September 10, 2012 Leave a Comment
Why are all the beneficial drugs illegal?
January 3, 2012 6 Comments
This is a guest post from one of our loyal readers, Lou Catarino.
You can read Lou’s blog @ https://talesfromthelou.wordpress.com/
Zazen & 2012
2012 is here.
Do we really have only 11 more months to live?
Is this the apocalypse?
The end of times?
We really are self-centered as a species.
We think that everything is there for us. Countless species have disappeared since life begun but we think we are the only one that matters.
Are we really the only animals that are self-aware ?
Have you seen a primate looking at the horizon at sunset for no apparent reason ?
Perhaps the Mayans were onto something.
We have been a species now for thousands of years.
They had the incredible ability to understand the stars and, maybe, the cosmos.
Where did they get the knowledge ? Why did their calendar end this year ? Or does it ? Did they just run out of rock like the cartoon says ?
It’s a big hoopla with lots of bells and whistles.
After all, December 21 2012 just means it is the end of a Mayan baktun:
“A baktun (properly b’ak’tun) is 20 katun cycles of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar. It contains 144,000 days, equal to 394.26 tropical years. The Classic period of Maya civilization occurred during the 8th and 9th baktuns of the current calendrical cycle. The current (13th) baktun will end, or be completed, on 188.8.131.52.0 (December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation). This also marks the beginning of the 14th baktun, as such a term is usually used among Mayanists.”
So let us celebrate the beginning of the new baktun from now on.
I welcome you 14th baktun!
Meanwhile, the big illusion will continue to dazzle us with its enticing array of smells, ideas, stories, people, sunrises, etc., and it tailors itself to each and everyone of us.
We are special indeed.
Which brings me to zazen and the new year.
We all know that discipline is required in any worthwhile pursuit.
If you are a procrastinator you do know that the first step is always the most difficult. We have to give the brain circuitry time to adapt itself to the new reality.
But it works.
Neuroplasticity has proven it.
This has to be one of the most intense eras of the human race. The rate of speed that knowledge spreading is mind boggling. We are communicating at the speed of light, no?
No wonder the powers that be are scared. Or are they?
I want to believe that a new world will emerge from all of this yet I wonder about the eternal samsara and all. Are we just deluding ourselves about social justice and a new world order based on the wants of the 99 percenters ? Or will the present day feudal lords continue to maintain their iron grip over the world’s money supply ?
Create a dream.
Make people want it.
Make it accessible by issuing paper and call it money.
We are all therefore indebted.
I would like the coming year to reflect all the previous years of growth from my own life all all the masters since antiquity. We all know what to do.
This is my first step.
It is a series of efforts that I aim for every day.
And it changes , like a scented wind entering a village, continuously.
Water. Zazen. Sunshine. Diet. Community. Sacred herb. Exercise. Yoga…and everything else that works.
December 30, 2011 2 Comments
Think of a snowflake.
By itself it exists as a collection of water molecules, frozen into a hexagonal shape. It was created by a collision of forces, a development of opposing pressure systems—a child of attempted circumvention with chaotic afterthought. They can only be created under specific circumstances, and none of them are the same.
With each passing day, the world is different.
No matter how similar anything could be to the past, no scenario can be identical. There are just too many changing variables, outside influences—progressions.
Think of how we change the contours of the world every day. Buildings are torn down, ribbons are cut and new projects are started. Days get longer and we open our windows, or they get shorter and we burn the midnight oil. Babies are born, and people die. One day it is sunny, and the next, it snows.
Human life moves in a cycle, and water behaves the same way– all of our elements in a constant state of change.
The creation of snow is a process that includes a set variables, all elements of weather that, when combined correctly, create the perfect catalyst. These variables vary in their quality or quantity depending on the circumstances of the world. Whether we like it or not, our actions influence these variables because we are a variable in itself. We are a part of this world, just as the weather is and our forces influence others.
And think of how we are conceived—two bodies developed under different outside influences, bearing similar biological variables, colliding together in such a way that life is made.
I wonder, if a child was conceived in the snow, how much the temperature and conditions of the environment would affect the conception.
There is a reason why we are a part of this Earth. It is often forgotten that even though we are a civilized people, we are still very much a part of nature.
And our eyes are not keen enough to see the snowflakes for what they truly are—individual. Instead we see them as a collective body, a mass of thousands, falling to the ground and joining together. As the masses grow they become something else, a force that cannot be ignored. Snow stops traffic.
And who are we to say we cannot do the same?
December 6, 2011 2 Comments
A common misconception is that an ego is the product of an inflated sense of self (the attitude possessed by a person who feels they’re better than others) when actually, an ego IS the “self.”
We all have this ego; we all have our own interpretation of ourselves, and feel we are this “gear” in the machine that is the world.
Many of us hold on to this ego for dear life. We feel that if we don’t understand ourselves, then how could we possibly understand the world around us?
Whether it’s our values, our morals, our ethics- maybe it’s our stances on political issues, or our beliefs in regard to the after-life, whatever it is; the ego is this stagnant catalyst of beliefs, which we abide by daily(possibly sub-consciously), because we feel it is who we are.
When taking offense, we feel threatened; someone or something has violated our sense of what is right; our ego. This ego we have built (a figment of our imagination) has sensed a threat to its wellbeing, an outside belief has penetrated its way into our life in some way (through another person’s actions or statements) and we become afraid that the walls we have built may not be strong enough.
The ego, much like an animal, will do whatever it takes to survive; be it fight or run away. The ego is a living thing (in our minds) and challenges to those beliefs are kryptonite.
To fight is to do or say something to the person.
Being offended is a person’s reflex to an attack of their ego; we do it automatically, often without even knowing it. If being offended by another person’s actions (unless said actions cause you physical or material harm) causes you to alter your course/pattern, any actions taken are an erroneous pursuit.
To run away is to simply retreat back into your shell, judge, and look down upon the person; this is easily done when a person is surrounded by like-minded individuals during your day to day life.
It’s easy to fall back into yourself, let the ego win, and move on with your life convinced you are the more virtuous person. This is the lesser of the two evils, but not your only two choices.
The choice I choose to take is- Quickly reflect on the event that just took place, remember how things happened (the facts, minus the breach of morality), and store it in your brain’s data bank. Remember the events in the same way a hard drive would store data in memory.
Once the “data” is in your brain, move on with you day like the breach of morality never happened. Keep the events in your mind for if you ever have to recall them in a later decision. The smart choice is not to take immediate action fueled by emotion and pride; I implore you, the clearest decisions are not made in haste. To take action to defend the ego is a war to protect Atlantis (a war to protect a myth).
What many people are confused about when that other person’s actions are taking place, is it my body or well-being that is being attacked, or only my ego?
Having the sense to know the difference between the two comes from a lifetime of increasing self-awareness and strengthening perception; and to ever believe you have completed these tasks would be counterproductive in itself.