Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Not thinking of SEX in spring (video)

Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Jen B., CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Strangers With Candy (Comedy Central); Ajahn Jotiko, Awareness Itself; Dhammapada verses

I'm here to help you! - Then why do you have a sword? - To cut your vine. - Go away!
The soft embrace of delight
Let me climb and embrace you.
One day a vine took root at the base of an elder tree in an ancient grove of trees.

It sprang soft tendril-arms and took hold of the base of the tree. The tree sighed at the embrace. As the vine began to grow, its sweet fragrance perfuming the base of the tree as its tendrils extended and it began to climb.

At that time the spirits of the other ancient trees, dryads, came to pay their final respects to the elder tree. "It has been nice knowing you, sir tree!" they said.

The elder tree grimaced and wondered why they spoke such insolence in such a kind and respectful manner, as if mocking him.

"I am a grand old tree; moreover, I have have this gorgeous vine which I wear like a colorful robe over my old bark. What reason have they to speak to me in such a way?"

Day and night, in a solemn procession, the tree spirits came by and paid their condolences until finally the elder could take it no more. The vine had climbed all the way to the top and was beginning to enfold its canopy.

Let me enwrap you.
The elder tree cried out to a particularly old, wise, and venerable tree spirit: "Why do you speak to me in such a manner, as if someone has died?!"

The venerable tree spirit looked surprised, "Why surely you know why we have all come, each in our turn, to bid you farewell and speak of our affection?"

"But I am still here! I'm not going anywhere! What have I done that you should all turn on me?"

"Friend, do you not know hat will happen when this vine you wear like a charm enfolds your canopy?"

"It will look all the more gorgeous as I support it with its soft tendril-embrace about my great trunk!"

"Then what?"

"'Then what' what? I will wear it like a beautiful gown, a magnificent, multi-colored robe!"

"Then it will weigh you down until you snap, your old, brittle body unable to support the weight of its clinging any longer."

"Ahh!" the elder tree gasped, suddenly understanding its predicament. "Then I will ask this vine to climb down!"

"Good luck with that request," the venerable spirit said full of compassion as it turned and went off into the grove.

Just so does the tender touch of sensuality delight one...until, clinging and unable to let go, it eventually fells one by its weight.
Sex: The Great Temptation
Awareness Itself by Thai Master Ajahn Jotiko, Ven. Thanissaro/Geoffrey DeGraff (trans.)
Let's have sex? - No, let's just wrap like a vine and a tree. - OK, that's intimate, too.
World's tallest tree, CA
Western women are often upset when they learn that Buddhist monks aren’t allowed to touch them.

They usually take it as a sign that Buddhism discriminates against women.

But as Thai Master Ajahn Fuang explained it, “The reason the Buddha didn’t allow monks to touch women is not that there’s anything wrong with women. It’s because there’s something wrong with the monks:

“They still have mental defilements, which is why they have to be kept under control.”
For anyone who tries to follow the celibate life [of a Buddhist monastic aiming for immediate enlightenment], the opposite sex is the biggest temptation to leave the path [that leads to awakening].

If Ajahn Fuang were teaching monks, he’d say: “Women are like vines. At first they seem so delicate and soft, but if you let them grow on you, they cling and curl up around you until they have you all tied up and finally bring you down.”

Similarly, when teaching nuns, he’d warn them about men. Once a nun was thinking of disrobing [giving up the saffron robes of a celibate Buddhist nun's life] and returning home, knowing that her father would arrange a marriage for her.

She asked Ajahn Fuang for advice, and he told her: “Ask yourself, do you want to live inside the noose or out?” As a result, she decided she’d rather stay out of the noose. More

Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) never learned morals on Strangers With Candy, but there were a lot of fun times. Like all "after school specials," every episode climaxed in a tidy life lesson. lol

The delicate vines blossom and wait for The One, a tall handsome tree to climb.
What danger is a vine to a tree?
Dhammapada (Verses 163-166 334-336) edited by Wisdom Quarterly
Dryads (devas) live in trees.
(163) When overspread by extreme vice -- like a sal tree by a vine -- one does oneself what an enemy would wish.

They're easy to do -- things no good and of no use to oneself. What is useful and good is really harder than hard to do.
(164) The teaching of those who live the Dharma, worthy ones, nobles [enlightened beings]: whoever maligns it -- a dullard, motivated by wrong view -- bears the fruit of one's own destruction, like the fruiting of the bamboo.*
  • *Certain reeds of the bamboo plant family perish immediately after producing fruit.
(165) Great harm is done by oneself. By oneself is one defiled. Great harm is left undone by oneself. By oneself is one cleansed. Purity and impurity are one's own doing. No one purifies another. No other can purify one.

(166) Let one not neglect one's own welfare because of [or even for the sake of] another, however great. Clearly understanding one's own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.

The bigger our trees the better!
(334-336) When one lives heedlessly, one's craving grows like a creeping vine. One runs now here, now there, like a forest monkey in desperate search of sweet fruit.

If this sticky and wretched craving overcomes one in the world, one's sorrows grow like wild grass following a rain.

But if in the world one overcomes this wretched craving, so hard to escape, sorrows roll off one like beads of water off a lotus flower.

The Psychology of Emotions in Buddhism

Dr. Padmasiri de Silva, The Psychology of Emotions in Buddhist Perspective; edited by Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Wisdom Quarterly

An "emotion" occurs generally when an object of perception is considered as attractive or repulsive.

There is a felt tendency impelling people towards suitable/pleasant objects and impelling them to move away from unsuitable/unpleasant or harmful objects.

The individual also perceives and judges the situation in relation to oneself as attractive or repulsive. While a person feels attraction (sarajjati) for agreeable material forms, one feels repugnance (byapajjati) for disagreeable material ones.

An individual thus possessed of like (anurodha) and dislike (virodha) approaches pleasure-giving objects and avoids painful ones (M i 226, MN 38).
Pleasant feelings (sukha vedana) and painful feelings (dukkha vedana) are affective reactions to sensations.

When we make a judgment in terms of hedonic tone of these affective reactions, there are excited in us certain dispositions to possess the object (greed), to destroy it (hatred) or flee from it (fear), to get perplexed over it (delusion), and so on.

Sometimes it's easy to feel sad: too much pondering.
Our attitudes towards things, which have been formed in the past, influence our present reactions to oncoming stimuli, and these attitudes are often rooted in dynamic personality traits.

These attitudes, according to the historical Buddha, are not always the result of deliberations at a conscious level, but emerge on deep-rooted tendencies referred to as proclivities (anusaya*).

Pleasant feelings induce an attachment to pleasant objects, as they rouse latent sensual greed (raga-anusaya), painful feelings rouse latent anger and hatred/fear/aversion (patigha-anusaya).

States like pride, jealousy, elation, and so on can also be explained in terms of similar proclivities.
  • [*There are seven such proclivities: 1. sensual lust (kama-raga), 2. resentment (patigha), 3. views (ditthi), 4. skeptical doubt (vicikiccha), 5. mind (mana), 6. craving for eternal existence (bhava-raga), 7. ignorance (avijja)].
It is even said that such proclivities as leaning towards pleasurable experience (kama raga-anusaya) and malevolence (byapada-anusaya) are found latent even in "an innocent baby lying on its back" (M i 433; MN 64).
Hmm, I wonder what Spock would think.
The motivational side of the emotions can be grasped by a study of the six roots of motivation (mula). They fall into two groups, wholesome (kusala) and unwholesome (akusala).

The unwholesome roots are greed (lobha), hatred (dosa), and delusion (moha), while the wholesome roots are non-greed (alobha), non-hatred (adosa), and non-delusion (amoha).

Greed (lust, attraction, preference) generates the approach desires in the form of the drive for self-preservation (bhava-tanha) and the drive for sensual pursuits (kama tanha).

Hatred generates the avoidance desires in the form of the drive for annihilation and aggressive tendencies (vibhava-tanha).
  • [For an analysis of vibhava-tanha, see Padmasiri de Silva, Buddhist and Freudian Psychology, (Sri Lanka, 1973).]
In keeping with our initial observations, non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion should be considered as the springs of wholesome, beneficial, ethically profitable/desirable emotions.

In fact, in a study on the impact of the wholesome roots on the forms of wholesome consciousness, the following significant observations has been made by Ven. Nyanaponika Maha Thera:
"Non-greed and non-hate may, according to the particular case, have either a mainly negative meaning signifying absence of greed and hate.

"Or they may posses a distinctly positive character, for example: non-greed as renunciation [letting go], generosity, and non-hate as amity, kindness, or  forbearance.

"Non-delusion always has a positive meaning, for it represents the knowledge that motivates the respective state of consciousness.

"In their positive aspects, non-greed and non-hate are likewise strong motives of wholesome, skillful actions. They supply the non-rational, volitional, or emotional motives, while non-delusion represents the rational motive of a wholesome thought or action." More
  • [Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, Abhidhamma Studies (Sri Lanka, 1965), p.79]
LIVE: "Emotions, Meditation, and Buddhist Psychology"
PasaDharma - Dharma Meditation Initiative Los Angeles - Dharma Punx Valley

What extreme music has to do with Buddhism

Pfc. Sandoval, Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven, Seth Auberon, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: Disturbing images and yelling! Can women rock? Just ask Alissa White-Gluz, THE AGONIST, "And Their Eulogies Sang Me to Sleep"
Dimmu Borgir's Norwegian death metal from Viking urges, "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse"

What in the heaven does Slayer -- or any of that filthy music labelled "heavy metal, "punk," and "extreme rock" -- have to do with kind, peaceful Buddhism?

Slayer and the like have, to the personal taste of individuals, to do with fighting. It's not all organic peaches and vegan cream around here, sister. Is fighting a good attitude? In part it depends on what one is up against and choosing to take on. Addiction? Fight it. Living beings? Don't fight 'em.

British contribution to heavy music Cradle of Filth "Gabrielle"

Original grindcore masterpiece, Cannibal Corpse's "Hammer Smashed Face"

This is not about fighting in the literal sense of war, violence, or cops shooting people. Consider the bigger picture -- fighting for liberation, freedom, knowledge, wisdom, to overcome the mental defilements and Five Hindrances to meditation. Yes, not everybody will fight. Not everybody takes being a spiritual "warrior" as a contest.

But some do. Striving, seeking, endeavoring, putting forth viriya (virile effort) is one way to go, not the way that can take one all the way there. But it can go a long way for a start.

WARNING: Extreme violence and brutality! Title track from Slayer's latest album "Repentless"
(American Hardcore movie soundtrack) How did all this hardcore music begin? Seven years of early punk!

What was the Warrior Prince Siddhartha doing when he shook off the comforts and delights of a sheltered life to go out and seek his Quest for Enlightenment? He wasn't gently letting go. He was shirking, throwing, casting off the burden.

So anyone who says Buddhism's peace has only to do with lovey-dovey tender mental activity has not been paying attention. This is the Middle Way that avoids extremes, sometimes going to extremes to find the middle. Yes?

Dose of extreme "Sugar" from California/Armenia's own System of a Down

Who's to say what counts as an "austerity" when all we do is live in luxury? Eat only one meal a day! Pishah, impossible! It's totally possible. Sleep sitting up? Wear stitched castaway rags? Shave your head? Stay up striving for stillness? The Buddha enumerated "13 Sane Ascetic Practices" or dhutangas which are hardcore and not at all easy. They are severe hardships.

Some are not necessary. No one does all 13, and no one needs to. But some are so valuable, that they have become incumbent on all monastics and novices (samaneras and samaneris). Ever hear the horrible-to-American-ears word "jihad"? How about the horrible-to-others word "crusade"?

KLOS FM's Full Metal Jackie interviews Alissa White-Gluz

What does it really mean at a deep level? It isn't fighting others. It's fighting oneself, overcoming oneself, taking the reins and guiding oneself to freedom. As the Buddha and other sages have said, What does it profit a person to conquer the whole world if one loses him or herself in the process?

Better the one who conquers oneself than the one who conquers everyone else. And listening to Slayer, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, or any of the groups that make it to may serve as inspiration or motivation to keep up the good fight when engaged in combat for the war within.

The end is near...for SLAYER (video)

The musick that garners the most dedicated following is metal, extremely heavy metal, pounding, crushing, grinding, punk-infused hardcore thrash and black (i.e., Satanic) metal. One of the few bands everyone could agree on was L.A.'s Slayer, the only guys who weren't [wusses] worried about their hair or image. Ga'ttellica? No thanks. Ironic Maiden? Maybe. Slayer? For sure. Now it's all coming to an a venue near you, the final world tour. Let's let dead Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols make the announcement: "And now, the end is near...but I did it my way." Wait, no Dave Lombardo (original drummer) or Jeff Hanneman the guitarist who died of creeping flesheating death (necrotizing fasciitis)? What's the point? Half a Slayer is better than most other whole bands. And if they make a lot of money, they're sure to record and release another album. Then they'll have to tour for that. They may not be breaking up, but the world will probably end before they can play and play again. Their local farewell show will be at FivePoint Amphitheatre in OC on May 11, 2018. It's been 35 years, so in memory, here's one of their first ever shows in Hollywood when they were a year old and willing to "Fight Till Death."

LYRICS: Metal and men clash once more to the end / Warriors above with power to kill descend / Militia of blood troops of hate march to die / Soldiers of hell veterans of death arise / [Chorus:] Prepare for attack / Your bodies will burn / Endless war / There's no return / Prepare for attack / Death will arrive / Your orders are clear / No way to hide / Fight till death / Senseless death of all mankind overtakes / Armored assassins destroy at will your escape / Children of sorrow are trampled onto the grave / There is no future no f*cking world to be saved / [Chorus] / To reign in hell / Gods of steel unleash their destruction on man / Reign of death what is the final command / Scepters of hate are dropped upon this earth / Clouds of terror destroy all hope of rebirth / [Chorus] / Fight till death.

The replacement guy, Gary Holt, shows how smart he is.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How to HUG a Buddhist Tree (sutra)

Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Jen B., CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly
Imagine a tree so tall we need to invent equipment to climb it and all our friends to hug it.
It's true! The kundalini energy is tingles. Buddhist meditation is better under trees!
California has the best, oldest (bristlecone), and tallest (redwood) trees in the world.
1. If you would hug a tree, do it slowly, softly, with friendliness, full of altruistic kindness the Buddha called metta. Trees are very sensitive, remarkably sensitive, more than most humans will ever know.

Roots of trees are best for meditating.
(Ask Maitreyi, who will be at Shakti Fest-Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree, California, in May of 2018 or consult the scientific research in The Secret Lives of Plants).
Why did the ascetic Siddhartha retire to various groves of trees in his quest for enlightenment and even after his great awakening? There was the banyan tree grove where he gave up penances and self-starvation, where the maiden Sujata offered him solid food. 

The bodhi tree still lives in Bodhgaya, India
There was the bodhi tree grove (bodh gaya), where he became enlightened. There was the grove of trees in the Deer Park, where he gave his first discourse.

There was the bamboo grove (Veluvana) where he found cool shade and took up residence. There were the mango groves (like the one the courtesan Ambapali donated to the Buddha) he stayed at on the outskirts when visiting big cities.

Could some energy emerge from the ground to feed the tree and his own spine, or fruit to gather without getting up (like the nutritious figs of the pipal tree, Ficus religiosa, the bodhi tree that are said to contain a chemical quite like an entheogen)?

Veneration of a sacred grove of trees in India
2. Ask permission to warn the tree and/or any "spirit" (dryad, bhumi deva, woodland fairy) residing in or above it. Trees serve as wonderful homes to the fairies or elementals.

This does not mean that trees have "souls" or "spirits" but rather that devas frequently take up residence in some old, special, or tall trees. There is a long history of veneration of such trees and sacred groves of trees.

3. Then slowly approach, embrace, open your heart, clear your head, and hold on out of loving compassion. You may then feel the bounce back of energy. What we put out into the world comes back to us in manifold ways, exponentially grown all out of proportion to our action (karma). It is not "cause and effect" (which states that the effect will be the equal and opposite force of the cause). It will be like one oak seed or acorn giving rise to a giant tree and countless acorns. Thank the tree, and go in peace. The tree will remember you.

The First Day of Spring: Tree Leaves (sutra)

Maurice O'Connell Walshe (trans.), Simsapa Sutra, "The Simsapa Tree Leaves" (SN 56.31), Ashley Wells, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly partial Wiki edit

At one time the Blessed One [a name for the Buddha] was staying at Kosambi in the Simsapa Tree Grove.
Trees are sacred in Buddhism, e.g., the pipal
Then the Blessed One, taking a few simsapa leaves in his hand, said to the meditators: "What do you think, meditators? Which are the more numerous, the few leaves I have here in my hand, or those up in the trees of the grove?"
"Venerable sir, the Blessed One is holding only a few leaves: those up in the trees are far more numerous."
"In the same way, meditators, there are many more things that I have found out but not revealed to you.*

The Buddha was first represented as a bo tree
"What I have revealed to you is only a little. And why, meditators, have I not revealed it?
"Meditators, it is because it is not related to the goal [of awakening and complete liberation], it is not fundamental to the pure life [leading directly to the goal], does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment, and nirvana. That is why I have not revealed it. But, meditators, what have I revealed?

"What I have revealed is:
  1. 'This is suffering (disappointment, woe, ill, pain)
  2. This is the arising of suffering
  3. This is the cessation of suffering
  4. This is the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.'
The "Tree of Life" in Kabbalah
"'And why, meditators, have I revealed it?

"It is because this [set of teachings called the Four Ennobling Truths] is related to the goal, fundamental to the pure life; it conduces to disenchantment, dispassion (letting go), cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment, and nirvana, so I have revealed it.
"Therefore, meditators, your task is to learn [the deep and profound meaning of]: 'This is suffering, this is the arising (origin) of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, this is the PATH leading to the cessation of suffering.' This is your task."

How many leaves are there in a grove of trees? Many, many more than fit in a hand.

In Buddhism's Pali canon there is a sutra titled "The Simsapa Grove" (SN 56.31). This discourse is described as having been delivered by the Buddha to monastics while dwelling beneath a grove of simsapa trees in the city of Kosambi. In this discourse, the Buddha compares the few simsapa leaves he picks up in his hand with the number of simsapa leaves overhead in the grove to illustrate what he teaches (in particular, the Four Noble Truths) and what he does not teach (things unrelated to the achieving enlightenment). Elsewhere in the Pali canon, simsapa groves are mentioned in the Payasi Sutra (DN 23) and in the Hatthaka Sutra (AN 3.34). See also Ashoka tree.
  • NOTES: For example, Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 708, entry for siŋsapā ( associates the simsapa tree with Dalbergia sisu. The Pali canon is the main scriptural source for Theravada Buddhism and is at least nominally incorporated in the canons of other branches [Mahayana and Vajrayana] of Buddhism as well. Bhikkhu Bodhi (2000), pp. 1857-58; Thanissaro (1997); and, Walshe (1985), Sutra 68. Note that in an endnote to this sutra (n. 313), Walshe states that this tree is "also known as the Asoka tree" (Walshe, 1987, p. 351). This discourse is said to have been given in Kosala. In Thanissaro (1999) this discourse is said to have been given near Alavi. For both canonical and post-canonical references, see Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 708, entry for siŋsapā.
Translator Maurice O'Connell Walshe edited by Wisdom Quarterly
This famous saying has been taken to justify the [post-Buddhist] doctrines of various Mahayana schools, Theosophy, and so on. While it may do so in many cases, the real meaning is somewhat different:

The Buddha was naturally aware of many things, things unknown to others, which he did not deem necessary to teach for the gaining of enlightenment.

We can accept, even without interpreting full enlightenment vulgarly as "omniscience," that the Buddha was at least potentially aware of whatever he wished or needed to know. [In Buddhism, the Buddha is considered "omniscient" not because he knows everything at once but because he can know anything he wishes by contemplating it.]

He knew precisely which religious and philosophical doctrines that had been or might be propounded were (a) true and/or (b) conducive to enlightenment. He borrowed nothing, as such, from previous religious systems because he did not need to. But he gave his approval to whatever conformed to these criteria.
It has occasionally been urged that if the Buddha were really all-enlightened, he must have been able to foresee modern scientific discoveries. In fact, he probably could have done so, but that was not his task. And he will certainly have been more aware than such critics of the dangers inherent in modern discoveries, with their power not only to destroy but also to corrupt.

Dryads/devas live in/as trees.
As a matter of fact, he did not even utilize a very basic technical device that was already known by his time -- the art of writing. He clearly preferred that his teachings, the Buddha Dharma, should be preserved orally by those attempting to train them and indeed the ancient Indian oral tradition has continued to this day (Cf. T.W. Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, London 1903, pp. 107ff.)

There is, however, one "modern science" which the Buddha not only anticipated but far surpassed: psychology. The superiority of Buddhist psychological insights to the findings of the modern West can be readily verified. (Some examples can be found in this Anthology). Compare to Ven. Nyanaponika Thera's Abhidhamma Studies ( 1965), and Douglas M. Burns' Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology (BPS Wheel #88-89).
We may compare the saying quoted here with another no less famous one occurring at SN 47.9 as well as in the Maha Parinibbana Sutra, Dialogues of the Buddha 16, II, 25 (= D ii, 100 [DN 16, Part Two, v. 32]): Desito Aananda mayaa dhammo anantaram abaahiram katvaa. natth'Aananda Tathaagatassa dhammesu aacariyamutthi.

[This translates from the Pali as] "I have taught Dharma, Ananda, making no 'inner' and 'outer' [esoteric and exoteric]: the Tathagata [the Buddha] has no 'teacher's fist' [secrets hidden in a tightfisted palm that is only opened to some students] in respect of the doctrines."

There is, of course, no contradiction between the two statements, which in fact point once again to the Middle Way between the extremes. Both equally imply that whatever else the Buddha may have been aware of about the world, he taught only what was needed for the gaining of enlightenment, holding back nothing, but refraining from imparting irrelevant information. As the life of the monastics was pared down to essentials, so was the Teaching.
It is fair to suggest that here, in the Pali canon, we have the Buddha's Dharma (Teaching) presented in its purest and simplest form, in the words of the Awakened Teacher himself. This statement is not meant to be in any way polemical, or to claim that doctrines developed later in the so-called "Mahayana schools" are necessarily wrong. Recent research, indeed, has conclusively shown that the essence of many such [Mahayana] doctrines can be traced back to the Pali canon.

For instance, there is little real conflict between the ideas expressed by Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamika school, and the Theravada (a school with which he was almost certainly entirely unacquainted).

Likewise, while the proposition recently put forward that Zen is the "Theravada of Japan" can scarcely be literally maintained, the idea nevertheless contains a strong element of truth because Zen visibly represents an effort to rid later Buddhism of some of the accretions that had tended to obscure the original message.

Zen, too, inclines more to something like the Arhat Ideal [enlightenment for all in this very life] of Theravada than to that of the Bodhisattva Ideal [martyrdom of never attaining enlightenment until everyone else goes first though they also vow to never attain until everyone else has been saved. You first. No, you. No, you, all Heckle & Jeckle style. No, really, you go first, for I am holier than thou. But I am holier and less selfish and must therefore go second, for the first shall be the last as Saint Issa/Jesus Christ is said to have taught].

On the other hand, it should not be overlooked that the bodhisattva career [the vow and commitment to develop the ten paramis or "perfections" to their utmost and thereby become a buddha far in the future] is one that is open to followers of the Theravada school [cf. SN 12.10, n. 3 and the work of Bhikkhu Bodhi there mentioned; also Ven. W. Rahula's Zen and the Taming of the Bull (Bedford 1978)].

And, as indicated in SN 55.24, n. 7, even the apparently extremist Pure Land [devotional Buddhist] schools with their emphasis on faith receive rather more support from the Pali canon than is sometimes thought [if only because their foundational idea of a "pure land" is based on the Pali canon's teaching of the suddhavasa worlds called the "pure abodes."] In this context K. Mizuno, Primitive Buddhism, tranl. K. Yamamoto (Oyama 1969) is of interest.
Finally, in connection with the relation of "Buddhism and Science," the wise words of an American astronaut, Ed Mitchell, in a recent TV program may be quoted. He said: "Science is a methodology. As a belief system, it is disastrous." Buddhism, it may be urged, is a spiritual methodology analogous to that of physical science, which makes the acceptance of any pure "belief system" superfluous.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring Equinox 2018: Tree Hugging Day

Jerry Rubin (Tree Hugging Friends); Ashley Wells, Pfc. Sandoval (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Thank you to the Buddha's bodhi tree!
The 10th annual Tree Hugging Day will take place on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, which is Spring Equinox -- the first day of spring in the western hemisphere.

This free-to-the-public event will include a "Group Tree Hug," environmentalist speakers, music, poetry, and tree huggers of all ages showing off their unique and varied tree hugging techniques.

It will take place from 6:00-7:00 pm, which is sunset in Santa Monica Bay, in the City of Santa Monica's Palisades Park at the Children's Tree of Life located at Ocean and Colorado Avenues, just north of the gateway to the Santa Monica Pier.

The family-friendly event is being sponsored by Tree Hugging Friends (THF), founded by Santa Monica peace and environmental activists Marissa and Jerry Rubin.
Coastal California has beautiful piers with gorgeous sunsets like Santa Monica Pier:

The trees in the grove know.
The annual "hands on," tree-friendly, educational and interactive event is held to show love, support, and caring for our trees, urban forests, and environment.

Tree lovers are urged to tell everyone about the day and to hug a tree on for Spring Equinox and for other special days throughout the year. It's important to routinely practice tree hugging styles in preparation for Tree Hugging Day!

It's snowing and bitter cold in Ireland.
Event organizers say, "Let's bring tree hugging back by popular demand!" And THFs say, "Thank you TREE-MENDOUSLY for sharing this event with everyone!" More:
Yggdrasil, the Norse tree of life

Saturday, March 17, 2018

First white Buddhist monk was IRISH (video), Dana.IO/thedharmabum; Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly


I think I'll be a Buddhist monk
The Dharma Bum is a feature-length, partially animated documentary film telling the tantalizing true story of Dubliner Laurence Carroll.
Carroll was born in Dublin in 1856 and spent his early life as an alcoholic hobo drifter bumming his way across the USA.
I'm glad I became a Buddhist monk
This un-Catholic, un-Christian atheist activist worked the shipping route from San Francisco to Japan.

Then he found himself on the beach, hungover and homeless, after being kicked off the vessel for drunk and disorderly conduct.
He eventually made his way to Theravada Buddhist Burma, where he was helped by local Buddhist monks.

After five years as an apprentice, he became the first white man to ever don the saffron robes of a Buddhist monk.

Do it for Ireland, Laurence Carroll, and for the whole of the Western world!

UK-occupied Northern Ireland
They gave him the new Buddhist name U Dhammaloka.* And that is just the beginning of the story!
  • [*In Burmese U signifies "sir," Dhamma is the Pali spelling of "Dharma," and loka means "world."]
U Dhammaloka was erased from history. His existence lay dormant for over 100 years. Why? The reasons are explored in the film.

Teach those Brits not to mess with the Celts
This man caused quite a stir in his life, as he singlehandedly took on the might of the Christian British Empire in colonial Burma.
In the film we discover why he was under constant police surveillance and ultimately faked his own death as he transformed himself from an alcoholic bum to the original Dharma Bum. More