Tag Archives | Buddhism
A reproduction of Gary Snyder’s 1969 seminal text “Buddhist Anarchism” found on The Anarchist Library:
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Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love and compassion; acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one-“self” — because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up; and away.
In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is Ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and-desire to be given facts of the human condition. Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings.
Aleister Crowley, an early 20th century occultist, asserted that “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.” (Crowley 1978). Crowley’s statement is the closest maxim I have found to be representative of human ethical theory. By acting upon this maxim, each individual is forwarding the well being of all humanity. This is because through the process of competing forces the most useful for that specific set of circumstances will arise as the victorious force. However, this does not mean that any issue contains any inherent ethical meaning, rather in the context of the specific “game” that is being played pragmatic value can be assigned.
Eastern philosophical theories highlight the illusory nature of human existence. For instance, if we look at early Indian traditions, we inevitably recognize that the world has no logical basis for being “real.” Early Hindu thought had various different darsanas, which ranged in thought on a variety of issues.… Read the rest
[Site editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You’re Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]
Most Westerners who become fascinated with Zen Buddhism are intrigued with its reputation as an anti-authoritarian, freedom-loving, individualistic tradition. Books by excellent writers like Alan Watts popularized an image of Zen as a very relaxed, go-with-the-flow type of religion. But even a brief visit to a typical Zen temple is enough to make us painfully aware of the difference between hype and reality. Life in real Zen temples, in fact, is often so structured, regimented and heavily regulated as to quickly dispel the romanticism created by much of the literature about it. Far from being a hippie rendition of Buddhism, Zen discipleship can be demanding and severe.
But sometimes even misguided stereotypes are born from seeds of truth. Enter 15th century Japanese monk Ikkyu Sojun, who was truly as free, wild and allergic to authorities as advertised.… Read the rest
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As we already are feeling divisiveness of current politics and upcoming presidential elections…
As we feel into pain and complexity of people holding seeming irreconcilable values which actually harm each other, on topics like the economy, immigration and same-sex marriage…
As even people’s intentions for doing good in the world, whether through nonviolent dissent, or simple holiday shopping to provide for a family’s happiness is met with pepper spray and handcuffs…
Now more than ever we need our Mindfulness Practice.
We need the Freedom that Mindfulness invites for us — the freedom that we do not have to follow the unconscious patterns of acute reactivity. We need to remember that it is possible to notice deeply what is happening, understand it with some wisdom, treat it with some of the compassion inherent in our humanity, and move into responses and actions that are of benefit — that is, to move toward that which lessens suffering and creates happiness, not just for us as individuals, but us as a collective world.
What is it about this time of year that melts even the hardest disinfonaut scepticism? Sure, Santa Claus might be the old shamanic magic mushroom cult incarnate repackaged to dupe us all into developing a Pavlovian response to the Baron Samedi of consumerism that he has now become, but I’ve always suspected the rabbit hole went down deeper.
And then I came across this blog post by paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger:
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My friend Al told me he was struggling with telling his four-year-old daughter about Santa Claus. “It’s the only lie I’ve ever told her,” he said. I too have a four-year-old daughter and am currently in the thick of Santa Fever at my house, where we’ve been lauding Père Noël for the last three Christmases. He’s a legend I’m honored to propagate.
I study legends for a living. Monsters, ghosts, extraterrestrials, and ancient mysteries swirl around me like smoke from a smoldering campfire.
It's morning time and a little boy with a shaved head and a face shaped like the moon chants a Tibetan prayer. His high-pitched voice echoes inside the Columbia Heights bedroom that his father has transformed into a lavish prayer room. In here, the 4-year-old forsakes his cartoons and toys to study scripture and learn to pray the Buddhist way. Big for his age, he looks bigger still perched on an ornate chair draped in crimson and saffron robes. "Only for lamas," explains his father, Dorje Tsegyal, sitting cross-legged on the floor at his son's feet. Jalue Dorjee, you see, is believed to be no ordinary boy.
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Buddhist scholar Graeme MacQueen gave a talk that explained why Buddhists should take action to stop war and its causes. Unfortunately, even the most compassionate people in our western society often find justification for doing nothing while suffering grows around them. Many Buddhists are in that frame of mind and they justify their non-action by claiming that their responsibility is soley to avoid violence in themselves. But Professor MacQueen has challenged this stance, recalling Buddhist scripture and revisiting the concept of a bodhisattva.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Similarly, Professor MacQueen asks in this talk if we have the right to “give away things that don’t belong to us … the earth … species … ecosystems … the futures of our children and other people’s children.” Through silent collaboration, that is what many people are doing today.
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Tibet’s spiritual leader plans to step down as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, his spokesman said.
The Dalai Lama, 75, has scaled back his duties leading Tibet since 2001, when the Tibetan movement first directly elected a political leader. Since then, his government role has been mainly ceremonial as he travels around the world giving speeches. His spokesman said he would discuss retiring with the next session of parliament in March. Though it might not be too easy to get away; the speaker of Tibet’s parliament said that a retirement requires consideration, since it would mean a sweeping political change.
“Retirement” would mainly mean stepping away from ceremonial duties as head of government, like signing resolutions. The Dalai Lama would still remain an advocate for the Tibetan movement and a Buddhist spiritual leader.
The Dalai Lama, who was born Tenzin Gyatso, is the highest-ranking Buddhist priest and seen as an incarnation of the original Dalai Lama from the 1300s.
Marc Abrahams for the Guardian:
Indian scientists wield sophisticated mathematics to dissect and analyse the traditional meditation chanting sound ‘Om’
Two Indian scientists are wielding sophisticated mathematics to dissect and analyse the traditional meditation chanting sound “Om”. The Om team has published six monographs in academic journals. These plumb certain acoustic subtleties of Om, which these researchers say is “the divine sound”.
Om has many variations. In a study published in the International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, the researchers explain: “It may be very fast, several cycles per second. Or it may be slower, several seconds for each cycling of [the] Om mantra. Or it might become extremely slow, with the mmmmmm sound continuing in the mind for much longer periods but still pulsing at that slow rate. It is somewhat like one of these vibrations: