March 12, 2015 at 11:27 am #44031
Inside story on Year of Wood She-Goat – why it’s NOT a Sheep. A funny must-see 30 sec vid of 1-year old Emerald chasing a goat on all fours. Plus the usual deep stuff on how to change your destiny…:)March 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm #44032
You would think measuring Time – the calendar business – would be a somewhat stable commodity. But wikipedia lists 28 different calendar systems around the world. It suggests that our perception of Time is strongly shaped by cultural influences. One reason I appreciate Chinese astrology is that it is generally based on actual natural cycles of Sun, Moon, Earth, and Polestar alignment, so the connection with nature stays immediate and fresh. It’s not a bunch of abstract mathematical-calendrical symbols imposed on Time by groups in ancient times.The Chinese calendar is based on the interaction of earth cycles with heaven cycles. Human love and free will is designed to be a cosmic point of balance between Heaven and Earth. The Twelve Earthly Branches are popularly known as the Twelve Animals. It’s essentially an earth-centered zodiac instead of the Western sky-zodiac. My readers know I teach experiential astrology, what I call Taoist Living Astrology. The principle is that mental information about astrological symbols and cycles is unlikely to change your life. Information that is not converted into Qi and absorbed into our body will ultimately either be discarded or become psychic-mental baggage that slows down our process of Self-realization.
Shiva Swarodaya is one of the tantric texts belonging to Hinduism, also termed as Swara yoga by Satyananda Saraswati. It is also termed “Phonetical astrology”: the “sound of one’s own breath” and is written as a conversation between shiva and parvati.
Swara yoga is an ancient tantric science which involves the systematic study of the breath flow through the nostrils (or swara) in relation to the prevailing phases of the moon, time of day and direction . Although we think of ‘pranayama’ when we think of techniques associated with the breath, in Swara yoga, it is the association of the breath in relation to the activities or phases or positions of the sun, moon, planets, seasons, time of day, with the physical and mental conditions of the individual and then taking the appropriate action according to these subtle relations. For example, knowing the moon phases and checking the flow of your nostrils before you get out of bed in the morning and letting the corresponding foot be the first to touch the floor and make the first step, is a simple practice that ensures success in everything that happens for that day. The first foot to touch the ground will get the prevailing ‘successful’ flow of energy from the cosmos.
There are several methods of transliteration from Devanâgarî to the Roman script, and also of transcription (Romanization).
Sorry but my intention is not to review SWAMI MUKTIBODHANANDA SARASWATI’s book, but to only recommend it.
So it’s written by one of those Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s Australian girlfriend swamis.
There is only one real weakness.
Shiva Swarodaya (translated sanskrit root text) is only in devanagari.
Because sanskrit has so great amount of phonemes (circa 50) one must really seriously work to learn it both in spoken and written form.
In my opinion for some serious practitioners, who have not mastered it, it would be interesting to have also roman transliteration of the text.
Ps. Sorry for my broken English.March 31, 2015 at 5:12 am #44034
Sorry but I think this should be still be acceptable.
This is a Buddhist way of developing the mind for those who follow so called right hand path.
It’s something very practical.
I bow to Lokeshvara.
First, do the groundwork.
2.1 Awakening to what is ultimately true
Look at all experience as a dream.
Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
Let even the remedy release naturally.
The essence of the path: rest in the basis of all experience.
In daily life, be a child of illusion.
2.2 Awakening to what is apparently true
Train in taking and sending alternately. Put them on the breath.
Three objects, three poisons, three seeds of virtue.
Use reminders in everything you do.
Begin the sequence of taking with you.
When misfortune fills the world and its inhabitants
Make adversity the path of awakening.
3.2 Awakening to what is apparently true
Drive all blame into one.
Be grateful to everyone.
3.3 Awakening to what is ultimately true
The ultimate protection is emptiness;
Know what arises as confusion
to be the four aspects of being.
3.4 Special Methods
The best way is to use the four practices.
Work with whatever you encounter, immediately.
4.1 What to do while living
A summary of the essential instructions:
Train in the five forces.
4.2 What to do while dying
The five forces are the mahayana instructions for dying. Posture is important.
5. Measures of proficiency
All instructions have one aim.
Two witnesses: rely on the important one.
A joyous state of mind is a constant support.
Proficiency means you do it even when distracted.
Always train in three basic principles.
6.2 Body, speech, mind
Change your intention but behave naturally.
Don’t talk about others’ shortcomings.
Don’t dwell on others’ problems.
6.3 General reactivity
Work on your strongest reactions first.
Give up any hope for results.
Give up poisoned food.
Don’t rely on a sense of duty.
Don’t lash out.
Don’t lie in ambush.
Don’t go for the throat.
Don’t put an ox’s load on a cow.
Don’t be competitive.
Don’t make practice a sham.
Don’t turn a god into a demon.
Don’t look to profit from sorrow.
Use one practice for everything.
Use one remedy for everything.
Two things to do:
one at the beginning, one at the end.
Whatever happens, good or bad, be patient.
Keep these two, even if your life is at risk.
Learn to meet three challenges.
Foster three key elements.
Take care to prevent three kinds of damage.
Engage all three faculties.
Train on every object without preference.
Training must be broad and deep.
Always work on what makes you boil.
Don’t be dependent on extraneous conditions.
7.5 Addressing imbalance
Practice what’s important now.
Don’t get things wrong.
Don’t switch on and off.
7.6 Maintaining balance
Find freedom by probing and testing.
Don’t be hypersensitive.
Don’t be impulsive.
Don’t expect thanks.April 3, 2015 at 8:02 am #44036
Luria would go on study S for the next thirty years, and would eventually write a book about him, The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book of Vast Memory, that has become one of the most enduring classic in the literature of abnormal psychology. S could memorize complex mathematical formulas without knowing any math, Italian poetry without speaking Italian, and even phrase of gobbledygook. But even more remarkable than the breath of material he could commit to memory was the fact that his memories seemed never to degrade.
-JOSHUA FOER, Moonwalking with Einstein
One can meditate without doing pranayama, but its regular practice is a great help in achieving success in meditation. For example, the stage before dhyana in raja yoga is dharana. Without being able to to concentrate on one object for some time, dhyana is impossible. The usual method is to visualize an internal object with closed eyes. This in itself is not so simple, for any mental image is either blurred of fades away from view within a short time. Pranayama is extremely useful in encouraging the appearance of clear mental images which remain visible for longer periods of time. This is caused by redistribution of prana in the body, which renders the mind more able to perceive and control images.
-SWAMI SATYANANDA SARASWATI, Meditations from the Tantras
My readers know I teach experiential astrology, what I call Taoist Living Astrology. The principle is that mental information about astrological symbols and cycles is unlikely to change your life. Information that is not converted into Qi and absorbed into our body will ultimately either be discarded or become psychic-mental baggage that slows down our process of Self-realization.
I bought few months ago ‘The Only Way to Learn Astrology’ series of astrology textbooks.
Local new age bookshop seemingly had had them for very long time and they simply wanted to get rid of them and so I got almost the whole series for very cheap price.
I think one should find the right way dealing with information mentally.
And here it would be important, in my opinion, to learn to work also with the mind so that it is strengthened multiple ways to be able to deal with whatever problem is present.
But this is also energetic problem so it would seem to be that there is great need to turn those events, when one is studying for example one’s physics textbook, also into yoga practice.
One can every now and then see somebody to comment: ‘look those Buddhist mandalas there is not any practical use for them.’
Standard way of analyzing Buddhist tantric practice is to discriminate between creative and completion stages.
..the principle is that mental information about astrological symbols and cycles is unlikely to change your life. Information that is not converted into Qi…
So both in Buddhist and Hindu meditations (in their advanced form) quite complicated
system of symbols is used and in my opinion that is totally the right way if one just knows the right way.
…and absorbed into our body will ultimately either be discarded or become psychic-mental baggage that slows down our process of Self-realization…
If the body and mind are in the right way developed I think that this is not true actually it’s this normal way of doing things which is harmful.
Ps. Sorry for my broken English.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJOhN7GYX90 (mortalkombatxerronblack)April 5, 2015 at 10:11 am #44038
Even Regular Exercise Isn’t Enough To Cancel Out Too Much Sitting.
By Alice Park
Why Up to 90% of Asian Schoolchildren Are Nearsighted
Researchers say the culprit is academic ambition: spending too much time studying indoors and not enough hours in bright sunlight is ruining kids’ eyesight
Scientists say an epidemic of myopia, or nearsightedness, is sweeping through Asian children, and is likely due to students spending too much time indoors studying and not enough time outside in the sunlight.
It has long been thought that nearsightedness is mostly a hereditary problem, but researchers led by Ian Morgan of Australian National University say the data suggest that environment has a lot more to do with it.
Reporting in the journal Lancet, the authors note that up to 90% of young adults in major East Asian countries, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, are nearsighted. The overall rate of myopia in the U.K., by contrast, is about 20% to 30%.
(MORE: Early Success in a Human Embryonic Stem Cell Trial to Treat Blindness)
In Singapore, for example, rates of nearsightedness in three different ethnic groups Chinese, Indian and Malay have increased since 1996. Because all three groups are equally affected, says Morgan, its likely that some common environmental factor is driving the rise.
Studies of East Asian populations that have moved to different parts of the world are also revealing: Chinese young adults in Australia, where exposure to bright sunlight is more likely, show lower rates of myopia than Chinese young adults living in cities in East and Southeast Asia. Similarly, white children living in Sydney show lower rates of nearsightedness than those living in the U.K.
Particularly concerning is that about 10% to 20% of Asian schoolchildren suffer from high myopia, which puts them at higher risk of more serious vision problems, including blindness, in adulthood. Morgan says the culprit is the massive pressure on Asian children to succeed in school, which leads to too many hours hunched over books indoors and not nearly enough exposure to natural sunlight. Indeed, East Asian countries with high myopia rates are those that dominate international rankings of educational performance, the study notes.
Myopia, which causes people to see clearly things that are near but not those that are at a distance, is the result of elongation of the eyeball, which leads to misalignment of light on the retina. Instead of landing on the retina at the back of the eye, incoming light converges at a point in front of the retina, leading to blurry images at a distance. Animal studies show that during early development, if the eye is not allowed to regulate its size to the proper length, then myopia can occur.
The scientists think that the neurotransmitter dopamine may play a significant role in the structural development of the eyeball. Exposure to light increases the levels of dopamine in the eye, which may prevent elongation of the eyeball.
We think there is a pretty well-confirmed mechanism, says Morgan. We postulate that bright outdoor light would stimulate the release of the retinal transmitter dopamine, which is known to be able to block the axial growth of the eye, which is the structural basis of myopia the eye simply grows too big. Animal experiments using mice and monkeys support the theory, the researchers say.
Its not clear when the window of proper eye development closes in humans, but Morgan says its concerning that the high rates of nearsightedness among East Asians is occurring so early, often in elementary school. What has happened in East Asia is that the study pressure that promotes myopia is already high for early-primary schoolkids, and they spend little time outdoors, says Morgan. The worst aspect of this early start is that it gives them longer to become highly myopic, because the eye continues to elongate, and then they are at risk of [more serious vision problems].
Can the progression to myopia be prevented, or at least stopped? So far, no effective prevention methods or therapies for nearsightedness exist, other than corrective lenses like glasses or contacts. The drug atropine slows down eye growth, but the drops can cause side effects, and they lose their effectiveness over time, says Morgan. We need more evidence on just about everything thats been tried, he says.
The results suggest that parents especially tiger moms might want to give their hard-studying children regular breaks: a couple of hours of sunlight a day would probably do it, the authors say.April 6, 2015 at 7:49 am #44040
Maracas, sometimes called rumba shakers and various other names, are percussion musical instrumentsrattlesthat originated in Latin America. They are classified as idiophones. Players hold them by their handles, usually in pairs, and shake them. Traditional maracas consist of hollow balls made from dried gourd shell (cuia “koo-ya”) or coconut shell filled with seeds or dried beans and mounted on a wooden handle. Modern maraca balls are also made of leather, wood, or plastic.
An astrological grouping from ancient India that refers to 27 or 28 points that the moon passes through in its monthly/annual phases and the associated star constellations found in the cosmic background. Each of these points (constellations) is associated with a deity, although the point-deity association varies among nations and sects. A similar grouping of 28 was developed independently in China. The Chinese merged their system with that from India following the introduction of Buddhism to China around the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. Unlike India, the grouping in China was always 28. It is the Chinese system that was imported by the Japanese. Says Derek Walters (2009): The inclusion of the 28 moon lodges allowed great precision in regulating the calendar. Virtually all early civilizations worldwide were aware of the occasional need to add an intercalary month to make the seasons align with each particular year. But the Chinese lunar calendar, based on the 28 lunar mansions, was more precise than those of other nations — it allowed the Chinese to determine in advance and greater precision when a 13th month was needed.
Why the three legs and why the black crow inside a sun disk? The most plausible reasons involve Chinese mythology and Japans own creation legends. First, a black three-legged crow known in China as Sānzúwū 三足烏 (lit. = three-legged bird) appears in Chinese artwork dated to the Yǎngsháo 仰韶 period (5000 BC to 3000 BC). In Chinese mythology and ancient philosophical texts, this bird is intimately related to the sun. It has three legs, according to the Huáinánzǐ 淮南子(2nd century BC Chinese text), because three is the emblem of Yang — and the supreme essence of Yang is the sun…Why the rabbit? In the West, when people look at the moon, they see a man in it. The Chinese see a rabbit, pounding magical herbs to make the elixir of eternal life. The Japanese, with their love of obscure wordplays, envision the same rabbit pounding rice to make mochi. The name of the full moon is mochizuki, while mochitsuki means making mochi.
Despite the effulgent imagery with which the discourses of the Mahāyāna are suffused, we must be very cautious about the interpretation of philosophical and mystical references to the Light and radiance even here. While it is clear that the authors of the Mahāyāna do wish to assert that the encounter of aspirants with Buddhas and other exalted beings may be marked by intensive visions of the Light, it is much less clear that they wish to impart any sense of metaphysical intimacy to these discourses of luminosity. An excellent, short example of this reticence may be found in connection with the interpretation of a very widely cited sentence near the beginning of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā (The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines): “Mind is not mind. The nature of Mind is clear light” (tac cittam acittam. prakṛtiś cittasya prabhāsvarā). Though some later Tibetan authors do suggest that this lends support to the concept of a sort of luminous spiritual substance underlying the mind, the most influential of the Indian commentators on this text, Haribhadra, by contrast says: “Wherefore it is far removed from the nature of the one and the many, the nature, or essence, of Mind, being unoriginated, is clear Light” for the darkness of all conceptions of being is destroyed.” Thus, Haribhadra will commit himself to no more than a metaphorical interpretation of the Light of Mind. In this, his perspective seems entirely continuous with the dominant scholastic trends of early Buddhism.
-MATTHEW KAPSTEIN, The presence of light: divine radiance and religious experience
Sorry but I would still repeat and conclude my short argument that developing visualisation skills during certain phases of the meditational process are of utmost importance.
So without these visual elements, however subjective these would seem to be, it’s very difficult to learn to scale down and concentrate the energy whirlwinds.
Sorry for my broken English.
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