The Golf Address-8/26 Maureen Dowd
Recent Trip to the Tetons
Fiery Thoughts ...
Hate Religion But Love Buddhism?-6/5 First Things, by Joanna Piacenza -- Buddhism is a religion, too—and that’s a good thing. --
Buddhism has been all the rage lately: The Dalai Lama wrapped up his American tour earlier this year, which included a HuffPost Live talk on “mindfulness, spirituality and HuffPost’s Third Metric which seeks to redefine success beyond money and power” (fancy!). TIME magazine featured a blissed-out meditator on a February cover and “mindfulness” conferences are popping up faster than Go0gle employee buses in San Francisco.
These are all examples of what I like to call buddhism, with an intentional lowercase b, as they represent Buddhism without the constraints of institution, commitment, or, really, religion. And the biggest example of lowercase buddhism comes in people’s reactions when I mention that I work for a Buddhist magazine: “Oh, really? I meditate!” Sigh.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against meditation and am fully aware of how heavily Western Buddhism has focused on this one practice. But what’s worth noting is that the conversation stops here. When I ask these meditators what tradition they prefer or what teachers they follow, I receive only blank stares. It’s not so much that these dewy new practitioners know very little about Buddhism outside their secular meditation bubble, as that they’re completely content with their naiveté.
What I see here is a growing attitude that Buddhism is simply a supplement to your current religion or something that can be tacked on to your personal patchwork quilt of spiritual beliefs. Buddhism has become an add-on: an energy boost in your spiritual smoothie. A number of factors have enabled this attitude.
Why we need a Shangri-la-6/5 Philippine Daily Inquirer, By Ino Manalo -- We do not travel because we have to get from one place to another. We travel because we yearn. From the earliest days, people have been crisscrossing the face of the earth in pursuit of something. Often, what was being sought was a precious resource like water. It could also be respite from violence and hunger. I suppose we could make a distinction between traveling to the Middle East to take on a job on one hand, and on the other, touring the Riviera. One might say that the former was a necessity while the latter, a luxury. Yet both journeys may have been inspired by an aching need for a better life. For untold centuries, humanity has searched for a haven, a place of perfection. This place has taken on many avatars: Arcadia, El Dorado, Never-never land. In a way, it is the same country in many guises. It is embedded in tales retold in countless languages, clothed in different intentions but all with equally maddening results. In our time, efforts to find an ideal Eden have been localized in one spot: Shangri-la. PAINTING of the Himalayas by Nicholas Roerich This is a monastery that presided over a fairytale valley hidden from outsiders by snowcapped peaks. It was first introduced to the world by the writer James Hilton in his 1933 novel, “Lost Horizon,” which has the added distinction of being reissued as the world’s first paperback. In the popular imagination, the evocative name of the monks’ residence had come to apply to the entire mountain-ringed enclave where it sat. Hilton’s description of his paradise is quite seductive: “Shangri-la was touched with mystery. Listening intently, he could hear gongs and trumpets and also the masked wail of voices… The whole atmosphere was more of wisdom than of learning…
Defying gravity: The spectacular Hanging Temple in China that has been suspended 246-feet above ground for 1,500 years-6/21 Daily Mail,
3-Year-Old Remembers Past Life, Identifies Murderer and Location of Body-6/10 Epoch Times, By Tara MacIsaac -- The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge.
In “Beyond Science” Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.
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Archaeologists stunned to discover Britain’s A1 road is 10,000 years old-6/18 Ancient Origins, A team of archaeologists, who were working alongside the A1, the longest road in Britain, were shocked to discover evidence of a Mesolithic settlement which suggests the route may have been in use for 10,000 years, according to a report in The Express. This means the route predates previous estimates that claimed an ancient route in the same location was originally built by the Romans. The A1 was built nearly a century ago and stretches 410 miles from London to Edinburgh. The earliest documented northern routes are the roads created by the Romans during the period from 43 to 410 AD, which consisted of several itinera recorded in the Antonine Itinerary. A combination of these were used by the Anglo-Saxons as the route from London to York, and together became known as Ermine Street, later known as Old North Road. Archaeologists were carrying out excavations of a known Roman settlement along the road, ahead of plans to upgrade the junctions from 51 to 56 to motorway status, when they discovered a number of flint tools that date back to between 6,000 and 8,000 BC. They also found a small Mesolithic structure that resembled a type of shelter where they were making the flint tools. The site, near Catterick in North Yorkshire, is believed to have been used by people travelling north and south as an overnight shelter, similar to today’s motorway service stations. ...
'Incredibly important' medieval find in Wales-6/18 Archaeology News Network, Archaeologists says they have discovered an "incredibly important" medieval convent, cemetery and Tudor mansion in Ceredigion. -- The location of Llanllyr nunnery in the Aeron Valley had been a mystery until now. Dr Jemma Bezant from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) said it offered an unparalleled opportunity to find out more about monastic life. The public were able to view the site on Saturday. Dr Bezant said: "Medieval nunneries like this are incredibly rare with only one other known in Wales." The convent, founded by Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1180, was a daughter house of the Strata Florida abbey, a former Cistercian monastery which was of immense importance to Wales during the Middle Ages. ...
Remains of 'End of the World' Epidemic Found in Ancient Egypt-6/18 Live Science, By Owen Jarus -- Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an epidemic in Egypt so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end. Working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) in Egypt, the team of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL) found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated. ...
Another Video at Red Ice Creations:
Peter Amundsen - Hour 1 - Shakespeare Ciphers & Oak Island Treasure-5/30 Red Ice Creations, Peter Amundsen is an organist, a Freemason and co-author of the book Organisten (The Organist). Since 2002 he has decrypted a number of steganographic ciphers believed to be hidden in several first editions of William Shakespeare and Sir Francis Bacon’s books. In 2003 Amundsen excavated two sites at the legendary Treasure Island – Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. His findings didn’t go unnoticed as it attracted media attention and amazed many in the local community, among them landowner Dan Blankenship. In 2009, he was featured in a four episode TV series, Shakespeares skjulte koder (Shakespeare: The Hidden Codes) which broadcasted on Norwegian TV channel NRK1. In 2012 Amundsen published his second book, Oak Island & The Treasure Map in Shakespeare. In late April 2012 his full feature documentary “Shakespeare: The Hidden Truth” was released in Norwegian cinemas. In 2014, he was featured in an episode of History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. In the first hour, Petter tells how he came to find secret messages in Shakespeare and how he learned to decrypt them. ...
Sir Francis and the New Temple of God-5/30 Francis Bacon Society, by Petter Amundsen -- Location is everything -- Norway has for a couple of years been swept by an Anti-Stratfordian craze. Even in schools some teachers will blatantly inform their students that the authorship of Shakespearean plays is open for debate, and that there is no correct answer to quiz questions like: “who wrote Hamlet?”, apart from being “uncertain”. This will be seen as the outcome of NRK (our BBC) airing our two productions, Sweet Swan of Avon (a four-episode TV series), and its sequel film: Shakespeare – the Hidden Truth. The latter, a 100 minute documentary, was also included in Cambridge Film Festival’s 2013 programme. In addition, there have been the publications of two books: Organisten (2006, written by Erlend Loe and myself) and my own opus, the 2012 Kindle book: Oak Island and the Treasure Map in Shakespeare. As I write this I am participating in one out of five episodes on US History Channel’s: The Curse of Oak Island, which premieres these days. There is usually excitement to be found fizzling in the wake of those who choose to familiarise themselves with my Rosicrucian Shakespeare hypothesis – 8,000 followers of an anti-Stratfordian Facebook page would by many be considered a respectable number in a country of five million inhabitants. What excites these people is primarily that I claim to have discovered a genuine treasure map in the First Folio of Shakespeare (published 1623) and Shake-Speare’s Sonnets (dated 1609). Of course this kindles their passions, flexes muscles of greed and ignites lust for adventure, effectively killing everyday boredom. . ...
Two giant planets may cruise unseen beyond Pluto-6/18 New Scientist, by Nicola Jenner-- The monsters are multiplying. Just months after astronomers announced hints of a giant "Planet X" lurking beyond Pluto, a team in Spain says there may actually be two supersized planets hiding in the outer reaches of our solar system. When potential dwarf planet 2012 VP113 was discovered in March, it joined a handful of unusual rocky objects known to reside beyond the orbit of Pluto. These small objects have curiously aligned orbits, which hints that an unseen planet even further out is influencing their behaviour. Scientists calculated that this world would be about 10 times the mass of Earth and would orbit at roughly 250 times Earth's distance from the sun. ...
Richard Nolle's June Forecast-6/3 AstroPro, If you followed last month’s news after reading my May Forecast (published in April), you know to expect more of the same. Of course you’ll get the news in advance, as usual. But you’ll also quickly recognize, I think, that June is largely a continuation – in some cases, an intensification – of trends that carry over from May. But there are a few wrinkles in the time ahead.
New Road To Machu Picchu Discovered-6/18 Smithsonian, By Mary Beth Griggs -- The nearly-mile-long road was built over 500 years ago by the Inca, and appears to be intact -- A 500-year-old road to the Incan site of Machu Picchu was recently discovered by archaeologists working near the famous site. The road is about a mile long and ends near a site overlooking the ruins of Machu Picchu. The road, heavily overgrown with vegetation is currently being cleared off by workers, and Fernando Astete, head of the archaeological park, has said that he would like for the road to eventually be restored. Machu Picchu is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world, topping many people’s travel bucket list. It's possible to get there by bus, by train or by foot—one of the most sought-after options is to hike in via the Inca Trail. The new stretch of road could provide a new way to access the site; just please, the Peruvian government asks, don't get naked once you get there.
Collection manager for historical archaeology at the Florida museum of Natural History, Gifford Waters, PhD, shows where they discovered a coquina wall/foundation structure from the 1600's/early 1700's from an excavation site at the Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine on Tuesday. Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
UF leads excavation of 'Most Sacred Acre'-6/10 Ocala Star Banner, By Jeff Schweers -- ST AUGUSTINE — "America's Most Sacred Acre" — the name given to the tranquil, shaded waterfront cemetery and grounds of the Nombre De Dios Mission and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche — has been the center of activity and attention for six weeks. A lot of digging and scraping with shovels and pickaxes. A lot of chopping through sidewalk pavement and tree roots. All to uncover the foundation and inner walls of what experts say is the first shrine ever built in the New World to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ. "It's exhausting work, physically and mentally sometimes," said Alysia Leon, a recent graduate of Flagler College, whose name bears the faint echo of long-ago explorer Ponce De Leon, who in his search for the Fountain of Youth supposedly made landfall while searching just a short distance to the north of the mission dig site. There is a Fountain of Youth to the north of here, but it's a tourist attraction with its own archaeological artifacts once hidden 20 inches beneath the surface. The shrine at Nombre De Dios is one of the most significant archaeological finds in years, said Gifford Waters, the lead archaeologist here, and collections manager for historical archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
This Wasn't Supposed to be a Sphinx-6/10 Smithsonian, Some archeologists have noticed that the human head of the Great Sphinx of Giza is too small for it's lion body. One theory is that the sphinx was originally not a sphinx at all. ...
Story of four-year-old’s near-death experience transfixes America-4/29 Telegraph, Film of Colton Burpo’s claim to have sat at Jesus’s knee is US box office sensation ... Editor: Saw the movie. Very well done. Better than I expected. Bring some tissues.
Heaven is for Real critics are 'Pharisees', says Todd Burpo-5/5 The father of Colton Burpo has a strong word for Christians who say his son's near-death encounter with Jesus couldn't have happened: "Read your Bible." ...
Schizophrenia or Possession?-6/18 Springer, by M. Kemal Irmak --