Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stephen Hawking on Religion: Science Will Win (6.7.10)

World News Anchor, Diane Sawyer, asks physicist Stephen Hawking about the biggest mystery he'd like solved. He said, "I want to know why the universe exists, why there is something rather than nothing".

He's so smart yet, sadly, he doesn't believe in a loving God or personal Savior (Jesus).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

101 East - The Dalai Lama - 12 March 09 - Part 1

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama: Peace Through Compassion

In the remotest parts of Tibet, the American Himalayan Foundation has been working quietly as a lifeline for people who have no one else.

Over a dozen years AHF has built 33 schools where Tibetans learn in their own language, 24 bridges over dangerous rivers, and eight clean water systems for villages. They shelter elders whose poverty is shocking, support orphans, and build and maintain hospitals and clinics that care for thousands each year.

This year, AHF will help build two more schools with dorms and kitchens because nomad children live so widely scattered, a bridge that will free 3,000 villagers, and a clean water system so that 2,000 Tibetans wont have to spend hours gathering contaminated water from a river far away. Helping Tibetans has never been more urgent.

For more information about AHF and how you can help, please visit:

© 2009, American Himalayan Foundation, All Rights Reserved

Why Our Politics Cannot Be Freed from Religion

The debate about the relationship of politics and religion in the United States is set on the wrong course, Ivan Strenski, distinguished professor of religious studies at UC Riverside, claims in this presentation. Professor Strenski follows the development of the theology of political leadership from Roman through Medieval to the present times to understand the sources of our dedication to republican constitutionalism. [8/2009] [Humanities] [Show ID: 16933]

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama: Peace Through Compassion

After The Dalai Lama - India

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CARTA: Art Music Emotion Love and Human Evolution

UCtelevision | June 08, 2009

In this edition of CARTAs Evolutionary Origins of Art and Aesthetics Series, three world-renowned researchers Antonio Damasio, Helen Fisher and Isabelle Peretz share their insights into the neural basis of art, creativity, emotions and music and the powerful roles they play in the evolution of the human species. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [6/2009] [Humanities] [Science] [Show ID: 16603]

Spirituality and Health

Nearly half the US population turns to complementary, alternative and integrative practices to maintain or improve their health. Dr. Michael Rabow explores the role of spirituality in health. Series: "UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public" [11/2007] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 13028]

The Buddha as a Businessman

| UCtelevision | April 16, 2009

Gregory Schopen, chair of the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and an authority on ancient Indian Buddhism has been separating Buddhist fact from fiction for the past 30 years. In this UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, Schopen explores the Buddha as an astute businessman, economist and lawyer Series: UCLA Faculty Research Lectures [5/2009] [Humanities] [Show ID: 16444]

Burke Lecture: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology

A distinguished scholar of Buddhism, Lewis Lancaster founded the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative to use the latest computer technology to map the spread of various strands of Buddhism from the distant past to the present. Series: "Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society" [6/2008] [Humanities] [Show ID: 14331]

Why the Dalai Lama Matters

Authors Robert Thurman and Pico Iyer reflect on the Dalai Lama's ideas and work as a religious leader, politician, scientist, and philosopher. Series: Voices [11/2009] [Humanities] [Show ID: 16536]

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama: Ethics for Our Time

His Holiness - The XIV Dalai Lama

Spirituality and Culture

Sister Joan D. Chittister, a Benedictine nun, discusses how culture changes and the implications those changes have for contemporary spirituality. She focuses on the stages of revitalization, global definitions of the seven capital sins, and American society as it moves into the 21st century. Series: Walter H. Capps Center Series [7/2009] [Humanities] [Show ID: 16612]

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Share this World wit All Beings, Present and Future.

Starbucks owns its chief competitor.  Is that competition?

Companion Animals for Therapy

The term animal assisted therapy is to be distinguished from the more familiar practice of animal assisted activities, which refers generally to pet visitation at hospitals and residential care facilities.

Animal Assisted Therapy is part of a formal and carefully designed treatment program with specific and measurable objectives that matches one animal to one patient. Under the guidance of a trained medical professional, patients with severe mental and/or physical disabilities are encouraged to interact with a therapy dog under the supervision of a trained dog handler.

The patient’s interaction with the dog is increased gradually. Initially, the patient may merely observe the dog or touch it. As the patient becomes more responsive and confident, activities may include brushing, attaching collars and even walking the dog. Progress records are maintained as milestones are met and exceeded.

Studies have shown that therapy pets motivate people to participate in therapeutic interactions. Dogs are not judgmental, they don’t hassle or pressure their partner and they have endless patience. Further, simply because they are animals and require care, the patient grooming them or walking them is made to feel useful.

The benefits and expectations of animal assisted activities, or pet visits, vary according to the needs and conditions of the patients being visited. Pet visits are less formal; they do not follow a particular treatment plan or schedule and they are not usually set up on a one pet to one patient scenario.

Pet visits are common to hospitals, assisted living homes and nursing homes. They are often nothing more than a way to entertain people or to change their routine and brighten their day.

On the other hand, when visited by a pet some people who have basically shut themselves off from human interaction will begin to work their way back to reality. Apparently the pet stirs emotions in them that have been lying dormant. Examples have been given where patients who have not spoken a word in over a year will begin to talk to the visiting dog.

Now that pet therapy has become a proven and documented reality, institutions are beginning to capitalize on this phenomenon with the “resident pet.” This term refers to a cat or a dog that becomes a permanent resident of a particular facility and is usually given free run of the place.

Each resident benefits from a proprietary interest in the animal and looks forward to assisting in its care. In some cases, a full course of therapy has been designed around the care and feeding of a resident pet. The residents meet to discuss what must be done and develop their own charts and schedules to accommodate the pet’s needs. However, staff must be constantly on the alert to avoid problems of jealousy and feuds over the pet’s affections.

The attributes and characteristics that comprise a good visiting dog or therapy dog have more to do with temperament than training. Not to say that the dog will not need training in basic obedience, but that is normally sufficient except in extraordinary situations.

Patients and residents react to the dogs in a variety of ways. Some are effusive, some impulsive and others are shy. Therefore, the dogs must be ready for anything. It surely wouldn’t do for a dog to lunge away or growl if a patient makes a loud noise or reaches for them abruptly. When selecting a dog for these purposes you would not necessarily want an animal that is high strung or one that is too laid back to get up and socialize.

Numerous studies have documented the benefits of pet therapy. Pets have been used in treating AIDS patients, cancer patients, the elderly and the mentally ill. One study determined that petting a dog can lower blood pressure and another found that pets can reduce stress related illnesses.

A study at City Hospital in New York noted that heart patients who owned pets lived longer than those without pets. Owning a pet was found to be more significant to long term survival than the presence of even a spouse or friends.

Pets make us feel good. They comfort us, allow us to be ourselves and give those of us that need it a reason for living. 


Søren Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death 

Ah! and when the hour-glass has run out, the hour-glass of temporality, when the worldly tumult is silenced and the restless or unavailing urgency comes to an end, when all about you is still as it is in eternity—whether you are man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or free, happy or unhappy; whether you bore in your elevation the splendour of the crown or in humble obscurity only the toil and heat of the day—eternity asks you, and every one of these millions of millions, just one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that you were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness concealed deep inside you as your gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everthing is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to your self in despair!

Such things cause little stir in the world; for in the world a self is what one least asks after, and the thing it is most dangerous of all to show signs of having. The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.

Yes, what we call worldliness simply consists of such people who, if one may so express it, pawn themselves to the world. They use their abilities, amass wealth, carry out worldly enterprises, make prudent calculations, etc., and perhaps are mentioned in history, but they are not themselves.

Thus possibility seems greater and greater to the self; more and more becomes possible because nothing becomes actual. In the end it seems as though everything were possible, but that is the very moment that the self is swallowed up in the abyss.

This is the struggle of faith, which struggles insanely, if you will, for possibility. For only possibility saves. When someone faints, people shout for water, Eau-de-Cologne, Hoffman's drops. But for someone who is on the point of despair it is: get me possibility, get me possibility, the only thing that can save me is possibility!

. . . the self wants in despair to rule over himself, or create himself, make this self the self he wants to be, determine what he will have and what he will not have in his concrete self. His concrete self has indeed necessity and limits, is this quite definite thing, with these aptitudes, predispositions, etc. But he wants first to undertake to refashion the whole thing in order to get out of it a self such as he wants—and it is in this way he wants to be himself . . .

. . . far from the self succeeding increasingly in being itself, it becomes increasingly obvious that it is a hypothetical self. The self is its own master, absolutely its own master; and exactly this is the despair, but also what it regards as its pleasure and joy. But it is easy on closer examination to see that this absolute ruler is a king without a country, that really he rules over nothing; his position, his kingdom, his sovereignty, are subject to the dialectic that rebellion is legitimate at any moment.

Consequently, the despairing self is forever building only castles in the air, and is always only fencing with an imaginary opponent. All these experimental virtues look very splendid; they fascinate for a moment, like oriental poetry; such self-discipline, such imperturbability, such ataraxy, etc. border almost on the fabulous. Yes, that they do for sure, and beneath it all there is nothing. The self wants in its despair to savour to the full the satisfaction of making itself into itself, of developing itself, of being itself; it wants to take the credit for this fictional, masterly project, its own way of understanding itself. And yet what it understands itself to be is in the final instance a riddle; just when it seems on the point of having the building finished, at a whim it can dissolve the whole thing into nothing.


"Concerning love, I had best be brief and say that when I read Bertrand Russell on this matter as an adolescent, and understood him to write with perfect gravity that a moment of such emotion was worth the whole of the rest of life, I devoutly hoped that this would be true in my own case. And so it has proved, and so to that extent I can regard the death I otherwise resent as laughable and impotent."

- Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty and War