Monday, August 26, 2013

Dalai Lama Explores Concept of Soul

The Dalai Lama urged respect for all faiths and stressed the role of education in creating tolerance as his visit to Washington, D.C., culminated on Oct. 10 with a teaching on Buddhism at American University.

Tibetans in traditional garb filed into the 6,000-seat arena to mingle with AU students, Western Buddhists, and hundreds of curious Washingtonians who came to the see the spiritual leader and head of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

“Every time I see him, it’s like seeing him for the first time,” said Tsering Lamo, of Vienna, Va., of the self-described “simple monk” who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. “He’s inspirational. He’s a role model. Because of him, many Tibetans go to non-violence.”

Lamo, who is Tibetan, came to the AU teaching with a friend from China, Vicki Wang. All political differences aside, “there is no border in Buddhism. It is such an honor to see him,” said Wang, spinning a Buddhist prayer wheel.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, sat cross-legged on a large gold armchair under a towering thangka, or painted religious banner, that stretched from the ceiling of Bender Arena to the floor of the dais. Around him sat dozens of monks in maroon and saffron robes. It was the Dalai Lama’s second time at AU, where he also gave a teaching in 1998.

The teaching, “The Heart of Change: Finding Wisdom in the Modern World,” began with chanting in Sanskrit, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tibetan.

“To build religious harmony, we must know different traditions and their concepts, and through that, we can develop respect, which is the foundation for harmony,” said the Dalai Lama, who spoke mainly in English but sometimes with the help of a Tibetan translator.

He explored the concept of a soul, which in the Buddhist tradition, cannot be viewed separately from the body and mind, but also cannot be said to have a beginning or an end. The talk revolved around what he called the three fundamental questions: What is the “I”? Does it have a beginning? Does it have an end?

“This, my body, now is over 70 years old,” he said, but it is not the same body he had as a child. Just as the body has changed, so has the mind. Even on the atomic level, the physical self is in constant flux.

The self exists due to the body and mind, yet “we could trace material continuity of our body to conception, and then back to the big bang. We can find material causes of our body even at the beginning of the universe,” he said.

Buddhism calls on its followers to recognize the self as impermanent as “an antidote to reduce extreme self-centeredness.” Other religions have different beliefs, but aim towards a similar effect by different . . . In each case, the philosophical framework serves to move the faithful away from self-absorption.

Yet, he said, there are contradictions between religions and within religions. Buddhism has multiple sects, and the world’s major religions have different notions of an afterlife, soul and creator. This serves the purpose of addressing the “different mental dispositions” of the world’s people. “There are six billion human beings. Just one religion is simply not sufficient,” he said.

Becoming educated about other religions helps to develop tolerance without undermining faith, because understanding and belief are different, he said. “All people in this room should know (about other religions), so we can develop respect for all traditions. But faith is a different thing. I’m Buddhist, my faith is Buddhist,” he said, yet that doesn’t keep him from respecting other traditions or seeing similarities.

For most people, it is best to keep to the faith of their birth, he said, because they have a deeper understanding of it. A few people may be convinced that another religion suits them better and may be moved to practice it seriously, but for most, “it’s very important to keep one’s own tradition.”

As he spoke, the arena was bright with hundreds of strands of prayer flags created by children at the Katzen Arts Center or in projects at D.C. public schools with teachers mobilized by AU’s School of Education, Teaching and Health.

The morning’s teaching was followed by a symposium with leading Buddhist thinkers.

Dolma Tsering of Derwood, Md., who grew up in Nepal as the child of Tibetan refugees, saw the day as a time for people from many backgrounds to learn from the Dalai Lama’s example.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for not just Tibetans, but for Washington to learn about peace.”

By Sally Acharya, October 12, 2009, American University, Washington, DC

Amityville, Haunting in Connecticut & Conjuring DEBUNKED– Wednesday, August 28, 2013

By Kirby Robinson


In the short history of our show, we’ve already brought into question the credibly of some well known psychic-mediums like Theresa Caputo and Sylvia Browne, and TV ministers like Jim Bakker and Cindy Jacobs. We’ve also shown the fakery of PRS [Paranormal Research Society] and the exorcist Andrew Calder.

This week we’ll go where few, if any, radio programs have ever gone. We’ll shine the spotlight on what most consider the most compelling cases of demonic activity and ghost haunting in recent history.

The Amityville Horror/Haunting. In 1976, the world was gripped by the news coming out of Amityville, New York as the Lutz family fled from their home after living there for 28 days. They’d become victims of such severe demonic attacks the whole story could not be told. Noted ghost hunters and demon chasers Ed and Lorraine Warren became part of the story. Due to the popularity of The Exorcist, the public couldn’t get enough. The legend grew as countless movies and books came out. But the truth was buried and the lies were told to cover up the fact that nothing paranormal happened in the house.

The Haunting in Connecticut case focuses on demonic activity taking place in a house that had formerly been a funeral parlor. It was surmised that workers took part in necrophilia [sex with dead people] and necromancy [raising the dead]. When the parlor went out of business the spirits of the dead stayed along with a host of demons.

In the 1980s, the Snedekers moved into the home so Carmen, the mother, could take her cancer stricken son to a nearby hospital for daily treatment. Almost as soon as the family moved in the haunting began. Ed and Lorraine Warren along with John Zaffis were called in to investigate the case. It was brought to a close once an exorcism was performed.

Unlike the Amityville case, this one had the benefit of the internet and the growing interest in the paranormal to help build up lots of smoke. The books and a successful movie stoked the fires but has the truth ever been told? Have independent researchers ever had a chance to look at the evidence?

The case behind The Conjuring. Not since The Exorcist has a horror film that had any ties to a real case [outside of maybe the Texas Chainsaw Massacre] captured the attention of America. The Perron family moved into an historic home in rural Rhode Island, enduring 10 years of haunting by dark spirits.

Ed and Lorraine Warren once again play a part in it.

How legit are the case notes? Are the Warrens even legit?

Over the course of our 2 hours together, we’ll study as much information as we can. This is information that the supporters of these hoaxes DON’T want you to know.

Tune in learn the truth and make up your own mind.

NOTE: Due to the overwhelming amount of information, this may be a 2-part series.
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 [PST] or 10 PM [EST].  See this page for more information:

Here’s last week's show—Bad Psychics – with Even Worse Intentions: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/god-discussion/2013/08/22/bad-psychics-with-even-worse-intentions

Keep current and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/eyeonparanormal


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