Friday, December 29, 2017

Alternative New Year's Eve plans (events)

Ashley Wells, S. Auberon, CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Ananda, P. Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly
Top New Year's Resolution for 2018: MEDITATE! (Dharma Meditation Initiative)
Don't like the Dalai Lama but like Tibetan Buddhism? Try the Kadampa tradition.
    Join a group of like-minded individuals for an annual New Year's Eve celebration! Ring in 2018 in a meaningful and positive way, with compassion and beneficial intentions! Kadampa will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages from 9:30 to 10:45 pm. Then Gen Kelsang Rigpa will give an introduction to the New Kadampa Tradition's practice of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, which is a beautiful arrangement of prayers and mantras, then engage in the practice itself. As midnight approaches, Gen Rigpa will guide participants in a meditation into 2018. Cost: $15. Register. More info.
    Dharma Meditation Initiative, Los Angeles
    PasaDharma - Dharma Meditation Initiative Los Angeles - Dharma Punx Valley
    Shambhala, Los Angeles
    New Year's Eve marathon meditation, Eagle Rock (

    Dharma Punx: Against the Stream
    New Year's Eve Intention Setting in Hollywood+Santa Monica (
    Buddhist 12-Steps by Noah Levine is called Refuge Recovery. Visit a center on Jan. 4th.
    Self Realization Fellowship
    (SRF, Glendale, California, Hindu-Christian meditation)
    Come meditate during the first week of the New Year and the founder's birthday.

    Dec. 31: Sunday Group Meditation 10:00 am - 11:00 am
    Dec. 31: Sunday Lecture Service 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Meditation 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
    Jan. 1: Monday Evening Meditation 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Jan. 2: Open Meditation Tuesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Jan. 2: Study Group 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Jan. 4: Open Meditation Thursday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Vegan New Year's Eve "No Meat & mingle"
    Vegan Spirituality: No Meat & Mingle Dinner and Dance Party, New Year's Eve, 2018
    This event is FREE after 9:00 PM. To pay for dinner, which starts at 7:00 PM, go here:
    Dave the Organizer of Los Angeles Roaming Vegan Potlucks (Facebook) says if we want to come to the vegan dinner portion (7:00-9:00 PM), the deadline to pre-pay for the discounted $25 price to guarantee a ticket is Saturday (12/30/17) at 11:59 PM. A limited number of dinner tickets will be available at the door for $40.

    Rose Bowl pre-parade party (Pasadena)
    There is the biggest free party in L.A. going on in Pasadena, Colorado Blvd. pre-parade

    FREE New Year's Eve Bash, DTLA
    FREE: New Year's Bash 2018 in DTLA at the biggest meetup in the world

      New Year's Eve in Joshua Tree
      New Year's Eve 2018 at Joshua Tree (LA-20s-30s-Just-Social-Club) (We Heart Camping)
      Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara
      Visit a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Pasadena, L.A., first thing New Year's Day

      ALAN WATTS: Are we brainwashed? (video) via Word Porn (WP); Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
      This is why you're not happy
      Alan Watts asks, What do we really desire? How does conforming to the machine we call "society" to pass on our parent's way of life from generation to generation serve anybody?
      The Path of Freedom: Vimutti-magga
      We can finally glimpse if and how we are brainwashed into some kind of societal enslavement without even realizing it. Watts helps us confront the truth so see why conforming to a job we do not like is idiotic and nonsensical. Following our desires can lead to a miserable life. So what's the solution?

      We have 28,000 days that make up our entire lives, so spending even an hour of that doing things we hate in order to try to live up to a lifestyle we were taught by our parents, teachers, and society is a form of psychic suicide.

      "We all run on two clocks," says Max Lerner. "One is the outside clock, which ticks away our decades and brings us ceaselessly to the dry season.

      "The other is the inside clock, where you are your own timekeeper and determine your own chronology, your own internal weather and your own rate of living. Sometimes the inner clock runs itself out long before the outer one, and you see a dead man going through the motions of living.”

      Are you tired of playing the social game?

      (Wiara/Patreon) Tired of conforming to societal pressures and g programming? Are you bored of playing the social game?
      • ⚠ FAIR-USE COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER ⚠ This video may contain copyrighted content. (In accordance with US copyright law it adheres to) the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder (
      Alan Watts asks: What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like? Let’s suppose -- I do this often in vocational guidance of students, [when] they come to me and say, well: 'We’re getting out of college and we haven't the faintest idea what we want to do."

      So I always ask the question: "What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?"

      "Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way.

      "Or another person says, 'Well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses.' I said, 'You want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him:

      Fight the power. Praise the freedom!
      "'You do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.

      "'Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much.

      "'That’s everybody issue – somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will. But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track.

      "'See what we are doing, is we’re bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all retch, and no vomit it never gets there. And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question: What do I desire?

      Thursday, December 28, 2017

      The Sound the Hare Heard [Chicken Little]

      Ken andVisakha Kawasaki (trans.), Duddubha Rebirth Tale (Jataka 322), Jataka Tales of the Buddha Part III; Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

      The Sound the Hare Heard
      Question authority. Investigate the truth.
      One morning while some monastics were on their alms round in Savatthi, they passed some ascetics of different sects practicing austerities.

      Some of them were naked and lying on thorns. Others sat around a blazing fire under the burning sun.
      Later, while the monastics were discussing the ascetics, they asked the Buddha, "Venerable sir, is there any virtue in those harsh ascetic practices?"
      The Buddha answered, "No, monastics, there is neither virtue nor any special merit in harsh ascetic practices. When they are examined and tested, they are like a path over a dunghill or like the sound the hare heard."
      Puzzled, they said, "Venerable sir, we do not know about that noise. Please tell us what it was."
      At their request the Buddha told them this [past life] story of the distant past.
      Long, long ago, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Baranasi, the Bodhisatta [the Buddha-to-be] was reborn as a lion in a forest near the Western Ocean. In one part of that forest there was a grove of palms mixed with belli trees.
      • [Note 5: The belli (beluva or vilva) is the Bengal quince.]
      A hare lived in that grove beneath a palm sapling at the foot of a belli tree.

      One day the hare lay under the young palm tree, idly thinking, "If this earth were destroyed, what would become of me?" At that very instant a ripe belli fruit happened to fall and hit a palm leaf making a loud "thud!"
      Startled by this sound, the hare leapt to his feet and cried, "The earth is collapsing!" He immediately fled, without so much as glancing back.

      Another hare, seeing him race past as if for his very life, yelled: "What's wrong?" and started running, too.
      "Don't ask!" panted the first hare. This frightened the second hare even more, and he sprinted to keep up.
      "What's wrong?" he shouted again.

      Pausing for just a moment, the first hare cried: "The earth is breaking up!" At this, the two of them bolted off together.
      Their fear was infectious, and other hares joined them until all the hares in that forest were fleeing together. When other animals saw the commotion and asked what was wrong, they were breathlessly told, "The earth is breaking up!" and they too began running for their lives.

      In this way, the hares were soon joined by herds of deer, boars, elk, buffaloes, wild oxen, and rhinoceroses, a family of tigers, and some elephants.
      When the lion saw this headlong stampede of animals and heard the cause of their flight, he thought, "The earth is certainly not coming to an end. There must have been some sound which they misunderstood. If I don't act quickly, they will be killed. I must save them!"
      Then, as fast as only he could run, he got in front of them, and roared three times. At the sound of his mighty lion's roar, all of the animals stopped in their tracks. Panting, they huddled together in fear.

      The lion approached and asked why they were running away.
      "The earth is collapsing!" they all answered.
      "Who saw it collapsing?" he asked.
      "The elephants know all about it," some animals replied.
      When he asked the elephants, they said, "We don't know. The tigers know."
      The tigers said, "The rhinoceroses know." The rhinoceroses said, "The wild oxen know." The wild oxen said, "The buffaloes know." The buffaloes said, "The elk know." The elk said, "The boars know." The boars said, "The deer know." The deer said, "We don't know. The hares know."
      When he asked the hares, they pointed to one particular hare and said: "This one told us."
      The lion asked him, "Is it true, sir, that the earth is breaking up?"
      "Yes, sir, I saw it," answered the hare.
      "Where were you when you saw it?"
      "In the forest in a palm grove mixed with belli trees. I was lying there under a palm at the foot of a belli tree thinking, 'If this earth were destroyed, what would become of me?' At that very moment I heard the sound of the earth breaking up and I fled."
      From this explanation, the lion realized exactly what had really happened, but he wanted to verify his conclusions and demonstrate the truth to the other animals. He gently calmed the animals and said, "I will take the hare and go to find out whether or not the earth is coming to an end where he says it is. Until we return, stay here."
      Placing the hare on his tawny back, he raced with great speed back to that grove. Then he put the hare down and said: "Come, show me the place you meant."
      "I don't dare, my lord," said the hare.
      "Be not afraid," said the lion.
      The hare, shivering in fear, would not risk going near the belli tree. He could only point and say: "Over there, sir, is the place of dreadful sound."
      The lion went to the place the hare indicated. He could make out where the hare had been lying in the grass, and he saw the ripe belli fruit that had fallen on the palm leaf. Having carefully ascertained that the earth was not breaking up, he placed the hare on his back again and returned to the waiting animals.
      He told them what he had found and said, "Be not afraid." Reassured, the animals all returned to their usual places and resumed their routines.
      Those animals had placed themselves in great danger because they listened to rumors and unfounded fears rather than trying to discover out the truth themselves. Truly, if it had not been for the lion, those beasts would have rushed into the sea and perished.

      It was only because of the Bodhisatta's wisdom and compassion that they averted disaster and escaped death.
      At the conclusion of the story, the Buddha identified the rebirth: "At that time, I myself was the lion [king]."

      Save the trees! - Earth Liberation Front (video)

      This is the official trailer from Oscilloscope Laboratories of If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

      On December 7th, 2005, U.S. federal agents conducted a nationwide sweep of "radical environmentalists" involved with the Earth Liberation Front — an organization the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat."

      How trees talk to each other (Suzanne Simard)
      If a Tree Falls is a remarkable story about the group's rise and fall, told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan.

      Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a chronicle of McGowan facing life in prison for his environmental activism with a dramatic investigation of the events that led to his involvement with the Earth Liberation Front or ELF.

      FULL MOVIE: If a Tree Falls

      Using never-before-seen archival footage and intimate interviews — with cell members and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them — If a Tree Falls asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way the FBI defines "terrorism" as against citizens but not the corporations who profit from the real terror. More:

      ( A person shakes the branch of a wood-apple tree and all the fruit falls, ripe as well as unripe. That person would collect only what is wanted and walk away leaving the rest to rot. Such a wasteful attitude is deplored in Buddhism as not only anti-social but criminal. The excessive exploitation of nature...

      TOPLESS: stealing baby Jesus from Vatican; Tribune News; Ashley Wells, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly;
      Women's protest group Femen use nakedness to gain attention

      Topless ‘sextremist’ tries to steal baby Jesus from Vatican nativity scene
      Topless protester returns to Kiev from Rome
      Police in Rome detained a topless protester after she tried to remove the baby Jesus from the Vatican’s nativity scene.
      The woman was only wearing pants and shoes.
      F your corporate monkey suits and cubicles!
      A photographer from Reuters news agency said the woman jumped over guard rails and rushed onto the nativity scene on Christmas Day shouting, “God is woman!” She had the same message written on her back.
      The protester managed to get her hands on the baby Jesus, but it was left dangling from the manger as the officer, quickly joined by several others, wrestled with her.
      Tribune News ServiceThe Ukrainian “sextremist” Alisa Vinogradova was identified by her fellow members of the international feminist activist organization, Femen, on group’s the website (

      Wednesday, December 27, 2017

      UFOs... Buddhism's 31 Planes of Existence

      Access to Insight; Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

      The Thirty-One Planes of Existence
      Scattered throughout the Buddhist sutras are references to as many as 31 distinct "planes" or "realms" of existence.

      Onto these planes beings are reborn during their long coursing through samsara, the Wheel of Life and Death or literally the "Continued Wandering On [Through Rebirth]."

      These realms range from the extraordinarily grim and painful hell realms all the way up to the most exquisitely refined and blissful celestial realms.

      Existence in any and every realm is temporary, although the lifespan there may last aeons. In Buddhist cosmology there is no such thing as an eternal heaven or hell.

      Beings are reborn into a particular realm according to their karma (actions of thought, speech, deed).

      When we pass away, we take rebirth again elsewhere according to the quality of our karma: wholesome actions bring about a desirable rebirth, whereas unwholesome actions lead to an unwanted one. And so the wearisome cycle continues without end [or until enlightenment and final liberation].

      The countless worlds in the realms of existence [categorized roughly into 31 varieties] are customarily further divided into three distinct "spheres" (loka), listed here in descending order of refinement:
      The Immaterial Sphere (arupa-loka) consists of four realms that are accessible to those who pass away while meditating in the formless meditative absorptions or jhanas.
      The Fine-Material Sphere (rupa-loka) consists of 16 realms whose inhabitants (devas) experience extremely refined degrees of mental pleasure.

      These realms are accessible to those who have attained at least some level of meditative absorption and who have thereby managed to (temporarily) suppress aversion and ill-will.

      The beings here are said to possess extremely refined bodies of pure light.

      The highest of these realms, the "Pure Abodes," are accessible only to those who have attained to the third stage of enlightenment or awakening called "non-returning."
      Pleiadian (deva) arrival to Earth: aliens
      The ethereal Fine-Material World and the formless Immaterial World together constitute the "heavens" (sagga) along with the highest of the Sensual Sphere realms.

      The Sensual Sphere (kama-loka) consists of 11 realms [including the human world which is much bigger than our minuscule earth] in which experience -- both pleasurable and unpleasant -- is dominated by the five senses.
      Buddhist, Jain, Vedic "UFO" = vimana.
      Seven of these realms are desirable destinations, and include our own human plane as well as several realms occupied by sensual/light body devas (a word that literally means "shining ones").
      The lowest realms are the four "bad" or unwanted destinations, which consist of the animal, ghost, titan, and hell realms.

      Welcome, light beings! Follow the stupa/pagoda built as a mandala (Boudhanath, Nepal)

      Help prepare for Disclosure by learning to practice meditation (Pasadharma)