Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Big Buddha, Phuket; India; Central Asia

Wisdom Quarterly
Devi near the Big Buddha treasure in Phuket, southern Thailand (Julie0904/
( A few years ago, if anyone traveled anywhere south of Phuket [poo-KIT] City and looked up at the ridge of hills running down the center of the island [peninsula], one would see a towering monument under construction right at the top. 
This is the Big Buddha, as it is known locally, destined to become a local landmark and a place for both tourists, pilgrims, and devout Thai Buddhists to visit.
The Big Buddha, Phuket, Thailand (
About 10 years ago a group of friends were walking through the forest in the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata [Beaches] when they stumbled upon a place with stunning vistas of both sides of the island -- Chalong Bay lay in one direction, while on the other they looked down over Kata Beach and the Andaman Sea. It would, they thought, make a perfect place for a viewpoint -- something that could become as well known as Phuket’s favorite sunset viewpoint, Laem Phromthep.  More
Ananda Buddha Vihara, Hyderabad, India (VenkataSaiKrishna/ video

Buddhist Temple in India
( I read a small byline in my Lonely Planet Guide about a quaint Buddhist temple on a hill in Hyderabad.
Off we went to the Ananda Buddha Vihara. We went up to East Maredpally and from there took a rickshaw to Mahendra Hills. Not surprisingly, the rickshaw driver hadn’t heard of the place either. We asked him to take us to Mata Amritanandmayi’s Ashrama, which is next to the temple, as he concentrated on coaxing the rickshaw up the steep streets. This Buddhist temple is the last building at the edge of a hillock [with a great view over the city]. More 
Western-style Buddha of Central Asia (Gandhara, Bactria, Greece)
Gandhara is an ancient region or province invaded in 326 B.C. by Alexander the Great, who took Charsadda (ancient Puskalavati) near present-day Peshawar (ancient Purusapura) and then marched eastward across the Indus into the Punjab as far as the Beas river (ancient Vipasa). Gandhara constituted the undulating plains, irrigated by the Kabul River from the Khyber Pass area, the contemporary boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan, down to the Indus River and southward towards the Murree hills and Taxila (ancient Taksasila), near Pakistan's present capital, Islamabad.
Its [Westernized] Buddhist art, however, during the first centuries of the Christian era, had adopted a substantially larger area, together with the upper stretches of the Kabul River, the valley of Kabul itself, and ancient Kapisa, as well as Swat and Buner towards the north. More
Thai faith is strong (Wacharapol)

Anti-Walmart in LA with Tom Morello (video)

(video); Wisdom Quarterly 
Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello performs "Union Song" at the anti-Walmart rally in Chinatown today Saturday, June 30, 2012. More at 
Kind Awareness with Noah Levine
LACMA: Ancient Mexican Art (nagas)
Dharma Realm Buddhist Association
Zen koan meditation in Pasadena
Katie Holmes destroys Tom Cruise
Why Christians believe what they do
A Flicker of Serenity in Thailand
AUDIO: The Mayan Calendar 2012
Visit HSI LAI TEMPLE, Los Angeles
Find inner peace at Hsi Lai Temple deep in the suburbs to the east. This picturesque temple on a hill offers public classes in meditation and Buddhism, which are available in English, as well as art exhibitions and tours. While visiting, have a vegetarian meal at the temple's large dining hall and tea garden. Temple entry is FREE. (3456 Glenmark Drive, Hacienda Heights)

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Lost Treasures of Afghanistan" (video)

National Geographic; Wisdom Quarterly
During Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s, the National Museum outside [the capital] Kabul was literally on the front line, repeatedly attacked by rocket fire and looted by [CIA-inspired] warlords.
Then, during the reign of the fundamentalist [CIA-created] Taliban regime, all non-Islamic statues and tombs were ordered destroyed. This led to the loss of two-thirds of the hundred thousand items in the Kabul museum.
In search of a larger reclining Afghan Buddha statue than the ones destroyed (Nat Geo)
The Taliban was forced from Kabul after the U.S. military [illegally invaded in a preemptively strike and] intervention in Afghanistan in late 2001. Before then, the Taliban's culture minister supervised the destruction of many of the remaining exhibits at the museum.
What the Taliban didn't know was that many of the most magnificent objects had already been spirited away. More than 25 years ago museum staff had hidden the treasures as the bombs started to fall. (See photos of the Afghanistan museum treasures.)...
Bactrian Gold
Indian gold coins (
Although virtually unknown to the world public, Afghanistan's cultural heritage is one of the world's richest. Afghanistan was for a long time a cultural crossroads. The lost treasure represents a Silk Road melting pot of precious objects from China, India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and ancient Afghanistan. 
Perhaps the most important of the lost treasures were the famed Bactrian gold pieces, great icons of Afghanistan's cultural heritage. The hoard -- discovered in the fall of 1978 by Soviet archaeologists -- included more than 20,000 gold objects from the 2,000-year-old Silk Road culture of Bactria, an ancient nation that covered parts of what is now Afghanistan. More

Another "Buddha" - Padmasambhava (video)

; Wisdom Quarterly

This is the dramatic story not of Maitreya, the Buddha-to-come, but of the ancient Indian Buddhist missionary Guru Padmasambhava. He was born in Udhyana -- modern Swat Valley, Pakistan -- and traveled across mountains and icy desert plains, moving across the spectacular Himalayas and finally reaching the Tibetan Plateau. Benoy K. Behl created this film to tell his story of one of the most forceful personalities of all history. Padmasambhava, with his magic and flamboyant masked dances, dominated the Rooftop of the World within his lifetime and is still revered today.
Behl in Berkeley
Mangalam Centers and the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley co-sponsored a special screening of art historian and photographer Benoy K. Behl’s film “The Second Buddha.” The filmmaker was present to discuss his work and take questions with Mangalam Research Center director Jack Petranker. The program included Sylvia Gretchen, the Dean of the Nyingma Institute, on the importance of Padmasambhava in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
“The Second Buddha” follows the journey of Guru Padmasambhava, an emanation of the Mahayana “Buddha” Amitabha who is regarded as the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet and Bhutan.
The 25-minute film traces segments of Guru Padmasambhava’s journey across the Himalayas and the cold, high deserts of the Tibetan Plateau. According to Behl, the film tells “one of the greatest true stories of the world and is also the story of one of the most forceful personalities in all history.” More
(Myo Edizioni)

Ancient Buddhism in Pakistan, China (video)

; updated June 2012, Ashley Wells, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly
The former Buddhist civilization of northwestern India, now Islamic Pakistan
SWAT, Pakistan (formerly northwestern India) - Militants are holding sway in restive Swat Valley. They are destroying the remnants and heritage of Gandhara Buddhist civilization there.

In the absence of appropriate security arrangements, a historic rock-carved image of the Buddha (near Jahanabad) has already been partially destroyed. However, restoration ("facelift") is underway.
Indo-Ariyan Kalash girl
Situated on the banks of the Swat river, known in ancient times as Svastu, the scenic Swat Valley was the center of Buddhist civilization. Prior to being colonized by England as part of the United Kingdom, what are now called "Pakistan" and "Afghanistan" were simply the northwestern frontier of India -- much as it had been at the time of the Buddha.
  • The Buddha's extended family -- the Shakya ("gray land" or Afghanistan) Clan was from this region. Kapilavastu, asserts Dr. Ranajit Pal (a maverick historian), was near modern Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
In ancient scripts Swat is known as Udhyana, meaning garden or park. Historians say the Indian Emperor Asoka re-introduced Buddhism to Swat spreading it to Peshawar, Taxila, and beyond into Afghanistan.
Chinese Caves
The remarkable Buddhist cave shrines of far western China
  • Of course, it already existed all along the deserts and oases of the Silk Route up through Central Asia from Kapilavastu to Kalmykia (Buddhist Europe). This historical fact -- marked by colossal stone monuments in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and far western China -- could not be obliterated even by Muslim extremists, time, or the desolate desert.
Kalmykia, Europe is far from Central Asia, India
However, by seventh and eighth centuries ACE, Buddhist civilization was giving way to another influence in the area (Asuran, Zoroastrian, and Islamic).
Rock carvings and historical sites preserve this part of history in the mountains and plains of Swat. Images and statues of the Buddha carved in different forms are a semi-permanent record of the material remains of humankind.
We reconstruct the history of Buddhism with their help. Now these carvings, of which there are hundreds in Swat, says Professor Fidaullah Sehrai, the Director of the Archeology Department, NWFP.
() Extremists attacked Buddha statue in Pakistan in 2009.
Growing militancy has emerged as a major threat to these rare sites throughout the restive valley. Some have already been damaged. The Jehanabad Buddha is one such complete and inspiring symbol of Gandharan art.
Preserved by nature due to difficult location, this meditating Buddha carved some 20 feet high has survived many attacks since 1994. However, the last one proved destructive to the Buddha's face.
The body of the Jehanabad Buddha had holes filled with explosives, which the militants could return for the final round of completely destroying the unique image.
The Kalash: Indo-Greco Buddhist fusion "Aryans"

Complaints were made to the DOC and the Ministry, and they will take some action, said Nasir Khan, an official from the Swat Museum.
Unlike the past, the sites look bleak now: No foreign tourists are visiting the sites for fear of getting caught up in growing militant activity. This has badly damaged the economy of the area which largely depended on tourism.
Due to growing insecurity and lack of a well thought out preservation strategy, some of the sites are fast losing their attraction for tourists from around the world otherwise interested in following the Buddhist touris circuit in India and Nepal and other Buddhist lands.
Resurrecting ancient Afghanistan's Buddhist legacy

Can girls be sex addicts? (video); Amber Dorrian, Seven, Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;

Sex addiction (whether called nymphomania or satyriasis) is a sad condition, but it is funny and entertaining as the topic of a Scandinavian teen sex comedy -- with all the neurosis and discomfort of high school.
TURN ME ON, DAMNIT! was awarded "Best Screenplay" at the Tribeca Film Festival 2011. It is a story about a group of teenage friends who feel trapped in the Norwegian small town they live in, which they constantly flip off. "D*ck-Alma" is experiencing desires she never felt before as she is discovering her sexuality. [No precipitating molestation is shown but it can be inferred.] Her sexual curiosity makes daydreaming and phone-sex an escape from everyday life. At a party, Artur -- the boy who frequents Alma's dreams -- makes a bold move on her, but everything seems to go wrong. The life Alma wanted to escape from has somehow become even worse. The film consists of beautiful frames and music, with dialogue that is careful but spot on. Jannicke Systad Jacobsen strikes against all the taboos surrounding young women's sexuality. The world has been waiting for a film like this. And we can only hope that we have evolved enough that fewer people will feel squeamish or shamed by something everyone goes through at a certain age. Starring: Helene Bergsholm, Malin Bjørhovde, Henriette Steenstrup, Beate Støfring, Matias Myren.

Laci Green saves the world (again)
Even with the success of Zen and Fifty Shades of Grey -- Catholic, Jewish, Christian fundamentalist America may not be ready for a light film on such a heavy topic. But since it comes from faraway Norway, it just might avoid protests, intolerant outbursts, and church condemnation. As Americans we are very confused about sex due to our hopelessly entangled Puritanical and pornographic roots.

Facelift for Pakistan Buddha (Jahanabad); Wisdom Quarterly
Sculpture of the Buddha with face destroyed by Taliban, Jahanabad, Swat Valley, Pakistan (AP)
JAHANABAD, Pakistan (ancient Gandhara, India) - When the [CIA-created] Taliban blew the face off a towering, 1,500-year-old rock carving of the Buddha in northwest Pakistan almost five years ago, it fell to an intrepid  Italian archaeologist to come to the rescue.
Thanks to the efforts of Luca Olivieri and his partners, the 6-meter (nearly 20-foot)-tall image near the town of Jahanabad is getting a facelift. And many other archaeological treasures in the scenic Swat Valley are being excavated and preserved.
Extremists have a history of targeting Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious sites they consider heretical to Islam. Six months before the 9-11, 2001 attacks, the [CIA/]Taliban shocked the world by dynamiting a pair of 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues in central Afghanistan. [The plan was to create a pretext to invade, which included saving women from Islamic sexism and, apparently, imposing a Western Judeo-Christian brand.]
The Jahanabad Buddha, etched high on a huge rock face in the 6th or 7th century, is one of the largest such carvings in South Asia. It was attacked in the fall of 2007 when the Pakistani Taliban swarmed across the scenic Swat Valley. The army drove most of them out two years later, but foreign tourists who used to visit the region still tend to stay away.
Olivieri himself had to leave in 2008 after more than two decades of tending to the riches dating back to Alexander the Great and the Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim invaders who followed. The 49-year-old head of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan returned in 2010 and is back at work. More (CBS News coverage)

Condom Contest and cover art (video); Patt Morrison; Wisdom Quarterly
Activists with large packets for "Love Condoms" campaign (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Are you sex-positive (wiki)? The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health wants to know what image of the City of Angels gets you in the mood. The artwork of ten lucky Angelenos will be chosen to appear on 1,000,001 condom wrappers in the Health Department’s new “L.A.’s Next Sex Symbol” contest -- with the goal of promoting safer sex and reducing new incidences of HIV in the Southland. More

What does Buddhism teach that might help him if he's elected governor again? “Illusions are endless and our job as human beings is to cut them...

"Zombies, Demons, and Fallen Angels" (video)

Three-part Hagmann and Hagmann Report (June 3, 2012), an interview with Steve Quayle. "The answer to fear is faith and understanding."

Zombies (
Steven Quayle is a wonderful researcher and broadcaster, but he is an unapologetic Christian, which makes some of his material off-putting. At times he starts thumping his Bible, quoting scripture, and focusing on Issa, Son of Zeus, a kind of Sakka. These are the idioms he uses and the prism he makes sense of the world with. It is worth tolerating. It may not be fully accurate, but it is a familiar language to Westerners. He very much believes in the End Times, 2012, the Rapture, and the coming catastrophe(s). He is a leading expert on giants and the "Brave New World Order" befalling our planet.

Part II and Part III

His book Long Walkers is based on a six fingered, red haired giant evacuated out of Afghanistan by the US military-industrial complex. The Illuminati, globalists, bankers, elitists, alien entities, and spirits all play a role in understanding what is going on in the world today and why. Much of it is due to mass deception, militarism, and PsyOps by clandestine agencies affiliated with the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, NSC, and even more secretive agencies.

Are Bigfoot Alien Entities? (video)

Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., Huff Post Weird News; "Finding Bigfoot" (Animal Planet)

Rather than being a missing link between man and the apes, Bigfoot may possibly be an alien entity. This intriguing possibility is derived from evidence in several solid UFO cases. The earliest clues date back to 1888, when a cattleman described an encounter with friendly Indians in Humboldt County, California. They led him to a cave where he saw a hefty humanoid creature covered in long, shiny black hair, with no neck, sitting cross-legged. One Indian told him three of these "Crazy Bears" had been cast out of a small moon that dropped from the sky and landed. The "moon" then ascended back into the air. So it's highly likely the "Crazy Bears" were really Bigfoots, and the "moon," a spacecraft. Now fast-forward almost 100 years... More
The creature has many names and many eyewitnesses

Nepal, My Nepal

) The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) is a great example of one person's vision: Ven. Sanghasena established the MIMC in 1986 to offer both spiritual instructions as well as desperately needed humanitarian services to impoverished people in the remote Buddhist land of Ladakh, India, which neighbors Nepal in the Himalayas. A dedicated team of social workers, teachers, doctors, monks, nuns, community leaders, and care-providers have created an integrated community at Devachan, Ladakh. More

...The Communists, led by two closet-Christians, Prachanda and Bhattrai, perhaps supported by the Catholic Queen in Delhi, declared that Nepal is a "secular state." The Vatican declared its secular credentials too, long ago, so long as one was Christian and paid rent to the Pope.
The Mafia is slightly different: they guarantee respectable jobs; modern day Marxists and the Vatican do not, not even to their diehard slaves. Nepal’s so called NGO brigade should learn this unpalatable truth.

During the ten year long armed rebellion against the monarchy (1996-2006), the majority of the rural population and many in urban areas supported the Maoists. However, when the Maoists captured nearly 40% of the 602-member Constituent Assembly, they wanted democratic centralism akin to the former Soviet Union. 
The other 60% opposed it for all sorts of reasons. The State Restructuring Commission came up with two options. But they seem to be unacceptable to various ethnic groups for various reasons... 
The Maoists received foreign support, funds as well as arms such as M56 assault rifles and Heckler and Koch G3. Rebels were caught by the army and released again. The legitimate government’s forces received M249 light machine-guns, widely used by US armed forces. The death toll from the peaceniks’ arms was 4,500 [government side] and 8,200 [rebel side]. This was much less than the relatively young Madeleine Albright’s “price-worth-it” 500,000 Iraqi infants, and later 1.5 million Iraqi dead, and over 100,000 Libyans killed.

Nepalese civil society
Who cares that civil society is out there to defend people’s rights when the price is always worth it? Dead folks do not complain. NGOs, modern-day vultures, complain only when their folks are dead or done in, in every sense -- culturally, socially, economically, politically.

During classical imperialist forays mercenaries went in to kill. But after WW II, empire was built by economic hit men (EHM). Post-1990 has been the golden period of sociocultural hit men (SHM) spearheaded by cash-rich INGOs and floor-sweeper local NGOs and Christian fundamentalists.
These are ably supported by the insidious, drug peddling, racist, “indoctrination centers [of] the Chabad cult that teaches children that the Chabad Rebbe is the Moshiach and that they have to do what the Rebbe tells them to do.” [4] Young Israelis are as much ensnared into cocaine snorting as the young Nepalese. That’s modern-day civil society. Hard drugs, sex, cult following, music, and democratic free-thinking are the opiates of the masses.
Behind this façade lies the globalist-corporatist agenda of enslavement and that is beyond the comprehension of the civil society morons. Nepal’s youth is done in. More

UFOs summoned over Los Angeles (video)

Robert Bingham interview by Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly
NEXT SUMMONING AND GROUP VIEWING (FREE): 4th of July, 2012, MacArthur Park

Various types of UFO craft (vimana)
In response to It's true: UFOs over Los Angeles (video), Anonymous writes: "Was this in MacArthur Park? I stumbled on this video on youtube; didn't know this was going on last Sunday. What's this all about? He summons UFOs? The footage is pretty interesting to say the least. Do you think they could be the UFO's sometimes referred to as "jumpers" used for inter-dimensional travel or drones or actual piloted craft?"

Here is Wisdom Quarterly's eyewitness account.

Where the garuda (avian hybrid, eagle beings) looks down, where the devas ("shining ones," protective extraterrestrial entities from heaven/space, angels, demigods) stand guard, near the park's lake, a few hundred feet from where Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh used to come every year [Levitt Pavilion] to lead thousands in walking meditation around the water, at a spot on the corner of 6th and Park Plaza called MindZENty Park, UFOs were summoned. We saw them. We photographed them.

Scattered tufts of onshore flow blew in from Santa Monica Bay 20 or so miles away. This is unusual for downtown Los Angeles' MacArthur Park. We were hoping for sunny skies more characteristic of the Southland rather than June gloom. The tufts blew away leaving a slight haze. Seventeen people gathered to begin with, a number that grew to 100 coming and going over the next five hours.
Summoning UFOs
It was a sleepy Sunday morning in the Latin corridor that runs along Alvardo Blvd. Contactee Robert Bingham was here to summon/invite the "angels," as he refers to the extraterrestrial intelligences that appear when he calls on them.
He does not order them. He summons them by request, silently and telepathically, using the lost mode of prayer Gregg Braden calls the "Isaiah Effect." One thanks the universe with gratitude experienced with all the senses as if what is wished for were already granted. (This is the same modality Abraham (the council channeling through Esther and Jerry Hicks) refer to in the movie "The Secret" and in their bestselling book Ask And It Is Given, which tellingly is not called "Ask And It Will Be Given."
Bingham is a simple and sincere blue eyed man with a good heart. It is this quality of character that long ago attracted extra/interdimensional beings. He eventually realized that he could "call" on them to appear, and they would. It does not matter that it is a busy city. They are not trying to hide -- even if they have to be wary of hostile governmental and extra-governmental forces with weapons we are not generally aware of (lasers and more).

In Buddhist terms these are generally benevolent beings from the akasha 2deva loka (space-shining ones-realm). There are various levels or planes of sky/space (akasha refers to both) defined as the worlds of devas. The four quarters are ruled or watched over by the Four Great Sky Kings (Catu-Maha-Rajikas) and their messengers (gandharvas).
They are overseen by Sakka (Sakra, Indra, a kind of "Thor" or "Archangel Michael" in Nordic and Christian mythology, a "son" of Zeus/Deus, which simply means a deva). Above these two planes are five others that are sensual worlds like the Earth. Above them are subtle (fine material) worlds, and above them are four immaterial worlds. Some generally unseen beings on Earth and all of those above the Realm of the Four Great Kings are referred to as devas.

Who is visiting? According to Bingham there is a "Federation," an alliance of many groups trying to help the Earth, particularly by profividng it with free energy technology. But the powers that be -- human and otherwise -- will not stand for anyone cutting into their profits or rule.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The "only" way to enlightenment?

GROWING UP MARA (2) with Mara Schaeffer and Dharmachari Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
MARA: I insist that different traditions have somewhat different visions of "enlightenment" -- referencing Alan Watts, Joseph Goldstein, Adyashanti, [B. Alan Wallace, etc.].
Yes, Rodney, we can all just get along.
SEVEN: Yes! That's kind of the problem. The historical Buddha meant something very specific. But various Buddhist schools use the same word to describe altogether different things.
And of course other religions and movements have different goals though they may think the Buddha's goal was the same, that we are all moving toward the same final goal. We are not. Theravada and Mahayana do not have the same goal, even if it's blurred and assumed to be ultimately the same. Across Buddhist schools (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Zen, Nicheren, Vipassana, Lamaism, Esoteric, Tantra), the problem becomes one of watering down the historical Buddha's original message. There are other things besides enlightenment -- saving the world, nonduality, samadhi, miracles, healing, world peace, becoming a buddha, teaching, stream entry, getting to heaven, full absorption, a good human rebirth, supporting one's parents... satori. So when we speak of Buddhist "enlightenment" (bodhi), let's be perfectly clear: When would Shakyamuni (the Buddha Gautama) use that term, and when are we using it to describe other wonderful things in beautiful traditions far from what the Buddha described as enlightenment?
    Meditators are beset on all sides by hindrances.
    MARA: I worry when we as Buddhists insist that there is only one right, true, correct way of experiencing enlightenment, like [some] Christians insisting that they alone are saved and everyone else is hopelessly damned to hell.
    This can lead to exploitation on many levels. For instance, "My way is right; your way is wrong! = Pay me $1,500 for my way; we take PayPal." It denigrates the gorgeous diversity of spiritual and religious experience existing today. But quality standards are definitely helpful. And I think we've clarified much of what has been mis-written about enlightenment, especially the Buddhist rebound effect in Hinduism. (Or at least we got the self-examination started and the conversation rolling. The Buddha really did have something different to say).

    SEVEN: That's true. You're right. Of course different traditions have different definitions. Moreover, they are right in their differing definitions. It leads them to what they call "enlightenment." But are they all talking about the one the Buddha meant, which is not subjective?
    Once the Buddha was asked by a Brahmin something regarding the ultimate goal, like will everybody get to it, or what percentage will? The Supremely Enlightened One remained nobly silent. But Ananda, concerned that the Buddha's silence not be misconstrued, explained using an analogy:
      (Hooper Project)
      BRAHMIN: "Will all the world reach enlightenment and liberation, or half, or a third of the world?"
      The Buddha remained silent.
      ANANDA (taking the Brahmin aside): Imagine a city surrounded by a flawless and impenetrable wall with a gatekeeper standing guard at its single gate. The wise gatekeeper walks around inspecting the wall and sees that there is not so much as an opening big enough for a very flexible cat to slip through. Being wise the gatekeeper realizes there is no sense in pondering how many people will come into the fortress or when. Nevertheless, one thing is known with certainty: Whoever gets inside the safe fortress will have come through the gate. In just the same way, the Buddha does not contemplate on how many people will or will not reach enlightenment. Yet the Awakened One knows with certainty that anyone who reaches the ultimate goal will have gotten there by traversing the same path he found: abandoning the obstacles to meditative success and gaining liberating-insight by establishing natural mindfulness on these four foundations: body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects.

      There's One and Only Way?
      MARA: But what about the claim of old English translators of the sutra on the "Four Foundations of Mindfulness" (MN 10 and DN 22)?

      "This is the one and the only way for the purification [of the hearts/minds] of beings, for overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the cessation of physical and mental pain, for attainment of the Noble Paths, and for the realization of nirvana -- that is, the four foundations of mindfulness."

      SEVEN: Yes, fortunately modern English translators have since clarified just as the ancient scholars had tried to explain. This is a pivotal discourse, and it has gotten a great deal of extra attention thanks to the rise of the Vipassana (insight meditation) movement almost independent of its Theravada Buddhist roots.
      The "one and the only way"? Ekayano maggo means that this is the only way which surely leads to the benefits listed. It may mean simply that this is the direct way, that is, leading only to this goal rather than another goal. This path was the one being taught by the Buddha as the sure path, the straight path, the most expedient path. In any case, it is verifiable by one's own experience (DN 22). British scholar Maurice O'C. Walshe clarifies.
      Buddhaghosa, the great commentator
      WALSHE: "[This is] sometimes translated 'the only way' or the 'one and only way' with, on occasion, a slightly triumphalist connotation. DA [Buddhaghosa's commentary to the collection of long discourses] in fact offers a number of possibilities, thus showing that the old commentators were not entirely sure of the exact meaning. Ekaayana can be literally rendered "one-going," which is ambiguous. Nyanamoli has 'a path that goes one way only.' In any case  it should not be confused with the term times found in Buddhist Sanskrit ekayaana 'one vehicle' or 'career'" (Note 626, The Long Discourse of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications).

      SEVEN: One could say that there is no other way that it will go if one continuously practices because this way (maggo) leads only to this goal. But the American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi translates the line more simply.
      BODHI: "This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of nirvana -- namely, the four foundations of mindfulness" (The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, MN 10, p. 245).
      Bhiikkhu Bodhi emerging
      Furthermore, according to Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (born Siegmund Feniger), the great German scholar and author, points out that the key phrase in question has the unambiguous contextual meaning in MN 12.37-42 of "a path that goes one way only."
      And the commentary to the middle length discourses explains the phrase as: "a single path, not a divided path; as a way that has to be walked by oneself alone, without a companion; and as a way that goes to one goal," nirvana. (See more of Bhikkhu Bodhi's explanatory comments in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Note 135, p. 1188).

      Intention Experiment: science of spirituality

      Lynne McTaggart (; Amber Dorrian, Wisdom Quarterly
      This is a book without an ending. The Intention Experiment, which was voted a Top Amazon 100 by readers and is now a worldwide sensation, is the first book to provide full scientific evidence for the power of human intention. It is also the first book to invite readers to take an active part in its original research. The book seeks to answer the most fundamental question left open by The Field: If we are all connected, all one, can our thoughts and intentions affect and change the world and things out there in the world? More
      For centuries Western science and cultures have taught us to think of ourselves as "individuals." But a revolutionary new understanding is emerging: What matters is not the isolated entity but the space between things, the relationship. The "bond." It challenges the way we conceive of ourselves and our world. It also shows us that the essential impulse of all life is a will to connect rather than a drive to compete.

      U.S. Attorney General is [a criminal] in contempt
      (NPR) In a dramatic showdown between the branches of the U.S. government, the Republican-led House voted along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. This is the first time in history... droves of Democratic lawmakers protested by walking out of the House chambers... [in] disgust. Now the criminal contempt charge is referred to the U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia. In other words, Holder's own Justice Department will decide how to proceed. More

      Zen Wisdom from Other Dimensions (video); Wisdom Quarterly

      Wynn Free has been in conversation with a voice that says it (they) created the universe. Download the free book. How could Free determine if they are who they say? Moreover, how can we can determine it for ourselves? As Free suggests, instead of "believing" anything, let us simply be open to the possibility. As we explore the work, read the material, and listen to conference calls, we will be exposed to a new way of understanding the universe Free calls "Zen wisdom" from other dimensions.
      Some may have feelings of unusually positive energy or tingling in the body. Is it them making contact? Who better to decide than the one experiencing such positivity? Many on the conference calls have had healings and life-transforming experiences. Here are their testimonials. If this is real, it is an epic event for times predicted by the Mayan Calendar. A good place to start might be watching the short videos on topics and issues concerning the challenges of being human at this time in history from their point of view.
      The video messages are direct transcripts from the Sources communicating as taken from live public conference calls.  
      • The Elohim Group, like Abraham-Hicks (from "The Secret" and Ask And It Is Given fame) and the less well known Galexis, are a group of higher-order beings (brahmas). They make the claim that they are the original creators of the physical universe.
      • These are in addition to The Ra Group comprised of billions of graduates from this realm (off the wheel of rebirth by being reborn onto a longer lasting plane that seems unending (but is, according to the Buddha, also impermanent not that the beings there know it). This group act as an interdimensional team helping planetary populations still stuck on the wheel of rebirth (in lower worlds) evolve and graduate. 
      • Ra'An is the Source currently answering questions on conference lines, a name they say is a conglomerate of the other two groups.
      They channel into this dimension from Free's helpers, Daphne and Terry, women with remarkable past lives. Free's most significant contribution and how Wisdom Quarterly came to know him was not through this "intention" work, channeling, or saving the planet. It was through his work publicizing the rebirth of the great American psychic Edgar Cayce, now reborn as David Wilcock. More

      Buddhist artifacts in Maldives destroyed; Wisdom Quarterly
      Few realize that the diving paradise known as the Maldives, most of which is at or close to sea level and doomed to destruction as the planet warms due to manmade and natural causes, used to be Buddhist.
      Now some entity or agency has brought about a coup and is trying to create international outrage by destroying priceless Buddhist art and history. What kind Company or clandestine service would do such a thing? Surely not the CIA, who created the Taliban to make war for the military-industrial complex possible in Afghanistan. So we do not know who it was, but we do know it was not the CIA.
      The Maldives are sinking
      MALE, Maldive Islands - The destruction of several historical priceless Buddhist artifacts exhibited at the Maldives National Museum has alarmed Maldivians, provoking warnings of a possible rise of Islamic extremism and Taliban-style intolerance in the holiday paradise.

      "They have effectively erased all evidence of our Buddhist past," a senior museum official, who asked for anonymity, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Sunday, February 12, at the now shuttered building in the capital Male.

      "We lost all our 12th century statues. They were made of coral stone and limestone. They are very brittle and there is no way we can restore them," he explained.

      Last Tuesday, Maldives' first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed resigned following three weeks of protests that were joined by a police mutiny.

      During the coup that ousted President Nasheed, scenes of violence resulted in the wanton destruction of historical treasures.

      The destruction occurred when a handful of men stormed the Chinese-built museum and destroyed its display of priceless artifacts from the nation's pre-Islamic era.

      The incident echoed the 2001 destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban, damaging the nation's image. More 
      Why is someone destroying Maldivian statues?
      Similar to the [CIA-created] Taliban’s destruction of priceless Buddhist and historic artifacts in 2001, an Islamic extremist group has vandalized and destroyed precious Buddhist and Hindu statues in the Maldives. This kind of destruction is derived from extremist beliefs, which are almost always rooted in fear of anything different. Any extreme (whether liberal or conservative) is dangerous because when we believe that we alone are good, then we're more likely to justify intolerance, destruction, and killing. Destroying an ancient statue is tragic, but statues crumble with time anyway. Intolerance, however, quickly destroys happiness, lives, families, countries, and planets. More