Saturday, January 20, 2007

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ive noticed throughout the biographies of all the swamis, yogis, jnanis, saints etc have gone through tremendous trials and tribulations that could've sent the regular joe shmoe to the nut house. some of these people that have inspired my life could be called crazy and many of them have. some have been sent to the nut house and others persecuted, investigated and even killed for professing what they thought was true. one thing is that they went past the limits of ordinary or common human experience, it generally signals warnings to the ego mechanism. thats all i'll say for that. but we like we've seen in history time and time again. we don't need to fear what we dont understand nor make fun of it. love and understanding is best in most situations. all of us have pain and to go to the source of that can be a little scary but it's the necessary solution.

self inquiry, acceptance, surrender to the moment

We trust the people who sell us and check lottery tickets to be honest. But for some, the temptation to steal a small slip of paper worth hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars, can be too strong. There are numerous stories, from all over North America, about legitimate lottery winners being cheated out of their winnings in just such a way.

This is the story of two retailers at one store who cheated an unsuspecting winner out of his lottery winnings and a lottery corporation who fought him when he tried to get back what was rightfully his.
Jeffrey Rosenthal
Statistican Jeffrey Rosenthal looked the the OLG's numbers.
Statistician: Not possible
A fifth estate investigation looked into who has won major lottery prizes in Ontario in the past seven years. This investigation revealed that lottery retailers won around two hundred major prizes averaging a half a million dollars each.

The chance of this happening, according to Jeffrey Rosenthal, a prominent statistician at the University of Toronto, is one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion – absolutely inconceivable. Clerks aren't luckier. Instead, some of them are actually taking tickets from would-be winners and claiming them for themselves.
Winning ticket stolen by clerk
The fifth estate focused on the story of now 82-year-old Bob Edmonds whose $250,000 winning Encore lottery ticket was stolen by clerks he trusted in the small town of Coboconk, Ontario in the summer of 2001. The clerks had taken his ticket and convinced the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that they were the winning ticket's rightful owners.
Bob Edmonds with family
Bob Edmonds with his family in Coboconk, Ontario.
If that wasn't bad enough, when Bob did uncover the scam, the OLG refused to admit that it was Bob's ticket and they denied any responsibility to him as a lottery player. In the end, Bob hired a lawyer to try to prove it was his ticket and he that was entitled to the quarter-million dollar prize. To do that he would have to take the OLG to court.

Did Bob get his money back? And could the same thing happen to you? The fifth estate reveals the answer.

the lottery company eventually admitted that they DID have private knowledge that Bob was right all along which took them to admit after 4 years of legal litigation costing 400 000$ in legal fees . the senior old man fought for what he believed in against a big bully (lottery corporation) and won

this is one reason why you might want to write your name on the back of your ticket or check it yourself on the automatic machines

Here then is the beginning and end Ramana Maharshi's teaching of self-inquiry:

* There is no problem anywhere to be found other than a false belief about what you are.
* The only solution to this problem is to know consciously the truth of what you are, and that truth cannot fail to bring to an end all experience of misery in your life, and projection of that misery on others.
* There is no need to understand what you falsely believe yourself to be, nor is it possible to do so.
* This false belief is entirely unconscious, and it cannot be seen.
* This is not a matter of this rather than that, a matter of believing that I am Consciousness say, rather than ego, but a matter of limitation. In truth, we are — you are — I am — everything that is. I am the ground, and I am the totality of spontaneously arising phenomena which comes and goes within me. There is nothing apart from me. The falseness lies entirely in the fearful move to limit, to carve out a defensible position within the limitless reality and name it me.
* There is nothing at all you can do — no practice you can undertake, or discontinue or perfect — that will in any way help you rid yourself of this false belief, apart from directly seeing for yourself the truth, in this moment, again and again.
* All that you know, all that you can know is that you are here. All the rest is story and conjecture. Self-inquiry, which is the effort to see the truth of what you are now, is therefore nothing other than the turning of attention deliberately, consciously to that simple, single knowing of your hereness for no purpose other than to see it directly for yourself.
* There is no understanding, no teaching and no teacher that can give you or show you what you are. You must do this for yourself. The most a teacher can give you is encouragement and practical direction from experience.

The self-inquiry of Ramana is unbelievably simple, and being so simple, it will take some time and careful effort actually to receive its essential transmission. We have all the time in the world to consider all this as carefully as needed.

This is one of the most beautiful and most inspiring stories I've ever read. This story was taken from a Zen centre in LA, Calif USA. The person who contributed this story prefers to remain anonymous. Thanks friend!


Compiled by Master Tung-Wang
Abbott of Han-hsin monastery in the
Thirteenth year of the Earth Dragon period (898)

My dear friend, the most reverend master Tung-Wang,

Old and ill, I lay here knowing that writing this note will be my last act upon this earth and that by the time you read it I will be gone from this life.

Though we have not seen each other in the many years since we studied together under our most venerable Master, I have often thought of you, his most worthy successor. Monks from throughout China say that you are a true lion of the Buddha Dharma; one whose eye is a shooting star, whose hands snatch lightning, and whose voice booms like thunder. It is said that your every action shakes heaven and earth and causes the elephants and dragons of delusion to scatter helplessly. I am told that your monastery is unrivaled in severity, and that under your exacting guidance hundreds of monks pursue their training with utmost zeal and vigor. I've also heard that in the enlightened successor department your luck has not been so good. Which brings me to the point of this letter.

I ask that you now draw your attention to the young man to whom this note is attached. As he stands before you, no doubt smiling stupidly as he stuffs himself with pickled cucumbers, you may be wondering if he is as complete a fool as he appears, and if so, what prompted me to send him to you. In answer to the first question, I assure you that Wu-Ming's foolishness is far more complete than mere appearance would lead you to believe. As for the second question, I can only say that despite so benumbed a condition, or perhaps because of it, still more likely, despite of and because of it, Wu-Ming seems to unwittingly and accidentally serve the function of a great Bodhisattva. Perhaps he can be of service to you.

Allow him sixteen hours of sleep daily and provide him with lots of pickled cucumbers and Wu-Ming will always be happy. Expect nothing of him and you will be happy.


After Chin-mang's funeral, the supporters of his temple arranged for Wu-Ming's journey to Han-hsin monastery, where I resided, then, as now, as Abbott. A monk found Wu-ming at the monastery gate and seeing a note bearing my name pinned to his robe, led him to my quarters.

Customarily, when first presenting himself to the Abbott, a newly arrived monk will prostrate himself three times and ask respectfully to be accepted as a student. And so I was taken somewhat by surprise when Wu-ming walked into the room, took a pickled cucumber from the jar under his arm, stuffed it whole into his mouth, and happily munching away, broke into the toothless imbecilic grin that would one day become legendary. Taking a casual glance around the room, he smacked his lips loudly and said, "What's for lunch?"

After reading dear old Chin Mang's note, I called in the head monk and asked that he show my new student to the monk's quarters. When they had gone I reflected on chin-mang's words. Han-hsin was indeed a most severe place of training: winters were bitterly cold and in summer the sun blazed. The monks slept no more than three hours each night and ate one simple meal each day. For the remainder of the day they worked hard around the monastery and practiced hard in the meditation hall. But, alas, Chin-mang had heard correctly, Among all my disciples there was none whom I felt confident to be a worthy vessel to receive the untransmittable transmitted Dharma. I was beginning to despair that I would one day, bereft of even one successor, fail to fulfill my obligation of seeing my teacher's Dharma-linage continued.

The monks could hardly be faulted for complacency or indolence. Their sincere aspiration and disciplined effort were admirable indeed, and many had attained great clarity of wisdom. But they were preoccupied with their capacity for harsh discipline and proud of their insight. They squabbled with one another for positions of prestige and power and vied amongst themselves for recognition. Jealousy, rivalry and ambition seemed to hang like a dark cloud over Han-shin monastery, sucking even the most wise and sincere into its obscuring haze. Holding Chin-mang's note before me, I hoped and prayed that this Wu-ming, this "accidental Bodhisattva" might be the yeast my recipe seemed so much in need of.

To my astonished pleasure, Wu-ming took to life at Han-shin like a duck to water. At my request, he was assigned a job in the kitchen pickling vegetables. This he pursued tirelessly, and with a cheerful earnestness he gathered and mixed ingredients, lifted heavy barrels, drew and carried water, and, of course, freely sampled his workmanship. He was delighted!

When the monks assembled in the meditation hall, they would invariably find Wu-ming seated in utter stillness, apparently in deep and profound samadhi. No one even guessed that the only thing profound about Wu-ming's meditation was the profound unlikelihood that he might find the meditation posture, legs folded into the lotus position, back erect and centered, to be so wonderfully conducive to the long hours of sleep he so enjoyed.

Day after day and month after month, as the monks struggled to meet the physical and spiritual demands of monastery life, Wu-ming, with a grin and a whistle, sailed through it all effortlessly. Even though, if the truth be told, Wu-ming's Zen practice was without the slightest merit, by way of outward appearance he was judged by all to be a monk of great accomplishment and perfect discipline. Of course . I could have dispelled this misconception easily enough, but I sensed that Wu-ming's unique brand of magic was taking effect and I was not about to throw away this most absurdly skillful of means.

By turns the monks were jealous, perplexed, hostile, humbled and inspired by what they presumed to be Wu-ming's great attainment. Of course it never occurred to Wu-ming that his or anyone else's behavior required such judgments, for they are the workings of a far more sophisticated nature than his own mind was capable. Indeed, everything about him was so obvious and simple that others thought him unfathomably subtle.

Wu-ming's inscrutable presence had a tremendously unsettling effect on the lives of the monks, and undercut the web of rationalizations that so often accompanies such upset. His utter obviousness rendered him unintelligible and immune to the social pretensions of others. Attempts of flattery and invectives alike were met with the same uncomprehending grin, a grin the monks felt to be the very cutting edge of the sword of Perfect Wisdom. Finding no relief or diversion in such interchange, they were forced to seek out the source and resolution of their anguish each within his own mind. More importantly, and absurdly, Wu-ming caused to arise in the monks the unconquerable determination to fully penetrate the teaching "The Great Way is without difficulty" which they felt he embodied.

Though in the course of my lifetime I have encountered many of the most venerable progenitors of the Tathagata's teaching, never have I met one so skilled at awakening others to their intrinsic Buddhahood as this wonderful fool Wu-ming. His spiritual non-sequiturs were as sparks, lighting the flame of illuminating wisdom in the minds of many who engaged him in dialogue.

Once a monk approached Wu-ming and asked in all earnestness, "In the whole universe, what is it that is most wonderful?" Without hesitation Wu-ming stuck a cucumber before the monks face and exclaimed, "There is nothing more wonderful than this!" At that the monk crashed through the dualism of subject and object, "The whole universe is pickled cucumber; a pickled cucumber is the whole universe!" Wu-ming simply chuckled and said, "Stop talking nonsense. A cucumber is a cucumber; the whole universe is the whole universe. What could be more obvious?" The monk, penetrating the perfect phenomenal manifestation of Absolute Truth, clapped his hands and laughed, saying, "Throughout infinite space, everything is deliciously sour!"

On another occasion a monk asked Wu-ming, "The Third Patriarch said, "The Great Way is without difficulty, just cease having preferences." How can you then delight in eating cucumbers, yet refuse to even take one bit of a carrot?" Wu-ming said, "I love cucumbers; I hate carrots!" The monk lurched back as though struck by a thunderbolt. Then laughing and sobbing and dancing about he exclaimed, "Liking cucumbers and hating carrots is without difficulty, just cease preferring the Great Way!"

Within three years of his arrival, the stories of the "Great Bodhisattva of Han-hsin monastery" had made their way throughout the provinces of China. Knowing of Wu-ming's fame I was not entirely surprised when a messenger from the Emperor appeared summoning Wu-ming to the Imperial Palace immediately.

From throughout the Empire exponents of the Three Teachings of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism were being called to the Capitol, there the Emperor would proclaim one to be the true religion to be practiced and preached in all lands under his rule. The idea of such competition for Imperial favor is not to my approval and the likelihood that a religious persecution might follow troubled me greatly. But an order from the Emperor is not to be ignored, so Wu-ming and I set out the next day.

Inside the Great Hall were gathered the more than one hundred priests and scholars who were to debate one another. They were surrounded by the most powerful lords in all China, along with innumerable advisors, of the Son of Heaven. All at once trumpets blared, cymbals crashed, and clouds of incense billowed up everywhere. The Emperor, borne on by a retinue of guards, was carried to the throne. After due formalities were observed the Emperor signaled for the debate to begin.

Several hours passed as one after another priests and scholars came forward presenting their doctrines and responding to questions. Through it all Wu-ming sat obliviously content as he stuffed himself with his favorite food. When his supply was finished, he happily crossed his legs, straightened his back and closed his eyes. But the noise and commotion were too great and, unable to sleep, he grew more restless and irritable by the minute. As I clasped him firmly by the back of the neck in an effort to restrain him, the Emperor gestured to Wu-ming to approach the Throne.

When Wu-ming had come before him, the Emperor said, "Throughout the land you are praised as a Bodhisattva whose mind is like the Great Void itself, yet you have not had a word to offer this assembly. Therefore I say to you now, teach me the True Way that all under heaven must follow." Wu-ming said nothing. After a few moments the Emperor, with a note of impatience, spoke again, "Perhaps you do not hear well so I shall repeat myself! Teach me the True Way that all under heaven must follow!" Still Wu-ming said nothing, and silence rippled through the crowd as all strained forward to witness this monk who dared behave so bold a fashion in the Emperor's presence.

Wu-ming heard nothing the Emperor said, nor did he notice the tension that vibrated through the hall. All that concerned him was his wish to find a nice quiet place where he could sleep undisturbed. The Emperor spoke again, his voice shaking with fury, his face flushed with anger: "You have been summoned to this council to speak on behalf of the Buddhist teaching. Your disrespect will not be tolerated much longer. I shall ask one more time, and should you fail to answer, I assure you the consequence shall be most grave. Teach me the True Way that all under heaven must follow!" Without a word Wu-ming turned and, as all looked on in dumbfounded silence, he made his way down the aisle and out the door. There was a hush of stunned disbelief before the crowd erupted into an uproar of confusion. Some were applauding Wu-ming's brilliant demonstration of religious insight, while others rushed about in an indignant rage, hurling threats and abuses at the doorway he had just passed through. Not knowing whether to praise Wu-ming or to have him beheaded, the Emperor turned to his advisors, but they were none the wiser. Finally, looking out at the frantic anarchy to which his grand debate had been reduced, the Emperor must surely have realized that no matter what Wu-ming's intentions might have been, there was now only one way to avoid the debate becoming a most serious embarrassment.

"The great sage of Han-hsin monastery has skillfully demonstrated that the great Tao cannot be confined by doctrines, but is best expounded through harmonious action. Let us profit by the wisdom he has so compassionately shared, and each endeavor to make our every step one that unites heaven and earth in accord with the profound and subtle Tao."

Having thus spoken the Son of Heaven concluded the Great Debate.

I immediately ran out to find Wu-ming, but he had disappeared in the crowded streets of the capitol.

Ten years have since passed, and I have seen nothing of him. However, on occasion a wandering monk will stop at Han-hsin with some bit of news. I am told that Wu-ming has been wandering about the countryside this past decade, trying unsuccessfully to find his way home. Because of his fame he is greeted and cared for in all quarters with generous kindness; however, those wishing to help him on his journey usually find that they have been helped on their own.

One young monk told of an encounter in which Wu-ming asked him, "Can you tell me where my home is?" Confused as to the spirit of the question. The monk replied, "Is the home you speak of to be found in the relative world of time and place, or do you mean the Original Home of all pervading Buddha nature?"

After pausing a moment to consider the question, Wu-ming looked up and, grinning as only he is capable, said, "Yes."

Limewire Hits Back Hard: Sues RIAA For Antitrust And Consumer Fraud

in [Technology] / [P2P] Comments (69) (Blog It)

shredtone posted this 6 days 6 hours ago Report Problem

Last month, the RIAA sued Limewire after Limewire wouldn't agree to simply roll over and pretend the RIAA's interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in the Grokster case was actually what the Supreme Court said. The court actually said that services could be found liable, if they were shown to actively induce infringement. The RIAA and the MPAA pretended this meant that any file sharing network that had unauthorized content was flat-out illegal. Of course, that's a bit of a stretch

Google Caught in Terror Storm Censorship

in [Politics] / [US Politics] Comments (66) (Blog It)

AMERICALIVEFREEORDIE posted this 6 days 11 hours ago Report Problem

Google is again embroiled in a censorship farce after its Google Video sub-division was caught altering viewing statistics for Alex Jones' Terror Storm documentary, resetting runaway growth curbs to prevent the video making the website's top ten and its online viewership exploding exponentially.

Ignorance is Strength

in [Politics] / [World] Comments (119) (Blog It)

BurninH3ll posted this 5 days 13 hours ago Report Problem

It's official. Sixteen US government security agencies agree. The experts conclude that Bush's war against Iraq is the major force driving the global growth of Islamic terror, but their dire finding was supposed to be a state secret and perpetually concealed from the American people.

care of

Does anyone else see a growing trend here?

Yesterday, I got pretty close to throwing my computer out the window. I bought the new computer about two weeks ago, and from the first time I got it, there were error messages, it was slow and I had to take it back to the store for them to adjust the hardward twice so far. There's problems with the virtual memory and the registry itself.

The main problem is that after a certain amount of time, whatever application I'm using, a help file pops up for it. If I close the file down another one comes right back up immediately preventing me from actually using the application in a smoothe way. There's a few times when I start Mozilla, almost 200 help files come out. This slows it down for about 10 minutes so first I can't even close the helps files because it sucks up all the RAM and memory and then when I start the internet, I can barely type because, the help file pops up and the typing goes predominately to the pop instead of the original internet text window. It's VERY frustrating and annoying and yesterday it got me more angry that I've been in quite some time. But even with the crappy computer I was sold and I feel like a sucker for being impetuous and getting sold a lemon. I can learn that I'm far too dependent on that machine which society feels they can't live without. I'm learning to not need to surf the internet to expand my consciousness but to be able to sit down in the quiet and read a book or stare at the ceiling and feel that the desires of networking are subtle ways of entrappment by the mind and ego. The point is to use the computer but not to be used by the computer. With some contemplation I see that mankind has used the computer as an outward expression of the mind. In the way it organizes and communicates in such a massive way with the advancement of technology. It's a way of compensating for our lack of knowledge of ourselves. In the same way how medicine however advanced it is in the last few centuries it still considerably limited to the medicine and healing ability of the sages and saints that are hidden in our society. We rely so much on money that we have forgetten our true glory and feel considerably confined to our body and so we get more sick on average and have less of a memory. Techonolgy is helping us with this, but our limitless potential is in realising the Self or our true reality. Noting that this is not to deter all the advancements we've made but to realise that compared to ages past or in certain select civilations of supposed folklore (i.e. stories of the golden ages of the past) we've lost our glimmer.

This is not to say that we should accept our gloom and doom but find enjoyment a sense of wonderment on our advances and setbacks in seeing the play of consciousness from the witness aspect and see that despite all the horrors we see in the news, there is harmony and an overall positive desitny that unfolds in all of manifestation in consciousness. peace guys.

Wow, I realized today why even though I'm 19 I still don't have my own car today. ...I was driving the van full of people for my social work to their foster care home and even though I was trying to focus as much as possible, my mind still wasn't grasping all that was going on in the road, or atleast all the details. I might've been speeding and I'm not sure if I hit the back of a truck or not, it was pretty close and I couldn't tell because it was pouring rain. I guess I'll know or not in two weeks if I get a phone call with bad news. It might be a good idea to get some kind of amulet or something atleast for when I'm driving because my mediation during every day has a way of making me feel peaceful but also light headed during the day. But that's not a good thing when you're driving. I should try to get on that pronto. Thanks be to God that me and the other guys are safe. Amen.
Pursue the inquiry 'Who am I' relentlessly. Analyse your entire personality. Try to find out where the I-thought begins. Go on with your meditations. Keep turning your attention within. One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will mysteriously arise. Follow that intuition, let your thinking stop, and it will lead eventually to the goal." - Ramana Maharishi, quoted in 'In Days of Great Peace' by Mouni Sadhu

In regards to my last post, I also wanted to add that for those who have mental and physical afflictions it's quite alright to taking the medication needed, but that the true cause of that pain can't be solved by taking the pills but merely temporarily relieve such pain. the root cause of the pain has to be investigated in the mind and found in the Heart or source of creation. i pray that to find peace we may all take this journey of life harmoniously. for those who are frustrated with the many things they see wrong with the government, education, economy and other factors of society. the true anarchy we can take is realizing who we are, thus at that point we break free from the chains of oppression and are no long er bothered by the limitations of the mind. peace, peace, peace. om shanti shanti shanti

spiritual programs as i call them are so nice to start off with, we have nice levels to judge our progress and even compare ourselves with others so we can get help and feel comfort in groups of similar minds.

now, i see all that as b.s. , all those levels seen as a means as to an end, is vanity in itself, since the truth of all religion is beyond the mind or prior to the mind, yet since the mind is a product of existence, it isnt disconnected, but we have to see that these countless worlds ARE ALL connected. this age has seen it more convenient to break things down which is good, but instead of making all of the broken down components compatible with all else, they have eluded themselves.
the shiva sutras say that the liberated one is able to move freely within all levels of consciousness, explaining the validity of physical transportation you hear in the old folktales of the mystics, but moreso of the fraudulance of these new religious messengers giving us systems to learn about god, but in doing so liberate the beginner's mind and accelerated their progress but out of a need to control and fear of surrender/acceptance bound the mind of the devotee to the system itself.

that explanation was a little too long ,but I'd think it'd be really cool to shed our old skins, shake off the dust of the past and live in the moment now in a fresh style of existence.

now the main problem with that proposition is that we live in a time with so much pain, the rate of suicides and people taking psychological medicine (depression, sleep aides ,anti-psychosis etc) is really scary.

i remember seeing a daily show special about bullying, and joking how too much protection for the kids can make them too soft for the life that awaits them once they leave their parent's house and move out on their own.

the #1 suggestion i can make to anyone who wants to be happy is to truly appreciate what it means to suffer. thats the paradox necessary for the equation. if you're depressed, don't take pills, so your conscious mind forgets about it and the bad memories get pushed into your subconscious, take that pain as a teacher as a friend who's trying to tell you something. you dont need to be able to talk to spirits beyond the grave to feel connected to all of creation, if you can deal with the skeletons in your closet, you can be fearless, and your boundless love can talk to everyone without words.

feel a natural and harmonious flow in your life, put all your life into your day's work, so you have no regrets and you can sleep soundly at night.

you don't have to repress your cravings or desires, but you can realize that if you have a craving for licorice, its not only licorice that will satisfy that desire, you can get a chocolate bar and it won't feel so bad. same with wanting to meet a certain special kind of person to make you feel 'complete', that person may get on your nerves sometimes but they make you laugh and it's ok to make compromises for the right reasons. because your past logic may or may not have been erronous to begin with.

to sum it up, i love to use the quote from matrix reloaded when neo asks the oracle how will i know whats the right choice to make . The oracle responds simply, "it's not the making of the choices that count it's the understanding of them that does"

sincerly yours,

Friday, January 12, 2007

timeless appeal of benaras


Monday, January 08, 2007


gangaji, originally uploaded by cheves.

beautiful lady and great teacher