Questions for the Scientific Buddha

Third eye, lotus at the place of the heart, Scientific Buddha

This cosmic order is disrupted by the Scientific Buddha. He appeared in the world before the teachings of the buddha of our age, Gautama Buddha, had been forgotten, before his teachings had run their course. The Scientific Buddha was not predicted by a previous buddha, nor did the world await his coming. And yet he has served a useful role. He was born into a world of the colonial subjugation of Asia by Europe. He fought valiantly to win Buddhism its place among the great religions of the world, so that today it is universally respected for its values of reason and nonviolence. We might regard the Scientific Buddha as one of the many “emanation bodies” of the Buddha who have appeared in the world, making use of skillful methods (upaya) to teach a provisional dharma to those temporarily incapable of understanding the true teaching. For this, the Scientific Buddha was stripped of his many magical elements, and his dharma was deracinated. The meditation that he taught was only something called “mindfulness,” and a pale form of that practice. He taught stress reduction, something never taught by any other buddha in the past, for previous buddhas sought to create stress, to destroy complacency, in order to lead us to a state of eternal stress reduction, that state of extinction called nirvana. Having taught his version of the dharma, it is now time for the Scientific Buddha to pass into nirvana.

Read the full article at Tricycle Magazine: “Scientific Buddha” by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.”


Our Greatest Passion

Reflecting Pool

“A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.”

Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)


Rabbi Heschel with Dr. King at a news conference

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MLK: A Double Victory

“…And we will still love you.”

Love Your Enemies

Below is one of the most enduring and inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quotes of all time. Not only does it expell once for all the absurd notion that non-violent enemy love is cowardly but it also shows that such self-sacrificial love is even practical.

I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say:”We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is…

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Happy Birthday First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt! (or, “For gosh sakes, here comes Mrs. Roosevelt!”)

66 year anniversary of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt drafted the document. Worth revisiting in light of CIA torture and police militarization in the news:

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October 1, 1994: First Lady brought White House position into 20th-century; Advocated for peace + justice

Robert J. Day, The New Yorker Magazine, June 3, 1933 Robert J. Day, The New Yorker Magazine, June 3, 1933

Eleanor Roosevelt was the first 20th-century first lady. Contrary to previous first lady’s, who stayed in the background and served as a representation of domesticity, Mrs. Roosevelt openly campaigned for causes during her time in office, including public disagreements with the President.

“For it isn’t enough to talk of peace. One must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

She openly advocated for the rights of labor, African-Americans, Native Americans, Japanese-Americans (during a time when many were forced into internment camps) and human rights throughout the world. Both as the first lady and later as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, Roosevelt used her platform and influence as a force for good…

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The Thanksgiving Address (or, Words Before All Else)

To all our relations.

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thanksgiving address
While American schoolchildren are taught and re-tell tales of “pure” and friendly Europeans crossing the Atlantic to escape oppression, Presidents pardon a single bird while 45 million perish and nearly twice as many watch modern-day gladiators sacrifice themselves in the name of entertainment, the Thanksgiving Address, which comes from the Iroquois (also known as the Haudenosaunee or Six Nations), reminds us of our necessity and, therefore, gratitude to the natural world. The Tracking Project describes it as:

A spiritual address to the powers of the natural world, these words are used to open gatherings in order to bring the minds of the people together as one and align the gathered minds with Nature. The roots of these words reach back thousands of years to the very origins of the Haudenosaunee as a people.

Along with the Great Law of Peace (Kaianeraserakowa) and the Creation Story, the Thanksgiving Address…

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Life as a spiritual journey



The path of the journey is difficult but the task simple. Overcome fear and let go of doubt. Connect the mind to the heart where the eternal rests.

The mind is connected to the heart through the breath. Consciously holding the mind on the breath will lead the mind to the heart. In the heart, the mind can rest.

The mind is like a child who is satisfied with only the comfort of her mother. No matter what else the child is given, it is never enough. Until the child reunites with her mother, there is no peace. When the mind reunites with the heart, then there is peace.

The environment best suited for concentrating the mind is silence. All of creation vibrates with the original sound. In silence, the vibrations of the heart connect with the cosmic vibrations of the Universe.

When the mind connects to the vibrations of the heart, the mind illuminates. Habits, thought patterns and ways of being fall away, let go, surrender. The energy centers within the body connect through the spine, bringing light to the dark places of the mind. This is the power of the heart.

As the heart enlightens the mind, the mind’s understanding of the world falls apart. The mind loses itself.

When the mind loses itself, one’s identification and attachment to the mind weakens. Transformation begins on the physical plane of existence: relationships end, careers change, illness arises. Mental and emotional shifts follow.

When the mind loses itself, the ego dies. The death of the ego feels like turmoil, pain, and suffering. These are stepping stones, the path itself, of the spiritual journey. The ego is reborn as a phoenix: love, peace, harmony.

‘Día de la Resistencia Indígena’ (or, Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People)

“But the U.S.A. was still hungry for further domination, so turned south, and by 1954 staged over 55 armed interventions in Latin America.”

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Today offers coverage of the increasingly debated Columbus Day, the federal holiday whose history is excellently captured by NPR’s Lakshmi Gandhi. The Oatmeal offers an easy on the eyes comic to chronicle Columbus’ legacy.columbus_indigenous day

In 1977 at the Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, the idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day first arose. In 1990, a Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance took place, during which a resolution was passed to transform Columbus Day “into an occasion to strengthen our process of continental unity and struggle towards our liberation.” The first occasion of International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples took place October 12, 1992 and has continued since. Read more about the City of Berkeley’s (California) Indigenous Peoples Day.

John Curl, American historian and poet, writes of his poem, “Columbus and the Bay of Pigs”:

The struggle…

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Happy Birthday Gandhi! (or, International Day of Non-Violence, or, Gandhi according to Nehru)

Happy Birthday Gandhiji

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Today marks the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence, which annually coincides with the birthdate of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Born on October 2, 1869 in the state of Gujarat, Gandhi studied law in London before spending 20 years as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa. It was here he founded the practice of satyagraha, employing love and truth as a force against injustice. The rest of his life – from 1915 to his death by assassins’ bullets in 1947 – was dedicated to Indian independence from British rule.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India, leading the Indian National Congress during the freedom struggle. He worked closely with Gandhi for over three decades – both following and dissenting from the Mahatma’s guidance.

Here are four quotes from Gandhi and four excerpts about Gandhi from Nehru’s The Discovery of India.

  1. “Fearlessness is the first requisite of…

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