Monday, July 22, 2013

The Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Compassion, and Rabid Dogs

Published on June 3, 2009 by Jonathan S. Kaplan, Ph.D. in Urban Mindfulness

Last month, I attended a two-day conference on meditation and psychotherapy co-sponsored by Harvard Medical School. The theme of the conference was "Wisdom and Compassion", featuring the Dalai Lama as the main speaker. In a previous post, I discussed the refreshing novelty of his frequently professed ignorance
In this post, I wanted to share a few insights and observations that he did offer.

Mindfulness is Important

Not surprisingly, the Dalai Lama emphasized the importance of mindfulness. He explained that wisdom and compassion can be cultivated through "mental engagement" with an object and aspiration, respectively. In other words, we become wise through deepening our understanding of things around us, and we become compassionate by focusing on compassion. He noted that mindfulness is relevant for both: it helps us maintain our focus, whether on a particular fact or goal.

City Living is Particularly Challenging

Dr. Judith Jordan, one of the Founding Fellows and current Director of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, inquired about cross-cultural differences in relationships and autonomy. She observed that Western culture (and psychotherapy) emphasizes separateness and individuality, while Eastern culture emphasizes interdependence and collectivism.

The Dalai Lama opined that there is "no big difference" between the West and East mentally, emotionally, and physically. However, there is a "difference between the big city and countryside." He indicated that urban environments cultivate a mental state in which people more concerned with money, which gives rise to more anxiety and stress. He also noted that rich people are more likely to experience "destructive emotions" (e.g., jealousy, arrogance, etc.) and a decreased sense of community. As a result, he noted--somewhat self-consciously--that it is even more important to mindfully maintain humility and connectedness when when you become "an object of reverence."

"Wrong is Wrong"

Judith Herman, founder of the Victims of Violence program in Boston, asked a question about the limits of compassion, especially relative to perpetrators of violence. She noted that there is an apparent burden on the survivor of violence to forgive in order to more forward. The Dalai Lama responded by delineating two levels of compassion. In the first level, one seeks to understand compassion intellectually and consider factually what has happened, which can promote a sense of attachment to our selves and loved ones (i.e., me vs. "him/her"). As a result, it can lead to hatred or anger directed against the perpetrator. In the second level, one trains to cultivate compassion through a genuine sense of concern for others, including the perpetrator. At this level, one is capable of doing two things: (1) oppose the "wrongful acts" done by someone else; and (2) recognize the inherent humanity of that person. He suggested that it is possible to take the following compassionate action: (1) feel solidarity in the fact that all human beings want to overcome suffering; (2) point out what is wrong in the behavior, out of concern for the individual; (3) consider the well-being of all society, which suggests that wrong doers deserve justice. He added, "Wrong is wrong. We have to make it clear."

Metta Won't Stop a Rabid Dog

Many times during the meeting, the Dalai Lama reflected on the complexity of the human condition, and our collective inability to provide simple solutions to life's circumstances. He noted, for example, "For mental problems, there is not one antidote." What this means, of course, is that the cultivation of any one single attribute--whether compassion, wisdom, or mindfulness--is not sufficient. Compassion is a wonderful attribute to develop, but it has limits. As the Dalai Lama stated simply, "If a mad dog is coming towards you, compassion is no use. You need to use your intelligence." It might also help if you can run really, really fast...

Don’t Get Played by “Six” – Wednesday, July 24, 2013

There is no such thing as a simple demonic case when it comes to the investigative side of it. What are the steps a team or individual should take when they agree to handle it?

Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step guide or DVD series. The general guidelines published by the Catholic church offers some basic things to look for: superhuman strength, knowledge you shouldn’t have [knowing about others you’ve just met] and a few others. If you uncover these signs and collect additional proof, you can then approach the church to take the case.

The Protestant church offers fewer guidelines to follow. Many leave it up to individual pastors or lay people to make that determination. This can lead to good-hearted people who are trying to help others, but they make mistakes dealing with the demonic. Sadly, thrill seekers or those who have motives of becoming famous, lay a path of spiritual destruction in their wake.

For the next 2 shows we’ll take the listeners through one of the most public and controversial demonic cases since 2008 – the “I Am Six” case.

The case was featured twice on the scripted para-reality show Paranormal State. The show featured Ryan Buell, Chip Coffey, Lorraine Warren, Father Bob Bailey, Father Andrew Calder, and Chad Calek. The listener would be at an advantage if they watch them prior to the show, but it’s not necessary.

Here are the YouTube links [you might find them on Hulu or buy them from a streaming service].




Will post links to the second episode next week.

We’ll cover the numerous errors, the false statements that the team makes about the demonic and possession, false scenes, and more. This was never a case of the demonic but a case of a family and a troubled young woman.

Tune in, call in, and be informed.

We have a book that looks at the case in-depth: “Never Mock God: An Unauthorized Investigation into Paranormal State’s ‘I Am Six’ Case.” It’s available in eBook and paperback. Here are links:

We'll also talk about my new book on Theresa Caputo Is the Long Island Medium the Real Deal?

As a weekly feature, Kirby will also share some book reviews and recommendations, as well as his infamous incredible "BAD BAD Thing Awards."

Showtime begins at 7 PM or 10 PM EST.  See this page for more information:

Missed last week's show on Ghost Hunting Certification & Paranormal Ethics? That's okay, here's the podcast:

Keep current and follow us on Twitter:!/eyeonparanormal

EARN EXTRA MONEY! If you have a website, forum or blog you can set up an Amazon Associates Affiliate Program link and sell the Kindle version of our books. "Is the Long Island Medium the Real Deal?" [Paperback will be out in August], "Never Mock God: An Unauthorized Investigation into Paranormal State's 'I Am Six' Case" [also in paperback!], "Investigating Paranormal State," "Paranormal State Exposed" and "Paranormal Teachings: The Best of Shedding Some Light" and earn money. You can also sell other books and products that Amazon offers. Here's the link: