Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Via JMG: REPORT: Openly Gay Banker Under Consideration For Obama Cabinet

According to an unnamed source, openly gay Export-Import Bank head Fred Hochberg is under consideration to join President Obama's cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. If chosen, Hochberg would be the first openly gay cabinet member in history. Chris Johnson reports at Washington Blade:
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Blade that Hochberg is under consideration for various positions within the administration, although commerce secretary is the role for which he’s seen as most fit. “What I’ve been told is Fred very well regarded, he’s done a great job at the bank, and he’s one of the folks that they are looking at carefully for Commerce,” the official said. But the official said Hochberg hasn’t been involved as of Monday in direct talks with the White House about the position, nor could the official offer any timeline for when the administration would make an announcement.
RELATED: Shortly after last month's election, the Human Rights Campaign began advocating for the president to consider adding an LGBT person to his cabinet.

Reposted from Joe

Via Buddhism on Belief:

Daily Buddhist Wisdom

Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfillment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less.
- Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

God's Diary is Embarrassing

Via JMG: URUGUAY: Lower House To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Bill Next Week

Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies, that nation's lower legislative body, will vote on same-sex marriage on December 11th.
Five months ago, the government approved the recognition of same sex marriage legalized in other countries. The law was supported by the Constitution Committee and the Codes of the House including two opposition legislators.  Frente Amplio legislator Julio Bango, a supporter of the law, said the law would pass the Senate in 2013 after the summer recess. He noted the dispute about name order for children of same sex marriages but said that issue would be resolved in the next week. The law reads, “the institution of marriage will mean the union of two parties, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation thereof at the same terms with the same effects established in the Civil Code”. The law will extend to include homosexuals, lesbians and transsexuals.
In 2007 Uruguay became the first South American nation to legalize civil unions.

Reposted from Joe

Via NEB - International Network of Engaged Buddhists

Deer Park Monastery A holiday letter from Thay Phap Dung, Abbot of Deer Park Monastery: Dear Beloved Thầy, Dear Sanghas throughout the World, Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters, Our loving Mother Earth is still there for us, right beneath our two feet. She is a miracle, a jewel in the cosmos, refreshing and healing. She has shown unlimited patience throughout human history and an uncanny ability to transform just about anything with equanimity and acceptance. She is now calling us for help. She is suffering from our human activities based on our craving, discrimination, fear, and despair. The Gift of Practice - This holiday season, we have a chance to express our love and care for Mother Earth by the way we care for our self, our family and our environment. We can practice mindfulness to care for our inner environment, our feelings and our emotions so that we do not lose ourself in worries about the future or regrets about the past, or lose ourself with our feelings and thinking in the present moment. We practice in such a way that we are peaceful, free and happy right in the here and now. We can practice to be more relaxed in our body and mind as we drive our car to work, or cook for our family, or play with our friends, or even rest when we return home. We can look deeply into our relationships with our loved ones, with our environment, our neighborhood, and our workplace and find skillful ways to care, to renew and to improve them. Care is a priceless gift. Having Enough – Concretely this Holiday Season, we invite you to make an effort to find ways that you can give a gift that does not require you to spend a lot of money or even any at all. The greatest gift is, of course, our practice, our true presence, our understanding and love. The giving of this gift will require more effort, more creativity, and deeper looking into your beloved. You can make something. You can surprise him or her with a message that has been waiting for so long. “Dear Father, I know you are there and I am happy.” “My son, I am here for you completely.” “My dear, I am sorry; let us begin a new chapter.” “Dear Mother Earth,I take refuge in you and bow down deeply.” A reminder, a memory, a simple attention with skillfulness in expression can touch and transform. Understanding and compassion cannot be bought. This is an invitation to all practitioners throughout the world to join us this Season for a silent resistance – to the mass pressure to consume, to the forces that cause us to run away from ourself in forgetfulness. Let us change the way we spend our Holiday Season this winter. Let us show our care for the planet in concrete ways. Let us say to Mother Earth that She can have trust in us. And please share this with the larger community by writing about your priceless gift: your gift of practice; your gift of transformation, with by messaging us here at the Deer Park Facebook page, or by commenting below. With trust and confidence, Brother Pháp Dung for the Plum Village Community

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 5, 2012

Generosity of the Heart

Genuine happiness in relationships comes forth naturally when it’s no longer blocked by all the conditions that we normally add—our agendas, our needs, our expectations. When we’re more able to refrain from indulging our self-centered motivations, we no longer look at our relationship in terms of what we will get. Instead, as we move toward the generosity of the heart, we naturally want to give.
- Ezra Bayda, "Giving Through Relationships"
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