Monday, October 23, 2017

How shall we be "immortal"? (video)

Top 10 people who claim to be immortal
The oldest human being to ever live was Jeanne Calment, born in 1875, died in 1997 at the age of 122. Everyone agrees this is the longest a human being has ever existed… well, not everyone. Some people say there are others much older than that.
Great Marley's ghost! You survived death!
Some people say there are humans who have become immortal. Some people even say that they themselves are immortal. Should we believe them? Let's find out. This is the Top 10 People Who Claim to be Immortal.
Buddhist "immortality"? The Deathless

"Truly, it will be not long before this body lies in the earth, bereft of consciousness, like a useless log, which is thrown away."
Usually, uninstructed worldly minded people do not think of death and do not like any pointed reference made to it by others.

Such unreflecting, uninstructed people often shut their minds deliberately to the fact that death is waiting for us. They reject the possibility of a future life (rebirth), and occupying themselves only with things of this life, they immerse themselves in the ephemeral joys of the five strands of sense desire.

To make such people think seriously on what is perhaps the most decisive event of life they have to reckon with -- an event [the "impossible possibility"] that will determine their future lives in no uncertain way -- the Buddha said, "Every householder and everyone who has gone forth [as a monastic], should constantly reflect, 'I am subject to death.'"
The uninstructed worldly-minded person sees others dying all around but through intoxication with the pride of life acts as if we were immortal.

We see the victims of disease all around but due to intoxication with the pride of health we act as if we were immune from disease. Enjoying the first flush of life's springtime, we see many an old person in the last stages of decrepitude but owing to pride of youth, through becoming intoxicated with it, we act as if we might never grow old.

And we see many people losing their wealth and becoming paupers suddenly, but through being intoxicated with the pride of power or position, we pity them not, do not sympathize with them, and do not think that we too might be overtaken by similar misfortune.

Thus intoxicated by these, and many other intoxicants, we behaves like a people beside ourselves, heedless of right and wrong, heedless of this world and the worlds beyond, enjoying fleeting pleasures, like a crab in a cooking pot before the water heats up.

Even in our dreams we do not suspect that harm might befall us, but when we actually do, we lose control of ourselves, weep, and bewail our lot.
Reflection on death if rightly practiced by a person open our eyes to the individual essence of every form of being, its true nature, and remove the poison of pride, which makes us heedless of others' welfare.

We see them according to the words of the Buddha, "Uncertain is life, certain is death; it is necessary that I should die; at the close of my life, there is death. Life is indeed unsure, but death is sure, death is sure."

One who thinks often of death becomes ardent in the fulfillment of duties. Therefore it is said, "The meditator who is given to the practice of [mindfully] contemplating death becomes diligent."

Visnusarman says, "In the wise [person] who thinks again and again of death, the terrible penalty, all activity, becomes lax like leather bindings soaked with rain."

"In [one] who ever and again
Reflects on death's hard hand of pain
The drive for gross material gain
Grows limp like hide [soaked] through with rain"
- Soma Thera

Thus, in those who seek immortality, all kinds of endeavor, exertion, to acquire worldly power and possessions become slack, through the perception of death, but they do all that has to be done for attaining the Deathless State [nirvana].

In the teachings of the Buddha the contemplation on death is intended to turn the mind/heart away from the accumulation of mundane power and treasure and to increase the energy of the aspirant for highest freedom.

Even at the moment of death, one has to do one's duty well. Reflection on death quickens the heart/mind and makes it develop unremitting ardor for the extinction of ill. Such reflection can never make one negligent of actions leading to freedom from craving.

Who thinks often of death thinks thus: "Now is the time to endeavor to realize the goal. Who knows that Death will not come till tomorrow? What covenant have I with Death and its hosts to keep them at bay?"

What did the Buddha teach about consciousness, often thought to be the one thing that will survive death to be immortal by incessant death-and-rebirth?

The Buddha taught: "If, in any manner, meditators, an illusionist (stage magician) or apprentice were to produce an illusion, at a junction of four great roads and an intelligent person were to see it, reflect on it, and thoroughly examine it, then, to that person who sees, reflects on, and thoroughly examines it, worthless would that illusion appear, empty, and without essence!

"Indeed, meditators, how can there be essence in an illusion?

"In the same way, meditators, a meditator sees, reflects on, and thoroughly examines consciousness of any kind -- past, future, or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or high, far or near. To the meditator who sees, reflects on, and thoroughly examines it, worthless would consciousness appear, empty [impersonal], and without essence.

"Indeed, meditators, how can there be essence in consciousness [which is only an impersonal process not a thing]?

"The instructed noble disciple who sees thus, turns away from form, and also from sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness [these are the skandhas, the Five Groups of Clinging]. Turning away one lets go, detaches oneself.

"With detachment one becomes free. When freed one knows, 'I am freed,' and understands, 'Rebirth has been exhausted, the excellent life has been lived, what ought to be done has been done, and there will be nothing more to come of this [no more karma will cause rebirth].'"
Further, the Buddha said that one whose turban or headdress is on fire should be one who aspires to the deathless act, to nirvana. There is no excuse for delay in working for deliverance from ill (suffering of all kinds); Death is trying to take us always.
On a certain occasion the Buddha went to a certain house set apart for sick monastics and, having sat down on a seat prepared for him, said: "Mindfully and with complete awareness should a monastic meet his/her end. This is the advice I give you."
Again and again, the seeds of grain are sown;
Again and again, the devas send down rain;
Again and again, the farmers plow the fields;
Again and again, the country is enriched.
Again and again, the alms-seeker ask for alms;
Again and again, the kindly givers give;
And giving repeatedly, the givers make.
Again and again, for happy worlds above.
Again and again, the milk is drawn from cows;
Again and again, the calf goes to its dam;
Again and again, a being tires and quakes;
Again and again, the fool returns to the womb.
Again and again, comes birth and death to you;
Again and again, men bear you to the grave.
But one who sees clearly, having known the path
Which leads not to rebirth, does not arise again.
Samsara = endless wandering 
Vibrant with compassion for suffering humanity, the wise being bent on supreme enlightenment, the Sam-Bodhisattva thought:
"My forbears accumulated much wealth and passed away taking nothing of their wealth with them; nor did they return to enjoy the treasure [they stored up here]. Alas! they have been destroyed; they have missed the fortune of getting the best out of a good rebirth" (Jataka I, 2).

Thus do the great beings in search of liberation from suffering look upon life, and they having made a gift of their possessions to the world go forth to endeavor for self-mastery that leads to final enlightenment.
Penetrating into the centuries, the millennia, and the aeons (kalpas) with unclouded knowledge, the Master saw by means of clear insight to the limits of the knowable and declared:
"In this [continued] wandering on, this journeying through incalculable time, the suffering by a person is unimaginably, inconceivably vast.
"How can one reckon all one's sorrows life after life, through partings from the loved, through union with the detested, through the death of dear ones, and through the loss of one's own health and wealth, limbs, and life?
"In this sweeping on of life's stream, hard it is to find another who has not been a person's own father, mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter. Truly, every living being might well have been associated closely with every other in this long trail of woe" (SN 11.180).
"Where in the whole wide world could be found a spot unpolluted by the dead? Sometime in becoming's endless flux a living being has died wherever life manifested itself" (Jataka II, 5-6).
To a Brahmin who was searching for virgin ground where no corpse had been burnt, the Master said that 14,000 corpses of that Brahmin's clan had been burned on that very spot on which he stood and that there is not any place on earth that is not a cemetery.

Every brand of suffering does one undergo through rebirth in diverse planes of becoming. And there is nothing in the world that arises that is fully pleasant. Everything is mixed with suffering in such a way that for the thoughtful all pleasure appears as menaced with suffering/disappointment or moving on to it because of impermanence. More

I want to live forever, you stupid son-of-a-mother-fathers! Why should I have to die?!!
  • [How any words are enough words to lead to disenchantment? How many are enough to lead to yearning for enlightenment-and-liberation, the Deathless (immortality in a sense)? If it is not enough, there will be endless rebirth and suffering to come.]
Making nirvana Christian-Hindu immortality
Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit
The Buddha reclines into final nirvana-without-remainder, final liberation (Cambodian art)
"I can't stand a Buddhism that doesn't promise me "eternal life" like Christianity and Hinduism do!

Then you might well like Mahayana Buddhism, the most popular form of the religion which is thoroughly saturated with Brahminical, Vedic, Hindu, and Universalist (catholic) Messianic Christian ideas. Look how nirvana, the "Deathless State" (deathless because there is no birth/rebirth and therefore no more possibility of death) has been transformed into immortality:

Pre-canonical Buddhism?
Stanislaw Schayer, a Polish scholar, argued in the 1930s that the Nikayas [volumes, assemblages of the Buddha's teachings] preserve elements of an archaic form of Buddhism which is close to Brahmanical beliefs (Lindtner 1997, Lindtner 1999, Akizuki 1990, p. 25-27, Ray 1999) and survived in the Mahayana tradition (Reat 1998, p. xi, Conze 1967, p. 10).

Contrary to popular opinion, the Theravada and Mahayana traditions may be "divergent, but equally reliable records of a pre-canonical Buddhism which is now lost forever" (Reat 1998, p. xi). The Mahayana tradition may have preserved a very old, "pre-canonical" and oral Buddhist tradition, which was largely, but not completely, left out of the Theravada [Pali language] canon (Conze 1967, p. 10).
Nirvana as consciousness(?)
Regamy has identified four points which are central to Schayer's reconstruction of pre-canonical Buddhism (Ray 1999, p. 374-377):
  1. The Buddha was considered as an extraordinary being, in whom ultimate reality was embodied, and who was an "incarnation" [a "soul" or spirit entering or becoming flesh] of the mythical figure of the Tathagata [or perhaps Lord Vishnu];
  2. The Buddha's disciples were attracted to his spiritual charisma and supernatural authority;
  3. Nirvana was conceived as the attainment of immortality, and the gaining of a deathless sphere from which there would be no falling back. This nirvana, as a transmundane reality or state, is incarnated in the person of the Buddha;
  4. Nirvana can be reached because it already dwells as the inmost "consciousness" of the human being. It is a consciousness which is not subject to birth and death.
Conze mentions ideas like the "person" (puggala), the assumption of an eternal "consciousness" in the Saddhatu Sutra, the identification of the Absolute, as descriptors of Nirvana to mean an "invisible infinite consciousness, which shines everywhere" in the Digha Nikaya (XI 85), and "traces of a belief in consciousness as the non-impermanent center of the personality which constitutes an absolute element in this contingent world." More

Dr. Greer: UFOs are real; they're here (video)

Dr. Steven Greer (; P. Macpherson, S. Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
We're "human," too, and all distantly related -- because this goes far back, far far back.

Devas make conscious machines, vimanas.
Dr. Steven Greer, M.D. is head of the and a leading ET/UFO expert, who has created documentaries on the topic including Sirius. He is an interstellar ambassador for all of the humanoid species arriving, coming and going as they have for millennia. He has been off planet, he claims, and has met with Gaia (Deva/Goddess of Earth) and the other planet personalities (Moon, Mars, etc.), who are literally personal beings with gender as the Buddha, other seers, and Vedic literature described.

Happy? "The Fourth Noble Truth" (film)

Gary McDonald (; Ananda, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

“Do you want to be happy?”

I teach Buddhist meditation.
The Fourth Noble Truth takes place in a Buddhist context. So a brief explanation of Buddhism might be helpful.

The Buddha never set out to start a "religion." His goal was to show the path to happiness, that is, the way to end all suffering. What he discovered was encapsulated in what are taught as the "Four Noble [Ennobling] Truths."
1. The First Noble Truth
is that life is beset by psychic suffering, such as stress, sadness, woe, angst, disappointment, discontent, pain or what can be lumped together and collectively called "unhappiness."
2. The Second Noble Truth
is that the cause of this suffering is craving (clinging, grasping, greed, desire). Not the fleeting kind, but a sticky clinging or pernicious attachment to things like material possessions, people, and validation.
3. The Third Noble Truth
is that if we stop these fixations, we will stop the suffering that accompanies clinging (to things that are actually -- in the ultimate sense -- impermanent, irksome, and impersonal).
4. The Fourth Noble Truth
is that the way to end suffering is by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, which is a way of life embodying these eight virtues:
  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration
The Buddha taught that developing the virtues of the Fourth Noble Truth is the key to happiness.

About the movie (trailer)

After being convicted of road rage, playboy movie star Aaron Redmond (Harry Hamlin) is sentenced to individual meditation lessons with a Buddhist meditation teacher named Rachel (Kristen Kerr), who frowns on his bad boy lifestyle. In each of their encounters, Rachel teaches Aaron one essential truth and avoids his patterned flirtations. But soon their mutual attraction forces them to rethink their life choices or risk losing love.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Disclosure Fest: Mass Meditation (video)

Dhr. Seven, Ananda, Jen, Wisdom Quarterly; Facebook (DisclosureFest),


October 22, 2017 @ 1:00 PM PDT

During the meditation we will be focusing on raising our vibration and frequency with the intention of love, peace, strength, and courage to improve conditions of all life on Mother Earth addressing environmental issues and climate change, bringing awareness for community involvement to help the homeless here and impoverished nations abroad as well as refugees around the world to build worldwide support for international lawmakers to preserve this beautiful planet and all earthlings. More + VIDEO


Coming to Los Angeles on June 23, 2018: Mass Meditation, LA State Historic Park

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Against the Stream: Pasadena, NoHo, L.A.

Ananda, Seth Auberon, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Frank Miles (
Come meditate... Against the Stream: Buddhist Meditation Society (

The Mass Meditation Initiative Los Angeles
There are opportunities to practice Buddhist meditation and continue your recovery from sex, drugs, or anything else in Los Angeles.

PasaDharma Meditation is a drop-in (free/by donation) class that helps weekly participants establish a daily mindfulness and meditation practice. It is also a preparation center for the Mass Meditation Initiative (presented by

There are readings from Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki, Noah Levine, and others. Guided serenity meditation is followed by kinhin (Japanese Zen "mindful walking"), loving kindness meditation, Sanskrit and Pali chanting, Buddhist teachings, discussion, yoga, sharing, and vegan snacks.

Dharma Punx: Against the Stream has centers across the United States.

Beginning October 26, 2017 at 7:00 PM a new location is opening in the Valley. Against the Stream, North Hollywood is a peer-led group that used to meet in Studio City with Jordan Kramer will now be meeting at La Maida Inn. The emphasis here is on "Refuge Recovery," a Buddhist approach to the 12-Steps, a kind of AA for atheists, agnostics, and anyone else wishing to avoid the preaching that comes with many meetings:
Mass Meditation at One Love Music &Art Festival, Oct. 20-22, 2017 (

    Lit Crawl, Los Angeles (NoHo, Oct. 25); Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

    Get Ready To Crawl!
    5th Annual Lit Crawl L.A. October 25, 2017
    Lit Crawl KeenanJoin us at 6:00 pm for our Opening Ceremony and stay for our closing Speak-Easy. Want to get up close and personal with Lit Crawl LA? Become an event night volunteer. Sign up to volunteer!
    This is a walkable smorgasbord of over 40 literary happenings at 36+ NoHo Arts District locations in one night! See, Los Angeles does have culture (not much but some).
    Check out photos from last year’s Lit Crawl on our Facebook page, HERE!

    The international Lit Crawl phenomenon returns to L.A. with the 5th Annual Lit Crawl L.A. on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in the NoHo Arts District! Over 36 restaurants, bars, galleries, theaters, and other hip NoHo Arts District venues will host an evening of innovative presentations with the best of L.A.’s literary scene sampling from throughout Los Angeles County and the SoCal region! More

    Mongolia: "The Children of Genghis" (film)

    Wisdom Quarterly;

    SYNOPSIS Filmed in the beautiful landscapes of Mongolia, this film tells the story of children who compete in horse races at the country’s traditional festival of Naadam.
    Byambaa is an 8-year-old boy whose village deems him too young to compete in the races. Jealous of his elder brother, who's riding for another trainer, Byambaa convinces his father to train him to race against the older children. He soon learns that love, dedication, and trust are all necessary qualities if he is going to win, and his hope leaves a lasting impression on everyone around him. More + TICKETS

    Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film - Mongolia
    Genre: Drama
    Country: Mongolia 
    Year: 2017
    Duration: 101 minutes
    Director: Zolbayar Dorj 
    Language(s):  Mongolian 
    Subtitles: English subtitles
    Producer(s): Angarag Davaasuren, Altantsetseg Jarantai, Tsengel Davaasambuu
    Screenplay: Zolbayar Dorj, Chimedtseren Ganzorig, Ganbold Buyantsogt 
    Cinematographer:  Angarag Davaasuren 
    Editor: Gantulga Urtnasan 
    Music: Ulziibayar Shatar 
    Principal Cast: Brittany Belt, Ankhnyam Ragchaa, Batmend Baast, Dorjsambuu Dambii, Oyunzul Dash
    Dates & Times: October 29, 2017 6:00 PM
    November 1, 2017 2:00 PM
    Followed by Q&A with Producer(s): Angarag Davaasuren, Tsengel Davaasambuu;
    Plays in:  ArcLight Cinemas - Culver City

    Friday, October 20, 2017

    Bhikkhu Bodhi on the Higher Dharma (video)

    Unravelling the Mysteries of Mind and Body Through Abhidhamma (Sayalay Susila)

    (Buddhist Association of the United States) 2013 Bhikkhu Bodhi Abhidharma Retreat (Part 1/15)
    Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
    SESSION 1. Friday 8/30/13, 7:00 pm-8:15 pm. What is the Abhidhamma? 何謂阿毗達摩? How did it develop from the early teachings [preserved by the Theravada school]? 如何從早期教法開展出來? What practical relevance does it have? 與實修的相關性何在?

    The Abhidharma (Abhi="Higher" or "About," Dharma="Teaching") is the Dharma presented in ultimate rather than conventional terms.

    Sayalay Susila (
    The sutras are taught in conventional terms as an aid to the practical grasp of truth in the service of meditation.

    The Abhidharma goes further to explicate mentality and materiality (nama and rupa) in ultimate terms (of cittas and kalapas, "mind-moments" and "particles of perception"). Ultimately, rather than the conventions of language we assume, our lives are actually impersonal, impermanent, and unsatisfactory. The reasons are explained in the Abhidharma, things, such as implications and logical extensions, about the Dharma. Consciousness is fully (viññāṇa) explained.

    I helped edit an excellent book on this topic written by the noble nun Sayalay Susila as she learned it from the enlightened Burmese Buddhist master Pa Auk Sayadaw. The book is very practical and applicable to daily life, as would seem unlikely for such a profound topic and voluminous material. But Burma was tasked with preserving Abhidhamma Pitaka (the "basket" or "collection" of Abhidharma materials), whereas Sri Lanka preserved the sutras, Thailand the Monastic Code.

    Consciousness does not need an active brain

    Claudia Tanner (Mailonline); Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
    Ellen Page stars in Flatliners, consciousness without a functioning brain (

    When you die you KNOW you're dead: Scientists discover the mind still works after the body shows no sign of life and reveal people have heard their own death announced by medics.
    • Consciousness continues to work after the body has died, study finds.
    • Someone has died may even hear their own death being announced by medics.
    • Researchers say people's recollections have been verified by medical staff.
    • Time of death is called when heart stops beating, cutting off blood to brain.
    • Cerebral cortex flat lines, and within 2-20 seconds no brainwaves are detected [yet conscious awareness continues].
    • This sparks the death of brain cells, but this can take hours.
    • These findings echo plot line of new Hollywood re-make of cult horror Flatliners.
    You're a killer police, right, sir? So I'm a Dead. - What are you talking about, honey? Ha ha.
    Our favorite Hindu, Hollywood's Julia Roberts
    Some report having seen light at the end of a tunnel [which can be explained as a natural process of dying reported in induced near death experiences (NDEs) in astronaut training labs], while others claim to have floated [astral projection] above their body, watching as medics save their lives. But the reality of near-death experiences has always been debated.
    The original Flatliners (1999) with Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts
    Now scientists have discovered that a person's consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life -- meaning they have awareness of their own death.
    • [Editorial comment: This does not mean they have awareness of their death because they are not "dead" as they continue to be aware with some refusing they could therefore be "dead." The death of the body does not mean death. It means the passing of one personality, while samsara, the process of rebirth, continues incessantly. Something -- that life, identity, or sense of stable personality that was clung to -- is lost, but the impersonal process of life carries on.]
    El Dia de Los Muertos, "The Day of the Dead," honors those passed. They're still somewhere.
    And there is evidence to suggest someone who has died may even hear their own death being announced by medics.
    • [Yet not believing that announcement because they are very clearly in some sense still living (as in the "living-dead"). The death process continues and one goes on to be reborn. If something frustrates the process, one may very well become a "disembodied ghost," that is a gandhabba or subtle-body being who has lost the physical body it had become accustomed to. That subtle body is not the "soul," as many of us have been taught by religion, but a temporary expression that was already present before the death of the body; right now many types of "bodies," sheaths within sheaths, are present and can be projected or manifested with training. These are as impersonal as the physical body but are clung to as "self."]
    The "ghost" looks just like the human it was.
    The findings echo the plot line of the new Hollywood re-make of 90s cult horror Flatliners, starring Ellen Page.
    In the film a group of young doctors embark on a [thrilling and] dangerous experiment of taking turns chemically inducing their heartbeat to stop and "flat line" to find out exactly what happens [when we die and] in the afterlife [then they are resuscitated before they actually die, so they get a glimpse, which changes them terribly, and they inadvertently bring back inimical spirits that haunt them on this side, making for a so-so movie]. More

    Ajahn Brahm: Buddhist idea of consciousness

    BSV Dhamma Talks, June 8, 2015; Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
    What if there were a center or teacher, a place or person to awaken consciousness?

    (Dhamma Talks) Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (lovingly known as Ajahn Brahm) was born Peter Betts in London, England on August 7, 1951. He came from a working-class family and won a scholarship to study theoretical physics at Cambridge University in the late 1960s.
    After graduating from Cambridge he taught in high school for a year before traveling to Thailand to become a Theravada Buddhist monk training under Ven. Ajahn Chah. While still a junior monk, he was asked to undertake the compilation of an English-language guide to the Buddhist Monastic Code -- the Vinaya -- which later became the basis for monastic discipline in many Theravada monasteries in Western countries.
    • Consciousness is not limited to brain.
      NOTE: "Consciousness" in Buddhism is not a thing but a process, one of the Five Aggregates of Clinging (khandha). It is impersonal and carries on after death. Beings do not die at death, they do not make an end of rebirth unless they are fully enlightened and liberated from the Wheel of Life and Death called samsara. The study of consciousness (vinnana) can be undertaken as a study of the Abhidharma, the "Higher or Ultimate Teachings" of Buddhism, which is a kind of advanced psychology and physics about ourselves and the world in the highest -- rather than the conventional -- sense. The Buddha never specified the physical base or "seat of consciousness" as he did for the other major senses. But it has always been understood to be in the area of the heart, not the brain. It is in the area of the heart that the "mind door," with its green tint, is located. Green is the color of the heart chakra.
    Registered as a Buddhist not-for-profit association, the Buddhist Society of Victoria (BSV), Australia, welcomes members of all backgrounds and religions. Located in Melbourne, the East Malvern center hosts programs guiding members in meditation as well as practical Buddhist teachings for kids, teens, and adults. The center's spiritual advisor is Ajahn Brahm, abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia. Info:

    Rebirth and Karma Explained (audio)

    Bhikkhu Bodhi (; Ananda (Mass Meditation Initiative), Wisdom Quarterly
    "KARMA: It's everywhere you're going to be" (Karma means action, deed, volition).