31.1.06

The Lord of Love is one

The Lord of Love is one. There is indeed
No other. He is the inner ruler
In all beings. He projects the cosmos
From himself, maintains and withdraws it
Back into himself at the end of time.

His eyes, mouths, arms, and feet are everywhere.
Projecting the cosmos out of himself,
He holds it together.

-Shvetashvatara Upanishad

30.1.06

as fog is dispelled

buddhism


Just as fog is dispelled by the strength of the sun
and is dispelled no other way,
preconception is cleared by the strength of realization.
There's no other way of clearing preconceptions.
Experience them as baseless dreams.
Experience them as ephemeral bubbles.
Experience them as insubstantial rainbows.
Experience them as indivisible space.

-Milarepa, "Drinking the Mountain Stream"

29.1.06

The Tree of Life Web Project

science


The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists from around the world. On more than 4000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.

Each page contains information about a particular group of organisms (e.g., echinoderms, tyrannosaurs, phlox flowers, cephalopods, club fungi, or the salamanderfish of Western Australia). ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life. Starting with the root of all Life on Earth and moving out along diverging branches to individual species, the structure of the ToL project thus illustrates the genetic connections between all living things.

Quote

Remember there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

-Frank Zappa

Love yourself and be awake

buddhism


Photo
Love yourself and be awake-
Today, tomorrow, always.

First establish yourself in the way,
Then teach others,
And so defeat sorrow.

To straighten the crooked
You must first do a harder thing-
Straighten yourself.

You are your only master.
Who else?
Subdue yourself,
And discover your master.

from: the Dhammapada

28.1.06

George Barbier

art


Art Deco and Pochoir ...Barbier led a group from the Ecole des Beaux Arts who were nicknamed by Vogue Magazine as "The Knights of the Bracelet" - a tribute to their fashionable and flamboyant mannerisms and style of dress...In the mid 1920's he worked with Erte to design sets and costumes for the Folies Bergere and in 1929 he wrote the introduction for Erte's acclaimed exhibition and achieved mainstream popularity through his regular appearances in L'Illustation magazine.

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way to blue

The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts

The Big Picture


Photo
Over the last few hundred years, many perplexing artifacts have been unearthed that do not fit the currently accepted theories of geology and the history of man.
" What are we to make of these finds? There are several possibilities:
* Intelligent humans date back much, much further than we realize.
* Other intelligent beings and civilizations existed on earth far beyond our recorded history.
* Our dating methods are completely inaccurate, and that stone, coal and fossils form much more rapidly than we now estimate.."
The Bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve just a few thousand years ago, by some fundamentalist interpretations. Science informs us that this is mere fiction and that man is a few million years old, and that civilization just tens of thousands of years old. Could it be, however, that conventional science is just as mistaken as the Bible stories? There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us. Consider these astonishing finds

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The Georgia Guidestones

On one of the highest hilltops in Elbert County, Georgia stands a huge granite monument.
" 1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature."

Engraved in eight different languages on the four giant stones that support the common capstone are 10 Guides, or commandments. That monument is alternately referred to as The Georgia Guidestones, or the American Stonehenge. The origin of that strange monument is shrouded in mystery because no one knows the true identity of the man, or men, who commissioned its construction. All that is known for certain is that in June 1979, a well-dressed, articulate stranger visited the office of the Elberton Granite Finishing Company and announced that he wanted to build an edifice to transmit a message to mankind. He identified himself as R. C. Christian, but it soon became apparent that was not his real name. He said that he represented a group of men who wanted to offer direction to humanity, but to date, almost two decades later, no one knows who R. C. Christian really was, or the names of those he represented. Several things are apparent. The messages engraved on the Georgia Guidestones deal with four major fields: (1) Governance and the establishment of a world government, (2) Population and reproduction control, (3) The environment and man's relationship to nature, and (4) Spirituality.

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27.1.06

WHY WE SHOULD READ POETRY

WHY should one read Poetry? That seems to me a good deal like asking: Why should one eat? One eats because one has to, to support life, but every time one sits down to dinner one does not say, ?I must eat this meal so that I may not die.' On the contrary, we eat because we are hungry, and so eating appears to us as a pleasant and desirable thing to do.

The necessity for poetry is one of the most fundamental traits of the human race. But naturally we do not take that into account, any more than we take into account that dinner, and the next day again, dinner, is the condition of our remaining alive. Without poetry the soul and heart of man starves and dies. The only difference between them is that all men know, if they turn their minds to it, that without food they would die, and comparatively few people know that without poetry they would die.

When trying to explain anything, I usually find that the Bible, that great collection of magnificent and varied poetry, has said it before in the best possible way. Now the Bible says that 'man shall not live by bread alone.' Which, in modern words, means--cannot live on the purely material things. It is true, he cannot, and he never does. If he did, every bookshop would shut, every theatre would close its doors, every florist and picture dealer would go out of business, even the baseball grounds would close. For what is baseball but a superb epic of man's swiftness and sureness, and his putting forth the utmost of the sobriety and vigour that is in him in an ecstasy of vitality and movement? And the men who watch are carried away by this ecstasy, out of themselves and the routine of their daily lives, into a world romantic with physical force. But you object that they don't think of it in this way. Of course they don't; if they did they would be poets, and most men are not poets. But this is really what stirs them, for without it, throwing a little ball about a field, and trying to hit it with a stick, isn't really very interesting. A baseball game is a sort of moving picture of what Homer wrote in his Iliad. I do not believe there is a boy in America who would not like Butcher and Lang's translation of the Odyssey, if no one had ever told him it was a schoolbook.

Critical Essays by Amy Lowell

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It is crucial

Photo
It is crucial for you to understand what meditation is. It is not some special posture, and it's not just a set of mental exercises. Meditation is the cultivation of mindfulness and the application of that mindfulness once cultivated. You do not have to sit to meditate. You can meditate while washing the dishes. You can meditate in the shower, or roller skating, or typing letters. Meditation is awareness, and it must be applied to each and every activity of one's life. This isn't easy.

-Henepola Gunaratana

26.1.06

Like a fish

Like a fish
pulled from its home in the water
& thrown on land:
this mind flips & flaps about
to escape Mara's sway.

Hard to hold down,
nimble,
alighting wherever it likes:
the mind.
Its taming is good.
The mind well-tamed brings ease.

-Dhammapada, 3

24.1.06

How much of your life

How much of your life do you spend looking forward to being somewhere else?

-Matthew Flickstein, "Journey to the Center"

23.1.06

don't expect anything

In meditation, don't expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active interest in the test itself, but don't get distracted by your expectations about the results. For that matter, don't be anxious for any result whatsoever.

-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

22.1.06

killer coke

PhotoDear Brothers and Sisters:

We need your help to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings and torture of SINALTRAINAL (National Union of Food Industry Workers) union leaders and organizers involved in daily life-and-death struggles at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia. In July 2001, the United Steelworkers of America and the International Labor Rights Fund (www.laborrights.org) filed a lawsuit on behalf of SINALTRAINAL, several of its members and the estate of Isidro Gil, one of its murdered officers. The lawsuit and campaign aim to force Coca-Cola to prevent further bloodshed and to provide safe working conditions. Coca-Cola bottlers "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilize extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders," the lawsuit states. It also notes that Colombian troops connected with the paramilitaries have trained at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Ga., where trainees were encouraged to torture and murder those who do "union organizing and recruiting;" pass out "propaganda in favor of workers;" and "sympathize with demonstrators or strikes." This was made public when the Pentagon was forced to reveal the contents of training manuals used at the school. (For more information, see www.soaw.org, the website of SOA Watch.) The year that the lawsuit was filed, The Coca-Cola Co. made $4 billion in profits and paid its CEO, Douglas Daft, more than $105 million. Coca-Cola continues to rake in billions each year, yet the frightening conditions at the Coke plants remain unchanged. Labor unions and human rights advocates in the United States can stop these atrocities at Coca-Cola's bottling plants.

China beat Columbus to it, perhaps

PhotoAn ancient map that strongly suggests Chinese seamen were first round the world the brave seamen whose great voyages of exploration opened up the world are iconic figures in European history. Columbus found the New World in 1492; Dias discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488; and Magellan set off to circumnavigate the world in 1519. However, there is one difficulty with this confident assertion of European mastery: it may not be true. It seems more likely that the world and all its continents were discovered by a Chinese admiral named Zheng He, whose fleets roamed the oceans between 1405 and 1435. His exploits, which are well documented in Chinese historical records, were written about in a book which appeared in China around 1418 called "The Marvellous Visions of the Star Raft". Next week, in Beijing and London, fresh and dramatic evidence is to be revealed to bolster Zheng He's case. It is a copy, made in 1763, of a map, dated 1418, which contains notes that substantially match the descriptions in the book. "It will revolutionise our thinking about 15th-century world history," says Gunnar Thompson, a student of ancient maps and early explorers.

Turning the Pages

Photo
Turning the Pages - leaf through 15 great books and magnify the details...

Turning the Pages? uses the Shockwave plug-in, which can be downloaded from the Macromedia website, to simulate the action of turning the pages of a real book. The volumes may not open if you block popups on your computer. Site continually shuts itself off on me -- maybe you'll have better luck -- sounds interesting though..

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sharp-bladed grass...

Photo
Just as sharp-bladed grass,
if wrongly held,
wounds the very hand that holds it--
the contemplative life, if wrongly grasped,
drags you down to hell.

-Dhammapada, 22

It could be a godsend...

Photo
the IVR Cheat Sheet --tips to bypass phone systems to quickly find a human;

Bank of America 800 900 9000 At ANY Bank of America number, press *0 to get human.
Alltel Cellular 800-255-8351 Press # four times.
AT&T 800-222-0300 Press # four times, then press 1 if for current phone, 2 to enter other number, else 3.

Song sites face legal crackdown

PhotoThe music industry is to extend its copyright war by taking legal action against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics.
"The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income," he said. "But now the internet is taking more of a bite out of sheet music and printed music sales so we're taking a more proactive stance"
The US Music Publishers' Association (MPA), which represents sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006. The move comes after several years of bitter legal battles against unauthorised services allowing users to download recordings for free. Publishing companies have taken action against websites in the past, but this will be the first co-ordinated legal campaign by the MPA. The MPA would target "very big sites that people would think are legitimate and very, very popular", Mr Keiser said.

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21.1.06

JOHN STINK

PhotoThis is a transcribed conversation I had with my late uncle, Charles Fletcher McComb, about John Stink. The John Stink story is an old Osage story and is still told today.

(McKim) "Did you ever see John Stink?"
(McComb) "I went by and saw him ... settin' before his tepee; and then they had two tepees, one was (for) an Indian man and his wife who took care of him."
(McKim) "Would you tell the story of John Stink."
(McComb) "Well, what dad (Fletcher Beeler McComb) said (was) that he died and they buried him Osage fashion having him sit facing the rising sun, sitting cross legged fashion and then they piled the rocks up on him, and
they put food and water and they killed his horse and the dog so that he'd have them on the 'other side' to take them to the happy hunting ground ...had the food, the spirit of the food. Then ... he woke up, he wasn't dead."
(McKim) "Do you think he was in a coma, something like that?"
(McComb) "Yeah. And he tore himself out of the goddam pile of rocks and went back to the Indian encampment and the full bloods (were) superstitious and thought the devil had entered his body and would not have anything to do with him from then on."
(McKim) "He lived to be very old, didn't he?"
(McComb) "Yeah, and when he died he was an extremely wealthy man, and damned near every member of the Osage Tribe rushed in and claimed kinship to him; when alive they would have nothing to do with him!"
(McKim) "And he lived in a tepee, too, didn't he?"
(McComb) "Yeah, he lived in two tepees. This man and wife--they weren't full bloods (Osage), they were some other tribe--they took care of him. He had his tepee and his dogs and they cooked for him and took care of the old man."
(McKim) "Mom said he was a very bitter old man, and who could blame him if that's true?"
(McComb) "Bill said he walked by him--he had come into Pawhuska to get meat for his dogs--and as Bill walked by him--he was sittin' on a curb--he (John Stink) spit at him."

from: Northern California Osage Association

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri

PhotoArguably the most famous male Central Desert artist he has dominated the Aboriginal art scene from the beginning in 1971 until his death in 2002. Hailed variously as the founder and the Picasso he was the master of the Central Desert storytelling group of traditional initiated men.
Immensely complicated interwoven stories emerged on huge canvases commissioned during the 70?s. His first painting, 'Love Story', 1971, a small acrylic on board and his immense 'Warlugulong' 1977 also known as the ?night watch? of Aboriginal art are an integral part of the Nangara collection.
These and a dozen others are the cornerstones of the Central and Western Desert art movement.

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studying Zen

PhotoThe experience of studying Zen is like hiding your body in fire: even if you have iron guts and a brass heart, here they will surely melt and flux.
Chien-ju

Don?t Buy CDs from the Big 5

Photo
from: David Byrne Journal

CDs from the big five run the risk of damaging your computer, opening you up to security risks, and you can?t rip the music onto your iPod. Stop buying CDs now. At least until they guarantee us that they will never try this shit again.
O.K., I?m exaggerating, but if I need to carry around a list to know which CDs I can safely buy it?s getting out of control.
For those of you who don?t know. Sony, BMG and EMI have been adding software to their CDs to create a kind of copy protection. Warner?s and Universal I don?t know about yet. This software is designed to stop you from copying your CD for your friends or making MP3s?which means you can?t copy it to your iPod, or even copy it to iTunes, which is how an awful lot of music fans listen to an discover music these days.
In addition, some of these CDs contain software that will burrow and worm into your hard drive and do damage ? creating security leaks etc. Mainly, as usual, for Windows users, but who knows what else they do. New reports are that the damage Mac operating systems too. The software is very difficult to remove, intentionally so. The record companies have offered repair kits but who knows how effective those are, and the damage is done, guys!

via: ol

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Open Secrets

PhotoHow the government lost the drug war in cyberspace.

For 36 years the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quietly published a quirky monthly newsletter called Microgram for a small audience of forensic chemists. It was "law enforcement restricted," which meant you could obtain it only if you were a law enforcement official, a government investigator, or a forensic scientist. As far as the public was concerned, it was a secret. In January 2003 DEA officials started to make Microgram publicly available via the Web, where it joined a vast sea of information about illicit drugs: how to get them, how to use them, why to avoid them, why laws controlling them should be either tightened or reformed.

Microgram?s release was mostly unnoticed, and its reception has been subdued -- so subdued that even the chemical underground, where people in years past might have found in the newsletter a wealth of knowledge about how to synthesize and distribute psychoactive substances, has hardly noticed it. Yet the seeming nonevent is worthy of attention because it reflects the government?s recognition that their strategy to control drug use by controlling drug information has failed.

Inner Algebra

PhotoSince this equation is so simple, you probably know the answer just by looking at it.
"These pages contain the text of the book Inner Algebra. Its premise is that mathematicians use their mind in certain ways that result in math being easy for them, and most people can learn to do the same."

How easy or hard it is to solve does not matter - we are going to do something else entirely with it. Imagine that you have written this equation in big letters and numbers on a 3 by 5 card, like this: Imagine that this card is floating in front of you, where you can see it. It's at a comfortable distance. You can move it around by imagining it. You want be able to see each individual symbol, 'x', '+', '2', '=' and '3', and their position in space relative to each other. Practice this until you can consistently see the equation on the card. It does not matter if you do it with your eyes open or shut. It can help to write the equation on a real 3x5 card, and glance at it as an aid. By the way, you certainly do NOT need to discern it in great detail. If, in your imagination, you can recognize each of the five symbols, and get the order right, that's all that is necessary. In other words, as long as YOU can tell that the first symbol is an 'x', even if it does not really look anything like it, that's fine - you are the only one who will ever see it anyway! Now, take the image and move it around. Move it a few inches left, right, up and down. (Your head is motionless. You are getting practice at controlling where you put the image that you see mentally.) Again, practice this until you can consistently do it. Now make the image of the equation bigger and smaller. You are zooming in and out. Make it twice its original size. Make it half its original size. Practice until you can do it consistently.

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18.1.06

Nine steps to living abundantly

PhotoMany of us are bowed down by life - stressed, short of time, tired, on a treadmill, knowing that this isn't the way to live, but not knowing how to free ourselves up to live more fully, more abundantly. There are simple things we can do - they don't take time or money - they take a change of attitude.

Here are nine of them:

1. Being totally financially honest - if you are not, this implies that there is not enough for you to have everything you need without dishonesty.

2. Creating a vacuum so that more good things can flow into it - don't fill your life up with things you don't really want. Ask yourself if you want each thing before you buy it. Don't have abundant rubbish, live abundantly by seeking out the things and experiences that work for you in your core being.

3. Tithing is often associated with religion, but it is also possible to tithe in a non-religious context. This seems a really important aspect of living abundantly - every time you freely give money away, you are implying that you are confident that more will come - this is a BIG positive affirmation with a lot of power behind it. The traditional amount is 10% of your income. I've recommended this to lots of people, and they've told me that when they do this - magically - they seem to have more. I started with 10% but now I've increased it, because I've seen that the more I give away the more I get back, and the happier and more abundantly I live.

4. Being grateful for what you already have - focusing on the good that is already in your life. It's easy to think about what you don't have, but spend some time each day thinking about what you do have. Start each day by thinking of 5 things that you are grateful for - and express this out loud.

5. Resentment, jealousy, envy and self-pity interfere with the free-flow of abundance. If you are jealous or envious of someone, it implies that what they have is not available for you to have also.

6. Forgiving those that have wronged you is part of living abundantly. Holding on to your anger, however justifiable it may seem, keeps you stuck in the past, rather than going forward into a better future. If it's difficult to let go of your negative feelings, try writing a letter expressing all your anger, hurt or envy. Write until you can write no more, and then burn it.

7. Being able to receive from other people. Being able to receive is healthy, but many people find it difficult. You may need to practice receiving. Think of the pleasure you get in giving. By not receiving generously you are denying other people the pleasure of giving.

8. Realize that in general 'good luck' plays a very small part in people's life. (If you put your faith in good luck, then you have to accept the possibility of bad luck too.) People who put their faith in 'good luck' often spend their lives waiting for things to happen. People who don't believe in luck go out and make things happen.

9. Believing that there is enough money, food, love, etc. in the world to meet everyone's needs to live abundantly. I left this one till the last, because it can be very hard to believe when faced with war and starvation in the newspapers and on the TV, but a lot of this anger and need is caused because people who have do not believe they have enough, because they substitute money and food for all the other abundance of life. Do your bit to correct that imbalance and start living a life that recognizes there are inequalities and shortages, but recognizes that we can correct that so we all have what we need.

15.1.06

"I" is just a swinging door

If you think, "I breathe," the "I" is extra. There is no you to say "I." What we call "I" is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no "I," no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.

-Shunryu Suzuki, "Zen Mind, Beginner?s Mind"

I am afraid of death

Moghavagan came to the Buddha. "I have come to you with a question, great sage. I am afraid of death. Is there any way to look upon the world so as not to be seen by the king of death?"

"Look upon the world as empty," the Buddha replied. "This is the way to overcome death. Cease thinking of yourself as an entity that really exists. If you look on the world in this way you will never be seen by the king of death."

-Sutta Nipata.

14.1.06

The Advertising Slogan Generator

Robertson Displays Satanic 'El Diablo' Sign

Pat Robertson, the so-called voice of Christian America, has again been caught 'El Diablo red handed' flashing occult and satanic hand signals during his show. During Thursday morning's 700 Club program Robertson could clearly be seen displaying the El Diablo hand gesture towards the end of the broadcast.To fans of UT football El Diablo simply means 'Hook 'em Horns' but it is also used by Satanists as a form of communication. ...should it worry us that other Christian preachers have also been photographed flashing the sign? Texe Marrs has been instrumental in bringing this to light and some examples from his book Codex Magica can be seen

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How to tell if you are a TERRORIST?

Bush wants to create the new criminal of "disruptor" who can be jailed for the crime of "disruptive behavior.
"Some Bush Team history of their treatment of disruptors provide some clues on how this administration will treat disruptors in the future...
People perceived as disruptors may be preemptively ejected from events before engaging in any disruptive conduct."
" A "little-noticed provision" in the latest version of the Patriot Act will empower Secret Service to charge protesters with a new crime of "disrupting major events including political conventions and the Olympics." Secret Service would also be empowered to charge persons with "breaching security" and to charge for "entering a restricted area" which is "where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting." In short, be sure to stay in those wired, fenced containments or free speech zones. Bush Team history tells us the disruptor is an American citizen with the audacity to attend Bush events wearing a T-shirt that criticizes Bush; or a member of civil rights, environmental, anti-war or counter-recruiting groups who protest Bush policies; or a person who invades Bush's bubble by criticizing his policies. A disruptor is also a person who interferes in someone else's activity, such as interrupting Bush when he is speaking at a press conference or during an interview.

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8.1.06

Master Kyong Ho

Don't wish for perfect health. In perfect health there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, "Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness."

Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind. So an ancient once said, "Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life."

Don't expect your practice to be always clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, "Attain deliverance in disturbances."

Don't expect to practice hard and not experience the weird. Hard practice that evades the unknown makes for a weak commitment. So an ancient once said, "Help hard practice by befriending every demon."

Don't expect to finish doing something easily. If you happen to acquire something easily the will is made weaker. So an ancient once said, "Try again and again to complete what you are doing."

Make friends but don't expect any benefit for yourself. Friendship only for oneself harms trust. So an ancient once said, "Have an enduring friendship with purity in heart."'

Don't expect others to follow your direction. When it happens that others go along with you, it results in pride. So an ancient once said, "Use your will to bring peace between people."

Expect no reward for an act of charity. Expecting something in return leads to a scheming mind. So an ancient once said, "Throw false spirituality away like a pair of old shoes."

Don't seek profit over and above what your work is worth. Acquiring false profit makes a fool (of oneself). So an ancient once said, "Be rich in honesty."

Don't try to make clarity of mind with severe practice. Every mind comes to hate severity, and where is clarity in mortification? So an ancient once said, "Clear a passageway through severe practice."

Be equal to every hindrance. Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment without hindrance. Seekers after truth are schooled in adversity. When they are confronted by a hindrance, they can't be over-come. Then, cutting free, their treasure is great.

Master Kyong Ho

live in freedom

They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them. They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge. They perform all work in the spirit of service, and their karma is dissolved.

-Bhagavad Gita 4:22-23

7.1.06

God, a Poem

A nasty surprise in a sandwich,
A drawing-pin caught in your sock,
The limpest of shakes from a hand which
You'd thought would be firm as a rock,

A serious mistake in a nightie,
A grave disappointment all round
Is all that you'll get from th' Alimighty,
Is all that you'll get underground.

Oh he said: "If you lay off the crumpet
I'll see you alright in the end.
Just hang on until the last trumpet.
Have faith in me, chum -- I'm your friend."

But if you remind him, he'll tell you:
'I'm sorry, I must have been pissed* --
Though your name rings a sort of bell. You
Should have guessed that I do not exist.

"I didn't exist at Creation,
I didn't exist at the Flood,
And I won't be around for Salvation
To sort out the sheep from the cud --

"Or whatever the phrase is. The fact is
In soteriological** terms
I'm a crude existential malpractice
And you are a diet of worms.

"You're a nasty surprise in a sandwich,
You're a drawing-pin caught in my sock,
You're the limpest of shakes from a hand which
I'd thought would be firm as a rock,

"You're a serious mistake in a nightie,
You're a grave disappointment all round --
That's all you are," says th' Alimighty,
"And that's all that you'll be underground."

- James Fenton
(1983)

that stone Buddha

that stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind

Ikkyu

a well nobody dug

a well nobody dug
filled with no water
ripples
and a shapeless
weightless
man drinks

Ikkyu

Osho Zen Tarot

10. Change

Life repeats itself mindlessly - unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That's why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death, the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success.

Just see! If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God, that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don't see the point why one should go on living.... And it goes on and on, but you don't see the pattern. Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.

Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1 Chapter 7

Black Stone Lying On A White Stone

I will die in Paris, on a rainy day,

on some day I can already remember.

I will die in Paris--and I don't step aside--

perhaps on a Thursday, as today is Thursday, in autumn.



It will be a Thursday, because today, Thursday, setting down

these lines, I have put my upper arm bones on

wrong, and never so much as today have I found myself

with all the road ahead of me, alone.



César Vallejo is dead. Everyone beat him

although he never does anything to them;

they beat him hard with a stick and hard also



with a rope. These are the witnesses:

the Thursdays, and the bones of my arms,

the solitude, and the rain, and the roads. . .


By Cesar Vallejo, translated and edited by Robert Bly, and published by Beacon Press in Neruda & Vallejo: Selected Poems. © 1971 by Robert Bly. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman's hook

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman's hook.
It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

6.1.06

Deepak Chopra

"Christ wasn't a Christian and Mohammed wasn't a Mohammedan, and Buddha wasn't a Buddhist. These are dogmas and ideologies. The fight is about semantics."

Deepak Chopra

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5.1.06

When the perfect wisdom is first seen

When the perfect wisdom is first seen, a new perception comes into being that does not depend on any structure. The great quest of the seeker now blossoms as various vast and mysterious doors swing open at the mere touch of the new perception.

There is the door that opens to a vista of the essenceless essence, that which is the real nature of the manifested world. There is the door of liberation from a merely partial perception or muddled perspective of this real nature. And there is the door that opens directly into the authentic realization of this true nature.

There is the wonderful door that opens into an intensity of sights and sounds, color and beauty. And there is the door of balance and ease through which one looks in awe at all the limitless structures of the world as one looks at the star-studded night sky. And there is the door to the exquisite happiness that would never want to own any worldly treasures or to possess even that same happiness. Finally, there is the door of total awakening itself.

-Prajnaparamita

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4.1.06

Quote

"Let's suppose 10 people are killed by a small bomb on a street corner in some city in America. The first thing to understand is that there are 280 million Americans. So there's one chance in 28 [million] you're going to be one of those people. By such heartless means of calculation, the 3,000 deaths in the Twin Towers can approximate to one mortality for every 90,000 Americans. Your chances of dying if you drive a car are 1 in 7,000 each year. We seem perfectly willing to put up with automobile statistics. ... There is a tolerable level to terror. Let's relieve ourselves of the idea that we have to remove all terror."

-Norman Mailer, author

Judging Judges

From the Historical Events By Modern Standards department:
"Judges starts as someone leads an army that slaughters 10,000 men in battle (Judges 1:4), then hunts down their king and cuts off his thumbs and big toes, apparently because that king had done the same thing to seventy other kings whom he kept as slaves (Judges 1:5-7).(Judges 1:8-11)
"

I've been reading through the book of Judges lately, and it raised a number of issues in my mind. One issue is that my usual defense of America ("Ah, it ain't as bad as people make it out to be.") really crumbles within the context of the pattern of Judges. Consider the pattern of, "God's people sin, God judges them, God's people cry out, God delivers them," and note that it seems to be a descending spiral, getting worse with each cycle. Perhaps we're worse off than I realized. Anyway, Judges is a fascinating book, and a great example of why banning books is just foolish. The Bible contains every kind of anything you might want to ban, and we let kids carry it around. So what's the problem?

Print Your Own Medical I.D. Card

The average guy's wallet is bursting with all kinds of cards--credit, debit, business, library--but not the one that could save his life: emergency ID. It's the card that, in the event of an accident, will answer all the medical questions you may not be able to, such as "What's your blood type?" "Are you taking medications?" and "Do you have any drug allergies?" Think of it as an EMT cheat sheet. "I've seen many situations in which emergency identification has saved lives," says Ben Abo, an emergency-medical-service specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. "Without it, treatment might be delayed."

Just fill in the fields below, hit "Print," cut along the dotted line, and laminate. Then treat your ID like an Amex and never leave home without it.

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Zazen and Knowing

Within each of us is the strong urge to pursue comfortable sensations, emotional contentment, and intellectual understanding as far as these can be pursued. In other words, an essential human habit is the compulsive desire for possessing all pleasant things as the objects and contents of conscious experiences (as physical sensations and intellectual understanding). This is something that drives us from deep inside ourselves. It can even be said that for human beings, living with consciousness, what can be known as the content of consciousness is everything. ("What-is-known-is-everything-ism").

Surely, such people think they are earnestly seeking something lofty (=seeking the Way), but ultimately, this is nothing more than the manifestation of ordinary, deluded mind that frantically wants to possess certain sensations, emotions, and understanding within the sphere of their own knowing. You can get an idea of this frame of mind if you think of someone who wants to indulge in a feeling of joy by putting something of great value into his/her secret box.

My Zazen Sakyu Notebook (14)
Rev. Issho Fujita
Pioneer Valley Zendo

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Song of Zazen

All beings are by nature Buddha,
as ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
apart from beings, no Buddha.

-Hakuin Zenji, "Song of Zazen"

toshikomi

Love the gent in the bottom. When you're young and cool you don't know/don't care that a lot of folks 'usta be cool'. Old id old...and uncool. Unfortunately, we grew up, got fat, got straight, but still think of ourselves like we did at twenty-five... Or he (and the rest of us) could just be some nut on the street...

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Spinnin'

In heavy rotation, and in no paricular order or preference, these days:

A) Creedence Clearwater Revival -- Best of
B) It's a Beautiful Day -- It's a Beautiful Day
C) J.J. Cale -- Naturally
D) Brooks & Dunn -- Red Dirt Road
E) Brooks & Dunn -- Super Hits
F) Bo Hannson -- Lord of the Rings
G) Frank Zappa -- Apostrophe
H) Mothers of Invention -- Overnight Sensation
I) Massive Attack -- Protection
J) Merle Haggard -- Essential Merle
K) Merle Haggard -- 20 Greatest Hits

A) is a thang...I'll be so over CCR for another thirty years in another week orso...
B) quintessential hippie album, been one of my top-10 favorites since the early '70's...
C) more early '70's music from my laid back, stoner period. Most people don't realize Cale wrote so many RnR classics...
D&E) not much on cuntry music, B&D are the exception
F) back before the big-budget movies, stoner/heads had to be content with the books and this album. good stuff for a relic...
G) FZ is one of the most underrated guitarists ever...
H) one of FZ's two best albums (see above)
I) Craig Armstong/Massive Attack make some purty, purty, music...
J&K) 'Okie from...' has always turned me off an otherwise fine singer/songwriter/musician...finally got past the redneck and found some really great songs. still hate that one fukn song though..

And a lot more, but not in 'heavy' rotation...

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3.1.06

Weird Art

Unusual Disturbing Artwork by Christa Esquitin

This section is meant to display my more twisted art. I try to keep it separate because it tends to offend people who like the cutesy stuff and vice versaThe weird Art came about from a theory / experiment in transferring of emotions. My theory about 'good' art is that it conveys a thought or feeling. Therefore you could think of a painting as a transporter of feelings or moods. My thought was that if the feelings could be captured and transported, then would they stay in the painting. Do they re-produce to stay in the art and go into the person who views it? By this could I remove bad feelings from myself by putting them on paper and into someone else. I imagined that I could take all of the ugliness I see, put it on paper and it would go away from me. In some ways I think it has been successful. In other ways I come here and see all of the horrors together all at once. So do you feel bad after looking at these paintings??

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Psilocybin Mushrooms

Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been part of human culture as far back as the earliest recorded history.
"There are more than 180 species of mushrooms which contain the psychedelics psilocybin or psilocin. They have a long history of use in Mexico and are currently one of the most popular and commonly available natural psychedelics."
Ancient paintings of mushroom-ed humanoids have been found in caves in the Saharan desert. Central and Southern America cultures built temples to mushroom gods and carved "mushroom stones". These stone carvings in the shape of mushrooms, or in which figures are depicted under the cap of a mushroom, have been dated to as early as 1000-500 B.C. The purpose of the sculptures is not certain, but these stones may have been religious objects.The Mixtec culture of central Mexico worshipped many gods, one known as Piltzintecuhtli, or 7 Flower (his name presented in the pictoral language as seven circles and a flower) who was the god for hallucinatory plants, especially the divine mushroom. The Vienna Codex (or Codex Vindobonensis) (ca 13th-15th century) depicts the ritual use of mushrooms by the Mixtec gods, showing Piltzintecuhtli and 7 other gods holding mushrooms in their hands. The Aztec people had a closely related god of the entheogens. Xochipilli, Prince of Flowers, was the divine patron of "the flowery dream" as the Aztecs called the ritual hallucinatory trance. The Aztecs used a number of plant hallucinogens including psilocybian mushrooms (teonanácatl), morning glory seeds, Salvia divinorum, Datura (tlapatl or toloache) , Peyote (peyotl), and mixitl grain. Psilocybian mushrooms were used in ritual and ceremony, served with honey or chocolate at some of their holiest events.

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Eyelash mites

You may think you're free from parasites but you're not! This image shows the rear ends of tiny mites feeding on the dead skin cells of an eyelash hair follicle. Eyelash mites like these form just a small proportion of the estimated millions of tiny animals and plants that live on our bodies.

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Schrödinger's cat

In the world of quantum mechanics, the laws of physics that are familiar from the everyday world no longer work. Instead, events are governed by probabilities. A radioactive atom, for example, might decay, emitting an electron, or it might not. It is possible to set up an experiment in such a way that there is a precise fifty-fifty chance that one of the atoms in a lump of radioactive material will decay in a certain time and that a detector will register the decay if it does happen. Schrödinger, as upset as Einstein about the implications of quantum theory, tried to show the absurdity of these implications by imagining such an experiment set up in a closed room, or box, which also contains a live cat and a phial of poison, so arranged that if the radioactive decay does occur then the poison container is broken and the cat dies. In the everyday world, there is a fifty-fifty chance that the cat will be killed, and without looking inside the box we can say, quite happily, that the cat inside is either dead or alive. But now we encounter the strangeness of the quantum world. According to the theory, neither of the two possibilities open to the radioactive material, and therefore to the cat, has any reality unless it is observed. The atomic decay has neither happened nor not happened, the cat has neither been killed nor not killed, until we look inside the box. Theorists who accept the pure version of quantum mechanics say that the cat exists in some indeterminate state, neither dead nor alive, until an observer looks into the box to see how things are getting on. Nothing is real unless it is observed.

Gribbin, pp. 2-3

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Fan death

Fan death is an urban legend that was originally primarily confined to South Korea, but has spread to other countries in the Far East. The legend states that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can result in the death (by suffocation, poisoning, or hypothermia) of those inside. This belief also extends to air conditioners and the fans in cars. When the air conditioner or fan is on in a car, Koreans are apt to leave their car windows open a crack to avoid "fan death".

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Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country

Twenty years ago tonight, at approximately three thirty in the morning on December 26, 1985, I heard odd noises and felt as if I had fallen out of bed. I opened my eyes to a scene of such extraordinary horror that I am still suffering from the effects of that moment, two decades later.

What I saw before me was a small room like the interior of a tent, populated by enormous insects. These insects were at once strange, distant-seeming creatures, totally unlike me and not communicating any sense of the human at all, and yet at the same time aware of me in a way that eloquently and terrifyingly signaled intelligence.

Immediately, I was seized from behind and there was a swooping rush around me. An odd, machine-like voice commenced repeating again and again the phrase 'what can we do to help you stop screaming?'

Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country

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Turtles all the way down

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the Earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy.

At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise."

The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?"

"You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down."

via:OL

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Glimpses

When I teach meditation, I often begin by saying: "Bring your mind home. And release. And relax."

To bring your mind home means to bring the mind into the state of Calm Abiding through the practice of mindfulness. In its deepest sense, to bring your mind home is to turn your mind inward and rest in the nature of mind. This itself is the highest meditation.

To release means to release the mind from its prison of grasping, since you recognize that all pain and fear and distress arise from the craving of the grasping mind. On a deeper level, the realization and confidence that arise from your growing understanding of the nature of mind inspire the profound and natural generosity that enables you to release all grasping from your heart, letting it free itself to melt away in the inspiration of meditation.

To relax means to be spacious and to relax the mind of its tensions. More deeply, you relax into the true nature of your mind, the state of Rigpa. It is like pouring a handful of sand onto a hot surface, and each grain settles of its own accord. This is how you relax into your true nature, letting all thoughts and emotions naturally subside and dissolve into the state of the nature of mind.

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Taittriya Upanishad

Refuse not food to those who are hungry.
When you feed the hungry, you serve the Lord,
From whom is born every living creature.
Those who realize the Self within the heart
Stand firm, grow rich, gather a family
Around them, and receive the love of all.

-Taittriya Upanishad

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2.1.06

Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves

"Reading Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves induced a marked, noticeable psychoactive response. The author has created a text that could well result in Cliff Pickover's writing being classified as a controlled substance." -- Jamie Forbes, New York City media consultant

Chapter 1: On Fugu Sushi and Transdimensional Reality Worms
In which we encounter zombie recipes, the dream fish of Norfolk Island, hallucinogenic worm intestines, fugu sushi, Homer Simpson, the "larval beings" of William Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft, parallel universes, ayahuasca, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, the Leather Man, the Malalis Indians, grilled fugu sperm, mushroom-loving reindeer, iboga, the instinct to alter consciousness, Christian Ratsch, Wernher von Braun, Kip Thorne, Carl Sagan, The Lobotomy Club, the overlap of science fiction and science, and personal anecdotes of my childhood and home town of Shrub Oak, New York.

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Link

Galumpia Adult

WARNING
THE FOLLOWING SITE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY PORNOGRAPHIC IMAGES.
DO NOT ENTER IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED
DO NOT ENTER IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND SATIRE
DO NOT ENTER IF YOU ARE STUPID / WORK FOR FREESERVE

Just goes to prove that our minds are in the gutter...

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1.1.06

Eating Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Luck...

"As New Year's Day approaches, people around the world will plan for the coming year, eager to get off to the best possible start! Many people will "eat for luck"-they plan to eat special foods that, by tradition, are supposed to bring them good luck. Throughout history, people have eaten certain foods on New Year's Day, hoping to gain riches, love, or other kinds of good fortune during the rest of the year. For people of several nationalities, ham or pork is the luckiest thing to eat on New Year's Day. How did the pig become associated with the idea of good luck? In Europe hundreds of years ago, wild boars were caught in the forests and killed on the first day of the year. Also, a pig uses its snout to dig in the ground in a forward direction. Maybe people liked the idea of moving forward as the new year began, especially since pigs are also associated with plumpness and getting plenty to eat. However the custom arose, Austrians, Swedes, and Germans frequently choose pork or ham for their New Year's meal. They brought this tradition with them when they settled in different regions of the United States. New Englanders often combine their pork with sauerkraut to guarantee luck and prosperity for the coming year. Germans and Swedes may pick cabbage as a lucky side dish, too. In other places, turkey is the meat of choice. Bolivians and some people in New Orleans follow this custom. But other people claim that eating fowl (such as turkey, goose, or chicken) on New Year's Day will result in bad luck. The reason? Fowl scratch backward as they search for their food, and who wants to have to "scratch for a living"? Frequently, fish is the lucky food. People in the northwestern part of the United States may eat salmon to get lucky. Some Germans and Poles choose herring, which may be served in a cream sauce or pickled. other Germans eat carp. Sometimes sweets or pastries are eaten for luck. In the colony of New Amsterdam, now New York, the Dutch settlers still enjoy these treats. Germans often eat doughnuts, or pfannkuchen, while the French have traditionally celebrated with pancakes. In some places, a special cake is made with a coin baked inside. Such cakes are traditional in Greece, which celebrates Saint Basil's Day and New Year's at the same time. The Saint Basil's Day cake (vasilopeta) is made of yeast dough and flavored with lemon. The person who gets the slice with the silver or gold coin is considered very lucky! Many of the luck-bringing foods are round or ring-shaped, because this signifies that the old year has been completed. Black-eyed peas are an example of this, and they are part of one of New Year's most colorful dishes, Hoppin' John, which is eaten in many southern states. Hoppin' John is made with black-eyed peas or dried red peas, combined with hog jowls, bacon, or salt pork. Rice, butter, salt, or other vegetables may be added. The children in the family might even hop around the table before the family sits down to eat this lucky dish. In Brazil, lentils are a symbol of prosperity, so lentil soup or lentils with rice is prepared for the first meal of the New Year. Thousands of miles away, the Japanese observe their New Year's tradition of eating a noodle called toshikoshi soba. (This means "sending out the old year.") This buckwheat noodle is quite long, and those who can swallow at least one of them without chewing or breaking it are supposed to enjoy good luck and a long life. Finally, Portugal and Spain have an interesting custom. As the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins, people in these countries may follow the custom of eating twelve grapes or raisins to bring them luck for all twelve months of the coming year! "
--- "EAT FOR LUCK!," Victoria Sherrow & David Helton, Sherrow, Victoria, Children's Digest, Jan/Feb94 (p. 20)

Although recipes combining cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas) and cereal grains can be traced to Ancient African cultures, food historians generally agree that "Hopping John" is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean roots. There is much controversy about the origins of the name.

"Hopping john.
Also, "hoppin' John" and "happy John." A southern dish made of cowpeas and rice, served traditionally on New Year's Day to ensure good luck for the year. The origin of the name is obscure, but several stories abide. One ascribes the name to the custom of inviting guests to eat with the request to "hop in, John." Another suggests it derives from an old ritual on New Year's Day in which the children in the house hopped once around the table before eating the dish. The first mention of the dish by name was in 1830.

In Rice & Beans: The Itinerary of a Recipe (1981), John Thorne suggest that the name is a corruption of "pois a pigeon," a French term for "pigeon peas," which flourished in the Caribbean but not in the American South, resulting in an etymological dissolve into "hoppin john." Whatever the origins of the name, the dish quite definately was a staple of the African slaves who populated southern plantations, especially those of the Gulla country of South Carolina, and one will find similar dishes throughout the Caribbean..."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 157)

Afro-Americans have had profound influence on many aspects of American culture, especially cooking...The descendants of these first Afro-Americans used many traditional foods of Africa and adapted the time-honored dishes so that they were no longer African but Afro-American. Because of these culinary wizards,...the black bean dishes of Burundi have been transformed into such dishes as ham hocks with black-eyed peas or hoppin john..."
---Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cook Book, Better Homes and Gardens [Meredith:USA] 1975 (p. 228)

"Cowpeas and Rice: Hoppin' John
The dish is simple but the names for it are not. Cowpeas are not botanical peas at all but a type of bean, a low legume that was fed to cattle and calves in eighteenth-century America and named for the more valued animal. Brought to the West Indies from Africa, cowpeas crept north into Georgia in the 1730s and multiplied so rapidly that they became both the common "field pea," as they are often called, and the decorative "black-eyed pea" that Jefferson planted at Monticello. Creoles called the peas "congri," echoing Congo Square. And when they mixed the peas with rice and threw in pickled pork, they called the dish "jambalaya au congri."

The combination of cowpease and rice also got known as "hoppin' John" for reasons lost in the mists of popular naming. One lexicographer suggests the name may have been a corruption of pois a pigeon, since pigeon peas were common in the Caribbean. Another suggests that the name originated in a children's game played on New Year's Day, since the dish and the game were thought to bring good luck, beans carrying with them the magic of voodoo..."
---I Hear America Cooking, Betty Fussell [Viking:New York] 1986 (p. 107)
"Lucky Beans," Travel Holiday [magazine], January 1991 (p.32+)
---Discusses the history of Hoppin' John, a rice-and-beans dish served in the South on New Year's Day. Recipe included.


(DLE: As an aside, be sure to always open the front and back doors to let good luck in / bad luck out...)

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Wisdom of No Escape

The dharma that is taught and the dharma that is experienced are descriptions of how to live, how to use your life to wake you up rather than put you to sleep. And if you choose to spend the rest of your life trying to find out what awake means and what asleep means, I think you might attain enlightenment.

-Pema Chödrön, "Wisdom of No Escape"

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne.

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne.
We?ll tak? a cup o? kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you?ll be your pint stowp,
and surely I?ll be mine,
and we?ll drink a richt guid willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run aboot the braes,
and pu?d the gowans fine,
but we?ve wandered monie a wearie fit?,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidled in the burn,
frae morning sun ?till dine,
but seas a?tween us braid hae roared,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And here?s a hand my trusty fere,
and gie?s a hand o? thine,
and we?ll tak' a cup o? kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

Auld Lang Syne

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