Thursday, May 23, 2019

On impeaching Trump (comedy)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 5/22/19; Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly

Stop investigating me...or else!
U.S. Pres. Don Trump's contribution to Wednesday's infrastructure meeting was to donate one gigantic roadblock. #LSSC #Colbert #Monologue Subscribe to "The Late Show" Channel: ColbertYouTube

Tate Reeves

Life in the Forest (Ajahn Chah)

Ajahn Chah ( via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly

Living in Parileyyeka Forest
The Buddha praised living in the forest because the physical and mental solitude (withdrawal) that it gives us is conducive to the practice for liberation.

However, he didn’t want us to become dependent on living in the forest or get stuck in its peace and tranquillity. We come to practice in order for wisdom to arise.

Here in the forest we can sow and cultivate the seeds of wisdom. Living amidst chaos and turmoil these seeds have difficulty in growing. But once we've learned to live in the forest, we can return and contend with the city and all the sensory (over) stimulation it brings us.

Learning to live in the forest means allowing wisdom to grow and develop. We can then apply this wisdom no matter where we go.

When our senses are stimulated, we become agitated. The senses become our antagonists. They antagonize us because we are still foolish and don’t have the wisdom to deal with them.

In reality they are our teachers, but because of our ignorance we don’t see it that way. When we lived in the city, we never thought that our senses could teach us anything.

As long as true wisdom has not yet manifested, we continue to see the senses and their objects as enemies.

Once true wisdom arises, they are no longer our enemies but become the doorway to insight and clear understanding.

Meditation practice is worth more than study

Ajahn Mun via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
People who have studied a lot of the Doctrine and Discipline (Dharma and Vinaya) -- who have learned a large number of approaches together with their many ramifications -- when they come to train their minds, find that their minds don’t settle down easily into concentration.

They need to realize that they must first take their learning and put it back on the shelf for the time being.

They need to train “what knows” -- this very mind -- developing their mindfulness until it is super-mindfulness, their discernment until it is super-discernment, so that they can see through the super-deceits of conventional truth and common assumptions that set things up, naming them, “This is this,” and “That is that” -- days, nights, months, years, earth, sky, sun, moon, constellations, everything -- all the things that thought-formations, the conditions or effects of the mind, set up as being this or that.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Shamanic Healing with Erika Buenaflor (video)

Erika Buenaflor (, Dhr. Seven, Ananda (D.M.I.), Wisdom Quarterly

Intro to Healing (Curanderismo) Online Classes with Erika Buenaflor: Learn ancient Indigenous tools for cleansing, healing, and manifestation. Class $10, four for $35.

Erika Buenaflor, M.A., J.D., has two decades of practice as a healer (curanderx), mentored by shamans in the Maya Yucatecan jungle, Peru, and Los Angeles.

She studied Mesoamerican healing in academia earning a Master’s degree in religious studies with a focus on Mesoamerican shamanism and curanderismo.

ORDER: Soul Retrieval (
After healing from a catastrophic injury, she fully embraced her healing gifts, left her career as an attorney, and began to spend all of her time doing what she loves and is called to do.

She has written three books on Mesoamerican healing rites:
  1. Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo 
  2. Curanderismo Soul Retrieval
  3. third title coming in July 2020.
As a modern-day healer, she utilizes her experience and knowledge of ancient  shamanism to reveal how sacred Mesoamerican wisdom can help us heal holistically. In this way she inspires clients to realize and live their BLISS. More
Shamanic Ritual: Dharma Meditation Initiative, LA, Thursday, July 18, 7-8:30 PM

Are death investigations funny? (comedy)

John Oliver Last Week Tonight; Seth Auberon, Crystal Q., Wisdom Quarterly

Death Investigations: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
(LastWeekTonight, May 19, 2019) North America’s system for conducting death investigations is a mess. John Oliver explains why we should all be more concerned about fixing it. Connect with Last Week Tonight online: YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens on or facebook, and for news about jokes and jokes about news: twitter and #8 ON TRENDING

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Life as Play: Near Death Experience (video)

NDE Accounts: Afterlife Stories, 9/17/14; Ashley Wells, Crystal Q., Ananda, Wisdom Quarterly
How can you joke about death? Life is more serious. (Buddhist comics/Pinterest)
Rebirth/Samsara (Wheel of Life and Death) is the problem. Nirvana is the solution.

Life is a Stage Play: Near Death Experience
Rich Kelley, NDE Accounts, Afterlife Stories
Rich Kelley ( speaks of his near-death experience (NDE). It occurred at the age of 15 in a drowning incident. He was overcome with a profound sense of calmness. Peace came over him. Kelley goes in-depth about his thoughts on what our life is really about. Is it really just a stage play we create before we come to earth? Do we choose the cast and characters who play our parents, relationships, friends, enemies, family, teachers?

► Subscribe ( to hear more stories like these. ►

The Real Causes of Depression (TED video)

Johann Hari (How To: Academy, 2/4/18); Pat Macpherson, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
O, Mr. Grumpy Cat, rest in peace! We hardly knew ye. Why were you depressed?

The major TED speaker on addiction Johann Hari suggests that depression is NOT caused by any "chemical imbalance" in our brains but by crucial changes in the way we are living. Therefore, something can be done about it by ourselves. For Johann Hari this opens up seven new potential paths out of depression and anxiety -- ones that are very different to the paths we have been offered before. Filming by: Driftwood Pictures (

"Enlightenment" (short Thai TV film)

EPYX via; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Girl troubles. Even monks got 'em. It's not what it looks like. He's trying to help her. Really.

Enlightenment: Thai TV movie (full film)
EPYX (Thailand), July 1, 2017
I saved you. - Naff off! - Don't you know it's wrong? - How the F would I know that?
A wandering ascetic Buddhist monk journeys into the forest in search of enlightenment (awakening, bodhi). It's not so easy. There are roadblocks and diversions. What this celibate monastic finds is a pretty girl trying to commit suicide. Her story leads him into a deep cycle of karma (the ripening of past actions in the present). He has to fix this loop for her sake as well as his own. But ain't nobody got time for grrrl troubles. Will he ever gain the enlightenment he seeks?

How our emotions affect our minds (video)

Dr. Mate via Christine Wong, 1/7/16; Pat Macpherson, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
I can't think straight when I hurt so much and feel so bad. I need a real cure.

How emotions affect cognitive functioning
I hate it when I love too much, so sad.
For a dozen years Dr. Gabor Maté worked in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside with hardcore drug addicts -- patients suffering from depression, mental illness, HIV, and also worked at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site.

With over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of leading edge research, Dr. Maté is a much sought-after speaker regularly addressing health professionals, educators, and the public all over North America.

He says our cognitive capabilities are impaired and improved by our affect, our emotions. Everyone, particularly mothers, must watch this to understand:

We first need to understand WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US then OUR CHILDREN. As we understand, we can become more aware of our own behaviors and challenges to determine if we need to seek intervention with some issue.

Prof. Franz Ruppert has an intervention method for mental, emotional, and physical issues that includes addiction and relationship issues ( In Singapore or Asia, contact Christine Foong-Wong co-founder of For more info on Prof. Ruppert's work, email

Monday, May 20, 2019

BuddhaFest Los Angeles (May 31-June 2)

BuddhaFest LA embraces mindfulness and compassion through a unique mix of inspiring films, modern wisdom teachings, meditation, and live music. Individual events and an entire weekend of wisdom, inspiration, and community. Featuring:
  • Prof. Robert Thurman (, Uma Thurman's dad
  • Accomplished practitioner Sylvia Boorstein (
  • Dawa Tarchin Phillips (Bodhi Path, Santa Barbara)
  • Tibetan Dr. Nida Chenagtsang
  • Norman Fischer (San Francisco Zen Center)
  • Music by Ms. Drukmo Gyal Dakini
  • Tribute to Zen Master Bernie Glassman (ZCLA)
  • Joan Halifax with the 14th Dalai Lama
    Zen Priestess Joan Halifax (
  • Accomplished practitioner Sharon Salzberg (
  • Zen Priestess Pat O'Hara
  • Screening of Buddhist filmmaker Doris Dörrie's classic comedy Enlightenment Guaranteed (a very funny Zen comedy)
  • + MORE:
BuddhaFest LA
It's more fun to attend with friendly meditators (Dharma Meditation Initiative)

"Enlightenment Guaranteed" (Zen comedy)

FestivalMedia; Ananda (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Ashley Wells (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
Watch the 20 anniversary screening in Beverly Hills at BuddhaFest LA, June 1, 2019.
Selfish Sex and Inflated Egos: I'm pretty sure you came. Night! - I'm pretty sure I didn't.

Your move (
Enlightenment Guaranteed is a 2000 German film (Erleuchtung garantiert) directed by Doris Dörrie about two brothers on a spiritual quest.

Uwe and Gustav travel to Buddhist Japan to sort out the mess of their lives. Their plan is to visit the Sojiji Zen Monastery in Monzen, near Tokyo.

On the way, in a rather literal Buddhist moment, they lose their belongings. When they finally make it to the Buddhist monastery, they find that even there, Buddhist enlightenment can be elusive.
It's easy to say FTW. It's hard to get out.
The first of four lessons the Buddha called the Four Noble Truths ("noble" because they are ennobling = enlightening) is that "Life is disappointing."

At the beginning of the film, we see the troubled lives of the two brothers. Each is experiencing a mid-life crisis of sorts that will ultimately bring the brothers closer together.

With four young children, Uwe and his wife Petra have their plates full. Lacking compassion for each other's burdens, they constantly bicker.

After a stressful morning of playing with the children (and waking their infant daughter, who had kept Petra up most of the night), Uwe is a jerk to his wife.

While he is at work as a real estate agent, Petra packs up and moves out. Uwe cries when he finds the goodbye note.

Bring a book for the trip.
Meanwhile, Gustav is suffering troubles of his own. Unlike his brother, who is the type to smoke a cigarette after going jogging, Gustav is a Zen Buddhist enthusiast.

His burdens are internal: He is afraid of making mistakes. He is afraid of fear itself. He has been planning a trip to a Zen monastery to find himself.

Uwe, in a great state of distress and drunk, asks his brother to accompany him. After much hesitation, Gustav buys his brother a ticket and the adventure really begins.

This film is almost a sequel to Men..., Dörrie's landmark film starring the same actors (as different characters), with a similar existential storyline. More Now available on DVD (