Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Via Lion's Roas: I’m interested in going to a Buddhist center in my city for the first time. Any advice?

Illustration by Nolan Pelletier.
Illustration by Nolan Pelletier.

It sounds like you’re a little nervous and unsure what to expect. That’s okay—Buddhists talk about the value of “not-knowing,” after all. But we do have some tips.

First: do some googling to see what your options are. And you’ll find a helpful directory of Buddhist centers right in the back of Lion’s Roar magazine or Buddhadharma. Visit centers’ websites and social media to get a sense of the tradition and teachings they represent. Which ones reflect what’s drawn you to Buddhism? Look for special beginner-friendly and drop-in events.

Here are some things to keep in mind for your visit to a center:
  1. You’re under no obligation to do anything you don’t want to—and you’re free to leave if you don’t like the feel of the place.
  2. That said, Buddhist practice is often about letting go, so try your best to have a spirit of playful experimentation. Bowing or chanting may be outside of your experience, but you’re there to try something new. Don’t worry about getting things wrong, because that’s expected.
  3. Centers often rely on generosity to function. You are free to make a donation but not obligated.
  4. Different communities have different feels—some are mostly silent, some are talkier, and so on. Keep looking and soon you’ll find one where you feel at home.
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Via LGBTQ Nation / FB: Trump’s new campaign chiefs have a long and sordid anti-gay past

In this Aug. 10, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a coal mining roundtable at Fitzgerald Peterbilt in Glade Spring, Va.
In this Aug. 10, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a coal mining roundtable at Fitzgerald Peterbilt in Glade Spring, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump seems to have discovered some change you can believe in, and has just shuffled around the leadership of his campaign (again). Out goes Paul Manafort, who may or may not have been illegally accepting money from foreign powers, and in comes Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway.

Wait, who?

Well, you’ll be delighted (and no doubt shocked) to learn that Trump’s new best friends have a long history of homophobia. Surprise!

Bannon, for example, went nuts over Target’s inclusive bathroom policy, accusing the store of “trying to exclude people who are decent, hard-working people who don’t want their four-year-old daughter to have to go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.” Good one!

Conway called homosexuality “corrupting” and said that people “don’t want their kids looking at a cartoon with a bunch of lesbian mothers.” She did a bunch of polling for the National Organization for Marriage, which unbelievably still exists. (In fact, just last week, NOM sent out a fundraising email in which they inadvertently called their own members “pathetic.” Truer words were never spoken!)

Conway also spoke at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, and said that opposing homosexuality is not “right versus left, but right versus wrong.”

Trump likes to pretend that he’s a friend to the gays, but a quick look over at the company he keeps proves that’s simply not true. And of course, running mate Mike Pence is even worse.

Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has run headlines like “The Trouble with Trannies” and pushed a conspiracy theory that Matthew Shepard’s murder wasn’t a hate crime. The site has also claimed that being gay is a mental illness.

Read the original and much more here

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia - Flor del día- Flower of the day - 23/08/2016

“O ego humano encontra-se adoecido, completamente obcecado pelo poder. O egoísmo chegou no seu grau máximo. E para que possamos nos curar dessa doença, precisamos primeiro reconhecê-la através dos seus sintomas (ansiedade, angústia, tristeza, depressão, desconexão...). Porém, não basta somente tratar os sintomas, precisamos tratar e eliminar a causa, a raiz dessa doença. No mais profundo, a raiz do egoísmo humano está na desconexão com a sua verdadeira identidade e com realidade espiritual da vida.” 

“El ego humano se encuentra enfermo, completamente obsesionado con el poder. El egoísmo ha alcanzado su grado máximo. Y para que podamos curarnos de esta enfermedad, primero necesitamos reconocerla a través de sus síntomas (ansiedad, angustia, tristeza, depresión, desconexión...). Pero no basta solamente con tratar los síntomas, necesitamos tratar y eliminar la causa, la raíz de esta enfermedad. En lo más profundo, la raíz del egoísmo humano está en la desconexión con su verdadera identidad y con la realidad espiritual de la vida.” 

“The human ego is sick, completely obsessed with power. Selfishness has increased to its maximum degree. In order for us to heal ourselves from this disease, we first need to recognize its symptoms such as, anxiety, anguish, sadness, depression and disconnection. However, it is not enough to only treat the symptoms. We need to treat and eliminate the cause, and address the roots of this illness. At the deepest level, the roots of human selfishness lie in the disconnection from our true identity and the spiritual reality of life.”

Via Daily Dharma / August 23, 2016: Our Temporary Niche

As human beings we agonize about death, and about our lack of freedom. We have the greatest difficulty in acknowledging our impermanence and our dependence. Once we truly accept our temporary niche in the interdependence of all things, then, as the Buddha taught, we can be free of dukkha.

—Robert Aitken, "The Rectification of Names"