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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Awakening the heart with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (08/2011) Dharma Talk 2-3 - YouTube

Uploaded on Sep 6, 2011
Awakening the heart with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
- August 14th, 2011
- The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C Canada

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Awakening the heart with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (08/2011) Dharma Talk 2-3 - YouTube

Alan Watts - Stop Trying To Change The World. - YouTube

Published on Dec 9, 2012

There is no knowledge of tomorrow

Observation implies no accumulation of knowledge, even though knowledge is obviously necessary at a certain level: knowledge as a doctor, knowledge as a scientist, knowledge of history, of all the things that have been.

After all, that is knowledge: information about the things that have been.

There is no knowledge of tomorrow, only conjecture as to what might happen tomorrow, based on your knowledge of what has been.

A mind that observes with knowledge is incapable of following swiftly the stream of thought. 

It is only by observing without the screen of knowledge that you begin to see the whole structure of your own thinking. And as you observe, which is not to condemn or accept, but simply to watch, you will find that thought comes to an end. 

Casually to observe an occasional thought leads nowhere, but if you observe the process of thinking and do not become an observer apart from the observed,if you see the whole movement of thought without accepting or condemning it,then that very observation puts an end immediately to thought, and therefore the mind is compassionate, it is in a state of constant mutation.

Jiddu Krisnamurti
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Alan Watts - Stop Trying To Change The World. - YouTube

How Mindfulness Creates Understanding (The Buddhist TV) - YouTube

loaded on Dec 17, 2010
Talk broadcast on The Buddhist ( ) television channel in Sri Lanka on how mindfulness eradicates our misunderstandings about reality.

Please submit questions to my YouTube Channel:


How Mindfulness Creates Understanding (The Buddhist TV) - YouTube

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kumbh Mela: The Largest Gathering On Earth | Wodu Media

Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims are now descending on Allahabad, India, joining an estimated 8 million already there for the Maha Kumbh Mela. Held every 12 years at one of four places in India, the Kumbh Mela lasts nearly two months and is considered to be an especially auspicious time to bathe in the holy river for purification from sin. In 2001, the last time the festival took place, more than 40 million people gathered in an area smaller than 20 sq km (7.7 sq mi). This year, the predicted number of visitors tops 100 million. Collected here are images from the preparation and first days of the Maha Kumbh Mela, with possibly more to come in the next few weeks.

Kumbh Mela: The Largest Gathering On Earth | Wodu Media

Allahabad, India: Newly initiated naked – ‘naga’ – sadhus perform rituals on the bank of the Ganga river during the Maha Kumbh festival. A sadhu is a wandering monk. There are four to five million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their holiness.. | Wodu Media

 Allahabad, India: Newly initiated naked – ‘naga’ – sadhus perform rituals on the bank of the Ganga river during the Maha Kumbh festival. A sadhu is a wandering monk. There are four to five million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their holiness..
Allahabad, India: Newly initiated naked – ‘naga’ – sadhus perform rituals on the bank of the Ganga river during the Maha Kumbh festival. A sadhu is a wandering monk. There are four to five million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their holiness..

Munich, Germany: Six-month-old white lion cubs walk around the ring of Circus Krone.
Munich, Germany: Six-month-old white lion cubs walk around the ring of Circus Krone.

Shetland Islands, UK: Members of the ‘Jarl Squad’ prepare for the annual Up Helly Aa festival which culminates in the burning of a Viking Galley in Lerwick.

Shetland Islands, UK: Members of the ‘Jarl Squad’ prepare for the annual Up Helly Aa festival which culminates in the burning of a Viking Galley in Lerwick.

Allahabad, India: Newly initiated naked – ‘naga’ – sadhus perform rituals on the bank of the Ganga river during the Maha Kumbh festival. A sadhu is a wandering monk. There are four to five million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their holiness.. | Wodu Media

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ramana Maharshi - Abide As The Self - YouTube

Published on Jun 7, 2012

Abide As the Self is a transforming video that takes you on an inner journey into the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and the path of Self-knowledge. Comprehensive film footage of Ramana comes alive, with emphasis on the teachings of Self-Inquiry and its practical application. A special collection of rare photographs enhances Ramana's presence and captures the compassion and grace of one of the most respected sages of our time. The inspired narration by Ram Dass provides an overview of Ramana's teachings. Also included are interviews with H.W.L. Poonja, Douglas Harding, Allan W. Anderson, and others. In Abide As the Self, you will experience how the profound teachings of Ramana Maharshi can be easily applied in our daily life. This is a deeply inspiring video in which the sage Ramana speaks directly to your heart. "Abide As the Self skillfully interweaves old and new still photographs, excerpts from Ramana's writings, interviews with longtime devotees, narration by Ram Dass, and, not least, rare and precious footage of Ramana from 1935 to 1949. Highly recommended." Yoga Journal

"The presence of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi, his clear approach to Self-Realization, and the teachings of Self-Inquiry are beautifully presented. Interviews and exceptional film footage of Ramana Maharshi make this video an inspiring and transforming experience." New Renaissance Bookshop

"The video concludes with the encouraging words of Ram Dass, who tells us that Maharshi's message is not Indian but universal: the peace that illuminates the heart and mind is always present. Anyone curious about this aspect of Eastern spirituality will find this informative and interesting video worthwhile and surprisingly accessible to general viewers. Recommended." Video Librarian "Bhagavan was always silent, that is everyone's true nature . . . In this quietness the mind will automatically return to its source and there will be a tremendous fountain of peace. All doubts are cleared and one remains quiet, in the heart." H.W.L. Poonja

Inner Directions
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Ramana Maharshi - Abide As The Self - YouTube

Nisargadatta Maharaj



The Sense of "I am" (Consciousness)

When I met my Guru, he told me: "You are not what you take yourself
to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your real
Self." I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All
my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a
difference it made, and how soon!

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and not
to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his
advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the
truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his
face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the
stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am -- unbound.

I simply followed (my teacher's) instruction which was to focus the
mind on pure being 'I am', and stay in it. I used to sit for hours
together, with nothing but the 'I am' in my mind and soon peace and
joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all
disappeared -- myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around
me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.
Nisargadatta Maharaj

 Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gurus can be Toxic

 Federal marshals escort Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to a bail hearing in Charlotte, N.C., in November1985 following his arrest while attempting to leave the country. He was indicted on federal immigration charges. 
The tale is stranger than fiction. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru from India, gathered 2,000 followers at a remote Eastern Oregon ranch. Arriving in search of enlightenment, the Rajneeshees became a political and social force that collided with traditional Oregon. Ultimately, the conflict led to attempted murder, global manhunts and prison time. Twenty-five years later, long-secret government files and now-talkative participants make it clear that things were far worse at Rancho Rajneesh than many realized.

Are You a Guru Junkie?

What is a guru? We hear the word used to describe anyone who is the best in their field, whatever that may be, such as business, the media or the Internet, but in the Eastern tradition a guru is a spiritual guide or teacher who helps us remove darkness and confusion: In Sanskrit, gu means darkness and ru means to remove. Those longing for a deeper meaning and happiness in life seek out such gurus for guidance.

However, today's search for a guru, at least in the West, has become similar to visiting a shopping mall. Never before have we seen such an array of teachers saying they will bring ever-lasting happiness and proclaiming their path is the only way or the best teachings, that if we do their particular technique we will be free, transformed, changed forever, happy as never before. We can even become a teacher or master ourselves: We once received notice of a Guru Training program where we could become a guru in all of two weekends after which, the brochure assured us, we were guaranteed to receive endless adoration, wealth, fame and happiness, or our money back.

We were bemused when we were recently sent an invitation to a conference on Altered States of Consciousness: Enlightenment, Entheogens, Shamanism and Peak Experiences. There were 46 headlined speakers, all of whom had endless credentials, books, teaching centers and followers. Subjects ranged from Cracking Open Consciousness to How to Tell Your Friends From the Apes, Gender-Specific Altered States of Consciousness and, thankfully, The Miracle of Ordinary Awareness.

Do you go to a workshop and think the teacher is the best, until you meet the next one? How addicted are you to the bliss that arises every time you meet someone who says they will save you? Are you a guru hopper, jumping from guru to guru, thinking that in this way you are climbing the ladder of enlightenment? Do you believe in the guru who stares into your eyes, hugs you, tells you how wonderful you are, or says they will give you everlasting peace and happiness? It might feel good for a while, but does it truly do anything?

When people are in need or suffering, they are susceptible and vulnerable to outside influences, easily believing that the latest, most persuasive teacher will save them. There appear to be three main reasons why someone goes window shopping for a guru:

1. Life does not easily satisfy our needs. 

We get something but always want more. More becomes the mantra. But from constantly wanting more materially and emotionally, we then apply the same principle to spirituality: More teachers and techniques must be better than just one, surely? Each is more enticing than the last: Surely this one will finally solve all those nagging difficulties in my life? Or maybe it's this one?

2. We want to be happy. 

Like the musk deer in India that has a beautiful smell in its anus but looks throughout the forest for that smell, so we look for happiness outside ourselves and come up short because whatever we find never lasts. This is the truth of impermanence: Happiness comes but happiness also goes. Not wanting to believe this, we continually search for that elusive promise of foreverness.

3. We yearn to be at peace. 

Religion has lost its allure, and there is little to replace it. We long for guidance, to be told what to do and how often to do it. And in the process, we forego our common sense, we forget our own wisdom and truth, that deeper inside we do know best, and so we put another's beliefs ahead of our own.

How do we find our way through the plethora of teachings on offer? When we dig for oil, we have to dig deep to reach it; if we dig too many shallow pits, we will never get to the source of the oil. In the same way, if we keep guru hopping, we will never get to the essence of the teachings. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

As the great Indian teacher Ramana Maharshi eloquently said: "The guru on the outside is there to turn you on to the guru within." True teachers show us that it is possible to wake up and be free, but ultimately the truth is already within each of us and can never be given by another. Through meditation we connect to that inner guru, to the brilliance and radiance of who we truly are. Which is why we brought together 32 wise and compassionate meditation experts who, collectively, create a map for you to find your own hidden treasure.

What do you think about gurus? Do comment below. You can receive notice of our blogs every Tuesday by checking Become a Fan at the top.


Definition of GURU

: a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism
a : a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern
b : one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent
c : a person with knowledge or expertise

Examples of GURU

  1. He has been a guru to many young writers.
  2. She's a self-proclaimed financial guru.
  3. Fitness gurus call it the hottest new exercise trend of the year.

Origin of GURU

ultimately from Sanskrit guru, from guru, adjective, heavy, venerable — more at grieve
First Known Use: 1613


Ed and Deb Shapiro: Are You a Guru Junkie?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

 These are three different ways of interpreting these verses translated to English.  It just shows how differently they have been interpreted.   The MSG translation gets almost folksy...

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

The Message (MSG)

26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 MSG - I don’t know about you, but I’m - Bible Gateway


1 Corinthians 9:26-27

New King James Version (NKJV)

26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (New International Version)

 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Oscar Pistorius :

His left shoulder tattoo is a version of the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, which begins: 
"I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. I execute each strike with intent. I beat my body and make it my slave..."

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 KJV - I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; - Bible Gateway

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gregorian Chant, 1965: Choir of the Abbey of Mount Angel, Dom David Nicholson, OSB - YouTube

 1965 RCA recording, "Chants of the Church: Choir of the Abbey of Mount Angel,"

Dom David Nicholson, O.S.B., Director.

All images in this video presentation are taken from the LP label and jacket; all notes from the reverse side of the LP jacket are shown at the video close.

Gregorian Chant, 1965: Choir of the Abbey of Mount Angel, Dom David Nicholson, OSB - YouTube

Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi when he was about 60 years old
Born Venkataraman Iyer
30 December 1879
Died 14 April 1950 (aged 70)
Sri Ramana Ashram in Arunachala
Philosophy Advaita Vedanta
Quotation Of all the thoughts that rise in the mind, the thought 'I' is the first thought.

Despite this veneration, Ramana did not publicize himself as a guru, never claimed to have disciples, and never appointed any successors. 

While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association, he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated other than his mother at death. 

During a court case over the management of the ashram, Ramana declared himself an atiasrama, beyond all caste and religious restrictions, not attached to anything in life.

Ramana was noted for his belief in the power of silence and his relatively sparse use of speech, as well as his lack of concern for fame or criticism. 

Ramana was noted for his unusual love of creatures and plants.

 On the morning of June 18, 1948, he realized his favorite cow Lakshmi was near death. Just as he had with his own Mother, Ramana placed his hands on her head and over her heart. The cow died peacefully at 11:30 a.m. and Ramana later declared that the cow was liberated. 

Ramana was noted for his belief in the power of silence and relatively sparse use of speech. He led a modest and renunciate life.

 However, a popular image of him as a person who spent most of his time doing nothing except silently sitting in samadhi is highly inaccurate, according to David Godman, who has written extensively about Ramana.

According to Godman, from the period when an Ashram began to rise around him after his mother arrived into his later years, Ramana was actually quite active in Ashram activities such as cooking and stitching leaf plates until his health failed. 

Other typical features were:
  1. He charged no money, and was adamant that no one ever ask for money (or anything else) in his name;
  2. He never promoted or called attention to himself. Instead, Ramana remained in one place for 54 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone of any background who came to him, and asking nothing in return;
  3. He considered humility to be the highest quality;
  4. He said the deep sense of peace one felt around a jnani was the surest indicator of their spiritual state, that equality towards all was a true sign of liberation, and that what a true jnani did was always for others, not themselves.

 Carl  Jung regarded Ramana Maharshi not to be an "isolated phenomenon" , but a token of Indian spirituality, "manifest in many forms in everyday Indian life": 
He is of a type that has always existed and always will. Therefor it was not necessary to seek him out... He is merely the whitest spot on a white surface.

Ramana Maharshi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Centering prayer

Centering prayer is a popular method of contemplative prayer or Christian meditation, placing a strong emphasis on interior silence.

Though most authors trace its roots to the contemplative prayer of the Desert Fathers of early Christian monasticism, to the Lectio Divina tradition of Benedictine monasticism, and to works like The Cloud of Unknowing and the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, its origins as part of the "Centering Prayer" movement in modern Catholicism and Christianity can be traced to several books published by three Trappist monks of St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts in the 1970s: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating.

Seeds of what would become known as contemplation were sown early in the Christian era.

The first appearance of something approximating contemplative prayer arises in the 4th century writings of the monk St. John Cassian, who wrote of a practice he learned from the Desert Fathers (specifically from Isaac). Cassian's writings remained influential until the medieval era, when monastic practice shifted from a mystical orientation to Scholasticism.

Thus it can be plausibly argued that contemplation was (one of) the earliest meditational and/or devotional practice of Christian monasticism, being later supplanted in dominance by the scholastic theologians, with only a minimal interest in contemplation.

The Trappist monk and influential writer Thomas Merton was strongly influenced by Buddhist meditation, particularly as found in Zen — he was a lifetime friend of Buddhist meditation master and Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, praised Chogyam Trungpa who founded Shambhala Buddhism in the United States and was also an acquaintance of the current Dalai Lama

His theology attempted to unify existentialism with the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith, a unique undertaking at that time — Christian Existentialism began as a feature of modern Protestant theology.

 As such he was also an advocate of the non-rational meditation of contemplative prayer, which he saw as a direct confrontation of finite and irrational man with his ground of being.

Cistercian monk Father Thomas Keating, a founder of Centering Prayer, was abbot all through the 60s and 70s at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. This area is thick with religious retreat centers, including the well-known Theravada Buddhist center, Insight Meditation Society.

Fr. Keating tells of meeting many young people, some who stumbled on St. Joseph’s by accident, many of them born Catholic, who had turned to Eastern practices for contemplative work. He found many of them had no knowledge of the contemplative traditions within Christianity and set out to present those practices in a more accessible way. The result was the practice now called Centering Prayer.[3]

However, centering prayer has not been without criticism. Some critics have argued that centering prayer contains practices that were warned against by the document Aspects of Christian meditation, issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The Vatican's document, however, does not use the term "centering prayer".

Centering prayer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia