Monthly Archives: October 2011

DVD Review: A Message of Peace & Compassion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dala...

HH The Dalai Lama

A Message of Peace & Compassion is a part of Series 1 but it departs greatly in style and substance from the other DVDs in the series. His Holiness is traveling throughout the UK making stops in Liverpool, London and Glasgow in May and June of 2004.There he is received by important men and women in political office and citizens from various religious communities.

Tony Blair declined to meet with His Holiness on this visit, however they did meet five years earlier. There are many short chapters in this 60-minute DVD compared to the other ones because it included a full touring itinerary for His Holiness out and about in the UK which included a visit with the Tibetan community in the UK. Even though in exile he is considered the titular head as well as the spiritual guide of the Tibetan people. I watched this highly professional documentary film with great interest and reverence.

The chapters in this DVD: “His Holiness arrives in Liverpool, receives a honorary fellowship from John Moore University & gives talk: Secular Ethics“; “Meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace and Jack Straw Foreign Secretary in Houses of Parliament”; “An audience with Tibetan Community in UK”; “His Holiness receives Christmas Humphreys Memorial Award from the Buddhist Society”; “Temenos Interfaith Lecture: A Human Approach to World Peace“; “Meeting Michael Howard, leader of the opposition and talks to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet“; “Press Conference at Foreign Press Association”; “His Holiness arrives in Glasgow and meets Lord Provost Liz Cameron”; “His Holiness arrives at SECC, Tibetan music performance, Celtic music performance and piper”; “Public Talk: Inner Peace, Outer Harmony.”

In this film we see His Holiness in many human and relaxed moments sipping tea and talking to his gracious hosts. He accepts his honors with a grace and humility that is almost childlike. But when it comes to speaking his mind he is adept at the hard sell of peace, harmony and non violence.

His first talk begins by defining “secular ethics” that means a rejection of any one particular faith yet tolerance of all religions because all are seen equally. From Wikipedia the full definition of secular ethics reads: “a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance.” And if you know anything about Buddhism you recognize that this fits their belief system. It also holds up under separation of church scrutiny. His Holiness speaking says that more emphasis should be placed on secular ethics and it should be introduced in the universities.

Secular ethics he argues would make the heart and mind stronger bringing happiness and compassion. His Holiness speaks for only a few minutes in this edition and in the end tells everyone that they can take or leave his beliefs on secular ethics. He is typically frank and honest in his transactions and speeches.

The interfaith lecture focused on world peace. The Dalai Lama lives by example in the Tibetan struggle for freedom so it goes without saying that his Holiness must walk the walk because anything less would not be spiritual. What about world peace—is it possible? I think we all want to know the answer to that question. It can be gleaned from this talk on peace.

His Holiness said that violence is bred by hatred and in that moment one cannot see reality. He said that if one is on the receiving end of violence they must accept it with compassion.That was on the individual level—microcosm. He continued: the best solution to ever-present conflict is with directness to face it boldly and take it seriously. He said destruction of your neighbor is destruction of yourself. Compromise is a viable option if it arises out of bilateral talks and solutions. He concluded by saying that change will not come from the United Nations or from world leaders but from the grassroots from the people, of the people meaning that each and every person has the chance to change the world. With those words he ended this talk.

The political hot potato is ever Chinese control of Tibet.His Holiness believes that technology and the gradual opening of China might lead to further lessening of the reins, but he is cautious and reminds that it will take time. If the change is too dramatic it will not be in the best interest but a smooth transition is needed in China to maintain stability politically for its people. It takes patience and determination. Because it is understood that there will be no change for the Tibetans politically unless there is some change in China.

The foreign press segment was most interesting. He took questions and repeatedly emphasized the important role of the media as a modern, free instrument in the building of a happy, healthy society. How to promote world peace was asked by press. His answer: if you compare the second half of the 20th century to the first part, it was much healthier than the early part of the 20th century. Peaceful popular movements of the later 20th century such as Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s use of non violence and what happened after the change in government. He lauds the attitude of blacks towards whites as “very nice.” He also mentioned 9/11 and terrorism: “It is very serious, really serious because such a violent act can be carried out by a few individual people—very unpredictable and easily carried out.”

Peace takes time, and peaceful resistance requires patience and individual commitment because countries must make long-term peaceful solutions by promoting the spirit of dialogue. A woman asked what he thought of not meeting with Tony Blair this visit. He said he had no idea and that if she wanted to know why then she should ask him.

Inner peace, outer harmony: altruism means that you forget one’s own interest.That is not the case, he said, I think genuine love must exist first then it extends to your family, then to your community, state, country, and the world. It does not mean to just forget one’s own interest but according to reality the more altruistic the mind then the more one benefits from it—it is essential. The remainder of the film included question and answer sessions with the Dalai Lama and communities in the UK and an initiation into the Action Tantra.

Once again we get a profound, prescient message from His Holiness that can be applied to present-day stress and strain, useful in interpersonal conflicts, world conflicts and social conflicts to resolve peacefully first. He urges mankind to resort to the sheath of compassion and to shatter the sword of hate.

first published at blogcritics review by Heloise:

DVD Review: The Essence of Mahayana Buddhism with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997)...

Mother Theresa

His Holiness begins with an explanation about Mahayana Buddhism: “I cannot express through my English but I will try my best.” With the help of a translator and a patient audience he succeeds in more ways than one in this film about a man on a mission to serve the world.

The chapters in this 50-minute DVD document His Holiness in Britain in 1984: “Basic Mahayana Teaching: The Essence of Buddhism is Compassion“; “Importance of Implementing Buddha’s Teaching in Daily Life”; “Buddhism in Western Culture“; “Questions & Answers.” I will give the gist of a couple of the chapters and an overview of the DVD and in some instances paraphrase for clarity.

His Holiness spoke and said that generally, the essence of Buddhism is compassion. On that basis there must be restraint from hurting others—non-violence. That is the essence of Mahayana teaching. Also it means to go, to help, to serve others, and to do so without selfish feelings. One single person means “one being” but “other” means the rest of sentient beings. He said if you are going to be selfish then be a “wise selfish” because if you help others you will be much happier than before. If you put others first you will be happier in the end, even if you do not expect this benefit. In fact it is better to act without reward or expection of benefit or instant gratification.

About Buddhism in the West, he says that when you start to practice dharma you should not feel great expectation. He mocks, in a gentle manner, the Western way by saying that with your modern facilities you expect everything to come easily and that you create too much expectation at the beginning. Practice and mastery of Mahayana Buddhism takes time. You can lose determination from great expectation and you must understand that progress takes time.

Humanity has religion but the religion does not belong to the country. In the East we think of Hinduism in the East, Christianity as purely a Western religion, and that Buddhism is an eastern religion only. He argues and warns that in the practice of the eastern religions such as Buddhism that one should not isolate oneself from the rest of society. Take the essence and make it adaptable in your environment. It means that if you have a family and a religion that you can practice that faith and remain a faithful member of your family at the same time. That’s a good point because isolationism is often indicative of a cult and that would limit freedom rather than foster it.

He continues, saying that in ancient times, Buddhism flourished in India and then spread to other cultures and countries. It is the same Buddhism today but because of the different cultures we call it Tibetan Buddhism or Indian Buddhism because the religion sits side-by-side with the culture it is found in and adjust to it. Religion can yoke in a Western mode and in the future you can call it Western Buddhism or Scottish Buddhism (laughter). He joked that unless you take some operation to change your appearance then you will be the same whether you are a Buddhist or Christian. Then His Holiness took questions from the audience.

One woman asked if there was any difference in the compassion Mother Theresa practices and exhibits and compassion as Buddhism teaches. His response: the indication of the same result of different teaching; she was from a true Christian teaching, she was such a fine person, a nice lady, but really she was working unselfishly for others. If you compare them then they are the same amount but the cause is not the same, thus the complication. In her case I don’t know unless I had clairvoyance and knew her mind (laughter).

One needs Buddhist compassion but it requires the assistance of wisdom. Buddhists do not accept a creator so there are fundamental differences. Is there a difference in the meaning of your compassion another woman asked. And he answered that without a dictionary he was not sure (laughter). This film concludes with a Q&A session from the audience where His Holiness further clarifies what it means to be a Buddhist who practices true compassion. The world can learn a lot from this holy man who seeks to serve the world with compassion.

first published at: by Heloise

Obama the fire brand: 1988 Occupy Chicago

Just twenty or so years ago, Barack Obama wouldn’t just have supported the Occupy protests.

He would have organized them.

From Stanley Kurtz’s essential Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, pp. 117-8:

In fact, Obama personally helped plan one of UNO’s most confrontational actions of the eighties [in 1988]: a break-in meant to intimidate a coalition of local business and neighborhood leaders into dropping a landfill expansion deal.

We know of Obama’s involvement in this demonstration only because his supporters in 2008 felt it necessary to rebut charges that, contrary to his claims of inter-racial healing, he had organized exclusively with blacks. Only then did Obama’s former colleagues from UNO [United Neighborhood Organization, a largely Mexican group] of Chicago reveal that he had helped to plan and lead this multi-ethnic demonstration…

Astrobiologists find a watery solar system,8599,2097635,00.html

An artist’s rendering illustrates an icy planet-forming

Turning its gaze toward a star known as TW Hydrae — a comparatively cool orange dwarf just 10 million years old — the telescope recently found a vast disk of dusty material moving in a solar orbit about 200 times as far from the star as Earth is from our own sun. Dust is just dust in the visible spectrum, but operating in the extreme infrared, Herschel was able to spot the surprising signal of water — lots and lots of water — created as ultraviolet light from the star knocked individual water molecules free from the traces of ice that cling to the dust grains.

Heloise BC writer of the week

A big thank you to the editors at Blogcritics.


 BC Writer of the Week Heloise


the link above will take you to my many and latest articles and reviews.

Herman Cain’s illegals solution—I am still laughing about it

Herman Cain wants to build a fence around the southern border and electrify the fence.  Then he said he was kidding then he said he wasn’t kidding.  I think he should go with it.  I love it and laugh every time I think about his statement.  It’s a solid idea whose time has come.

Now for the 999 plan I think there are some problems with it.  The problem is that the non manufacturers who are adding nothing to the economy but taking billions out of it on the order of Bernie Madoff are the one who need to be stopped with very high taxes.  Those who make a million working a job or whatever should not be taxed as high. And those who employ people should also get a break.  But the banksters and wall streeters need to be taxed to the max. 

Turkey’s Titantic Earthquake

Seal of the President of Turkey. Yıldızlar tar...

Image via Wikipedia

Turkey has had a huge earthquake this morning with many left dead and tons of damage to the country.

Alex Wagner “Now” that’s okay– updated

After watching her show now for a week or so I have one big complaint. Alex you are talking too damn fast and saying too much at once.

Please slow down and say less with more focus. Thank you.

Okay my bad it seems that Alex is not replacing Andrea Mitchell with the time zone thing i thought she was relacing her thus my beauty over nepotism. I get stuff wrong sometimes. My bad.

Now we know that Alex has chosen a prosaic word like “now” to title her new show that debuts this week. Studies have shown that people who are attractive, pretty or have a good appearance are thought of as being smarter than say ugly people.  I mean I was accused of getting plum jobs in college because I was pretty.  I thought, and said, I was qualified for the job and didn’t know who else applied but yes I got the good university student jobs while in college.

But then there is the thought that people who get a leg up on their looks is a kind of nepotism.  I don’t think it takes the meaning too far afield.  If it cannot be a relative or a Greek buddy that you network for or give a job to then it can be because the person is damn good-looking and young.  The new discrimination is all about age. Alas, that’s the way it is.

Now we have a new kid on the talking heads block and her name is Alex Wagner. Alex is half black half German according to a bio I saw. She could pass for Mexican but she is not a Mexican. Based on her mixture she’s white if you use the you are what you look like method.

In the coming months a biracial beauty will be replacing Andrea Mitchell for the noon slot talking politics on MSNBC. That bastian of left wing politics.  The talking heads just keep getting prettier and less experienced in the politics they talk.  

I will record her show and she what she has to add to the age of opinion. So far it’s predictable in guests and opinions.  


By Alex Weprin on October 20, 2011 5:57 PM

MSNBC political analyst Alex Wagner is getting her own show, TVNewser has learned.

At some point in the next few months, the channel will debut a new NoonET program

Movie Review: Like Crazy

I saw this movie “Like Crazy” with the new Jewish idol who plays the boyfriend turned husband at the Modern film fest.  It was okay.  I liked it a lot.  It’s another movie with a strange ending and you don’t know what happened.  But the two in the film get busy. She’s from London and he’s from Santa Monica.  They get busy but it is not in your face.  They do it in LA and in London and think they can’t live without each other until they do and until they get married to each other.

He cheats like a big greasy dog on her and she cheats on his with her neighbor and they even get engaged.  What is the use of saying you love someone and then fucking someone else’s brains out?  That’s what this movie is about in a few words but only they keep the explicit sex off the screen.  The music was absolutely fabulous though.

Toure Touts post racialism nihilism in new book: “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?”


Toure the touter

Toure talking crazy.  He wrote a new book “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?” whose title on the face of it is crazy.  I think he is playing the un race card to sell books. Whites and blacks like me ain’t buying it. 

African Americans fight a multifront struggle in pursuing their ambitions. Along with the difficulties that others face — bad luck, personal deficiencies, talented competitors — blacks face additional obstacles. On one front they encounter prejudiced Caucasians. On another they encounter Negroes who, attached to stunted conceptions of racial solidarity, habitually castigate as disloyal blacks perceived as “acting white,” being “oreos,” “selling out.”

Naturally, anthropologically and racially there are differences.  A person can have black skin or biracial genes and be as white culturally as any white person in London.  There are numerous examples that the only thing black about them is their skin.  People mistake south Indians for black people all the time, but that’s just an optic error.  I was mistaken for an Indian when in India at every turn.  If that were the case then that would make me white! When I was on the train with my white male companion people thought I was either British or when in Paris thought I was Parisian or Italian.  So, in other words I was constantly mistaken for a non black and occasionally an American black. If Toure was right people like me and my family would be white people with brown skin and “good” hair.  By other countries standards in fact my family is “white” or colored. 

Even Toure is probably some kind of mutt mixed with Anglo and Caribbean blood and whatever else.  He even looks half Jewish and black.  But no matter. I might be called an oreo and I am okay with that.  Because in a lot of ways the only thing black about me is the extra melanin I’ve acquired since living in Texas.