Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Mindfulness in the toilet, Part #1 (cartoon)

B&B; Dhr. Seven, Ellie, Jason, Ananda (Dharma Buddhist Meditation), Wisdom Quarterly
Yuck. Time to check out. This is no time to be mindful. Where's my cell phone?

Sati-sampajanna is "mindfulness and clear comprehension" or uncluttered awareness as one goes about one's business in life. If one is sitting and wishes to get up to go over there, one does so mindfully and clearly aware of what one is doing.

This applies, not surprisingly, to ALL that one is doing. And if one eats mindfully, one should also excrete mindfully. Even without eating, excreting will happen. It's the red blood cells sloughing off, and there's water to evacuate, too. This may sound repulsive.

Is it not better to pop in an air freshener, wear headphones, take one's mobile phone in while trying not to drop it in the toilet? Surely it's better to just refrain from flushing until the call is over, anything to stay distracted when answering the calls of nature?

My favorite chair, The Stone Throne
Mindfulness can lead to insight more readily when giving mindful (nonreactive observation) attention to an unattractive (asubha, loathsome, foul) thing rather than a pleasant one. One is pulled in by the pleasant and pulled out by the unpleasant.

What would more readily lead to insight about the true nature of this human body, staring at an alluring beauty or a bloated corpse that's oozing? Exactly! And we love ourselves and see ourselves in this body, of this body, as possessed of a body, owners of a body -- and such conceit is hard to break.

But if we pay attention in the restroom, all will be well: We will be able to let go of pride, egoism, conceit, lust, clinging, and coveting not only for ourselves but for other distractions that walk around in tight yoga pants.

We will finally be able to overcome the allures Cupid and Mother Nature built into the system to keep us bound up in the Sensual Sphere (kama-loka) and the unending Cycle of Wandering (samsara). See Part #2.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Zen like Thich Nhat Hanh (Jan. 30)

Sounds True; Ananda (Dharma Buddhist Meditation), Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
(Sounds True) Introduced by Tami Simon. Zen Meditation Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Thay, offers his practical teachings about how to bring love and mindful awareness into daily experience. Kind, purposeful, and illuminating, here is an abundant treasure of traditional gathas (teachings) that unify meditation practice with the challenges we face in our lives. CD: tinyurl.com/artofmindfulliving.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a great friend in Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh or "Thay" as he is lovingly called at Deer Park Monastery in Southern California. MLK nominated Thay for the same honor. They were unified by peace against war and governments that promote aggression, which is condemned by both religions, activist Christianity and Engaged Buddhism. What is Thay's style of Zen and practice? Vegan snacks. FREE/by donation. RSVP
  • Dharma Buddhist Meditation, Los Angeles
  • Thursday, January 30, 2020, 7:00-8:30 PM
  • Ahiah Center for Spiritual Living, Pasadena
  • 150 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena 91103

"I Like Peace" FREE party: music, art, food

Mandy Kahn (Eventbrite.com), Ananda (Dharma Buddhist Meditation), Wisdom Quarterly
Artist-in-Residence Mandy Kahn brings free live music and art in "I LIKE PEACE"
Mandy Kahn (instagram.com) is the current PRS artist-in-residence presents live music, art, food, and a poetry installation that coordinates nine poets reading their peace-building works — in a continuous offering that moves through the buildings, grounds, and courtyards.

The decorated Los Angeles area poets — Brendan Constantine, Elena Karina Byrne, Lois P. Jones, Seven Dhar, Peggy Dobreer, Frankie Drayus, Nicelle Davis, Nancy Romero, and Eric Ernest Johnson — have authored 18 collections between them.

Musical guest Henry Wolfe, who’s been the musical guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and was named an artist to watch by the Los Angeles Times, will give a concert in the library.

  • I Like Peace, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, 7:30 PM
  • Philosophical Research Society (Hollywood)
  • 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles (RSVP Free)
Mandy Kahn (girlatlibrary.com)
Scholar and writer Dr. Gustavo Turner, Ph.D. (Harvard, English literature), who re-catalogued a portion of the PRS’s collection, will present and discuss rare peace-focused volumes from Manly P. Hall’s library vaults.

Concert pianist Marina Pakowski, professor from the Conservatory Maurice Ravel in France, plays peace works by Ravel and Debussy.

Kahn explains, “The revolution of peace begins with the individual: with the tiny, private peace-building practices we choose to incorporate into our own lives.

Peace is right here right now.
“When we build peacefulness in the self, we become conduits of peace in the world. This series gives its guests — musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, writers — the chance to both share their work and to speak of the ways that they choose to build peace into their lives.” More

MANDY KAHN is included in The Best American Poetry 2018 and was featured in US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s newspaper column American Life in Poetry; interviewed by BBC Radio; read at Cambridge University; made pieces with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid; was librettist for Yuval Sharon’s opera Hopscotch; presented her immersive poems at the Getty Center.

Dharma Buddhist Meditation  (L.A., UCLA, Pasadena, Valley, Recovery Dharma)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Coping with DEATH: Kobe Bryant (video)

CBS News; Flow Station; Pfc. Sandoval, S. Auberon, A. Wells, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
Kobe Bryant meditated every day. It put him in that flow state and set him up for the day. Be like Bryant. Fortunately, Coach Phil Jackson knew about Buddhist mindfulness and meditation.

Good thing I meditated to prepare myself.
Kobe Bean Bryant (Aug. 23, 1978–Jan. 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Bryant played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA at 17 directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Widely regarded as perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, but not according to Shaq, Magic, Metta World Peace, or... Rape allegations dogged him for a while, but he managed to shake them and carry on.

They retired his number along ago
He probably should not have been riding in helicopters to escape horrific L.A. traffic, or maybe the pilot should not have been crashing into hills, but either way the City of L.A. is devastated. People care more about Kobe's death than their own. Death touches us all. However, few were prepared to have their wife's Grammys Award Show ruined by the pall of this shocking tragedy, which took out many passengers including Kobe's daughter Gigi.

That's Samsara (the Cycle of Wandering on through Rebirth) for you! Just when you think you're 41, rich, popular, on top of the world looking forward to a very promising post-sports career job, Mara says "Hello." Then Yama has a talk with you.

Man, I had so much to do! Who knew Life had D?
The dead are dead (to us), and we can share merits with them. We can learn from them and honor their memory. But they are not dead to themselves; they are not suddenly nonexistent. They exist elsewhere. The Buddha, when repeatedly asked about deceased family and friends, said: "Few are the living; many are the dead."

Many more people are dead than are now alive, so the living are more precious, more important to focus on, more significant to be concerned about. Of course, we cling. He's gone, but he'll never be gone. (He's not really gone. He's just not here). He IS somewhere. That's how it is with Samsara. We wander and wander.

Kobe is like a hero of old, a city state warrior. So common people who never met him feel like they lost a member of their family. Coping with death is an issue for the living. The dead are taken care of and guided. Kobe's in the Bardo now.

Transfer him merit; pray for his safe journey to a fortunate rebirth; hope he had good karma (merit) to help him along. We've talked about all of these in recent posts.

Afghanistan's largest standing stupa: Topdara

AAN Field Correspondent Jelena Bjelica, Jolyon Leslie (afghanistan-analysts.org, Jan. 8, 2020); edited by Dhr. Seven and Amber Larson (eds.), Ellie Askew, Wisdom Quarterly
The history of the Topdara stupa is still unknown. However, given its location near the site of the ancient City of Kapisa (in or around what is now Bagram, a small bazaar town mainly known for its gigantic air base), it may have been commissioned between 200 and 400 CE (ACHCO, 2019).
The largest standing stupa in Afghanistan: A short history of the Buddhist site at Topdara
Topdara stupa seen from the back (facing west)
A dome-shaped ancient Buddhist shrine, the Topdara stupa [sacred reliquary burial mound] to the north of Kabul was described by 19th century British explorer Charles Masson as “perhaps the most complete and beautiful monument of the kind in these countries.”

Since Masson’s visit in 1833, the Topdara stupa saw few visitors and had fallen into neglect until recently, in 2016, when an Afghan cultural heritage organization began its excavation and preservation [restoration] work.

When AAN’s Jelena Bjelica visited the stupa in spring 2019, she found its beauty and grandeur largely restored. In this dispatch she pieces together the history of the stupa from various historical and contemporary records (with input from Jolyon Leslie).

Topdara Stupa
As one approaches Parwan’s provincial capital Charikar on the main highway from Kabul, the Topdara stupa can be seen on the left, set against the Koh-e Safi Mountains. The stupa stands like a crown on an area of high ground above Topdara Village, surrounded by orchards and barley fields.

On an early April morning when AAN visited, staff from the Afghan NGO ACHCO (the Afghanistan Cultural Heritage Consulting Organization) were busy doing excavation and preservation work on the site.

ACHCO’s work on the stupa began in 2016. Three years later when AAN visited, the stupa’s drum had been repaired and preserved, and almost the entire base of the stupa had been excavated. The structure, however, is still under scaffolding as preservation work continues.

The drum – the dome-shaped upper part of the stupa – was damaged by Masson when he opened it up in the 19th century [to recover its sacred contents, ashes of the Buddha and other relics or sharira].
Topdara stupa covered in scaffolding (AAN)
The principal structure at Topdara is the stone stupa and its upper drum, which measures 23 meters across and stands almost 30 meters high above the surrounding fields. The drum is ornamented with double S-shaped curves, which give it a decorative band of 56 identical niches framed by rounded arches.

...Facing east above this frieze is a tri-lobed arch niche where three figures of the Buddha [the historical "Sage of the Scythians" who grew up in Afghanistan according to maverick Indian historian Dr. Ranajit Pal] are thought to have once been mounted.

According to this 2017 British Museum publication, this assumption is based on the remains of a stucco halo of what is thought to have been "the principal image" of the standing Buddha, with what would probably have been two smaller seated buddhas [or disciples] on each side (Note 1).

The frieze is aligned with a ceremonial staircase that faces the valley where the capital of the Kushan Empire, Kapisa, once was.

The drum stands on a square base, which measures 36 meters on each side, that ACHCO has recently excavated. They discovered that the base is also ornamented with classical style pilasters and has two pairs of stairs, on its east and west points. The base was an integral element of the rituals followed by Buddhist pilgrims, who would have circumambulated around the stupa.

...According to ACHCO, the stupa would have been plastered and painted, with gilded parasols on the apex of its dome, flanked by flags and banners that would have been visible by pilgrims progressing along the slopes below.

In 19th century English sources, stupas were generally referred to by the term tope, which may oderive from the Dari word for hill or mound, tappa. The name of the village and the stupa, Topdara, could then mean "Valley of the Stupa." For example, English Orientalist H.H. Wilson (1786-1860) notes in the first chapter of the book Ariana Antica (1841):

"The edifices [stupas] which have of late years attracted so much attention in the north-west of India and in Afghanistan, have been known by the general appellation of Topes, a word signifying a mound or tumulus, derived from the Sanscrit [sic] appellation Sthupa [sic], having the same import" (pp. 28-29).

According to Masson’s explanation in the second chapter of the same book:

"The term Tope, which is applicable to the more prominent and interesting of the structures under consideration, is that in ordinary use by the people of the regions in which they most abound. A tope is a massive structure comprising two essential parts, the basement and perpendicular body resting thereon. The latter, after a certain elevation, always terminates after the manner of a cupola, sometimes so depressed as to exhibit merely a slight convexity of surface, but more frequently approaching the shape of a cone."

The stupa restoration continues (AAN).
Speaking about the Topdara stupa, one of the three stupas he examined “to the north of Kabul, and in the districts of Koh Daman and the Kohistan,” Masson wrote:

“The next [tope] occurs at Dara [Tope+Dara=Topdara], about twenty-five miles from Kabul, and is perhaps the most complete and beautiful monument of the kind in these countries, as it is one of the largest.”

Little is known about the history of the Topdara stupa regarding who commissioned it, when it was built, and how it was used. Archaeological research in Afghanistan has been episodic and the number of properly excavated sites in country is still tiny, compared to neighboring Iran [formerly Persia] or Pakistan [formerly India].

Serious archaeological explorations in Afghanistan only began with the creation of the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA) in 1922, which had obtained a monopolistic license from the country’s then-ruler Amanullah. Subsequent wars, both World War II and the 40 years of conflict in Afghanistan since 1978, prevented the follow-up of much in-depth archaeological research.

Masson’s written accounts from the 19th century, therefore, still offer an invaluable insight into the distant past of Afghanistan and its region. Charles Masson (1800-1853),  was an explorer and collector of coins [who apparently didn't mind breaking into a sacred reliquary in search of treasure]. More

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Who's the funniest Monty among Pythons?

The Secret Life of Brian: documentary on the Monty Python film

Only when Terry Jones is gone do we realize what a genius he was among a troupe of comedic geniuses. For he not only conceived of many jokes and acted them out in front of the camera with a straight face, he directed!

Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British film comedy starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin). It was directed by Terry Jones.

The film tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Graham Chapman), a young Jewish guy who is born on the same day as — and next door to — Jesus Christ. Brian is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah [Buddhist Maitreya].

Following the withdrawal of funding by EMI Films just days before production was scheduled to begin, long time Monty Python fan George Harrison, a former member of the Beatles, arranged financing for Life of Brian through the formation of the company HandMade Films.

The film contains themes of religious satire that were controversial at the time of its release, drawing accusations of blasphemy and protests from some religious groups.

Thirty-nine local authorities in the United Kingdom imposed an outright ban or imposed an X rating (must be 18 years old) certificate, effectively preventing the film from being shown...

Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned its public showing, with a few of these bans lasting decades.

The filmmakers used such notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters in Sweden reading, "So funny, it was banned in Norway!"

The film was a box office success, the fourth-highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom in 1979, and highest grossing of any British film in the United States that year.

Oh, I get it! They're being ironic...right?
It has remained popular, receiving positive reviews. The film was named "greatest comedy film of all time" by several magazines and TV networks.

It later received a 97% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus, "One of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, this religious farce from the classic comedy troupe is as poignant as it is funny and satirical."

In a 2006 Channel 4 poll, Life of Brian was ranked in FIRST PLACE on their list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films of all time. More

Astrology, Rat: Chinese New Year (video)

TRT World, CBS New 2; The List; CC Liu, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

Everything you need to know about Chinese New Year
The Mountain Buddha of Leshan, China
(TRT World) Here’s everything you need to know about the Chinese New Year -- how it’s celebrated, it’s history, and what the zodiac animals represent. #Chinese New Year #Spring Festival #metalrat

What does the Year of the Rat mean for Western astrological signs?

Chinese New Year, also referred to as Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar. It is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China. And it is only one of several Lunar New Years in Asia, like Vietnamese Tet.

Observances traditionally take place from the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Lunar New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20. In 2020, the first day of the Lunar New Year will be on Saturday, January 25, initiating the Year of the Rat. More

Flat earth debate on Coast to Coast radio

Rob Skiba (C2C); Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Magnet ring, center pole, Mt. Meru
In an amazing break from standard practice, which is to not discuss topics regular host George Noory has been told to say away from, Richard Syrett dared to discuss the unspeakable: NASA and government-funded deception regarding our world, space programs, and our place in the universe by journeying into this massively taboo topic.

Of course, sadly, it was not a real debate or a talk with Eric Dubay, who is perhaps the best person to debate the science on this topic.

Views of the world from various cultures
It was really a discussion about what the Bible says and what whoever wrote the Bible believed was the shape of this world, this sky, its firmament, and the limits of the seas girded by a massive ice wall we call Antarctica, which is a ring, and an artic which is a point at the center of the circle of the portion of the earth we're told about.

Buddhist mandalas depict disc and four quarters
It was amazing that what Skiba described was pre-existing water on earth and in the sky and a being or beings who "inscribed" a circle in a square as if someone chiseled a mandala into the frozen ocean and the water melted. The ancient Vedic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain conceptions of the shape of the world we live in match in general and differ in a few details.

Moreover, all cultures from Native Americans to the Norse had the same sort of view on the matter, as if shamans and rishis were seeing the same general thing and describing it in their own language according to things their cultures would readily understand.

Climb a building, look for hundreds of miles.
The subject of the flat earth is a "taboo" topic that’s trending high on Google and YouTube, but why?

[Could it be because deceptions by NASA and .gov organizations have so many holes in it, and the verifiable science on the side of the earth being a flat plane not a ball planet is mounting? Observations contradicting the story we are all taught and forced to learn and documented for centuries.]

Christian, moviemaker, flat earth researcher Rob Skiba joins Coast to Coast AM Guest-Host Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss why this subject is quite viable for surprisingly verifiable reasons with biblical passages -- in addition to many other nonChristian religious sources with similar cosmologies and cosmographies -- that state that the earth is indeed a plane. More + AUDIO

Actual flat earth debate about science (video)

Why would Jubilee slant the title of the video? The science is the only thing at issue here, not anything opposed to the scientific method. One scientist keeps bringing up religion because he is ignorant of the science that contradicts his assumptions and training. He just teaches what he was taught and pats himself on the back.

How can we believe in higher dimensions when we cannot fundamentally agree on things down here on three-dimensional earth? Science (presented by many flat earth advocates) says earth is a plane, whereas scientists tell us it is a ball. They base their certainty on government propaganda presented by NASA and other .gov agencies.

So the debate has become a laughable and slanted polemic instead of a serious discussion. How dare anyone question the religion of Scientism (science treated as faith)! To hear side outside the fold would be like having Darwin and Galileo taken seriously at a Vatican congregation, except that now the tables are turned!

The "holy men" in white (lab coats) and fancy university robes will not tolerate being questioned about their popular faith or even have it referred to as a "faith." But that's what it is when it does not allow its dictates to be questioned or put up against opposing evidence, opposing science. This is not science versus faith, but science versus science, citizen's direct observation versus NASA's dogma.

(Professor Dave Explains) Prof. Dave defends the gatekeeper science he loves

Response to Globebusters: The Earth Still Isn't Flat
Professor Dave Explains, May 22, 2019 edited by WQ
I posted a video about why I think the Earth is a ball, from what I claim is the perspective of modern astronomy. Some part of the flat earth community did not like it. [One part of what I'm treating like a united community] the channel "Globebusters" decided to talk for three hours on their livestream about how stupid my video is and how stupid I am. I didn't really appreciate that, so I decided to make a video about their video to illustrate precisely how little they know about my science and to further reinforce how utterly absurd their flat earth "model" is, as well as some of the finer points about the conspiracy.

People who dare to say the earth is anything other what NASA tells have scientific evidence and direct, testable, repeatable evidence that NASA and Scientism are wrong, but that is never taken seriously enough to debate. Here is one slanted debate that's better than the rest. The scientists are out of their element because in their arrogance and certainty, they are unfamiliar with opposing arguments.

(Eric Dubay) Here 200 testable proofs. Professor Dave, can you explain?

And these skeptics do not do much to educate them; they do not show them the math, as there doesn't seem to be time for that in this forum. CGI propaganda is enough to convince the scientists, who say there's nothing to debate here. "We are like Men of God," the scientists seem to be saying, "here to educate you ignorant fools."

There is something to debate because blind faith and obedience to Scientism will no longer suffice in the Information Age. The s In the past, brave people dared to question the Church/God. Today, brave people dare to question NASA and gatekeeper science.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Buddhist Wisdom: Ancient Medicine, Shamans

Spring Washam (insightla.org), Xochitl, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Buddhist Wisdom and Ancient Medicine: A Shamanic View on Awakening
Senior teacher Spring Washam leads this special daylong to explore the path of Buddhism and Shamanism. The topic of plant medicine and its role in the transformation of consciousness will be discussed. The day will explore the life and teachings of the Buddha within the framework of an archetypal shamanic journey we must all make. This daylong will include periods of meditation, sacred music, and group discussions. All experience levels. More
People of Color Sangha (insightla.org)

Things found in higher dimensions (video)

Zach Star (dimension video); Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Buddhist physics: The Sphere of Sensuality, where we live, is material, which is denser than the higher Fine Material Sphere of "shining ones," light beings, akasha devas. What are these kalapas or "particles" of perception? Each is a quality of matter, and each kind of kalapa has features. In that sense, each is LIKE a higher dimension or Platonic solids. What if matter were one substance, like clay, distinguished by geometric shape?

The Awakened One
From the beginning the wandering ascetic Siddhartha Gautama -- who soon became the Buddha, the "Awakened One," the "Scythian Sage" called Shakyamuni -- learned a form of serenity meditation that took him to an exalted formless attainment.

"Formless"? We live on a plane in the Sensual Sphere, above which exists a Fine Material Sphere, and beyond that, unbelievably, the Formless Sphere.

The first four meditative attainments called absorptions (Pali jhanas, Sanskrit dhyanas) correspond to the Form (Fine Material) Sphere. The next four correspond to four higher dimensions, the formless planes of existence. These "spheres" are called:
  • the Base of Boundless Space
  • the Base of Boundless Consciousness
  • the Base of Nothingness
  • the Base of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception.
Chart of the 31 Planes of Existence
This Buddhist cosmology is explained in terms of a vertical arrangement of planes of existence, of which there are 31 mentioned, containing countless worlds. They are reached through these meditative attainments, which are very weighty good karma (actions). For they are purified states but not enlightened states.

They are "purified" insofar as they have temporarily suppressed the defilements that obscure knowledge and vision without uprooting the defilements. Insight wisdom permanently uproots them. Insight wisdom is an accomplishment worthy of the noble ones, the individuals at any of the four stages of enlightenment.

This discussion is speculative to try to conceive of what can be directly observed and exmined, so it is not merely pondering for pondering's sake. For realizing enlightenment/awakening, the Abhiddharma -- the "Ultimate Teachings" or "Teachings (Dharma) in Ultimate (Abhi) Terms" -- these kalapas must be seen and examined. How would it be possible with a defiled and impure mind?

All of the mind's powers are needed, its psychic abilities and supernormal faculties. Through meditation purified by the absorptions, it is also possible to visit (by remote viewing or a kind of astral travel) the 31 Planes of Existence here and now. So we can personally verify that they are real.

Tara Brach in Los Angeles (Jan. 29)

Tara Brach (insightLA); Dhr. Seven, Ananda (Dharma Buddhist Meditation), Wisdom Quarterly

Join an evening of teaching and practice with Tara Brach. It's in celebration of her new book, Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN.

In addition to toxic self-blame, we humans have an evolutionarily-driven tendency to create “bad others” and to cause each other harm.

I'm trying to find myself. Sure I was right here.
Our species is also on a trajectory towards greater compassion and collaboration -- a pathway we can actively facilitate through deliberate practice.

This evening talk explores how the practice of RAIN — a weave of mindfulness and compassion — can undo our primitive fear-based reactivity, reveal our mutual belonging, and awaken our hearts. More
  • Immanuel Presbyterian Church (Koreatown)
  • 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010
  • Parking: $5 (cash or credit), UTLA Plaza*
  • 3303 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., CA 90010
*To reduce the wait time when it comes time to exit the parking lot after the event, it is wiser to have paid on arrival. Pay on arrival. Or carpool with us and save all the trouble.

Tamale Fest at Insight LA
Hi, I'm Lisa Kring. Let's sit together! Join me this Sunday (Jan. 26th) for the ongoing InsightLA East Hollywood Community Sit from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. We'll be exploring the value of belonging in community followed by our first "Tamale Fest" potluck! Bring anything simple and wholesome you'd like to share. Bring friends. All levels welcome. By donation only. See you soon! More

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Comedy: Where's "Last Week Tonight"?

John Oliver, Last Week Tonight (HBO) Web exclusive, Jan. 20, 2020; Eds., Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: Profanity! Strong language. Gratuitous cussing. In the service of satirical humor.

HBO once had a show featuring British comedian John Oliver called Last Week Tonight. It's gone away on vacation. But it promises to come back in February of 2020. Here are five minutes to hold fans over.

Rebirth in Egypt: Nephilim, Ramses (video)

Viper TV - FILMS, 1/7/20; Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

The Ancient Egyptians speak of Nephilim meeting Ramses. Pharaoh Sa-Nakht may have been a giant (Nephilim), new study suggests. Unfolding discoveries reported in America and other parts of the world have revealed a lost legacy of a race (or races) of giants who are now slowly starting to be included in the historical and archaeological record. Subscribe

Rebirth in Ancient Egypt: Book of the Dead
Section of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (Book of Coming Forth by Day or Book of Emerging Forth into the Light) written on papyrus, showing the Weighing of the Heart in the Duat (Underworld), where Anubis is seen on the far right. The scales are shown with the feather balance, and Ammit awaits hearts that she must devour. The presence of Osiris at the gateway to the paradise of Aaru dates the papyrus to a late tradition of the myth (wiki).
Duat ("do-aht," Tuat, Tuaut, or Akert, Amenthes, Amenti, or Neter-khertet) is the Realm of the Dead in ancient Egyptian mythology. It has been represented in hieroglyphs as a star-in-circle: 𓇽.

The Egyptian god Osiris was believed to be the lord of the underworld [like the Buddhist afterlife "god" Yama]. He was the first mummy, as depicted in the Osiris myth, and he personified rebirth and life after death.

The underworld was also the residence of various other gods along with Osiris. The Duat was the region through which the sun god Ra traveled from west to east each night, and it was where he battled Apophis (Apep), who embodied the primordial chaos the sun had to defeat in order to rise each morning and restore order to the earth.

Visitors set up an earth colony.
It was also the place where people's "souls" [rebirth continuum, gandhabba, continuation of the impersonal process of consciousness and the reappearance of the other ancillary aggregates clung to as a "self"] went after death for judgement, though that was not the full extent of the afterlife (Faulkner, p. 143).

Burial chambers formed touching-points between the mundane world and the Duat, and the ꜣḫ ("akh") "the effectiveness of the dead," could use tombs to travel back and forth from the Duat (Pinch, pp. 33-35).

Why do we feel it "natural" to follow tall people? Might remnant memories of their offspring, hybrids, were children of severe rulers that demanded to be obeyed (ancient-origins.net).

Each night through the Duat the sun god Ra travelled, signifying revivification [rebirth, re-becoming, reappearance] as the main goal of the dead. Ra travelled under the world upon his Atet barge from west to east. He was transformed from its aged Atum form into Khepri, the new dawning sun.

The dead king, worshipped as a god, was also central to the mythology surrounding the concept of Duat, often depicted as being one with Ra (Arthur Edward Pearse Brome Weigal, A Guide to the Antiquities of Upper Egypt from Abydos to the Sudan Frontier, Taylor & Francis, p. 199). More