers on EBay are charging as much as $800 for tickets [for those afraid to show up and get in for free or for much less], causing some to suggest that capitalistic interests are overshadowing this year's communitarian gathering.

Jessica Bruder joins Madeleine Brand from the desert. Bruder is the author of Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, writing about the gathering's growing pains for the New York Times.

More




Panchen Lama visits Tibetans in remote China

He's just as good as the other guy. You will worship him, autonomous Tibetan serfs, for the glory of the state.

BEIJING, China (AP) - A Buddhist spiritual leader who was installed by China's communist government when he was a boy has visited a major Tibetan monastery in the latest attempt by Beijing to [enhance] his religious credentials.

The Panchen Lama is the second-ranked religious leader to Tibetans, after the Dalai Lama. But Tibetans generally do not accept this Panchen Lama because he was appointed by Beijing, while the original boy selected by the Dalai Lama in 1995 has not been heard from since.

The official Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday quoted the Panchen Lama as saying he was impressed with the amount of religious freedom enjoyed by Buddhists in the area surrounding the Labrang Monastery in western China's Gansu province.

With cues from the LAPD and former police chief Bratton, Chinese soldiers are getting the hang of how to keep Tibetan monks in line. It is said that more than 2,000,000 Tibetans have been killed so far. Bratton is currently in Britain teaching police their how to "re-educate" London protesters.

Britney Spears' Out of Body Experience (video)

Wisdom Quarterly

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music


Britney Spears, while sitting in the front row of the VMAs on Sunday in Los Angeles, had her life-in-music flash before her. Note the shamanistic "mushroom" theme.* Spears was then groped on stage by "Jo Calderone" (aka Lady Gaga), who tried to kiss her. America's sweetheart, the fizzling pop diva, whose latest album is actually her best seller, is getting a boost after years of drugs, ill-advised marriages, and manufactured drama galore. Nun rumors, head shaving, Kevin Federline, it is amazing the world has still not had enough of Brit-Brit. Her beauty, fame, and longevity are no accident. Not only do they make money for many behind the scenes who then protect and promote her public image, but her past life wholesome karma (the Four Bases of Popularity) supports her experience, even as she exhausts her store of merit to no future advantage.
Britney accepts more accolades on stage with manly Lady Gaga (Reuters/dailymail.co.uk)
  • What wholesome actions (kusala karma) is considered the bases of popularity? Generosity, hospitality, kind speech, and impartiality. These are mentioned, but not elaborated, most famously in the Buddha's "Advice to Householders" (Sigalovada Sutra, DN 31).
*Blonde shamans, like the Scandinavian Sami, depend on mushrooms for visions (BBC).

The UFOs have landed? (video)

Sarah Graham (DailyMail.co.uk)
Proof at last? This screen grab from the video shows an apparent UFO approaching the ground with unearthly beings that alight and look around.

The aliens have landed: Amazing footage shows "little green men walking about after UFO touchdown"...but why does it always happen in Siberia?
For an alien looking to explore Earth, the frozen wastes of Siberia may not be the most attractive of landing locations. But if this film footage is to be believed, that's exactly where these "little green men" chose to land their UFO.



The clip, filmed in the remote Irkutsk region of Siberia, appears to show a strange glowing craft and five aliens walking about in the snow.

It shows what seems to be an alien about four feet tall, standing 15 feet away from its glowing craft, with four other similar figures nearby. The short clip was taken two days after mysterious lights illuminated the Siberian night skies above Bayanday, also in Irkutsk.

"These two videos from two independent witnesses show that a UFO event of Roswell-sized proportions has taken place in Russia," said UFO expert Mike Cohen. More

British X Files reveal decades of UFO sightings near Stansted (dailymail.co.uk)

Ask [for UFOs] and It Is Given (video)

Interpreted and translated from broken English by Wisdom Quarterly


() On Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 (20.54 European time, Holland, Netherlands, I took my digital-camera to my balcony. (I already sensed something was near.) I searched the sky, and there on the left and right I saw two very bright lights. So I started recording right away.

After a while my camera was full and stopped recording. Then I saw the one on the right go to the left one, going over that light and slowly disappearing. The one on the left stayed there showing me colors. I was looking at that one, but after a while I looked away very quickly toward my camera, only for a second. [It seemed to know I had looked away because] when I looked back, it disappeared too.

I knew I had caught them on camera. I am now emptying my camera so that maybe tonight I will look and see if I can catch them again. Thanking them in advance [cultivating gratitude in advance], I hope they will appear for a third time and show themselves to me. Because the way I got them to appear in the first place was by asking them yesterday in front of my window. That is how they appeared.

[That is also how Dr. Stephen Greer of the disclosureproject.org claims he gets numerous extraterrestrial crafts and unidentified lights to appear in city skies to be filmed. They apparently possess technology or the natural organic ability to sense beyond the five senses. This would be in line with Sakka's pledge to monitor the moral-ethical state of humankind on a biweekly basis, according to Buddhist legend and Burmese lore.]

I am very thankful and again feel blessed. Namaste, Galactic Federation!

  • HYPERSPACE LANGUAGE: It should also be remembered that extraterrestrial communication involves the use of color, tone, and "archetype" (geometric shape in color that emanates from the mind-pattern and DNA), as detailed by Stewart Swerdlow. Many witnesses, contactees, and abductees have reported this phenomena. In this video, the twin lights appear to be pulsating out a message that may be understood at some deeper level or universally across species and races.
  • Ask and It Is Given (Abraham-Hicks, Law of Attraction)
  • Ask for UFOs if you want to see them (examiner.com)
  • Conversations with Dr. Greer (WPN) "Disclosure 10 Years Later, Part 2." Dr. Loder and Dr. Bravo continue their discussion about the Disclosure Project. The 2001 Nat'l Press Club conference impacted individuals the world over. Since then many countries have declassified information. More
  • VIDEO: Witnesses report UFO in Changchun
  • Multiple witnesses in Changchun, China saw a single UFO on August 27, 2011. The UFO was described as "very bright and large." The unidentified flying object moved slowly in the sky for a staggering two hours before disappearing from sight. Officials have not commented on the identity of the object.

Why no Moon return? ("Apollo 18" trailer)


(APOLLO 18) Officially, Apollo 17 -- which the US launched on December 17, 1972 -- was the last manned mission to the Moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the Moon funded by the US Department of War (Defense). This movie claims to contain actual footage the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it is the real reason we have never gone back to the Moon.

Did it all begin with Korea? (video)

America was once Korean territory -- as was Sumer, Egypt, and Central Asia, which includes Mesopotamia, the "cradle of civilization"? (Mash84)

Historian Rick Field's research (How the Swans Came to the Lake) establishes an Asian history of Buddhism in America -- long before Christianity. It was the first world religion to reach the Americas prior to Columbus and the Conquistadors.

It is easy to imagine Japanese or Chinese expansion, but Korea? Some Korean historians say Korea seeded Sumerian, Egyptian, Central Asian, and Mesoamerican cultures and eventual empires.

Sublime has a remake of a classic punk rock song by Bad Religion that teaches us all a lesson about expansionism, a Manifest Destiny view of the planet, and an endless thirst for fresh conquests:

We're Only Gonna Die
"Early man walked away as modern man took control
Their minds weren't all the same to conquer was his goal
So he built his great empire and he slaughtered his own kind
He died a confused man killed himself with his own mind... Go!



We're only gonna die from our own arrogance.
We're only gonna die from our own arrogance.
We're only gonna die from our own arrogance.
(That's why we might as well take our time)."

(Written by Greg Graffin, Ph.D. of Bad Religion from their debut release: "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?")


Did Korea establish Aztec and Inca empires?

The UFOs are Landing (video)


VIDEO: Unsolved Mysteries: The Cash Landrum UFO Case (Disclose.TV)

The Cash-Landrum incident was a reported unidentified flying object sighting from the US in 1980. The eyewitnesses insist it was responsible for damaging their health in a way reminiscent of biblical passages stating that one could not look directly at "God" or be smited. It is one of very few UFO cases to result in criminal court proceedings. It is classified as a close encounter of the second kind, due to its reported physical effects on the witnesses and their automobile without interaction with the occupants of the craft.

Can't Look at "the Gods" and Live
Allaboutgod.com

Humans are not allowed to look directly at God and live (Exodus 33:20). When Moses, an Old Testament figured beloved by Jews, encountered God as a blazing bush that did not burn up, he feared looking (Exodus 3:6).

Moses had an intimate relationship with his extraterrestrial god (akasha deva) but with limitations (Deuteronomy 34:10). In seeking God’s dazzling presence, Moses is reminded, “you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:11, 20-23).

Old Testament examples of God’s appearance centered on his glory (which means light, resplendence, halo, shining; deva literally means "shining one"). That light, thought of as the deva's celestial/extraterrestrial/heavenly presence, can dwelling in glowing objects: the Tabernacle (Numbers 12:5; 16:19, 42), pillar of fire and pillar [platform, chariot of fire, vimana, spacecraft] of cloud (Numbers 14:14).
In Buddhist and Indian lore, a Brahma ["the supreme," who is neither singular nor supreme] has no form to appear in, so it adopts one according to the situation and thereby interacts, often in the appearance of a beloved youth named Pa├▒casikha (DN 19). This would explain the Christian conviction that its omnipotent and omniscient creator god came as a child: "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God." More

Forbidden Archeology: Hidden Human History

mcremo.com


Where did we humans come from? What is the real history of humankind? Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson challenge the prevailing theory of Darwinian evolution with their groundbreaking work Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race. It was first released in 1993 and quickly became an underground classic. Today it is a bestseller, with foreign editions in over 20 languages, presenting both accepted and anomalous scientific evidence defying traditional ideas concerning human evolution. Exploring this field is a fascinating intellectual excavation of a vast store of hidden knowledge.

UFO sightings point to other Earths, ET life

Huliq.com (Aug. 28, 2011)

STONEFIELD BEACH, Oregon – A true Earth twin might be revealed soon. Astronomers expect to find other warm, wet, rocky worlds teeming with life in what’s been called a “discovery of alien Earths by the dozens within the next few years," states a leading astrobiologist.

The Roman poet Lucretius believed in “other worlds in other parts of the universe, with races of different men and different animals.” Ancient Native Americans -- who settled this region of the central Oregon coast at Stonefield Beach -- also pointed to “another Earth” in the sky.

Leaders in astrobiology, who have studied the “native peoples” in this region, said they believe a true Earth twin might be revealed “soon.” In his new book Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets, renowned astronomer Ray Jayawardhana, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, states that the discovery of other Earths will “trigger paradigm shifts not only in science but also in many other human endeavors, from the arts to religion.” More

Monday, August 29, 2011

Change is the only Constant (video)

Wisdom Quarterly


The phenomenal world -- consisting exclusively of composite "things" -- is in constant flux. This transiency is, paradoxically, its only steady characteristic.

There is a beyond, which is utterly different and incomprehensible to a mind that has only known and taken this flux to be real. This "beyond" goes even beyond beyond and is called nirvana. It is peaceful and blissful. The shore we are on is called the "continued wandering on" (samsara). It is restless, painful, and impersonal.

It used to be that western minds, given to philosophizing about ideas rather than direct mystical experience, called the distinction phenomenal and noumenal. But this carries many connotations and assumptions that do not apply.

Words will never suffice. The words themselves have no meaning. And although we understand today, it is not because of the words that mark it. Those same words mean nothing to the person who does not understand it. Understanding transcends words.

photo Kwan Yin beheld from on high and saw that all conditional things are empty (impersonal). By "things" she meant those things closest to us -- our bodies, feeling, perceptions, volitions, and consciousness. Seeing them as they really are -- passing, unpleasant, and impersonal -- her heart was utterly freed by non-clinging (am P H O T O/flickr).

Why would we ever want to leave this pleasurable transient, unsatisfactory, impersonal world? There's pleasure here. It's true. There is. There's a greater peace, a greater bliss there, but we would have to renounce the lower for the higher, and few of us are will to lose a bird in the hand for more in the bush.

We want them both. It's the nature of experience here, marred as it is with greediness for what we like, aversion to what we do not, and confusion about neutral things we see neither value nor harm in.

Wise reflection on this impermanent aspect of the illusion here is liberating. But it may be unpleasant if we take it personally. If we view it mindfully, there is no pain and nothing personal about it. Viewing it in this way is liberating. "Not having been, they [things] come into being. But once having been, they cease." Why would we ever become attached if we directly knew that?

Passing, passing, passing. Nothing to grasp. Falling away, falling away, falling away, their dissolution is bliss because their coming together is unsatisfactory. We want it to be one way over an other. Far better it is to escape to reality.

Six-fingered Titans (Giants) among us

Wisdom Quarterly, SteveQuayle.com, AP


One telltale sign of space alien-human hybridization is polydactyly, a common excess of digits. They were noted by Giant expert Steve Quayle (stevequayle.com) from an asura/nephilim brought out of Afghanistan (Long Walkers: Return of the Nephilim).



Cuban man proud of his 24 digits
Known as "Twenty-Four," in this photo taken Aug. 24, 2011, Yoandri Hernandez Garrido, 37, drinks juice from a coconut in Baracoa, Guantanamo province, Cuba. Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in this eastern Cuban city popular with tourists. Known as polydactyly, Hernandez's condition is relatively common. But it is rare for the extra digits to be so perfect (AP/Javier Galeano).



Lost City of the Grand Canyon

Remarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient
ARIZONA GAZETTE, 1909 - "The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette, was brought to the city yesterday by G.E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago....



The Shrine

"Over a hundred feet from the entrance is a cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which was found the idol, or image, of the peoples god, sitting cross-legged, with a Lotus flower or Lily in each hand. The cast of the face is Oriental, and the carving shows a skillful hand, and the entire is remarkably well preserved, as is everything in this cavern. The idol most resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that the worship most resembles the ancient [Buddhist] people of Thibet. Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some beautiful in form, other crooked necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cacti with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble." More

BUSTED: Taking Down Lemonade Stand Kids

The US has a list of Americans that the country can now murder abroad if they are fraternizing with any group labelled a "terrorist" organization. Paul Craig Roberts says it is another sign the US has become a police state ().

Police are ramping up their nationwide crackdown on illegal lemonade stand enterprises. "We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with," says Midway, GA police chief.



No crime is too small to pick at, even if the real motive for enforcing it is something altogether different. Selling milk in its natural state? SWAT operation. Collecting cans to make ends meet in a flawed economy intent on seeing more and more Americans destitute? Prison time. Crime, protesting, volunteering? Police will not stand for it.

Military "service" (to ensure corporate free trade worldwide), TSA, riot policing (to ensure domestic docility), night watchperson guarding -- if you can find an opening. Has the USA become a police state already?