Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Anti-racist educator Tim Wise in LA (Feb. 9)

Join insightLA for an afternoon with Tim Wise as he explores the importance of staying strong in difficult times, committing to the struggle for justice, even when justice seems far away.
Weaving social movement history with contemporary analysis, humor, and storytelling, Wise provides practical tools for movement building, self-care, how to build effective coalitions, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls that occasionally befall organizers and activists in every generation.

In this talk Wise also examines the difference between systems of oppression and individuals who occasionally act in oppressive ways and how to stay focused principally on the former, as a way to lessen the harms of both.

Additionally, he explores the importance of “radical humility” in movement work by recognizing our own mistakes, our own (often slow) process of becoming aware of injustices, and the recognition that we still have much to learn from one another.

This presentation intends to help boost the resilience of those seeking a more just and equitable world, but who find themselves frustrated by the slow—and often backwards—pace of change.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. Named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World” by Utne Reader, Wise has spoken in all 50 states, on over 1,000 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation. Wise is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America and his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. He is also the host of the popular bi-weekly podcast "Speak Out with Tim Wise." He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV programs and is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN.
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Why I'm a racist (video)

Jane "The Bitch" Elliott (Channel 4, 2009) via Per Christian Frankplads; Wisdom Quarterly

I'm racist. How racist are you? Are we all more racist than we realize or more than we would like to admit?

For this Channel 4 documentary Jane Elliott, a controversial former American schoolteacher from Iowa, recreates the shocking exercise she used beginning 40 years ago to teach her 9-year-old students about racial prejudice.

So what if I have blue eyes? I will bite you!
Elliott asks 30 adult British volunteers -- men and women of different ages and backgrounds -- to experience inequality based on their eye color. What this shows is how susceptible we can all be to bigotry in ourselves. We see what it feels like to be on the receiving end of arbitrary discrimination.

Does Elliott's exercise have anything to teach now in these enlightened times or outside the USA?

Presented by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, the exercise is overlooked by two expert psychologists, Prof. Dominic Abrams and Dr. Funké Baffour, who unpick the behavior on display. This is the full version first shown on Channel 4 in England on October 29, 2009.

"I'm Young and I'm Racist" (The Ro Show)

Rolonda Watts (Rolonda Show, 1997); Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly

I can't believe these guys are saying this out loud.
Rolonda Watts holds a town hall meeting-like forum with leaders of white supremacist groups, the KKK, and former KKK Grand Imperial Wizard Johnny Lee Clary, who changed his life from the KKK to counselor transforming young people targeted by recruits of the "alt-right."

Southerner in NYC Rolonda Watts cares.
It's hard to believe this episode of "The Rolonda Show" was shot 23 years ago. Has anything changed, or have Trump supporters and Charlottesville marchers shown that many are still among us? What are YOUR thoughts on how to end racism and hatred groups?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

As It Is: Karma and Rebirth (Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Bhikkhu Bodhi (; Dhr. Seven and Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

The Buddha’s Teaching: As It Is
When Bhikkhu Bodhi was a young monk, he lived in Washington D.C. in the Washington Buddhist Vihara, a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monastery. It was 1979 when he recorded a series of ten lectures, a profound Basic Buddhist Teachings released in 1981 about everything from the Buddha to Nirvana for home study.

Wisdom Quarterly went to see him when he was living in the Forest Hermitage in Kandy, Sri Lanka, as editor in chief of the Buddhist Publication Society to ask if we could promote and distribute it. BAUS converted those cassette tape talks into a CD series in March of 2008, but the internet has made it even easier to spread the wisdom of the Buddha.

Introduction to CD: Bhikkhu Bodhi gave a series of lectures on the fundamental teachings of early Buddhism. Bhante G (Ven. Gunaratana), at the time the president of the Buddhist Vihara Society, suggested Ven. Bodhi record the lectures so that the vihara could distribute them as a set of cassette tapes. In the summer of 1981, Ven. Bodhi recorded them in the Washington D.C. monastery basement using an ordinary, nonprofessional tape recorder.

An enthusiastic lay supporter had the master copies reproduced in large quantities for distribution. They have continued to be distributed on tape and as CDs for over 25 years. They are now considered “public domain” for anyone to copy and distribute freely, the one condition being that they not be sold or made a commodity. They are best understood in order and can be heard in their proper sequence on the BAUS CD.

Bhikkhu Bodhi (born Jeffrey Block in 1944) is an American Theravada Buddhist monk, ordained in Sri Lanka and currently teaching in New York at Chaung Yen Monastery and New Jersey at Bodhi Monastery. He was appointed the second president of the Buddhist Publication Society and has edited and authored many publications grounded in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. He is founder of Buddhist Global Relief, an organization that funds projects that cure hunger and empower females across the world.

What ever happened to Twiggy? (video)

Pizzicato Five; CC Liu, Ashley Wells, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

Twiggy at height of her success, 1967
Western cultural icon Twiggy (née Hornby, Dame Lesley Lawson DBE) is an English model, actress, and singer. She was the Kate Moss of her day, initially known for her thin build, which is how she got her nickname.

Heroin chic Kate Moss
She had an androgynous appearance with big eyes, long eyelashes, and short hair. She was named "The Face of 1966" by the Daily Express and voted "British Woman of the Year."

By 1967, she had modelled in Japan and the United States, landing on the covers of Vogue and The Tatler. Her fame spread worldwide. After modelling, Twiggy enjoyed a successful career as an actress.

Who's the modern "Twig," moody Mitski or funny Lizzo...or maybe B. Pirate Eilish? Her themes are as dark as Mitski's, her thighs and sense of humor are growing like Lizzo's. But could she ever be?

WTF? FTW. I'll pose like a new Twiggy.
Twiggy is actually still alive, 70, living in England, a DBE, retired from the spotlight. Hold on! This just in! Twiggy has been working on a new album to be released in 2020. Craving for fame, celebrity, applause and all that jazz die hard. But if she doesn't or if she doesn't follow it with a tour, it's a Billie world, and we're all in it.

What will the Grammys say: Lizzo, Lil Nas X, or Billie Pirate Eilish?

Photos archeology can't explain (video)

Megalithic Marvels, June 18, 2018; Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

12 photographs mainstream archaeology does not want anyone to see
Conventional archaeology propagates the notion that the further we look back into history, the more archaic the civilizations we see and the more inferior their methods of construction. But all over the world are ancient anomalies and megalithic marvels constructed with a lost high technology that confound today’s experts, defy our greatest modern engineering, and tell us a different version of history... More:

Music: All music is by iMovie and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license and is provided in the iMovie App from Apple, Inc.

"Just Mercy" attorney faces racism (audio)

Host Terry Gross (Fresh Air, MLK Jr. Day, 1/20/20), Harvard attorney Bryan A. Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative), TED Talk 2012; Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Just Mercy attorney asks U.S. to reckon with our racist past and present
Bryan Stevenson is the author of the memoir Just Mercy, which was recently adapted into a film starring Michael B. Jordan.

The third Monday of every January is a U.S. federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. But two Southern states — Alabama and Mississippi — also use the day to celebrate General Robert E. Lee, commander of the pro-slavery Confederate forces during the Civil War.

Attorney Bryan A. Stevenson
Public interest lawyer NY School of Law Professor Bryan A. Stevenson (CBS interview) lives in Alabama and is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which works to combat injustice in the U.S. legal system.

The new movie Just Mercy is an adaptation of his 2014 memoir of the same name. He says that the fact that his state honors Gen. Lee at all — let alone on the same day as Rev. King — is a sign that America has not acknowledged the evils of its past.

White + KKK = racist USA (
"In the American South, where I live, the landscape is littered with the iconography of the Confederacy," Stevenson says. "We actually celebrate the architects and defenders of enslavement. For me, that has to change if we're going to get to the kind of healthy place I think we need to get to."

Stevenson has traveled the world, observing how other cultures address the injustices of the past. He notes that Johannesburg, South Africa, has a museum and monuments that "talk about the wrongfulness of apartheid."

Just Mercy movie poster
In Berlin, he says, "You can't go 200 meters without seeing markers and stones placed next to the homes of Jewish families that were abducted during the Holocaust."

"But in this country," he says, "we don't have institutions that are dedicated and focused to making sure a new generation of Americans appreciates the wrongfulness of what we did when we allowed lynching to prevail and persist, what we did when we created racial apartheid through segregation."

In 2018 Stevenson and his organization opened the Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, both dedicated to the legacy of
  • slavery,
  • lynching,
  • segregation, and
  • mass incarceration in the U.S.
We're human! Treat us as human beings!
For Stevenson, the museum and the monument are an effort to address the past — and to change the future.

"I just felt like we had to introduce a narrative about American history that wasn't [being] clearly articulated," he says. "We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say 'Never again' to racial bias and bigotry." More

(The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) Michael B. Jordan & Jamie Fox

Bernie, Warren, Biden: comedy commentary

Jimmy, Ron, and Stef (; Seth Auberon, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: Profanity! Lizzy Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tommy Steyer, and Petey Boot-edge-edge.

Failed presidential candidate Johnny Kerry lies for crazy uncle Joey Biden

Monday, January 20, 2020

Craving: SEX on the brain

Edward Conze, The Way of Wisdom: The Five Controlling Faculties ( edited by Dhr. Seven and Amber Larson; Ashley Wells, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
"Nobody told me, nobody told me. Who knew palm hairiness could spread!?"
"Do not look long, do not look short."
The Buddha: "When [a meditator] practices the perfection of meditation for the sake of other beings, the mind becomes undistracted.

"For one reflects that 'even worldly meditation is hard to accomplish with distracted thoughts, how much the more full enlightenment! Therefore, I must remain undistracted until I have realized full enlightenment.'

"Moreover, Subhuti, a bodhisattva [someone bent on supreme enlightenment], beginning with the first thought of enlightenment, practices the perfection of meditation.

"One's mental activities are associated with the knowledge of all modes when one enters into meditation [absorption and insight, jhana and vipassana].

"When one has seen forms with the eye, one does not seize upon them as signs of realities of concern, nor is one interested in the details.

"One sets oneself to restrain that which, if one does not restrain one's organ of sight, might give rise to lust (covetousness), dejection (sadness), or other harmful and unwholesome states (dhammas) to reach the heart.

"One watches over the organ of sight. And the same with the other five sense organs — ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

"Whether one walks or stands, sits or lies down, talks or remains silent, one's concentration [samma samadhi = the first four jhanas = right concentration] does not leave one."
Prajnaparamita, "The Perfection of Wisdom,"  Chp. 68
translated by Edward Conze; edited by Wisdom Quarterly

(c) From The Path of Purification
I'm beautiful on top although repulsive underneath.
(Visuddhimagga) This is the virtue that consists of the restraint of the senses:

"Here [in this Teaching] someone, (1) having seen a form with the eye, does not seize on its general appearance or the details of it.

"That which might, so long as one dwells unrestrained as to the (controlling) force of the eye, give rise to lustful/covetous, dejected/sad, harmful and unwholesome states to flood (and overtake) one, that one sets oneself to restrain:

"One guards the controlling force of the eye and brings about its restraint.

The Path of Purification
"Likewise when one has (2) heard sounds with the ear, (3) smelled fragrances with the nose, (4) tasted flavors with the tongue, (5) touched tangibles with the body, (6) cognized mind-objects (dhammas) with the mind" (M.i,180).

What does it mean?
Having seen a form with the eye: One has seen a form with visual consciousness capable of perceiving forms, which in normal language is usually called the "eye," though it is actually its tool, for the Ancients have said:

"The eye cannot see forms
because it is without thought;
thought cannot see forms
because it is without eye.
When the object knocks
against the door (of sight),
one sees with the thought
that has eye-sensibility
as its basis."

Yikes. Repulsive and revolting.
In the expression "one sees with the eye," only accessory equipment is indicated, just as one may say, "one shoots with a bow" (and not "with an arrow"). Therefore, the meaning here is: "having seen form with visual consciousness."

One does not seize on its general appearance (lit., "the sign"): one does not seize on its being a male or female, or its appearance as attractive, and so on, which makes it into a basis for the defiling passions (cravings, lusts, obsessions) to arise. But one stops at what is actually seen.

One does not seize on the details of it: One does not seize on the variety of its accessory features, like the hands or feet, the smile, the laughter, the talk, the looking here, the looking away, and so on, which are in common parlance called "details" because they manifest the defiling passions, by again and again (anu anu) tainting the mind with them.

But one seizes only on that which is really there (i.e., the repulsiveness of the 32 parts of the body).

How Ven. Mahatissa awakened
Mwah ha ha! Look, venerable, look at these teeth bones! Whaddya think?
Mahatissa Thera lived on Mount Cetiya. One day the wandering Buddhist ascetic went to Anuradhapura to gather alms.

In a certain family a daughter-in-law quarreled with her husband then adorned and beautified herself like a celestial maiden. She left Anuradhapura early in the morning and went away to stay with relatives.

On the way she saw the ascetic and, as her mind was perverted (vipallasa = distorted), she gave a loud laugh.

Thank you, miss, thank you for smiling. I'm free.
The monk looked to see what was the matter. He acquired, at the sight of her teeth(-bones), the sign of repulsiveness and thereby realized full enlightenment...

The husband, who had run after her on same road, saw the monk and asked him whether he had by any chance seen a woman. The monk replied:

"Whether what went along here
Was a man or a woman, I do not know.
But a collection of bones is moving
Now along this main road."

[How does the flood of lust sink one? The cause or reason is non-restraint of the eye. A person dwelling without restraining the eye with the gate of mindfulness leaves the door of the eye open, and such unskillful states may flood in.] More