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  3. I would like to know WHEN is The Bookstore going to get more books from headquarters? I’ve been checking there for over a year and everything says BACKORDERED on it. And by the way, this web site seems way less functional than it used to be. I wish the people in charge would get their act together.
  4. I am not unsocial. I attend a senior center five days a week, schedule permitting. I teach a weekly qi gong class. There are ways to find community that have nothing to do with religion. No. Religion is not humanities only obstacle. If religion vanished today, humanity would still be a mess. It would be a different mess, but it would still be a mess. As for God. I am an Apatheist. I don't care whether or not God exist. I am persuaded that even the question is futile.
  5. You and I do not ascribe to a religious affiliation so there is zero letting go required. For those who are socially oriented, who for example vacation with friends, need a friend to "go running", who have Oscar watch-parties cuz they don't want to watch alone....they need a social connection for many aspects in life. I think this is a very good thing. Most of my birth family is comprised of high socials who not only are very fun people, make life interesting and are often very generous of their time and treasure . I ain't one of them by a long shot. Quite the other end of the spectrum. But I understand they have a NEED for social interaction. As much as I need to take breaks from all of it. It is real. They need group events. For art exercise and quite possibly affirmation of ethical behavior. At work, we profiled over a thousand workers. All types represented in more than the thousand employees. I discovered, over a number of years, high socials contribute a great deal to society and productivity. The production was just as good if hired more of them than it was with fewer of them. They stopped to chat, annoying non-social people, they planned break room parties, they greeted everyone if the wanted to be greeted or not...and I clocked it all assuming they were less productive and distracting. Not true. They come too work looking forward to the social aspect even on a production floor assembling stuff. They socialize AND get their work done. They need to socialize TO GET their work done, If religion, as we know it now - vanishes, I believe your prediction ignores their natural tendency does not lend itself to your life style (possibly, I don't know you that well) or mine. Therefore, it seems highly unlikely that will occur based on human dynamics and the eclectic bunch of humans we share the planet with.... If, as you suppose, religion were the only impediment to humans advancing - you might have a point. Religion is only one entity holding back evolution. It is not an evil. It is, however, dying in its current form. What is likely to replace it, is the question. Religion, like all institutions - offers as much good as evil. Von
  6. Of course religion is not, of itself, a pathology. You asked what will replace religion. Nothing will replace religion. We can come together, and nurtur each other, and do good with out religion. First, we must see that religion is not the only path forward. We can simply let it go. 🤔 A simple experiment. Point to yourself. Did you point to your brain? No. You pointed to your heart. You did that without religion. 😀
  7. Is the motto of ULC sufficient? Is doing right enough? von
  8. I have to ask. What do you mean by spiritual and spirituality?
  9. Hmmm. Having religious beliefs is not a disease nor is it indicative of sanity or lack thereof, perhaps. Disease is a reflection of a biologic evolution not a spiritual organization, perhaps. Does the absence of religion automatically/instantly change the need of large swaths of humans across the globe to be gather for some form of group spirituality? Considering, the world is not comprised by an entire introverted population, there are those who feel most comfortable in work/life settings with others. They are recharged by gathering socially for all aspects of their life. What serves as their vehicle for recharging spiritually? thx von
  10. We would not ask what to replace cancer. Sanity and humanity would replace religion.
  11. The negative connotation is that religion placates the less learned into submission. The skeptical view indicates religion is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing doing the same old greed and real estate grabs and power plays that turn human kind to the dark side. The more traditional versions promote judgments and a black and white world of rights and wrongs and good vs. evil. It fosters a mindset of like me or inferior to me. The hunch for some, is there is no longer a need for religion. Faith and hope maybe still of use but the value of religion long ago died but the remnants of the faithful are fighting even though even the find explaining it borders on credibility. If organized religion gets shelved, what replaces it? von
  12. Is the offset to walking and resulting knee pain...less health issues in other areas? I recently found out one can "chair walk" and gain much of the same benefit. Additionally you can chair run, chair Zumba, chair dance and chair yoga. In fact, just to see if it was possible - last summer I signed up for a virtual marathon. I did the distance by moving my arms and lets while sitting. My hear rate was high enough to be huffing, puffing and sweating as per usual. With the virtual marathon - chair version - I discovered MANY international "regular marathons" permit a multi-day virtual option to include those who are staying active but not quite on par with their younger years. I gotta admit it WAS a challenge. But cool for me to compete and be times right along with everyone else. von
  13. I appreciate this posting. That would be, on surface, a most difficult reality. I have never had biologic children. So I am not qualified to address this at some level. I have raised foster children. I have taken in siblings children when life was spinning out of control for the kid, the sibling or both. The children in my care (both blood relatives and non-blood relatives) were taken away from horrid home situations. Often abused kids. Kids born to addicted parents. Scarred children. I was not able to have kids of my own. I concluded quickly a few that were able to birth them were not as able to actually raise them, quite often for very understandable reasons. So, I am not convinced that it is completely a given that natural parents understand the responsibility of parenting and non parents are completely void of understanding. Since I was financially able to provide resources beyond the scope of normal foster parent allocations to the children, my ego would like to believe I made a difference. Part of that ego driven action including the lunacy that I could protect them at all times, or that they had the desire to be all I could see they could be, or that they had the same values or vision of the future or even remotely the same norms of what life should be... I think lots of parents act towards great futures, or believe they have a super safe and bright future available to every child - however not every child agrees with the desires the parents are yoking upon them from birth. They don't' like some foods, they shun parental notions of order, they are not born with the same hopes or humors or wants. So the best plans of the parents including truckloads of pressures to control the outside world... are (often) parental planning, in reality, beyond parent's control. Yes, there are fears and dangers. There are also kids who aren't going to appreciate your providing things that are of no concern to them. You want to protect them. (one construct) They don't agree with your version of protection. A different construct. At age two - you physically can control much. At what age is that not the case. At what age to you prepare them (and yourself) to shift some of that responsibility. How long is that transition period. How much of your conclusions and skills are helpful, and when are you simply failing at letting them take risks and fail - which too is part of growing. I am NOT implying any lines in the sand or any parent I have ever met fails. I am very much implying that we sometimes WANT to do more in life than is possible We construct demands beyond what is a reality then struggle to realize we are not wired, able, or willing to admit we need help, we are not so great as we want to be, or as able to step back when we should. Certainly I know that has been true for me. That dang ego is ridiculous. Mine is at least. von
  14. Perhaps, therein is the fulcrum. The mind constructs wants...and the path forward - is to explore the choice of the construct. At one point the pressure of my job was alarming. I got paid a great deal of money. I had zero financial worries. However, it was obvious the long hours, constant demands and fatigue were taking a physical toll. In my mind, each day I would (mistakenly) tell myself that this would all improve as soon as I nailed down the current five alarm fire, hired more talented people, got rid of the malcontents or whatever it was my mind was telling me would be the magic elixir to fix life. My life would be easier or better if the system would change, the government would improve regulations and legislation and my spouse would stop being so darn pesky. Wrong. My needs were very simple. My wants and obligations (perceived) were quite large. My hopes for family members enormous. My desire to help them, the planet, society were MY construct. Changing the construct of the walls, shifted an opening to filter my thoughts and actions. Eventually, the wants were far less because my need to control outcomes, to help, to give was reigned in.... The ego might have been building an unsteady bit of walling off..... von
  15. I believe your point in well made. I too can see that some Buddhist teachers in the United States have an unintentional (or perhaps deliberate) have a need/proclivity, to spin teaching's through a decidedly western point of view. Good that you mentioned that. There might be either a supposition that Western vocabulary/values are clarified and familiar and inviting. It could also be argued that diluting teachings is akin to hitting the 'easy button' ...interesting thoughts to the process of understanding. von
  16. This made me hear the song IMAGINE (John Lennon) play softly while reading it........very interesting.
  17. I would be happy to try to do so. Prior to my retirement, I participated in local walking events to raise money for charities, and also the Volkswalk organized events organized throughout the United States. For me it was never competitive. It was relaxing, enjoying nature, but really just a relax and escape from the pressures of life. Nothing more. However, at the invitation of the indigenous peoples of the area, I attended a very different event. I showed up on time, in my normal walking attire but there were no bib numbers to attach to my shirt. No water bottles to be had, no energy bars. No sign in table. However, there were scores of little ones and other silver haired people,and lots of people who did not look like "running" would be the first word used to describe them. It was a very, very diverse group. Some wearing expected types of athletic attire, quite a few wearing anything but athletic attire. And we waited. And we waited and we waited. We were not told to line up (linearly) to start the event but rather to form a very large circle. We complied . Someone then let a prayer in a native language. I have no clue which language as there were people from more than one tribe present. That was followed by other ritual/traditional goings on...and an introduction or various leaders of different groups. Are we ready to begin the walk now ? NOT EVEN close. There was a time for the beginning of the walk on the flyer, we were more than thirty minutes passed that.....and still in our circle. The next thing to happen was extremely busy, get the heart pumping exercises. Which we did for more than (20) minutes. Once we were all sweating in place, by some signal I failed to notice, the event began. Some running like the wind, some walking quite slowly, all smiling. it seemed to me there were no groupings, much of the time folks were silent. A few singing occasionally in a native language. Others chatting with great animation. It was everything and also nothing,. It fluctuated. Along the way, being a slow walker this day, others walked with me briefly, until they passed me by...gradually arriving to me....and gradually moving beyond me. While with me, along side me they told their story in a few sentences Not their life story. Just their today story. Their this moment story. They didn't ask me about mine (grateful of that) - so I listened. Children ran among, between and were boundless in their activity. They stopped to explore, bring things back to share with anyone. One handed me a rock of no distinction they skipped away. There was no reason to explain the gift, I guess. If it was a gift. I don't know why. It didn't matter. I carried it the rest of the way thinking they might come back for it. There was no plotted or marked course. I had no idea (other than my watch) how far I had walked or how long. And eventually we returned to the field where we began. People went to the vehicles and brought snacks. Some I recognized. Some I was clueless. And there were water bottles. Warm from the sun. Hot even. No plates. No napkins. No invitation to join in, although I was certain, no one cared if I did (and obviously no bother if I did not join in.) None of it familiar. No one engaged me in discussing spirituality. They simply were as they have always been. I was welcome to join. To enjoy silence. To observe. To learn to "be" or to "do" at my own pace. If I initiated conversation or asked questions there was usually a very long pause between us, but the response were friendly, deliberate but not, at first, easily understood by me. I left completely unsure of what the heck had transpired. In actuality in subsequent meetings online with a couple of the regular attendees, I was encourage to take the same steps on my own walks. To modify what I had experienced, what had perplexed me, and allow the walk time to just let my thoughts percolate. Not being FROM this approach, I did not really experience the same thing I could CLEARLY see was happening around me. Over time, I realized there was a different understanding of walking in nature. To me there were trees, cactus, sky, sun, breeze, earth, sand, others. To them, it slowly came to me, these were all one. There were no labels, no distinctions, no separation. The perimeters I viewed as "taking a walk" were not present. We walked. We all walked in the classic sense the word you would use in a dictionary. I might even muster saying i would pray/meditate while moving my arms and legs. But that would be different. it would be taking your normal spiritual practice on the road as it were. These people make no distinction of this moment is spiritual or this activity is the holy time......and that one is regular time. All moments seem to be spiritual or that is my take away. And moving at what ever speed is available to you, is necessary. As much as breathing is necessary. Very overweight oldsters were lighter on their feet when moving with the group. The collective energy somehow elevated the community. They are bonded but the group walk/run movement. It was, actually, healing to them biologically as well as emotionally. You could see it. You could see it as a way to face mistakes and transgressions and walk to what only could be described as beauty. In the physical surrounding you and inside of you. As I became more familiar over the next few months with their practices, the prayers seem to note beauty is life, life is beauty. If you disturb it, you just need to move through it more, faster, ...soak it in and revive through moving, smelling, hearing, even hearing silence. You just become part of the ever moving ever changing scenery from then to now and push yourself forward, each move time replenishing, refreshing, forgiving, centering, elevating. It is difficult to explain which is why this is so verbose. I'm wondering if someone more familiar or more learned could help me with summating it more succinctly. The net result (I still am not part of "it") but i am moving more because of trying to understand it. I get there is something there. I appreciate that there is, but I am stumped by what it is exactly. Von
  18. read article https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-legislation-allowing-individuals-become-one-day-marriage-officiants
  19. NOW ANYONE CAN OFFICIATE A WEDDING IN NYS https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-legislation-allowing-individuals-become-one-day-marriage-officiants
  20. Next. The story of the elephant and the butterfly. 😆
  21. I agree. Putting great ideas into practice is the hard part. Perhaps you remember the Asehops fable about the cat and mice. The mice agreed that someone had to put a bell around the cat's neck. One old mouse said - "Yes. But who will bell the cat? Theory and practice. 😆 Jonathan
  22. Yes, that does tend to make life… interesting… and meaningful… But also more challenging (to follow the path of the Buddha). Let me illustrate; I have been in (several) severe motor accidents (having been hospitalized, operated and rehabilitated) and in war (two times; been shot at/shelled/bombed over, threatened to be butchered [with a “Rambo”-knife), had a gun cocked and put on my forehead), but I have never, EVER been (even close to) as worried as since my first child was born into my hands (literally). As a (team-) lead I thought I understood my reports who had children. I did not. It’s a cliché, but you really have to live through it to understand. How does one “releas[-e] the transitory and understand[…] that everything passes” if it concerns their children? (PS Wife I can understand, but children…)
  23. While there are genuine health benefits for walking, physical and mental, I find the older I get, the less enhancing it is to my feet and knees. (Even with Dr. Scholl inserts.)
  24. No. Also no children. This works out well because I never took a wife. I never found anyone I wanted to be married to. It's one of the few serious mistakes I managed to avoid. So many of my peers are on their second divorce. 😆🤣
  25. Then let’s wonder off-topic… do you have any (grand-)children, Jonathan?
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