Wednesday, February 27, 2019


417 Hz Healing music - Let go of mental blockages, Remove negative energy, Ancient Frequency music

Wipe Out Subconscious Negativity ✧ Remove Mental Blockages ✧ Dissolve Negative Patterns

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 27, 2019 šŸ’Œ

Bearing the unbearable is the deepest root of compassion in the world. When you bear what you think you cannot bear, who you think you are dies. You become compassion. You don't have compassion - you are compassion. True compassion goes beyond empathy to being with the experience of another. You become an instrument of compassion. 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Beyond Bliss

There may be bliss with awakening, because it is actually a by-product of awakening, but it is not awakening itself. As long as we are chasing the byproducts of awakening, we will miss the real thing.

—Adyashanti, “Bliss is a By-Product

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Start Right Here

Without cultivating love for ourselves, regardless of how much discipline we have, regardless of how serious we are about practice, we will still stay stuck in the subtle mercilessness of the mind, listening to the voice that tells us we are basically and fundamentally unworthy.

—Ezra Bayda, “The Three Things We Fear Most

Monday, February 25, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Power of Our Practice

The practice of each one of us, however humble and immature it may be, is seen as something powerful and indispensable for the entire community of awakened ones.

—Kazuaki Tanahashi, “Fundamentals of Dogen’s Thoughts

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 24, 2019 šŸ’Œ

I've often been struck by the poignancy of meeting old people of great wealth and power, and seeing how frightened they are of losing what they have. The greater their clinging, the greater their pain, realizing how little use the accoutrements of power and worldly position are in helping them age with wisdom and peace. In truth, the Ego's attachment to power of any kind is linked inextricably to the fear of losing that power, and thus becomes a source of suffering.

There is a kind of power that does not give rise to fear, however. It is spiritual power, the power of the enlightened mind. As we begin to emphasize Soul power over worldly power, our perception of the alterations brought on by aging changes proportionately.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Virtuous Circle of Patience

The wonderful thing about patience, unlike commodities, is the more we use it, the more we offer it, the more we have.

—Allan Lokos, “Allan Lokos: Patience With Self

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Finding Freedom

Learning to let thinking come and go, we can eventually understand a thought as a thought and a word as a word, and with this understanding we can find a measure of freedom from thoughts and words.

—Norman Fischer, “Beyond Language

Friday, February 22, 2019

Soulfood feat. Billy McLaughlin - Guitar Meditations Series Vol.1-3 (2001-2010)

Via Daily Dharma: Bridging the Divide

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Going Deeper with Mindfulness

As your mindfulness develops, your resentment for the change, your dislike for the unpleasant experiences, your greed for the pleasant experiences, and the notion of selfhood will be replaced by the deeper awareness of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness.

—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Sitting Still

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Via Reddit: R/Baha'i - I hate but love the Bahai Faith

Grew up a bahai, felt immense love from the community and loved the teachings. Started having homosexual thoughts at 12 and now 10 years later the still haven’t left me. I have prayed so much that I don’t even know if I want to live anymore. I am clinically depressed and the thought of my family or the community finding out I’m gay would make me want to commit suicide.
This is all as a result of the Bahai Faith which is supposed to be a ‘progressive’ and ‘accepting’ religion which teaches about the unity of mankind. I feel isolated and repressing this part of myself is truly AWFUL for gay bahais. I have no one to talk to about this except for my therapist and even telling her has caused me so much pain because I hate associating the Faith with the reason for my depression. It should be a solace and a source of comfort in my life but the past few years has made me doubt everything I truly believed in before. I wonder why I am ‘spiritually diseased’ as Shoghi Effendi wrote. I think about how Bahaullah taught about the harmony between science and religion yet Bahais do not see homosexuality as a natural thing. I just feel like this is too much for me to handle and I am gradually drifting away. I don’t pray anymore, I just go to activities to support my family and friends and for the social interactions because otherwise I would be a disappointment to people. 

I’ve turned to bad coping mechanisms to help escape the reality of who I am. I am so ashamed and feel horrible guilt over the person I am that I wonder how I’d ever be able to overcome this ‘spiritual disease’. Conversion therapy? No thanks. It’s detrimental to anyone who engages with it. I’m so heart broken that I believe in Bahaullah and everything he taught except for this ONE thing which is a part of who I am. I’m sure there are may gay bahais out there like me who also feel the same. We can’t just be expected to stay in the closet and not get married or stay celibate our whole lives. I’d rather die.

Sorry for the rant I’m just super upset and feeling a lot of mixed emotions around the faith.

 Make the jump here and read the original and the comments...

Via Lion's Roar: Tina Turner: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

She’s the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll. An unwanted child. A believer in the power of love. A longtime Buddhist. Andrea Miller talks to Tina Turner.


Tina Turner. Photo by Alberto Venzago.

Tina Turner—I’ll never forget my first glimpse of her. It was when I was ten years old and watched Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She had killer legs, impressively large shoulder pads (even by eighties standards), and the most incredible raspy, sexy voice I’d ever heard. What happened to me is what, at that point, had been happening to audiences for more than two decades, and now has been happening for more than half a century: I was awed.

The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll is not just a powerhouse on stage. She is also a longtime Buddhist, having begun her practice in the 1970s while struggling to end an abusive relationship with musician Ike Turner. Soka Gakkai, the tradition to which Tina Turner adheres, is like other schools and subschools of Nichiren Buddhism; it focuses on the Lotus Sutra and teaches that chanting its title in Japanese—Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—ultimately enables chanters to embrace the entirety of the text and uncover their buddhanature.

Turner chanting the Lotus Sutra is featured on Beyond, an album that weaves together Buddhist and Christian prayers, and also features the singers Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Regula Curti. “Bringing together corresponding pieces from Christian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions as has been done here,” wrote the Dalai Lama in the liner notes, “will allow listeners to share in these prayers, stirring thoughts of deeper respect and peace in their lives.” All revenue from the CD goes to foundations dedicated to spiritual education or helping children and mothers in need.

In this interview, Turner speaks about the power of song and practice, and the meaning of love.

All religions speak about love, and it sounds easy to be loving. But people so frequently fail to love. Why is loving so difficult?

Some people are born into a loving family. For example, everyone in the family greets everyone else in the morning, they sit at breakfast together, they give each other a kiss when they leave. There is harmony and love in the house. When you are born with that, you take it with you.

But some people are born into situations where they’re exposed to everything but love. The world is full of people that are born into such situations, and they are traveling through life in the dark. No one has ever explained to them that they need to find love, and they have no education for love except for falling in love with another person, for sexual love. I believe that the problem with the world today is that we have too many people who are not in touch with true love.

Via Tina Turner Blog / Tina Turner - Lotus Sutra / Purity of Mind (2H Meditation)

Get 'Beyond' Featuring Tina Turner chanting the mantra chanting 'Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo' here:

The meaning of the Lotus Sutra is 'I devote my life to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra'. It is the royal sutra of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan (1253). Coming from India to China and then to Japan, the prayer was translated from the Sanskrit word ‘Saddharma-pundarikasutra » first into classical Chinese as ‘Miao-fa Lien-hua Ching’ and then into an ancient form of Japanese as ‘Myoho Renge Kyo’. 
The word 'Nam' derives from the Sanskrit ‘names’ and means ‘devotion’. It is placed before the name of all deities when worshipping them. ‘Myo’ is the name given to the mystic nature of life and ‘Ho’ to its manifestation. ‘Renge’ means lotus flower. The beautiful and undefiled Lotus blooms in a muddy swamp with all the obstacles against it. It symbolizes the emergence of our Buddha nature from the everyday problems and desires of ordinary life. ‘Renge’ stands also for the simultaneity of cause and effect, because the lotus puts forth its flower and seedpod at the same time. ‘Kyo’ literally means sutra, the voice and teaching of the Buddha. It also means sound rhythm or vibration and therefore it might be interpreted to indicate the practice of chanting. Since everything in the universe is connected through sound waves, ‘Kyo » refer to the life activity of universal phenomena and indicates that everything is a manifestation of the Mystic Law. ‘Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra. 
An explanation can help you understand, but the Sutra can only be fully appreciated through chanting it. TINA: ‘However you must do it, to truly understand. 

When you say ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ it will slowly remove all of the bad decisions you have ever made. 
The more you repeat the words the more you make your life clearer. The more you chant it the closer you get to your true nature. Your true nature is the right way of thinking and the right way of acting. The longer you go on this path, the more you avoid making wrong decisions. The Lotus Sutra helps me in my daily life. It is indeed mystical! And my life has proven this!’ 
GET 'BEYOND' (2009): GET 'CHILDREN BEYOND' (2011): GET "BEYOND 'LOVE WITHIN' (2014): Video: Xaver Walser Music: Regula Curti & Roland Frey (NJP Studio Zurich) Album Producers: Erwin Bach & Beat Curti Video Editing & Upload: Ben ( ALL RIGHT RESERVED BEYOND FOUNDATION ‪#TinaTurnerBlog #TinaTurnerMantras

Via Tina Turner - Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (2H Buddhist Mantra)

Via Daily Dharma: What to Give Up

We need to give up something. We can’t have it all. We can’t try to layer wisdom on top of confusion. The spiritual path is about what we give up, not what we get.

—Interview with Tim Olmsted by Helen Tworkov, “The Great Experiment

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 20, 2019 šŸ’Œ

If you keep examining your mind, you'll come to see that thoughts of who you are and how it all is are creating the reality you're experiencing.

 - Ram Dass -

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Middle Way

Just as meditation requires an understanding of the practice as well as determination to carry it out, likewise it requires a sense of balance to determine when to push ourselves harder and when to step back and relax where we are, without falling into either of two extremes.

—Lama Dudjom Dorjee, “Heartfelt Advice

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Via Where True Love Is / FB:

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 17, 2019 šŸ’Œ

The way we regard death is critical to the way we experience life. When your fear of death changes, the way you live your life changes.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Letting it Settle

Learning to drop what we’re doing, however momentarily, and to genuinely pay attention in the present moment, without attachment or bias, helps us become clear, just as a snow globe becomes clear when we stop shaking it and its flakes settle.

—Lama Surya Das, “The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation

Saturday, February 16, 2019

What are the views of a SGI member on homosexuality?

The focus of Nichiren Buddhism is to transform hardships and sufferings and enjoy a meaningful happy life. There are no commandments in Soka Buddhism on personal matters of the individual.

President of SGI, Daisaku Ikeda addressed the LGTBQ community within SGI at their cultural meetings and celebrations: “Daisaku Ikeda, recently circulated a message to LGBT members, Robert proudly recites it off by heart, “Nature is diverse, human Beings are diverse, that is the natural way of things.”

Daisaku Ikeda also regularly sends messages to annual meetings of SGI’s gay groups, his most recent said: “Buddhism makes it possible for us to bring forth our innate, brilliant humanity to the fullest, enabling us to manifest it through our unpretentious, natural behavior as genuinely human beings”.

The Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

The essence of Buddhism is the conviction that we have within us at each moment the ability to overcome any problem or difficulty that we may encounter in life; a capacity to transform any suffering. Our lives possess this power because they are inseparable from the fundamental law that underlies the workings of all life and the universe.

Nichiren, the 13th-century Buddhist monk upon whose teachings the SGI is based, awakened to this law, or principle, and named it “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” Through the Buddhist practice he developed, he provided a way for all people to activate it within their own lives and experience the joy that comes from being able to liberate oneself from suffering at the most fundamental level.

Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, who lived some 2,500 years ago in India, first awoke to this law out of a compassionate yearning to find the means to enable all people to be free of the inevitable pains of life. It is because of this that he is known as Buddha, or “Awakened One.” Discovering that the capacity to transform suffering was innate within his own life, he saw too that it is innate within all beings.

The record of Shakyamuni’s teachings to awaken others was captured for posterity in numerous Buddhist sutras. The culmination of these teachings is the Lotus Sutra. In Japanese, “Lotus Sutra” is rendered as Myoho-renge-kyo.

Courage What may to one person seem a simple problem may be experienced by another as overwhelming and insurmountable. But the process of summoning up the courage required to take action is always the same regardless of how seemingly big or small the challenge. Over a thousand years after Shakyamuni, amidst the turbulence of 13th-century Japan, Nichiren similarly began a quest to recover the essence of Buddhism for the sake of the suffering masses. Awakening to the law of life himself, Nichiren was able to discern that this fundamental law is contained within Shakyamuni’s Lotus Sutra and that it is encapsulated and concisely expressed in the sutra’s title—Myoho-renge-kyo. Nichiren designated the title of the sutra as the name of the law and established the practice of reciting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a practical way for all people to focus their hearts and minds upon this law and manifest its transformative power in reality. Nam comes from the Sanskrit namas, meaning to devote or dedicate oneself.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is thus a vow, an expression of determination, to embrace and manifest our Buddha nature. It is a pledge to oneself to never yield to difficulties and to win over one’s suffering. At the same time, it is a vow to help others reveal this law in their own lives and achieve happiness.

The individual characters that make up Myoho-renge-kyo express key characteristics of this law. Myo can be translated as mystic or wonderful, and ho means law. This law is called mystic because it is difficult to comprehend. What exactly is it that is difficult to comprehend? It is the wonder of ordinary people, beset by delusion and suffering, awakening to the fundamental law in their own lives, bringing forth wisdom and compassion and realizing that they are inherently Buddhas able to solve their own problems and those of others. The Mystic Law transforms the life of anyone—even the unhappiest person, at any time and in any circumstances—into a life of supreme happiness.

Renge, meaning lotus blossom, is a metaphor that offers further insight into the qualities of this Mystic Law. The lotus flower is pure and fragrant, unsullied by the muddy water in which it grows. Similarly, the beauty and dignity of our humanity is brought forth amidst the sufferings of daily reality.

Further, unlike other plants, the lotus puts forth flowers and fruit at the same time. In most plants, the fruit develops after the flower has bloomed and the petals of the flower have fallen away. The fruit of the lotus plant, however, develops simultaneously with the flower, and when the flower opens, the fruit is there within it. This illustrates the principle of the simultaneity of cause and effect; we do not have to wait to become someone perfect in the future, we can bring forth the power of the Mystic Law from within our lives at any time.

The principle of the simultaneity of cause and effect clarifies that our lives are fundamentally equipped with the great life state of the Buddha and that the attainment of Buddhahood is possible by simply opening up and bringing forth this state. Sutras other than the Lotus Sutra taught that people could attain Buddhahood only by carrying out Buddhist practice over several lifetimes, acquiring the traits of the Buddha one by one. The Lotus Sutra overturns this idea, teaching that all the traits of the Buddha are present within our lives from the beginning.

Kyo literally means sutra and here indicates the Mystic Law likened to a lotus flower, the fundamental law that permeates life and the universe, the eternal truth. The Chinese character kyo also implies the idea of a “thread.” When a fabric is woven, first, the vertical threads are put in place. These represent the basic reality of life. 

They are the stable framework through which the horizontal threads are woven. These horizontal threads, representing the varied activities of our daily lives, make up the pattern of the fabric, imparting color and variation. The fabric of our lives is comprised of both a fundamental and enduring truth as well as the busy reality of our daily existence with its uniqueness and variety. A life that is only horizontal threads quickly unravels.

These are some of the ways in which the name “Myoho-renge-kyo” describes the Mystic Law, of which our lives are an expression. To chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an act of faith in the Mystic Law and in the magnitude of life’s inherent possibilities. Throughout his writings, Nichiren emphasizes the primacy of faith. He writes, for instance: “The Lotus Sutra . . . says that one can ‘gain entrance through faith alone.’ . . . Thus faith is the basic requirement for entering the way of the Buddha.” The Mystic Law is the unlimited strength inherent in one’s life. To believe in the Mystic Law and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is to have faith in one’s unlimited potential. It is not a mystical phrase that brings forth supernatural power, nor is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo an entity transcending ourselves that we rely upon. It is the principle that those who live normal lives and make consistent efforts will duly triumph.

To chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is to bring forth the pure and fundamental energy of life, honoring the dignity and possibility of our ordinary lives.

How to Chant

A short film demonstrating how to begin chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, explaining its meaning and introducing the daily Buddhist practice of SGI members around the world.

Daisaku Ikeda Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (Daimoku)

Orlando Bloom on Buddhism, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and Daisaku Ikeda

In SGI-USA’s latest video, actor Orlando Bloom discusses his practice of Nichiren Buddhism. Mr. Bloom also details his encounter with SGI President Ikeda in 2006 and how his message to “be your authentic self” became foundational guidance for his life.

Via BBC: Everyman: Richard Gere's Buddhism

Carnaval 2018 - Ouro Preto

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Via Daily Dharma: Happiness, Pure and Simple

When confusion and ignorance have been definitively eliminated, and goodness, caring, and wisdom have entirely taken their place, that is true happiness.

—Pamela Gayle White, “A Slow, True Path

Friday, February 15, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Joyous Speech

Conversation is a dynamic interplay between each person’s choice to speak or listen. When those choices are conscious and respectful, conversations tend to be more productive and enjoyable.

—Oren Jay Sofer, “When to Speak and When to Listen

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Holly Near: It won't Take Long

Via FB:

Via Carta Capital - Diversidade: Sob pressĆ£o da bancada evangĆ©lica, Supremo decide se homofobia Ć© crime

"O professor de Direito da Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto e pesquisador das relaƧƵes entre justiƧa e questƵes LGBT Alexandre Bahia, explica que a ideia defendida nas aƧƵes Ć© a de que a violĆŖncia especĆ­fica (homofobia) que existe contra um grupo especĆ­fico (LGBT) exige igualmente uma puniĆ§Ć£o especĆ­fica. Hoje isso nĆ£o ocorre." #criminalizaSTF #lgbtrights #arehumanrights

AƧƵes pedem que preconceito seja punido como racismo, com pena de um a cinco anos de prisĆ£o

Embora o Brasil seja apontado internacionalmente como um dos paĆ­ses que mais mata gays, lĆ©sbicas e trans no mundo, homofobia e transfobia nĆ£o sĆ£o consideradas crimes no paĆ­s. Nesta quarta-feira 13 o STF (Supremo Tribunal Federal) dĆ” inĆ­cio ao julgamento de duas aƧƵes para que este tipo de preconceito seja punido criminalmente. 

Uma delas foi enviada Ć  suprema corte pelo PPS (Partido Popular Socialista) e a outra pela AssociaĆ§Ć£o Brasileira de Gays, LĆ©sbicas e TransgĆŖneros (ABGLT). Elas pedem que o STF reconheƧa, em um primeiro momento, que a omissĆ£o do Congresso Nacional em legislar sobre a criminalizaĆ§Ć£o da homofobia e transfobia viola a ConstituiĆ§Ć£o Federal de 1988.

Se isso for feito, a suprema corte deverĆ” estabelecer um prazo para que o Congresso faƧa a discussĆ£o, e indicar parĆ¢metros jurĆ­dicos para a questĆ£o atĆ© que isso ocorra. Elas pedem ainda que a homofobia e a transfobia sejam consideradas crime de racismo, descrito na lei 7.716/89 com penas de um a cinco anos de prisĆ£o.

Homofobia e racismo

O advogado e representante das duas entidades, Paulo Roberto Iotti Vecchiatti, afirma que as aƧƵes se baseiam em uma teoria do prĆ³prio STF de que racismo Ć© qualquer ideologia ou conduta que pregue a inferiorizaĆ§Ć£o de um grupo social em relaĆ§Ć£o a outro. Nesse caso, o crime seria enquadrado em uma lei jĆ” existente, sem a necessidade da formulaĆ§Ć£o de uma nova.

O professor de Direito da Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto e pesquisador das relaƧƵes entre justiƧa e questƵes LGBT Alexandre Bahia, explica que a ideia defendida nas aƧƵes Ć© a de que a violĆŖncia especĆ­fica (homofobia) que existe contra um grupo especĆ­fico (LGBT) exige igualmente uma puniĆ§Ć£o especĆ­fica. Hoje isso nĆ£o ocorre.

Make the jump here to read the full article:

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Via Daily Dharma: Grateful and Givin

Thankful for the blessings we receive, we can try to be kinder, more open-minded, and more accepting of one another. And we can work to eliminate barriers between people, so that our togetherness is brought to light and honored.

—Jeff Wilson, “Come Together

Via Daily Dharma: Love Unbounded

The potential to develop the heart-mind is truly limitless. Myths and ideas that limit us can fall away, and the heart opens to reveal love.

—Cator Shachoy, “Valentine’s Day Buddhist Heart Replacement

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 13, 2019 šŸ’Œ

You can heal my soul if your heart is a mirror for my soul - and your heart can be that mirror only if you are resting in your own soul.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Just This

Meditation is releasing whatever reasons and justifications we might have, and taking up this moment with no thought that this can or should be something other than just this.

—Steve Hagen, “Looking For Meaning

Monday, February 11, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Let Go of the Story

Stories, of course, are made up of thoughts—those mental sound bites that intrude upon direct experience, and that we let go of in meditation. The more we learn to let go of thoughts, the more we gain the ability to drop our negative stories.

HistĆ³rias, Ć© claro, sĆ£o compostas de pensamentos - aquelas mordidas de som mentais que se intrometem na experiĆŖncia direta e que deixamos de lado na meditaĆ§Ć£o. Quanto mais aprendemos a abandonar os pensamentos, mais ganhamos a capacidade de abandonar nossas histĆ³rias negativas.

—Sean Murphy, “Get Out Of Your Head

Via TMBLR: Sri Swami Satchidananda

If it comes, accept it. If it doesn’t come, trust that it’s all for good. You may lose anything and everything in the world, but don’t lose your peace. God bless you.  

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Sri Swami Satchidananda

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Via Words of Wisdom - February 10, 2019 šŸ’Œ

The root of the problem lies in the way we deal with change. Most of us feel so insecure that we want to create a structure around us makes us feel safe and then we don’t want it to change. Any change increases our uncertainty and our confusion and our inadequacy. And it frightens us.
Think of how bizarre that is, because you are a part of nature. Look out there, and you show me something out there that isn’t changing. The nature of things is that they change, including us. Do you see how you’re in a losing strategy if you pit yourself against change? See, it’s a losing game.

- Ram Dass  -

Via Daily Dharma: See for Yourself

Seeing for yourself, from your own experience, what works and what doesn’t is what meditation is all about.

—Jason Siff, “The Problem with Meditation Instructions

Via Daily Dharma: Wisdom Itself

To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention.

—Seido Ray Ronci, “The Examined Life

Friday, February 8, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Uncovering Love

Because a loving heart is the very nature of every human being, to cultivate love does not mean to fabricate something that is not already present. Rather, it means to identify and gradually remove the many obstacles that block access to our loving heart.

—Beth Roth, “Family Dharma: A Bedtime Ritual

Via Daily Dharma: What You Gain When You Lose

Loss itself is a time-honored gateway; it encourages a shift from anxiety and attachment to the pursuit of a new spiritual awareness.

—David Rome, “The Green Buddha

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Fresh Perspectives

When we open our hearts and our minds completely, we are in a place where we can experience something new, a new truth, a new reality, a miracle that we haven’t experienced in the past. We can see things differently and they present new, expanded opportunities, new horizons.

—Anam Thubten Rinpoche, “How a Tomato Opened My Mind

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - February 6, 2019 šŸ’Œ

One doesn’t have to beat down one’s ego for God. That isn’t the way it works. The ego isn’t in the way, it’s how we are holding the ego. It is much better to just do the spiritual practices and open to God and love God and trust your intuitive heart. As the transformation changes, the ego then becomes this beautiful instrument that’s available to you to deal with the world. It’s not in the way anymore.

- Ram Dass -

Via FB: Socialism is the new Communism apparently, many aspects of our lives are impacted by Socialism here in the USA

1. The Military/Defense - The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world. It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.

2. Highways/Roads - Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one's use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany's autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That's right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.

3. Public Libraries - Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.

4. Police - Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?

5. Fire Dept. - Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn't pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn't pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people's houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don't take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.

6. Postal Service - Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it's all made possible by socialism.

7. Student Loans and Grants - Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.

8. Bridges - Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.

9. Garbage Collection - Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.

10. Public Landfills - Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.

11. War - That's right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it's biggest. Private companies don't attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.

12. Farm Subsidies - Our government uses taxpayer funds to pay farmers and businesses to provide their income and keep them growing food for the public.

13. CIA - The Central Intelligence Agency is vital to America's security. The CIA is completely taxpayer funded to protect the public from enemies.

14. FBI - The Federal bureau of investigations is a taxpayer funded government agency.

15. Congressional Health Care - As Republicans in congress warn us of the evils of government-run health care, most of them are covered by taxpayer-funded government-run health care. You literally pay for their health care while they tell you that paying for your neighbors health care through a public option or single-payer system is socialism. They are 100% correct, it is socialism. They're just not telling you that they like their socialist health care, they just don't think you should have it. They are afraid you might like it better than the private insurance you have now that funds their campaigns and gives them money to push what is best for them and not for you. Members of congress are free to opt out of their evil government health care, but most of them don't because deep down, they like socialism too.

16. Polio Vaccine - In the 1950's polio ravaged the United States. Until Dr. Jonas Salk invented a cure, finally ridding America of this terrible disease. Dr. Salk could have sold his vaccine in the free market and made millions and millions of dollars. Instead he gave it to the federal government to begin eradicating polio. He said that he made plenty of money as a scientist and felt it was too important to try and profit from or create a business around.

17. EPA - Republicans hate this taxpayer-funded government program because they have the nerve to tell corporations that they may have to follow environmental rules ad regulations for the greater good of the earth and the people who live on it. But if you don't like breathing mercury, drinking dirty water, and breathing in chemicals, you should like this example of socialism working for the people.

18. Social Security - You pay a tax to help ensure that our grandparents and senior citizens of America have money to live off of when they are retired or too elderly to work. I love hearing rich people bitch about this one because the truth is that they do not pay a social security tax, like most payroll taxes. This little piece of socialism helps prevent our senior citizens from sinking into poverty and starving to death.

19. Museums - Many museums are privately owned by organizations and groups, but many are also taxpayer-funded state, national, and federal museums.

20. Public Schools - Can't afford to send your children to an expensive private school? Thanks to socialism and government, you child can still get an education. Public education has been under attack for decades in this country by the radical right because public schools don't teach Christianity to your children and it enables people like Barack Obama to work hard, gain scholarships, and eventually become President of the United States.

21. Jail/Prison System - Many murders and criminals are behind bars right now and not out on the streets because of our taxpayer-funded, federal and state run jails and prisons. Taxpayer money is collected and used to help protect all of society from murders, molesters, rapist, etc. I know there's a lot of disagreement and controversy about how to handle our prison system, but I think we can all agree that serial killers should not be freed into society. There are also many private prisons in the United States. However, they have a higher escape rate than their socialist counterpart. Besides, don't you see the bad incentives in having a private prison system that profits from having people in prison? Since a business's top goal is to make more money than the year before, the only feasible agenda would be to get everyone in prison.

22. Corporate/Business Subsidies - This is the type of socialism that is acceptable in the Republican party. You tax dollars are given to big corporations to do things they should be doing anyway out of morals and ethics. Like not sending jobs overseas and hiring people. Wouldn't you like a nice big check just for not breaking the law? To be fair though, many businesses do earn their subsidies by advancing green technology and practice, donating to charity, helping communities, etc. They aren't all bad. People just get mad when big billionaire oil companies get billions of their taxpayer dollars while they're paying $4 at the pump. For the corporations that don't earn their subsidies other than donating to their very own political party, it's merely welfare. Though however you look at it, it is socialism.

23. Veteran's (VA) Health Care - Our soldiers bravely go to foreign countries and risk their lives at the request of their government and the American people. For those who survive, we as a country feel committed and obligated to ensure that they have everything they need for the rest of their lives for their service to us in which we could never fully repay. So we the taxpayers fund their health care in a government-run single-payer system for veterans. Many soldiers return with mental and/or physical health issues that would cost them thousands in a private health care plan. Socialism funds the military, the overall war, and also takes care of our troops when they return home.

24. Public Parks - Like going to the park on a sunny day? Just being able to walk right in, or at the worse pay a small fee? This is once again the work of socialism. If it were private, it wouldn't be a park, it would be someones back yard. That small or non-existent fee will turn into a $15 fee faster than you can say "No Trespassing".

25. All Elected Government Officials - From the Supreme Court, to the President of the United States and all the way down to the County Dog Catcher, taxpayers pay their salary and provide the funding for them to do their job. We pay for every aspect of their job. So in a sense, I guess you could say our whole country is run on socialism.

26. Food Stamps - Republicans fill with bitter contempt knowing that our government at the expense of the taxpayer is giving poor people money to buy food they couldn't otherwise afford. This, like welfare, is what the right thinks socialism is all about, along with mass murder. However, just like corporate welfare, welfare is socialism. I'll just end this one with a quick story. I have been down and out in periods of my life and sought assistance via food stamps. Even though I was what anyone would consider poor, I was not poor enough to get food stamps. Which means people who do get them, must really, really need them. As far as my personal experience, they weren't thrown around like candy the way the right would have you believe.

27. Sewer System - Do you like having a sewer system to remove waste and prevent pollution and disease from seeping into our environment? Thank the taxpayers of America and the socialist system it operates in.

28. Medicare - Medicare is one of the most liked socialist programs in America. Most of us don't mind paying taxes to provide our senior citizens with health care and hope the next generation will do the same for us. If you don't believe me, just look at almost any poll. Most seniors would not be able to afford private health care. So this form of socialism is a life saver for this nation's grandparents and senior citizens.

29. Court System - Whether it's the murder trial of the century or a case in a small claims court, the taxpayers of America fully fund our courts and legal process. You may pay for your own lawyer, but the courtroom, judge, and jury is paid for through socialist means.

30. Bird Flu Vaccine - You don't have bird flu right now and probably aren't worried about it because our federal government used taxpayer funds to pump vaccines all over America.

31. G.I. Bill - The G.I. bill allows veterans to pursue an education by using taxpayer dollars to help them pay for most of their schooling. It also helps them with loans, savings, and unemployment benefits.

32. Hoover Dam - Remember when our country use to build things? Our government built the Hoover Dam using taxpayer funds. It is now a vital source of power for the west coast.

33. State/City Zoos - American families have been going to the zoo for generations. A place where kids and adults can have fun seeing creatures and animals from all over the world and learn at the same time. Many zoos are ran by the state and/or city, using taxpayer funds to operate and even bring the animals to the zoo.

34. IRS - I know, the IRS is about as popular and well liked in America as a hemorrhoid, but think about it. The IRS is the reason that we have anything. The IRS collects taxpayer funds for the federal government. The government then dispenses these funds to our military, states, and social programs. If there is no one collecting taxes, no one will pay them. If no one pays taxes, our country shuts down. Without money to operate, nothing operates. This may sound like a good thing to some radical republicans, but for those of us with sense, we know this means anarchy in the USA. The IRS gets a bad rap because if you don't pay your taxes or owe them money, they can be ruthless. Like everything else, the IRS is not perfect, but without them we literally have no country or no means to run it.

35. Free Lunch Program - Some children are living in poverty by no fault of their own. I'm not saying it is even their parents fault, but you surely cannot blame a child for the situation they are born into. In most if not all states, there are programs where children who live in poor households can receive school lunch for free. The taxpayers of the state pay for this. Sounds like socialism to me, and also the moral and Christian thing to do.

36. The Pentagon - Our defense system in America is a socialist system from top to bottom. We as taxpayers fund the pentagon completely.

37. Medicaid - Our government uses taxpayer funds to provide health care for low-income people. Republicans, the compassionate Christians that they are, absolutely hate this program. What they fail to understand is that when people can't afford to pay their outrageous medical bills, they don't. This bill does not disappear. The loss that the insurance company, doctor's office, or hospital takes gets passed down to everyone else. So covering people and giving them a low-income option reduces costs for them and everyone else. This is the main argument behind a health care mandate. It's not to force you to buy health care out of cruelty. If everyone is covered, costs drop for everyone. If you have no compassion for the uninsured, you can at least understand the rational in a selfish sense.

38. FDA - The Food and Drug Administration is far from perfect. It is infested with corporate 
corruption and they have been wrong many, many times. Countless times they have approved things that they later have to apologize for and have banned things that would have helped people. However, they have also stopped many harmful foods and products from being sold to the public and protect us everyday from poisons being disguised as products. While not perfect, they are needed to prevent harmful food and drugs from being sold to you and you family. Without them, corporations can send whatever they want to your supermarkets and drug stores without any testing or evaluation. I don't mind my taxes going towards a middle man to inspect the safety of the products we are being sold everyday.

39. Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers - After beating back GOP obstruction, Democrats finally passed a bill last year to allow government to help 9/11 rescue worker's with their health care after many came down with horrible lung diseases from the toxins they breathed in rescuing people from smoldering buildings. These brave citizens risked their lives and health to help complete strangers. They deserve more, but covering their health care is a good start.

40. Swine Flu Vaccine - Do you have swine flu right now? Then thank government and the socialist structure.

41. Disability Insurance (SSDI) - For those who are disabled and cannot work, our government provides an income for them via taxpayer dollars as opposed to the other option of letting them starve to death.

42. Town/State Run Beaches - Like going to the beach? Like it when the beach is clean and safe? Like having lifeguards on staff in case of an emergency? Then once again, thank the taxpayers and the socialist structure that makes it all possible.

43. Corporate Bailouts/Welfare - The whole point of this post is to prove that we ALL use, benefit from, and like socialism. This example is a form of socialism that the republicans not only like, but fight tooth and nail for. They don't like it when socialism is used for working/poor people, but when it's for millionaires and their corporate donors, socialism becomes as American as apple pie. The middle/working class who are the majority of taxpayers pay for welfare for corporations and people who have more money than all of us combined. When our government bails out a bank or gives a subsidy to a billion dollar corporation, you are paying for it.

44. State Construction - Ever see those construction workers in your town fixing potholes, erecting buildings, repaving highways and roads, and fixing things all over town? They themselves and the work they do is taxpayer-funded state socialism.

45. Unemployment Insurance - All your working life, you pay payroll taxes. Some of these taxes go toward a program that temporarily provides for people who lost their jobs until they can find another one. You pay for others, others pay for you. Especially these days, you never know when you might lose your job. You may need temporary assistance until you get back on your feet. The government recognizes this. UI also keeps the economy moving in times of recession because people still have some money in their pockets to buy goods and promote demand.

46. City/Metro Buses - If you lack transportation, you can catch a city bus. Taxpayer funds and the fee you pay to take the bus make it possible for millions of people to go to work.

47. WIC - WIC is a federally funded program to assist women, infants, and children. WIC helps low-income families by providing funding for nutrition, education, and health care for children.

48. State Snow Removal - Even though sometimes it may take them longer than you like to get to your street, do you like having snow plow service to clear our roads and highways in the winter? This is a state socialist taxpayer-funded service.

49. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - PBS operates on donations and government funding. The provide non-partisan news and information to the public. They are the home of Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater, and The Antiques Roadshow. Surveys show that they are literally the most trusted name in news. I wonder how Fox feels about that?

50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The CDC helps promote and enact the health and safety of the public along with helping to prevent and control illness and disease. The CDC is a government program that operates on taxpayer funding.

51. Welfare - Is there anything the republicans hate more? Of course I'm talking about the welfare that goes to poor people. Corporate welfare is not only accepted in the republican Kabul, but it's mandatory that we give our tax dollars to billionaires and not question the logic of it. Though if you look at it realistically and not through the red scare glasses in which the right sees the world, welfare helps the economy. As I've said many times, when poor people have money in their pocket, they buy things made and sold by companies. This creates a demand. To keep up with demand, businesses must hire to keep up. If you yanked everyone who is on welfare off of it tomorrow, the economy would take a blow and lose jobs due to the down tick in consumer demand because we just took what little money they had away.

52. Public Street Lighting - Like being able to see at night when you walk or drive? Thank Socialism.
53. FEMA - If Disaster strikes, FEMA is there to help pick up the pieces. As a part of homeland security and an agency of the federal government, they use taxpayer dollars to help cities, states, and towns recover and rebuild. I don't know to many private companies that could assist in disaster relief and ask nothing in return. Thank God for socialism.

54. Public Defenders - Ever been in trouble and couldn't afford a lawyer? Well the taxpayers and the government make sure you still get representation.

55. S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) - S-CHIP is a program that matches funds to states for health insurance for children in families that cannot afford insurance but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Your tax dollars go towards covering uninsured children, is that so wrong?

56. Amtrak - Amtrak transports tens of millions of passengers a year in 46 states and three Canadian Providences. It is owned by the federal government and your tax dollars are used to fund it. All aboard!!

57. NPR - National Public Radio operates on private and federal funding along with public donations. NPR has been one of the most trusted news sources in America for over 40 years.

58. The Department of Homeland Security - Created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this heavily federally funded department of the U.S. government helps protect us from future terrorist attacks. This is the third largest department within the United States government.

59. OSHA - Do you have a safe and healthy workplace that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance? Thank OSHA! Brought to you by the taxpayers of America and socialism.
60. State and National Monuments - The Lincoln Memorial. Mount Rushmore. The D.C. National Mall. All brought to you and maintained with your tax dollars. Socialism is patriotic?

61. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - The USDA enforces regulations on the farming, agriculture, and food industries to ensure food safety, natural resources, and hunger worldwide and in the United States. Your tax dollars are used to help keep what you are eating safe and even feed those who are not eating.

62. Government Scholarships - if you work hard in school and show true potential, our government will give you a scholarship towards college so you can advance your education. Your tax dollars have been used to send future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even presidents of the United States to college.

63. Department of Health and Human Service - The overall goal of HHS is to promote, implement, and ensure the health of the American people. Your tax dollars are used to do this. Government looking out for the well being of it's people, imagine that!

64. Census Bureau - Every ten years, our government collects data about our people and economy, to better serve and represent us. From the forms that are sent to your home for you to fill out and send back in and to the census worker who shows up and kindly asks you to fill out the form if you don't send it in, all taxpayer funded socialism. The information collected is used to better understand the economic situation and population in your area. Not to enslave you in a FEMA camp.

65. Department of Energy - This taxpayer funded cabinet of the federal government oversees nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste disposal, and energy production. To those of you who care about our environment and would rather not witness a nuclear holocaust might consider this money well spent.

66. Customs and Border Protection - the CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in America. This is big government that republicans actually do like because they don't like Mexicans immigrating to our country like our ancestors did. However, this taxpayer funded, socialist agency of the federal government regulates trade, imports, and immigration.

67. Department of Education - This cabinet of the federal government is actually the smallest. They administer and oversee federal assistance to education. They also collect data and enforce federal laws and regulations involving education. Even though the right thinks that this department is indoctrinating your children, they actually have no control over curriculum or standards.
68. Secret Service - Your tax dollars are used to provide highly-trained, skilled professional bodyguards to protect the President of the United States.

69. Peace Corps - The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the government that helps people outside of the US to understand our culture as well as helping us learn about other cultures. However they are more well known for their work with economic and social development in less-fortunate countries. Sounds very Christian for being a socialist program, huh?

70. Department of Justice - The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the law. Socialism keeps our civilization intact.

71. National Weather Service - Like knowing when a storm, tornado, earthquake, or snow is coming? Socialism makes this possible and available to everyone.

72. The White House - Our taxpayer dollars through a socialist means pays for the house that the president and his family live in during a presidents time in office.

73. Government - Like it or not, our country would not be a country without a government. Every single day, government on state and local levels serve us in ways we simply take for granted. Government as an entity operates and functions on our tax dollars through a socialist structured funding system. From the military down to the county dog catcher, socialism turns the wheels that make our society function.

74. Law - Laws and rules make our democracy possible. Remove these laws and you have sheer anarchy. Laws do not appear out of thin air. To have law, you need a government. You need elected lawmakers to make the laws and a government to implement and enforce them. Socialism is responsible for every law in this country. Without our government and lawmakers which exist thanks to socialism, there would be no laws. So the laws themselves, are enforced and implemented thanks to socialism.