Friday, 26 June 2015

Nama, Rupa and Namarupa

Nama and Rupa are two fundamental divisions of phenomena in Buddhist philosophy.

Nama refers to the mental aspects of humans and animals, whereas rupa refers to all physical phenomena, including human and animal bodies regarded as biophysical machines. Rupa is mechanistic, whereas nama is mental. 

Although nama and rupa interact,  Buddhist philosophers reject the possibility that nama can be reduced to rupa (hence our minds are not machines)

Since Buddhism is a process philosophy, nama and rupa are regarded as being in a constant state of flux and impermanence, and are processes rather than things or substances.

The Sanskrit word nama is related to the English word 'name', and similar cognates in other Indo-European languages, thus showing the intentional and semantic aspect of the term.    Rupa means 'form' or mereology, including those physical processes which act to change forms.

All aspects of rupa may be modelled, explained and simulated by a Universal Turing Machine, since all concepts of mechanism, and physical and chemical causality, are subsumed by the Universal Turing Machine.   In contrast, the principal activities of nama - intentionality or aboutness and qualitative experience - are beyond the capabilities of a Turing Machine.

More 1.htm

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Where do pets go when they die? Annihilation or rebirth?

Rituals to strengthen your karmic bond with your dead pets.

Some religions don't recognise the spiritual and karmic significance of the human-animal bond. Traditionally, the Abrahamic religions state that only humans have souls, whereas animals are automata (biological machines) whose minds cease at death.

Joseph Rickaby SJ, an influential Jesuit theologian, said that animals had no souls, no rights and no feelings and were no more than automata - like clocks - and if they squeaked or made noises when damaged this was equivalent to the mechanical sounds a clock would make if it fell to the floor and was similarly damaged.

In contrast, the Buddhist view is that animals' minds survive death just as humans do. All sentient beings (creatures that experience suffering and happiness) have non-material minds. Consequently, the funeral rituals to help pet animals in future lives are essentially the same as for humans.   More here

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fake atrocity stories and pictures of 'Buddhist attacks' on Muslims in Burma (Myanmar)

From Atlas Shrugs,

Muslims are waging jihad in Burma. But the Buddhists aren’t having it. Burma is 90% Buddhist. These are a peaceful people. The Muslims have brought war to Burma. Bodh Gaya, the holiest site for the Buddhists the world over, was bombed in a series of Islamic terror attacks. Read more on the jihad in Burma here: Rohingya Hoax.

Anywhere Muslims immigrate, conflict follows. And so it goes in Burma. To shore up their false narrative, Muslims are circulating fake pictures. They’ve learned well from the “Palestinians.”

Jamphel Yeshi

    “The fake pictures of the Rohingya crisis,” BBC, June 6, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The plight of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar was thrust into the spotlight last month after thousands of migrants were left stranded at sea – but not all the images being shared online are what they seem to be.

The Rohingyas are a distinct Muslim ethnic group mainly living in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are not recognised as citizens of Myanmar and face persecution in the majority Buddhist country, where many live in crowded camps. Powerful and seemingly genuine pictures and videos emerged of what Rohingyas must endure in Myanmar after thousands of migrants were left adrift with low supplies of food and water last month. But BBC Trending found some of the images being shared online don’t show Rohingyas at all – but instead come from other disasters and news events.

Many of these images are graphic and disturbing. One of the photos, for instance, that shows up in search results shows Buddhist monks standing among piles of body parts. On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all – it was actually taken in the aftermath of an earthquake in China in April 2010.

Another picture shows a man on fire running across the road. One group that shared the photo on Facebook suggesting the man suffered horrific abuse – that he was chopped up and burnt alive. But the real story is much different. In fact, the photo is of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan activist who set himself on fire in Delhi in 2012 to protest against the Chinese president’s visit to India.

There are many disturbing pictures of children circulating as well. One shows a boy tied to a wooden pole, with the marks of beatings visible across his back. While online posts call him a Rohingya boy, he’s actually a seven-year-old Thai child who was beaten up by a relative for stealing sweets earlier this year...  Read it all

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Bangladesh government filled indigenous Buddhist regions with Muslims to outnumber and evict locals

Sujata Chakma (11 years old when raped and murdered)

"The flash crowds of Muslims from Bengal and Bangladesh that are crowding their way into Burma (Myanmar) is an artifical creation. Here is a background to these conflicts that originate in Muslim persecution of native Buddhists and Christians in Bangladesh. Myanmar is positioned neck to neck with Bangladesh and Bengal, so illegal Muslim infiltration is a constant problem. The Muslim held government and army of Bangladesh is committing genocide of Buddhists and Christians to get rid of all non-Muslim elements, with the financial backing and Sunni Salafi encouragement from the Middle East.

To make sure that the media does not get a hold of facts the Bangladeshi government issued an order that Jumma tribal people cannot speak to foreigners, or Bangladesh citizens from outside the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), except in the presence of a soldier or government official. While the Muslim run government is filling the Jumma region with Muslims to push out the indigenous locals, the Home Ministry has imposed strict restrictions on foreigners getting permission to enter the CHT.

The hill people have also been subject to what is called “Love jihad” (sex grooming) of young children and girls, with abduction, rape and murders serving as a tool used by the Bangladesh military and illegal Muslim Bengalis to force conversion to Islam.

On 9 May 2012 an 11-year old minor indigenous [Buddhist] Jumma girl named Sujata Chakma (11 years) was raped and killed by a Muslim Bengali settler in the Ultachari mouza area of Atarakchara union in Rangamati hill district. Muslim settlers are encroaching indigenous land by the encouragement of the Bangladesh government. Sujata Chakma along with her nephew (5 year old) named Triratna Chakma was grazing cows half a kilometer from the village. According to Triranta Chakma’s statement, a bearded Muslim Bengali man came and forcibly took Sujata away towards upward of Sadachara. The villagers rushed to the spot, but by then Sujata had been raped and brutally killed, and her head was almost severed with forceful cuts by a machette or long knife.

Attacks on indigenous peoples’ villages are the most common way to evict the inhabitants from their lands. A Tripura refugee in India from Bakmara Taindong Para near Matiranga described what happened to his village in 1981 when the settlers moved into his village:

“Muslims from different parts of Bangladesh were brought in by the Bangladeshi authorities. Before that our village was populated only by Chakma, Tripura and Marma [Buddhists]. With the assistance of the government these settlers were rehabilitated in our village and they continued to give us troubles… they finger at the Jummas [locals] and the army beats them and robs them. They took all the food grain. Whenever we seek any justice from the army we don’t get it. All villagers lived under great tension due to various incidents all around. Three days after an incident when six persons had been killed, just before getting dark, many settlers came to our village, shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is Great). When they arrived we escaped so the settlers got the opportunity to set fire“.

A Chakma refugee in Tripura told what happened to his village in 1986:

“I lost my land. Settlers came and captured my land. They burnt our houses first. They came with soldiers. This took place on 1st May 1986 at Kalanal, Panchari. My house was in a village with a temple. The whole village of 60 houses was burnt. After seeing this we ran through the jungles and eventually reached India, coming to Karbook camp.”

The following interview refers to events which took place on 21 November 1990:

“Muslim settlers wanted to take us villagers to a cluster village (concentration camp), but we refused to go there. The villagers were beaten up by the Muslim settlers of which three families managed to escape, one of which is mine. These three families came to Kheddarachara for ‘jhum’ cultivation. We stayed there for one and a half years. The day before yesterday the Muslim settlers came to the same village and rounded up the households. The settlers were accompanied by Bangladeshi soldiers. I took shelter in a nearby latrine when the villagers were rounded up. Later I tried to leave the latrine to go somewhere else. The village had been surrounded. As I was trying to escape, the Muslim settlers shot me. It was a singled barreled shot gun. The incident took place in the early morning around 6 o’clock. After getting the bullet injury I ran away into a safe place. I don’t know what happened to the other villagers. I ran away from the place for about half a mile. Then I fainted and lost consciousness. Two refugees went there to collect indigenous vegetables and brought me to the camp about 10 o’clock. I have been twice attacked to be taken to a cluster village, the second time I was shot.”

Read it all 

How Islam will destroy Buddhism

Monday, 8 June 2015

Evidence Map of Mindfulness

From HSR&D

The following bubble plot broadly summarizes mindfulness intervention systematic reviews published up to February 2014 – and shows the clinical conditions addressed in reviews (bubbles), the estimated size of the literature based on number of RCTs in the largest review (y-axis), the effectiveness trend according to reviews (x-axis), and the number of reviews (bubble size) per clinical condition. Colors: green (various mindfulness interventions), pink (MBSR), purple (MBCT), blue (MBSR+MBCT), and yellow (unique mindfulness-based intervention).

Read the full article

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Global Decline of Buddhism

From Live Science
by Jeanna Bryner

"... Numbers for all of the world's major religions, except Buddhism, are expected to rise as the population does the same.

Islam will grow faster than any other major religion, and at a higher rate than the world population balloons, the survey found. In fact, Muslims are projected to increase by 73 percent between 2010 and 2050. If current trends hold, Christianity will also grow, albeit at a slower rate, increasing by 35 percent by 2050. That is about the same rate as the world's population overall is expected to grow by 2050.

If those numbers pan out, there will be nearly equal numbers of Muslims (2.8 billion) and Christians (2.9 billion) in the world by 2050, for the first time in history. Increases in a slew of other religions are also forecast: Hindus are projected to rise by 34 percent, from just over 1 billion in 2010 to 1.4 billion in 2050; Jews are expected to grow from just under 14 million in 2010 to 16.1 million by 2050

Also by 2050, some 450 million people in the world will be affiliated with various folk religions, such as African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions, the survey projected. That represents an increase of 11 percent relative to 2010 numbers..."

"...These shifts in the world's religions are the result of several factors, including differences in fertility rates, the size of the youth population and people switching faiths, Pew said. (Younger populations have more people with prime childbearing years ahead.)

For instance, a good chunk of the growth in Christianity and Islam is expected to happen in sub-Saharan Africa, where birth rates are high. Fertility rates varied by religion, according to Pew, with Muslims having the highest fertility rate, of 3.1 children per woman; Christians coming in second, with 2.7 kids per woman; Hindus and Jews with average fertility rates of 2.4 and 2.3, respectively; and Buddhists having one of the lowest fertility rates, at 1.6..."

read it all

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Four Proven Ways Mindfulness Can Help You at Work

From The Fiscal Times
by Maureen Mackey

"...In addition to reducing stress, Gelles shared three other benefits many corporate leaders, executives and workers are finding from mindfulness:

Increased focus and concentration. “We regain control of our attention.  We come back to our breath over and over again even when our minds wander – and they’re always wandering. Simple attentional training can yield big benefits in the long run.”

Improved creativity, calmness and compassion. “Many leaders who embrace mindfulness cite these valuable qualities. They especially find an increase in their empathy toward a range of constituents. Bill Ford at Ford Motor Company discovered this, as has Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna.” Workers find their frustrations are not as unique as they think. That new understanding can become a liberating force.

Fuller awareness of everyday tasks. “You notice your thoughts, your emotions – then you proceed,” said Gelles. “It’s about being aware of small moments. This can be even more effective than taking a big chunk of time to practice mindful meditation...”   read it all

Friday, 5 June 2015

Compassion without borders: Buddha and Jesus

From The Times Free Press
by Casey Phillips

"...The Buddha's prime message is one of boundless compassion, of treating all beings like a mother would treat her children," he says. "That ... also rang true to me because of my absorption of the message of Jesus, that the whole point of taking the Christ path is to become strong and luminous and selfless enough to love all beings.

"That was the fundamental link that was clear to me at the beginning."

Harvey is not alone in his beliefs; the similarities between the statements of Jesus and Buddha have been noted by many, including well-known Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who wrote the books "Living Buddha, Living Christ" and "Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers."

"When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa," Hanh wrote in "Living Buddha, Living Christ."

Other books on the links between the two include "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings," by New Testament scholar Marcus J. Borg and "Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life" by Robert E. Kennedy. Some scholars also have noted the similarities between the teachings of Buddha and The Gospel of Thomas, the list of 113 sayings from Christ that were discovered in Egypt in 1945.

Harvey's own journey to embracing a universal spirituality that transcends organized religion traces its roots to the awe he felt at that initial encounter in the museum.

At age 9, he traveled from India to the United Kingdom to attend private school and "to be put through the English concentration camp of reason," but the sense of peaceful resonance he felt with eastern mysticism stayed with him.

By 21, he had attained a professorship at the University of Oxford -- the youngest person ever to achieve that position -- but he began to feel spiritually and emotionally unfulfilled. By his mid-20s, he was overcome by a deep, overwhelming sense of disillusionment with academia, with his faith and with himself..."  Read it all

Thursday, 4 June 2015

One Moment Meditation Works Synergistically with the Apple Watch to Control Media Overload

From Yahoo
by Martin Boroson

Are you overwhelmed by technology or feel like you just don’t have enough time? Martin Boroson, who first revolutionized meditation training by showing people they can do it powerfully in short bursts of time, is now bringing his technique of One-Moment Meditation® to the Apple Watch.

In creating One-Moment Meditation®, Martin Boroson realized that many people didn’t meditate, because their expectations were too high or they just didn’t have enough time to practice it regularly. Boroson discovered that it really only takes a moment. And with that innovation, he has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to get over the ‘time barrier’ and quickly refocus thoughts and calm the mind.

“The result of today’s constant digital reminders and monitoring can be a feeling that we are controlled by our devices and need to do more within the same amount of time. This has proven to be counterproductive and overwhelming to many,” says Martin Boroson. “The introduction of the Apple Watch is likely to create an even bigger change in how we experience time and appears to be making giant steps towards a more synergistic relationship between device and user. Combine that with the many benefits of momentary mediation, and time might just become yours again...” more

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Three Steps to Mindfully Shift Negative Thoughts and Feelings

from the Huffington Post
by Ronald Alexander, Ph.D.

The belief "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is false, at least as far as brain science is concerned. It has proven that the brain is far more malleable than we ever thought. We can develop new relationship, communication, and money-management skills at any age, especially with mindfulness training.

Mindfulness allows you to set aside the instantaneous, unwholesome thoughts that limit one's ability to think of creative solutions and embrace more positive, wholesome ones, laying new neural pathways and building what I call, mindstrength. This is the ability to very quickly and easily shift out of a reactive mode and become fully present in the moment. It gives you mastery over your thoughts and feelings, opening your eyes to whether the products of your mind are useful tools for self-discovery or merely distractions.

Often, unwholesome, painful thoughts are about the past and the future, or cause and effect: You might think, "If I wasn't able to do that in the past, I won't be able to do that in the future" and "Because of what I did in the past, I can't create the future situation I'd like." Again, by applying mindfulness training, you open a doorway to a mindful-inquiry process in which you can examine these beliefs and let go of a sense of being stuck or trapped. Painful and fearful thoughts about the past and future will prevent you from focusing on the present, and accepting where you are at this moment in time.

Here are three mindful techniques from my book, Wise Mind, Open Mind to help you shift painful afflictive thoughts and feelings.

Step One: Examine Unwholesome Thoughts...  read more

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Dealing with baggage from the past

From  The Huffington Post
by Charles Francis 

"....In the practice of mindfulness, we take a different approach to finding happiness. Instead of trying to please our senses, we seek to eliminate the sources of our unhappiness. These sources are generally unresolved issues from our past, and difficulty dealing with the present.

Many of us have things from our past that make us uncomfortable when we think about them. These can also be more serious events, such as abuse or loss of loved ones. By developing mindfulness, we begin to see all these events from a broader perspective, and this allows us to transform our views about them so that they no longer cause us pain. Mindfulness also enables us to develop greater inner strength, so that we can deal with any of life's challenges..."   full article 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Mindfulness very gently moving around the world's classrooms

From The Age
by Colleen Ricci

"Mindfulness meditation – the practice of quietening the mind to bring awareness and attention to the present moment – is increasingly being used in schools around the world as a tool to improve student wellbeing and enhance academic performance. Although originating in Buddhist religious tradition, it is a secular form of the practice that has become popular in classrooms and workplaces.

One particular program making headway on an international scale is the Britain-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. It provides two main courses designed specifically by teachers for use in the classroom: ".b" – pronounced "dot-be" (Stop, Breathe and Be) – aimed at older children, and "Paws-be" geared towards 7- to 11-year-olds. Now taught in more than 20 countries with a curriculum translated into numerous languages, co-founder Richard Burnett hopes that mindfulness meditation will one day be taught in all schools "just like reading and writing".

Why is it happening?

In recent years, mindfulness training has been incorporated into workplaces around the world, including government organisations, companies, hospitals and prisons. Research has overwhelmingly highlighted the many benefits of the practice in adult populations, including enhanced performance, improved emotional management and reduced workplace stress; inspiring even more workplaces to implement mindfulness training programs.

These favourable results have led educators to consider the potential value of mindfulness meditation in schools to improve student concentration and overall wellbeing; particularly given the myriad multimedia distractions they face and the rising incidence of anxiety and depression..."  read it all