Tuesday, December 31, 2013


By ascending above the egoistic system we begin to cultivate the altruistic force in us. This is because the altruistic force is inside the egoistic force and we humans have to bring it out by ourselves and begin to implement and manage it.

DAILY KABALLAH ... "Heal The World," by Michael Laitman

The method of integral education is a tool that no politician or government possesses. It allows every person to change his life, society, and life of the world since every component in this system affects all the others.

Everything begins from the environment of an ordinary person. He should try to change himself despite the fact that he resists it and curses everything from morning till night, swearing and hating everyone, thinking that everyone uses him, it doesn’t matter!

He won’t change the world. Enough chewing and spitting it out all the time; what’s the use? This isn’t wise. Let’s change ourselves! Let’s see what it will lead to.

If we create a healthy area in some part of the integral system that suddenly begins to function correctly, it will reflect on the whole body. We will see that the government, our neighbors, and people who live on the other side of the world will begin to think differently since we have healed part of the system.

Question: But in a sick body, we can’t create a separate healthy part.

Answer: Imagine that it is possible. How does one get well? It isn’t that the whole body is suddenly healed. First one part doesn’t hurt, and then another; the systems begin to balance one another and to work one for the sake of the other.

You wish to say that if something happens in the integral system, it doesn’t affect that specific part but rather the whole system. This is true, you are absolutely right. But the current integral system is bad and I create a good integral system within it without creating a partition between the two, and so it begins to work.

We spur on a totally different force in our small system that doesn’t exist in our system; the force of the connection between us. By ascending above the egoistic system we begin to cultivate the altruistic force in us. This is because the altruistic force is inside the egoistic force and we humans have to bring it out by ourselves and begin to implement and manage it.

What’s more, the external system cannot affect us since we ascend above it. This is called “faith above reason,” or “love and bestowal above hate.” When we unite, the world around us doesn’t affect us since this whole world is made of egoistic vectors that operate on one plane, while we ascend above them and work on a totally different level.


Michael Laitman -- Founder of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, which is dedicated to teaching and sharing authentic Kabbalah. Professor of Ontology, PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in bio-Cybernetics.

Pāli Word a Day for December 31, 2013

nissanga — unattached, unobstructed, disinterested, unselfish

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 31, 2013

Pāpañce puriso kayirā,
na naṃ kayirā punappunaṃ.
Na tamhi chandaṃ kayirātha,
dukkho pāpassa uccayo.

Should a person commit evil,
let one not do it again and again.
Let one not find pleasure therein,
for painful is the accumulation of evil.

Dhammapada 9.117

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Monday, December 30, 2013

BLOG TALK RADIO: Da Coconut Wireless Show, 12/28/13 - Pursuing Happiness through Practicing Silence

Listen to my new episode on Da Coconut Wireless ~ Pursuing Happiness through Practicing Silence Within on #BlogTalkRadio.  http://tobtr.com/s/5859361

on BlogTalkRadio

"Preventing The Regression Of Humanity," by Michael Laitman

I have often said and today we can actually see that millions of people are finding themselves outside the circle of active life. They receive minimal benefits, stay at home, and don’t know what to do.

A person regresses and degrades! If he doesn’t work for a couple of months, not to speak of several years, he is incapable of doing anything. He becomes an unproductive part of society since he loses the ability to work. Work builds a person! The search, the tension, and the study!

So he regresses and gradually degrades and simply becomes a mass of protein. What should we do about it?! They will go out to the streets and destroy everything. We already see that.

What is more, the next, scariest phase is beginning now: The middle class, the backbone of society, is disappearing. Factories will be shut down, production will stop and everything will begin to decline. What will happen next? They will also be given food rations. But they are used to a different standard of living! Will the golden billion, or even less, stay afloat and all the rest live on food stamps (for needy families with low income) for their “free lunch”? What will happen to these people?! After all, there is no system that can deal with them!

Perhaps the governments believe in feeding people with drugs by making marijuana legal, etc. This is not a solution!

I am not looking at this from a humanistic perspective or sympathetically: “What will become of the six billion people?!” I look at things from the perspective of non-compliance with nature’s law of development!

The regression of humanity will bring about greater sufferings. A person will not be allowed to just sit on the couch watching some TV program, smoking pot while being served his weekly meal.

Nature will not allow that, since nature’s plan is to bring all of nature to an integral state, which is the law of development that cannot be nullified. Nature must bring us to a state of becoming equal to it, to turn us into integral members in an integral society, each one by himself and all of us together. So you can’t just get rid of six billion people by putting them on drugs and food rations. Nature will lead them onward. It has to bring man to a state of being equal to it! A person has to become a human being.

This can only happen by balancing all the systems. The different parts of our world, like the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking nature, have to reach a state of balance, which means mutual support, homeostasis.

Bringing a person to the lowest state, however, is not homeostasis. The most important thing is to consciously raise ourselves to the level of a human being that is made of two opposite attributes: an egoistic one and an altruistic one, and operating in mutual cooperation by balancing them.

Michael Laitman -- Founder of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, which is dedicated to teaching and sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah. Professor of Ontology, PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in bio-Cybernetics. Father of three and grandfather of three.


Today is my day. There is no person, no thing, no event or activity that can destroy this day for me.

On Buddhism: Aversion (or its manifestation: avoidance) Is Not Freedom; There's No Inherent "Half of the Sky".

On the concept of advocating for the separation of women from men ...

Of course, it's invariably in the name of 'protecting' women … but many oppressions have been framed as 'protection': such views constitute the basis for "blaming the victim" (e.g. women 'should' dress modestly, for their own protection; women 'should' not go out unaccompanied, for their own protection; etc.).

What follows is written in response to a feminine perspective, however equivalent lessons can be drawn in relation to a masculine perspective (e.g. men thinking of isolating themselves from 'temptresses') so I hope it may provide food for thought to all.

Separation doesn't work; the very idea relies on the illusion of a 'self' inherent enough to exist independently from what it is separate from.

I'll give a clear example below on how the illusory nature of such a view is quickly apparent.

This is extremely important because it does touch directly on duality (in buddhist terms, the 'wrong' / 'ignorant' take on discrimination).

If you just put women together —e.g. in a monastery or simply a school,— it does not  'naturally' result in peace! Idem with men…

Because duality is re-introduced by the ignorant mind  on the very next distinction it is able to appropriate: new separations will appear, based on fair skin vs. dark skin, intellectual vs. manual, religious vs. non-religious, heterosexual vs. homosexual vs. bisexual, high caste vs. low caste, elder vs. younger…

The separation between men and women is neither better nor worse than e.g. the caste system, or racism, or any other discrimination:  it is a case of letting an aversion dictate one's life!

Please don't tell me gender is any more intrinsic than age or skin colour: you don't choose one any more than the other, and one can "split the sky in two" with the adequately-selected age threshold, or skin shade… There's nothing magical about constituting half of the population: in some countries, you could simply use political affiliations for splitting the population in two!

An aversion might have an historical justification, but freedom from the aversion (or transcendence of the aversion) is never the same as simply complying with the aversion.

Avoidance is not freedom

If we see the debate in terms of protecting women from 'lower' men (a seriously biased mental fabrication if it's a general assessment) , we can compare the separation of genders to the fight vs. any other deleterious phenomenon, e.g. alcoholism.

In relation to a 'risk' of alcoholism (which may  have substantially materialised in the past), what matters is to reach a state where seeing a bottle will not  start a chain reaction leading to being drunk… Having no bottle to see for a little while  might help to break the unhelpful habit, but ultimately it's about freedom and choice, not avoidance of all bottles forever. Ideally, the former addict is cured when (s)he can  see a bottle and can  choose not to drink it.

Nibbāna is very clearly defined as "freedom from lust, aversion and ignorance."  Letting 'aversion' drive one's life is still being a victim of the circumstances at hand, a robot driven by external conditions, similarly to letting 'craving' drive one's life. Nibbāna is 'beyond' mental projections, it is not simply the appropriation of "the  'right' projection".

This being said, of course, it may prove useful for a short while  to avoid temptations when one is trying to break bad habits… This is notably the case if one believes "I cannot live without this-or-that";  avoidance allows to realise that, in fact, one can  live without! The key is in the temporariness of such strategy though; avoidance cannot itself become a habit, otherwise it was merely replacing lust with aversion, without any ungrasping of the external object!

Freedom is attained when women do not fear men, not  when they embody fear and protect themselves! Freedom is when one lets go of aversion.

Freedom is attained when men do not threaten women, not  when they automatically act on their impulses regardless of how inappropriate or unwelcome these are. Freedom is when one lets go of lust.

Men and women cannot be separate (and not just for biological reasons), they have to learn to live wholesomely together.

If women abandon a 'space', men will fill the said space, find where the new boundary is, and push further. Any unwholesome tendency has to be addressed, it cannot be ignored or it will simply perpetuate itself!

Example? Men may 'suggest' to women to wear a ħijāb (e.g. to copy the wives of the prophet, although there's no rule in the Qurʼān requiring to do so!), then the suggestion may turn into a rather forceful imposition, and go from "loose" veil (with some hair visible) to "tucked-in" ħijāb (no stray hair), then it may no longer be just a scarf but a niqab (face hidden)… And in the end, in the name of protecting women, a victim of rape would be slowly stoned to death, even if she was wearing a niqab when the crime occurred! Clearly, 'protection' in name is not enough to make a rule effectively 'protective'.

If women withdraw, men will follow until the ignorant tendency that threatened women ceases; wrong views don't magically correct themselves though, paññattis  don't spontaneously cease (they're not dhammas,  there's no automatic reality check; corrections can occur only when an observer elects to "see things as they are", in order to cease its own suffering).

The only way forward is creative engagement. The engagement may be non-violent, à la  Gandhi or Luther King, and it hopefully is from all involved (including 'bystanders') but it's still engagement.

Engagement may take different forms, and temporary  withdrawal may play a part (in breaking habits, in correcting views, in healing…) but temporariness is key. Even in the most ascetic cases, e.g. 'forest' theravadins, withdrawal is only until arahantship, then one who has conquered all signs of selfishness will come out to guide others; and their withdrawal is equanimous (it is equally from men and women… it is not out of aversion, but out of cultivation and focus! Intentions do matter; these practitioners won't run away if someone comes to them, they might even teach the visitor thus cultivating generosity).

Moreover, women want to send positive signals to the men who evolve in the right direction. Let's think for a second about the helpful men, those who —with or without the 'feminist' label— care about their mother, partner, friends, daughters, colleagues… those who simply care about human rights and respect and harmony (and cessation of suffering)! Do women really want to tell these men "I'm not engaging with you because, no matter what you do to improve the world, you're a man, you're dangerous, I don't trust you", is this the one 'motivational' message to send without exception?

As it happens, when women need (e.g. for healing) temporary  withdrawal, the 'good' men are those "holding the space" for them, so that the 'wrong' men cannot push the boundaries… Gratitude is part of the engagement, and it cannot be just about men protecting women (from other men) out of gratitude for what they receive(d), it's also about women not putting all men "in one bag."

Women have to ask themselves: how would the 'good' men know they're doing something 'well' or 'right', if women don't give feedback, if women refuse to talk to them? It's one thing to wish these men to be good listeners (there's no magic reason for it to happen overnight but, at least, it's possible) but it's totally unrealistic to ask men to become mind readers or to suddenly 'see' what they're ignorant of …

Equivalent lessons can be drawn from a masculine perspective.

The feminine bodhisattvas don't limit their interactions to women only, no more than the masculine bodhisattvas limit theirs to men. Realising selflessness is not optional on the Path, and once it's realised, there's no appropriate "half sky" (whatever the criterion): all sentient beings have buddha-nature.

Don't disengage out of aversion! Cultivate gratitude for those who make the effort of cultivating peace and reconciliation, support them if an opportunity arises! Guide and inform those ready to listen! Amend your prejudices (whatever they are, about whoever), your projections from the past into the present, your generalisations blinding you from what's changing and what's progressing!  Free from past preferences and past 'definitive' conclusions, creatively engage!  Build bridges (a stable bridge is well anchored on both sides, so work with both sides:  no half sky)! Take responsibility for the peace all sentient beings hope to enjoy!


Pāli Word a Day for December 30, 2013

khema — full of peace, safe, tranquil, calm

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 30, 2013

Yo ca vassasataṃ jīve
apassaṃ udayabbayaṃ
ekāhaṃ jīvitaṃ seyyo
passato udayabbayaṃ.

Better it is to live one day
seeing the rise and fall of things
than to live a hundred years
without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.

Dhammapada 8.113

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom, 
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Transcendental Meditation on New Year Resolutions and Wish Lists

A good reason to write your desires down is to clarify, in your mind, what you really, really, really, want. To re-mind yourself, by doing so you also put it out ‘there’ again, from where it can return.

Q: How can I make my desires more potent? (Rig Veda – "They who do not know the laws of nature, what can the laws of nature do for them?")

A: "If the mind is dull and thoughts are weak then the fulfillment of a desire is sabotaged." (Id.)

Transcend the active level of the mind to the most settled state of awareness, from where thoughts arise; the most powerful level of the mind, pure consciousness; and return to the active level of thinking infused with this most silent powerful state of being.

Tips for Your Heart’s Desire List

Write your desires down so they are clear in your mind. Once on paper you can reflect and validate they are genuine.

Then let them go, just a faint awareness will bring fulfillment of your desires.

If you strain you create stress in your nervous system and perhaps the need to strain is born of lack of faith in your abilities or your object of desire.

Just faint awareness. Blow it away, like seeds on a dandelion ... let it go to where it can take root and grow.

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 29, 2013

Yo ca vassasataṃ jīve
dussīlo asamāhito
ekāhaṃ jīvitaṃ seyyo
sīlavantassa jhāyino.

Better it is to live
one day virtuous and meditative
than to live a hundred years
immoral and uncontrolled.

Dhammapada 8.110

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

I Ching For The Week of December 30, 2013

#4        Meng     Without Experience
Above   Ken       Mountain Firm rooted, nothing to lose
Below    K'an      Water Flowing fast, possible danger


The Wisdom:
The tree is bearing fruit
What has been nurtured has taken root
Observe the process
The fruit is not yet ripe

Your movement in the life process has brought you to the beginning of a new situation of such depth that it feels like the beginning of something big and important—you hear spirit calling you. It is a grand situation that needs time to mellow and mature. You can feel the power in your veins. The ego says: Take it; go for it before it fades. If you move now into the heart of the situation, you will find that you do not have the information and the capacity to deal with energy such as this.

What is stirring in you has many layers, and most are hidden, telling you that you  must hide and conceal your lust and desire for an outcome that will serve you. You need to know more about the essence of the situation before you commit to entering into the flow. The benefit now is to come to the stillness of the mountain.
Do not try to make it appear that you know what you do not. This would be folly and would create  obstacles that will take much effort to overcome

The stillness of the mountain is not still at all;
Water flows from the mountain.
This is the symbolic spring of youthful beginnings and experiences;
A youthful attitude now brings success without bounds.

Within your reach, or perhaps just grasped, is the new. Newness is coming or has just come to your work and studies, whether these are inner or outer. In the relationship you are now in, or the one on its way to you, your attitude about love and companionship requires renewal.

There is some danger here: Moving without the understanding that you are in a situation where you do not yet have the knowledge to undertake would have you move too fast. At this point accept that you do not yet have sufficient knowledge. Therefore, start slowly so that you can absorb the new, hidden, information being shown to you about yourself and your situation.

You are in a great position. But you must accept that in this situation you know very little about how to proceed. Revel in the fact that you are a beginner. Seek the teacher or guide who can mentor you into this next stage of abundance and love; take their advice and then go into the quiet of your heart. You are again the student. Accept and embrace that place.

The spring emerges through the rock on the mountain.
This is the new showing itself.
Be steady and clear.
Observe and open your mind and heart.
Be without fear or judgment.

Shoshin is a term in Zen meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to cultivating an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, just as a beginner in that subject would—even if one is already at an advanced level.

Being of the mind of the young student, the attitude of the beginner, will serve you well. In fact it is the only way in which you can proceed and be free of danger. Be as still and calm as the mountain now and allow the flow of knowledge that has newly sprung to life begin to fill the places that must be filled. The spring will soon become the river. In this way, you will fill the gaps in your knowledge, and this will allow you to be carried to a peaceful and joyous success where you will find abundance, love and peace of mind.

Each of us has unseen teachers who are wise, patient and kind. You are now at the place where you will be able to hear their voices and feel their compassion and love. So the question comes: "What do I do to connect?" The answers are easy: Be patient, compassionate and kind, and each day be in wonder as the sun rises. When you see the beauty of nature, when you hear the night bird sing, be as a child whose innocence is in awe of all that is new.

 When children first hear an airplane flying overhead they stop in amazement. It seems to linger in the sky above. They look up and listen and watch as it makes its way slowly across their field of vision until it is out of sight. As we became accustomed to the sight, we become complacent as other airplanes  make their way across our sky, and we hardly notice them. But then a helicopter would fly our way and we were in wonderment again. The pattern would repeat, and complacency would once again take the place of wonder.

Remember all those many years ago when you would watch bees and ants and be fully engaged with no sense of time? Go into that place and shed the cloak of complacency and see the wonder around you now. Share your vision and feelings with those around you, with no fear of embarrassment, shame or judgment.

In our youth it would seem that summer would never come and a year was such a long time. As we become older a year seemed like just a moment, and our youth seemed to have slipped away. It has not: All that has happened is we have become “sophisticated” and complacent, thinking we know sooo much.

Now is the time to teach what you know and listen and make way for the new. This is a path to freedom of thought, consciousness and spirituality. This hexagram comes to help us return to that state of the child in wonderment of the new. Be still and learn. Be still and listen, as you then become the mentor and teacher.

Dignity, integrity, compassion and kindness are your allies in the adventure before you. You are coming to know the unknowable, the hidden truth that is deep within you. You are both student and teacher. In accepting this with a child’s heart and eye, you will remove all obstacles that have been blocking your way toward abundance, love and spirit. You become the innocent.
Come to know your heart. As you trust the voice of your heart, your inner knowing, your flow will be like the water that flows from the mountain made full by the spring rains.

In your complacency in many things that are in the root of your heart, you have become dulled to the love around you. This causes loneliness and frustration. In your relationship, friendships, projects, career, or in your own inner journey of spiritual evolution, it will be of great benefit to refresh your knowledge and attitudes. You must learn new ways and think  in a new way about how things are showing in your life. Quiet the ego and move into your inner knowing, your intuitive force that never disappoints. Then when you come to the realization that you do not have enough knowledge to proceed, something wonderful will happen: You will become the student again, the beginner who is filled with wondering and wonderment.
Recall what brought you joy and what you did for fun as a child and do it now. Skip down the lane, play with clay, steal a kiss, do finger painting. Whatever it is, reignite your innocence and sense of wonder. If you had trauma as a child around trust or love, accept that it happened, write about it, process it, and let it go. Move into a different pool of conscious activity that is fun and filled with gratitude.

Discard the old and open to new ways of being and doing. In the process, be patient, kind, and compassionate with yourself and others as you begin learning new patterns. Observe the actions of happy children and bring that back into your life. By following the advice and vision of this hexagram, your frustrations will dissipate and you will feel the exhilaration of youth, no matter what your age.

Play…laugh, dance, sing…and write a poem…..right now..


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pāli Word a Day for December 29, 2013

vipāka — fruit, fruition, product,
mostly it is used as
"result, effect, consequence (of ones action)",
either as good & meritorious (kusala)
or bad & detrimental (akusala)


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I am at peace with all that has happened,
is happening, and will happen.

Pāli Word a Day for December 28, 2013

pamoda — joy, delight

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 28, 2013

Apādakehi me mettaṃ,
mettaṃ dvipādakehi me;
catuppadehi me mettaṃ,
mettaṃ bahuppadehi me.

I have love for the footless,
for the bipeds too I have love;
I have love for those with four feet,
for the many-footed I have love.

Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.67

Gemstones of the Good Dhamma, 
compiled and translated by Ven. S. Dhammika

Friday, December 27, 2013

Beneficial Habits of Exuberant Human Beings

Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, theorizes that while 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40 percent is up to us. Through his research, Seligman discovered that happy people have consistent habits which may be introduced into our day to day life. Happy people have habits you can introduce into your everyday life that may add to the bigger picture of bliss.  Joyful folk have certain inclinations that add to their pursuit of meaning -- and motivate them along the way.

1 - They surround themselves with other happy people ... because Joy is contagious.

2 - They smile when they mean it ... because faking a smile while experiencing negative emotions could actually worsen your mood.

3 - They cultivate resilience.  Resilience is like a padding for the inevitable hardship human beings are bound to face ... as we say in The Halau, "nana kurobi ya oki" ... resilience  means seven times down, eight times up.

4 - They try to be happy ... because you can think yourself happy.

5 - They are mindful of the good ... because when you take the time to notice when things are going well, the act of noticing elevates your feeling of accomplishment and that  elevates your mood.

6 - They appreciate simple pleasures ... because practicing gratitude for all that you do have is associated with a sense of overall gladness.

7 - They devote some of their time to giving ... because volunteering promotes happiness viz., a "helper's high", a chemical reaction stimulated in the reward center of your brain that makes you feel better physical health and less depression.

8 - They let themselves lose track of time (and sometimes they can’t help it).  When you’re immersed in an activity that is simultaneously challenging, invigorating and meaningful, you experience a joyful state called “flow.” Happy people seek this sensation of getting “caught up” or “carried away,” which diminishes self-consciousness and promotes the feelings associated with success.

9 - They nix the small talk for deeper conversation ... because those who take part in more substantive conversation and less trivial chit chat experienced more feelings of satisfaction.

10 - They spend money on other people ... because spending money on other people has a more direct impact on happiness than spending money on yourself.

11 - They make a point to listen ... because  Good listening is a skill that strengthens relationships and leads to more satisfying experiences.

12 - They uphold in-person connections.  Social media, while it keeps us in touch, doesn't allow us to physically touch, which harvests the warm-and-fuzzies and even decreases feelings of anxiety.

They look on the bright side ... because Optimism promotes longevity in heart patients, less stress and better pain tolerance.  When you choose to see the silver lining in all things, you choose health and happiness.

14 - They value good music ... because music is powerful. Choosing the right tunes is an important factor, as music (through its lyrics/words and major/minor happy/sad tones) affects how we perceive the world.

15 - They unplug from the Matrix ... because digital detox allows your brain to recharge and recover, and that promotes resilience.

16 - They get spiritual ... because Spirituality offers what the 20th-century sociologist Emile Durkheim referred to as "sacred time," which is a built-in, unplugging ritual that elicits moments of reflection and calm.  Transcendent spiritual and religious experiences have a positive, healing, restorative effect, especially if they are “built in,” so to speak, to one’s daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual cycles of living.

17 - They make exercise a priority ... because exercise has been shown to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, thanks to the the various brain chemicals that are released that amplify feelings of happiness and relaxation. Plus, working out makes us appreciate our bodies more.

18 - They go outside ... because Nature is fuel for the soul.  Just a 20-minute dose of fresh air promotes a sense of vitality.

19 - They get a good night's sleep ... because you get more emotional stability with good sleep.

20 - They Laugh out loud ... because Laughter is the best medicine for everything in life. Repetitive laughter benefits the body as much as repetitive exercise.  Some of the benefits associated with working out, like a healthy immune system, controlled appetite and improved cholesterol, can also be achieved through laughter.

Here's to a healthier, happier YOU in 2014 ... Aloha Ke Akua!

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 27, 2013

Māvamaññetha pāpassa, "Na mantaṃ āgamissati."
Udabindunipātena, udakumbhopi pūrati.
Bālo pūrati pāpassa, thokaṃ thokampi ācinaṃ.

Think not lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me."
Drop by drop is the water pot filled.
Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little,
fills oneself with evil.

Dhammapada 9.121

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom, 
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Daily Affirmation ...

I live a healthy, positive lifestyle.

Be The Change ...

Remember how valuable it could have been if someone would've helped you when you were starting out?  Do your best to show someone who you work with how valuable teamwork can be.

"When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful."

~ Yogi Bhajan

Pāli Word a Day for December 26, 2013

cariya — conduct, behavior, state of, life

SEEDS FOR MEDITATION ... On Understanding Wonder

That there are matters we don’t understand is obvious
—how could a finite mind, 
bound within the confines of time and space, 
fathom the infinite knowledge of its Creator?

The great wonder is that there are matters we can understand.

Daily Words of the Buddha for December 26, 2013

Yo sahassaṃ sahassena
saṅgāme mānuse jine,
ekañca jeyyamattānaṃ
sa ve saṅgāmajuttamo.

Though one may conquer
a thousand times a thousand people in battle,
yet one indeed is the noblest victor
who conquers oneself.

Dhammapada 10.103

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Sheryl Paul: Five Tips to Enjoy A Restful & Nourishing Holiday Season

For some people, the holidays can be a joyous time filled with parties, magical lights, and gifts. But for many others, especially if you're highly sensitive, the holidays trigger more painful feelings, like loneliness, grief, and depression. Whenever there's an implicit expectation that you're supposed to feel only joy, like around a wedding, the shadow feelings find a way of lurking into consciousness. If we deny the shadow, it only grows. So if you want to access your joy during this holiday season, follow these steps:
1. Be willing to feel all of your feelings, including pain, loneliness, or heartbreak.
Pain and joy live in the same chamber of the heart, so when you clamp down on the pain (or any other uncomfortable feelings), you also diminish your capacity for joy. For many people, the holidays trigger feelings of sadness and loneliness, compounded by the expectation that your smile is supposed to sparkle like tinsel. If you allow yourself to tend to your less joyous places, the joy will shine through.
2. Be of service.
There's no quicker way to shift from loneliness and meaningless to connection and purpose than to volunteer and give to others. There are so many ways to give during the holidays, from gathering up toys that your children no longer play with to give to a local toy drive to volunteering at a soup kitchen. The holidays are called the season of giving, and yet quite often it turns into the season of consumption. What will serve you will also serve the planet when you shift your mindset into one of service.
3. Slow down.
We live in a very fast world, and the pace seems to increase to an uncontrollable frenzy during the holidays. Living your life at warp-speed is never conducive to creating a life of joy and fulfillment. If you want to find balance and come back to center, take time each day to practice mindfulness, yoga, journaling, or any other practice that helps you spiral back into your self and slow down to the natural place of life.
4. Spend time in nature.
The best antidote to the glitz, glimmer, and sounds of the holiday season is to spend time in nature. Nature reminds us of what truly matters and allows us to connect to our essential selves, which lives in diametric opposition to the image, fantasy, and focus on material items that can define the holidays. Again, if you're a highly sensitive person, it's particularly easy to find yourself overstimulated during this time. The quiet of nature is the medicine that will help you decompress and unwind back into your place of balance.
5. Create a meaningful ritual.
Many holidays were birthed from or originally contained rituals that were designed to help human beings connect to the seasons and the passage of time in meaningful ways, and yet we seem to travel further and further away from these rich roots each year. To revitalize the meaning inherent to this season, especially the Winter Solstice, consider creating a ritual for yourself, your friends, and/or your family that will remind you of the underlying principles of all rituals: letting go of what no longer serves you and inviting in the qualities that you would like to enhance.
However you choose to celebrate, I wish you a restful and nourishing holiday season.
Sheryl Paul, M.A., has counseled thousands of people worldwide throughher private practice, her bestselling books, her e-courses and her website. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes“, visit herwebsite. If you’re suffering from relationship anxiety – whether single, dating, engaged, or married – give yourself the gift of her popular E-Course or sign up for her FREE Sampler on relationship anxiety.


This is the game I've played since I was 4 years old ...

Sungka is a Philippine mancala game which is today also played wherever Philippine migrants are living; e.g. in Taiwan, Germany, and the USA. Like the closely related congkak it is traditionally a women's game. Sungka was first described outside of Asia in 1894 by the American ethnologist Stewart Culin. 

Sungka is similar to many other Southern Asian mancala games such as naranj (Maldives), dakon (Java), congkak (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia) and tchonka (Marianas). The game 
differs from kalah which is known in North America and Europe in being a multi-lap game. Another important difference is that the first move is executed simultaneously in sungka which is meant to balance the game. Sungka is distinguished from congkak by being played counterclockwise and also by some other minor rule differences. Sungka is an important means for creating identity, particularly for Philippine migrants. This can be seen in sungka competitions, which are organized in the Philippines, and in the representation of Philippine culture at cultural festivals through Sungka demonstrations. The identity forming function of the game is also a central theme in Sungka and Smiling Irish Eyes, A Boy discovers what it means to be Half-Irish and Half-Filipino by Natalie Gonzales-Sullaway. The feminist poet and communication scientist Alison M. De La Cruz wrote in 1999 a one-woman performance called Sungka, which analyses the societal and family-related expectations in regard to gender-specific behavior and sexuality, race and ethnic affiliation, by comparing it to a game of Sungka. De La Cruz also reflects in her performance how she has come to terms with her lesbian coming-out. Her poem That Age, which was part of the performance, has become well-known in the America. 

Moreover, sungka is still used by fortune tellers and prophets, which are called in the Philippines baybalin or maghuhula, for divinatory purposes.  Older people hope to find out with their help whether the journey of a youth is favorable at a certain day, and girls, whether they will marry one day, and, in case they will, when this will be. The game is usually played outdoors because there is a Filipino superstition about a house will burn 
down if it's played indoors. 

In past times, sungka boards were also used for mathematical calculations, which were researched by Indian ethnomathematicians. 

Although the sungka rules are not much different from those of congkak, sungka is perceived as a genuinely Philippine game by native players. 

How To Play Sunka

                                                                                      Initial position

The oblong game board (sungka(h)an), which is usually carved in wood (e.g., mahogany), consists of two rows of seven small pits each. I n addition, there are at either end a large store (bahay) for the captured stones.  Each player owns the store to his right.

In each small pit are initially seven counters (sigay), usually cowrie shells.

Sowing:  At each turn a player empties one of his small pits and then distributes its contents in a counterclockwise direction, one by one, into the following pits including his own store, but passing the opponents store.

  • If the last stone falls into a non-empty small pit, its contents are lifted and distributed in another lap.
  • If the last stone is dropped into the player's own store, the player gets a bonus move.
  • If the last stone is dropped into an empty pit, the move ends.
  • If the move ends by dropping the last stone into one of your own small pits you capture the stones in the opponent's pit directly across the board and your own stone. The captured stones are deposited in your store. However, if the opponent's pit is empty, nothing is captured.

The first move is played simultaneously. After that play is alternately. The first player to finish the first move may start the second move. However, in face-to-face play one player might start shortly after his opponent so that he could choose a response which would give him an advantage. There is no rule that actually could prevent such a tactic. So, in fact, the decision-making may be non-simultaneous.

You must move if you can. If you can't a player must pass until he can move again.

The game ends when no stones are left in the small pits.

The player who captures most stones wins the game.

Moves in mancala games consist of one or several laps (also known as sowings).  Sunka games, which have several laps (also called relay sowing), are known as multiple lap mancala games.

A lap consists of taking all the seeds from a pit and sowing them, one by one, into the following pits:

Taking the seeds from the only occupied hole


Sowing them

Usually mancala games have a predetermined sense of sowing. In all the examples here a counter-clockwise sense is used.