Monday, April 30, 2018

Dalai Lama on Happiness and a Stress-free Life

New Delhi, India - On arrival at the leafy IIT campus in Hauz Khas, New Delhi, this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was received by the founder of Velocity 48, Ms Parul Rai and actor Tisca Chopra. They escorted him to the auditorium where an audience of 1500 were waiting.

On the stage His Holiness and his hosts lit a traditional lamp together to open the event. Moderator Sadhna Srivastav invited the Director of IIT Prof V Ramgopal Rao and IIT Executive Councillor Sanjeev Jain to formally welcome His Holiness with flowers and a white scarf. Ms Parul Rai explained that it has been her dream to provide opportunities for people to meet and listen to living legends so she was pleased that His Holiness had accepted her invitation. She added playfully that it was more by accident than design that the panel on stage with His Holiness were all women.

In her words of welcome Tisca Chopra said she found it daunting to be speaking at IIT and introducing His Holiness who the New York Times has described as the most famous man in the world. She mentioned several questions she would like to have answered—is it our goal to be happy? can compassion be learned? and what is a well-lived life?

Ms Srivastav invited His Holiness to begin his talk, which he did.

“Respected dear sisters and brothers, several of my friends and in particular former Irish President Mary Robinson have called me the feminist Dalai Lama because I support women’s taking the lead at a time when we need to give greater promotion to compassion. Experiments have shown women to be more sensitive and responsive to others’ pain. We all come from a mother and most of us have survived as a result of her affection and care.

“In human history, warriors, those who kill, have traditionally been male. Butchers are mostly male. So, as I said before, at a time when we need to make a special effort to promote love and compassion, I believe women have a special role to play.

“As to the question of happiness and a stress-free life, every sentient being that experiences pleasure or pain has a desire to be happy. There are many different levels of happiness because animals, including birds, insects and fish, do not have the brains that we have. Their lives are entirely directed towards sensory experience. It’s what their survival depends on, which is why some animals have much sharper senses than we humans do.

“We, on the other hand, have sophisticated language and thought, but that in itself doesn’t prevent our brains from sometimes creating trouble. Having too much expectation about the future or getting lost in musing about the past can bring us stress and anxiety

“Our basic human nature is compassionate and warm-hearted because that’s the way our lives begin. Without love and affection we would not have survived. Therefore, we need to combine our natural intelligence with warm-heartedness. Warm-heartedness brings inner strength and self-confidence, it enables us to be honest and truthful so our conduct is transparent, which attracts trust and friendship.

“Our survival and our future depend on other human beings, who are our source of happiness. If I smile at this flower, it doesn’t respond. But if I smile at another human being, she or he generally smiles in return. Without showing a warm-hearted concern for others we can’t be happy.

“As I already said, we have a marvellous, brilliant brain. But if this brain is driven by anger, competition and jealousy, it can be overcome by fear and anxiety. Dominated by self-centredness, we lack moral principles and a far-sighted approach. However, when we combine our intelligent brain with warm-heartedness, we respect others’ rights, sincerely wish them to be happy and never make trouble for them.

“When emotions cloud our minds we are unable to use our intelligence, are unable to think straight and can’t apprehend reality. To do that our minds must be calm, clear and unbiased. We need to look at whatever we’re dealing with from different angles to get a fuller picture. If we can do this, we’ll be happier and face less stress.”

His Holiness next turned his attention to India’s 1000 year old tradition of secularism, showing respect for all spiritual traditions and even for the views of those with no faith. All religious traditions convey a message of love and compassion, which can bring peace, happiness and satisfaction. And yet, since one billion of the seven billion human beings alive today have no interest in religion, these religious messages will not appeal to everyone. To do that requires secular ethics.

His Holiness talked about theistic and non-theistic religious traditions. How the theistic traditions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and some strands of Hinduism believe in a creator God who is full of love. Their followers believe that they too need to relate to the other beings God has created with love and compassion. He described this as a powerful idea. He went on to explain that non-theistic traditions like one branch of the Samkhyas, the Jains and the Buddhists believe that life has no beginning, therefore there is rebirth and karma. However, where Jains and Samkhyas believe in an atman, an independent self, Buddhism teaches selflessness, that there is no independent self, but a self merely designated on the basis of body and mind.

“The purpose of teaching about selflessness,” His Holiness continued, “is to help us tackle our emotions. My American friend, cognitive psychologist Aaron Beck, who works with people who have problems with anger, has told me that the feelings of negativity they have when they are angry are 90% mental projection. This corresponds with what Nagarjuna taught in terms of conceptual fabrication. As a student of Nagarjuna, I have personal experience that thinking about his explanation that nothing has any independent existence helps reduce the strength of disturbing emotions. This is another way to bring about peace and happiness.

“At the same time, Shantideva, in his book ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ explains how a self-centred attitude also gives rise to negative emotions like anger and that anger can be countered by altruism and warm-heartedness.

“So, something we can do is try to tackle our disturbing emotions, develop warm-heartedness and achieve peace of mind. Then we can share our experience with our human sisters and brothers.”

Ms Nivruti Rai of the IIT Bengaluru moderated a question and answer session. His Holiness advised that human beings can change. They can, for example, examine whether anger and frustration have any value, coming to understand that anger is always unhelpful. However, compassion is an antidote to many disturbing emotions. Because anger and compassion are opposites, as one increases the other is reduced. His Holiness emphasized the importance of thinking about these things, reaching a conviction and becoming deeply acquainted with it.

Asked how to remain strong when a loved one passes away, His Holiness recommended being realistic. Any living thing, he said, whether it’s a flower or our body, has a beginning and an end. Birth and death are part of life.

“When my Tutor passed away, it was like losing the rock on which I was accustomed to lean and I was sad,” His Holiness explained. “However, I realized that what I should do instead of moping was to work to fulfil his wishes.”

He told someone else who was uncertain how to decide which course to follow that the first thing to do is to use your intelligence and think carefully about it without any sense of haste. Ask trusted friends for advice. In ways like this reach a decision and, he said, when you’ve done so, act on it with determination.

His Holiness answered a question about why good and innocent people suffer by suggesting that in the case of those who are starving, it is because they are neglected by those who have the means to help them, but lack the moral principles to do so.

Finally, a member of the audience asked if we are not all fundamentally selfish. His Holiness agreed that it is natural to take care of yourself, but recommended doing so wisely not foolishly. Given how dependent we are on each other it’s unrealistic to think only of yourself, so the wise way to fulfil self-interest is to look after the interests of others.

As the meeting came to an end, His Holiness thanked people for coming to listen to what he had to say. He asked them to think about what they’d heard and to try to put into effect whatever they could of what they’d understood.

The crowd pressed forward gently as individuals hoped to interact briefly with His Holiness who gradually made his way to the door and left the building to return to his hotel. Tomorrow morning, he will fly back to Dharamsala.

original link & photos:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dalai Lama Welcomes Steps towards Nuclear Disarmament

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Welcomes Steps towards Nuclear Disarmament

New Delhi, India - I welcome North Korea’s announcement that it will halt nuclear and missile tests with immediate effect. I am particularly encouraged that this move is taking place in the context of efforts to achieve agreement through dialogue.

It is my hope that the forthcoming meeting between the two Korean leaders, followed by a summit with the President of the USA, can take place in a spirit of amity, compromise, and transparency, enabling the resolution of past disagreements. I am optimistic that these talks will lead to the establishment of trust between the two Koreas resulting ultimately in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Such a process, if successful, can serve as the model of a human approach to peace in the region. This in turn will have a deep impact on the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

As an avowed campaigner for demilitarization throughout the world and the elimination of all nuclear weapons, I hope these positive developments will contribute to concerted efforts to do away with these dreadful weapons and secure genuine and lasting peace in our world.

Original link:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Residual Energy And Haunts by Mark Hunnemann - Part 2

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Continued from:
Residual Energy And Haunts by Mark Hunnemann - Part 1

In 1974 I graduated from High School and many changes have taken place in our culture since then. And I can assure you that “residual energy” was an unknown subject. How did we get to the place where residual energy has become so common a notion?

How did we get to the place where the notion of residual energy is so commonplace? Why has energy taken on such a distinctive role, not just in hauntings but in healing, and our understanding of reality? I think of Reiki as just one example amongst many. While what follows does not explicitly address the notion of residual energy/haunts, it does attempt to explain the transition from energy to Energy, as the Ultimate reality. We have moved from a God-centered worldview to an Energy-centric/occult worldview, and this has given rise to such notions as residual energy.

Dr Peter Jones, author of The Other Worldview, has shown how the New Age/Pagan Worldview has displaced the biblical worldview as the dominant worldview. In the mid- 60s it came into USA, and it’s no coincidence that the ascendancy of the Energy centric worldview coincides with the popularity of residual energy.

"Sending prayers and positive energy"...gosh, how many times have I heard, or read on Facebook, a comment similar to that? How many times have you? The sending of positive energy has equaled, and in many cases, eclipsed the pledge of praying to the Living God from a friend to someone experiencing a trauma. Clearly, energy has undergone a radical evolution recently; it has taken on such a profound and practical significance for countless numbers of people. Nothing reveals more about a person's real, basic spiritual convictions than how they pray. For many, energy has become THE central organizing principle in their worldviews. I remember in seminary, a professor said that how a person prayed spoke volumes about what their true theological beliefs were. Hence, when the prayer of professing Christians includes pledges of sending positive energy, then we know this energy belief has deeply infiltrated the Christian community. Just 15 years ago...did you hear or say that positive energy was being sent on behalf of a beloved? I seriously doubt it. Therefore, it is incumbent for Christians that we understand this issue and sift it through a biblical worldview grid...pulling down strongholds and arguments... that are raised against the knowledge of God (2 Cor.10:5). Otherwise, like the ancient Israelites, we shall fall into an unthinking syncretism; the blending of the truth with falsehood—and incur God’s discipline.

Ultimate Reality, according to God’s Word, is the tri-personal, Living God; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in loving, joyous communication for backwards eternity to eternity future. Nothing/ No-one is “further back” or more basic. He existed eternally before He created energy and the universe. However, today, many people seem to assume that Energy/Universe is Ultimate reality, but that is an occultic, demonic deception. But it does explain why the notion of residual energy has taken hold so quickly in our culture which has largely jettisoned the biblical God from its thinking. We have rejected the Living God and exchanged it for the lie, worshipping nature—and energy in particular. (Romans 1:25) An idol doesn’t have to be a figurine (it can be mental instead of metal) because, by definition, and idol is whatever is uppermost in our affections or considered to be the ground of our being.

Those who research and investigate the supernatural realm-from quantum jumping to spirit hunting-are increasingly seeing ultimate reality in terms of energy.

Energy vibrations of the cosmos or cosmic consciousness. Energy has become not only personified but deified as well. This impersonal stuff that we call energy has now become our new god...our new reference point for defining the cosmos, mankind, and our relationship to the cosmos.

In the beginning God created (bara-act of personal creating) has been replaced by...  In the beginning, Energy has always been there and is evolving....It has become commonplace to believe that we are currently experiencing a quantum leap into a higher form of consciousness or energy, and it is often stated that we are spirit energy in a body, and NOT vice versa. Raise your vibration levels and you’ll experience wholeness with the Universe. Instead of personal holiness before a holy God, we now seek personal wholeness by enhancing our energy vibrations. This pagan worldview has altered our view of God, reality, sanctification and countless other vital aspects of our worldview.

As I alluded to, this is no mere dry as dust academic theory, because it has become a paradigm or worldview shift in how one understands who they are, and how to become better at living and being human. Watch the plethora of energy healers attempting to adjust folk's vibrational levels to harmonize with the vibrations of primal Energy and the Universe. And what must be noted with tears, is that often these energy therapies seem to work in terms of affecting vibrational change and healing. May I suggest, though, that we are playing god in this respect, and are opening ourselves to deep demonic intervention. They (demons) are clever, and all it takes is openness to this Energy to potentially begin the oppression process. Usually, at some opportune time, the demonic will find some imaginative way to gain permission for entry. We should have known better than to reject God and begin to call energy ultimate reality/god--Energy. Romans 1:18f speaks of the endarkenment, instead of the desired enlightenment, which comes when we deify, make ultimate, or worship, any aspect of the Creator's creation-including one of His greatest creations, which is energy. We have rejected the Living God and exchanged it for the lie. (Romans 1:25) The essence of paganism is the denial of the Creator/creature distinction, and that incenses God. He hates it and we should hate what He hates—the idea, not the people who embrace it.

It is not being intellectually consistent or honest to spell energy as Energy, because the bottom line is that this notion (energy is ultimate reality) implies that there was an impersonal beginning, and by adding upper-case you have magically imported personality-creating it out of thin air. The only reason why we sense or detect personality with the energy entities is because they ARE personal beings-demons. Like humans, demons and Satan have a will, intelligence, and emotions. We have not dealt with ghosts per se, in this book, but the concept of ultimate reality as energy often accompanies the belief in ghosts. It is this occult worldview change which gave rise to its enormous popularity.

There is a flow to human history and we have seen how our culture has arrived at this juncture where energy plays such a vital role in defining reality. Be wary of any talk of tapping into primal Energy or cosmic consciousness. In our weakness, let us cling to the God who was manifested through the burning bush-the infinite-personal God of the bible who has inexhaustible, omnipotent energy and power. Yahweh.     

Next week—Residualo Energy & Haunts - Part 3

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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dalai Lama Meets With Visitors From Across the World

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in a jovial mood as he emerged from his residence this morning. He greeted the more than 1500 visitors from 68 countries who had gathered in the temple courtyard, shaking hands with some, teasing and exchanging a few words others. He gradually made his way round the yard, stopping to pose for photographs with people grouped according to their geographical origins, before sitting down on a chair in the porch under the temple.

“For some time I’ve thought that when there are brothers and sisters from different countries here,” he told the crowd, “just seeing my face is not sufficient. I want to show how brilliant my brain is by talking to them.

“We Buddhists pray for the welfare of all sentient beings, but we have to think about what that really means. Whether we think about animals, insects or fish, there’s not much we can really do for them except pray. However, the 7 billion other human beings on this planet are like us. They have the same kind of brain as we do. Realistically, they are the only ones we can really help.

“Scientists say that basic human nature is compassionate, which is good because if it were angry there’d be no hope. What’s more, scientists have observed that constant anger, fear and hatred have the effect of undermining our immune system, whereas cultivating a compassionate heart is much better for our health. This is why it’s important that we use our brains to promote such values.

“Young children don’t care about differences of nationality, faith or religious denomination. If their companions smile, they play with them. Our education and social system seem to change this and as we grow up we learn to make distinctions about where people belong and what they believe. Here in India, for example, there is the so called caste system and the time has come to acknowledge that the Indian constitution gives all citizens equal rights so there is no room for discrimination on the basis of caste—we are all brothers and sisters.

“Today, the world is faced by a crisis of emotions and I believe the ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind can be of great value in tackling them. When I began to study these things by memorizing classic texts that I didn’t yet understand I was reluctant and lazy. However, later on I came to realize how valuable this knowledge could be for achieving peace of mind. It also requires self-confidence and determination, for which it’s important to be honest and truthful.

“Mentally and emotionally we human beings are all the same. We all experience anger and hatred, even me too, but we also all have the potential to cultivate compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. Destructive emotions are based on ignorance, an observation supported by my friend, cognitive therapist Aaron Beck, who describes the negative judgements arising from anger as 90% mental projection. Constructive emotions like love and compassion are supported by reason, so we can use our brains to develop and strengthen them.”

Looking across to a group who have been learning about Buddhism at Tushita, a local meditation centre, His Holiness advised them to pay attention to the ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ composed by the great Indian master Shantideva. He highlighted chapters six and eight as useful in countering anger and self-centredness and suggested that people who are not Buddhists could also benefit from reading them. He observed that reading this book repeatedly since he first heard it explained in 1967 had helped him transform his own mind.

His Holiness remarked that modern education is oriented towards material goals rather than inner values, which has influenced whole generations. By contrast, ancient Indian traditions, even before the time of the Buddha, had a rich understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions as a result of practices for cultivating a calmly abiding mind (shamatha) and insight (vipashyana). His Holiness told his audience that they too could develop mental qualities if they steadily came to understand the workings of the mind and emotions. He noted that by learning to tackle the emotions it’s possible to defend your peace of mind and inner strength.

“Brothers and sisters,” he continued, “please pay more attention to your inner world, learn to counter your negative emotions and transform your mind. When one individual has developed peace of mind and shares what they’ve learned with others it has an impact. You might look at the problems in the world and think that there’s not much you can do about them. Remind yourselves that individuals can make a difference. Cultivating positive qualities in day to day life can create the conditions for humanity to live more peacefully. This is a practical approach.

“Today, we see too much emphasis on secondary differences between individuals and groups of people leading to divisions between ‘us’ and ‘them’. When this happens we need to remember the oneness of humanity. This is one of the areas in which we need to introduce inner values into modern education. If we are to make this 21st century different from the 20th century in which more than 200 million died violently, we have to take steps now. And if we make the effort in about 30 years you’ll see the world has changed.

“That’s what I have to say. I’m 82 years old now. At the age of 16 I lost my freedom and at 24 I lost my country. I’ve faced difficulties my whole life, but I’ve come to understand that it’s when we’re most tested that we are especially able to learn. Through inner transformation, as individuals, we can develop peace of mind. To achieve social change we need to improve education.”

Responding to a question about his potential return to the Potala Palace, His Holiness stated that more important is working to preserve Tibetan language and culture, which in turn has kept alive ancient Indian knowledge such as the traditions of Nalanda University. He explained that the more than 300 volumes of the Kangyur and Tengyur, translations of Indian literature into Tibetan, contain philosophy, psychology and logic that continue to have relevance and value today.

His Holiness expressed admiration for vegetarianism, and declaring that the kitchens of Tibetan monasteries and other institutions in exile are largely vegetarian. However, he also explained that Buddhist monks’ traditional dependence on alms prevented them from expressing preference. Therefore, they are neither vegetarian nor non-vegetarian.

Finally, asked to clarify what he meant when he declared that compassion is not a luxury, but a necessity if we are to survive, His Holiness pointed out that science and technology have give human beings an immense power of destruction. At the same time reality has changed and people are now more interdependent than ever before. Climate change, for example, is a threat that affects everyone and which can only be addressed by everyone working together. There is an urgent need to be realistic and understand that since problems can’t be solved by the use of force, the only alternative is to seriously engage in dialogue.

“Brothers and sisters, please think about how we are all part of humanity. If humanity is at peace, we’ll all be happier. Of course, we are all driven to some extent by self-interest. But there’s a difference between foolish, narrow self-interest and wise self-interest that also includes concern for others. Thank you.”

His Holiness got up and walked at an easy pace down the temple yard, taking time to accept people’s greetings and salutations as he went, before climbing into the car that would take him home to lunch.

original link with photos:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Residual Energy And Haunts by Mark Hunnemann - Part 1

By Laura Maxwell, BA (Hons) & Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Mark Hunnemann, my friend, Deliverance Minister and frequent Radio Guest provides analysis of a very common, but mostly unexamined, speculative theory in the paranormal community: The Theory of Residual Haunts and Residual Energies.

If you are not familiar with this concept, then I gently encourage you to become aware of it. This notion is misleading and harming millions, and causing folks to mis-identify demonic activity as merely natural energy doing 'weird' things.

In the below video series, Mark Hunnemann, provides reasons for why residual energy should be seen as demonic.

"For years I have observed how internationally popular the notion of residual energy/haunts has become. However, to my knowledge, there has been no sustained response to it. I am convinced that it is unscientific, and is causing immense damage. So, I have begun a series in which this theory will be comprehensively scrutinized. Everybody, especially Christians, needs to be aware of this issue because it has enormous, practical ramifications. (It is also an expression of the New Age worldview). Most recently, it was shown to be contrary to Thermodynamics," Mark Hunnemann.

Mark has a heart for this type of ministry, where he sheds a light on the deceptions of the enemy concerning the paranormal. He is the author of "Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes", where he shows the deception behind theories such as earthbound spirits, in light of scripture.

Please hear our radio series where Laura Maxwell interviews Mark on such topics:

Please see more of his videos on his YouTube channel:


Part 2 link:

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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dalai Lama & Compassion for All People

Addressing People from Many Parts of the World
March 30, 2018

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India - “Brothers and sisters, I’m happy to meet with all of you,” was how His Holiness the Dalai Lama welcomed almost 150 people from many different parts of the world at his residence this morning. Nearly 50, predominantly from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Chile were led by a group of four Buddhist nuns who have set up a small community in Mexico. Another group of about 90 were participants in a ten day course introducing Tibetan Buddhism at the local Tushita Meditation Centre.

“We 7 billion human beings on this planet are all the same—mentally, physical and emotionally,” he told them. “We were all born from a mother and we all survived because of her kindness and care. As human beings we are social animals and it’s love and affection that binds us together.

“These days scientists have conducted experiments with infants who are still too young to talk and conclude the evidence suggests that basic human nature is compassionate. Other findings suggest that living in constant anger and hatred undermines our immune system, whereas cultivating a more compassionate attitude in general strengthens our physical and mental well-being.

“We are equal in being human and yet it is also true that people in different parts of the world have different cultures, because of differences of climate and natural environment, that lead to differences in their ways of life. Nevertheless, wherever I’m giving a talk, I always start by greeting my ‘brothers and sisters’.”

His Holiness observed that despite substantial development in many areas, in today’s world the conflicts we see breaking out in the name of religion and the thriving trade in weapons, which are simply instruments for killing, betrays a fundamental lack of moral principles. Under such circumstances, each and every one of us, as part of the world’s human population, has a responsibility to contribute to making the world a happier, more peaceful place.

In answering questions from the audience, His Holiness expressed his deep admiration for all the world’s major religious traditions. He distinguished between those, like Buddhism, that teach the importance of karma, taking responsibility for your own actions, and the many others that emphasize the importance of faith in a creator god. He described seeing our human brothers and sisters as all creations of that one god as a wonderful and powerful instruction.

With regard to Buddhism, he observed that once the Buddha had left home and begun to engage in spiritual practice he drew on existing traditions of ethics, tranquillity and insight. These gave rise to a profound understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions in the context of a clear comprehension of reality—an appreciation that nothing exists as it appears. His Holiness stressed that those who wish to follow the Buddha today should aspire to be 21st century Buddhists, their practice based not just on faith alone, but rooted in knowledge and understanding.

Asked his response to growing nationalism in many places, His Holiness remarked that common sense tells us we all have to live together on this planet. The global economy is not constrained by national boundaries. Climate change is a serious threat that concerns all humanity. Faced with a need to take a broader perspective, adopting a nationalistic view seems unrealistic, short-sighted and out of date.

Finally, His Holiness was requested to give a transmission of the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’, which he did, reciting it briskly from memory in Tibetan. He praised the advice this short text conveys about altruism, noting that the final verse refers to the wisdom understanding emptiness. He recommended that those interested should read another book that he has personally found of great value—Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’—paying particular attention to the sixth and eighth chapters that deal with the cultivation of patience and compassion.

original link & photos: