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Author Archives: Major Tom
Spiritual experience and goods can certainly reinforce a consuming mind, too, and it is no surprise to see this happening in a consumer culture. Marketers are successfully targeting spiritual consumers as a market niche and figuring out exactly what fulfills their self-centered yearnings. How many of these products are necessary for spiritual enlightenment? Probably not one. – Stephanie Kaza, Ego in the Shopping Cart I saw this today on Tricycle and two things come to mind: 1. I believe people can be helped by others, although the final step is their own. 2. Why is it I try to find fault in someone else’s thoughts?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=edit_na_20130919&pagewanted=all& In times where extremes are the norm (especially in politics), it’s refreshing to see areas that were once thought to be strongholds to be tearing down those walls.
Another great gesture. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/09/04/irans-president-just-wished-all-jews-a-happy-rosh-hashanah-on-twitter/
I am sure that the Pope’s decision on “who am I to judge” about homosexuality took great courage. I admire his decision and hope that with this wall having been breached, that others too, will follow suit. I respect the priest celibacy angle, since it’s truly an accepting position. I also can accept, within the confines of Catholicism that the acts themselves are not acceptable – meaning sex is intended to pro-create, as I understand this, having never been a Catholic myself. They key, though, was his “who am I to judge” stance and I see this a truly a great step to be taken by a Pope. Thank you!
Usually we are in a stalemate with our world: “Is he going to say he is sorry to me first, or am I going to apologize to him first?” But in becoming a bodhisattva we break that barrier: we do not wait for the other person to make the first move; we have decided to do it ourselves. -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Bodhisattva Vow: Eight Views http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/the-bodhisattva-vow-eight-views
Just another way (metaphor) of explaining that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself first, but maybe the only way to be in a position to help others. Think of the people that have helped you the most … your mentors. Were they balanced? Were there lives in order? Mostly likely, yes. Just as a person mired in quicksand cannot help another until he has himself reached firm ground, our ability to help others depends chiefly on keeping our own balance. – Andrew Olendzki, “Keep Your Balance” http://www.tricycle.com/thus-have-i-heard/keep-your-balance
Another one of those articles that makes me realize just how judgmental we are by nature. Even when we are being non-judgmental, we can have underlying judgmental motives. Here, in this article from Tricycle, compassion is thrown into the mix. Do we develop compassion out of trying to make ourselves feel better about ourselves – “glad we’re not them”? Or, can we truly feel their pain? “Compassion is not condescension, but a leveling of the playing field, a recognition of yourself in others and an acceptance that their stress is your stress, that their happiness is your own. The gulf between us all is imaginary, born of insecurity and fear.” … Continue reading
Unity bonding cannot just happen with anyone anywhere anytime; rather it happens with everyone everywhere all the time.
Well, one reason at least. His guard is always down.
“There is no denying that consideration of others is worthwhile. There is no denying that our happiness is inextricably bound up with the happiness of others. There is no denying that if society suffers, we ourselves suffer. Nor is there any denying that the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill-will, the more miserable we become.”
“The Buddha didn’t talk about Buddhism. He was concerned, simply, with the truth, the truth of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering; and that, I’d submit, is a good thing for anybody to learn.” – Peter Doobinin, “Tough Lovingkindness” Couldn’t we very easily switch the name Buddha to Jesus and Buddhism to Christianity. Therefore, another opportunity to accept that all religions are pure at their pre-organizational conceptions. \
To further elaborate on the “Translation and Time” post – is SILENCE a better way to communicate than verbally? No, I was not intending this to be a Koan.
Metaphorically, is this what reincarnation (both Buddha’s major Karma paradigm and the Hindu Sacred Cow) comes down to? Treat all living conscious life as if it were a rebirth of another. It could be you someday.
Weve mentioned before about Buddhisms focus on truth as opposed to metaphor. Not that metaphors cant be the truth, theyre just up for interpretation. Of course, there is the whole reincarnation aspect, but Im not ready to call that a metaphor just yet. However, both metaphors and truth face the same challenges in the confines of standard religions: Translation & Time. Misinterpreting or taking what you want from scripture/history/truth crosses all religions. Those were originally written in a different time, in different languages (many times), and a different set of social-political and even moral values. Therefore, misinterpretation becomes misleading. It doesnt mean we cant still find value from these words. … Continue reading
In college, one of my best friends (Rick Ramell) and I took a class from Dr. Soo Bach Choi. At the beginning of the first class, he asked this question. Recently, I was listening to the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. This is what JC said about what Myth is: “Myths are clues to the experience of life.”
Joseph Campbell once said: “Put yourself in situations to invoke your higher nature.” To me, this means that you’re not copping out when you decide to be non confrontational, or if you decide that being around a certain person can be avoided, or not exposing yourself to an awkward situation. In some ways, this is very Buddhistic – Understand that there is pain, and find ways to avoid that pain.
When we resist change, its called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, thats called enlightenment. Pema Chödrön http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/fundamental-ambiguity-being-human
I see houses in neighborhoods, and I think – what do all these people do? Read this and tell me you don’t feel insignificant: The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Monday that the extent of Arctic sea ice shrank to 1.58 million square miles and is likely to melt more in the coming weeks. That breaks the old record of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007.
Although referred to as a part of Buddhist protocol, we can apply this to our own metaphor. For instance, there are things around your home that you have done to make it comfortable and appealing to you. But, let’s say, you have to switch jobs and move. Therefore, some of that comfort you’ve created will have to be left behind. But, thinking back, isn’t that what you did before? And, wasn’t it better the second time. I think about a fire pit and back patio cover I had built at my last home. It was perfect. So, when I moved, I did it again. And, again, it’s perfect. So, if … Continue reading
Is this why religion was “invented”? If there’s no heaven, would that mean more chaos? Is it our way of dealing with death? Can’t we be good because being good it our nature? Does having heaven (or whatever) as an incentive to be good make being good a good reason? Doesn’t being good bring good things, and isn’t that a good reason? Or, are we being good to bring good things, and is that a self-serving reason? Just because man created religion, doesnt mean there is no God.
So, we believe in the hereafter and we’re God fearing in our religion. Then, why are we afraid to die?
A friend is someone who is still your friend, even if you’ve done something that does not coincide with their beliefs. I’m sure there are those that have murdered, stolen, cheated, lied – but they still have friends. Those friends say things like – “That just wasn’t who that person was. I know that person, and he is still my friend.” Can’t we all be friends?
When you get angry at someone else, that means you’re judging them. If we’re not supposed to judge others, then we should not get angry. Hard to do, but something to idealize.
Things will work out! Be happy and your outlook changes. Be caring. Be kind. Wave a people. Smile at people. Say this, believe it, and then see what happens: “I am more helpful today than I was yesterday.”
Name the two players that played on a Bellefontaine, OH, basketball and baseball team that went to the State Tournament in the same year.
Some mornings (most?) as I lather up in the shower, my mind begins to think of what I will be doing, or, frequently, what has been bothering me. I notice that I talk as if Im talking to another person typically someone that has been bothering me. I know that this brings negative energy, but I wonder why it feels good to me to get this off my chest? Maybe it doesnt, maybe its just bringing more of what I dont want. So, how do I stop this? One way is to think of the good people and those that have helped you in your life. I sometimes have … Continue reading
“Discard evil friends, but call near virtuous enemies.” – Parabola, Summer 2012 issue
I LOVE Friends Family Neighbors Coworkers Boss Business Community & Officials City & Officials State & Officials Region Country & Leaders Continent Hemisphere World & Leaders Milky Way Universe Energy throughout BEING PEACEFUL I am peaceful These people are peaceful My community My country Our leaders Other countries Other country leaders I ACCEPT Me Others Religions Politics Lifestyles All Sexes Those brought up differently than me All intellects All attitudes & demeanors All professions All ages All social statuses
From the movie: “I am”
When you plant seeds in the garden, you dont dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when theyre ready. http://www.tricycle.com/feature/meditators-toolbox