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

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

    IMG_1184

    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 …)

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  • 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: , , , , , dukkha, , , 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… 

    img_1469

    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 …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , happiness, KCRW,   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 1: Deepak and his BS (Best-sellers)… 

    Author’s note: I was seriously thinking about pulling this post which is somewhat satirical about Deepak Chopra, and depositing it without ceremony into the circular ‘delete’ file, UNTIL… until I saw that Mr. Chopra himself would be guest DJ on my favorite radio station KCRW out in LA, so I figured I’d wait and pass judgment after that, and…

    Deepak Chopra just played ‘Rising Sun’ by George Harrison as Guest DJ on KCRW; seems not only was this song a gift from George to Deepak, which Chopra donated to the estate posthumously, but the lyrics are taken from chapter titles of one of Chopra’s books! Cool. Nice story, regardless of what you think of Chopra…

    It seems that Mr. Chopra is most inspired my musicians who are his fans, and their music, including, besides George Harrison, such luminaries as Michael Jackson—okay. Then there’s ‘The Way We Were’ by Barbara Streisand—hmmm, but “Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini?” So, I changed my mind about dumping the post. Roll the presses… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, predestination,   

    Buddhism and Science: Pre-destination is the Holy Grail… 

    IMG_0599…of religion, science, and life, too, the mostly unrequited wish that “it’s all written,” whether in script or bar-code, to the point of retro-fitting the logic that may or may not have actually led up to some fait accompli, though that accomplished fact was never predicted even at the point of inception. This is the need for happy endings, and the one overriding narrative that drives all others, the one theory of everything…

    How many times has something unexpected happened and the first thing you think is, “Well, I guess that it was (or wasn’t) meant to be.” I know you’ve thought that. We all have. That’s a gut reaction. But sometimes I think I take it too far, to the point of filling in the details to justify that conclusion, when the fact is simply: much of life is random. There IS no predestination, and there IS no particular logic leading up to any particular event. Sh*t happens. Truer words have never been spoken… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:00 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Christianity is Killing Us; Buddhism (and socialism) can help… 

    IMG_2234By ‘Christianity’, of course, I mean the entire Christianity-Capitalism-Democracy (CCD) complex, aka ‘Military-Industrial-Consumer’, that will one day put this entire civilization on its knees, and begging for sweet mercy, if it hasn’t already, because of the fact that most people want their cars, and NOW, rather than some vague undefined future with or without cars, that may or may not drive themselves…

    Why people identify with their cars—and their guns—is slightly beyond my comprehension, but so it is, and must be dealt with, the genie long out of the bottle, and begging for food, if not mercy. That means oil, of course, the essence of Earth’s lower layers, and severely limited, if you believe the Western interpretation, or self-sustaining, but nasty, if you believe the Russian geologists, and ever-percolating upward from a nearly inexhaustible source (consider extra-terrestrial petroleum before laughing too hard)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:38 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You seem to have all the bases covered here. I’ve saved it to re-read …

    • quantumpreceptor 2:10 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardy, I love your blog it’s always good to read. Today I just have one comment. I am a Buddhist and my cup is full of possibilities, and in no way limited. But I do agree we need to learn how to live better, I believe doing no harm extends to our home our planet not just to other beings, this is the way forward. It is too hard to sell such a good idea as you have put forward with only a half full cup.

      QP

      • hardie karges 5:46 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Full of possibilities, absolutely yes, empty of extraneous attachments hopefully…

  • hardie karges 3:47 am on August 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Celtic, Denisova, , gemome, genetics, , Kadai, mitochondrial, Slavic, , Y chromosome   

    World Populations and Human Genomes: Haplogroups and Happenstance… 

    Now that world genome research has been underway for a solid decade or so, it’s re-writing history with every passing day. So it is now possible to come to some tentative conclusions, even if the details are a long way from final, and the devil is certainly in the details. The most obvious tentative conclusion is that a country’s identity—best expressed in language—does not always correspond to the DNA genetic profile of the place, for example:

    Thailand is not predominantly of the ‘Tai-Kadai’ genome, though another closely related O haplogroup, probably best described as ‘Khmer’, but Turkey has few or none of any of the North Asian ‘Turkic’ genes, in fact more ‘Arab/Semitic’ J haplogroup than any other. Likewise is Germany almost bereft of the I ‘Nordic’ genome, more of which is to be found in Scandinavia… (More …)

     
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