Thursday, February 23, 2023

The FOX MAGAt's Knew It All Along...


Carlson and the rest of the FOX MAGA'ts deserve only our contempt for their egregiously wrong headed support of Trump and Trump's lies leading up to his J6 2021 insurrection attempt. These people have absolutely no business in the news media. They should be run out of town on a rail. As they are every bit as dishonest and despicable as Trump is.

Be the Creator of Your Destiny...


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Humanities Two Egregiously Bad Problems...


Here’s How Much Each Member Of The Royal Family Is Worth

MONEYPOP - The British royal family has power, prestige, and tons and tons of money. Contrary to popular belief, the Royals aren’t fully funded by taxpayers. They’re independently wealthy with inheritances, crown estates, and allowances. Alone, the crown jewels have an estimated worth of between £3 and £5 billion ($4 – $6.6 billion). Their combined wealth is thought to be around $88 billion.

So, how much are the British family members actually worth? Spoiler: even the poorest royals are still wealthier than most of us could ever imagine.

Just imagine what existence would be like if greed were not a part opf the equation. Spreading a more equitable and more pleasant existence for millions if not billions across the globe.

Ignorance and Greed represent humanities two very biggest problems.

The Unconscionable Florida HB 5 Abortion Law...


Buddhadharma - In July 2022, seven clergy of various faiths in Miami-Dade County filed lawsuits against the State of Florida seeking to invalidate House Bill 5 (HB 5), the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act. HB 5 prevents women and girls from having autonomy over their own bodies; has no exceptions for rape, incest, or the age of the victim; no exceptions for life-threatening medical emergencies; and no exceptions for incurable fetal abnormalities.

I was one of the seven.

Can our lawsuit be considered bodhisattva activity? If motivation counts, then yes. Can we as Buddhists dispassionately examine this issue, asking ourselves and our teachers difficult questions? Can we dialogue with those who disagree with us? And whatever perspective we adopt regarding abortion, can we offer spiritual support and understanding to women and girls who choose it?

This situation cries out for compassion, for empathy, and for protection of women and girls.

Laws like HB 5 are enacted when abortion is perceived to be inherently and morally wrong. But this law does more than restrict women’s right to choose. As it stands, and as the aiding and abetting law in Florida stands, it also infringes on freedom of speech and freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice in the State of Florida.

Under HB 5, for clergy, according to their faith tradition, to counsel “women, girls, and families to obtain an abortion beyond the narrow bounds of HB 5…aids and abets the crime. Under Florida’s aiding and abetting law, they (clergy­) commit the crime itself by counseling in favor of it.”

Therefore, if a woman or girl who is in danger of losing her life due to an existing pregnancy requests spiritual guidance, I cannot say to her, for example, that abortion (as explained by my teachers) will not net her overwhelming negative karma. We cannot explore that question. I can only recite the law with no consideration for her psychological or physical state, her financial situation, or her family—in other words, the present manifestations of her karma. While societal laws are necessary for a relatively peaceful existence, an individual’s karma cannot be legislated, nor does one want to make profound life decisions without guidance.

In my forty years of practicing Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, I’ve tried to benefit beings solely through meditation, prayer, teaching, and building stupas. While that continues to be my preferred approach, protesting laws that have historically caused irreparable harm to others—whether by discriminating due to gender, race, age, or sexual orientation—is an additional skillful means to benefit beings.

Dive BELOW the FOLD to continue reading article.

Year of the Water Rabbit...


Lions Roar - For Tibetan Buddhists, this week marks Losar, the new year—a time to clean house, cherish family, make offerings, contemplate the past year and welcome the new.

Losar is one of the most important days in the Tibetan Lunar calendar, a day of community practice and celebration, and a chance to express appreciation for the teachers, teachings, and the basic goodness that binds all beings together.

Generally falling around the second new moon after the winter solstice, the tradition originated thousands of years ago in the pre-Buddhist Bon period and is now celebrated around the world, including in many Buddhist centers in North America.

2023 is designated as the year of the Water Rabbit, traditionally characterized by a peaceful and patient energy.

Happy Losar!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Understanding Critical Race Theory (CRT)...


Scholars of CRT view race as a social construct with no biological basis. One tenet of CRT is that racism and disparate racial outcomes are the result of complex, changing, and often subtle social and institutional dynamics, rather than explicit and intentional prejudices of individuals.

CRT, or Critical Race Theory seems to have many Republicans and conservatives knickers in a knot. Either they have not read anything in depth about CRT and essentially prefer to remain ignorant, or,  they have read the material and simply choose not to give it any credibility.

Unfortunately many people, reified in their lifelong conditioned beliefs, simply want no part of recognizing what has driven, and continues to drive, racial unrest and race relations in general in America. Very sad, because CRT has absolutely nothing to do with indoctrination of school children. That, and until we, as a nation, honestly and openly confront our history on race and honestly educate people on the nature of race relations in the country we cannot expect much to change from where race relations are presently. It is with this in mind this in the following expert is posted.

AMERICANBARASSOCIATION - In September 2020, President Trump issued an executive order excluding from federal contracts any diversity and inclusion training interpreted as containing “Divisive Concepts,” “Race or Sex Stereotyping,” and “Race or Sex Scapegoating.” Among the content considered “divisive” is Critical Race Theory (CRT). In response, the African American Policy Forum, led by legal scholar Kimberlรฉ Crenshaw, launched the #TruthBeTold campaign to expose the harm that the order poses. Reports indicate that over 300 diversity and inclusion trainings have been canceled as a result of the order. And over 120 civil rights organizations and allies signed a letter condemning the executive order. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the National Urban League (NUL), and the National Fair Housing Alliance filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the executive order violates the guarantees of free speech, equal protection, and due process. So, exactly what is CRT, why is it under attack, and what does it mean for the civil rights lawyer?

CRT is not a diversity and inclusion “training” but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society that emerged in the legal academy and spread to other fields of scholarship. Crenshaw—who coined the term “CRT”—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation.

Principles of the CRT Practice

While recognizing the evolving and malleable nature of CRT, scholar Khiara Bridges outlines a few key tenets of CRT, including:

A) Recognition that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant. It recognizes that science (as demonstrated in the Human Genome Project) refutes the idea of biological racial differences. According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, race is the product of social thought and is not connected to biological reality.

B) Acknowledgement that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicate racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism.

C) Rejection of popular understandings about racism, such as arguments that confine racism to a few “bad apples.” CRT recognizes that racism is codified in law, embedded in structures, and woven into public policy. CRT rejects claims of meritocracy or “colorblindness.” CRT recognizes that it is the systemic nature of racism that bears primary responsibility for reproducing racial inequality.

D) Recognition of the relevance of people’s everyday lives to scholarship. This includes embracing the lived experiences of people of color, including those preserved through storytelling, and rejecting deficit-informed research that excludes the epistemologies of people of color.

CRT does not define racism in the traditional manner as solely the consequence of discrete irrational bad acts perpetrated by individuals but is usually the unintended (but often foreseeable) consequence of choices. It exposes the ways that racism is often cloaked in terminology regarding “mainstream,” “normal,” or “traditional” values or “neutral” policies, principles, or practices. And, as scholar Tara Yosso asserts, CRT can be an approach used to theorize, examine, and challenge the ways which race and racism implicitly and explicitly impact social structures, practices, and discourses. CRT observes that scholarship that ignores race is not demonstrating “neutrality” but adherence to the existing racial hierarchy. For the civil rights lawyer, this can be a particularly powerful approach for examining race in society. Particularly because CRT has recently come under fire, understanding CRT and some of its primary tenets is vital for the civil rights lawyer who seeks to eradicate racial inequality in this country.

The originators of CRT include Derrick Bell, Kimberlรฉ Crenshaw, Cheryl Harris, Richard Delgado, Patricia Williams, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Tara Yosso, among others. CRT transcends a Black/white racial binary and recognizes that racism has impacted the experiences of various people of color, including Latinx, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. As a result, different branches, including LatCrit, TribalCrit, and AsianCRT have emerged from CRT. These different branches seek to examine specific experiences of oppression. CRT challenges white privilege and exposes deficit-informed research that ignores, and often omits, the scholarship of people of color. CRT began in the legal academy in the 1970s and grew in the 1980s and 1990s. It persists as a field of inquiry in the legal field and in other areas of scholarship. Mari Matsudi described CRT as the work of progressive legal scholars seeking to address the role of racism in the law and the work to eliminate it and other configurations of subordination.

CRT grew from Critical Legal Studies (CLS), which argued that the law was not objective or apolitical. CLS was a significant departure from earlier conceptions of the law (and other fields of scholarship) as objective, neutral, principled, and dissociated from social or political considerations. Like proponents of CLS, critical race theorists recognized that the law could be complicit in maintaining an unjust social order. Where critical race theorists departed from CLS was in the recognition of how race and racial inequality were reproduced through the law. Further, CRT scholars did not share the approach of destabilizing social injustice by destabilizing the law. Many CRT scholars had witnessed how the law could be used to help secure and protect civil rights. Therefore, critical race theorists recognized that, while the law could be used to deepen racial inequality, it also held potential as a tool for emancipation and for securing racial equality.

Foundational questions that underlie CRT and the law include: How does the law construct race?; How has the law protected racism and upheld racial hierarchies?; How does the law reproduce racial inequality?; and How can the law be used to dismantle race, racism, and racial inequality?

In the field of education, Daniel Solรณrzano has identified tenets of CRT that, in addition to the impact of race and racism and the challenge to the dominant ideology of the objectivity of scholarship, include a commitment to social justice; centering the experiential knowledge of people of color; and using multiple approaches from a variety of disciplines to analyze racism within both historical and contemporary contexts, such as women’s studies, sociology, history, law, psychology, film, theater, and other fields.

Some of the most compelling demonstrations of how racism has been replicated through systems is within the education system. Many can recall images of troops escorting nine Black students to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Or Ruby Bridges being escorted into a New Orleans Elementary School by armed guards six years after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated racially segregated education in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Those moments are just snapshots of the intersection of racism, the law, and the education system. This article provides just a snapshot of CRT, and the following explanation is a glimpse of the application of CRT in education. But the explanation below seeks to capture how CRT applies to the education system, particularly in addressing how racial inequality persists in the post–civil rights era.

Education and CRT

Segregated schooling is a particularly profound and timely demonstration of the persistence of systemic racism in education. For example, Brown is often couched in terms of American exceptionalism. But Gloria Ladson-Billings and other CRT originators in the field of education recognize that Brown was the culmination of over a century of legal challenges to segregated schooling and second-class citizenship and far from a natural occurrence or inevitable result of racial progress. The late Harvard Law Professor Derrick Bell, in Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma, noted that the Fourteenth Amendment alone could not effectively promote racial equality for Black people where such a remedy threatened the superior social status of wealthy white people. Further, Bell noted that Brown was decided the way it was because of what he termed “interest convergence,” which is the recognition that the interests of Black people in achieving racial equality will be accommodated only when it converges with the interests of white people.

Continue reading BELOW the FOLD

The Disingenuous Republican Party...


Who's Responsible for the Ohio Train Derailment?...


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

10 Biggest Lies About Jesus...

We are reposting the video on the possibility Christ was a Buddhist Monk in the far east before returning to Palestine to start his three year ministry there.

There is so much believed to be so that may, in truth, not actually be... perhaps being a seeker may be the only way to arrive at true peace and understanding.

The Hypocrisy...


Longchenpa - A Meditation...


Live Happily...

Does Life Have Purpose?...


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Study Buddhism...


Mahamudra is a body of teachings found in the many of the Tibetan Buddhist schools, which includes methods for truly understanding the very nature of our own minds, leading us to enlightenment. Different schools might propose slightly different approaches for achieving this goal, but regardless of which one is followed, working on knowing the actual nature of our minds is a way of making our lives incredibly meaningful.

Study BuddhismMahamudra, a Sanskrit word meaning “great seal,” refers to an advanced and sophisticated system of meditation on the nature of the mind, and the realizations gained through it. Just like wax seals are stamped on legal documents to authenticate their signature, similarly the great seal of mahamudra is stamped on authentic practices that bring enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Mahamudra meditation’s distinctive characteristic is that it focuses on the mind itself and its intimate relation with the world of conventional appearances and with voidness (emptiness). Confusion and unawareness (ignorance) of this relation drive our disturbing emotions and compulsive behavior, resulting in unrelenting suffering and problems. Mahamudra meditation is a highly effective method for attaining liberation from this suffering, and for becoming enlightened, but only when undertaken on a firm foundation. This means that extensive training in the entire lam-rim graded path is required for progress to be made.

Mahamudra-style practices are found in the KagyuSakya and Gelug traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. In Kagyu and Gelug, it has both sutra and anuttarayoga tantra levels of practice, which focus on the usual levels and clear-light level of the mind respectively. Sakya transmits only the anuttarayoga tantra level. Here, we’ll focus on the sutra level in its Gelug and Karma Kagyu forms. Gelug emphasizes meditation on the voidness of the mind, while Karma Kagyu emphasizes meditation on the mind that non-conceptually realizes voidness.

For both approaches, it is crucial to distinguish what exactly mind is.

Mind is the individual, subjective mental activity of experiencing something.

This activity continues unbroken throughout all our lifetimes, with no beginning or end. The mind itself is extremely difficult to recognize, and so success in the practice is only possible on the basis of extensive positive force and the purification of negative potentials through repeated preliminary practices, or ngondro.

To go deeper continue on BELOW the FOLD

Indian Roots of Tibetan Buddhism...


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Does an Enlightened Being Have More Karma...


The Beginnings of Mahayana Buddhism...

Five hundred years after the Buddha’s death, a radically new version of Buddhism was born and spread with its new teachings along the Silk Road into China. This new version became known as Mahayana Buddhism, or the “Greater Vehicle.” A look at how the teachings of Shakyamuni entered China, and the dramatic transformations they underwent on their way to Japan.

Mahayana Buddhism Takes Form: Anyone Can Become a Buddha

Sasaki Shizuka From its beginnings in India some 2,500 years ago, Buddhism spread and became influential across a wide area of the subcontinent and Central Asia. The decision of King Ashoka, the third-century ruler of the Maurya dynasty, to become a Buddhist was a pivotal event in the early history of the religion. It is thought that Buddhist teachings were known throughout India and had expanded as far south as Sri Lanka around this time.

In Sri Lanka, the religion has survived a turbulent history, and remains today more or less in the original form in which it was first brought to the island all those centuries ago. From Sri Lanka, the teachings of Buddhism reached Southeast Asia, where Buddhism continues to be a vital part of daily life in many countries to this day. The Theravada Buddhism (the name means “the school of the elders”) practiced in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia today remains close to the original Buddhism that took shape in the years after the religion was founded.

Around 500 years after the death of Shakyamuni, however, a new variety of Buddhism started to gather adherents in northwest India. This new version of the faith, which espoused dramatically different doctrines from the original teachings of the Buddha, spread from India along the Silk Road into China. Collectively, these new teachings are known as Mahayana (or “the greater vehicle”) Buddhism.

What are the main characteristics of Mahayana Buddhism? In its original form, Buddhism taught that by joining the sangha and becoming a monk, a person could follow a rigorous set of meditative and spiritual practices and eventually attained enlightenment and release from suffering as a disciple of the Buddha. Buddhist disciples and practitioners who achieved enlightenment in this way were known as arhats (Sanskrit) or arahants (Pali). These were regarded as admirable, praiseworthy figures who had achieved the same enlightenment as Shakyamuni—but they were not believed to have the same deep compassion as the Buddha or the same profound understanding of the universe, and were not revered in the same way. They were holy men, but remained disciples of the Buddha. In its original form, Buddhism taught that the highest objective for ordinary people was to follow the Buddha’s teachings and attain enlightenment as arhats. We cannot become buddhas ourselves.

The teachings about enlightenment underwent dramatic changes in Mahayana Buddhism, which began to teach that the path to Buddhahood was open to anyone who followed the right practices. Mahayana Buddhism taught that it was possible for anyone to attain a status equal to the supreme being in the universe.

In the sutras, the Buddha only ever tells his followers that they should aim to become arhats. He never exhorts them to become a Buddha like himself, and never even suggests that such a thing might be possible. For this reason, the founders of the Mahayana sects needed to create new sutras that were quite different from the existing scriptures. In arguing that normal people could achieve Buddhahood themselves, these new sutras all followed the same basic premise.

In them, the Buddha would appear and say: “It is true that in other sutras, I told you that people who became monks and followed my teachings could become arhats, but these were merely the introductory teachings. In fact, a deeper truth exists, and people who follow these practices based on an understanding of this deeper system can become not merely arhats but Buddhas. I will now explain this ultimate truth, so listen well.”

Using this basic formula, the founders of Mahayana Buddhism created new texts that expressed what each sect believed understood as the supreme truth, and presented it as being spoken by Shakyamuni. These became the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism, including the Heart Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, the Pure Land Sutras, and the various texts of esoteric Buddhism.

Continue reading BELOW the FOLD

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Jesus in India, Tibet and Persia - An Account Missing from the Bible


Jesus Was a Buddhist Monk... A BBC Documentary


Who Do You Believe? If Republicans Better Check Again...

The republican party has lost all sense of honesty and accountability. So,  when i saw this on Progressive Eruptions today i just had to bring a section of Shaw's post over with links to information exposing the republican's who have publicly stated their intentions on SS. And folks, the liars are, in fact, the republicans.

Senator Mike Lee called POTUS a liar when POTUS said SOME GOPers wanted to cut Social Security, etc.

But who is the REAL liar?

 Go to this link and see him talking about pulling Social Security up by the roots and getting rid of it.

Sen. Rick Scott also wants to mess with Social Security as well. 

(MT Greene called POTUS a liar, but she's the poorly informed member of Congress who's loud, jeering heckling made her look like a howler monkey last night.)

Scott doubles down on sunsetting all federal programs after Biden’s jab 


Trumpers are so confused!

Pure Awareness... Advaita


Breath Meditation...


The Buddha... Upon Attaining Enlightenment...


Through the round of many births I roamed
without reward,
    without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth
    again & again.

House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole destroyed,
gone to the Unformed, the mind
has come to the end of Craving.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dhammapada - Verse 103


One may conquer a thousand men a thousand times in a battle, but having conquered one’s own self, one would be supreme in battle. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Benefactor Meditation...


The Buddha on Economics and Politics...


Perusing the internet today i came across the following on the Buddha's teachings relative to political and economic theory. While rather lengthy it is worth the read. Lots of good stuff that could help the political and governmental leaders of the world. If they'd just read, meditate, and learn. But unfortunately their egos and reified beliefs get in the way.

Springer Link - This chapter outlines doctrinal Buddhist political and economic theory including its notions about interstate relations, which are based on its unique understanding of the nature of reality. Some readers may be surprised to hear that there exists a theory of politics in Buddha’s teachings. But in fact, Buddha spoke extensively about politics, contrary to the assertion of Max Weber who famously asserted that Buddhism was “a specifically a-political and anti-political status religion.” Although the overriding goal of Buddha’s teachings is the liberation of individuals from pervasive suffering, Buddha considered politics as important, not so much for its intrinsic value, but because it created an external environment that can facilitate or impede an individual’s pursuit of happiness, defined as spiritual advancement and achievement of wisdom about the true nature of oneself and the world. Although best understood as an extension of his teachings on human liberation, Buddha was also an original social and a significant political philosopher. Buddha’s social teachings parallel modern democratic thought, mixed market economics, and cosmopolitan internationalism in the West. This chapter outlines Buddha’s political and economic theory, including his thoughts about statecraft and the possibilities for international order.

Early Buddhist literature2 addresses several political, economic, and international issues. While the primary purpose of Buddha’s teachings is the liberation of individuals from pervasive suffering, his teachings also acknowledge the interdependence of the individual with society, polity, and economy. Buddha’s teachings sought to mediate these relationships constructively. Although largely unknown in the West, Buddha was an original and important social, political, and economic philosopher, and a rationalistic, humanistic, and democratic one at that (Ling 1981). 

What are the essential elements of Buddha’s normative vision for politics? Buddha saw politics not as an end in itself but as an instrument that could either provide favorable conditions or create harmful obstructions for individuals’ personal advancement. Buddha recognized that government is necessary to provide social order and welfare and that its values, content, and processes should be consistent with the “dharma.” “Dharma” (dhamma in P¯ali) has many meanings but here refers to the teachings of Buddha and their realization, which are offered as universal or natural laws—such as the law of dependent arising and the suffering that results from ignorance of this basic truth. These laws are not created by Buddha, they operate with or without him, but Buddha revealed these laws and recommended that we examine them and act accordingly; not through blind faith, but through a process of rational human assessment.3 A political system organized consistent with these basic truths could minimize the manifest forms of suffering for all members of society—especially for the least fortunate whose visible suffering is greatest—and play a positive role in an individual’s attainment of higher forms of well-being.

To continue reading click on Springer Link and then Click on Download chapter PDF

Reality and Truth Can Not Be Avoided...