Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dalai Lama: Teachings for Russian Buddhists Begin in Delhi

Delhi, India, 25 December 2016 - Yesterday, Tibetans, people from the Himalayan regions and elsewhere lined the streets around Ganden Monastery in Mundgod to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama off. Abbots and former Abbots accompanied him to the airport. He flew from Huballi to Delhi, arriving in time for lunch.

Today, before embarking on three days of teachings requested by interested Russians, His Holiness gave interviews, first to Lenta.Ru a major Russian news agency.

Questions began with what we should expect as a result of changes taking place in the Western world. His Holiness replied that the Western world is part of the world as a whole, just as Russia is. The people remain human beings and it is a common human experience to feel something when others are dying, starving or being killed.

“Last century saw a lot of fighting. In the later part of the 20th century there was the Cold War, but that was better than a hot war. I admire the spirit of the European Union where former enemies, France and Germany have overcome discord and, working together as friends, have developed the EU. Union is based on mutual respect. The Soviet Union collapsed because it was totalitarian, the EU succeeds because of democracy.”

Asked if he thought we could look forward to a greater era of peace, His Holiness answered that there is no other option. He said that if war escalated into nuclear war everyone would suffer. What sensible person would want that? Pressed to say how to be non-violent in a violent world, he replied:

“Use common sense and look at things from a wider perspective. Violence is linked to anger and hatred. Anger obscures our ability to see things clearly, leading us to follow unrealistic courses of action. Problems can always be better solved through understanding and dialogue. We should avoid glorifying anger—it’s foolish to indulge those who are angry.”

The woman correspondent from the Tuva branch of the Russian STS TV channel asked how Tuva should preserve its culture. His Holiness told her protecting the language was important. Regarding its Buddhist culture, like Tibetan Buddhism it derives from the Nalanda Tradition. Keeping it alive requires more than faith alone, it requires understanding. His Holiness reiterated advice he regularly gives followers—be 21st century Buddhists.

“Study—develop a fuller knowledge of Buddhist ideas, the sense that there is a gap between appearance and reality and the detailed account of the workings of the mind and emotions.”

A frisson of anticipation ran through the crowd of more than 1250 people in the teaching hall as His Holiness approached. In the corridor outside representatives welcomed him with white scarves in their hands, chanting the ‘Mig-tse-ma’ prayer. Mostly they came from Kalmykia, Buryatia, Tuva and Mongolia, as well as from countries of the Russian CIS, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan among them.

“Today, we’ve gathered here for teachings requested by people from Russia,” His Holiness announced. “When I was a child there were several eminent scholars from Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva in our monasteries. Now, there are about 500 students from these places and Mongolia studying in the monasteries in South India.

“The Nalanda Tradition we follow explains how we can transform our minds that are clear and aware by purifying them of negative emotions and imprints and acquiring insight—the basis, path and result.

Buddhas do not wash unwholesome deeds away with water,
Nor do they remove the sufferings of beings with their hands,
Neither do they transplant their own realization into others.
Teaching the truth of suchness they liberate (beings).

“In other words, they present the basis, path and result. Use your intelligence to analyse the teachings. With compassion and intelligence develop conviction and apply what you’ve understood in your lives.”

His Holiness reported that he has been holding discussions with scientists for more than 30 years. However, there are now monks able to hold their own and explain a Buddhist position in such discussions too, as they revealed in the Emory Tibet Symposium in Drepung a few days ago. He declared he was impressed.

His Holiness remarked that Buddhists commonly pray for the welfare of all mother sentient beings, but stressed that if such prayers are to have meaning, they should be translated into action. He also clarified that it is the people we live with on this earth who we can do something for.

He described an experiment he has watched revealing the positive response of infants to animated images of children helping each other. They show misgivings about similar animated images of children hindering and obstructing each other. From these responses among children too young to speak, scientists conclude that human nature is essentially positive and compassionate. He said it is a sign of the inadequacy of contemporary education that it fails to preserve and develop this essential good-naturedness. He mentioned a draft curriculum for schools that is under development that is intended to redress this imbalance.

Mentioning the importance of harmony and respect among the world’s religions, His Holiness drew comparisons between their variety and the various Buddhist traditions and even the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Variety springs from differences of need, time and circumstances. He affirmed that although he has retired from responsibility for Tibetan political affairs, he remains dedicated to protecting the natural environment and keeping Tibetan language, culture and religion alive.

Taking up his copy of ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’, His Holiness said he had heard it explained by a remarkable scholar and practitioner, Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen. He asked him to teach it as much as he could, a request His Holiness has been dedicated in fulfilling. Khunu Lama Rinpoche told him that there has been no greater work on the cultivation of the awakening mind since this book was composed by Shantideva in the 8th century CE.

His Holiness pointed out that Chapter Six and Chapter Eight are the two most important chapters on the awakening mind, while Chapter Nine deals with wisdom.

In the absence of anyone who could chant in Pali, His Holiness invited Ven Tenzin Priyadarshi to recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Sanskrit. He himself led recitation of the accompanying verse and mantra from the same sutra in Tibetan, which was followed by the ‘Heart Sutra’ again in Russian.

After fielding an array of questions from the audience His Holiness told them he wanted to read the opening verses of Chapter Nine of the ‘Guide’.

All these branches of the Doctrine
The Enlightened Sage expounded for the sake of wisdom.
Therefore, they must cultivate this wisdom
Who wish to have an end of suffering.

Relative and ultimate,
These the two truths are declared to be.
The ultimate is not within the reach of intellect,
For intellect is said to be the relative.

In light of this, within the world, two kinds of people are observed: 
Those with yogic insight and the common run of people.
In this regard, the views of ordinary folk
Are undermined by yogis who themselves are in the world.

In contrast to common people, enthralled by appearances, His Holiness explained that yogis are those who see the nature of things as they really are. He quoted Nagarjuna:

There does not exist anything 
That is not dependently arisen. 
Therefore there does not exist anything 
That is not empty.

He then joked that both yogis and common people feel hungry and need to take lunch and, with his advice that the audience attend a review of what had been covered in the afternoon, the first session came to an end.

Original link with photos: http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/1514-teachings-for-russian-buddhists-begin-in-delhi

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Recently, I met with a mother and her teenage son for initial visit regarding demonic activity in their home. I did a cleansing a few days ago, but I’m not going to focus on that. Both parents and all four children have seen ‘paranormal activity’. In fact, the mother and son said they see apparitions and shadows every day, and all day. This has been going on for a decade. The family is falling apart and they know it is due to the demonic presence. Worst, are the focused oppressive attacks on an adolescent daughter. If what they both said is only partially true (and I’m inclined to believe them), then the girl is in trouble, all of the family needs deliverance from demonic attachments, and the house, and property need to cleansed/blessed (I cleansed the house first so that there would be minimal distractions during deliverance of family).

Even though they both know the true identity and intent of these demons, and even though it has wrecked havoc beyond calculation and in innumerable times and ways, they both shared their hesitation to meet with me this morning, and go ahead with deliverance. I gently asked why they were reticent, and their reply was instructive: as destructive as the demonic activity had become, it was their ‘normal’, and they were afraid of change. This normalization process took place over a period of years of daily exposure. Remember the saying that all change, no matter how good, can be emotionally difficult. Also, the mother expressed that she was fearful that confronting “it” would cause things to get worse…like stirring up a hornet’s nest.

It is their hesitancy to seek help, even in light of knowing the horror they have lived with, which I have been pondering lately. I call it the “Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome” (or SSS for short), obviously named after its natural counterpart, which some of you have heard of. Let us take a look at the original, and then we’ll return to discuss the spiritual side in more detail. (The following is from Wikipedia)

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition that causes hostages to develop sympathetic sentiments towards their captors, often sharing their opinions and acquiring romantic feelings for them as a survival strategy during captivity.[1] These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other."[2] The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly eight percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.[3]

Formally named in 1973 when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm syndrome is also commonly known as ‘capture bonding’.[3] The syndrome’s title was developed when the victims of the Stockholm bank robbery defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them.[4] Stockholm syndrome’s significance arises due to the fact that it is based on irony, as captives’ sentiments for their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain an onlooker may expect to see as a result of trauma.

There are four key components that generally lead to the development of Stockholm syndrome: a hostage’s development of positive feelings towards their captor, no previous hostage-captor relationship, a refusal by hostages to cooperate with police forces and other government authorities, and a hostage’s belief in the humanity of their captor, because When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.[2][3]

Symptoms and Behaviors
Victims of the formal definition of Stockholm syndrome develop “positive feelings toward their captors and sympathy for their causes and goals, and negative feelings toward the police or authorities”.[4] These symptoms often follow freed victims back into their previously ordinary lives.

Famous Instances

Stockholm Bank Robbery
In 1973, an escaped convict known as Jan Olsson forced four employees of the bank (“three women and one man”), as well as his friend, also an escaped convict, to assist him in robbing the Kreditbanken, “one of the largest banks in Stockholm, Sweden.” He held them captive for six days (from August 23 to August 28) in one of the bank’s vaults while torturing them with nooses and dynamite. When they were released, none of them would testify against either captor in court; instead they began raising money for their defense. “According to some reports, another hostage eventually married one of her captors.[4]”

As a Coping Mechanism
From a psychoanalytic lens, it can be argued that Stockholm syndrome arises strictly as a result of survival instincts. Strentz states, “the victim’s need to survive is stronger than his impulse to hate the person who has created the dilemma.” A positive emotional bond between captor and captive is a “defense mechanism of the ego under stress”.[4] These sentimental feelings are not strictly for show however. Since captors often fear that their affection will be perceived as fake, captives eventually begin to believe that their positive sentiments are genuine.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
This book is widely used as the "classification system for psychological disorders" by the American Psychiatric Association.[4]Stockholm Syndrome has not historically appeared in the manual, as many believe it falls under Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The work was updated in 2012, when the fifth edition came out, and Stockholm syndrome was included under 'Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified'.[4]

Loving to Survive
First published in 1994, author Dee Graham uses the Stockholm syndrome label to describe group or collective responses to trauma, rather than individual reactions. Graham focuses specifically on the impact of Stockholm syndrome on battered and abuse women as a community.[4] She claimed that in both the psychological and societal senses, women are defined by their sense of fear surrounding the threat of male violence. This constant fear drives women to perform actions that they know will be pleasing to men in order to avoid emotional, physical, or sexual assault as a result of male anger. Graham draws parallels between women and kidnapping victims in the sense that women bond to men to survive as captives bond to their captors to survive.[4](Wikipedia)

This syndrome is also known as ‘captive bonding’. Relating this to demonic oppression, as a survival strategy, people will develop strong emotional ties to their spiritual captors. The visceral desire to survive will lead many people to do things which may not seem rational to us. Take the example given above. The family knew the true identity and intent of their captors, but their survival instincts was the over-arching desire, muting all the other issues…until it got so bad they could not turn a blind eye anymore. The daughter’s horrible plight was the needle that popped the captive bonding bubble.

I can’t criticize those in this situation. Demonic oppression can cause common-sense to go out the window. The demonic influence on their minds and affections can cause them to do all sorts of irrational behavior. Remember, demons are constantly poisoning their minds with deluded thinking, and they are also bombarding their affections to cause ‘captive bonding.’ It is the focus on their affections which is at the root of SSS. Demonic oppression affects not only people’s minds but also their affections. Their affection or love for Christ is the primary target…a long walk in the wrong direction to hell is their main desire for us. But through various means, they can cause otherwise intelligent people, to loathe or fear the only thing they know deep down can save them—deliverance through Christ.

Imagine you have been suffering from all manner of demonic oppression for a decade, and they have broken you down physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and relationally. You are utterly exhausted. You are gasping for air but you are still ‘breathing’. Can you empathize with their fear that their normal will be utterly gone? How will they breathe under a new normal, which has become emotionally foreign to them? I know someone who has lived with the paranormal all their life and it is utterly normal for them. Add to this, bad advice from trusted friends and family, or TV, and you have a recipe for disaster in the form of SSS.

"When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.” Even in what I call a “Happy Haunt” in which the demonic presence is either not overtly hostile or there is rarely any paranormal activity at all, the silent but deadly presence of the demonic is very real. Like spiritual radioactivity, the demons are influencing their minds and slowly causing them to adapt similar values of the demons, especially regarding Jesus. They may believe in Jesus, but which one?! Their minds may get so polluted that they are unable to discern right from wrong. A strong delusion overcomes them and they embrace or sleep with the enemy with no qualms…sometimes literally.

Or what if they believe the blue orbs that dance around in their bedroom every night are protective angels, simply because they are blue? Not only are they not alarmed at the demonic presence, but actually think that their enemy is protecting them. How profoundly sad, yet it happens frequently.

Negative energy has no ontological status, it is nothing. Or, I should say that demons give off negative energy. But it’s the demons that are the cause, and negative energy is simply a symptom or effect. Another form of SSS is allowing the entity to stay, but to sage the negative energy when it gets too high. This accomplishes nothing, except a false sense of security and health.

One of the four components mentioned above was the humanizing of their captors. Is that not precisely what many people are being told by paranormal investigators? Instead of seeing these unclean spirits as pure, inhuman evil, they tell their clients that they are living with deceased humans. Once they embrace the false notion that their captors are human, they are more apt to see harmful behavior through rose colored glasses. They may even develop pity for these lost souls who are oppressing them because they are lost souls who need help to find the light, ect.

They don’t need help, these spirits need to be expelled, and ultimately damnation. Perhaps the humanization of demons is the biggest reason for the widespread nature of Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome. Once you humanize supernatural evil, the devil has all sorts of ways of messing with your mind to keep you in bondage. That is one reason I detest the notion of earthbound spirits with such passion.

A statement worth quoting is that, “A positive emotional bond between captor and captive is a ‘defense mechanism of the ego under stress.’ I have noted that there are innumerable people who resist deliverance for all kinds of reasons, but it seems clear that most are defense mechanisms of various sorts. It usually takes a truly earth shattering event/s to awaken them from their lethal slumber…to help them see the true identity and intent of their captors, entities  of pure evil out to destroy them.

Instead of turning against the police, they sometimes turn against those who give a clarion call to the true identity and intent of their captors. Since most pastors don’t know what to do nor speak of this matter, many folks are stuck for so long they’ve given up hope for any deliverance. So many people on Facebook are experiencing demonic oppression, but they either ignore or ridicule those ‘wierdos’ who are always fixating on the paranormal. But that is small price to pay when we get an email pleading for help.

Folks who have suffered chronic demonic oppression over long period of time need our tender mercy. To paraphrase one mother, “I’m scared to see change. I’m so used to having every area of life in turmoil, I’ve gotten used to it. I’m not sure I’ll know who I am or what to do if it’s not like that.’ Does that not make your heart weep? They don’t need judgment from us, but understanding and love. They need to be gently but firmly reminded to live by faith and not in fear. They need to hear over and over their authority in Christ…that as children of the Living God THEY have the authority in Jesus’ name to send demons fleeing. Many become so broken, they need outside help, and that is where exorcists/demonologists come into the picture. But we can do 100 cleansings and it won’t ‘stick’ if their thinking is not changed from fear to faith. God is perfect love…there is no fear in love…perfect love casts out fear.  1John 4:18  Leaving them with a written prayer that reminds them of their authority in Christ can be of great help. Demonic oppression leaves scars which need patience to help them change their thinking.

Consider how an addict thinks of the drug that is killing them. Most addicts cannot envision life without their drug of choice. Life seems impossible; terrifying without it…that is how strong a grip it has on their psyche. Similarly, one can get so ‘addicted’ to demonic oppression and its effects, that life without it is terrifying. Again, this calls for tenderness and patience from those who are trying to peel away the layers of the onion that comes with dealing with discovering the cause and cure of demonic oppression.

If you carefully read the section on Stockholm Syndrome, then there are other parallels one can see with SSS. For example, even if the chronically oppressed family knows their captors are demons, some folks are of the opinion that they are not as bad as the bible says. In fact, they may see them as wanting to repent and go to heaven. I’ve heard people speak of demons in this manner, but they must realize that fallen angels are irreformable…they cannot change. God did not die for them so they are utterly without hope, and they don’t want hope.

Having finished my most recent cleansing, I was struck by how deeply SSS had had a grip on this family for 10 years. It takes discernment to pick up on this, but I hope this article will help demonologists and others to realize what is going on, and may possibly assist you in understanding some of the dynamics going on in the families you are helping. The sheer desire to survive is what is driving many oppressed families. Hence, they are apt to put off deliverance for years, or some other behavior that seems irrational to us, simply because they have bonded in some form or fashion with their captors…or the environment they have created. SSS…Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome…think about it.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Interview with Rich Marcello, Author of "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"

Book Title: "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"
Author: Rich Marcello
Genre: Fiction, Literary

Available Formats: eBook & Paperback

Amazon Paperback link: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

B&N Paperback link: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel



Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan's longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

Guided by Dan's leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?


Why did you write this book? 

In The Beauty of the Fall (TBOTF), I set out to write about what it means to love in a wider sense of the word, to love in in community, and to do so even when the main character, Dan Underlight, has a lot of loss in his personal life. I was also interested in showing technology in a positive light, in this case as a way to bring people together to work on big problems.  So much of what happens these days results in polarization between folks with good intentions. In TBOTF, I was interested in developing characters who strived to reduce polarization by valuing diversity and finding common ground.

A little more on technology. When I started the novel three years ago, I wanted to write  about technology as a healer and a community builder. There are many good novels out there about the evils of technology, but few, if any, about technology companies that bring about positive social change. The idea of using technology to enable a true democracy, as opposed to the slew of representative democracies in existence today, intrigued me. The events in the world this last year –– the rise of fake news, populism, racism, and sexism—confirmed that I was one the right track. However, as my protagonist, Dan Underlight, emerged, I realized I was actually writing a redemption story. Once I was clear on that point, the themes broadened out to include forgiveness, simplicity and, non-violence.

How did you come up with the title?

It came to me one night in a dream, and luckily, I remembered The Beauty of the Fall when I woke up.

How did you choose your genre?

I decided early on to write literary fiction, and that’s what I’ve written ever since.  This is my third novel of literary fiction.

What inspired you to be a writer?

As a writer, I’m trying to go deeper and deeper into the soul of each of my characters, and so I focus a lot of my effort on their inner lives. That’s what inspires me the most, and it’s the primary reason I became a writer. Hopefully, readers will see the main characters in this book, Dan and Willow, as emotionally complicated and fully realized.

Are you writing another book?

I’m working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers, which is about aging in a world that in many ways devalues age. It’s about how a few folks try to build a community that values age and wisdom. I’m one-hundred-and-forty pages into that novel and hope to have it out in a couple of years.
Rich Marcello, Author of "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"


Rich Marcello is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

Author's website: http://www.richmarcello.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

Dalai Lama: Bridging Buddhism & Science, Emory Tibet Symposium

Mundgod, Karnataka, India, 18 December 2016 - Today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama elected to walk the relatively short distance between Drepung Lachi and Drepung Loseling. He greeted well-wishers along the way, as well as offering comfort to beggars who also vied for his attention. In the spacious Loseling assembly hall approximately 3000 monks, 260 nuns—including the 20 new Geshe-mas—local Tibetan school-children, and people from abroad were gathered to attend the first international Emory Tibet Symposium.

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi introduced the occasion explaining that the Symposium is a partial fulfilment of His Holiness’s vision for dialogue between Buddhism and science. It was, he said, the natural development of relations that have grown up between Emory University, the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives and monks and nuns, mostly in South India. He announced that the present meeting happens to coincide with the 600th anniversary of Drepung Monastery, one of Tibet’s great seats of learning.

Negi invited the recently elevated 103rd Ganden Tripa, Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin, to address the gathering. Tri Rinpoche read out a formal Tibetan speech in which he paid respect to His Holiness and welcomed everyone to the meeting. He referred approvingly to the fact that training in science has become part of Tibetan monastic education and to the convening of this symposium here at Drepung.  He attributed both to His Holiness’s efforts and inspiration, offering his own words of encouragement.

Negi turned to His Holiness and asked if he had any remarks he would like to share. He began:

“Respected brothers and sisters, I’m very happy to be here and it’s a great honour for me to participate in these proceedings, particularly in this 600th year since the founding of Drepung Monastery.

“When we held the first meetings between scientists and Buddhist scholars organized by the Mind & Life Institute I suggested that Buddhism referred to a certain training aimed at achieving nirvana and Buddhahood. However, in 30 years of conversations, we have never talked about either of these goals, discussing our present reality instead. Consequently, I would prefer to refer to these discussions as between Buddhist science and modern science.

“So far, modern science has focussed on material things with little attention to the workings of the mind and emotions. And yet today many of the problems we face arise because of our disturbing emotions. I believe that by learning more about inner science and how to tackle our emotions we can ensure individuals, families and the wider community are happier and more at peace. When there are differences between us we need to enter into dialogue to resolve them and to do that we have to have respect for each other. As part of the process it will be helpful if science examines the mind and emotions from an academic point of view.”

Next, he spoke to the Tibetans in the audience in their own language. He pointed out that when the Buddha first taught, he explained the Four Noble Truths, the first of which concerns the existence of suffering. By revealing the truth, the reality of how things are, he was able to talk about the possibility of cessation.

Taking the wider scope of the Buddhist teachings into account, His Holiness declared that if we rely on logic there is no room for anything that contradicts empirical evidence. He touched on the emergence of the five elements and the existence of the ‘space particle’. He mentioned that the Buddhist account of the appearance and destruction of the universe and of time in terms of aeons accords with scientific speculation about the ‘big bang’.

He alluded to Buddhist descriptions of different levels of consciousness, how sensory consciousness is rough, consciousness in the dream state is subtler, in fainting it is subtler still and is most subtle at the time of death. This led him to refer to those cases of people whose bodies remain fresh after clinical death has taken place because the subtlest consciousness has, for the time being, remained. This is something we need to know more about and investigations are going on.

“The Nalanda tradition is based on reason and logic,” His Holiness said, “and it is on this basis that we are able to enter into discussions with scientists. The first purpose of this symposium is to enrich understanding on both sides. The second is to support the general promotion of secular ethics, or as I now refer to them in the West, where people are more wary of the word ‘secular’, universal values.

“The world faces all sorts of problems, many of them of our own making, so it is our responsibility to take steps to solve them ourselves. We need to adopt a realistic rather than a formal approach. There is no formality when we’re born and there’s none when we die—why waste time on it when we’re alive?”

Unable to participate in person, Robert A Paul made a presentation by video that was shown in the hall. He suggested that we are living in an ‘Axial Age’, a time of transformation when people must struggle with new and unprecedented conditions. He said an effort must be made to forge new ways of thinking, knowing and acting that build on the best in Buddhist science as well as modern science.

French philosopher, Michel Bitbol sought to show that philosophy could be a bridge between science and Buddhism, suggesting that it can clarify what science is. He quoted Francisco Varela’s view that the discovery of Buddhism would usher in a new renaissance, opening up our understanding of the world. He observed that science regards meditation in the way it would any other object, wanting to know how it works and what it can be used for. He suggested that science is overvalued in the West as a source of knowledge, but concluded that the Buddhist claim that subtle consciousness is beginningless is not incompatible with the scientific theory of evolution.

In her presentation, anthropologist Carol Worthman spoke of the comprehensive and sustainable science education program for Tibetan monastic institutions represented by the Emory Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI). She reported on capacity building with monks being trained to teach science before returning to their monasteries to become science leaders. They deal with questions such as: Matter—what is it? Life—how does it come about? Sentience—how does it occur? Knowledge—can we really know? She concluded that there are many potential benefits to be had from the exchange between Buddhist and modern science.

With His Holiness’s observation that in his experience scientists are generally remarkably open-minded the session broke for lunch, which he ate with the day’s presenters.

When the second session opened in the afternoon, John Durant asked ‘What is science?’ suggesting that to find out we should look at what scientists do rather than what they say. He addressed the powerful and influential myth of scientific certainty saying that it is easy to think scientific knowledge is beyond dispute. The questioning of Newton’s observations about gravity is an example. He also mentioned lichen, universally thought to consist of algae and fungus until the recent discovery that yeast is a third component.

He also challenged the myth of scientific method, pointing out that theory, prediction, experiment and observation have little relevance in optical astronomy or the study of fossils. He questioned the myth of the objective scientist and observed that scientific progress is achieved by a scientific community not an individual.

Sonam Choephel gave a compelling explanation of knowledge of valid cognition in Buddhism, which to overcome ignorance needs to be incontrovertible and certain. He mentioned three domains of knowledge: objects that are manifest, those that are slightly hidden and those that are extremely hidden.

Lobsang Gonpo, Julia Haas and Sonam Wangchuk continued to discuss ‘valid cognition’ during the panel discussion. Returning to implications of questioning scientific certainty, John Durant mentioned that there are those who say that the science regarding climate change is not certain, however, this cannot be taken to mean that it is all wrong.

Before leaving for the day, His Holiness thanked each of the presenters for their contribution and was especially appreciative of the way the monk scholars had demonstrated courage and ability in making their presentations in English. After leaving the hall, he rode back to Drepung Lachi in a car.

original link with photos http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/1506-bridging-buddhism--science-emory-tibet-symposium-day-one

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dalai Lama Gives Teaching to Tibetan Pilgrims

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India, 30 November 2016 - When His Holiness the Dalai Lama met about 1000 pilgrims from Tibet today, many in traditional attire, their faces bright with anticipation, he told them that since they had come to India on pilgrimage or to visit relatives, he thought he would talk to them about Buddhism before they returned home.

“Buddhism spread the length and breadth of Tibet,” he told them, “but not that many people really understand what Buddhism is about. Our tradition comes from Nalanda, which was a great Indian centre of learning. The scholars there could analyse and explain Buddhist philosophy extensively using logic and reason.

“In Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and so on they follow the Pali tradition. They purely maintain the monastic discipline of the Vinaya. They teach the Four Noble Truths with their 16 characteristics and the 37 Wings of Enlightenment as we do. But they tell me that in their explanations they rely on the authority of scripture, rather than the fruit of reason.

“The Perfection of Wisdom teachings reached China as part of the Nalanda tradition, so the Chinese, along with the Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese, recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ and read Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’. But the majority of Dignaga’s and Dharmakirti’s works on logic and epistemology were not translated into Chinese, so they don’t have a tradition of logical analysis. This is why, today, the Nalanda tradition is fully maintained only by Tibetans.”

His Holiness mentioned that at one time Chinese communist propaganda suggested that Tibetans had only blind faith in the Buddha’s teachings and it would wither when they gained a more scientific understanding. What has in fact happened is that scientists have become increasingly interested in a Buddhist approach, particularly concerning the workings of the mind and emotions. He mentioned that he has encouraged a reassessment of the contents of the Kangyur and Tengyur under three categories: science, philosophy and religion. Books have been published in Tibetan, translations of which are being prepared, presenting Buddhist science and Buddhist philosophy.

His Holiness alluded to the great material development that has taken place in many parts of the world, remarking that nevertheless people are still unhappy because they don’t know how to find peace of mind. He declared that an understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions as described in Buddhist psychology can be of practical day to day benefit.

“Among 1.3 billion Chinese, 400 million are Buddhists. We can serve them by making our Buddhist traditions available to them. I believe we have kept our traditions alive not merely for our own benefit, but for the good of the world.

“The Buddha advised us to know suffering, overcome its causes, and achieve cessation by cultivating the path. We should know that it is our untamed minds that cause suffering. Our minds are disturbed and undisciplined because of our disturbing emotions—while the actual nature of the mind is clarity and awareness.”

His Holiness referred to the painting of the wheel of existence that depicts the 12 links of dependent arising, the six realms of existence, the white semi-circle at the middle in which beings ascend and the black in which they fall. Right at the centre a cock and a snake, representing desire and hatred, emerge from the mouth of a pig that represents ignorance. He said that these three poisons cause us to perform negative actions which result in our continually turning through the six realms. The key to this is ignorance, which, as the first of the 12 links, is illustrated by a blind man.

“Once you see that ignorance is overcome by coming to understand reality, you’ll also see that it is feasible to achieve cessation. And when you understand that you’ll hatch the aspiration to do so by cultivating the path. This is how to practise the teaching of the Buddha.”

Noting how the first turning of the wheel of Dharma revealed the Four Noble Truths, the second vouchsafed the Perfection of Wisdom teachings and the third divulged the nature of the mind, His Holiness declared Buddhism to be a marvellous tradition.

“But we can’t just take it for granted. We have to study.”

Harking back to T’ang dynasty records, His Holiness recalled that Tibet was one of three great empires, along with the Chinese and Mongolian. He recalled that Songtsen Gampo maintained peaceful relations with the Chinese, taking one of their princesses as a wife and that Trisong Detsen’s mother was Chinese. There were other times when Tibet fought with China. However, since today China can bring necessary economic and material development to Tibet, there is benefit to be gained from remaining with the People’s Republic of China. But, he said, Tibetans must be free to preserve their culture and language and protect their environment. Despite the claims of hardliners in the Chinese government, this does not make him a ‘splittist’.

His Holiness acknowledged the difficulties and dangers the pilgrims had faced in coming to see him. And when he praised Tibetan determination and the unbowed spirit of the Tibetan people, many of them quietly wiped away tears. He told them that with its unique and valuable language and the rich culture of Nalanda that it has preserved, Tibet has much to be proud of, and he reassured them that this is what he tells other people around the world.

The discourse ended with His Holiness’s leading the congregation through a simple ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta. Following that he also gave them transmission of the mantras of the Buddha, Chenresig, Manjushri and Arya Tara.

original link with photos: http://dalailama.com/news/post/1498-tibetan-pilgrims-listen-to-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-in-the-tsuglagkhang

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Dark Web/Pizza Gate

The Dark Web/Pizza Gate

Pizza Gate...This world needs God. Badly!!!!! There is so very much disturbing, vile, like strait from hell things you can buy! Un traced using Bit Coins as currency. When people want to do something bad enough you'll find away. Its how they pay and collect currency for services the internet to pretty much get whatever your heart desires even body parts. It's diabolical The things you see on there. If you can order under age children to meet up for private encounters, you can see somebody being murdered for the right amount of money. I'm not kidding folks I wish I was. I am just completely sickened to my stomach. People are obsessed with darkness and evil they want to find out more.....they are very curious about the dark web. I hear it's in major demand it's very busy and the sickos sickos are wanting more. Canibals have access to what they need. They pick by going through photos of body parts. I don't suggest anybody getting on there but this stuff is on there this is for real this is just speculation or hysteria I know what I saw the time that I was on there and I probably shouldn't of done that I ventured deeper into the web then I normally like to but it was blowing my mind and I could not understand

There is a HUGE pedophile trafficking ring working underground. It's been going on for years. Our government is aware. It's been going on a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if that whole Penn State scandal didn't involve anybody in this mess.

Now if you would so kindly go to my past blogs when time permits. You will see I have been dropping hints that the world seems to be turning darker as the new movies and TV shows are becoming more disturbing. These new movies really are putting bad ideas in peoples' heads and then you get crazies who witness this and then they want to jump in and be a part of it. Mimic what they see. In my past blogs you'll see different titles of me talking about the darkness in this world on the rise. It's making people curious. The second coming of Christ could be near. Amen...this world is getting so bad.

I hate to be right and I hate to keep regurgitating this but when it pizza gate broke I just couldn't believe it not to mention what I saw on the dark web and had to be by accident because I certainly didn't pay. Somehow I guess maybe an overload on servers I don't know somehow I ended up in a red room without paying and witness witnessed this person fighting for their life and it's real because the sides are so secretive it's only word-of mouth and they use a pizza restaurant as a front. Cheese pizza means little girl, sausage means little boy when certain people place their order. Yes it's very disgusting and it's a very much disturbing. It's extremely disturbing it gets worse, it gets much worse.

John Podesta, who I believe was the head of Hillary Clinton's campaign.....his emails were in the ones that were seized out of Hillary's computer and there's just random codes that means something but only they know the meaning the person who is receiving it and sending it. Nobody will speak up about the emails referring to two underage kids like 9 or 7. Why isn't anybody being held accountable asking just who these boys that are here for your viewing pleasure?? I mean why aren't people asking questions???? Why is this not being confronted? It also gets so very much worse too!! Most people are already aware of this it's all over the Internet and has been on national news so this is probably not new to a lot of you.

Just stay off the dark web kids, teenagers, everybody. There's no need to be there it's nothing but trouble it's a den of iniquity.but when something is the fact you're looking at an email that says certain things does our government have this passage that you don't have to disclose any possible lawbreaking knowledge video does it not apply to them because they're the government? I believe this was going on way before Hillary even entered. She has no clue and it's too big for her to handle she can't take this on  her own

 And I don't believe Hillary could stop it, I'm not picking on her.

Feel free to conduct your own research. NOT on the DARK WEB! Just stick to the regular Internet and also on some of the international news shows give updates on it and even they said it was enough to give them nightmares and it was just so morbid and unbelievably diabolical that they just couldn't stomach it they had to take a break from reading so much of these incriminating my nails and trying to link the people together. I don't think Hillary is a part of this. It's so much bigger than her and it's probably too dangerous for her to open her mouth so unfortunately along with others she's having to turn a blind eye I just can't for the life of me understand why nobody is held accountable much less even asked why they referred to these underage kids as their "viewing pleasure."

There's satanic cults that recruit people take requests if you want to order something to sacrifice they can provide it. There's nothing you can't get on here....you can order a hit out on somebody! And it's in complete privacy you never see who you're buying from and they never see you. But so far no one will even look into it, it seems like they won't even question that email talking about the two boys for "our viewing pleasure disgusting..." I guess they're going to pretend we don't know about it and that we will eventually forget but I hate to break it to them people aren't going to forget this. It could be their child in danger next time not to mention they owe us a explanation. God help us.

Read more about More Pizza Gate

Written By Jennifer Auld

Friday, December 9, 2016

Obedience to the Lordship of Christ, and the great Evangelical Disaster. Pt.3

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Continued from part 2 http://eyeontheparanormal.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-great-evangelical-disaster-part-2.html

Let me recap...We have been looking at the larger picture of how and why the belief in ghosts has spread so rapidly..For the first time, I have deviated from focusing 100 percent on the paranormal....but there is a method to my madness. 80 years ago our nation had a Christian consensus; biblical knowledge and values were widespread, as was a biblical notion of objective truth (as opposed to the rampant relativism of today). Autonomous freedom--reckless attempt to be freed from the restraints of God and His moral law-- has been the culprit that has undercut this Christian consensus and made the way for belief in ghosts and other evil and error.

There is another culprit pointed out by Francis Schaeffer from whom I borrowed the title of his last book. Before I proceed I want to point out that, before he died in 1985 (book published in 1984), many people thought Schaeffer had retreated from his earlier works and got sidetracked on pro-life activism and other crucial issues. He addresses this misperception in the book, and says that it is not true. Rather, his books should be seen as a whole, and his confrontation of vital issues plaguing our society were simply the logical outworking of his previously stated beliefs.I take the time to mention this because, if you are fifty years or older, chances are you were affected by the brilliant and compassionate work of this man.

Evangelicals (bible believing Christians) are divided into two groups, he stated: those who are obedient to God's inerrant word over the full spectrum of life and those who aren't. And the division over this watershed issue is only going to keep growing. Which brings us to the second reason our society is suicidal: evangelical leaders (seminaries, publications, para-church leaders, and pastors).abruptly stopped lovingly confronting the moral rot in society. Content to preach expository sermons, the pastors forgot the responsibility to confront elements of autonomous freedom in application of their sermons. Hence, these evangelical leaders began to accommodate or adapt to the sinful world spirit, and our country took a nose-dive.This last point did/does not sit well with the majority of evangelical leaders, because they were/are guilty of passively adapting to all manner of evil, and they turned their back on the very man who had touched so many of their lives.

Hunnemann is about as German as you can get, and I know what happened in Nazi Germany when Hitler declared a whole race of people as non-human...the Jews. Do you think the German pastors should have addressed from the pulpit this particularly vicious form of autonomous freedom which swept the German people off their feet?.Of course they should have! But most German evangelical preachers didn't. If they had, the people would not have supported Hitler like they did. I saw Ray Comfort's 180. tonight and it floored me.In speaking along these lines, he implied what Schaeffer made explicit: why, then, does the US evangelical band play on while a whole segment of society has been declared non-human and slaughtered? Fifty-three million babies have been massacred and few evangelical preachers can bring themselves to confront it from the pulpit, not to mention in public. What good is an expository sermon if it does not address head-on the crucial issues of the day? Remember the quote from Luther about confessing Christ? There is a hierarchy of importance: should a Christian vote for Hitler? Then why vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Now we are in a position to ask why the notion of ghosts has skyrocketed in recent years.There are aspects of believing in ghosts that are appealing (eg,.speaking to deceased loved ones, alleged proof of the afterlife and it makes no difference what you believe, it fills a spiritual void, etc.) which have contributed to its popularity. But the primary reason the belief in ghosts has risen so sharply is because the vast majority of evangelical leaders have not lovingly confronted this crucial issue. If 65% of American young adults (18-25) believe in ghosts, then it is a crucial issue. Is it as important as abortion? No, of course not. But it is a juggernaut that is changing the landscape of spirituality in America. It is drawing tens of millions of American's into a close encounter with the demonic.It is contrary to every aspect of a Christian worldview. It is drawing millions away from Christ, and destabilizing the faith of many others. Most significantly, the notion of earthbound spirits undercuts the singular honor and dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it is a serious issue. So, why have you never heard a sermon on ghosts, or even a sub-point of a sermon? I have not... I say this with tears, but firmly, evangelicals leaders (whether Reformed, charismatic, and so on) have become sissified when it comes to being guardians of culture.

Go to virtually any evangelical church of one-hundred or more members, and some of those members will believe in ghosts or are not sure. (There are some exceptions to this rule). So, the problem is inside as well as outside the church, but the band plays on. I have tried to generate interest, but pastors resolutely remain the most dismissive group regarding the significance of the issue of ghosts that I know of. With few exceptions, it is not addressed from the pulpit, let alone in public One glance at a TV Guide should be enough to persuade even the most hardened skeptic, but there are none so blind as those who refuse to see..That, my friends, is why the belief in ghosts is steamrolling our country.It is tremendously sad, but it places the debate in a larger perspective or context.

Today.I had the joy of communicating with a fellow minister.who has 22 years experience of lovingly confronting this issue as a demonologist/exorcist. And he is making a real difference in people's lives. Praise God!

But as Schaeffer reminds us, we must not pretend that there is not division in the evangelical ranks when there is.There are those who are obedient to the  inerrant bible in practice by confronting error and evil, and there are those who are worldly and disobedient due to their.passivity in confronting evil and error--and in their passivity they are accommodating to it. The growth of belief in ghosts is just one issue out of a cluster of issues that is growing worse due to the great evangelical disaster.
That brings our three part series to a close. As always, if you have any comments or questions, please contact me....or if you just want to talk...

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dalai Lama: Interaction with Youth

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 22 November 2016 – At the Culture House in downtown Ulaanbaatar this morning, His Holiness gave two brief interviews to local television channels.

In a message to young Mongolians, His Holiness said,

“Tibet and Mongolia have had friendly relations for more than 1000 years, especially since we embraced Buddhism. Despite the material development we see in the world, people still lack peace of mind. These days we also see conflict in the name of religion. At such a time, it is important to work to ensure international peace.

“I have visited many western countries and even in these highly developed societies people are unhappy. This is why, these days, there is such interest in what Buddhism has to say about the workings of the mind.

“Mongolia has historically been a Buddhist country. Under communist rule, despite great difficulties, you were still able to preserve your religious faith. Now that you are free once more, there is growing interest in your Buddhist heritage, especially the Nalanda tradition. You need to build on this interest.

“Even those without much interest in religion as such can benefit from what the Nalanda tradition has to teach. However, most of you have a fervent faith, so I appeal to you to make an effort to study the Nalanda tradition. In the monasteries, younger monks should not only learn how to perform rituals and prayers, they should also study hard.”

Asked what changes he has noticed in Mongolia since his last visit in 2011, His Holiness replied:

“Of course, I can see that externally there has been a great deal of development, many more houses have been built. However, whether the inhabitants of these houses have a deeper sense of peace of mind is another matter. It is quite clear that material development alone is not sufficient to bring us inner peace. This is why today in America, Europe, Japan and China, many people, including scientists, are showing increasing interest in the workings of the mind.

“Mongolia has historically been a Buddhist country, upholding the Nalanda tradition for more than 1000 years. You should not just take this for granted, but should make an effort to study yourselves. I believe Mongolia has great opportunities ahead. You are witnessing great material development, but your ancestors have also bequeathed you this great Buddhist tradition. Buddhist Psychology is very advanced and it is something that already belongs to you. Today, you have an opportunity to be the bridge between the Buddhist traditions of Nalanda and modern education.”

Speaking publicly about ‘Universal Values and Buddhism in the 21st Century’ His Holiness outlined his three commitments. The first involves the promotion of human happiness and peace in the world, the key to which is inner peace. He stressed that peace of mind is important if we are to be physically healthy. If we want to create a happier more peaceful world, we need to take inner peace seriously. We do not necessarily have to cultivate religious practice, we can rely on our common experience common sense supported by scientific findings.

“Cultivating compassion and inner peace is not the preserve of any particular religious tradition; it is rooted in universal values,” His Holiness advised. “Time is always moving forward so we cannot change the past. However, we can shape the future. During the 20th century more than 200 million people died violently. If that violence had ultimately left the world a better place, we could perhaps justify it, but that is not the case. The reality today is that we are so interdependent that war and the use of force is thoroughly out of date.

“We must act according to the new reality in which we find ourselves. The idea of complete victory for one side and the complete defeat of the other is entirely unrealistic. Taking an unrealistic approach yields no positive results. We have to remember that each and every one of us belong to the 7 billion human beings alive today. Considering the welfare of the whole humanity ultimately ensures our own benefit. Narrow selfish concern is unrealistic. Real happiness involves concern for others. Where the 20th century was fraught with bloodshed and conflict those of you who belong to the 21st century should cultivate a sense of the oneness of humanity and work to ensure this century becomes an era of compassion. If you can do that you’ll experience a happier world.”

After lunch where he was staying, His Holiness met members of the Tibetan community in Mongolia as well as the many Mongolians who came to see him.