Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The problem, the solution: Why Buddhism?

Amber Larson, Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Crystal Quintero,  Kelly Ani, Maya, Bhante (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Ven. Nyanatiloka WHY BUDDHISM?
The "flood" (ogha) of ignorance, sensual desire, craving for eternal existence, fear/anger comes over us like a tsunami sweeping us again and again out to sea to death and rebirth.
Three colossal Buddhas in Burma, a tower, reclining, sitting (Mucki Nowak/

Why does the idea of samsāra matter? In Eastern Philosophy or the tradition of the Dharmic religions, the problem is rebirth. Rooted in ignorance -- because, after all, it is illusory (maya) -- it leads to suffering, to wandering, to chasing fulfillment life after life. Each of the Dharmic religions offers a solution, but only Buddhism offers an ultimate solution.

Mara (Death) rules samsara (the wheel)
For Vedic Brahmanism/Hinduism (and also Christianity/Catholicism) the solution to rebirth is rebirth with Brahma (a personal God) with eternal glory and happiness. Nick Blinko describes this in The Gardener: "In the garden the roses have no thorns/ Their growth is steady and quite natural, no parasites, no harm/ Immortal existence, perpetual motion, forever peace and charm."

It is beautiful, only it's not true. The heavens all come crumbling to an end, and one need not wait aeons to see this happening, for it happens from moment to moment. They are conditioned (composite things) nourished by karma that eventually becomes exhausted. Even the hells are this way.

Jainism had a view that rebirth into a higher plane beyond Brahma's retinue and even beyond Brahma was the solution. But that, too, only led to a very long lifespan among unconscious/insentient beings. From there being eventually fall to fare along according to their karmic desserts.

Wiser Brahmins (who so profoundly influenced Mahayana Buddhism) hit upon the idea that it was not Brahma but Brahman (the ultimate, the reality behind maya, the illusion) one was trying to get to, there to merge and unite like a differentiated drop in a vast undifferentiated ocean, losing personal identity. (Some more sophisticated Christian thinking follows along these lines as well, as early Christianity and particularly its universalist form, Catholicism, borrow so much from Hinduism without realizing it). Again, a very beautiful idea, but one still tainted with ignorance and illusion.

We die here, but what is reborn, what continues?
In enters the Buddha, develops those concentrations (samadhis) that result in rebirth in those various exalted planes of existence, awakens to the ultimate Truth, seeing the flaws of other solutions expounded throughout "India" over time, reaching back beyond the proto-Indian Indus Valley Civilization to the dawn of life on this and other planets, and proclaims the Dharma.

He pointed out the roads to all rebirth destinations, explaining how this led to that rebirth and that to the other. But the end of all formations, the nirodha, was this realization of nirvana, this awakening (bodhi), this end of all suffering and rebirth.

What did the Brahmins and Mahayanists do? They quickly equated samsara with nirvana, the ordinary and oppressive with the extraordinary and ineffable, encouraging everyone to believe that this is it. This, here, enjoy! There's nothing to strive for, no salvation/liberation beyond this. This is the beyond, the beyond-the-beyond. This is not. This is samsara.

Of course, there are sophisticated ways of thinking -- sophistry is like that -- where in a sense this is meshed in the other, it can be looked at like that from a certain angle if one crooks the head and squints the eyes, but this is so far from nirvana that for many Buddhists, particularly those who meditate, it is an insult to say that this is no different from that. This is beset by illusion, nirvana is not. This is wracked with pain and stained by tears, nirvana is not. This is marred by endless craving, nirvana is not. So then comes the final insult of thinkers who will not strive to experience nirvana or even gain a glimpse of it, but are content to "think" about it, argue, rationalize, and ponder:

Nirvana is not. Not this, not that, not anything -- OH, it is exactly contrary to what the Buddha said it was, and what so many arhats and noble ones (aryas) have confirmed it to be; that is to say, it is complete "annihilation." It is not annihilation. In fact, the Buddha said there are two extremes to avoid, two extremes in views, that of Eternalism and Annihilationism. And so much writing has gone into this point by the commentators that it is no sense to repeat it here. One could argue a whole lifetime and yet never know-and-see that nirvana is really beyond the beyond.

Those are the famous words of Mahayana's most famous apocryphal "discourse," something attributed to the Buddha or an early disciple that is more instructive than authentic. And isn't it interesting that while Mahayana rarely talks about the central tenet of the Buddha's teaching, anatta (Sanskrit anatman), it goes on and on about emptiness (shunyata) without seeming to realize what the "emptiness" refers to: things, all things (particularly the Five Aggregates of Clinging), are devoid of a permanent "self" (atta or atman). What Hinduism and Christianity worry about so much, ultimately, is not real. But conventionally it is, and we must strive to realize in what way it is real and what way it is not. How it is real and in what sense, many of us can see that. But how it is unreal and illusory, very few can see that. Yet, it is important to see. It is the key to enlightenment (bodhi) and nirvana (liberation).

The Heart Sutra (in brief)
The Heart of Wisdom
The HEART SUTRA in brief: When someone striving for enlightenment (like Avalokiteshvara, Kwan Yin, or anyone) suddenly understands profound wisdom one knows-and-sees that the Five Aggregates are devoid of a self (all things are empty). What "things" in particular? (1) Form (body, the Four Elements); and four constituents called "mind": (2) feelings, (3) perceptions, (4) formations, (5) consciousness (a process consisting of mind moments and mental factors, cittas and cetasikas) -- that is, those very things we cling to and hold most dear, regarding them as "self" without ever realizing that they are independent of us and utterly dependent on impersonal causes and conditions (roots, supports, fuel). In this vision one glimpses nirvana (the ultimate peace, happiness, bliss, freedom) and the path that leads to it, at which time fall away all delusion about what is not-path, what does not lead to it. It becomes clear that what the Buddha taught was correct, verifiable, full of wisdom and compassion, leading to the end of all suffering. Even someone so wise as to be reckoned by the Buddha to be "foremost in wisdom" (like Sariputra or Khema) should hear this and realize it personally. And, really, what can be said about this astonishing realization never to be figured out by thinking, mere reasoning, and exalted philosophizing? If only there were an exclamation, a shout, how about something in Sanskrit, how about GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SWAHA!? Yes, that's it, that's as good as any GONE GONE GONE-BEYOND GONE-ALTOGETHER-BEYOND, OH WHAT AN AWAKENING, SO IT IS!

Samsara: 31 planes simplified to six general planes
What is the problem? Ignorance (avijja, avidya, non-veda, "not-knowing"), which is the fundamental cause of all suffering.

What is the solution? Finding out (panna, prajna, knowledge, "wisdom," bodhi, awakening, enlightenment).

What is the path to finding out? This Noble Eightfold Path, which in detail is described in Theravada texts as the 37 Requisites of Enlightenment (bodhipakkhiya-dhamma), beautifully explained in ancient times by Ven. Nagasena somewhere in Afghanistan/ancient Greece/Bactria.

The problem: cycling
Stop the merry go round so I can get off.
Samsāra is a Sanskrit/Pali word that means "round of rebirth," literally the perpetual or "continued wandering on" through the cycle of rebirths within a near infinite number of worlds categorized into 31 Planes of Existence.
It is a name designating the sea or flood (ogha) of life ever restlessly heaving up and down, a symbol of this continuous process of ever again and again being born, suffering, growing old, and dying. 

Samsaric wandering never ends.
It is the central problem being solved by Buddhism, which seeks to bring about the end of rebirth and the cessation of all suffering. A beautiful albeit specious quote attributed to the Buddha is, "It does not matter how long we have been asleep, only how quickly we can wake up [now that we have an opportunity]" (Stephen Levine).

More precisely put, samsāra is the unbroken chain of combinations of the five-fold aggregates (khandha) -- form (body), feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousnesses -- which are constantly changing from moment to moment and following continuously one upon the other through inconceivable periods of time.

Heavens above, woe below, and here we are.
Of this samsāra, a single lifetime constitutes only a tiny fraction. Therefore, to be able to comprehend the first noble truth of universal suffering (unsatisfactoriness, disappointment, ill, lack of fulfillment, misery), one must let one's gaze rest upon the entire cycle not a tiny fraction of it. Indeed, one life may be very happy, full of pleasure, joy, beauty, influence, and yet even then it is beset by the defilements and disappointment, dissatisfaction, a sense of emptiness with no way of finding fulfillment or satisfaction of craving and very little chance of ever finding an escape.

Samsāra, the frightful chain of rebirths, is not merely one single lifetime (even in a heavenly plane). It is the whole cycle, the whole impersonal process of karma and its results, of being sunk in ignorance, fettered by craving, inflamed by anger due to the frustration of our desires.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The inner-LIGHT in meditation (nimitta)

Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Kalyani, Wisdom Quarterly  MEDITATION
Light arose, knowledge arose... During meditation, inner-light may arise. (
The Buddha high in the Himalayas, Thimphu, Bhutan (

If one, while practicing consistent meditation, that is, just sitting in the sense of their being no objective other than to concentrate the mind (attention) on a single object, such as the in-and-out breath, the mind will eventually form a counterpart image of the subtle breath.

What is the "breath"? It is not the gross in and out, rise and fall movement of the body or respiratory system. In fact, it is the subtle breath (spirit), the prana, the "holy spirit" (Latin spiritus), as it were. Its movement at the nostrils is more like osmosis than inhaling and exhaling. The mind becomes fascinated with this still little breath.
More attention, more concentration (not effort and "trying" to concentrate but an almost effortless cohering of the mind being purified resting on a single object), more stillness, less obvious breathing. A less obvious breath is subtle and alluring. What goes unheeded, untended to, placed on automatic pilot is suddenly the object of keen attention without any effort to alter it. Why? It is a mirror reflecting mental and emotional states, and this becomes very clear when one simply and only attends to it.

The nimitta slow arises like parting clouds (imperishableconsciousness)
Eventually, an unusual thing begins to happens -- the cause of which seems to be consistent practice above all things, consistency not overexertion.
With long stretches of there being only ONE object of attention, the subtle breath -- and that is the arising of a "sign." This is a natural process. The mind does it. The third eye or divine eye (dibba cakkhu) perceives a light the mind is generating. In a sense, that inner light (nimitta, see below) is the breath. And it can even be visible with eyes open, from some internal internal.

It is very precious and something to protect, like a delicate sprout. It will go away and can be lost. It is very difficult to retrieve or regrow. If it arises in the mind's eye when attention is held steady at the nostrils, attention should NOT be given to it. Let it be.

If one lets it be, it will eventually grow stronger, brighter, more stable, and by itself it will come where attention is being given. If, however, one moves the mind from the nostrils to the new sign, the budding sprout, it will disappear. It is flighty like a timid bird, a fickle girl, a butterfly, or a curious woodland creature. It wants to approach, but it doesn't know. Any movement toward it scares it away instead of bringing it closer. How does one bring it closer? Let it be: "The bird alights on the hand that does not grasp."

I saw the sign (nimitta)!
I saw it, I saw it! (
The mark, sign, counterpart image, target, object, cause, condition. These meanings are used in and adapted to many contexts of which only the Buddhist doctrinal ones are mentioned here.
1. "Mental (reflex-) image" obtained in meditation: In full clarity, it will appear in the mind by successful practice of certain concentration-exercises and will then appear as vividly as if seen by the external eye.

The object perceived at the very beginning of concentration is called the preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta).

Was it a nimitta? Hard to tell sometimes.
The still unsteady and unclear image [sometimes not a light but a mist, like cotton or cloud, or opaque or colored shape or disk], which arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration, is called the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta).

An entirely clear and immovable image arising at a higher degree of concentration is the counterpart-image (patibhāga-nimitta). 

As soon as this image arises, the stage of neighborhood (or access) concentration (upacāra-samādhi) is reached. For further details, see kasina and samādhi, meditation disk and concentration.

While Buddhist meditation teachers claiming to teach vipassana ("insight") are a dime a dozen, actual masters capable of helping one successfully cultivate the tranquility and serenity (shamatha and samadhi) necessary for insight-practices to succeed are difficult to find.

"Light will create matter in a year,"says science ( It already does.
Many people interested in Buddhist meditation in this more or less "decadent age" (kali yuga) are drawn to it because of previous practice at a subconscious level. So it may be easy for many people to see a nimitta or quickly arrive at access concentration. It seems safe to say that for most people, however, there is initial effort involved. How does one balance effort and effortlessness, striving and ease?

The Buddha gave a wonderful analogy in describing the initial-attention and sustained-attention, the first two factors or limbs (jhana-anga) of meditative absorption (jhana): When a stationary bird wishes to fly, it must first leap, struggle, and flap in an ungainly way, but soon it holds still and soars carried by the air. In exactly the same way, it takes effort to get to a meditation mat, to sit still, to apply the antidotes to the Five Hindrances to meditation.

The nimitta can take many forms but is NOT a phosphene (
But soon in a spell or fit of calm, one is simply doing it. There is the effort, as when one breathes in, but thereafter there is only release, letting go, simply being. Then one realizes no effort is actually needed in the inhalation. The body will do it by itself. Look. Watch it. Give complete attention to it.

The body will know when it's full, when it wants to exhale, when it wants to draw in another breath. All if its decisions are intimately tied to what we are doing with the mind. If, for example, we think of a distressing memory, breath immediately becomes labored: Angry or excited thoughts give rise to relatively short, quick breaths. Joyful or pleasant thoughts give rise to soothing longer inhalations and exhalations.

The Five Hindrances are (1) sensual craving, (2) ill will, (3) sleepiness/lassitude [bodily/mental tiredness], (4) restlessness/worry, (5) skeptical doubt. By overcoming them -- which Wisdom Quarterly has been covering in a five-part series titled "Ask a Ninja: How to Meditate -- one is effortlessly already cultivating the Five Factors of Absorption.

  • Pa Auk Sayadaw (Burmese elder)
  • Ayya Khema (German nun)
  • Sayalay Susila (Malaysian nun)
  • Ven. Dhammadipa (Czech monk)
  • Ven. Dipankara (Burmese nun)
  • Stephen Snyder, Tina Rasmussen (American)

    • Leigh Brasington (American)
    • Jack Kornfield (
    • Sharon Salzberg
    • Myoshin Kelly
    • Joseph Goldstein (
    • S.N. Goenka ( with no attention given to jhana or nimittas, which participants are discouraged from pursuing by the U Ba Khin school until later stages, so if it comes, pursue it silently and contact a better teacher.

    "I'm tired of life," punk (video)

    Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Blinko; Grisham
    Long enough, long enough, it has been long enough! (shutterstock/
    Sutra: Tears
    Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven based on Ven. Thanissaro (trans.), Assu Sutra (SN 15.3)
    The Buddha knows (Saara Arkiharha/flickr).
    [The Buddha was once residing in Savatthi.] There the Blessed One said: "From an unfathomable beginning comes this continued wandering on in samsara [rebirth].

    "No beginning is evident when beings first became hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving wandering on [in search of sensual pleasures, supersensual pleasures, continued wandering, or annihilation].
    "What do you think, meditators: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while being reborn and wandering this long, long time -- crying and weeping from having to be in contact with what is displeasing and 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, the tears we shed while being reborn wandering on this long, long time is greater -- crying and weeping from being in contact with what is displeasing and separated from what is pleasing -- rather than the water in the four great oceans."
    "Excellent, meditators, excellent! It is excellent that you thus understand the Dharma as taught by me.
    It's sad, so incredibly sad! (BodhiPunx)
    "The tears you have shed while being reborn wandering on this long, long time is greater -- crying and weeping from being in contact with what is displeasing and being separated from what is pleasing -- rather 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 while being reborn wandering on this long, long time -- crying and weeping from being in contact with what is displeasing and being separated from what is pleasing -- are greater than the water in the four great oceans.
    • Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father...
    • the death of a brother...
    • the death of a sister...
    • the death of a son...
    • the death of a daughter... 
    • the loss of relatives...
    • the loss of wealth...
    • loss due to disease. The tears you have shed due to loss by disease while being reborn wandering on this long, long time -- crying and weeping from being in contact with what is displeasing and being separated from what is pleasing -- are greater than the water in the four great oceans.
    "And why is that? From an unfathomable beginning comes rebirth. A beginning [first point] is not evident when beings began to be hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving while being reborn in this continued wandering on (samsara).

    "Long have you thus experienced suffering (dukkha, disappointment, dissatisfaction), experienced pain, experienced loss, swelled the cemeteries -- long enough to become disenchanted with all formations, long enough to become dispassionate, long enough to be released."
    The Stick
    John D. Ireland (trans.) edited by Wisdom Quarterly (SN 15:9), Wheel No. 107
    “Just as a stick thrown up into the air sometimes falls on its base, sometimes on its side, sometimes on its tip, similarly, meditators, do beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving continue to wander on through the round of rebirths.
    “At one time beings go from this world to another world, at another time coming from another world to this world. Why, what is the reason?
    “Unimaginable, meditators, is a beginning to the round of rebirths [and redeaths]. For beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving continuing to wander on through the round of rebirths, no starting point is evident.
    “Thus for a long time, meditators, have you experienced suffering (disappointment), pain, and destruction, and the cemeteries have swelled. It has been long enough for you to have become dispassionate toward all formations (conditioned things), long enough for you to have become detached and released from them.” More
    "I'm tired of life"

    Growing up in America is all about being in an indie rock or punk band. Pass it on.

    Punk Barbie & Spiky
    Two early punk songs never get old (as long as new garage bands keep doing covers of them), one from the British anarcho-punks Rudimentary Peni and another from the early Los Angeles scenesters T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty).

    Jack Greggors (Grisham) once did a duet, trading lines: "I'm tired of looking (It's not in my vision)/ I'm tired of seeing/ (I don't wanna see this)/ I'm tired of hearing (Don't tell me your sh-t)/ I'm tired of being (So why am I here?)/ I'm tired of life (And all of its jokes)/ Imaginary lines (To fool all you fools)/ Imaginary rules (To live your life by)/ And all the world's fools//

    "Life is so easy when you're told what to do/ Where to work and how to be you/ But the jokes wears off and you're still laughing/ Caught in your own trap and you're all happy!//

    Learn your history (School of Rock)
    "Too stupid to know it (Just try use your head)/ Too stupid to care (You've all been fooled)/ Just one voice screaming (Is there really a point?)/ Just one in a million (A little speck of flesh)/ Who's gonna hear it (Scream till you die)/ Who's gonna know it? (Your conscience, your mind)/ Who even cares? (No one but yourself)/ It's hopeless (You're hopeless)//

    "Because of the process, because of the system,/ Because you're still laughing, because you don't listen,/ Because of the process, because of the system,/ Because you're still laughing, because you don't listen."

    (Rudimentary Peni) "Tower of Strength" from the second EP
    Towers (Micky75017)
    Nick Blinko asks, Are you tired of things coming in only to go out again? "Tower of Strength takes to the sea/ Scours ocean via quay/ Same old story, muscle bound and gory/ Brand new story, death without glory/ Infinite story, something so hoary/ Build a tower of strength and watch it weaken/ Construct high hopes as the brightest beacon/ Watch the seagulls eat the trash/ You contemptuously ditch/ Do you know a seagull?/ Do you know a wreck?// Are you tired of the tide?/ Are you tired of the tide?/ Roll in a rock pool, come let's hide// Do you know a raging wind?/ Do you know a seagull?/ Do you know a wreck?/ Do you know a raging wind?/ Are you tired of the tide?/ Are you tired of the tide?/ Roll in a rock pool, come let's hide/ Tower of strength takes to the sea, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!"

    Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980's SoCal (We Got Power! magazine/bazillionpoints)
    WGP!: "We survived the pit" with David Markey, Jordan Schwartz (

    Black Egypt (Kemet) 10 Discoveries (video)

    Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; KRST (KPFK)
    The pharaohs were black, ruling Egypt, Africa, for millenia (
    A black continent was visited from above, and advanced technology led to monuments.
    (SD) Egypt's Ten Greatest Discoveries: Zahi Hawass, senior Egyptian archeologist, gives a tour
    The meticulous work Mr. Binns from The House of Nijart and his assistant, William Coney, did over the past few months has restored 12 foot monuments of Queen TIYE and Ramses II to their original glory as created by artist Charles Dickson. They are a blessing to the community encouraging many to visit to see themselves, as hoped, depicted in African splendor. - Dr. Meri Ka Ra

    Hose of Nijart, Los Angeles
    Dr. Ra has an hour (Mondays at 1:00 pm) as part of KPFK's Inner Vision lunch hour programming. Most of the week is taken up Lisa Garr's The Aware Show and an abusive psychologist who uses her time to berate callers. Dr. Ra and various collaborators like Brother Yaw explore the contribution of African culture to the world, particularly in the area of spirituality.

    Sadly, Caucasian cultures have systematically undermined, discounted, and/or misappropriated most of these contributions. The latest travesty is Ridley Scott's racist depiction of blacks in "Exodus: Gods and Men," which is set in Africa. They're missing. Jewish slaves are shown building pyramids. And for good reason the film has been banned in some countries as a gross distortion of history. And when asked about his choice in selecting an all white cast, he answered, "Get a life!" Who's going to want to watch a movie with all black people, which is what a film of ancient Egypt would mostly be? Not Hollywood. Hollywood is not interested in telling the actual truth but just a convenient truth as suited to the times. This leaves us all with gross inaccuracies about the Bible, Israel, and other key geopolitical facts.

    "Exodus: Gods and Men" - gross cultural misappropriation, racist reinterpretation of history.

    Egypt and Israel are in Africa
    But all of the amazing work of the pyramid builders with their secret advanced technology, which mingled a human interface with stone and other structures, is the work of Africans on the world's largest continent. William Henry, for example, does not realize his bias. The British archeological explorers, just as they did in India and Afghanistan, could hardly help but elevate themselves and denigrate everyone else. It may have even gone on eventually in ancient Greece, who at first must have been in awe of the accomplishments of a former culture.

    They had sex in ancient Egypt? Yes.
    (DocTV) "Sex in Ancient Egypt" erotic scroll secrets revealed, full documentary
    Egypt is in Africa
    The globe on left shows that Egypt is in Africa, which is a continent (
    The difference between the rest of Africa and "Israel" is this fence, which looks north onto disputed Sinai. Whether it is Egypt, Jordan, or Israel, it's Africa at the Eilat border (wiki).

    There are only adults in this engraving, and the large humanoid creatures with massive heads covered by atef crowns are giants on Earth who came from space or the Sun, ruled, and mated (or combined DNA) with royal families (judahsdaughter).

    Pharaoh rulers
    Zahi Hawass, the former czar or "Hitler" of Egyptian antiquities for many years, who is not black, perhaps an Arab who conquered this part of Africa, for one reason or another was adamant about keeping Egypt's secrets -- who really built the pyramids (and their real antiquity), connecting tunnels, underground chambers, and the artifacts found within them.

    Sumer: ETs often intervene and rule.
    Greater things than King Tut's tomb have been found, but either has not made as much of a splash or has not been revealed and widely reported. King Tut was black (and recently shown to be disfigured with a club foot and cleft palate), like all of Egypt (Kemet, the "land of the black" or "black land," named after the inhabitants and the rich alluvial soil in the Blue Nile), which is completely in Africa. Ethiopia (Biblical Kush) was the adjacent kingdom across the strait to land that links with Central Asia and India.

    Nile and Israel, Africa, satellite (wiki/NASA/MODIS)
    This should be obvious, but few people today have realized or will admit that Palestine/Israel is in Africa. Look at a satellite map rather than a political one.

    But there were other "races," notably the reds, yellows, and extraterrestrial giants with massive skulls. Those skulls are available for analysis, and carved on many walls are depictions of the relative size of these visitors and their hybrid offspring. The pharaohs apparently outlived ordinary humans like "heroes of old, men of renown." Timbuktu, Africa, is the site of the first "university" in history, older even than what is thought to be the first, a Buddhist institution in India.

    The evidence for a line of Egyptian kings being black will be presented this weekend by Monday's radio guest at the KRST (pronounced kor-esh) Unity Center in Los Angeles. More marvels of Egypt will also be revealed.
    • KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science
    • 7825 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90047
    • (323) 759-7567
    (Black History of Egypt) When the Arabs invaded black North Africa
    The Mayan/Aztec pyramids of Mexico are some of the most beautiful and mysterious.
    Whoever helped Egypt (Kemet) build pyramids went around the world building them.
    Buddhist pyramid temples
    Wisdom Quarterly wiki edit
    Fo Guang Shan pyramid Buddha Memorial Center, Taiwan (Zosoiv71/
    Largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, Indonesia.
    Buddha's Light Mountain (Fo Guang Shan) pyramid: When Rev. Master Hsing Yun held the Bodhgaya International Full Ordination in India in 1998, he came to the attention of Kunga Dorje Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama who had been protecting a tooth relic of the Buddha since the destruction of Namgyal Monastery in Tibet during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

    The relic has been authenticated by several Tibetan rinpoches, who advised Kunga Dorje Rinpoche to build a reliquary mound or stupa to house it so that the public could pay their respects and make offerings.

    Colossal pyramid and Buddha Memorial Center pagoda (Linc060/flickr)
    Pyramidal Wat Arun stupa, Bangkok, Thailand
    Since he was unable to do so due to old age, he and his advisers reached the consensus to donate the tooth relic to Hsing Yun, believing that he had the means to build such a resting place. The relic was officially escorted to Taiwan on April 8, 1998.

    Building plans for the Buddha Memorial Center started immediately, with support from the Taiwanese government. The site is situated immediately adjacent to the main monastery and covers more than 100 hectares.

    The complex faces east and is built along a central axial line. Beyond the Welcoming Hall are eight Chinese-styled pagodas on either side of the main avenue leading up to Bodhi Square, about which are statues of the Buddha's main disciples and of the founders of the principal schools of Chinese Buddhism.

    This gives onto the Memorial Hall, with its various shrines, including the Jade Buddha Shrine in which the tooth relic is located. Above the hall are four stupas that symbolize the Four Noble Truths.
    Standing behind but separate from it, there is an enormous 108 meter high seated metal Amitabha Buddha. The center was opened at an international ceremony on Dec. 25 2011 and the first anniversary celebrated on Christmas Day 2012. More

    Buddhist pyramid temple, mandala and pagoda (

    Pyramid: Buddha Memorial Center with four Indian-like Mahabodhi pagodas (wiki)

    Afro-Asiatic: Kush (Ethiopia, Sudan/Nubia) is to the left. Its empire, or somehow another unrelated group called the Greek Kushans not spreading Kush, spread all the way east to Afghanistan and India, later again taken by the ancient Greeks in Bactria and Sogdia.