Friday, April 19, 2019

Mindfulness and meditation in British schools

True Activist (trueactivist.com, 3/29/19); Amber Larson, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
We can meditate like adults, but we prefer "beginner's mind" (cdn.mindful.org).
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Mindfulness and Meditation will now be part of the curriculum in 370 schools in England
Let's be mindful. - How? (cdn.mindful.org)
Most of the time when children act out by kicking and screaming expletives, it is because they do not understand what they are going through and cannot find a better way to release their feelings.

When a children act out, know that it is most likely because they are struggling to understand complex emotions they are feeling for the first time in their lives.

Schools in England have started to tackle this problem in a new way. That way is by teaching mindfulness and meditation in the classroom to improve their youth’s overall mental health.
 
This is something we do individually but we do together at the same time (c.o0bg.com).
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In 370 schools across the country, children will be taught how to meditate, techniques for muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises for mindfulness.

Secondary school students will also get a more hands-on education to learn about awareness and how to increase it in their everyday lives.

The program is being implemented under a mental health study the British government is running until 2021.

Apart from the increasing number of young children who are showing signs of early onset depression and anxiety, NHS reports have also shown that 1 in 8 British children have mental disorders.

Despite these facts, only 1 out of 5 children with mental issues are able to get access to treatment. England isn’t the only country that has added mindfulness as a subject among schools.

In 2016, a school in Baltimore decided to replace detention for an area where the children could go to an practice some breathing and stretching exercises instead.

This is a way to keep the students calmer in order to increase their focus within the classroom. More

Speak so that others want to listen (TED Talk)

Julian Treasure (TED, June 27, 2014); Ashley Wells, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

 
How to speak so that people want to listen
Ever felt like you were talking but nobody was listening? Julian Treasure is here to help fix that. This sound expert demonstrates some useful vocal exercises and shares tips on how to speak with empathy. He offers a vision for a melodious world of listening and understanding.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from TED Conferences, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Talks are on Technology, Entertainment, and Design -- plus science, business, issues, arts, more.

Florida teenager obsessed with Columbine takes her own life
Denver East High School, denver east high school

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Buddhist Temple of Angkor Wat (video)

Timeline: World History Docs, 7/15/17; Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly

Angkor Wat: City of the [Deva] Kings
(Ancient Civilizations Documentary, Timeline)
Angkor Wat is like Borobudur and Mes Aynak
Lost Worlds investigates the very latest archaeological finds at three remote and hugely significant sites: Buddhist and Vedic Hindu Angkor Wat, Greek Troy, and Iranian Persepolis.

Lost Worlds travels to each site and through high-end computer graphics and lavish reenactments. And the latest archaeological evidence brings them to stunning tele-visual life. From the 900-year-old remains of Angkor Wat in the Cambodian jungle the staggering City of the God (Deva-) Kings is recreated. From Project Troia, in north-west Turkey, the location of the biggest archaeological expedition ever mounted the lost city is stunningly visualized, and finally from Persepolis the city and the great Persian Empire are brought to life. Content licensed from Digital Rights Group (DRG). Produced by Darlow Smithson Productions.

FREE comedy podcasts on iHeart (audio)

KFI Comedy (iheart.com/podcast/category/comedy-4); Editors, Wisdom Quarterly

Amy Schumer finally speaks up.
KFI is the most powerful AM station in Los Angeles/Orange County. It's the local affiliate for Coast to Coast, and it's branching out as an iheart.com station to be Podcast Central. With the success of the Ron Burgundy Podcast with Will Farrell, there's lots of encouragement for its many other offerings. From Amy Schumer and Anna Faris, Bill Burr and the anti-slut shaming show Guys We F#@$D, The Daily Show, NPR, and even Date Fails with Kate Quigley. Dive in and keep comedy alive. Listen

USA, Inc. remains a British colony (video)

Barnabas Nagy, 3/25/19; Pfc. Sandoval, Pat Macpherson, S. Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


Real History of America: The USA is a British Colony and a Corporation to this day (Part 4)
I'm not kidding.
The "American War of Independence" was a hoax, for it never resulted in American independence. The British monarchy still rules the USA behind the scenes, and it owns all of its citizens and lands to this day. The USA, like all other countries, is not actually a country. It's a legal corporation. Three cities rule the world (see Empire of the City): Washington DC (in the "District of Columbia") is the military headquarters, London the banking headquarters, and the Vatican (the "Holy See," which is neither part of Rome nor Italy) the spiritual headquarters. All three have an obelisk. The Vatican, though nominally catholic ("universal") and still an extension of the Holy Roman Empire via the modern, post-Mithra [the Christ-like "god" the site was built for and worshipped for generations prior to switching over to Jesus-worship] Catholic Church, has ancient 3D printed statues as well as an Egyptian obelisk and other booty from around the world, all misappropriated and incorporated under Caesar's Messiah, the remaking of Rome as Emperor Constantine's world-conquering empire.

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Confessions by real Time Travelers (video)

Top 5 Unknowns, July 25, 2018; TR; Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


5 SCARY confessions made by real Time-Travelers on camera...Narrated by Ty Notts. Music: COAG.

►TWITTER: http://bit.ly/Top5U
►FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/TheRealTop5U
►SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/Top5unknowns

UK: Making fun of Flat Earthers (video)

The Guardian (guardian.com, Feb. 5, 2019); CC Liu, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly


Though not a new phenomenon, flat Earth theory has enjoyed a huge resurgence recently. A YouGov poll indicated that a third of Americans aged 18 to 24 were unsure of the shape of our plane(t), in spite of a barrage of lies and "scientific proofs" from Pythagoras (who did not teach that the world was a globe but that many pieces of evidence could be equally well explained with various shapes and proofs, something he taught only to special students at his academy but never to the general public) to NASA. Why has this happened now, and what does it tell us about the level of trust in society today?

Subscribe to The Guardian on YouTube ► is.gd/subscribeguardian. Today in Focus podcast ► theguardian.com/news/seri... Support the Guardian ► theguardian.com/supportus Sign up for the Guardian documentaries newsletter ► theguardian.com/info/2016... The Guardian ► theguardian.com The Guardian YouTube network: Guardian News ► is.gd/guardianwires.

I took the Red Pill and woke up (video)

Jeff Berwick via The Dollar Vigilante, 6/23/17; Seth Auberon, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly

I took the Red Pill, realized everything in our cult(ure) is a lie
Jeff Berwick @ Red Pill discusses his early experiences in business and the dot com crash, his long series of awakenings starting with reading The Creature From Jekyll Island. Health and well-being, fasting, what is going on in the USA, how to get out, finding freedom, and much more. (Apologies for diminished video quality.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Ajahn Chah: What is the Way of Practice?

Ajahn Chah (ajahnchah.org) via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew; Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
The Buddha's path-of-practice or patipada leads to nirvana, the end of all suffering.
 
Walk this patipada/path.
Practice is also paṭipadā. What is paṭipadā? It is the way of practice: persistently, evenly, consistently. Don’t practice like Old Reverend Peh. One Rains Retreat he determined to stop talking.

He stopped talking all right, but then he started writing notes. "Tomorrow please toast me some rice." He wanted to eat toasted rice! He stopped talking but ended up writing so many notes that he was even more scattered than before.

One minute he’d write one thing, the next another. What a farce! I don’t know why he bothered determining not to talk. He didn’t know what the way of practice was.

Actually our practice is to be content with little, to just be natural. Don’t worry whether you feel lazy or diligent. Don’t even say "I’m diligent" or "I’m lazy."

Most people practice only when they feel diligent. If they feel lazy, they don’t bother. This is how people usually are.

But meditators/monastics shouldn’t think like that. If you are diligent, you practice. When you are lazy, you still practice!

Don’t bother with other things. Cut them off. Throw them out. Train yourself. Practice consistently, whether by day or night, this year, next year, whatever the time.

Don’t pay attention to thoughts of diligence or laziness. Don’t worry whether it’s hot or cold, Just do it. This is called sammā paṭipadā -- "right practice."

Eckhart Tolle: Liberation through... (video)

Eckhart Tolle, April 5, 2019; Ashley Wells, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
How do we eliminate suffering when suffering is all that we have left? Be aware of the present moment. When dealing with depression or emotional pain, keep attention on the present moment and stay alert to the mind's tendency to create further (optional and mind-made) suffering.

Shouldn’t we live as simply as possible?
Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle discusses spiritual awakening as it relates to two aspects of life -- the acquisition of things and the activities we engage in. Liberation, he explains, depends upon our inner relationship to what we have or do.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Queen and Harem gain Enlightenment

Dhammapada; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (trans.), Wisdom Quarterly, A Queen and Harem...

The king, his queen, and the ladies of his harem (skyscrapercity.com/showthread)
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While residing in Ghosita Monastery near Kosambi, the Buddha uttered Verses 21, 22, and 23 of the Dhammapada in reference to Samavati, one of the chief queens of King Udena of Kosambi.

Queen Samavati had many "maids of honor" [likely the king's harem] residing with her in the palace. She also had a servant maid named Khujjuttara, who had the daily task of buying flowers for Samavati from Sumana, the town florist. But Khujjutara would pocket half the coins Queen Samavati gave her and buy flowers with the others.

On one occasion, when out shopping for flowers, Khujjuttara had the rare and fortunate opportunity to listen to the Buddha deliver a Dharma discourse in Sumana's home. It so struck her that she penetrated the liberating Truth, and she attained the fruit of stream entry (the first stage of enlightenment).

She immediately felt remorse for what she had been doing in stealing. She confessed to Queen Samavati, who was confused since there were always flowers in the house. Khujjuttara explained that she only took half the money. When asked what had come over her and caused her to confess, she explained the strange experience she had undergone on hearing the Dharma at Sumana's house.

She could hardly explain what had happened to her. Instead, she repeated the Buddha's discourse to Samavati and the other harem ladies. They all attained stream-entry as a result.
 
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From that day forward Khujjuttara did not have to do any menial work. She assumed the position of mother and teacher to Queen Samavati. She would listen to the sutras of the Buddha and repeat them to Samavati and her maids of honor.

In due course, Khujjuttara mastered the contents of the Three Sections of the Dharma (Tipitaka), that is, the conventional discourses (sutras), the monastic disciplinary code, and the Abhidharma or "Higher Teachings."

Samavati and her maids wished very much to see the Buddha to show their respect and gratitude. But they were afraid the king might be displeased with them. So making holes in the walls of the palace, they looked through them and bowed in the direction of the Buddha every day as he visited on alms round the houses of the three rich men, namely, Ghosaka, Kukkuta, and Pavariya.

The harem peered at the Buddha through holes in the walls of their living quarters.
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At that time, King Udena also had another "chief queen" by the name of Magandiya. She was the daughter of a Brahmin. That Brahmin, seeing the Buddha -- who was exceedingly handsome, noble, and bore the marks of a royal (kshatriya from Scythia/Shakya Land) -- one day, came to believe that the Buddha was the only person worthy of his extremely beautiful daughter.

He hurriedly ran off to fetch his wife and daughter and offered to give his daughter in marriage to the Buddha [not understanding that the Buddha was a wandering ascetic who had gone forth from the life of a married householder].

The Buddha of course was a recluse, a renunciate, and fully enlightened -- with no interest in sensual attachments or the household life whatsoever. He turned down the Brahmin's offer by saying, "Even after seeing Tanha, Arati, and Raga, the three alluring daughters of Mara, I felt no desire in me for sensual pleasures. After all, what is this that is full of urine and filth, which if walking down the road I would avoid touching even with my foot?"

On hearing those powerful words regarding the body and sensuality, both the Brahmin and his wife attained to the third stage of enlightenment ("non-returning," anagami). They entrusted their daughter to the care of her uncle and themselves joined the Sangha, the Buddha's Monastic Order. Eventually, they reached full enlightenment (arhatship).

The Buddha knew the Brahmin and his wife were capable of becoming non-returners that very day. Therefore, he replied in the manner he did.

The spiteful daughter
However their beautiful daughter, Magandiya, became so bitter and sore by the perceived insult that she vowed to take revenge if and when the opportunity arose.

Later, her uncle presented Magandiya to King Udena, and she became one of his chief queens [concubines or co-wives].

Queen Magandiya came to learn about the arrival of the Buddha in Kosambi and about how Queen Samavati and her maids bowed to him through holes in the walls of their living quarters.

So she planned her revenge on the Buddha and her rivals for the king's affection, whom she knew to be his ardent devotees.

Queen Magandiya told the king that Queen Samavati and the harem-ladies had made holes in the walls of their living quarters to communicate with outside contacts disloyal to the king. King Udena was shown the holes in the walls, but when the ladies explained why they had made them, he did not get angry.

Nevertheless, Queen Magandiya kept trying to convince the king that Queen Samavati was disloyal to him and was even plotting to kill him.

On one occasion, knowing that the king would be visiting Queen Samavati and would be taking along his lute, Queen Magandiya placed a snake in the lute and closed the hole with a bunch of flowers.

Queen Magandiya followed King Udena to Queen Samavati's quarters after trying to stop him on the pretext that she had some presentiment and felt worried about his safety.

Queen Magandiya removed the flowers from the hole of his lute when he arrived at Queen Samavati's quarters. The snake leaped out hissing and recoiling itself onto the bed. When the king saw the snake, he suddenly believed Queen Magandiya: Queen Samavati was trying to kill him after all!

The king was furious. He decided to execute the harem traitors. He commanded [partially enlightened] Queen Samavati to stand with all the ladies lined up behind her. He then fitted his bow with an arrow dipped in poison and shot her point blank.

But Samavati and the ladies entered a meditative absorption (jhana) during which one is immune to injury. They bore no ill-will towards the king even as he was about to execute them through the power of their loving-kindness (metta) practice, which is the means by which they entered that meditative absorption.

The arrow deviated, which astonished the king because he could not have missed; his shots hit their target and usually went even through rock.

The king realized their innocence and gave Queen Samavati permission to invite the Buddha and his enlightened monastic disciples to the palace for almsfood and to deliver sutras directly to them.

Queen Magandiya was stunned. Since none of her schemes had worked, she concocted a final, infallible plan: She sent a message to her uncle with full instructions to burn down Queen Samavati's dwelling with all the women inside. She herself would be visiting her family at the time to avoid becoming a suspect in this murderous act of arson.

Engulfed in flames
While the house was consumed in flames, Queen Samavati and the ladies kept meditating as stream-enterers. As they meditated through the flames, some of them attained the second stage of enlightenment (and became once-returners, sakadagamis), and some of them the third stage (non-returners, anagamis).
  • *The question may arise, Why didn't the women simply enter the protective meditative absorption they had used before and thereby avoid harm? This very question was put to the Buddha, who explained the karma that prevented this option, an act the women had performed in the distant past: Long, long ago these women were friends living together as royals who were once bathing in a river. Emerging, they felt cold, so they set a bush on fire. When the fire burned out, they were horrified to find that there had been a Nonteaching Buddha (pacceka-buddha) in deep meditation in the bush. They assumed the ascetic had been burned to death since he was not moving. After all, who could survive such a fire? (They didn't know it, but he unhurt because of the profound depths of his protective meditation). Fearing the punishment that might befall them for "killing" him by their negligent lighting of a fire, they decided to destroy the evidence. They immediately doused that buddha in oil, piled on brush, and attempted to incinerate the remains. This bad intention (karma) performed against a buddha bore a heavy result that could not be averted as they themselves were burned alive in the conflagration.
As news of the fire quickly spread, the king rushed to the scene. But it was too late. He loved Queen Samavati dearly. And he remembered that she had often counseled and advised him to control his outrageous temper. But now it knew no bounds: He would avenge this loss if only he could find out who had taken away his beautiful queen and harem.

The king suspected that Queen Magandiya had instigated this calamity, but he had no proof. So he made sure not reveal that he suspected her. Instead, he asked his ministers for help. One advised him on an excellent plan to induce Queen Magandiya into bragging about her guilt in this plot.

Following this wise advice, King Udena said the following within earshot of Magandiya: "While Samavati was alive I was fearful and always alert thinking I might be harmed by her! Only now is my mind at peace! O, if only I could thank my protector who has done me the favor of doing away with those traitors! But who could have done this? Surely, it was someone who loves me dearly!"

Overhearing this, Queen Magandiya promptly bragged about her involvement and explained that she had instigated her uncle to do it. The king pretended to be pleased and overjoyed. He said to her that he would love to repay the favor by honoring all of her relatives. He asked Queen Magandiya to invite them all to the palace.

Fight fire with fire and everyone burns
When she sent for her relatives, they gladly came to be honored. As soon as they arrived at the palace, however, all of them including Queen Magandiya were seized. They were taken to the courtyard and burned alive by the order of the king.

When the Buddha was told about these two incidents, he said that those who are heedful [ever-mindful] do not die. But those who are negligent are as good as dead even as they live. Then the Buddha uttered these verses preserved in the Dhammapada:

Heedfulness is the way to the deathless [nirvana];
Heedlessness is the way to death [samsara].
Those who are heedful do not die;
Those who are heedless are as if dead already.
(Dhammapada 21)

Fully comprehending this, the wise, who are ever heedful,
Rejoice in being conscientious and find delight in the
domain of the noble ones [arya].
(Dhp. 22)

The wise, constantly cultivating serenity-and-insight practice,
Being ever-mindful and steadfastly striving, realize nirvana --
nirvana, which is free from the bonds of yoga,*
nirvana, the incomparable! (Dhp. 23)
  • *The "bonds of yoga" [union, bondage, being "yoked" like oxen to the mental defilements] are four in number: craving for sense-pleasures (kama), craving for continued becoming (bhava), wrong views (ditthi), and ignorance (avijja) of the Four Noble Truths.
In the Fire Sermon, the Buddha explains that ALL is burning then explains the "all."

Investigating DEATH to overcome it

Ajahn Maha Boowa via Ven. Sujato and Ellie Askew; edited by Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
(TheJourneyOfPurpose) Death is an illusion; life is a dream; we are the co-creators of our own imagining. "The present moment is the only moment available to us and is the doorway to all moments" - Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. In addition, we hear from speakers: British Buddhist teacher Alan Watts, Apple Inc's Steve Jobs, actor Jim Carrey, and Nick Vujicic.
Ever imagine dying in slow motion? Taken by the arms, killed by cops while conscious?

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All around is this killjoy Death. Why?
In your investigation of death, you must investigate so that you can really get to see the truth of it [and wake up from this delusion].

In this whole world of saṁsāra [the "continued wandering on" through life after life, through rebirth and redeath], every person, every male, every female, every animal, they must all die.

Wherever we may be, there is always a cemetery. Even right here where we are sitting there is a cemetery, for there are all sorts of animals and organisms that die all over the place. It is just that we never think about it that way. We don’t think of it as a cemetery.

We just call it an assembly hall or pavilion (sālā). In our bodies there can be found many organisms living inside us, such as germs for instance. They are one form of animal. And inside this body there is nothing that one can call attractive or beautiful.

You must investigate and analyze to see according to the truth of the Buddha, the One Who Woke Up. The defilements (kilesas) -- the defiled mind and heart -- tend to see it as something beautiful. They tend to see it as people, as animals, as ‘I,’ as ‘mine’  [rather than as impersonal phenomena].

We'll live for a long time, but what about others?
And attachment to [wrong] view, our clinging [upādāna] to misunderstanding, is much more tenaciously fixed than a nail driven into a piece of wood. It cannot be easily dislodged.

This is because of the influence of the defilements/kilesas, our misperception of things. We must, therefore, uproot and correct this misperception, which is truly the work of the kilesas.

We can do this with the Teaching, the Dharma, of the Buddha, using:
  • sati = mindfulness
  • paññā = wisdom
  • saddhā = confidence
  • viriya = energy, diligent effort.
We must get to see it clearly. We have to establish our perception so that we really see this body passing away, because death [which is not coming in the future but happening at every moment] is the undeniable truth.