Friday, November 30, 2012

Via Being Liberal / FB:


Via Gay Politics Report:

How religion helped win marriage equality

Marriage equality advocates engaged people of faith and religious leaders in successful campaigns to win ballot initiatives this year, a turnaround from four years ago when social conservatives dominated religious discussions over California's Proposition 8. A Washington state coalition distributed thousands of buttons bearing the message, "Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74," sparking conversations in which proponents were trained to speak about the issue in terms of love and commitment rather than "gay rights." Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, helped train thousands of "conversationalists" to speak about the issue and their own faith, and to listen intently to those who described their difficulties supporting marriage equality. “All of us like to be listened to," Murray said. CNN/Belief blog

JMG Editorial Of The Day:

From Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog:

At their Conference today, the Justices will consider petitions raising federal constitutional issues related to same-sex marriage. These are the most significant cases these nine Justices have ever considered, and probably that they will ever decide.
I have never before seen cases that I believed would be discussed two hundred years from now. Bush v. Gore and Obamacare were relative pipsqueaks. The government’s assertion of the power to prohibit a loving couple to marry, or to refuse to recognize such a marriage, is profound. So is the opposite claim that five Justices can read the federal Constitution to strip the people of the power to enact the laws governing such a foundational social institution.
The cases present a profound test of the Justices’ judgment. The plaintiffs’ claims are rooted in the fact that these laws rest on an irrational and invidious hatred, enshrined in law. On the other hand, that describes some moral judgments. The Constitution does not forbid every inequality, and the people must correct some injustices (even some grave ones) themselves, legislatively.
The striking feature of these cases – not present in any others I have ever seen – is that that they would have been decided by the Justices’ predecessors one way and would be decided by the Justices’ successors another way.
Read the full essay.


Reposted from Joe

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.
- Sutta Nipata

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 30, 2012

Great Compassion

The virtues of great compassion are infinite; they could be expounded upon forever without exhausting them, but it boils down to this: Whoever has great compassion can extinguish all obstructions caused by past actions and can fulfill all virtues; no principle cannot be understood, no path cannot be practiced, no knowledge not attained, no virtue not developed.
- Zen Master Torei, "Great Compassion"
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Via The Pagan Circle' / FB:

This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective! ~Krystal~
 
This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective! ~Krystal~

Via Upworthy:



http://www.upworthy.com/if-you-dont-believe-in-gay-marriage-see-this-chart-if-you-do-believe-in-gay-marr?c=upw3

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






It's easy to see The errors of others, But hard to see Your own. You winnow like chaff The errors of others, But conceal your own-- Like a cheat, an unlucky throw. If you focus on the errors of others, Constantly finding fault, Your effluents flourish. You're far from their ending.
- Dhammapada 18, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 29, 2012

Freedom of Heart

Sometimes suffering comes through clinging to certain emotional pain or certain stories; sometimes through not recognizing emptiness, the evanescence of life, that nothing can be claimed as I or mine. The point of dharma practice is to pay attention to where there is suffering, see the clinging and identification, and release it to find a freedom of heart.
- Jack Kornfield, "The Sure Heart’s Release"
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:

Daily Buddhist Wisdom






Think not of the faults of others, of what they have done or not done. Think rather of your own sins, of the things you have done or not done.
- Buddha

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 28, 2012

A Radical Challenge

The Buddha presented a radical challenge to the way we see the world, both the world that was seen two millennia ago and the world that is seen today. What he taught is not different, it is not an alternative, it is the opposite. That the path that we think will lead us to happiness leads instead to sorrow. That what we believe is true is instead false. That what we imagine to be real is unreal. A certain value lies in remembering that challenge from time to time.
- Donald S. Lopez, "The Scientific Buddha"
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 27, 2012

An Honest, Enlightened Society

Enlightened society is not an idealized environment. It's an environment that actually accepts the imperfections of humanity and encourages you to open your heart and mind and work with other people and situations as they are. Enlightened society is one in which, as you make friends with yourself, your communication with other people gets clearer, more direct, more honest.
- Pema Chödrön, "No Place to Hide"
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Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






Whose minds are well-developed in the factors of self-awakening, who delight in non-clinging, relinquishing grasping-- resplendent, their effluents ended: they, in the world, are Unbound.
- Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 26, 2012

The Necessity of Love

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. Thus we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.
- H.H. the Dalai Lama, "Consider Yourself a Tourist"
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 25, 2012

Shedding Self-Protective Clinging

Too often Buddhist 'nonattachment' is misconstrued as 'non-loving.' The purpose of Buddhist practice is not to 'renounce' our families or community, but to shed habits of self-protective clinging that prevent us from loving them more unconditionally, powerfully, enjoyably.
- Lama John Makransky, "Family Practice"
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Via Happiness' / FB:


When the light is dim, it isn’t
easy to see the old spider webs in
the corners of the room. But
when the light is bright, you can
see them clearly and then be able
to take them down. When your
mind is bright, you’ll be able to
see your defilements clearly, too,
and clean them away.

- Ajahn Chah
When the light is dim, it isn’t
easy to see the old spider webs in
the corners of the room. But
when the light is bright, you can
see them clearly and then be able
to take them down. When your
mind is bright, you’ll be able to
see your defilements clearly, too,
and clean them away.

- Ajahn Chah

Via JMG: Uganda May Vote On Anti-Gay Bill Today


Earlier this month we learned that Uganda's infamous "Kill The Gays" bill was being pushed to a vote as a "Christmas gift to Christians."  Alerts went out yesterday that the bill may be voted upon as soon as today.  This morning the BBC reported a claim the the death penalty has been been dropped from the legislation.
A committee of Ugandan MPs has endorsed the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill but dropped the death penalty provision, an MP has told the BBC. MP Medard Segona said "substantial amendments" had been made to the bill but said he was not allowed to reveal further details. Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently said the bill would be passed as a "Christmas gift" to its advocates. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda - this bill increases the penalties.
Foreign donors have threatened to cut aid if gay rights are not respected. The bill, tabled by MP David Bahati, proposes longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances. In its original form, those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality" - defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a "serial offender" - faced the death penalty. Such offences would now be punished with life imprisonment, it is understood.
The original bill also prohibited the "promotion" of gay rights and called for the punishment of anyone who "funds or sponsors homosexuality" or "abets homosexuality". Mr Bahati has previously said that the death penalty provision would be dropped but this has not been confirmed until now. Mr Segona, who is on the Legal and Parliamentary committee of Uganda's parliament, told the BBC: "I can confirm it has been dropped."
Box Turtle Bulletin blogger Jim Burroway is suspicious of these claims because Ugandan legislators have lied about that in the past.
WBS Television in Uganda late yesterday posted another report on YouTube featuring statements by members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which is charged with marking up the Anti-Homosexuality Bill with recommended changes. There are a few troubling aspects to the report. First, the reporter claims that the death penalty has been removed for “homosexuality acts with minors,” which sounds very suspiciously like several other previous reports, later proven to be false, that the death penalty had been removed. The last time we heard that line, we would quickly learn that the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, in fact, had not removed the death penalty from the bill, but instead had simply obfuscated the death penalty’s presence in the bill. A complete explanation can be found here.
All Out's petition campaign against the bill has over 160,000 signatures already.  Add your name.


Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: NBC Nixed Marriage Ad By Chelsea Clinton


Chelsea Clinton recorded a spot in support of Washington state's Referendum 74 but NBC News prevented its airing because she works for them as a journalist. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
Clinton, a vocal proponent of marriage equality, cut the video for a group supporting the Washington state measure, as well as a second video for another group. But NBC, for which Clinton works as a "special correspondent" since last November, "scuttled" the campaign, sources familiar with the ads said.  In the weeks before the November elections — where voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington voted on measures relating to same-sex couples’ marriage rights — such prominent support would have been heavily sought. Clinton had supported efforts toward the legislative passage of marriage equality in New York, going so far as to attend and participate in a phone-banking effort in Manhattan before the legislature approved the bill in June 2011.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: UN Condemns Gay Death Penalty



Yesterday the United Nations approved a resolution that condemns the killing of LGBT persons either by governments or via "extrajudicial" means such as hate crimes. Via press release from the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission:
An international coalition of organizations dedicated to human rights celebrated yesterday’s historic vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to pass resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The vote reversed the events of 2010 when the same body voted to strip the resolution of reference to "sexual orientation." The UNGA also expanded upon its commitment to the universality of human rights by including "gender identity" for the first time in the resolution’s history. The resolution, which is introduced biennially in the Third Committee, urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling upon States to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. It was introduced by the Government of Sweden and co-sponsored by 34 states from around the world.
IGLHRC notes that the United Arab Emirates attempted to strip "sexual orientation" from the resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, just as they did two years ago. (See the photo above for the vote tally on that amendment.) They add: "Another failed effort, led by the Holy See, would have stripped all specific references to groups at high risk for execution; however it was never formally introduced."

The governments of the United States, Brazil, and many others spoke in favor of the resolution. IGLHRC reports that Egypt "spoke frequently" in opposition. Japan broke its long silence on the issue with this declaration: "We cannot tolerate any killings of persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our delegation voted against the proposed amendment to this paragraph because we think it is meaningful to mention such killings from the perspective of protecting the rights of LGBT people."

Read the full resolution here.


Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 23, 2012

Spiritual Consumerism

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"
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Buddha encouraged us to think of the good things done for us by our parents, by our teachers, friends, whomever; and to do this intentionally, to cultivate it, rather than just letting it happen accidentally.
- Ajahn Sumedho, "The Gift of Gratitude"
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marriage-equality push is eyed in 7 states

LGBT advocates who sense they have the momentum in the fight for marriage equality are considering new efforts to enact marriage equality in at least seven states, including Oregon, Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii, according to this article. Other priorities include expanding employment protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Anti-gay activists say it's wrong to assume the American electorate has changed its mind irreversibly on LGBT issues.  

Politico (Washington, D.C.) 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - Nate Silver


"I've always felt like something of an outsider. I've always had friends, but I've always come from an outside point of view. I think that's important. If you grow up gay, or in a household that's agnostic, when most people are religious, then from the get-go, you are saying that there are things that the majority of society believes that I don't believe." - Nate Silver, telling Britain's Guardian that his "dorkiness" has helped him succeed.


Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Rufus Wainwright & Hubby For The Gap


Advertising Age notes the new campaign from Gap:
A stylish film running online in the U.S. and on broadcast outside the States accompanies colorful print ads featuring some famous celebrity pairings, including actors Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, representing "True Love," musician Rufus Wainwright and artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt, who stand for "Married Love," while "Fatherly Love" figures rapper Nas and his famous blues musician pop, Olu Dara. The ads and film were shot by director/DP Peggy Sirota.

Reposted from Joe

Love Wins In Washington State



Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






Let me tell you about the middle path. Dressing in rough and dirty garments, letting your hair grow matted, abstaining from eating any meat or fish, does not cleanse the one who is deluded. Mortifying the flesh through excessive hardship does not lead to a triumph over the senses. All self-inflicted suffering is useless as long as the feeling of self is dominant. You should lose your involvement with yourself and then eat and drink naturally, according to the needs of your body. Attachment to your appetites--whether you deprive or indulge them--can lead to slavery, but satisfying the needs of daily life is not wrong. Indeed, to keep a body in good health is a duty, for otherwise the mind will not stay strong and clear. This is the middle path.
- Discourse II

Via The Economist / FB:

Daily chart: Attitudes toward gay marriage are changing—and fast. Across most of the West, polls show a majority of public opinion in favour of equality for gays. That said, in 78 countries—mostly in the Muslim world, Africa and other developing states—gay sex is still a crime. Today’s chart maps gay marriage rights around the world http://econ.st/10fAJAY


My buddy Andrew C remided me, "Brasil is not presented accurately. Civil unions provide the same 110 rights as marriage and marriage is completely legal in 3 states if I am not mistaken. And the US is so behind on this...what an embarrassment."

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 19, 2012

The Force of Gratitude

Gratitude is a way of undercutting your ego—that is, it is a way of being Buddhist. It really goes back to interdependence and those basic Buddhist concepts. There is an awareness that we get now and then about what we owe to others, and Shinran feels that that should become the moving force of one’s life. Then the egoism kind of takes care of itself.
- Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom, "Beyond Religion"
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 17, 2012

Complete Practice

When people talk about practicing the buddhadharma, I think they sometimes fail to realize that the buddhadharma is a comprehensive religious system. It doesn’t just mean sitting on your meditation cushion and focusing on your breath. Buddhism is a practice for your whole life.
- Charles Prebish, "Pursuing an American Buddhism"
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 16, 2012

Our Fundamental Goodness

I’ve found that pointing people to their fundamental goodness will awaken it. It’s more skillful than pointing to the negative. We are so loyal to our suffering and to seeing ourselves as damaged that it’s very easy to use spiritual practice to reinforce our self-judgment. That doesn’t help people become liberated.
- Jack Kornfield, "The Wise Heart"
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Via JMG: Catholic Church Gave $2M

Catholic Church Gave $2M To Feed The Homeless Fund Hatred & Fuel Bigotry


NOM Exposed takes note:
Taking up where the Mormons left off in 2008, the Catholic Church – and its affiliate, the Knights of Columbus – have made considerable investments in the marriage fights in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and Maine this election cycle – spending nearly $2 million. In addition, a close ally of the Church and past co-conspirator, the National Organization for Marriage, spent more than $5.2 million this cycle. Final campaign figures for Maryland and Maine will be available by the end of the month.

Marriage equality opponents across the four states raised $11.3 million. The Catholic Church’s contributions make up 17 percent of that total figure. When you add in the contributions of Church ally NOM, the reality of the coordinated effort becomes clear: the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and NOM are responsible for funding nearly 65 percent of all anti-equality efforts in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and Maine.
That's $11.3 million that didn't go to pay molestation settlements.  Time for some more parishes to declare bankruptcy!


Reposted from by Joe

VIa JMG:


VIa JMG: Uruguay Considers Marriage


Uruguay, which already has civil unions, began this week considering a move to full marriage equality.
The proposed "marriage equality" law would change Uruguay's nearly-century-old civil code and give married gays and lesbians all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual married couples, including the possibility of adopting children. It was drafted by gay rights activists in the so-called "Black Sheep Collective" and now has the support of lawmakers in the ruling Broad Front coalition, which decided Wednesday to debate the measure next week in the House of Deputies' constitutional commission. "Today's society is much broader than the heterosexual, and the civil code should reflect this: a marriage institution that applies equally to all," Federico Grana, a member of the collective, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "This goes well beyond homosexuality — it's a law that gives all the same rights and responsibilities."

Reposted from Joe

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet :


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






From this point on you really know. This is called the pinnacle of Zen, the sovereignty of Zen. It is also called knowledge of what is knowable; it produces all the various states of meditation, and anoints the heads of all spiritual princes. In all fields of form, sound, fragrance, flavor, feeling, and phenomena, you realize complete perfect enlightenment. Inside and outside are in complete communion, without any obstruction at all.
- Pai-chang, "The Sphere of the Enlightened"

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 15, 2012

The Real Meaning of Mindfulness

When mindfulness is equated with bare attention, it can easily lead to the misconception that the cultivation of mindfulness has nothing to do with ethics or with the cultivation of wholesome states of mind and the attenuation of unwholesome states. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- B. Alan Wallace, "A Mindful Balance"
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 14, 2012

Take A Moment

As an experiment, the next time you are doing an errand, stuck in traffic, or standing in line at the supermarket, instead of being preoccupied with where you’re going or what needs to be done, take a moment to simply send loving wishes to all those around you. Often, there is an immediate and very remarkable shift as we feel more connected and more present.
- Joseph Goldstein, "Triumph of the Heart"
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Via God / FB:


God says,

"The extra big time bonus winner of SMITE TUESDAY is any US citizen who wants their state to secede from the USA.

These people are still quite mad that their political team didn't win the election. They are sore losers. Rather than just move on, they are signing worthless Internet petitions.

WELL I SHALL SMITE THEM! Their pitiful Internet petitions will be ignored! Their states shall stay part of the USA!! And they shall suffer the agony of defeat and curse their lives every single day.

SMITE!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Via Buddhism on Beliefnet :


Daily Buddhist Wisdom






Clearly, buddha-dharma is not practiced for one's own sake, and even less for the sake of fame and profit. Just for the sake of buddha-dharma you should practice it. All buddhas' compassion and sympathy for sentient beings are neither for their own sake nor for the sake of others. It is just the nature of buddha-dharma.
- Dogen, "Moon in a Dewdrop"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 12, 2012

Being In Touch

You cannot achieve enlightenment by locking yourself in your room. Transformation is possible only when you are in touch.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Fertile Soil of Sangha"
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

California, USA: After Electoral Wins, Gay Activists Await the Supreme Court

Written by scott on November 11th, 2012 After Electoral Wins, California Gay Activists Await the Supreme CourtThe historic votes of four states this week in favor of gay marriage — an apparent sea change in U.S. public opinion — have sparked the hopes of many Californians who want to turn the tide in the Golden State. But that doesn’t mean advocates of gay marriage want to see Californians vote on another ballot measure here. Instead, they’re counting on a relatively conservative U.S. Supreme Court to make same-sex unions legal throughout the country.
“We shouldn’t have to go state after state after state — it’ll take forever,” said gay marriage activist Billy Bradford of Castro Valley. He said activists are hoping for a ruling similar to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended all restrictions on interracial marriage, “so we can move on to other things that face this country.”

read the full article here

What makes a gay soldier different from a straight soldier?


JMG Quote Of The Day - Maureen Dowd


"Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their 'traditional' America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot. The election about the economy also sounded the death knell for the Republican culture wars. Romney was still running in an illusory country where husbands told wives how to vote, and the wives who worked had better get home in time to cook dinner. But in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception. Just like the Bushes before him, Romney tried to portray himself as more American than his Democratic opponent. But America’s gallimaufry wasn’t knuckling under to the gentry this time." - Maureen Dowd, writing for the New York Times.


Reposted from Joe

Via O Bosque de Berkana / FB:

Poema de Jiddu Krishnamurti

''Eu não tenho nome,
Eu sou como a brisa fresca das montanhas.
Eu não têm abrigo;
Sou como as águas errantes.
Eu não tenho nenhum santuário, como os deuses escuros;
Também não estou à sombra dos templos da profundidade.
Eu não tenho livros sagrados;
Também não sou bem-temperado na tradição.
Eu não estou no incenso
Montagem sobre os altares elevados,
Nem na pompa de cerimônias.
Eu não sou nem na imagem de escultura,
Nem no canto rico de uma voz melodiosa.
Eu não sou limitado por teorias,
Nem corrompido por crenças.
Não estou realizado na escravidão das religiões,
Nem na agonia piedosa de seus sacerdotes.
Eu não estou preso por filosofias,
Nem no realizadar no poder de suas seitas.
Eu não sou nem baixo, nem alto,
Eu sou o adorador eo adorado.
Eu sou livre.
Minha canção é a canção do rio
Apelando para o mar aberto,
Errante, errante,
Eu sou a Vida.
Eu não tenho nome,
Eu sou como a brisa fresca das montanhas.''

Jiddu Krishnamurti
 
 

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 11, 2012

A Life Informed by Death

If we really faced our fear of death, our lives would ultimately be lighter and more joyful. I don't propose death awareness to depress us. It enhances our ability to live more fully.
- Larry Rosenberg, "Only the Practice of Dharma Can Help Us at the Time of Death"
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Via humanmedia.org:

Play MP3 sampleThich Nhat Hanh. In this period of reflection on the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn.


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