Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flower of the Day: 07/23/14

"The deepest reason for our being here on this planet is to awaken love. This is what moves us in this world, what makes us get up in the morning, and keeps us alive. Some people are aware of this, and they experience the joy of being alive. If you are not aware of this, you feel anxious because you are unable to find any meaning in life. You have no reason to get up in the morning. This generates depression and the feeling that you don’t belong. Giving meaning to life is a choice: we choose what to do with our time. But we can only make this choice once we are mature enough to hear our heart's calling, which is always exclaiming, ‘Awaken love! Awaken in everyone and everywhere!’ "

Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma:

Non-Lying | July 23, 2014

Fully facing, getting to know, and actually welcoming the various kinds of liar that I am gives me a taste of not excluding anything; a taste of no inside, no outside. The more I can do this with no outcome or gaining idea in mind, the more truth-speaking and selflessness can naturally arise. 
—Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker, "Non-Lying"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Via Gay Politics Report: White House bans LGBT discrimination by federal contractors

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors and the federal government from workplace discrimination. The order makes it illegal to fire or harass employees of federal contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and also bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. The order did not include a religious exemption opposed by LGBT groups. NBC News (7/21), The Huffington Post (7/21), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (7/21), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/PostPartisan blog (7/21)

Flower of the Day: 07/22/14

"Who am I? Who inhabits this body? Who is playing this game of life? Why am I here and what am I here for? Why am I being led to live certain experiences? Sensible people ask themselves these questions. This sensibility is where you begin remembering who you really are."
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma:

Mindful of the Dharma | July 22, 2014

We can be mindful of the dharma as we go about our lives. Then we notice our imperfections, but rather than becoming frustrated by our inability to rid ourselves of these shortcomings, we notice that our interdependence with all life also brings us kindness and joy, unconditionally.
—Rev. Patricia Kanaya Usuki, "The Great Compassion"

Via JMG: IDAHO: "Add The Four Words" Protesters Given Light Sentences By Cheering Judge

Via Idaho's Spokesman-Review:
The last of more than 100 Idahoans arrested this year in gay-rights protests at the state Capitol were sentenced in a four-hour-plus hearing Monday, and the judge had this message for them: “I respect your courage in doing what you did.” The protesters took part in “Add the 4 Words” demonstrations during this year’s session of the Idaho Legislature, standing silently, hands over their mouths, and refusing to leave until lawmakers agreed to hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Idaho Human Rights Act – or until they were arrested. No hearing was held. The protesters want the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” added to the types of discrimination banned by the act. Lawmakers have refused to hold a hearing on the proposed legislation for the past nine years.
The vast majority of the protesters, who were arrested only once, had their charges dismissed. Another two dozen activists who had been arrested multiple times were fined $10 per arrest plus court costs. (Tipped by JMG reader Javier)

RELATED: The entire national LGBT movement should heed the actions of our heroes in Idaho. Adding those four words (sexual orientation and gender identity) to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is our only way forward after the crumbling of ENDA.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Monday, July 21, 2014

Via JMG: MINNESOTA: Vikings Coach Suspended For Anti-Gay Remarks, Kluwe Vindicated

Early this year former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe declared that Vikings Special Teams Coach Mike Priefer had called for rounding up all gay people, putting them on an island, and "nuking it until it glows." Kluwe has contended that his departure from the team came, at least in part, because Priefer objected to his nationally famous advocacy for LGBT rights. On Friday, the Vikings announced that their investigation showed that Priefer had indeed made the anti-gay remarks and that he has been suspended for three games. Via CBS Sports:
The Vikings said that three-game suspension could be reduced to two games provided that Priefer "also attend individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training." Priefer also apologized in a statement. "I owe an apology to many people -- the Wilf family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and fans, my family, the LGBT community, Chris Kluwe and anyone else that I offended with my insensitive remark," Priefer said. "I regret what has occurred and what I said. I am extremely sorry but I will learn from this situation and will work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect." The team announced that it would donate $100,000 to LGBT rights charitable and educational organizations.
The Vikings report also contains "negative information" about Kluwe, prompted him to threaten to release more "dirty" stories about the Vikings. He also said that his $10M lawsuit against the team will continue. The Vikings' action against Preifer is being denounced as "homofascism" across Teabagistan.

More from Think Progress:
The Vikings lawyers acknowledge that Kluwe was encouraged by Vikings management to scale back his activism in support of LGBT rights, but insist it was completely unrelated to the substance of his activism. The analysis claims that “players and management were concerned about the distraction that Kluwe’s activism was creating, as opposed to the nature and content of his activism.” Of course, it was the “nature and content of his activism” that ultimately created the “distraction.” It’s hard to image if Kluwe was speaking out to reduce childhood obesity that it would have become an issue.

Although the full investigation has not been released, the Vikings lawyers did make sure to include information that casts Kluwe in a negative light. Specifically, the analysis alleges that Kluwe made crude jokes about the Penn State rape scandal. Kluwe appeared to confirm the allegations were true on Twitter but that the jokes were pervasive throughout the entire team. No one claims Kluwe was fired for the jokes so it’s unclear what relevance they had to the investigation.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Scott Stabile / FB:

Flower of the Day: 07/21/14

"One of the mind's numerous traps is guilt. People easily go from being the victim, to feeling guilty and condemning themselves for being in a bad situation. This is one way of keeping oneself stuck in a hole. Self-responsibility is not blaming oneself; one instead recognizes what exactly lures one into a hole or towards some negative situation. Examples of these situations could be having financial difficulties, problems in a relationship, dissatisfaction with one’s professional life, or even an existential anguish."
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma

At Ease in Goodness | July 21, 2014

Moral resolve is like this. A noble person does not do good because of willpower. She does it through a combination of, on the one hand, modesty about self, and, on the other hand, faith in a higher purpose, a higher meaning, in powers more potent than self-will. Such a person is not moral through gritted teeth. She is at ease in goodness.
—David Brazier, "Other-Power"

Via the Advocate: Op-ed: All Gay People Are Screwed Up and It's OK

We all face a deficit for growing up LGBT in a straight world. Admitting it is the first step in making sure the next generation gets a better deal. 
My boyfriend was sent to conversion camp. An ex was beaten by his gay-hating father and brothers on a regular basis. My father wouldn’t let me take bubble baths because they were too “gay.”
 These experiences are not life affirming. So, during a recent conversation regarding the disquieting behavior of some LGBT peers, it seemed entirely innocuous to note that, “All gay people are damaged.” A fellow editor agreed, but mentioned many folks would take offense to that. That blew my mind.

Who could argue with that? How could we not be emotionally harmed by a society that tells us we’re screwed up at every turn? I don’t know one gay guy who never had “Fag” hurled at them, or many lesbians never told they could switch teams if they wanted to. That’s a cakewalk compared to the beatings and killings we’re still subjected to on the streets or the fear most of us have walking hand-in-hand with our partners and spouses, even in big cities. Most disturbing is that our experiences, as Americans, are much less frightening than those experienced by LGBT people in most of the world.

Glorifying victimhood is rarely helpful, but denying it exists is ignorant and dangerous. All of this hatred we experience, whether it be overt or covert, is internalized and exerts itself in different ways — some succumb to drugs, promiscuous sex, or self-hate. But most of us deal with it and prosper. I wonder if some gays would equate the “damaged” label with weakness; that to be affected by an intolerant society is a reflection on your own strength or perseverance. For me, being aware of the injustices is part of being an active part of society. Keeping your eyes open and reveling in tragedy are different.

It sometimes takes a harsh circumstance to remind us how different our lives are. In The Case Against 8, HBO's powerful documentary on the defeat of California's antigay ballot initiative, lead plaintiff Kristin Perry had an "a-ha moment" while testifying in front of a federal judge. Defense attorney Ted Olson asked Perry if she thought granting marriage equality to gays and lesbians would have an effect on other forms of LGBT discrimination. Perry said her whole life would have been different, and better, if the biggest choice she made in it — marriage — was given the same weight and respect as everyone else's: "So, if Prop. 8 were undone and kids like me, growing up in Bakersfield right now, can never know what this felt like, then I assume their entire lives would be on a higher arc, they would live with a higher sense of themselves that would improve the quality of their entire life."

Reflecting on that moment later, she said, "It was powerful to connect the dots spontaneously on the stand and realize you’ve been living under this blanket of hate everywhere you turn. People tell you, 'Tough shit, you don’t get to have that. You don’t get to feel protected at work, you don’t get to feel your kids are like other people’s kids, you don't get to feel like your relationship is like other people’s relationships. You have to come out every single day everywhere you go, and good luck with that... This isn’t just about me being a strong enough person, this is what the whole lesbian and gay community is dealing with and, frankly, any minority group."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flower of the Day: 07/19/14

"As difficult as the symptoms may be, this planetary transformation is a change for the better. The sustainability crisis, the economic crisis, the lack of water and food – all of this is happening precisely to create space for a new vision to emerge, a new way of looking at life in a way that includes spirituality. As long as we believe that nature is spiritless, or something to be negotiated for like a product, nature will show its limits. As long as the economy is based on a fear of scarcity and money remains at the service of greed, it is natural that a there will be a collapse in the system. Change comes to shine light on these aspects of life."
Sri Prem Baba

Buddhism for Our Time | July 20, 2014

Since we find ourselves living at a time when it is the individual and not the group that is privileged and empowered, we should acknowledge that, like practitioners throughout history, we orient our Buddhisms to the realities we’ve constructed rather than the other way around. 
—John Nelson, “Experimental Buddhism”

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Welcome - United Nations Free & Equal

Flower of the Day: 07/18/14

"We can translate the journey of life as the transition from the false to the real, from the sleeping state to the state of awakening. Once awake, we stop projecting the contents of our minds or dreams onto the other and we discover that separation is but an illusion. We find unity within multiplicity. We finally discover the answer to the big question, ‘Who am I?’ Then, all other questions disappear and our minds start to be at peace. This happens because we begin to have a profound understanding of the play of life, and this brings us contentment and satisfaction."
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma

Inspiration from the Inside | July 18, 2014

Inspiration must come from within ourselves. If we hope to get inspiration from the outside—as if it was falling from the sky—this is wrong. It should be like water coming out of a source. From where else could we receive it? 
—Myongsong Sunim, “What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flower of the Day: 07/17/14

"The essence of codependency lies in one’s need for the other to suffer in order for one to be happy. Codependency is when one needs the other to feel inferior so one can feel superior, or for the other to feel helpless so one can feel powerful."
Sri Prem Baba

Coming, Going | July 17, 2014

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going—
Two simple happenings
That got entangled. 
—Kozan Ichikyo, "Coming, Going"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Flower of the Day: 07/16/14

“There are moments along one’s journey when there is nothing to be done. One must give in, because even though there is a desperate controlling self inside of oneself, it cannot do anything at all. This moment comes when one realizes the senselessness of trying to force things to happen in a different way than life is providing. In other words, one perceives the absurdity of trying to go against the flow of life. This is not an easy passage because it requires a deep trust in divine justice. One is being called to discover the wisdom of uncertainty, and should begin to value the signs that appear along the way, even if they seem unfair.”
Sri Prem Baba