Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Trip to Deer Park Monastery (video)

Ananda, Dhr. Seven, Ellie Askew, Jen B. (Dharma Meditation Initiative); Conscious Living TV; Crystal Q. (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
A welcoming sign at Deer Park Monastery near hidden mountain.

Dharma Meditation Initiative took a SoCal "Buddhist Circuit" trip that started with the oldest Sri Lankan temple, the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara in Pasadena, then over to the new Thabarwa Nature Meditation Center in Baldwin Park, the enormous Burmese Progressive Buddhist Association in Azusa, next to the garden paradise Dhammakaya International Meditation Center, the largest Thai temple around, Wat Padhammachart in La Puente (, then down the 15 Freeway to Thich Nhat Hanh's Deer Park Monastery in Escondido (Spanish for "hidden") for its occasional "Day of Mindfulness" (as the video shows) before returning north with a layover at Wat Metta, the American "avocado grove monastery" of Thai origin, to catch the daily "Q & A" with Ajahn Thanissaro (Mr. Geoff DeGraff). It was a brief but insightful closer to a day of mindfulness.

VIDEO: "A Visit to Thich Nhat Hanh's Deer Park Monastery" (Summer 2017): Travel with Conscious Living TV to Deer Park Monastery, a sustainable Buddhist monastery started by Thich Nhat Hanh in the hills of Escondido, California and learn their simple daily meditation practice and how they are living off the grid with solar power and bio-diesel.

Alan Watts: What Have We Forgotten? (video) via DoYouFeelLucky; Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly 
These videos are made purely for the joy of it ( by "What There Is: Existence and Identity" ( All copyrighted material is credited and is the property of its respective owners. Fair use.

Evening with American nun Tathaaloka (Feb 4)

Ven. Tathaaloka;; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Join Ven. Tathaaloka at InsightLA's East Hollywood for meditation with a Dharma talk and discussion.

ABOUT: Ven. Tathaaloka Theri was born in Washington, DC in 1968 to environmentally-minded scientist parents. She followed her mother’s example by observing nature for answers and for peace and her father’s example of inquiry through scientific research and investigation. At 19, urgently inspired by the sudden death of someone with whom she’d been close, she left college and made her way to Europe and India, entering monastic life as a trainee-renunciate (anagarika). Later she met her female mentor in Buddhist monastic life in South Korea, Elder Myeong Seong Sunim, under whose guidance she trained for 10 years. Ven. Tathaaloka received her “going forth” with her nun mentor in 1993 and novice (samaneri) precepts in 1995. Returning to the US in early 1996, she received full nun ordination (bhikkhuni upasampada) with an international gathering of Monk and Nun Sanghas in Los Angeles in 1997, with the late Ven. Ratanasara Mahathera as her preceptor (pajjhaya). Since then she has focused on studying and practicing this Doctrine and Discipline (Dharma-Vinaya) and has conducted research in comparative nun's monastic discipline (vinaya) and world Nun's Order history, contributing articles on these subjects. Recognizing the growing number of Theravada nuns and novices in the US and the true value of coming together in harmony, she proposed and participated in the founding of the North American Bhikkhuni Association (NABA) in 2005. Several months later, she also participated in founding the Dhammadharini Vihara and the Dhammadharini Support Foundation. In 2009, she received the gift of use of a forest, coastal redwood land, for an off-the-grid women’s monastic hermitage called Aranya Bodhi. She currently resides as the abbess of Dhammadharini Vihara in Santa Rosa and the Aranya Bodhi Hermitage on the Sonoma Coast in Northern California, where she provides spiritual guidance and monastic training in conjunction with hermitage prioress Ven. Ayya Sobhana. Ven. Tathaaloka is the second Western woman to be designated as Theravada Bhikkhuni preceptor (pavattini/upajjhaya); she also serves as a senior monastic advisor to the Dhammadharini Support Foundation, the Alliance of Bhikkhunis, and Sakyadhita USA.

How to Produce Natural DMT (video)

Mantak Chia; Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Mantak Chia (Chinese 謝明德, Xiè Míngdé) was born on April 24, 1944 in Bangkok, Thailand ( He is a Taoist master. He is best known for teaching Taoist practices under the names of Healing Tao, Tao Yoga, Universal Healing Tao System, and Qi Gong. He has run numerous workshops, written a series of books, and published a number of training videos. He views himself primarily as a teacher. BIOGRAPHY: Mantak Chia was born to a Chinese family in Thailand in 1944. He was raised in a Christian family, his father a Baptist minister. He began studying the Buddhist method of "still the mind" at the age of six and later studied Muay Thai boxing, T'ai chi ch'uan, Kung Fu, and Taoist and Buddhist meditation practices from several masters. Of all his masters the most influential one was Yi Eng ("White Cloud"), an eremitic member of the Dragon's Gate sect of the Quanzhen ("Complete Perfection") school of Taoism (道家全真龙门派), who taught Mantak Chia a complete Taoist training system and authorized him to teach and heal. More

Magic Behind Mushrooms: Psilocybin (video)

Your Mate Tom, Jan. 16, 2019; Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
What do "magic mushrooms" have to do with mysticism and Buddhism? Ask the Los Angeles branch of the Psychedelic Sangha. To the extent that plant-based substances help us access our heart, pineal/DMT gland, expanded consciousness, intuition, and a better understanding of the universe, there will psychonauts. Do these substances lead to wisdom or delusion, hallucinations or breakthroughs?
The Magic Behind Mushrooms: The Untold Story of Psilocybin
Guided meditations: ( In this educational documentary, we explore the story of the magic behind psilocybin mushrooms. "Your Mate Tom" has a podcast (, iTunes ( Help support on

Why are governments so anti-psychedelics?

Lauren Maul (,
Can drugs cure us? (
What don’t they want our third eyes to see? In the U.S. we are all entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness [not the actual capture of it]…and sometimes, psychedelic [entheogens] play a part in that noble pursuit.

Cancer patients are able to grin in the face of death thanks to magical mushrooms, and people with PTSD are finding relief with MDMA [Ecstasy].

Yet, these wonder drugs and other psychedelics ["mind-making" substances] like them are illegal.
Some activists, like Charlotte Walsh of the anti-prohibitionist Ayahuasca Defense Fund, believe that the banning of these drugs is a violation of international human rights law.

“An alcohol user can alter [his or her] consciousness freely despite the proven risks, while a psychedelic user faces heavy punishment. It’s arbitrary discrimination,” says Walsh in an interview with The Atlantic. More

Help! Drop charges against Dr. Melina Abdullah

Patrisse Khan-Cullors (; Ashley Wells, Crystal Q., Wisdom Quarterly
Demand Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Drop All Charges Against Dr. Melina Abdullah

Demand LA City Attorney drop charges against Dr. Melina Abdullah
Contact Campaign CreatorWe demand that Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer end the criminalization of Black protest and immediately drop all charges against Dr. Melina Abdullah—professor, mother, organizer, and founding member of Black Lives Matter.
Why is this important?
Mike Feuer, end the criminalization of Black protest. Dr. Melina Abdullah, a professor and mother of three school-aged children, has been dedicated to community organizing for decades. She has been active as a community educator, involved parent, and a “Spirit Mama” to dozens of “children.”

Her commitment has been deep and far-reaching, including fights for ethnic studies, public education, and fair land use. When the community rose up against police brutality in 2013, she was among the original group of organizers that formed Black Lives Matter. She has become a globally-recognized voice against police violence and a fixture in the contemporary Black freedom movement.

The prosecution you are leading against Dr. Melina Abdullah is malicious and discriminatory. As Los Angeles City Attorney, you are targeting and singling out Melina Abdullah in an attempt to silence Black protest. As you well know, Melina is the third Black activist to be prosecuted for her outspokenness at Los Angeles Police Commission meetings.

White and non-Black allies who engage in similar actions have not been prosecuted (even following their arrests). As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a national holiday, we know that Melina is actually walking in King’s footsteps and many other courageous Civil Rights leaders. Dr. King was arrested 40 times...

Your prosecution of Melina Abdullah is about much more than quieting her individual voice. Its intent is to have a “chilling effect” on Black protest more broadly.

Mike Feuer, your record of targeting and singling out Black protestors is shameful. In doing so, you actively criminalize Black protest, which represents a threat to the very victories gained through the Civil Rights Movement and other freedom struggles. For these reasons, among others, we demand that you immediately drop all charges against Dr. Melina Abdullah. More

Ariana Grande's Favorite Things (video)

Ariana Grande; Crystal Q., Dhr. Seven, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Ariana Grande "7 rings"
Waiting for Coachella Ariana Grande premiered this new blockbuster hit on Jan. 17, 2019. This is the official video for "7 rings." Some people connect with Ariana on instagram, twitter, facebook, Video: Director Hannah Lux Davis; Producer Brandon Bonfiglio for London Alley Entertainment Inc. Music video by Ariana Grande performing 7 rings. © 2019 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

"7 rings" by Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music: "My Favorite Things"

Yeah, breakfast at Tiffany's and bottles of bubbles
Girls with tattoos who like getting in trouble
Lashes and diamonds, ATM machines
Buy myself all of my favorite things (yeah)
Been through some bad shit, I should be a sad bitch
Who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage?
Rather be tied up with calls and not strings
Write my own checks like I write what I sing, yeah (yeah)

My wrist, stop watchin', my neck is flossy
Make big deposits, my gloss is poppin'
You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it
I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it (yeah)

[Chorus:] I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it
I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it
You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it
I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it (Yep)

Wearing a ring, but ain't gon' be no "Mrs."
Bought matching diamonds for six of my bitches
I'd rather spoil all my friends with my riches
Think retail therapy, my new addiction
Whoever said money can't solve your problems
Must not have had enough money to solve 'em
They say, "Which one?" I say, "Nah, I want all of 'em"
Happiness is the same price as red-bottoms

My smile is beamin' (Yeah), my skin is gleamin' (Is gleamin')
The way it shine, I know you've seen it (You've seen it)
I bought a crib just for (Just for) the closet (Closet)
Both his and hers, I want it, I got it, yeah


Yeah, my receipts be lookin' like phone numbers
If it ain't money, then wrong number
Black Card is my business card
The way it be settin' the tone for me
I don't mean to brag, but I be like, "Put it in the bag," yeah
When you see them racks, they stacked up like my ass, yeah
Shoot, go from the store to the booth
Make it all back in one loop, gimme the loot
Never mind, I got the juice
Nothing but net when we shoot
Look at my neck, look at my jet
Ain't got enough money to pay me respect
Ain't no budget when I'm on the set
If I like it, then that's what I get, yeah


Ajahn Chah: How to teach Buddhism

Ajahn Chah ( via Ven. Sujato; Dhr. Seven, Ellie Askew (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Think about it. If someone says something that ought to make you angry and you just let it go instead, people might think you’re crazy.

So when you teach others about Buddhist things, they won’t easily understand.

The Buddha-Dharma has to be internalized for them to actually understand it.

For example, in this country, people love beauty. If you say, "There are ugly/repugnant things to consider," they won’t listen. If you talk about "aging" or "illness," they’re displeased. "Death"? They won’t hear it. This means they aren’t yet ready to understand.

If they won’t believe you, don’t fault them for that. It’s like trying to barter with people to give them something new to replace what they have. But they don’t see any value in the thing you’re offering.

If what you have is obviously of the highest value, of course they'll accept it. But why won’t they believe you now? Your wisdom is insufficient.

So don’t get angry with them saying, "What’s wrong with you, dummies? Don't you realize what I'm saying?" Don’t do that.

You have to teach yourself first -- enough to establish the truth of the Dharma in yourself -- and develop the proper way to present it to others. Then they'll accept it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Big man beats small girls in L.A. (video)

Fox 11 News via Hezakya Newz (shocking video); RJ Johnson @rickerthewriter, January 29, 2019 via KFI AM; Pfc. Sandoval, Seth Auberon, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: Extreme punching as two girls attack large man as bystanders are entertained. Profanity.

Man caught on video punching two females at hotdog stand
The Dalai Lama approached a hotdog stand, beheld its many offerings, and announced, "Make me ONE with everything." The vendor rolled his eyes and overcharged him. In a separate incident, a tough guy senselessly beat two "uppity" gals attempting to get in his business.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is asking for the public's help in identifying a man seen in a video allegedly punching two young women outside a hot dog stand Saturday night.

The 15-second video was posted by Mike Watson to his Facebook page Sunday and quickly went viral online. Watson wrote in the post that the man was "causing a scene" about the price of hot dogs at the stand outside a bar in downtown L.A.

When one of the young women stuck up for the vendor, the bearded man threw her to the ground. A second young woman, who Watson said is his daughter, can be seen coming to the first girl's defense, and the man punches her in the face.

"He socked them both in the face not once, but MULTIPLE times, some of which were not caught on film," Watson wrote in the post.

The video shows the man turning back to hit the first girl [or women?] again and then hits the second girl with what Watson described in his post as a "blind sided sucker punch."

The man is then filmed running away from the crowd. It's unclear who shot the video or how old the victims are.

Watson said he was outraged that no one in the crowd helped either one of the young ladies or try to stop the man adding that people were whooping and screaming as if they were "watching an MMA fight!"

"For a crowd of men to sit back and not only watch, but film two girls get beat on by a 6’ 250 lb guy," Watson wrote, "my family and I are disgusted to say the least."

Both of the young women went to the hospital emergency room where they were treated for their injuries.

The LAPD tweeted the video asking for the public's help in identifying the man who "brutally punched" the two victims. More

Poet Mary Oliver: mindfulness of death

Michael Stroud (; Crystal Q., Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
InsightLA logo. Calming Minds, Opening Hearts, Changing the World

Mary Oliver died last week. She was one of the country’s most beloved poets and also something of a "patron saint" for mindfulness meditation teachers.

I have read her poems dozens of times at the end of meditations. Every time I do I feel a catch in my throat. I feel like she's talking directly to me.

Often we come to spiritual practice after years of self doubt and difficulty. Those difficulties can be the grist for transforming our lives if we recognize that they are a necessary part of being alive. Oliver beautifully evokes the possibility of ennobling our attitudes toward ourselves. It’s why her words have become such central parts of the mindfulness repertoire.

Her poems fiercely combine the personal and the eternal, speaking of the immeasurable worth of our existence. Even as the wind pries "with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,” she writes in “The Journey,” we can choose to stride “deeper and deeper into the world,” "determined to save the only life” we can save.

Like wild geese, she writes in the poem of that name, the world is “harsh and exciting” and “offers itself to your imagination, over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

Whether or not she was herself a Buddhist, she was clearly touched by the Buddha’s words. In her poem “The Buddha’s Last Instructions,” she writes of his famous exhortation to “make of yourself a light.” She often thinks about those words at sunrise “as the east begins to tear off its many clouds of darkness.”

When the sun blazes over the world, she realizes that she is “not needed” and at the same time of “inexplicable value.” It’s a perfect summing up of our paradoxical lives. We are so insignificant and at the same time so irreplaceable.

When I hear her words, I realize their truth for me. It gives me renewed confidence in my own place in the world and a desire to pass that truth to others.

Oliver made of herself a light. Fortunately, she shone on us.
Michael Stroud
Michael Stroud teaches Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and leads InsightLA's San Gabriel Valley Sunday Morning Sitting Group. He also co-leads the Monday night sitting group at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. 
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