Friday, August 31, 2012

I Hate Tadolf Swiftler (video)

Amber Dorrian, I. Rony,  and Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Mr. Hitler enjoying nice dinner party conversation (Hugo Jaeger/TIME/Getty Images)
Acting chops on Saturday Night Live
Tadolf isn't so bad. But Swiftler I cannot abide, as Jiminy Glick might put it, and I think he would agree, what with her smug poses, pretentious relationships, and overblown shows.
How long will the world stand idly by as she promotes her Naziesque patterns of behavior inducing teens to pout and break up with their boyfriends just to sing along with her ditties?
There's nothing like a really big show.
Speaking of ditties, Have you seen her ditties? She has none. She's a flat one-note ham who, apparently, is never-never-ever getting back together with 18-year-old Taylor Lautner or that poor Kennedy boy who hasn't yet read the writing on the wall to know what's coming. (Start milking your 15 minutes the way she is, Conor).

Tadolf Swiftler (
Hooray, she dates young. Maybe she's a vampire on a quest to do some K-Stew damage, maybe she's an attention-[hooker], maybe she's just pandering to her teeny-bopping target audience?

Meanwhile, in other Hitler-related news, Mr. Shah of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, has offended sensibilities and created a lot of free buzz for his fashion boutique. He named his shop "Hitler" dotting his i with a strategic swastika (normally a beloved Indian religious symbol seen on many entrances, but in this case he used the corporate Nazi symbol).  It worked.
Shah claims "Hitler" refers to his strict uncle.
A vocal minority was offended, and Shah is willing to accept a trivial 150,000 rupees ($2,700) to withdraw the name and related launch materials. But he'll be keeping all the free publicity created in the process.
This is clearly a case of highway robbery; I had the same idea for Bridezilla's shop in Manhattan called Eve Brown's, a tribute to the unmarried Eva Braun, with a tailor adjoining tailor shop for grooms called... you guessed it. Now Shah's taken the wind out of my flowing gowns.

Exhibit A at the "Anti-I-Heart-T.S." trial to come

But I'm America's sweetheart!
Real fascists (literally, those who marry corporate and governmental power) hold conventions, offer cake and parades, and no one says a word about what is happening. Who questions the Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dum system forced on us? Did no one notice what happened to Republican candidate and former third-party advocate Ron Paul? He was drummed right out and denied a voice at the GOP ("Grand Old Party") convention.
In our Reds vs. Blues -- Bloods vs. Crips -- world, Pres. Obama is no better. He is in some ways worse for being a wolf in sheep's clothing pushing through the most draconian Bush era policies a Pres. Dick Cheney could never have gotten passed without soldiers on the streets. It's no wonder Democrats get blamed. What's the only "legitimate" alternative proposed for voters?
Republican racism and sexism? We do not even get the token gesture of marking "None of the Above" on our ballots or the ability to leave our chads hanging. It's a false dichotomy because BOTH parties are flipsides of the SAME coin, the moderate and extreme wings of the Republican party. Go Green. Go Libertarian. Go Anarchist. Anything would be better than following the next Hitler the Diebold/Sequoia/ES+S corporations are told to "elect".

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alien abduction and hybrid children (video)

Pfc. Sandoval, Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
Bridget Nielsen is a healer in Santa Monica, artist, mother on  many dimensions, and a longtime alien abductee used to produce hybrid human-alien children. Abductees are hypnotized and brainwashed to repress any memory of such events, but Nielsen has managed to remember and realize what continues to happen to her as her body is used in this increasingly common practice. There are now millions of such children, and there likely have always been. American archeologist Michael Cremo has uncovered physical evidence of "modern Homo sapiens" existing on Earth millions of years ago, which should be impossible. But we are a seeded species not an entirely naturally-evolved one. Of course, our "science," such as it is with all its politics and other unscientific interference, does not allow us to so much as contemplate the possibility. There are filters in place, in the university and the mainstream press, to tell us what to think and what to mock out of hand. 
To dispel the fear surrounding aliens and abductions, we must investigate rather than hide, deny, and die a quiet death in ignorance. What do they look like these extraterrestrials -- angels of light, Greys, Nordic devas, little green men, Taylor Swift/KATY PERRY, Bigfoots, reptoids, humanoids...all of the above?
Contemplating hybridization would be moving too fast: You mean there really are extraterrestrials, space aliens? Yes. You mean they really visit? Yes. You're saying we might be the same species? It would seem so since even pre-biblical accounts tell of such interplanetary mating. The Jewish and Christian Bibles tell bastardized accounts of rape or seduction from above as the "sons of God" (devaputras) descened, beheld human women, and found them, well, easy (prey). Earth girls are easy -- everyone knows that, and all the "easier" when hypnotized. 
The virgin birth is what? A tale of consensual sex with otherworldly beings (angels, gandharvas, messenger-devas) or gods (brahmas)? Mother Mary, an iteration of the divine feminine or European figure of the Mother Goddess, was asked permission to bear the star child Western culture claims to revere above all (Jesus, Issa, Christ)? All of this is too much to bear. We much prefer a self-satisfied science telling us what to believe, what is possible, and what is utterly beyond the pail. Of course, that keeps changing. So when disclosure comes, we'll all say, "We knew all along; we just didn't want to sound 'crazy' like Nielsen" as she's Punk'd on "world-famous" Los Angeles radio by KROQ's corporate-owned morning zoo (Aug. 31, 2012). Tune in to hear Nielsen speak her truth -- and a more plausible explanation for life and technological advancements on Earth than academia and crusty old men holding chairs in departments and secret government contracts to conduct research in off-site labs are at liberty to disclose. War is money. And the military-industrial complex far prefers we laugh at the notion of ETs and hybrid babies. But the skies are full of intergalactic crafts (vimanas) as we play with our Androids and iPhones. There's more to life between heaven and Earth than most of us can comfortably dream of. We don't know what's TRUE, but we are sincere in finding out -- wherever the quest takes us. More
Welcome to the hybrid children communityfor people who have had alien "abduction" experiences and want to know why. We are dedicated to shedding light our galactic family, our hybrid children, and how these understandings can awaken humanity!

Relationships are what we do with them

Dhr. Seven, Amber Dorrian, Dev, Wisdom Quarterly; Nisha Gulati
Blue space avatar with Radha Devi, the faithful consort (
Once upon a time, a girl was born into the world and lived among milk maidens. She grew up to be of surpassing beauty with a retinue. Her countenance shone like a space-faring (celestial) devi. Then she met a boy.
Males have kept the story, the history, which is his-story not her-story. So they put the man in the ascendant and think it fair to say that she controls him with devotional and romantic love.
() Hip hop dancer Viri talks to Amy about self-confidence.

She dances, sings, entertains, but is it enough complement a relationship? The girl -- whether Radha, Viri, or even Amy -- makes the pair (shaktiman) in modern, male-dominated conceptions of religion.
The truth is we might complete each other, but we certainly complete ourselves by bringing in both poles, both sides of our potential. The "divine personality," the complete Radha, is Radha Krishna, a central tenet of devotional Hinduism.
What is the message? Rise up to be first and last, alpha and omega, yin AND yang. Then there is no needing anyone, and one is ready to complement another.

Relationships are what we make of them -- a codependent mess, a crippling crutch, a pleasant pastime, an over reliance on someone until there's none of us left. Is there a middle way?

Birth of Radha
Radha Krishna (
The story of her birth goes like this. On a half-moon night in the Indian month of Bhadra, King Vrishabhanu came to the Yamuna river to bathe and found himself engulfed in a golden aura. It was emanating from a lotus, which had a baby girl standing on its whorl. When the king returned to the palace with the baby, Queen Kirtida was delighted. She was also shocked that the girl was blind. Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, heard that Queen Kirtida, her best friend, had a baby. So she came to visit along with her husband and her son. The baby Krishna crawled up to the cradle, pulled himself up, and looked in. At that moment, Radha’s eyes fluttered open and blossomed like lotuses. It seems that she did not want to see anything of this world other than the form of Krishna. More

Zen: Banishing a Ghost

Roshi Jeff Albrizze (, Ron Crosthwaite, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
"Brown Lady" ghost (
Banishing a Ghost
The wife of a man became very sick. On her deathbed, she said to him, "I love you so much! I don't want to leave you, and I don't want you to betray me. Promise that you will not see any other women once I die, or I will return to haunt you!"

For several months after her death, the husband avoided other women. But then he met someone and fell in love. On the night that they were engaged to be married, the ghost of his former wife appeared.

She blamed him for not keeping the promise, and every night thereafter she returned to taunt him. The ghost would remind him of everything that transpired between him and his fiancee that day, even to the point of repeating, word for word, their conversations. It upset him so badly that he could no longer sleep.
Desperate, he sought the advice of a Zen master who lived near the village. "This is a very clever ghost," the master said upon hearing the man's story. "It is!" replied the man. "She remembers every detail of what I say and do. It knows everything!" 
The master smiled, "You should admire such a ghost, but I will tell you what to do the next time you see it."

That night the ghost returned. The man responded just as the master had advised: "You are such a wise ghost," the man said. "You know that I can hide nothing from you. If you can answer me one question, I will break off the engagement and remain single for the rest of my life."
"Ask your question," the ghost replied. The man scooped up a handful of beans from a large bag on the floor, "Tell me exactly how many beans there are in my hand."

At that moment the ghost disappeared and never returned.
Ghosts are real (
This story speaks to the way we often let past experiences and subconscious thought patterns crowd out our experience of our present day life.
  • How do we let thoughts and memories about the past “haunt” us?
  • When has a self-limiting belief, based on a past relationship, interfered with a current relationship?
  • Do we have harmful emotional survival patterns subconsciously adopted and, if so, how can mindfulness practice help us see and release them?
  • How can our Zen practice of being in the moment be related to “counting beans”? 
  • Can this mindfulness help us put painful memories in perspective and loosen our “death grip” of clinging and attachment to how we think things must be?
See the discussion live or participate. PasaDharma has chosen this old Zen story as the group reading for tonight (Thursday, 7:00 pm, Aug. 30, 2012). Roshi Albrizze explains.
When I first read "Banishing a Ghost" about 15 years ago, it didn't make much sense to me. After revisiting it this week, it really opened up for me. The way it spoke to me is that the symbolism of the "ghost wife" is really the way my mind wants to hold on to old stories and conditions as a permanent abiding sense of self. The "handful of beans" symbolizes the present moment and the liberation from the suffering of grasping at thoughts and memories that comes when we commit to being present in the moment, experiencing our everyday activity as the Buddha Way.

"It will pass" (meditation)

James Khan (; Meditation Committee, Wisdom Quarterly
A student went to a meditation teacher and complained:
"My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted! My legs ache! I'm constantly falling asleep! It's just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter of factly.
A week later, the student came back to the teacher to report:
"My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware! I feel so peaceful! I feel so alive! It's just wonderful!'
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter of factly.

"Oh, of course! Why did I let myself get clingy?"
Goenka once lamented (as anyone who sits the free 10-day course will hear him tell) that many students grasp at their meditative successes and want to know how to re-experience them, how to bring them back, how to have just good sits without the "wasted" time sessions. The lament is that it is just this sort of grasping we sit to let go of. While letting go, much more comes. But we cannot easily let go to get more to come. That is a subtle form of grasping and clinging. Long after the Buddha but long before Goenka, the Western poet Alexander Pope immortalized this message, perhaps never realizing how much it describes attempts at meditating, in this stanza:

"Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Punk Rock: My Career as a Jerk (video)

Johnny Whiteside (;; Wisdom Quarterly
(BlankTV) From the Net's biggest, uncensored, completely D.I.Y. punk, hardcore, indie, and alternative music video site,

The Circle Jerks were always one of the most explosive, engaging, and wildly enjoyable forces in punk rock: a militant shock troupe whose mixture of frantic hedonism, naked aggression, withering whimsy, and walloping music was never less than flabbergasting. 
There ain't hyperbole lurid enough to attempt to began to convey the heat and velocity at which the band has consistently operated, a fact that makes the arrival of director Dave Markey's jolting new jerkumentary, Circle Jerks: My Career as a Jerk, such a welcome event.
For those who experienced firsthand the group's weaponized punk-rock stylings, it's a glorious reminder of how dangerous some types of pleasure can be; for those just immersing themselves in the Keith Morris-brewed vat of glorious self-destructo shenanigans, it's a vivid look into punk's artistic past that rates as equal parts instruction manual and Scared Straight cautionary tale.
Filmmaker Markey will join band members Greg Hetson and Lucky Lehrer for a post-mortem gab fest. Don't be stupid, kids; go! Part of the Don't Knock The Rock Festival. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N Fairfax Ave., Hollywood; Thursday, Aug. 30, 7:30 pm; $12. (323) 655-2510.


Review: The movie is great! Wisdom Quarterly was on the scene as 75% of the members announced that they were ready to reunite. Unfortunately, Keith Morris missed the first showing and was only later seen crossing the street to the venue after all the voting members on stage for the Q&A had adjourned to partake of free refreshments in the open-air patio. But during the movie, Morris repeatedly alluded to being open to the possibility of joining the original members and making a go of it to bring a new generation of punks hits like this:
"Paid [Afghan] Vacation"

"I hope you're having fun. Where's your uniform? Where's your gun? Better rub up that suntan oil 'Cause you'll be fighting in the hot sun. It's not Vietnam, It's another oil company scam. Salute that flag for Uncle Sam. Get your money out, place your bets, It's Afghanistan! Fix bayonets, check grenades. Got enough bullets, Got enough rounds to wipe out this place? We're the infantry and the cavalry. Parachutes fill the sky, Bodies burn, and people die..."

Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) at Occupy San Francisco

Creationism is bad for children (video)

; Wisdom Quarterly

Scientist and children's television personality Bill Nye, in a newly released online video, panned biblical creationism, and implored American parents who reject the scientific theory of evolution not to teach their beliefs to their youngsters:
"I say to the grownups, 'If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we've observed in the universe that's fine. But don't make your kids do it,'" said Nye, best known as host of the educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy." 
The video, entitled "Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children," was posted to YouTube on Thursday by the online knowledge forum Big Think and had netted more than 1.3 million views as of Monday...." 
Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola (host of TYT University and Common Room) discuss on The Young Turks. Reuters' Lily Kuo has a piece about the controversy on The Huffington Post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Burning Man" Festival begins (Webcam); Wisdom Quarterly
(Kehrig video-still, Toronto Nuit Blanche, 2010)
The effigy of a man burning with...
"The whole world is burning," the Buddha said. So why not the effigy of a man on a beach in a desert? The Burning Man Music (and Art) Festival begins today. 
Driving out? First, read the 2012 Survival Guide. Bringing kids? Try the Kidsville Survival Guide for families. Get valuable tips at the Burning Blog, including the Burner's Guide to Leaving No Trace, and how to help reduce ingress and exodus traffic
An impressive array of art installations, honorarium art, CORE projects, and theme camps will be part of Black Rock City 2012. Browse the Playa Directory, and see the Black Rock City Plan
Black Rock City is a kind of human Petri dish. Theme camps cling in fertile clusters to the temporary city's latticework of streets. Artworks tumble out of it like pollen floating in air. These nodes of interaction grow, mutate, and reproduce only to fluoresce and spread across the planet's five continents. This year's art theme contemplates the tendency of any living being or living system to create abundant life. More 
Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Burning Man is also an ever-expanding year-round culture based on the Ten Principles

WATCH: Live Gerlach Webcam

Wayfaring on a Quest to live for NOW

Seven things the Buddha taught

Dhr. Seven and Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Reclining Buddha in Pagan, Burma (KateMcKenna/
Buddha and change (Omoo/
Before passing into final nirvana, the Buddha gave a final exhortation. He had taught seven essential things:

1. As soon as a desire arises, dissatisfaction co-arises. Our entire psycho-physical existence is beset by this unsatisfactoriness. Clinging makes it worse. By their own nature things fall away. Everything of which we are composed falls away. Yet, we cling and will not let go. We cannot let go. But there is an escape from dissatisfaction and disappointment. 
Wisdom itself has the power to uproot clinging, harming, and ignorance to free us from all forms of "suffering," whether subtle or gross. This path to release is the Buddha's Dharma, the stainless path laid down 26 centuries ago although often reformulated with the essential message remaining: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, which ennoble any individual who practices in accord with them, are the way to the development of compassion, wisdom, and final liberation.
2. Do not be content with this transient state, but instead really look at it and strive to undo the three bonds -- greed, hatred, and delusion -- that hold one like a poisoned slave who is sure to perish. We cannot walk the path alone unaided, yet no one can "save" (walk the path) for another. Indeed others may save our life, point out the way to the heavens, or help free us from miserable states. But striving to awaken is something one undertakes for oneself to benefit others as well as oneself

3. When the "self" (atta) is seen for what it actually is -- a composite constituted by many transient parts, it is realized that ultimately, in an unconventional way of speaking, there is "no self" (anatta) who suffers or is liberated, is trapped or is freed, dies or is reborn -- except that ignorance makes it so. So it is said that the universe is "illusory" (maya).

(The Brahminical/Hindu belief that uniting a self and the external world one leads to "eternal serenity" is exactly mistaken but widely believed in Mahayana forms of Buddhism. If non-duality were the answer, others would already have a path to final liberation and there would be no need for the Buddha to have arisen in the world and made know the fourth Noble Truth -- the Noble Eightfold Path).
(American Buddhist Perspective)
4. Practice "meditation" (bhavana and jhaneti: cultivation, self-development, progress in serenity then insight or proper-concentration then mindfulness of the factors of Dependent Origination to bring wisdom into being). 
5. Remember what the Buddha taught -- which he mostly limited to what would advance listeners (savakas) toward enlightenment or maintain the Teaching in the world (vinaya) as long as possible. His final exhortation was, "All component things are hurtling toward destruction, [so] work out your emancipation with diligence!"
6. When the first four absorptions (jhanas) are developed as "proper concentration" (samma samadhi), one can begin to see impermanence by mindful and penetrative observation. Every "thing" is constantly changing, including every component we call the parts of ourselves -- form, feelings, perceptions, formations, and [the process of] consciousness -- with the sole exception being "the unconditioned element" called nirvana.
7. Compassion and non-attachment (non-clinging) naturally emerge out of liberating-wisdom. Because everything -- and every component of our separate existence -- is fleeting, attachment to them makes no sense for one who knows-and-sees.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Buddha's First Sermon (sutra)

Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly translation (Dhammachakapavattana Sutra, SN 56.11)
PREFACE: Seven weeks after the great enlightenment, the former ascetic Prince Siddhartha, now the fully awakened Buddha, set out to teach his five former companions. He realized that they were still stuck in the futility of struggling by severe asceticism near India' holy city on the Ganges, Varanasi. He had previously practiced with them undertaking the most extreme penances and painful observances. He abandoned this well worn path to "spirituality" when he realized it would never lead to awakening to the Truth and liberation from all suffering. He discovered that cultivating absorptions and insight (jhana and vipassana) through proper concentration and mindfulness (samma samadhi and samma sati). In this sutra the Buddha sets in motion the Wheel of the Truth (the essential limbs, or spokes, of which lead to the hub of nirvana). This is the True Wheel, the path to the liberation he had experienced seven weeks earlier.
The Buddha addresses the Group of Five
SARNATH, India - Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was in Varanasi at the Resort of Seers (Isipatana) in the Deer Park. There he addressed the group of five ascetics.
"Recluses, these two extremes should be abandoned by anyone who has gone forth from household life. What two?
"There is devotion to indulgence, coarse pleasures associated with sensual desire, which is inferior, base, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to disappointment on the one hand, and on the other hand there is devotion to asceticism, which is just the same.
"The middle way discovered by [me] avoids both extremes. This path leads to vision, knowledge, peace, direct experience, discovery, to nirvana (final liberation). What middle way? 
"It is this ennobling Eightfold Path, namely:
  1. right view
  2. right intention
  3. right speech
  4. right action
  5. right livelihood
  6. right effort
  7. right mindfulness
  8. right concentration.
The Four Noble Truths
I. "Disappointment as an Ennobling Truth is this: Birth is disappointing as are aging, sickness, death, association with the unpleasant, dissociation from the pleasant, not getting what one wants is disappointing -- in brief, the Five Aggregates of Clinging are disappointing.

II. "The origin of disappointment as an Ennobling Truth is this: Craving produces renewal of being [rebirth] accompanied by enjoyment and lust and delighting in this and that. What craving? Craving for sensual desires, craving for [eternal] existence, and craving for nonexistence.
III. "Cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth is this: It is remainderless fading and ceasing, letting go, relinquishing, rejecting and abandoning of such craving.
IV. "The path leading to the cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth is this: It is this ennobling Eightfold Path...
"'Disappointment as an ennobling truth is this.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing (knowledge and vision of the Dharma), understanding, discovery, the light that arose in regard to things never heard by me before. 'Disappointment as an ennobling truth can be diagnosed.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing, understanding, discovery, the light that arose in regard to things never heard by me before. 'Disappointment as an ennobling truth has been diagnosed.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing, understanding, discovery, the light that arose in regard to things never heard by me before.
"'The origin of disappointment as an ennobling truth is this.' Such was the knowing-and seeing... 'This origin of disappointment as an ennobling truth can be abandoned.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... 'This origin of disappointment as an ennobling truth has been abandoned.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... in regard to things never heard by me before.
"'The cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth is this.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... 'This cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth can be verified.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... 'The cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth has been verified.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... in regard to things never heard by me before.
"'The way leading to the cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth is this.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... 'The way leading to the cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth can be developed.' Such was the knowing-and-seeing... 'The way leading to the cessation of disappointment as an ennobling truth has been developed.' Such was the vision... in regard to things never heard by me before.
"As long as my knowing-and-seeing of things just as they are was not purified with regard to these 12 aspects, in three phases for each of these Four Noble Truths, I did not claim in this world with its light beings (devas), its killers (maras), its creatives (brahmas), in this generation with its wandering ascetics (recluses) and Brahmin priests, with its princes and people to have discovered the supreme enlightenment.
"But as soon as my knowing-and-seeing of things just as they are was purified with regard to these 12 aspects, in the three phases for each of these Four Noble Truths, then did I claim in this world... to have discovered the supreme enlightenment. Knowledge and vision arose in me: 'My heart's deliverance is assured. This is my last birth. Now there is to be no renewal of being.'"
That is what the Blessed One said. The group of five were glad, and they approved of his words.
Now during this teaching there arose in the ascetic Kondañña the purified and stainless vision of the Truth: "Whatever is subject to arising is also subject to falling away."
Word Spreads Fast
Our 10,000-fold world-system
When the Wheel of Truth had been set rolling by the Buddha, the earthbound devas raised this cry: "At Varanasi, at the Deer Park in the Resort of Seers, the matchless Wheel of Truth has been set rolling by the Blessed One, not to be stopped by any recluse or deity, death-angel or divinity, or anyone in the world!"
On hearing the earthbound devas' cry, the devas inhabiting the six celestial paradises in space within the Sensual Sphere took up the cry until it reached beyond Great Brahma's Retinue in the Fine-Material Sphere. So indeed at that hour, at that very moment, the cry soared up to the World of Great Brahma. And this 10,000-fold world-system shook and quaked, and an unbounded radiance surpassing the very nature of the light beings was displayed throughout this entire world-system.
Then the Buddha exclaimed: "Kondañña knows! Kondañña knows!" And that is how that venerable one acquired the name Añña-Kondañña -- "Kondañña Who Knows."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Duddhism and the Wonders of Thailand (video)

Amber Dorrian, CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
Dude-ism: Path to Big Lebowski Enlightenment
            video platform   video management   video solutions   video player (ABC) Inside the bathrobe-wearing, hard-drinking, real-life Church of The Latter Day Dude as conceived of in Buddhist Thailand
Bangkok and Bhutan's Religious Penises
BANGKOK, Swissotel Nai Lert Park, Thailand - The Penis Shrine, which is no laughing matter for squeamish Westerners, is dedicated to the spirit of Chao Mae Tubtim -- a female tree spirit believed to live in the giant banyan there. 
A woman once came desperately trying in vain to get pregnant. Nine months after asking Chao Mae Tubtim for it, she gave birth to a healthy child. So as a way of showing gratitude, she came back with a huge, wooden penis carving. She told others about it, and now hundreds of women come to ask for fertility offering penises of all sizes and shapes. This symbol can be found all over Thailand. It is a talisman Thais call palad khik. More
Thailand Travel: Fat Fong's, Bangkok
(, ) Bangkok's world-famous red light district, named after a Chinese gangster kingpin and pronounced "Pat Pongs," is a mild marketplace by day and a frenzy of sexual expression for tourists by night.

The Most Dangerous Man in America (videos)

Wisdom Quarterly
Bradley Manning protesters call out Pres. B.S. Obama (again)
() The Occupy Movement in Oakland has a new target now: Obama. One hundred protesters occupied his campaign office calling for the release of US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. They invaded the offices of the Obama re-election campaign in California and stayed inside for hours before being forced out by police. RT Correspondent Ramon Galindo brings the latest from LA.

The Most Dangerous Man in America
() In 1971 a top military strategist working for the RAND Corporation named Daniel Ellsberg leaked a 7,000-page document known as the "Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times, which committed high crimes and misdemeanors that would get WikiLeak's Julian Assange torture and life imprisonment in America by leaking the classified information the public. Disenchanted with the nation's conduct in Vietnam (Cambodia, and Laos), Ellsberg believed the release of the top secret paper -- which outlined the "secret history" of its illegal war of aggression -- was crucial to educating the public about the government's lies and atrocities. This documentary chronicles the media and political frenzy that Ellsberg unleashed and traces the effect of the leak on public perception of both the US war on Vietnam and the White House (as well as revealing the existence of a "military-industrial complex" independent of the government).

The Organization of American States convened on Friday to discuss the case of Julian Assange, while the UK and Ecuador remain locked in a diplomatic battle. Ecuador's Pres. Correa has granted the founder of WikiLeaks asylum. But the problem for Assange is how to get safe passage from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to the airport. UK law endorsement officials are threatening the whistleblower. Eva Golinger, attorney and author, joins RT's Liz Wahl to discuss.

Cleaning the Ganges (audio) (American Public Media); Wisdom Quarterly
Sacred but somehow polluted Ganges of India in the holy city of Varanasi (
Ganges river map (
(APM) The Ganges River -- a 1,500-mile river that flows down from the Himalayas through Northern India -- is a place where people bathe, wash clothes, pray, and inter fortunate dead. It is also where waste lines pour out sewage every day making the sacred river very polluted. The Story producer Phoebe Judge travels to the holy Buddhist city of Varanasi (since the Buddha began his mission by delivering the first sermon in the scenic Deer Park of the suburb of Sarnath), where she meets people who live along the Ganges River and want to clean it up. PHOTOS

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The love of trees in Buddhism (video)

Ashley Wells, Seven, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly edit of Wikipedia entry Bodhi tree
Massive Japanese Buddha  statue in Bodh Gaya, India (Gallery:
Gandhara Buddha (
Wayfaring Indian ascetics and Buddhist devotees meditate beneath sacred fig trees to this day.
They begin by doing parikrama (circumambulation) around the tree as a mark of reverence.
Usually seven walkabouts are done around the lush tree in the morning chanting "Vriksha Rajaya Namaha," which means "Salutation to the King of Trees."
Buddhist lore maintains that the historical Buddha Gautama attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating underneath the Bodhi tree, a Ficus religiosa or "sacred fig."
Idealized image of Siddhartha awakening under a tree
The ancestor of the original tree is in present day Bodh Gaya (Enlightenment Grove, the forested portion of the northern Indian city of Gaya where Siddhartha meditated until he became the Buddha or "Awakened One"), in Bihar (Vihara) state. 
The original Bodhi tree and the Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Great Enlightenment Tree) propagated from it are notable specimens of the Sacred Fig -- the oldest historically documented tree in the world. The known planting date of this offspring tree, in 288 BCE, actually makes it the oldest verified age for any flowering plant.[Note]
In Theravada ("The Teaching of the Enlightened Elders") Buddhist Southeast Asia, the tree's massive trunk is often the site of Buddhist and animist shrines.
Not every Ficus religiosa can be called a "Bodhi tree." A Bodhi tree can trace its parent to another Bodhi tree, and the line goes back until the first Bodhi tree, which Siddhartha chose among many kinds of trees to gain enlightenment under.

Buddhist Prehistory 
Wisdom Quarterly
The love and significance of trees goes much farther than this. In the Buddhist history of previous buddhas, the Buddha lists their names, parents, chief disciples, and the kind of tree they gained bodhi ("enlightenment") under.
It is not limited to Ficus religiosa, the sacred fig, or the Buddha's own Bodhi tree.

Moreover, the Bo tree is not the only tree to have gained prominence by the Buddha's life in ancient India. He gained final nirvana under two Sal trees. And he meditated under a Banyan and other trees before choosing that one tree that, according to legend, had waited more than 30 years for him. It is said that at the birth of the Bodhisatta (in his final life born as Siddhartha), his wife Yasodhara and his tree, the Bo, were also born, such is their significance.

The amazing thing about trees, about biotic life interdependent with materiality on this planet, is that they go way back to the beginning of the current cycle. It is said that the "first trees" were in fact massive mushroom with network roots (mycelium) running into the Earth and connecting them. The forbidden fruit in Judeo-Christian lore also seems to refer to a mushroom rather than a viper's apples.

What Controversy? Zen's Four Vows

Barbara O'Brien (, Special Correspondence to Wisdom Quarterly
The Americans are onto something. If there are Gateless Gates, why not wordless words?
Controversy? I don't see a controversy, although maybe that's because I've been aware for many years that every Zen center and monastery operating with the English language is using a different translation for the Four Vows and the rest of the chanted liturgy as well.
I hadn't realized this was bothering anybody. A big part of the Zen tradition is the understanding that the absolute truth cannot be contained in words and concepts, and so the wording is never perfect.
It's actually interesting to compare various translations to see how different people have struggled to get closer to what is being expressed. No one, however, will ever get it right. I don't see that as a problem; it's just how it is. My current sangha [practice community], which is in the San Francisco Zen Center lineage, chants the Four Vows twice in Japanese and once in English.
The English translation we use is different from the first one I learned, which was the one being used by the Los Angeles Zen Center in the 1980s or so. FYI: The Four Vows Controversy (Zen)
Brian Eno, "Sky Saw," from the album Another Green World 
The Final Word
Well now that the grande dame of lay American Buddhism has weighed in -- and Richard, Ron, and Don have had their say on behalf of the rebellious ZCLA crowd, a position WQ can cotton to, and Mara is finished researching -- there's nothing left to say. Case closed! Chant in Japanese, and leave it at that. When the words are meaningless, leave them alone. Brian Eno, the famous glam rocker, ambient innovator, and progressive producer for acts like U2, said it best in his abstract song "Sky Saw":    
All the clouds turn to words
All the words float in sequence
No one knows what they mean
Everyone just ignores them