Monday, May 31, 2010

Easy: How to Meditate (Telepopmusik)

Seven & Kalyani (Wisdom Quarterly)

We have it on excellent authority -- on direct experience -- that the way to attain the counterpart-light (nimitta), meditative absorption (jhana), and full concentration (samma-samadhi) is to focus on the breath to the exclusion of everything else: Just breathe.

That exclusion of everything else is as important as the breath. We already breathe. Yet nearly no one is willing to just breathe, to have faith (confidence, saddha) that this is the Way. The first step of the Path may be to HEAR the Dharma.

Find someone who will share. (That may take a search and regard for noble ones and their teachings). This will be achieved by intention-and-deeds (karma). Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it is given. Even as you form the intention (cetana), you are already drawing it in.

Second comes giving EAR. Listen. Probe and question if you wish, but respectfully listen. Third comes VIRTUE: There are precepts, ethics, all-embracing compassion for self and others. Keep to at least five. And concentration (which gives rise to psychological-purification) will make remembering and understanding possible. You don't have to think you're able; you will become able as wisdom strenghtens.

The Buddha would not have taught the Dharma were it not possible for an ordinary worldling to understand these profound and liberating truths. It's too subtle to ever comprehend by mere reasoning. So give the mind a rest.

It might also be a good idea to never betray a friendship. You need friends -- the right kinds of friends (kalyana-mittas). Wish always to be associated with the wise and separated from fools. Good and noble friends, "spiritual friends," are most of the Path. Cherish them and their instruction, even if it can be harsh. Far better to be upbraided by the wise than to be complimented by fools. They have your interest at heart, whereas others are confused.

The mind coheres in happiness. You've heard the Dharma. You've read it right here. Confidence has arisen. Take a seat. Now come and see. Lightly place your full attention on the place you know the breath (under the nose, above the lip). And stay.

The mind drifts. It will drift. Gently bring it back each time -- without self-criticism, frustration, or despair. It's like a forgetful child who will soon remember to stay (but not before some tantrums). Until then, be extra gentle. This child can't be reasoned with and punishment does no good. Just bring it back.

Bring it back approximately 1,000,000 times. What is the Way to succeed in meditation? Applying and sustaining attention here, on the breath at this spot, to the EXCLUSION of thinking/doubting/struggling and everything else.

That's all there is to do. Everything else will happen. You needn't do anything more. This applied attention will do it. This concentration will do it. Things will happen. Therefore in summary: "Just breathe. Just believe. [You're] used to it by now."

At first it's very boring, crushing, and unbearable. That's because the mind is doing other things. When it comes to rest, miraculous things will happen. Things unheard of, things unthinkable, and in no long time, liberation (path and fruit). There comes a light -- literally a light of wisdom -- yet all you need to do is apply attention to this one spot for hours, for days, for weeks: "Just breathe, just believe." How long? Until you build sufficient momentum. Even when you get up, the attention stay applied to the same spot. Whatever else you do, the attention is brought back to the spot.

The mind will never believe that that's all there was to it until it doesn't. And it will be the hardest thing one ever did. Many fall of the Path. So we call it "the straight and narrow." It's all right to fall. Get back on. If one is ever to attain enduring bliss and eventual nirvana (the end of all suffering), get back on. It might also help to smile as you take everything in stride.

This path is a path of pleasure (sukha). But the pleasure is not based on sensual pursuits. The mind is confused because, of course, all pleasure has to be based on sensual pursuit. This is not. It is in the body (piti) but not based on sensual craving. "There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way." The Five Hindrances will come up. And they will get very strong. Just breathe, just believe. There is another side to get to, a further shore. Cross over. And by doing so, you will not lose sensuality. Instead, you will gain a greater pleasure and peace not attainable on this side. So everything you ever wanted (all the cravings to fulfill) and everything you only imagined (wisdom, mysticism, nirvana) are available there.

Symptoms of Inner-Peace

Text by Saskia Davis (

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner-peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace, and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Signs and Symptoms

  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
  • A loss of interest in judging other people
  • A loss of interest in judging self
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
  • A loss of interest in conflict
  • A loss of the ability to worry (a very serious symptom)
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature
  • Frequent attacks of smiling
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen
  • An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it

WARNING: If you have some or all of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition of inner-peace may be so far advanced as to not be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed. [It's good for you].

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Struggle for Enlightenment

"Easy to do are things that are bad and not beneficial to oneself, but very, very hard to do indeed is that which is beneficial and good." (Dhammapada)

Disappointed but not discouraged, the ascetic Gotama [the future Buddha], seeker of the incomparable peace, the highest Truth, wandered through the district of Magadha, northern India.

He eventually arrived at Uruvela, in the market town of Senani. There he found a lovely spot of ground, a charming forest grove, a flowing river with pleasant sandy fords, and nearby was a village where he could obtain almsfood. Then he thought:

"Lovely, indeed, O Venerable One, is this spot of ground, charming is the forest grove, pleasant is the flowing river with sandy fords, and nearby is the village where I can obtain food. Suitable indeed is this place for spiritual exertion for those noble scions who desire to strive."

The place was congenial for his meditation. The atmosphere was peaceful. The surroundings were pleasant. The scenery was charming. Alone, he resolved to settle down there to achieve his desired objective.

Hearing of his renunciation, Kondanna, the youngest brahmin soothsayer who predicted his future, and four sons of the other sages -- Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama, and Assaji -- also renounced the world and joined his company.

In ancient India great importance was attached to rites, rituals, ceremonies, penances, and sacrifices. It was popularly believed that no liberation could be gained unless one led a life of strict asceticism.

Accordingly, for six years the ascetic Gotama made a superhuman struggle to practice all forms of the severest austerities. His delicate body was reduced almost to a skeleton. But the more he tormented his body, the farther his goal receded from him.

How strenuously he struggled, the various methods he employed, and how he eventually succeeded were graphically described in his own words in various discourses. The Maha Saccaka Sutra describes his preliminary efforts:

"Then the following thought occurred to me:

"How if I were to clench my teeth, press my tongue against the palate, and with (moral) thoughts hold down, subdue and destroy my (immoral) thoughts! More>>

The Elimination of Anger

Excerpts from Bodhi Leaves (No. B. 68) by Ven. K. Piyatissa Thera

"Not by hating hatred ceases

In this world of tooth and claw;
Love alone from hate releases --
This is the Eternal Law." (Dhp. 5, Francis Story)

"She abused me, she beat me, she defeated me, she robbed me...! Whosoever harbors such thoughts will never be able to still inner enmity" (Dhp. 4).

"Forbearance is the highest observance. Patience is the highest virtue. So the buddhas [perfectly enlightened] say" (Dhp. 184).

"Never, indeed, is hatred stilled by hatred; it will only be stilled by non-hatred -- this is a timeless truth."

"Let one remove anger, root out pride. Let one overcome all fetters of passions. No forms of suffering overtake one who neither clings to mind-and-body (nama-rupa) nor claims anything of the world" (Dhp. 221).

"Guard your mind against an outburst of wrong feelings. Keep your mind controlled. Renouncing unskillful thoughts, develop purity of mind" (Dhp. 233).

If anger has not subsided, one may reflect: "She has done some wrong to me and in so doing has spoiled her mind. Then why should I spoil or impair my own mind because of her foolishness? Sometimes I ignore support or help offered by my relatives, sometimes their tears even shed because of my activities do I ignore. I, being such a person of such type, why should I not ignore that foolish person's deed[s]?"

"She has done that wrong, being subject to [defilements like] anger. Should I, too, follow her, making my own mind subject to anger? Is it not foolish to imitate her? She, harboring her hatred destroys herself internally. Why should I, on her account, destroy my reputation?"


All things are momentary. Both her mind and body are momentary too. The thoughts and the body with which the wrong was done to me are not now existing. What I call the same person now are the thoughts and physical parts which are different from the earlier ones that harmed me, although belonging to the same psycho-physical process. Thus, one thought together with one mass of physical parts did me some wrong and vanished there and then, giving way to succeeding thoughts and material parts to appear. So with which am I getting angry? With the vanished and disappeared thoughts and physical parts or with the thoughts and material parts which do not do any wrong now? Should I get angry with one thing which is innocent when another thing has done me wrong and vanished?

The so-called "I" is not the same for two consecutive moments. At the moment the wrong was done there was another thought and another mass of molecules which were regarded as "I," whereas what are regarded as "I" at the present moment are a different thought and collection of molecules, though belonging to the same process.

Thus some other being did wrong to someone else, and another gets angry with another. Is this not a ridiculous situation? If we scrutinize the exact nature of our life and its happenings in this manner, our anger might subside or vanish there and then.

"The Buddha's Brain" (Dr. Rick Hanson)

FACESConferences — Author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (New Harbinger, 2009) was recorded Live at "Awakening To Mindfulness" conference in San Diego 2009. More information: Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience & Contemplative Wisdom. He is the editor of the "Wise Brain Bulletin" (

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kombucha Tea goes Mainstream

Ancient drink goes mainstream (AP) An ancient drink goes mainstream

Celebs like Lindsay Lohan and Kirsten Dunst are popularizing a strange organic brew. Its purported health benefits - More on the brew - Worst "health" drinks

Vesak 2553, Los Angeles (Dhammakaya)


Jack Kornfield: Buddhism and Neurobiology

CALENDAR: Jack Kornfield in Los Angeles, May 28-29

SoundsTrueVideos — The Buddha meets neurobiology in this interactive course on the power of mindfulness. This is a 10-minute excerpt from "Mindfulness and the Brain: A Professional Training in the Science and Practice of Meditative Awareness" by Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. and Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, MD.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Confidence: Improving Low Self-Esteem

(Dr. Sharon Melnick)

Zen of cell phones: "Wisdom 2.0" (Google)

GoogleTechTalks — It's awesome that we are all so connected. But the question is, How are we connected? More specifically, How can our time connected via technology enhance our creativity and well-being instead of adding to our frustration and stress? Soren Gordhamer takes a Zen approach to the busy-ness of our modern cell phone consumed lives.

How can we engage creatively with our work such that we are more likely to calmly complete a project in four hours rather than stressing and banging our head to complete it in eight? How can our time connected be more focused and less scattered?

In this talk focused on Stress Relief for the Creative and Constantly Connected, teachings from ancient wisdom traditions like Zen Buddhism are used to address these questions. Using material from his book Wisdom 2.0, the speaker will offer tools for living sanely and effectively in this increasingly connected world.

Soren Gordhamer is an entrepreneur, author, and techie who explores the promises and pitfalls of living networked and connected in the technology age. Author of Wisdom 2.0: Stress Relief for the Creative and Constantly Connected, a book to reduce stress by engaging the creative mind in this technology-rich world of emails, social networks, and cell phones. Past experiences include: Spent one year walking through parts of the US, Asia, and Japan on a global environmental walk. Organized the Healing through Great Difficulty Conference with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He also authored the meditation book, Just Say Om! (Adams Media, 2001). Founder of the Lineage Project in New York City, which offers meditation and yoga-based stress reduction programs for at-risk and incarcerated teens. It won the Mayor's Voluntary Action Award from former New York City mayor, Rudolph Guiliani. Co-founder of Zooelo, which creates embeddable flash tools for uplifting user generated content. Featured in GQ Magazine and, and mentioned in Esquire, Texas Monthly, and other publications.

Wisdom 2.0: Our Western Cellphone Culture

How To Handle Your To-Do List with Soren Gordhamer: Soren brings the wisdom of Eastern meditation practices to calm the frantic anxiety produced by our Western high-speed cellphone, email, facebook, twitter techno-culture. He offers practical advice to interacting with technology in a balanced way.

Gordhamer is an author, Web entrepreneur, and stress-reduction consultant who blogs for the Huffington Post and Mashable and is project director for Richard Gere's charity, Healing The Divide.

Ancient Burma: Pagan (Bagan)


The Kingdom of Bagan (also pronounced Pagan) can be traced back to the early 2nd century AD. Its golden period, when it really flourished, was under the rule of King Anawrahta in the 1057 AD. Until 1287 AD – when it was taken over by the forces of Kublai Khan – close to 13,000 temples, pagodas, and other religious structures were built. About 2,200 temples remain. Due to flooding of the nearby River Irrawady, about a third of the city has been washed away. Treasures have been stolen, and natural disasters like earthquakes have left their impact on the remaining structures. All of this only adds to the romance and thrill of this holy and hidden place.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"2012: The Online Movie" (final cut, updated)

In5d — The TRUTH about 2012 is HERE! has UPDATED and REMASTERED "2012 The Online Movie." Share it on social media (Facebook, MySpace, blogs, emails). Feel free to copy and post it on your YouTube site as well!

Stocks, Euro drop; Dow falls below 10K

Stocks drop after euro slumps, Dow falls below 10K
NEW YORK – The Dow Jones industrials plunged below 10,000 Tuesday after traders dumped stocks on expectations that the world economy will weaken in the coming months. The Dow fell about 200 points in afternoon trading. It has fallen about 1,340 points, or nearly 12 percent, from its recent high of 11,205, reached April 26. The Dow and broader stock indexes all fell about 2 percent. Investors also exited the euro and commodities including oil and again sought safety in Treasurys. That drove interest rates lower. More>>

Youngest Mt. Everest climber: "Go big!"

Jordan Romero

BEIJING -- For Jordan Romero, the 13-year-old American who became the youngest climber to summit Mount Everest, it all began with the desire to dream big. The eighth grader from California said that he first came up with the idea to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents four years ago. On Saturday, he reached the top of the world's highest mountain — and nearly completed his quest.

"The record is one thing, but standing on top of the world is just the best feeling you could ever imagine," he said in an interview Monday by satellite phone from the 21,320-foot (6,500-meter) Advanced Base Camp where his team was resting on its way down. Two days earlier, Jordan had succeeded in scaling the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak... Jordan said he hoped his achievement would encourage young people worldwide to set their own big dreams and pursue them. More>>

The night sky during the Perseid meteor shower on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 in Vinton, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford)Amateurs spot secret space plane in sky

While the U.S. Air Force is mum about the X-37B robotic craft, a band of sleuths is tracking it. Atlantis's high odometer - NASA telescope's find

Top News of the World

This NASA artist's concept image shows that the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. (AFP/NASA) Hubble spies planet being devoured by star

The doomed planet, the hottest in the galaxy, is 300 times the size of Earth. Life and death of stars - A new kind of supernova - NASA gives up on lander

Deep Meditation Experience (video)

(AudioStrobeShop) "Dreams in the Mind's Eye" is Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's groundbreaking work with sound patterns. It has been used by psychologists, body workers, and hypnotherapists since 1981 to positively affect consciousness. The fractal art work is by Sven Geier. More: "Visions of Space & Time"

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Striving" for Serenity?

Forest Refuge meditation hall, Barre, Massachusetts built around a stone outcropping

Striving for serenity is a lot like relaxing for war. There is a paradoxical saying among soldiers: "Hurry up and wait!" It characterizes the reality of being in the military. Far from brave combat, glory on the battlefield, or dangerous heroics, the day-to-day life of a recruit is bureaucratic and mind-numbingly boring. Hustle, hustle, double-time, and stand in line. Be ready to fight, but sit tight. Have your gear in order, and hold on. There's nothing like racing into action only to be told to wait, wait some more, and don't worry about why there's a wait or how long that wait will be. Serenity meditation, which is the opposite of war, can be the same way.

Absorption -- First Jhana
Jhanas Advice From Two Spiritual Friends: Concentration Meditation As Taught by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw (Tina Rasmussen & Stephen Snyder)
Jhana [meditative absorption] only appears when the conditions for it are ripe. A beginning jhana practitioner cannot force the awareness into full absorption or make it happen. The student must be vigilant while relaxing into the process. The meditator is either pulled into the jhana spontaneously or uses a resolve for the first time entering a jhana.

Do not become discouraged as you focus on the anapana nimitta [an internal light at the upper lip that signifies intense concentration on the breath], allowing concentration to build, but also do not become overly zealous and use the resolves repeatedly to the point that your concentration wanes.

"You," as you usually know yourself, do not enter jhana. Rather, the veils layered and known as the "normal you" have been temporarily peeling away in the [Mindfulness of in-and-out Breath] Meditation. A thinner, gauze like sense of self is what merges/absorbs [with the nimitta] in jhana.

There is an awareness of being in jhana while in jhana. It is not an unconscious state. One is aware only of the meditation object [the nimitta, which is the sign of the breath]. In full absorption, there is no awareness of time, the body, or the physical senses.

However, due to the deep concentration, the beginning meditator's mind may be able to quickly shift from absorption to access concentration... In this case, the meditator may have a slight sense of time, the body, or the physical senses. (From pp. 65-66 of the 1st edition, now re-released as Practicing the Jhanas).

Master: "Do not take your earthly experiences too seriously. The root cause of sorrow is in viewing the passing show with too much emotional involvement" (Man’s Eternal Quest, SRF, pg. 239).

"Meltup" - Global Currency Crisis, Inflation

InflationUS — The emperor has no clothes -- the beginning of a U.S. (and global) currency crisis and hyperinflation. Become a member of NIA free at

Equanimity – In the Dharma and in Your Brain

Dr. Rick Hanson (author of The Buddha's Brain) at Spirit Rock

Equanimity means not reacting to your reactions. That's both a wonderful relief from upsets and traumas and a profound resource for spiritual growth. In Buddhism, equanimity is one of the four Brahma Viharas ("Divine Abodes"). It is often considered the foundation of the three others: loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy. Equanimity breaks the chain of suffering by helping one not react to the pleasant or unpleasant feeling tone of experience with craving and clinging, respectively.

Your equanimity, a state of mind, is based on underlying states of your brain. Modern neuroscience is revealing new ways to cultivate those brain states -- a potent combination with time-tested Buddhist practices. This experiential workshop led by a psychologist and a neurologist will offer user-friendly information with lots of practical methods useful for both self-guided practice and in therapeutic settings. It will cover:

  • The Buddha’s teachings on equanimity
  • The neurological machinery of emotional reactivity
  • How equanimity works in your brain to prevent, cool, and heal destructive emotions
  • Strengthening "top-down," frontal lobe influences through Wise View and other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path
  • Training "bottom-up," limbic system reactions to be less fearful and angry and more peaceful, connecting, and constructive
  • "Neurodharma" perspectives on healing from trauma.
There will be time for questions and discussion. No background with meditation or neuroscience is needed. Young Adults (18-26) are invited to attend this daylong at a rate of $25. Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing.
  • Saturday, May 29, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm in Community Meditation Hall. Cost $50 - $80, sliding scale, plus dana (donation) to the teacher(s), code RR2D10. Add $5 at the door. Bring your lunch. CE credit available - see below. Online Registration Open - Click here to register. Online Registration for this event is available until 12 noon one business day before the event. Continuing Education (CE) Credit: 6 CE credits available for MFTs, LCSWs, psychologists, and nurses from SRMC-SCRC for $30. Prepayment available on website. For more information, see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dalai Lama inspires Buddhists, curious alike

Mike Kilen (Des Moines Register)
Many people have only the simplest vision of Buddhism, the one they'll see at the University of Northern Iowa's sold-out arena Tuesday: a smiling, good-natured 74-year-old Tibetan who wears a robe and implores you to live in the moment.

But the Dalai Lama's first visit to Iowa may spark a deeper interest in Buddhism and in the spiritual leader's common-sense ideas on how to live one's life.

Buddhism in Iowa takes many forms, in many cultural traditions. It is practiced in venues varying from a nature lodge in West Des Moines to home basements or temples in Des Moines or meeting rooms at Iowa State University in Ames. More>>

First Generation Buddhism in America

“Theravada Buddhism has never gotten proper attention in the literature devoted to Buddhism in the West. Wendy Cadge here observes two Theravada communities in the U.S. to reveal how American Buddhists actually live out their religions. She also offers new and important input into how we think about the role of religion in American society during times of globalization. Heartwood [by Wendy Cadge] will add tremendously to our understanding of the Buddhist tradition in America” — Charles Prebish, Penn State University.

The origin of Theravada Buddhism in America can be traced to a speech made by Anagarika Dharmapala at the World Parliament of Religions meeting in 1893. Born in 1864 in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon), Don David Hewavitharne became a celibate layman and adopted the title Anagarika Dharmapala, meaning “homeless one,” “guardian of the Dharma.”

Heavily influenced by [Colonel] Olcott (1832–1907) and [Madame] Blavatsky (1831–1891), Theosophists who first visited India and Ceylon from America in 1878 and 1880, Dharmapala spent his life spreading Buddhism around the world. At the Parliament, Dharmapala spoke about how Buddhism, Christianity, and scientific approaches to the world overlap, saying that the “Buddha inculcated the necessity of self-reliance and independent thought,” and “accepted the doctrine of evolution as the only true one.”

Theosophists and others in the United States were influenced by elements of Theravada Buddhism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Groups of Burmese and Sri Lankan monks visited the United States before the first Theravada Buddhist organization was formed in Washington, D.C., in 1966. The Washington Buddhist Vihara and the Buddhist Study Center in New York, the first two Theravada Buddhist organizations in the United States, were... More>>

5 Ways to Fix Your Relationship

Fast fixes to make a relationship stronger (Getty Images) Five fast fixes for a stronger relationship

One exercise you can do with your partner can lower your inhibitions and help you bond. It only takes a minute. Improve communication - Flirting moves to avoid - Get a fresh start

Friday, May 21, 2010

World Buddhist Directory

California 13-year-old climbs Mt. Everest

BEIJING (AP) – A 13-year-old American boy became the youngest climber to reach the top of Mount Everest on Saturday, coming one step away his quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents. Jordan Romero called his mother by satellite phone from the summit of the world's highest mountain, 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level. "He says, 'Mom, I'm calling you from the top of the world,'" Leigh Anne Drake told The Associated Press from California, where she had watched her son's progress on a GPS tracker online. More>>

Dalai Lama tweets Chinese about Tibet

BEIJING (AP) – The Dalai Lama tried to hold a rare direct conversation with people inside China on Friday, answering questions live on Twitter about the fate of long-tense Tibet. The hourlong session with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader had been requested by Wang Lixiong, a Chinese writer and convert to Tibetan Buddhism who lives in Beijing. The two met for Friday's online conversation in a hotel room in New York, where the Dalai Lama is visiting. Through a Chinese interpreter, the Dalai Lama tweeted messages of criticism about the Chinese government's policies in Tibet and words of welcome to Chinese citizens. More>>

Despite spending 84 minutes in jail and performing mandatory service at the county morgue, Lohan has struggled repeatedly with the terms of her sentence. In October, a judge extended her probation for another year. But a prosecutor warned the actress she faced jail time if she violated her probation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Binaural Beats and Meditation (brain waves)

Wisdom Quarterly INVESTIGATION

Binaural beats (explained below) use stereo headphones to stimulate brain wave entrainment, instant relaxation, emotional balance, healing, well-being, and heightened consciousness. Binaural beats are a sonic alternative medicine. They can be used as a dependable relaxation tool for resolving depression and anxiety and provide support to make meditating easier.

Binaural beats are a proven brain entrainment process that began to gain recognition after an article entitled "Auditory Beats in the Brain" was published by Dr. Gerald Oster (Scientific America, October 1973). They work by sending two different hertz frequencies, one to each ear via headphones. This causes the left and right brain hemispheres to work in unison to hear a third tone, a phantom frequency, the centered difference between the two tones. Since humans cannot hear sounds low enough to be useful for brain stimulation, these special techniques must be used. The hertz separations create a constant, gentle beat that facilitate meditation.

For example, if a 500Hz tone is played in one ear and 510Hz tone in the other, this sets up a binaural beat frequency of 10Hz, which is Alpha. If the brain is monitored with an EEG machine, it shows increased 10Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres. There are four types of brain wave activity: Beta (discursive thinking), Alpha (meditating Zen monks), Theta (sudden understanding), and Delta (oneness, dreamless sleep). Review the scientific research at

Lindsay Lohan arrest warrant issued

Arrest warrant issued for Lindsay Lohan

The actress fails to appear at a hearing amid reports she has violated her probation. Why she's still in France. Pics of Lohan in France - Lohan issues response

Sex in China: Swingers' Case Tests Limits

BEIJING – They were members of a modern-day swingers' club in China, where people met online and then gathered in homes or hotels for group sex parties involving dozens of men and women. Last month, Ma Yaohai, a 53-year-old college professor and 21 others went on trial in the southeastern city of Nanjing.

They are accused of "group licentiousness" — the first time anyone has been charged under a 1997 law in a case that has snagged huge public interest with its titillating details. But aside from rampant curiosity in the swinger lifestyle, the uproar also has touched off a deeper debate about sexual freedom in a nation that is trying to reshape its own modern morality.

Ma said his decision to join the swingers was voluntary. "Marriage is like water. You have to drink it. Swinging is like a cup of wine. You can drink it if you like. If you don't like it, don't drink it," he said in interviews with Chinese media. More>>

The Story of Stuff: 10 things we won't give up

Rick Newman (USN)
Nearly everything had to go. A few months after losing her administrative job in the summer of 2008, 23-year-old Brianna Karp got rid of her furniture, a beloved piano, and most of her books so she could move back in with her parents. When that didn't work out, she moved into an old trailer a relative had left her, settling into an informal homeless community in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Brea, California. By the summer of 2009, she was living without electricity, regular showers, home-cooked food, and most basic conveniences. [But there were some things she, like most Americans, wasn't about to give up.] More>>

How Big is the Ocean? (Animal Talk)

A Swedish warship, left, escorts a merchant ship, on Tuesday, May 11 ,2010, in the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Tim Freccia)Scientists calculate how big the ocean is

Using measurements from satellites, researchers determine its volume and depth. Octopus mystery solved - Dire ocean fish warning - Deep sea creatures - Dive the Marianas Trench

While fascinating, some topics of conversation are not helpful for gaining enlightenment. And without enlightenment, there is no final liberation from suffering. What sort of talk is not helpful? "Animal talk" not dealing with the Dharma, including speculative talk of the sea.

Animal talk is worldly discussion of rulers, robbers, ministers (politics); armies, calamities, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; philosophical discussions of the past and future (what the Sub-commentary explains as 'tales of diversity'), the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not."

The Sub-commentary also notes that to discuss any of these topics in a way that fosters an understanding of the Dharma — for example, discussing the impermanence of worldly power or how the size of the ocean relates to rebirth — may be considered edifying.

So here's an attempt to relate the size of the sea to Samsara — the "continued wandering on" of beings through births, deaths, rebirths, and redeaths ad nauseum. It is said in the Grouped Discourses (Samyutta Nikaya, Anatamagga-samyutta, S ii 178; CDB i 651) that the beginnings of Samsara are unimaginable. That is, how long we have wandered incessantly undergoing rebirth (past lives) in various planes, both blissful and horrific, with no end in sight in future lives, is unimaginable.

To illustrate this the Buddha once asked, "Which is greater, the tears you have shed while wandering through rebirths...or the water in the four great oceans?" (In the same way he also asks, "Which is greater, the blood you have shed in your long journey in Samsara, or the water in the four great oceans?")

While in the ancient city of
Savatthi, the Buddha said: "It is not possible to construe a beginning to this wandering on. No first point is evident or a time before when beings were not hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving in this long cyclical journey. What do you think: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while wandering and running on — crying about being joined with what is displeasing and weeping over being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?"

"As we understand the Dharma taught to us by the Blessed One, greater are the tears we have shed wandering on...not the water in the four great oceans."

"Excellent, disciples, excellent! It is excellent that you have understood the Dharma taught by me in this way. Indeed, the tears you have shed while wandering along are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother...crying and weeping...greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... brother... sister... son... daughter... loss with regard to relatives... wealth... disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to [these] while wandering along — crying and weeping — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Now why is that? A first beginning to this wandering cannot be construed. A beginning point is not evident, nor a time before when beings were not hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving running and wandering on. Long have you thus experienced suffering [mental], experienced pain [physical], experienced loss, swelling up the cemeteries — it is enough to become disenchanted with all compounded things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released." (See also: SN 15.13).

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