Friday, August 19, 2016

What does the term "Satyagraha" mean?

Satyagraha is an interesting term. Satya means purity of motive generally, but the root term sat refers to a foundation or a base, or more abstractly a principle. Satya then refers to a purity of context that comes from the disinterested and selfless motive of dedication to God.

Contrast that with "graha" then! We actually have that word in English from the same root language: our version is "grab". To grab and graha both refer to a hand motion in practical life, such as working at the weaving loom or digging in the fields (activities which Gandhi taught as expressions of satyagraha), but it also refers, again more abstractly, to the way the mind grasps, the grabbing act of the mind. (Here mind is referred to as the sixth sense organ, not the so-called higher mind).

So when we put the term Sanskrit words together into "satyagraha" we get the peculiar idea of "grabbing hold of purity of motive", or perhaps "grabbing hold of a pristine context of selfless actions" more generally. The real world of working with one's hands is used to grasp the spiritual dimensions of purity of motive and selflessness.

I think the inference of Satyagraha is very personal to Gandhi: by working for the Indian people selflessly he was practicing this action of grasping for purity. His inner work and outer work were joined together vitally and expressed a sublime purity that brought about the end of colonialism and the defeat and deconstruction of the British Empire. The fact that Gandhi worked practically as a lawyer, a speaker, a shoe maker, a weaver, and a food preparer for the Indian people was the physical expression of his pure motives; the reality that he was a Self-realised saint was the inner unfolding of his selfless karma yoga in service to the Indian people and to Divinity.

So it is a remarkable term, significant and personal, that Gandhi uncovered in Satyagraha.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

On Sickness: A Change Me Prayer.

Lord, change me

So that sickness and difficulty may
Be an opportunity to bless the lives of others.

So that I may by my experiences bless
all humanity forever
With the gift of your peace, your joy,
And your transcendent Goodness.

Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Prayer of Surrender by Thomas Merton




THE PRAYER OF SURRENDER, by Thomas Merton

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going. 

I do not see the road ahead of me. 
I cannot know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know myself 
and the fact that I think that I am following your will 
does not mean that I am actually doing so.


But I believe that desire to please you 
does in fact please you. 
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. 
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.


And I know if I do this, you will lead me through the right road 
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always 
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. 
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, 
and you will never leave me to face peril alone.

The Path of Consideration, by Mark Houston.


If a blind man leads a blind man, 
then you’re both going in the ditch…

One of the things that I’ve learned 
(along my way in Alcoholics Anonymous) 
is that 

when you ask me a question 
there’s a part of me called my ego
that uses an answer 
to not consider anything. 

I would use an answer to not consider anything. 



And I’ve learned what I call 
the path of consideration, 
and that is that, today, 
when I am asked a question about the spiritual life, 
(which is something I gotta live, I can’t theorise about)

I have to sit with that 
and ask God to let me consider that 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What is Traditional Chinese culture?

What is Chinese culture? Culture is the soul of a nation.

Chinese culture has been destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party 100 years ago. This short review I will try to summarise the essential key elements of traditional Chinese culture, the true China. I am a beginning student so please bear with me in these notes.

Traditional Chinese culture has produced majestic achievements of philosophy, arts, literature and science. The Chinese Communist Party's systematic destruction of Chinese culture is an unpardonable crime. As Mao Tse Tung said, he follows neither the Tao nor the Will of Heaven.

The founding myths of Chinese history include Pangu's creation of the heaven's and earth; Neuwa creation of humanity; Sundi creation of Chinese characters; Shewangs listing of countless herbs.

The other founder of the Chinese culture is the mythical emperor Wang, who also founded Daoism.

Confucius taught about how to live in mundane life; Buddha's teachings brought compassion and salvation to China in the first century AD. Buddhism and Daoism established the macrocosmic understanding of the human life and body. All aspects of Chinese life is penetrated by these teachings including divination. 

Confucianism on the other hand focused on the mundane world, and is profoundly influenced by Daoism. Confucianism starts with family ethics, teaching that filial piety and brotherly love the foundation of benevolence. Filial piety can be naturally extended to social morality and government. 

Kung said "It is seldom that a person with filial love and brotherly love will be inclined to offend those above."

Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism offer the Chinese people a very stable system.

The four most renowned novels in Chinese culture exemplify this high moral level.
- The first book, Journey to the Western, concerns moral cultivation told as a pilgrimage.
- A Dream of Red Mansions, the second book, explains predestined relationship through a tragic love story.
- The third book, Outlaws of the Marsh, talks about how a hundred warrior spirits are released who turn into Robin Hoods and rob the corrupt in society. 
- The fourth book, The Three Kingdoms, shows the inevitability of God's Will and fate.
The use of myths show how Chinese culture uses popular images. When thinking about moral ideas, Chinese intellectuals naturally think about these novels.

Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism all inspire people to return to kindness.

Popular operas have been important ways to bring good morals to the Chinese people. The great integrative power of Chinese culture is indicated by the way ethnic minorities gained power and then became assimilated into traditional Chinese teachings.

Then came the Chinese Communist Party, which taught "struggle against heaven and earth and mankind", and destroyed traditional Chinese culture.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

101 Ways to Happiness, Success, and Peace with Doctor David R. Hawkins

‎101 ways to Happiness by D. Hawkins



1. Source is within, not without.

2. Want what you have, instead of have what you want […] including your own existence. All that it takes to be happy is the fact that you are. Be satisfied with the fact that you are. Be happy with what you have.

3. Happiness is an inner decision.'''

4. Give up the ‘poor me’.

5. Choose instead of crave, want, desire, or get. “Dear God I seem to be the victim of this insatiable craving. Please help me.” Be willing to surrender to God.

6. Surrender all cravings to God. Love of God becomes all you want. Pray.

7. Joie de vivre is independent of events. It is an attitude and a superior “style” of life. In human life, there is no winning or losing. Celebrate your own existence. Joy of life, helping others.

8. Is it the child, adult, or parent (in you) that wants? Happiness = bubbling over and active child, integrated adult, and totally loving and accepting parent. DH: When I was 12, my mom made me wear rubbers to school when it rained. This embarrassed me. I hid the rubbers in the shrubs on way to school and then put them on again on the way home. Happiness is hiding your rubbers in a shrub! DH: I went to internist, came home and the parent came up in Susan, “You didn’t wear that undershirt with the hole in it, did you?!

9. Differentiate actual from symbolic win or gain.

10. Differentiate narcissistic (“rich and famous”) from mature goals.

11. Be pleased with the direction and alignment instead of just completion. Be pleased with where you are, rather than “I’ll be happy when I reach the goal.”

12. Practical reality vs. fantasy and glamor of “success”.

13. Choose decision instead of just hope. Write down your goals for this life. One goal: “Be happy no matter what happens. Be pleased with the direction of life. Be uplifting to others or enlightenment – not how far along you are on the path because it’s anybody’s guess. Where you are is the result of your own decision, so you can‘t blame anyone. No matter which way you go, there are risks involved. Life is a sequence of roles.

14. Be flexible vs. rigid. The reed bends with the current.

15. Cancel ‘...and then I’ll be happy.’

16. Let go of clutching and grasping.

17. Clarify goals and ideals.

18. Realize that all value is arbitrary.

19. Happiness is a nap on a train or plane. Being happy is fulfilling your human potential.

20. Live one day at a time. If you don’t have a problem, get one so that you can join a 12 step group. They are happier than other people.

21. Happiness is a cat’s purr or a dog’s wagging tail.

22. '''Differentiate faith vs. skepticism (narcissism). The skeptic has faith in his skepticism.

23. Show gratitude for what you have and are.

24. Differentiate nonattachment vs. craving. Pick something you think you need for happiness and get detached from it.

25. Is the glass half full or half empty?

26. Differentiate spiritual vs. material goals. Searching for truth in all of its expressions is one of the most advanced states of consciousness.

27. Surrender to God’s will. Spiritual wisdom evolves. For some people, shooting the enemy is God’s will. For others, God’s will is not shooting.

28. Allow the capacity to let go. This capacity is infinite. It’s not that you can’t let go, but that you won’t.

29. Be pleased with progress.

30. Avoid self-judgment. Recognize the internalized parent, Freud’s super-ego, the inner judge. Have your inner child alive and well, and sometimes you have to sit on your inner child. DH: My sister and I would go on street car. Mom had told us to stay in our seats. I was ‘good’ and she was ‘bad’ because she would be running up and down the aisle. For me happiness was being “good,” for her happiness was being “bad.”

31. “Good” vs. “Bad” are circumstantial.

32. “Win” is provisional.

33. Differentiate simplicity vs. complexity.

34. Have realistic expectations of life, others, events. In politics, don’t judge the world by your values, don’t expect a lot!

35. Value is in the eye of the beholder.

36. Give up your skepticism.

37. Nurture a sense of humor.

38. Accept karmic propensity. It's not causality but likelihoods.

39. See essence rather than perception.

40. Be jocular instead of morose.

41. Show good will regarding all of life.

42. Differentiate easy-going vs. rigid.

43. Reduce your expectations.

44. Be generous instead of stingy. Generosity is an attitude, not money. Good will is noticed by all of life.

45. Modify your inner voice.

46. Be gracious to self and others.

47. Surrender the need to control. DH: My truck broke down on Cloverleaf in the middle of a strange place. A stranger came by to remove the tire, took it to be fixed, brought it back and put it back on. “That was my good karma savings account.” (Calibrated as TRUE) “There are angels in bodies.” (Calibrated as TRUE)

48. Let go of desire for applause.

49. Be glad instead of mad.

50. Choose acceptance instead of resistance.

51. Be generous instead of stingy.

52. Be candid with self and others. Be honest.

53. Silence the mind.

54. Give up thinkingness. Thinkingness is an energy field which can be transcended. Stop calling it ‘my’ mind. Everybody’s gotta speak their mind on TV, and they think that’s a step forward! Anybody can babble! I don’t care what the man on the street thinks, he learned it on TV yesterday. Narcissistic egotism. Knowingness comes about nonlinear. It is certainty. It emerges without thinking about it.

55. Be forgiving instead of vindictive. Forgive. You don’t have to get even because karma is inevitable.

56. Work on inner traits instead of external ones.

57. It only takes a bone to make a dog happy. It’s the small things of life! All it takes is a sip of soda, of espresso.

58. Sing, Don’t worry, be happy! in mind.

59. Choose spiritual values and goals. You feel inner gladness about the goodness of life. What’s the purpose of the world? It’s here for YOU. This is not egocentric. Out of Divine intention, that which is here, is here for you. The essence of all that arises is Divinity expressing itself as a stage, as a wonderful wife, as these flowers, as the Kleenex, as the diet soda, espresso.

60. Choose spiritual friends and groups. You serve all of mankind by becoming as spiritually evolved as you can be.

61. Go from complete to complete.

62. Identify with Self rather than self. Without the presence of God within you, you wouldn’t exist. Self is my reality; self is only my temporary expression in this domain.

63. Accept limitations of humanness, which has the karma of protoplasm.

64. Happiness is a decision and direction.

65. Be reflective instead of impulsive.

66. Thoughtful rather than critical.

67. Be content instead of complaining (on i.e. weather, taxes) .

68. Realize life is a learning curve.

69. '''Pray . Praying is not just a grade school exercise but the expression of what you’ve become, which is gracious.

70. Contemplate.

71. Affirm 'God is my Source'.

72. Sing an inner song. Learn to hum to yourself without making any noise!

73. When feeling down, say to yourself, “Yours is the saddest story I’ve ever heard!”

74. Insist on being miserable and gloomy. “Oh well….” Eeyore.

75. Make faces at yourself in the mirror. This is a wonderful spiritual technique. The way to God is through giggles.

76. Be grateful for the gift of life. Be all you can be to everyone all of the time. Reflect back to life its beauty.

77. Live one day at a time.

78. Be your own best friend.

79. Differentiate expansion vs. diminution of problems.

80. Clarify __________ with______role.

81. Do you play role of martyr?

82. Do you play role of hero?

83. Do you play role of victim?

84. Do you play role of morally superior?

85. Let go of being the injustice collector (martyr).

86. Let go of being provocative.

87. Stop pushing your luck.

88. Avoid catastrophe.

89. Don’t buy a home in the flood plain or on the edge of a mud cliff.

90. Do not win the lottery.

91. Don’t ski in an avalanche area.

92. Give up self-importance.

93. Obey the law – be polite to police.

94. Stop demonstrating.

95. Give up saving the world.

96. Mind your own business.

97. Give up being important.

98. Improve yourself instead of others.

99. Pay your income taxes.

100.Smile and the world smiles with you.

101.Dedicate all actions to God.

--


101 Ways to Success
"Oh little bug, I'm glad you're around."

...Sir David R. Hawkins; M.D.; PhD.

01/Internal vs. external.
02/Personal, spiritual vs. worldly.
03/Read Newt Gingrich's: 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours; and George Foreman's: Knockout Entrepreneur.
04/Success as winning.
05/Success as goal achievement.
06/Success as prominence, media attraction, celebrity status.
07/Success as happiness.
08/Imagine desired outcome.
09/Build good karma balance.
10/Harness desire and ambition.
11/Workable plan.
12/Self-confidence.
13/Dedication.
14/Satisfaction with progress.
15/Override obstacles.
16/Supportive relationships.
17/Flexible vs. rigid.
18/Enthusiasm (Donald Trump).
19/Self-rewarding.
20/Dedication to the Highest Good.
21/Pray for awareness of God's Will.
22/Retain modesty-avoid hubris.
23/Thankful rather than prideful.
24/Incremental goals.
25/Result of basic attitudes.
26/Determination.
27/Will power, grit.
28/Visualize goals.
29/Chip away, incremental progress.
30/Preparation.
31/Fortitude.
32/Picture result.
33/Develop work rhythm.
34/Create routine schedules.
35/Inspiration.
36/Harness the muse: "Carpe Diem." [Capitalize on opportunities as they arise.]
37/Special place and setting.
38/Expert advice consultation.
39/Patience/persistence.
40/Hang out with successful people.
41/Avoid naysayers and energy drainers.
42/Practice the virtues-integrity.
43/Look for helpful feedback.
44/Imaginative enterprise.
45/Be friendly and upbeat.
46/Express appreciation.
47/Teamwork.
48/Group support.
49/Dress the part.
50/Find a coach.
51/When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
52/Identify, evaluate the successful.
53/Watch for subtleties.
54/Cut giant-size projects into bite-size projects.
55/Activate the "Ego Ideal." [Freud]
56/Capitalize on energy and inspirational surges.
57/Have note pad next to bed.
58/Ask: What does the world value, want, or need?...And supply it.
59/Capitalize on frenetic energy surges.
60/Plod along between bursts.
61/Expect success.
62/Nail down a specialty.
63/Write about a project.
64/Do a sales pitch on video.
65/Promise yourself periodic rewards.
66/Make photos of yourself in a successful role. [Audio-visual is quite powerful.]
67/Reward yourself for productivity.
68/Give yourself a dollar for each great idea.
69/"To thine own self be true."
70/Put together an inspirational collage.
71/Be "on the road" of enterprise.
72/You don't have to be a genius to build a better mousetrap.
73/Clarity of goals.
74/"Do" instead of crave.
75/Put heart instead of ego into the project.
76/Which aspects are ego and which are soul?
77/Is success a feeling or a reality?
78/Self-rewarding vs. public adulation.
79/Success as adequate to lifestyle.
86/Give up excuse of "trying"-just do it.
87/Write down all the negatives and bury them in the back yard.
88/Identify helpful contacts.
89/Do "Brain Gym" exercises on the road to be traveled.
90/Energize each step.
91/Avoid ethically dubious schemes.
92/Have supportive relationships: friends, family, cohorts.
93/"Fake it til you make it"- rehearsal.
94/Select role model.
95/Decide to be happy no matter what the result.
96/Great success is often fortuitous-"expect the unexpected."
97/Avoid "winning the lottery" calamity.
98/Keep watchful eye on the ego.
99/Realize the world has gotten along without you thus far.
100/Success is whatever you say it is-win the hula hoop contests, eat more hot dogs in 10 minutes.
101/Fame is only fame.

"Today's fame is tomorrow's disgrace, is the day after's re-run."


101 Ways to Peace
1. Let go of trying to change and control others. The source of your  happiness is solely within you. Peacefulness has to be a decision that  you make. It can exist in the middle of war, devastation, and  catastrophe.
2. Let go wanting to 'get even'
3. Let go wanting to be 'right' and make others 'wrong'
4. Practice discernment rather than judgmentalism (Judgmentalism says,  "they ought to be different"; discernment sees the essence and truth of a  person but without judgment)
5. Be modest with opinions
6. Perfect diplomacy skills and gentility
7. Be gracious and considerate.
(I was part of probably the most exclusive club, all the rich and  powerful in NY. They were all gracious. They were solicitous of your  physical and psychological comfort. "Here, can I get you something to  drink?" Divinity is a quality of consciousness, not personhood, age,  gender. It is Divinity that asks you, "What would you like to drink?" Be  gracious. That is your God-nature.)
8. Keep serenity as a goal
9. It is okay to be 'wrong' or undecided
10. Calibrate the options; be flexible
11. It isn't necessary to have an opinion on everything
12. Avoid peace demonstrations
13. Remember that Socrates was short and ugly
14. Value wisdom over being 'right'
15. Seek wise counsel (everybody should have a psychotherapist)
16. Realize you influence others by what you are, not what you do (best  thing you can for the world is sit down and shut up! Just having kind  thoughts makes a difference)
17. Avoid activism and pedantry
18. Be grateful for your assets (your most important asset is spiritual  interest)
19. Mankind has survived millions of years without your help
20. Be your own best friend
21. Be wary of do-gooders (they want to control you-for "your own good"  of course!)
22. Read Do-Gooders by Mona Charen
23. Let others win
24. Beware of unintended consequences
25. The innocent child is present in everyone
26. Pray to see things differently- reframe/ recontextualize
27. Accept that the majority of people calibrate below 200 (lower your  expectations - they're doing great just to survive)
(Inner-psychic event: one day walking in the woods, there was a vision  of the suffering of all mankind throughout all of time, like the curtain  was pulled back. I switched from being very religious, even  hyper-religious, to become an atheist and then agnostic. I didn't  realize that what was revealed to me was not Divinity but the ego. It  took 20 years to realize this mistake.)
28. 'Judge not lest ye be judged' (if they could do or be better, they  would)
29. All viewpoints are arbitrary
30. Renew thoughtfulness, gratitude
31. The mind is an 'it', not a 'you' (the mind talks all the time;  that's ego. Spirit doesn't talk)
32. Critics are a dime a dozen
33. Review Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by  Mackay. (latest delusion is earth warming)
34. Keep a sense of humor: cattle gas (methane) vs. gas of 70 million  bison as cause of earth warming... If true, earth would've been a fiery  ball with that many bison roaming around!
35. Everyone assumes they are right and others are wrong (Yogi Beara- 'I  have many struggles but being wrong is not one of them!')
36. Seek to understand others rather than change them
37. Serve God rather than the narcissistic ego
38. Seek to participate rather than dominate
39. It's okay to have faults
40. Avoid struggle for the moral high ground
41. Support others to find the good about themselves
42. Concede to 'what is' versus 'what ought to be'
43. It's okay to just 'be' rather than 'do' or 'have'
44. Surrender your will to God
45. Let bygones be bygones
46. If you don't have anything good to say about a person, then say  nothing at all
47. Realize mankind has been at war 93% of recorded history - 'whirled  peas' is unlikely
48. Acceptance: 'so there you are'
49. Fatalism- what will be will be - karmic influences
50. Develop a peaceful nature. Be aware of the power of Nature (love  nature)
51. See the beauty of all that exists (1 cubic inch of the Infinite  Field of Consciousness is greater than the total mass of the entire  universe)
52. Value quietude
53. Let go of willfulness; silence the inner child
54. Practice the virtues
55. Recall 'Peace on earth, good will towards men'
56. Strive to be angelic vs. luciferic
57. Practice 'no attractions, no aversions' -Buddha
58. Accept social roles of others
59. Study to understand others
60. The Near-Death Experience is one of total peace
61. Only the ego is vulnerable; the real Self is eternal
After lunch: We purposefully came back late so you wouldn't feel guilty  about being late! Laughter.
To an argumentative person who wants to debate you, you can say, "You've  got something on your chin.... Is it ketchup? Mayonnaise? Spinach?"  Laughter... It throws off their mindset. I learned that in boxing.
62. Live in each instant which is innately peaceful
63. Detach from control; be the witness-observer (it's not a personal  self that witnesses)
64. Practice meditation and contemplation (the witness-observer will  then become dominant)
65. Differentiate wants from needs
66. 'Wear the world like a light garment'
67. Differentiate appearance from essence
68. Be kind to all of life
69. Have pets and a garden spot
(I'm mindful of trees. I don't sling an axe into a tree - Do you think  the tree doesn't notice that?! Muscle test TRUE: "Even a tree is aware  that you are an emissary of God. All of nature knows the Divinity of  your essence and bows to it." I love all things because their essence is  Divinity. Like the little toad. He loves being a toad! Hops around on  stage like a little toad. All that exists is worthy of reverence.)
70. Decrease expectations of others (no one will be what you want them  to be)
71. Mind your own business
72. Make a list of worries (and then prioritize them - that way, the  mind relaxes)
73. Chocolate vs. vanilla simply a choice
74. Differentiate emotional vs. spiritual viewpoints ("Well this is how I  feel!" Who cares?)
75. Utilize logic instead of emotion
76. Ask for a miracle
77. Today is tomorrow's yesterday
78. Talk it over with a friend
79. Accept 'worst-case scenario'
80. 'I'll think about it tomorrow' (Gone with the Wind)
81. Peace exists in the midst of war
82. Things could be worse
83. Life is transitory
(Death- In the Infinite dimension of time, we're all going together.  Some have gone ahead to get us parking places and put up a sign telling  us where to go. Laughter...)
84. You were created by God (Muscle-test TRUE: "We were all created by  God." Ha! And here you thought it was a sperm and an egg!)
85. Go on a worry diet
86. Give up trying to be happy (Just BE happy!)
87. Give up being rich and famous
88. Walk the Labryinth.
(The effect on consciousness is the same if you trace it with a pencil.  Muscle-test TRUE: "That is a mystical truth. No one knows the reason for  it." The pattern brings a profound sense of peace. Same with the rosary  pattern and prayer wheel. Muscle-test TRUE: "Each of these things  brings about inner peace." Not dependent upon belief or being a Buddhist  or a Christian. Anybody can have this result. It's beyond belief  system. It's a geometric pattern - in mathematics, the Torus.)
89. Do the Rosary
90. Spin the prayer wheel
91. Write a will
92. Take out life insurance
(You have to be real about things. A will and insurance means that your  death will serve as a benefit to someone. If you don't have any  relatives, you can take out an insurance policy and leave it to the  kitties and doggies at the Humane Society.)
93. Watch TV's animal channel
94. Bury the hatchet
95. Give up being an adrenaline junkie
96. Quit when you are ahead
97. Let go of greed (rapacious wantingness)
98. Invoke your Buddha-Nature
99. Live in the space beneath thoughts
100. Speak sanely to yourself in the mirror
101. Talk it over with your therapist or psychologist (Smiles at Susan: I  have a great spouse!)
A seed opens up in its own due time - no need to hover over it.

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