Sunday, March 8, 2015

the power of now audiobook by ekhart tolle Keith Stevens Keith Stevens 273 31.438

The Most Powerful Video on Spirituality and Happiness - Rare Eckhart Tolle Teaching - Must See

Via http://higherperspective:

3 Buddhist Teachings That Will Make Your Life A Happier One

Buddhism has a lot to offer the world, and unlike many other religions, if you aren’t Buddhist, that’s okay with Buddhism. It’s not here to be dogmatic, but to help people grow and develop themselves. These are 3 Buddhist teachings that can make your life better.

1. Anitya – Impermanence.

We aren’t permanent. Nor is anything else in this world. Things change every day. Each day, our bodies are different, our environment is different – our whole universe is different!
Celebrate the idea that our lives change every day. Accept this constantly moving existence. When you look at it through new eyes, it’s pretty exciting, isn’t it! Each new day brings new opportunities.

2. Dukkha – Life is suffering.

This one sounds kind of negative, doesn’t it? But it’s not just trying to tell you that life is tough and you need to buck up, but that attachment to people, things, and expectations is a cause of pain. Try not to buy into the idea that you’re a broken person. Expect that your body will decay over time and that strife will happen and you’ll be more resilient in the face of it.

3. Anatma – Life is constantly changing.

Buddhism doesn’t assume that there is a fixed self, but rather, a constantly changing self. Our thoughts, names, jobs, titles, and even personalities identify us, but those things can change overtime. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Thanks to impermanence, anything is possible.”
Instead of trying to find yourself, focus on creating yourself. Create the best possible self for this moment. Worry about the kind of self you need to be for tomorrow tomorrow. Focus on the you you want to be now.


Via JMG: President Obama Speaks At Selma, Gives Nod To Battle For LGBT Rights

Via the New York Times:
In an address at the scene of what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” Mr. Obama rejected the notion that race relations have not improved since then, despite the string of police shootings that have provoked demonstrations. “What happened in Ferguson may not be unique,” he said, “but it’s no longer endemic. It’s no longer sanctioned by law or custom, and before the civil rights movement, it most surely was.” But the president also rejected the notion that racism has been defeated. “We don’t need the Ferguson report to know that’s not true,” he said. “We just need to open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to know that this nation’s racial history still casts its long shadow upon us. We know the march is not yet over; we know the race is not yet won. We know reaching that blessed destination where we are judged by the content of our character requires admitting as much.”
And of course he mentioned LGBT rights.
On the 50th anniversary of the march, Obama honored the protesters by saying, “Because of what they did, the doors of opportunity swung open not just for African-Americans, but for every American. Women marched through those doors. Latinos marched through those doors. Asian-Americans, gay Americans, and Americans with disabilities came through those doors. Their endeavors gave the entire South the chance to rise again, not by reasserting the past, but by transcending the past.”

He further noted, “We do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that bias and discrimination are immutable, or that racial division is inherent to America. If you think nothing’s changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or L.A. of the ’50s. Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing’s changed. Ask your gay friend if it’s easier to be out and proud in America now than it was 30 years ago. To deny this progress — our progress — would be to rob us of our own agency; our responsibility to do what we can to make America better.”

President Obama Delivers Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma Marches

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: SCOTUSblog On The DOJ's Brief

Lyle Denniston writes at SCOTUSblog:
The brief was limited to defending same-sex marriage under an “equal protection” standard, leaving unmentioned the other constitutional argument that some challengers to state bans have made: that marriage is a fundamental right that cannot be closed to such couples, a “due process” argument.

The government’s new filing, signed by U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., and other Justice Department officials and staff lawyers, sought to persuade the Court to embrace a constitutional test that this administration has been pressing for some time in gay rights cases.

It called for what is known as “heightened scrutiny” — the middle level of three ascending tests for judging claims that laws discriminate on the basis of a forbidden personal trait. The easiest standard to meet is “rational basis,” and the toughest is “strict scrutiny.”

Under the middle level, a law that is challenged as discriminatory can be upheld only if it serves an “important government objective” and its terms are “substantially related” to such a policy goal.

In a series of decisions in recent years that have added to gay rights, the Supreme Court has never specified an explicit standard for use in the field of sexual orientation. At times, it has seemed to adopt something like “rational basis-plus,” but it has never given a specific definition of the test or tests it has used.
Hit the link for more analysis.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Popular Street Names By State

From the Washington Post:
For decades we have believed that the most popular name for a road was “2nd.” But by my analysis, that crown actually goes to “Park.” (Again, look to the methodology section for a discussion of this.) Out of over a million roads in the United States, 9,640 are named “Park.” Only 8,232 are named “2nd,” or “Second.” Still, both the Census and I agree that “2nd” is a more popular road name than “1st.” The most convincing explanation anyone has come up with so far is that in many towns the primary thoroughfare is “Main” street instead of “1st” street. Because those two names split the honor, so to speak, they tumble in the rankings. Trees, numbers, and presidents are the most popular names for streets, which is understandable.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 08/03/2015

“Deus e Amor - essas são palavras que têm sido muito distorcidas ao longo do tempo. Poucos são os que realmente conhecem seu significado. Estou citando essas duas palavras porque entre elas existe uma sinergia - elas são sinônimas. Mas, como falar de algo tão profundo? Posso tentar fazer uso adequado das palavras para descrever o que é Deus, e o que é o Amor, mas no máximo poderei criar um campo para você viver uma experiência. Podemos tentar descrever o sabor de uma fruta e, dependendo da nossa habilidade com as palavras, você poderá imaginar esse sabor, mas para realmente conhecer o sabor da fruta você terá que saboreá-la.”

“Dios y Amor – esas son palabras que han sido muy distorsionadas a lo largo del tiempo. Pocos son los que realmente conocen su significado. Estoy citando estas dos palabras porque entre ellas existe una sinergia – ellas son sinónimos. Pero ¿cómo hablar de algo tan profundo? Puedo intentar hacer un uso adecuado de las palabras para describir lo que es Dios, y lo que es el Amor, pero como máximo podré crear un campo para que vivas una experiencia. Podemos intentar describir el sabor de una fruta y dependiendo de nuestra habilidad con las palabras, podrás imaginar ese sabor, pero para realmente conocer el sabor de la fruta tendrás que saborearla.”

“God is love. These words have been distorted over time, and few people really know what they mean. I am mentioning these two words because a synergy exists between them; they are synonyms. But how can I speak about something that is so profound? I can try to make an appropriate use of words to describe what God and love are, but the best I can do is create a field for you to experience them in. We can try to describe what a fruit tastes like and, depending on how good we are with words, you could even imagine what it tastes like. But if you really want to know what the fruit tastes like, you have to try it for yourself.”

Via Daily Dharma

Stick with It | March 8, 2015

Once we have made the outward choice among the many paths available and have begun a systematic practice, we often find ourselves assailed from within by doubts and fears, by all the feelings that we have never dared experience. Eventually, all of the dammed-up pain of a lifetime will arise. Once we have chosen a practice, we must have the courage and the determination to stick with it and use it in the face of all our difficulties.

- Jack Kornfield, "Take the One Seat"