Sunday, April 30, 2017

Via Ram Dass

 
When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be. It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It’s a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body and our psyche, on to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.

TED 2017: His Holiness Pope Francis: Why the only future worth building includes everyone


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/30/17

“What would you like to have different in your life? Are you where you would really like to be? This could be the beginning of awakening. Sometimes, we are using a mask for so long that we don't have the slightest idea of who we are or what we really want. We have been completely taken by forgetfulness.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Acknowledging Destructive Emotions

If an emotion, such as hatred or envy, is judged to be destructive, then it is simply recognized as such. It is neither expressed through violent thoughts, words or deeds, nor is it suppressed or denied as incompatible with a “spiritual” life.

—Stephen Batchelor, "Foundations of Mindfulness"

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/29/17

“Love is the essence of life. If we can not love, we can not be ourselves because we don’t feel free to do so. At one point in our journey, we lost the spontaneity of our Being. We broke from our essence and started to use a mask. Over time, we forgot about our essence to the extent that we believed ourselves to be this mask and thus lost our connection with our real self.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / The Benefits of Heightened Awareness

If you’re sensitive to what’s going on around you—sensitive to the weather, to your immediate environment—then you’re going to be sensitive to current events and everything else that enters your life.

—David Budbill, "A Voice from the Outside"

Friday, April 28, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/28/17

“Love is the breath of life. If we are not loving, we are not breathing - we are dying of suffocation. What is suffocating us are the layers of hatred and fear that cover the truth of who we are.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Rejecting Consumer Consciousness

A world that truly understands the nature of consciousness could shift away from the hedonic treadmill of consumerism and toward the infinitely renewable resource of genuine happiness that is cultivated by training the mind.

—B. Alan Wallace, "Within You Without You"

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/27/17

“Where there is fear, there is hatred. Where there is hatred, there is fear. This is a vicious circle that perpetuates when we indiscriminately put new human beings in the world. The human species has been driven by unconscious impulses that are rooted in religious and social conditionings. This type of ignorance has breed even more ignorance. As long as we are unaware of the purpose of bringing a being here to this planet, we have no way to break this vicious circle.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / How to Meditate Anywhere

Anytime you can go out and keep all of your visual and auditory senses alive—looking above eye level, hearing behind you as well as in front of you—you’re performing meditation in the natural world. You’re poised for any stimulus coming from anywhere. It’s as down-to-earth as you can get and still be up in the sky.

—James H. Austin, quoted in Zenshin Michael Haederle’s, "This Is Your Brain on Zen"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Carpool | Google Home now supports multiple users



Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/26/17

“There is a subtle anatomy that is hidden to the physical eye that is also connected with the world of matter. Unfortunately, medicine has advanced very little in this sphere of knowledge. However, it has taken strides towards discovering that by manipulating the subtle body, we influence the physical body. The subtle body can be manipulated through vibrations, music, needles, crystals, stones, scents, and other natural elements. This is what some of us call magic of the elements. But in truth, it is a hidden science to be discovered by the world of science.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Changing Your Way of Being

Meditation is not merely a useful technique or mental gymnastic, but part of a balanced system designed to change the way we go about things at the most fundamental level.

—Judy Lief, "Meditation Is Not Enough Alone"

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/25/17

“It is true that if we imagine we will be rejected, we end up actually being rejected. We create that which we are thinking. We attract what we are feeling. If we think and feel something constantly, we are actually making it concrete in the material world. The accumulated fear held in our system make us compulsively think that we will be rejected and so we wind up creating this reality. When we are rejected, we prove our theory and this continues to strengthen this vicious circle.”
- Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Breaking Habits

Habituation devours work, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war. . . . And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.

—Viktor Shklovsky in Henry Shukman’s, "The Unfamiliar Familiar"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/24/17

“The greatest challenge for the human being is to stop mistaking the unreal for the real. This happens because the mind is directed outwardly towards the world and thus we get lost. The psychological selves that transit through this false sphere are infinite. This reality is full of lies but if we are identified with them, we believe them. We are always protecting ourselves because we believe there is never enough and that the universe is our enemy.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Are You Ready to Meet Reality?

In order to open—in meditation and in life in general—we must let go of our familiar thoughts and emotions, we must step out from behind the safe curtain of our inner rehearsals and onto the stage of reality, even if it’s for just a brief moment.

—Michael Carroll, "Bringing Spiritual Confidence in the Workplace"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Via Ram Dass


My path is the path of Guru Kripa, which means ‘grace of the guru’. It seems like a sort of strange path in the West, but my path involves my relationship to Maharajji, Neem Karoli Baba. The way I do that is that I just hang out with him all the time. I have an imaginary playmate in a way, I mean, he’s dead. He dropped his body, yet he seems so alive to me, because I have invested that form in my mind as an emotional connection to that deeper truth.

Because for me, Maharajji is the cosmic giggle. He is the wisdom that transcends time and space. He is the unconditional lover. He is the total immediate presence.


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/23/17

“Purpose is the program of our soul. This program can not be revealed while we still carry anger towards the other because the purpose is about making the other happy. Regardless of what we do in the world, our purpose is always contributing to the awakening of human consciousness. It is always about making the other shine. If we don’t want to see the other happy due to our system being poisoned by anger, it is not possible to actualize our soul’s program.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / What Makes a Good Sit?

Great ecstatic meditation periods have never been celebrated by teachers; we’re always told to go back to the cushion, to let go of all that arises.

—Trudy Walter, "Leaning into Rawness"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fight Back!


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/22/17

“It’s not possible to expand consciousness without learning how to deal with the mind for it is the greatest power of the being. It is like a wish-fulfilling tree. Without dominion over the mind, our tendency is to create a miserable destiny. Yet, having such dominion, we can create a favorable and blessed destiny.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / What the World Needs Now

The overcoming of clinging through the wisdom of selflessness, the development of empathic love, and the expression of both in conscientious compassion have today become imperatives.

—Venerable Bhikku Bodhi, "The Need of the Hour"

Friday, April 21, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/21/17

“Purpose has to do with a program of inner actualization, which is the contribution that the soul brings to the evolutionary project of the collective. This contribution can take on different forms. Some times, it may come through physical force, through the seva of cleaning the floor to receive the ashram’s spiritual seekers. It may be inside a company, or the financial market or leading an entire country or through the diverse areas of science. All possible fields are in service to the greater purpose. Knowledge is endless and the soul is eternally expanding.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Working with Your Mistakes

In human life, if you feel that you have made a mistake, you don’t try to undo the past or the present, but you just accept where you are and work from there. Tremendous openness as to where you are is necessary.

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, "Your Life is Your Practice"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/20/17

“The external is a reflection of the internal. We create our own reality. Everything that is done without heart is short lived. Everything that arises from the mask has a quick shelf life. We need to transform ourselves in order to transform the world. The change needs to happen from the inside out. Our only chance is self-knowledge because only through it can we understand the mechanics of the ego and the mind. Thus, we recognize that we are exactly where we place ourselves.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself is an almost instantaneous way to connect with suffering.

—Denise Di Novi, "This Buddhist Life"

Via Baha'i Quotes Syndication Service: Be Not a Hypocrite...

Be thou of the people of hell-fire,
but be not a hypocrite.

Be thou an unbeliever,
but be not a plotter.

Make thy home in taverns,
but tread not the path
of the mischief-maker.

Fear thou God,
but not the priest.

Give to the executioner thy head, but not thy heart.

Let thine abode be under the stone,
but seek not the shelter of the cleric.

Thus doth the Holy Reed intone its melodies, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its song, so that He may infuse life eternal into the mortal frames of men, impart to the temples of dust the essence of the Holy Spirit and the heavenly Light, and draw the transient world, through the potency of a single word, unto the Everlasting Kingdom.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

 
People who are very enamored with their intellect don’t trust the inner space. They don’t know how to tune to it. They just haven’t noticed its existence, because they were so busy thinking about everything. There’s very little you can say to somebody who’s going through that, because it isn’t real to them. It doesn’t exist.

You can remind them of moments they’ve been out of their mind, because once you have acknowledged the existence of that other plane of reality, in which you know that wisdom exists, then immediately all the moments when you had it in life that you treated as irrelevant or as error, or as, “I was out of my mind,” suddenly become real to you, and you start to trust that dimension more.


Via Daily Dharma / What Really Matters

We can’t live ethically without caring about ourselves as well as others.

—Winton Higgins, "Treading the Path with Care"

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/19/17

“I dream of a new political, economic, educational and health system. I dream of a new way to live life within society. This new way does not include hatred and fear because there is no war in it. I am working in order to make this dream a reality which is to create a culture of peace and prosperity. I am working to eradicate human misery, both emotional and physical. However, physical misery will only end when emotional misery does. This is why our actions must begin from within and then move outwardly. Some actions must take place externally first because they are absolutely urgent and necessary. But the change we dream to see in this world will only happen when we change ourselves first.”

- Sri Prem Baba

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/18/17

“The human being constantly feels threatened because violence has become its reality. Violence is the result of human misery which has two faces, hunger and the lack of love. On the one hand, there are people starving and on the other, there are people desperate for attention and recognition. The misery derived from emotional neediness is like a never ending hole. It is the root of the fear of scarcity which creates the need to accumulate and fosters greediness. As a consequence, it also creates the incapacity to share what you have with the other. On the one hand, ignorance creates an economic imbalance and on the other, it creates a psycho-emotional imbalance. These two faces of human misery are destroying the planet and our dream of civilization.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/17/17

“The issue of life’s purpose is the the source of distress for many people, especially for those who have begun the process of awakening their consciousness, or rather have started to de-numb. These people have started to remove the armor and heal themselves of ‘normosis’, a hypnotic state of ‘normality’, in which the entity acts in a conditioned way, numbing themselves with food, sex and money. Those that have started this process are questioning, ‘Who am I? What have I come to do in this world? Where am I going?’ For these people, these questions have become urgent because the lack of awareness to one’s purpose gives rise to some very unpleasant symptoms. One of these  symptoms is a terrible feeling of not fitting in and the lack of meaning to life.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / What Really Matters

If we're not reflecting on the impermanent nature of life, then there are a lot of unimportant things that seem important. Our jobs seem important. Money seems important. But if we're really reflecting on impermanence then we can see that the important things are compassion and loving others—giving to others and taking care of others.

—Allison Choying Zangmo, "Living and Dying with Confidence"

Via Daily Dharma / What Is the Self?

A human being is a storytelling machine. The self is a story.

—Paul Brooks, "The Space Between"

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Via Ram Dass

As we grow in our consciousness, there will be more compassion and more love, and then the barriers between people, between religions, between nations will begin to fall. Yes, we have to beat down the separateness.

Via Daily Dharma / Asking Questions

Because people try to conquer others instead of gaining victory over themselves, there are problems. The Buddha taught that one should simply gain victory over oneself.

—Sayadaw U Pandita, "The Best Remedy"

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/16/17

“I invite you to make a prayer, keeping in mind those people you know that are in need of comfort, health and clarity. I invite you to pray especially for those you consider to be your enemies. Focus with even greater attention on the people that awaken in you anger and the desire for revenge. Close your eyes and visualize yourself inside a circle of light and invite these people to enter it with you. As soon as you are able to visualize their face, you are automatically inviting them. If it isn’t possible to visualize their face, try to connect with their energy. Then, as sincerely as possible, say to them, ‘May you be happy. May existence fulfill all of your needs. May you be in peace. May love in all of its dimensions awaken in you.’ This is a concrete and real step towards becoming a channel of love and liberating your heart.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Thou Shalt Not Covet

Not coveting a single thing is the greatest gift you can give to the universe.

—Kodo Sawaki Roshi, "To You"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Discovering the Mind

We do not need to be afraid of our mind. We can go on a journey of discovery and experiment. Then we are able to play with our mental processes and develop our mental ability in wisdom and compassion.

—Martine Batchelor, "Life’s Meditation, Mental Habits, and Creative Imagination"

Friday, April 14, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/13/17

“One of the main mechanisms we use in order to escape the truth is to deny our imperfection. Humility is the most basic virtue to be developed in the evolutionary journey of the soul. Only humility allows us to identify our imperfections and accept them without wanting to be beyond them. When we can do this, we begin to open space for perfection. When we can admit our faults and defects, the perfection of the soul begins to manifest.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma: A Daily Discovery


Revisiting [meditation] on a regular basis provides each of us with a unique and intimate rhythm of discovery.

—Lauren Krauze, "A Watchfulness Routine for Writing"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Via Ram Dass


You get to be at home with change. You get to be at home with uncertainty. You get to be at home with not knowing how it all comes out. and you make a plan knowing full well that it may be totally irrelevant a moment later, and you’re at peace with that.

I find that when I’m at a choice point, the best thing to do is to quiet and empty and go back to square one. But I try to stay at the choice point as long as I can, because that’s as interesting a place as any other place, to stay with not knowing what to do. But if you listen, it all becomes apparent in time. Patience is good. The tolerance for not knowing what’s what is quite an art form.

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/12/17

“The process of expanding consciousness requires firmness and a constant renewal of our vows. The price of spiritual awakening is high. In the material world, if we want a house or a nice car, we pay the price. But, in the spiritual world, we want a palace for the price of a hut. We want to awaken the potentialities of the spirit without paying the price of removing the layers of self-deceit. This is not possible.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / The Sustenance of Life:

We humans have a way of touching each other’s lives deeply even despite ourselves. In finding our way to each other, we find what is, after all, already there, waiting to be found, wanting to be found.

—Andrew Cooper, "Life’s Hidden Support"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Heart Workout

We have to work diligently to keep our hearts open, just as we have to work to keep other muscles in the body strong.

—Valerie Mason-John, "Brief Teachings"

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/11/17

“Although the ego is rooted in the idea of ‘I’ which seems like a single entity, this perception is an illusion. The ego is like a crowd. There are many selves and voices that spring forth from the idea that we are separate entities. Often, what we do in the world is at service to these voices because we want to please our families, society, and our religions. However, these voices need to be silenced so that we can hear our hearts and fulfill our soul’s purpose.”
Sri Prem Baba

Monday, April 10, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/10/17

“The illusion that we are entities separate from the whole creates the idea of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. This idea is the seed of what we know as ego. The ego is necessary for the human experience as it serves as the vehicle of the spirit on the material plane. However, we often end up believing to actually be this ego, separated and isolated. This is what keeps us distant and disconnected, preventing us from seeing the unity that exists between all things. Believing we are the ego keeps us from seeing our true spiritual reality.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Social Responsibility

When I begin taking care of how I suffer—how I too am greedy, angry, or confused—then I develop my capacity to respond to those same energies in individuals and institutions alike.

—Michael Stone, "G-20 Dharma"
 
In the early stages of sadhana (spiritual work), you take your dominant thing and you work with it. You keep doing it and doing it, and you love it, and it gets thicker and thicker. But later on in your sadhana, for me anyway, I began to taste freedom and yearn for it so much that I looked and I shifted around.

There’s a point where you go towards the fire of purification, towards the places you’re stuck. You can feel where your stuff is – what’s got your number, and you realize that as long as there’s any aversion left in you, you’re stuck and you end up wanting to eat your aversions.


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/09/17

“What maintains negatively oriented pleasure is the merging of the vital energy, which is also our sexual energy, together with suffering. So although we are not aware of it, we choose to suffer. In the end, we are not free because we don’t want to be. We are not in peace because we don’t want to be. We are speaking about an unconscious choice, but it is our choice.”
Sri Prem Baba

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Everything Is Useful

 Whatever the circumstance, bodily movement or stillness, feeling well or distressed, with good concentration or scattered attention, everything can be brought back to awareness.

—Kittisaro, "Tangled in Thought"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/04/17

“The mind is like a wish-fulfilling tree. The stronger the thought, the faster it materializes. In most cases, thoughts, especially negative ones, are a result of beliefs planted in the subconscious. These beliefs are based on frozen images related to shocks and traumas from the past. If these beliefs are strong enough, they turn into reality. In this way, completely unconsciously, the human being has created its own destiny.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Finding Stability in Impermanence

Change is good, we’re told. A fresh breeze blown through life keeps us on our toes, fully alive until we die.

—Joan Duncan Oliver, "Love, Loss and the Grocery Store"

Monday, April 3, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love // Flower of the Day: 04/03/17

“When we arrive on this plane, we become spell-bound by the material world. This spell is like a dream where we forget our true essence. We forget about who we truly are and our spiritual reality. This state of enchantment where our consciousness is asleep is what causes the human entity to feel separate and isolated from the whole. This isolation is the root of all human misery, for it is from the idea of separation that fear arises. Fear awakens hatred and a whole chain of reactions from the lower self. Therefore, the human journey can be defined as a transition from the dream or sleep state to a state of awakening. It is a journey from the state of forgetfulness to remembering our reality and moving from the false to the real.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Moments Make a Life

Our entire lives are nothing but a chain of moments in which we perceive one sight, taste, smell, touch, sound, feeling, or thought after another. Outside of this process, nothing else happens.

—Cynthia Thatcher, "What’s So Great About Now?"

Sunday, April 2, 2017



In the clarity of a quiet mind, there is room for all that is actually happening and whatever else might also be possible.

As we've discovered, it is possible to notice a single thought, sensation, or situation arise, but not get totally lost in identifying with it. We observe the cloud but remain focused on the sky, see the leaf but hold in vision the river. We are that which is aware of the totality. And our skills develop with practice.

First, we have to appreciate the value of such qualities of mind and desire to develop them. Next, we have to have faith in the possibility that we can indeed make progress. Finally, we have to explore and practice appropriate techniques.

Twenty minutes per day of such practice can lead to results and the incentive to go deeper still. Continuous practice brings about great transformation of mind and leads to a new quality of service.


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/02/17

“What is spirit? It is the same as asking, ‘Who am I? Who inhabits this body?’ It is imperative that we ask these questions. Yet at the same time, it is sad that we still have to ask them because it shows us how distant we are from our own true nature. Pure love, which is our primordial essence, is an unfolding of the spirit. Spirit is indivisible; it is eternal and unchangeable. It is what permits us to breathe and open our eyes. We can simply call spirit, life. It is the life that inhabits all forms of nature. Spirit is our essence and our greater reality.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Forgiveness Liberates

I think the reason that remarkable stories of forgiveness take our breath away is that we instantly feel the liberation in the lifting of boundaries, the end of separation, of “inside” and “outside.”

—Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker, "The Seventh Zen Precept"

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 04/01/17

“Just as people can get addicted to sugar or any other substance, they can also get addicted to something much subtler such as the negative feelings generated by life’s tragedies. These feelings produce a chemical in the body, certain neurotransmitters, that humans are addicted to. Since we become conditioned to feel pleasure in suffering, when we try to abstain from this ‘drug’, we suffer from a withdrawal crisis.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Do Less, Live More:

It has been said, and with good reason, that dying people never wish they had spent more time in the office. Doing matters little to the dying. As death draws near, it is relationships—with family, with friends, with God—that hold the greatest appeal.

—Dr. William Thomas, as quoted in C. W. Huntington, Jr.'s "The Miracle of the Ordinary"

Friday, March 31, 2017

Via vice.com/Broadly: Trump Strips LGBT People of Workplace Protections, Then Erases Them from Census


This week, President Trump quietly nullified an order that required companies receiving large federal contracts to show that they have complied with various federal laws, many of which relate to discrimination in the workplace.

Below is what happened on Trump's 47th day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.
 
Not even two weeks after the US Department of Health and Human Services eliminated questions about LGBT people on two crucial national surveys on the elderly and the disabled, the Trump administration extended their erasure of LGBT Americans yesterday when they announced they would not include the option to declare sexual orientation and gender identity on the 2020 US Census. Earlier in the morning, LGBT advocates thought they had a triumph, as the Census Bureau released a list of proposed subjects for 2020 that included questions relating to the above, which were new additions that LGBT rights advocates have been pushing for. But then the Census Bureau made a follow-up announcement.

"The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix," the Census Bureau said in a statement. "This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey."

The mistake was more than just a gaffe, as advocates have been stressing the need for the Census to acknowledge the gender and sexuality of those from whom its collecting data to ensure that LGBT people are getting equal access to the rights and protections granted to heterosexual and cisgender individuals. In a statement from the National LGBTQ Task Force, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director Meghan Maury expressed her organization's disappointment.

Continue reading on Broadly.

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love no-reply@prembaba.org / Flower of the Day: 03/31/17

“Purpose is like a fragrance of the Being. If we are not aware of who we are, then it is not possible to manifest our purpose. We discover who we are to the degree we attune with our inner silence. When we are able to quiet the voices of the of the false selves that insist we go off in different directions with the objective of pleasing others, we become capable to hear the voice of our heart, which is our true self.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Ike's Man-Cave / FB:


Via Daily Dharma / Finding a New Kind of Connection

As a student of the dharma, I believe that what we call difference in the negative sense of the word is only a perceived lack of connection, and that difference offers the potential to create or manifest connection in a new and fulfilling way.

—Patricia Mushim Ikeda, "Not What I Thought"

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 03/30/17

“Purpose is love in action. Love expresses itself in different ways through each of us. A eucalyptus tree can only express itself as a eucalyptus tree. A shrub can only express itself as a shrub. Neither is better. Problems come when we are not aware of who we are and we try to act like the other. It’s like a shrub trying to be a eucalyptus tree or vice-versa. Like this, we betray our own essence and are unable to manifest love.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Managing Your Corner of the Universe

Zen practice, however, teaches you to completely be yourself—if you don’t, who will? Someone’s got to hold down your corner of the universe, and no one else is qualified.

—Shozan Jack Haubner, "Middle Way Manager"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Via ThinkProgress: Trump revokes executive order, weakens protections for LGBT workers

LET ME BE CLEAR: if you voted for Donald Trump, you voted to attack me and people like me. 

You voted to roll back our civil and human rights, allow discrimination against us, and relegate us once again to second-class status. You voted to allow this evil man and his monstrous administration to come after LGBT people, our families, our lives, our jobs, and our love. We warned you, we tried to reason with you, some of us even pleaded with you... but you did it anyway, and then you had the gall to gaslight us, telling us we were wrong to worry about Trump because he managed to spit out the letters "LGBTQ" at his convention and grabbed a rainbow flag onstage once. But whaddya know -- we were right after all, and the destruction of our basic civil liberties that your vote has enabled is unfolding now before our very eyes.

We will defeat this evil because we will outlive and outlast and outfight it, but we will *never* forget the way you voted to oppress and degrade and dehumanize us. 

SHAME on you.

----- 

An executive order President Trump signed Monday rescinded an executive order President Obama implemented that would have required companies that contract with the federal government to provide documentation about their compliance with various federal laws. Some have argued that this will make it harder to enforce the LGBT protections President Obama implemented for employees of federal contractors — as well as many other protections those workers enjoyed.

Trump rescinded the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, also known as Executive Order 13673, that President Obama issued in 2014. That order required companies wishing to contract with the federal government to show that they’ve complied with various federal laws and other executive orders. 

Notably, Obama issued that order in tandem with Executive Order 13672, which prohibited contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Executive Order 13673 was enjoined by a federal judge in Texas back in October, but had it been implemented, it would have improved accountability for businesses that contract with the federal government. Enforcement of 13672, the LGBT protections, does not require this order, but would have been stronger with it. Whatever its fate in court may have been, it’s now gone forever.

LGBT people are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, even with 13672 still in place. Obama’s LGBT executive order amended previous presidential orders that also protected the employees of contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and age, but all of those other categories are also afforded protection under various federal laws (the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act). Sexual orientation and gender identity are the only identity categories without explicit nondiscrimination protections under federal law, and fewer than half the states offer LGBT protections at the state level. 

That means Obama’s executive order is the only legal force protecting over a million workers.

Camilla Taylor, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, was the first to raise concerns that this change would impact the LGBT community. As she explained to Keen News Service, “It’s sending a message to these companies…that the federal government simply doesn’t care whether or not they violate the law.”
National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell also said in a statement, “President Trump’s quiet take-down yesterday of federal safeguards against employment discrimination for millions of LGBT Americans is yet another example of why our elected officials, advocates, and our community must remain vigilant and continue working together to stop this administration’s regressive and harmful policies.”

When a draft of a “religious freedom” executive order that would have licensed discrimination against LGBT people was circulating, the White House tried to stir up some positive press by promising that it would “leave in place” Obama’s 2014 order protecting LGBT workers.

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,” the statement read. 

The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters fell over himself to praise the statement for using “stronger language than any Republican president has before in favor of equal legal protections for gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.”

It’s not a surprise, however, that Trump is walking back other executive orders that weaken the LGBT protections. Trump promised to undo all of Obama’s executive orders.

That “religious freedom” executive order hasn’t gone away either. 

A month after the draft leaked and the White House assured LGBT people it wasn’t signing it at that time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that it was still coming. “I think we’ve discussed executive orders in the past, and for the most part we’re not going to get into discussing what may or may not come until we’re ready to announce it,” he said at the time. “So I’m sure as we move forward we’ll have something.”


Via Towleroad: Trump Administration Erases LGBT People from Key 2020 Census Survey


An announcement of Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey put out by the Census Bureau which included Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on its list was scrubbed and revised on Tuesday, reappearing without LGBT people as a designated group.

RELATED: Trump Administration Erases LGBT People from Key Annual HHS Survey of Older and Disabled Americans

The Washington Blade reports:

With days before its deadline, the U.S. Census delivered to Congress its report on planned subjects for the survey, including gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and homeownership status. Under law, the report is due three years before Census Day, with the next one is set to occur April 1, 2020….

…The report outlines the importance of including these questions in either the decennial U.S. Census or the newer and more detailed annual American Community Survey, which was established in 1985 and seeks to ascertain socio-economic and housing statistics.

But apparently an initial version of this report went too far. The U.S. Census issued a notice shortly afterward indicating the report was corrected because the initial appendix “inadvertently” included LGBT categories.

“The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix,” the statement says. “The report has been corrected.”

The National LGBTQ Task Force posted an image (above) of the erasure on its website.
Said Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, in a statement:

“Today, the Trump Administration has taken yet another step to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice, and equity, by choosing to exclude us from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey. LGBTQ people are not counted on the Census—no data is collected on sexual orientation or gender identity. Information from these surveys helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps. If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?”

Last week, the Trump administration erased LGBT people from a key annual Health and Human Services survey of older and disabled Americans.