"It's" is a contraction for "it is." "Its" is the possessive form of "it."
Please fix your website.
Update (Dec. 10):
They fixed it. Cool.
10 Weekend Reads
50 minutes ago
There’s bench science, which is like cooking, and then there’s theoretical or analytical science, which is nothing like cooking. Your physics professor was speaking for bench scientists, but we’re talking about the other kind.
Further, Mahāmati, of the five Dharmas—name, appearance, discrimination, right knowledge, and suchness— appearance is that which is seen as having such characteristics as form, shape, distinctive features, images, colours, etc. —this is "appearance." Out of this appearance ideas are formed such as a jar, etc., by which one can say, this is such and such, and no other; this is "name." When names are thus pronounced, appearances are determined1 and there is "discrimination," saying this is mind and this is what belongs to it. That these names and appearances are after all unobtainable because when intellection is put away the aspect of mutuality [in which all things are determined] ceases to be perceived and imagined—this is called the "suchness" of things. And this suchness may be characterised as truth, reality, exact knowledge, limit, source, self-substance, the unattainable. This has been realised by myself and the Tathagatas, truthfully pointed out, recognised, made public, and widely shown. When, in agreement with this, [the truth] is rightly understood as neither negative nor affirmative, discrimination ceases to rise, and there is a state conformable to self-realisation by means of noble wisdom, which is not the course of controversy pertaining to the philosophers, Śrāvakas, and Pratyekabuddhas; this is "right knowledge."1 Samadharmeti vā that follows here is probably to be dropped on the strength of the Chinese versions.
The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.That suggestion, modest though it may seem, has drawn a flurry of strong reactions from figures far apart on the religious spectrum. Dr. Deepak Chopra, the New Age writer, has dismissed the campaign as a jumble of faulty history and Hindu nationalism. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has said he agrees that yoga is Hindu — and cited that as evidence that the practice imperiled the souls of Christians who engage in it.
"Do you think quantum physics lends itself to religious belief?"
What an odd question. I can't even parse it really.
Similarly with the response that quoted Ken Wilbur.
Quantum physics, like any other scientific theory, is a predictive description of reality. The degree of accuracy or veracity of the theory is the degree to which the theory consistently predicts experimental results - observed results.
It's a recipe.
So quantum physics no more or less "lends itself" to religious belief in any way any more than any of Francis Lam's recipes.
There's no "first person" or "third person" gobbledygook involved in that any more than a recipe for caramelized onions with sauteed mushrooms.
I might put more on my blog about this later.
There is no reason why science and dharma should interfere with or contradict each other, and in spots they do seem to touch each other in a harmonious way. But I also think that to fully engage in one requires letting go of the other.
Well, should I start [discussing religion and evil by considering the subtitle of his book, especially] ‘poisons everything?’ Perhaps I should. Ok, I’ll ask for trouble if I put on a provocative subtitle, but I mean by it, not of course it poisons Chinese food or tantric sex or Niagara falls or something but it does attack us in our deepest integrity. It says we wouldn’t know right from wrong if it wasn’t for divine permission. It immediately makes us, essentially, slaves. And it has to be opposed for that reason. And such a radical frontal attack on human dignity, it seems to me, that it does leach into everything. And it has the effect of making good people say and do wicked things. For example, a morally normal person when presented with a new baby would not set about its genitals with a sharp stone or a knife. He would have to think God needed that. No, it wouldn’t occur to him otherwise. It make intelligent people say stupid things, commits them to saying stupid things such as they are objects of a divine design. As well as being stupid, very conceited by the way. They claim believers to be so modest. That’s what I mean by the poison. And because of that, I do tend to think it applies in general. My younger daughter goes to a Quaker school in Washington, the same one as the president’s children. ... There was a time when the Quakers ran the most sadistic prisons in North America and were fond of excommunicating people for the smallest things such as supporting the American Revolution, for example. If they’d been more powerful, they might have been worse. ... any surrender of reason in favour of faith contains the same danger it seems to me. Fluctuates over time. Before, I’ve been asked in the 1930s what I thought was the most dangerous religion I almost certainly would have said Roman Catholicism because of its then pretty much undisguised alliance with the Fascist parties in Europe, for which it has not yet succeeded in apologizing enough, in my opinion. But has, least admitted it was true. It was very dangerous then. I now think obviously, or rather self-evidently, Wahabbi fundamentalist Islam and its equivalents in messianic Shiism , the Shia equivalent of that Sunni theory, practice, are as dangerous especially because they could get a hold of weapons, or a weapon of mass destruction. So we would find out, with a little speculation, we used to have after lights out when we were young, what would really happen if a really wicked person got a hold of a nuclear bomb and now we’re going to find out. When the messianic meets the apocalyptic, watch out.
I believe [religion can provide a common value and an ethical foundation]. I mean, first of all, I think the place of faith in the era of globalization is the single biggest issue of the 21st century. I mean, it’s not an issue like climate change is an issue, for example, or the global economy in its present crisis. But in terms of how people live together, how we minimize the prospects of conflict and maximize the prospects of peace, the place of religion in our society today is essential. And basically what is happening, is that in the process of globalization people are being pushed closer together, so are people of different faiths. Canada is a classic example, it’s a melting pot of people of different faiths, and races and nationalities and we’re all pushed together. The question in those circumstances: does religion become a force for bad, pulling people apart because religion is seen as a badge of identity and opposition to others. Or is religion essentially seen as being about certain values that guide your life and what is common to all the major religions is a belief in love of neighbour as yourself and actually in human solidarity and human compassion. So in that sense, I think religion could be, in an era of globalization, a civilizing force.
Religion can’t provide that. Moral values come from innate human solidarity. They’re the values we need, have needed to survive as a species. Knowing we have responsibilities to other people, for example, knowing that certain types of behaviour are worse than antisocial. Religion, to an extent believes that, but it doesn’t always. It takes it from us. No, it couldn't provide it. All it could do is lay claim to it, a claim that I would deny. And because it’s not in the nature of faith to be really universal -- it’s quite extraordinary the number of claims that are made by people of faith to be the holders of the only faith, It’s not enough for them to say they believe in God, or get values from it, they have to say God revealed to us. And the wars of religion alone would be enough to negate this claim. .... also to show what we already know, that religion is manmade. So it’s one of our artefacts, along with, fortunately with, genuine humanistic morality. And I think it’s essential to choose between the two.
Nor is Homer’s depiction of the poor an exercise in Dickensian sentimentalism, as it might easily have become. At the top of his engraving, a thief with stereotypically Irish facial features plunders a hen house for his Thanksgiving feast. A spinster toils at her needlework in a dim garret. A boy scampers home to his widowed mother and invalid sister clutching a loaf of bread, possibly ill-gotten. At the very center of the spread, an old miser pushes heaps of gold into a strongbox.As national disunion loomed that Thanksgiving, so did hunger and misery for many Americans. Still rickety from the depression of 1857, the stock market had begun to collapse almost immediately after Abraham Lincoln’s election; Wall Street worried that debts owed by Southern planters – many of them mortgaged up to their eyebrows – would become uncollectable. Northern textile mills, fearing a disruption in cotton shipments from the South, began laying off workers by the thousands. “All our manufacturers are looking despondingly towards the coming storm,” a Philadelphian wrote. “An inclement winter is about setting in. What misery and distress it will witness if things continue in their gloomy state.”Today, Winslow Homer is too often remembered simply as a masterful, reclusive painter of Civil War scenes and New England seascapes. “But even at this early stage in his career, Homer often aligned himself with society’s downtrodden, placing them in the foreground and challenging the viewer to identify with their condition,” the historian Peter H. Wood, author of several penetrating books on Homer’s paintings, told me in an e-mail. “Soon Homer’s moral attention, and that of Harper’s readers, would move beyond the have-nots of the urban North to the enslaved workers of the rebellious South. And yet at the same time he usually managed to remain a detached and neutral observer; even his most controversial scenes are carefully balanced.”
It's easy to criticize the cultural accommodations made by Buddhism in Asia over the years, but we in the West also are creatures of our conditioning, and realization requires breaking out of that conditioning. People who want to make Buddhism over to accommodate the "rational" West have no idea what they are doing.
...[T]he prime kind of evidence for [reincarnation] is not the stuff you see in the movies where somebody’s hypnotized and regressed, cause that usually yields an awful lot of fantasy. But, really, it’s the cases which now number in the thousands of little kids, usually somewhere between three and six years old or something like that, who suddenly start talking about a previous life, and who talk about it with enough specificity, they lived in such and such a town. Their name was so and so. They had relatives named so and so and all that, that you’re then able to go to that other place and find someone who died not long before that kid was born and be able to come up with a reasonably good match there. If there were one or two cases like that you’d think “ah, you know, coincidence or they heard somebody talking about somebody who died,” but we’ve got thousands of them where that kind of thing has been ruled out. You know, when you’re a three year old and you suddenly start talking with specificity about somebody in a village 150 miles away who died, there’s no context with your family in that village or something, and it matches, then you’ve got something to look at.Most of these cases were collected were originally by a psychiatrist named Ian Stevenson, now deceased for several years, who himself never said he proved reincarnation, but he collected a lot of evidence for it. And his successors at the University of Virginia Medical School, now have, let’s see, last time I talked to them they have about 4,000 cases total in their files and about 2,000 of them have been analyzed and digitized enough to go into the computer that they’re beginning to look for patterns in them.I’ll tell you one of the most interesting patterns that’s been found for instance, and that is that a lot of these kids remember a violent death. And it’s as if the trauma of that violent death somehow knocked out the usual forgetting mechanism for reincarnation. And particularly interesting subset of those kids, they not only remember being killed in a certain way, but they have birthmarks on their body that look like the kind of scars you would expect if they were killed that way. So for instance, some little four year old remembers being killed because somebody shot him in the chest with a shotgun, and he’s got a little round birthmark on the front of his chest, and a much bigger one on his back behind that, which would look like the entrance and exit wounds for a shotgun AT close range. So you apparently get these biological markers once in a while.
The 'facts' related by Bridey were not fully checked before the publication of Bernstein's book The Search for Bridey Murphy. However, once the book had become a bestseller, almost every detail was thoroughly checked by reporters who were sent to Ireland to track down the background of the elusive woman. It was then that the first doubts about her 'reincarnation' began to appear. Bridey gave her date of birth as December 20, 1798, in Cork, and the year of her death as 1864. There was no record of either event. Neither was there any record of a wooden house, called The Meadows, in which she said she lived, just of a place of that name at the brink of Cork. Indeed, most houses in Ireland were made of brick or stone. She pronounced her husband's name as 'See-an', but Sean is usually pronounced 'Shawn' in Ireland. Brian, which is what Bridey preferred to call her husband, was also the middle name of the man to whom Virginia Tighe was married. But some of the details did tally. For instance, her descriptions of the Antrim coastline were very accurate. So, too, was her account of a journey from Belfast to Cork. She claimed she went to a St. Theresa's Church. There was indeed one where she said there was—but it was not built until 1911. The young Bridey shopped for provisions with a grocer named Farr. It was discovered that such a grocer had existed.
These [telepathy, clairvoyance, pre-cognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing] are the big five. These are the things human beings can do, that we don’t have any feasible explanation of, in terms of our current material understanding of the world, or reasonable extensions of that. And I say reasonable extensions, because who knows but that there might be some drastic revisioning of physics the way, for instance, quantum physics revisioned classical physics, and then things might fit in. But for now, they don’t fit in, and that’s why I talk about non-materiality; they don’t fit that material kind of view of things. So, we should study these things on their own terms.
But there is also good reason to feel ill-at-ease about the agenda behind this movement [ of Buddhist rationalism]. It’s hard to escape the feeling that the whole movement is founded upon the prevailing materialist assumptions of Western scientism (“mind = brain function, nothing more”), and fueled by a wish to dismiss rebirth and karma in order to bolster the illusion of intellectual certainty and further reinforce that doctrine. One can dress up this kind of reductionist philosophy and call it “agnosticism” but—as they say in the advertising industry—that’s just putting lipstick on a pig.
In 1953, I went to London to study. In our family background, which was middle-class and upper-class, being educated in Britain meant that you were educated properly, and that could help you get ahead. England was the place to be. While I was in England, I joined the Buddhist Society. Mr. Christmas Humphreys, founder of the Society, was a very great man.
But I did not agree with his approach. His view was that a Buddhist must concentrate on meditation, even when they are part of the society. He said that Christian men are wrong because they got involved in society and politics and lost their spirituality. To be Buddhist, he argued, you must concentrate on meditation. I felt that he was fundamentally wrong. Meditation is a good thing, but it does not mean only looking inwards. I realized that many Buddhists were from middle-class backgrounds. They didn't realize the suffering of the majority of our people. They didn't even question their own lifestyles. I think that is escapism, not Buddhism.
One of the comments under the last piece [in Warner's blog] referred obliquely to Nishijima's "very personal and particular interpretation of Dogen." I have to assume he means Nishijima's ideas about the fourfold logical structure of Shobogenzo. This way of reading Dogen isn't simply a personal bias, but the result of decades of working with the text.
Nishijima has written a very detailed explanation of this way of reading Shobogenzo, which is available as a free download at:
Here I would offer some advice. In order to study Master Dogen’s Buddhism, I think that it is very important to rely on his teachings completely. We must be very exact in our study. If we only immerse ourselves half-way, accepting some of his teachings, and criticizing others, it will become impossible to gain a full understanding of the complete philosophical system which he expounds.
I’m not sure I believe this prediction [about focused attention versus random wandering of the mind], but I can assure you it is based on an enormous amount of daydreaming cataloged in the current issue of Science. Using an iPhone app called trackyourhappiness, psychologists at Harvard contacted people around the world at random intervals to ask how they were feeling, what they were doing and what they were thinking.
The least surprising finding, based on a quarter-million responses from more than 2,200 people, was that the happiest people in the world were the ones in the midst of enjoying sex. Or at least they were enjoying it until the iPhone interrupted.The researchers are not sure how many of them stopped to pick up the phone and how many waited until afterward to respond. Nor, unfortunately, is there any way to gauge what thoughts — happy, unhappy, murderous — went through their partners’ minds when they tried to resume.When asked to rate their feelings on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being “very good,” the people having sex gave an average rating of 90. That was a good 15 points higher than the next-best activity, exercising, which was followed closely by conversation, listening to music, taking a walk, eating, praying and meditating, cooking, shopping, taking care of one’s children and reading. Near the bottom of the list were personal grooming, commuting and working...
You might suppose that if people’s minds wander while they’re having fun, then those stray thoughts are liable to be about something pleasant — and that was indeed the case with those happy campers having sex. But for the other 99.5 percent of the people, there was no correlation between the joy of the activity and the pleasantness of their thoughts.“Even if you’re doing something that’s really enjoyable,” Mr. Killingsworth [of Harvard] says, “that doesn’t seem to protect against negative thoughts. The rate of mind-wandering is lower for more enjoyable activities, but when people wander they are just as likely to wander toward negative thoughts.”
As a Christian I can Assure you that even Jesus Christ was against organzied "religion". Christianity is about loving God, loving others and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world. Mumon you seem to be very leary of any group that doesn't fit into your fundamentalist "box" [sic]. How is promoting Gods genuine love corrupting Vancouver and the greater Clark County area? If anything Christianity is bringing back moralistic ideals to an already declining society. I welcome you with open arms brother, you don't have to like me or my beliefs but know that regardless how angry you are right now, God still loves you! :)
There is no Bodhi-tree,
Nor stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is Void,
Where can the dust alight?
The scriptures are the world's most ancient Tripitaka scriptures more than 2,000 years old. Some parts of the ancient scriptures have disintegrated. More than 10,000 pieces will be on display at the exhibition [in Thailand].Buddha's teachings were first recorded on palm leaves during the first century BC. The scriptures were written with "Prommi" characters that were used during Buddha's time and serve as evidence that the scriptures are the world's oldest.
The scriptures were discovered in caves in Afghanistan by Bamiyan people who escaped from Taliban attacks and took refuge in caves from 1993 to 1995. The Bamiyan people then took the scriptures to Pakistan to save them from destruction by the extremist Muslim Taliban government.
Norway and Britain then secretly moved the scriptures out of Pakistan from 1997 to 2000. They brought out 5,000 complete scriptures and 8,000 pieces of broken scriptures inscribed on palm leaves, bark, leather and brass plates.
The price of gold has been rising as anxious investors cast what amounts to a throw-the-bums-out vote against, well, just about everything.The weak dollar, the volatile stock market, the lackluster economy, the yawning budget deficit, the accommodative Federal Reserve — all this and more have people rushing for gold...
And while gold is the most obvious example of this trend, other commodities are rising, too. Wheat, copper and cotton all soared on Tuesday.Nor is gold fever restricted to hedge fund managers wielding billions of dollars. Individual investors have also been clamoring to get in on the trade, scooping up gold coins like one-ounce American Eagles and South African Krugerrands.“People are coming in to buy 50 or 100 coins at a time, which is pretty hefty for individuals,” said Mark Oliari, chief executive of CNT Inc., a Massachusetts coin broker. “It’s not just rich people, either. A lot of people are putting 30 to 35 percent of their net worth in gold; they are scared to put money in paper assets.”Signs of gold’s renewed appeal have been building for months, as well-known Wall Street figures like George Soros and John Paulson piled into the metal. JPMorgan Chase even reopened a long-closed vault below the streets of downtown Manhattan to meet investor demand to store the stuff...
Since the depths of the financial crisis two years ago, gold has risen 91 percent, and it is nearly a third higher than just one year ago, according to Janney Montgomery Scott [which is an investment firm].
While gold has touched new records in nominal terms, when adjusted for inflation the price remains 40 percent below its real record high, which was reached in 1980. What is surprising economists is not the rise of gold prices, but the speed of its ascent.As a result, even longtime gold investors, like [Abhay Deshpande, a portfolio manager with First Eagle Funds], worry that the current rally might be overdone. “It’s beginning to smell a little like the beginning stages of a bubble,” he said. “Either inflation has to pick up or currencies have to plunge to justify a continuing rise.”
Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said this to the Blessed One: The five immediacies are preached by the Blessed One; and what are these five, Blessed One, which being committed by a son or a daughter of a good family cause them to fall into the Avici hell?The Blessed One replied: Then, Mahāmati, listen well and reflect, for I will tell you.Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said; Certainly, Blessed One, and gave ear to the Blessed One.The Blessed One said thus to him: What are the five immediacies? They are: (1) the murdering of the mother, (2) of the father, (3) of the Arhat, (4) the breaking-up of the Brotherhood, and (5) causing the body of the Tathagata to bleed from malice.
Now what is meant by the mother of all beings? It is desire which is procreative, going together with joy and anger and upholding all with motherliness. Ignorance representing fatherhood brings about one's rebirth in the six villages of the sense-world. When there takes place a complete destruction of both roots, fatherhood and motherhood, it is said that mother and father are murdered. When there is a complete extermination of the subordinate group of passions such as anger, etc., which are like an enemy, a venomous rat, the murdering of the Arhat is said to take place. What is meant by the breaking-up of the Brotherhood? When there is a complete fundamental breaking-up of the combination of the Skandhas whose characteristic mark is a state of mutual dependence among dissimilarities, it is said that the Brotherhood is split up. Mahāmati, when the body of the eight Vijñānas, which erroneously recognises individuality and generality as being outside the Mind—which is seen [by the ignorant] in the form of an external world—is completely extirpated by means of faulty discriminations, that is, by means of the triple emancipation and the non-outflows, and when thus the faulty mentality of the Vijñāna-Buddha is made to bleed, it is known as an immediacy-deed. These,Mahāmati, are the five inner immediacies, and when they are experienced by a son or a daughter of a good family, there is an immediacy-deed of realisation as regards the Dharma.Further, Mahāmati, there are five external immediacies which I will point out to you, in order that you and other Bodhisattvas in the future may thereby be saved from ignorance. What are these five? They are those immediacies which are described in the canonical texts, and those who commit these crimes can never experience any one of these manifestations, except those Transformation [-Buddhas] who are sustained by the power [of the Tathagatas] and have already attained a realisation. The Śrāvakas of transformation, Mahāmati, who are sustained by the sustaining power either of the Bodhisattvas or Tathagatas, may see somebody else practising deeds of wickedness, and they will repeatedly make great efforts to turn him away from his wickness and faulty views, and to make him realise the non-reality of wickedness and faulty views by laying down his burden. This is the way I demonstrate facts of the transformation, the sustaining power, and the realisation. Mahāmati, there is, however, no realisation for those who are sheer offenders of the immediacies, except when they come to the recognition of the truth that an external world is nothing but1 the Mind itself, seeing that body, property, and abiding place are discriminations, and that the notion of an ego and its belongings are to be kept away; or, when they are released from the fault of self-discrimination by encountering a good friend at some time or other, or at any time, and being born in some other path of existence. So it is said:Desire is said to be the mother and ignorance the father; the Vijñāna which recognises an objective world is [compared to] the Buddha.The secondary group of passions is the Arhat, the amassing of the five Skandhas the Brotherhood; as these are to be destroyed immediately they are known as immediacy-deeds.