Monday, March 23, 2015

Interacting with Students and Teaching from Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’

New Delhi, India, 20 March 2015 - Today was the ninth occasion that the Foundation for Universal Responsibility has invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to teach interested Indians in the national capital in the spring. As it has done before, the Foundation also took the opportunity to arrange for His Holiness to interact with members of the younger generation. 150 students from 18 Delhi schools, a school in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, and the TCV School as Selakui, with 20 mentors and 50 teachers, came together in partnership with the PeaceJam Foundation. The Foundation is an international organization committed to helping create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world. The students greeted His Holiness with a rousing cheer when he entered the room.

“I am very happy to be here with you young people,” he told them. “Physically you are full of energy, still growing. For a person of 80 like me to be with you makes me feel fresh, whereas when I’m with other old people I tend to wonder who’ll go first me or them. As human beings, whether we are young or old, from the North or the South, whether we have a religious faith or not, there are no real differences between us. That’s why I always stress that we need to cultivate a sense of the oneness of all 7 billion human beings alive today.

“We’ve all been born from a mother who showered us with affection. Indeed without it we wouldn’t have survived. This maternal instinct is common to all mammals like us, but can even be seen in the way a butterfly looks for a safe place to lay her eggs on a leaf, since she will not be there when they hatch. Starting with our mother’s care, we all have experience of receiving help from others. People who benefit in infancy from their mother’s affection are happier later in life and more able to show affection to others.”

He said that if, on the contrary, we are full of fear, we will trust no one, and when we trust no one, we have no friends. Today, as people grow up, they tend to see things in materialistic terms of money and power. When there is also a lack of moral principles, this too easily leads to corruption, cheating and exploitation at a local and national level. The idea of war in which one side is victorious and the other is defeated is out of date. Now that we are so interdependent, our enemy’s destruction harms and does not benefit us.

His Holiness then told his audience he would like to hear their questions and the first, from a young man was a request for him to clarify his stance on homosexuality. He replied:

“This depends a lot on the individual’s situation. In general, if you are religious, you should try to follow the rules of your faith. There are a variety of activities that the Buddha’s teaching refers to as sexual misconduct. It’s better to avoid these, but if you do them, it doesn’t mean you cease to be a Buddhist. Those who hold the vows of a lay practitioner, a novice or a fully-ordained monk or nun are bound by four main pledges: not to kill a human being; not to tell a great lie, deceiving others about your spiritual attainments; stealing and sexual misconduct. If you commit any of these, you lose your vows and, for example, cease to be a monk or nun. In this context, sexual misconduct includes oral and anal sex, whereas masturbation, although considered wrong, does not entail your ceasing to be a monk,

“On the other hand, if you follow no religion, you are 100% free to do what you like, provided what you do is safe and doesn’t put you or anyone else at risk.”

A young woman wanted to know how to acquire genuine friends and His Holiness told her that you gather the kind of friends who stand by you, even when times are hard, by being honest, truthful and compassionate yourself. He said that if, on the other hand, you are filled with suspicion, you won’t easily attract such friends.

Another questioner asked if science and technology in general are helpful or harmful. His Holiness replied that he views them as helpful. He said:

“I love science and I admire the way most scientists are open-minded, free of bias and depend on reason.”

Asked how society should deal with terrorists, His Holiness agreed that it is a serious problem, but one that is a result of our past mistakes, particularly the idea that problems can be resolved by force.

In answer to a question about Chinese behaviour in Tibet, His Holiness said he wanted to distinguish between the Chinese people as a whole and the Chinese government. Within the government he wanted to distinguish between ordinary people and the hardliners who are lacking in knowledge. He said the existence of three empires, Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries is a historical fact. He contrasted this with India that emerged as a united country after independence in 1947, having previously been only a collection of smaller kingdoms.

Before the session came to an end, student representatives announced projects they were taking on to make a contribution to creating a better world. They included efforts to support human rights, the sustainability of the environment, providing educational help to the economically weaker sections of society, providing educational help in villages and supporting the rights of women and children. Each announcement was met with applause. His Holiness remarked:

“These projects are wonderful. I’d like to share some of my experience with you. At the age of 16 I lost my freedom, at 24 I lost my country. I’ve spent 56 years as a refugee during which time the news has been continuously sad. But even under such circumstances I never lost hope or gave up my determination. Your success too will depend on your determination and self-confidence. Remember, if you benefit society, society will support you.”

In the afternoon, His Holiness returned to a completely different audience consisting of more than 340 adults, virtually all of them Indians. Rajiv Mehrotra, Secretary of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, introduced His Holiness, who responded:

“Thank you Rajiv, my long-term, trusted friend. I appreciate your good work. Thank you for organizing this annual gathering again.”

He said that to gain a deeper understanding of reality, we need to employ intelligence and analysis to address our destructive emotions that are rooted in ignorance.

“As a practitioner I am now 80 years old and for the last 30 or 40 years I have thought seriously about what Nagarjuna has taught. I’ve found it’s really useful in tackling our destructive emotions. Practice isn’t just a matter of closing your eyes, but really engaging in analysis. Some friends ask why the Dalai Lama used always to talk about compassion, compassion, but now always seems to talk about shunya or emptiness. It’s because this is what I’ve found to be effective.”

He said that the Mulamadhyamakakarika, Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ is the most important of his six collections of reasoning and consists of 27 chapters.

He remarked that the Buddha’s first turning of the wheel of Dharma consisted of his explanation of the Four Noble Truths, their nature, function and result that comes from practice. He pointed out that the Buddha was once an ordinary sentient being like any of us, but due to previous Buddhas’ teachings he set out to transform his mind and eventually became a Buddha.

His Holiness mentioned that all four schools of Buddhist thought, the Vaibhashika, Sautrantaka, Chittamatra and Madhyamaka accept the Two Truths, the truth of conventional appearance and the truth of deeper reality. The first two, the Vaibhashika and Sautrantaka accept that things exist externally. The Chittamatra or Mind Only school, however, say that so long as there is an observer there can be an observed object, thus challenging that it exists externally. This corresponds to Quantum Physics’ assertion that things have no objective existence. For Madhyamakas, things exist on the basis of designation. They do not exist ultimately, but do exist by way of convention.

Observing that, of the three great ancient civilizations, the Egyptian, Chinese and Indus Valley civilization, the latter seems to have produced a far larger number of great thinkers. He recalled a moving occasion when he actively returned aspects of the ancient Indian heritage to its Indian heirs by granting the Guhyasamaja empowerment to four teachers from the Benares Sanskrit University including Professors Tripathi, Upadhyaya and Tiwari.

His Holiness began his explanation of Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ by reading the first six verses of Chapter 24. He said that to defeat the ignorance that is the basis of destructive emotions it’s necessary to refute the misconception of self. He noted that destructive emotions arise spontaneously and impulsively, whereas positive emotions that are a result of reasoning arise more slowly, but are more stable. This is why, he said, he has been encouraging scientists to participate in drawing up a map of the emotions.

As he continued to read through the verses, His Holiness explained that during the first turning of the wheel of dharma and the explanation of the Four Noble Truths, the explanation of the third Noble Truth hinted at the understanding of reality that can eliminate destructive emotions. During the second turning of the wheel, he elaborated on the experience of emptiness and during the third turning of the wheel, he clarified the nature of consciousness.

Towards the end of the session, His Holiness took questions from the audience. He will resume his reading of ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ tomorrow.

DalaiLama.com link including photos: http://dalailama.com/news/post/1246-interacting-with-school-students-and-teaching-from-nagarjunas-fundamental-wisdom

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Fear And Torment Are Not From God

As I've pointed out in many blogs that our mind is the devils playground. It's his major tool and weapon to utilize as a way to torment us. Even so far as to cause people to commit suicide. One of the biggest door openers to attract demonic spirits is the spirit of fear. This spirit can take on many forms, but its intentions are clear, no matter what kind of spirit of fear it may be, It intends to keep you from living a joyful, peaceful, spirit filled life where you give to others. It will keep you awake with nightmares. It will keep you in bondage unable to overcome past emotional and physical wounds. For example, the fear of throwing something away, it could be anything from collectibles, clothes or simply trash. These people have been labeled “hoarders”. You have to understand for them tossing away even trash is deeply traumatic and overwhelmingly scary for them. I feel this often comes from a major trauma, most often the loss of a loved one, but it could be any trauma that can bring this particular spirit of fear into a persons life.

Satan is the master of the mind and that's the first thing he and his demons attack, you're mind. They can manipulate thinking patterns by taking something minor put it in your head creating a Sandcastle out of a piece of sand. Fear is not of God. Many people who have an unhealthy fears need to know this. Don't let the enemy rob you of happiness and peace. No one has to be perfect and without sin in order to love Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. I'd be a liar if I even began to say I sin very little or I'm sin free. There's nothing in the bible that stipulates a sinner can't love and choose to worship God and move past mistakes and repent then move forward. That doesn't make someone a fraud. If one says otherwise, Christ died on the Cross Of Calvary for nothing then. Easter is all for nothing. I do feel people in leadership need to really pay more attention to their actions but no one is without sin or never makes mistakes or poor choices in life. Don't let this lie make you feel God won't love you or you are not allowed to worship and love him.

One way Satan gains control of the mind is when we place our trust in what many Christians mistakenly call the Holy Spirit. What I mean is  "God told me to do this. . ." However, what God told them to do is completely contrary to God’s word. Jesus said in John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God." God never, ever, ever leads us contrary to the Word of God. So when we receive anything we think is the Holy Spirit, the first question we must ask is "Does God’s word agree with what I believe is the Holy Spirit speaking to me?" Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder for Satan transforms himself into an angel of light."

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to bring us out of bondage and into liberty. If you've been afraid of something and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you'll have to face your fear and not run away from it. Just take Jesus' hand, acknowledge that He is with you, and do it. If you're afraid of people with authority, the time will come when you'll have to confront an authority figure and not cower in fear. God will have arranged the time. He'll be there, but you'll have to choose whether to go through or run away.

I found the following paragraph of information I obtained at deeptruths.com
Fear is today's No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner's newspaper, "Pulse," says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear. Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body's ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!

If you're at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to go forward. Don't stand still in terror, but take His hand and go forward. Remember, fear torments and God wants to deliver you from all of your fears. Perfect love casts out fear. Remember this my friends. God does not being you torment, only the enemy.

1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!--Jesus said, "Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spiritual Warfare and the Word of God

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

This past weekend was the 234th anniversary observance of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, which occurred in my hometown of Greensboro, NC. On March 15, 1781 Nathanael Greene--commanding general of the Continental Army's Southern Department--bloodied the British in a terrible battle. They held a re-enactment, as they do every year. Many natives of Greensboro do not realize how significant this battle was in the ultimate defeat and surrender at Yorktown, even though technically it was a defeat. I mention this because it was this very same battlefield that opened my eyes to the reality of spiritual warfare.While walking at night in 2001, I saw a demon which had visibly manifested. And human warfare is a potent picture of the reality of spiritual warfare. It has been pointed out often that the offensive weapon mentioned in the Ephesians passage is the bible/Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit. It is not rocket science to assume that this precious weapon would come under heavy fire from Satan.

Most bible believing preachers (RC and Protestant) hardly ever go beyond a passing reference to spiritual warfare in their pastoral prayers or sermons/homilies.That is an indisputable fact.So, I want to address this via an issue that most bible-believing pastors are passionate about....though there are signs of slippage. Namely, the authority and inerrancy of the bible. In v.17 the bible/Word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit.We need to realize that any diminishment of the full authority and inerrancy of the bible has serious consequences for spiritual warfare. Going all the way back to Genesis 3:1 Satan has made it a major strategy of his to plant doubts amongst God's people about the full trustworthiness of God's Word.

My goal in this blog is to defend the inerrancy of the bible re: spiritual warfare.

In 1979 Jack Rogers and Don McKim wrote a book which proposed that the bible is authoritative in matters of faith and conduct, but it is not infallible when it comes to historical or scientific details. In addition, they argued that that the notion of inerrancy was an innovation of the Princeton theologians of the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably B.B. Warfield, created the doctrine of inerrancy, which teaches that the Bible is entirely without error in all that it affirms.(please see the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy...ICBI for response in dozens of scholarly books) Their proposal effected many then, and limited inerrancy (or limited errancy), has a widespread polluting effect within the church today.Young evangelical/RC theologians are falling prey once again to the Rogers/McKim logic.

If you have never heard of B.B. Warfield, then it is my honor to introduce you to him--he helped the Church by offering a very straightforward and simplified argument for inerrancy.

A Medieval philosopher (whom I mention in my book several times) William of Ockham is known for his principle of parsimony, or simplicity. The argument with the fewest assumptions is the better argument, the principle states. And Warfield used Occam's razor well. The simple, but not simplistic, argument he made was this: IF God is the author of Scripture, then Scripture is true.If it is inspired by the Spirit of Truth, then it must be true/inerrant.

Consider this conversation between two Christians-one who believes inerrancy is important and the other does not

Bill--"I am a Christian and follow the bible re religious matters."
Chris--"Do you believe the bible is inerrant?"
Bill--"Nope"
Chris--"Do you believe that all Scripture is inspired by the God of Truth?" (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Bill--"Umm, yea, all of Scripture is inspired by God."
Chris--"Do you believe the God of Truth inspires error/lies/falsehood?"
Bill--"Of course not."
Chris--"Then is the bible inerrant or not?"
Bill---"Uumm..."   The logic is simple but compelling!

Today, in our generation, theologians are challenging the inerrancy of God's Word again. To do so, blunts the Sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare.

St Augustine wrote Jerome, "Admit even a single well-meant falsehood into such an exalted authority, and there will not be left a single section of those books which, appearing to anyone to present difficulties from the point of view of practice or to be hard to believe from the point of view of doctrine, will escape, by the very same very same baneful principle, from being classified as the deliberate act of an author who was lying."

Will we submit ourselves to Scripture, or will we submit Scripture to ourselves?

This exchange between Augustine and Jerome teaches us that inerrancy is not a modern invention, in fact it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1) The real issue is failure to submit to the full Lordship of Christ.

In the 1970's, which is the same time fascination with the paranormal began in earnest, there was a renewed attack on the full authority of the bible within the church.Many of us went through college with professors taking delight in pointing out the alleged contradictions and errors in the bible.

As a student of the bible and of logic,  I can say with confidence that there are no errors or contradictions in the Word of God (in the autographs).Whatever copyist errors that have crept in are exceedingly minimal. If God is the God of Truth, how could He inspire error?

The bible is not primarily a handbook on history or science, BUT when it touches on either and affirms it, then it speaks true truth.If it does not, then why should we believe it re: spiritual issues?
Next time I want to deal with the relation between the intrinsic authority of the Word of God and the authority of the Church. There is a difference between sola scriptura and nuda scriptura.

Bottom line--how can we cling to the bible in spiritual warfare unless it is truly true, as God is True?!
Everything we hold dear regarding our victory over the Evil One assumes that our source of that knowledge (the bible) is true. If it is not true regarding matters that can be verified, then why should we believe it regarding "spiritual" matters that are unverifiable?

Inerrancy means that God did not err in His Words to us. Infallibility means that the Lord cannot speak falsehood.

The source of our knowledge of the Person and work of Christ is the bible. If the source is under attack then so is everything else. This is an issue worth taking a strong, firm but loving stance over...for God's glory!

"Seeing Ghosts through God's Eyes" (also in a Kindle edition)...please consider purchasing my book which uses science, logic, and the bible to analyze the true source of power behind paranormal activity.

Monday, March 16, 2015

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is Given a Warm Welcome at Palpung Sherabling

Upper Bhattu, Himachal Pradesh, India, 11 March 2015 - Well-wishers, Tibetan and foreign were gathered outside the gate to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence to see him off this morning. Other small groups were waiting see him as he drove down the bumpy Dharamsala roads. Outside Gyut√∂ Tantric College more than 100 monks waited to greet him as he passed, white silk scarves and incense in their hands. At Gopalpur, the entire population of the TCV School, hundreds of children and staff lined the road for 200 metres or more, smiles on their faces and their hands folded together in respect.

More than 30 nuns greeted him near Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, while at the end of the road to the Khampagar community at Tashi Jong, there were 2-300 monks, nuns and lay-people, young and old patiently waiting to see His Holiness pass. As the road wound up through the forest and he neared his destination at Palpung Sherabling, there were more people, welcome arches, clouds of incense and scattered flowers.

Tai Situ Rinpoche and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche received His Holiness when he reached Sherabling. They escorted him into the covered courtyard, filled with more people, past the roaring snow lions that guard the steps and up to the assembly hall of the monastery. At the entrance he ceremoniously cut the ribbon and pushed the doors open. Inside the guests included past and serving Kalons, members of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), and officers of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lamas, monks and nuns of several nearby institutions besides those who belong to Sherabling.

Once His Holiness had taken his seat on the high throne before a colossal statue of Maitreya Buddha, prayers and praises were recited. Situ Rinpoche personally constructed a mandala of grains as the offering of the mandala of the universe was recited and offered it with the representations of the body, speech and mind of the enlightened ones.

In his words of welcome, Situ Rinpoche praised the Dalai Lamas’ bodhisattva deeds, starting with Gendun Drup and including the 5th Dalai Lama, who took responsibility for the welfare of the Tibetan people. He recalled a connection between his predecessor and the 13th Dalai Lama. He acknowledged that during recent difficult times, His Holiness the present Dalai Lama has upheld a non-sectarian approach as interest in Buddhism has spread across the world. Since 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans have settled in India due to His Holiness’s vision and kindness with the kind support of the people and government of India. Later, he said, His Holiness’s and the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa’s views converged in the recognition of Orgyen Trinley Dorje as 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

“In 1991, when we built this temple with its statue of Maitreya, we invited you to come and that wish is realised today,” Tai Situ Rinpoche concluded. “We offer you our deep thanks, request you to live long and ask you to keep us in your heart.”

Auspicious readings by Khenpo Jamyang Lodoe followed. Khenpo Gyaltsen Phuntsok gave an introduction to Palpung Monastery, in which he mentioned that both the 1st Karmapa and the 5th Dalai Lama made predictions about Situ Rinpoche and the founding of Palpung. After Palpung Monastery had been destroyed in Tibet, Sherabling was established. There is now a monastery, nunnery, college and retreat centre here and more than 180 related centres and branches around the world.

Lopon Karma Dakpa gave a presentation of the Sutra tradition. Ven Choeying Kunkyap spoke about the Tibetan medical tradition with its origins at the time of King Nyatri Tsenpo, the work in the 11th century CE of the Yuthoks and the previous Situ Rinpoche’s efforts to bring different Tibetan medical systems together. Ven Ngawang spoke about the Astrology tradition that is upheld here and Lama Sherab Dreme described the grammar traditions that came from the study of Sanskrit and the work of the 8th Situ, Situ Panchen who composed a grammar treatise that is regarded as a classic today. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Dergey printing press.

In his address, the Minister for Religion and Culture in the Central Tibetan Administration, Pema Chinjor, recalled His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the first meeting of the Tibetan Youth Congress of the treasure Tibetans had to offer the world in their Buddhist traditions. He said that as a young man it did not mean much to him, but later he has come to understand how right His Holiness was. He emphasised the importance of ensuring that teachers are well qualified and that each Tibetan Buddhist tradition preserves its own unique features.

Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the ATPD said His Holiness’s presence at Sherabling was cause for celebration. He expressed the hope that progress in learning and spiritual practice should not decline, noting that quality is as important as numbers amongst monks and nuns.

In his address, His Holiness mentioned that the successive Situ Rinpoches have been of service to the Dharma and sentient beings. His establishment of this monastery, with its opportunities for study and practice are evidence of this. He said:

“When we think about Nalanda, what comes to mind is a centre of learning and study, not just a place where rituals were performed. Similarly, Tai Situ Rinpoche has taken practical steps to support the study of the 5 sciences here.

“Tibetan Buddhism may not be suitable for everyone as a spiritual tradition, but within Tibetan culture is knowledge, such as Tibetan medicine, with its medications made from natural substances, that has the potential to benefit many people.

“Buddhism is not just about blind faith. It’s about transforming the mind through training. And what is transformed and what does the transforming is the mind. The emotions that disturb our minds cannot be overcome by money; we have to understand how the mind works and how to achieve peace of mind. This is why increasing numbers of people today are interested in psychology, the science of mind and the Buddhist understanding of mind as revealed in the Nalanda tradition.”

He spoke of efforts that have been made to extract material from the Kangyur and Tengyur, the collections of the Buddha’s teachings and commentaries to them, that relates to philosophy, science and religious practice. He said that the philosophical and scientific material can be studied on an academic basis by anyone who is interested. He also mentioned the resonance between the Middle Way - Madhyamaka - School view, expressed by Chandrakirti, that while nothing exists independently, things do exist conventionally and the Quantum Physics’ view that nothing can be found objectively. Likewise the suggestion that observer and observed are of one substance relates to the Mind Only - Chittamatrin - view that rejects external existence. His Holiness said that it is on the basis of such comparisons that he is encouraging Dharma centres to become more like academic centres of learning.

On his way to the residence where he was offered lunch, His Holiness visited the Library on the floor above the assembly hall and above it the mandala hall, where he recited verses of consecration and scattered rice and flowers.

During the afternoon there were presentations of debate by groups of monks and nuns and discussions of language and grammar and the Perfection of Wisdom, which His Holiness listened to with interest. The session ended with words of thanks.

Tomorrow, His Holiness will offer a Long-Life Blessing and the transmission of Atisha’s ‘Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment’.

original link with photos http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/1243-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-is-given-a-warm-welcome-at-palpung-sherabling

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 1

In this two part blog series I will lay out and discuss one of the biggest challenges that we as humans face which is to remain righteous for God.  In part one of this blog I shall discuss aspects of a person who does not live righteous (i.e. sinful living) for God a negative consequence is placed upon a person or a nation by God and this is called Spiritual Pollution.  The Bible discusses spiritual pollution as a negative consequence for not obeying God.  In Numbers 35, the specific reference was to “bloodshed,” and in our standards today we would call this violence or murder.  However, the concept of living unclean or unholy before God was a recurring issue in the writings of Moses and sadly is still occurring in the 21st century.

Numbers 35 verse 34 states “Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.”  Today, many Christians boast of returning to their Christian roots in one form or another.  This act is not exactly the same as the relationship Israel had with God.  However, there is a sense in which we who are Christians are called to live and hold accountable others to live according to God’s plan for our lives. Why? When we don’t do as God instructs us, there are consequences, both individually and collectively as a nation.

Spiritual Pollution is a deep seated or rooted problem that many people face and refuse to admit it. Spiritual pollution in a nut shell is "something" that a person embraces in their lives which does not bring glory to the Holy Trinity of God.  The Holy word states “Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city. She has not obeyed His voice” Zephaniah 3:1,2 a NKJV. I will now provide a layout to an understanding of this spiritual pollution.
 
The above scripture from Zephaniah 3 is a harsh aspect to understand.  This instruction given to a people who are described in the word as a shameless nation. In this two part blog, this word will serve to illustrate for the reader on a local level how one must guard against contaminating their spiritual life or consequences shall occur.  Christians are not exempt from all the worldly influences which is all around these people.

The holy word in Romans 12:2 commands or states to those who profess to be Christians “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  In a nutshell we who profess Jesus Christ are not to become spiritual garbage dumpsters. Christians are to sow the Holy Spirit and not sow the flesh.  Basically this means we’re to clean up our act so to speak recorded in 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be Ye Holy, for I am Holy”.  When we as people chose to rebel against God and we chose to live open sinful lives we shall suffer penalties.  Some examples of these penalties for spiritual pollution imposed by God against both Christian and non-Christian’s are listed below:

1. Sudden chronic illness which come out of nowhere
2. Recurrent bad dreams and nightmares
3. Insomnia or unusual sleepiness
4. Behavioral problems in adults and children
5. Relational problems - Continual fighting, arguing and misinterpreted communication
6. Lack of peace, lack of joy, lack of hope, lack of prosperity, so on and so forth
7. Restless, disturbed and angry children
8. Unexplained behaviors, explosive behaviors, unsettling behaviors
9. Ghosts or familiar spirits which are demonic apparitions (to which young children are particularly susceptible).
10. Poltergeists (The movement of physical objects by demons).
11. Foul, unexplained odors from unknown sources
12. Atmospheric heaviness, making it hard to breathe, atmospheric changes in temperature
13. Continual nausea and headaches


In the midst of the carnality of this world and ever growing sinful lifestyles around us we are commanded to live lives of purity, but sadly very few do this.  As humans first of all and secondly as Christians we need to become furious about incest, drug and sexual abuse, atrocities committed against children of our communities, and the evil corruption of our local and national governments.
Thus we are required to do a spiritual cleansing (i.e. repent of our sins) of not only our life but over our household as well.  Thus a spiritual housecleaning against occult curses (sinful activities) to receive the anointing and releasing of spiritual power which God intended us to have.

Later on I will point out the 7 steps to purification from the sinful life that one has lived.  First of all repentance of sins to God is foremost and a rejection of future sinful living.  Next comes the purification of heart – home – and family.  A way to obtain power of the Holy Spirit and the power over the devil and the demons is to have a repentant inner spirit.  The promises of God depend upon our direct obedience to his holy word.  As Christians we are to repent of our actions as well as our sins.  Sadly we as humans collect physical objects and these objects can carry spiritual significance and when we seek God, He will reveal to you through the Holy Spirit the defiled things that one clings onto their lives.  Now, the estimated value of all the occult items the Ephesians destroyed in town square (read Acts 19:18-20) was approximately $4 million U.S. dollars (in rate of today).

Repentance of our sins and sinful life keeps us close to the Lord Jesus Christ and prevents the devil in gaining footholds upon our lives.  As an example, pornography and such defiled acts are found in our homes, places of work and worship centers.  This act will grieve the Holy Spirit away from a person, and it will withdraw like in Samson’s life and you will be left powerless in the Spirit realm, just like Samson was.  Thus allowing the demons entrance into the life of the person to create havoc and promote further sinful acts to further defile the individual.

Now the Old Testament speaks about a defiled (spiritually polluted) land more than 15 times.  Sadly our homes as well as the land resided upon can be spiritual polluted, which allows the demons even more access.  I will provide some examples to note: Viking’s place of sacrificing slaves in Lund, Sweden, Aborigine’s barren circles in Australia, stones arranged in a circle in Czestochowa, Poland.

The freemasonries secret rooms, Satanists meeting places for sacrifice, chambered barrows, Hindu temples, Buddhist temples etc.

In part 2 of this blog I will continue the discussion of spiritual pollution within the lives of people especially Christians.  I will further advance the defilement of the homes which embraces the spiritual pollution that we face in our lives.

Rev. Bradley Luoma, Exorcist



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Demonic Influences And Holy Angels Of the Lord

Per your request from some of you I will give some more examples of possible side effects from a demonic attack. There are many of them but I will name a few before getting into the subject at hand.

1. A compulsive desire to blaspheme God

2. A revulsion against the Bible, including a desire to tear it up or destroy it

3. Compulsive thoughts of suicide or murder

4. Deep feelings of bitterness and hatred toward others without reason - Jews, other races, church, strong Christian leaders

5. Any compulsive temptations that seek to force thoughts or behavior that the person truly does not want to think or do

6. Compulsive desires to tear other people down, even if it means lying to do so; vicious cutting by the tongue

7. terrifying feelings of guilt even after honest confession is made to the Lord

8. Certain symptoms that may appear suddenly or leave quickly and for which there are no physical or physiological reason; symptoms such as choking sensations, pains that seem to move around and for which there is no medical cause, feelings of tightness about the head or eyes, dizziness, blackouts, or fainting seizures

9. Deep depression or despondency

10. Sudden surges of violent rage, uncontrollable anger, or seething feelings of hostility

11. Terrifying doubt of one's salvation even though they once knew the joy salvation

12. Seizures of panic or other fear that is terrifying

13. Dreams or nightmares that are of a horrific nature and often recurring; clairvoyant dreams that may even come true are most often demonic

14. Abnormal or perverted sexual desires

15. Questions and challenges to God's Word

16. Sleeping or eating disorders without physical cause

17. Most compulsions and obsessions

18. Rebellion and hatred for authority

19. Bizarre terrifying thoughts that seem to come from nowhere and cannot be controlled

20. Fascination with the occult

21. Involvement in criminal activity

22. Extremely low self-image (unworthy, a failure, no good, constant undermining.

Remember these are just more that I could think of but their are many other signs out there and they can be very subtle which is very scary.

Now let's discuss the subject at hand:

The first goal of demons in my opinion is to prevent us from receiving God's love and ever lasting life in Heaven..getting saved. Their sneaky are to attempt to get people to turn away from God. They do this through many forms of temptation, harassment, and also from distorting The Word Of God. Demons lie to us and work hard on our minds so that we are lying to ourselves and thinking awful things of our self worth and our ability to do things right. And pleasing to,God.

Another form of attack is accusation and criticism. Demons will interject condemning thoughts into the minds of believers. They absolutely love to conjure up the past with thoughts of, “You really failed at so much..” or “You really messed up”. Demons are on a mission to destroy us. They work together and strategize. They go after our weaknesses especially times when people are physically and/or emotionally weak. They attempt to affect all areas of a person’s body, soul, and spirit. They don’t play fair.

We know that we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Again the soul in itself is made up of mind, will and emotions. Becoming a believer means we must have surrendered our will to the Lordship of Jesus Christ our savior. But the mind and emotions, we might not have fully surrendered to our Lord. In these circumstances either knowingly or unknowingly we are allowing the devil to have a legal hold on our mind or emotions.

There are several ways by which demons oppresses people. Afflict: To inflict something hard to endure. Harass: To annoy or disturb persistently, to wear out by frequent attacks. Influence: To exercise indirect power over in order to sway or affect. Oppress: To lower in spirit or mood. Torment: To cause severe suffering of body or mind. Torture: To punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain. Worry: To disturb one or destroy one’s peace of mind by repeated or persistent torment. Wrong: To inflict injury on another without justification.

A demon can keep you in chains and isolate you by attacking the mind. That is the devils playground. But God has the final say and power to end it all. Rev 20:10 and the devil who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Demons are not God but sometimes they become the object of worship.  Behind every idol, there is a demon or an evil spirit. Sometimes we cherish certain beliefs which are not true.  This can become a form of idolatry.

Psa 106:37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.

God's Angels Are Invisible But Everywhere

God has had angels specifically assigned to supervise and protect his Church throughout all of its history (Revelations 1:4, 16, 20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). He has angels who are to always walk through the earth to watch and report back to him the overall conditions on earth (Zech 4:10; II Chron 16:9; Revelations 5:6). And God has angels specifically assigned to look after his begotten human children (Mattew 18:10 Acts 12:15). God promises: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways (Psalms 91:11).” Angels are Good spirits that can manifest them self into a physical body. Good spirits linked to The Holy Spirit always speak the truth. Angels are everywhere my friends. God has us under protection.

In Job 38:4, 7, God is speaking specifically of the creation of earth. He says all the angels shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. This shows us that angels were created before the creation of the earth and probably before the material universe. The suns, planets and astral bodies are material substances. Angels are individually created spirit beings, composed solely of spirit.

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lavishly Loving the Lord

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred adenarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven-for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

(the account in Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8 is different from this text. The Lukan version involves a different woman, a different place, a different reaction from Jesus, and a different time in Jesus' ministry).

There is an old Puritan saying...."Til sin tastes bitter, grace will not be sweet."

What is the driving force of your life...your dominant life value? We know what the Great Commandment is (loving God with all of our being), but pride (the Great Sin) often derails us throughout the day. The above text stuns and arrests my attention whenever I read it, as I did this morning during my devotional. This is a picture of a woman loving the Lord lavishly.To me, it is one of the most moving narratives in the bible.

The Pharisee did a good and proper thing by inviting Jesus to lunch at his condo. I would like to think that there was at least a kernel of sincerity in this mans invitation, at the very least he was curious. Which is fine.

Enter a woman with a bad reputation, apparently well deserved. The kind of woman that any self-respecting Pharisee would shun. The kind of woman (or man) that most of the religious leaders of Jesus day were too "holy" to allow themselves to be defiled by being touched by her. It is interesting that somehow, I suppose, the host did allow her inside...unless she crashed the party!

Here is the utterly holy and pure God/Man who looked with such tenderness upon this notorious sinner as she began to let her tears roll down her cheeks and onto his feet, dried them with her long locks, kissed his feet, and then poured expensive ointment upon them. I have no words to adequately describe the beauty of this moment....lavishly lovingly the Lord perhaps.The host was scandalized and immediately questioned the integrity/identity of Jesus because He did not kick her away. What a contrast...

Reading his mind and/or grumblings, Jesus asked his host a penetrating question. It had to do with, on a deeper level, that a depth awareness of the ugliness of one's sinfulness will lead to a depth view of the beauty of divine grace."Til sin tastes bitter, grace will not be sweet." This dear woman had her nose rubbed in her sin 24/7, while the Pharisee stood proud by his self-righteousness.If the love of money is a root of many evils, pride is THE root of all sin.It can rear it's ugly head at any time, and take on many different forms.At the base of all sin is pride--which the antithesis of humility.
The Pharisee did not express gratitude to his Guest. Perhaps he thought he had done his good deed for the day merely by inviting Jesus to a meal at his house.

With no concern for proper decorum, she unselfconsciously pours out her love and gratitude profusely in a way that scandalizes everyone but our Lord. In light of this woman's actions, I feel a visceral yearning to do the same. But to do so, I must keep my eyes on the holiness of God, which reminds me of my current sinfulness, and as a consequence, clinging white knuckled to the cross moment by moment. We don't need the gospel only on the day we are saved. We need the gospel today, tomorrow, and throughout eternity.

I yearn....I deeply long to love Jesus as this woman did, but I fall so far short.

 How do we lavishly love a holy God? Be forgiven by Him. Daily and deeply. We daily bring our sins before Him and, with tears in our hearts, pour out our loving gratitude for such an unspeakably beautiful Savior and salvation. And we are quick to ask for forgiveness from each other, starting with our children and/or spouses.

"Seeing Ghosts through God's Eyes" (also in a Kindle edition)...please consider purchasing my book which uses science, logic, and the bible to analyze the true source of power behind paranormal activity.

Amazon SearchBox