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Reflections on the Science of Freedom

Someone asked one of the early Zen masters to teach him a way to liberation. The Zen Master said, "Who binds you?" The seeker of liberty said, "No one binds me." The Zen Master said, "Then why seek liberation?" Liberation of the human mind from inhibiting effects of mesmerism by it's own creations is the essence of Zen. This liberation is seen on the one hand in terms of freeing the mind from uncomfortable and unnecessary limitations, and on the other in terms of freeing the "great potential and great function" dormant in the unknown realm of conscious action beyond those limitations. Early Zen masters revived the teaching of Buddha that liberation is the essential criterion of spiritual authenticity, not tradition or convention." {'Classics of Buddhism and Zen'-Thomas Cleary}. This article was published on Thursday 14 February, 2013.

Pass the Banana

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again. > Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. > Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. > But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. > Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. > PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. > Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia. > Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. > Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. > Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. > Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system. > Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. > Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness. > Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation. > Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system. > Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. > Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach. > Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. InThailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. > Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood Enhancer tryptophan. > Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. > Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack. > Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%! > Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape! So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe it's time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!' > PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS > PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!

This article was published on Monday 10 December, 2012.

Golden Chains

"Golden Chains" is a classic Buddhist metaphor for the moral code or behavioural discipline, one of the 3 Buddhist studies. Though one renounces society to become a monk or a nun, and is thus freed from the problems of secular life, one is said to be still bound by the 'golden chains' of precepts. Attachment to precepts, pride in one's way of life, or belief in the efficiacy of mere morality or ritual is called a form of bondage in Buddhist teaching. In Ch'an this is extended to refer to the whole of the Buddhist teachings, to all sense of realisation or attainment, attachment to holiness, which still must be transcended before one is really free. This is like the image of 'gold dust in the eyes', though gold {Buddha Dharma} is precious, gold chains still bind and gold dust still blinds;the qualities of Buddhahood are not to be set up as external objects of attainment.{Blue Cliff Record} This article was published on Monday 10 December, 2012

Dharma Realms

In the Hua Yen Zen Buddhist school they designate 4 Dharma realms.: first, the Dharma realm of principle, to explain one-flavour equality; second, the Dharma realm of phenomena, to explain that principle in it's entirety becomes phenomena. Third, the Dharma realm of principle and phenomena unobstructed, to explain how principle and phenomena merge without hindrance; fourth, the Dharma realm of no obstruction among phenomena, to explain that every phenomena enters all phenomena, that all things everywhere embrace all things, all intermingling simultaneously without obstruction. Thus it is said, "As soon as a single spec of dust arises, the whole earth is contained therein; each atom contains boundless Dharma realms. That being so for each atom, it is so for all atoms".{Blue Cliff Record}.

Fundamentally Enlightenment is Not a Tree

The 5th Patriarch Hung Jen asked the members of his congregation to submit verses demonstrating their attainment, so that he could choose his successor and pass on the robe and the bowl. Of the more than 700 disciples, none felt he could outdo Shen Hsiu, who was considered the foremost among them. As the head monk, Shenxiu was well respected and under great pressure to produce a gatha that would qualify him as the next patriarch. However, he was uncertain as to his own understanding, and eventually decided to write a poem anonymously on the wall in the middle of the night, announcing his authorship only if Hongren approved. The 5th Patriarch praised his verse and had it written on a wall for the congregation to learn and recite.. "The body is a Bodhi tree,  The mind a standing mirror bright.  At all times polish it diligently,  And let no dust alight." . Hui Neng, an illiterate kitchen hand in the congregation happened to hear Shen Hsiu's verse being recited: knowing that Shen's verse reflected a lack of true understanding, he had a boy write another verse on the wall: "Fundamentally Enlightenment is Not a Tree, Nor is the mind a mirror. From the beginning there hasn't been a single thing- What's the use of wiping away dust?" When the 5th Patriarch saw this, he made as if to disapprove, so that the monks of his congregation would not become jealous of Hui Neng, a layman and a barbarian. He came secretly to Hui Neng and handed on the robe and bowl to him, sealing him as the 6th patriarch."{The Blue Cliff Record-Thomas Cleary}

Intimate Understanding

An Ancient One said,"If you want to attain intimate understanding, don't use a question to ask a question. Why? Because the answer is where the question is." Since when have the sages from past times ever had anything to give people? where is there Cha'an or Tao that can be given to you? If you don't do hellish deeds, naturally you will not bring on hellish results. If you don't create heavenly conditions, naturally you wont't receive heavenly rewards. All circumstances of activity are self-made and self-received. The ancient Yun Men clearly tells you, "When we discuss this affair, it's not in the words and phrases. If it were in words and phrases, doesn't the 12 part canon of the 3 vehicles have words and phrases? then what further use would there be for Bodhidamma's coming from the West?"..{The Blue Cliff Record-Thomas Cleary}.. This article was published on Thursday 15 March, 2012.

Meaning of Life

"He who understands the meaning of life is no longer troubled by what does not contribute to life. He who understands the nature of destiny no longer tries to scrutinise this inscrutable entity. To maintain the body one must use appropriate means, without excess however, for all excess is useless. It is even more important to maintain vital spirit, without which, the body is finished. The living being has not been able to prevent it's coming to life [at the time of birth]; it cannot, moreover, avoid the fact that one day [at the time of death] life will leave it. The common people believe, to conserve life, it is necessary to maintain the body. They are wrong. It is necessary above all to prevent wear of one's vital spirit, which is almost impossible amongst the troubles of the world. Therfore, to conserve and lengthen life, one must leave the world and all it's troubles. It is in the peace of a regulated existence, in communion with nature, that one finds the resurgence of vitality, a renewal of life. Let us repeat: Abandoning worry and buisiness conserves life, for this protects the body from fatigue and the vital spirit from wear. He whose body and vital spirit are intact and well, is united with nature. Now nature is the father-mother of all beings. The being is formed by condensation; it is done away with dissipation, to become yet again another being. And if, at the moment of dissipation, it's body and vital spirit are intact, it is capable of transmigration. In essence, it becomes co-operator with heaven"...{Zhuang Zi, 'Wisdom of Taoist Masters', Wieger}... This article was published on Tuesday 17 January, 2012.

Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon and Honey*~ Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil. It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures many diseases. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases. Never boil honey or put it in a microwave. To do so will kill the enzymes in the honey. Although honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists: HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack.. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada , various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins. ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain. BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.. CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol. COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses. UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root. GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan , it is revealed that if Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas. IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial andviral diseases. INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals. INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ' Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu. LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. .. PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root. SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections. WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet. CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day. FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week. BAD BREATH: People of South America , first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day. HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. This article was published on Thursday 07 July, 2011.

Five Element Nutrition Alphabetic Food List

http://www.tao-garden.com/5elements/Taoist5ElementsNutrition.ABC.html For more information, please visit this articles web page. This article was published on Monday 27 June, 2011

Refining Oneself

If you want to successfully cultivate the 9-reversion, you must refine yourself and master your mind.' The ancient Taoist Shang Yang Tzu said, 'Restoring the elixir is very easy; refing the self is very hard.' These statements all say that if you want to practise the Tao , you must first refine yourself. The essential point in self-refinement starts with controlling anger and desire. The energy of anger is the aberrant fire of the volatile nature, which erupts upon confrontation and is indifferant to life, like a conflagration burning up a mountain, which nothing can stop. If you do not exert effort to quell it, refining it into something without smoke or flame, it can easily obscure reality. 'Red Sand refines to positive energy' means taking this volatility and refining it into neutral true essence. As for desire, when the discriminating spirit of the human mentality sees objects and encounters things, it flies up; the senses become active all at once, and the feelings and emotions arise, like a gang of bandits stealing valuables, whom none can defend against. If you do not exert effort to block it and cook it into something that does not move or stir, it can easily thwart the process of Tao. 'Liquid silver cooks into metal vitality' means taking the human mentality and cooking it into the mindless consciousness of reality. The extinction of the volatile nature and the appearance of true sense are like red sand transmuting into positive energy, ever to be warm, gentle essence. The death of the human mentality and the presence of consciousness of reality are like liquid silver changing into metal vitality, ever to be luminous mind.' This article was published on Saturday 25 June, 2011.

Sufi Tales

TO BE A SUFI; Being a Sufi is to put away in your head-imagined truth, preconceptions, conditioning- and to face what may happen to you.-{Abu Said}. ................................ THE DOOR; Sahlih of Qazwin taught his disciples: 'whoever knocks at the door continually, it will be opened to him." Rabia hearing him one day, said: 'How long will you say:"It will be opened"? the door has never been shut." ..................................... LIKE CALLS TO LIKE: Hasan of Basra went to see Rabia. She was sitting in the middle of a number of animals. As soon as Hasan approached, they ran away. Hasan said:'Why did they do that?'. Rabia answered:'You have been eating meat. All i had to eat was dry bread.' ....................................... PERCEPTION AND EXPLANATION; For him who has perception, a mere sign is enough. For him who does not heed, a thousand explanations are not enough.-{Haji Bektash} .......................................... SIFISM; Sufism is truth without form.-{Ibn El-Jabali}. ............................................ BECOMING WHAT ONE CAN BECOME; To be a Sufi is to become what you can become, and not to try to pursue what is, at the wrong stage, illusion. It is approached be studying the factors of learning how to learn; not by trying to gain knowledge without correct practise in approaching it. You come closer to being a Sufi thru realising that habit and preconception are essentials only in some studies; not by forming habits and judging by means of unsuitable preconceptions. The success of man raising himself higher comes thru the right effort and the right method, not merely by concentrating upon the right aspiration or upon the words of others directed yet to others.-{Said Imam Ali Shah}. .......................................... REMEDY; Your medicine is in you, and you do not observe it. Your ailment is from yourself, and you do not register it.-{Hazrat Ali}. ................................................. THE WORLD; The world has no being except as an appearance; From end to end it's state is a sport and a play.-{Shahbistari}. ......................................... DESTRUCTION; Three things in this life are destructive; Anger, Greed, Self-esteem.-{The Prophet}. .......................................... WHAT LOOKs AFTER YOU; Knowledge is better than wealth. You have to look after wealth; knowledge looks after you.-{Ali}. ........................................... SENTENCES OF THE KHAJAGAN; Heart to heart is an essential means of passing on the secrets of the heart.-{Rudhari}. Learning is an activity. Learning thru words alone is minor activity.-{Maghribi}. At a certain time, more can be conveyed by distracting useless attention than by attracting it.-{Khurqani}. Service of humanity is not only helpful to correct living. By it's means the inner knowledge can be preserved, concentrated and transmitted.-{Hamadani}. Our science is not of the world, it is of the worlds.-{Faugnavi}. Man thinks many things. He thinks he is One. He is usually several. Until he becomes One, he cannot have a fair idea of what he is at all.-{Samasi}. When you see a Sufi studying or teaching something which seems to belong to a field other than spiritiality you should know that there is the 'spirituality of the age'.-{Zahidi}. When it is time is time for stillness, stillness; in the time of companionship, companionship; at the place of effort, effort. In the time and place of anything, anything.-{Dervish} You cannot destroy us if you are against us. But you can make things difficult for us even if you think you are helping.{Badauni}. You may follow one stream. Realise that it leads to the ocean. Do not mistake the stream for the ocean.-{Jan-Fishan}. This article was published on Monday 28 June, 2010.

Equalising Beings

i am not differant from other people; people's minds are themselves differant. For people there are friends and strangers, for me no 'that' or 'this'. Creatures of water, land, and air, i view equally as one body. Whether people are high or low in rank, their hands and feet are the same as mine. I am not even me; how could there even be you? 'That' and 'this' both non-existant, myriad bubbles return to water. The title of this verse is 'Equalising Beings', which means equally seeing others and self, friends and strangers, fish, animals and birds, people of high and low ranks, as one body alone. The important point of this verse is the line 'I am not even me'. The reason people of the world cannot see beings as equal is because they are egotistic. If one can be selfless, how can one know there is a second person? With 'you' and 'me' both forgotten, myriad beings all empty, they are equal of themselves without being equalised.-{"Understanding Reality"-Chang Po-tuan} This article was published on Monday 07 June, 2010.

Five Elements and Path of Spiritual Alchemy

The 5 elements are the 5 energies of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. In the primordial state, these 5 energies constitute the 5 bases-basic essence, basic sense, basic vitality, basic spirit, and basic energy. In the conditioned state, they consitute 5 things-the wandering higher soul, the ghost-like lower soul, the earthly vitality, the discriminating mind, and the errant intent. The 5 bases contain the 5 virtues of benevolence, justice, courtesy, knowledge, and untruthfulnes; the 5 things contain the 5 thieves, which are joy, anger, sadness, happiness, and lust. When the 5 elements are complete, the primordial and the temporal are conjoined, and the 5 bases control the 5 things. The 'dragon' is yang; it commands the life-impulse. It belongs to the sphere of 'wood' in the eastern direction. In humans it is the essense. The 'tiger' is yin, it commands the death-impulse. It belongs to the sphere of metal, in the western direction. It humans it is sense. When the 5 elements are not in harmony, their natures become isolated; the 5 bases turn into 5 things, and the 5 virtues change into the 5 thieves; the dragon remains in the east and the tiger in the west, essence is disturbed and sense is awry, thus becoming tempererament and errant feeling, so that the energy of death saps the energy of life. When the 5 elements are complete and whole, they all return to one nature; the 5 things turn into the 5 bases, the 5 thieves change into the 5 virtues. The dragon coils, the tiger sits, essence is stablised and feelings forgotten, thus constituting true sense and real essence; so the energy of death becomes the energy of life. The path of spiritual alchemy is no more than harmonising hard and soft, causing firmness and submissiveness to balance each other and essence and sense to unite with each other. When essence and sense unite, YIN and YANG join and the 5 elements are complete; this is the primordial noumenon of HEAVEN. It is wholly good, with no evil, the basic phenomena of innate knowledge and capacity-hence the gold elixir is restored.-{Understanding Reality by Chang Po-tuan} This article was published on Monday 07 June, 2010.

Enlightenment

So what does the term 'Enlightenment' actually mean. Surely the Jnana Yoga and Advaita Vedanta term of 'Neti-Neti' [not this- not that] can be applied here. One has to bevery blessed to actually meet anyone in this lifetime who can confidently claim to be enlightened, although so many aspirants aspire to the divine state.The Buddha claimed "Few humans cross to that sublime far shore beyond all being. Mostly, people just run up and down along this barren bank!" Is it still possible under the social conditioning of today to make the attainment? Of course the answer is yes ,but as at any time, the effort of the individual must be paramount. The fundamental nature of enlightenment has no head or tail, no back or front; when you go towards it you do not see it's head, when you follow it, you do not see it's back. If you say it exists, yet it seems not to; if you say it does not exist, yet it does. Not falling within descriptions in terms of existence or nonexistence, it's light penetrates the hidden and reaches the revealed, able to illmine the universe. This is spontaneous ineffable awareness.Those who aspire to it should first sweep away all sidetracks and aberrated paths, then seek out the true ineffable awareness where there is no form or appearance. Only then can the fundamental nature be realised. According to the ancient Taoist school of 'Understanding Reality', the fundamental essence of enlightenment, true suchness, has no origination or extinction; there is nopossibility of increasing it, or decreasing it. It is because of attachment to objects or mental states that there is origination and extinction, birth and death.This is just like a mirror being covered, that is all. If you can polish away the accumulated dust of past influences, it is round and bright, without defect. Using this to reflect the universe, myriad forms are clearly revealed. The essence of enlightenment is originally round and bright, clean andnaked, bare and untrammeled,not matter, not void, not light, not dark, not real, not false. Those who understand this, attain Buddhahood on the spot-what's the need to try to extinguish feelings about objects? Enlightenment means the TRUE WAY, in that by returning from error to truth, there is a gradual awakening! This article was published on Wednesday 26 May, 2010.

Integrating Illumination

ON MIXING with ORDINARY SOCIETY and INTEGRATING ILLUMINATION; Cultivating spiritual practise involves mixing with ordinary society and integrating illumination. Adapting to fit situations, now appearing, now concealed. Now opposing, now conforming, now active, now hidden, now passive, now effective, being unpredictable, incomprehensible to others. Only this is great activity, great work.-How could people be able to perceive how one acts or remains hidden?. Once Hui-neng had gotten the transmission of the 5th patriarch of Ch'an, he disappeared among hunters in Ssu-hui, thus perfecting true realisation. If you reject the world, there is no Tao, and if there is no Tao, what can be practised to return to the fundamental and revert to the origin, to preserve life and make the being complete? The celestial mechanism of mixing with the ordinary world and integrating illumination can be spoken of to those who know, but it is hard to tell those who do not know.-{Understanding Reality by Chang Po-tuan}. This article was published on Tuesday 04 May, 2010.

Everything is based on mind

"Everything is based on mind, is lead by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of an oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is lead by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to form."-{Dhammapada}...."Mind is like an artist, able to paint the worlds. Some lands have no light, they are dark and full of fear, with pains like the wounds of weapons. Those who see them suffer by themselves. Some worlds are terrifying, with great howls of pain, their voices most bitter and harsh, frightening all who hear...In some lands are always heard heavenly sounds of various gods, pure sounds of celestial realms, or the voices of leaders of the worlds."-{The Flower Ornament Scripture} This article was published on Monday 19 April, 2010.

Genuine Effective Medicine

It is the primordial, true, unified energy; it is primordial vitality, energy, and spirit, 'the 3 Treasures'. The primordial, true, unified energy is also called 'true seed'. It does not descend into material form, it is ultimate non-being, yet contains 'ultimate being', is 'ultimate emptiness' yet contains 'ultimate fulfillment'. Truely empty yet subtly existing, it governs the 3 treasures of vitality, energy, and spirit. The 3 treasures are also not physical things but formless realities. As an ancient adept said, the vitality is not sexual vitality, the energy is not metabolic energy, the spirit is not the thinking mind. Though they are 3, the treasures all return to one primordial energy, the 3 combine into one energy, the one energy differentiates into 3. Gathering medicines means gathering these 3 treasures of one energy, operating the fire of reality to refine them, one produces elixir which transmutes all mundane energies in a person, returning to unadulterated celestial energy, the pure, undefiled original being. It is like a person using medicine to cure it and become well.-{The Inner Teachings of Taoism-Chang Po Tuan}. This article was published on Friday 19 March, 2010.

Method of Alchemy

The method of alchemy involves gathering the bit of true fire of open awareness within conscious knowledge and refining out the adulterating energy of confused feelings, then gathering the pure spiritual water of desirelessness within real knowledge and extinguishing the baseless burning of the temperament. When the true fire and spiritual water join into one, water and fire balance each other, true feeling and spiritual essence combine, and real knowledge and conscious knowledge cleave to one another; then sense is itself essence, and essence is itself sense. Utterly conscious of reality, consciousness utterly real, the refined energy functions the same as heaven and earth.-{The Inner Teachings of Taoism-Chang Po-Tuan} This article was published on Friday 19 March, 2010.

The King and the Pauper

Do not be jealous of those amongst you who are more advanced in their spiritual training. Their progress is rapid because their foundations are strong. The Tao is indiscriminate to rich and poor. To those who value virtue and learning, the Tao is like a precious jewel. To those who see no value in virtue and learning, the Tao is like dry twigs. Lay down your attachment to riches. For in the Tao, uprightness and sacrifice are more valuable than wealth. Thus it is said in the Tao there is no differance between a King and the Pauper.-{Seven Taoist Masters-Eva Wong} This article was published on Wednesday 17 March, 2010.

Buddha Within

"There is no stability in the world, it is like a house on fire. This is not a place where you can stay for a long time. The murderous demon of impermanence is instantaneous, and it does not choose between the upper and lower classes, or between the old and the young. If you want to be no different from the Buddhas and Zen masters, just don't seek externally. The pure light in a moment of awareness in your mind is the Buddha's essence within you. The nondiscriminating light in a moment of awareness in your mind is the Buddha's wisdom within you. The undifferentiated light in a moment of awareness in your mind is the Buddha's manifestation within you".-{Zen Master Linji} This article was published on Sunday 10 January, 2010.

LIBERATION

"This inconceivable door of liberation is in everyone. It has never been blocked, it has never been defective. Buddhas and Zen Masters have appeared in the world and provided expedient methods, with many different devices, using illusory medicines to cure illusory illnesses, just because your faculties are unequal, your knowledge is unclear, you do not transcend what you see and hear as you see and hear it, and you are tumbled about endlessly in an ocean of misery by afflictions due to ignorance, by emotional views and habitual conceptions of others and self, right and wrong. The various teachings and techiques of Buddhas and Zen masters are only set forth so that you will individually step back into yourself, understand your own ORIGINAL MIND and see your own ORIGINAL NATURE, so that you reach a great rest, peace and happiness."-{Zen Master Yuansou}. Just as mind is considered by Buddhists to be the source of bondage, it is also considered to be the source of enlightenment. Buddhists believe that unimaginable capacities for fulfillment lie hidden in the mind, concealed by the pre-occupations of day-to-day concerns and worries. This article was published on Sunday 03 January, 2010

The Zen Shortcut

"The shortcut of Zen is to leave the present and directly experience the state before birth, before the division of wholeness. When you accomplish this, you are like a dragon in the water, like a tiger in the mountain. You are very clear and calm everywhere, free to enliven or kill everywhere, spontaneously able to 'rouse the wind and stir the grasses' everywhere. You do not cling to any activity, you do not sit inactive. This is like cutting a skein of thread, and dyeing a skein of thread- when one is cut, all are cut; when one is dyed, all are dyed. From top to bottom, the whole thing is a huge door of liberation. Now Buddhist truths and things of the world have become ONE- where is there any external thing at all to constitute an impediment?" -{Zen Master Mi-An} This article was published on Saturday 02 January, 2010

The Crowning Meditation

"If you do not listen truly, you will call a bell a pitcher, and inevitably wind up adding error to error, talking about 'Buddha', 'Zen masters', 'mind,' and 'essence.' How is this different from gouging a wound in healthy flesh? Real Zennists set a single eye on the state before the embryo is formed, before any signs become distinct. This opens up and clears the mind, so that it penetrates the whole universe. Then they are no different from the Buddha and the founder of Zen. This is called the crowning meditation, the jewel that reflects all colours, the inexhaustible treasury, the gateway to spiritual powers, the diamond sword, the crouching lion, the blaze -these are various names for it. Now there is nothing in the universe, nothing mundane or trans-mundane, to be an objest, an opposite, a barrier, or a hindrance to you."--{Zen Master Yuansou} This article was published on Saturday 02 January, 2010.

SATORI

An enlightenment experience is a discrete event in which all self-concern falls away and the practitioner 'sees the nature' without any filtering by egoistic interests or dualistic conceptualisations. The event implies that there is an inate basis of mind, 'the nature', simply obscured by 'the ignorance' of self-concerned thought and feeling. It is often a supremely life-changing moment, opening the practitioner to a mysterious world of great brilliance, vividness and depth. It gives rise to a direct insight both into 'ignorance' as a source of human suffering implicit in self-focused activity, and the existential fact of an alternative vision. It may also give rise to a profound compassion for all sentient beings. For those with a conceptual understanding of Dharma it is an experiential confirmation. However, such experiences are rare, usually of a short duration, and followed by the re-emergence of self with a renewal of doubt and questioning, but based now in a mind that has 'seen' and which therefore continues training from an entirely fresh revelatory basis. Most records suggest that even great masters only 'see the nature' a few times in their nonetheless transformed lives.-{source-'Illuminating Silence'-Chan Master Sheng-Yen}. This article was published on Friday 06 November, 2009.

Prana, Nadis and Spiritual Health

the Sanskrit word 'prana' refers primarily to the breath. Breath must flow and be of god quality in order to maintain life. The depth and regularity of breathing must normally attune to the demands made upon the body. If this is not so, the personal 'energy store' of the body is used up., and an accelerated form of internal and external aging ensues. This weill cause various parts of the body to deteriorate rapidly, and in such a case, medicine can only mollify the symptom, not cure the cause. Such an idea is intimately linked with the Vedas. Within these it is taught that the life of every living thing is measured in terms s of the number of breaths it takes from birth until death. In such scriptures these numbers are enumerated carefully for every living creature. This philosophy possesses a distinctive and pan-cosmic view of time and life-spans, stemming from an ancient theory of creation cycles[Kalpa]. Life is viewed as part of a plan ordained by spiritual forces ruling humanity. In Ayurveda medicine prana is also said to flow through the body. It passesthru certain channels called 'nadis'[lit:rivers] which eventually join into psychic centres termed chakras[wheels]. There are said to be 7 chakras positioned in a central position vertically thru the body. These are connected by 3 main intercommunicative nadis[Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna]. Each chakra is credited with governing a certain type of spiritual wisdom. Energising these chakras by exerting control of the prana flow within , or toward them, will enhance or develop spiritual insight. Prana, when used in this way, is transmuted into an energy form called kundalini. In addition to the chakra zones permeated by prana there are also 'marma'. This Sanskrit term describes various specific points within the body at which the basic life force[jivat] can be influenced. This can be done by medicines, potios, massge, or movements. Jivatis in fact ,the nearest to what the Chinese call 'chi', but in yoga it is simply regarded as an all-pervading life essence. While prana circulates in channels, these are much simpler in pattern than the Chinese energy meridians. Within yoga , the science of prana is related primarily toward personal spiritual awareness rather than healing. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, a dis-interest in the subject of spiritual development is seen as the real cause of all suffering, including the kind of suffering experienced as ill-health.-{source-The Bodhisattva Warroiors-Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio}. This article was published on Monday 02 November, 2009.

Power of Affirmation-Zen Short Story

In the early days of the Meiji era there livved a well-known wrestler named O-nami {Great Waves}. O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling . In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful that his own pupils threw him. O-nami felt he should go to a Zen master for help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told of his trouble. 'Great Waves is your name', the teacher advised, 'so stay in this temple tonight. Imagine that you are those billows. You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid. You are those huge waves sweeping through everything before them, swallowing all in their path. Do this and you will be the greatest wrestler in the land.' The teacher retired. O-nami sat in meditation trying to imagine himself as waves. He thought of many different things. Then gradually he turned more and more to the feeling of the waves. As the night advanced the waves became larger and larger. They swept away the flowers in their vases. Even the Buddha in the shrine was inundated. Before dawn the temple was nothing but the ebb and flow of an immense sea. In the morning the teacher found O-nami meditating, a faint smile on his face. He patted the wrestler's shoulder. 'Now nothing can disturb you,' he said. 'You are those waves. You will sweep everything before you.' The same day O-nami entered the wrestling ring and won. After that, no-one in Japan was able to defeat him. This article was published on Thursday 22 October, 2009.

Reproductive Kamma

Every subsequent birth, according to Buddhism, is conditioned by the good or bad kamma which predominated at the moment of death. This kind of Kamma is technically known as Reproductive Kamma. The death of a person is merely 'the temporary end of a temporary phenomenon'. Though the present form perishes, another form which is neither absolutely the same nor totaaly different takes it's place according to the thought that was powerful at the death moment since the Kammic force which hitherto actuated it is not annihilated with the dissolution of the body. It is this last thought-process which is termed 'Reproductive Kamma' that determines the state of a person in his subsequent birth. As a rule the last thought-process depends on the general conduct of a person. In some exceptional cases, perhaps due to favourable or un-favourable circumstances, at the moment of death, a good person may experience a bad thought and a bad person a good one. The future birth will be determined by this last thought-process, irrespective of the general conduct. This does not mean that the effects of the past actions are obliterated. They will produce their inevitable results at the appropriate moment. Such reverse changes of birth account for the birth of vicious children to virtuous parents and of virtuous children to vicious parents. This article was published on Thursday 01 October, 2009

HEART SUTRA

Om Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom the Lovely, the Holy ! Avalokita, the Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, was moving in the deep course of the Wisdom which has gone beyond. He looked down from on high, He beheld but five heaps, and He saw that in their own-being they were empty. Here, O Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form ; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness. Here, O Sariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness ; they are not produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or complete. Therefore, O Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness ; No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind ; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind ; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to : No mind-consciousness element ; There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to : There is no decay and death, no extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path. There is no cognition, no attainment and no non-attainment. Therefore, O Sariputra, it is because of his non-attainmentness that a Bodhisattva, through having relied on the Perfection of Wisdom, dwells without thought-coverings. In the absence of thought-coverings he has not been made to tremble, he has overcome what can upset, and in the end he attains to Nirvana. All those who appear as Buddhas in the three periods of time fully awake to the utmost, right and perfect Enlightenment because they have relied on the Perfection of Wisdom. Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequalled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth -- for what could go wrong ? By the prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered. It runs like this : gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. ( Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all-hail ! -- ) This completes the Heart of perfect Wisdom. (Translated by E. Conze) This article was published on Thursday 17 September, 2009

Breast Cancer Cure

Summary:- 1) Only one in 10,000 women in China will die from breast cancer. 2) The Chinese do not eat dairy produce! 3) Observation : Elimination of dairy products caused the cancerous lump to shrink within days Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant. I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself. I am a scientist - surely there was a rational explanation for this cruel illness that affects one in 12 women in the UK ? I had suffered the loss of one breast, and undergone radiotherapy.. I was now receiving painful chemotherapy, and had been seen by some of the country's most eminent specialists. But, deep down, I felt certain I was facing death. I had a loving husband, a beautiful home and two young children to care for. I desperately wanted to live. Fortunately, this desire drove me to unearth the facts, some of which were known only to a handful of scientists at the time. Anyone who has come into contact with breast cancer will know that certain risk factors - such as increasing age, early onset of womanhood, late onset of menopause and a family history of breast cancer - are completely out of our control. But there are many risk factors, which we can control easily. These 'controllable' risk factors readily translate into simple changes that we can all make in our day-to-day lives to help prevent or treat breast cancer. My message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome because I have done it. The first clue to understanding what was promoting my breast cancer came when my husband Peter, who was also a scientist, arrived back from working in China while I was being plugged in for a chemotherapy session. He had brought with him cards and letters, as well as some amazing herbal suppositories, sent by my friends and science colleagues in China . The suppositories were sent to me as a cure for breast cancer. Despite the awfulness of the situation, we both had a good belly laugh, and I remember saying that this was the treatment for breast cancer in China , then it was little wonder that Chinese women avoided getting the disease. Those words echoed in my mind..... Why didn't Chinese women in China get breast cancer? I had collaborated once with Chinese colleagues on a study of links between soil chemistry and disease, and I remembered some of the statistics. The disease was virtually non-existent throughout the whole country. Only one in 10,000 women in China will die from it, compared to that terrible figure of one in 12 in Britain and the even grimmer average of one in 10 across most Western countries. It is not just a matter of China being a more rural country, with less urban pollution. In highly urbanized Hong Kong , the rate rises to 34 women in every 10,000 but still puts the West to shame. The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have similar rates. And remember, both cities were attacked with nuclear weapons, so in addition to the usual pollution-related cancers, one would also expect to find some radiation-related cases, too. The conclusion we can draw from these statistics strikes you with some force. If a Western woman were to move to industrialized, irradiated Hiroshima , she would slash her risk of contracting breast cancer by half. Obviously, this is absurd. It seemed obvious to me that some lifestyle factor not related to pollution, urbanization or the environment is seriously increasing the Western woman's chance of contracting breast cancer. I then discovered that whatever causes the huge differences in breast cancer rates between oriental and Western countries, it isn't genetic. Scientific research showed that when Chinese or Japanese people move to the West, within one or two generations their rates of breast cancer approach those of their host community. The same thing happens when oriental people adopt a completely Western lifestyle in Hong Kong . In fact, the slang name for breast cancer in China translates as 'Rich Woman's Disease'. This is because, in China , only the better off can afford to eat what is termed ' Hong Kong food'. The Chinese describe all Western food, including everything from ice cream and chocolate bars to spaghetti and feta cheese, as ' Hong Kong food', because of its availability in the former British colony and its scarcity, in the past, in mainland China . So it made perfect sense to me that whatever was causing my breast cancer and the shockingly high incidence in this country generally, it was almost certainly something to do with our better-off, middle-class, Western lifestyle. There is an important point for men here, too. I have observed in my research that much of the data about prostate cancer leads to similar conclusions. According to figures from the World Health Organization, the number of men contracting prostate cancer in rural China is negligible, only 0.5 men in every 100,000. In England , Scotland and Wales , however, this figure is 70 times higher. Like breast cancer, it is a middle-class disease that primarily attacks the wealthier and higher socio-economic groups ¨C those that can afford to eat rich foods. I remember saying to my husband, 'Come on Peter, you have just come back from China . What is it about the Chinese way of life that is so different?' Why don't they get breast cancer?' We decided to utilize our joint scientific backgrounds and approach it logically. We examined scientific data that pointed us in the general direction of fats in diets. Researchers had discovered in the 1980s that only l4% of calories in the average Chinese diet were from fat, compared to almost 36% in the West. But the diet I had been living on for years before I contracted breast cancer was very low in fat and high in fibre. Besides, I knew as a scientist that fat intake in adults has not been shown to increase risk for breast cancer in most investigations that have followed large groups of women for up to a dozen years. Then one day something rather special happened. Peter and I have worked together so closely over the years that I am not sure which one of us first said: 'The Chinese don't eat dairy produce!' It is hard to explain to a non-scientist the sudden mental and emotional 'buzz' you get when you know you have had an important insight. It's as if you have had a lot of pieces of a jigsaw in your mind, and suddenly, in a few seconds, they all fall into place and the whole picture is clear. Suddenly I recalled how many Chinese people were physically unable to tolerate milk, how the Chinese people I had worked with had always said that milk was only for babies, and how one of my close friends, who is of Chinese origin, always politely turned down the cheese course at dinner parties. I knew of no Chinese people who lived a traditional Chinese life who ever used cow or other dairy food to feed their babies. The tradition was to use a wet nurse but never, ever, dairy products. Culturally, the Chinese find our Western preoccupation with milk and milk products very strange. I remember entertaining a large delegation of Chinese scientists shortly after the ending of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s.. On advice from the Foreign Office, we had asked the caterer to provide a pudding that contained a lot of ice cream. After inquiring what the pudding consisted of, all of the Chinese, including their interpreter, politely but firmly refused to eat it, and they could not be persuaded to change their minds. At the time we were all delighted and ate extra portions! Milk, I discovered, is one of the most common causes of food allergies. Over 70% of the world's population are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose, which has led nutritionists to believe that this is the normal condition for adults, not some sort of deficiency. Perhaps nature is trying to tell us that we are eating the wrong food. Before I had breast cancer for the first time, I had eaten a lot of dairy produce, such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and yoghurt. I had used it as my main source of protein. I also ate cheap but lean minced beef, which I now realized was probably often ground-up dairy cow. In order to cope with the chemotherapy I received for my fifth case of cancer, I had been eating organic yoghurts as a way of helping my digestive tract to recover and repopulate my gut with 'good' bacteria. Recently, I discovered that way back in 1989 yoghurt had been implicated in ovarian cancer. Dr Daniel Cramer of Harvard University studied hundreds of women with ovarian cancer, and had them record in detail what they normally ate. Wish I'd been made aware of his findings when he had first discovered them. Following Peter's and my insight into the Chinese diet, I decided to give up not just yoghurt but all dairy produce immediately. Cheese, butter, milk and yoghurt and anything else that contained dairy produce - it went down the sink or in the rubbish. It is surprising how many products, including commercial soups, biscuits and cakes, contain some form of dairy produce. Even many proprietary brands of margarine marketed as soya, sunflower or olive oil spreads can contain dairy produce.. I therefore became an avid reader of the small print on food labels. Up to this point, I had been steadfastly measuring the progress of my fifth cancerous lump with callipers and plotting the results. Despite all the encouraging comments and positive feedback from my doctors and nurses, my own precise observations told me the bitter truth. My first chemotherapy sessions had produced no effect - the lump was still the same size. Then I eliminated dairy products. Within days, the lump started to shrink ! About two weeks after my second chemotherapy session and one week after giving up dairy produce, the lump in my neck started to itch. Then it began to soften and to reduce in size. The line on the graph, which had shown no change, was now pointing downwards as the tumour got smaller and smaller. And, very significantly, I noted that instead of declining exponentially (a graceful curve) as cancer is meant to do, the tumour's decrease in size was plotted on a straight line heading off the bottom of the graph, indicating a cure, not suppression (or remission) of the tumour. One Saturday afternoon after about six weeks of excluding all dairy produce from my diet, I practised an hour of meditation then felt for what was left of the lump. I couldn't find it. Yet I was very experienced at detecting cancerous lumps - I had discovered all five cancers on my own. I went downstairs and asked my husband to feel my neck. He could not find any trace of the lump either. On the following Thursday I was due to be seen by my cancer specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London . He examined me thoroughly, especially my neck where the tumour had been. He was initially bemused and then delighted as he said, 'I cannot find it.' None of my doctors, it appeared, had expected someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to survive, let alone be so hale and hearty. My specialist was as overjoyed as I was. When I first discussed my ideas with him he was understandably skeptical. But I understand that he now uses maps showing cancer portality in China in his lectures, and recommends a non-dairy diet to his cancer patients. I now believe that the link between dairy produce and breast cancer is similar to the link between smoking and lung cancer. I believe that identifying the link between breast cancer and dairy produce, and then developing a diet specifically targeted at maintaining the health of my breast and hormone system, cured me. It was difficult for me, as it may be for you, to accept that a substance as 'natural' as milk might have such ominous health implications. But I am a living proof that it works. This article was published on Tuesday 01 September, 2009.

Lord Shiva

Although in Hinduism there are many Gods and Goddesses, in the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Lord Shiva is seen as the supreme God. Shiva is the Primary Lord of the universe, the absolute; Lord of destruction and the Hindu God of Transformation. As the Lord of Yogis he is the Embodiment of power and is known as the supreme one, or The Pure One. His primary mantra is-'Om Nama Shivaha'. Lord Shiva is also known as the kind one or the friendly one, or as the destroyer of ignorance. He is the deity abounding in blessings. Also known as maha-deva; Maheshwara - The Supreme Lord; Shambu; the great god; and Lord of the Yogi's . He is the embodiment of renunciation and compassion and the one who grants wisdom. His chariot is Nandi the bull. In his Dancing form Lord Shiva is known as Nataraja, the King of the dance. His cosmic dance portrays his 5 activities -creation; maintenance; destruction; embodiment; and liberation. Although Parvati is the wife of Shiva, he has many consorts, aspects of Shakti,with Kali and Durga foremost, including their many manifestations such as MahaKali the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. Kali is the fierce aspect of Devi, Shakti or the Divine Mother Hindu goddess. Kali is the destroyer of evil spirits and the preserver of devotees. Durga's name literally means "Beyond Reach". The Mother Goddess who controls the fate of all. Respected at times of New Beginnings is the first Son of Shiva, the elephant headed Lord Ganesha who is the Hindu God of success and destroyer of evils and Remover of Obstacles, also worshiped as the god of success, education, knowledge, wisdom and good fortune. The 2nd son is known as Murugan the Hindu God who is the prince of yogis; the prince of tapasya. This article was published on Thursday 16 July, 2009.

Lord Vishnu

In Hinduism although there are a myriad of Gods and Goddesses, basically there are 2 main sects, there being many minor sects as well. There is one sect who worship Vishnu . Another sect belongs to those who worship Shiva and his family, Ganesh, Murugan or one of Shiva's consorts. For those who worship Vishnu or his associated avatars, Lord Vishnu is the original and supreme God. It is claimed that there are 10 incarnations of Vishnu, the next one being Kalki "The Destroyer of foulness" who will appear at the end of Kali Yuga. It is claimed the 9th incarnation was actually Lord Buddha. However the most popular are Lord Rama and Krisna. Rama is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu. The name Rama simply means: the supreme Brahman who is the eternally blissful spiritual Self in whom yogis aspire. Rama's strict adherence of satya (truth) and dharma despite hardship and personal travails, personifies the characteristics of an ideal person who is to be emulated. Rama's purity and piety in his intentions and actions inspires truth and devotion. Hanuman directed all his energies towards the worship and aid of Lord Rama, and his unlimited thunderbolt strength and devotion made him as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. Krisna is the eighth avatar of Vishnu but he is seen as the Supreme Person and the highest God and is the origin of all other incarnations. Lord Krisna is the Hindu God of love and devotion and is frequently shown playing the flute. The wife of Vishnu is the 4 armed Lakshmi who is the Hindu Mother Goddess of Light, Wisdom, Abundance, Wealth and good Fortune. She is most compassionate and especially kind to children. Lord Vishnu is the Hindu God of Preserving the Universe. He is considered by many to be the Supreme Being or ultimate reality. Together with his consort, Lakshmi, they make an auspicious couple. Vishnu possesses six divine glories:Omniscient; Sovereignty; Shakti Energy, or power; Strength; Vigour; and Resplendent. This article was published on Thursday 16 July, 2009.

Bodhisattva of Light and Compassion

The 'Holy One' Quan Yin [Kwan Yin] is the Chinese Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and the protector of women and children. Purified in contemplations Quan Yin attained the sublime state of bodhisattva of Light and Compassion, but she made a conscious decision not to take the final leap into enlightenment, and made a vow to help all sentient beings to achieve the final goal,or at least help them at times of suffering or great difficulties. She suffered vicariously in the hells out of great compassion knowing that all suffering is her own suffering, all sentient beings, the disguises of her own inmost nature. Since the compassion of Quan Yin is based on wisdom and understanding of life, it is unlimited, having recognised her oneness with life everywhere. Alert, balanced and deliberately aware the Bodhisattva of Compassion, known as Kannon [or Kwannonsama in Japan], Trains Universal Friendliness inducing unalloyed Joy! Cultivates Boundless Pity enabling tranquil Tolerance! Developing Mutual Joy producing deep Contentment! And Refines Equanimity establishing calm Serenity! She is therefore known as 'the Hearer of the Cries of the World','Most Merciful, Most Pitiful One'. Dressed in long flowing robes Quan Yin is most beautiful divine Goddess, gentle , refined and elegant, apart from being most compassionate toward all living beings. Therefore Quan Yin will never accept blood offerings and it can be doubted that those involved in killing will obtain her blessings. Her devotees will try to take only vegan food whenever possible, if not everyday...'A man is not noble if he injures living creatures, because a man has pity on all living creatures,therefore is a man called noble.The true ariya [noble person] practises non-violence and compassion'. "One should treat all living creatures as one's own self."...'In this world hatred does not end by hatred, at any time. Hatred is destroyed by applying love and compassion. This is the Eternal Precept'. She has the sublime quality of dispersing illness and promoting good health, Subduer of woes, of storm, of fire, and Illuminator of the world. Perfect in every virtuous merit, All-beholding with eyes of pity, Boundless ocean-store of blessings.'. Quan Yin manifests in any conceivable form wherever a being needs help, especially when someone is menaced by water, demons, fire or the sword."Open your doors to blessing-it doesn't come every day. Store up goodness and open the gates wide to glory! It's a good time for you farmers, couples and families- And at last the sick are freed into a new lease of life." [Quan Yin's Blessing].. This article was published on Thursday 16 July, 2009.

Opening the Mind and Brain Space

Of course we all know that time spent in developing the spirit is most satisfactory. Whether it's generosity, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, Mantra, Visualisation, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Seva service, or whichever. The greatest service that one can do for oneself and others is to purify one’s mind, or working for the happiness and well-being of others and help others to also do the same. However we all pass thru periods of time whereby it becomes a habit to just push it aside for the while to do somethings which we feel are more urgent or even important. The sticky entangling web of Maya's illusion just seems to trap us. Even though we know that at the end of the day, the only thing that is most important has been just that, the development of spirit, and of course, the accumulation of zeros into the bank a/c will have no meaning whatsoever. There's a good reason why the ancient wise one's stressed the importance of fundamental daily practise. One who is concentrated understands not only the appearance, but things as they really are and as they really become. As we develop the spirit and strengthen the concentration powers of the mind, the allure of the illusion begins to weaken, psychological stress has reduced impact, allowing peace and serenity the space to grow and become integral to our being. Attachments just seem to fall away as what previously appeared stressfully important, can now be seen to be minor and just passing. Attention span is enhanced as well as the ability to considerably alter perception, with definite health benefits of helping preventing major depression, heart disease and diabetes. There is an enormous amount of interest in using meditation as a form of therapy to cope with a variety of modern-day health problems, especially hypertension, stress and chronic pain. It has even been suggested by Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't. Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced yogis boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. http://www.physorg.com/news161355537.html Another recent Study suggests Buddhist deity meditation temporarily augments visuo-spatial abilities; the ability to retain an image in visual memory for a long time. This has many implications for therapy, treatment of memory loss, and mental training. This article was published on Tuesday 30 June, 2009.

Jade the Stone of Heaven

According to the ancient Taoists genuine jade is known as the Stone of Heaven as it is able to mute negative karmas, with protection quality as well. Jadeite has numerous health benefits and is reputed to be the lucky stone as it is conjusive to quietening erratic thoughts and inspirational for meditation and development of loving kindness. In fact the more one wears jade next to the body,the more it will be appreciated and will improve in clarity, colour and lustre. Jade is believed to be a link between the physical and the spiritual worlds, the form that most embodies the yin and the yang energies of heaven and earth. Real jade has traditionally been considered to have many sublime healing and calming qualities helping to stimulate longevity, vitality and even good fortune.. Natural jade is cooling to wear, therefore it helps to relieve stress in the body, calming the nervous system and lungs and aids a sense of well-being. Jade transmits a steady, harmonious energy with helps one to attune to the spirit of nature, helping to develop wisdom and serenity. Real jade is mostly white or lotus stem green, but also are found in red, lavender, black, and occasionally even blue colour. Natural A grade Lavender jade is extremely rare, lovely and appealing to gaze upon, and has a soothing and calming effect on the senses.It is claimed that Lavender jade will help promote serenity, balance and enhance spiritual awakening. The yellow jade is thought to emanate a gentle steadying vibration of peace, balance and stability, as well as helping one to attune to natural stainless frequencies, complete and perfect and to detach from false conditioning... .. the manager of natural tribal designs makes an annual visit to Burma to look for natural jadeite which has not been treated in any way except surface waxing, and to continue the donations and support of the orphanages. The jade market in Upper Burma, close to the mines is a very challenging scene, hot, noisy and intimidating. In the last 2 years the price has increased a lot due to Chinese demand, and it is now very difficult to find good quality A jade at reasonable price. The Burmese claim that all jade is treated as soon as it cross the border into China, which is 98% true.. This article was published on Sunday 31 May, 2009.

Attainment of the Hidden Mystery

"The man of great attainment is serene, free from idle thoughts and cares. His roof is the sky, the earth his chariot, he drives the seasons as his steeds and makes yin and yang his coachmen. ascending through the clouds, he soars beyond the Milky Way, a compeer of the Creative Tao. Pressing forward, mind unclouded by inordinate desires, he passes to the heavenly regions, walks without using his feet, swiftly yet unhurrying, using the rain to smooth his path, the wind to blow away the dust. With lightning for a whip and thunder for chariot wheels, he wings aloft to bathe in the river of the Milky Way, descending thence through the Gateway to Infinity."{ancient Taoist Master} This article was published on Wednesday 20 May, 2009.

For Entering Nirvana

"The dew drop slips into the shining sea, and yet it does not capture the whole. Since the Tao is all and nothing lies outside of it, since it's multiplicity and unity are identical, when a finite being sheds the illusion of separate existence, he is not lost in the Tao. By casting off his imaginary limitations, he becomes immeasurable. Plunge the finite into the infinite and, though only one remains, the finite, far from being diminished , takes on the stature of infinity. Such perception will bring you face to face with the true secret cherished by all the accomplished sages. The mind of one who returns to the source, thereby Becomes the source. Your own mind is DESTINED TO BECOME THE UNIVERSE ITSELF"-{Taoist Master Tseng} This article was published on Wednesday 20 May, 2009.

The Oath {Sufi Tale}

A man who was troubled in mind once swore that if his problems were solved he would sell his house and give all the money gained from it to the poor. The time came when he realised that he must redeem his oath. But he did not want to give away so much money. So he thought of a way out. He put the house on sale at one silver piece. included with the house, however, was a cat. the price asked for this animal was 10,000 pieces of silver. Another man bought the house and the cat. The first man gave away the single piece of silver to the poor, and pocketed the 10,000 for himself. Many people's minds work like this. they resolve to follow a teaching; but they interpret their relationship with it to their own advantage. Until they overcome this tendancy by special training , they cannot learn at all. {'Tales of the Derishes- Idries Shah} This article was published on Thursday 14 May, 2009.

Awakening of Wisdom

"When one awakens genuine Prajna {wisdom} and reflects it's light on Self Nature, all false thoughts disappear instantaneously. When self-nature is recognised, this understanding at once leads one to Buddha-stage. When prajna with it's light reflects within, and penetratingly illumines inside and outside, you recognise your own Mind. When your own Mind is recognised, there is emancipation for you. When you have emancipation, this means that you are in the Samadhi of Prajna, which is no-thought-ness. When use, it pervades everywhere, and yet shows no attachment anywhere. Only keep your original Mind pure and let the 6 senses run out of the 6 portals into the 6 dust-worlds. Free from stain, free from confusion. the Mind in it's coming and going is master of itself, in it's functioning knows no pause. This is the samadhi of Prajna, a masterly emancipation, and known as the deed of no-thought-ness."{Hui Neng- Zen Master} This article was published on Saturday 09 May, 2009.

Lord Buddha

On the full moon day of May ( Vesakha ) in the year 623 B.C.( some 2600 years ago ) the Buddha was born in the Lumbini Park into a Hindu family, on the Indian borders of Nepal in the Himalayan foothills. The father was King Suddhodana and the mother was Queen Maha Maya who died seven days after his birth.. When he was born, he displayed thirty two Lakshana or signs designating a " Mahapurush-{greatman}- and a Universal Victor. The newly born prince walked seven steps and said, " AGGOHAM ASMI LOKASSA " meaning " Chief am I in this world ". The prince was given the name of Siddhatta on the fifth day after his birth. His family name was Gotama. When he was only sixteen, Prince Siddhatta married his cousin Princess Yasodhara . He led a happy and luxurious married life for nearly thirteen years. On one glorious day, the prince went out of the palace to a park where he saw a decrepit old man, a diseased person, a dead body and a yogi hermit. These four great sights caused him to question and renounce the world. His only son was born on the same day and the news of the birth was conveyed to him when he was about to leave the park. Prince Siddhatta exclaimed --" An Impediment ( rahu ) has been born ". The infant was named Rahula by his grandfather. Prince Siddhatta made his historic journey in his twenty-ninth year, after ordering his charioteer Channa to prepare the horse Kanthaka, leaving all the royal household behind him on the Vesakha full moon day at midnight. He crossed the river Anoma, shaved his hair and sent Channa back to the Palace. Now he became an ascetic yogi with no permanent abode. All he possessed was a begging bowl and robes to cover the body. For the next six years, the ascetic Gotama practised all forms of yogi austerity. His body was reduced to almost skeleton and on the verge of death. Then, he realised that physical fitness was essential for the spiritual progress. So, he started taking some food. The five ascetics who were with him all the time were disappointed at this change of course and deserted him. After regaining his lost strength, he meditated under the bodhi tree at Bodhgaya for 40 days until he developed the first Jhana ( Ecstasy ). Then he achieved the second, third and fourth Jhanas. In the first watch of the night, he remembered the successive series of his previous births. In the middle watch of the night, he perceived beings disappearing from one state of existence and reappearing in another. In the last watch of the night, he realized the third knowledge regarding the comprehension of the cessation of the corruptions. So at the age of thirty five on the full moon day of Vesakha ( May ), he became a Buddha, more precisely a Samma Sambuddha, a fully-enlightened Buddha. He is also the accomplished one ( Tathagata ) as well as the worthy one ( Arahan ). When we study His life, we will see so many extraordinary qualities, like patience, compassion, truthfulness and determination, to inspire us. In Buddhism, it is understood that every body has a potential to become a Buddha. It is up to individuals to choose either to become a Buddha or an Arahat. There have been many Buddhas in the past and many will be there in future although there can only be one fully self-enlightened Buddha in a time. When Gautama Buddha, in one of his previous lives, as ascetic Sumedha met one of the previous Buddhas, the Dipankara Buddha, he was supposed to have already been in a position to free himself from suffering and become a Saint (Arahat). Instead of taking that opportunity of freeing himself alone from suffering he chose to take a much harder road to enlightenment so that he could help many to get out of suffering by developing the Middle Way and the 8-fold noble path. Although compassion obviously forms the basis of this vow, it was determination that made him choose a practice to become a Buddha. He was predicted by the Dipankara Buddha that one day he would become a Buddha after aeons. This he did not see something as impossible but was determined to achieve Buddhahood in order to guide people to the path leading to the end of suffering. This article was published on Thursday 07 May, 2009.

Ten Qualities of Space

Just as space is not produced, does not age, does not suffer death, does not pass out of existence, does not come into existence, cannot be forcibly handled, cannot be carried away by thieves, rests on nothing, is the pathway of birds, presents no obstacles, is endless- so also Nibbana is not produced, does not age, does not suffer death, does not pass out of existence, does not come into existence, cannot be forcibly handled, cannot be carried away by thieves, rests on nothing, is the pathway of the Noble, presents no obstacles, is endless.{source-Buddhist Pali text} This article was published on Wednesday 06 May, 2009.

Healing Comes from Nature

Unless you are already immortal your health is in a dynamic condition, not a permanent state.There is no limit to the harmony possible in you, and no limit to the harmony you can create around yourself. Your ultimate aim should be true freedom, freedom from reliance on the external world, which can come only when you make yourself a balanced , self-sustaining cosmos. None of us who are mortal are truly free, we are all obliged to purchase our limited freedom with eternal vigilance. We are limited by our concepts of limitation. Restructuring our personal belief systems is the key to permitting ourselves unlimited personal development. If we can learn to walk on fire without being burnt, we can also learn to eliminate side-effects from therapy with powerful drugs and heal surgical wounds quickly. Ayurveda and it's sister sciences provide directions for our attempts to enter into a sincere bonded relationship with nature.Who is the source of all faith and forgiveness. filled with faith, we can move mountains. Our task on this imperfect planet is to work continuously towards relative perfection.The beginning of world perfection is self-perfection.In the words of the song. 'Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.' Self-perfection requires self-peace, which begins with elimination of your physical. mental and emotional limitations. Understanding, honesty, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion are your tools for self-development. Nature is forgiveness incarnate, and all healing comes from Nature.{source-'Prakriti- Robet E. Svoboda } This article was published on Monday 04 May, 2009.

Seven Branches of Enlightenment

These 7 limbs of enlightenment- mindfulness, discrimination of dharma, energy, joy, purification, concentration, and equanimity- are the accumulation of virtue, which is the cause of obtaining Nirvana. There are 7 special parts to the path to liberation which are called the 7 limbs of enlightenment. 1/- Mindfulness which does not forget the vision of the truth is the limb of dwelling at the level of the first bhumi. 2/- Wisdom which discriminates dharmas is the limb of intrinsic character. 3/- Energy which gives rise to virtuous actions is the limb of deliverance. 4/-Joy which is the happiness of mind resulting from realisation is the limb of benefit and merit. 5/- Purification which corrects actions of body and mind is the limb of avoidance of anything tainted by the defilements. 6/- Transic states which is the possession of a clear and meditative mind is the limb of the non-arising of the defilements. 7/-Evenmindedness which is free from sleepiness and destraction is the limb of non-involvement with any defilement. These 7 parts of the path to enlightenment are causes of attaining Nirvana.{source-Nagarjuna's Letter to King Gautamiputra}... This article was published on Thursday 16 April, 2009.

True Immortality

His spirit wise, his essence holy, he illumines the mysterious and subtle, comprehending the workings of the Real. While still at a distance, he perceives himself and the entire universe as one, as partaking of the same eternal nature. Nothing in earth or heaven hinders his comings and goings. Swimming through the blue vault of the sky, he gazes upon the yellow springs [portals of death]. Though he wander the universe from end to end, neither his spirit nor his essence will undergo further change. For him there is no birth and death, nor joy or sorrow worth mentioning. Such is the true condition of an immortal, to which even the most gifted cannot easily attain, for it is not to be found through knowledge, whether human or divine. Neither virtue nor vice, nor yet perfect understanding of nature's workings leads to it's attainment. The one way to reach it is to master the subtle laws set forth in the Tao Te Ching, the Nan Hua Scripture of Chuang Tzu and that called 'Merging with the Void' by La-Tzu; even then the guidance of a teacher, wise and virtuous like the ancients, must be sought.--{Professor Chou shao-hsien}. This article was published on Tuesday 07 April, 2009.

Healing Affirmations from Paramahansa Yogananda

Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which when set off, shatter the rocks off difficulties and create the change desired. The subconscious idea-habit of disease or health exerts a strong influence. Stubborn mental or physical disease always have a deep root in the subconscious. illness may be cured by pulling out it's hidden roots. Uproot them from within by forceful concentration upon courage, and by shifting your consciousness to the absolute peace of God within. That is why all affirmations of the conscious mind should be impressive enough to permeate the subconsciousness, which in turn automatically influences the conscious mind. Strong conscious affirmations thus react on the body and mind through the subconsciousness. Still stronger affirmations reach not only the subconscious but also the super-conscious mind-the magic storehouse of miraculous powers. "Always know that the omnipotent Paramatman can heal anyone, doctor or no doctor".-{Lahiri Mahasaya} ***************** "I am submerged in eternal light. It permeates every particle of my being. I am living in that light. The divine spirit fills me within and without". ........................................................... "The healing power of Spirit is flowing through all the cells of my body. I am made of the one universal God-substance". ............................................................. "I am the Changeless. I am the Infinite. I am not a little mortal being with bones to break, a body that will perish. I am the deathless, changeless Infinite". .................................. "Beginning with the early dawn, i will radiate me cheer, love and kindness to everyone i meet today. I will be the mental sunshine for all who cross my path this day". ................................... "I will make up my mind to be happy within myself right now, where i am today". .......... "The ocean of Spirit has become the little bubble of my soul. Whether floating in birth, or disappearing in death. In the ocean of cosmic awareness the bubble of my life cannot die. I am indestructible consciousness, protected in the bosom of Spirit's immortality". ******************************* This article was published on Friday 03 April, 2009.

Cure for Disease

The power of the mind, combined with pure intent and positive affirmations can have profound influence of the healing of all diseases. The cure of disease through the affirmation of a true statement is mentioned in Visuddhimagga sutra. About 400 years after the parinibbana of the Buddha, there was in Sri Lanka a monk called Mahamitta. the monk's mother was afflicted with a disease that appeared to be breast cancer. She sent her daughter who was a bhikkuni to her son for medicine. Mahamitta said, "since i have no knowledge of conventional medicine, i will give you the medicine of truth. Since my ordination, i have never looked at a woman with lust. May my mother regain her health by virtue of my affirmation of truth!. Now, sister, go back to my mother, and repeat what i say and rub her body." The bhikkuni did as she was told and her mother was instantly cured of the disease.. This article was published on Thursday 02 April, 2009.

Karmic Results of Honesty

According to the Buddha's teaching in Ariguttaranikaya sutra, the liar is liable to land in the lower worlds and if, after release therefrom he is reborn as a human being, he is likely to face false charges. The karmic results of abstention from lying are of course just the opposite. A person who avoids lying is likely to pass onto the deva worlds and on his return to the human world, he will not be subjected to malignant accusations but will be trusted by the public. The commentaries o n Khuddaka and Ituvutakka mention14 karmic results of speaking the truth. These are; 1/-having a mouth that is fragrant like a flower. 2/-having a set of white, beautiful teeth. 3/-having the power of speech that attracts the attention of other people. 4/-having the power of speech that is persuasive. 5/-having a personality that delights other people. 6/-having clear faculties. 7/-having a mind composed and free from distractions. 8/-having no vanity. 9/-having a reddish, soft and thin tongue. 10/-having a well-proportioned body that is not too fat. 11/-having a body that is not too thin. 12/-a body that is not too short. 13/-a body that is not too tall. 14/-having the habit of speaking clearly and sweetly. This article was published on Thursday 02 April, 2009.

A Life Not To Be Wasted

o Lord of Men, make this human life fruitful by practising the Holy Dharma, for it is more difficult to obtain a human life from animal states than a tortoise to place his neck in the aperture of a wooden yoke which are in the same ocean. One should think how rare it is to obtain a human birth and the 18 opportune conditions which are necessary for the practise of dharma. It is said in sutra, "If the whole universe were an ocean in which there was a yoke being blown by the wind round and round the surface, and on the bottom of this ocean lived a blind tortoise which once every 100 years came to the surface, still it is more difficult for one to obtain a human birth than it would be for that blind tortoise to place it's neck through the opening in the yoke." No example exists which can illustrate the difficulty of obtaining a human life with the 18 opportune conditions. Hence human life should not be wasted, but should be used properly...{source-Nagarjuna's Letter to King Gautamiputra}.. certainly one should at least make the effort to develop the 4 noble qualities of love and kindness, equanimity, generosity, and mutual joy at other's happiness.... The 18 opportune conditions which are necessary to practise of dharma are; 1/-freedom from the realm of hells. 2/-freedom from the realm of hungry ghosts. 3/-freedom from the realm of animals. 4/-freedom from the realm of long lived gods. 5/-freedom from being a heretic. 6/-freedom from being a barbarian. 7/-freedom from being a fool. 8/-freedom from being where there is no teaching from an Illustrious One. 9/-to have gained a human birth. 10/-to have gained birth in a central realm where the sangha exists. 11/-possessing sound organs. 12/-to be free from actions which conflict with dharma. 13/-to have faith in the holy dharma. 14/-the advent of an Enlightened One into the world. 15/-the teaching of the pure religion. 16/-the continuance and stability of the pure religion. 17/-being a believer and follower of an Enlightened One's teaching, and 18/-having a loving and compassionate heart towards others. This article was published on Sunday 29 March, 2009.

The wrong questions

These 14 pronouncements which were declared by the Kinsman of the Sun to be inexpressible in the world are not conjusive to peace of mind, so do not speculate on them. One should not dwell upon the 14 erroneous views. These 14 are like a net which further entangles one in the defilements. These views are not conjusive to one's release from samsara as they obstruct one's path to nirvana. These are the 14 questions asked to, and unanswered by, the Kinsmen of the Sun, Lord Buddha.. 1/-Whether the universe is eternal , not eternal, both eternal and not eternal nor not eternal. 2/- whether the universe is finite, infinite, both finite and infinite, and neither finite and infinite. 3/- whether the Tathagata[Buddha] exists after death, does not exist after death, both exists and doesn't exist after death, and neither exists nor does not exist after death. 4/- whether the soul is identical with the body or different from it. Lord Buddha declined to answer these questions, because they are not well finished. A question does not merit an answer if the object of the query does not really exist. For instance, if one were to ask , "what is the size of the house on the planet Venus?".-{quote-Nagajuna's Letter to King Tamiputra.} This article was published on Friday 27 March, 2009.

Wisdom of Vivekananda

"Be you holy and, above all, sincere and do not for a moment give up your trust in God and you will see the light. Whatever is truth will remain forever, whatever is not , none can preserve. whatever others think or do, lower not your standard of purity, morality and love of God. No-one who loves god need fear any jugglery. Holiness is the highest and divinest power in earth and in heaven. truth alone triumphs, not untruth. Through truth alone is the way open to God.. This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive...The seeing of many is the great sin in the world. See all as Self and love all; let all idea of separateness go..Hold your money merely as custodian for what is God's. Have no attachment for it. Let name , fame and money go; they are a terrible bondage. Feel the wonderful atmosphere of freedom. You are free, free, free! Oh, blessed am I! I am the infinite! In my spirit I can find no beginning and no end. All is my self. Say this unceasingly.- Om Tat Sat Om!" This article was published on Wednesday 25 March, 2009

Jataka Tale 18-Matakabhatta Jataka-A Goat That Laughed and Wept

One day, while the Buddha was staying in Jetavana, some bhikkhus asked him if there was any benefit in sacrificing goats, sheep, and other animals as offerings for departed relatives. "No, bhikkhus," replied the Buddha. "No good ever comes from taking life, not even when it is for the purpose of providing a Feast for the Dead." Then he told this story of the past. Long, long ago, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Baranasi, a brahman decided to offer a Feast for the Dead and bought a goat to sacrifice. "My boys," he said to his students, "take this goat down to the river, bathe it, brush it, hang a garland around its neck, give it some grain to eat, and bring it back." "Yes, sir," they replied and led the goat to the river. While they were grooming it, the goat started to laugh with a sound like a pot smashing. Then, just as strangely, it started to weep loudly. The young students were amazed at this behavior. "Why did you suddenly laugh," they asked the goat, "and why do you now cry so loudly?" "Repeat your question when we get back to your teacher," the goat answered. The students hurriedly took the goat back to their master and told him what had happened at the river. Hearing the story, the master himself asked the goat why it had laughed and why it had wept. "In times past, brahman," the goat began, "I was a brahman who taught the Vedas like you. I, too, sacrificed a goat as an offering for a Feast for the Dead. Because of killing that single goat, I have had my head cut off 499 times. I laughed aloud when I realized that this is my last birth as an animal to be sacrificed. Today I will be freed from my misery. On the other hand, I cried when I realized that, because of killing me, you, too, may be doomed to lose your head five hundred times. It was out of pity for you that I cried." "Well, goat," said the brahman, "in that case, I am not going to kill you." "Brahman!" exclaimed the goat. "Whether or not you kill me, I cannot escape death today." "Don't worry," the brahman assured the goat. "I will guard you." "You don't understand," the goat told him. "Your protection is weak. The force of my evil deed is very strong." The brahman untied the goat and said to his students, "Don't allow anyone to harm this goat." They obediently followed the animal to protect it. After the goat was freed, it began to graze. It stretched out its neck to reach the leaves on a bush growing near the top of a large rock. At that very instant a lightning bolt hit the rock, breaking off a sharp piece of stone which flew through the air and neatly cut off the goat's head. A crowd of people gathered around the dead goat and began to talk excitedly about the amazing accident. A tree deva had observed everything from the goat's purchase to its dramatic death, and drawing a lesson from the incident, admonished the crowd: "If people only knew that the penalty would be rebirth into sorrow, they would cease from taking life. A horrible doom awaits one who slays." With this explanation of the law of kamma the deva instilled in his listeners the fear of hell. The people were so frightened that they completely gave up the practice of animal sacrifices. The deva further instructed the people in the Precepts and urged them to do good. Eventually, that deva passed away to fare according to his deserts. For several generations after that, people remained faithful to the Precepts and spent their lives in charity and meritorious works, so that many were reborn in the heavens. The Buddha ended his lesson and identified the Birth by saying, "In those days I was that deva." This article was published on Friday 20 March, 2009

dietary cancer therapy

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins 1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size. 2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime. 3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumours. 4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors. 5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system. 6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc. 7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs. 8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumour size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumour destruction. 9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications. 10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites. 11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply. WHAT CANCER CELLS FEED ON: a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt. b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells are being starved. c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer. d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). e. Avoid coffee, tea and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it. 12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrified and leads to more toxic buildup. 13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells. 14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause poptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells. 15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life. 16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells. This article was published on Wednesday 18 March, 2009.

Yantra

A Yantra is the abstract mathematical representation of the inner vision. Everything in nature can be experienced in it's original form, the yantra.Just as all forms of creation or matter are nothing but energy, so a yantra also contains inherent energy. Due to it's mathematical precision, it is a powerhouse of energy, and by visualisation and concentration on a yantra, one can induce the awakening of the equivalent energy within. A yantra creates a field off power that lives, breathes and moves with life, and within which the powers of the divine can be invoked. A yantra is composed of a combination of the basic primordial shapes. The focal point is always the centre, or bindu. Bindu is the point representing the seed form which creation has evolved and into which all will return, i.e. the process of creation and dissolution. It also represents the union of of the 2 dual principles of the universe, Shiva and Shakti, consciousness and energy. Bindu represents the state of their union preceeding creation. In meditation , the aspirant uses the external bindu of the yantra as a focal point of concentration. in order to experience the contraction of time/space within the bindu of the physical body. [source:Tattwa Shuddhi- Swami Satyasangananda] This article was published on Wednesday 11 March, 2009.

Opening the Eyes Blessing Ceremony

During the blessing ceremony an image is created with power and energy having undergone a 'life-giving process' that animates and transmits the life, efficacy and supernatural qualities of the ancient cult image to the new ones as the metal is poured or ceramic is composed. The magnificent images have special powers, energy and protective virtue, providing refuge. The monks by their recitations of the dharma and by their transfer of their spiritual virtues and energies as followers of the path, conduct the ritual consecration procedure and ceremony. This has the qualities of animating the image by 'opening the eyes ' whereby the Buddha or Deity will become immanent in the image'. The process involves a quantum leap and a uplifting stimulated emission of pure energy. In some ways similar to the creation of homeopathic medicines.....'Some monks have achieved the 'state of internal sitting' which enables him to achieve supra-normal mystic powers. By chanting and meditation, the monk is able to concentrate power and transmit it to the amulets or images thus opening the eyes of the image. With offerings,chanting of the dharma, and meditation on the astrologer's chosen day, the ancient image is bound with a sacred chord [which the monks will hold while chanting], and the life-giving rite is conducted. By forming a circuit consisting of joining the newly cast image to an existing sacralised historical and famous image by a chord such that the latter's energies and virtues can be transmitted to the former. The underlying logic of this is that there is a line of authenticated images which represent a line of likeness leading back to the original Buddha or deity. The 2nd circuit relates to the fact that the rite of 'charging with life' is conducted by monks, through whose hands the sacred chord of transmission passes and who by chanting and meditation, energise the image which takes place in the monastery at the auspicious moment'. Thus begins the 'cult of the amulets'... {edited source;'The Buddhist Saints of the Forest and the Cult of the Amulets'- This article was published on Saturday 21 February, 2009.