Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Via LBGTQ Report / Bilerico Report: Remembering the gay man who saved 17 million lives

Alan Turing
Alan Turing

“[Alan Turing] was and is a hero of all time…a man who is a gay icon, who didn’t deny his nature, his being, and for that he suffered. … This is a story that celebrates him, that celebrates outsiders; it celebrates anybody who’s ever felt different and ostracized and ever suffered prejudice.”
—Benedict Cumberbatch

I usually find movie award shows to project primarily fluff and silliness, and they rarely stir deep emotions in me. But listening to Benedict Cumberbatch accept the award for Best Actor at the American Film Awards for his portrayal of Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game two years ago brought me to tears.

This stemmed from a sense of deep pride and an endless abyss of sadness. Cumberbatch’s commitment and passion shined through on stage as he talked about transforming Turing’s story, his brilliance, and his humanity to the silver screen, helping to give Turing the long-overdue wide-scale recognition he rightly deserves.

Alan Mathison Turing was a pioneering computer scientist, and he served as a mid-20th century British mathematician, logician, and cryptanalyst who, working during World War II at England’s Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, succeeded with his team of scientists and linguists in cracking the “Enigma code” used by the Nazi command to conduct covert communication operations.

Because of Turing and his colleagues’ efforts, Cumberbatch said, there is now general agreement that they shortened the war by at least two years, saving an estimated 17 million lives. Prime Minister Winston Churchill singled out Turning as the person whose work contributed the most to defeating the Germans.

The Imitation Game also highlights the enormous obstacles placed in the way of women entering the sciences, especially mid-century. In this regard, Keira Knightley made an equally moving speech at the American Film Awards in accepting theBest Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of Joan Clarke, who worked with Turing in deciphering the code.

“Particularly now, when women are such a minority in all fields, her story and the fact that she really perseveres, and she had space and time and grace, is really inspiring,” she said.

Though initially considered a national hero in Britain, in 1952, government officials arrested and prosecuted Turing on the antiquated charge of “gross indecency” when he “admitted” to maintaining a same-sex relationship. Rather than serving time in prison, Turing chose to undergo estrogen injections then considered in men a form of “chemical castration” eliminating sex drive. Turing took his life two years later by swallowing cyanide just two weeks short of his 42nd birthday.

I find it deeply ironic that while Turing and his team helped defeat the Nazi war machine, a nation intolerant of any form of difference including same-sex relations (especially between men), the primary “allied” nations fighting Nazi Germany – United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union – all maintained laws criminalizing homosexuality.

Under King Henry VIII in 1533, England passed a “buggery” (or sodomy) law, doling out the penalty of death for “the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with mankind or beast.”

Under the rule of Elizabeth I in 1564, death for same-sex acts between men became a permanent part of English law until the 1880s. British courts at the time concluded that sex between two women was impossible and, therefore, exempted women from the statute. By 1885, English Criminal Law punished homosexuality with imprisonment up to two years. This remained in effect until homosexuality was decriminalized in 1967.

In addition, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin criminalized homosexuality with eight years imprisonment or exile to Siberia. And in the United States, consensual same-sex relations were against the law at one time in all states, and remained illegal in some states as late as 2003, when the Supreme Court finally overturned such bans in its Lawrence v. Texas decision.

In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially apologized to Alan Turing on behalf of the people of his nation for “the appalling way he was treated.” Parliament finally brought up a bill of “pardon” in 2013, and on 24 December, 2013, Queen Elizabeth granted Turing a posthumous pardon.

Though the English government never actually forced a physical stigma onto Turing’s body, they branded the symbol of the outsider, the pervert, the enemy deeply into his soul. This branding seriously deprived the British nation and the larger world community of his continued genius, his generosity, and the many additional gifts he could have imparted.

I agree with Benedict Cumberbatch that Turing’s wide-scale recognition is long overdue.

Make jump here to read  the original and more

Via Ram Dass

To be free means to open your heart and your being to the fullness of who you are, because only when you are resting in the place of unity can you truly honor and appreciate others and the incredible diversity of the universe.

Via Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / October 30, 2016: Meditation in Context

The practice of mindfulness-awareness meditation does not take place in a vacuum. It happens within a certain context and point of view. In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is often presented in the context of view, meditation, and action. Each of these three is essential, as a system of checks and balances.

—Judy Lief, "Is Meditation Enough"

Via Gregg Braden / FB:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Via Sri Prem Baba:

Via Daily Dharma / October 28, 2016: Arbitrary Divisions

We divide our world into me/you, friend/enemy, desirable/undesirable, fulfilling/frustrating, and so on. It’s a natural process, but a very arbitrary, utterly subjective one.

—Pamela Gayle White, "The Pursuit of Happiness"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Via FB:

Love Always Wins - Mikey Wax (Feat. Prophecy) #LoveWins #PrayForOrlando

Via Buddhist Global Relief / FB:

Broad knowledge, skill,
Well mastered discipline, well-spoken words:
This is of the highest protective charms.

~ Samyutta Nikaya 2.4

Via Ram Dass


The cosmic humor is that if you desire to move mountains and you continue to purify yourself, ultimately you will arrive at the place where you are able to move mountains. But in order to arrive at this position of power you will have had to give up being he-who-wanted-to-move-

mountains so that you can be he-who-put-the-mountain-there-in-the-first-place. The humor is that finally when you have the power to move the mountain, you are the person who placed it there--so there the mountain stays.

Via Sri Prem Baba:

Via Daily Dharma / October 26, 2016: A Buddhist Prayer

The most basic Buddhist prayer is “may all beings find peace,” which expresses the positive mental state of loving kindness. It is not a prayer directed to some higher power outside the meditator, but the articulation of an attitude; at a deeper level, an aspiration; and at a still deeper level, a commitment.

—Gareth Sparham, "Prayer: Venerable Gareth Sparham"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Via Lionsroar: Eight Buddhist Views on the Practice of Politics

Hand holding a man standing at a lectern.
Collage by Markos Zouridakis.

Politics and Buddhism might seem antithetical, but in truth Buddhist practice is inherently political. From the July 2004 Lion’s Roar, Here are eight views on how to move society along the path to freedom from political suffering.

A Buddhist Brawl

By Richard Reoch

Not so long ago a brawl broke out in a Buddhist shrine room. A close friend of mine was involved. The retreat leader was injured and needed treatment. It all happened in a very lovely retreat center near where I live. They were having a weekend devoted to nonviolence, and had invited a guest facilitator to lead the retreat. He wasn’t a Buddhist, but knew about group dynamics.

On the second day, the retreat leader proposed a role play. Two of the participants would be “kidnapped” by a terrorist group. The rest would have to negotiate for their freedom. The retreat leader was to play the terrorist with whom they would negotiate.  He opened a pack of cigarettes, took out a match and lit up.

“Excuse me,” said one of the participants, “there’s no smoking in the shrine room.”
The leader paid no attention. He smoked on in silence.

“Please put out the cigarette. We don’t smoke in the shrine room.”

“I don’t give a damn about your smoking rules,” said the terrorist coldly. “Do you want to talk about smoking, or do you want your friends back?”

“We won’t negotiate with you until you respect our shrine room,” said someone who was emerging as a leader for their side.

“O.K.,” said the terrorist, “I’ll stop.” He stood up slowly, sauntered over to the shrine, took a last puff and stubbed out his cigarette in the lap of the Buddha.

Gasps filled the room. This was no longer play-acting. People rushed up to see if the Buddha rupa had been damaged.

“What do you think you’re doing?” someone shouted. “That’s a buddha!”

“I don’t give a damn. It’s not my buddha. This is not my shrine room. I’ve stopped smoking. Do you want to talk about your friends or shall I leave?”

People were irate. Events were overtaking them. No one wanted to talk about the hostages; they were obsessed with the assault on the Buddha. One person went up to the retreat leader and talked to him straight from the heart. “We invited you here to lead this weekend. We know this isn’t your community or your tradition. But this is our sacred space. All we ask is that you honor that.”

“Would you like to see how much I respect your space?” he replied. He walked over to the corner and pissed on the floor. The whole room lunged forward. The first person to reach him knocked him to the ground. The rest joined in, shouting and kicking him as he curled up on the floor to protect himself from the blows. Eventually he managed to drag himself out of the shrine room, told the two “hostages” to rejoin their fellow practitioners and abandoned the weekend.

Friends, this is the way these events were told to me. In these dark and turbulent times, I often find it helpful to remember them.

Richard Reoch is the president of Shambhala and chair of the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, which is working to end the Buddhist world’s longest-running war.

The Politics of Interdependence

By Peter Coyote

Normally the word “politics” means “competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership.” This is actually the fourth of eight definitions for the word listed in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. The first definition, which I find more useful, defines politics as “the art of adjusting and ordering relationships between individuals and groups in a political community.” The words “adjusting” and “ordering” stress relationship and interdependence, whereas “competition” implies domination and hierarchy.

Relationship and interdependence are “mutually dependent arising”—the core of the Buddha’s understanding. This core insight implies some procedures and goals for the practice of politics that might beneficially alter the way it is presently construed. At the very least it affords an opportunity to consider the practice of politics from the perspective of Buddha.

The first principle might be expressed as: political acts and solutions should afford all beings maximal opportunity to fulfill their evolutionary destinies. (In this context, “beings” should be understood to include insects, plants, animals and the soil itself.) Practically, this requires considering the needs of all beings when evaluating political goals and strategies. To say, “There can be no more factories in such and such a place,” is a flat denial that creates conflict, because there may be people who need the work and others who need the products. An alternative set of statements such as, “We may need factories or power plants, but they should be constructed in a way that does no harm. 

Furthermore, they should be located where the interests of plants, animals and humans are not negatively affected, and their products should sell at a cost that does not oppress those who require them for survival,” is inclusive. It invites higher degrees of complexity and problem-solving, which in turn invites increased participation.

The second principle might be: If there is no self, there is no other. Our “opponent,” however disagreeable, is highlighting an aspect of mind we may have difficulty owning, an aspect that must be understood and addressed if we hope to make progress. It can only be accessed by intimacy. 

Resistance builds strength (as it does in a gym) and hardens the position of one’s opponent. Careful evaluation of the first principle will gradually unpack and expose the conflicting “interests” and desires of the proponent. These interests must be pursued to their roots in one’s own psyche until they can be faced without the wrath and judgment that diminish one’s opponent. Doing so will, at the least, win the respect of those with whom you struggle. This respect increases intimacy and a sense of relationship—the deep goal of all political work.

The third principle might be: Procedures or solutions that compromise the dignity (“intrinsic worth”) of one’s opponent imply domination and hierarchy, not relationship. Consequently, they should be excluded from political discourse.

It is hard to imagine too much harm arising from a diligent practice of these three principles. Nothing will work in every situation, and a corollary of all political work must be “No one always wins.” Since outcomes are beyond our control, what we can control are our intentions and personal behavior. By adhering to these three principles, we model the world we hope to establish through politics. This can never be understood as a defeat.

Peter Coyote is a writer, actor and engaged Buddhist. He is the author of Sleeping Where I Fall.

Why Democracy Needs Dharma

By David Kaczynski

Engaging in political action today requires attention to suffering, but too often the attention of politicians is absorbed in their own power. Instead of mindfulness, politicians and their professional handlers use extreme care to avoid a campaign-destroying gaffe. There is a prevailing shamelessness as candidates for high office accept campaign contributions from powerful interests and seek to advance themselves by destroying their opponents’ reputations and careers. Voters’ perceptions are subject to constant manipulation by campaign advertising and the news media. The political game is fueled with money, and its players know that a vote cast in ignorance, fear or narrow self-interest counts just as much as a vote cast thoughtfully for others’ benefit. In this zero-sum game of money, influence and image, winning is left to the winners.

Is a “progressive” politics even possible in samsara?

Buddhist practice is a unique mixture of patience, pragmatism, idealism and openness. The life of a Buddhist includes practice and is itself practice as we aspire to reach enlightenment. Dedicating our practice for the benefit of all sentient beings acknowledges a profound connectedness—the karmic connectedness of beings through interdependent arising and the ultimate connectedness of beings through our shared buddhanature. In Buddhist study and practice we discover the limitations of concepts—not only our concepts about people and circumstances, but our concepts regarding how they ought or ought not to be.
Can there be a truly democratic politics without dharma in the broad sense?
Through practice, we place ourselves in open connectedness with others while avoiding the impatient overreaching of concepts toward some imagined outcome. When we work to benefit others, skillful means emerge from the insights of Buddhist practice and from a deep regard for others’ buddhanature. This is the kind of “liberation” Buddhists know about.

The ideal of democracy in the West, with its emphasis on process, inclusiveness and human dignity, is imbued with many of the qualities and insights of the dharma.

As Buddhists, we also understand that there is no truth or wisdom without compassion. Engaged Buddhism represents an antidote to the politics of fear, hate, violence and separation. We realize that on the path to enlightenment, no one is left behind. Practice and study help us avoid the traps of polarized thinking. We resist war, yet we honor the soldier’s pain and sacrifice. We oppose the death penalty, yet we open our hearts to murder victims’ family members. We know that truth and transformation can be realized through listening and paying attention, as well as through speaking and taking action. We are the ones who don’t turn our heads away, who abide without discouragement, and who avoid becoming a mirror image of the enemy, because in the end we have no enemies.

Can there be a truly democratic politics without dharma in the broad sense? Is there anything more needed in public life than the dharma?

David Kaczynski is executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty. He and his wife Linda Patrik received national attention in 1996 when it was revealed that David’s brother, Theodore, known as the Unabomber, had been turned in by his own family.

A Peaceful World Begins with Small Peaceful Actions

By Jan Willis

Sharing this tiny planet amidst a vast universe, we are all interconnected beings, incapable even for a nanosecond of complete independence. Yet we conduct our lives as though we each possessed complete and ultimate control of our individual, isolated universes. We imagine enemies and competitors, and we fight for our share. Though we can sometimes envision a peaceful world, it becomes almost natural to see violence as inevitable and peace as impossible. But it is not.
We know in our hearts that violence does not bring peace, that hatred breeds more hatred, and that only with love and compassion can hatred ever truly be appeased. Many of us sometimes happily sing along with the words of John Lennon’s song:

Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.

We seem to know innately, with our hearts, what is right, proper and just. We recognize that, as human beings, we all wish to be happy and to avoid suffering. If we could, we would change the world so that every being enjoyed respect, peace, happiness and ease. Yet often it seems we don’t know how, or where, to start.
“As long as there is poverty in the world, I can never be totally rich….As long as people are afflicted with debilitating diseases, I can never be totally healthy…. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
I believe we have to start with very small actions. We may not, by ourselves, be able to change the entire world all at once, but we can begin to change a tiny piece of it in our everyday environment.
We have many wise guidelines. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, that African-American bodhisattva of our time, reminded us that we cannot truly be free until all human beings are free. He once noted that, “As long as there is poverty in the world, I can never be totally rich….As long as people are afflicted with debilitating diseases, I can never be totally healthy…. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” But Dr. King also knew—and demonstrated—that any war for freedom must be a war waged with love.

In 1963, as a teenager, I had the good fortune of participating in the “Birmingham campaign” for civil rights led by Reverend King. It was a hopeful time. Feeling part of a larger community of like-minded nonviolent protestors, I felt buoyed up by the possibility of triumph over injustice. When, later, after leaders like Malcolm X, King and the Kennedys had been struck down by violence, a period of hopelessness settled in.

For many of us today that hopelessness still seems to hold sway. And so, before we endeavor to change the world, we need to rekindle hope again. The thing I’ve learned about hope, however, is that it grows from action, not from thought. If we wish to see an enlightened world of peace and justice for all, we have to move beyond merely imagining it, to nonviolent actions, however small, that will help to usher it in. This goes for politicians as well.

Jan Willis is professor of religion at Wesleyan University and author of Dreaming Me: From Baptist to Buddhist, One Woman’s Spiritual Journey.

Practice Is Politics

By Noah Levine

Buddhist practice is a political action. Training one’s mind, heart and actions in wisdom and compassion is the ultimate form of political rebellion. The spiritual path is an engaged act of going against ignorance and oppression. Perhaps this is why the Buddha referred to his path to awakening as having been “against the stream.”

From a Buddhist perspective we find ourselves incarnated in the human realm of samsara. This realm is characterized by what are sometimes called the three fires of greed, hatred and delusion. Through personal effort and training we begin to extinguish the three fires, only to look around and see that although we are no longer engulfed in flames, the whole world is caught in a blazing inferno of suffering.

Even the most superficial assessment of the political situation in this world makes the Buddhist view of samsara ring true. We can easily see the greed, hatred and delusion that pervade the views and actions of those in power.
It may be that all we can do is make wise choices as to who we think will bring about less suffering and confusion to the world.
Buddhist practice reveals that compassion is the only rational response to the confusion and affliction that infuse the human realm. When we see that our every action can either cause or alleviate suffering, then the choices of nonviolence and non-greed are clear. The natural expression of the process of liberation is to act in ways that extinguish rather than fuel the fires that cause suffering.

This poses a personal and political dilemma. We know that samsara is a place of confusion, yet we also know that it is possible to understand this confusion and find personal freedom within this very realm. We know that we must respond with love and compassion to the suffering caused by those who have no understanding of these universal truths. We must then consider the implications of empowering political leaders who are ignorant as to the nature of reality and the consequences of their actions.

We may never have the opportunity to empower an enlightened or even wise being in the political arena. We may always be stuck with choosing the less deluded of two deluded beings. It may be that all we can do is make wise choices as to who we think will bring about less suffering and confusion to the world. From the perspective of non-harming we can see that no choice is the right one, but to make no choice at all is perhaps even worse.

So this is where our Buddhist practice becomes an engaged form of inner and outer rebellion—freeing ourselves from greed, hatred and delusion and doing all we can to lessen the suffering in the world caused by fear, ignorance and oppression.

Noah Levine is the author of Dharma Punx and Against the Stream.

Four Noble Political Truths

By Ken Jones

First is the truth that individual suffering and delusion are socially supercharged. Collectively, we commit immense follies that, if committed individually, would be pathological.

Second is the truth that the forces that drive history and politics are ultimately the same as those that characteristically drive the individual person. The latter experiences a profound sense of lack arising from the impermanence and insubstantiality of this flimsy self. Part of the social response to this has been to bond with other individuals to create a belongingness identity. It may be our race, our nation, our religion, our social class or whatever.

This collective identity is reinforced by emphasizing the difference of other comparable groupings, and, better still, our superiority, and, even better still, the threat that they pose to us. Ideologies add a gutsy righteousness to this black and white picture. Hates condoned by our community enable us ethically to project all our rancor and frustration onto other communities. Hence the savage warfare, heartless economic exploitation and ravaged environment that occupy such a large part of human history. Hence the ease with which former neighbors and schoolmates have slaughtered one another in the Balkans and countless other killing fields.

This is also an easy way to win elections.

The above process I call “antithetical bonding”—the heart of social delusion, and according to Buddhism the building block of history and society. The concept embodied in these two long words is easy to understand. Every citizen disgusted with conventional politics knows what they mean.

Third, there is a way out of social suffering. Reformers, radicals and revolutionaries have been telling us this for centuries. But the results have at best been mixed and at worst disastrous. We now have all the material resources to provide every citizen of our planet with a decent basic standard of living. 

But we are unable to do this. The latest ideology—free market, free-for-all capitalism—is actually making the majority of the world’s people poorer. But it provides a rationale for the greedy consumerism of a minority that is wrecking the planet. In short, there must be something else, something indispensable, that will enable us to find our way out of social suffering.

Fourth is the truth that we must cut the roots of our social problem, the roots of aggressiveness, acquisitiveness and ignorance as to what we are really up to and why. We need to expose and wither those roots by creating a radical culture of awakening. This would be a culture in which the work of contemplative inquiry—alone and with others—is no less important than earning a living, raising a family and keeping physically healthy. This would not heal our divisions overnight, but it would begin to dissolve the underlying bloody-mindedness that makes them so intractable. It would nurture wisdom and compassion, and a host of skillful means. Without these resources we cannot build the socially just and ecologically sustainable global commonwealth that is the collective expression of enlightenment. And which, in turn, would provide, for all, a positive environment for spiritual growth.

Ken Jones (1930-2015) was secretary of the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists and author of The New Social Face of Buddhism.

Nowhere to Spit

By Alan Senauke

We’re in the midst of a long political season, like one of those California seasons that has no clear beginning or end. Primaries, conventions, elections—and then it starts all over again the next year. In this season the question of “enlightened politics” naturally arises for people of all religious traditions. 

In our strange and violent world, what kind of Crazy Glue could make a compound of two notions headed toward very different horizons—enlightenment and politics.
The notion of enlightened politics brings to mind an old Zen saying: “There is no place in the world to spit.” There is no place we can ignore, defile or bomb because we ourselves are everywhere.
The notion of enlightened politics points to two facts of life. First, all beings yearn for freedom and happiness. Second, we live in communities, nations and cultures that bind our well-being to the well-being of others. This is what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing.” It means that not only must we think globally and act locally, but we must also think locally and act globally. The notion of enlightened politics brings to mind an old Zen saying: “There is no place in the world to spit.” There is no place we can ignore, defile or bomb because we ourselves are everywhere.

Our current political leaders seem to have a lot of trouble understanding this.

The notion of enlightened politics implies policies rooted in the virtues of generosity, compassion and wisdom, rather than the poisons of greed, hatred and delusion. And then we need an “enlightenment platform” expressing these virtues. We could begin with what the ancients call “the four requisites”: food, clothing, shelter and medicine. I would humbly add a fifth requisite: self-determination.

This platform means that no one goes hungry, thirsty or unclothed; that people have homes to protect them from the elements; that doctors and medicine are available to all, with an emphasis on hygiene and preventative care. Finally, it means that people have the economic and political power to determine the course of their lives. With these requisites in place, women, men and children have an opportunity to develop a true spiritual life of sufficiency, contentment and gratitude.

Enlightened view means, as Suzuki Roshi puts it, seeing “things-as-it-is.” So we turn back to the real world where political realities—in fact, all realities—are impermanent and incomplete. This means compromise—working for and voting for candidates who will do the least harm: Who will admit that America’s way in the world has been a path of arrogance and power, and intends to go another way? In faith that the dharma will flourish, that candidate will have my vote.

Hozan Alan Senauke is senior advisor to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, where he was executive director for eleven years.

It’s Time

By Charles G. Lief

Our American democracy is, for the most part, partisan in expression, hierarchical, and frequently inaccessible to those without wealth or personal connections. In the U.S., of course, there are models of grassroots democracy: I am writing this from Vermont, where literally dozens of town meetings are just concluding at which any resident may show up and find a way to be heard. There is, however, limited power in any of our voices at those democratic displays beyond the occasional contrarian rejection of a school budget or the like. Even in Vermont, this home of a “purer democracy,” the power is concentrated and guarded.

In order to bring systemic transformation to bear we need to find ways to engage within the system. Unfortunately though, Americans generally become aware of the political world only every four years. And that experience is as “unenlightened” as one can get: We encounter the relentless begging for money, observe increasingly arrogant and nasty discourse and hear the unending mantra that the ends justify the means (as if a pure lotus will arise from the mudslinging). Then, in November, following our solemn, secular ritual, we wake up, hungover, and remember that maybe the means are important after all.

In 1968, I arrived in at the Democratic national convention in Chicago a full-time volunteer for the reformist Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign, sleeping at the Hilton Hotel with the in-group, ready to change the system from within. I was steeped in the optimism of a seventeen-year-old, feeling that our country, wounded by war, racial injustice and assassination, was ready for real transformation. By the end of the week, though, I discovered cynicism and teargas. By the next year or so, I met a teacher and mixed that experience with the dharma. Thirty-six years of fermentation is about enough, and it is time to get back to work.

Charles G. Lief is the president of Naropa University. For ten years he was the president of the Greyston Foundation in Yonkers, New York.

CHOIR sings OM SO HUM Mantra (Must Listen)

Publicado em 19 de set de 2016
Get MP3 of this Track :

So Hum is derived from Sanskrit and literally means "I am That" . it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. As we meditate on this, we realize that we are all one, we have all come from one Infinite Source, and a part (Ansh) of that infinite source is present in all of us. We are all connected. 

"You are the same as I am" OM is the sound of universe. Om Soham ~ I am the universe, I am part of it, I am connected to that Infinite source,

Understand ~ Meditate ~ Chant ~ Sing Along this beautiful Mantra


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Green Tara Mantra | Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha

Publicado em 19 de ago de 2015
About Green Tara Mantra
Tara Mantra is pronounced by Tibetans and Buddhists who follow the Tibetan traditions as oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha. Within Tibetan Buddhism Tārā is regarded as a Bodhisattva of compassion and action who manifests in female form. Tara means "star" in Hindi.

Tārā is also known as a saviouress, as a heavenly deity who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery in saṃsāra.


Green Tara Mantra is actually a loving play with her name
OM is the sound of universe.
So the mantra could be rendered as “OM! O Tara! I entreat you, O Tara! O swift one! Hail!

We at Meditative Mind create music and Mantra chanting tracks for Meditation and relaxation. We specially design tracks for chakras and sanskrit and buddhist meditation mantras.
Join us in this journey of inner peace and mindfulness.
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Music Composed and Mantra Sung by Dilpreet Bhatia
Photo from used under CC0 license

Ani Choying Drolma - Great Compassion Mantra.mp4

Publicado em 8 de mar de 2012
Ani Choying Drolma (born June 4, 1971, in Kathmandu, Nepal), also known as Choying Drolma and Ani Choying (Ani, "nun", is an honorific), is a Buddhist nun and musician from the Nagi Gompa nunnery in Nepal. She is known in Nepal and throughout the world for bringing many Tibetan Buddhist chants and feast songs to mainstream audiences.

She has a powerful and excellent vocal voice.

Namo Ratna Trayāya
Namah Ārya Jñāna
Sāgara Vairocana
Vyūhai Răjāya Thathāgatāya
Arahate Samyak Sambuddhaya
Namo Sarva Tathagatebyeh Arahatebyeh Samyasambuddhe Byeh Namo Arya Avalokite
Svarāya Boddisattvāya
Mahasattvāya Mahākārunikāya, Tadyathā Om Dhara Dhara Dhiri Dhiri Dhuru Dhuru
Ite Vatte chale chale
Phra chale Phra Chale
Kusume kusume Vare Ili Mili Citijvola māpanāye Svohā

Following are the Translations in English:

Benefits in Reciting and Holding The Great Compassion Mantra

Excerpts from The Dharani Sutra
English translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, USA

If humans and gods recite and hold the phrases of the Great Compassion Mantra, then when they approach the end of life, all the Buddhas of the ten directions will come to take them by the hand to rebirth in whatever Buddha land they wish, according to their desire.
People and gods who recite and hold the Great Compassion Mantra will obtain fifteen kinds of good birth and will not suffer fifteen kinds of bad death. Those who recite and hold the spiritual Mantra of Great Compassion will not suffer any of these fifteen kinds of bad death and will obtain the following fifteen kinds of good birth:

1. Their place of birth will always have a good king
2. They will always be born in a good country
3. They will always be born at a good time
4. They will always meet good friends
5. The organs of their body will always be complete
6. Their heart will be pure and full in the way
7. They will not violate the prohibitive precepts
8. Their family will be kind and harmonious
9. They will always have the necessary wealth and goods in abundance
10. They will always obtain the respect and help of others
11. Their richness will not be plundered
12. They will obtain everything they seek
13. Dragons, gods, and good spirits will always protect them
14. In the place where they are born they will see the Buddha and hear the Dharma
15. They will awaken to the profound meaning of that Proper Dharma which they hear.

List of avoidance of bad death:

1. They will neither die of starvation or privation
2. They will not die from having been yoked, imprisoned, caned or otherwise beaten
3. They will not die at the hands of hostile enemies
4. They will not be killed in military battle
5. They will not be killed by tigers, wolves, or other evil beasts
6. They will not die from the venom of poisonous snakes, black serpents, or scorpions
7. They will not drown or be burned to death
8. They will not be poisoned to death
9. They will not die as a result of sorcery
10. They will not die of madness or insanity
11. They will not be killed by landslides or falling trees
12. They will not die of nightmares sent by evil people
13. They will not be killed by deviant spirits or evil ghosts
14. They will not die of evil illnesses which bind the body
15. They will not commit suicide

If you would like to know more about BUDDHISM, this website would be very useful:

Via Lionsroar: How to Welcome the End of the World

Photo by Chris.
Photo by Chris.

What is the best response to difficult and uncertain times? Welcome. John Tarrant, Roshi offers 10 Zen pointers on the practice of welcoming.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
—Bob Marley

Bob Marley’s version of a rough patch is that pirates snatch you from the slave pit, and then they rob you and sell you to a merchant ship. “It’s always something,” as Gilda Radner said when she got her cancer diagnosis.

How to meet the times we are in is a real question, and everybody feels the force of it. It is an ancient question. It comes with being human.

Here is an ancient koan suitable for our time:

A student asked, “When times of great difficulty visit us, how should we meet them?”

The teacher said, “Welcome.”

In hard times, we long to touch and feel the vastness and blessing of life. Welcome might open some blue sky in the heart.

How do you feel about losing the Twin Towers? How do you feel about losing the library of Alexandria, or Baghdad, or Chang An, the City of Perpetual Peace invaded during the An Lu Shan rebellion when two-thirds of the population of China died? And how do you feel about losing your parents, and about losing your dog?

In the U.S., even though our country is based on forgetting the dark karma of the old continents, and in some sense we disapprove of history as a jumble sale of old wrongs, we too are accumulating and being deepened by history. We suffer from wrongs done to our ancestors and done by our ancestors. Simultaneously, our efforts consciously and inadvertently repeat the past. So like other countries, we are going through a rough patch.

There are different kinds of hard times; sometimes we’re poor and don’t eat and get shot by the police. Sometimes gunmen burst into a church, or a movie theater, or a parade, and shoot us or the police. And beyond the violence coming to a city near you, the whole world is unavoidably connected to us. There’s the gap between rich and poor, refugees throwing their children into boats, certainly a desperate measure, and did I mention Zika and climate change?

In difficult times, we disagree about reality. So we are drenched in false descriptions, verdicts, reasons that make no sense—we need to build a wall against Mexicans because, well, ISIS. Yes, that’s what delusion is like.

If I’m outlining the obvious here, it’s because I’m about to say that the inner life counts, and is the beginning of addressing our condition. The inner life is objective, and for that matter, more objective than the outer life. I say this with full awareness of all the aforementioned bad news.

So the first task of the inner life is not to amplify the delusions, not to add hatred to hatred but to head in a different direction, to be openhearted without being gullible.

The little story about welcoming the times we are in offers a path when we don’t know what to do. It’s not about drawing conclusions as a way to freedom. Instead, this koan is an environment. You can repeat it to yourself or just live in it and find out how you and the world change.

Our lives are full of loss, and also songs. Marley wrote the lyrics above while in pain from his cancer. Paying attention to the inner life is a practice that naturally rises to meet our actual world, the life we have now. I will die, those I love will die, bad people will get elected, diet plans will fail, I might be kidnapped or shot, strangers will certainly be kind, I will get a blessing from unexpected places, an apricot tree will be my friend.

Here’s Bob Marley again:

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.

It’s worth noting that the lines about emancipation from mental slavery are quotes from Marcus Garvey, another Jamaican passionate about freedom.

What is a practice of welcoming? Here is a list of pointers:

1. Emptiness is real

All the ways welcome appears are manifestations of the famous Zen idea of emptiness. This means that if you look, you’ll find that welcome doesn’t come from somewhere. It doesn’t come from good intentions or desire. It doesn’t come from impressing anyone. Welcome just appears, which makes it seem like a gift or a guest. But if you look inside, you’ll find it’s always been there.

We are inside the mysterious light of emptiness, which can’t be described but is painting the world into being. We are never apart from that light. There’s a tremendous peace in feeling that. Even if we’re not okay, we’ll be okay. We’ll know what to do.

2. The bodhisattva path

In Buddhism, the shape emptiness takes is sometimes called the bodhisattva path. This means, basically, we’re in it together. We’re concerned about others and, as far as we have a motive, it’s to awaken alongside all beings. The effect is to make us helpful without having to feel virtuous or worthy, which are subtle ways to close things down.

We are often advised to be more armored, more paranoid, to take advantage of others. But finding openness in our own hearts—that changes most things about life. It’s an exhilarating step into the unknown.

3. Empathy

Moment by moment, the imagination, dreams, and hopes of others press on us. By others I mean people, animals, and even trees and rivers. When people are suffering, we feel it. We may not know it, but we do. We may try to explain it away or even blame them, but it’s just that we feel their suffering as our own.

Empathy is the most spectacular manifestation of the mysterious light in everything. The welcome practice is not to be mindful and attentive, though that could be a nice side effect.

Welcome is to see, to feel, to know the flavor of connection. To sing with others, your voice coming out of my mouth. It is the experience that we are already in love with others, and that we perceive others as ourselves. A loving quality appears by itself and is fundamental to being human.

4.Being companions to each other

Part of understanding that we are not living the wrong life is seeing that we are not living in the wrong time. Many things can’t be changed; what we can do is accompany each other. That’s the bodhisattva path again.

During the terrible ordeal of the Russian people during the twentieth century, poet Anna Akhmatova wrote of her decision to stay:

No, not under the vault of alien skies,
And not under the shelter of alien wings—
I was with my people then,
There, where my people, unfortunately, were.
A woman drives her SUV off the icy road, and her carefully buckled-in children drown in the river. On that day, what you can do is make sandwiches and coffee for the stricken people. It’s important not to abandon those who have been hurt as somehow too damaged. Then we don’t abandon ourselves either.

5. We don’t need to know how it’s going to come out

Not knowing is what emptiness tastes like. It’s also what welcome tastes like.
We never know what will arrive next. Dreadful events can lead to wonderful events, and the other way around. It’s always too early to despair. Welcome means not reaching a verdict on our lives.

It is intimate and beautiful not to know, to be vulnerable, not to be stronger than our situation. We can feel our way, we can grope along in the velvety dark, and each step will be true and ours.

6. A little note about delusion

Everyone knows how to believe something. But as soon as you believe something, you have to defend it. When I look, though, I can never completely agree even with my own views.

Beliefs depend on being unexamined. I could just put them behind a no-trespassing sign, but when I do that, I live by them without finding out what is real. The discovery of emptiness implies skepticism about the use of my own views, an inkling that they are a prison rather than a shelter.

When I was a child working with men, they would play tricks on the very young apprentices. They would send them to the store for striped paint or a yard of milk. It wasn’t meant to humiliate—it was a moment of complicity in which we were comrades facing the incomprehensibility of the world. My thoughts are like that—a yard of sorrow, a few inches of indignation, and where did they come from? When I have as much as I want, I can just cut off a strip with long scissors.

7. Who am I, anyway?

The mind forms thoughts and feelings without consulting me. Old songs appear in the middle of the night, grief and memories of childhood pop up like clothing stores, but what does that have to do with me? It doesn’t seem to be who I am. I do notice that welcome is destructive of my prejudices, and then a spaciousness opens. Then even sorrow has welcome inside it. I don’t have to know who I am to take a step.

8. Trust and welcome

If we just hang out with welcome, the world will carry us along. Welcome is not something to deserve, and who knows who we will be when it has changed us?

Welcome might start as a practice, but it’s not a gadget. It transforms and becomes something I notice about reality. Then I’m not opposed to my own life, and I’m amazed how much nicer other people have become.

9. The apocalypse also needs friends

So what’s the worst case for us? Sometimes I walk outside into a sudden silence. No one is chatting anyone up on their phone, or carrying a ladder, or wondering if they look hot in their Dolce & Gabbana sandals with the little photo prints of rock stars on them, and no car stirs on its swishing tires.

The thought appears: “Oh, did something happen? Did everything happen? Did I blink and years have passed?” Then I hear a train’s lonely whistle, and an owl, and an engine starts, and someone is yelling with clumsy good nature across the road. I have no idea if the world changed, but in any event it’s here now. All is well.

But what if it really were the end of the world? If it really were the end of the world, I wouldn’t think of it as difficult. I’d be full of wonder and possibly laughter. I’d think of it as my today. I’d think the end of the world is always happening while hummingbirds zoom past my nose and the plain brown birds scratch in the leaf litter and cars go by much faster than the posted speed limit.

“So this is what the end of the world is like,” I’d think, feeling awe and probably happiness. I could stop bargaining, say, “Welcome,” and listen to the vast pulse of the changes. Nothing is ever truly lost.

10. The end of the world is here

Make the jump here to read the original and more

Via Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / October 25, 2016: Mountaintop Mindfulness

Without mindfulness, my job living with the uncertain nature of snow would have been impossible. Sitting, walking, skiing, they all lead to the same place: Mindfulness. Mindfulness of what is.

—Jerry Roberts, "Avalanche Zen"

Monday, October 24, 2016

Via Ram Dass


The next message you need is always right where you are.

Via Unify / FB:

Via Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / October 24, 2016: Wise Eyes

When we turn diligence into an intellectual process, we end up feeling exhausted by the intensity of the obligation. But if we just respond the way the eyelid responds to a dry eye, then the work of peace naturally arises out of our innate wisdom and compassion.

—Sensei Bonnie Myotai Treace, "Rising to the Challenge: Filling the Well with Snow"

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Via Sri Prem Baba:

Via Daily Dharma / October 23, 2016: Zen Janitor

Zen plays the role of janitor in my religious life, and if my understanding of Zen (pardon the expression) is right, that is a compliment. The Zen I know pulls the rug out from anything I land on as the truth and blissfully blows away dangerous moments of intelligence and understanding.

—Thomas Moore, "Zen Catholic"

Saturday, October 22, 2016

[OFFICIAL VIDEO] Hallelujah - Pentatonix

Via Sri Prem Baba / FB:

Via Daily Dharma / October 22, 2016: What’s Going Right

I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. They do not touch enough on what is not wrong. . . . Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and to see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?

—Thich Nhat Hanh, "Interbeing with Thich Nhat Hanh: An Interview"

Friday, October 21, 2016