Posts Tagged ‘karma

13
Jan
09

Instant Karma, Karma Chameleon, Karma Police (there’s no escaping karma . . . in music)

karma incense

Okay, if you don’t have the incense to burn away your accumulated Karma, you might be interested in these definitions.  They are some of my favorite and each touch on very different aspects of Karma.  Sure,  I could post hundreds of aspects or viewpoints on the subject by teachers, musicians, poets . . .  Today, I just happen to like these three . . .
With open hands,
John

Karma is created every time you act out of unconsciousness, ignorance, and selfishness in ways that cause suffering to others. For most of us, karma is a powerful force—the accumulated momentum of literally countless actions. The momentum of karma is what makes the personal world of ego and unenlightenment appear so attractive to us.
The authentic self in each of us is compelled to become enlightened and perpetually evolve, but the ego is driven by the need to always be in control and ever remain the same. And it is the choices that we make in every moment that determine which part of our self will be creating our destiny. Each time we act out of ego, karma is instantly created.
Enlightenment means freedom from karma.

~Andrew Cohen
http://www.andrewcohen.org/teachings/volitionality.asp

It’s the law of interdependence—that every action produces a reaction, and that when you combine billions of actions with billions of reactions, and they begin to react to one another’s reactions…well that’s why it’s not as simple as if you do good, good things come back to you. Or if you do bad, that bad things will happen to you. Why? Because your karma could, boomeranging back toward you, come into contact with other streams of karma, either good or bad.
But if you want to keep things simple, live by these words:
“If you want to be happy, think of others. If you want to be unhappy, think only of oneself.” It’s the Buddhist version of Christianity’s Golden Rule: Do Unto Others as you would have Others Do Unto You.

~ Waylon Lewis
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/01/what-is-karma-alicia-keys-thinks-its-fate-actually-its-just-the-opposite/

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

circle-hands-bwsm

02
Dec
08

We wanted SUV’s not Solar Panels

Still think your vote doesn’t count?  The first presidential election I was ever able to vote in, made a difference. I thought President Carter was a country farmer with little wisdom; I believed Ronald Reagan was an amazing leader/communicator.  History has since proven me dead wrong. But at the time I helped vote “image” into office.  Soon we returned to our gas guzzling cars; energy conservation was an illusion of the past. AIDS was not mentioned for years as thousands died.  My vote counted. (Well at least my karma did not involve voting for Bush)

Here is an article from the Elephant Journal regarding former president Carter and current president elect Barak Obama (and yes, the great communicator too).  I never new there were solar panels at the White House at one time! Of course they were dismatled . . . (I wonder where we would be now with about 30 years dedicated to this original direction?).  Just part of our Karma (that is, reaping the effects of what we sow – so be careful who you’re angry with – if you haven’t examined the part you played in our current outcome).

white-house-solar-panels1

Photo via whitehousemuseum.org

In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, President Elect Barack Obama said that he plans to coordinate an evaluation with the Chief Usher of the White House to see how energy is used in the White House. I can only imagine the number of light bulbs in all of the rooms of that place!

For starters, Obama plans on keeping the lights off in rooms that aren’t being used. I’m feeling like a youngin’ since, for many, Obama’s statements are inspiring recollections of Jimmy Carter’s days and his installation of solar panels on the roof of the White House—something I hadn’t even known he’d done. They were taken down during Reagan’s administration (why?), but check out this article for a nice synopsis of Carter’s energy initiatives. I think it’s an important time to look at where we’ve been, to see where we are going.

Our friends over at Eco Times also posted an excellent article today that reminded me of the limitations of some renewables and how we have to keep this energy debate open and balanced.

FULL ARTICLE:
Was Jimmy Carter right?
Published Sat, 10/01/2005 – 07:00
by Stephen Koff

Washington- President Bush is telling Americans to go easy on energy, use carpools and “curtail nonessential travel” – an unusual moment for an administration that used to say it could meet growing energy demand by expanding supply, not consuming less.

But this is not a Jimmy Carter, turn- down-the-thermostat, late-1970s moment.

Carter wore a cardigan when asking Americans to bear a little discomfort in a time of severe oil price increases. Last Monday, Bush rode in a motorcade – two limousines, three utility vans, six SUVs and a medical truck – to the climate-controlled Department of Energy, where he appeared in a suit and tie behind a podium.

Symbols aside, the former oilman who occupies the White House today shares a problem that plagued Carter, a former peanut farmer and naval nuclear engineer: How to solve an energy crunch in a nation utterly dependent on fossil fuel?

Conservation is only a tiny part of Bush’s answer, although on Monday, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman will lay out what his office calls a comprehensive, national conservation campaign in the face of rising winter energy costs.

In the past, Bush focused on promoting new nuclear power plants, better use of coal, new shipments of liquefied natural gas and further exploration of oil and gas in Alaska.

Bush’s energy problems stem largely from growing worldwide demand for limited supplies of oil and natural gas. The situation has grown worse because of the war in Iraq and, recently, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which knocked out rigs in the Gulf Coast and hampered refineries.

Carter faced a crisis from a combination of economic problems, failed policies of his predecessors and, finally, an Iranian revolution that cut access to some Middle Eastern oil.

Carter met the problems by starting sweeping oil-reduction reforms, including creation of the Cabinet-level Department of Energy.

He began spending millions of dollars researching alternative sources for electrical power, including solar power. He got utilities to cut their use of oil for electricity and ramp up their use of natural gas or coal.

“Up until Carter, we were getting about 20 percent of our electricity from oil generation,” said Jay Hakes, director of the Energy Information Administration under Carter and an authority on modern presidents and oil. “And post-Carter, it went down to about 3 percent.”

Carter insisted that U.S. automakers build more fuel-efficient cars, with a goal of 27.5 miles per gallon over the following decade – a requirement passed under Gerald Ford but put into force by Carter.

He offered incentives for getting oil from shale, creating a boom initially in the Rockies – and a bust when it failed to be cost-effective. He offered deductions for using solar water heaters in homes and commercial buildings.

“People in the upper-income bracket were always looking for tax cuts. They were going to build a house anyhow, so they were saying, ‘Well let’s look at this solar stuff and see what we can do,’ ” said Marc Giaccardo, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio who at the time was an Albuquerque architect.

Carter even had solar collec tors installed on the White House grounds to heat the executive residence’s water.

Then Carter lost re-election to Ronald Reagan in 1980. The so lar panels at the White House eventually came down – and Reagan and his aides gutted the solar research program.

“In June or July of 1981, on the bleakest day of my professional life, they descended on the Solar Energy Research Institute, fired about half of our staff and all of our contractors, including two people who went on to win Nobel prizes in other fields, and reduced our $130 million budget by $100 million,” recalls Denis Hayes, the founder of Earth Day, who had been hired by Carter to spearhead the solar initiative.

Reagan and Congress stopped aggressively pushing new auto efficiency standards, acceding to Detroit’s desire to leave them at Carter-era levels. They let the solar tax benefit expire, and the nascent solar industry went belly- up.

It was time to let the markets work their magic and stop all this government tinkering, Reagan and conservatives said.

Bad stuff? A recipe for the fix we’re in today?

A number of environmentalists and conservationists say so.

Although the corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards already were saving 3 million barrels a day, “they could be saving us a further 3 million or 4 million barrels a day” if they had been ramped up, says Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club’s global-warming project.

That would be enough to compensate for Katrina or for disruptions in supply from Venezuela and Nigeria in the last year or so, Becker says. “We could be saving more oil than we now import from the Persian Gulf had the government acted to raise the fuel economy.”

Every president since Carter has refused or been obstructed by Congress – which is lobbied by automakers and unions that fear losing jobs. When Americans want sheer size, they buy American, but when they want fuel efficiency, they tend to buy Japanese.

Meantime the nation began its love affair with sport utility vehicles, which are classified as light trucks, not automobiles, and have a lower standard of 20.7 miles to the gallon. That’s scheduled to go up to 22.2 miles per gallon by 2007. In August, Bush announced a plan to raise it to 23.5 miles by 2010, but critics call that inadequate – and some moderate Republicans agree.

New York Republican Rep. Sherwood Boehlert introduced legislation in September that would require a 33 mile-per-gallon average for cars and SUVs in the next decade. While anything is possible, a majority in his party has previously rejected these measures.

Meantime, the solar energy industry is hopeful – not because of anything that occurred in the White House after Carter, but because the 2005 energy bill, signed by Bush, will give up to $2,000 in tax credits for anyone installing solar energy in a home. The credits begin next January, although they will be available for only two years unless Congress extends them.

Solar-energy champions say such a boost was needed 20 years ago, as the Carter tax credits were expiring. “The solar water heating industry instantly went from a billion-dollar industry to an industry that now installs, in the U.S., about 6,000 solar hot water heaters a year,” said Noah Kaye, spokesman for the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Had Reagan not squashed it, the research that Carter started could have triggered a substantial shift to solar, wind power and other renewable forms of energy – possibly providing as much as 25 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, says Hayes, the Carter solar expert.

“We were all aware of what in theory could happen by the year 2000, and it occasionally comes back and haunts us,” Hayes said.

That is all hypothetical, of course, because the theories never got a chance to run their course.

Yet solid data exist on what happened after the free market- loving Reagan chopped Carter’s programs to shreds.

Oil prices dropped and stayed relatively stabile for two decades. Motorists were thrilled.

Oil prices plunged in the early ’80s after the Iranian crisis ended; after a worldwide recession sapped productivity (a less productive economy uses less fuel); and — especially — after Reagan eliminated price controls. The controls, limiting how high the cost of fossil fuel could go, had been in place since Richard Nixon used them in an effort to rein in inflation and dampen consumer prices during the Arab oil embargo. Carter started to eliminate them but never finished.

While the controls kept a lid on prices, they also prevented oil companies from earning enough to make them want to reinvest in more exploration and production. “When there’s a shortage of supply and you put in price controls, it makes the matter worse because it decreases incentives to produce more,” Hakes said. “And it decreases the incentives for drivers to cut back.”

Reagan couldn’t wait to fix that problem. “He signed the order the day he came in,” said Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

Soon prices began reflecting the laws of supply and demand. World affairs, be they labor strife in Venezuela, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait or the threat of higher prices from Middle Eastern countries, could drive prices higher. But renewed drilling in Texas, the new pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope, good relations with foreign producers like Saudi Arabia and occasional siphoning of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (a Ford administration invention created for emergencies) tempered most crises.

In fact, the price of petroleum got so low at one point, after the Saudis flooded the market in 1986, that some Texas oilmen went broke. Not that drivers minded.

Home heating oil and natural gas prices followed similar patterns. And with inexpensive and seemingly abundant energy, who needed solar? It was cheaper and more reliable to power a home with electricity from the local utility than to gamble that a $20,000 investment in solar panels might eventually pay off.

“I’m not sure it’s a benefit to anybody to push a technology that’s not economically viable,” said Rayola Dougher, manager of energy market issues for the American Petroleum Institute, the big oil trade group.

But if supply interacts so closely with demand in a free market, ultimately benefiting consumers by driving down prices, then the opposite must also occur: High energy costs will make consumers choose to drive less or trade in their gas guzzlers. High electricity bills will make alternatives like solar power more appealing. Americans will conserve, adapting to the market. Which brings us back to 2005 — and to gasoline prices that have hovered near $3 a gallon for several weeks.

“Price is having an effect,” said William O’Keefe, chief executive of the George C. Marshall Institute, a science policy think tank, and a former American Petroleum Institute executive. “There is a shift within the auto market — people are buying more crossover vehicles, they’re looking at the smaller SUVs that get higher miles per gallon.”

Higher prices are also “providing incentives to look at alternative fuels, and we are using more alternative fuels all the time,” says Dougher. “In fact, the biggest producer of solar energy today is an oil company, BP, in terms of solar panels.”

It bears noting, some energy authorities say, that the free markets embraced by the oil companies aren’t entirely free. Billions of federal dollars flow to the oil, gas and electric utility industries through tax credits, depreciation rules, research grants, insurance guarantees and even direct government expenditures. And yet, some in those industries say that federal taxes should not have subsidized a speculative industry such as solar power in the Carter White House.

This is not lost on Hayes, Carter’s solar guru.

“For the industry that has gained by far the most subsidies and tax advantages from the federal government ever in American history to talk about the free market is slightly ironic,” he says.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: skoff@plaind.com, 216-999-4212

© 2005 The Plain Dealer
© 2005 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.

29
Nov
08

I die every night and I live every day

I am not a Buddhist, despite most of these blogs.  The teachings of Buddhism however, have a significant psychological and philosophical influence in my life for which I am most grateful – it is a most auspicious teacher and has been since childhood (In my Christian upbringing I was always attracted to the book of “Job”; he was my favorite old testament character along with “Joseph” and the most meditative Buddhist in Judaism, while Joseph was the most mindful). I posted below 2 excerpts from this weeks Tricycle’s Daily Dharma and a quote from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book”.  For me the are about the paradox of embracing in order to “let go” (the latter of which is a theme in my recent blogs).  I hope they offer you as much insight as they have me:

Rebirth
We are in actual fact reborn every moment with new thoughts and feelings, and we bring with us the karma that we made in the past moments. If we were angry a moment ago, we are not going to feel good immediately. If we were loving a moment ago, we would be feeling fine now. Thus we live moment to moment with the results of our karma.

Every morning, particularly, can be seen as a rebirth. The day is young, we are full of energy and have a whole day ahead of us. Every moment we get older and are tired enough in the evening to fall asleep and die a small death. All we can do then is toss and turn in bed, and our whole mind is dreamy and foggy. Everyday can be regarded as a whole lifespan, since we can only live one day at a time; the past is gone and the future may or may not come; only this rebirth, this day, this moment, is important.

–Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies

The mirror of death

According to the wisdom of Buddha, we can actually use our lives to prepare for death. We do not have to wait for the painful death of someone close to us or the shock of terminal illness to force us into looking at our lives. Nor are we condemned to go out empty-handed at death to meet the unknown. We can begin, here and now, to find meaning in our lives. We can make of every moment an opportunity to change and to prepare–wholeheartedly, precisely, and with peace of mind–for death and eternity. In the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected.

–Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Each Morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most
–Jack Kornfield


27
Nov
08

Just One Damn Day – better than if I lived a hundred

But why do I desire 2 days? *smirk*.  If you ever had one day like this I know you get it.  I am thankful to every “thing” that has pointed me in this direction. Deep Joy

Better than a hundred years

110. Better than a hundred years lived in vice, without contemplation, is one single day of life lived in virtue and in deep concentration.
111. Better than a hundred years lived in ignorance, without contemplation, is one single day of life lived in wisdom and in deep concentration.
112. Better than a hundred years lived in idleness and in weakness is one single day of life lived with courage and powerful striving.
113. Better than a hundred years not considering how all things rise and pass away is one single day of life if one considers how all things rise and pass away.
114. Better than a hundred years not seeing one’s own immoertality is one single day if one sees one’s own immortality.
115. Better than a hundred years not seeing the Path supreme is one single day of life if one sees the Path supreme.

The Dhammapada, trans. by Juan Mascaro




Live'n Aloha on Maui.
Lately just posting pics, artwork, vids, & music with just a headline (less seems to be more).
Into Wilber, Beck, Zen Stuffs, Spiritual Concepts, Philosophy and Humor (kinda geeky humor).
Currently attempting to strengthen my meditation skills (this has been a 20 yr process).
Thanks for stopp'n by and please leave a comment. Poz or Neg, all comments welcome.
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