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Emulating Children

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (42)
" Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi"

"Someone enquired:  Why is it said in the scriptures that the Sage is like a child?"
"A child and a Sage (jnani) are similar in a way.  Incidents interest a child only so
long as they last.  It ceases to think of them after they have passed away.  So then,
 it is apparent that they do not leave any impression on the child, and it is not
 affected by them mentally.  So it is with a Sage."

"Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna"

"Little children play with dolls in the outer room just as they like, without any care
 or fear or restraint; but as soon as their mother comes in, they throw aside their dolls and run to her crying " mamma, mamma".  You too, o man, are now playing in this material world, infatuated with dolls of wealth, honor, fame, etc., and do not feel any fear or anxiety.  If, however, you once see your Divine Mother, you will not afterwards find pleasure in these.  Throwing them aside, you will run to her."


Posted on October 30, 2019 at 5:09 PM Comments comments (26)
..."An attitude of truthfulness means to try always to see things as they are, to accept the possibility that one may be mistaken in their most cherished opinions, to entertain no likes or dislikes that might prejudice their perception of reality as it is.  Truthfulness means to look always for the Divine Light that shines in the midst of universal darkness, to see God in everything and everyone, to affirm goodness in the face of evil, and yet to always do so from a center of absolute honesty, never of mere wishful thinking.

...In meditation, an attitude of perfect truthfulness is essential as a safeguard against hallucinations, as well as against attachment to the more common delusions of man-
kind.  To overcome your hypnosis of human limitations, observe them dispassionately in meditation.  Ask yourself, "Is this really I"?  Who am I, really?"  The deeper you pursue this question of self-identity, the more clearly you will see yourself as the ever-free
soul, stripped of all egoistic desire.

...In practicing the postures, be inwardly aware of your body.  While practicing poses, for example, concentrate on the tension that prevents you from stretching further; be
complete in your recognition of it.  You will notice that once you have really "faced" this obstruction, accepting it for what it is, you will be able to release it as you could never do if you tried merely to ignore it.  In all of the yoga postures, an attitude of strict truthfulness, which is to say, simply, awareness, is a necessary prerequisite to final mastery."

"Raja Yoga"  Swami Kriyananda

Answering Trump, et al

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (36)
I deserve better - such a dangerous, mad thought for a woman to entertain.
                                                                             Meredith Duran, 'At Your Pleasure'

In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist.
                                                                                                          Gloria Steinem

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that
people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a
                                                                                                            Rebecca West

When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately
three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion
and family  and particularly other women, who sometimes feel invested in how you
behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.
                                                                                                               M.E Thomas

What are the worst things you can call a guy?  Fag, girl, bitch, pussy...Notice anything?
...The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl.
                                                                                                           Jessica Valenti

When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe them-
selves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think
feminism is ladies?  What part of "liberation for women" is not for you?  Is it freedom to
vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry?  The campaign for equal pay?..
                                                                                                              Caitlin Moran

Part of the radical connotation of feminism is not due to the word, but to the action. 
The act of a woman standing up for herself is radical, whether she calls herself a fem-
inist or not.
                                                                                                              Paula Kamen

Individual heterosexual women came to the movement from relationships where men
were cruel, unkind, violent, unfaithful.  Many of these men were radical thinkers who
participated in movements for social justice, speaking out on behalf of workers, the
poor, speaking out on behalf of racial justice.  But when it came to the issue of gen-
der, they were as sexist as their conservative cohorts.
                                                                                                                  bell hooks

I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead.
He said there were many unexplored land mines since the war.
                                                                                                            Robert Mueller

Once you start to speak, people will yell at you.  They will interrupt you, put you down.
And the world won't end...And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and
party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, " If I can't dance, I don't want to be part
of your revolution."  And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing
is more frightening than speaking your truth.  And that is not speaking .
                                                                                                                Audre Lorde

Mantras (part 4)

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 3:13 PM Comments comments (64)
"Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism"  -  Lama Anagarika Govinda

"...Thus, the word in its hour of birth was a centre of force and reality, and only habit has stereotyped it into a mere conventional medium of expression...

(sorry this book has been packed away.  I'll have to continue the excerpt later)    

The Surgeon as Priest

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (54)
"Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery" Richard Selzer

"On the bulletin board in the front hall of the hospital where I work, there appeared an
announcement.  "Yeshi Dhonden", it read, "will make rounds at six o'clock on the mor-
ning of June 10."  The particulars were then given, followed by a notation: "Yeshi Dhonden is Personal Physician to the Dalai Lama."  I am not so leathery a skeptic that I would not knowingly ignore an emissary from the gods.  Not only might such sang-froid
be inimical to one's earthly well-being, it could take care of eternity as well.  Thus, on the morning of June 10, I join the clutch of whitecoats waiting in the small conference room adjacent to the ward selected for the rounds.  The air in the room is heavy with ill-concealed dubiety and suspicion of bamboozlement.  At precisely six o'clock, he mat-erializes, a short, golden, barrelly man dressed in a sleeveless robe of saffron and mar-
oon.  His scalp is shaven, and the only visible hair is a scanty black line over each hood-
ed eye.

He bows in greeting while the young interpreter makes the introduction.  Yeshi Dhonden
, we are told, will examine a patient selected by a member of the staff.  The diagnosis is as unknown to Yeshi Dhonden as it is to us.  The examination of the patient will take place in our presence, after which we will reconvene in the conference room where Yeshi Dhonden will discuss the case.  We are further informed that for the past two hours Yeshi Dhonden has purified himself by bathing, fasting, and prayer.  I, having breakfasted well, performed only the most desultory of ablutions, and given no thought at all to my soul, glance furtively at my fellows.  Suddenly, we seem a soiled, uncouth lot.

THe patient had been awaken early and told that she was to be examined by a foreign doctor, and had been asked to produce a fresh specimen of urine, so when we enter her
room, the woman shows no surprise.  She has long ago taken on that mixture of compli-ance and resignation that is the facies of chronic illness.  This was to be but another  in an endless series of tests and examinations.  Yeshi Dhonden steps to the bedside while the others stand apart, watching.  For a long time he gazes at the woman, favoring no part of her body with his eyes, but seeming to fix his glance at a place just above her
supine form.  I, too, study her.  No physical sign nor obvious symptom gives a clue to the nature of her disease.

At last he takes her hand, raising it in both of his own.  Now he bends over the bed in a kind of crouching stance, his head drawn down into the collar of his robe.  His eyes are closed as he feels for her pulse.  In a moment he has found the spot, and for the next half-hour he remains thus, suspended above the patient like some exotic golden bird with folded wings, holding the pulse of the woman beneath his fingers, cradling her hand in his.  All the power of the man seems to have been drawn down into this one purpose.  It is palpation of the pulse raised to the status of ritual.  From the foot of the bed, where I stand, it is as though he and the patient have entered a special place of
isolation, of apartness, about which a vacancy hovers, and across which no violation is possible.  After a moment the woman rests back upon her pillow.  From time to time, she raises her head to look at the strange figure above her, then sinks back once more.  I cannot see their hands joined in a correspondence that is exclusive, intimate, his fin-gers receiving the voice of her sick body through the rhythm and throb she offers at her wrist.  All at once I am envious - not of him, not of Yeshi Dhonden for his gift of beauty and holiness, but of her.  I want to be held like that, touched so, received.  And I know that I, who have palpitated a hundred thousand pulses, have not felt a single one.

At last Yeshi Dhonden straightens, gently places the woman's hand upon the bed, and
steps back.  The interpreter produces a small wooden bowl and two sticks.  Yeshi Dhon-
den pours a portion of the urine specimen into the bowl, and proceeds to whip the liquid with the two sticks.  This he does for several minutes until a foam is raised.  Then, bowing above the bowl, he inhales the odor three times.  He sets down the bowl and turns to leave.  All this while, he has not uttered a single word.  As he nears the door, the woman raises her head and calls out to him in a voice at once urgent and se-rene.  "Thank you, doctor", she says, and touches with her other hand the place he had
held onto her wrist, as though to recapture something that had visited there.  Yeshi
Dhonden turns back for a moment to gaze at her, then steps into the corridor.  Rounds are at an end.

We are seated once more in the conference room.  Yeshi Dhonden speaks now for the first time, in soft Tibetan sounds that I have never heard before.  He had barely begun when the young interpreter begins to translate, the two voices continuing in tandem - a biblical fugue, the one chasing the other.  It is like the chanting of monks.  He speaks of winds coursing through the body of the woman, currents that break against barriers, eddying.  These vortices are in her blood, he says.  The last spendings of an imperfect heart.  Between the chambers of her heart, long, long before she was born, a wind had come and blown open a deep gate that must never be opened.  Through it charge the full waters of her river, as the mountain stream cascades in the springtime, battering, knocking loose the land, and flooding her breath.  Thus he speaks, and is silent.

      "May we now have the diagnosis?" a professor asks.
       The host of these rounds, the man who knows, answers.
       "Congenital heart disease", he says.  "Interventricular septal defect, with 
       resultant heart failure."

A gateway in the heart, I think.  That must not be opened.  Through it charge the full
waters that flood her breath.  So!  Here then is the doctor listening to the sounds of the body to which the rest of us are deaf.  He is more than doctor.  He is priest."  

Chinese Prohibitions in Tibet (partial list)

Posted on February 9, 2016 at 6:51 PM Comments comments (32)





The Use of Herbs and Food in Taoism (part 2)

Posted on January 10, 2016 at 6:11 PM Comments comments (69)
"Taoism" Eva Wong

"Many people are curious about the role of food in Taoist spirituality.  The general rule of thumb is to let the body decide what foods it can take, rather than trying to control the diet with preconceived ideas.  One of the aims of Taoist training is to  cultivate an intelligent body.  Once the body has attained an awareness of its health, it will naturally reject foods that are unhealthy for it.  Techniques of cultivating the body of-ten require the practitioner initially to expend a lot of energy.  It is not uncommon for appetites to increase in the early stages of internal and external strengthening.  A prac-titioner locked into the social conventions about dieting and keeping calories down may not reach the higher stages of spiritual development.  With time, however, as the inter-nal physiology becomes more efficient, the body will not need as much food to maintain a healthy level of internal energy.  Also, as the body is cleansed and the energies are re-fined, there is a natural inclination to stay away from meat and fatty foods.

Contrary to popular belief, vegetarianism is not required in Taoist practice.  The Lung-
Men sect of the northern branch of the Complete Reality School is one of the few mon-astic groups to abstain from meat.  Almost all of the internal-alchemical sects agree that abstinence from meat should be natural not forced.  On certain feast days, espec-ially during the major festivals of the deities, it is customary to abstain from meat for purposes of purification.  The observance of these dietary rules is especially important for practitioners of Ceremonial Taoism." 

The Use of Herbs and Food in Taoism (Part 1)

Posted on January 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (21)
"Many practitioners of the Taoist arts of health use foods and herbs to supplement their training.  The use of herbs and special foods must go hand in hand with the practition-
er's condition of health and spiritual development.  If foods and herbs are used inappro-
privately, internal injuries can occur. 

In Chinese herbology, herbs can be divided into three main groups: those that have cur-
ative properties, those that are used as preventative medicine, and those that facilitate
the gathering and circulation of internal energy.

Herbs with curative properties are prescribed to control illness or strengthen the consti-
tution.  They include herbs that women take to replenish blood and energy lost during childbirth.  Herbs that act as preventive medicine can help to maintain general health
and strengthen the body's immune system.  As a child I took such herbs regularly.  The third group, those that affect the circulation and cultivation of internal energy, are usu-
ally taken in conjunction with spiritual training.  These herbs have powerful effects, and
should be taken only under the guidance of a teacher or doctor.  Some herbs are only
suitable when the practitioner has attained both internal and external strength, and
others are effective only if the blockages in circulatory pathways are opened.  At best, taking the wrong herbs will be a waste of resources, as the body will reject what it can-
not absorb.  However, some herbs can be harmful if they are ingested inappropriately.
The best approach to the use of herbs is to  consult with the teacher of the program you are studying."           "Taoism"    Eva Wong

Homo Satanicus

Posted on September 26, 2015 at 6:51 PM Comments comments (64)
Religion.  It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
                                                                                                           Jon Stewart

Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions...
are facts.  And the other half contends that they are not facts at all.  As a result we
have people who consider themselves believers because they accept the metaphors
as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think
religious metaphors are lies.
                                                                                                    Joseph Campbell

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god.  It neither
picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
                                                                                                   Thomas Jefferson

"Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god RA, I kneel at the foot of an
ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh...
And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard Chapel on Sunday, kneel
beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion."
                                                    Robert Langdon in Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol"

We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale
of our own list of sacred things.  And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shock-
ed when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.
                                                                                                           Mark Twain

Many religions claim that theirs is the only path to the truth...But God never made
an agreement with any of these religions.  All religions are of fairly recent origin,
but God has existed since the beginning of time.  He could not have signed a con-
tract with any religious founder saying, "You are my exclusive salesman."

God {is} hidden within me.  I find him by hiding in the silence in which He is con-
                                                                                                      Thomas Merton

I fear one day I'll meet God, he'll sneeze , and I won't know what to say.
                                                                                                        Ronnie Shakes

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger,
freer, and more loving.  If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of him,
                                                                                                       James Baldwin

Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.
                                                                                             Saint Francis of Assisi

Nearly all that we call human history - money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution,
classes, empires, slavery - [is] the long, terrible story of man trying go find some-
thing other than God which will make him happy.
                                                                                                             C. S. Lewis

May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us
and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that "faith" is
even more difficult for Him than it is for us.
                                                                                                           W. H. Auden 

The Queen of Heaven (Part 5)

Posted on September 23, 2015 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (76)
"The Virgin Mary is the modern day form of the divine feminine as Virgin Mother.  Con-
cealed in Marianism, Christianity retains the worship of the moon and it's symbolism.
Marianism is the practice of devotion to the Virgin Mary...In the New Testament book of
Revelation Chapter 12, verse 1 reads: "...and I saw a woman clothed with the sun; with the moon beneath her feet."  Mary is often depicted in this image in Catholic religious art.  This is lunar imagery, for a woman clothed with the sun is the moon!

It was at the Council of Ephesus, 431 CE, that the Roman Catholic church gave the Virgin
Mary the title 'Mother of God'.  In the Missal, Mary is called 'Caeli Regina' (Queen of Heav
en), and' 'Mundi Domina' (Mother of the World).  The Blessed Virgin Mary is called 'The
Moon of the Church', 'The Spiritual Moon', and 'The Perfect and Eternal Moon'.

The Council of Trent decreed in 1564 the veneration of the Virgin Mary.  Additionally, Pope Pius VI decreed that Mary was exempt from the taint of original sin.  In 1923, Pope
Pius XI sanctioned Pope Benedict XV's pronouncement that Mary suffered with Christ and that with him she redeemed the human race.  Pope Pius XII officially designated Mary
the "Queen of Heaven" and "Queen of the World" (the title of the Moon Goddess as Isis/Hathor and Ishtar).  Pope John Paul II dedicated himself to Mary and stated that she is a co-redeemer with Jesus... 

(...The winter solstice, when the Great Mother gives birth to the sun stands at the cen-
ter of the matriarchal mysteries.  At the winter solstice, the moon is full and occupies the highest point in its cycle, the sun is at its nadir...)

...Catholics venerate the Virgin in many ways...In the Hail Mary prayer, she is referred to as the Mother of God...The expansion of the cult of the Virgin Mary during the 12th and 13th centuries was reflected in the building of Cathedrals devoted to her.  Notre Dame Cathedrals became sites for Marian pilgrimages.  Many of these churches were
built over sites that formerly were sacred to the Goddess...Chartres Cathedral, in 
Chartres, France, legend has it, sits on a site that once was a site of a temple to the Goddess Isis.  The Black Virgin at Chartres dates back to the fourth century...Ancient
statues of Isis with Child have, in not a few instances, been taken over by Catholic com-
munities as representations of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris stands as the preeminent object of veneration for the Virgin Mary.  In France they call the moon Notre Dame.  Built as a monument to Mary in 1250 CE, it is famous for its rose window, the Virgin Mary's symbol.  Roses are
also a symbol of love and related to Hathor and Demeter..."

"Moon Goddess"  Safiyah Karimah