Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Eve 2015 or Insight Meditation

Snowman warms up to 2015 on a breezy beach to snuggle (
Looks can be so deceiving, particularly at a party when playing diva dress up (Filip Wolak).

The sexy photography of Filip Wolak in rocking clubs (groobo/
It's almost New Year's Eve, the biggest night of decadent celebration (next to Halloween) in the nation. The whole world will be welcoming Baby 2015, a cherub with a top hat. What to do, what to do? Nightclub and dancing, meditation hall and sitting, staying up late to watch Dick Clark's ghost talk about a ball in New York falling to the ground after watching the fireworks display in Sydney, India, and various capitals that get the Sun's blessing sooner than the land of the setting sun, our own USA? One could set intentions at Spirit Rock or Against the Stream, watch videos with Shambhala, cheer on the early morning football crowds lining the boulevard for the world famous Rose Parade (followed by the more famous Rose Bowl game)... If only there were a cave to sit in while the whole world writhes in ecstasy as a new calendar gets tacked up. Two days off work? No, they want us back in on Friday. And Friday means a whole new round of parties. Are we devas (well born beings imagining themselves immortal because they outlive humans) or simply fortunate humans wasting our opportunity to learn and practice the liberating Dharma?

Sutra: In the Forest
John D. Ireland (trans.) edited by Wisdom Quarterly (SN 1:10)
The devas, like Radha and Krishna, delight in sensuality not realizing their mortality.
Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove in the multimillionaire’s monastery. Now when night was passing a certain deva [see definition below], lighting up the entire grove with her surpassing beauty, approached the Buddha. Having drawn near and bowed, she stood respectfully to one side.
Standing there the deva said:
Those living in the forest,
Peaceful and calm, of pure life,
Eating but one meal a day,
How is it they appear so radiant?
The Buddha replied:
They sorrow not for what is past,
They have no longing for the future,
The present is sufficient for them,
Hence it is they appear so radiant.
By having longing for the future,
By sorrowing over what is past,
By this fools are withered up
As a cut down tender reed. [The end.]
Best New Year's Eve parties, L.A.
Best and worst of Hard Day of the Dead 2014
Whether it's the best night of the year to party or a risky amateur night, New Year's Eve feels special. It deserves more than booze in front of the home boob tube. Take a chance and get out! As in years past, The LA Weekly strives to compile a diverse array of happenings to choose from, a sampling of the wild and wonderful offerings covered all year in L.A. From themed retro nights to mega-hotel bashes to DJ-driven dance-offs to offbeat bashes that could only happen here, in this great city, any of these might be a fine and festive way to kick off 2015. All events listed are on Wednesday night, Dec. 31, 2014 and are over 21 (unless otherwise specified), ending at 2:00 am. More
Insight Meditation Society, Boston area, Barre, Mass. with Joseph Goldstein (
InsightLA, westside Los Angeles, with Trudy Goodman (
    Spirit Rock, San Francisco adjacent, Marin with Jack Kornfield, et al. (
    What are devas?
    Deva: an inhabitant of the woodlands or one of the many celestial worlds. The word literally means “shining one” and is related to the English words divine, diva, deity, divinity, and so on.
    Akasha deva (TW)
    The body of a deva is purer and more subtle than a human being’s with varying grades of luminosity, radiating light like our own. Whereas our auras are weak, theirs are strong. They may regard themselves as "immortal" but are quite mortal, generally living much, much longer than humans.
    The period before dawn is the usual time for these beings to visit the Buddha, one of whose titles is sattha deva-manussanam, the "teacher of devas and humans."

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