The Real News Archive (Archive Home)

July - September, 2003

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Natives running for the Hills

By JEFF GEARINO Southwest Wyoming bureau Sunday, September 28, 2003

GREEN RIVER -- Tribal elders will tell you that running long distances and sleeping under the stars on Mother Earth will humble any human being.

It might also bring a little attention to important cultural sites within the controversial Jack Morrow Hills in southwest Wyoming that tribal officials say need greater protections. -
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Nonsecular comic books. There have been several mainstream comics in the last twenty years that have merged religious beliefs into their stories, and made it work. So now, without any further hesitation or delay, I bring you my list of nonsecular comic books and characters worth reading: -more-

Excerpt from 'Gentle Bridges', by Jeremy Hayward and Francisco Varela. ...it is important for Western science and material development and Eastern mental development to work together. Some people have the impression that these two things are very different, even incompatible. However, in recent years this has changed. Some Western scientists have reached highly sensitive and deep issues in their research work, such as what is the mind, what is "I," what is a human being? They are developing a more philosophical inclination. -more-

Sonoma, California. Titled "Renunciation: A Requiem," this installation by
Iranian-born conceptual artist Seyed Alavi, showing through Oct. 19, encourages the visitor to consider nothing less than the false security of existence--because, after all, what can we be absolutely certain constitutes true and full freedom? While the birds are clearly caged, a brief glimpse at the gallery's wire-crossed ceiling reveals no less a prison. -
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Buddhism is enjoying a remarkable resurgence in the Siberian republic of Buryatia, with thousands of faithful traveling each year to bow to the shrines at Ivolga, some 20 miles from the region's capital of Ulan-Ude. The Buddhist faith now numbers nearly 1,000 lamas and a million followers in Russia, mostly in the Siberian republics of Buryatia, Altai and Tuva as well as in Kalmykia, Europe's only Buddhist republic, on the northern shores of the Caspian Sea. ... In recent years, however, Russian authorities have barred the Dalai Lama, Buddhism's chief spiritual leader, from visiting Russia, citing complaints from China, Russia's strategic partner. -more-

Study: Gullah culture an S.C. asset /Clyburn says heritage centers would aid tourism. By Joey Holleman, Knight Ridder. Gullah heritage could become a growth industry in South Carolina if the recommendations of a National Park Service study are allowed to blossom, according to U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. Gullah culture encompasses the language, crafts and lifestyles begun by enslaved Africans and maintained in the 1900s on remote coastal islands from central Florida through southern North Carolina. -more-

Friday, September 26, 2003

Making Judaism New, Minus the New Age By HOLLY LEBOWITZ ROSSI All those years, I had no idea. I was a High Holy Days-only synagogue attendee growing up. My enormous Reform temple had velvet-covered seats, a lofty choir that, majestically, sang from out of sight and an impressive collection of both Torah scrolls and shofars. Every year, I ate apples and honey on Rosh Hashana for a sweet new year. I thought about my sins on Yom Kippur. I thought that was pretty much it. But I had no idea that the purpose of these holidays is to rehearse my own death, to strip away the false protection that I surround myself with and truly confront the reality of my life — and to do the exact same thing the next year. -more-

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Zen and the art of law enforcement: A Buddhist seminar for Wisconsin police raises consciousness - and stirs an old debate. If it had been a different day, just a few weeks earlier, Capt. Cheri Maples would have arrested the man without a second thought. He'd already threatened her and was refusing to hand his daughter over to his ex-wife after a weekend visitation. But on this day, shortly after returning home from a retreat with a Vietnamese monk, the Madison, Wis., policewoman tried another tack. "This guy was huge, a lot bigger than I am," she recalls. "I just talked to him about what was going on, and he started crying and sobbing and it was clear that he was in a tremendous amount of pain. And given that there hadn't been any physical violence, I decided not to arrest him." -more- Photo: MINDFUL: Thich Nhat Hanh (center, chanting with other monks at a monastery he founded in South Woodstock, Vt.), is at the center of Buddhism's steep rise in popularity in the United States.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Water For The Soul - New Book Passes on a Father's Legacy to His Son. "If you could never see your child again, what would you want him to know about life?" Exiled by the animosity of divorce, author Michael Tyler asks this question and resolves this dilemma with his new book, Water For The Soul: A Father's Hope For His Son (now available through 1stBooks). ... (The book) is broad in scope, addressing subjects that range from "explaining" the value of tears to the complexities of discrimination, from the importance of giving to the quest for spirituality. As such, Water For The Soul transcends its personal intention and extends a purposeful call for self-examination to all who read it, regardless of racial, ethnic, gender or cultural distinction. -more-

Book says God is the greatest discover of modern science. The Wonder of the World: A Journey From Modern Science to the Mind of God. The world's most famous atheist is among the distinguished group of Nobel Prize-winning scientists and religious leaders who are praising the latest work of Roy Abraham Varghese. Professor Antony Flew has for over 50 years led the world in atheist thought and debate. Why then is he now praising a book harmonizing science and God? Varghese presents a dialogue between a Hindu theist (Guru) and a Jewish atheist (Geek) on the origin of things: the universe and its laws, life, consciousness and mind, vision, reproduction and language. Key to the framework of modern science, these questions are tricky and inevitably controversial. "Wonder" has been strongly commended by a most extraordinary variety of thinkers: the Nobel Prize-winners who made two of the greatest discoveries of the twentieth century, the best-known atheist in the English-speaking world, leaders in the dialogue between science and religion and prominent Jewish, theistic Hindu and Christian thinkers. This is quite remarkable in light of "Wonder"'s central claim: of all the great discoveries of modern science, the greatest is God. - http:// biz. yahoo.com/prnews/030924/lawfns1_1.html - Link no longer active-

Secret forest protected. J.D Irving Ltd. preserves land for traditional use of Bouctouche-area native community under company's Unique Areas Program. ... The Tjipogtojg people will be able to use that land for generations to come, thanks to an agreement reached yesterday with J.D. Irving, Limited, whose management plan includes that parcel of land so cherished by the local native community. James K. Irving presented Tjipogtojg chief Garry Sanipass with a scroll that, in the spirit of friendship, promised the company would preserve the land for the traditional use of the Bouctouche-area native community, and expressed a hope the aboriginals would share their knowledge with others. -more-

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Monk completes 24,800-mile 'enlightenment' running ritual. A Buddhist priest dubbed the marathon monk has completed a 24,800-mile running ritual in Japan after seven years. Genshin Fujinami covered a distance equivalent to a trip round the globe, wearing only a white robe and straw sandals. -more-

Meditation as healing science still tied to religion. The most recent book by the seminal researcher on meditation and health, Harvard University's Herbert Benson, indicates that patients who practice meditation for health reasons often report religious experiences, often in the form of sensing a closeness to God or some other spiritual force. "You and I might think this is like saying, 'If you go swimming, you're going to get wet,' " Spiegel said. "But here they were, trying to be good scientists and take meditation out of a religious context. What they found is that when people begin a religious practice, they have a religious experience." -more-

Blind to the Spirit: How the Media Treat Religion: Reporters Just Don't Get It. His surveys discovered that religion does play a part in shaping journalist's views and that it is a mistake to write off the profession in general as irreligious or unaffected by religious values. But, he adds, a common attribute in the journalistic profession is a skeptical and empirical mentality that can blind them to the importance of the spiritual dimension so important in many people's lives. As well, there is a natural tension between the search for "hard facts" by journalists and the proclamation of spiritual values and religious beliefs by churchgoers. Underwood noted that it is difficult to find commentators in the national press who can tackle the subject of religion in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the topic beyond its political implications. "Journalists must learn to treat religion with greater sympathy, understanding and sensitivity," he recommended. -more-

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Dalai Lama in Boston. This issue of the NDHIghlights presents selected portions of his talk at the Fleet Center in Boston, transcribed from my personal notes. ... I am grateful beyond measure for having had the opportunity to be in the presence of His Holiness last weekend as he brought this message of compassion to the people of Boston... joyce. -more-

Thursday, September 18, 2003

H.I.M. Haile Selassie I speaks on spirituality. The temple of the most high begins with the human body, which houses our life, the essence of our existence. Afrikans are in bondage today, because they approach spirituality through religion provided by foreign invaders and conquerors. -more-

A Secretary without equal. Margot Bilodeau has spent 30 years serving Edmonton's archbishops. She is wonderful, totally dedicated to the mission of the Church and of the Gospel," Collins said in an interview. "She listens to people and is able to provide a real presence of the Lord to people." Former chancellor Father Mike McCaffery noted that "people always get a warm welcome" when they phone the chancery office and get to talk to Bilodeau. "I worked with her for many years and I never saw her mad," he said. Sometimes people call to protest, to insult or to denounce but Bilodeau never loses her cool, treating people with respect, courtesy and hospitality. "She follows a pastoral principle that when people throw rocks at you, you don't throw them back." -more-

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos on Mel Gibson's The Passion. In my opinion, one of the great achievements of this film is to have shown so effectively both the horror of sin and selfishness, and the redeeming power of love. Seeing this film provokes love and compassion. It makes the viewer want to love more, to forgive, to be good and strong no matter what, just as Christ did even in the face of such terrible suffering. The viewer is drawn into a powerful experience of God's strong yet gentle love, of his overflowing mercy. It is my belief that if we could understand what Jesus Christ did for us and we could follow his example of love and forgiveness, there would not be hatred or violence in the world. This film will help to make that possible. -more-

Spiritual approach urged to save Earth. Society is committing "ecological suicide," and only a massive change in action will prevent the planet's collapse, warned retired MSU-Billings political science professor, Daniel Henning, who spoke Tuesday as part of the university's Distinguished Lecture series. "Nothing is working today," he said, speaking to a nearly full lecture hall. "We're like fools heading over the side of a cliff. Something has got to change." Henning, an author, international environmental activist, United Nations consultant, Fulbright scholar and former Buddhist monk, said science and technology will never be able to address the current woes of the planet. The only hope is
through a spiritual approach. Buddhism, with its emphasis on compassion and love for all forms of life, offers a particularly good model, he said. -
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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Buddhism: The new Prozac for scientists. "It is certainly not inconceivable that 20 years from now, the US surgeon general might recommend 60 minutes of mental exercise five times a week," Lander told a conference of renowned scientists and Buddhist scholars at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this weekend.

Such a prediction from a man of Lander's stature at a venue like MIT is an indication of mainstream science's growing fascination with Buddhism, and especially with the preliminary but extraordinary results of state-of-the-art research into the Olympian mental athleticism of trained Buddhist monks.

Some of the data presented at the conference -- attended by Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama -- pointed not only to attention spans that would make an air-traffic controller weep with envy, but also meditation techniques that could actually "re-wire" the brain's neural pathways. -more-

Monday, September 15, 2003

A halo of light for Central Park. On Monday night at precisely 7:45 p.m., the skies above New York City's Central Park will explode in a ring of fire. More than 10,000 firework shells will be set off to mark the 150th anniversary of Central Park. The project, called Light Cycle, is the brainchild of Chinese pyrotechnic artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The famed Grucci fireworks family, which has been putting on pyrotechnic displays since 1850, will engineer the proceedings.

"We're going to create a 1,000-foot-high, 850-foot-diameter halo over the reservoir in Central Park," project engineer Phil Grucci tells
NPR's Scott Simon.

Each shell in the display is fitted with a microchip that controls the timing of its explosion to within one-hundredth of a second. Computers will activate 11,000 shells to launch in 9 seconds. If all goes as planned, Grucci says the event, expected to last four-and-a-half minutes, will be a pyrotechnics milestone. -
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Organic farming in Hungary. On average, organic farming may not produce as much as non-organic methods, but the produce definitely tastes better. Organic farmers - and I have known quite a few - believe they are doing the Lord's Work. It's more than just money. It's almost spiritual. In the US, organic farmers make up a large enough market to attract the attention of many food retailers. In the western states, for example, the Wild Oats grocery chain devotes half its produce section to organically-grown fruit and vegetables. And farmers' markets in the US (where farmers sell directly to consumers) now total 3,100. But in Hungary, as I reported in an earlier article, organically-grown produce has made only a small dent in the market. Unfortunately for Hungarian consumers, none of the big food retailers has paid much attention. -more-

Sunday, September 14, 2003

"Na Lei Makamae: The Cherished Lei" Marie A. McDonald and Paul R. Weissich University of Hawai'i Press, hardcover, $49.95 ...pays tribute to a unique cultural practice and artform that, since earliest times, have cherished the "oneness" of communal bonds and the natural environment which sustains us. ... In his foreword to the book, the late geographer and cultural historian Abraham Pi'ianaia observed that McDonald "has gathered her ideas the same way as she gathers the flowers that grow around her home in Waimea, and woven a lei for all of us, a lei of tradition and wisdom," in which "each lei, each explanation, each word leads us to deeper understandings not only of na lei makamae but also of who we are as native Hawaiians. -more-

O ka lei he hi'iaka mea ho'okahi
He kahiko nou mai keia 'aina aloha mai

The lei is a reflection of oneness
From this loving land, an adornment for you.

-- Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele

The Red Shoes offers women a place to walk spiritual paths. The Red Shoes got its name from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale "The Red Shoes," as interpreted by Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Marks and Guillory said. Estes' take on the fairy tale focused on the importance of each woman finding shoes that fit her feet rather than wearing ill-fitting shoes only to please others. "I think the work we do here is important. The hope is the work done will foster greater spiritual understanding among people of different belief systems and lead to a more peaceful world," Guillory said. -http:// www. 2theadvocate.com/stories/091303/rel_rel001.shtml Link no longer active-

The art of rice. In Java they call her Dewi Sri. In Bengal, she is the Hindu goddess Annapurna, and in Japan, one out of four shrines is dedicated to her. Rituals honoring the “Rice Mother,” the goddess of the sacred grain, are prevalent throughout Asia. For centuries, rice has been more than a diet staple: it is a symbol of spirituality. From Java to Japan, the cultivation of rice is viewed as reflecting the cycle of human life and the actions of the gods. -more-

Boundless...That's what santoor-player and composer Rahul Sharma believes as he presents the spiritual side of music in his latest release titled Zen. ... I had read about Zen six years ago in a book written by Osho and it fascinated me. I liked the complete philosophy. It’s cosmic, futuristic and profound. What Zen teaches is that it is the human mind that leads to all problems, which otherwise exist only on the periphery. We give these problems too much importance and make them seem big, as a result of which they overpower you. Zen tells us to move to the centre of the being and that’s when the mind disappears. According to this philosophy there’s a Buddha (the truth) in each of us. Buddhism says that one of the greatest truths is impermenance, and I could relate this to music. When we classical musicians perform at concerts, each time we play a raag, we play it differently, because each time there is an improvisation. -more-

Dalai Lama finds hope in 9/11. The 14th Dalai Lama told a packed audience at the National Cathedral ... that even the worst tragedies in life can be used for "spiritual growth." During an interfaith prayer service to honor those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Dalai Lama said there's no point getting demoralized over past events. "Use them for personal, spiritual growth and most of all, forgiveness," he told an audience of 7,000, half of whom were seated in the cathedral and half of whom listened to loudspeakers outside. -more-

Buddha at work. Among latest cure-alls to lift workplace spirits are some new spins on Buddhism. Lama Surya Das says in his new book for work stress ("Awakening to the Sacred, Creating a Spiritual Life from Scratch") that teachings of Buddha can solve on-the-job problems. Das says, "You ask, 'My boss is a jerk, how can I change him?' Try a loving kindness exercise that bathes your boss in light. First, visualize your boss and bathe him in light. As you do this, chant these words to yourself: 'May you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be fulfilled.'" Das, a self-described Long Island Jewish boy named Jeffrey Miller, dropped out in the 1970s for Tibet's enlightenment. More recently, he's signed his book contract with Broadway Books, which is selling it for $26 a copy. -end of article-

Chinese director Chen Kaige is back on home turf with his latest movie Together - and he's still raising the censors' hackles. "In a sense, Together poses the question before not only Chinese people but people everywhere: now that you have everything you could possibly want, do you have everything you need?" -more-

...to visit the Sufis of Iraq, at this strange and chaotic moment in their country’s history, is to shunt aside the heavily edited enthusiasms of Western bohemians and to encounter the Islamic mystical tradition as a real and living thing, as a complex, ambiguous and sometimes rather messy affair. The religious quest on view at the Sufi’s main mosque in West Baghdad seems to consist in equal parts of sublime transcendence and grass-roots obscurantism, exalted mystical theory and earthy superstition. -more-

New Report Explains Why More Children Suffer Emotional, Behavioral Problems. This report documents a "crisis of American childhood" -- "high and rising rates of depression, anxiety, attention deficit, conduct disorders, suicidal thoughts and other serious mental, emotional, and behavioral problems" -- and proposes a fundamental "social change model" for addressing the crisis, including basic shifts in U.S. public policy.
... "For the first time a diverse group of prominent children's doctors and researchers is calling for paying considerably more attention to the moral and spiritual needs of children," said David Blankenhorn, president, Institute for American Values. -
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This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation, by Alan Lew. Viewed broadly, the Days of Awe encompass the weeks preceding Rosh Hashanah as well as the days leading up to Yom Kippur. They are a period during which Jews take part in a series of rituals and prayers that reenact the soul's journey through the world from birth to death. This is a time of contemplation and repentance, comparable to Lent and Ramadan. Yet for Rabbi Alan Lew, the real purpose of this annual passage is for us to experience broken heartedness and open our hearts to God. In This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared, Lew has marked out a journey of seven distinct stages, one that draws on these rituals to awaken the soul and wholly transform us. Weaving together Torah readings, Buddhist parables, Jewish fables, and stories from his own life, Lew lays bare the meanings of this ancient Jewish passage. He reveals the path from terror to acceptance, confusion to clarity, doubt to belief, and from complacency to awe. -more- (lengthy sample chapter included.)

Friday, September 12, 2003

Warren Zevon in Death and Life. "I always like to have violent lyrics and violent music," he told The Associated Press in 1990. "The knowledge of death and fear informs my existence. It's a safe, kind of cheerful way of dealing with that issue." -more-

Joseph Roth. This guy was a Book of the Month Club choice 70 years ago. But he was forgotten for decades. His name is Joseph Roth. ... The spiritual intensity of the mature books -- starting with Job -- is sometimes reminiscent of Tolstoy. But Roth is a more accessible writer because he loved the world in a way that Tolstoy never could.

Roth adored the traditional ways of the rural people he grew up with as well as the sophistication and energy of urban Europe. There is no decent impulse in humanity that he doesn't celebrate -- and no vice that he doesn't condemn. ... Roth, like ourselves, was living between two worlds, one dying, another being born. His stories speak about the struggle for decency -- sometimes just for self-awareness -- in times of uncertainty and bewilderingly rapid change.

In Roth's novels, characters disordered by the acceleration of history are tempted to choose political fanaticism and cruelty to restore their sense of power. Here's a line about fascists marching through Berlin from the 1929 novel Right and Left: They had "eyes in which outrage, rectitude and pride had overpowered the faculty of seeing." -more-

Many American Indians Have Returned To Traditional Beliefs. But there are many Lakota people who have turned their backs upon the religions that were forced upon them by Christian do-gooders who sought to "kill the Indian to save the child." They believed they were doing this for our own good. Thankfully, many of our traditional ancestors took their beliefs underground and emerged when Indians were finally granted religious freedom by an act of Congress in 1978. -more-

Jade Empire. In a press release today, Microsoft confirmed the title of a joint project between Microsoft Game Studios and Bioware called Jade Empire. An exclusive title for the Xbox, Jade Empire will be an action-RPG based in martial arts and mysticism. Jade Empire will start the player off as a martial arts student in a land hinting at both Chinese and South American roots. Fresh out of school, the game will be akin to a spiritual journey, with players venturing across the land in search of honor, riches, and skill. -more-

Alternatives for mood disorders Many ways to treat symptoms, several options to choose from. -more-

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Carolyn Cooper: I'm a bald head Rasta. For her, the essence of religion is "to start in the corner where you are and try and make it better for somebody else and you can change the world that way. For me, that is the essence of religion ­ how you conceive your relationship with other people to whatever force you think that created all of this. The whole of creation did not just come from nowhere. So whatever, you call it, God, Allah or Jah ­ there is some supreme force that generated all of this. You may not be a creationist or evolutionistic ­ but everybody must come out of something. And it is that spirit of creation and generation that you are honouring when you say you worship." Professor Cooper is in the final stages of editing her upcoming book on dancehall music and she is regarded by many as an authority on erotic language in Jamaican culture. -more-

MIGRAINE ART: THE GREATNESS OF CHIRICO? HIS HEADACHES (AGI) - Rome, Italy, 9 September - The secret of the great, unsurpassed inspiration of De Chirico? His headaches pushed him to create forms hallucinated out of reality. This suggestion comes from a show "Cranial Art: works and words between headache and metaphysics" along with the world congress of the International Headache Society in Rome. -Paintings-

Monday, September 8, 2003

Exclusive to Nonduality.com News. INTO THE MIND OF SUFFERING Journeying with Byron Katie in South Africa and Namibia, by Kriben Pillay. Ever since Byron Katie's final presentation at the University of Durban-Westville's Hindu Centre on Sunday 31 August 2003 - after a week of non-stop presentations and media interviews that started in Cape Town the previous Sunday and which took us to Namibia and Johannesburg and finally to Durban - e-mails and telephone calls have been pouring in from people touched by this extraordinary woman and the process that she calls "The Work". -more-

Dalai Lama meets Muhammad Ali. "Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams all have different names, but they all contain water," Hana Ali said on behalf of her father. "So, too, different religions all contain truth." -more-

Protestors seek release of dolphins. CANCUN, Mexico - Blowing conch shells, burning incense and chanting prayers in Indian languages, about 200 protesters wearing gray foam dolphin hats gathered in front of Cancun's city hall to demand the release of at least 30 dolphins imported from the Solomon Islands by a Cancun water park. The target of the protest, Cancun's Parque Nizuc, imported the dolphins in July. One from the Solomon Islands died in July, followed by a Mexican dolphin already at the park. Officials have said the deaths were unrelated. "Just so people can swim with the dolphins, the dolphins have to suffer pain, separation from their families and even death," said protest organizer Araceli Dominguez of the Environmental Group of the Maya Land. -more-

Gustave Flaubert's classic novel, Madame Bovary, describes the sad fate of a young woman, who believes that her life will be just like the romanticized version of reality she gets from reading novels. She marries the local doctor, who is dull, boring, and incompetent. Still, he does love her, and wants to make her happy, even if he does not understand her.

To spruce up her banal existence—and the word "banal" appears in virtually every review of this work—she takes refuge in compulsive shopping and adultery, to the detriment of her reputation, her daughter, and her family's finances. Desperate, and refused help by her lovers, she poisons herself with arsenic and dies an agonizing death. The technical beauty of the writing, notable even in translation from the French, with Flaubert always in pursuit of the mot juste, the "exact word," intensifies the stark, ugly realism of the proceedings. -more-

Enjoying the festival, body and soul. (Garfield, NJ) "We have the best sausage and peppers," he said. "They're phenomenal."

Saturday afternoon, the festival wound in an L-shape around MacArthur and Harrison avenues. Food vendors raced to keep up with demand for their mozzarella and basil salads, eggplant Parmesan and Italian ices. A disc jockey held forth on the church steps behind a long table heaped with sound equipment and wires. On the sidewalk before DiGirolamo, parents danced with their small children while teenagers on Rollerblades wove through the thickets of people waiting to order food.

Inside, the church kitchen was as hot and steamy as a sauna. Pat Giacchi and Paulette Vita, draining 2-foot-long aluminum pans of broccoli rabe, rattled off the amount of food they had started preparing last Saturday. One hundred and sixty pounds of ground meat, 1,000 pounds of sausage, 200 pounds of onions and 30 cases of peppers, among other ingredients. The two are "The Sausage Girls" - close friends in charge of a festival stand best known for using all fresh ingredients to make sausage and pepper sandwiches. Saturday afternoon, they were nearly sold out. -more-

Lessons in how to lie about Iraq. What occurs to me in reading their book is that the new American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive that it really deserves a new name. It isn't just propaganda any more, it's 'prop-agenda '. It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about. When our governments want to sell us a course of action, they do it by making sure it's the only thing on the agenda, the only thing everyone's talking about. And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false 'intelligence' and selected 'leaks'. (What else can the spat between the BBC and Alastair Campbell be but a prime example of this?) With the ground thus prepared, governments are happy if you then 'use the democratic process' to agree or disagree - for, after all, their intention is to mobilize enough headlines and conversation to make the whole thing seem real and urgent. The more emotional the debate, the better. Emotion creates reality, reality demands action. -more-

Saturday, September 6, 2003

Debbie White turned her farm into a sanctuary of caring and communion. All the animals are here now for life; White is not looking for homes for them. "You know that expression `to be one with something'?" she asks. "Well, it's true here. I am one with the animals. If they're cold, I'm cold. When they're happy, I'm happy. There is no difference anymore with me." -more-

Modernization threatens to obliterate ages-old Tibetan culture. Ten years ago, the streets around the Jokhang Temple were filled with pilgrims. Today, they are filled with tourists haggling at souvenir shops. At least, though, the buildings there are Tibetan. The old town is shrinking as developers rush to build incongruous new hotels, apartment blocks and shopping malls of a type that could be seen anywhere in China. The clearest sign of the Han influence comes at night, when the main street of the new town is illuminated with street lamps decorated with the last motif you would associate with the Himalayas: a plastic palm-tree. -more-

I'm one of those folks who got excited about the coming of Fry's Electronics to Renton, a Seattle suburb. ... Walking through Fry's is like strolling through the Arboretum admiring the blossoms spring has delivered. I know, it's laudable to admire posies because they are natural, but roaches and rats are natural, too. And art is made by humans, yet we admire it. Isn't tech stuff the fruit of human creativity? Sure, a lot of it is pressed on us by people who want to make a buck, but still some of it is wondrous and cute, too: tiny video cameras that fit in your palm, rows of miracles that I could not have imagined even a decade ago. I can't help but be impressed. Much of it is unnecessary, but does a person need a sculpture? -more-

Thursday, September 4, 2003

The Secrets of Chinese Longevity. What is the secret of the Chinese life order that is so remarkable for its longevity and health? The journalist wanted to study her own experience in China to give an answer to the question. In a couple of weeks after coming to China Muscovites felt wonderfully, the cheeks were blushing while some time before they seemed to be faded away in Moscow's haste; wrinkles became smoothed out and people hardly recollected their own diseases.

This is rather strange if we take into consideration the fact that environmental pollution is very high in the Chinese cities. The ecological situation there is rather unfavorable: the air is saturated with dust; the whole of the country is a huge construction site that stands motionless only within four hours at night.

This is strange that even though Chinese are surrounded with construction dust on all sides they take an astonishingly correct approach to health. All Chinese irrespective of the age are constantly in motion: people take a bicycle to go to the offices, to school and for shopping. Modern city roads are made so that people could use them in bicycles. There are lots of stadiums and children's sports grounds build for every particular residential area. -more-

For all those who have declared "I love to knit because it relaxes me," here's a little book you'll enjoy. "Zen and the Art of Knitting," by Bernadette Murphy (Adams Media, $10.95), explores the links between knitting, spirituality and creativity. "My objective," says the author, "was to give a broader perspective of what it means to knit, and to expose the benefits." Through interviews, she found that some knit for relaxation, others for the love of working with fibers and colors, and still others for the spiritual and meditative qualities. Inquire about this book at your local yarn shop or bookstore. (entire article.)

TaKeTiNa is where yoga was 50 years ago. ... Like yoga, TaKeTiNa is a symbiosis of motion and emotion that any person can experience to explore a new part of him or herself, Sims said. Those who experienced it Monday night all agree that it won't be very long before millions of Americans are practicing TaKeTiNa. ... After tying bracelets covered in bells to our ankles, Sims takes out a Brazilian drum to maintain the rhythmic chanting. Soon after, Sims incorporates forward and backward steps into the chant. We add clapping to our movements and finally convert our chanting into full-blown singing. -more-

Monday, September 1, 2003

A witch's guide to safe computing. Why the 'blue screen of death' may be caused by spiritual interference. Herewith newWitch's Wiccan words of wisdom to its computer-using readers, along with my commentary on same: "Because the physical hard drive is a conduit for a unique type of energy, it is possible for nature spirits (called vaettir) to take up residence within it." I've often suspected that my computer had a life of its own. But do vaettir qualify as artificial intelligence? "Do not curse, yell, smack, or otherwise vent your anger on your computer. Most vaettir are extremely sensitive to emotions." In the future, I promise to leave the room when the computer drives me over the line, lest I hurt its sensitive feelings -- or its metal case. -more-

The joy of sadness. Dürer's Melencolia I is about more than insomnia and depression. Its themes of geometry, cosmology and even politics have influenced artists from Grass to Birtwistle. -more-

A soft target She likes Yanni and cats. She cries easily and travels the world. She went to Iraq as a human shield, and now won't say she's sorry. This is a woman who went to Iraq and put herself in the path of U.S. missiles, on purpose, as a human shield. She didn't stop the war, but she rocked Iraqi babies, comforted Iraqi mothers, fed stray Iraqi cats. She volunteered in hospitals, flipping bloody mattresses and holding wounded children. She was there to help the people, she says, not Saddam Hussein. Then came the newspaper stories and the phone calls and letters. Then came the letter from the Treasury Department. It said that she could face up to 12 years in prison and $1-million in fines for violating sanctions against travel and commerce in Iraq. -more-

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Hope sprang from the ashes of Burning Man Saturday night. Some burned past loves represented by framed photos or letters. Others threw unwanted pleasures, such as cigarettes and decks of cards, into the fire. Still for some the fire burned intangibles: Beliefs and ideas. The energy that Black Rock City, a temporary habitat for more than 30,000 people from around the world, culminated at 10 p.m. Saturday when the 30-foot structure of a wooden man and the pyramid it stood on was torched and brought to the ground. -more-

Friday, August 29, 2003

The godson of imprisoned Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier this week visited Cuba as an ambassador of good will for the American Indian Movement (AIM). Daniel Yang: I owe everything to AIM. A movement based on spirituality and being a warrior. It instilled great respect in me for people like Leonard and the Cuban Five – people who have sacrificed their lives for their own people. I think that it’s an honor to learn from these people. I’m a product of the movement as much as the Five are a product of the Revolution here in Cuba. It’s important to show the world, to the United States, that we will not give in to intimidation, we will always fight. We have fought the same imperialism, exploitation and colonialism. Our combined history is in our blood. -more-

J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: A Legendary Friendship. A new book reveals how these two famous friends conspired to bring myth and legend—and Truth—to modern readers. -more-

If we can cure disease and slow down aging, it would be unethical not to, says transhumanist James Hughes. The year is 1943, and Mary Hunt has just found a nice mouldy cantaloupe at her supermarket in Peoria, Ill. Responding to an appeal from antibiotics researchers at the local government laboratory, she turns it in. The cantaloupe is covered with a robust new strain of penicillin, which can be grown in industrial-sized tanks, making it possible to mass produce and save millions of lives. But wait. Emerging from time portals to the 21st century, legions of anxious activists descend on the lab. -more-

Thursday, August 28, 2003

St. Mary's Place of Solitude. Derbyshire spent three months at the hermitage. She built her own fires in the wood stove, cooked her own meals, took long walks, prayed and watched the seasons change as never before. -more-

Catholic Filmmaker Tells a Nazi-Era Story. Bonhoeffer had the courage to challenge his own church by standing with the Jews, who were the poor and suffering in the Germany of his day, and for that he was cast out. In everything he sought to live like Jesus and because of that he died like Jesus, naked before his fellow men. Bonhoeffer has much to teach us in what he wrote and how he lived his short life. -more-

Jewish Heritage Day at Shea Stadium. Unfortunately, the great American melting pot has created a superficial “Jewish culture” of bagels and lox, pickled herring, and pastrami on rye. A Jewish mother once complained to me that she couldn’t understand why her son had turned his back on Judaism. “Every Friday night we had gefilte fish and chicken soup and everything!” I performed a bris a few years ago during Passover. The grandmother remarked that she knew that a challah during Passover would be inappropriate. I offered to pick up some kosher for Passover platters for her. “Oh, that won’t be necessary,” she replied. “It doesn’t have to be strictly kosher. I just don’t want to do anything that isn’t traditional.” -more-

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

John Two-Hawks to perform. "Music in the American Indian culture is very different," Two-Hawks said. "For the most part it isn't written down. We believe a song becomes powerful when you are able to remember it and hold it in your heart." -more-

The best love story I know started in the Irish-Catholic ghetto of south Minneapolis on August 28, 1948. They live in a modest house in west Bloomington, surrounded by books and baubles of long-term love and pictures of their children and grandchildren. But it is, as they laugh, "a house divided." He is a staunch Republican. She is a bleeding-heart liberal. He is a bullheaded conservative. She is a fierce feminist. He monitors the Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh and Eckhart Tolle and the Belfast Cowboys and margaritas. She monitors public radio and Tommy Mischke and Jeopardy! and the Belfast Cowboys and white wine. Her glass is half full, his is half empty. She loves big groups of people, he loves solitude. She likes to travel, he likes the Travel Channel. She golfs, he runs. They read everything that comes into the house, and argue about it--columnists, news stories, facts, figures, minutiae. Nothing is taboo; nothing gets swept under the carpet. -more-

Nobel Laureate Finds "Neuro-Theology" Unconvincing. Responds to Theory That Desire for God Is Only in the Genes. ROME, AUG. 26, 2003 - Religions cannot be reduced to chemical variations of the brain's gray matter, a Nobel Prize recipient and theologian says in response to theses proposed by an advocate of "neurotheology." -more-

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Gayatri mantra comes to small screen New Delhi, Aug 25: Century Communication Limited, an established media conglomerate will be soon premiering a mega mythological series on the Gayatri Mantra, titled Gayatri Mahima. This is the first time ever that a producer has taken up Gayatri as a subject for a mythological serial. The series begins on August 24, 2003 and will be aired every Sunday at 1000 hours IST on DD 1. -more-

Spare rooms simplify and clear the mind. Spare doesn’t mean cold and minimal. Rather, spare interiors have deliberately chosen pieces that are beautiful, functional and have personal meaning, or they’re weeded out. In Room Recipes (Rockport) the ultimate spare interior is described as a 19th century Connecticut or Pennsylvania farmhouse built for a “gentleman farmer.” The house has the bare but functional essentials: bed, sink, dining table. Each room is painted a “beautiful, soft, light, elegant color. The rooms are infused with light from uncovered or veiled windows. The combination of color and light make the walls luminous. The effect is not minimal, it is simple.” -more-

"In the desert," he wrote, "I found a freedom unattainable in civilisation; a life unhampered by possessions." Sir Wilfred Thesiger, who died on Sunday aged 93, was the quintessential English explorer, and the last and greatest of that small band of travellers who sought out the secrets of the desert in the years before Arabia was transformed forever by the oil beneath her sands. Thesiger's reputation was established by two epic journeys he made in the 1940s across the Rub 'al Khali, or Empty Quarter, the most forbidding, least known and least penetrated region of Arabia. His motive for crossing it was not primarily to reap glory for himself, but to share the hardship of the life of the Bedu and to earn their comradeship. He was not in thrall to the desert itself but, like T E Lawrence, to his admiration of those who lived there: "The harder the life," ran his credo, "the finer the person." -more-

An Open Letter To African Americans From Latinos, By Elizabeth Martinez. Peoples of color are being hurt more than ever today, thanks to the "Permanent War on Terrorism" and the war at home. It, therefore, seems more important than ever to build alliances between our peoples who have similar struggles for liberation from poverty and racism, for peace with justice. This open letter is offered in that spirit. -more-

Monday, August 25, 2003

China gaining upper hand of Tibetan religion. By playing a major role in his education, many believe Beijing is seeking to control the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama once the 63-year old incumbent -- living in exile in Dharmasala, India -- dies. The Chinese government would then have a firmer control over Tibetan Buddhists, who have been the traditional rulers of the region and who have also been the most vocal in opposing Beijing's rule. Further strengthening China's grip is an ongoing multi-billion dollar effort to bring Tibet into the modern world, an undertaking that has clearly won over many Tibetans seeking material gains, but largely at the expense of their unique spirituality. -more-

Book review. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine Pagels. "Gnosis" is intuitive, unsystematic knowledge, acquired by introspection, self-discipline, and a long relationship with a teacher. Sound familiar? Yes, Gnosticism strongly resembles Eastern mysticism. They also share a perception of the world as evil or illusory, and of the highest good (available only to the self-selected few) as individual enlightenment. "The Kingdom of God is within you," Jesus says in Luke's Gospel. This is a key Gnostic idea. The Gospel of Thomas the Apostle, one of the key texts discovered at Nag Hammadi, declares: "Jesus said: If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." This too sounds familiar -- apparently the Gnostic Jesus was a 1st-century Emerson, preaching spiritual self-reliance and the inner light; though even Emerson's loftiest flights were earthbound, dry, and practical compared with Gnostic exhortations. -more-

An ancient tradition struggles on. The art of making alms bowls, once an integral part of Thailand's Buddhist practice, might be saved by tourism. Hiran is a 43-year-old master craftsman and deputy leader of Ban Baat, the once-flourishing Alms Bowl Village which has been whittled down over the decades to a single alley in downtown Bangkok. In a ramshackle and cluttered workspace in front of his modest home, Hiran and his sister Mayuree have been firing the bowls out of iron, brass, copper and bronze for the past 30 years. ... Just a few dozen people pursue the ancient craft these days, as the business which made this community famous a century ago has been nearly snuffed out by aggressive ethnic Chinese merchants who began spinning profits by selling cheaper, machine-made bowls. -more-

A Mäori perspective on GE. While HZNO stipulates recognition of the relationship between Mäori and their “ancestral lands, waters, sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga”, the methodology for decision-making focuses on specific issues raised by research. “It does not readily accommodate broader discussions about genetic engineering.” He said the challenge is not to take a rigid and uncompromising view – as if that were a show of strength – but to explore the relationship between different views so that a more complete picture can be painted. -more-

The Sorcerer's Apprentice -- My Life With Carlos Castaneda, by Amy Wallace. "Carlos was not a shifty huckster but a misguided philosopher whose experience of power was corrupting," she writes. "Thus he damaged many lives, at the same time exalting many others." -more-

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Nothing we are so bad at as just doing nothing. Alan Caruba, founder of the Boring Institute in Maplewood, N.J., says many studies have shown that "finding little or no pleasure in life" is a key cause of depression and suicide, but that it takes time to find enjoyment. "We are conditioned by the media to stay busy," he says, "so we're in a constant state of stimulation and agitation. There's the common notion that somewhere in the world, you're missing something." Yet work, as well as thinking about productivity, has become an obsession, says Vincent Serravallo, a sociologist at the Rochester Institute of Technology. And it's gotten worse since the economy went sour. "Humans know how to have fun, but only if the circumstances are right," he says. "Many feel that each second they do nothing, the competition beats them. Doing nothing is becoming taboo." -more-

Hard men who found Jesus. Religion and crime have for many years vied for territory in the East End. Since Victorian times, its streets have been fertile ground for gangs, hit men, thieves, and gambling dens, but also for evangelists and mission teams. ... These men, however, have not undergone spiritual plastic surgery. They still struggle with their lives, they will tell you, particularly, at times, with anger. Yet they have abandoned crime and are now, in the words of Mortlock, "perfect men - under construction", armed now only with the Bible, prayer and an unswerving faith in a creator God. But if they have undergone authentic experiences of the divine, how is it that most of us muddle through life with either no religious faith or some kind of vague belief? -more-

Friday, August 22, 2003

Amusement Park Combines Fun and Faith RAVENNA, Italy, AUG. 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Mirabilandia is an odd amusement park: It aims to combine fun events with spirituality. Its organizers present the center as the "ethics of amusement" and give discounts to parish groups that come to the 250,000-square-meter park combining amusement, nature and spirituality. The church of St. John Bosco, located in the midst of Russian mountains, Caribbean beaches and dance halls, offers Sunday Masses and other eucharistic celebrations for communities visiting the park. The park hopes to attract young people or families with young children who realize that Sunday is a special day for Christians, and who wish to combine amusement with their sabbath observance. The church is also open the rest of the week for people to stop in and pray. The recreational center follows the principle of the founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco, who believed that the Christian life must be a "joyful" service of the Lord. (that is the entire article.)

Book review. Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life presents the increasing rejection of spin and manipulation by New Realists. These "shock troops" (albeit armoured in natural fibres and brandishing organic vegetables) are fighting back against an artificial world, in pursuit of a human connection. Aware that the more we gain in efficiency the more we lose in what is felt as reality, people are turning to local brands, reading groups, slow food, poetry readings and vintage clothing for an authentic experience. -more-

Street walking. Art of Ayurveda. So it was with more than a moderate amount of cynicism that I approached Ayurveda. Now, I’ve often been asked to try alternative healing therapies. It’s impossible to live in Mumbai and not have the Art Of Living shoved down your throat. But I’ve always resisted, largely because their spiritual leader has one too many ‘Sris’ in front of his name. Which is why I also gave Ayurveda a wide berth. Specially since the West had ‘discovered’ it, it became too faddist for me. But if I could do yoga along with Madonna, Gywneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington and all of Napean Sea Road, then I could give this Indian science a shot. That, plus being ill for a month, kind of twisted my arm. -more-

Thursday, August 21, 2003

St. Benedict & Monasticism. A word or two to clarify the impact of St. Benedict on Western monasticism may be helpful. First, St. Benedict did not invent monasticism. Monasticism is the highly organised spiritual movement that over the centuries has attracted men and women of deep and abiding faith in God who have quite literally fallen in love with Jesus. Like the first apostles and later disciples of Christ, they have been so smitten by the man called Jesus that to this day they willingly leave everything and everyone behind, including their relatives, friends and careers to become his "disciples" and promise to devote their very lives in service to God and church. More importantly, as a diocesan priest promises to abide by the will of a bishop, the male or female "monastic" chooses before God to live in obedience to an elected superior and to their chosen community. The elected superior will henceforth guide and direct their spiritual lives and perhaps their life choices as well. -more-

Spiritual Paths weekend on tap. Six of America’s great spiritual teachers will gather in Aspen for the second annual Spiritual Paths multifaith program Friday through Sunday. Spiritual Paths is a nonsectarian program to help foster understanding of the world’s spiritual traditions and to help each individual explore, discover and pursue their own spiritual path. It is co-sponsored by the Aspen Chapel and the Spiritual Paths Foundation. -more-

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

A Marc Chagall retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is truly religious. He is truly spiritual. He would say, "when I paint, I pray." And the bible was for him the most important poem, he said. -more-

Rekindling the Spirit: The Rebirth of American Indian Spirituality: The U.S. government and Christian churches spent more than 150 years trying to eliminate American Indian spiritual practices. But the spiritual beliefs survived. Across America, Indians young and old are returning to traditional ways. They call the traditional life "walking the Red Road." They believe old ways are bringing new hope to Indian Country. ... "The Great Spirit is the one, the only one who will help you. Without a Spirit which cannot be seen, you will forget him and you'll be lost. When you hit that drum the Spirit comes. You know it's here," Buffalo said. -more-

Christian Liaigre's Bacchus Collection. ...he tries to incorporate the culture of the place in which each project is. When designing a private residence in Bora Bora, for example, "because the climate is so hot in this country, each time I try to capture the breeze," Liaigre says. But the universal theme in all his work has to do with bringing a peaceful energy into the home. "The world outside is so aggressive and I try all the time to find the calm in a house," he says. In his own life and home, Liaigre turns to the sea for this. "I have a house on a small island, Ile de Re. It is a poor fisherman's island and this house is very pure, very strict. Before I am in this house, the man who was the caretaker at the church was living in this house. It is full of ambience." All those people who are going in the church and praying there, he says, left this positive energy and the caretaker brought it home with him. -more-

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Aren't There Drugs for This? American Splendor. "I got food poisoning," Ms. Brabner said. "I had no interest in getting married again and I was asking for some kind of ultimate sign and that's when I watched him with his pants rolled up around his ankles mopping everything up and making tea for me." -more-

Why silence is not an option. "I object to people saying suicide is not an option," he says. "It is an option. What you can say to someone instead, is that there must be options other than suicide." The challenge, he reckons, is to constantly assess the suicide-depression nexus - and to see suicide as "a crisis of the self rather than a mental illness". His own investigations have led him to scrutinise scientific doctrines about depression. He does not dismiss anti-depressants, but he says they did not work for him and he believes not enough attention is paid to alternatives. ... A substantial part of Webb's research is also concerned with the absence of spirituality in many discussions about suicide and depression. -more-

The Metrospirituals: Making a Difference to Your Life. They were all discussing metrospirituality on a damp Saturday in an upmarket Delhi penthouse. The people gathered were narrating their inner experiences.

It's the city's inner voice, said Jay. It's a societal shift, said TJ. There's more to it than urbane spirituality, said Sandy. Call it liberation from metro frustration, said Nicole. It's the city looking at itself in the mirror, said Sid. It's a fad, said Vix.

They all turned to Vaz, the smart-aleck introvert who had just set them chatting. Why don't you tell us what metrospirituality is all about?

Vaz: I may have created the buzz, but it's happening all around. Interestingly, all of you are m-spirituals in a way. You are making a difference to your lives. Haven't you heard about enlightened materialism, manicured spiritualism, programmed consciousness, microwave spirituality, yoga-while-driving, shlokas-while-cooking, zen- in-the-office, mass-at-the-mall? -
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Monday, August 18, 2003

Zapatistas: “A Totally New World” The Narco News Interview from Chiapas with Mexican Rocker, Roco, of Maldita Vecindad By Ricardo Sala Narco News Authentic Journalism Scholar. What I can say to the people of all the world who hear this or read it on the Internet is that in this world that we live, if the entire world in a given moment in its heart feels that this world can be better, if in a given moment in their hearts they see that it is already impossible to accept so much injustice, death and hunger, if in a given moment in their hearts they wonder how it is possible that countries are like they are today, powerful countries, coming to destroy others and they destroy them only to loot their natural resources? What is happening right now, if they are moved in their hearts and they look toward here, toward Chiapas, toward the Zapatista word, because here are human beings with the absolute power of dignity with a well developed heart – not with the other powers, because the other powers are false ones: weapons and the power of money are false powers – the true power is in this: The community, the children, the people, and the well developed heart to construct, day to day, a new world, like this one. -more-
Photo of Roco

Larry Sellers speaks to inner Indian. “Displaying respect: don’t lie, cheat, stab people in the back” Sellers re-iterated throughout his talk in describing what was meant to be an American Indian. “But,” he said, “survival changed all that living in white society.” What the historian side of Sellers was referring to was the popular racial slur, “the only good Indian is a dead one,” but he expanded it to mean not dead physically but spiritually, economically and socially. -more-
Larry Sellers

Millions of American households have TV's, electric can openers, computers and, of course, air conditioning. If we weren't so dependent on electrical power, yesterday's blackout would not have been so disruptive if it occurred at all. Author Kirkpatrick Sale, who has written about the industrial revolution and about those opposed to technological change, says we squander huge amounts of energy at the expense of our spirituality. An audio interview. -more-

The Work and The Torah. Byron Katie's book "Loving What Is: Four Questions that Can Change Your Life" is on its way to the bestseller list and her method is fast becoming the approach of many therapists -- and for good reason: It works. Why? It is based on two fundamental principles in the Torah. -more-

'Islam Online' Cyber-Counselor Responds to Questioner: Under normal circumstances it is rather strange to ask someone you do not know for help, but in Islam it is not, do you know why? Because real Muslims have a sacred bond between them and are like one body, if part of this body is hurting, the rest of the body feels the pain. Now you are in pain and so is your country and you have every right to ask your fellow Muslims for help and shout, Where are you? . . Help me . . . Help my country… -more-

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The problem with 'Passion'. I don't know if the film is anti-Jewish. But the response to criticism of the movie smacks of anti-Semitism. ... By now it is well known not only that Mel Gibson has invested $25 million to produce a film of Jesus' Passion, but also that a group of Catholic and Jewish New Testament scholars found that a version of its script contained strong anti-Jewish potential. I don't know if the movie is anti-Semitic--I have only seen a version of the script--but the reaction to the scholars' objections could be interpreted as anti-Semitic. -more-

Book reviews: George Sioris, a Greek scholar on Asia and a commentator on Asian affairs, has added two new titles to his writings: The first, "Monastic Discipline," is a lengthy study aimed at establishing the similarities as well as the differences between two entirely different monastic systems -- the Theravada Buddhist and the Christian Orthodox. The second is a short monograph on the significance of the "Left Versus Right" symbolic patterns in the Far East -- from India to Japan. -more-

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Artist of the floating world. Jamie Dickson reviews LeRoy Grannis: the Golden Era at Proud Camden Moss. (Surfing) was a creed as much as a sport and surfers, crouching low on their boards, seemed almost to be kneeling in supplication at the glassy altar of the waves. It is this world that LeRoy Grannis, a pioneer of surf photography, caught on camera. Now the subject of an exhibition, at Proud Galleries, Camden, his work conveys a sense of timeless grace that beggars the brash notion of extreme sport. -more-
Surfing safari: LeRoy Grannis's Makaha shorebreak, December 1966

Satori Farm Retreat feels like a lost-in-the-'60s resort for dropout baby boomers. ...a tree fell onto his head and arm, landing him in a hospital bed and in a cast for about two weeks. By the time he recovered, he had vowed to live his life differently, and walked away from the successful pest-control business he had built. "It was basically, 'Don't worry, let that go, surrender.' And in that, there came an immense calm," he recalled. A week into it, his wife packed up and moved out of their six-bedroom home on the property. "My vision wasn't her vision," he says without bitterness. He let his health insurance lapse, allowed his car to be repossessed, and hasn't had a job since. He stopped using his Social Security number and no longer discloses his age. When the furnace broke down, he chopped wood. -more-

Find Ghandi Within Yourself. On whether the nation has walked away from the legacy of Gandhi, Usha says: "'In whatever field we did not listen to him, we are paying the price. We have so much manpower yet we want to replace it with machines. And today unemployment soars. Where is the small industry he envisioned? Though deeply religious, my grandfather did not believe in rituals and always said God is one. Look at India now."' ... Sumitra recalls the atmosphere around Gandhi and his inner circle as being above differences of religion, caste or class. "'They were true to themselves and like him, had the courage to fight injustice. There was no pretentiousness, no fear of loss of face, of being ashamed of poverty or of any of the divisions of the society of today"'. -more-

Religion remains central to American life, and is getting more so, in a way that is true of no other industrialized country, with the possible exception of South Korea. ... I'm not denigrating anyone's beliefs. And I don't pretend to know why America is so much more infused with religious faith than the rest of the world. But I do think that we're in the middle of another religious Great Awakening, and that while this may bring spiritual comfort to many, it will also mean a growing polarization within our society. -more-

It takes a generation: the Puritan route to Enlightenment, by Dave Belden. The argument of Khoren Arisian that religious extremism poses a danger to American democracy is simplistic and ahistorical. The Puritan impact on American politics contains egalitarian vigour as well as intolerance, social conscience as well as theological dogma. Be patient, says Dave Belden: the descendants of today’s fundamentalists will champion a new era of social liberalism.... I will go out on a limb (one that I don’t see anyone else sharing) and predict that over the next two generations the US will provide us with a stunning example of a second enlightenment which will evaporate fundamentalism as a major force in the nation’s life. This will provide ample inspiration for the further time it will take fully to see the same effects in the Arab world. We are not talking fast spiritual food here. But we are talking hope – as long as steady economic progress can be made in poor nations, and economic collapse can be avoided in rich ones. My argument has two halves. The first requires a quick tour of American Puritan history, which is not as Arisian portrays it. The second involves a quick review of what fundamentalism is, why it is a modern, not a Puritan thing, and why the conditions that created it in the US are already dissipating. -more-

Camp for victims of terrorism offers consolation and camaraderie. “I came here to meet other people who were wounded by a terrorist attack, to hear other people’s stories,” he says. “When I hear other people’s stories I feel I am part of a group, people who went through what I went through. They understand more what I am talking about. It’s just not the same with people who never went through this.” -more-

REALSPACE: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet, By Paul Levinson. "If the goal was to get to the moon before the Soviets and establish ascendancy in space, the motive no longer exists," he says. "What's missing is a forthright connection to the deepest philosophical and spiritual reasons for going into space. That motivation has been the bedrock of religions - and even science - for thousands of years. That's what the movement of space must be tied to." -more-

Open Sky: The annual Fes Festival of World Sacred Music has increased meaning in these times of international terror and religious conflict. Tonight I'm going to play songs of mine and pop songs written by other people in Brazil that have close relationships to religious subjects, to the sacred dimension of life both in religious terms and secular terms, so to speak. I'm going to sing songs that talk about men and God, men and the sense of transcendence, man and his religious dimension of life and living. I am not going to sing religious music in the sense of music that comes from religious contexts. I'm going to sing pop music, pop music that talks about the religious dimensions of life." -more-

San Francisco school will offer degree in activism. ''We want people to learn how they can be activist and not just someone who is angry and against the system,'' said Peter Gabel, president emeritus of New College, who plans to teach in the activist program.  He is now director of the Institute for Spirituality and Politics. -more-

Fragility at its most beautiful. Take that cherry blossom. What a Westerner sees is a spectacle of colour. What a Japanese person sees - according to Jackie Menzies, the gallery's head curator of Asian art - is "the beauty of transience". The appeal lies as much in the fragility of the blooms as their exquisiteness. In less than a fortnight, the cherry blossoms go from bud, to bloom, to fall. At the very moment that they are at their most vivacious, they are days away from death. -more-

Art Review. Joy Bhaduri calls his style of painting, World art. And indeed, the Kolkata-based artist currently in the city for an exhibition of his expressionist works, draws his inspiration from sources as varied as Rabindranath Tagore, Baul singers, American artists, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline and Zen. An exhibition of his works is on display until August 13 at the Koregaon Park Unlimited boutique, Koregaon Park. -more-

Exhibition on terror. “In Kashmir, the Hindus had all the monopoly. Now if the Muslim demands are acceded to, the Hindus will be wiped out again.", wrote Sri Aurobindo in 1940. How prophetic ! Do you know the FACTS about Kashmir? Over 4 lakh Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to flee their homeland. Many Pandit men, women and children have been brutally murdered. About 70,000 languish in makeshift refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi. Scores of temples in Kashmir have been desecrated, destroyed, looted, More than 900 educational institutions have been attacked by terrorists. Properties of Pandits have been vandalised, businesses destroyed or taken over, even hospitals have not been spared. Did you know that this huge human tragedy is taking place in Free India? Kashmir was known as "Sharda Peeth" , the abode of learning. Now the Pandits, the original inhabitants, have been forced to flee. 5000 years of civilization are at stake. -more-

Movie review: Happiness Lies at Home. The film is memorable for portraying the pragmatic realities of everyday life, its caution against unrealistic fantasy, its insight into the changes taking place in Bhutanese society, and the spiritual lessons about life. All these are neatly woven into several layers within the story. The film is very relevant for Bhutan and for Bhutanese. Happiness lies here. We need not go looking for it overseas. We can find it within ourselves. Rinpoche ends the film with a beautiful yak song, sung in the clear a cappella that is often heard resonating across the mountains and valleys of Bhutan. The Bhutanese viewer cannot but be profoundly moved. -more-

The Job is Yours. Viewed from a spiritual perspective, instead of our having to seek and find employment, employment finds us. That is, each one of us is already employed to represent the divine nature. Without this representation, God would indeed be an abstraction. God is reflected in goodness; His wisdom in good judgment; His omnipotence in action. A friend who was out of work was cautioned against falling into a state of apathy. "If you have nothing else to do," he was advised, "sweep the sidewalk in front of your house to the corner." I don't know if he did exactly that, but he did heed the advice to keep active and helpful. He was soon gainfully employed again. -more-

Pop Nonduality and Pema Chodron. Don't get me wrong. This is a good thing. For what the world needs now, my friends, is less madness and more mindfulness. Many of us are learning to live with madness and uncertainty, especially those of us living in places like Mosul, Manhattan, Washington or Kabul. More and more things are falling apart, things such as the water and power systems in Baghdad, the social safety net in San Francisco and any semblance of peace and order in Monrovia or Somalia. -more-

Radical Hospitality: How kitchen-table lessons in welcome and respect helped sustain the black freedom movement, by Rosemarie Freeney Harding and Rachel E. Harding. Hospitality was a foundation of my family's spirituality, as it had been for so many Southern blacks. The efforts my parents made to be neighborly and to reserve judgment against those who society viewed as outcasts served as important examples for their children and grandchildren as we grew into adulthood. -more-

Art review (Atlanta). The exhibit is called “The Female Buddha: Women of Enlightenment in Tibetan Mysticism.” Buddhas are those who have reached full spiritual enlightenment, or awakening. And in Tibetan Buddhism, with its roots in the shamanistic and unseen world of gods, demons and spirits, women play a major role. -more-

Art review (Los Angeles): "Bill Viola: The Passions" "The old pictures were just a starting point. I was not interested in appropriation or restaging -- I wanted to get inside these pictures. . . to embody them, to inhabit them, to feel them breathe. Ultimately, it became about their spiritual dimensions, not the visual form. As to my concept in general, it was to get to the root form of my emotions and the nature of emotional expression itself. In my art training in the 1970s, this was a place you did not go, a forbidden zone. This is so even today." -more-

Gutenberg Bible Now Online at University of Texas Ransom Center. The University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center web site now features a scanned version of their Gutenberg Bible. The Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed with movable type, is one of the greatest treasures in the Ransom Center's collections. It was printed at Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany and completed in 1454 or 1455. The Center's Bible was acquired in 1978 and is one of only five complete examples in the United States. -more-

Mother handwrites the Bible to help her children understand its value. -more-

A Tribute to Tagore. Kobiguru Rabindranath Thakur was born in the historic settings of Jorashako house, Kolkata, a house that was frequented by so many of the cultural leaders of the Bengali renaissance in the 1900s. So it was not a surprise that he grew up with a love of the arts. -more-

The pursuit of happiness. While personal anxiety is a driving force behind the demand for enhancement technologies, Elliott notes that other factors—not least the macroeconomics of the pharmaceutical industry—can hardly be left out of the equation. (A tagline on the Web site promoting the Botox tour is instructive on this point: "CONSULT a Physician at your Local Mall".) -more-

Art Review. Kathleen King: Soul Tracing. Her spontaneous paintings go beyond depth of color and seemingly random markings of circles, spirals, and lines, to invite the viewer to reflect on this struggle to be complete. -more-

The battle stretched on for two decades, but in the end the Zuni Tribe of New Mexico has been successful in protecting a sacred lake. -more-

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has begun a special discourse on Buddhist teachings in Dharmasala. During the 10-day-long spiritual discourse, the Dalai Lama would explain the meanings of Buddhist scriptures to the devotees. -more-

World Trade Center Architectural Promise. For a while, all the moving parts in the reconstruction of ground zero seemed to be going in different directions toward what might have been, at best, architectural and civic banality and, at worst, incoherence. That risk is still present, but it has been greatly reduced by a number of significant decisions, agreements and compromises over the past few weeks. -more-

"Drawn to Art: Art Education and the American Experience, 1800-1950" 2003-08-04 until 2004-01-04 Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens San Marino, CA, USA. The emergence of art instruction in this country and the democratic ideals that made art education accessible to all youngsters, not just the privileged elite, are explored in a new exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. -more-

An interconnected world, Ratna Rajaiah. We are all connected in millions of ways, some of which we know and understand. And for every connection we make, there are a thousand more that we don’t know about and perhaps will never know in this lifetime. But the knowledge itself should make us tip toe through the world every single day. First in awe at the exquisite, precise, perfection of this vast, divine Integrated Circuit Board. Then in humility that there is not a single creature, however weird or unnecessary to our eyes, the most useless rock that does nothing but be a rock, the most seemingly incomprehensible movement of wind or water, are all there for a reason. -more-

The art of darkness, Shreekumar Varma. As we now sit in our libraries, as we scan the screen for gems from the Internet, as we sniff the air for inspiration, let us remember that there were writers once who went out into the world in search of adventure. Living in times of even more ruthless boundaries, they broke through with courage and curiosity. And even so, caught in the ebb and flow of blazing events and the rush of human commerce, they often found themselves relentlessly alone. As Conrad wrote in The Heart of Darkness: "We live, as we dream — alone." -more-

Alexis Petridis meets the man who gave us Yes, the proggest rockers of them all. Jon Anderson has kindly decided to explain the meaning of life to me. "Right, this table," says the lead singer of Yes, gesturing towards the coffee table, "is the world as we know it. There are mountains, valleys, animals and interdimensional energies that we don't know about." He pauses. "Or maybe we do. Actually, I know a lot of people that do. Interdimensional energies," he nods sagely, "are a very powerful thing." -more-

Review of the Global Dharma Conference 2003 in Raritan, New Jersey, July 25-27. "This event is an opportunity to reflect on Dharma as a state of nature, a state of being that must reflect in our personal and professional lives," (New Jersey Governor James E McGreevey) said. "Here in the US, Dharma has influenced many moments, from Emerson to Thoreau to the teachings of Gandhi." -more-
Exclusive to Nonduality News:
A personal experience at the Global Dharma Conference

Maimonides offers a formula that has often been referred to as "senseless love." We must reach out to each other without agendas that corrupt into another form of acquisition. The process is transformative in the way that it changes our focus:

"Sam's creativity sparked a worldwide musical and social change that will be everlasting." ... "Feeling has as much to say as the words do," he said. "You can have the greatest words in the world, and if they're not believable, they don't strike a chord and they're not said convincingly, it's not a great song. I don't care if it's gut-bucket blues, and maybe it's not a prolific song [lyrically], but if you get my attention, it's a great song." -more-

Art Review (in Taipei) Shiy, who moved from his hometown in Sichuan to rural Chiayi when he was 23, is most appreciated for a series of realistic oil paintings of the Taiwanese countryside. These are regarded as the best of Shiy's works and are especially valued for being among the first works by a Taiwanese artist to consciously present the natural beauty of the country. Shiy is also among the first to recognize the importance of preserving the cultural heritage in Taiwan. -more- -access Shiy's works-

Gem of the Ocean (play opening in Los Angeles) With the dedication of a cultural anthropologist, playwright August Wilson has been sifting his way, stratum by stratum, through the sociopolitical history of black life in the Hill District of his native Pittsburgh. Equipped with a vivid imagination and strong political consciousness, Wilson has produced one of the theater's most significant dramatic canons. -more-

Zen and the Art of Dump Truck Driving. Janelle Pearson drives a dump truck. She says it's made her a better woman. In idle moments, waiting for the next load, sitting in the cab where the steady vibrations from wheels and motor can hypnotize you into mechanized Zen, she reads Buddhist teachings or mystery novels, or contemplates the meaning of life. -more-

Book review: Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud, by Sun Shuyun. An account of a spiritual journey in the footsteps of a seventh-century monk. "Sun's grandmother had told her the monk's story, but it was not until years later, when an Indian academic whom she met in Oxford told her that Xuanzang had preserved a large part of India's history, that Sun started to take him seriously. Intrigued, she began to read Xuanzang's literary bequest - the Record of the Western Regions , an encyclopaedic account of the cities and countries he visited, with their kings and customs, history, architecture, legends and traditions all meticulously observed and recorded. It conjured up for her an entire lost world, and Sun resolved to follow in his footsteps." -more-

Book excerpt: Orientalism, by Edward Said. "Rather than the manufactured clash of civilisations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together. But for that kind of wider perception we need time, patient and sceptical inquiry, supported by faith in communities of interpretation that are difficult to sustain in a world demanding instant action and reaction." -more-

Book review: The Last Tribes on Earth: Journeys among the World's Most Threatened Cultures, by Paul Raffaele. A lifetime of travelling to remote regions has given him an intimate understanding of the interconnectedness of everyone on Earth. Like the traditional cultures he visited, whose elders despair over what will be lost and what they will leave their children, we can only wonder what the West lost long ago, what we have learnt from that loss and what we are leaving our children. ... Years ago on an isolated, cloud-shrouded road in the Papuan highlands, a man said to me, "Don't waste space, live on the edge." I kept recalling that phrase as I read this book. -more-

The work of British architect Christopher Alexander. Clearly influenced by Taoism, Alexander unabashedly uses words like ''wholeness''and complains of the prevailing Cartesian ''mechanistic'' view of the universe. ''The Nature of Order'' has vast ambitions; it floats a hypothesis that Alexander hopes will lead to ''a new view of space and matter'' and to a different conception of ''the fundamentals of the way the world is made.'' This theory, very crudely summarized, would be based on the understanding that order is inherent in space and systems and that they are more or less ''alive'' based on the quality of the order they manifest. -more-

A group of 35 rabbis from across the country met for a week in late July (July 20-25) in Connecticut to meditate, study and sit in silent prayer, all in an effort to deepen their very Jewish sense of spirituality. -more-

What if every musician for the last two millennia hadn't channeled the pain of lost love into song? Or if preachers never shared their own struggles with sin and grace from the pulpit, the bimah or the lectern? We learn from one another's mistakes and triumphs. In that vein, tonight at Ravinia, we are invited to witness something difficult, intimate, inspiring. And while it will have all the drama of loss, love, and anger, grief, passion and reconciliation, it won't be voyeuristic. -more-

A bold paper which has highly impressed some of the world's top physicists and been published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters, seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. Much to the science world's astonishment, the work also appears to provide solutions to Zeno of Elea's famous motion paradoxes, almost 2500 years after they were originally conceived by the ancient Greek philosopher. -more-

Aerial: The view from above, by Jason Hawkes. -slide show-

Rumi's Poetry Can Lead to Spiritual Growth. Coleman Barks describes his own practice of spirituality, his worship services: "I go for lattés and I go riding in my '72 Dodge convertible. Everything is church, isn't it?" -more-

The abduction of modernity. A multi-part article. -more-

I have realized that there is a significant difference between the English word "nature" (and its equivalents in all those other European languages that are related through their roots or adaptations) and the Japanese word "shizen." This difference can easily lead to an ecologically dangerous misunderstanding between Japanese speakers and those thinking about nature in the way it is understood throughout the Western world. -more-

The Native American melodies are from the earth, the heavens and nature around her. It's always been that way, she was told by an Indian flute maker from Iowa who was selling his handcrafted and decorated wares at an O'Odham Tash celebration in Casa Grande. And it's something she's trying to preserve for future generations becoming interested in Native American culture and history. -more-

Rajendra Shah: A lover of solitude in the hall of fame. A born rebel, he says, eyes twinkling from behind thick glasses, "I always follow the path I build for myself." ... "I have never been associated with any literary movements - the progressive or modern poetry - I don’t believe in what is modern poetry, for poetry, whenever created, is always modern," he says. -more-

The small community of African-Americans known as the "Black Jews" have been granted full resident status in Israel after a 34 year struggle, the interior ministry announced overnight. -more-

Those who question George Bush's foreign policy are no longer merely critics; they are blasphemers, or "anti-Americans". Those foreign states which seek to change this policy are wasting their time: you can negotiate with politicians; you cannot negotiate with priests. The US has a divine mission, as Bush suggested in January: "to defend ... the hopes of all mankind", and woe betide those who hope for something other than the American way of life. -more-

"They wanted me to go to night school to get an MBA," Bronson remembers. "My writing had been a hobby and it kept me sane. And that was fine until they tried to take it away." ... "Happiness is an easy standard. You can envision a lot of things that could make you happy. But you have to ask yourself if you would be fulfilled doing it." -more-

Counselors Sylvia DeLeon and Carlton Harrison meet at El Buen Pastor Methodist Church in Edinburg Monday. The two provide mental-health services to low-income clients. -more-

Sri Sri Ravishankar: "It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but what is a thought? Where does it originate? Is there any way that we can improve the thought process?" -more-

In a move that is quintessentially Aristotelian, Ibn Tufayl sets out to investigate the telos (end goal) of oriental philosophy and wisdom in the experience of communion with God; the affective experience that can only be attended to in the actual instance of the lives of those who earned its matchless joy and rejoiced in its ineffable splendor. -more-

Big Dead White Male, by John Updike. Ralph Waldo Emerson turns two hundred. -more-

In Harlem a link to Senegal. For the last week, Senegalese pilgrims have trekked to a normally quiet corner on the western edge of Harlem to await blessings from a holy man. -more-

Whether it is the years of fighting between government troops and rebels, the recent tense standoff, or the renewed fighting of this past week, gentleness would not be a word that instantly springs to the mind dwelling on Liberia. -more-

Somehow I got it all wrong, this idea of monastic life. I was thinking of the Carmelites, cloistered behind ivy walls, feeding birds and singing hymns. My retreat at Tassajara Zen Monastery is closer to an EST Seminar with touches of boot camp -- an intense mental and physical challenge that would have me plotting escape by the end of the second day. -more-

O'Rourke doesn't know much about Eastern meditation's surge into the mainstream, but she is part of a related trend: the reintroduction of contemplation in traditional American denominations after a 500-year hiatus. -more-

Scientists study it. Doctors recommend it. Millions of Americans—many of whom don't even own crystals—practice it every day. Why? Because meditation works. -more-

"Certainly there are other American Indian people who are angry about Lewis and Clark coming across America. I think rather than be angry, we need to talk about this history so we can be at peace and everybody else can learn something." -more-

"Surfing embodies a certain aspect of Americana, that combination of self-determination and freedom," says Dana Brown, director of the surf documentary Step Into Liquid, opening in Philadelphia on Aug. 22. -more-

How can you take money for sacredness? ... Bear Butte is known in Lakota as Paha Mato, Bear Mountain, and for as many as 17 plains tribes, it is a central landmark in the spiritual landscape of North America. -more-

Hugo Wolf, master of the art song: The demands of the art song repay attention many times over. The listener has to be willing to find worlds in a grain of sand.... It is music itself that is the real religion, the real site of ecstasy and spirituality. -more-

A revered Sioux spiritual leader remains in the hospital after he was beaten by a group that taunted him and demanded his healing powers. -more-

Book review: "Hungry Ghost," Keith Kachtick. Carter's heroic act of self-denial, as he sees it, comes to seem ever more churlish and ungiving. By devoting himself, unthinkingly, to the Six Perfections, he's denied her the very sense of communion and affection that might have meant the most. -more-

Pat Anderson didn’t have time for tennis over the past decade. Serving as a Buddhist monk in Thailand (for eight years) and Australia (for one year) from 1994 until seven months ago, Anderson lived a life far away from the fancy country clubs and tennis centers that exist in the United States. -more-

"Our understanding of the good life is very diverse, but in a funny way the consumer economy offers itself to everyone as a means to achieve their own personal conception of the good life" -more-

Sitting in with Charles Mingus. (Leary) knew that all the LSD in the world couldn't end racism. However Leary wasn't Black. He didn't have to end anything. All he had to do was get some LSD, "turn on, tune in, and drop out," and he left the world's woes behind while he contemplated the cosmos. -more-

Jeffrey Winke of Wauwatosa has a certain air of Clark Kent about him. Bookish and polite, this advertising and PR copywriter has a secret, mad soul. -more-. If the story intrigues you, visit Winke's website.

Auntie Alice Kuloloio, a revered kupuna and healer who spent much of her later years engaged in Native Hawaiian activism, died Tuesday morning at her Kahului home. -more-

Sanskrit's former glory revived online. -more-

Bronner was branded an eccentric and worse, and was even committed to an insane asylum. He managed to escape to California, where he began making Magic Soap as a third-generation master-soapmaker. -more-

The recent unsuccessful surgery on the Iranian Siamese twins, Laleh and Ladan Bijani, has raised many questions, particularly ethical questions. A Hindu perspective: -more-

National Hispanic Coalition Announces Ayuda: Each Ayuda center will offer many of the conveniences and trappings of secular life wrapped around a spiritual core. -more-

Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball (by Sadaharu Oh and David Falkner) The best sports autobiography I’ve ever read. With our ever-growing consciousness of the Far East and its production of top-level baseball players, this book is more germane than when it was published in 1984. -more-

Scientists are coming around to the idea that art can heal. -more-

UCLA Launches Study on Spirituality; National Study to Track College Students’ Spiritual Growth -more-

Discarded girl touched many, mourners say. -more-

"The whole wish on the part of spirituality and wellness consumers is that they don't want to just read about these activities, they want to do the activities" -more-

Number of satanic sects in Slovakia increases -more-

Ravi Shankar was asked about scenes where he is shown playing to virtual drug addicts in the first part of the film 'Ravi Shankar: Between Two Worlds' which is to be telecast in two parts by Discovery Channel. -more-

The former Jain monk suddenly leaps up from his chair and, with a beatific smile, suggests his audience of managers from companies such as BAE Systems and Orange might like to sing together. -more-

"This conference will be an opportunity to discuss how to simultaneously achieve social and individual peace through the teachings of Buddha, and how to engage in nonviolent and compassionate practices for the benefit of ourselves and other beings." -more-

For nearly two centuries, a vast expanse in the corner of present-day southwestern Idaho and portions of neighboring states was considered a sagebrush wasteland of little interest. -www. idahostatesman.com/Features/IdahoTravel/story.asp?ID=44809&S=29Link no longer active-

The Master Game: Pathways to Higher Consciousness, Robert S. De Ropp. In guiding the reader beyond illusions of instant awakening into a description of the realities of a lifetime of work on self, De Ropp delineates a clear map of the possibilities that confront the serious explorer of the frontiers of consciousness. -more-

Sri Sri Ravishankar: "It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but what is a thought?" -more-

Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson. "People who think they know everything are cosmic schmucks," (Anton) says. -more-

Phil Jones: His music never had a spiritual dimension until he learned to play the didgeridoo -more-

"Religion is music", "the breath of the flute is the path to enlightenment", and "a sermon is better made with sounds". These are mottos spread by the itinerant priests of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism in 17th-century Japan. -more-

Sometimes to get a lesson on spirituality, all you have to do is listen, and you'll find that "message" we're all looking for. Or, sometimes it will find you. -more-

Huston Smith's eyes still dance when he leans forward and begins to talk about the world's religions. -more-

Seattle: "Discovering Buddhist Art" features roughly 100 pieces of sculpture, painting, ritual objects and textiles from the fourth to the 18th centuries. -more-

Noted Gujarati poet Rajendra Keshavlal Shah has been selected for the conferment of Jnanpith award for 2001. ...advaita philosophy remained dear to his heart..." -more-

What happens when you enter 'RV' and 'Jewish' together into Google? So look already.

Bhutanese lama's new movie set to leave audiences spellbound

Honku: The Zen Antitdote to Road Rage

Baha'i Temple to be built near Santiago, Chile

Blessed are the pack rats: Throw nothing away, for there is beauty in these pebbles..."

Tribes struggle to get Indian bones back home

Tracking Threatened Cultures: "...the notion that cultures are hidden away in the forest, untouched to be undisturbed is essentially an outdated mode"

Female spiritualist starts meditation retreat in Mauldin: "Her spiritual rebirth started in a hospital when she was so sick with cancer that a single cracker made her ill for hours."

Trends in religious book publishing: "More readers seem to be interested in going deeper into the traditional faiths, and publishers are responding to that longing."

Art Review: Consciousness in Vacuum. "...the letting go of your [information-absorbing] brain and taking a look at your body and the things around it."

CD review: Ben Black Elk Speaks. "...particularly after his father's death in 1950, Ben Black Elk became one of the last links to the "old ways" of his people."

Firefly guy: "...it’s so silent. It’s like fog. Silent and mysterious."

Skyspace: "If you're good at looking at a sunset," he says, "you have what it takes to look at this."

"...E.J. Gold attempts to shed some light on one of the most hidden portions of all hidden human potential: sexual alchemy."

'Whale Rider' is haunting tale of Maori identity

An Art Exhibit in Atlanta: “The Female Buddha: Women of Enlightenment in Tibetan Mysticism."

Techno-Shamanism: get it before it's illegal

"The Passion of Reverend Nash:" Book review

Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud, by Sun Shuyun

Gimme the Blue Pill: "There is no market for the truth that many of our problems are actually insoluble."

"It's not fair for somebody to try and approach so closely to a whale just so they can have what they describe as a mystical experience."

"radio industry consolidation is causing the "erosion of the First Amendment."

"True Christianity is a rebellion against the bland conformism of muggledom as much as it is a rebellion against the world of wizardry."

Is depression God's way of cleansing us?

Waikato Maori and Mighty River Power have signed a partnership agreement



July 8:
Von Cello: spiritual rock cellist

July 8:
as wind drives the flags, prayers are unleashed to the heavens

July 7:
Underwater:The world's biggest dam floods the past

July 6:
The God Squad: the five Shankaracharyas

July 5:
Society's resort to self-indulgence and infantile behaviour

July 5:
"...it is tragic that we are fearful of solitude."

July 4:
The Boy Monk: movie review

July 4:
"Stories make you replace yourself": book review

July 4:
Yatra in tribute to Vinoba Bhave

July 3:
"I mow, therefore I am."

July 3:
Communal Living: 30 years later

July 2:
For his son, a poignant mediation on life

July 2:
Nation's Founding Fathers were thinkers and subversives

July 1:
Drinking yak butter tea with a hermit in the Himalayas
July 1:
The Rainbow Gathering this week
July 1:
Aboriginal rock art unearthed