Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jesus As Sufi Master

Jesus As Sufi Master Image


Originally uploaded by fathers table. It is to those who are worthy of my mysteries that I tell my mysteries.

I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the son of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world.

Whoever has come to understand the world has found only a corpse,

and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world.

Whoever finds the world and becomes rich, let him renounce the world.

Become passers-by.

- Jesus Christ, blessed be his soul

From the book, 'Jesus: The unauthorised version'. The quotes are mostly from The Gospel of Thomas.

If you study very carefully the bohemian, easy going, unconventional nature of Jesus Christ and at the same time if you study the Secret Gospels as well as many sayings from New Testament, you can easily recognize Jesus as a Sufi (Mystic) Master.

No doubt if you can see, you will realize that Jesus was one of the most beautiful mystic who ever walked on this earth. May God bless us to receive the light, the knowledge of spiritual truth (gnosis) that his soul and heart brought to this world.

Prophet Muhammad said, as recorded both in Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad : "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The Prophets are brothers of the same father with different mothers, and their religion is one. I am the closest in relationship to Jesus, the son of Mary, because there was no prophet between him and me.

Jesus will descend. If you see him, then know him. He is a man of a moderately ruddy complexion. He will be wearing two faintly yellow garments. His hair will seem to have drops of water upon it, even though it will not be wet.

Jesus will live for forty years, and then he shall die."

:: Also read this interesting post that Reclaims Jesus as a God-Intoxicated Jewish Mystic

[+] Please visit MysticSaint.Info For full multimedia experience and enjoy special music.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taoism Served

Taoism Served Image
mirrored file at http://SaturnianCosmology.Org/
For complete access to all the files of this collection
see http://SaturnianCosmology.org/search.php

The Ancient Dynasties: II

The Hundred Schools of Thought

The Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, though marked by
disunity and civil strife, witnessed an unprecedented era of cultural prosperity--the "golden age" ( ) of China. The atmosphere of reform and new ideas was attributed to the struggle for survival among
warring regional lords who competed in building strong and loyal
armies and in increasing economic production to ensure a broader base for tax collection. To effect these economic, military, and cultural developments, the regional lords needed ever-increasing numbers of
skilled, literate officials and teachers, the recruitment of whom was based on merit. Also during this time, commerce was stimulated through the introduction of coinage and technological improvements. Iron came into general use, making possible not only the forging of weapons of war but also the manufacture of farm implements. Public works on a
grand scale--such as flood control, irrigation projects, and canal
digging--were executed. Enormous walls were built around cities and along the broad stretches of the northern frontier.

So many different philosophies developed during the late Spring and Autumn and early Warring States periods that the era is often known as that of the Hundred Schools of Thought ( ). From the Hundred Schools of Thought came many of the great classical writings on which Chinese practices were to be based for the next two and one-half millennia.
Many of the thinkers were itinerant intellectuals who, besides
teaching their disciples, were employed as advisers to one or another of the various state rulers on the methods of government, war, and

The body of thought that had the most enduring effect on subsequent Chinese life was that of the School of Literati (ru or ), often called the Confucian school in the West. The written legacy of the School of Literati is embodied in the Confucian Classics ( -- [LINK],,,,
and from which the period derived its name
), which were to become the basis for the order of traditional society. Confucius (551-479 B.C.),
also called Kong Zi, ( ) or Master Kong, looked to the early days
of Zhou rule for an ideal social and political order. He believed that the only way such a system could be made to work properly was for each person to act according to prescribed relationships. "Let the ruler be a ruler and the subject a subject," ( ) he said, but he added that to rule properly a king must be virtuous. To Confucius, the functions of government and social stratification were facts of life to be
sustained by ethical values. His ideal was the junzi ( or ruler's
), which came to mean gentleman in the sense of a cultivated or
superior man.

Mencius (372-289 B.C.), or Meng Zi ( ), was a Confucian disciple
who made major contributions to the humanism of Confucian thought.
Mencius declared that man was by nature good. He expostulated the idea that a ruler could not govern without the people's tacit consent and that the penalty for unpopular, despotic rule was the loss of the
"mandate of heaven."

The effect of the combined work of Confucius, the codifier and
interpreter of a system of relationships based on ethical behavior, and Mencius, the synthesizer and developer of applied Confucian
thought, was to provide traditional Chinese society with a
comprehensive framework on which to order virtually every aspect of life

There were to be accretions to the corpus of Confucian thought, both immediately and over the millennia, and from within and outside the Confucian school. Interpretations made to suit or influence
contemporary society made Confucianism dynamic while preserving a
fundamental system of model behavior based on ancient texts.

Diametrically opposed to Mencius, for example, was the interpretation of Xun Zi ( ca. 300-237 B.C.), another Confucian follower. Xun Zi
preached that man is innately selfish and evil and that goodness is attainable only through education and conduct befitting one's status.
He also argued that the best government is one based on authoritarian control, not ethical or moral persuasion.

Xun Zi's unsentimental and authoritarian inclinations were developed into the doctrine embodied in the School of Law ( or fa), or Legalism.
The doctrine was formulated by Han Fei Zi ( d. 233 B.C.) and Li Si
( [LINK] d. 208 B.C.), who maintained that human nature was
incorrigibly selfish and therefore the only way to preserve the social order was to impose discipline from above and to enforce laws
strictly. The Legalists exalted the state and sought its prosperity and martial prowess above the welfare of the common people. Legalism became the philosophic basis for the imperial form of government. When the most practical and useful aspects of Confucianism and Legalism
were synthesized in the Han period (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), a system of governance came into existence that was to survive largely intact
until the late nineteenth century. Taoism ( ), the second most
important stream of Chinese thought, also developed during the Zhou period. Its formulation is attributed to the legendary sage Lao Zi (
or Old Master
), said to predate Confucius, and Zhuang Zi ( )
(369-286 B.C.). The focus of Taoism is the individual in nature rather than the individual in society. It holds that the goal of life for
each individual is to find one's own personal adjustment to the rhythm of the natural (and supernatural) world, to follow the Way (dao) of the universe. In many ways the opposite of rigid Confucian moralism, Taoism served many of its adherents as a complement to their ordered daily lives. A scholar on duty as an official would usually follow
Confucian teachings but at leisure or in retirement might seek harmony with nature as a Taoist recluse. The Taoist approach to life is
embodied in the classic Dao De Jing ( [LINK] ).

Another strain of thought dating to the Warring States Period is the school of yin-yang ( ) and the five elements. The theories of this
school attempted to explain the universe in terms of basic forces in nature, the complementary agents of yin (dark, cold, female, negative)
and yang (light, hot, male, positive) and the five elements (water, fire, wood, metal, and earth). In later periods these theories came to have importance both in philosophy and in popular belief.

Still another school of thought was based on the doctrine of Mo Zi (
470-391 B.C.?
), or Mo Di. Mo Zi believed that "all men are equal
before God
" and that mankind should follow heaven by practicing
universal love. Advocating that all action must be utilitarian, Mo Zi condemned the Confucian emphasis on ritual and music. He regarded
warfare as wasteful and advocated pacificism. Mo Zi also believed that unity of thought and action were necessary to achieve social goals. He maintained that the people should obey their leaders and that the
leaders should follow the will of heaven. Although Moism failed to
establish itself as a major school of thought, its views are said to be "strongly echoed" in Legalist thought. In general, the teachings of Mo Zi left an indelible impression on the Chinese mind.

Another good source of information about Chinese philosophy on the web can be found in the Chinese Philosophy page by Su Tzu.
"[ [10]Table of Contents [11]Timeline [12]Map of China
[13]Ancient Dynasties [14]Imperial Era ]


1. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/I Ching-TOC.b5.html
2. http://convex.cc.uky.edu/%7Ejatuck00/Resources/Confucius.html
3. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/Meng Zi/
4. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/OnLearning.b5.html
5. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Prose/Expelling Guests.b5.html
6. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/Zhuang Zi/
7. http://www.chinapage.com/laotze.html
8. http://www.mordor.com/pei/laotze2n.html
9. http://mars.superlink.net/user/fsu/philo.html
10. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/toc.html
11. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/time line.html
12. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/chinamap.gif
13. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/ancient1.html
14. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/imperial.html

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Agnosticism Nutball Alert Atheist Neil C Reinhardt

Agnosticism Nutball Alert Atheist Neil C Reinhardt Image
I get mail from atheist nutballs too.

Neil C. Reinhardt is officially an Atheist nutball. Anyone who sends me an email offering helpful advice while criticizing all atheists is suspect to begin with. I could tell he was slapping at me because of my unfavorable coverage of the Tea Party. I did not realize he was a rabid Tea Party apologist, although a simple Google search would have confirmed it. Check out Neil C. Reinhardt shows his true colors.

Neil's first email was helpful yet disturbing:

"Hello MoJoey,"

"I like your blog!"

I suggest IF you are not a member of the "Freedom From Religion

" you contact them (link below) and get a copy of their great

monthly newspaper "Freethought Today"

It usually has two pages contaning MANY cases of where some member of

the Clergy is doing something illegal and/or wrong.

And of course, IF you are not a member of it, I hope you join as the

more members, the more they can accomplish,.

As you are in the LA area (as I am) and IF your not a member of

"Atheists United", (link below) you may enjoy their monthly meetings

and/or various functions.

I am a member of both to those as well as "American Atheists" (link

) and the "Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers" (link


Sadly, I find MOST Atheists ONLY use rational thought, critical thinking

skills and little things called "Facts" on the existence of one, or more

gods, On nearly any other subject, they, just like the far right

Christians who deny evolution is a fact, simply deny any facts which

prove they are wrong.

At least the Christians have a valid reason for being stupid and denying

facts as they were programmed to do so. The Atheists who do it (and it

is, sadly, MOST Atheists, have NO valid excuse for acting very


I Thank You for your time

Please, Take Care!

Neil C. Reinhardt


"A 76 year old Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, 101st Airborne

Vet and an Iconoclastic, Philosophizing, Beach VolleyBall Playing

Grumpy Old Son Of A Beach!

I really love Nature's Immune Boosting Healing "miracle" I've been

drinking and using topically since September of 1979 when I was 62.

(Studies show Noni Juice boosts your immune system over 150%!

Even after over 13 years of my use, Noni Juice Still, Just Totally


I read Reinhardt's email and responded with this:


"Thanks for the email. I'll join the Freedom From Religion foundation. I think I might enjoy the magazine."

"I must admit you are the first Atheist Tea Party member I've ever met. What draws you to them?"

"I'm a libertarian myself and find the Tea Party a bit over the top. "

Instead of answering my question, Reinhardt seized the opportunity and attacked. I love the hasty generalizations.

Hello Mojoey

You are welcome, I just got ffrf's latest

edition yesterday.

MOST Atheists ONLY use Logic, Reason, Knowledge, Facts and Critical

Thinking Skills ON the existence of one. or more gods. On ANY other

subject, MOST Atheists have their heads so far up their asses it is a

wonder they can still breath.

They are either TOO LAZY to get off their ass and do the research to get

sufficient facts to assure they know what they are talking about AND/OR

they are just TOO DUMB to be able to comprehend what the information

they (supposedly) researched

actually means.

Sadly, and based on your comments on the Tea Party, it seems you are a

one of them.

I can assure you there are quite a few CONSERVATIVE Atheists who support the Tea Party's basic tenets. MOST Atheists are TOO LAZY to find out what they are OR to do ANY research into it OR what types of people are Tea Party Supporters

Hell, I will bet YOU have NO clue what the Tea Party's basic tenets even

are and yet here you are making negative comments about them.

Which is VERY SAD!

Being a libertarian is like being a communist for the very simple reason

neither system will ever work in the REAL world where people have

different needs, desires, drives, motivation., etc., etc, Such systems can ONLY work IF EVERY person IN the system agrees to it,will put forth effort to accomplish it AND will be satisfied with the


Such systems are doomed to FAILURE as long as people are the way people


Please, Take Care!


P.S. In an effort to edify you, I am going to forward some e-mails. One

of which is why I feel I am more qualified to comment on things than

many others are.

Well... At this point I told him I thought he was nuts and asked that he stop corresponding with me. Threats, petty name calling, boasting, and emails attesting to his manly accomplishments soon followed. I made a police report after he threatened to shove a cactus up may ass. I also told him it was unwise to threaten me as I lived just 20 miles away. He and had been kind enough (or dumb enough) to leave his phone number and enough information to figure out where he lived in his emails.

I did not realize he was 76 years old, although it would not have changed my approach. I don't feel bad about egging him on because he is uncivil to the point where I am wondering if he has brain damage. And I did egg him on. It's easy to do the immature and the elderly.

So in answer to some of the questions he's never bother to ask - I'm 50, a vet, and as big as a small bear. I've attended a dozen Tea Party get togethers in several states. I find the movement incomprehensible and anti-intellectual. I also find it overly concerned with the legitimacy of President Obama and focused on Christian social issues. So yes, I've done my homework. The Tea Party is nuts and so are the people who attend the stupid meetings. I made my mind up based on facts and direct observation. The Tea Party is full of your type - angry irrational old men. Now go away. Technorati Tags: Nutballs,Tea Party

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sabians Example Of Pluralism In Islam

Sabians Example Of Pluralism In Islam Image
In the context of Arabia and the time when Islam emerged, Islam adopted a very moderate, pluralistic approach to other religions. This pluralistic, harmonious ideology of Islam was only later hijacked for a number of geo-political reasons. The true spirit of Islam always had ample room to accomodate and even give good news to people of other faith, namely Christians and Jews. Second chapter of Quran has a notable verse on this theme which says: Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Judgement day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (The Quran 2.62)

This verse not only give good news to genuine Jews and Christians, but also include another people of faith, namely Sabians. Some scholars argue that the term Sabians are used to accomodate people of different faith other than Judaism and Christianity. Yet other scholars have traced particular religious group known as Sabian that existing pre-Islamic time. The blog, Mavi Boncuk has an interesting article on the Sabians. let me share here.

Evangelical Christians do not read or understand Koran (Quran). Most muslims also do not read and question the information that is in plain sight. The Sabians existed before Muhammad, and are said to have read from a book called the Zabur. The Saabi`ah Hunafa came under Islamic rule about 639 AD. At that time in history they were described as Greek immigrants but were grouped together with the Saabi'ah Mushrikoon Nabataeans.

Under sharia, the Sabians form a protected religious group (along with Christians and Jews).

Many Islamic writers from the period of about 650 CE onward gave further descriptions of the Sabians. They wrote that the Sabians lived in Iraq around Sawad, Kutha and Mosul and they "wash themselves with water" and had "long hair" and "white gowns" [citation needed]. They had a monotheistic faith with religious literature (the Zabur) and acknowledged the prophets. Their theology resembled that of Judaism and Christianity yet were neither, nor were they Magians.

As explained by Muslim historian of the eleventh century, Al Biruni, the Sabians were believed to have been remnants of the Jewish captivity who chose to remain behind in Babylon and practiced a combined religion of Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and claimed descent from Enoch. In their Hermetic literature, Enoch was equated with Hermes, and from their community, and the most famous of the treatise attributed to them, that was to become notorious in the West was the Picatrix.

It is also considered that a set of Sufi treatises, known as the Epistles of the Ikhawan al Saffa wa Kkhullan al Wafa, or of The Brethren of Purity and Loyal Friends, a philosophical and religious encyclopedia, which scholars regard as reflecting elements of Pythagorean, Neoplatonic, and the traditions of the Magi, were drawn up in the ninth century AD, under Sabian influence. It is generally agreed that the Epistles of the Ikhwan as Saffa were composed by leading proponents of the Ismaili sect of the Shiah.

Yazdanism or Cult of Angels (also Yazd^ani or Yazdanism) is a modern term for the monotheistic, though universalist, religion that was practiced by most Kurds up to the Islamization during the sixteenth century. Yazd^anism involved a belief in incarnation as well as 7 angelic beings which defend the world from their equal and opposite number. In Kurdistan a fair estimate still claims yazdanists being close to one third of the population. They are the Sabians of Harran described in Maimonides "Guide for the Perplexed" and mentioned in Bah'a'i writings as Sabeans. The name Yazd^anism derives from the Kurdish word Yazd^an, meaning god or angel.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Religion Belief Story Of My Adorable Sister In Islam

Religion Belief Story Of My Adorable Sister In Islam Image
I always admired the person that searching the truth and finally they found Islam as an absolute truth religion. Their journey such an inspire story to read and hear. It amazing how does Allah shows the way to His servant. Here I would like to share a beautiful story about my sister, who had revert to Islam, her name is Somaiyah.

"I was thinking that I could sum up why I converted so those who are interested may read inshaAllah. I am not married, therefore I didn't convert for any man, which however is a prejudice among other prejudices that most converts convert because their husband happens to be a Muslim. And if so is the case with some, then congratulations and praise be to Allah swt that they found a person on Earth who was used by Allah swt in order to lead the woman to Islam.

Why I converted is deeper than just a personal belief and a feeling, it's not either as a punishment for anyone that I know because I would never do that to somebody and it wouldn't benefit myself either in any way. I started question Christianity already as 15 years old or maybe younger. I wondered why when I read the Bible I found tons of rules that I followed, but I hardly saw any other Christians who followed. And the ones who followed the rules still didn't believe you "had" to follow the rules to go to Heaven, it was more for your own sake to follow the rules. This started my journey in wondering and thinking, and a journey to be able to let go of my little shell of Swedish culture and religion and open up for the whole world and realize that even Christianity is not Swedish from the start and it's not foreign or scary to read about other religions.

I read about all religions, both Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and some small religions in Africa. It was more for my own knowledge's sake, not with the intention to one day just pick a religion and convert. I still believed in Christianity even though I didn't understand these things and even though I had my questions. But no religion of these made sense. You can't believe in more than one God, it's just not possible for me. And you can't build up a religion on nothing or on nonsense without prooves and "just because it feels good and it makes it look more serious". And Islam for me felt scary. I was affected by the prejudices that both people I knew, schools and media taught us. It was all about that Islam is a religion in the Middle East where the men can hit the women, the women are oppressed, the best thing is to blow up a building in the West which is also called jihad, that Allah swt will be born again in form of an egg from a man etc. I wonder today how on Earth I could believe in this nonsense back then? But I didn't let the prejudices overtake me, instead I went to the books and texts of Islam and the explanations in it.

I read and I studied and I searched for an answer on every question and every prejudice that came up in my mind, and when nothing I found was even close to the thing I had been taught I seriously started to wonder. Why is it so that a religion which seems so beautiful is so misunderstood and has so much prejudices in the West? I continued reading, I continued studying, but I didn't just follow blindly. I questioned, I argued with Muslims, I e-mailed different teachers of Islam, I craved an answer on everything I wondered about, every little detail was important for me to understand in order to clear my mind up. And I realized that Muslims are just as different from eachothers as Swedish Christians are.

Some are active, some are practising, some believe, some are just Muslim by name, some have misunderstood, some understand perfectly, some take advantage of their culture, some leave their culture totally and follow the real Islam. How could the West say that all Muslims are in a certain way when they in reality were so individual and different as a people could be? By then I started to wonder what I was doing, how I dared to do like this. I was thinking that it is so stupid to even consider converting because nobody would accept it in my family and I knew no Muslims in real life either who could support.

There were no Muslims in the village where I lived and I don't think that I had even talked to a Muslim for real before that. But I was thinking that it's not the Muslims that shall affect me or that shall be important, it's the religion itself because the religion is perfect but the ones who practice the religion are not perfect and can make mistakes. And with the risk to get Christians against me now, but this is my conversion story and something made me convert logically; the final decision to convert came when I started wonder why Christians believe God is able to make mistakes. God was almighty, I already knew that, then how can He be able to make mistakes according to Christianity? And how do I come to this sollution you may now wonder if you are not a Muslim yourself. It is as simple as that, that God doesn't create Adam and Eve, put up rules that they shall live after, send prophets to the Earth to make the people continue the rules, and then suddenly realize that this didn't work and instead send a son and let all people who just believes in this go to heaven.

Why would God create humanity and put up rules and don't know before that He would suddenly have to send a son in order to clear things up? It's like changing the whole routine of the world, it's not a small thing to do. God could just not make mistakes, and there was an easy explanation in the Quran about this matter and about the claimed crucifiction of the prophet Jesus (ra). The prophet Jesus (ra) was never crucified, another person was taken in his place and God let Jesus come up to heaven without dying. One day Jesus will come back and spread the real word of Islam, not come back as the son of God. The second thought is also about the rules that I followed, but many Christians didn't follow.

I felt that many Muslims didn't follow the rules in the Quran either, but at least they didn't deny them and didn't say that you don't need to follow them in order to go to heaven (some deny and some claim you don't need to, but like I said there are nonpractising almost nonbelieving Muslims too in this world). But why did so many Christians say that the belief itself is the most important and you can live your life however you want as long as you believe and still go to heaven? It didn't make sense to me because for me there shall be rules that you follow if you follow a certain religion. Your country or culture shall never go before the religion and if the culture or the country has something against the religion, then it's the religion you shall follow and not the opposite. So why are there rules in the Bible but so many Christians said that when Jesus came you didn't have to follow the rules anymore because he took it away, even though according to the New Testamente in the Bible Jesus himself is supposed to have said "I didn't come to take away the law"? Isn't it then clear that we shall still have followed the rules from the Old Testamente or at least not deny them?

But humanity isn't stupid, humans aren't stupid. And we are not less intelligent today than the persons who lived 4000 years ago. If the persons before the prophet Jesus (ra) came to Earth could live after rules that God almighty had put up for them, then sure we can live after the same rules today. Life doesn't become easier through the rules, but it becomes more fair, more right and more secure from the rules. And humanity isn't stupid to follow rules, God would never have to take the rules away, we already follow hundreds of rules within every country and change the rules when we visit another country. It's only bad excuses to not follow rules that we simply don't like or feel uncomfortable with. Specially these two thoughts, that God can't make mistakes and that there is no logical explanation to why the rules were taken away for some but not everyone, made me feel that Islam is the true religion and that it's a Muslim I should be instead.

Every year there are many persons who join Islam and who face different kinds of difficulties. It's like Allah swt says in the Quran chapter 29 verse 2: "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they "will not be tried?" We shouldn't follow a religion just because our parents or our family do, even the first Muslims were converts and their families were against their decision. We are being tried and we have to deal with the problems in having a different faith and living a different way than what the majority of people and family find normal and most common. But who do we fool if we follow our family and not the true path, our family or ourselves? For indeed it's only you who will be judged for "your" actions on the Day of Judgment.

If you don't stand up for who you are and become a Muslim because you are afraid for what people will say, think or do, then it's only you who take the damage in this life and in the hereafter. We are many in the same situation, if some can then inshaAllah everyone can. Even back in the days people in the prophet Mohammad's (saaws) time said that they rather followed the religion of their families and fathers, than to take a new religion even though the message was so clear for them. The Quran 2:170 "And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our" fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?" In the start I hid my conversion for seven months. Though every day it became harder and harder to not be able to be the one I wanted to be.

I couldn't dress modesty enough, couldn't pray, couldn't eat the right food, couldn't study Islam whenever I felt for, couldn't read the Quran in tranquility without fearing someone might come and find out I am no longer a Christian. The summer the same year a few months after my conversion was the worst for me. I felt the pressure of dressing like everyone else, bathing and sunning like everyone else, and people asked what's wrong but I couldn't tell them the truth. My chance came when I could move to my own apartment when I was going to start study on university after the summer.

Still I wasn't brave enough to be an active Muslim and I was also not having much energy for the practising of Islam because of my fear for telling the people around me that I am a Muslim. It was eating me up from the inside, the fear and the nervous mind and feelings. So one day, two months after I had moved out, I made the decision to take on the hijab. I had been praying five times a day for a while and everytime I prayed I felt stronger and stronger, believe me the prayer makes you incredibly strong in faith and confidence. After I took on the hijab I knew I couldn't go back, I didn't want to and I never wanted to go back. I only wanted to go further, go on the right path, and be the Muslim I for so long time had wanted to be. And thanks to Allah swt I could finally be free."

I'm proud of you my sister. You are an example to all the Muslim and non-Muslim women. With your manners, worship, smile, even when you are walking down the street, you are an example to everyone and you will indeed inspire many people, without even saying a word. I'll make du'a, may Allah bless you and purify you my sister in Islam. You've found the right way, alhamdulillah. I love you sister,for sake of Allah and Rasulullah.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Burma Diversity Buddhists To Baptists

Burma Diversity Buddhists To Baptists Image
Shwedagon Pagoda, public access to the sacred shrine in the heart of Rangoon was the spark that ignited the military crackdown (Time.com).

(TIME photoessays) Living under the thumb of a brutal junta, the average Burmese hardly leads an easy life. But the plight of the country's ethnic minorities, many of whom once waged long and bloody insurgencies against the military regime, is even worse. As a new human-rights report released on Jan. 28, as well as the recent stories of destitute refugees who fled Burma attest to, members of Burma's ethnic groups face persistent discrimination by the military regime.

* Burma: 19 years of Protest

* Burma: Aftermath

* Burma: Discontent

They are the targets of unpaid forced labor campaigns, scorched-earth policies that destroy farmland, and relocation programs that require entire villages to move at a moment's notice.


Perhaps the most exploited minority in Burma, the Rohingya are a Muslim group. (Visiting the Rohingya, Burma's hidden population)


Clustered in the northeastern hills of Burma, the Buddhist Shan were accorded a measure of self-rule by British colonialists, thought in total to number at least 5 million.


Overwhelmingly Christian (Baptist converts), the Chin live in the impoverished mountains near the India-Burma border and have an armed wing, the Chin National Front. (Pictures: Junta blocking Burma from receiving aid after a cyclone)


The second-largest ethnic group after the Burmans, comprised of both Christians and Buddhists, the Karen have also waged a long rebellion against the Burmese junta.


Mostly Christian, the Kachin live in northern Burma and were famous during colonial times for their battle skills.

Called "Myanmar" [which is simply a more correct pronunciation of Bamar] by its military leaders, Burma derives its name from the Buddhist Burman (or Bamar) people. The country's largest ethnic group, the Burman historically lived in Burma's central and upper plains. But this patchwork country of 55 million is made up of more than 100 unique ethnicities.

* Tension in Burma

* UN Envoy trying to save Burma

* An eye in the sky on Burma

The isolation enforced by Burma's numerous mountains and hills helped nurture these culturally discrete groups, making it one of the most diverse countries in Southeast Asia, despite its relatively small geographic size. Here are five ethnicities, some of who have unsuccessfully waged long insurgencies against the central government and others who have made news recently because of the abuses they have suffered at the hands of the Burman-dominated regime.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chanting Buddhism East And West

Chanting Buddhism East And West Image
There is much to be said in favor of chanting. Just as ancient seers ("rishis") in India preserved the Books of Sacred Knowledge ("Vedas"), so Buddhist monks preserved the Dharma by memorizing, studying, and reciting the sutras. There was soon no necessity to preserve them that way with the advent of writing them down (first on palm leaves in Sri Lanka then on other media as they spread beyond India). But to preserve the living tradition, monks have continued to learn, recite, practice, teach (Dharma), and deliver them as sermons ("bhana") through chanting. Americans have joined Asian practitioners, and many chants are now done in English. One practice that originated in Japan, Soka Gakkai (SGI) or "Tina Turner chanting" ("Nam myoho renge kyo") is the fastest growing. Unlike most forms of Buddhism, it draws in large numbers of African- and Hispanic-American practitioners. SGI promises material wealth more than spiritual fulfillment. But the point is not lost. Chants (as in the yogic practice of "japa" or Christian-mystic practice of prayer) are meant to reduce discursive thinking and bring peace of mind. The second video is an example of ancient Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist PALI (the language closest to the Magadhi the Buddha spoke) and modern American English chanting.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heavy Metal Buddhism

Heavy Metal Buddhism Image
Buddhist/comedian Jim Carrey loved Cannibal Corpse so much that he asked them to perform their megahit "Hammer Smashed Face" in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

My girlfriend and I were miserable in samsara. She was at the University of Hawaii and more miserable than I, asking: "When will the suffering end? We'll go East in search of enlightenment," I would answer. "You better finish school first and body surf more. Or we can go to a concert?"

In the meantime, we soothed ourselves with the idea of starting a wholesome grindcore band. I look Tibetan (like Gomo Tulku), and she is Scandinavian (like Alissa White-Gluz), and we were vegans. (I still am).

With our crazy mops, we were either going to be called Zen Zero or Decorticated Disenchanted Strands (DDS), because we wanted to cut our long sun kissed hair down to the skin with revulsion or grow very long yogi dreadlocks like the guys in Carcass (see below).

What I had in mind for Zen Zero/DDS (The Agonist)

Devi and dragon (angel and titan), we would jointly sing the lyrics she wrote in a special notebook in class along the lines of Carcass (classic British vegan grindcore) coroner jargon, girl bands, Cannibal Corpse (a comedic, carnivorous American band made famous by their appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), Cradle of Filth (dark British death metal), Dimmu Borgir (reptilian Norwegian black metal and our first concert experience), Deicide (darker American metal), Kittie, Dead Kennedys (San Francisco punk rock), and smaller wannabee bands of ALL kinds in Los Angeles.

If Carcass and other vegans could sing that meat eating is as gross as cannibalism with no one noticing, surely we could certainly extol the Dharma without anyone caring. And we'd feel good about it.

There's a way to rage at the universe with themes of disgust, dukkha, mindfulness of death, craving for liberation from samsara, and corporeality in general. Dress Goth, date around, and have music soothe the savage breast.

Sometimes renunciation grows to a fever pitch and becomes aversion (dosa) wanting nothing more than magical powers (abhinna) and enlightening everyone that things are empty and repulsive.

Female death metal singing lessons (Angela Gossow)

Carcass taught us that things "reek of putrefaction" in a "jigsaw quandary," and it seemed so Buddhist/tantric/yogic to cover their song "Carneous Cacoffiny." That's a song from their hyperintelligent album/medical tome "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious." We had a really good sense of humor back then. I guess I was a bad influence on her. But she won complete freedom, so it all worked out. And they were her lyrics after all.

CARCASS: Sometimes it's fun to scream Zen-style.

Carneous Cacoffiny


...Striking up my discordant underture

A carnal cacophony perversely penned

Transposed...and decomposed...

But don't hold your breath

As you wait for your god or the void

Or the abyss of nothingness

Your usefulness isn't through

Your productivity I resume...

My sordid, soiled handicrafts

Will be your afterlife's handicap....

My corrupt crescendos...

Will leave you out on a limbo...

Your disposition I unleash...

You will rest in my piece...

With deadly dynamics

You're dead, buried, and barred

Your remains dampened and fingered

Your mortal coil is barbed

The death-bells are peeling

Ringing out as you flake

Shrieking out their recitals

A celebration of your wake...

Enter my funereality

My world two meters under

A curious habitat

Your muddy trench I plunder

Pass on to ethereality

Churned out under the sextant's blade

You live your life in wretchedness

And death is no escape

And death is no escape

And death is no escape

by Melissa Cross

A None-more-metal Dharma-Burger

The Worst Horse

The latest entry from the ever-expanding realm of metal/Buddhism crossovers is the cover and title of the new EP by the great doom/drone band, Queen Elephantine:

The Tibetan-"thangka"-style art is one thing, but it doesn't really get more metal than "Garland of Skulls," does it?* (Queen Elphantine has dabbled in imagery from world religions and cultures, what with album titles like "Surya" and "Kailash", and song titles like "Search for the Deathless State." And you can download their record, "Yatra "(as in the Hindu term for "pilgrimage") for free here.)

Hear the slow, dirgy, powerful track, "Potency," from Garland of Skulls, here.

(See here for another recent - and recommended - Buddhism/metal crossover.)

* *Note: I have dibs on the band name Sk"ulC"up.

Metal for Buddhists? Buddhism for metalheads? Who cares? It rocks.

For a while now I've wondered about the band Yob. (Their name refers to a classic Warner Brothers cartoon; I distinctly remember being a teenager in bands and seeing the cartoon and thinking, "Good band name".)...

The last words in the shorter version of the sutra are "Gat'e Gat'e Paragat'e Parasamgat'e Bodhi Svaha!" The basic translation, as I understand it, is "gone (or ferried) with everyone to the other shore right now!"

A little more Googling about Yob and Buddhism turns up a quick reference in a Rebel Extravaganza interview with vocalist and guitarist Mike Scheidt, in which he responds to the interviewer's question about the use of the word "bardo" in the song "Ball of Molten Lead" from 2004's "The Illusion of Motion "LP:

I'm surprised that one jumped out at you, man! A bardo is a term used in Buddhism. A bardo is a segment of life. The Tibetan Book Of The Dead goes into it, the bardos of life... the stages of life and death. More in depth, when you get into the places where the book deals with learning how to die. We go through time periods of trying to understand and remember who we are outside of this life.

And the band has a track called "Asleep in Samsara" on 2002's "Elaborations of Carbon." Is all this a coincidence? And more important: "does it matter? "

I'm not saying that Scheidt is a Buddhist or that YOB is in some way a "Buddhist band." (And either way, they get points for clearly not trying to cash in on Buddhism's cultural cachet. They're hardly hitting us over the head with the references here.) They probably wouldn't want to be identified as a Buddhist band, even if they were. And I'm "not" saying they are. All I "am" saying is this:

1) Metal can be a lot smarter than some would ever think.

2) Buddhism can be way more metal-confluent than some would ever think. (It can also be way more punk- or hip-hop- or baseball- or business- or "whatever"-confluent than some would ever think, too.)

3) It's refreshing... More

Via NPR: "Gomo Tulku, the Rapping Lama" The Worst Horse (Music, hip-hop, Tibet)

"[T]here's been a detour in [Lama] Gomo Tulku's spiritual journey," reports NPR. "He's about to release his first rap recording."

Now, comments on the piece, so far, don't seem to be in the Rapping Lama's favor. But listen and see what you think.

Of course, there's nothing new about the Buddhism/hip-hop crossover. And like anything, the results have been all over the map. Find some gems - and otherwise - in the Horse's archives...

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Religion Belief Extremists Not Islam The Problem

Religion Belief Extremists Not Islam The Problem Image
The State Department, DHS, and the NCTC urge that it's time to forever separate Islam and terrorism--in our diplomatic lexicon, that is:

Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

The reason: Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.

For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public. Similarly, "mujahedeen," which means those engaged in jihad, must be seen in its broader context."Islamo-fascism" never made much sense. "Islamic fundamentalism" is a better descriptor of the ideological force driving terrorist attacks on Western targets. Of course, such a phrase indictes Islam as a compelling engine of the contemporary international terrorist problem. Can't have any of that.

Can Islam be stripped of its martial essence? Tough to see how that'll be pulled off, since Islam's central figure, an expansionist military leader, is having revealed to him (and his followers) the commands and teachings of God throughout the Koran.

In contemporary Christianity, by contrast, the divinely blessed violent conquests are in books most Christians know almost nothing about. Joshua paraded around Jericho and it fell, right? Oh, the walls fell and then all the inhabitants inside (including livestock) were massacred? My pastor never told me that. Judges, I assume, has to do with ideals of justice, right? Oh, you mean it's a compendia of accounts of the violent military expansion and contraction of Israel under various obscure leaders? Huh, wasn't aware.

Christians primarily pay attention to the four gospels (especially Luke and John) which together comprise about one-tenth of the Good Book. And that 10% doesn't condone violent militancy at all.

We'd be better off pointing out the strong connection between Islam and terrorism against the West and then doing everything we are able to do to separate Islam and the West from one another.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Buddha Advice Question And Investigate

Buddha Advice Question And Investigate Image
The message the Buddha delivered to the Kalamas in Kesaputta (AN 3.65) is one of openness, investigation, and questioning what is taught by whoever it is taught. It is given above in brief. This is the full discourse:

The Kalamas of Kesaputta

1. Thus have I heard. Once the Buddha, while wandering in the Kosala country with a large community of monastics, entered a town of the Kalama people called Kesaputta.

The Kalamas said to one another: "Reverend Gautama, the monk, the son of the Sakyans [has had this reputation:] 'Indeed, the Blessed One is thus consummate, fully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and practice, sublime, knower of the worlds..."

Asking for Guidance

3. The Kalamas asked: "Venerable sir, there are some monks and brahmins who visit Kesaputta. They expound and explain only their own doctrines. The doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces.

"Some other monks and brahmins too, venerable sir, come to Kesaputta. They also expound and explain only their own doctrines. The doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Venerable sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them. Which of these revered monks and brahmins spoke the truth and which falsehood?"

Criteria for Rejection

4. "Kalamas, it is proper for you to doubt, to be uncertain. Uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas:

* Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing

* nor upon tradition

* nor upon rumor

* nor upon what is scripture

* nor upon surmising

* nor upon an axiom

* nor upon (specious) reasoning

* nor upon a bias toward a notion that has been pondered over

* nor upon another's seeming ability

* nor upon the consideration, 'This monk is our teacher.'

But, Kalamas, when you yourselves know, 'These things are unprofitable, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the wise, when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill' then abandon them.

Greed, Hate, and Delusion

5. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does greed appear in a person for benefit or harm?"

"For harm, venerable sir."

"Kalamas, being given to greed, and being overwhelmed and vanquished mentally by greed, a person takes life, steals, commits sexual misconduct, and speaks falsehoods. That person prompts others to do likewise. Will that be for harm and ill?"

"Yes, venerable sir."

6-7. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does hate...delusion appear in a person for benefit or harm?"

"For harm, venerable sir."

"Kalamas, being given to hate...delusion, and being overwhelmed and vanquished mentally by hate...delusion, a person takes life, steals, commits sexual misconduct, and speaks falsehoods. That person prompts others to do likewise. Will that be for harm and ill?"

"Yes, venerable sir."

8. "What do you think, Kalamas, are these things profitable or unprofitable?"

"Unprofitable, venerable sir"

"Blameworthy or blameless?"

"Blameworthy, venerable sir."

"Censured or praised by the wise?"

"Censured, venerable sir."

"When undertaken and observed, do these things lead to harm and ill or not? Or how does it strike you?"

"When undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill. This is how it strikes us."

9. "Kalamas, therefore was it said, 'Come Kalamas! Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing, nor upon tradition, nor upon rumor... but when you yourselves know: "These things are unprofitable, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the wise, and when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill" then abandon them.'...

The Four Exalted Dwellings

16. "Kalamas, the disciple of the Noble Ones who in this way is devoid of greed, devoid of ill will, undeluded, and instead clearly comprehending and mindful, dwells this way:

"Having pervaded with thoughts of loving-kindness (friendliness, amity, metta) one quarter, so the second, so the third, and likewise the fourth, so above, below, and across. One dwells having pervaded all living beings in all directions, everywhere in the entire universe with a heart grown great, exalted, with boundless thoughts of loving-kindness toward everyone free of hate or malice.

"One lives having pervaded with thoughts of compassion (karuna)... thoughts of gladness-over-their-success (mudita)... equanimity (impartiality, upekkha)... with a heart grown great, exalted, with boundless thoughts of equanimity toward everyone free of hate or malice.

The Four Solaces

17. "Kalamas. the disciple of the Noble Ones who has such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, such a purified mind is one who finds four solaces here and now.

"'Suppose there is a hereafter and there is fruit and results of deeds done well or ill. Then it is possible that at the dissolution of the body after death, I shall re-arise [be reborn] in heavenly worlds, which are states of bliss.' This is the first solace found.

"'Suppose there is no hereafter and no fruit or results of deeds done well or ill. Yet in this world, here and now, free from hatred, free from malice, safe and sound, and happy, I keep myself.' This is the second solace found.

"'Suppose unpleasant (results) befall doers of ill. I, however, think of doing il. to no one. Then, how can ill (results) affect me who does no ill deed?' This is the third solace found.

"'Suppose ill (results) do not befall an doers of ill. Then I see myself purified in any case.' This is the fourth solace found.

"Kalamas, the disciple of the Noble Ones who has such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, such a purified mind is one who finds here and now these four solaces."

"So it is, Blessed One! So it is, Sublime One! The disciple of the Noble Ones, venerable sir, who has such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, such a purified mind is one who finds, here and now, these four solaces.

"Marvelous, venerable sir! Marvelous, venerable sir!

"Venerable sir, it is as if a person were to turn up what was upside down, or to uncover what was concealed, or to point the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the darkness, thinking, 'Those who have eyes will see'!

"So has the Dharma [truth] been set forth in many ways by the Blessed One. Venerable sir, we go to the Blessed One for guidance, to the Dharma for guidance, and to the Community of [accomplished] monastics for guidance.

"Venerable sir, may the Blessed One regard us as lay followers who have gone for guidance from this day forward!"

by Seven based on the work of Soma Thera

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Language Of The Sufis

Language Of The Sufis Image
Person figures prominently in expressions of mystic understanding of the three main faiths that originate in the Near East. The spare forms of personal pronouns in marked constructions constitute a keying, in Goffman's terms, of mystic discourse, as in the well-known `I-Thou' of Martin Buber, or `I in them and Thou in me' of St. John (17:23).

Sufi Islam even contrasts the religious law, the mystic path, and the Truth in such terms:

Of the religious law (its truth is):

I and Thou;

As for the mystic path (its truth is):

I am Thou and Thou art I.

But the Truth Itself (is):

Neither I nor Thou, only He.

ash-shari'atu: ana wa anta;

at-tariqatu: ana anta wa anta ana;

al-haqiqatu: la ana wa la anta, huwa.

- Siraj ed-Din

The third person pronominal reference in the last line above, `only He', works to obviate any sense of separation or duality that reference to the first and second person, `the persons of instances of discourse', might imply. In Sufism one strives to move beyond the `I-Thou' polarity in relations with one's spiritual master, and beyond the `this' of `this world'. It is an attempt to move beyond human subjectivity, to return to the greater Subjectivity, as Becker puts it, not of God but of His loving.

For Sufis understand Creation actively in terms of God's longing to be known. That the pronoun for this greater subjectivity is the third person, the `non-person' according to Benveniste's characterization, but either the `absent one' or the `concealed' or `hidden one' (al-gha'ib) according to Arab grammarians, casts at the very least another potential frame on the third person.

- from the paper, Person in epitaphs of a line of Sufi Babas: continuity and change by Frances Trix of Department of Anthropology, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA. paper published in: Journal of Language Sciences. vol.21, 1999.

- graphics credit: Susan St. Thomas / one of Sonoma County, Californias famous visionary fine artists, Susan draws her artistic inspirations from dreams, myths and spiritual traditions of the world, weaving beautiful watercolor magic. visit her online art gallery here.[+] Please visit MysticSaint.Info For full multimedia experience and enjoy special music.


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Buddha Boys

Buddha Boys Image
There is, of course, only one Buddha Boy. His name is Ram Bahadur Bomjon, now PALDEN DORJE, a teen sitting and fasting in the jungles of Nepal. But others also loosely get called by the same thing. Novices ("samaneras", "little ascetics") are Buddhist-monks-in-training who keep Ten Precepts as a means of earning great merit for themselves and their families.

They usually ordain temporarily and may sometimes be seen engaged in childish mischief. Since they are not monks but only trainees, such behavior is common and within the bounds of monastic discipline. They are being raised to be responsible members of society not the monastery. Very few go on to become recluses ("samanas"). Nevertheless, because they meditate and dress like miniature monks, they are sometimes called "Buddha Boys."

Thousands of years ago, the historical Buddha's son RAHULA (depicted above on a Laotian monastery wall) became the first novice at the age of 7, making him the youngest person to be ordained, a custom that continues to this day in countries like Thailand, Tibet, and elsewhere throughout Asia.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Is There A Buddhist Bible

Is There A Buddhist Bible Image
C.C. Liu, A. Wells, P. MacPherson (Wisdom Quarterly)No, there is no Buddhist Bible. But not to worry, for there are many candidates.

(It should be remembered that there never used to be a Christian Bible either. Councils put together an international bestseller by getting rid of most of the gospels, doctrines, stories, and alternative interpretations floating around the ancient world: See what got left out).

If ever one wanted a "Buddhist Bible," there are scriptures, sacred texts, a living oral tradition (of meditation instructions), and commentaries that could be put together into a very Good Book. But to be complete that book -- composed of the Tripitaka (Discourses, Disciplinary rules for monastics, and the Higher Teachings) -- would have to be enormous.

So there is a popular, easy to carry, and easy to enjoy version called the Dhammapada ("Footprint of the Dharma"). It contains hundreds of shorthand verses. These sayings are pearls of wisdom, which are often illustrated and accompanied by their origin stories.

A better Buddhist Bible might be the Nikayas (all the sutras combined). But there are too many. And there's too much repetition, which is useful for chanting but frustrating for reading. Instead, anthologies like In the Buddha's Words serve as condensed treasuries.

Finally, there is a world-famous summary of the Teachings, What the Buddha Taught, that explains a great deal without including sutras. There are also sectarian texts, and now there's even a Buddhist Bible iPhone app.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

2500 Yrs Later Tibetan Buddhists On Women

2500 Yrs Later Tibetan Buddhists On Women Image
2,500 YEARS AFTER THE BUDDHA, TIBETAN BUDDHISTS ACKNOWLEDGE WOMEN"Buddhist women are celebrating a landmark victory: In April, the renowned Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies (IBD) in Dharamsala, India, conferred the degree of "Geshe" -- the Tibetan equivalent of Ph.D. -- to Ven. Kelsang Wangmo, a German [Vajrayana Buddhist] nun.

This is a first in many ways: Traditionally, "Geshe" degrees are conferred on monks after 12 or more years of rigorous study in Buddhist philosophy. For the first time in history, a nun has now received the degree. Even more surprising, it was conferred on a Western woman.

Ven. Kelsang Wangmo [PICTURED HERE] was finally rewarded for mastering the strenuous course of study in higher [Tibetan] Buddhist philosophy. She had already been teaching philosophy at the Institute for more than five years.

So why is this such a big deal, and why did it take so long? In the West, the first female professorship was awarded to a woman at a European university in 1732. Almost 300 years ago scientist LAURA BASSI taught physics at the University of Bologna. And more than 2,500 [now almost 2,600] years ago the Buddha allowed women into the monastic order ["Sangha"]. He did this by ordaining his foster mother, Maha Prajapati.

She and 500 like-minded [Shakyan] women donned saffron robes, shaved their heads, and walked 350 miles barefoot to show their unwavering determination. But it was only after Ven. Ananda intervened on their behalf that the Buddha finally granted their request -- a revolutionary decision in India at the time.

[This was a first for a world religion, but it was not a first for India. Not long before, the Buddha's contemporary MAHAVIRA, the founder of JAINISM, admitted women into a wandering ascetic order similar to Buddhism's.]

by Michaela Haas

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