31 December 2007

Ring in the Old

There is nothing new at all. It is the old that tells us that it is new, and through this gimmick thought is making what it calls "new" part of the old, and it thus maintaining its continuity. So, whatever you cannot experience does not exist. It may sound as a very dogmatic assertion on my part, but when you try to experience something that you have not experienced before, the whole movement of the experiencing structure comes to an end.

-- U.G. Krishnamurti, from Thought is Your Enemy

28 December 2007

Fight over word for "God" in Malaysia

A church and Christian newspaper in Malaysia are suing the government after it decreed that the word "Allah" can only be used by Muslims. In the Malay language "Allah" is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries. Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional and unreasonable. It is the latest in a series of religious rows in largely Muslim Malaysia, where minority groups claim their rights are being eroded.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7163391.stm

25 December 2007

Does generosity reward the brain?

In a neurological study cited in Science, human research subjects were placed in an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner and manipulated through situations in which they gave charitable donations. Some brain regions involved in reward were activated by giving, indicating that the brain was experiencing positive sensations from the act of giving.

"If you look at human financial behavior as an attempt to increase the feeling of reward," said a neuroscientist, "then donating money makes economic sense. Look at it this way: when I'm giving to charity I'm paying for the pleasure of donating money."

http://tinyurl.com/yu4rhe

Meal for higher Principles

The substances that we use are a sacrifice to us, just as we are a sacrifice to the Reality that Lives us and ultimately Dissolves us in Itself. We sit at a great dinner table. We are ourselves a kind of Meal for a higher Principles. We are not intended to be a degraded slaughter, as are the cattle eaten by self-indulgent people, but we are the sacrificial elements in a higher Meal.

-- Bubba Free John, from The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace


22 December 2007

Meditation vs. depression

Meditating could be a simple solution to treating depression. Brain scans show significant changes in brain waves after just a few weeks of meditation. Experts say meditation helps patients get rid of anger, anxiety and just let everything go.


http://www.nbc12.com/news/healthcast/12657361.html

15 December 2007

Absent or present Master

If there is surrender, even an absent Master can help you. If there is no surrender, even an alive Master who is present cannot help you.

-- Osho, from The Book of the Secrets, Vol. 2.

14 December 2007

Change your brain -- with meditation

Feeling stressed or depressed? You may one day be prescribed meditation rather than medication, thanks to a study conducted by researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ontario.

A research team is the first to use
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map brain activity changes in people trained in mindfulness meditation. The researchers scanned the brains of study participants as they responded to various word prompts.

People with no meditation training showed very little change in brain activity from task to task. They mostly engaged the areas along the middle of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for personality and social behaviour.

But participants who had practiced meditation regularly showed a more dramatic change in brain activity when asked to move from the narrative to the experiential focus: they shifted away from the midline brain regions to areas that regulate more primitive functions such as touch, pain and temperature sensation.

“This ability to alter brain activity may explain why so many studies show mood improvements with meditation. It turns out taking a break from the middle regions of the brain, which we tend to overuse,might be just what’s needed to help you feel better,” said a researcher.

http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin6/071214-3559.asp

11 December 2007

Cognitive reserves help older brains

The brain, like every other part of the body, changes with age, and those changes can impede clear thinking and memory. Yet many older people seem to remain sharp as a tack well into their 80s and beyond. Although their pace may have slowed, they continue to work, travel, attend plays and concerts, play cards and board games, study foreign languages, design buildings, work with computers, write books, do puzzles, knit or perform other mentally challenging tasks that can befuddle people much younger.

But when these sharp old folks die, autopsy studies often reveal extensive brain abnormalities like those in patients with Alzheimer's.

Cognitive reserve, in this theory, refers to the brain's ability to develop and maintain extra neurons and connections between them via axons and dendrites. Later in life, these connections may help compensate for the rise in dementia-related brain pathology that accompanies normal aging.

Cognitive reserve is greater in people who complete higher levels of education. The more intellectual challenges to the brain early in life, the more neurons and connections the brain is likely to develop and perhaps maintain into later years. Several studies of normal aging have found that higher levels of educational attainment were associated with slower cognitive and functional decline.

But brain stimulation does not have to stop with the diploma. Better-educated people may go on to choose more intellectually demanding occupations and pursue brain-stimulating hobbies, resulting in a form of lifelong learning.

http://iht.com/articles/2007/12/11/healthscience/11brod.php

Osho birthday message

I’m not a person, and if you like me as a person you have missed me. You have missed the impersonal that is present here. I am just an opening. Come close to me and I will help you to become impersonal too.


-- Osho (Rajneesh) from The Wisdom of the Sands Vol. II., p. 338

10 December 2007

Balance and Vitality

The daily rule for dietary discipline is never to eat to the point of fullness. The daily rule for sexual discipline is never to make love to the point of emptiness. Appetite should remain after all vital activities. Otherwise vital energy enervates, toxifies, isolates, and kills the body and mind.

Avoid excess or extremes. These create imbalance and enervation and toxicity. Do what maintains vitality and do it constantly. Feel to Infinity as the whole body. Relax profoundly under all conditions. Do not think or recoil (emotionally or physically) as a chronic activity. Learn to retain the vital force, especially in sexuality, and pervade the whole body with it. Learn to reverse the current of life in order to refresh and conserve the whole body.

-- Bubba Free John, from The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace

09 December 2007

Zazen without Zazen

From ancient times until the present day, all who were ever enlightened either by light or sound practiced zazen without zazen and became simultaneously enlightened.

-- from the Shobogenzo (Treasury of True Dharma Eye) of Dogen (13th cent.)

08 December 2007

Living in Totality

When you have lived life in its totality, you have to renounce it! Only those who have not lived rightly, who have not lived at all, who have known only tepid lives, try to cling. Beggars are unable to renounce. Only a king like the Buddha is ready to renounce. Only emperors can become sannyasins, not beggars.

-- Osho, from Until You Die: Discourses on the Sufi Way

07 December 2007

What is Left

"Maturity is what is on the other side of Realizing. Maturity is what is left after inquiry."

-- Byron Kate, The Work Intensive (El Segundo 5/14/00)

01 December 2007

Osho speaks on the Bauls

A Baul is a man always on the road.
He has no house, no abode.
God is his only abode,
and the whole sky is his shelter.

He possesses nothing except a poor man's quilt,
a small, hand-made one-stringed instrument called aektara,
and a small drum, a kettle-drum.
That's all that he possesses.

He possesses only a musical instrument and a drum.
He plays with one hand on the instrument and he goes on beating the drum with the other.

The drum hangs by the side of his body, and he dances.
That is all of his religion.

Dance is his religion; singing is his worship.
He does not even use the word "God."
The Baul word for God is adhar manush,
the essential man.

The Bauls are called Bauls because they are mad people.
The word "Baul" comes from the Sanskrit root vatul.
It means: mad, affected by wind.

The Baul belongs to no religion.
He is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian nor Buddhist.
He is a simple human being.
His rebellion is total.
He does not belong to anybody; he only belongs to himself.
He lives in a no man's land:
no country is his,
no religion is his,
no scripture is his.

His rebellion goes even deeper than the rebellion of the Zen Masters --
because at least formally, they belong to Buddhism;
at least formally, they worship Buddha.

Formally they have scriptures --
scriptures denouncing scriptures, of course --
but still they have.

At least they have a few scriptures to burn.
Bauls have nothing --
no scripture, not even to burn;
no church, no temple, no mosque --
nothing whatsoever.

-- Osho Rajneesh, from The Bauls

30 November 2007

Good personality boosts attractiveness

Men and women who exhibit positive traits such as honesty and helpfulness are perceived as being more attractive, a U.S. researcher said.

The findings, published in the December issue of Personal Relationships, found that information on personality was found to alter perceived desirability significantly, showing that cognitive processes and expectations modify judgments of attractiveness.

(Newsdaily Science 11.30.07)

29 November 2007

Limited chances

Everybody has a limited number of chances. If people live an ordinary life and do not accumulate right influences, and do not form a magnetic center, after some time they lose even the possibility of forming one.

-- Ouspensky, from The Fourth Way

28 November 2007

Ouspensky on entropy

If one does not develop, one goes down. In life, in ordinary conditions, everything goes down, or one capacity may develop at the expense of another. All capacities cannot develop without the help of a school, for system and method are necessary.

-- Ouspensky, from The Fourth Way

27 November 2007

Mapping Neural Networks

New technologies that allow scientists to trace the fine wiring of the brain more accurately than ever before could soon generate a complete wiring diagram, including every tiny fiber and miniscule connection, of a piece of brain. Dubbed connectomics, these maps could uncover how neural networks perform their precise functions in the brain, and they could shed light on disorders thought to originate from faulty wiring, such as autism and schizophrenia.

With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Using standard methods, it would take roughly three billion person years to generate the wiring diagram of a single cortical column.

But neuroscientists at M.I.T. have now developed a new technique to make more fine-scaled wiring maps using electron microscopy. Starting with a small block of brain tissue, the researchers bounce electrons off the top of the block to generate a cross-sectional picture of the nerve fibers in that slice. They then take a very thin (30-nanometer) slice off the top of the block and repeat the process. Scientists go through the images slice by slice to trace the path of each nerve fiber.


http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/19731/

26 November 2007

Some of the Dharma

Mountains, river, earth, are fantastic blossoms which you see owing to misconceptions that result neither from the mind’s misconception nor the mind’s right understanding but because your sense of direction has not been recovered through simple enlightenment….

--- Jack Kerouac, from Some of the Dharma

25 November 2007

Inner Vision (Steiner)

As long as Earth is opaque, the separate parts appear inhabited by people of different faiths, but the unifying bond is not there. . . . But to the degree that people begin to look through the Earth into the Sun by their inner power of vision, to the degree that the “star” appears to them through Earth, their faiths will flow together into one great, united brotherhood.

– Rudolf Steiner, from The Secret Stream, p. 99

24 November 2007

Crack in the Cosmic Egg

Ultimate allegiance to a symbol of openness really does open things.

-- Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg (p. 178)


Our cosmic egg is the sum total of our notions of what the world is, notions which define what reality can be for us. The crack, then, is a mode of thinking through which imagination can escape the mundane shell and create a new cosmic egg.

-- p. xiv

Metaphysics of Quality

A subject-object metaphysics is in fact a metaphysics in which the first division of Quality – the first slice of undivided experience – is into subjects and objects. Once you have made that slice, all of human experience is supposed to fit into one of these two boxes. The trouble is, it doesn’t. What he had seen is that there is a metaphysical box that sits above these two boxes, Quality itself. And once he’d seen this he also saw a huge number of ways in which Quality can be divided. Subjects and objects are just one of the ways.

– Robert M. Pirsig, from Lila (p 124)

20 November 2007

Migraine brains 'are different'

Scientists have discovered differences in the sensory areas of the brains of people who develop migraines.

They found a part of the cortex is thicker than in people who are free from the debilitating headaches. What is not clear is whether the difference causes, or is the result of migraine attacks. The neurology study, by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, suggests the changes may make patients hyper-sensitive to pain in general.

Previous research has shown that the cortex becomes thinner with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Part of the cortex, although not the somatosensory area, is also known to thicken with extensive motor training and learning.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7096798.stm



The more things change . . .

One important phenomenon of the Greco-Roman age was the appearance of the religious and philosophical entrepeneur, sometimes called the divine man, sometimes the sophist or sage. The entrepeneur stepped into the void left vacant by the demise of traditional priestly functions at the ancient temple sites and addressed the confusion, concern, and curiosity of people confronted with a complex world that was felt to be at the mercy of the fates.

And then there were the itinerant teachers who stepped forth to sell their philosophies and advice to anyone in search of guidance. Called sophists by those who sought to discount their teachings, and divine men by those who idealized them, the figure of the lone sage exemplified the individual’s quest for wholeness and self-sufficiency in the midst of a world devoid of social services and supports.

-- from The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins by Burton L. Mack

12 November 2007

Scientists Spot Brain Center for 'Out-of-Body' Experience

A team of Belgian scientists have linked the sense of disembodiment central to the experience -- the feeling of leaving one's body and then floating outside it -- to abnormal activity in a specific region of the brain.

This activity appears to short-circuit the processing of sensory information and the ability to locate oneself in time and space, the team said.

"Self-perception is nothing else but a creation of your brain," explained neurosurgeon Dr. Dirk De Ridder, of the neurosurgical department at Antwerp University. "We found a key spot in the brain in which different areas are normally activated whenever stimulus comes in, so you can relate that stimulus to yourself, which helps create a unified perception of ourselves."

"The 'total perception of self,' " he added, "is built out of different parts. And one of these parts is that your consciousness belongs within your body."

http://tinyurl.com/37psyp

09 November 2007

Take care of your meditation and your meditation will take care of you.

06 November 2007

Mirror, Mirror In The Brain

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2007) — Recent findings are rapidly expanding researchers' understanding of a new class of brain cells -- mirror neurons -- which are active both when people perform an action and when they watch it being performed.

Some scientists speculate that a mirror system in people forms the basis for social behavior, for our ability to imitate, acquire language, and show empathy and understanding. It also may have played a role in the evolution of speech. Mirror neurons were so named because, by firing both when an animal acts and when it simply watches the same action, they were thought to "mirror" movement, as though the observer itself were acting.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106123725.htm

31 October 2007

'60s Pop star to open Meditation U. in Scotland

Sixties pop star Donovan is working on a plan to open a university in Scotland to be devoted to transcendental meditation.

The 'Mellow Yellow' singer says TM guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi asked him to build the university while the pop star was on pilgrimage to India back in 1968. But it wasn't until he met famed film director David Lynch in recent years that he decided to fulfill the Maharishi's request.

Lynch and Donovan plan to contact education officials in Scotland to make the school a legitimate place of learning and Lynch says the effects could be outstanding.

http://www.nme.com/news/nme/32146

20 October 2007

Dalai Lama discusses meditation with scientists

Nearly four thousand people filled the gymnasium of Emory University in Atlanta to listen to a conversation between scientists and the Dalai Lama about the effects of meditation on depression.

Several top experts on depression indicated that meditation can play a big part in treating people suffering from the condition.

The one-day conference was sponsored by Emory University and the Boulder, Colorado-based Mind & Life Institute. It was part of a weekend of events with the Dalai Lama, who has accepted a distinguished professorship at the prestigious private college.

On Friday, the exiled Tibetan leader was presented with a science curriculum designed by Emory faculty and translated into Tibetan. The faculty will teach the curriculum to thousands of Tibetan monks living in India starting in January 2008 and part of a program requested by the Dalai Lama to improve monastic education.

http://tinyurl.com/3b6tq6

15 October 2007

Filmmaker Promotes Meditation on Israel Trip

David Lynch, on a five-day visit to Israel to encourage transcendental meditation, met with Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres.

The 61-year-old director, who has received Oscar nominations for "The Elephant Man," "Blue Velvet" and "Mullholland Dr.," is visiting Israel to encourage transcendental meditation as a new approach to eliminating violence in schools and creating a peaceful world.

"Real peace is not just the absence of war, but the absence of all suffering, all negativity," Lynch said at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem. "Change comes from within. From the first meditation, boom, you're there."

Lynch has been meditating for more than 30 years. He started the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to promote transcendental meditation as a way to aid students in violence-ridden schools and bring about world harmony.

http://tinyurl.com/2t8v47

13 October 2007

No one can patent ancient yoga techniques, says spiritual leader

Mystic master and spiritual guru Anandmurti Gurumaa on Wednesday described the practice of yoga as an ancient all-encompassing discipline to be enjoyed by people from various walks of life, and said no person or country had any business to patent it.

Interacting with select media persons here ahead of a five-day-long camp on ways to promote the management of stress on a day-to-day basis, Gurumaa, who originally hails from Amritsar, criticised moves in the United States to patent yoga.

"Knowledge is not anyone's property. Everyone has a right to it. Yoga is a discipline that has been handed down through the ages, through time, and it has taken generations of people to understand it, propagate it and derive individual benefit from it," she said.

She apparently was reacting to Bikram Yoga founder and US-based Bikram Choudhary's move in May this year to get a copyright for his method of teaching yoga, which has shocked yoga enthusiasts and experts in India.

There is a unanimous feeling in India that the idea of patenting knowledge like yoga is absurd and violates the ancient Indian art.

Anandmurti Gurumaa is the latest to join a bandwagon of critics against this move to patent yoga, even as the U.S. Patent Office has officially issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 trademarks on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks.

www dailyindia com

11 October 2007

Mantra and Meditation

Much effort has been put into finding the "right" mantra for a particular person -- and the meaning is taken to be all-important. In fact the meaning of a mantra is of much less importance than how it feels to you. Even more important is the amount of energy and focus one puts into the recitation of one's mantra during meditation. With the right intention and focus, one can enter into pure meditation and the actual mantra chosen becomes a secondary issue.

28 September 2007

Arguelles



Beyond the purple sky of the holonomic, post-historic future stretches the planetary rainbow, a celestial guardian being. While representing the cave and sacred site guarding rainbow serpents and dragons of aboriginal and early hieratic civilization, the rainbow guardian has always been with us. Like the psi bank that it symbolizes, its chromatic pattern has always beckoned to us to fulfill our potential. As the symbol of realization, bliss, and completion, it represents the “end condition” of humanity totally attuned to and operative with the spectrum of environmental energies. Such an expression suggests a complete synesthesia, a condition of complete planetary synthesis almost unthinkable today. Yet it is a condition to with the logic of the holonomic equation inescapably points.

-- Jose Arguelles, Earth Ascending

25 September 2007

Jean Klein on evolution

Evolution in the strict meaning of the word is only an unfolding, a passing from that which is implicit to that which is explicit, from that which is unmanifest to that which is manifest. It produces nothing extrinsic to itself. It never produces, let alone creates. We cannot rely on it in our search for salvation or liberation. Liberation is not a problem of evolution, for no evolution can lead to liberation, which is the result of discernment only. We are not concerned with evolving, but we should endlessly put the question 'Who am I?' to ourselves. -- Jean Klein

23 September 2007

Every new emergent and transformative development brings a new demand and a new responsibility: the higher must be integrated with the lower. And the greater the degree of development, the greater the burden of inclusion.

-- Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything 495

19 September 2007

Brain Network Related To Intelligence Identified

In a review of 37 imaging studies related to intelligence, including their own, a pair of neuroscientists have uncovered evidence of a distinct neurobiology of human intelligence. Their Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) identifies a brain network related to intelligence, one that primarily involves areas in the frontal and the parietal lobes.

The data suggest that some of the brain areas related to intelligence are the same areas related to attention and memory and to more complex functions like language. Haier and Jung say this possible integration of cognitive functions suggests that intelligence levels might be based on how efficient the frontal-parietal networks process information.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911092117.htm

16 September 2007

Yoga festival planned for UN peace day

Global celebrities Christy Turlington, Russell Simmons, Sting and Donna Karan are going vegan for a day to promote the yoga-inspired events worldwide organised by the Global Mala Project (GMP) on UN's International Day of Peace, Sep 21.

The event is aimed to raise awareness and funds for global causes. The GMP aims to unite the global yoga community to form a mala or a rosary around earth through collective practices based on the Hindu sacred cycle of 108 on Sep 21-22.

Participants include hundreds of yoga studios, mainly in the US and at least two in India, renowned yoga and spiritual teachers.

The main event in Los Angeles on Sep 22 has been planned as a gathering of 108 yoga studios, 1,008 teachers and 10,000 people. The 12-hour programme includes yoga trance dance by Shiva Rea, meditation with Bangalore-based guru Paramahamsa Nithyananda, Kundalini Yoga, 108 rounds of Surya namaskar, mandala creation and kirtan.

Over 16 million people practise yoga in the US and the market for yoga in the country is worth $3 billion, according to Yoga Journal surveys.

http://tinyurl.com/2r2d3f

14 September 2007

Travel industry turns on to yoga vacations

The purveyors of yoga and wellness vacations promise more than mere relaxation; they promise transformation. Ask why someone would choose a yoga vacation -- and the meditation, body contortions and discipline that goes with it -- and the answer repeats: People go for life-changing experiences.

From luxury hotel resorts to rustic retreats, yoga offerings and yoga-centric vacations have increasingly become a carrot to lure vacationers that want more than a fabulous place to stay and entertainment. The past five years have seen growth in yoga vacations that is emblematic of a larger trend in the travel industry.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/09/13/yoga.vacations.ap

11 September 2007

Evolutionary Agents

"The task for Evolutionary Agents is to prefabricate the future, to build new hives, to custom make Plan-Its, to teach scientific mastery of the nervous system as an instrument to decode atomic, molecular and sub-nuclear processes so as to attain immortality, cloning, and extraterritorial existence." -- Timothy Leary

07 September 2007

Adult Brains Can Heal Themselves

A new case study of a stroke patient suggests that adults' brains might be just as "plastic," or capable of creating new neural pathways, as those of children.

Past research has established the remarkable capacity of young brains to change or adapt to deficits by creating new signaling routes, a phenomenon called plasticity. However, whether adult brains have that same capacity has remained controversial.

Results from a new study, published in the Sept. 5 online edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest at least in one patient, the visual center of an adult brain can reorganize itself neurally to overcome damaged pathways and result in changes (and possibly improvements) in visual perception.

The new finding adds weight to suggestions made by other research about the ability of adult brains to morph.

This year, neuroscientists reported the adult mice could grow new neurons, a finding they said could have implications for the treatment of human neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. A similar finding was reported a couple of years ago in mice. In 2005, a brain-scan study of human adults with macular degeneration showed evidence of plasticity in the visual regions of their brains.

http://www.livescience.com/health/070906_brain_change.html

04 September 2007

Yogis

When I first saw pictures in books of yogis sitting cross-legged in the woods in the forests of India, something would make me look twice. I'd notice their faces. And it wasn't the face of a man wasting time. It was the face of a man holding something that I not only wanted, but I didn't know about. I was drawn to it. There was such a presence of power and dignity -- and an absence of fear. Many of their countenances held playfulness or love, or power and strength.

-- David Lynch, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity (2006)

03 September 2007

The Integral View

The integral view becomes especially important as we look at the higher or deeper levels of human growth and development -- at the further stages of consciousness evolution. If there is indeed a transformation in our future, it lies in these higher and deeper stages and these can only be accessed in their richness and fullness if we honor and appreciate the different types of truth that will unfold to set us free.

-- Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything

27 August 2007

Every society has a certain center of gravity, around which the culture's ethics, norms, rules, and basic institutions are organized, and this center of gravity provides the basic cultural cohesion and social integration for that society. This cultural center of gravity acts like a magnet on individual development. If you are below the average level, it tends to pull you up. If you try to go above it, it tends to pull you down.

-- Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything

24 August 2007

Scientists induce out-of-body sensation with virtual reality

Using virtual reality goggles, a camera and a stick, scientists have induced out-of-body experiences in healthy people, according to experiments being published in the journal Science.

When people gaze at an illusory image of themselves through the goggles and are prodded in just the right way with the stick, they feel as if they have left their bodies.

The research reveals that "the sense of having a body, of being in a bodily self," is actually constructed from multiple sensory streams...

Full story:
http://iht.com/articles/2007/08/23/healthscience/23body.php

Cactus of the Tarahumara

Transported by Peyote I saw that I had to defend what I am before I was born, and that my Self is merely the consequence of the battle I waged in the Supreme against the untruth of evil ideas. -- Antonin Artaud, The Peyote Dance

21 August 2007

"For the seeker after truth only meetings with very great masters and very great sages can be really interesting. It is better to seek, seek, and seek again a real sage, a truly liberated sage, and spend perhaps no more than a single day with him, than to dissipate one's efforts in encounters and conversations with less representative persons, or persons who are further from true realization."

-- Arnaud Desjardins, from The Message of the Tibetans (qtd. in Thomas Merton's Asian Journal.)

14 August 2007

Will or Won't

"Will is the fuel which carries awareness through all areas of the mind, that spirit, that spiritual quality which makes all inner goals a reality. Unfoldment does not take time. It takes a tremendous will. That will has to be cultivated, just as you would cultivate a garden. Those energies have to all be flowing through, in a sense, one channel, so that everything that you do is satisfying, is complete, is beautiful."

-- Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

06 August 2007

Walking damages environment more than driving?

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated. Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance.

. . .

"A chilled ready meal is a perfect example of where the energy is wasted. You make the meal, then use an enormous amount of energy to chill it and keep it chilled through warehousing and storage.” The ideal diet would consist of cereals and pulses. “This is a route which virtually nobody, apart from a vegan, is going to follow,” Mr Goodall said. But there are other ways to reduce the carbon footprint. “Don’t buy anything from the supermarket,” Mr Goodall said, “or anything that’s travelled too far.”

Original:
Times UK
http://tinyurl.com/yta3ut

26 July 2007

Did mass meditation fuel stock market surge?

As predicted one year ago, a surging U.S. stock market has charged to record-breaking highs, the longstanding nuclear crisis with North Korea is quietly being resolved without incident, and public backing and congressional support are on the rise for peaceful new approaches to resolving the Iraq war and other conflicts around the world.

These dramatic and unexpected developments are just a few of the concrete signs of the success of the Invincible America Assembly in Iowa — the largest-ever scientific demonstration project to document the effects of large group meditations on the economic and social trends of the nation, according to Dr. John Hagelin, world-renowned quantum physicist, executive director of the International Center for Invincible Defense, and President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, who is leading the Assembly. Dr. John Hagelin is to present preliminary findings of the first year of the Invincible America Assembly — and to lodge predictions for the coming year.

More at:
http://www.rushprnews.com/press/archives/1231083

Surfing the Waves of Mind











Waves are the ultimate illusion. They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize and just as quickly they break and vanish. Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete waste of time. That is what I choose to do with my life. -- Miki Dora

20 July 2007

Traveling child goddess gets back her divinity

She was the Nepalese child goddess who broke with centuries of custom and travelled overseas, only for her family to learn she was being stripped of her title for that breach of etiquette. For three anxious weeks, her family negotiated with authorities, insisting she had done nothing wrong.

And that effort has finally paid off. In a noisy and colourful return to Nepal, 10-year-old Sajani Shakya flew home this week to undergo a special cleansing ritual and to be told that her deity status remained intact.

The Kumari tradition dates back hundreds of years and with the King of Nepal having traditionally sought the blessings of the goddesses of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article2785463.ece

18 July 2007

Mirror Neurons Influenced by Culture

In a recent study by researchers at a UCLA neuroscience institute wanted to investigate the imprint of culture on the so-called mirror neuron network. Mirror neurons fire when an individual performs an action, but they also fire when someone watches another individual perform that same action. Neuroscientists believe this "mirroring" is the neural mechanism by which we can read the minds of other people and empathize with them.

When it comes to the influence of culture, they found that indeed, the mirror neuron network responds differently depending on whether we are looking at someone who shares our culture, or someone who doesn't.

Based on the research so far, it appears that neural systems supporting memory, empathy and general cognition encode information differently depending on who's giving the information -- a member of one's own cultural group, or a member of an out-group, and that ethnic in-group membership and a culturally learned motor repertoire more strongly influence the brain's responses to observed actions, specifically actions used in social communication.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718002115.htm

To acquire knowledge it is not enough to travel hastily through a
country. Observation demands eyes, and the power of directing them
towards the object we desire to know. There are plenty of people
who learn no more from their travels than from their books, because
they do not know how to think; because in reading their mind is
at least under the guidance of the author, and in their travels
they do not know how to see for themselves.

-- Rousseau, Emile

10 July 2007

Muktananda

"How can a mirror see itself? Why would one cover gold with gold plate? When a flame is already burning, a second flame cannot illumine it. In the same way, whatever a Siddha may do can never be considered action. To his vision, everything is That, neither good nor bad. This is the nature of perfect Siddhahood."

-- Muktananda

04 July 2007

Purpose and Manifestation

"Everything exists only because it has a purpose. The moment that purpose has been accomplished, everything disappears and existence is manifested as self-existing Self."

-- Meher Baba (1894-1969)

30 June 2007

Brain scans show why meditation works

(LiveScience.com)


Meditation and other “mindfulness” techniques are designed to help people pay more attention to their present emotions, thought and sensations without reacting strongly to them. Meditators often acknowledge and name their negative emotions in order to “let them go.”

When the team compared brain scans from subjects who had more mindful dispositions to those from subjects who were less mindful, they found a stark difference—the mindful subjects experienced greater activation in the right ventrolateral prefrontral cortex and a greater calming effect in the amygdala after labeling their emotions.

“These findings may help explain the beneficial health effects of mindfulness meditation, and suggest, for the first time, an underlying reason why mindfulness meditation programs improve mood and health,” said David Creswell, a UCLA psychologist who led the second part of the study, which will be detailed in Psychosomatic Medicine.

www.livescience.com/health/070629_naming_emotions.html



29 June 2007

Healing yoga helps cancer patients

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital's North Star Lodge started Healing Yoga classes about two years ago. That was around the time research published in the journal Cancer showed that Tibetan yoga led to significant improvements in the sleep of patients with lymphoma.

This month, the famed MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas announced expanded research into the benefits of Tibetan yoga in relieving the side effects of cancer treatments.

http://www.yakima-herald.com/page/dis/289225752475770

Yogi Ramsuratkumar

"I am infinite and so are you and so is everyone, my friend. But there is a veil, there is a veil. Do you follow me? You can see only a infinitesimal part of me. Just like when a man stands on the seashore and looks out over the great ocean, he sees only a fraction of that vast ocean. Similarly, everyone can see only a small part of me. The whole cosmos is but an infinitesimal part of the real man, but how can a man see the whole cosmos?" (Yogi Ramsuratkumar 1918-2001)

25 June 2007

Nicole Kidman trains her brain with Nintendo

By Craig Zammit

Nintendo has announced actress Nicole Kidman as the new face of its forthcoming Nintendo DS handheld gaming title More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima: How Old Is Your Brain?

The new game, which is the sequel to Nintendo’s runaway success DS title Brain Training, tests user’s intelligence and aptitude through a range of puzzles, questions and challenges in an attempt to improve the user’s ‘brain age’ – essentially a reflection of the user’s intellect.

. . .

“I love the concept that Nintendo is reaching out to new audiences with their self improvement products like Brain Training,” said Kidman. “Most importantly, I’ve quickly found that training my brain is a great way to keep my mind young,” she said.

http://www.current.com.au/2007/06/26/article/BENAVZKHTL.html

23 June 2007

have you checked out www.ifacedforeclosure.com?

That's our samsara blog, this is our nirvana blog.

When you're done with that one you're ready for this one.

If you're not ready for this one you may have some fun with that one.


http://www.ifacedforeclosure.com

aka

http://ifacedforeclozure.blogspot.com


notice that the "s" has become a "z." That's "hip."

22 June 2007

Brain-activated remote control?

A new technology in Japan could let people control electronic devices without lifting a finger simply by reading brain activity. The "brain-machine interface" developed by Hitachi analyzes miniscule changes in the brain's blood flow and translates brain motion into electric signals.

The technology could one day replace remote controls and keyboards and perhaps help disabled people operate electric wheelchairs, beds and artificial limbs.

Initial uses would be helping people with paralyzing diseases communicate even after they have lost all control of their muscles.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worldbiz/archives/2007/06/23/2003366525


21 June 2007

Repair your brain . . . with gene therapy!

Researchers inject viruses into brains of Parkinsons' sufferers to retrain neurons

A major worldwide breakthrough in gene therapy was signalled last night after injections into the brain were used for the first time to successfully treat a degenerative brain disease.

In a pioneering study, researchers used the treatment to bring about significant improvements in the mobility of Parkinson's sufferers. They said it could also herald a breakthrough in the treatment of other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's or epilepsy.

The study, begun in 2003, was carried out on 11 men and one woman with an average age of 58, who had all had severe Parkinson's for at least five years and for whom current therapies were no longer effective.

They were given injections of billions of copies of a genetically altered virus into part of the brain called the subthalamic nucleus.

The altered virus carried the human gene for an enzyme, called GAD, which helps to make GABA. Once implanted, brain cells of the patients started to make the GABA chemical.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/22/nbrain122.xml

19 June 2007

Hero's Journey goes hi-tech with "God of War II"

Official description:

God of War® saw Kratos, a mortal warrior, set upon an epic quest to dethrone a God. But his journey did not end there. In God of War II, Kratos sits atop his Olympus throne, as the new God of War – far more ruthless than Ares ever was. To end his continued torment, Kratos must journey to the far reaches of the earth and defeat untold horrors and alter that which no mortal, or god has ever changed, his fate. God of War II sets an epic stage for a devastating mythological war to end all wars.

(us.playstation.com)


From the Paste Magazine review:

. . . But the game’s foundation is based on something stronger than soil and rock: the idea that one man can defy the gods. www.pastemagazine.com/action/article/4316/god_of_war_ii

16 June 2007

Milkshake energy-drug boosts brain power

Drinking a milkshake-style medicine at breakfast seems to feed brain cells starved from Alzheimer's damage, researchers reported Monday. It's one of four promising experimental drugs poised for large-scale testing against the brain-destroying disease.

The milkshake drug, called Ketasyn, is a dramatically different way to approach dementia. It hinges on recent research suggesting diabetic-like changes in brain cells' ability to use sugar for energy play a role in at least some forms of Alzheimer's.

Special fatty acids in Ketasyn offer an
alternate food source to rev up those hungry neurons, say researchers.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/06/17/health/17_38_306_14_07.txt

13 June 2007

Paris: "God has released me!"


Imprisoned heiress Paris Hilton says "I have become much more spiritual"

Complains of dry skin due to rules against moisturizers, plans to build "Paris Hilton Playhouse" upon release

By: Michelle Nichols Tues Jun 12, 2007

New York (Reuters) - Imprisoned hotel heiress Paris Hilton has said she believes God has given her a new chance and she plans to stop acting dumb and put her influence to good use.

Hilton called Barbara Walters on Sunday from the medical wing of a Los Angeles jail, where she is being held for violating probation in a drunken-driving case, and Walters.

"I'm not the same person I was," Hilton told Walters.

"I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance."

Hilton was ordered back to jail on Friday after a judge overruled a sheriff's decision to place her under house arrest on Thursday because of psychological problems. She had spent three days of an expected three-week term behind bars.

"I feel as if I'm a different person," said Hilton, known for her party-going lifestyle.

She was sentenced last month to 45 days in jail, but with good behavior, Walters said, Hilton was due to be released on June 25 after serving a total 23 days.

"I feel that the purpose of my life is to be where I am," Hilton told Walters. "My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen and that is why I was sent to jail. God has released me."

When she is released, Hilton said, she might like to help in the fields of breast cancer or multiple sclerosis, diseases that her grandmothers suffered, or build a "Paris Hilton Playhouse" for sick children.

Hilton, who said other inmates had been friendly, added that her skin was very dry because she was not allowed any moisturizer.


12 June 2007

Evolve.org and "Conscious Evolution"


Neale Donald Walsch turned me on to the following website, which I find to be intriguing and I think you will too if you're seriously into the sort of things we discuss here and at the main eWakening site. The site below, evolve.org, is run by a friend of Neale's, metaphysical writer Barbara Marx Hubbard.


Conscious Evolution is a new social/scientific/spiritual meta-discipline. This worldview has progressed from Einstein's early admonitions that humankind cannot solve our problems from the same place of consciousness in which we created them, through noted scientists and philosophers such as Julian Huxley, Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, Abraham H. Maslow, Jonas Salk, to today's social scientists such as Bela H. Banathy, Hazel Henderson, Riane Eisler, Ervin Laszlo, Jean Houston, Duane Elgin, Edgar Mitchell, Ken Wilber, Peter Russell, Elisabet Sahtouris, Don Beck and many others who are building frameworks for practical application in health, governance, education, management, environment, science, the arts and media.

In simple terms, Conscious Evolution means that we must improve our ability to use our powers ethically and effectively (consciously) to achieve a positive future (evolve).

www.evolve.org

08 June 2007

Tibet tourism to double by 2010


It was once a mystical mountain enclave closed to outsiders and ruled by red-robed Buddhist monks, but the number of tourists visiting Tibet is set to double to six million between now and 2010.

The introduction of regular flights as well as a high-tech rail link to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, that started a year ago, has seen tourists arrive in droves to the city where historically neither foreigners or Chinese dare enter.

The opening up of Tibet is a contentious issue. Beijing says it is bringing prosperity to a traditionally impoverished area, and has engaged in a huge building programme. According to a regional government document, tourism could bring at least six billion yuan ($800m) or about 12 per cent of the region's gross domestic product.

Tibetan activists fear that local people will receive less than their share of new jobs and income, and that tourism and migration by Han Chinese could swamp the area's distinctive culture.

http://travel.independent.co.uk/news_and_advice/article2636172.ece

04 June 2007

Jeremy Irons connects with Prison Yoga program


Actor Jeremy Irons says his work as an actor has enabled him to connect with the prisoners he wants to help as part of a program that encourages inmates to meditate and practice yoga.
The actor is involved in Freeing the Human Spirit, a program that helps prisoners deal with their anger and stay out of jail through the practice of yoga and meditation.

"When you're banged up in prison, as Paris Hilton will find out, I suppose, you're stuck in a cell on your own, a very negative experience," Irons says. "But if you can turn that cell into an ashram, if you can learn to meditate and do yoga, exercise your mind and exercise your body -- then it becomes a positive experience."

http://tinyurl.com/3bvu8f

03 June 2007

Osho!

"As far as I am concerned, once and for all, let me declare to the world: I am neither illuminated nor enlightened. I am just a very ordinary, very simple man, with no adjectives and no degrees. I have burned all my certificates. Enlightened or unenlightened? I don't know what the difference is. I am neither. I am light itself, neither enlightened nor illuminated; I have left those words far far behind. I can see them like dust, still stirring, far away on the path that I will never travel again, just footprints in the sand."

-- Osho Rajneesh

01 June 2007

A Man of Knowledge (Castaneda)

"A man of knowledge chooses a path with heart and follows it; and then he looks and rejoices and laughs; and then he sees and knows. He knows that his life will be over altogether too soon; he knows that he, as well as everybody else, is not going anywhere; he knows, because he sees, that nothing is more important than anything else. In other words, a man of knowledge has no honor, no dignity, no family, no name, no country, but only life to be lived, and under these circumstances his only tie to his fellow men is his controlled folly." (Casteneda, from A Separate Reality)

31 May 2007

Lou Reed and Meditation


Art-rock icon Lou Reed has just released a meditation album.
Read an interview and listen to some album cuts at:
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/218/story_21812_1.html

Ganesh Baba Nirvana

"In Nirvana your little ego is snuffed out. Nirvana is a process of being snuffed out. Nirvana is a defocalization on the sensate world and switching over our consciousness to the insensate world of intuition, of inner light, and of inner oscilloscopic vision in our gyral center. We have to penetrate the various sheaths or planes. . . . Your little ego becomes completely unified with the cosmic unified field of ultimate universal reality. That is the state of Nirvana which a few have had the good fortune to reach. But even if that highest goal is not reached, one step toward that supreme synthesis is a step indeed." (Ganesh Baba 1907-1987)

27 May 2007

Hindu tribesmen convert to Buddhism

MUMBAI (Reuters) - About 50,000 Indian low-caste Hindus and nomadic tribespeople converted to Buddhism before a vast crowd on Sunday in the hope of escaping the rigidity of the ancient Hindu caste system and finding a life of dignity.

Monks in orange and saffron robes administered religious vows to the converts as about half a million spectators, mostly Buddhists, cheered the ceremony at a horseracing track in downtown Mumbai.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070527/india_nm/india300192

24 May 2007

Stars & Spirituality: Paris Hilton and the Power of Now




Paris Hilton seen earlier this month in L.A. with a copy of "The Power of Now." Celebrities as well as "normal folk" seem to be catching on to the power of spirituality . . . with mixed results, of course.

23 May 2007

What needs to be done

We need to get SERIOUS about expanding and propagating this knowledge that has been given us. To awaken is not for oneself alone in isolation, it is DESIGNED for vibrational radiation.

This WILL take place more or less "automatically," without one having to deliberately think about it, but ONLY when one has fully absorbed the basic teaching and burnt out some of one's remaining tendencies and egoic habits.

You deepen in that awareness by regular and consistent meditational practice and seva (service.)

"What goes around comes around."

Consciousness is Meditation!

"Intelligence is the fundamental meditation. Consciousness itself is meditation. The unenlightened man is always already seeking, so it is not a matter of doing or not doing some particular kind of motivated search. We are always already seeking, whether at this moment we are doing it in the form of a yogic technique, or the next moment we are doing it in the form of a sly glance at somebody as we pass them in the street. There is simply and always the process of our own action. When there is the engagement of action by real, unmotivated intelligence, understanding begins to develop as a spontaneous, real process in consciousness."

-- Franklin Jones, The Method of the Siddhas.

22 May 2007

Life Conditions and Work

"The worse the conditions of life, the more productive the inner work, provided you remember to work. The energy spent on active work on oneself is then and there transformed into a fresh supply, but that spent on identification and negative emotions is lost forever."

-- Gurdjieff