Śakyamuni Buddha once said,

this world is an ocean of suffering.

Seung Sahn once said,

so much suffering inside of Nirvana Castles.

what is this world in which we live,

and what do we manifest each day.

there is greed,

this is for sure.

there is hate,

that is for sure.

there is divisiveness and vitriol,

at every juncture of our experience.

the question it seems is what do we do with

all the hate and negativity that comes our way.

don’t react,

that would be losing your heart of love.

do not harden your heart

because you see no answers.

for you,

yes you,

are the answer.

open your heart and engage

this life of hate and negativity

and become a beacon of light

for your community.

it is painful and not pleasant

to do this,

but if you allow your heart

to completely break,

you will find your true-self

shining back at you in the marketplace.

none of us has the power

to change the world,

yet we all have the ability

to change ourselves.

once we do can do this,

we begin to realize

this is not a global problem,

it is right here

in our own back yards.

so, where do we begin you ask.

be kind,

do no harm,

be respectful

and know that

these simple acts

will change the world.



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Sir Bob Geldof speaking at the Opening Ceremony of One Young World.

Truly this is a brilliant presentation by a spokesman for the common person, Sir Bob Geldof we thank you. A lifetime of pain and trying to help those less fortunate in the world. He has been a global world leader for peace, I am glad he is in this world still trying to help.

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A Note from Bruce Lee







I found this on facebook and thought I’d share it here.

“In 1963, my father, Bruce Lee, gave my mother, Linda a photo of himself with a note on the back. They had only been dating for a very short time. I love what he wrote. Words of wisdom.”

xxx Shannon Lee


to live content
with small means;
to seek elegance
rather than luxury,
and refinement
rather than fashion,
to be worthy
not respectable
and wealthy,
not rich;
to study hard,
to think quietly,
to talk gently,
act frankly;
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never.
in other word,
to let the spiritual,
and unconscious
grow up through,
the common.
Oct. 20, 1963
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China’s Bhutan incursion alarms India

Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee held a high level meeting with top defence officials as India is worried about developments on the eastern front of the country. The Indian Army has raised an alarm at the increasing Chinese forays into Bhutan, which are close to the strategic Chumbi Valley – the tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China.

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Carl Sagans last Interview with Charlie Rose

Carl Sagan gave his last interview with Charlie rose on May 27th 1996. He discussed pseudo-science, religion, unfounded claims, his personal love affair with science and his struggle with myelodysplasia as well as other elements of his last book: The Demon-Haunted World.

From this interview it is obvious that science had finally transformed from the dogma of its origins to realizing that we cannot possibly ever really know anything. The more we dig and explore, the more questions arise. Sakyamuni Buddha was quoted as saying, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” This was said almost two thousand six hundred years ago, and the science community are now coming around to a good grounding in speculation and “not knowing.”  I miss Carl Sagan and he speaks many truths in this last interview.


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Symphony of Science – ‘We Are All Connected’

Tonight Rev. Doshim Halaw shared this video with me and as I have followed all of these scientists it occurred to me that what they were all saying was that there is an interdependence of all nature in the cosmos. The Huáyán Sect of Buddhism has followed this for more than one thousand years. I hope you enjoy.

"We Are All Connected" was made from sampling Carl Sagan's Cosmos, The History Channel's Universe series, Richard Feynman's 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson's cosmic sermon, and Bill Nye's Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), Stephen Hawking's Universe, Cosmos, the Powers of 10, and more. It is a tribute to great minds of science, intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through the medium of music.

The Avataṃsaka Sutra is a compilation of sutras of various length. The earliest of these texts, the Daśabhūmika Sūtra, maybe dates from the first century CE. The Daśabhūmika Sūtra describes the ten stages on the Bodhisattva-path. The various sutras were probably joined together shortly before its translation into Chinese, at the beginning of the 5th century CE.
The Avataṃsaka ("garland", string of flowers) sutra integrates the teachings on Śūnyatā and vijnaptimatra (mind-only).

The basic idea of the Avataṃsaka Sutra is the unity of the absolute and the relative:
All in One, One in All. The All melts into a single whole. There are no divisions in the totality of reality [...] [I]t views the cosmos as holy, as "one bright pearl," the universal reality of the Buddha. The universal Buddhahood of all reality is the religious message of the Avataṃsaka-sutra.

Each part of the world reflects the totality of the cosmos:
In each dust-mote of these worlds
Are countless worlds and Buddhas...
From the tip of each hair of Buddha's body
Are revealed the indescribable Pure Lands...
The indescribable infinite Lands
All ensemble in a hair's tip [of Buddha].

All levels of reality are related and interpenetrated. This is depicted in the image of Indra's net. This "unity in totality allows every individual entity of the phenomenal world its uniqueness without attributing an inherent nature to anything".
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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi ◦ The Sage of Arunachula

Sri Ramana Maharshi (Tamil: ரமண மஹரிஷி) (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950), born Venkataraman Iyer, was a Hindu spiritual master (“jnani”). He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation (moksha), he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus. He lived at the mountain for the rest of his life. Although born a Brahmin, he declared himself an “Atiasrami”, a Sastraic state of non-attachment to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions. The ashram that grew around him, Sri Ramana Ashram, is situated at the foothill of Arunchala, to the west to the pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai.

Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained that the purest form of his teachings was the powerful silence which radiated from his presence and quieted the minds of those attuned to it. He gave verbal teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence (or, perhaps, could not understand how to attain the silent state). His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Atman as the only existing reality. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry as the fastest path to moksha. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta, and Jnana yoga, he recommended Bhakti to those he saw were fit for it, and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.

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Ajahn Brahm excommunicated for performing Bhikkhuni Ordination in Australia

From The Buddhist Channel, Nov 5, 2009

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- On Thursday 22nd October 2009, Sisters Vayama, Nirodha, Seri and Hassapañña were ordained as Theravada Bhikkhunis in a dual ordination ceremony held at Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery in Perth, Western Australia.

Ayya Tathaaloka, from the United States, was the Preceptor. Ajahn Brahm and Ajahn Sujato performed the certifying acariya chanting in the bhikkhu's part of the ceremony.

The ordination of Theravada Bhikkhunis in Australia was fully supported by the Australian Buddhist community.

However, no such support came from the Western monks in Europe associated with Thailand. Indeed, the leading Western monks in England, together with the Western monks in Thailand, formally requested Ajahn Brahm to be excommunicated from Wat Pah Pong, which is the monastery where he was trained under Ajahn Chah.

He was summoned to a meeting in Thailand on Sunday November 1st where, after much harsh discussion, he was given the choice of publicly stating that the ordination was invalid or else be excommunicated from the Wat Pah Pong community.

He refused to recant, as he was not willing to disavow an ordination procedure which was valid according to the Vinaya (the monastic rules established by the Buddha), nor was he willing to go against the wishes of the Australian Sangha Association and the thousands of lay Buddhists from around the world who supported the full integration of women into Theravada Buddhism.

In many people's opinion, it is a sad day when monks who believe in the ordination did not speak up to support Ajahn Brahm's courageous act. Instead, a group of monks at Wat Pah Pong who lacked foundation in the monastic rules laid down by the Buddha, use excommunication as a means for imposing control and to preserve "tradition".

However, support for Ajahn Brahm from around the world is building up, including Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, the translator of the Buddha's suttas, Majjhima Nikaya, and the author of "The Buddha's Words", and his large following in Singapore, the members of the Buddhist Fellowship.

Update: On 22 October 2009 Brahm facilitated an ordination ceremony for bhikkhunis where four female Buddhists, Venerable Ajahn Vayama, and Venerables Nirodha, Seri and Hasapanna, were ordained into the Western Theravada bhikkhuni sangha. The ordination ceremony took place at Ajahn Brahm's Bodhinyana Monastery at Serpentine (near Perth, WA), Australia. For his actions of 22 October 2009, on 1 November 2009, at a meeting of senior members of the Thai monastic sangha, held at Wat Pah Pong, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Brahm was removed from the Ajahn Chah Forest Sangha lineage and is no longer associated with the main monastery in Thailand, Wat Pah Pong, nor with any of the other Western Forest Sangha branch monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition.
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Cold mountain. Han Shan / 寒山

Hanshan (Chinese: 寒山; pinyin: Hánshān; literally "Cold Mountain", fl. 9th century) was a legendary figure associated with a collection of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the Taoist and Chan tradition. He is honored as an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri in Zen lore. In Japanese and Chinese paintings he is often depicted together with his sidekick Shide or with Fenggan, another monk with legendary attributes.

Both Toaists and Zen Buddhists claim Han-shan as theirs. The poetry of Han-shan shows a familiarity with both traditions, though he seems to have enjoyed poking fun at Taoists and Buddhists alike.
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Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain leaders meet at the White House

The White House has hosted an interactive meeting with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain leaders to listen to their concerns and issues, indicating their increasing role in America's socio-political milieu.

Addressing a meeting of leaders from these religious leaders this past week, Paul Monteiro, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement, observed that the Dharmic American community is interested in all the issues that everyone is interested in—healthcare and security.

"As we see it, in America, the seva movement is a tool of social justice, a way to deal with community issues.

The eastern Dharmic traditions share many commonalities. We are trying to understand how can we engage with each other collectively, what are our issues—How can more of us engage with the administration," said Anju Bhargava of Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC).

HASC co-hosted with the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Agencies and the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships the conference 'Community Building in the 21st Century with Strengthened Dharmic Faith-Based Institutions for the Dharmic (defined as, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Sikh) Religious Leaders'.

For the event, HASC had partnered with many Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh organisations, including Council of Hindu Temples, JAINA, Soka Gakkai International-USA and others to create a coalition.

Former US Senator Harris Wofford, advisor to Martin Luther King and the pioneering force behind the creation of Peace Corps said this room, where the conference is being held, is the Indian Treaty room, where many things have happened, and history can be made here with this Dharmic undertaking.

"A follower of Gandhi said that the two great idea ideas of the 20th century were from Einstein and Gandhi. Einstein showed how to access tremendous physical energy through splitting the atom; Gandhi taught us how to crack the atom of people power. The diaspora power of India is great," Wofford said.

Kenneth Bedell, Policy Advisor, shared the announcement of Together for Tomorrow, a programme initiated by the Department of Education and White House Faith OFBNP to re-emphasis the idea that education is not just the responsibility of the teachers and schools, or of the parents, but of the whole community (and the students' responsibility).

"This marked an expansion and deepening of the dialogue between the administration and the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain and Sikh communities, and recognition of the growing contribution these faiths are making in American society," Bill Aiken, public affairs director, Soka Gakkai Buddhist Association, said.

Rev Suzan Johnson Cook, the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, advisor to President on religious issues and freedom, talked about her role in relationship building with religions around the world.

During the conference leaders of these religions questioned her about the condition of minorities (Hindus, Sikhs and Christians) in Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as the plight of Buddhists in Bangladesh, South-east Asia and Tibet.
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