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 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 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.

Via Ram Dass


God
and I have become
like two giant fat people living
in a tiny
boat.

We
keep bumping into
each other
and laughing.


- Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz

Via Daily Dharma / Nature's Perspective

Animals are people, too. As are plants. And water. And soil. This is the fundamental insight at the heart of all eco-spiritual work. But to get that insight, we have to get with the big picture. To get that insight, we have to climb a tree.

—Clark Strand, "Trees, Butterflies, and the Buddhist Moral Life"

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Understanding Across Difference

Understanding across difference, whatever the difference, lies at the center of spiritual life and aspiration.

—Henry Shukman, "The Meeting"

Monday, March 27, 2017

Freedom to Marry


Via Daily Dharma / Free Time vs. Freedom

Free time is of a different order than free-dom. Freedom, at least in the dharmic sense, depends on the quality of attention that we bring to our interactions. Only to the extent that we can be fully present in our relationships with ourselves, with our children, and with each other, are we free.

—Soren Gordhamer, "Finding What’s Right in Front of Us"

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - March 26, 2017

You learn not to act out your emotions, but just to appreciate and acknowledge them. That’s part of the way you can use them spiritually. You don’t deny them, you don’t push them down. You acknowledge that, “I’m angry,” but you don’t have to say, “Hey, I’m angry!” You acknowledge it; you don’t deny it. That’s the key.

So, the way you would use emotions in devotional practices is aiming them towards God. For the other kinds of emotional realms, you witness them and you sit with them, and you watch them change and come and go, and you don’t deny them, you allow them; because that’s part of your human condition.

When you talk about service, you’ll see that it awakens intense emotions, and you have to let your heart break. But you’ve cultivated another plane of reality, which is the one that notices and allows it. A quality of equanimity that lies with it.


Via Daily Dharma / The Importance of You

Dharma is what the Buddha taught. It is the way of understanding and love—how to understand, how to love, how to make understanding and love into real things.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Three Gems"

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Via Daily Dharam / The Value of Inexperience

Unlike a subject like, say, carpentry, where we learn from the experience of those who have gone before us, meditation is defined by spontaneity, by not knowing.

—Barry Evans, "The Myth of the Experienced Meditator"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Via FB: Dorothy Day

"No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless.
There is too much work to do.


~~ Dorothy Day (Catholic social activist)

Via Daily Dharma / Joining in a Common Effort:

We can be true to our own basic insight of what we see as true, but we can embrace other people, knowing that they also may have their truth too, and we try to find where we can join together in common effort.

—Alfred Bloom, "Beyond Religion"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - March 22, 2017

 
It’s a very delicate task to interpret things like ego and fear because we tend to interpret from where we’re sitting, and we’ve developed these structures around it.

The root of fear is the feeling of separateness that can exist within oneself. The root of fear is within the model one has of oneself. That’s where fear starts. Once that feeling of separation exists, then you process everything from either inside or outside in terms of that model. Then it keeps reinforcing the feeling of vulnerability, because there are incredibly powerful forces moving both inside and outside of you.

The transformative process of spiritual work is reawakening to the innocence of going behind that model of separation that one has, that cuts you off, that made you a tiny little fragile somebody. A lot of the power comes from a freeing of our own fragility.


Via Daily Dharma / The Joy of Problems

People get stuck for decades with the same problems over and over. Focusing expands you. Then you live in more ways and have new problems. Somebody once asked me what I thought mental health was. I said, “New problems!”

—Eugene T. Gendlin, "Focusing"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Via Thinking People / FB: Ignorance


Via FB / Shared brilliance from an anonymous source:



"Why should coal miners pay for PBS"? This was an actual question asked by the Trump administration yesterday. Obviously a blatantly stupid question. We have questions too. Why should a poor black family in Detroit pay for the President to go golfing? Why should a single mother of 3 who's working 2 jobs in Louisiana be denied health-care so that the CEO of Aetna can get a tax-break? Why is the guy washing dishes in Baton Rouge paying for the President's wife's secret service protection so she can live comfortably in NYC? We could do this all day. But here's the real question the Trump administration and the Republicans who empower him need to answer: Do you have a heart? Did no one teach you to care about your neighbors? Do you know what "empathy" means? Did no one ever teach you to "share" when you were in kindergarten? Have you never heard the phrase "do unto others"? I can't think of a group of people who need to watch Sesame Street MORE than the Republican party. Perhaps they would learn some common decency." 

Not sure whose brilliance this is but I was instructed to copy and paste.

Via Daily Dharma / Reality Check

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

—Philip K. Dick, "Drowning in Narcissism"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / The Right Way to Cling:

The only permanence is the permanence that I cling to in my mind: my ideals of how to live; how to be happy; how to raise my children; how to furnish my home; how to better the world; how to fill my time.

—Judith Hertog, "Circling Lhasa"

Via FB: Adulting 101 and self-care


Recently, I've noticed an uptick in the number of people who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and stress. Many people are experiencing fear, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and grief. Some of these negative feelings and emotions can be attributed to Trump, Republicans, and our geo-political situation. A variety of factors contribute to our mental health and it is important that we employ daily self-care. 

I'm not qualified to give anyone advice with respect to mental or emotional health and well-being. However, I do validate you as an individual, and I can empathize with your situation. 

To date, I'm angry (at Trump et al). I'm ashamed of my fellow countrymen. I'm anxious about the future, and I feel grief and sadness for what could've been. 

Here are some rudimentary coping mechanisms that I incorporate to keep myself sane, healthy, productive, and happy. We all know the benefits of the following and sometimes a reminder helps. 

You may or may not agree with my wellness philosophy, which is fine. Please share your wellness philosophy. 

Sleep - "Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke." - National Institute of Health. Naps are wonderful! 

Exercise - The Mayo Clinic reports that regular exercise combats diseases, controls weight, improves mood, boosts energy, better sleep, better sex... Health conditions can limit or inhibit exercise. (Talk to your medical health professional).

Stress Reduction - Mayo Clinic: Meditate, breathe deeply, be present in the here and now, slow down, reach out and talk to others, laugh, listen to music, exercise, enjoy nature and the environment, unplug, yoga, join a community, create ART, get a massage, take daily walks, journal... 

Eating well - "Eating vegetables provides health benefits – people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. 

Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body." US Government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Balanced diet.

Alcohol & Tobacco - Be smart with the substances and chemicals that you put into your body. Moderation. 

Vitamins - I take a multivitamin daily. I see my doctor regularly and keep my vaccinations up to date.
Hydrate - I drink at least 1 gallon per day. 

Massage - Get a regular massage if this is possible.

Support - We all need a supportive community of family and or friends. I consider myself a life-long learner, and I'm always enrolled in courses continuing education. 

Professional help - if you find yourself suicidal or depressed, seek out help from medical professionals who are qualified to help you heal. If medical help is not possible, talk to someone.
Avoid the temporary diet-mentality - we must strive to do these thing for life. When we fall, and we will, get back in the saddle at your earliest convenience. 

What would you add or do differently?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

So when you have a rough day, or when "He who's name shall not be mentioned" passes a new tweet... there is always: Psalm 109

Psalm 109

My God, whom I praise,
    do not remain silent,
for people who are wicked and deceitful
    have opened their mouths against me;
    they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
With words of hatred they surround me;
    they attack me without cause.
In return for my friendship they accuse me,
    but I am a man of prayer.
They repay me evil for good,
    and hatred for my friendship.

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
    let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
    and may his prayers condemn him.
May his days be few;
    may another take his place of leadership.
May his children be fatherless
    and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
    may they be driven[a] from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
    may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
    or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
    their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord;
    may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the Lord,
    that he may blot out their name from the earth.

16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
    but hounded to death the poor
    and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
    may it come back on him.
He found no pleasure in blessing—
    may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
    it entered into his body like water,
    into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
    like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
    to those who speak evil of me.

21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
    help me for your name’s sake;
    out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
    I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
    my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
    when they see me, they shake their heads.

26 Help me, Lord my God;
    save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
    that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
    may those who attack me be put to shame,
    but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
    and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
    in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
    to save their lives from those who would condemn them.
 
The question is, how do you awaken out of the illusion that you are separate?

The doorway out of that is through the heart. We say, “My heart goes out to you.” The heart keeps a doorway into the unitive nature of the universe, and it’s the love that flows through it. Love doesn’t know boundaries. The mind creates the boundary of separation between me and you. The heart just keeps embracing and opening out, so that when you open your heart you open into the universe to experience the preciousness, the grace, the sweetness, and the thick interconnectedness of it all.

It’s even more than interconnected. It’s all one thing, and it just keeps changing its flow and patterns, and you’re just a part of it.

Via Daily Dharma / On Diligence

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

—Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, "Tortoise Steps"

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Internal Enemy

Usually we define our enemy as a person, an external agent, whom we believe is causing harm to us or to someone we hold dear. But such an enemy is relative and impermanent. One moment, the person may act as an enemy; at yet another moment, he or she may become your best friend. This is a truth that we often experience in our own lives. But negative thoughts and emotions, the inner enemy, will always remain the enemy.

—Dalai Lama, "The Enemy Within"

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Receiving Love

That’s exactly what happens in sitting in stillness in Zen. You’re simply soaked in that divine love that is beyond words, and you allow it to fill you, inundate you, and move you so that you can live a life grounded on that, offering yourself to others.

—Jane Lancaster Patterson, "Other Fingers Pointing to the Moon"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Via Ram Dass

 

You can’t say, “I’m not going to have anything to do with politics.” You can say it, but you’ve got to watch where you’re saying it from. You may say, “I’m not going to get involved with politics because I am so busy with something else, and I’ll vote, but I’m not going to put my time into campaigning for candidates and things like that, or issues, because my energies are best used here.” That’s fine. If you’ve thought it through and felt that way and can look somebody in the eye and say, “This is the way it is.” If you’re saying, “I’m not having anything to do with politics because it’s too dirty and because I don’t approve of it,” forget it – you are abdicating your responsibility to society. It’s as simple as that.

We’re at an interesting moment within the shift of collective consciousness, specifically around the way in which we’re integrating the changes in power structures. Now business holds sway over government, over religion, in terms of social power. And business is like pirates on the high seas – the question is, do you control it from the outside, or does it control itself? Does the whole process have a meta-game that’s controlling itself, and can you stand back far enough to see how it’s playing out? How is the shift in collective consciousness going to evolve and what part do you play?

Part of the curriculum is looking at the systems that you are a part of and being able to say, “That system needs work.” It’s important to be able to shift your game so that you’re not simply pushing the system away and saying “I don’t think about that stuff, because it’s too complicated. Let somebody else worry about it.” Because as long as you get really frustrated with the system, you may be standing in the way of everybody’s survival.


- Ram Dass

Via Dialy Dharma / Your Inner Buddha

Any Buddha or Bodhisattva is merely a symbol of the best of our own inner processes, and we are all universal beings in touch with the universal flow.

—Glenn Mullin, "Prayer: Glenn Mullin"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Total Freedom

You start with freedom from thirst, hunger, disease, the basic freedoms that the state has to help its citizens achieve. Then you go beyond that to social freedom, from discrimination, inequality, from crime, and lawlessness, and insecurity, which the state also has to provide. Then ultimately you find further up the ladder political freedom, the freedom from authority and tyranny. And then Buddhism brings you even past that, to seek freedom from internal bondage.

—Matthieu Ricard, "Bhutan on the Brink"

Monday, March 13, 2017

Via JMG: AIDS Memorial Museum Planned For San Francisco



The New York Times reports:
The National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park here is a somber glen of plants, trees, walks, grass and cairn, with thousands of names etched in stones and pavement. Visitors’ emotions run high, but the details of exactly how AIDS devastated and transformed the world are not found here. “The story of AIDS is more than a disease,” said John Cunningham, executive director of the grove. “The real underpinnings of that story are about humanity, social justice, human rights and what it means to be a citizen of the world. Somehow there needs to be a keeper of the story.”
Now there is a move to create just that: a place to chronicle the AIDS tragedy more comprehensively, to explore the pandemic’s many facets in a permanent national exhibition and repository. It would be similar to institutions commemorating other cataclysmic events: the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan.
The effort is in its nascent stages, being discreetly explored by the staff and board of the grove, which Congress designated a National Memorial in 1996. (It is the only AIDS-related monument to receive such status.) So far, the grove has engaged consultants, some with a history of fund-raising for museums, to begin gauging the interest of wealthy donors, especially those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Hit the link for much more about the planning. Wilton Manors is already home to the World AIDS Museum. (Tipped by JMG reader Lisa)

Via Daily Dharma / Holy Action

In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.

—Dag Hammarskjöld, "Freedom in the Midst of Action"

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Via Ram Dass

 
Now when most of us think of yogis, we think of somebody sitting, like Milarepa, up in a cave in the mountains, cross-legged and naked. There was snow, and ants were eating him, and the only food he took was nettle soup, and he ate it for so long he developed a green nettle fur all over him. But he was busy freeing himself from the dharma in order to come into union. Now that kind of moratorium is pretty unrealistic for most Westerners, so what role does yoga play in the West for us at the moment?

Well, along the way it will teach you how to control your consciousness, calm your own mind down, find a center, and get your body into harmony with your thoughts. It will get you back far enough inside yourself so that you can start to see how it all is, and start to experience compassion for yourself and for others around you.



Via Daily Dharma / Unlikely Dharma

Everything preaches the dharma—nuclear waste, skunks, flowers, grass—and does so fully and completely.

—Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker, "On Not Being Stingy"

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Steering the Heart

No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can always set our compass to our highest intentions in the present moment. Perhaps it is nothing more than being in a heated conversation with another person and stopping to take a breath and ask yourself, “What is my highest intention in this moment?”

—Jack Kornfield, "Set the Compass of Your Heart"

Friday, March 10, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / The Value of Routine

If we are to close the gap between ideal and actuality—between the envisaged aim of striving and the lived experience of our everyday lives—it is necessary for us to pay greater heed to the task of repetition.

—Bhikkhu Bodhi, "Vision and Routine"

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Via FB: WEAPONS IN THE SPIRITUAL WAR AGAINST EVIL


Altruism, Assertiveness, Beauty, Bravery, Brevity, Charity, Cheerfulness, Clarity, Cleanliness, Compassion, Commitment, Confidence, Concentration, Consideration, Contentment, Cooperation, Courage, Courtesy, Creativity, Curiosity, Detachment, Determination, Devotion, Discretion, Education, Empathy, Endurance, Energy, Enthusiasm, Faith, Flexibility, Focus, Forgiveness, Freedom, Friendliness, Generosity, Gentleness, Grace, Gratitude, Happiness, Helpfulness, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Hospitality, Humility, Idealism, Imagination, Immaculacy, Independence, Industry, Initiative, Integrity, Joy, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Love, Loyalty, Meekness, Mercy, Moderation, Modesty, Nobility, Non-Violence, Obedience, Optimism, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Prayerfulness, Prudence, Purity, Radiance, Reliability, Remembrance, Resilience, Resourcefulness, Respect, Responsibility, Reverence, Sacrifice, Self-Control, Self-Discipline, Selflessness, Serenity, Servitude, Silence, Sincerity, Steadfastness, Strength, Tolerance, Thoughtfulness, Thrift, Tranquility, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Understanding, Unity, Will-Power, Wisdom, Wonder, Zeal

Via TED: Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church




http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/07/watch-former-god-hates-fags-protester-explains-what-finally-broke-her-indoctrination/?utm_source=ET&utm_medium=ETFB&utm_campaign=portal&utm_content=inf_17_60_2&tse_id=INF_7730a9d0037e11e78c985b6a21c9be24

Via Daily Dharma / Buddha Wisdom

When a distraught mother asked [the Buddha] to heal the dead child she carried in her arms, he did not perform a miracle, but instead instructed her to bring him a mustard seed from a house where no one had ever died. She returned from her search without the seed, but with the knowledge that death is universal.

—The Buddha, "Who is the Buddha?"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Via Ram Dass


Just play with the silence for a moment. Instead of using it as expectancy, waiting for something to happen, flip it just slightly and just be in it. Are you really here or are you just waiting for the next thing? It’s interesting to see where we are in relation to times; whether we’re always just between what just happened and what happened next, or whether we can just be here now.

So, let’s just find our way here to be together. If you’re feeling agitated, just notice the agitation. If you’re warm, be warm. If you’re cold, be cold. If you’re overly full, be overly full. Be it, whatever it is, but put it all in the context of a quiet space, because there’s a secret in that, and it’s worth playing with it.

That there’s a place that we can be inside of ourselves, inside of the universe, in which and from which we can appreciate the delight in life. Where we can still have equanimity, and quality of presence, and the quietness of peace.



Via Daily Dharma / Embodying the Universe:

If cosmologists themselves are a manifestation of the same universe that they study, then with them the universe is comprehending itself. When we come to see the universe in a new way, the universe is itself coming to see itself in a new way.

—David Loy, "In Search of the Sacred"

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Mindful Training

If we train ourselves to reach for a snack or pick up the phone to text-message whenever we feel frightened or bored, this is definitely training. The next time we feel uncomfortable we will also tend to reach for some comfort outside ourselves, eventually establishing a deeply ingrained habit, another brick in the wall of our mental prison.

—Gaylon Ferguson, "Fruitless Labor"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Emptiness Is Not What You Expect

Emptiness refers to the absence of something that, for some reason, one expects to find—as when we say a glass, normally used to hold liquids, is empty even though it is full of air. The point is not that there is nothing there at all, but rather that what is there differs from your expectations.

— William S. Cobb, "The Game of Go"

Via Ram Dass

 
You are listening as well as you can to the universe, and often you will see that when things start to happen a certain way, your mind will focus in on that because you’re looking for patterns, which we call ‘synchronicity’.

Often you will just get caught in your desire to find a pattern that will give you an external validation for what you’re doing. You just end up using the universe again to do it to yourself.

So stay with your truth from moment to moment, and get the clues wherever you can. I mean, I’ll open up the Chuang-tzu and read something when I have a question, and if it doesn’t feel good, I say, “Well, that was interesting,” and I close it. If it feels like what I wanted to do anyway, I say, “Ohhh, wow, synchronicity!” And I do it, so I’ve learned that I’m a complete phony anyway, so I might as well just honor it and get on with it.



Via Daily Dharma / Accepting What Is

A deeper equanimity comes when we learn how to be with our life as it is, not as we would like it to be.

—Eliot Fintushel, "Something to Offer"

Friday, March 3, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Nature’s Spirit

Walls and fences cannot instruct the grasses and trees to actualize spring, yet they reveal the spiritual without intention, just by being what they are. So too with mountains, rivers, sun, moon, and stars.

—Dogen, "Everything is Holy"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / The Terrain of a Moment

Every moment is a unique view of a unique territory, both of which unfold in perpetual motion. Because of the continual flux of it all, holding on to anything that has happened is futile, while being open to what happens next is crucial.

—Andrew Olendzki, "This Moment is Unique"

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Via Ram Dass

Truth is one of the vehicles for deepening spiritual awareness through another human being, and if there is a license for that in the relationship, in any relationship – with guru, with friend, with lover, with whatever it is – it is an absolutely optimum way of coming into a liquid spiritual relationship with another person. But it’s very, very delicate because people feel very vulnerable. They have parts of their mind that are cut off, that the idea that’s been socialized is, “If I show this part of me, I would not be acceptable.” And the ability to risk that, finally you learn how to have your truth available.

So truth is one of the exciting vehicles to work with in a relationship. And what I’ve learned is to use my lecturer role to make my truth as available as I possibly could, and what I find is people say to me, “Thank you for being so truthful. It makes it easier for me to be truthful about myself, because you’ve done that.” And I think well, it’s a cheap price to offer yourself up for that purpose, if that in itself starts to help other people.



Via Daily Dharma / Elaborating On the “Now”

We know not to get caught in the past or the future, but in order to be in the Now, we also have to let go of the present. The Now is not confined by relative clock time, yet it is also not pure timelessness.

—Loch Kelly, "When Am I?"