Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The oceanic feeling and the path of concentration

From Mark Epstein: The psychodynamics of meditation.

"The path of concentration involves the stabilization and quiescence of the mind through the development of one-pointedness and absorption in a single object of meditation. Attention is repeatedly restricted, narrowed and focused until a kind of oneness or merger is achieved in a series of trance states known as the eight "jhanas" or realms of absorption. The experience is of progressively more sublime feelings of relaxation, tranquillity, contentment and bliss, culminating in "formless states" of infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness, and "neither perception nor non-perception" (Goleman, 1988). A certain degree of training in concentration, or "samadhi," is seen as indispensable in Buddhist meditation, but the development of only concentration is recognized as a temptation to be avoided because of the seductive and deceptive nature of these states.

A message from true Christians

You know, the ones that actually follow Jesus' teachings.

Gun laws v. gun deaths

See the chart below measuring the incidence of gun laws compared with gun deaths in US States. The result cannot be any more clear.

Dem wins KY State House seat

In a district Dump won by 49 points. According to this tally, the Dems have now won 38 seats formerly held by Repugs since Dump became Presidunce. A blue tidal wave is coming this November.

Two laws could change US mass killings

See Hartmann's article here. The two suggested, sensible laws follow. See the link for details.
  1. Treat all semi-automatic weapons in a similar way under the same laws as fully-automatic weapons.
  2. Regulate gun ownership and usage the same way we regulate car ownership and usage.

Framing the economic story

This article discusses how we must properly frame a new economic vision if we want to garner the support necessary to enact it. You can download the full report at the link. The two complementary, broad story lines are "resisting corporate power" and "meeting our needs."

On the first:

"This story centres on how the economy is both unfair and broken and lays blame squarely on corporate power and wealthy elites. It argues that the economic system has been unfairly influenced by a powerful few for their own benefit, and that this manipulation is the source of the economy’s problems. This story draws either on the value of Economic Strength or the value of Equality as the rationale for supporting progressive policies and uses a reprogramming metaphor to show how the economy has been intentionally designed—and can be redesigned— through policy decisions."

On the second:

This is one job I'd be glad to have

National Climate Assesment

It's out and it's not good. Sea level rise is accelerating and “temperatures over Europe and North America today are the highest they have been in 11,000 years.” There's also an increase in intensity and severity of storms. So yeah, let's just deny and ignore this like it's just a natural cycle that will turn around without interference. Just apply laissez faire economics to the whether.

Dump's budget cuts Medicare, Medicare and Social Security

Remember when he promised not to do this. Well his budget is available for everyone to see and the facts are quite the contrary. I know, Dumpsters will call this reality fake news and keep they head in the sand (and up their asses).

"He proposes cuts of over $1.8 trillion to the three programs. On top of that, he proposes to slash Meals on Wheels, home heating assistance, and other programs on which seniors rely. It is noteworthy that Republicans just passed, for almost the same price tag, a huge tax giveaway to their donors. So that’s the Republican plan: save money by gutting programs for the elderly and transfer the savings to the billionaire class.”

Talking to God or ultimate reality

This also goes for shentong Buddhists that are certain they communicate with ultimate reality during altered states.