Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Earth is Hollow (video)

An introduction to the topic

The Untold War in the Antarctic Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
This video three-part investigation deserves full-format treatment. It took over 200 hours to research and compile the materials. These materials are not the images one sees in the video, which are only provided for the purposes of illustration, but the pieces of story itself.

They are all open source, accessible to the public, and independent from one another. However, to read them, one has to peruse through various languages. The elements are like a puzzle. After the facts are assembled, one sees a fascinating big picture.

These events took place six decades ago, but they are still able to steal the show. The story provides answers to some of the greatest mysteries of our times: the origin of UFOs, flying saucers, and polar anomalies.

Do advanced aliens really exist here? Is there a true paradise within the planet? Are the geophysics of Earth not what we were taught in school? Commander Byrd's experiences are food for thought to those able to keep an open mind.

This short film consists of three segments. There are two other videos to consider regarding the latest in "Hollow Earth News" at my website:

Micro black holes and strangelets created at CERN

Depression: Meditation or Medication?

Melissa Healy (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 10, 2010)
Preventing relapses is the real challenge (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

Depression increasingly looks to researchers and clinicians like, say, a psychiatric version of bronchitis or a heart attack. Some people come down with a case of it, have it treated (or not), and it goes away. But for a great number of patients, it's a chronic condition that must be treated when it flares. And after depression's acute symptoms subside, many patients need to manage the disease -- to continue with some kind of treatment -- to reduce the likelihood of experiencing repeated bouts of mental suffering.

And yet, Americans diagnosed with depression have a highly conflicted relationship with the notion of ongoing depression care. As a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry this week carefully documents, more Americans are being diagnosed with depression (in 2007, 2.88% of the U.S. population got a diagnosis of depression -- up from 2.37% a decade before).

But fewer and fewer of those patients get any kind of psychotherapy (43.1%, down from 53.6% in 1998), despite the fact that most say that would be their preferred form of treatment. Meanwhile, the majority of depressed patients are put on antidepressant medication (75.3% in 2007, just a hair up from 73.8% a decade earlier). But more than half typically abandon those prescription drugs as soon as their worst symptoms disappear, if not sooner. More>>

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Flying Yoga" and Julia Roberts

AntiGravity Yoga "Wings" class at Crunch Gym in West Hollywood, CA (crunchwatch)

We needed a break. So we left campus and headed east, past the ritzy Hollywood night club scene to trendy Crunch Gym. We were drawn by a new kind of flying yoga called "Wings." Most of us have been wanting to be able to levitate and fly for a long time. (The others prefer the power of invisibility). What we found was that hanging upside down like a bat in a stretchy cocoon of high tensile cloth is fantastic.

Crunch describes the future trend: "Stretch further and hold challenging postures longer using a flowing fabric hammock as your only prop. With the fabric as a soft trapeze, you'll learn simple suspension techniques to move into seemingly impossible inverted poses to relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe." Close your eyes and fly. Then go downstairs and take a regular yoga class to get grounded again. More>>

Why did we go? Julia Roberts isn't the only "Hindu." We're all Veda-reading India-loving yogis now (with or without knowing it), and as Buddhists we've gone even beyond that.

Hindu Julia Roberts models for Boticelli (who painted the "Birth of Venus") in a British commercial. Now housewives do yoga on Wii and buy icons of Shiva the Destroyer at Pier 1 Imports and T-shirts from Target emblazoned with the “OM” symbol.

From yoga to Julia Roberts, Hinduism goes mainstream
Brett Buckner (The Star Anniston Star, Jan. 29, 2011)
Julia Roberts shouldn’t be the icon conjured up when envisioning humanity’s oldest living religion. And yet the star of "Eat, Pray, Love" [the terrible movie, not the great book], about a woman’s spiritual journey through India and other places, became just that when she revealed that she, her husband, and their three children were Hindu.

Not since George Harrison [of the Beatles] introduced the world to Indian mysticism in the 1960s has the 6,000-year-old faith experienced such headlines.

Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, J.D Salinger [author of The Catcher in the Rye], pop star Katy Perry, and NFL running back Rickie Williams all practiced some form of Hinduism. Britney Spears had her 4-month-old son blessed in a Hindu temple. It was Gandhi who transformed the Hindu ideal of ahimsa, nonviolence toward all living beings, into a political and social movement that later inspired Martin Luther King Jr. More>>

What is Reality? (Zen)

This is real Zen -- a journey across Japan from small centers in Tokyo to enormous Zen monasteries on remote mountains. It is a look into the very private world of Zen mind -- the mind searching for enlightenment. (Shakuhachi flute by Christopher Yohmei).

New Jersey Does Not Exist, Part I
Charlotte Joko Beck (Everyday Zen, Chp. VII. Boundaries)

We assume that reality is as we see it and that it is fixed and unchanging. For example, if we look outside and see bushes, trees, and cars, we assume that we are seeing things as they are. But that's only how we see reality at ground level.

If we are in an airplane at 35,000 feet on a clear day and we look down, we don't even see people and cars. At that height our reality does not include people, though it will include mountain tops, plains, and bodies of water. As the airplane descends, our experience of reality changes. Not until the plane is almost on the Earth do we have a human landscape, including cars, people, and houses.

For an ant crawling along the sidewalk, human beings don't exist. They're too enormous for an ant. An ant's reality is probably the hills and valleys of the sidewalk. The foot that [accidentally] steps on an ant -- what is that to the ant?

In order for the reality we live in to function, we need it to operate in certain ways. To do this, we must be distinct from things around us -- from the rug under our feet or from another person across the room.

But a powerful microscope would reveal that the reality we encounter is not truly separate from us. At a deeper level we are just atoms and subatomic particles moving at enormous speed. There is no separation between us and the rug or another person: We are all just one enormous energy field.

"Zen" is a combination of Taoism, Mahayana (a school of Buddhism profoundly influenced by Brahminical Hinduism), and Shinto.

Recently my daughter showed me some photos taken from a microscope of white blood cells in arteries. These cells are scavengers whose function it is to clean up debris and unwanted material in the body. Inside the artery I could see the little creatures crawling along, cleaning by forming pseudopodia that extend toward their targets.

Reality for a white blood cell is not the reality we see. What is reality to such a cell? We can only observe its work, which is to clean. And right now as we sit here there are millions of these cells inside us, cleaning our arteries as best they can. Looking at successive photographs, one can see the work the cell is trying to do:

The cell knows its purpose.

We humans, with probably the most immense gifts of any creature, are the only beings on Earth that say, "I don't know the meaning of my life. I don't know what I'm here for."

No other creature -- certainly not the white blood cell -- is confused like that. The white blood cell works tirelessly for us; it's inside of us, cleaning as long as it lives. And of course that's just one of a 100,000 functions that take place within this enormous intelligence that we are.

But because we have a large brain ( we can function) we manage to misuse our native gifts and to do mischief that has nothing to do with the welfare of life.

Having the gift of thinking, we misuse it and go astray.

We expel ourselves from the Garden of Eden. We think not in terms of work that needs to be done for life, but in terms of how we can serve our separate self -- an enterprise that never occurs to a white blood cell.

In a short time its life will be over; it will be replaced by others. It doesn't think; it just does its work.

As we do zazen [sitting meditation] and more and more perceive the illusory nature of our false thinking, the state of natural functioning begins to strengthen. That state is always there, but it's so covered over in most of us that we simply don't know what it is.

We are so caught in our excitement, our depression, our hopes, and our fears that we cannot see that our function is not to live forever, but to live this moment.

We try in vain to protect ourselves with our worried thinking: We plot how we can make it nicer for ourselves, how we can be more secure, how we can perpetuate forever our separate self.

Our body has its own wisdom. It's the misuse of our brain that screws up our lives.

A while ago I broke my wrist and wore a cast for three months. When the cast was removed, I was touched by what I saw. My hand was just skin and bones, very feeble and trembling. It was too weak to do anything.

But when I got home from the hospital and started to do a task with my good hand, this little nothing of skin and bones tried to help. It knew what it was supposed to do. It was almost pathetic: This little skeleton, with no power, still wanted to help.

It knew its function. As I looked at it, it seemed to have nothing to do with me. The hand seemed to have its own life. It wanted to get in there and do its work. It was moving to see this little scarecrow trying to do the work of a real hand.

(emptymindfilms) This documentary is a rare opportunity to see the great archers of the Japan Kyudo Federation, Meiji Shrine in Shibuya.

If we don't confuse ourselves, we also know what we should be doing in life. But we do confuse ourselves:

We engage in odd relationships that have no fruits in them. We get obsessed with a person, or with a movement, or with a philosophy. We do anything except live our life in a functional way.

But with practice we begin to see through our confusion and can discern what we need to do -- just as my left hand, even when it couldn't function, still made an effort to contribute, to do the work that needed to be done.

When something really annoys us, irritates us, troubles us, we start to think. We worry. We drag up everything we can think of. And we think, and we think, and we think -- because that's what we believe solves life's problems.

In fact, what solves life's problems is simply to experience the difficulty that's going on and then to act out of that.

Suppose my child has screamed at me and told me I'm a terrible mother. What do I do? I could justify myself to her, explain all the wonderful things I did for her. But what heals that situation, really? Simply experiencing the pain of what's happened, seeing all my thoughts about it.

When I do that sincerely and patiently, I can begin to sense my child differently, and I can begin to see what to do. My action emerges from my experience. But we often don't do that with the problems of life. Instead, we spin with them. We try to analyze them or try to find who's to blame for them. And when we have done all that, we try to figure out an action.

That's backwards. We've cut ourselves off from the problem. With all our thinking, reacting, analyzing, we can't solve it. The blockage of our emotion-thought makes the problem unsolvable.

Peace is a decision

Dead Sea Scrolls; One World Currency

Natalie Zutter (
Dead Sea Scrolls fragment
The Scrolls will be available in English, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew (

Is having the Christian Bible on an iPad passé? Soon we'll be able to access a controversial document, once Google digitizes the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars and casual readers alike will have free, electronic access to the 2,000-year-old scrolls, which were discovered between 1946 and 1956 in the limestone caves carved into the cliffs of the wadi Qumran, on the Dead Sea.

One of the major debates surrounding the scrolls has been whether they clarify or alter tenets of Jewish history and the roots of Christianity. With the documents to be transcribed first in English and then in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek translations, new contention may arise surrounding whether digitizing a holy document robs it of its sacred nature. Source

Around the time of the iPad's arrival, blogger Cliff Holmes posted an interesting editorial to The Gospel Blog about his electronic interaction with the Bible and how his sons will probably never carry a Bible to Church. He discusses how readers will likely trade the tangible experience for a more nuanced [presentation] of the stories contained in it:

"The iPad and other digital devices have the potential to turn reading the Bible into an interactive [multimedia] experience. Imagine reading one of the Gospels and having the ability to see and hear an illustration of John baptizing Jesus or Jesus hanging on the cross. In my opinion that is much better than reading printed words on a page."

One World Currency?

This TruNews radio broadcast centers on Christian "conspiracy theory" talk about the coming New World Order and the monetary change over. Contact with extraterrestrial sources is contextualized in Christian terms:

If a contactee states he is literally in touch with the "holy spirit" -- or the "lord," a messenger ("angel"), vision, dream, "God," or any other -- it is simply saying he is in contact with a source calling itself that or interpreted that way. (For example, we know a girl who gets all her information from a "little bird" talking into her ear. Impossible? It's tweeted to her by iPhone when she logs on Twitter).

One need not buy into Christian lore to consider the validity of the information itself. It is unsolicited. In fact, everything being said seems to be planted by the secret sources they reference. If one dismisses the information because they are misnaming or misunderstanding sources, it will all sound like nonsense. But if one can get past the Biblical language, mythology, and pomposity, there is something here to consider.

What is being planned in Deep Underground Military Bases (DUMBs)? What programs are conceived, launched, and conducted from safe zones? We go so far as to say: Nothing happening to the world economy, American dollar, and Euro is unplanned. People scoff, "Why would we do this to ourselves, our economy?" Who? If one believes that all Americans work only for Americans -- that no one feels above it or more dedicated to corporation industry or the military -- then it's impossible. It can't be happening. But inner-group identity trumps nationality. Why would "we" spray ChemTrails?

New World Order

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Buddhist sets himself on fire (Tunisia)

Jessica Ravitz
In Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, self-ignition dates back more than 1,500 years. Thich Quang Duc publicly set himself on fire in Vietnam in 1963. Self-immolations are in the news again after Tunisian's act spawns copycats in Africa.

(CNN) Night had fallen when the men heard the sounds on the mountain. First it was a chime, then a recitation of verses, followed by the crackle of wood burning. They scrambled to the summit to see what was happening.

There, seated with his palms together and facing west, was their friend. Flames leapt around the peaceful man, engulfing him. It was just as he'd intended.

The year was 527.

This story of Daodu, a Mahayana Buddhist monk, is told in James Benn's Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism. Benn, an associate professor of religion at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, writes that the act of setting oneself on fire dates back in Chinese Buddhist tradition to the late 4th century.

But no matter how old, self-immolation still leaves people horrified, riveted, and moved.

The popular uprising that led to the toppling of Tunisia's government began after Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed 26-year-old college graduate, ignited himself in protest and died earlier this month. Since then, a wave of self-immolations has rolled through North Africa, with other incidents in Egypt, Algeria, and Mauritania. More>>

Then Tunisia, Now Egypt

An Egyptian anti-government activist runs to throw back a tear gas canister fired by riot police officers during clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) How Egypt shut down the Internet

The country has done what many experts once thought was impossible. Egypt's Web shut down - World markets sink - Eyewitness account

Fire in the Lotus Sutra
In Buddhism, the subject of self-immolation is controversial, said Robert Sharf, the chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Many (Buddhist) schools strongly condemn suicide," he said, "but at the same time, in East Asia, self-immolation has been practiced on and off for well over a thousand years."

Like most religions, he said, the canonical literature is so vast that, if you dig deep enough, you can find teachings to fit your needs.

Enter the Lotus Sutra, considered one of the most significant [Mahayana] Buddhist scriptures in East Asia. There's a small passage in one chapter that speaks of a Medicine King, one with great spiritual and moral wisdom.

"The sutra tells us that as an offering to the Buddha and to display his insight that the body is not a permanent, unchanging self, he poured fragrant oil on himself and allowed himself to be burned by fire," wrote Buddhist monk, author, teacher, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh is his book,

"Peaceful Action, Open Heart."

"This is a quite radical demonstration of his freedom and insight, one that was made out of a very deep love," he wrote.

And it was this part of the Lotus Sutra that Vietnamese monks and nuns pointed to when it came to self-immolation in the 1960s.

But people don't burn themselves to death "simply because the Lotus Sutra says to do it," emphasized UC Berkeley's Sharf. "While it is an extreme and contentious practice, some Buddhists regard it as the ultimate form of self-sacrifice, justified in times of social crisis to bring about political transformation."

As for the recent self-immolations in North Africa, As'ad AbuKhalil said they are about sought-after change, not about religion. More>>

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sex, Science, Spirituality, and the Sea

Ashley Wells (Wisdom Quarterly)

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka (

Science? Religion? Headache?
In another Jesus flare-up, Rob Knop posted his personal religious views, and the proverbial shytza hath hit thee fan. The science and spirituality debate is like a bad itch. Problems that result from self-identification stress the self part because, as Chris Rowan points out, the whole discussion is really about how individuals reconcile their personal views with physical reality. We only run into problems when we start trying to pigeon-hole everyone else. Personal beliefs? I do an end-run around the entire issue by avoiding labels as much as possible. Labels create attachment, and being overly tied to a category that doesn't necessarily have the same boundaries from person to person will inevitably lead to conflict. For instance, I like Buddhism. There's a lot of truth to be found in Buddhist philosophy, and I have a lot of respect for it. (Notice I specified Buddhist philosophy as opposed to Buddhist religion). Ironically, I consider myself a Buddhist precisely because I don't. I don't call myself a "Buddhist" because that would require that I form an attachment, which is something that I do not, in good conscience, want to do as a Buddhist. So by refusing to call myself a Buddhist, I become a better one! (Science types everywhere might be rolling their eyes, but I bet American-Buddhists are winking with a smile at the paradox). (Just Faith)
It’s probably a comment on the need of humans to create an abstraction, heap huge power on it, and then worship it, term it God, make it a religion. It’s an equally harsh but true indictment of the Chinese suppression of this expression. “One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure,” notes David Briggs in a well-researched piece in Association of Religion Data Archives. “And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion, and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study.” If despite all the coercion, 85% of the Chinese people hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion... More>>

Looking for sex online? Don’t download a PowerPoint presentation promising lessons on Kama Sutra positions -- or you might just end up with the digital equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). A new malware campaign is camouflaging its dangerous payload in the guise of a PowerPoint presentation showing 13 explicit Kama Sutra sexual positions, according to the security firm Sophos. With names like “The Frog,” “Wheelbarrow,” and “Lyons Stagecoach,” the PowerPoint is certainly not safe for work. Nor is it safe for your computer. Users whose curiosities are so aroused that they download the sexual slideshow -- titled “Real kamasutra.pps.exe" -- are taken to an actual presentation. So for the moment, things seem to check out. But while they’re viewing the provocative pornographic pics, a backdoor Trojan called “Troj/Bckdr-RFM” is hard at work, automatically and inconspicuously planting malicious software on the victim's system. Next time, read the book. Suckers: a Decade of Successful Internet Scams - Internet Filter Software Review - Security and Privacy Software Reviews

(SP01) The world's biggest garbage dump is a floating one twice the size of the USA.

"Tibet Roulette" - US plays Geopolitical Game with China
F. William Engdahl (Global Research/Cleverzone)
Here's a cartoon a Netizen posted on China’s most popular online forum, It conveys a clear message: The Dalai Lama is a puppet performing on the political stage, while the US government's CIA manipulates him from behind the scenes.

Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing. Fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at a sensitive time in their relations on the run-up to the Olympics. It’s part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration. It also includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in neighboring Burma, bringing US-led NATO troops into Darfur where China’s oil companies are developing potentially huge oil reserves. It includes counter moves across mineral-rich Africa. And it includes strenuous efforts to turn India into a major new US forward base on the Asian subcontinent to be deployed against China, though evidence to date suggests the Indian government is being very cautious not to upset Chinese relations.

NBC's "Today Show" coverage of the plastic problem in waterways and oceans

FREE TIBET - from the CIA (video)

Wisdom Quarterly and Dharma Lotus

"One World, One Dream: FREE TIBET"

Tibetans have practiced nonviolence for many generations. In 1959, the Communist Chinese government invaded Tibet and began the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet."

It is estimated that as much as half of the Tibetan population were killed or starved to death. Monasteries were bombed, many of the monks and nuns were executed. Only a handful of holy buildings were left standing. Its religious monarchy was forced into exile in neighboring India.

Tibet was never an idyllic place but a theocracy promoting poverty and slavery. The PR machine has us cheering on divisive CIA operations (

When traveling through Tibet, what seem to be ancient ruins are in fact monasteries. Everyone in Tibet has spent time at a monastery. Not everyone chooses to lead a monastic life permanently. But monasteries are schools where one learns a trade.

The Dalai Lamas were royalty, unquestioned politicians and spiritual heads of state. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was forced to flee Tibet. He now lives attempting to govern from Dharamsala, India.

The most famous building in Tibet, the Potala Palace in the capital, Lhasa, used to be his winter residence -- a monastic repository of ancient texts. Today it is a museum, and the few monks who live there are little more than caretakers.

While some suggest that the Tibetan people now have "religious freedom," they are strictly controlled by the Chinese. For example, it is illegal to fly the Tibetan flag in Tibet, and it is illegal to so much as possess a photograph of the Dalai Lama. But China says at least the people are no longer feudal serfs to Tibetan royalty.

But there's a whole other side to the story, and we can't "free Tibet" without knowing it.

What Tibet needs to be Free
Wisdom Quarterly
"The CIA in Tibet" reveals how US intervention in foreign affairs created the situation we have today. The way out is understanding what really happened not American PR or Chinese propaganda.

In failed attempts to control China and mediate relations between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and independent states throughout the region (formerly ruled by the British and Dutch), the CIA conducts secret and illegal operations as a matter of course. It has been going on for decades.

The Dalai Lama's popularity in America, particularly in Washington, is no accident: It is a PR success orchestrated and perpetuated as a hostile act towards China, itself also a notorious human rights abuser.

Tibetans may indeed love their former "god-king" (pope-president, saint-dictator) and greatly prefer him to Chinese abuses. But that is not to say that the Dalai Lama system of rich monastic politicians living in splendor on the backs of impoverished menials was a shangri-la for them.

The religious monarchy lost their shangri-la, and the Tibetans were forced to face the truth: They went from a bad situation to something worse.

Just as any population would prefer a dictator to chaos, Tibetans foolishly think the CIA or the US is interested in their welfare more than strategic American interests in the region.

But because Americans do not know the situation, and simply buy into the fairytale, they simply attack China as if only China were to blame. There are no fewer than three guilty parties: the CIA, Dalai Lama, and China. Why did Pres. Obama meet with the Dalai Lama?

The real Dalai Lama revealed (video)

We want a free Tibet. Let the Dalai Lama return. China has no business being on the plateau. China has no business engaging in human rights abuses or cultural genocide (due to Han-Chinese opposition to Tibetans, Uighurs, Taiwanese, or any other indigenous group). The CIA has no business destabilizing governments or installing operatives as US-backed dictators.

Research it. The story is out. It's unbelievable: The narrative we have been fed -- which has made us so angry at tyrannical China and portrayed pre-invasion Tibet as a Shangri-la, a mythical dreamland of spirituality, enlightenment, equality, and peace -- is wrong.

If the CIA is allowed to succeed, Tibet is doomed. It's an expendable pawn in a cold war with China, going from bad (pre-invasion) to worse (invasion) and even worse (post-invasion). It didn't take a Tibetan oracle to see what was to happen. But it has taken an honest historian to reveal the hard truth of what brought us to this point in history.

The Story behind the Dalai Lama's rule
Michael Parenti is an American historian, political scientist, and author. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. His works have been translated into at least 18 languages. His book The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome was selected as a Book of the Year for 2004 by Online Review of Books and Current Affairs.

  • "He [the Dalai Lama] headed a social system that was exploitative, terribly terribly unequal, and terribly brutal."
  • "You had a privileged priest class, living in utter luxury and opulence, and you had a mass of serfs living in utter misery."
  • "His holiness would tell you that he must return to power for the good of his people. In this case 'good' may translate to his people living in squalor and his government condoning slavery."
  • "As this State Department internal memo reveals, the Dalai Lama at one time took $180,000 a year from the CIA for his living expenses and $1.5 million a year from the spy agency to finance Tibetan guerrilla operations against the Chinese, which included, running a covert guerrilla training center in Colorado."

Richard Gere praising Bush with CNN's Wolf Blitzer

It's an abuse of Mahayana teachings (with messianic reincarnating political leaders) not seen since the exploitation of Christianity by imperial Roman rulers.

Like the "Holy Roman Catholic Church" ruled from the Vatican, the Lama system claims a "divine right" to rule Tibet as regent-kings given to them by extraterrestrial sky "gods."

It's a big deal dragging Buddhism into the mire of geopolitics.

But who will confront His Holiness, interestingly the name used for the pope, with the tough questions when Americans -- particularly influential Jewish-Buddhist-Americans often in the media -- line up to praise him while we demonize China and ignore the CIA's involvement?

Mutant Mosquitoes set Loose

( Malaysia has just unleashed 6,000 mutated mosquitoes into the wild in the hopes of thinning the population of disease-carrying parasites in their home country. A picture of the inevitable insectoid future:

Imagine waking to the unceasing sound of a dull but insistent whine, huddled atop a forgotten hill at the fringes of what was once civilization. Imagine an Earth whose plentiful fields have all been transformed, through decades of skeeter domination, into enormous, steaming swamps. Imagine the bloodsucking swarms drift like baleful clouds over the skies of the world's great cities, probing the ruined towers for survivors with their slime-slick proboscises.

And all because a country wanted to do something about a dangerous disease. The facts in the case are as follows: Malaysia intends for its 6,000 newest civil servants to help stop the spread of dengue fever... More>>
  • More (
Do you suffer from desire?
Buddhism teaches that [tanha, "craving"] is the root of all suffering, and... I’m in this bind when it comes to Buddhism.
Buddhist Artist Spotlight: Duncan Sheik
A practicing Buddhist, Duncan wrote a forward to the book The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life’s Questions and regularly works for human rights issues in Tibet and elsewhere.
Why "Women's Magazines" can s*ck it
I read the book Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn and it really resonated with me: this is the life I'm leading RIGHT NOW. Slow down, take things for what they are, and learn to celebrate the moment. You don't have to be an expert in mediation or Buddhism to appreciate that... Women aren't the only ones looking ahead (in fact, many women are scared of the future or commitment)...

Tragedies in Spaceflight

At 78 seconds after liftoff, this image shows Challenger's left wing, main engines (still burning residual propellant), and the forward fuselage (crew cabin) (NASA).
(FOX News/ The dangers of human spaceflight will be on many people's minds during the next week as NASA and the nation commemorate three space tragedies. Twenty-five years ago, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart less than two minutes after launch, killing all seven astronauts aboard. On Feb. 1, 2003, the shuttle Columbia and her seven-astronaut crew were lost during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. And on Jan. 27, 1967, a fire during a ground test killed three astronauts preparing for the Apollo I mission.

Fairytales, pseudo-science, conspiracy theories: There are no Nazis, there's no such thing as a "UFO," and to even say the word "aryan" is racist. Sure the government lies a little, sometimes, but they're just doing it to protect us.

Can anything be safe? When are they going to fix the planes, trains, and automobiles and make them completely harmless or at least a lot safer than they are now? More people die in a day on the highways than have ever died trying to get to space.

Like the world's nonexistent food shortage (there's currently more than enough, it's just a matter of allocating it to everyone in need), safety is a matter of ambition. Do we want it? Can we get it for the price we're willing to pay? Can we accept imperfection? We already launch stuff into space without rockets, fanfare, or wasteful consumption. (But that's a secret! And anyway, one would have to believe in Nazis and UFOs band lunar bases.) We already have unlimited sources of free energy. (But that's a secret, too! But one would have to believe in perpetual motion machines, cold fusion, space-time extractions, and physics not in the popular mind.)

So why would FOX News ask the question, Will human space flight ever truly be safe? To get us willing to spend more on space budgets in the name of safety? The Pentagon is siphoning off so much of the budget in secret black projects, plunging us into debt we can never legitimately pay off, that they must have a plan. (But that's secret, too!)

Magic Buddhist Monk of Cambodia (video)

(A.J. English) Scores of Buddhist-Animist-Brahminical Cambodians have been flocking to a temple on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh to visit a man they're describing as "the magic monk." Ven. Bin Sovann is [in 2007] a hugely popular 38 year-old Buddhist monastic, who claims to possess special healing powers and even the ability to exorcise spirits. Al Jezeera's Hamish Macdonald paid him a visit.

"Plastic Planet" (trailer)

"Plastic Planet" opens January 14, 2011 at the Cinema Village in NYC

( We live in the Age of Plastic. It's cheap and practical, and it's everywhere -- even in our blood. But is it a danger to us?

This feisty, informative documentary takes us on a journey around the globe -- from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the highest peaks of the Alps -- to reveal the far-flung reaches of our plastic problem and to find a solution.

Interviews with the world's foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to our environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects our bodies and the health of future generations. Original music by the ORB.

One word, my son: PLASTICS
(BBCWorldNewsAmerica) Plastic waste from around the world is collecting in unlikely places. BBC takes you on a virtual tour of a blue plastic bag. We start in all places, Midway Island in the center of the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Buddhism 101 ('s Roshi Albrizze, Alexandria II bookstore, Pasadena, Jan. 26, 2011[Roshi] Albrizze conducts weekly Zen meditation in Pasadena at PasaDharma, 7:00 pm Thursdays, Neighborhood Unitarian Church (

(Wisdom Quarterly) Alexandria II (Alexandria I is in ancient Egypt) bookstore is a spiritual mecca, like its West Los Angeles counterpart Bodhi Tree. These centers do a lot more than sell books. They offer spiritual services in a noncorporatized environment. The big chains in Pasadena are nice -- if one is looking for easy-to-find titles. But try asking for something from the Buddhist Publication Society.

Roshi Albrizze had the room spellbound with his honesty, authenticity, and humor as he moved from the Buddhist basics to the end of suffering in exactly 90 minutes: the Four Noble Truths, which culminate in the Noble Eightfold Path, Zen meditation, American Buddhism, and the urban quest for satori. A tattooed, bald, bearded rebel at heart, Jeff has studied at ZCLA and at times lived a monastic lifestyle undertaking retreats and sesshins in search of a sudden awakening.

His first epiphany came as a Catholic in recovery: He found that he needed something "truthier," something at the bedrock of that tradition, so he became an ardent student in search of Jesus as a Pentecostal preacher. And what he discovered after years of searching for truth was the Buddha. He then established PasaDharma. Find him weekly (Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm) at Pasadena's Neighborhood Church, a wonderful Unitarian Universalist sanctuary hosting multiple Buddhist programs.

"Jews Run Hollywood, So What? (

Sex Sells (PETA and MTV's "Skins")

PETA wants to sponsor MTV's controversial teen sex romp "Skins"

PETA has reportedly offered to sponsor MTV's controversial new show "Skins." Six companies have recently pulled their advertising from the series after the Parents Television Council called for a federal investigation into allegations that it breaks child pornography laws. However, The Hollywood Reporter says that PETA has now offered to air a 30-second commercial during the show. [Better to show skin than wear skins.] More>>

Wisdom Quarterly (COMMMENTARY)
Amber Dorrian
I remember a generation ago, the good ol' days, when you could find educational shows on MTV like "Undressed." No controvery, no such thing as high school sex, drugs, and rockin' techno. But back then Raves were a big thing as was experimentation.

Nowadays, "lesbian chic" is a fashion statement and PETA has much better ad campaigns. I think it's brave that they want to show skin to support "Skins" to turn public opinion against the cruel use of animal skins for fashion. (What a clown P. Diddy Puff Daddy Sean PP Combs was to promote fur).

What does anyone expect from MTV, the people who bring us "Jersey Shore"? It's all about ratings and money, not health and spiritual uplift. Any network that promotes "Cribs," crass commercialism, and annual Spring Break fantasies has to outdo itself somehow. Anyway "Skins" -- like "The Office" and "Survivor" and other big hits -- is just a copy of British program.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Discouraged Meditator and the Buddha

Wisdom Quarterly, Susan Elbaum Jootla Teacher of the Devas (

Easing into meditation like an ecstatic whirling dervish (Susykeys/

A deva named Kamada had been trying to follow the Buddha's teachings but found the task too demanding.

He was dispirited, even a little depressed, as human meditators sometimes feel when no apparent "progress" can be seen in our practice and we begin losing sight of the long-term perspective.

Discouraged, Kamada complained to the Buddha about how difficult it is to practice the Dharma.

The Buddha, taking a positive approach, did not coddle or comfort the deva. Instead, he praised recluses who leave the household life to work steadfastly towards the goal of happiness and a final end of all suffering:

"O Kamada, they do even what is difficult to do,
The trainees who are well composed in virtue,
Steadfast in their hearts.
For one who has entered the wandering life,
There comes contentment that brings happiness."

Kamada remained disconsolate insisting on the difficulties:

"Blessed One, it is hard to win this serene contentment!"

The Buddha emphasized that some beings do it, explaining that they are those "who love to achieve the mastery of the heart, whose minds both day and night, love to meditate."

But many people meditate without becoming enlightened or even coming close to enlightenment.

It is not meditation itself that frees hearts and minds from obstructions. It is meditation on the universal characteristics of change, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness that leads to the ultimate contentment. Practicing to know-and-see these three universal characteristics leads to detachment from worldly concerns.

Kamada continued to complain, stressing that it is hard to compose the mind.

The Buddha gently agreed that the task of balancing the mind -- as opposed to either straining it or slacking off -- is not easy and added:

"Yet that which is hard to compose, they compose it." And calming their restless minds, they attain the stages of enlightenment, realization, and awakening.

Still the deva Kamada complained: "The path is impassable and uneven, Blessed One!" It was as if he were craving some magic to make everything easy.

Buddhas, unlike magicians, teach in a different way. They point, show, instruct, and rouse listeners to make effort. Happiness is not the goal; happiness is the way! Passing through successive stages of bliss (jhana), one enters upon the path of insight (vipassana).

No happiness along the way can match nirvana. But we ourselves -- whether we are light beings or fortunate humans -- must put forth the energy to practice the path. Liberation takes consistent, persistent, diligent effort: not straining, not slacking, but always balancing.

The light being Kamada complained some more because training the mind seemed like an endless task. And the Buddha continued to encourage him:

"Though the path is impassable and uneven,
The noble ones walk along it, Kamada.
The ignoble fall head first,
Fall down on the uneven path.
But the path of the noble ones is even,
For the noble are even amidst the uneven" (KS I, 68-69; SN 2:6).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

UFOs on Los Angeles radio

(LINK: goharrison)

Finally, a serious look at the Disclosure Project with Dr. Steven Greer: drivetime KPFK DJ Cary Harrison ( interviewed Greer at Sundance for today's broadcast. Today's show follows on the heels of a rare interview with the maker of "Zeitgeist: The Movie" series
  • Go Harrison, MTW 3:00-4:00 pm (90.7 FM)
  • All shows archived at
Dr. Greer is deeply embedded in the US space program, SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), and the disclosure of secret (or "black budget") semi-governmental projects. The word "semi" here is important because the government sponsoring these things is not the one we elect or think of as our "government." Top officials, the face of government, are not briefed and are in fact denied access if they try to probe what is happening. Greer, who is outside the government, has briefed many presidents including Obama.

(Jagbodhi) Project Camelot interviews Dr. Steven Greer (review before watching). This is not a conventional interview. Rather, it is a frank and contentious debate. To hear Greer uncontested, visit his website ( This interview is purposeful and unapologetic.

Clinton stated this famously when he referred to the White House as the "crown jewel of the federal prison system," according to Dr. Greer. Theories that reference government secrecy are not referring to all government, just portions of it that siphon off enormous amounts of money to keep the "military-industrial complex" awash in taxpayer funded funds.

Wisdom Quarterly has been pushing the envelope for years reporting on the UFO phenomenon from both a scientific and spiritual perspective. The Buddha talked about it constantly -- it seems to have been taken for granted in the ancient world -- but the understanding of it has been completely mythological rather than literal.

It is hard to find a Buddhist monk or nun who will publicly claim to believe in devas (lit. "shining ones," light beings, extraterrestrials), gandharvas (messengers of the devas), or nagas (reptilians, dragons, hybrid, shapeshifters). It is impossible to escape the existence of devas and unseen beings of all kinds.

So we have made it mythology and preserved it. Wisdom Quarterly believes it is literally true, however much it has been blown to mythical proportions. Fortunately, the mythology is committed to spiritual texts, arts, and histories worldwide in very different religious traditions.