Thursday, May 28, 2015

How shall we meditate now? (video)

Wisdom Quarterly EDITORIAL BOARD; Ven. √Ďanamoli (Wheel 17, BPS.lk), Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero; Mindah-Lee Kumar (enthusiasticbuddhist.com); DemocracyNow.org
Ancient Buddhist-Afghanistan: Mes Aynak, Bamiyan, Hadda, Ajina Tepe... (film/video)
The Dhammapada is great Buddhist reading. Are you there, God? It's me... (Bex Finch).
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Some fake quotes are very nice.
The new editor elect, Pat Macpherson, has made changes at Wisdom Quarterly. He has decided to return the format to quarterly posts. That certainly works for the Dharma editors (see below), but it has caused much consternation among the features editors who want to cover many breaking stories on a daily basis.

There are over 67 stories in the kitty that could go to press today, so what's the hold up? (Send related comments and complaints marked "Dear Mr. Macpherson" in the comments section). There is much to cover like discussions of Vesak, the thrice blessed Buddhist holiday, the synthetic drought in California, needless man-made flooding in Texas, new U.S. Army whistle blower Chelsea Bradley Manning and heroic Edward Snowden and WikiLeak's Julian Assange revelations, as well as those of nuclear whistle blowers, crimes against humanity by the U.S.-sponsored military industrial complex in more foreign wars and covert campaigns than the American public can keep track of...

Macpherson wants ads among the posts.
Buddhists in Burma are abusing the Muslim Rohingya minority, the boat people of Europe are drowning, Israel is becoming more draconian but the U.S. State Department and its propaganda arms in the popular media are trying to make it illegal and "anti-Semitic" to criticize the "State of Israel" (what the illegal occupation officially calls itself in ancient Palestine under the U.S.-groomed war criminal Netanyahu) or in any way compare its actions to Nazi Germany and their former leader.

Freedom of speech must be stopped (MW).
The Pacifica Radio Network (e.g., KPFK, KPFA) is struggling to keep revealing the truth, but Sonali Kolhatkar and Mitch Jeserich keep broadcasting. Coast to Coast keeps pumping the airwaves with supernatural and extraterrestrial discussions as well as the occasional whistle blower. The NSA is not being stopped by new laws but just shifting its known storage space from a government espionage agency to the hands of private for-profit companies who gladly turn information over to the NSA, CIA, FBI, NSC, the Pentagon, and other alphabet-agencies whenever asked.

(The Enthusiastic Buddhist) Whatever else is true or untrue, believable or unbelievable, uplifting or downcasting, there are still these four ennobling truths, the contemplation of which leads to freedom from all suffering: The Four Noble Truths at the heart of Buddhism.

(The NSA and other spying agencies will still secretly spy and keep all the records they want, breaking laws along the way, because they are not only under the de jure but also the de facto "behind the scenes or "shadow" government that runs country and NATO and the MIC). Oliver Stone is still trying to get the word out that most of what we have been told about "American history" is propagandistic distortions. Did he speak to whistle blower historian Douglas Dietrich to get even deeper in the weeds? Probably not. And why worry about politics when there is a much, much bigger picture to contemplate as explained by maverick historian, anthropologist, and forbidden archeologist Michael Cremo?

A funny Buddhist is good to find.
There is still an Occupy Movement even if it does not call itself "Occupy" Everything. Kyle Cease is coming to town. Thich Nhat Hanh is ill. Our beloved Buddhist-Afghanistan is being ground to dust by the Empire (with China waiting in the wings to take out its first bite and destroy the amazing Mes Aynak). Impoverished Buddhist-Hindu Nepal as the earth slips out from under it is crumbling and Mt. Everest is closed. There is a massive and deadly heatwave in India. Enlightenment beckons. But how shall we meditate -- and when and where? Here, and now, by just doing it.
DAILY BREAKING NEWS
DemocracyNow.org


What does Buddhism have to do with anything?
Mindah-Lee Kumar (enthusiasticbuddhist.com); Ven. √Ďanamoli (Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha, Wheel 17, BPS), Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly
Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha Gautama, as first represented in human form in Afghanistan, Gandhara, Indo-Pakistan, Central Asia, and ancient Greece in Hellenized lands like Bactria and Scythia (WQ).
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The Four Noble Truths, the fourth of which is the Noble Eightfold Path, are fundamental Buddhist teachings in all Buddhist traditions. They are equally important among all Buddhist schools because they form the core of all Buddhist teachings. Buddhists may mistakenly be criticized for always talking about "suffering" (unsatisfactoriness, disappointment), which exists and is stated in the First Noble Truth, but that ignores the Third Noble Truth that says "all suffering may be brought to an end."

Generosity (nongreed) brings happiness. - the Buddha
How do we explain that the majority of Buddhist teachers we come across are the most peaceful and happy people we meet? Surely there is much more to Buddhism than recognizing and talking about suffering (dukkha). That there is a problem is just the first step to finding a cure or solution to the problem we face. There is freedom-from-all-suffering (nirvana). There is enlightenment (bodhi). There is a great deal of happiness and bliss (sukha and piti) to experience.

Golden Buddha, Burma (flickr.com)
In this video above Mindah explains how the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths to show humans and angels (devas, godlings, fairies, bright spirits) how we can move from a state of unrest to final liberty and peace and happiness, which is known as nirvana (Pali, nibbana). First, like any good physician would do before prescribing a course of treatment, the Buddha (sometimes called the Master Physician) diagnosed the problem we face living in the universe. Then he points out its cause (Dependent Origination and its weak link which we can directly do something about, craving). Then he points out that there is such a thing as complete liberation, emancipation, deliverance, freedom from ALL suffering.

Pilgrimage to India, Nepal, Oct. 2015
Finally, in the Fourth Noble Truth, he shows the path to freedom, the path to purification, the path to enlightenment and nirvana. Why do we feel less than 100 percent happy almost all of the time? There is something we can do. Karma is the hopeful message that it is in our hands right NOW.

Suggested reading: There is an excellent article by the comedic, enlightened, British Theravada Buddhist monk living in Australia, Ajahn Brahm, where he is abbot of a Buddhist monastery and a nunnery: "Joy At Last To Know There is Happiness in the World" or no happiness.
 
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness" - Dalai Lama (art by Mindah-Lee Kumar, Australia, fineartamerica.com).

Lost Buddhist Kingdom, Afghanistan (video)

Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage, ARCHinternational.org); Dan Rather Reports; Buddhaghosha (youtube.com); SMA; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly




The Buddha Shakyamuni
The Buddha was born to the west in Afghanistan (ranajitpal.com), not Nepal, not India, not Ukraine. Archeological evidence of this, apart from textual support to be found in the sutras, is surfacing. The oldest known Buddhist texts yet discovered, the Gandharan scrolls, are from this area, not India, not Nepal. Not only are the world's largest Buddhist statues also found in this faraway frontier land (Bamiyan), once a great hub on the Silk Route, an entire lost Buddhist kingdom (Mes Aynak) has been discovered and has yet to be excavated.

The Buddhist "kingdom" or 10,000 acre Buddhist temple-complex and city has been known about since the 1960s. But political and religious pressure has meant that not much attention has been drawn to it. Afghanistan and most of Central Asia from the Indian border to Iran and up to Ukraine is now aligned with Islam.

Gandharan Buddhist texts (gardendigest.com)
India, a largely Hindu country with a significant Muslim minority of over 100 million, has even less interest in Buddhism's real history being revealed. But Nepal, which is completely under the influence of its neighbor India that surrounds it on all accessible sides, has the most to lose as it claims the world heritage sites of Lumbini and Kapilavastu. But politics will fall by the wayside, and the truth will eventually be known that the Buddha was a Scythian, a Shakyian from Central Asia, who lived in three seasonal capitals.

The remnants of Kapilavastu, the Buddha's hometown according to Dr. Pal, Bamiyan.
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Gandhara-style Buddhist statuary, Lahore Museum
Certainly Bamiyan (where the CIA and ISI's "Taliban" destroyed priceless statues) was one, and Mes Aynak (seen here) and Kabul (the present capital, whose name echoes Kapil) seem to have been the other two. Dan Rather investigates because of controversial Chinese mining interests threatening to destroy the 10,000 acre archeological site, the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world. Is the Communist officially atheist Chinese government, steeped in capitalist greed, not interested in preserving its Buddhist history? Not at all as officials prefer the money and political prestige to be bought on the rare earth and precious metal markets. There is gold, lithium and other minerals (for batteries, cell phones, and computers), copper and more to be had! What is Buddhist archeology compared to that?
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Campaign to save Mes Aynak, Afghanistan (ARCHinternational.org/mes_aynak)
Gilded Buddha statues with looted heads excavated at Mes Aynak (AP/Afghan Treasures)

Afghanistan's ancient Buddhist heritage (PBS)

Brent Huffman; PBS NewsHour; K Films; Amber Larson and Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
Medhill University's Prof. Huffman, the director behind the new documentary “Saving Mes Aynak,” tells the story of one of Afghanistan’s greatest Buddhist archaeological treasures and the threats it faces from a Chinese mining company (NewsHour.PBS.org/art)
Experts: How to preserve ancient Mes Aynak ruins while mining
ARCH (Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage)
Mes Aynak near Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, is one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world, located 20 km south of Kabul in Logar Province. The huge site looms as a potential revenue source for Afghanistan, a country deeply in need of economic growth, hectored by years of war under U.S. occupation. But Mes Aynak is also a vast Buddhist temple complex with over 20 ruin locations, including numerous 5th-6th century Buddhist monasteries and nunneries, a fortress, and evidence of even older Bronze Age settlements buried beneath the rubble of ancient copper mines. Archeologists from around the world hold that Mes Aynak represents a cultural heritage site of immense importance. More

Central Asia: Kalmykia, Ukraine upper northwest of map, India, Nepal in lower south east.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pre-Summer Concert with Muse (WEBCAST)

Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, CC Liu, Dev, Wisdom Quarterly; KROQ.com


*May not be available for some mobile devices or tablets. Set times are PST.

B-LIGHT STAGE TWO
12:00 pm – Doors open (not the band, the entrance)
12:30 pm – DJ Jeremiah Red
2:00 pm – X Ambassadors
2:30 pm – James Bay
3:00 pm – Saint Motel
3:30 pm – Big Data
4:00 pm – All Time Low

MAIN STAGE
4:00 pm – DJ Jeremiah Red
5:00 pm – Cold War Kids
5:35 pm – Vance Joy
6:10 pm – AWOLNATION
6:50 pm – Walk The Moon
7:30 pm – Panic! At The Disco
8:10 pm – Death Cab For Cutie
8:50 pm – Florence + The Machine
9:30 pm – Of Monsters And Men
10:10 pm –  MUSE 

WEBCAST of the entire show live at kroq.com/webcast.