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Everything posted by Nathaniel

  1. I helped Acharya S (D. Murdock) set up Stellar House Publishing and each of her books was a variation on this theme. Then she died and didn't rise again. That was a very emotional kookoo gal. Smart but nuts.
  2. The IPU was before your time? How young is you? The only thing before my time is primordial protoplasm. I must confess I never heard of the Purple Oyster of Doom. Sounds...fresh from the sea. 😋
  3. I believe it's time for my ugly pills.
  4. 😂 Oh man, yeah baybee. Dat flyin sketti monsta kept me goin for quite sum time. Dat and da Indivisble Pink Unicorn. Now 'bout them strippers....😋
  5. Dry cleaning bags filled with swamp gas. Pie plates and reflections in the atmosphere. Echolocation via dog whistle. All these and more can be found in the pages of the Wholly Babble. "In the Big Inning, Gob cremated the Heavens and the baseball diamond. He saw the ball and said "Be the ball" and behold. It was so. And Gob sed, "Let their bee herpes." And there was herpes. Then Gob sed, "Shut up and go to hell." And it was so. Dance dance wherever ewe may bee four eye am the lord of the dunce sed he." Wholly Babble, 2 Hezekiah 3:16 Nude World Translation of the Watertower Society.
  6. Blasting billowing bursting forth
    with the Power of ten billion butterfly sneezes
    Man with his flaming pyre
    has conquered the wayward breezes
    Climbing to tranquility
    far above the clouds
    Conceiving the heavens
    clear of misty shroud..
    They go higher and higher and higher
    now they've learned to play with fire
    They go higher and higher and higher

    Moody Blues

  7. Are you all right? Calm down and reflect a bit. Your reaction is over the top, Rabbio. Also, you must be very used to being insulted by people you do not know and have not even met. I am unused to being called a liar. In 66 years that has happened maybe four times. My advice to RevBogovac was simple and quite kindly albeit unadorned by niceties. It would do him well to alter his on-forum behavior with people he has not "met" or interacted with in any way. You would do well to place yourself in others shoes before exploding on them and being so intense and overdone. You said, "With no knowledge of RevBogovac you have relentlessly attacked his character and his motivation." Really? Relentlessly? I have no clue as to his motivation Rabbio, and did not mention it. My words and advice were as to his social behavior, not his unknowable (by me) motivations. Again, place yourself in the shoes of others. Out of the blue some fellow posts a snarky judgmental comment to me. No one takes such comments in a friendly way UNLESS the know the poster making the comment. I did not and do not know him. Now, my advice is for you to mind your own business and avoid my posts and comments. Thank you RabbiO!
  8. Hello Jonathan It has always been very easy for me to divorce the teachings of the Buddha from extraneous matters such as those you mentioned. Other than ideas of karma and reincarnation his teachings are not tied to any culture. The trappings that Buddhism has acquired in its travels are irrelevant and unattractive to me too. As for Buddhism being difficult, so is higher mathematics. So is relativity theory and quantum mechanics. If you have done much reading in the Suttas it will be obvious that the Buddha was not so much a mystic (though he was) as a extremely rational and thorough logician. His ability to take a situation or phenomena and analyse it into its constituent parts and show how they all work together and depend on each other is amazingly modern and scientific. Unlike the later Mahayana Buddhists who took metaphysical speculation and ran with it, the Buddha eschewed it. That was the point of the conversation you paraphrased between a seeker and the Buddha, except it was not about God. Buddha said he would not engage in it because it had nothing whatsoever to do with Awakening. My point is that there is no reason why, in religion and spirituality, simpler is somehow better than complex. Truth can be presented simply but it is not simplistic. Truth always has great depth and breadth but can be stated in a way that even a child can understand. That is Buddhism. Read the classic I recommended by Walpola Rahula. It's short and to the point, quite well rounded, but it is simple. Any of the topics can be taken to an almost unbelievable depth of complexity in the Pali Canon. The complexity is very scientific and empirical, not the "complexity" of religious texts than ramble on an on..."The Ultimombo is connected to the Saskatoonia in Wombalonia, interspersed with Nagadociousness, sprinkled with Babaloobia and it all interprenetrates the Glickity Godhead of Goonyville." Christianity gets that way. It becomes very complex but it remains complicated nonsense that contributes nothing to the understanding of our specie and advances science not one whit. It's "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Also, the Buddha was not a Monist (as is Mahayana, Vajrayana, Ch'an, Zen, and Pure Land/Sukkhavati) but was a Dualist. All was not "one" to the Buddha and Samsara was not Nirvana. The Buddha warned that after his death his Dharma would become corrupted until it was unrecognizable and useless for Awakening. That certainly happened with the later schools that I enumerated above. Taoism shares many of the Buddhas' insights but is simpler, less scientific, more mystical and poetic. I like Taoism too. (Left and right hemispheres and all that.) Thanks for the good conversation Jonathan. I may be back, I may not. Namaste, VLX
  9. RevBogovac. It would have been very good if you had introduced yourself and let me come to know you at least a little bit before you started in with the trolling. What if I had posted a sentence to you that implied you are a liar? Unless you are accustomed to being called a liar it would have bothered you too to be sullied by a stranger. I can join any Forum on the Net and be trolled by a troll. I do not need this forum for that. I would not concern yourself further with the matter RevBogovac as I am thoroughly unimpressed with this Forum (except for Jonathan who has engaged me in intelligent discussion) and will cease posting when I am finished smoothing your feathers. *Smoothes Revbogovacs feathers* Namaste, Venerable Lantian Xinshen
  10. Hello Jonathan. The verses from the Pali Canon you have given are indeed the gist of a conversation the Buddha had. But the question of God was not the question posed to Buddha but whether or not the universe is eternal. He had similar conversations about Atman, Self, soul. He formulated Anatta/Anatman. We are the sum of our parts not more. There is not a thinker behind the thoughts, just thoughts. I find that American "Buddhists" reject the teaching of the Buddha, the teaching of Anatta/Anatman just as the seekers of the Buddhas day did. They reject this teaching as Nihilism but it is not. It takes much difficult thinking and analysis, just as it did the Buddha, to realize this truth of the Dharma. But America is not about study and analysis in depth but Wikipedia articles and You Tube videos. It would be grand if Meitreya would appear and clear out the nonsense and speak the Dharma to modern Buddhists, and the modern world, once more. Buddha did not reject the existence of "the gods." He accepted their reality and made fun of them. Especially the creator god Brahma (not to be confused with Brahman). Buddha presented Nibbana/Nirvana (Nir: Not. Vana: Flame. Not-Flame) as the Supreme and Final Reality. Buddha, unlike Mahayana, did not teach that "Nirvana is Samsara" correctly perceived. The opposite is the fact. Buddha contrasted Nirvana and Samsara in the strongest and clearest of terms. The Dhammapada is very short but even a cursory read of the simple introduction to the words of Buddha make it plain that Nirvana is not Samsara. Nirvana is, according to the Buddha, "the Unborn, the Ungrown, the Unconditioned, the Uncompounded, the Absolute." I have never read anywhere (except in the words of the Buddha) the piercing truth, the Fact, that life is suffering, and craving is the cause of suffering (as well as of coming into existence).
  11. Hello Jonathan. I will think about Revgovobak. It's been 26 years that I have been online and I am exhausted with snarky trolls. First, I had no idea that Reiki, under the name Therapeutic Touch, went mainstream with the nursing establishment. Happily there are other systems not under their control. As for fees, I had a friend who was a Reiki master who attuned me for free. This section of the Forum (Eastern Religions) is not very active but I have no interest in the other sections. I keep forgetting that being a ULC minister does not mean any of these ordained people actually comport themselves as clergy, as professionals, therefore the behavior sometimes displayed and the crudeness and vitriol sometimes expressed is a bit much. I have been seriously considering setting up an arrangement whereby these seeking ordination as a Sensei, then a Priest, can study with me and be ordained when studies and interviews are complete. All study materials would be those I have collected online. I need to first discuss it with my spiritual master, Venerable Koshu Dari. If I receive approval, would this be something you would be interested in? Or anyone here that you know of? I do not think interest in Buddhism is as deep or widespread in the USA as many people suppose. Namaste, BN
  12. Hello Jonathan. Revgobovac is a troll. The Internet is crawling with them. You have certainly gotten around, religiously speaking. There is nothing negative about that as one learns what works for one and what does not. My own development was not linear either. As for prayer, you've probably already read this: Nothing fails like prayer. I went through Reiki instruction and became a "reiki master." Probably 22 years ago. I didn't use it much. Namaste, BN
  13. RevBogovac, are you a teenager? Or just a jerk? RevBogovac on ignore.
  14. "When you come to a fork in the road, pick it up." I love Cosmic Truth! 😆
  15. That's great! "Today I prayed for money and I found a quarter on the sidewalk! Jesus rules!" 😂 No, I have never heard of Mahikari or Johrei. but I just now Googled them. America is even crazier in its ability to spawn the absurd. The rest of the world seems to think so. 😉 I always get a kick out of the snake handlers/strychnine drinkers in Appalachia. "Poor brother Boob. He just didn't have enough faith." It's sad, but its so hard not to be amused. When I was 19 I was shunned by the Witnesses and I ended up briefly involved in the COG -the Children of God. A sex-and-Jesus cult that began in the Jesus Movement of the late sixties and early seventies. They would use their pretty "sisters" as bait to have sex with prospective converts to lure them into the cult. That's not how I was lured (I was drawn to their total commitment plus it seemed like a good way to avoid growing up.) But my time with them was mercifully short, less then a month. I was living in Detroit at the time, in the former Black Panther headquarters that had been turned into The House of Prayer. It was a "ministry" run by pastor George W. Bogle, a fundamentalist radio preacher with delusions of grandeur. He would send out his cult members to work for cash under the table at extremely low wages and was building for himself and his family a very nice place to live. I had had enough when the COG came along. Religion. Gods. Funny clothes. Silly hats. Silly rules. "God hates Tootsie Pops almost as much as he hates sideburns." Sorry. I'm rambling. 🙄 BN
  16. LOL reminds me of my involvement, as a teen, with the Jehovahs' Witnesses. I was lured into the group by a gal I had a crush on named Toni Taylor. Anyway, did any of those Nichiren "Buddhists" ever get what they were chanting for? It surely does sound like foolishness. Gotta go. The Buddha is at my door with a big stick. 😎 Namaste, BN
  17. I knew a woman in Indio, California, named Socorro Henijosa who was into Nichiren. I read several of her books and decided the man was utterly self-deceived (believing himself to be the reincarnation of Gautama) or a deceiver. Unlike Gautama he taught that a Father God exists, that tanha is good, and enlightenment is basically getting whatever goodies you want out of life. After 30 + years the remainder escapes me.
  18. Walpola Rahula, a Theravada bhikkhu, penned a true Classic in his short but surprisingly well rounded book What the Buddha Taught. I have used this book for many years in teaching the basics of Dharma to my students. Many besides myself regard in rightly as a Classic. Nearly all schools of Buddhist thought (excluding Shin, Sukkhavati, and Nichiren) hold these truths and insights in common and Rahula bases his teachings squarely on the Pali Canon. Many quotes, especially in his very clear chapter on Anatta/Anatman, may surprise you. The book is available online as a free PDF: Namaste, Venerable Lantian Xinshen Blue-Sky Mind
  19. I had been very strongly influenced against homeopathy by Penn and Teller and I liked to poke fun at it. Then my allergies were acting up and I went to a drug store for an antihistamine. Next to them on the shelf were homeopathic allergy pills. They were less expensive than the allopathic so I thought "What the hey. I'll give it a try" expecting them to not work and I would have to return for a bottle of allopathic medicine. Instead, the pills worked. Not as well or for as long as an allopathic antihistamine, but it worked. I was quite shocked. Though I have never used a homeopathic med again, I am nonetheless no longer inclined to dismiss homeopathy completely.