Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twelve Understandings

Twelve Understandings

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life.
Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons.
You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation.
The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.
When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons.
If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better than "here."
When your "there" has become a "here,"
you will simply obtain another "there"
that will again look better than "here."

7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person
unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need.
What you do with them is up to you.
The choice is yours.

9. Life is exactly what you think it is.
You create a life that matches your beliefs and expectations.

10. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to life's questions lie inside you.
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

11. You will forget all this.

12. You can remember it whenever you want.



...consciousness is not a product of matter,
and is instead a symptom of the soul.
all living beings, are distinct from their current body,
the nature of the soul being eternal,
immutable and indestructible without any particular beginning or end....


An Ode to the Tree People

Editor’s note: Bob was a force to be reckoned with. Whether they agreed with him or not, people read “Observations from the Edge.” In the many years he wrote for The Coast News Group, no person or issue elicited more Letters to the Editor than Bob Nanninga. His passion was admirable, his energy infectious. Here at the office, we will miss his unannounced visits, which were always a welcome and entertaining break in our workdays. We will also miss his voice, which was sometimes loud and at times dramatic, but it was always true. The following is Bob’s final column for The Coast News Group, written from his hospital bed days before his death.


Greetings from the ICU ward. It would seem I needed some critical “me” time after the 2008 Encinitas City Council race. Rundown and profoundly disappointed, I didn’t see the pneumonia coming until I was panting like a dog struggling to breathe on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Pneumonia is as gnarly as it gets. Everything works but the lungs. Lungs give breath. To breathe is to live. My mind is as active as ever. I want this to be done.

There is Earth Day to plan for, Encinitas Environment Day to organize. Poetry to publish and a novel to be finished. And I still have yet to see Prairie Dogs in the wild.

Lying in bed, news filters back about life and community in Encinitas. It is nice to know the tree people are getting creative. Thank you, Andrew, and all who gave him support during his week at the Orpheus front line.

Trees are the lungs of the planet. Without trees, lots of trees, soon everyone and everything will be gasping for air, victims of planetary pneumonia, so not good.

With that observation, allow me
to self-indulge with a poem written in honor of those who fight and plant trees.

Plant an oak, save the world.

Who are the people who speak for the trees

Giving them voice from root tip to leaves

I know they are out there

I’ve heard the tales

Of proud David Chain and Julia Butterfly Hill

A redwood named Luna

Watched her friends fall

Victims of the greed

Now killing us all

Victims of indifference

Trees continue to fall

As the climate changes

And biodiversity fades

Planet is diminished

As the trees fall away

Where are the warriors

Who will fight for the trees

Knowing full well without trees we’re not free

Humans are primates

We came from the trees

Before braving the grassland

And our now history

Thuggish and brutish

Forests were cleared

To make room for the primates

Who hold nothing dear

Happy to cut down

Trees, as long as they’re there

Well, I’ll speak for the tree people

And count them as friends

This warrior undaunted a message will send

In the green revolution

Allies stand tall and take to the trees

Spreading the call

Trees are our future

Trees built our past

Trees must become sacred

If mankind is to last

So all hail the tree people

Those that fight for the trees

Those that understand ethics

Beyond avarice and greed

A battle is coming

Pitting man against man

Man against nature

So do as you can

It’s time to take sides

Not just do as you please

Make no mistake

I stand with the trees.

An Ode to the Tree People by Bob Nanninga
Bob Tree Painting by Vanessa Lemen


Even if I now saw you
Only once,
I would long for you
Through worlds,

Izumi Shikibu (c.974)


music by The Helio Sequence
programming by DPC


One constructs being and nirvana by oneself;

In vain do people fetter themselves.

I don't know the inconceivable yogi;

How can birth and death exist?

Where there is birth, there is death;

Living and dying have no difference.

Whoever is apprehensive of birth and death here

Should desire the rejuvenating elixir.

Whoever roams the universe, even the heavens

Never becomes free of old age and death.

Whether action's caused by birth, or birth by action,

Saraha says, the Truth is inconceivable.

One constructs being and nirvana by oneself;

In vain do people fetter themselves.

Buddha said, "It is by oneself that evil is done, it is by oneself that one is afflicted. It is by oneself that evil is done, it is by oneself that one is purified. Purity and impurity are individual matters; no one purifies another."

I don't know the inconceivable yogi;

How can birth and death exist?

The emperor of China asked the founder of Zen, "What is the ultimate meaning of the holy truths?" The Zen founder replied, "Empty, nothing holy." The emperor asked, "Who are you?" The Zen founder replied, "I don't know."

The "inconceivable yogi" is the Buddha-nature, or true self, which is not the socially conditioned personality, or the idea of self or image of the ego. Because this nature is not identical to the subjective stream of consciousness, it does not come and go.

Where there is birth, there is death;

Living and dying have no difference.

Whatever is born must die; this is the nature of transitory existence. Buddhists therefore seek liberation from psychological subjection to impermanent things. According to the Dhammapada, Buddha said, "What attachment is there when one has seen these white bones as like gourds discarded in autumn?"

Whoever is apprehensive of birth and death here

Should desire the rejuvenating elixir.

The Sufi master Hadrat Ali said, "The world is a transitory abode, not a permanent abode. And the people in it are of two sorts; one who sells his soul and ruins it; and one who ransoms his soul and frees it." Buddha said, "What mirth is there, what joy, while constantly burning? Shrouded in darkness, why not seek a light?"

Whoever roams the universe, even the heavens

Never becomes free of old age and death.

Buddha said, "There is nowhere in the world---not in the sky, not in the sea, not in the depths of the earth---where death will not overcome you." The Sufi master Ali said, "Whoever capitulates to the perishing of this world and the next perishes in them."

Whether action's caused by birth, or birth by action,

Saraha says, the Truth is inconceivable.

The Flower Ornament Scripture says, "All consequences are born from actions; like dreams, they're not truly real. They continually die away, moment to moment, the same as before and after. Of all things seen in the world, only mind is the host; by grasping forms according to interpretation, it becomes deluded, not true to reality. All philosophies in the world are mental fabrications; there has never been a doctrine by which one could enter the true essence of things."

{Programming by DPC}

the Unspoken

Clearing Away the Unreal

Even if there is anything beyond nirvana,
I say it too is like a dream illusion...

~an ancient sage


the silence
of nature

the power within
the power


the path is whatever passes---no
end in itself.

the end is,

not saving.

the proof

the proof of the power within.

{Without, by Gary Synder}

[Picture Linked/Programming by DPC]

It is rare to hear the truth even in immense eons,

that is why adepts and virtuous ones of the past forgot their bodies,

or even lost their bodies, for the sake of truth.

There certainly is a meaning to this.

Ordinary human beings, animals, ants, mosquitoes,

outsiders with erroneous views, all have bodies and life,

but as long as they have not yet heard the truth

they cannot be honored or esteemed.

For innumerable lives, birth after birth,

how many times have they been embodied?

Yet theirs is not yet a good life.

If one gets to hear the truth,

that is a good life.

excerpt from Universal Book of Eternal Peace
translated by Thomas Cleary for Shambhala Publications, Inc.
ISBN 1-59030-220-6

Censored 2010

{Programming by DPC}

The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2009: Read Here

Some news is just too hot to cover and Project Censored for 34 years have been exposing the most under-covered censored news stories of the year with their annual release of the Censored yearbooks., Censored 2010 will be available for shipping of pre-orders in early September.

Censored stories even include valid academic studies completed by university professors and scientific professional researchers. It appears that certain topics are simply forbidden inside the mainstream corporate media today. To openly cover these news stories would stir up questions regarding “inconvenient truths” that many in the U.S. power structure want to avoid.

For example, current research indicates that public schools in the United States are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades. According to a new civil rights report, published at the University of California, Los Angeles, schools in the U.S. are 44 percent non-white, and minorities are rapidly emerging as the majority of public school students in the United States. Latinos and blacks, the two largest minority groups, attend schools more segregated today than during the civil rights movement 40 years ago. Millions of non-white students are locked into “dropout factory” high schools, where huge percentages do not graduate. The most severe segregation in public schools occurs in the Western states, including California—not in the South, as many people believe. Most non-white schools are segregated by poverty as well as race. Schools in low-income communities remain highly unequal in terms of funding, qualified teachers, and curriculum.

Other taboo stories include civilian death rates in Iraq and questions on 9/11. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and a professional survey company in Great Britain, Opinion Research Business (ORB) report that the United States is directly responsible for over one million Iraqi deaths since our invasion six and a half years ago. In a January 2008 report, ORB reported that, “survey work confirms our earlier estimate that over 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have died as a result of the conflict which started in 2003…. We now estimate that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 is likely to have been of the order of 1,033,000.” A 2006 Johns Hopkins study confirmed that U.S. aerial bombing in civilian neighborhoods caused over a third of these deaths and that over half the deaths are directly attributable to U.S. forces. Iraqi civilian death levels in the summer of 2009 likely now exceed 1.2 million.

Then there is 9/11 -- former Brigham Young University physics professor Dr. Steven E. Jones and some 700 scientific professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, and physics have now concluded that the official explanation for the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings is implausible according to laws of physics. Especially troubling is the collapse of WTC 7, a 47-story building that was not hit by planes, yet dropped in its own “footprint” in 6.6 seconds in the same manner as a controlled demolition. To support this theory, Jones and eight other scientists conducted chemical research on the dust from the World Trade Centers. Their research results were published in a peer-reviewed scientific periodical “Open Chemical Physics Journal,” Volume 2, 2009. The authors write, “We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.” Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide, which produces an aluminothermic reaction known as a thermite reaction and is used in controlled demolitions of buildings.

Each of these hot news stories is based on solid scholarly research. These stories represent the failure of the corporate media in the United States to keep the American people democratically informed on important issues. This lack of coverage of critical and potentially political news stories is what many thousands of people in the United States are now calling a Truth Emergency. This Truth Emergency is being addressed daily by Project Censored at our web sites featuring independent news sources,, and our daily blog at, Benchmark each of these sites on your desktop and stay abreast of the current news not covered in the corporate media.

Power To The People


"So the heart is the beginning of life, the Sun of the Microcosm,
even as the Sun deserves to be call'd the heart of the world;
for it is the heart by whose virtue and pulsation the blood is moved,
perfected, made apt to nourish, and is preserved from corruption and coagulation;
it is the household divinity which, discharging its function, nourishes, cherishes,
quickens the whole body, and is indeed the foundation of life, the source of all action."

~ William Harvey, 1628

On any one day the adult human heart will beat over a 100,000 times... The heart is one of the most important organs in the entire human body. It is really nothing more than a pump, composed of muscle which pumps blood throughout the body, beating approximately 72 times per minute of our lives. The heart pumps the blood, which carries all the vital materials which help our bodies function and removes the waste products that we do not need. For example, the brain requires oxygen and glucose, which, if not received continuously, will cause it to loose consciousness. Muscles need oxygen, glucose and amino acids, as well as the proper ratio of sodium, calcium and potassium salts in order to contract normally. The glands need sufficient supplies of raw materials from which to manufacture the specific secretions. If the heart ever ceases to pump blood the body begins to shut down and after a very short period of time will die.

The heart is essentially a muscle(a little larger than the fist). Like any other muscle in the human body, it contracts and expands. Unlike skeletal muscles, however, the heart works on the "All -or-Nothing Law". That is, each time the heart contracts it does so with all its force. In skeletal muscles, the principle of "gradation" is present. The pumping of the heart is called the Cardiac Cycle, which occurs about 72 times per minute. This means that each cycle lasts about eight-tenths of a second. During this cycle the entire heart actually rests for about four-tenths of a second.

In this way the Heart continually works as a pump, moving blood around our bodies to nourish every cell. Used blood, that is blood that has already been to the cells and has given up its nutrients to them, is drawn from the body by the right half of the heart, and then sent to the lungs to be reoxygenated. Blood that has been reoxygenated by the lungs is drawn into the left side of the heart and then pumped into the blood stream. It is the atria that draw the blood from the lungs and body, and the ventricles that pump it to the lungs and body. The output of each ventricle per beat is about 70 ml, or about 2 tablespoons. In a trained athlete this amount is about double. With the average heart rate of 72 beats per minute the heart will pump about 5 litres per ventricle, or about 10 litres total per minute. This is called the cardiac output. In a trained athlete the total cardiac output is about 20 litres. If we multiply the normal, non-athlete output by the average age of 70 years, we see that the cardiac output of the average human heart over a life time would be about 1 million litres, or about 250,000 gallons(US)!

From early days,
Beginning not long after that first time
In which, a Babe, by intercourse of touch,
I held mute dialogues with my Mother's heart
I have endeavor'd to display the means
Whereby this infant sensibility,
Great birthright of our Being, was in me
Augmented and sustain'd.

~ William Wordsworth (1850), The Prelude

The metaphorical meaning of the heart as the experiential origin of sentient emotions is characterized as caring, as love, as concern, as passion, as courage, as well as such conflictual phenomena as the broken heart, the troubled heart, the weakened heart springing forth from sadness, betrayal, confusion, and bewilderment. This suggests there is a reactionary emotional backdrop for the health of our body, whose study is the modern day evolution of holistic medicine, which incorporates all psycho-somatic or mind-body relationships. Shamanically speaking, the beating of our heart and its pumping of nourishing blood is a living symbol of our essential organic/spiritual vitality, as it is the heart that sustains us, drives us, engorges our sexual organs with vitality and rigor for union and procreation, allows us to run, to eat, to breathe, to be here now in the body we are in, to think these thoughts, feel emotions, and imagine the infinity of ourselves into self-realization, to be aware of our own cognition while embodied in human form. As such, the care of a human heart is within the domain of love's wisdom, for only love can bridge all voids of meaninglessness and collective indifference to create understanding of the complexities of the human heart's driving passion to beat and BE....

The heart is as wild and mysterious as we ourselves are, it's innate behavior of constant ebb and flow are a mirror image of the undulating tides of life and creation where change is a constant and flow depends upon acceptance of what IS, which is the fundamental basis of non-attachment. In this way only love can create a quality of acceptance for the human condition with its ups and downs, desires and longing, dreams and expectations, visions and disillusionments, that provides a healthy psycho-somatic foundation for a well balanced lifestyle of human being. The understanding that "there is no truth without love" seems plain and simple to those who live through their heart center, since it is common sense to lovingly consider and care for what we are relating to. Whether that be: ourselves, others, or nature and reality in general; ideas which come into our mind; our feelings and emotional body; our physical body; our sense of spiritual or transcendental identity in the universe; the mysterious contents of our imagination --- all is some form of truth to be related to in a caring and considerate way, which is the true meaning of LOVE, and the true purpose of a beating heart.

Each rhythmic pumping involves the entire body working synergistically, and though this divine mechanism of organic biological complexity may be used to create death and destruction, it is love that is essential in objectively relating to life on Earth and which manifests sustainable futures of empathetic clarity through transcendental morality. Hence, the difference between caring and not caring is vitally important since carelessness may lead to not only metaphorical heart break and psychologically destructive feelings in our interpersonal relationships with ourselves, others, and nature --- carelessness may also lead to serious injury and death, possible social alienation and upheaval, bloody revolutions and riots, starvation, economic depressions, and even extinction of our species. Still, complexity persists, because it is also clear that one may care from a self-oriented survival aspect devoid of concern for others or the environment, and thus evidence a fractal of egocentricity which may lead to destructive behavior patterns because of intentions and actions rooted in narrow minded self-interest only...

In contrast, one typically loves from a selfless orientation geared towards the greater good of whatever or whoever she/he/it loves. For instance, if one loves oneself, then in recognition that the body and all its organs, such as the heart, need clean air, clean water, clean food, a rational conclusion is reached that paves the way for ever deeper insights on why being on Earth in a harmonious manner is vitally important to humanities' evolution as a sentient species. Therein it is a factual reality while existing within a spherical symbiosis of biological/spiritual consequence, that Love as a behavioral paradigm is the only choice, and that the heart of every new born beats towards love's endeavor becoming the 'norm' of human understanding and action/reaction. And any scientific/political/economic/martial/institutional or religious ideologies that seek to separate us from ourselves, each other, and nature, consciously or unconsciously creating civilized realities of behavioral immorality and violence, unethical uncleanliness and industrial toxicity, such forms of ignorance spurned by a lust for greed and power wrought in fear and terrific bloodshed for control of humanity and reality, are obviously ignorant and self-destructive and must be done away with through personal and collective, even political/legal/corporate/military/religious embodiments of grace, compassion, acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness.

To this degree of application there is no mystery to love's truth, it is common sense, it is caring about others as one must care about oneself... Still, there is a great deal of unspoken confusion because our heart keeps beating even while killing and raping and stealing and cheating and hating and cursing, which conflicts with our sense of love and the reasons for our beating heart of existence. That the word 'love' has many uses becomes obvious as we grow up, not all of which are really caring, or considerate... As in, someone may say/think/feel: "I loved murdering him;" "I love beating my prisoners;" "I love criticizing and teasing others;" "I love making money even if it means the industrial pollution of nature and the death of innocent women, men, and children;" "I love interrogating and torturing people as my job;" "I love playing the field and cheating on my wife because I love all that sex," "I love the money I make experimenting on animals in the lab," "I love the money and power I have even it means I had to sacrifice myself and what I know is right to gain these...." So 'love' in the modern linguistic mutation into collective meaninglessness has come to represent the often malignant and misguided fallacies of the deluded character/ego, and thus may be used to describe anything we enjoy, even if causing others or ourselves to suffer directly or indirectly is what we consciously or unconsciously enjoy. This indicates that enjoyment and happiness have necessarily nothing to do with right action, right thought, or right behavior, because joy and happiness are relative experiences that different people experience for different reasons.

Certainly a big deal has been made of joy and happiness as signifying the 'better,' more healthy, positive, advanced, evolved choice of being, but there is much misunderstanding on this issue which has prevented truth from circulation. These so-called 'positive' emotions, hedonistic ways of being (a backlash from centuries of religious/governmental/cultural oppression), are experiences of the emotional body and general state of being, and are only conducive to the wellness of the individual and the whole system of earth when realized from a ground of opened awareness, correct understanding, proper belief, and right action. Whereas if a positive state of being is used as a shield against negativity, when happiness is used to mask fears of the unknown or insecurity in general - or to create a facade of invulnerability, when joy is used to feel above others - as in superior, or when the evolved choice is paraded around as something which separates us from those who may be suffering or beneath us because of their general state of being, then we have surpassed the humility required to be Love and honor the gift of our beating heart of consciousness. A notable example of how dangerous joy is, the modern destruction of the Earthen environment achieved while humanity has succumbed to the imbalanced egocentric ignorance of beliefs and technologies which have no love or respect for the sanctity of the very Nature which sustains us, the creatures, and the overall symbiosis we are an integral part of.... As a global collective this is all due to being possessed of a faulty foundation of beliefs devoid of love, however joyful and happy the individual may be, the effects upon the whole have been catastrophically unsustainable and anti-ecological.

While complex systems of denial are implemented, evolved facades are applied, and willfully executed technologies of mind shun the embodiment of an emotionally mature and spiritually realistic humanity, personal/global 'harmony and peace' are but myths of fanciful thoughts and feelings yet unrealized in this dimension of Earth. With all our human nonsense born of unexplored and often denied psychosis as a reference point of 'what love is not,' let's make the distinction for the purpose of this written expression that the 'love' being referred to here is that quality of being and consciousness which leads to clarity, freedom, insight, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, wellness, health, and harmony. And though love in the mainstream is most often associated with romance, passion, and sexual intimacy, at present this is a dangerous association since it appears humanity has a great many sexual wounds being worked through and healed. Because of this vulnerable-raw-trigger-happy aspect of our wounded sexual-relational aspect, both psychologically and pscho-somatically the concept of love is disadvantaged and the innumerous charged projections concerning familial/romantic/sexual love often lead many individuals into fear, negativity, bias, mistrust, and disbelieving cynicism concerning the relevant uses of love in all facets of life. Thus as a result of being betrayed or let down via our expectations: of familial/romantic love and intimacy with other equally flawed human beings; and ideas of reality and God we have been given by systemized belief systems --- we may observe that some human beings often give up on love all together. In failing to recognize that we are already possessed of a great many childhood wounds, our adult relational experiences often serve to back up any jaded views and reactions we may be inadvertently harboring within, leading to a reinforcement of our particular severity of disenchantment concerning the magical/miraculous/scientifically healthy and logically sound qualities of love.

It is currently a fatal flaw to think that material or social success in the human world is truth... This is a collective lie and an illusion of popularity pole-based realities being perpetuated by all who have succumbed to the pleasures of convenience. Rather, such lifestyles are not truth, are not sustainable, and are not actively involved in helping to heal humanity, and are instead merely concerned with benefiting those who are on the receiving end of the financial spokes turning each particular wheel spewing half-truths, legalized drugs, and trash technologies to help others hide from their truth and feel secure in a world of unceasing struggle and strife. Healing our wounds of the broken heart-mind instead requires a great deal of strength and courage, insights whose awareness and development demands stillness/patience/and time, as well as powerful qualities of the sovereign mindful-being that many of us in the haze of our human imprinting and the inhumane pace of capitalistic systems where time is money and the bills and taxes pile up by the minute, are not prepared to deal with.... Because we have not been given a proper model of how to create peace, nor the functional tools to accept ourselves or our issues and heal them accordingly, we find our familial/cultural/societal/governmental/militarized/legal/socio-economic programming automatically creates the relational dysfunction which abounds on earth at present. Worse still, even psychology, western medical drugs, science, education, and religion, nothing ultimately can save us but our own understanding and implementation of love! This is because all axioms of belief existing within the system are part of the problem, as it is the system as a whole which is killing the earth and hence killing us, so one must step outside the box of all present philosophies and ways of being to give birth to a new belief system and behavior pattern which works for this present version of life on Earth. Realistically, what we WILL to be may consist of a mixture of what has come before, because it is in reflecting upon all experiential wisdom that has come before us that we may weed out what works and what does not, and thus implement lasting change from the ground up.... All paths ultimately must lead back to this one single convergence of a human being learning to BE, to be LOVE., if not, planetary civilizations digress into abject nihilism and myriad possible variations of unending battles ending in total annihilation... To be love requires we free up our truth, yet due to the large number of opinions and viewpoints, powerful minds and arrogant egos, spiritual materialists, and the reigning paradigms of fear/mistrust and competition --- the individual may find it difficult to form an original synopsis about what they are experiencing. One may wonder, which feelings or thoughts matter, what is real, who is right, who is wrong, who can I trust, what should I believe, is what serves me always the best, what about the big picture, how can I know the truth, who am I, why does my truth matter, what is my truth, how do I find it?

Without going into any heady explorations of metaphysical transcendence of our earthly experience where all sense data is illusion and this is all but a dream of quantum Potentia, it seems simple enough to observe that sometimes our truth is in our feelings, and sometimes our truth is in our thoughts. Sometimes our truth is an other's truth, sometimes our truth is what has been, and sometimes our truth is something that has never been (as far as we know or are aware of).... It seems evident that perhaps there is no absolute method to discover the balance of truth between our emotions and thoughts, new and old ideas, tried and true or false and misleading 'ways', that there is seemingly no exact 'way' that may deliver us into the auspices of the heart throne wherein love's wisdom and clarity abound as a matter of fact. Still, if one follows the razors edge between all extremes and is delivered to the purified respiration of simply Being As Is, to being as pure and strong as the heart which innately drives us ever onward towards an unknown series of events, to being Love by the strength of our will and the grace of our trust and patience in the process of life, then a humble intuitive understanding of self, others, and reality is matter-of-factly afforded us.... And along the way towards being our own personal savior and genius, one may begin to discover an array of judgements concerning our mental/emotional/intuitive truth. We may find that if we express how we feel, or if we think too much and are over-analytical and examine things too deeply, if we are too sensitive according to others, certain expressions may be judged as radical or weird. In a world where most are hiding their vulnerability of truth, competing and killing for what others have told them is true, cowardice and varying levels of ignorance abound as the heros, the stars, the leaders... and so the blind lead the blind and the Earth is toxic and biological life as we now know it is an endangered phenomena. So what slows and prevents change? Often our ideas and concepts of how things 'should,' or 'could' be, may seem too fantastic to others or even our own inner critic.

Cynicism touts, "that is not possible!" Still, we progress towards paradigm change one step after another, perhaps noticing that in our ascension unto awakening and awareness and higher intelligences, there are often judgements and hopelessness shared with us by others and inner aspects of ourselves that are afraid of change, fearful of the unknown, mistrustful of the infinity of our potential contrasted with the seeming heaviness of our past and all those types of suffering and disappointments we have experienced.... We may feel wary of any way of being that suggests we are being mysteriously carried towards our own personal freedom and away from the maddening crowd of normality. We may also discover that a great many beings including ourselves are in and out of denial of the causes and effects of the current reigning paradigms of competition, struggle, and strife. Many of our minds have learned to find comfort in the mainstream media illusions fueled by corporate greed and governmental manipulation, we may not want to hear about global nihilism because we are shunning awareness of our self destruction, ie. suicidal tendencies.... In honest self-reflection we may observe our usage of legalized drugs such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and pain killers, hoping to deny any inner intuition of what is real and true in reality and self. Look at the debts, the wars, the pollution, the abuse, the harassment, and all of humanity can be observed to be engaged in some form of nihilism whether we are aware of it or not... This information is not meant to shame the reader, there is no room for shame in self-realizing truth, shame and the punishment of guilt only block awareness and fuel self hatred, instead this realization is meant to induce the observation that a great many psychological aspects of the human being restrict the journey towards truth and love, which restricts the body and the heart. In realizing it is our negativity, avoidance, and beliefs which prevent healing and change, then we may free ourselves by freeing our mind, which frees our soul, which brings us closer to the innate intelligence of the human heart of which we find beating within us as evidence of our multi-faceted presence and purpose upon Earth... To Be Love.

~ Towards A Center-Point, by Brennpunkt of the DPC

The paved highway of belief through touch
And sight leads straightest into the human heart
And the precints of the mind.

~ Lucretius (c. 60 B.C.), De Rerum Natura

The Connective Tissue of Transformation

"When we command movement of an arm or a leg
we establish all the conditions to effect
movement of several long levers in organized action.
The wisdom lies not in man's "command,"
but in the various systems cooperating with
the neuromuscular mechanisms to establish right conditions."

~Mabel Ellsworth Todd, The Thinking Body

The word for faith in Pali is Saddha. While sometimes translated as "confidence" or "trust," the literal meaning of saddha is "to place your heart upon." When we give our hearts over to a spiritual practice, it is a sign of confidence or trust in the path we have embarked upon. Faith opens us to what is beyond our usual, limited, self-centered concerns. In Buddhist psychology, faith is called a gateway to all good things, because it sparks our initial inspiration to practice meditation and also sustains our ongoing efforts. Faith empowers us to move towards compassion, loving-kindness, and freedom.

Yet the concept can be difficult for some people. Faith may be associated with mindless belief, or it may imply the need to proclaim allegiance to a creed or doctrine. Then we fear being judged, by ourselves or by others, for our degree of compliance. When we use the word faith in a Buddhist context, it is quite different from this. And this difference is crucial.

To "place the heart upon" does not at all mean to believe in something so rigidly that we become defensive about opening our minds to new ideas. Nor does it mean that we use what we have faith in as a way of feeling separate from and superior to others. We do not need to subjugate others because of our faith, or declare the vessel of our faith as the one true vessel. When we talk about saddha, we are talking about a heartfelt confidence in the possibility of our own awakening.

Faith does not need to be viewed as a fixed, solid thing, that we either have or don't have. We experience faith on many levels. In a classical Buddhist text entitled The Question of King Milinda, a monk named Nagasena uses an allegory to illustrate this. A group of people, gathered on the edge of a flooding stream, want to go to the far shore but are afraid. They do not know what to do, until one wise person comes along, assesses the situation, takes a running leap, and jumps to the other side. Seeing the example of that person, the others say, "Yes, it can be done." And then they also jump.

In this story, the near shore symbolizes our usual confused condition, and the far shore is the awakened mind. Inspired by witnessing one another, we say, "Yes, it can be done." This is one level of faith. But after we have jumped ourselves, when we say, "Yes, it can be done" because we know it from our own experience, then we have entered into quite another level of faith.

The first instance is an example of what is called "bright faith." This is the kind of faith that happens when our hearts our opened by encountering somebody or something that moves us. Perhaps we are inspired by a person's qualities of wisdom or kindness. Whether it is someone we know or a historical figure, like the Buddha or another great being, we begin to sense the possibility of a different, happier way of being.

Bright faith is a wonderful feeling and an important beginning, but it is also unreliable. We might encounter one teacher one day and another teacher another day, and be moved powerfully by each of them, but in different directions. If we are looking for someone outside of ourselves to sustain our faith, we can easily become distracted by whatever influence comes into our lives next.

The deeper level of faith is called "verified faith," meaning that it is grounded in our own experience. This is a mature faith, anchored in our own sense of the truth, centered in an understanding of the nature of the mind and body that we come to through our own awareness. The inspiration and confidence we feel, rather than coming from something outside of ourselves, arises from within, and it fuels further inquiries into our own understanding.

It is a great turning point in our lives when we move from an intellectual appreciation of our spiritual path to the heartfelt confidence that says, "Yes, it is possible to awaken. I too can." A tremendous joy accompanies this confidence. When we place our hearts upon the practice, the teachings come alive. That turning point, which transforms an abstract concept of a spiritual path into our own personal path, is faith.

{A Heart As Wide As The World, by Sharon Salzberg}

{Images Linked/Programming by DPC}

"In a real sense, all of life is interrelated.
All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.
I can never be what I ought to be
until you are what you ought to be,
and you can never be what you ought to be
until I am what I ought to be.
This is the interrelated structure of reality."

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

A temporary name...

A person able to decipher their meaning properly
would soon be able to dispense with the written
or the spoken word altogether.
The more I think of it, there is something futile,
mediocre, even (I am tempted to say) foppish about speech.
By contrast, how the gravity of Nature and the silence startle you,
when you stand face to face with her, undistracted,
before a barren ridge or in the desolation of ancient hills.


The Scripture on Infinite Light says,
"Rivers, lakes, birds, trees, and forests all invoke Buddha, Truth, and Communion."

In a moment of awareness without discrimination, great wisdom appears.
This is like pouring water
into the ocean, like working a bellows in the wind.

Furthermore, how do you discriminate?
"Buddha" is a temporary name for what cannot be seen when you look,
what cannot be heard when you listen,
whose place of origin and passing away cannot be found when you search.

It covers form and sound, pervades sky and earth, penetrates above and below.
There is no second view, no second person, no second thought.
It is everywhere, in everything, not something external.

This is why the single source of all awareness is called "Buddha."

It doesn't change when the body deteriorates, it is always there.
But you still cannot use what is always there. Why?
Because, as the saying goes,
"Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes it obstructs vision."
Although buddhahood is wonderful, if you are obsessed with it it becomes a sickness.

An early Zen master said,
"It is not mind, not Buddha, not a thing -- what is it?"
This says it all.
It has brought us the diamond sword that cuts all obsessions.

Another classical Zen master said,
"The slightest entangling thought can cause hellish actions;
a flash of feeling can chain you indefinitely.
Just end ordinary feelings,
and there is no special perception of sages to seek
-- the perception of sages appears where ordinary feelings end."

To learn to be a Buddha,
first you should break through the seeds of habit with great determination,
and then be aware of cause and effect so that you fear to do wrong.
Transcend all mental objects, stop all rumination.
Don't let either good or bad thoughts enter into your thinking,
forget about both Buddhism and things of the world.
Let go of body and mind, like letting go over a cliff.
Be like space, not producing subjective thoughts of life and death, or any signs of discrimination.
If you have any views at all, cut them right off and don't let them continue.

The Perception of Sages, by Zen Master Xiatang

translated by Thomas Cleary

{Programming by DPC}


What we see is not Nature,
but Nature exposed to our method of questioning .

~ W. C. Heisenberg

I've never met anyone who does not struggle with self-discipline. The problem with self-discipline is usually identified as a lack of willpower, a lack of follow through. You commit to a program with every good intention, and wake up a few days later having 'failed.'

A few of us are on the other side of the continuum, so disciplined we ' fail' at things like kindness, spontaneity, and relaxation. One way or another, the struggle to be disciplined takes a lot of energy, often misspent.

There is a convoluted belief about self-discipline that many of us have taken on.

The Belief
"If I were different - better, smarter, thinner, richer, more in control (which I would be if only I had more self-discipline!) - life would be as it should be and I would be happy. As it is, life isn't the way it should be and it's my fault!"

I contend that what we think of as the problem with self-discipline is not the problem at all, and the solutions we try, sincere as they are, lead to frustration and failure. So, as I see it, this belief is not true.

Nothing in life is as matter of fact as 'fault'; no amount of self-discipline will ever give anyone control over life (control is an illusion); happiness does not depend on circumstances; and life is always exactly as it is!

There are two kinds of self-discipline:

1. Strict, harsh, and punishing.
"Do not give in to weakness."
"Your lack of resolve is pathetic."
"Push ahead no matter what."
"You're a failure if you quit."

2. Supported, assisted, and nurtured.
"I will not abandon myself no matter what."
"Deep down this is what I really want."
"I will ask for help if I need it."
"I know I cannot fail if I do this with love."

The first is familiar to us all.

The second, compassionate self-discipline, is nothing other than being present rather than engaged in distracted, unfocused, addictive behaviors based in an I-need-to-fix-myself mentality.

That person is actually paying attention, focusing on what is here to do in this moment, bringing compassion to all aspects of daily life, and discipline has nothing to do with it. We don't lack self-discipline, we lack presence. Compassionate self-discipline is simply allowing the intelligence and generosity that is your authentic nature to guide you in every moment.

With this guidance you will be not only disciplined, you will be spontaneous, clear, awake, aware, efficient, appropriate, respectful, grateful, kind, honest, sincere, expressive, steady, dependable, responsible, peaceful, joyful, and satisfied. These are only a few descriptions of the experience.

Discovering compassionate self-discipline may be easier and harder than you thought. On the one hand, it is not necessary to come up with more sophisticated methods for making your "self" do what your self does not want to do. No more planning, hoping, fearing, and failing. On the other hand, you will need to choose in-the-moment presence over the habitual patterns of a "conditioned mind."

Conditioned Mind

The everyday mind through which we interact with life is the result of a system of brainwashing called 'socialization.' From the first moment of life a child is taught what is right, wrong, ugly, beautiful, worthless, who the right people are, which values are important, which god to believe in, what heaven is, what hell is, how a person should be, how others should be, how the world should be, how people should be punished, what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman... In other words, every aspect of life has been programmed (For most people, 'going beyond' their childhood socialization is simply doing the opposite of what they were taught.) This program -- Whether adhering to it or rebelling against it -- is what we call conditioned mind.

Everything you have attempted for as long as you can remember has been under the direction of a socially and karmically conditioned mind.

"You may now safely turn off your human..."

Every conditioned human being is in a constant, primary relationship with a voice in their head telling them, second by second, what is so, real, true, right, good, beautiful, worthwhile, important, and desirable, as well as what is wrong, bad, to be avoided, unpleasant, ugly, and so on. The voice let's them know how they feel and if they're being the 'right' person. It scans for what's wrong and points out mistakes. In other words, it creates and maintains the reality of each individual.

As you read this the process I am describing is going on. Conditioned mind is taking this in and looking to see if the information is true. Perhaps it's beginning to argue, "Do I agree with this? I don't have a voice in my head pointing out that stuff to me second by second."

That's it! That's the voice.

A casual observation will show you that you are constantly looking somewhere to get the information you're getting about every aspect of life. For instance, you decide to learn a new skill.

The decision, the approach, the beliefs about your abilities, success, failure, and so forth, arise in conditioned mind. You may be aware of voices of enthusiasm or trepidation, and you may hear negative, even punishing voices saying you can't succeed because you have some built-in flaw that will prevent success. As you proceed, you are constantly following the directions, assumptions, and assessments coming from conditioned mind. You look to conditioned mind to tell you how you're doing. Depending on the response you get, you will feel good or bad. Are you learning this new skill quickly and easily? You get to feel good, proud, pleased. Are you learning it faster than others? Better still! Not meeting the standards? Oops. We know what that says about you.

Conditioned mind is framing your life.... We are going to turn the tables on it. Rather than 'it' being in charge, calling the shots, making the decisions about what you do and how you feel, 'you' will have the opportunity to observe 'it' and to realize that you can have your own present moment experience of life. You will have a chance to be in life without the filter of conditioning.

So the question is not
"How do I become more disciplined?"
The question is
"How do I learn to live in the present?"

Making A Change For Good, by Cheri Huber

{Art by John Powell/Programming by DPC}

Soft is stronger than hard,
water stronger than rock,
love stronger than force.

~ Hermann Hesse

Transcendental Symmetry

T'ien-t'ung said in verse:

The totality of forms is so steep,
But passing through to infinity blocks the eyes.
Who has the strength to sweep out his garden?
Hidden in human hearts, it turns into feelings.
A boat crosses a rustic fjord, steeped in the azure of autumn,
Rowing into the reed flowers reflecting the light off the snow.
An old fisherman with a bolt of silk takes it to the market,
Floating lightly in the wind, a single leaf traverses the waves.

The totality of forms is steep, but passing through to infinity blocks the eyes, this means that the way of the true Buddhist is through the world, not avoiding its difficulties, not plunging into oblivion in the absolute.

Who has the strength to sweep out his garden? The emptiness of the absolute is not realized by rejecting or denying things, or by trying to blank the mind.

Hidden in human hearts, it turns into feelings; if you become fixated upon "emptiness" as a principle or as a state of mind, this gives the sense of something there, which obstructs penetrating illumination of insight.

A boat crossing a rustic fjord steeped in the azure of autumn refers to stagnation in the stillness of the absolute; rowing into the reed flowers reflecting the light off the snow refers to being dazzled by direct perception of the absolute. Wan-sung quotes, "When pure light shines in your eyes, it seems you have missed your home; turning around in pure clarity, you fall into that state."

The last two lines describe what is known as "entering the marketplace with hands extended," transcending transcendence to re-enter the ordinary world, "not avoiding the wind and waves," neither rejecting nor denying things, realizing the nonresistance of the absolute without making that into an object either, being in the world but not of the world, free to come and go.

The Flower Ornament Scripture says, "Beings teach, lands teach, all things in all times teach, constantly, without interruption." Disputation is not the way to hear this teaching, while your emotions and your intellect are arguing back and forth, reality passes you by, as you "stumble past without being aware of it."

Emotions and intelligence are like shoes, which enable us to walk, to act efficiently, by cushioning us from the impact of the world at large. Emotion cushions us by alerting us to instinctive feelings of attraction and danger, while intelligence cushions us by enabling us to make sense of an otherwise chaotic world.

{Classic of Buddhism and Zen, translated by Thomas Cleary}

{Images Linked/Programming by DPC}

Oneness is achieved by recognizing yourself.

Yogi Bhajan

Junk Food News

The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, “We are the best entertained least informed society in the world.” Since the mid 1980’s, Project Censored has examined this phenomenon in the culture of the 24/7-television news cycle. Looking beyond what the corporate news media undercover or ignore, Project Censored surveys what they do spend precious airtime and column inches on while not covering the top censored stories or others in the public interest. Which news stories have been found consistently by such surveys in this so-called information age? “Junk Food News,” said Project Censored founder Dr. Carl Jensen. “It’s like a Twinkie, not very nourishing for the consumer.” This is how Jensen described it back in 1984 when he first began looking at how tabloid sensationalism had inundated the nightly news with the “Where’s the Beef” campaign. Jensen still considers Junk Food News a major problem in journalism and corporate media, particularly on today’s cable and television news. In that tradition, Project Censored “celebrates” the 25th anniversary of Junk Food News this year…

Please continue reading this article here:

{Source/Programming by DPC}


*Click picture to watch movie...

"The more I learned of the intentions, successes, and advances of analysis, the more I had to realize that it could not have but an undermining effect on the existence that owed its strongest impulse precisely to the fact that it did not know itself, that by its own heavy and blessed secret it was inexhaustibly part of all the secrets of the world and even of Creation, and was secretly and magnanimously sustained from there."

~Rilke and Benvenuta: an Intimate Correspondence

{Programming by DPC/DPC Blogger/Music by Planet Boelex}

Pure and Glistening

{NGC 6334: The Cat's Paw Nebula}

“If you will now and at all times, whether walking, standing sitting, or lying, only concentrate
on eliminating analytic thinking (mentation), at long last you will inevitably discover the truth.
Because your strength is insufficient, you may be unable to leap beyond the
phenomenal sphere with a single jump but, after three, five, or perhaps ten years, you will
certainly have made a good beginning and be able to go of your own accord.
It is because you are not capable of this [eliminating of analytic thinking (mentation)] that
[you feel] the necessity of using the mind to ‘study Dhyana’ and ‘study the Way.’
How will the Dharma be able to help you? So it is said: ‘All that was spoken by the Tathagata
was for the purpose of influencing men.’ It was like using yellow leaves for gold to stop
the crying child, and was decidedly not real. If you take it for something real, you are not
one of our sect, and, moreover, what relation can it have to your real self?
So the sutra says: ‘[To know that] in reality there is not the smallest thing which
can be grasped is called supreme, perfect wisdom.’ If you can understand this meaning,
you will see that the Way of the Buddhas and the way of the devil are equally wrong.
In reality, everything is pure and glistening, neither square nor round, big nor small, long nor short;
it is beyond passion and phenomena, ignorance and Enlightenment.”

~Hsi Yun

Silent Learning


"Death's grip can break our bodies, not our souls;

If death take him, I too know how to die.

Let Fate do with me what she will or can;

I am stronger than death and greater than my fate;

My love shall outlast the world, doom falls from me

Helpless against my immortality."

Sri Aurobindo, "Savitri"

Book VI: The Book of Fate Canto I
Programming by DPC

Brief Intermission

To act accordingly and abundantly

J. Krishnamurti


Question: What makes up a problem? And is any problem solved by dissecting it and finding its cause?

Krishnamurti: What is a problem? Please do not just wait for an answer from me. You are not merely listening to someone talking, but we are trying to find out together what creates a problem. You each have your own problems. How do they come into being?

We have contradictory desires, do we not? I want to be rich, let us say, and at the same-time I know or have heard that wealth is detrimental to the discovery of truth. So there is a contradiction in my desires - the contradiction of wanting and not wanting. It is this conflict of contradictory desires in us that creates a problem, is it not? We have many contradictory desires, many conflicting pursuits, ambitions, urges, and all these contradictions create a problem. Now, can the mind ever resolve the problem of self-contradiction by imposing one desire on another?

Take hatred, for example. What causes hatred? Surely, one of the biggest factors is chauvinism; another is the sense of superiority or inferiority created by economic differences; still another is the division created between man and man by what are called religions. These are the principal causes of hatred, and they give rise to many other major problems in the world today. Knowing all this, can the individual free himself from hatred? This is where our difficulty lies, and if you will listen carefully I think you will see it.

When I say "I know the cause of hatred", what do I mean by the words "I know"? Do I know it merely through the word, the intellect, or do I know it with the totality of my being? Am I aware of the root of hatred in myself, or do I know its cause only intellectually or emotionally? If the mind is totally aware of the problem, then there is freedom from the problem; but I cannot be aware of it with the totality of my being if I condemn the problem. It is very difficult for the mind not to condemn; but to understand a problem there must be no condemning of that problem, no comparing of it with another problem.

I do not think we realize that we are all the time either condemning or comparing. Let us not try to excuse ourselves, but just watch our daily life, and we shall see that we never think without judging, comparing, evaluating. We are always saying "This book is not as good as the other one", or "This man is better than that man; there is a constant process of comparison, through which we think we understand. But do we really understand through comparison? Or does understanding come only when one ceases to compare, and just observes? When your mind is integrated, you have no time to compare, have you? But the moment you compare, your attention has already moved elsewhere. When you say "This sunset is not as beautiful as that of yesterday", you do not really see the sunset, for your mind has wandered off to the memory of yesterday.

When the mind is capable of not condemning, not comparing, but merely examines the problem, then surely the problem has undergone a fundamental change; and then the problem ceases. Simple awareness is enough to put an end to the problem.

What do we mean by awareness? If you observe your own mind you will see that it is always comparing, judging, condemning. When we condemn or compare, do we understand? If we condemn a child, or compare him with his brother, obviously we do not understand him. So, can the mind be simply aware of a problem, without condemning or comparing? This is extremely difficult, because from childhood we have been brought up to condemn and to compare. And can the mind cease to condemn and compare without being compelled? Surely, when the mind sees for itself that to condemn or to compare does not bring about understanding, then that very perception frees the mind from all condemnation and comparison. This means a complete separation of the mind from all traditions and beliefs.

To free one's mind in this deep sense requires a great deal of insight, because the mind is very easily influenced. It is always seeking security, not only in this world, in society, but also in the so-called spiritual world. If you go into the whole process of your own mind, you will see that this is so; and a mind that is seeking security can never be free.

To observe the total process of the mind without condemnation or comparison, to be conscious of it without judgement,to recognize and understand it from moment to moment - this is awareness, is it not?

You have listened to what is being said, and probably you either approve or disapprove of it, which means that you accept or reject it. But we are not just dealing with ideas, which can be accepted or rejected; we are not putting new ideas in the place of old ones. We are concerned with the totality of the mind, the totality of yourself, of your whole being, which cannot be approached through ideas. Please do not accept or reject, but try to find out, as you listen, how your own mind is operating. Then you will see that the mere observation of the process of the mind is in itself sufficient to bring about a fundamental transformation within the mind.

We see that there must be in us a radical change, and we think that we have to make an effort to bring it about. But any effort in that direction is merely another form of wanting a result, so we are back again in the same old process. What is necessary, surely, is not more control, more knowledge, but rather awareness of the totality of oneself, without any sense of condemnation or approval. Then you will find that the mind is renewed and absolutely still. For this an exceptional amount of energy is required; but it is not energy spent in the usual way, on comparison, on suppression, on the imposition of discipline, nor is it the energy acquired through prayer. It is the energy that comes with full attention. Every movement of thought in any direction is a waste of energy, and to be completely still the mind needs the energy of absolute attention. When the mind is alert, aware, wholly attentive, it becomes very quiet, very still; and only then is it possible for that which is immeasurable to come into being.

September 24, 1956

{Images Linked/Art by Joe Tucciarone/Programming by DPC}

[Page vi]

...that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them: nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."

(Secret Doctrine, Vol. III, page 401.)

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