Buddhism and Relationships

Buddhism and Relationships“Buddhism and Relationships”….an association of two terms that are not often thought of in the sme breath!

With “The Four Noble Truths of Relationships,” Susan Piven has given us a fascinating look at  modern day relationships in the light of Buddhist scripture and thought. Check it out at “The Buddha a Film by David Grudin”  website

Four Noble Truths of Relationships

Relationships are deeply uncomfortable.

Whether it’s your first date or tenth anniversary, there is simply an enormous amount of discomfort involved in relationships. We’re afraid of being hurt, disappointed, overtaxed, ignored. The interesting part is that all these things happen. This is just the way it is, even in happy relationships.

The thing no one tells you is that it’s impossible to stabilize a relationship. Yes, I really mean those italics. Impossible. The emotional exchange between two people shifts like grains of sand in the desert: some days you can see forever and some days you just have to take cover because something kicked up out of nowhere and now shit is flying all over the place. You can’t see two feet in front of you and it stings. On still other occasions, imperceptible winds cause little piles to slowly accumulate until, one day, a familiar path is altogether blocked. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen. And just like hiking in the desert, you have to be as absorbed in the present moment as you are attuned to atmospheric indicators. Woe to she whose attention to either lapses.

The bad news is you never get to where you thought you were going. You get somewhere else instead. The good news is that there’s basically no way to have a boring relationship.

Discomfort comes from trying to make the relationship comfortable.

At the root of the discomfort is the wish that it wouldn’t be uncomfortable, that we could eventually find the “right” person and relax. But the truth is that when you do find the (or a) right person, it’s anything but relaxing: your neuroses, their neuroses, and all the hopes and fears you’ve ever had about love flood your situation. Whether you bargained for it or not, you get introduced to your deepest self while someone else is trying to introduce you to their deepest self. It can get very confusing. But instead of wasting time trying to make it not confusing, better to dive right in and be really nice to each other as you consider the root of your own and his/her confusion. (Acting nice to each other in the midst of confusion is love. Shhh.) (PS Acting nice doesn’t always mean being all sweet and demure. But I digress.)

It’s the inability to create safety that plots the path to love.

True love seems to exist on some mysterious edge of its own. It can’t be controlled and when you try, it calcifies. To keep it alive, at some point you just have to let go and see what happens.

When you work with all this nuttiness, love becomes more than mere romance. It turns into something way better: intimacy. Romance has got to end, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. But intimacy? It has no end. You can’t be, “oh, intimacy, we’ve done that. What comes next?” Nothing comes next. That’s it. Discuss.

It is possible to work with the uncertainty skillfully.

Instead of flinging yourself kamikaze-like into the flame of love, you can train in working with the heat. As with anything you consider important (or life-threatening, for that matter), you don’t want to just show up and hope for the best. You want to play the odds.

Three Books About The New Cold War

Cold War

New Cold War?

The London Review of Books

Vol. 39 No. 5 · 2 March 2017

Eat Your Spinach by
Tony Wood

  • Return to Cold War by Robert Legvold
  • Polity, 208 pp, £14.99, February 2016, ISBN 978 1 5095 0189 2
  • Should We Fear Russia? by Dmitri Trenin
  • Polity, 144 pp, £9.99, November 2016, ISBN 978 1 5095 1091 7
  • Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War by Peter Conradi
  • Oneworld, 384 pp, £18.99, February, ISBN 978 1 78607 041 8

Not since the days of Ronald Reagan has Russia played such a prominent role in US political life. After Donald Trump’s shock victory – greeted in the Russian parliament with cheers and champagne – came accusations of Russian meddling in the US electoral process, followed in January by the leak of a dossier claiming that the Russian authorities had accumulated (even more) compromising information on Trump. More recently there have been alarms over the Kremlin’s connections with and possible influence on the incoming secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and Trump’s now ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The rhetoric emanating from US politicians and media commentators too seems to be drawn from another era. In November, a murky online group called PropOrNot went full McCarthy by releasing ‘The List’, designed to name and shame – or indeed casually smear – websites which it believes ‘reliably echo Russian propaganda’. In January, Fox News rolled back the years by announcing that there was ‘no Soviet source’ for the DNC leaks, and the title of a piece in the New York Review of Books – though it was soon corrected to reflect events since 1991 asked: ‘Was Snowden a Soviet Agent?’ The Russian official media, in their turn, have been producing waves of anti-Western rhetoric for a few years now, but the Ukraine crisis and the sanctions put in place by the US, Canada and the EU sent them to fevered new heights. Continue reading

Amazon Authors Beware

Amazon Authors Beware

 

Amazon Authors Beware

Even Amazon makes mistakes.

If you’re publishing on Amazon, stay informed and vigilant!
…from change.org

Here’s why:

Richard Mulder’s experience on Amazon is something that many published authors may not have experienced.Nonetheless, it can happen to anyone. This is why his message isso important: Amazon Authors Beware.

“My name is Richard M. Mulder. I am the author of The Secret JournalConquest: Rise of the Fifth Horseman and the Co-Producer of the new SciFan™ Magazine. After a very successful launch of our first issue, on the 12th of January 2017 I received the following email from Amazon.com:

Hello,
We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. Systematic accounts are those that facilitate illegitimate reading or borrow activity. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate the Kindle platform and/or Kindle programs is not permitted. As a result of the irregular borrow activity, we have removed your books from the Amazon store and are terminating your account and your Agreement effective immediately.

As part of the termination process, we will close your account(s) and remove the books you have uploaded from Amazon. We will issue a negative adjustment to any outstanding royalty payments. Additionally, as per our Terms and Conditions, you are not permitted to open new accounts and will not receive future royalty payments from additional accounts created.

If you have any questions, please email us at [censored].

Best Regards,

[censored]
Amazon.com
Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.

Amazon Authors Beware

Needless to say, I was in shock. Though I had been genuinely surprised by the over 70,000 Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) read in our first 12 days, I never suspected that any ‘illegitimate reading or borrow activity’ had been at play. SciFan™ Magazine had been an Amazon Bestseller for nearly 2 weeks, and we had maintained our ranking in the top 100 anthologies since day one.

In response, I sent several emails and made a few calls to Amazon. After patience and persistence, after 3 days I am pleased to announce that they owned up to their mistake and reinstated my account…”

read entire article

Sky God…a Poem

tropical beach

 

Sky God…a poem

Some imagine a God that lives in the sky, cosmic and loving and time-ruling and more passionate than passion itself.

They try to please him and be as good as him and devote their lives to transforming themselves in and into his/her image.

This dweller on high – high in the sky and even way above the deep blue that lies above – what skies do I imagine he rules and how does he/she rule them?

I want to worship a sky God of the south… warm and fuzzy and endlessly Venusian, an embryo that houses the most artful mansions of the soul; bearer of astral mysteries and portal to the beauty of what lies beyond

The spirituality of the saved and enlightened, those noble chords in their most refined octaves – the Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments, the light-filled maxims of Gautama Buddha, the Scorpio-sharp sayings of the Arabian prophet –
– let them laugh themselves into existence with all the sweetness of a baby’s breath…carried along by the gentlest of breezes that stir the fronds of a rapt and waiting congregation of coconut palms lining a moon-kissed beach.

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Web Analytics 101


Web Analytics
Web Analytics 101

.Web Analytics 101 was originally entitled “Making Stats Work for You” and published at www.opentracker.net. Opentracker provides quality website statistics measurement and visitor tracking services.

What makes ecommerce unique is the ability to know what customers and prospects have done on your site, what helped to bring them to your site and what you need to do your site to keep them coming back for more. A web site that has no goals is a web site that is headed for failure, Continue reading

Albright Calls Trump Useful Idiot for Russia

Kremlin

Albright Calls Trump Useful Idiot for Russia

By BRENT GRIFFITHS 10/24/16 01:31 PM EDT… published on Politico.com

read entire article

“In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”
– Wikipedia

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chided Donald Trump on Monday, saying the Republican nominee has become Vladimir Putin’s patsy.

“There is a great term the Soviets used to use: ‘somebody being a useful idiot,’” Albright told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I think that Trump falls into that category of people that are manipulated also by the Russians and the Russians are trying to interfere in our democracy because they don’t have one themselves.”

Albright, who served as the nation’s top diplomat under then-President Bill Clinton, says that as someone who has studied Russia, its alleged hacking to influence the 2016 election is “stunning,” but that Trump’s rhetoric only exacerbates the issue. The Obama administration has publicly accused Russia of using hacked emails to try to influence the election.

“Trump was briefed in his intelligence briefings about what the Russians are doing…”

“I have never seen a mind meld of this kind between the Russian leadership and a candidate for the presidency of the United States,” Albright, a frequent Clinton surrogate, said. “Trump was briefed in his intelligence briefings about what the Russians are doing and he is playing their game instead of being concerned about America’s democratic system.”

Clinton pressed Trump during the final presidential debate to admit that Russia was trying to meddle in the electoral process.

In response, Trump said the United States has “no idea” who is behind the hacks of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, which have been released by WikiLeaks. But he later added, he “of course condemned” any foreign meddling.

Read entire article: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/trump-russia-useful-idiot-madeleine-albright-230238#ixzz4O8H1bLZy

From Prison to Debt

Prisoner in Chains

From Prison to Debt

…is a fact of life for many former inmates. There is a path that runs from prison to debt for many who have been incarcerate,. and this fact is not widely known by the public. What this means is that it is that much harder for former inmates to get back into society and get their lives together.

…from Slate Magazine,

“Silva’s experience highlights an increasingly fundamental fact about encounters with the criminal justice system: long after a formal sentence ends, the punishment continues…”

When David Silva returned in 2006 from serving 38 months in New Jersey state prison for offenses related to his substance abuse, he faced more than $35,000 in debt. He didn’t owe this money to private creditors; he was in debt to the government for his prosecutions and stints in prison. Silva’s debts for “use” of the criminal justice system included public defender fees, various surcharges thatwent to things such as police uniforms and drug-use prevention, and probation supervision fees, as well as restitution and fines. Silva’s debts also included about $10,000 for substance abuse treatment he received in prison. Though he was working full-time when he got out, the amounts owed were crushing and were a barrier to meeting his basic needs. His debt also precluded him from getting a driver’s license, which only made it harder for him to get back on his feet. Silva ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

This path from prison to bankruptcy is all too common. As policymakers across the country increasingly move toward rethinking mass incarceration, the excessive costs imposed on criminal defendants remain roadblocks to people seeking to transition back to their communities.

Even a decade after Silva left prison—and on the other side of bankruptcy proceedings—the burden imposed by criminal justice debts lingers. His efforts to move out of his old neighborhood to a community with lower crime rates was for years stymied by landlords who balked at his credit report. When he could finally obtain a car loan, he paid an inordinately high interest rate due to his debts…”

read article in its entirety

Ode to the Future…a poem

Spiritual Science

Ode to the Future…a poem

 

Future future…

Thee whom we don’t know and worship just the same

A future made of time as well as space

Of things seen and unseen by us

Who are awakening from the longest sleep

Bless us with thy nondenominational splendor

Grace us with thy unjudging, all-embracing all-accepting wisdom.

Give us an understanding of Einsteinian physics.

And lead on in the merriest of ways!