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  • hardie karges 7:15 am on October 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Daesh, , , , , , Nietzsche, Sharia   

    Dr. Strange Dharma: How I learned to Love Donald Trump, and ISIL… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    I’ve been through this all before, you see, like back in May, 2014, when I was returning from Asia via Europe, i.e. Istanbul, specifically so that I could do a side trip to the Iraq border, and make a little incursion into the northern quarter, maybe even go as far as Mosul, if things looked good, and my resources and patience were holding up, something I’d heard you could do, without ever really leaving Turkey, officially, that is, as long as you come back to the same border, and re-enter Turkey, just like nothing ever happened…

    But it seems somebody else had the same idea, a then-little-known organization variously called ISIL, ISIS, IS or Daesh (not Riprock). It seems they were causing a spot of bother there, huffing and puffing and blowing houses down, all in the name of Islam, putting the fun back in fundamentalism, telling people what they want to hear, and then doing what they had always intended to do—invoke Sharia law and rule as an Islamic caliphate… (More …)

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    • Dave Kingsbury 3:49 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Do you think that your car is running well if it accelerates effortlessly while driving you off a cliff? Haha – a pertinent question given our current weird, er, trajectory. You make a convincing case for the value of suffering, however. Let’s hope that cliff launch turns into a learning curve …

    • hardie karges 4:52 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that…

  • hardie karges 5:47 am on October 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: breath, , , itch, , , , , Vipassana   

    Buddhism and the Meditation Itchy-Scratchies: Peace of Mind, Peace of body… 

    img_2116You know the routine: position cushion on the floor, position butt on the cushion, position body on the butt spine straight crack shoulders eyes closed breath focus nose focus navel focus nothing nothing breathing breathing breath breath in out in out breathe breathe hmmmm… hmmmm… breath… hmmmm… hmmmm… Donald Trump….. hmmmm… moron… hmmm… breath… hmmm… Mormon… hmmm… Buddho… hmmm… ice cream… yummm… hmmm… Buddho… hmmm… salsa… hmmmm… afrocubism… hmmmm… Pablo Picasso… hmmmm…  Matisse… hmmm… mind wandering… hmmm… wandering… hmmm…  Buddho… hmmm… breath… hmmm…

    When I first started meditating in northern Thailand my mother-in-law would ask me, “Have you calmed your mind yet?”

    Calm my mind? I’m still trying to calm my body…” (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:54 am on October 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chogyam Trungpa, Dalai Lama, defilements, , , , , kilesha, , , , , , ,   

    Buddhism 301: Do I save myself, or do I save the world? Decisions decisions… 

    img_1893I’m paraphrasing, of course, but this is the question that has plagued—no, let’s say intrigued’—the sangha (Buddhist community) for two and a half millennia, more or less, if not in so many words, then in so many actions, cutting to the chase, and allowing for interpolations and extrapolations, i.e. whether to think big, farming ideas and allowing for fierce and free debate, or to think small, on the achievement of individual ‘liberation’ and the purging of ‘defilements’ from the composite makeshift personalities that we call ‘I’…

    And if that’s an oversimplification, then it’s for a worthy cause, ’cause sharper focus is what’s needed for Buddhism to escape the same fate in the West that it met in India a millennium ago, going down in defeat largely because of its inability to distinguish itself from a resurgent ultra-nationalistic Hinduism and an insurgent Islam, such that Buddhism simply got lost in the shuffle of competing meditative traditions and could no longer count on its fall-back position as the non-Hindu alternative… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:19 am on September 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Forest Tradition, , , Hindu, , Noble Truth, Pali, , ,   

    First Noble Truth of Buddhism: It’s a Heartache… 

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    …and that’s about as accurate as any translation of the Pali word dukkha as any other, certainly better than the ‘stress’ or ‘discomfort’ or whatever currently making the rounds in Buddhist blurbs online and elsewhere, anything but ‘suffering’, the traditional and still most accurate definition. We’re talking about a metaphysical level of suffering here, after all, or at least existential, the kind that envelops you in its inimitable embrace, and lets you know exactly where you stand, or fall, which is usually somewhere nearby and knowable, so treatable…

    The newer ‘stress’-full definition of dukkha suggests a modern post-capitalist phase that the Buddha himself could hardly have imagined back in the classic Upanishadic era of pre-colonial India, actually post-colonial if you count Aryans as intruders, and not the high-class homeboy Brahmins that they usually like to see themselves as. They brought as many chariots, horses, cows and racism as they ever brought religion, more like high plains cowboys than the meditative masters that we now see them as (though they did have good drugs—I hear)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:24 am on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Dependent Origination, , ,   

    ME 6103: So You Wanna’ Be a Buddhist? Eat this… 

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    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    So you’ve just finished “Buddhism for Dummies” and think that you might want to take the big plunge, into Buddhism, that is, and now you’re wondering what to do next? Well, I’ve got good news and bad news: there is no Big Plunge, not really, so you can just start calling yourself a Buddhist when ever and wherever you want, limited only by time and circumstance…

    And if you need more than that, then you can go to a Buddhist meditation retreat for a more intense introduction, BUT: unless it’s coordinated with a Buddhist temple, then it’s probably not really Buddhist. Most American meditation events are yoga-affiliated, and while that’s fine, and highly recommended—it ain’t Buddhism. Yoga is a Hindu discipline. Meditation is both, Hindu and Buddhist, too, plus the almost-forgotten-by-now Jains, and others… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:11 am on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Noble Truths, , self, skandhas,   

    Buddhism’s Noble Truths: La Vie Est Magnifique, Sois Toi-Meme–NOT… 

    img_2116“Life is magnificent; be yourself.” These words are taken straight from a T-shirt, so hardly authoritative, but I don’t think any phrase could better demonstrate the differences between East and West, the West being something of a personality cult of ones own self, while the East—Buddhism, at least—denies the existence of a self entirely…

    That doctrine of ‘no self’, anatta, translates to us most easily as ‘no ego’, something we are very familiar with, but in fact also refers to the idea of a transmigrating soul, or any permanent self, one that in Asian religious traditions is usually envisioned as forever returning, though a similarly permanent soul is envisioned in Western traditions on a one-way trip up there or down there… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 2:57 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As always you tread a distinctive personal path through the subject, bringing it sharply to life. A great contribution to the great and, as you say, urgent debate!

      • hardie karges 5:29 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Remember the old Chambers Brothers’ song ‘Time Has Come Today’ (don’t know if that one made it to the UK or not)? Tick tock tick tock…

        • davekingsbury 12:25 am on September 12, 2017 Permalink

          Know it well … Now the time has come / There are things to realize … it behoves us all to go on thinking rather than just turning off and going with the flow – which is not to decry the meditative path!

        • hardie karges 6:35 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink

          🙂 No, thinking is not a ‘defilement’ in my Buddhism…

        • davekingsbury 1:08 am on September 13, 2017 Permalink

          It is very evident through all your writings. 🙂

  • hardie karges 7:30 am on September 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baba Ram Dass, , , , , Nowness, present, Reimann, tenses   

    Barefoot Buddhism, Chasing the NOW… 

    IMG_0738‘NOW’ is a buzzword equal to or greater than any other these days in New Age thought, ersatz Buddhist philosophy or joint-less meditations on the human condition, foregoing the deep ruminations on inner conditions and outer connections in favor of a lighter and more superficial treatment of the matters at hand: love, peace and happiness. And I like it, BUT…

    What is it exactly? ‘Nowness’ is usually described as ‘this present moment’, but that only begs the question of whether there is such a thing or not, and if so, then WTF are we really talking about, i.e. what is it? Now we know that it is a convenient shorthand in grammatical tenses, but that means little or nothing, since in many languages the present serves mostly as a generalized non-tense, more than any one specific moment… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 1:35 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sent me straight back to TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ … here’s part of the opening, which suggests more than it solves. Yours, for me, covers more ground.

      Time present and time past
      Are both perhaps present in time future
      And time future contained in time past …
      … What might have been and what has been
      Point to one end, which is always present.
      Footfalls echo in the memory
      Down the passage which we did not take
      Towards the door we never opened
      Into the rose-garden.

    • hardie karges 4:38 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, cool, thx, never read that…

  • hardie karges 8:01 am on August 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , paradigm   

    Buddhism 101: Going with the flow… 

    img_1935There are two kinds of people in this world. How many times have you heard that? That the world can be divided between optimist or pessimists. LA people or San Fran people. Cubs fan or a White Sox fan, chick-flicks or action movies, Beatles or the Stones (yawn), or maybe even white meat or dark (we’re talking about chicken, unless you’re new to Thailand and the locals are looking for you a GF)…

    But I’m thinking of something more substantial, that goes to the heart of personality, or lack thereof, that determines an individual’s entire approach to the world around him (or her) and underlies all human interaction, it seems to me. And that is whether an individual interacts with the environment, giving and taking, advancing and retreating, responding to changes proportionately, or whether the individual’s approach is to dominate the environment, and Nature, by acts of will and brute force, where necessary…

    I certainly have a distinct preference for the former alternative, and its kinship to Buddhism, while the latter alternative would seem to be more the typical American beat-em-up approach, ‘forcing Nature to reveal her secrets’ and harvesting the bounty therein with little thought to the future… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:25 am on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bashar, , , , Lobsang Rampa, New Thought, , Now-ness, , , Theosophy   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 2: Eckhart and the Also-rans… 

    (Continued from here). I would consider Eckhart Tolle more of a genuine prophet than Deepak Chopra, and with a genuine message, however limited, a fairly well fleshed-out theory of ‘the Now’, but here, too, there is vagueness and also many tossed mixed metaphors conveniently confusing empirical facts with familiar fictions, not the same thing, and dangerously close to anthropomorphic representations of entities that are nothing if not God-substitutes…

    For example, what exactly does Tolle mean when he asks: “What Is It That The Universe Really Wants To Be Created Thru Me?” Is he implying that the ‘Universe’ is like a person with wants and desires? And there are other bothersome examples of vagueness: ‘NOW’, ‘Presence’, and ‘Consciousness’ are all offered in the same breath as equivalencies but still largely undefined, unfortunately…

    And then there are his ‘energy centers’. Google that if you want to get the address of your nearest marijuana dispensary in SoCal. ‘Nowness’ is his big deal, but that can lead to irresponsible hedonism, too, if not correctly applied… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:30 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The Eckhart Tolle advice was good. I loved the way he paused before answering. So different from the usual blather from pundits.

    • hardie karges 5:20 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, Eckhart is not bad at all…

    • NMF 2:28 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What I am discovering in all of this, is that all these teachers are teaching the same thing, spreading the same message, albeit in different ways. Namely: we are expressions of one divine spiritual energy, just in human form having a human experience and that is part of the great Universal Expansion. At the core of their teachings, they all point to the same thing: we are all messiahs, some in training, but all eventually awakening to the truth of who we are Light, Love and Life.

  • hardie karges 7:12 am on August 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Charlottesville, Chomsky, , , , Virginia   

    Buddhism, Religion and Politics: Many sides to blame, because… 

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    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    …because we’re only human. Because we’re only animals. Because we’re only a rare form of biological life on a semi-cool semi-conducting planet of almost one hundred naturally occurring elements some 93Mmi/149Mkm from our star, the sun, พระอาทิตย์, sol, sole, soleil, sonne, zon, sunce, slunce, soare, słońce, ήλιος, сонце, солнце, aurinko, güneş, mặt trời, 태양, 太陽, شَمْسDid I forgetmata hari‘? Yes, the ‘eye of the day’; who could forget?

    People are scared. People are frustrated. People are devastated–blacks, Latinos, intellectuals, LGBT’s, old folks, and now Jews, too, everybody but arch-conservatives. People are losing sleep at night, wondering what the future holds for themselves, and wondering what it holds for their children. For most people are not so selfish, really, not truly, because their families come first. The problem is that the circle doesn’t always extend so far beyond that—unless there is a common threat—or unless you’ve got religion… (More …)

     
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