Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mandukya Upanishad

Take a deep study the Mandukya Upanishad; it's close to the essence of the Upanishads as a whole. To me, it contains a core teaching, a key, to self-realization. The best readable translation of the Mandukya Upanishad is Eknath Easwaran's The Upanishads - start at page 199, with a clear commentary by Michael Nagler. While reading the Mandukya, go to the detailed notes at the back, pages 364 to 366 (also written by Nagler). Before ordering a copy of this excellent collection of the Upanishads, you can view the pages mentioned at Google Books. See the following:
(Click here to view as a full page.)

For a lot of fun exploring more thoughts and practices regard the Mandukay Upanishad, explore Mandukya Upanishad and Yoga: Twelve Verses on OM Mantra.

Read, enjoy, and meditate!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Desire for God Union

Everything ever written,
like scratches on cave walls.

All words spoken,
like birds chirping.

Go deeper.

Feel deeper this moment,
arousing the desire
for fulfillment of all desire.

Feel now, the deepest secret
desire for God union.
Open up the senses,
to hearing, seeing, feeling,
God's name.
basking in truth, love, and light.

God, Allah, Rama, Krishna,
Om, Aum, Ahhhhhhhhh.....uuuuuuuuuuuu.....mmmmmm.........

(Inspired by Kabir, 15th century C.E.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Simplicity Now

Meditation can bring the mind to
utter simplicity. Being quiet within is
the ground of simplicity - even
when we have to perform
action in the world.

"All is one"; "feeling the
oneness of all things". Such
expressions are absolutely true.
It's as if you are
at the end of a great
journey - and you come to
a place where you can
absolutely rest in peace;
and all your desires are
fulfilled. You are here; and
that's enough. That's all
there is. That is it.
All is one. Peace. Peace.
Now - extending to
the "next" movement,
the moment no longer in time - so it's
only just this external, eternal moment.
Being mindful of all that
is. Which is just this.
All is one. Simple. Easy.
Ah! Yes! Here! Here
now and forever

"as it was in the
beginning is now
and forever"


Monday, November 09, 2009

Free Medical Care

These days there's much news about health care reform. I walked by one of the best examples of health care reform a week or so ago: the Berkeley Free Clinic. It been offering health care at no cost since 1969. I'm thankful to those who keep it going. There is light and love in this world.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Green Bible

The Green Bible highlights, in green ink, over 1,000 Bible passages relating to the Earth and our responsibility to care for it. I picked up the hard copy edition in a bookstore. Fell in love with the green passages as well as the introductory articles. This is one of the most important publishing events of our time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day of the Dead

Now begins the Day of the Dead - the
meeting of the world of spirit and
matter. Actually spirit and matter are
always meeting: that's the normal
human condition. Perhaps, we ignore our
spirit side way too much. That's our
culture of materialism dominating our life
model. It's the False God of only
matter is real
. Really now, the most
real is the invisible. Ask the physicist.

No. The real is what can be
measured, felt, and seen.
No. That's māyā, the vale of
illusion, that we measure, see,
and feel.
No. It's so fine, it's the
Void. Everything comes from
No. These are all words.
Give them up. Listen to the
Sound of the cosmos.
Make your own music, poetry,
art, words to the beat of the
cosmos. Be a creator. Make love
with your whole being.

Friday, October 16, 2009

360 Degree Wisdom Circles

I have a vision of "360 degree wisdom circles". Gatherings of friends, neighbors, students, co-workers engaged and arranged into spontaneous circles for up to 15 minutes in silence. The wisdom is in facing each other in silence suspending viewpoints and judgments. Just being present to each other. The wisdom of no-viewpoint. Just being together as-we-are.

I see these circles happening around board rooms, in office spaces, in public parks, shopping centers -- anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. Sometimes standing; sometimes sitting. The form and place not as important as the action of being together as-we-are just as human beings.

Furthermore, I see this practice spreading to friends of friends by personal contact, internet, and occasional media to the population of the entire Earth. No changes asked, only the action of being together as-we-are just as human beings.

We cannot talk our way out of the crisis in our times. So, let's BE our way into heaven on earth.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Walk In Now

On the eve of my middle school
graduation I discovered the practice
of walking-in-now. It was afternoon.
I was feeling a little tired and
depressed. Graduation was soon happenning,
but I had apprehension about the
future - as is likely before going
through a ritual of transformation. Like
any young person, I took to watching
television for relief. On the tube was a
motivational speaker who made a
remarkable recommendation for
moving forward in life. It went like this:

"Imagine a line on the floor.
Stand on one side of the line.
Bring to mind some
aspect of a new life you
want to live out. Imagine that as
you cross that line, your are
actually walking in, stepping into,
your new life right now."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cappuccino Foam Art by Sean Coutts

One early mid-September morning, I stopped at Peet's Coffee & Tea, next to the Clairmont Hotel in Berkeley. On the counter, I saw a true cappuccino foam work of art by Sean Coutts. This photo taken on my BlackBerry phone.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tree Moon Window

Tree, moon, and branches.
A window to the
moon among the leaves.

taken with phone camera. 6:30am. sept 6th.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn leads a session on Mindfulness at Google (October 11, 2007).

Direct YouTube URL

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul Hawken's Commencement Address

Paul Hawken's Commencement Address in Portland

Posted by Nipun Mehta on May 17, 2009

Paul Hawken is a friend of CharityFocus, renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, founder of Wiser Earth and author of many books -- most recently Blessed Unrest.

Last week, he was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters by University of Portland, when he delivered this superb commencement address.

Commencement Address to the Class of 2009
University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was "direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful." No pressure there.

Let's begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don't poison the water, soil, or air, don't let the earth get overcrowded, and don't touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn't afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, "So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world." There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity's willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice," is Mary Oliver's description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown -- Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of
people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

The living world is not "out there" somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can't print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a "little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven."

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn't stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Biocentric Universe Theory

NASA Hubble Space Telescope CollectionNASA/ESA/A. Schaller (for STScI)
The following is from "The Biocentric Universe Theory: Life Creates Time, Space, and the Cosmos Itself". Stem-cell guru Robert Lanza presents a radical new view of the universe and everything in it. by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman. From the May 2009 issue, of Discover Magazine, published online May 1, 2009. For full article go to: Biocentric Universe Theory.
Figuring out the nature of the real world has obsessed scientists and philosophers for millennia. Three hundred years ago, the Irish empiricist George Berkeley contributed a particularly prescient observation: The only thing we can perceive are our perceptions. In other words, consciousness is the matrix upon which the cosmos is apprehended. Color, sound, temperature, and the like exist only as perceptions in our head, not as absolute essences. In the broadest sense, we cannot be sure of an outside universe at all.
For centuries, scientists regarded Berkeley’s argument as a philosophical sideshow and continued to build physical models based on the assumption of a separate universe “out there” into which we have each individually arrived. These models presume the existence of one essential reality that prevails with us or without us. Yet since the 1920s, quantum physics experiments have routinely shown the opposite: Results do depend on whether anyone is observing. This is perhaps most vividly illustrated by the famous two-slit experiment. When someone watches a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through the slits, the particle behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave that can inhabit all possibilities—including somehow passing through both holes at the same time.
Some of the greatest physicists have described these results as so confounding they are impossible to comprehend fully, beyond the reach of metaphor, visualization, and language itself. But there is another interpretation that makes them sensible. Instead of assuming a reality that predates life and even creates it, we propose a biocentric picture of reality. From this point of view, life—particularly consciousness—creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

2,500 Year-Old Chinese "Eco-Village" Vision

My vision of an environmentally sustainable future culture is often guided by Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, composed about 2500 years ago. Next to the last chapter, he envisions a world of harmony between humans and environment; it is an eco-village, a village harmonized with the environment. It's very simple, and expresses how we can live, let live and be happy:

Imagine a small state with a small population
let there be labor-saving tools
that aren't used
let people consider death
and not move far
let there be boats and carts
but no reason to ride them
let there be armor and weapons
but no reason to employ them
let people return to the use of knots
and be satisfied with their food
and pleased with their clothing
and content with their homes
and happy with their customs
let there be a state so near
people hear its dogs and chickens
and live out their lives
without making a visit

Chapter 80
from Lao-tzu's Taoteching: translated by Red Pine with selected commentaries of the past 2000 years.
Mercury House, San Francisco, 1996.

This old verse suggests a world of people content and satisfied with a simple life. A life free of the trills of travel, acquisition, complex financial transactions, or vain displays of possessions. The happiness is inner, but leads to a simple external life.

Imagine: What would a day in this village be like? How would we work? What would our friendships be like? What would family be like? What would we be? What would we think?

(Image from Earth Heart - Tao Te Ching notecards.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green Technology is Not Enough

I just don't see it working. I
mean the idea that we can
resolve the global warming issue
by merely installing green technologies.
Even more important is installation
of green culture (i.e., a renewal
of how we act and live in the
world, not just making energy and
gadgets clean green). Yes, let's
have electric cars, but at the
same time organize and re-value
our lives so as to use cars
80% less. That would be
a real change: that we go
all the way to reversing the
devastation we currently face.
So it's
green culture + green technology
that we need. Now, what can I do today
to make culture greener?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Being of Beings

"God" too often feels like
either a taboo or cliche word
in most public circles.
But, for me "God" is God - a word
that points to the Way,
the Mystery, the Source,
the Sense of Presence of All-that-is.
I feel God by turning my
attention to this moment
: the wondrous sense
of there being anything at
all! A miracle that there
is a universe with
consciouseness enough to sense
a Universe. That's amazing!
The mere act of sensing
being-present here-and-now is
the essense of what's usually
called worship. To appreciate
existence is to love God; and God
meets our love the more we
enjoy, praise and love the
presence of being-here-now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Berkeley Bowl

There I was, after a long period of work,
just having fun walking around
Berkeley Bowl. Seeing so many people
buying vegetables and fruit.
Such a miracle!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Always a Beginning

It's always a beginning.
This means that at every moment we have a certain degree of freedom.
On the other hand, we need ritual, so as to appreciate our freedom.
Cycles of day & night, winter-spring-summer-fall. Work & rest make us safe in a way.
Every moment contains BEGINNING/ENDING.

americ azevedo
2009.05.18 7:40am

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Already in heaven

When I was a little boy

My head was in the heavens

I did not know I was

already in heaven

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Democracy, Earth Rights and the Next Economy

It is only in recent human history that land has been enclosed and the rights of use given to a few people, as opposed to a whole community. Alanna Hartzok points out that individual equality, even in a democracy, cannot exist without equal rights to the abundance of the earth. She presents solutions that have been successful in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, including restructuring taxes so that land value, a communal asset, is taxed instead of wages or buildings.

Alanna Hartzok's life work is embodied in a vision of economic democracy and environmental sustainability. On October 27, 2001, Ms. Hartzok presented her paper on "Democracy, Earth Rights and the Next Economy" at the Twenty-First Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. You may read the full text at:

Here is the audio recording of her lecture, complete with a moving introduction by the moderator:

Down loadable audio formats.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Economic Depression

A philosophical and spiritual look at the current economic depression (which many only call "a downturn"). What are the possible upsides?

Down loadable audio formats.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

As It Is

Recorded shortly after a morning meditation; a worldview expressed shortly after being-at-one for a moment.

Down loadable audio formats.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday morning at Peet's

Light of consciousness,
an angelic web
holding all with love.

I found my Self
at dawn's light
while awakening.
Soon as I felt it
all the way
down to my feet;
it slipped away

Self is nothing
Not-self is everything
Find the Nothing
Find the Self.
That's all.

Friday, April 10, 2009

All life can be meditation

A few suggestions for meditating right now.

Down loadable audio formats.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

As-It-Is Quality of Life

Seeing all-that-is from it's basic "as it is" aspect.
(Recorded outside in the early morning in Berkeley, April 4, 2009)
Down loadable formats For audio stream, hit play button:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Internet Consuming Life

Audio recorded outside after writing and coffee at Peet's Coffee & Tea. It's about the Internet and its power in our life. You can hear background sounds of morning rush hour traffic and the birds!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two Kingdoms

Oh! To begin again
To do again what I did

with all the knowledge

I have now!

Nothing is ever the same.
Still, I can return again to
this present moment.
It's always the same
Always, always, always

In the Kingdom of Time
this moment never comes again.
In the Kingdom of Eternity
this is the only moment.

(Photo: Under the wisteria near Peet's Coffee & Tea across from Clairmont Hotel, Berkeley. 3/28/2009)

Monday, March 09, 2009

paper scraps

I write on paper scraps

for absolute pleasure
pen, ink, paper touching
like lovers at night

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Social robots "with feelings"

The wall between humans and robots is falling. The more robots act like they feel our presense, the more we feel that they are like us. The first video is of Kismit, an early experimental social robot at M.I.T. who interacts with feeling.

The second video is much more lifelike. Many students say this video is disturbing.

Someday it may become hard to tell the difference between a robot and a person. Will social robots change "human nature"? What are the ethical questions raised? What are the possible applications of such technology? Do we want to limit those applications?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Practice of "Getting Ready"

It's extra hard to "be present" when we are "getting ready". You're trying to get out the door; but, suddently anxiety kicks in - and a thousand little details get in the way of getting out. You run around trying to do this and that - while the clock is ticking and the heart beats faster. Getting ready wears you down. What to do?

We could make "getting ready" a practice like meditation practice. Real meditation is to be here ever more deeply; but, it helps to use a feedback system which is meditation practice. It's like dancing. Practicing dancing is not dancing; or, to take another example, practicing thinking is not thinking. Thinking is free and wild; so is dancing when it's dancing. The reason we practice dancing or thinking (using logic, for example) is to perfect certain point techniques or competencies.

We can apply "practice" to getting ready to go out the door. Be aware of "getting ready" and pay attention. Stay present, letting go of the forward rushing feeling that all too often grips us; notice that feeling, stop, breathe, and let go; then proceed again with going out the door. Someday, we just go out the door. There will be no sense of getting ready; just movements. No practice at all! Free and easy it will be.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Victory Garden

Walking by a vacant lot (in front of Evans Hall) on a late rainy afternoon at the UC Berkeley campus; surprised and pleased to find a student initiated victory garden - to grow food for the campus community. Yes, we can change the world one plot of earth at time.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Late aging

Late aging is a slow bit by bit death; nature's way of giving us time to adjust to the inevitable.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Watch days go by

Watch days go by
Watch life go by - for a while
everyday. That is meditation, too.
In the direct experience of time passing by
We glimpse the impermanence of
everything that we love and hate.
This is the high perspective.

Then plunge into action
un-moved by results, goals, or ends.

It's what is.