What is Buddhism About? Buddhism doesn't begin with a creator God who made the world, nor is it very concerned with what happens to us after we're dead. Buddhism begins in fact with the basic truth that all human beings suffer. To the Buddha, every other matter was of secondary importance, and he suggested we consider the case of a man who has been shot by an arrow. The poor man lying there with the arrow plunged deep into his flesh isn't going to begin asking who made the arrow, what kind of feathers it has, how long it is and questions like that. For him the most important thing is to get the arrow out. Basically the question is: How can you achieve release from suffering? The Buddha found that there are certain steps that can be taken. Buddhism therefore offers its followers things that they can do rather than things for them to believe. One thing Buddhists try to do is to lead good lives by not causing suffering to others. They also actively try to do good, be kind and helpful, and if possible, put others first. They study the teachings of the Buddha and test them out in their ordinary lives. Finally, many Buddhists meditate. Meditation You must have seen pictures of the Buddha sitting with his legs crossed, his back and head very straight and his eyes half-closed. He looks very calm. When people are meditating, they are not frantically caught up in all the pictures and thoughts that are milling about in their heads. Rather, they are peacefully allowing these to settle down. They do not, however, allow their minds to go blank. In fact, they stay very alert and watch everything that comes into their minds. By doing this day after day for a very long time, a person is first able to achieve great calmness and clarity. He or she then begins to see into the true nature of the world: To see things as they are rather than as they appear. they see, in fact, that everything is unsatisfactory and tainted with suffering and that everything is impermanent and subject to change. Finally they see that nothing, including human beings, has any sort of underlying soul or essence. They realize, in short, that everything passes away and that nothing has any sort of permanent self. Proceeding in this way, it is possible for anyone with enough persistence and determination to gain for themselves the same enlightenment that the Buddha discovered beneath the Bo tree at Budh Gaya. Then they too can find peace and become free, no longer touched by the pains and sorrows of human existence. From Buddhist Festivals by John Snelling: 1987 Rourke Enterprises, Vero Beach, FL pp. 12-15 ISBN 0 86592 980 7
I Ching Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 09:19:51 -0700 From: Robert Hastings <rsh@VIMANA.COM> Subject: I Ching - the most cost effective oracle Twenty two years ago, I was a young man with some young-man type difficulties, and I was depressed and suicidal. I was in my trailer, drunk and morose, with a .45 pistol in my mouth. I decided, before pulling the trigger, to throw an I Ching. Hexagram 61 came up - with this message: Wind blows across the marsh The superior man weighs litigation carefully and stays all executions. I can't comment on the mechanisms or ultimate validity of I Ching, but obviously I took the advice, and have some fondness for it. As you might expect, the hexagram launched an epiphany and as depressed as I've been after that, suicide has never been an option. I've reflected on I Ching a bit, and have done a bit of oracular taxonomy on it. I Ching has the following properties: 1) It is a self-reflexive system, that is, it reflects the user's state, not the state of external entities (e.g.: OUIJA reflects the state of dead people, and to paraphrase an article from GNOSIS, "Just 'cause your dead, it don't mean you're smart"). 2) It is a disintermediated system, that is, you throw I Ching for yourself, you don't hire an I Ching practitioner to do it, as in palmistry. 3) It is mostly a symbolic system, not a direct communication system (i.e.: Most channeling directly deals with specific dates and events, I Ching requires interpretation, and you're never sure you're 100% right on. 4) It requires no special equipment (other than a book) 5) It's old, old, old - there's no doubt that it's been around the block and is time tested, unlike your commercial shopping mall style oracles (e.g. alleged Nordic/Celtic Runes on Scrabble chips). 6) It's canonical, that is, there aren't 5 or 6 I Chings running around with wildly variant methods and interpretations, as in Tarot. Although I've seen a couple English translations with slightly different cultural twists, they agree on the number of hexagrams, the formation thereof, the two methods of hexagram generation, the strong line variations, etc. 7) It's noncommercial. I don't think anyone sees I Ching as a business opportunity for their NewAge (rhymes with sewage) product line. 8) It has TWZ embedded in it. 9) It's cost effective: even if it only keeps you from drunkenly blowing your brains out once, the book paid for itself. I can't say that I "believe" in I Ching, but I do find its cultural and theoretical underpinnings more satisfying than other oracular systems. And no, I haven't tried other systems, and haven't used I Ching in years. Because it's a reflexive symbol system, it seems to me that I Ching requires *neither* faith or proof. The salient questions are: 1) Do users get something out of it? 2) Does it promote delusional thinking? The answer to 1 is obvious, or nobody would use it. The answer to 2 is no. I Ching deals in pretty prosaic life situation stuff, which doesn't excite feeble minds to get grandiose with it. Sure, there's a few exceptions, this Terence guy may be a good example ;> . Because it's disintermediated, control trips or "I Ching cults" don't arise around it. I can't think of anyone who ran their lives throwing hexagrams for very long - most folks use it for some period and grow away from it. Anyway, when you add up all the features of I Ching, it has the reliability, availability and maintainability that make it more durable and a better bargain for today's value conscious shopper than than any other sport utility vehicle in its class. (from NOVELTY mailing list) --------
meta-tags Have you ever wondered why your website is not turning up in some of the Search Engines no matter how many times you submit it, or how often pages totally unrelated to the subject you are searching show up at the top of the results? Chances are, the answer has to do with a not-widely enough known mechanism called Meta Tags. a good meta tag resource, and a meta tag primer and still more on meta tags after you have properly meta-tagged your webpages, use this great tool to tell you how well your site ranks on various search engines. And here is the ultimate guide about search engines and how to benefit from them!
Ted Calls for Green Activist Media "American media need to take a more active role in saving the planet. Reporters, editors and executives must lead the charge on protecting the environment and rally different cultures together to improve the lot of the have-nots, [CNN chief Ted] Turner said....Population growth harms air quality and depletes the world's food supply, he said. Turner said the United States and other countries should convene a global conference and look hard at family planning, perhaps adopting China's policy of one child per family. 'Voluntary, of course,' he said. 'I had five kids,' Turner added in one of the many asides Friday that typify his speeches, 'but I had them 30 years ago I didn't know.'" Arizona Republic reporter Abraham Kwok on Turner's speech in Scottsdale to the American Magazine Association, October 25. from NOTABLE QUOTABLES November 17, 1997 (Vol. Ten; No. 23) L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
voyeur Specificity on parade... imagine random web search keywords flashing across the screen in real time as they are actually typed in to search engines by users. one continous poem that automatically refreshes every 15 seconds.
the growing power of chat
tree-free paper of all kinds: >My company is making paper out of Bananas, Coffee >Beans, and Tobacco Leaves. >I don't know how elseto put this, other than that >this is unique in the world and a new approach towards >environmentally responsible products. >I would like to get your opinion as a socially conscious >person. Could you please visit our new web site, >and give your honest opinion about it? >Let me thank you beforehand..... >Alvaro E. Siman >Director >Costa Rica Natural >email@example.com >www.costaricanatural.com interested in custom made paper from flowers? or beets? or grapes? or carrots? or seaweed? try the Church of the Living Tree
John Perry Barlow's confession John Perry Barlow publicly admits he is a "shameless pot-smoking, acid-addled slut." Barlow says the upside of this confession is that his opponents are forced to oppose his ideas on their merits, rather than strategically revealing his here-to-fore hidden depravities. Shame is no weapon against the shameless. He has also admitted the existence of his notorious B a R L o W F R i e N D Z 650 list. you know who you are!
China and India watch CyberIndia! It also has an extensive spiritual section with lots of interesting links this new site is uploaded from China, and of course government censored, but interesting none-the-less. meant to attract foreign business to China.
make your own custom music CD's burn your own custom cd's on the web with any music you like?
Inside Passages paddle your way to enlightenment in the seas of Alaska?
Jobs commutes in style according to Wired Services, Steve Jobs will pay over a quarter of a million dollars to commute between Pixar and Apple by helicopter and cut 90 minutes off his 2 hour commute by car.
poetic navigation of the web Rather than selecting sites by name, topic or author, navigate your way around the web from poem to poem? or a new poem every day at Poetry Daily
search the newsgroups Searching websites with a conventional search engine is one way to get information. Another very useful and very cool research tool is Deja News, the search engine that plows through the universe of conversation on newsgroups and usenet.
white South Africa confesses A website established by Bishop Desmond Tutu's Truth & Reconciliation Commission is accepting confessions and apologies from white South Africans.
Save Tibet! You may have seen Kundun, and/or Seven Years to Tibet. Now take a few minutes for some online action to help save Tibet
do you have the vapors? if you have heard about the new vaporizers for lung friendly herbal imbibing go here to order one. .