Sunday, February 19, 2017

This is where I stand. Period.

DO NOT JUST FORWARD THIS, PLEASE!
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This is where I stand. Period.

I make no apologies to any or all of my FB friends for this. I know some are tired of political postings and rants. But apart from posts of recipes, grandchildren, meals, flowers, dogs, travel pictures,and drama, and even beautiful expressions of spiritual beliefs, FB is (until it gets taken away) a vehicle to express our outrage at how far our country has currently fallen on the humanitarian scale.

To me, FB is a useful vehicle for my passion and activism. The fevered Ego currently occupying our White House, his power hungry cronies taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all the people I love.

And unless you are worth billions of dollars, they are a threat to you and your life, too.
So I will resist and I will be part of the resistance, and proud of it. If you can join in or hang with it, fine. But if not, then you probably need to unfriend me now. I refuse to "play nice" in the face of what these people are doing. Our country's well-being demands that we stand and resist.

Some people are saying that we should give #45 a chance, that we should "work together" with him because he won the election and he is "everyone's president." This is my response:

•I will not say #45's name.
•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years...
•I will not "work together" to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid or repeal the ACA.
•I will not "work together" to build a wall.
•I will not "work together" to persecute Muslims.
•I will not "work together" to shut out refugees from countries where we destabilized their governments, no matter how bad they might have been, so that we could have something more agreeable to our oligarchy.
•I will not "work together" to lower taxes on the 1%.
•I will not "work together" to increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
•I will not "work together" to help #45 use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his cronies.
•I will not "work together" to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
•I will not "work together" to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
•I will not "work together" to enable the killing in any way of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.
•I will not "work together" to remove civil rights from anyone.
•I will not "work together" to waste trillions more on our military when we already have the strongest in the world.
•I will not "work together" to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
•I will not "work together" to slash funding for education.
•I will not "work together" to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
•I will not "work together" to allow torture and "black op" prison sites.
•I will not "work together" to "take their oil."
•I will not "work together" to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
•I will not "work together" to eliminate the minimum wage.
•I will not "work together" to support so-called "Right To Work" laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
•I will not "work together" to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that #45 and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
•I will not "work together" to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
•I will not "work together" to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
•I will not "work together" to put even more "big money" into politics.
•I will not "work together" to violate the Geneva Convention.
•I will not "work together" to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
•I will not "work together" to deny health care to people who need it.
•I will not "work together" to increase the profits of the insurance companies.
•I will not "work together" to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of an alleged or actual "pre-existing condition."
•I will not "work together" to increase voter suppression.
•I will not "work together" to normalize tyranny.
•Iwill not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government.
•I will not "work together" with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
•I will not "work together" with #45 or anyone who supports him, because I will not allow one man to feed upon the fears of the populace, blaming minorities for their condition or their inability to thrive.
This is the line, and I am drawing it.
•I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
•I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN for what's really so dangerous about #45, his friends and the Big Lie they spin to the world:
That "winning", "being great again", "rich" or even "beautiful" is anything more than nothing... When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.
PS: If you agree, please copy and re-post (we understand this results in larger numbers of people seeing a post), and if you can, sign your name below ours. Also, if we have left anything out, feel free to add it to this list.
Consider this an opportunity to make a declaration of commitment, in becoming part of The Resistance.


Signed:

Patricia Rollins Trosclair
Andrea Dora Zysk
George Georgakis
John Christopher
John Bowles
Patrick St.Louis
Carla Patrick
Darnell Bender
Vickie Davis
JMichael Carter
Janice Frazier-Scott
Rev. ELaura James Reid
Jeanette Bouknight
Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey
Gerald Butler
Carolyn McDougle
Vaughn Chatman
Adrienne Brown
Gary Trousdale
Steven E Gordon
Isis Nocturne
Debi Murray
Maureen O. Betita
Mona Enderli
Fernie James Tamblin
Myrna Dodgion
Alan Locklear
Tom Wilmore
Jackie Evans
Donna Endres
Lora Fountain
Roberta Gregory
Heather A Mayhew
Stevo Wehr
Nathan Stivers
Jen RaLee
Joan Holden
Leigh Lutz
Deborah Kirkpatrick
Linda Levy
Tom Rue
Nancy Hoffmann-Allison
Beejay McCabe
Michael James Myers
Edward T. Spire
Rupert Chapman
Dawn R. Dunbar
Robin Wilson
Monique Boutot
Laura Brown đŸ’ȘđŸŒ
Susan Aptaker
Steve Katz
Bonnie Wolk
Risa Guttman-Kornwitz
Angela Gora
Butch Norman
Sharon Tolman
Sue Zislis
Maurice Hirsch
Satch Dobrey
Jim Krapf
Don Starwalt
Deb Johansen
Daniel Anderson
Tim Roda
Helen o Leary
Kyle Staver
Sharon Clabo
Mary Proenza
Jamie Trachtenberg
Sherry Jo Williams
Julie Chase
Alexa Grace
Dreama Kattenbraker
Deborah G Rogers
Sharon Pierce McCullough
Laura Phillips Dollieslager
Lynnette Fitch Brash
Robin van Tine
Richard Hill
John Paul Jones
Sharon Van Schaik Kale
Anita Jagt
Gail Kent
Suzanne Hershey Ford
Erin Gall
Ezilda Samoville
Daniel Clark Orey

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Via Ram Dass


You gotta remember that the ego is built on fear. It’s not built on love; it’s built on fear. It’s built on the fear of non-survival, and so you build a structure in order to make you safe. And it’s beautiful instrument, but if you’re identified with it, you’re fearful all the time. And because you’re fearful you’re always going to overcompensate and make ego decisions that are a little inappropriate, because they’ll be colored by your looking from inside this place.

When you’re outside of it you see that you use your ego as you need to to make decisions. You come back into sombody-ness. You and I are meeting back here behind this dance that we’re doing which is charming and fascinating. And that’s really the beauty of playing with the ego and the higher consciousness. And it’s only when those two planes work that the ego becomes really functional, okay?


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 02/19/17

“Life has its mysteries. One of these great mysteries is the way a romantic partner shows up in our lives. The understanding of this mystery can only be understood if we are open to the adventure of knowing ourselves through the other. We need to really get to know the other understanding how they act and function. We also need to be willing to reveal ourselves to the other. This adventure is only possible through love. Love is what opens the doors to this mutual revelation which unveils the great mystery of life.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Graceful Suffering:

There is grace in suffering. Suffering is part of the training program for wisdom.

—Ram Dass, "America’s Guru"

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 02/18/17

“We have enough proof that our chosen model for society in which we live has failed. This model may have been effective at some point in our history, but no longer serves us today. This materialistic model based on the frenetic search for money and social recognition ignores the spiritual dimension of life and feeds competition, falseness and cruelty. As individuals and as a society, we find ourselves frustrated and tired, imprisoned by fear. Based on the belief that happiness comes from outside of ourselves, we stop doing what we really want to do in order to please the other. Thus we move further and further away from our essence and purpose. This is the root of our failure.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Creating Our Own Suffering:

In short, it’s our reactivity that generates dukkha, keeping us agitated and therefore unable to contemplate the actual, direct, here and now experience of it.

—Thanissara, "The Grit That Becomes a Pearl"

Friday, February 17, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 02/17/17

“The moment arrives in the evolutionary journey when your heart is full of joy and love. You feel so filled that you naturally desire to share this with others. However, this phenomenon can’t be pre-meditated or controlled because it is a flowering. When you are in this state, no effort is needed to share because you are simply overflowing with these qualities.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / Making Space

Like a forest fire, anger tends to burn up its own support. If we jump down into the middle of such a fire, we will have little chance of putting it out, but if we create a clearing around the edges, the fire can burn itself out. This is the role of meditation: creating a clearing around the margins of anger.

—Mark Epstein, "I’ve Been Meditating for Ten Years, and I’m Still Angry. What’s the Matter with Me?"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love / Flower of the Day: 02/16/17

“You can only give that which you already have. When you are afraid of losing love, you force yourself to give that which you don’t have. This false giving creates a series of psycho-emotional and physical illnesses. True charity or selfless service is putting love in movement that is not manufactured  and has already been illuminated by awareness and comprehension. You can try to pretend to be charitable and in service, but the only one you fool is yourself.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / The Achievement of Altruism:

According to the scriptures, the mere inclination to generate bodhicitta thus shows a certain degree of spiritual evolution and maturity.

—Karma Trinlay Rinpoche, "What We’ve Been All Along"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Via Ram Dass

 
We don't need to wait until we are enlightened before we act in the world, and we don't need to withdraw from the world to become enlightened. Conscious social action can be our own work on ourselves that becomes the vehicle for our awakening.


Via Sri Prem Baba – Awaken Love/ Flower of the Day: 02/15/17

“Often, you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do just to please the other and thereby getting some of their energy. Many times, you do seva or service only to please me. In this case, you have not understood what I have been transmitting. I don’t want blind followers. I don’t want robots doing things mechanically. What I want is for you to be free to follow your heart. When you work in order to experience freedom and happiness, self-less service will flower naturally.”
Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma / For All Sentient Beings

Without bodhicitta, there can be no enlightenment. And all of us—no matter who we are and what we have done—hold this seed of bodhicitta within ourselves.

—The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, "No Easy Answers"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Seeing Another

When you’re not entrapped by another person’s appearance or behavior, you can see behind all that to a deeper level of their being because your mind has tuned itself; you’ve shifted your focus just that little bit to see their soul. That soul quality is love.

—Ram Dass, "Tuning the Mind"

Via Tricycle/ Rama Dass: Tuning the Mind


When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a whole range of reasons we get together and ways we interact. Some are transactional, but the deeper impulse of every human relationship is to evoke the love and oneness that unites us. But what actually happens is that many relationships reinforce our separateness because of our misperception of ourselves as separate beings, and because of our desire systems, which are based in separateness or ego. Relationships only work in a spiritual sense when you and I really see that we are one.  
Relationships and emotions can reinforce our separateness, or they can be grist for the mill of awakening. When it comes to love relationships, we are like bees looking for a flower. The predicament is that the emotional power of loving somebody can get you so caught in the interpersonal melodrama that you can’t get beyond the emotion. The problem with interpersonal love is that you are dependent on the other person to reflect love back to you. That’s part of the illusion of separateness. The reality is that love is a state of being that comes from within. 

The only thing you really ever have to offer another person is your own state of being. When you’re not entrapped by another person’s appearance or behavior, you can see behind all that to a deeper level of their being because your mind has tuned itself; you’ve shifted your focus just that little bit to see their soul. That soul quality is love.
From Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart by Ram Dass. © 2913 Love Serve Remember Foundation. Reprinted with permission of Sounds True. www.soundstrue.com

Make the jump here to read the original and more

Peter FĂ€llmar Andersson: This is how we let Hans Rosling rest in peace


Hans Rosling, 1948-2017.
This is a translated version of an article first published on February 12th, 2017. Read it in Swedish here.
Hans Rosling was said to be unable to deliver bad news.
That is a misconception.
Three years before passing away, he remarked that the one thing that had surprised him the most during his tenure as a global educator was that he became so famous – despite having so little influence over people’s real knowledge. He realized he was stuck in ”persona hell”, and that people remained ignorant at a level worse than random guessing when they took Gapminder’s tests. Not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of ”an actively upheld ignorance”.
He had discovered that people actively had set their minds to remaining ignorant.
Hans Rosling had devoted decades to try to throw out our Tintin-like perspective, but kept on having to say ”wrong, wrong, wrong” when the Swedish people answered the question of how many children are born per woman in Bangladesh.
So how do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he sometimes swallowed swords in a heavy metal style tank top.
And by remembering that mothers in Bangladesh no longer give birth to five children on average, nor four, but TWO POINT TWO children.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he got more clicks than Lady Gaga online.
And by remembering that 80 percent of the children of the world now have access to the most important and most cost efficient of all vaccines: the one for measles.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that Time Magazine put him on some list.
And by remembering that Hans Rosling was certain that the world, if it got it’s act together, can reach the goal that the United Nations set for the year 2030: to exterminate extreme poverty for everyone, everywhere.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he was a ”data rock star” at the lecture network website Ted.
And by remembering that life expectancy globally has skyrocketed, and now averages 72 years.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting false quotes, distributed by people who want everything for the world but Rosling’s humanism.
And by remembering that he spoke of the refugees on the Mediterranean by saying: ”Send a ferry to help them over, instead of saving them when they are about to drown”.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By forgetting that he once competed in ”PĂ„ spĂ„ret”, one of Sweden’s oldest and most popular game shows.
And by remembering that Hans Rosling, the man, was a result of a political struggle that created a nation built on social security, that made it possible for him – who grew up in a home without a flushable toilet – to be the first in his family to study at a higher level. His dad worked in a coffee factory, his mother as an assistant at a library. And that he, thanks to that same nation state, was able to receive his first cancer treatment as a father of small children, at age 30. And that the treatment gave him another 38 years to live.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
By – hesitantly – forgetting that he once turned some colleagues down when they wanted him to take part in a student comic theater celebration: ”got no time. gotta stop ebola. get something online.”
And by remembering that Hans Rosling sometimes was mistaken, or drew the wrong conclusions.
How do we let Hans Rosling rest in peace?
Perhaps by following his example, and whisper a quick ”thank you” when turning on the water faucet, to get clean, fresh, healthy water.
In the spirit and hope of his heavenly harmony, may we finally understand what his Lego blocks, his graphical bubbles and Swenglish accent were all about:
We hold our destiny in our own hands.
Translation from Swedish: Andreas Ekström
Make the  jump here to read the original here

Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan: A queer vision of love and marriage


Monday, February 13, 2017

Via Daily Dharma / Inanimate Inspiration

Disgusting things get thrown on the earth, but the earth isn’t horrified by them. When you make your mind like the earth, neither agreeable nor disagreeable sensory impressions will take charge of it.

—Thanissaro Bhikkhu, "The Joy of Effort"

 

Via Tricycle / Spiritual but Not Religious Exploring a growing cultural phenomenon that is here to stay



In this special section from the Spring 2017 issue of Tricycle, religion scholars, journalists, and laypeople share their thoughts on a phenomenon that is here to stay: the rising number of people who identify as spiritual, but not religious.

As Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University William B. Parsons says in his introduction:

“During a year of research among the religiously unaffiliated, for example, the American writer Kaya Oakes encountered many more people who dip in and out of various Buddhist traditions than people who actually identify as Buddhists. To help with background, historian Matt Hedstrom sheds some light on little-known Protestant educational trends that may have paved the way for contemporary mindfulness. Religious studies scholar Andrea Jain offers an example from the world of yoga that parallels some of the strongest critiques—familiar to Tricycle readers—of spirituality as a consumer product. And finally, Diane Winston, a journalist and historian of religion, relates her experience teaching an undergraduate class in which students seem neither religious nor spiritual.”

Table of Contents:

SBNR: Past and Present, with William B. Parsons
The Case of Bikram Yoga, with Andrea Jain
Scientific Spirituality, with Matthew Hedstrom
Two Sides of the Same Coin, with Diane Winston