Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Buddha's Teaching in Brief

Maurice O'Connell Walshe, Malunkyaputta Sutra (SN 35.95) edited by Wisdom Quarterly
A monastic, having purified the heart/mind, reflects on the teaching and awakens. Here a meditator is seen in the jungle, Songkla, Thailand (Bird_beckman77 Homam Alojail/flickr).

Enlightenment fast! (bigeyedeer)
The briefest teaching that led to sudden enlightenment was delivered by the Buddha to Bahiya of the Barkcloth (Bāhiya Dārucīriya), an old ascetic who traveled a long, long way to ask the Buddha to teach him the Dharma. But Bahiya came at an inopportune time, and the Buddha asked him to wait. Bahiya asked and asked again, and the Buddha perceived that it would be fruitful to disregard his regular schedule and teach Bahiya in brief. But what he taught him was enigmatic, perplexing, hard to unravel. Bahiya understood it and became an arhat, a full enlightened person almost on the spot by reflecting on the teaching. Here the same teaching is given to elderly Ven. Malunkyaputta with a little more being said.

Sutra: Teaching in Brief
Light dawns (leyinkeu/flickr).
[Ven. Malunkyaputta once asked the Buddha:] "It would be well for me, venerable sir, if the Blessed One would teach me in brief the Dharma so that having heard it I might dwell alone, in seclusion [with mind and body withdrawn in meditation, free sensual desires and distractions], unwearied, ardent, and resolute."
"Well now, Malunkyaputta, what am I to say to the younger monastics if you -- a frail, aged, venerable person, far gone in years, at the end of your life -- ask for instruction in brief?"
"What do you think of this, Malunkyaputta? Objects cognizable by the eye, not seen, which you have never seen before, which you do not see now and do not wish to see -- have you any desire, lust, or fondness for them?"

"No indeed, venerable sir."

[The Buddha then asks the same with regard to the other five senses and their objects: sounds, scents, flavors, tangible things, and mental objects.]
"Well then, Malunkyaputta, in things seen, heard, otherwise-sensed [muta, i.e., smelled, tasted, or touched], or cognized: in the seen there will be only the seen, in the heard only the heard, in the otherwise-sensed only the sensed, in the cognized only the cognized... Then, Malunkyaputta, there will be no 'thereby' for you.
  • "Thereby"? This is almost impossible to translate adequately. There is no agent, i.e., no "seer," "feeler," "knower." "There will be no 'thereby' whereby one will be lustful, hateful, or deluded (SA [SN commentary])."
"Having no 'thereby' you have no 'there.'
  • If there is no agent (i.e., no "self"), then there is nowhere such an agent can be located. "You will have no 'there'": You will not be bound or attached "there," i.e., with regard to the seen, heard, otherwise-sensed, or cognized (SA).
"Whoa the individual ego does not exist. I am so freakin' enlightened. (
"Having no 'there,' Malunkyaputta, there is for you neither this world, nor the next, nor anywhere in between. [That is, you will realize that nothing is really reborn.] That in itself is the end of all suffering."
  • [Nirvana is the end of all suffering when one knows and sees it, directly experiences it, and realizes that the Truth has always been true and is liberating from all delusion, from all suffering.] 
"Indeed, venerable sir, I understand in full the meaning of what the Blessed One has stated in brief."
Forms perceived cause loss of mindfulness,
If we dwell on their endearing charms,
Passion grips the heart, and feeling flows,
Clinging has us firmly in its grip:
So emotions rise and grow in strength,
Of diverse kinds, all based on what was seen.
Some of greed and some of hatred born --
Grievously they all afflict the heart of a person,
Heaping up a store of pain and woe:
Thus for that person nirvana's far away.
[Similarly for sounds, scents, tastes, tangibles, thoughts.]
One who's not inflamed by things one sees,
Seeing forms retains mindfulness,
Not in passion's grip, simply feels,
On this person clinging cannot get a hold.
If one just observes the things one sees,
Not reacting to their shape or form,
One will pull down the pile, not build it up.
Mindfully proceeding on one's way,
Heaping up no store of pain and woe:
Then for that person nirvana's very near.
[Similarly for sounds, scents, tastes, tangibles, thoughts.]

"Indeed, venerable sir, I understand in full the meaning of what the Blessed One has stated in brief."
[The Buddha confirms Malunkyaputta's words; in due course Malunkyaputta becomes an arhat, that is, a fully enlightened individual.]

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tibetan monk explains Buddhism to students

Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly; Roger McKinney (Columbia Tribune)
Tibetan monk Champa Lhunpo speaks about the Buddhist religion to Hickman High students. "We believe all religions have the same value," said Ven. Lhunpo (Vivian Abagiu/Tribune).

Human life is precious, a Tibetan Buddhist monk told students Thursday [Nov. 13] at Hickman High School. [Ven.] Champa Lhunpo talked about his religion with students from world religion classes at Hickman and Battle high schools.

Thursday afternoon he was slated to speak with members of an Amnesty International student group at Hickman about human rights violations against ethnic Tibetans in China.
[Ven.] Lhunpo escaped Tibet in 1959 after the Chinese takeover, initially settling in Dharamsala, India, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. Now in the United States, he teaches Tibetan language courses at the University of Kansas.
Tibetan culture survives in India's Himalayas: Ladakh Tsemo Gompa, Leh behind Mt. Everest on the way to Tibetan desert (SylvainBrajeul/
[Ven.] Lhunpo said after the talk that the situation in Tibet under Chinese rule is worsening. “Things are really deteriorating in Tibet,” he said. He said monks are practicing self-immolation to protest Chinese oppression.

[Ven.] Lhunpo lives a comfortable life in the United States now, but he’s in contact with people in Tibet. “My fellow citizens in Tibet are suffering,” [Ven.] Lhunpo said. “We are kind of their representatives to the rest of the world.”

He said he would encourage students in the Amnesty International ( group to write letters to U.S. government leaders and to sign petitions to help give Tibetans more freedom. More

What's better, monastic life or prison?,
The 800-year-old Hilandar Monastery in Mount Athos, Greece. Photo / Brian Donovan
800-yr-old Hilandar, Greece (Brian Donovan)
A fugitive from justice has preferred life as a monk over jail, holing up in monasteries in northeastern Greece for eight years before police finally tracked him down, police say. The 48-year-old man, convicted of financial misdeeds in 2011, hid out on the remote Mount Athos peninsula, an autonomous monastic state, where he passed himself off as a novice monk, police said on Tuesday. More

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Buy Nothing Day" (video)

Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly;; CodePinkLA
Black Friday? Cyber Monday? No way, bankers! We celebrate Buy Nothing Day!
Wallets as weapons? #HandsUpDontSpend, #BlackOutBlackFriday (
“Today humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet.”
– Fawzi Ibrahim

Until we challenge the entrenched values of capitalism -- that the economy must always keep growing, that consumer wants must always be satisfied, that immediate gratification is imperative -- we’re not going able to fix the gigantic psycho-financial-eco crisis of our times.
That challenge is a deeply personal one: in a world where every inch of the capitalist system is bullying you into submission, can you resist? When advertisers hound you day and night, can you escape?

Everything Is Fine, Keep ShoppingThis Black Friday a massive, absurd, and destructive consumerist machine will coordinate against you and me for one simple reason -- to convince us to max out our credit cards to buy crap we don’t need so that a broken, harmful system stays afloat. So when they say "BUY!" we will say "NOTHING!"
Buy Nothing Day is legendary for instigating personal transformation. We suddenly remember what real living is about. Sense an upsurge of radical empowerment, and feel a wonderful magic reinvigorating life.

Join millions of us in over 60 countries on November 28/29 (from Black Friday to Cyber Monday) and see what it feels like. Then after Buy Nothing Day, take the next step: For generations Xmas has been hijacked by commercial forces. This year, let’s take it back!

And let’s get playful while we’re at it! Let’s put up posters, organize a credit card cut ups, pull off a Whirl-Mart, or a Christmas Zombie walk through the local mall. How? More

BDS: Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel

Cutting up those plastic "debt cards"!
Once upon a time a group of concerned brides held a mock wedding inside Bed Bath & Beyond in Los Angeles, California to affirm their commitment to peace, justice, and a vow to boycott illegally-made Israeli settlement products from SodaStream and Ahava (toxic sugar water and makeup).  Do we cherish human rights? Then sign the pledge to boycott at: Join the BDS Brides, a group of CODEPINK Women for Peace, in standing up for justice!

The Truth about the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving

Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Xochitl, Crystal QCrystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly; Malcolm Gaskill, Wall St. Journal (, 11-26-14); Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Sonali Kohlhatkar
[Look how the white invaders, squatters, and conquistadores are feeding and welcoming the Natives to their newly stolen land.] Having left the Old World for the New, they clung to their old identities and tried to preserve them (Graphicaartis/Corbis).

Pilgrims and the Roots of U.S. Thanksgiving
English settlers of the 17th century were a diverse lot, and they became Americans despite themselves.

In the fall of 1621, 50 English men and women and 90 Native Americans gathered at New Plymouth in Massachusetts. The colonists had arrived a year earlier on a leaky wine ship, the Mayflower [to deal alcohol to Puritans or encourage drunkenness in the Natives?], and built a hillside settlement overlooking the ocean, little more than a few wooden huts in a stockade.

What is there to eat in this land, Sage? (WQ)
The first winter had been terrible: Half their number had perished from malnutrition and disease.

They had struggled to farm the land, were poorly supplied from England, and relied on their Indian hosts [who were kind and humane enough to offer help only to be stabbed in the back in return?] for expertise and food.

But in the end, they did it. According to Edward Winslow, who had buried his wife that March, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling [to kill fowl, i.e., Mexican turkeys?] so that we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor.”

Buy Nothing Day, WalMart protests, rejecting "Black Friday" propaganda (
Bilderberg Group controls U.S. elections
[Such a beautiful way of speaking, of using euphemisms to conceal the daily horrors of what they were doing and what they were sent to do, which was not to find religious freedom as we are told but to establish capitalist camps to feed the rich in Europe. That capitalist consumption machine we fed in England and Europe was then/is now turned back on us, and we are the feeders feeding off other colonies. Better to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, like Ad Busters recommends: Buy Nothing Day, a wildcat (general) strike, and anti-consumer capitalism demonstrations. Occupy not other peoples' land but consumer-capitalism itself. Most Americans/US citizens have no idea what "capitalism" means, but we all have our mythic ideas and notions, the misbegotten belief that if we sell something, OH! we're capitalists! That does not make one a capitalist, nor does buying. Read up on "capitalism," or not, because it might radicalize you, and you might come to understand why so many revolutionaries gave their lives for the sake of equality rather than continuing to live for the economic enslavement of a majority of people. Down with consumerism.]

The Pilgrims, as they would later be known [because at this point it was clear to all that they were colonizers and invaders heroically called "colonists" and "survivors"], celebrated for three days [a custom from around the world, a Harvest Festival of abundance] -- an event immortalized in American history as the first Thanksgiving.

Buckles mean style, wealth.
The story has been heavily mythologized, and the numerous depictions of it [showing the White Man's Burden of coming to help those savage "Indians" survive because they were godless barbarians who didn't know anything and needed our British, Spanish, French, Dutch, and later German (Nazi) "help"] that have come down to us are mostly patriotic romances, full of errors about the dress [what, no big belt buckle pants, shoes, and hats?!], technology, and general atmosphere of the day. 

What is the real story? See video below.
What we most tend to overlook in the Thanksgiving tale, however, is the wider context of settlement [illegal military invasion and occupation, illegal settlements like Israelis encroaching on Palestinians while ethnically cleansing them in an "incremental genocide"]. English colonists -- 350,000 of them in the 17th century -- were a diverse lot [all white except for their chattel or "property" slaves], and more English than you might imagine.

Having left the Old World for the New, they clung to their old identities and tried to preserve them. In this, they failed, and yet from that failure, a new national character was born -- the primary traits of which are still visible in Americans today [that would be us, and that's why this matters].

The first colonists [i.e., colonizers] actually arrived more than a decade before the Mayflower, establishing themselves on [i.e., squatting and illegally occupying] the steamy river [slave] plantations of Virginia and the rocky coasts of Maine. The northern colony failed within a year. The Virginia settlements fared better, and thousands of young, mostly male apprentices poured into the tobacco fields to toil alongside growing numbers of enslaved Africans
Racist KKK killers are real?
A similar pattern developed in the other Chesapeake colony, Maryland. In the 1630s, successive waves of Puritan [a "Puritan" is a super-Christian, a rigid Spartan, Trojan, bigot, and fundamentalist, nice folk, but a little stiff and prone to take their Bible literally and stoning people, locking them in stockades, torturing, shaming, raping, molesting their kids, killing infidels (defining as anyone who does not agree with their world view or interpretation of that Bible), committing genocide, engaging in sexism, racism, and slave-based capitalism] ships reached Massachusetts, their passengers settling in Boston and its satellite communities.

After this great migration came the “great reshuffle.” Settlers relocated to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and the lush [ecologically well tended Indian, Native American] plains of the Connecticut Valley, which in turn attracted newcomers from England. Meanwhile, the French settled in Canada and the Dutch in present-day New York.

By 1660, there were 58,000 colonists in New England and the Chesapeake, compared with 3,000 in New France and 5,000 in Dutch New Netherland. Most English migrants -- 190,000 of them -- went to the West Indies, where slave-owning planters specialized in [white] sugar production [stripped of healthy molasses] and sustained New England by importing its food crops.

John Smith was a "savior"?
Virginia began life in 1607, at a quasi-military outpost called Jamestown. Captain John Smith, its leader and savior, described “pleasant plain hills and fertile valleys, one prettily crossing another…a plain wilderness as God first made it.” But this was no Eden. Appalling conditions -- hostile natives [it seems people don't like their ancestral lands overrun by filthy, disease-ridden vermin-eating cannibals calling themselves Christians coming to contaminate, rape, spread new diseases, steal, plunder, and enslave], polluted water, and rampant disease -- were made worse by infighting and political chaos.

Unable to grow enough food, the colonists faced starvation by the winter of 1609. They ate vermin and leather -- even the starch from their collars. “Nothing was spared to maintain life,” recalled George Percy, “and to do those things which seem incredible, as to dig up dead corpses out of graves and to eat them.” 

Nine out of 10 died, and the survivors and their often clueless replacements still had to find exports like timber, furs, and pitch to pay their way. In the end, a farmer named John Rolfe cracked the problem with a new strain of sweet tobacco. A year later, there were wooden vending machines for tobacco in London alehouses. Virginia was in business.

Colonists always needed more land, but they had to tread carefully. Rolfe married an Indian princess named Pocahontas, which delighted the Virginia Company.

Becky collaborates with Rolfe and Smith.
The union meant ethnic peace in America [or a tiny, tiny part of it called a British colony, not even a united state] and made for good propaganda at home. [Poke-a-who, b-tch? We'll call you Becky, and you'll be at our beck and bloody call, because this is a hierarchical Christian "marriage" not an egalitarian Indian one.] Renamed Rebecca Rolfe, she was received [i.e., brought to against her will] at the royal court in London, where, Smith noted, those clamoring to meet her “had seen many English ladies worse favored, proportioned, and behaviored.” [That means she was pretty, nice, and well mannered much to their amazement; after all, she was a "savage darkie" to their racist assumptions.]

Pocahontas’s death as she prepared to return home, probably from tuberculosis [one of those new European diseases for which she had no immunity], destabilized relations with her people, and a dark cloud passed over Virginia. In 1622, a native uprising killed 347 colonists [hmmm, wonder if the Natives have oral histories of all the times there were "foreigner uprisings" and how many Natives those offshore savages/invaders killed, raped, or stole from] -- a third of all English people in America.

Even those who had come over to spread the gospel [of peace, love, and secondhand Mahayana Buddhism the Chinese and Afghan Buddhists had already brought to America far on its western shore in California and Mexico centuries earlier, according to the American historian Edward P. Vining working and publishing An Inglorious Columbus in 1885] hardened their hearts.

Now the English would take [i.e., steal] what they wanted. “Our hands, which before were tied with gentleness and fair usage,” remarked the Virginia Company secretary, “are now set at liberty.” More

Thanksgiving Day Special: An Indigenous History of the United States
An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Nov 2014

(Uprising with Sonali) Author, academic, and activist, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz spends an hour sharing the true origin story of the United States, which is particularly relevant during the national Thanksgiving holiday. More

China's art buyers look West for overseas buys (
Act alone or discuss in eavesdrop forum (

Tibet: Mysterious Himalayan Towers (video)

Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Moxley (; Dexter Webster

The Himalayan Towers are a series of stone towers located mostly in Buddhist Tibet. Carbon dating shows they were built approximately 500 to 1,100 years ago. One theory says that since they are generally located in prosperous villages, their primary function -- as on Easter Island with its enormous totems -- was as a demonstration of a family's prestige within the community. For strength, many of the towers use a star pattern of walls as opposed to a strictly rectangular construction method. Heights can exceed 197 feet (60 meters). For more information on them see the work of Frederique Darragon.

Saving the Secret Towers
Mitch Moxley (, May 27, 2011)
Tower in Suopuo village, Danba County, Sichuan, China (James Wasserman/WSJ).
Not old Mexico but village life in Tibet now.
The ride from Chengdu to Danba Valley is one to be endured, not enjoyed. The journey is by a smoke-filled bus with tiny seats that barrels deep into the mountains of western Sichuan province, shaking and rattling on a single-lane road that is often strewn with fallen rocks. A hair-raising view out the window is of the Dadu River below.

[This sounds exactly like the two-day drive up from the Kashmir Valley to Ladakh, India, the "Rooftop of the World," in the Himalayas behind Mt. Everest along the highest highway in the world. It is a desert moonscape of dust, frozen peaks, and a jade colored river that does not seem to soak into the neighboring ground any better than the might Colorado does the banks of the Grand Canyon.]

This is the route to one of China's most enduring architectural mysteries. Ten hours and 400 kilometers into the journey, the valley opens to reveal green mountains topped with snowy peaks. On a ridge above stand a half-dozen rock towers, like ancient smokestacks.
Jiarong woman, Frederique Darragon (WSJ)
Across the remote, earthquake-prone regions of western Sichuan and Tibet, there are hundreds of these structures. They are built of cut stone, brick, and timber, date back as far as 1,700 years and stand up to 50 meters tall. No one is sure of their purpose, but theories abound: They were watchtowers, way stations, status symbols. Some say they have religious meaning.

Striving to save the towers from the forces of neglect, earthquake, and a planned hydropower dam are a small number of preservationists, including Frédérique Darragon, a 61-year-old global adventurer -- sailor, dancer, trekker, polo player -- turned amateur archaeologist by her love for these mysterious structures. More

Secret religious worlds: Jewish, Amish (video)

(CBS News, New York) Dr. Nancy Snyderman looks into the secretive world of Hasidism in "Isolated World"/"Former Hasidic Jews Reveal Hidden World" an interview with formerly Jewish Americans Ari Mandel, Melissa Weiss, Sam Katz, and Hindi Sable.

Bunny, what's sex like? (
An in depth documentary on the world of Hasidism, an Orthodox (rigorously adhering to the Bible's hundreds of commandments) Jewish sect centered mainly in cosmopolitan New York City. It explains what Hasidism is and how it differs to contemporary Judaism. Their dedication to principle is beautiful and verging on the monastic.

Are we supposed to be ashamed of the body?
It covers sex, strict sexual segregation, the laws of Judaism (Talmud), Kosher food, weddings, and those who have embraced, rejected, and left Judaism. It features Luzer Twersky and Jewish author Simon Jacobson. The greatest thing about many Hasidic Jews is that they do NOT usually support the genocidal colonial settler regimes running the "State of Israel" (i.e., illegally occupied Palestine) or its current authoritarian regime and phony democracy under CIA Operative/Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, they have done and said much to embarrassment numerous administrations, showing how their actions run counter to Jewish law, both biblical and commentarial. But the nominal and Reformed Jews pay little attention to what their Torah scholars have to say, choosing instead the way of money and militarism as a branch of the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Are Amish Christians in U.S.?

AMISH COUNTRY, Pennsylvania - The BBC investigates religion in the USA with an intimate portrait of Amish family life and faith, following Old Order Amish couple Miriam and David and their family. This video captures the reason this family decided to go against rules and tradition and open their lives to the cameras in a society where the church forbids photography.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Buddhist Thanksgiving: Gratitude (video)

Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly
The vegetable world directly feeds us and keeps us healthy when we eat close to the land.

Don't pay butchers to kill me!
(JB/BC/OG) Dr. DeWitt in depth on the movie "Forks Over Knives." A plant-based diet (a "live it") is critical to a healthy life! There are natural solutions to achieve great health if we educate ourselves on alternatives to toxic medicines, the Standard American Diet (SAD), and a medical system more interested in making money than curing anything. How about a video course with 21 videos, three manuals, and an online forum to reverse arthritis?

(The Cardigans) Nina Persson performing Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" with the Filharmonikerna I Det Gröna orchestra live at DN Sommarkonsert 2011.

What is it like at the Scandinavian Larson house or the Latino Quintero home on Thanksgiving? More similar than one might think. We were both listening to "Good Food" on KCRW FM (Santa Monica) and "Pure Energy Radio" with Chef Steve Factor (Special Programming 2, 1:00 pm, KPFK FM) as we made vegetarian goodies in the kitchen -- blasphemy in both cultures. We need death on the table to make it an authentic cultural "feast."
FILM: Forks Over Knives
We should ask Laila Re what Afghan expats in Canada do for dinner on this day of gratitude. They have Thanksgiving in Canada, only it's different than the American origin story.

Instead, Marco Werman and "The World" ( gets that answer from two ex-Afghan translators now living in Virginia. And for added spice he also talks to Ritu Chatterjee about how this HARVEST FESTIVAL, which is what "Thanksgiving" really is and/or was for the first British colonial settlers/invaders.

Why would Puritanical British Christians displace Native Americans, ethnically cleanse most of them, and then go around saying they found this land empty and without people as if this were the new "Israel" and British war planners were conspiring with Jewish Zionists to invade Palestine? Just doing the Christian God's work of capitalist expansionism?

(Virgil Films) "Forks Over Knives" What has happened to us in the USA? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.

What about homemade soda? Try culturing.
Four hundred years ago this year, the mercenary John Smith and Pocahontas named Plymouth, Mass. (See Peter Firstbrook's A Man Most Driven). The history of the USA is very twisted and layered over with myth and propaganda. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (An Indigenous History of America) shows us what happened over the last 200 years. But finding out about the 200 years before that will probably take a while longer.

THE POWER OF GRATITUDE (C2C, 11-27-14) Eldon Taylor ( -- bestselling author and inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research, talks about Thanksgiving and the power of gratitude and positive thought -- explains how it’s always time to be happy and successful. Why? Being thankful is a major step toward moving forward and living a satisfying and ultimately fulfilling life.

Pocahontas collaborating with genocidal European invaders? It's more complex.
Smith, Pocahontas, and the founding of America (
A Buddhist Thanksgiving
Overeating the dead like lives don't matter?
So rather than sharing guacamole recipes and how to make potatoes delicious Scandinavian style, or music tips for great Latin Grammy winners and orchestrated classical European shopping themes, we ask the question, How can we bring gratitude back to Harvest Festival celebrations around the world?

On Gratitude (Kataññu Sutras)
Wisdom Quarterly translation based on Ven. Thanissaro (AN 2.31-32)

East meets West (
What did the Buddha teach? "Meditators, I will teach you the distinction between the inferior and superior person. Listen, attend (give close attention), and I will explain."
"As you say, venerable sir," the monastics replied.
"Now who is the inferior person? It is a person who is without gratitude and without thankfulness. This ingratitude and lack of thankfulness is advocated by miserable people. It is inferior.

"But a superior person is grateful and thankful. This gratitude and thankfulness is advocated by uplifting people."

Mother and Father
Repaying parents (Raghogarh Shravana Kumar)
{II,iv,2} "I tell you, monastics, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Who are these two? One's own mother and father.

"Even if one were to carry one's mother on one shoulder and father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, and rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate and urinate right there [on shoulders], still one would not in that way ever actually repay them.

"If one were to establish mother and father in absolute sovereignty over this entire planet abounding in the seven treasures, still one would not in that way ever repay one's parents. And why is that? It is because mother and father do much for their children. They care for them, nourish them, introduce them to this world. But anyone who
  • rouses one's doubt-ridden mother and father, settles and establishes them in confidence (saddha, conviction, faith in the Dharma),
  • rouses one's unvirtuous mother and father, settles and establishes them in virtue (sila),
  • rouses one's stingy mother and father, settles and establishes them in generosity (dana),
  • rouses one's foolish mother and father, settles and establishes them in wisdom (panna)
to this extent one actually repays one's mother and father." More: MN 110, SN 7.14, AN 4.73, Iti 106
Cup of Java, Aratani Theatre, Nov. 29, 2014 ( via

Death eating on Thanks Living? (video)

Amber Larson, Seth Auberon, Editors, Wisdom Quarterly  HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Eat well. We are what we eat: "All You Can Eat" (Sean Norvet/

(Cristina/Rodney on the Roq 1) "Is That All There Is?" Peggy Lee cover better than original.

Discourse on the "Son's Flesh"
Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero (eds.), "Similes for the Four Nutriments"
Big Buddha high in the Himalayas of Thimphu, Bhutan (D.A. Scott/dascayman/flickr)
Life of the Buddha (
SAVATTHI, ancient India - "There are, O meditators, four nutriments [Note 7] for the sustenance of beings already born and for the support of beings seeking birth [8]. What are the four? Firstly, edible food, coarse and fine [9], secondly, sense-impression [10], thirdly, volition [11], and fourthly, consciousness [12].

"How, O meditators, should the nutriment edible food be considered?

"Suppose a couple, husband and wife, have set out on a journey through through the desert, carrying only limited provisions. They have with them their only son, dearly beloved. Now, while these two traveled through the desert, their limited stock of provisions ran out and came to an end, but there was still a stretch of desert not yet crossed. Then the two thought: 'Our small stock of provisions has run out and come to an end, yet there is still a stretch of desert that is not yet crossed. Should we not kill our only son, our dearly beloved, prepare dried and roasted meat, and eating our son's flesh, we may cross in that way the remaining part of the desert, lest all three of us perish?'
"And these two, husband and wife, kill their only son, so dearly beloved by them, prepared dried and roasted meat, and, eating their son's flesh, crossed in that way the remaining part of the desert. And while eating their son's flesh, they were beating their breast and crying: 'Where are you, our only and beloved son? Where are you, our only and beloved son?'
Eating Meat?
Gilded Buddha, Thailand (hezbunch/
"What do you think, O meditators? Will they eat that flesh for the pleasure of it, for enjoyment, for self-beautification's sake, for (the body's) embellishment?" [13]

"Certainly not, O venerable sir."

"Will they not instead eat that food merely for the sake of crossing the desert?"
"So it is, O venerable sir."
"In the same manner, I say, O meditators, should edible food be considered. If, O meditators, the nutriment 'edible food' is comprehended, the lust for the five sense-objects is (thereby) comprehended.

And if lust for the five sense-objects is comprehended, there is no fetter enchained by which a noble disciple might come to this world again [14].
"And how, O meditators, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered? Suppose, O meditators, there is a skinned cow that stands close to a wall. Then the creatures living in the wall will nibble at the cow. And if the skinned cow stands near a tree, then the creatures living in the tree will nibble at it. If it stands in the water, the creatures living in the water will nibble at it. If it stands in the open air, the creatures living in the air will nibble at it. Wherever that skinned cow stands, the creatures living there will nibble at it.
"In that manner, I say, O medtiators, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered. If the nutriment sense-impression is comprehended, the three kinds of feeling [pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral sensation] [15] are thereby comprehended. And if the three kinds of feeling are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble [enlightened] disciple. [16]
"And how, O meditators, should the nutriment volition be considered? Suppose, O meditators, there is a pit of burning embers, filled to cover a person's height, with embers so hot that they are glowing without flames or smoke.

"Now a person comes that way, one who loves life and does not wish to die, who wishes for happiness and is repulsed by suffering. Then two strong men would seize both that person's arms and drag that person to the pit of burning embers.

"Then, O meditators, far away from the pit would recoil that person's will, far away from it that person's  longing, far away that person's inclination. And why? It is because the person knows: 'If I fall into that pit of burning embers, I shall meet with death or deadly pain.'
"In that manner, I say, O meditators, should the nutriment volition be considered. If the nutriment volition is comprehended, the three kinds of craving [for sensuality, for continued existence, for annihilation] [17] are thereby comprehended. And if the three kinds of craving are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple.
"And how, O medtitators, should the nutriment consciousness be considered? Suppose, O meditators, people have seized a criminal, a robber, and brought that person before the king saying: 'This is a criminal, a robber, O majesty! Mete out to the punishment you see fit!'

"Then the king would tell them: 'Go, and in the morning strike this person with a hundred spears!' And they strike him in the morning with a hundred spears. At noon the king would ask his men: 'How is that person?' — 'That person is still alive, your majesty.' — 'Then go and strike that person again at noontime with a hundred spears!' So they did, and in the evening the king asks them again: 'How now' — 'Still alive.' — 'Then go and in the evening strike that person again with a hundred spears!' And so they do.
"What do you think, O meditators? Will that person, struck with three hundred spears during a day, suffer pain and torment owing to that?"
"Even if one were to be struck only by a single spear, one would suffer pain and torment owing to it. How much more if one is being struck by three hundred spears!"
"In that manner, I say, O meditators, should the nutriment 'consciousness' be considered. If the nutriment consciousness is comprehended, mind-and-matter are thereby comprehended. And if mind and body are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple." — SN 12.63 

(Ven Buddhaghosa's Saarattha-ppakasini, the Commentary to the Samyutta-Nikaya)
Golden Buddha (Herward J Bunch/flickr)
In explaining the "need arisen" (atthuppatti), that is, the particular reason for the Buddha giving this discourse, the commentator says that, at that time, the monastic community (the Buddhist monks, nuns, and novices) received abundant support by way of alms food and other requisites. Considering this, the Buddha asked himself:
"Will the monastics be able to eat almsfood and still keep to that mindfulness and clear comprehension that lays hold (of the true nature) of nutriment? Will they be detached and free of desire and greediness?"

And he saw that there were some offspring of good families, recently ordained, who ate almsfood without due reflection. Seeing this he thought: "When I practiced the perfections (parami) for four incalculable periods and 100,000 kalpas (ages, either normal lifespan or aeons), I did not do so for the sake of monastic requisites -- such as robes, alms food, and so on -- but for the sake of the highest fruition, of sainthood (arhatship, enlightenment), did I practice them. Also these monastics who went forth under me did not go forth for the sake of these requisites, but for the sake of attaining sainthood did they go forth. And now they take the unessential for the essential, the worthless for what is worthy!"

Such concern arose in him and he further thought: "If it were possible to declare a fifth grave offense (parajika), monastics partaking of food without due reflection should be made a fifth grave offense. It is, however, not possible to do so, because food is constantly used by beings.

"But I shall speak to them in such a way that they will consider (such thoughtlessness) as if it were a fifth grave offense. I shall place before them a 'mirror of the Dharma' for their self-control and restraint so that contemplating it again and again, the monastics of times to come will make use of the four requisites only after due reflection." [This is why he gave the ghoulish and strange simile of the son's flesh. Eat with care and reverence, with consideration and for the sake of enlightenment.] More