Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Doha 2012

ancient starwinds gently seeding
newborn planets
emerging from hot fire birth
inside once pregnant suns

angels and archangels
chanting the primal syllable "ah"
to a harmonic fifth
hidden note emerging
from the union of D and A
birthing everything
within nebular gases
of shimmering lights

galactic cycles
sending out
evolution inspiring energy
in aeonic time intervals
unlocking latent genetic codes
and activating
the next stage

climbing up
the genetic ladder
step by step
over billions of years
following a blueprint
within the quantum field
held within
universal mind

mahadakini tara
more ancient
than the known universe
initiator of worlds
into eternal dharma
appearing in many bodies
in many galaxies

loving mother
of all sentient beings
guided by
time, place, and need
according to
universal law,
feeding love,
wisdom, and creativity
milk like nectar
from her heart

chaotic growth
of freewill beings
the six fevers of
and fighting
manifesting as
the sorrows
and dramas
of the samsaric worlds,
the original path
of simplicity, truth,
and love

dark kali yuga
intensifying the fevers
into a nightmare
even galactic wars
ravaging once peaceful worlds
even the beloved star sol
now having asteroids
where once glorious planets
had circled

arrogant advanced aliens
expanding an empire
of oppression across many planets
battling peaceful advanced civilizations
until the peaceful ones
finally won

sirian starships
sent to planet terra
on healing missions
to purify the dominator meme
and all its ill effects,
working in secret
so that terrans
can forge their own path
and not be crippled
by too much help

and more advanced aliens
from buddha worlds
and dakini fields
also come
traveling only in light bodies
through the power of their minds
and the movation
of unconditional love
appearing when conditions
are right
and when invoked
so that they have permission
and do not have to violate
sacred freewill

terrans gently moving
from first world
to second
to third
to fourth
and now into
the fifth world

ancient galactic appointment
2012 solstice
time markers decoded
from maya temples,
and memories
passed from
to generation

instructions given
within temple inscriptions
on how to prepare,
sometimes shared
by prophets, messiahs,
buddhas, avatars,
and jinas,
"love one another",
"bless those who curse you",
"pray for those who persecute you",
"do not condemn",
"turn the other cheek",
"walk the second mile",
"give more than what is asked",
"be grateful to be alive",
"let love cast out hatred",
"see everyone as part of you",
"do not choose separation",
"let go of all attachments",
"trust life completely",
"do what serves life",
"let go of what harms life",
"live one day at a time",
"nourish the divine seed within you",
"rest in enlightened mind"
"go beyond thought",
"breathe energy into your body",
"give what you wish to receive",
"live your highest ideals"
"enter fearlessness",
"find peace in all situations",
"remember your true self",
"make love your home".

birth pangs of
a collective awakening
even planet terra going forward
carrying her children
fed by the solar winds
auroras dancing
over seas of icy glass
sun singing to terra
and terra singing back,
planetary rumbles,
tidal waves,
powerful winds,
and volcanic eruptions,
heralding five elements
coming into balance
and alignment
with a new matrix
of energy,
both a new world
and the old world
made explicit,
a new jerusalem
descending to terra
and shambhala manifesting
from invisible ethers,
priest and priestess
no longer needed
as all see and all know,
everyone chanting
in harmony,
kindness now rules,
wisdom guides,
and creative joy
inspires and enlivens all,
time of struggle soon over
poverty, illness, aging,
and even death
start to fade away
from terran life

two new stars shine bright in sky,
sirian star brothers and sisters
once again land and welcome terrans
coming out from the shadows
of the prime directive
and acknowledging us as equals,
communing within
the one luminous consciousness
that unites us all

crossing the 2012 time marker
entering the last 500 years
the bodhisattvas and dakinis
of beloved terra appear
the harvest seeded by visionary sages
who saw glimpses into the future timescape
and saw that all things would be good

light surges appear in the seekers of truth
who hunger and thirst to grow further
trusting and resting in the process
that carries them

third eye opening wide
heart radiating only love
while serpent kundalini
uncoils from sacral sleep
and wiggles up the spine
chant after chant
we carry each other
supported by
the one who is all
moving the process forward
until finally done

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reprint of an Article by Pro-Choice Catholics

Abortion and Catholic Thought: The Little-Told History

This is a summary of Catholics for a Free Choice publication The History of Abortion in the Catholic Church.
Reprinted in the Autumn 1996 issue of Conscience

Most people believe that the Roman Catholic church's position on abortion has remained unchanged for two thousand years. Not true. Church teaching on abortion has varied continually over the course of its history. There has been no unanimous opinion on abortion at any time. While there has been constant general agreement that abortion is almost always evil and sinful, the church has had difficulty in defining the nature of that evil. Members of the Catholic hierarchy have opposed abortion consistently as evidence of sexual sin, but they have not always seen early abortion as homicide. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the "right-to-life" argument is a relatively recent development in church teaching. The debate continues today.

Also contrary to popular belief, no pope has proclaimed the prohibition of abortion an "infallible" teaching. This fact leaves much more room for discussion on abortion than is usually thought, with opinions among theologians and the laity differing widely. In any case, Catholic theology tells individuals to follow their personal conscience in moral matters, even when their conscience is in conflict with hierarchical views.

The campaign by Pope John Paul II to make his position on abortion the defining one at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 was just one leg of a long journey of shifting views within the Catholic church. In the fifth century a.d., St. Augustine expressed the mainstream view that early abortion required penance only for sexual sin. Eight centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas agreed, saying abortion was not homicide unless the fetus was "ensouled," and ensoulment, he was sure, occurred well after conception. The position that abortion is a serious sin akin to murder and is grounds for excommunication only became established 150 years ago.

A brief chronology cannot do justice to the twists and turns of theological thinking through the centuries. It can, however, put the abortion debate within the Catholic church into historical perspective and show the importance of continued debate and of open hearts and minds.
The First Six Christian Centuries
Early Christianity: Moving Away from Paganism

Pagan religions had a calm acceptance of abortion and contraception, including the use of barrier methods, coitus interruptus, and various medicines that prevented contraception or caused abortion.

Early Christian leaders, distinguishing Christianity from pagan beliefs, developed ideas about contraception and abortion, marriage and procreation, and the unity of body and soul. They taught that sex even for reproduction was bad and sex for pleasure heinous. Chastity became a virtue in its own right.

100 a.d.: The Debate Begins

One of the earliest church documents, the Didache, condemns abortion but asks two critical questions: 1) Is abortion being used to conceal the sins of fornication and adultery? and 2) Does the fetus have a rational soul from the moment of conception, or does it become an "ensouled human" at a later point? The matter of "hominization" — the point at which a developing embryo or fetus becomes a human being — would become one of the cornerstones of debate about abortion, and it remains a subject of debate even today.

St. Augustine: Early Abortion Is Not Homicide

St. Augustine (354-430) condemned abortion because it breaks the connection between sex and procreation. 1 However, in the Enchiridion, he says, "But who is not rather disposed to think that unformed fetuses perish like seeds which have not fructified" — clearly seeing hominization as beginning or occurring at some point after the fetus has begun to grow. He held that abortion was not an act of homicide. Most theologians of his era agreed with him.

In a disciplinary sense, the general agreement at this time was that abortion was a sin requiring penance if it was intended to conceal fornication and adultery.
The Middle Period: 600 -1500

circa 675: Illicit Intercourse is a Greater Sin

The Irish Canons place the penance for "destruction of the embryo of a child in the mother's womb [at] three and one half years," while the "penance of one who has intercourse with a woman, seven years on bread and water."2

circa 8th Century: Recognizing Women's Circumstances

In the Penitential Ascribed by Albers to Bede, the idea of delayed hominization is again supported, and women's circumstances acknowledged: "A mother who kills her child before the fortieth day shall do penance for one year. If it is after the child has become alive, [she shall do penance] as a murderess. But it makes a great difference whether a poor woman does it on account of the difficulty of supporting [the child] or a harlot for the sake of concealing her wickedness." 3

1140: Abortion of an Unformed Fetus Is Not Homicide

In 1140, Gratian compiled the first collection of canon law that was accepted as authoritative within the church. Gratian's code included the canon Aliquando, which concluded that "abortion was homicide only when the fetus was formed."4 If the fetus was not yet a formed human being, abortion was not homicide.

1312: "Delayed Hominization" Confirmed

The Council of Vienne, still very influential in Catholic hierarchical teaching, confirmed the conception of man put forth by St. Thomas Aquinas. While Aquinas had opposed abortion — as a form of contraception and a sin against marriage — he had maintained that the sin in abortion was not homicide unless the fetus was ensouled, and thus, a human being. Aquinas had said the fetus is first endowed with a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and then — when its body is developed — a rational soul. This theory of "delayed hominization" is the most consistent thread throughout church history on abortion.5
Pre-Modern Period: 1500 - 175

1588: Abortion's Penalty Becomes Excommunication

Concerned about prostitution in Rome, Pope Sixtus V issued the bull Effraenatam (Without Restraint) and applied to both contraception and abortion, at any stage of pregnancy, the penalty designated for homicide: excommunication. There was no exception for therapeutic abortion.6

1591: Rules Quickly Relaxed

Only three years after Pope Sixtus V issued Effraenatam, he died. His successor, Gregory XIV, felt Sixtus's stand was too harsh and was in conflict with penitential practices and theological views on ensoulment. He issuedSedes Apostolica, which advised church officials, "where no homicide or no animated fetus is involved, not to punish more strictly than the sacred canons or civil legislation does."7 This papal pronouncement lasted until 1869.

1679: Pregnant Girls Facing Murder by Their Families

Consistently, abortion had been considered wrong if used to conceal sexual sins. Taking this idea to its extreme, Pope Innocent XI declared abortion impermissible even when a girl's parents were likely to murder her for having become pregnant.

The church was still teaching delayed hominization, sure only that hominization occurred some time before birth.
The Modern Era: 1750-Present

1869: Excommunication for All Abortions

Completely ignoring the question of hominization, Pope Pius IX wrote in Apostolicae Sedis in 1869 that excommunication is the required penalty for abortion at any stage of pregnancy.8 He said all abortion was homicide. His statement was an implicit endorsement -- the church's first -- of immediate hominization.

1917: Doctors and Nurses Targeted

The 1917Code of Canon Law, the first new edition since Gratian's code in 1140, required excommunication both for a woman who aborts and for any others, such as doctors and nurses, who take part in an abortion.9

1930: Therapeutic Abortions Condemned

In his encyclical Casti Connubii (Of Chaste Spouses), Pope Pius XI condemned abortion in general, and specifically in three instances: in the case of therapeutic abortion, which he called the killing of an innocent; in marriage to prevent offspring; and on social and eugenic grounds, as practiced by some governments.10

Pius's stance on abortion remains the hierarchical view today. The encyclical Casti Connubii did not purport to be infallible teaching, but as an address by the pope to the bishops, it carries great authority.

1965: Protection from the Moment of Conception

The Second Vatican Council, in Gaudium et Spes (section 51), declared: "Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception; abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes." Here, abortion is now condemned on the basis of protecting life, not as a concealment of sexual sin.

1974: The "Right-to-Life" Argument

In 1974, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued the "Declaration on Procured Abortion," which opposes abortion on the grounds that "one can never claim freedom of opinion as a pretext for attacking the rights of others, most especially the right to life." The key to this position is that the fetus is human life from the moment of conception, if not necessarily a full human being. With this position, the church has fully changed the terms of its argument.

Today: Abortion Ban Is Absolute

The Catholic church hierarchy today does not permit abortion in any instance, not even in case of rape or as a direct way of saving the life of a pregnant woman.

1.St. Augustine, De nuptiis et concupiscentia, 1.15.17 (CSEL 42.229-230).

2.John T. McNeill and Helena M. Gamer, Medieval Handbooks of Penance (New York: Octagon Books, 1974), pp. 119-120.

3.McNeil and Gamer, p. 225.

4. John T. Noonan, ed., The Morality of Abortion: Legal and Historical Perspectives, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), p.20.

5.Joseph F. Donceel, S.J., "Immediate Animation and Delayed Hominization," Theological Studies, vols. 1 & 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970), pp. 86-88.

6.Codicis iuris fontes, ed. P. Gasparri, vol. 1 (Rome, 1927), p. 308.

7.Ibid., pp. 330-331.

8.Actae Sanctae Sedis, 5:298.

9.Codex iuris canonici, c. 2350.

10.Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 22:539-92.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

About the Abortion Issue

About the Abortion Issue

through Tenabah, 2011

In some of the essays, I have tried to enumerate some of the differences between Amritayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. The former is more gender balanced, biologically based, democratic, and scientific in its focus. All the elements are somewhat the same in both of them, but there is a difference in emphasis. Part of traditional Vajrayana Buddhism and Traditional Catholicism are similar about the abortion issue. Both of them use the formation of the zygote to define when the fetus is accorded fully human rights, including the right to life, and use this to subvert any right and any choice on the part of the woman, regardless of circumstances, to make a choice regarding whether to carry the fetus to term.

I used to hold an anti-abortion view and later on went into the issue deeply with my Ethics teacher in college, who specialized in medical ethics. There were two arguments that were presented that shifted my view. One was to apply the same standard of determining whether or not a person is alive to both sides of the life. If a person is in a coma, in a vegetative state, and has a flat cortical EEG, then he or she is considered “brain dead” and it is okay to terminate the his or her life. The second was to focus on the right of the woman to decide what happens to her body and inside her body. This means to at least transfer some sense of boundary rights and property rights to her body. This means according her the right to evict someone from her body if he or she is not wanted, regardless of the consequences to this being, regardless even about whether or not it is alive, and about whether or not such a being would die if removed.

To expand upon the second point, no one should be forced to undergo pregnancy for nine months and then at least 20 years of caring for the being, unless such a journey is wanted. This becomes even more true if the pregnancy is diagnosed as giving a high probability of the woman dying and/or the fetus. While the journey into parenthood, when joyfully accepted and economically prepared for, can be very desirable and wonderful, it can be a serious hardship when the parents are impoverished or when one or both of the parents are emotionally fragile and not up to the task of raising a child.

This point needs to be understood, because the choice to take a fetus to term makes having an abortion different from murdering someone in cold blood. The fetus and then baby is a dependent creature who is going to require a sacrifice on the part of the woman and possibly on a partner. The sacrifice is a minimum of 9 months of life. Giving birth to children is not the sole possible purpose of a woman, especially during a time period when there are over six billion people. A woman who is undergoing an unwanted pregnancy, from a birth control accident, from a rape, or within an abusive relationship that she is trying to get free of, may not see the possible birth coming at auspicious time. It is possible that the woman has decided that she does not want to raise a child in this lifetime and does not want to undergo the possible deep pains of 9 months of pregnancy. It is her right to do so with her body.

What makes this issue interesting is that the advance of science and technology can make significant shifts in how this issue is explored. If birth control can advance further, options to make birth control move from 90 percent success to 100 percent success, and birth control side effects from adverse to neutral, could reduce the number of abortions to near zero.

The advance of science, too, will eventually be able to remove the fetus without requiring that the fetus die. It will be possible to carry the fetus to term in some advanced incubation chamber. This would, in its turn, require the government to raise the children produced by this method and maybe put the children up for adoption.

The third advance of science is in mapping out what is happening at various fetal stages and to determine what are the biological markers for certain rights. This is mainly involved in asking when do you consider that the fetus is not yet an individual being with rights and when it has crossed the line. The mere formation of the zygote, while a clear and convenient moment to focus on and while having the potential to become a human life, is not yet an individual and may never become an individual. Miscarriages happen (though the advance of science could reduce the frequency of miscarriages). Assuming the “cortically EEG” is the key marker, then the mass of cells would, at minimum, need a cortex and some EEG activity. Please note here that this does not mean any kind of EEG activity, but cortical EEG, and not the EEG activity coming from the brain parts that handle autonomic functions, like heartbeat.

It seems that one problem with this marker is that it seems variable, with cortical EEG sometimes being very early and sometimes very late, somewhere between two months and five months. Science would also have to discern where the “point of no return” is where it is wiser to follow through with the pregnancy rather than to try to abort. The “point of no return” may be a practical issue, but may not be an ethically relevant one.

The fourth advance of science that could help is “early pregnancy detection”. Currently, noticing when a period has skipped (one month) and then a pregnancy test kit is the method, which may just barely give enough notice to terminate the fetus before moving into sentience, depending on the cortical EEG scan.

There was a case in a book called TWENTY CASES SUGGESTIVE OF REINCARNATION by Ian Stevenson where a child fell into a well and died. The same day the child died, the mother of the child, who was pregnant, felt the first movement of the fetus. When the child was born, it stayed away from the well and felt that something horrible happened there. It was clear that he was the boy who drowned.

This story confirms that the point where the soul or “bardowa” does not come into new body at the point of conception or zygote formation. This also fits my memories where I remember entering the womb when the fetus felt like a sea horse floating in a fluid. I recoiled three times before staying in the body. I remember seeing a golf ball sized tumor (which my mother later on did have removed, but by that time it had grown to the size of a grapefruit). When I went through books and pictures to determine what stage I was in when I entered, I could not quite get a match, but it would be somewhere in the range mentioned of two months to five months. I would guess more on the early side of this.

There are other reports that I have collected and regressions that I have helped that seem to indicate a number of important things related to this issue. One is that zygote formation is not the point of entry. The bardowa has a “radiant point” around which it is built. This radiant point is meant to travel into a chakra and rest in the place where the heartbeats. Ideally, it enters in through the crown chakra, goes down the spine, and moves into the beat point. The brain needs to reflect back a pulsation to produce a minimal self awareness. There also needs to be sensory feedback to complete the loop. All these factors presuppose a certain minimal level of fetal development and then need activation and coordination of those factors by the bardowa. Further, the anchor into the body does not immediately lock in, but can be tenuous and lost many times before enough integration happens to embody the organism. It is possible to ask the bardowa to release its anchor in the fetus by sending the intention to abort as a kind of telepathic warning and then undergo a kind of meditation process to assist the release. It is parallel to the Buddhist practice of phowa, where a person consciously ejects his or her consciousness from an adult body and thereby chooses a “conscious death”. This is done through visualization, energy movement, and intention. There are Buddhists who debate the wisdom of “assistance” to this process through a substance like “hemlock”. In a Theravadin text, the Buddha allows a monk who is living in extreme pain to use assistance to die, but first checks to see if he has mastered the “four concentrations”. When it is determined that he has, then he is allowed.

The implication of this story is that death is allowed when the body does not have anything more to offer the enlightenment process and/or is locked into extreme pain. The parallel with phowa (which can be done for another by a kind of telepathic meditation) is also significant in the story where the Buddha does his final dialogue with his disciples. When done, he goes into phowa and starts to eject his body. Someone comes late to ask some questions and the Buddha re-animates his body in order to answer some questions. It shows a kind of intermediate state where you can go or come back. Taking the parallel further, there is a “point of no return” where one cannot anchor back into the base and there is a “point of integration” when one anchors into a new body and may find it harder to exit. There is also an intermediate phase where the fetus may have sentiency, reflected in cortical EEG, but may not be anchored and can voluntarily and easily release the body (with the help of guiding lama who is proficient in the telepathic aspect of an empowerment). The abortion, then, would be like the assistance. In advanced practitioners, the abort would simply look like a miscarriage and require no surgical intervention. In less advanced practitioners, the surgical intervention would be some assistance. In the intermediate phase, the adherence to the body is weaker and less telepathic effort is needed to help do fetal phowa.

What this means is that there are four basic phases to the fetal progression. One is the “noncortical phase” where it is okay simply to release the fetus if carrying to term is not wanted. There is no sentient being to consider in this and therefore no intense ethical issue. Two is the “intermediate phase” where the bardowa may or may not be anchored. This could be checked by intuitive awareness and/or cortical EEG. If there is no cortical EEG or presence confirmation, then there is still no sentient being to consider and therefore no intense ethical issue in releasing the fetus. Three is the second intermediate phase where the anchor is weak and an assisted phowa may help release the bardowa. This is done first and there is no intense ethical issue in releasing the fetus. Four is the “integration phrase” where the bardowa is meshing its energy field with the bio-electric field of the organism. This phase may require a level of conscious permission which may not be possible. It may be a point of no return. Ideally, there is the option to remove the fetus from the womb and raise it through incubation or transfer to another womb. If it is possible to activate phowa, then, even at this stage the fetus can be released with no intense ethical issue. But the fetus may also be reaching a biological point of no return where it may be wiser to follow through with the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption afterwards.

I would say that at stage four is where the core ethical tension is between the rights of the now self-aware fetus and the rights of the mother to not have to undergo childbirth and the right to evict what is not wanted from the body. The compromise is (1) to remove the fetus and carry it to term in an incubation chamber or surrogate womb, if technology allows, (2) to activate phowa and then terminate and remove the fetus, (3) induce a miscarriage which would be parallel to an assisted phowa, and (4) accept a conflict of rights and choose one in favor of the other. My vote would be with the mother, since the situation is not symmetrical. One life is largely potential and may end later on anyway. The other, the mother’s, is already established. The fetal life is dependent on the mother, not the other way around. The right to remove of the life has the by product of terminating the fetus. But just as I cannot claim a healthy kidney from someone who has two, if I need one to survive and he or she does not. The fetus cannot require the woman to undergo 9 months to keep it alive either. This possibility may eventually become obsolete through scientific advance.

Ideally, future science and present education can give people an early enough warning system so that phase four issues do not have to be created. Maybe future science, too, will create near perfect birth control and/or education can create near perfect birth control discipline (astrological rhythm method supported by temperature monitoring plus very high quality condoms used simultaneously, with the morning after pill as a back up system, or tubes tied or vasectomy). I do feel that sila parmita (ethical idealism and restraint) is preventative, so that these issues do not come up.

The main difference between the older model of the pregnancy and the Amritayana model is that there is a “time window” where the fetus is not sentient, when the bardowa has not adhered to the organism, where there is a possibility of choosing to go to term or not go to term, where no individual life hangs in the balance. It uses “cortical EEG” as the biological marker. There are then four phases each with more consequences where the process of birth can be stopped, with the fourth phase being where abortions are worth avoiding except under extreme circumstances (pregnancy by rape, discovery of a brain tumor that will cause the death of the mother if carried through). I would still say that the woman still has the right to decide to have an abortion even at this phase for her own private reasons. The main difference at phase four is that eventually science will be able to keep alive the fetus in an incubator or transfer the fetus to a womb. A phase four fetus, where “eviction” does not equal termination, will be required to be transfered to a sustainable situation if available.

Having shared this, even though many concessions are made to many possible choices and levels of technology, I am still painting a relatively ideal treatment of the abortion issue. The map I am presenting may have to be fine tuned to real life situations and the limitations of often less than perfect information from a lower tech or a limited psychic ability. I am also presenting a framework where the “borderland” states (between death and rebirth, and between life and death) are looked at in a fluid, rather than “either/or” way that people might not be used to or comfortable with. It is not an absolutist view of individual rights, but based on a continuum awareness with fluid markers assigning key points along this journey that require some generalization to approximate and/or some technology to assess. The view also involves reincarnation awareness supported by accumulated experiences from meditation and psychic awareness from collective human experience. Because not everyone is willing to accept this “consensus reality”, some people might not wish to align with the procedures that come from this awareness. I think it can be adapted a little to accommodate some views. It is close to some liberal views. It may not satisfy some more absolutist views about fetal rights at all costs, because the woman is chosen first, because it is her womb and the fetus is in a dependent survival state. But it does require, when the technology and social support appears, to save a fourth stage fetus. In the interim, if people are conscientious, the fourth stage issues can hopefully be avoided by birth control, education, and discipline. It may also be possible that the female consciousness can advance to perfect mental birth control where she can only be pregnant if she intends to have a child and will not have one if she does not. I believe this is possible, but it is a “mind-tech level” that is not yet reliable in most of the human species and will probably need failsafes. I do belief it is possible and requires learning how to use thought intention, visualization, prana generation, and prana/intention/mixing to master. One would have to master the objective raising of body temperature first through Tumo Yoga as a preliminary sign of accomplishment.

I am writing this, because I think that American culture is still conflicted about this issue and these views do have some kind of middle path between the woman’s right to her body and the right of the self-aware fetus to life. I also have sensed that women may not merely want to claim this right, but no that this right does not necessarily have to be odds with the rights of another. Having said this, abortion is not meant to be a “good thing” ever, but the lesser of two evils, that abortion is a kind of safety net when other procedures have failed, and at best still has a messy karma surrounding it that needs some emotional processing and some emotional recovery from. It is possible to not need this if one is very clear emotionally, but if we were that clear we probably would have installed successful procedures and honored them. Human life is not perfect and will probably not be so for a long time, and some levels of safety for unwanted long term experiences is worth putting in place.

The abortion issue is parallel, in an indirect way, to war. I do feel that war is justified in self defense and does not carry the stigma of karma creating murder if you kill in self defense. But if we understand the horror of war, then we will “wage peace” so that the numbers of wars we will need to fight is minimized. We can “wage peace” by having a human rights based foreign policy, a policy of wise noninterference with internal political affairs of other countries, having fair trade practices that do not take advantage of virtual slaves of other countries, etc. When one is sensitive to karmaic issues, then one sees that many things can be avoided on a subtle level before political and social cause and effect draws people into a power struggle vortex and then to war. For a similar reason, just contemplating the issues involved in abortion will hopefully sensitive us to all the sides of the issue and make us more conscientious in the fourth precept of “not to misuse sexual energy”. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with sex, from getting sexual transmitted diseases, to having accidental pregnancies, to raising a child as a single parent and feeling the stress of this level of responsibility, to sharing child support with an abusive ex-partner, to enduring an unhealthy relationship and being forced to leave it or end it, etc. On the other side, every birth, at this time, requires more of the planet’s resources in a world where the population is already too big for the planet to comfortably carry at this time. My feeling is that every child has to count, come into this world when the parents are ready and prepared, rather than by accident. I would also like to see people have smaller families and check in to really see how many children they really need to raise. It would be good for people to consider an upper limit as being socially responsible. Parents should not willfully use a social welfare system to keep having kids. I would like the idealism of a culture to want to be responsible here without the government needing to create laws to cover all these possibilities.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amida Buddha Invocation

I invoke Amida Buddha
the Buddha
of Infinite Love and Light

I open my heart
to Amida Buddha
and feel
the blessing energy
of Amida Buddha
enter my heart

that my heart
may be purified
of all negativity
and radiate love
to all sentient beings

I open my mind
to Amida Buddha
and feel
the blessing energy
of Amida Buddha
enter my mind

that my mind
may be purified
of all delusion
and see everything
just as it is
as ever unfolding

I open my body
to Amida Buddha
and feel
the blessing energy
of Amida Buddha
enter my body

that my body
may be purified
of addictive cravings
and be completely free
from the karmas
of aging, illness,
and death

i visualize and intone
the seed syllable

i ask Amida Buddha
to embody my visualization
of hreeh
to embody my intonation
of hreeh
to bless and energize
this symbol

i visualize hreeh
in a sphere of white light
the radius of my hand
glowing in neon red
pulsating brightly
with each exhale
with each intonation

i visualize
a beam of white light
the soft spot
at the top
of the head
and descend
down the spine
into the root chakra

i thereby
align my life axis
the loving intention
of Amida Buddha
that I may be happy
that I may be loving
that I may be honest
that I may be generous
that I may be gentle
that I may be safe
that I may be satisfied
that I may be liberated

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
down the spine
to the root chakra
and rest in the sacrum

i thereby
burn away
all survival fears

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
down the spine
to the security chakra
and rest in the belly

i thereby
burn away
all karmas
that block
my needs
from being fulfilled

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
down the spine
to the power chakra
and rest
in the solar plexus

i thereby
a bubble of protection
around me
the radius
created by my fingertips
when my arms are fully entended

this bubble of protection
is infused with purifying fire
that burns away
all the negative thoughts
that others have towards me

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
down the spine
to the heart chakra
and rest
in the place
where the heart beats

from this hreeh symbol
light rays of compassion
radiate towards
all sentient beings
blessing them with happiness
with the causes of happiness
with the burning away
of the causes of sorrow
as much as
they are willing, ready,
and able to receive

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
down the spine
to the creative chakra
and rest in the throat

i thereby
feel empowered
to live my purpose
to express my truth
to manifest my ideal
and to
speak kind and truthful words

i visualize
the symbol hreeh
enter my crown chakra
and descend
to the third eye chakra
and rest in the space
between the two eye brows

i thereby
activate my higher potential
the power to heal all illness
the power to cross all barriers
the power to end all bondage
and fully manifest
unconditional love
intuitive wisdom
infinite creativity

may the Earth become
a pure land of peace
where no one is oppressed
where no one starves
where no one suffers
where no one becomes ill
where no one is unhappy
where all beings are
liberated, happy, and fulfilled

so shall it be

Monday, April 4, 2011

Small Picture Gallery

The first one from the bottom upwards is my favorite Amida Buddha statue in front of my desktop wallpaper (which I composed on my gimp image editing software on Linux Mint 9 and software is open source, free to use and supported by unsolicited donations and just by people sharing their talents without thought of reward other than the creative drive itself).

The second one from the bottom is a picture of the same statue. There is no gimping done to it and the photo is not altered in any way, though I did take advantage of a light reflection off of my Shingon Buddhist Mandala.

The third one from the bottom is of Unishavijaya from a Thangka that I got at a gem store in Minneapolis. I consider the synchronicities that brought me to this store to get it to be auspicious and to be part of recovering something I owned in a previous life. There are time markers that appear on the tapestry that date it to about 700 years ago. The tapestry represents the Trinity of Physical Immortality that was taught by Machig Drupijalmo (Mother Queen of Accomplishment). She was 500 years old when she healed Rechungpa of a karma that would have caused an early death. Rechungpa was the main student of Milarepa who is one of the enlightened beings of the Kagyu lineage. She existed from approximately 500 CE to 1000 CE and beyond, living roughly the same timespan as Padmasambhava, another immortal, did. Immortals seem to live timespans of about 300 to 2000 years before either choosing to lay their body down and do what is called "the Great Transfer". It is like shifting into a "rainbow body", "light body", or "hologram body". When this is done, then it is sometimes harder to experience them as a "physical presence". My main teacher, Sohra, insists that she has a physical body, but that it is vibrating at a very high rate and therefore cannot be easily experienced, except under certain conditions, which has happened about 5 times in my life, where she did "materialize" (intersect vibrations with frequencies common to our physical senses). So much energy was emanating from her body that I was gently pushed against the wall behind me. She said that she had materialized by 90 percent. She did materialize 10 percent to a gathering on the Oregon coast, 25 percent to a friend, and 50 percent to another friend. The last one saw a lot of light streaming out of a point and saw her start to manifest in her hallway, but her knees started to shake and Sohra withdrew. There is a kind of law of love that A COURSE IN MIRACLES states as, "The Holy Spirit will not add to your fear". There is a kind of primate reflex that runs deeper than people think and which responds to a massive reality paradigm shift with fear. In some of the Old Testament meetings with Angels, the humans fall flat on their faces, unless held by the Angel. There is sometimes a feeling of "sin" and "impurity" that also comes from meeting such beings, because their radiance, innocence, love, and purity is so beautiful and majestic that we feel our karmas as dense energies within us more acutely by comparison. There are reasons why such beings do not "prove that they exist" to people, but sometimes consent to demonstrations when the timing is right, when cosmic law allows them, and when it can do more than merely entertain us or intellectually prove something. It needs to be relevant to our evolution.

There are time markers on the Thangka that do not appear in the part photographed here that date it to what I call "the Great Dakini" period. One is that White Tara is the central figure, rather than Amitayus. The other is that White Tara has a tiara of 3 ornaments, rather than the later time period 5 tiara which dominates the meditation systems now (and has for a very long time). This meant that there were three core alchemies rather than 5 core alchemies (both systems are very good). The third is the Lama in the picture who is dated to about 700 years ago. The Thangka is very old and has a new frame around it. The colors are actually a little faded, but the digital camera seems to have enhanced it.

The last two pictures are a support for meditating on Unishavijaya. Her role is to eradicate deep core karmas that cause aging, accidents, and death. She is a kind of specialist Dakini. The final picture has the Amritayana Mantra (above) for her as well as one of the traditional ones (below). Mentally chanting the mantra on the exhale, while breathing in the energies she sends is one simple practice to hook into her energy.