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About steve

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  1. Interesting comment given that Apech and I are mostly in disagreement in this thread.
  2. Thank you for emphasizing that important point, Rene, which supports both Apech's position and my own. Men appear to be far more prone to violent behavior than women, but it remains a small percentage of all men who are engaged in violence.
  3. And just about everything else!
  4. Victims of homicide are often participants, not always innocent bystanders... Do you think size and strength are determining factors for expressing violence? They are potentially useful characteristics, but deterministic? Are larger, stronger women (men) more likely to be violent than smaller women (men), for example? Who is doing the recruiting and initiating the conflict? Male or female? For sure they are more often in a position to be subjected to such manipulation in most societies. How often do they volunteer vs become victims of manipulation? I don't mean to imply an answer to any of these questions but they are worth considering if we are interested in this topic. I disagree with this point. I think crime statistics show very clearly that men are more prone to violent behavior than women. I'm not saying it is solely due to an inherent 'defect' or trait or even genetics. I suspect it is multi-factorial - genetics, cultural, societal, etc... It would be very interesting to have an opportunity to live in a world, particularly a technologically advanced society, with predominately female leadership and see if there are significant differences. I personally agree with the Dalai Lama on this topic but I could certainly be wrong. I doubt it will ever happen in my lifetime so this is just an empty thought. It is interesting that in Bön and Buddhism, compassion is generally represented by the male deity while the female deity represents wisdom. I have a friend who is a shaman in Mexico. We once had a very interesting conversation about this point, to which he also subscribed, from his shamanic perspective. The whole question of the nature of gender differences is an interesting one to me and it doesn't necessarily have to be judgmental. In terms of survival, there is certainly a normal and necessary component of violent behavior, particularly among hunter gatherers. In "civilized," agrarian society, I would suggest that it is far less necessary but far more prominent, at least on a larger and more destructive scale. There are many human characteristics which were valuable from an evolutionary biological perspective but become maladapted and dysfunctional in more technologically advanced society. This tendency towards violence seems to be one of them. I'm currently reading a book that I received as a gift that discusses Buddhism from the perspective of evolutionary biology. It's very interesting and well written. Just some random musings...
  5. No doubt women have the capacity to be warriors. I've seen women in my family transform into demons when their children are threatened. My wife's nickname among our kids is "two-guns."
  6. My comment wasn't directed at men in general. I was more focused on paternalistic leadership and the pervasiveness of war. However... It doesn't seem that women have the same propensity for violence. Approximately 96% of homicides worldwide are committed by men.
  7. Sadly, it seems to be those that are skilled at taking life who rule. Not those who are capable of creating it.
  8. I'll miss you roger. You are a breath of fresh air. Fare well
  9. There are vendors in Thailand, and I imagine elsewhere, you capture living creature with the intention of selling them at Buddhist festivals for just this sort of ritual. Very misguided.
  10. Alchemy implies transformation. In that sense, Daoist alchemy and tantra are comparable. The word alchemy, as used in Daoist practice, does relate to working with energy but it is not a generic term for "energy stuff." For example, there are lots of Daoist energetic practices (taijiqun, qigong) which are not necessarily a part of alchemical methods. Daoist alchemical methods and Buddhist tantric methods include working with energy centers (dantians/khorlos/chakras) and paths (jingmai/tsa/nadi) and the subtle energy (qi/lung/prana). While Daoist and tantric terminology and paradigm are somewhat different, the parallels are clear, especially if you have the chance to practice each under the guidance of a master. We need to be a little careful with knowledge and experience gained solely from books and self-exploration. There is far more to cultivation than information and an experienced guide is essential.
  11. Tibetans do revere books and texts and yet they caution their students that it is essential to learn from a credible and accomplished teacher. Books are a way to preserve and transmit the Dharma from generation to generation. They contain all of the information but there is more to spiritual growth and awakening than information, hence the need for a teacher. On a Tibetan shrine, nothing is placed higher than the written word, not even a statue of Buddhas or Deities. A Tibetan would never put a book on the floor or ground or step over it, it is a constant reminder of the value of education and the power of words. You make a good point about the importance of dispelling superstition, fantasy, and projection surrounding Buddhist teachings, I would extend that to all spiritual or religious teachings in fact, including Daoism. I do see this happening in the west. My own teacher is very much committed to a progressive, practical approach to the Dharma, as is the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, there is enormous power and value in esoteric teachings that we, as westerners, may not yet understand and there has been a problem with giving high tantric teachings and empowerments to people who are not ready for them. I'm reading an excellent book right now called Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright. It's something I never would have bought for myself but my wife gave it to me as a gift and, despite my skepticism, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Wright is the author of The Moral Animal, The Evolution of God, and Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. He brings a scientific context, particularly that of evolutionary biology, to the Buddhist view and practices. Highly recommended.
  12. That is certainly one situation in which terma have been discovered or received. There is also the aspect that terma have been hidden for protection during times of war and persecution (the latter is particularly applicable to Bönpos). These may then be discovered or revealed in times of peace when we are again free to practice the Dharma.
  13. I have. I've also noticed issues with electronics, it's interesting. Several friends and family members have had cell phone issue over the last few days as well.
  14. If the OP is still in need of help in this area, most Bönpo lamas and geshes are able to address these concerns. The tradition is made up of the Nine Ways of Bön, some of which are rooted in the early, shamanic ways of Bön. The second vehicle, the Way of the Shen of the Phenomenal World, teaches rituals, remedies, and practices related to external forces and harmful energies. Many traditional Tibetan medical practitioners are trained to help with such problems as well. Right now is a difficult time due to the recent passing of His Holiness, the spiritual head of Bön. Most of the high lamas and geshes are in India right now participating in rituals related to his death and upcoming funeral. Some have stayed behind at US centers but are very busy with similar practices. You can reach out to any of a number of Bön centers in the US and abroad. Here are a few in the US: If the OP wants to PM with his location, I can help you find a center close to you.
  15. The spiritual head of the Bön tradition, His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, left the body on September 14th at 625pm New Delhi time. He was instrumental in bringing the Bön teachings out of Tibet shortly after the Chinese invasion and is responsible for helping to spread the teachings to the West. I had the good fortune of meeting him last year when he presented teachings on the A-Khrid lineage of Dzogchen in New Jersey. He was very warm, knowledgable, and generous. His teaching style was strongly rooted in tradition yet flexible, full of good humor, and love for the Dharma. He will be sorely missed and unanimously celebrated within the Bönpo community. Here is a link to a biography of His Holiness for anyone interested. ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།