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Thursday, November 14, 2013

THE APOCALYPSE IN ROCK AND ROLL

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"THE LAST RESORT"
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She came from Providence,
the one in Rhode Island
Where the old world shadows hang
heavy in the air
She packed her hopes and dreams
like a refugee
Just as her father came across the sea

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She heard about a place people were smilin'
They spoke about the red man's way,
and how they loved the land
And they came from everywhere
to the Great Divide
Seeking a place to stand
or a place to hide

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 Down in the crowded bars,
out for a good time,
Can't wait to tell you all,
what it's like up there
And they called it paradise
I don't know why
Somebody laid the mountains low
while the town got high


Then the chilly winds blew down
Across the desert
through the canyons of the coast, to
the Malibu
Where the pretty people play,
hungry for power
to light their neon way
and give them things to do


Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught 'em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus,
people bought 'em
And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea

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 You can leave it all behind
and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did, so many years ago
They even brought a neon sign: "Jesus is coming"
Brought the white man's burden down
Brought the white man's reign


Who will provide the grand design?
What is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here
We satisfy our endless needs and
justify our bloody deeds,
in the name of destiny and the name
of God


And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it's like up there
They call it paradise
I don't know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss
it goodbye
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In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone,
Eagles member Don Henley said:
 "The Last Resort, on Hotel California, is still one of my favorite songs... That's because I care more about the environment than about writing songs about drugs or love affairs or excesses of any kind. The gist of the song was that when we find something good, we destroy it by our presence - by the very fact that man is the only animal on earth that is capable of destroying his environment. The environment is the reason I got into politics: to try to do something about what I saw as the complete destruction of most of the resources that we have left. We have mortgaged our future
 for gain and greed."
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From songfacts.com
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Because of copyright issues,
the video below is just audio - no images.
But it directs your attention to the ear,
while you read the song.
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"ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER"
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"There must be some way out of here"
 said the joker to the thief
"There's too much confusion", I can't get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

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"No reason to get excited", the thief he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late".

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All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to ho
wl.
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"CHANGE IN THE WEATHER"
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Change in the weather, change in the weather
Somethin's happenin' here
Change in the weather, change in the weather
People walkin' round in fear
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You better duck and run
Get under cover 'cause the change has come
Storm warning, and it looks like rain
Be nothin' left after the hurricane
This here's a jungle, ain't no lie
Look at the people, terror in their eyes
Bad business comin', can't be denied
They're running with the dogs, afraid to die
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Change in the weather, change in the weather
Somethin's happenin' here
Change in the weather, change in the weather
People walkin' round in fear
You best believe it's true
The levee's busted, badness comin' through
Oh no, there ain't no place to hide
Reach out and pluck you, take you for a ride
Sea of frustration, take everything in sight
 Won't be no blessing if we make it through the night
Down on your knees, go ahead and pray
But every demon has to have his day

Change in the weather, change in the weather
Somethin's happenin' here
Change in the weather, change in the weather
People walkin' round in fear, well
Oh, God
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High noon, I can't believe my eyes
Wind is ragin', there's a fire in the sky
Ground shakin', everything comin' loose
Run like a coward but it ain't no use
Edge of the river, it's an ugly scene
People gettin' pushed, people gettin' mean
The change is comin' and it's gettin' late
 Ain't no survivin', and there ain't no escape

Change in the weather, change in the weather
Somethin's happenin' here, well
Change in the weather, change in the weather
People walkin' round in fear, oh
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Change in the weather, change in the weather
Somethin's happenin' here, well
Change in the weather, change in the weather
People walkin' round in fear, well
Oh, no
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"EVE OF DESTRUCTION"
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The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’
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But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.
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Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave

[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]
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And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.
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Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’
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And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.
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Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
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And you tell me
over and over and over and over again,
 my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.
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"UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD"
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Haven't seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold just passing time
Last time we met was a low-lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world
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I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You...you were acting like it was
The end of the world
.(Love...love...)
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In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You...you said you'd wait
'til the end of the world
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"LAND OF CONFUSION"
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I must've dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street.
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Now did you read the news today
They say the danger's gone away
But I can see the fire's still alight
There burning into the night.
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There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see
This is a land of confusion.
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This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
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Ooh Superman where are you now
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.
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This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there's not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.
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This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
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I remember long ago -
Ooh when the sun was shining
Yes and the stars were bright
All through the night
And the sound of your laughter
As I held you tight
So long ago -
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I won't be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We're not just making promises
That we know, we'll never keep.
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Too many men
There's too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see
This is a land of confusion.

.Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.
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This is the world we live in
And these are the names we're given
Stand up and let's start showing
Just where our lives are going to.
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"PEOPLE GET READY"
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People get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord
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People get ready for the train to Jordan
It's picking up passengers from coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board 'em
There's hope for all among those loved the most.
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There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just to save his own
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the Kingdom's throne
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So people get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord
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"A FACE IN THE CROWD"
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Before all of this ever went down
In another place, another town
You were just a face in the crowd
You were just a face in the crowd
Out in the street walking around
A face in the crowd
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Out of a dream, out of the sky
Into my heart, into my life
And you were just a face in the crowd
You were just a face in the crowd
Out in the street, thinking out loud
A face in the crowd
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Out of a dream, out of the sky
Into my heart, into my life
And you were just a face in the crowd
You were just a face in the crowd
Out in the street, walking around
A face in the crowd
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Face in the crowd
A face in the crowd
A face in the crowd

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

CHANTS & MANTRAS

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OM (Hindu mantra-chant)
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Om is the symbol for the whole universe.
 It carries three basic sounds: A-U-M.
These three basic sounds through which all
the sounds have evolved.
So Om is the basic trinity of sound,
the synthesis of all the basic roots.
That's why Om is considered the secret mantra,
 the greatest mantra, because it implies
the whole existence,
it represents the sound of soundlessness,
 the beauty of silence.
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OM represents the music of existence,
the soundless sound, the sound of silence.
OM represents the inner most music of our being,
the inner harmony, the inner humming sound which happens
 when our body, mind, soul are in deep totality, when the visible
 and the invisible, the un-manifest and the manifest, the relative
 and absolute, the-outer and inner are in deep togetherness.

To become one with OM-the music of existence is
 to attain fulfillment.
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"Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath) is a thirteenth-century Latin hymn attributed to either Thomas of Celano of the Franciscan Order (1200 – c. 1265) or to Latino Malabranca Orsini (+1294), lector at the Dominican studium at Santa Sabina, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome.
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It is a medieval Latin poem characterized by its accentua stress and its rhymed lines. The metre is trochaic. The poem describes the day of judgment, the last trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God, where the saved will be delivered and the unsaved cast into eternal flames.
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The hymn is best known from its use as a sequence in the Roman Catholic Requiem mass (Mass for the Dead or Funeral Mass). An English version is found in various Anglican Communion missals.
(From Wikipedia)
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Translation from Latin
 
The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied.
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How great will be the terror,
when the Judge comes
who will smash everything completely!
The trumpet, scattering a marvelous sound
through the tombs of every land,
will gather all before the throne.
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  Death and Nature shall stand amazed,
when all Creation rises again
to answer to the Judge.

  A written book will be brought forth,
which contains everything
for which the world will be judged.
Therefore when the Judge takes His seat,
whatever is hidden will be revealed:
nothing shall remain unavenged.
The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied.
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  What can a wretch like me say?
Whom shall I ask to intercede for me,
when even the just ones are unsafe? 

  King of dreadful majesty.
who freely saves the redeemed ones,
save me, O font of pity.

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Recall, merciful Jesus,
that I was the reason for your journey:
do not destroy me on that day.
In seeking me, you sat down wearily;
enduring the Cross, you redeemed me:
do not let these pains to have been in vain.
Just Judge of punishment:
give me the gift of redemption
before the day of reckoning.

  I groan as a guilty one,
and my face blushes with guilt;
spare the supplicant, O God.
You, who absolved Mary Magdalen,
and heard the prayer of the thief,
have given me hope, as well.

My prayers are not worthy,
but show mercy, O benevolent one,
lest I burn forever in fire.
Give me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
placing me on your right hand.
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  When the damned are silenced,
and given to the fierce flames,
call me with the blessed ones.
I pray, suppliant and kneeling,
with a heart contrite as ashes:
take my ending into your care.
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  The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied. 
 .  That day is one of weeping,
on which shall rise from the ashes
the guilty man, to be judged.
Therefore, spare this one, O God.
Merciful Lord Jesus:
grant them peace.
Amen.
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The video below is neither a chant or a mantra,
but as a meditation piece it just seemed to fit.
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"My Sweet Lord" is a song by English musician George Harrison, released in November 1970 on his multi-platinum triple album All Things Must Pass. Also issued as a single – Harrison's first as a solo artist – "My Sweet Lord" topped charts worldwide and was the biggest-selling single of 1971 in Britain. The song was originally given to fellow Apple Records artist Billy Preston to record and was released on Preston's Encouraging Words album, two months before Harrison's version appeared.
The song was written in praise of the Hindu god Krishna,
while at the same time serving as a call to abandon religious sectarianism, through its deliberate blending of Hebrew "hallelujah"s with chants of "Hare Krishna" and Vedic prayer. The recording features co-producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound treatment and heralded the arrival of Harrison's much-admired slide guitar technique, described by one biographer as being "musically as distinctive a signature as the mark of Zorro".
(From Wikipedia)

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Libera Me
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Líbera me ("Deliver me") is a Roman Catholic responsory that
 is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the
dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin
 immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The
 text of Libera Me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased
 person at the Last Judgment. In addition to the Gregorian
 chant in the Roman Gradual, many composers have written
 settings for the text.
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Líbera me, Dómine, de morte ætérna, in die illa treménda:
Quando cœli movéndi sunt et terra.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego, et tímeo, dum discússio vénerit, atque ventúra ira.
Quando cœli movendi sunt et terra.
Dies illa, dies iræ, calamitátis et misériæ, dies magna et amára valde.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine: et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
I am made to tremble, and I fear, till the judgment be upon us, and the coming wrath,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
That day, day of wrath, calamity, and misery, day of great and exceeding bitterness,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
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Buddhist Chanting - Nothing But Everything
Japanese
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Shingon Teaching
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Shingon is a form of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, it is also called Shingon Mikkyo. This school was founded in 804 AD by Kukai (Kobo Daishi) in Japan. The teachings of Shingon are based on the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, the fundamental sutras of Shingon. Through the cultivation of three secrets, the actions of body, speech and mind, we are able to attain enlightenment in this very body. When we can sustain this state of mind, we can become one with the life force of the Universe, known as Mahavairocana Buddha. The symbolic activities are present anywhere in the universe. Natural phenomena such as mountains and oceans and even humans express the truth described in the sutras.

The universe itself embodies and can not be separated from the teaching. In the Shingon tradition, the practitioner uses the same techniques that were used over 1,200 years ago by Kukai, and have been transmitted orally generation after generation to the present. As Shingon Buddhists, there are three vows to observe in our lives:

May we realize Buddhahood in this very life.

May we dedicate ourselves to the well-being of people.

May we establish the World of Buddha on this earth.

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Becoming a Buddha in This Very Life
 (Sokushin Jobutsu)

 The unique feature of this Shingon Teaching is that one does not become a Buddha only in his mind, nor does one become a Buddha after one has died. It means one is able to attain perfection of all of the qualities of a Buddha while one is yet living in his present physical body. An essay on the Bodhicitta (Bodaishin-ron) says: "One speedily attained great Awakening in the very body born of mother and father." According to the Shingon tradition, all things in this universe -- both physical matter, mind and mental states -- are made up of some six primary elements. These six primary elements are: earth (the principle of solidity), water (moisture), fire (energy), wind (movement), space (the state of being unobstructed) and consciousness (the six ways of knowing objects). Buddha as well as ordinary human beings are made up of these six elements, and in this sense both Buddha and human beings are basically and in essence identical. When we realize this truth, then our actions, our words, and our thoughts will undergo and experience of faith which will cause them to be correct and purify their surroundings. This living, physical body will be able to achieve Buddhahood.

Salvation and Enlightenment
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 Shingon Buddhism grants salvation and enlightenment to human beings who would otherwise be caught in the cycle of birth and death. Once a person is able to enter the gate of this faith, he/she will be able to receive that salvation and guidance of many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is a religion in which that person will be fortunate enough to be able to recite the mantras that are the Buddha's own words. Kobo Daishi explained two points as its special characteristics:

1. Attainment of enlightenment in this very body.

2. The present moment that clearly teaches the content of enlightenment.
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He explained these two aspects throughout his writings like, "The Meaning of Becoming a Buddha in This Body," "The Ten Stages in the Development of the Mind," "The Meaning of the Secret Samaya Precepts of the Buddha." It is a blessings of Shingon Buddhism to make it possible to come into direct contact with the practices leading to salvation. Shingon discipline The Shingon Teachings are broad and profound, and require strict discipline to put into practice. If we do not personally practice them in our daily lives of faith, then this treasure will become a useless possession. In actuality, we must manifest the teachings and practice of becoming a Buddha in this body in concrete form. The form of this faith is the developing one's mind into higher stage and engaging in discipline. There are various meditation techniques in Shingon traditions including the practice for gaining secular benefits for others by using mantra chanting and mudra hand signs as well as seeking enlightenment in this very body for oneself.

Shingon Discipline
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The followings are some of the major forms practiced by many practitioners: Susokukan (Basic meditation to find one's own breathing pace) Gachirinkan (Moon Disc meditation) Ajikan (A syllable meditation) These practices are gateways into understanding the nature of Reality. Through these gateways we can experience many states of consciousness and as our skill develops we begin to have real insight into the nature of the unproduced state. Through these meditations we can experience the flow of energy from this state into this physical plane of existence. However, this state cannot be experienced without correct understanding of its doctrine and the guide by an authentic teacher.
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Seicho Asahi.
Northern California Koyasan Temple
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Avalokitesara mantra

Oṁ Mani Padme Hūṁ / Om Mani Padme Hum

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Avalokiteshvara (or Avalokitesvara) is a Bodhisattva who represents compassion, and his mantra also symbolizes that quality. Avalokiteshvara means "The Lord Who Looks Down
 (in compassion)".
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There are various forms of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig in Tibetan). The four-armed form is shown here. There is also a 1000-armed form — the many arms symbolizing compassion in action. And in the far east, Avalokiteshvara turned into the female Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin.
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Om, as I’ve explained before, has only a mystical meaning — suggesting primordial reality. Mani means jewel, while Padme means lotus. Hum, like Om, has no conceptual meaning. Overall, the mantra is suggestive of the bringing together of the qualities of wisdom (the lotus) and compassion (the jewel).

Just as the lotus can exist in muddy water without being soiled, so wisdom can exist in an impure world without becoming contaminated.
The mantra is often “translated” as “Hail to the jewel in the lotus” but the Sanskrit simply can’t mean that. The central element, manipadme, seems properly to be a name, Manipadma (“The Jewel Lotus One”) with the -e ending signifying the vocative case, meaning that Manipadma — is being invoked (“O Jewel Lotus One”). If this is the case, assuming that the mantra is in classical Sanskrit, then Manipadma would have to be a feminine figure, but it’s unknown which figure that would be!
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And the Dalai Lama points out that just as a jewel can relieve poverty, so the compassionate mind takes away the poverty of unhappiness that exists in the world and replaces it with the wealth of wellbeing.
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This is probably the best known Buddhist mantra. I swear I remember hearing it chanted on an episode of the BBC Sci-fi series, Dr Who, when I was a young kid back in the 1960s, and even before that, in the 1940′s it featured on an American radio show called the Green Lama.
(From a YouTube description - author unknown)
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And last, but not least, the title cut from the
CD ADIEMUS - Songs of Sanctuary, composed by Welshman
Karl Jenkins, and performed by the London Philharmonic
Orchestra with a number of vocalists.
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Here's the "concept" from Wikipedia:
Each Adiemus album is a collection of song-length pieces featuring harmonised vocal melody against an orchestra background. There are no lyrics as such, instead the vocalists sing syllables and 'words' invented by Jenkins. However, rather than creating musical interest from patterns of phonemes (as in scat singing, or in numerous classical and crossover compositions), the language of Adiemus is carefully stylised so as not to distract the listener's attention from the pitch and timbre of the voice. Syllables rarely end in consonants, for example. In this respect it is similar to Japanese and several other languages. The core concept of Adiemus is that the voice should be allowed to function as nothing more than an instrument, an approach that has become something of a trend in recent choral writing (compare, for example Vangelis's score for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), or "Dogora", a symphonic suite by French composer Étienne Perruchon). The word Adiemus itself resembles the Latin word 'adeamus' meaning 'let us approach' (or "let us submit a cause to a referee").   Jenkins has said he was unaware of this.   Perhaps even more appropriately, the song title also resembles two forms of the Latin verb 'audire' (to hear), i.e. 'audiemus' (we shall hear) and 'audiamus' (let us hear).
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

PSALM 29 - A PRAYER FOR A CAUSE!

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I ordinarily don't promote any particular "cause" on
the blog - I try to keep away from politics and such matters.
However, in this case, I have to make an exception.
A foreign-owned corporation is
 proposing to pump 54,000 acre feet of water, per year,
from an aquifer beneath the Plains of San Augustin in west-
central New Mexico (photo above) and sell it, and make
billions of dollars (yes, billions).
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The whole scheme is immoral and unethical.
Water, in New Mexico, legally belongs to the citizens of
the state.  It is not to be considered some commodity that
you can basically give away to a foreign corporation
so they can make bundles of cash.  The entire plan is obscene. 
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WATER IS LIFE!
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All over the planet multi-national corporations,
some mob-connected, some just greedy entrepreneurs, are
getting their hands on water resouces.
It's dark, and it's evil, and it's apocalyptic.
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 As part of an effort to educate the public,
and drum up support for the good guys, I've started
a blog on the matter - address further below.
One of the posts is basically a prayer - Psalm 29.  Here it is.
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PSALM 29
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 A SAN AUGUSTIN PLAINS PRAYER
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A PSALM OF DAVID
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Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and might;
Give to the LORD the glory due his name.
Bow down before the LORD’s holy splendor!
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The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendor.
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The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars;
the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
Makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
and Sirion like a young bull.
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The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
the voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
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The voice of the LORD makes the deer dance
and strips the forests bare.
All in his Temple say, “Glory!”
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The LORD sits enthroned above the flood!
The LORD reigns as king forever!
May the LORD give might to his people;
may the LORD bless his people with peace!
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Translation from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
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Below is a sung Hebraic (Jewish) version of the Psalm.
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Above: A summer thunderstorm on the
Plains of San Augustin at the VLA,
the Very Large Array, the world's largest
radio astronomy facility, operated by the NRAO,
the National Radio Astronomy Observatory,
with funding through the National Science Foundation.
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The NRAO is one of the many "PROTESTANTS,"
no, not like those nice Methodist or Lutheran folks who
live down the road, but in this case, it's legalese - lawyer talk -
for the GOOD GUYS, in the legal battle against
 the WATER GRAB by the BAD GUYS, 
who hide under a corporate shadow of secrecy. 
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STOP THE WATER GRAB!
"Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble,
and precious, and pure."
From the Canticle of the Sun
Saint Francis of Assisi
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If you're interested in finding out more about
the issue, please visit the new blog:
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THANKS!
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Below is an 8.5" x 11" jpeg at 600 dpi.
It prints out real nice, especially on glossy paper or
card stock - please feel free to copy, and maybe even post
on your church or synagogue bulletin board.
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