“If Not Now, Then When?”

(Thanks to Tao & Zen on  May 25  for this posting from Lama Surya Das in 1994)

(I personally align to no particular religion, but am open to quality spiritual thought. I like Buddhism for its psychological depth and self-examination aspects. I like Hinduism for its ancient Vedic Seers (as well as more modern saints) who were capable of parting the veil obscuring our perceptions on this life. I like agnostics who claim that we can’t possibly know God based solely on our limited comprehensions. And I especially like the wisdom of our own Higher Self aspects that define our life experiences within the context that this human vehicle is capable of understanding.  To me, this article expresses all of those ‘likes’ by simply discussing Dharma—the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential.)

“Buddhist meditation is the heart of the path of awakening. It is called Dharma… the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential, in Western terms.buddhamedpic5.jpg

‘Awakening from what?’ you might ask. Awakening from the sleep of semiconsciousness, the dream of delusion. Awakening to enlightenment, illumination, freedom, nirvanic peace, inner peace as well as outer peace.

This is a path that we travel. It is not a dogma or belief system that we need to accept. In fact, as a very wonderful wise friend of mine, an American lama, once said, “It doesn’t really matter what we believe. It only matters what we do and are.”

I found that interesting. In Buddhism we usually say it doesn’t matter what we do, it matters how aware we are. It shows that the outer and inner are totally inseparable. It is what we are that counts, but that is what we do, actually. Our inner state shows up in our behavior…

If we practice this path, we experience the fruits, the results. Each of us innately has that Buddha potential or Buddha-nature, enlightened perfect nature.

Not just in us, like a needle in a haystack, so hard to find; rather, it is us, just waiting to be realized fully, or actualized. So this path of meditative practice, of self-inquiry, of cultivation of awareness is a practice path that we travel ourselves. Not a dogma we need to believe.

This meditative practice is like a mirror to help us see ourselves, to better know ourselves, thoroughly — our true selves, not just our superficial personalities and conditioned social selves, our persona, but our true nature, our true selves. To unfold and realize that is possible. That’s what we call awakening the Buddha within.

An ancient rabbi, Hillel I think, said, “If not you, then who? And if not now, when?” If you are not the Bodhisattva, a selfless spiritual activist or hero serving the welfare of beings, who will be?

And if not now, when? This is a call to action–not just worldly, compulsive busy-body-like activity, but a call to Buddha-activity, enlightened activity, enlightened living… ifnotnowwhen7.jpg

Not just living wisdom from the eyebrows up, totally cerebral and intellectual. Rather, embodying truth and living it.”

~ Lama Surya Das ~ Excerpts from “Dharma Talk,” October 24, 1994; Cambridge, MA.

 

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“Blowciferousnous”

There.  I’ve created the perfect descriptor for politicians who try to cash in on tragedies just to get their own mugs on the evening news and to hear themselves “blowfuscate” about flagrant injustices occurring near them while pushing their own tainted agendas that helped create the very situation they are now railing against.  Most politicians in today’s world are nothing more than “blowciferous.”3ofhtenotsamekind.jpg

Political blowhards like to hear themselves talk—a lot! And they really prefer a captive audience like they can garner at press briefings after the latest school shooting. Senators, governors, the president—they all line up to so sadly address the cameras with meaningless platitudes and empty promises for a better tomorrow than today had unfortunately turned out to be.

Vociferousness is what they offer—a vocal outcry for pseudo-reform that isn’t really reform at all—just meaningless noise from a propagator whose sole purpose was to appear at the news conference itself—not to help those in the aftermath who are genuinely scared or are grieving with deep loss—but to step in front of the gathered crowd and act like they are taking charge of the situation, when instead they are the very people who have helped to create it.

Blowhards obfuscate—they shout their indignation to obscure the situation’s genuine meaning and manipulate the truth of what has actually occurred.

Blowciferous politicians bewilder their listeners with coarse banality and unintelligible logic. They portray themselves as champions for social change, when of course, they are just the opposite.  Status quo serves them far too well to support meaningful change in our society and culture.

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Any tragedy deserves heartfelt sympathy, as do the people who are most affected by the loss of loved ones. To them there are no words that can ease the depth of their pain—no “our hearts and prayers go out to the families” bullshit spoken far too frequently and with less and less conviction each time repeated.

And absolutely NO ONE deserves self-serving politicians trying to cash in on the latest school shooting with no other remedy for protecting our kids than to “arm the teachers.”

In my humble opinion, NRA-loving politicians should be careful with those suggestions.

If you arm enough teachers as the primary solution to our most serious social problems, you might not be around long to witness the result of your actions because teachers are already pretty fed up putting their own lives on the line day after day—without receiving combat pay.  Even teachers have limited patience when their elected officials refuse to do their jobs.

The real solution:  Don’t add more guns to schools!

Make the change at the ballot box—change representatives.  Eliminate gun lobbies. Stop celebrating the gun culture.

It’s time for meaningful social change and time for a new breed of representatives of peace-loving people.

No more “blowciferous” politicians!  Tell them simply: “Do your job or be thrown out.”

And then actually DO IT.giffordsquote.jpg

“Systemic Shifts Are Underway”

Systems are a series of logical dependent processes that exist for a purpose with a circsytembeginning point and a desired end result.

Our circulatory system, for example, exists to supply the body’s mass with blood that fuels it.

Our digestive system exists to process the body’s intake of food sources into usable nutrients that then supply energy to power the human vehicle.

Systems are those linked processes that have a reason to function, and hopefully do so with efficiency and success.cogs and people.jpg

So when a systemic shift is underway that means that an established system of some sort is undergoing a change in operational process or a change of intended outcome.

When that operational process is the government of the United States and someone on the news who is experienced and knowledgeable in this respect declares that “systemic changes are underway in the government of the United States,” I pay attention.

systemicchange poster.jpg

 

Shifts in this respect can mean in attitude, in focus, or in operation—how governing of the nation and her people is regarded and executed.

We actually do have a document that already defines this “governing system”. It is called the United States Constitution. To change that document would take some serious legislation and congressional agreement on what congress felt needed to change and why.

But to dilute the existing laws in affect or to dissuade the judicial branch from upholding the US constitutional laws, is a much easier task to achieve. Those, I believe, are the shifts that are occurring—ones in attitude and congressional oversight.

After enduring almost one year of Trump’s government deconstruction attempts and boiling frog.pngpathological lying, we are sitting here like near-boiling frogs in our ever-heating pot. At first the slow-heating water starts out kind of warm, but not too uncomfortable, and then it just keeps getting hotter and hotter until we feel so relaxed and zapped of energy, that we can’t jump out of the pot to save ourselves.

Those are the systemic shifts underway that self-interested congress men and women are allowing to slow-cook all of us. Yes, we do have laws in place to stop despots from taking over our government.  But we don’t have laws in place to make members of congress and the justice department enforce those laws if they have no sense of duty and moral integrity to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

When our government can be bought by rich autocrats, then there is no democracy—no true Republic “for which we stand, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

There is only autocratic rule with multi-dollar dispersion to the loyal followers.

As 2018 looms on the near horizon, we the people of America have a choice of continuing boiledfroggyto float about in our ever-heating pot, or to say “I better get out of this pot while I can and turn off that burner.”

It’s now time to turn off the burner, folks. Time to take a stand. Time to make your voices known that you refuse to be boiled alive without a fight.

It’s time to stand up and speak out while you still have the right to free speech. Don’t assume that freedom is always going to be there for you if you don’t defend it while it is under attack by the despot’s propaganda machine.

If you can’t be bought, you need to run for government offices nationwide—local, state, and federal.

Make that your resolution for the year ahead:yates.jpg

I stand up for the constitution of the United States of America, and I oppose those who try to destroy it.

And hopefully that resolution effort lasts longer than most diets do.

Growing a NEW Culture

petridish.jpg

Dig out your old petri dish, we are going to grow a culture.

Us little bacteria (and there are GOOD symbiotic bacteria such as those that help you digest your food) are replicating and spreading out now with NEW intention over that glass surface. And when we’re done replicating, that petri dish will actually walk away under its own power.

In saying that, I just wanted to mention that another series of speakers are gathering online December 5-7 to discuss the future of our society and what we need to do to build new lines of communication, to create new pathways for peace and prosperity, and to encourage new cohesion among all of us in general to make this present dysfunctional world function as it should.

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It is called Shift’s Vision 2020: Illuminating Our Path to a Brighter Future, and it includes many well-known visionaries discussing the present state of our society and what needs to change within it to build a better future together.

I’ve been mentioning these other info sources in post-broadcast form, but this one is yet to come. Why I mention it here without even hearing it is that this online summit offers a FREE-listening for the 48-hours following each speaker, so you have the opportunity to hear them without cost if you catch it during that time frame. You can go to this page to sign up for FREE and to see the schedule of speakers and what they intend to discuss online. http://vision2020summit.us/

I might not catch them all but I do intend to hear a few to see what tendrils that new bacterium is spreading for us.

Here is a sample of the presenters:

Here’s some of what our brilliant Vision 2020 speakers will be sharing with you…

 DeloresHuerta Dolores Huerta focuses on the power to end racism and create a nation of equality and true freedom. Each person truly can make a difference!
 MarianneWilliamson.jpg Marianne Williamson calls us forward to step in and stand up for our country’s founding principles, and the sacred commitment that ALL people are created equal.
 JenniferSiebelNewsom.jpg Jennifer Siebel Newsom calls on you to find and use your voice to stand up for what you passionately believe — to challenge stereotypes and cultural norms, and create equality for all.
 SisterJenna.jpg Sister Jenna offers a dynamic, enlightening transmission on how our thoughts have the power to create our reality — demonstrating that the awakening and shift in our country requires the transformation of our inner world.
 StephenDinan.jpg Stephen Dinan discusses Vision 2020, a powerful movement to educate ourselves and each other — a solution-focused resource for designing and activating the more beautiful world we all know is possible.
 angelKyodowilliams.jpg Rev. Angel Kyodo williams shows how the “American Dream” has been a nightmare for all non-Caucasian people throughout our country’s history… while inspiring you to envision and create a brave, inclusive NEW American Dream!
 JoanBlades.jpgJohnGable.jpg Joan Blades with John Gable introduce a powerful practice for healing relationships that are broken or diminished because of divergent political orientations — offering communication techniques that build understanding across divides.
 ShariffAbdullah.jpg Shariff Abdullah addresses the complex topic of racial injustice… and expresses a vision for a future of equality and economic stability for all socioeconomic classes.
 MichaelLerner.jpgCatZavis.jpg Michael Lerner with Cat J Zavis emphasize the importance of creating social change movements grounded in empathy and infused with love, compassion and spiritual wisdom and practices.
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Andrew Harvey offers insights on sacred activism and how it can lead to deep shifts in our political evolution.

 

So now you have the opportunity to hear it firsthand for yourselves.

Change is possible!—REAL change!—DEEP change!—change that benefits all of us as loving and caring people.  These folks are going to speak about those grow-able changes petri handthat CAN occur if folks are willing to put the time and effort into creating them—and to create our NEW and BETTER WORLD in the process.

 

We Are What We Think

whatwethink.jpg

Saw a great image on Facebook this morning, and it reminded me to clear my mind of those less-than-desirable thoughts over our present political situations, including the latest presidential chicanery.

I need to keep those negative suggestions for remediating the overall situation out of my head now and always. They are not helpful to me or to the state of our nation as it struggles to recognize the constitutional threat so blatantly declaring dictatorial powers over freedom of press, judicial branches, and foreign policy.

So what is helpful in that regard?

That’s a really good question.truthred.jpg

  • I think TRUTH would be extremely helpful to the overall situation—if we could be certain what that TRUTH actually was.
  • I think being aware of how easily some people allow themselves to be manipulated by others, would be helpful to them, but then they would also have to be willing to NOT be so easily manipulated the next time. That takes remedial work.
  • I think training people to think independently of public opinion in general and use critical analysis skills to assess situations that actually affect them, would be very effective to determining that truth. But people would have to want to think for themselves—and not everyone does.

That’s probably the hardest aspect for me to understand. Blindly believing a pathological liar and the news network that promotes his propagandistic tripe, is NOT helpful (and is almost beyond my capability to comprehend why that is happening), but then THAT is why I need to clear my mind, because as the image above reminds me, “with our thoughts, we make the world.”

And the world engulfing us at present—the one that I’m trying so hard not to have negative thoughts about, is the world in which we live.

But it is NOT the world I wish to manifest for myself or “make” with my thoughts, nor is it the world I want to call MY creation.

So what should I be thinking?

  • We need broad-based discussion on constitutional rights and liberties.
  • We need social media groups to declare secure information zones for TRUTH and FAIRNESS in advertising.
  • We need to get Big-Money out of the political process—all aspects of it. Even net neutrality is under assault by Big-Money interests as led by the White House.
  • We need congressional protection for consumer-protection groups.
  • We need people who are actually willing to stand up to power and say “NO! Not on my watch!” We don’t need congress members who instead cater to their well-endowed donor list, because if you can be bought—you shouldn’t be in congress.

usconstitutionThe world I wish to manifest is a fair and equitable place with equal opportunity for everyone, just as our United States constitution demands.  Oh wait, …that means there is already a legally binding document in place to provide lawful actions and treatment for all citizens?

 

Maybe we just need some folks with the courage to enforce it.

So what I should be thinking is that we DO have those people right here, right now who are enforcing our US Constitution and protecting all of our rights as US citizens and who are removing threats to our nation and to our liberties.

In other words: Go Mueller!

But please do it soon to help create our better world. It’s hard to hold a higher state of mind in the present one.

When “NOT DOING” Isn’t Doing It for You

buddha quote.jpg

At present this is the conflict I feel inside: the NOT DOING (and not reacting to aggravations and frustrations over what is happening around me) at times feels like a betrayal to my inner fire—the driving force of ME-ness.

The “Why aren’t you out there marching for Women’s Rights to be heard, seen, and respected?” is in conflict with my philosophy of “Be at peace, to spread peace”.

So while questioning myself over this tumultuous, mental agitation I remembered the ultimate example of peaceful protest, Mahatma Gandhi, who not only changed the direction of a continent, but also deeply influenced another of the great Civil Rights icons: Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that Gandhi raised peaceful protest to an artform; and many of the women’s marches last Saturday were meant to mirror that—a peaceful display of our right to disagree and stand for something greater than ourselves.womens-march

The numbers participating were impressive—far more so than the blatant attempts to discredit and distract from them was, BUT…..numbers alone won’t change anything, nor will standing around NOT DOING anything make the necessary changes.

So I researched a bit on Gandhi and found a few quotes that might apply to the conundrum of my own being at present.

20 Inspiring Quotes from Mahatma Gandhi:

  1. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
  2. “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
  3. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
  4. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
  5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
  6. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
  7. “An ounce of patience is worth more than a ton of preaching.”
  8. “Change yourself – you are in control.”
  9. “See the good in people and help them.”
  10. “Without action, you aren’t going anywhere.”
  11. “Take care of this moment.”
  12. “Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.”
  13. “Continue to grow and evolve.”
  14. “A no uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ uttered merely to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
  15. “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.”
  16. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”
  17. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
  18. “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
  19. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
  20. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

 

I now thinkgandhi.jpg that if anything can change the world for the better, it is a unified effort designed to do this, believing as Gandhi proclaimed in his own calm way: You can “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” and as such, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Well, let’s start shaking it. My NOT DOING just became DOING.

Aftermath

Similar to afterthought except as applied to actions, aftermath describes the consequences of causal events.quart arm

While afterthought can be considered more benign, cerebral, and sort of “arm-chair, quarterback”-ish on 3rd down plays; …aftermath can be more like “sacked quarterback goes out for the season with broken arm—team in turmoil”-ish.

Afterthought can be second-guessing and reconsidering one’s better options afterwards instead of beforehand.

Aftermath can be the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, even decades following a questionable decision or wide-spread disaster that can irrevocably change the course of lives forever.

Afterthoughts of what we might have done better, rather than what we did do at the time, may haunt us indefinitely.

bombingAftermath is the inevitable result of our bad decisions, choices, or actions that adversely affect (and keep affecting) others besides ourselves long after the initial action occurred.

Where we as global citizens are right now is caught in the aftermath of decisions made by unscrupulous leaders throughout the world many decades and even centuries prior—decisions made by those who were trusted and depended upon at the time, to put humanity’s welfare above their own personal greed and self-focus.

What does this mean to all of us in the NOW?

We are presently living in the aftermath of bad decisions—decisions traditionally based on fear and hatredintegrity—decisions based on self-interest and bids for power and control of resources, finances, and real estate—decisions based on short-term, more immediate benefits and gratuities, rather than long-term sustainable values that help raise people from crushing poverty and provide a solid chance at self-determination.

So with the American election season presently underway, as these latest supposedsaviors of family values and middle-class economic stability trot out their inflammatory one-liners and slash-and-trash campaign tactics, please keep in mind that any afterthoughts you might United States presidential election, 2016have the day after the election for NOT voting in primaries and in November 2016, mean nothing to the rest of us; because we will be too busy dealing with the aftermath of voter apathy and irresponsibility to even consider it.

Listen, …and I mean REALLY listen to what ALL candidates say and claim as his or her platform of beliefs; and then ask if he/she can provide verifiable records of action taken in that same regard before making a decision to give that person your valuable approval.

I think most of us are tired of living in the aftermath of a power-person’s bad decisions made through self-interest and adhesion to conventional party-politics.wisdom integrity

Actions, like wars, have consequences.

Let’s make sure that we all aren’t someone else’s afterthought this time.

Let’s be their primary consideration for a change.

Let’s stop living in the aftermath of someone else’s personal ambition.