September 22, 2011
By serendipity (which is to say it wasn’t sent to me directly so the sender didn’t know I would get it so it wasn’t a followup to my previous mention of bluegrass kirtan) the following email arrived in my Inbox today:
THIS GROUP IS CERTAINLY RASA BHSA BUT I LIKE THE KC SONGS ANYWAY
LISTED BELOW …
Krishna and Ram 5:59
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Hare Krishna Hare Ram.
The words mean: Victory to God, Praise God Who preserves and sustains us. In the Hindu tradition, Ram and Krishna are incarnations of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe. Sandy Boys is a traditional old-time fiddle and banjo tune from the Appalachian Mountains.
Jim Beckwith, vocals, harmony vocals; Jon Seskevich, AC Bushnell, John Moore, vocals; AC Bushnell, fiddle; Bobb Head, banjo; Robbie Link, bass; Bill Parsons, guitar.
6. Money and Sri Ram in Both Pockets 5:01
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Victory to God, Blessed God
Not a well known tune, Money in Both Pockets was first recorded by Charlie Bowman and his brother in the 1920’s.
AC Bushnell, lead vocal; Jon Seskevich, Mark Smith, Tim Wells, vocals; AC Bushnell, fiddle; Bobb Head, bass; Alan Julich, banjo; Mark Weems, guitar.
7. Buddha’s Square Dance 5:17
Muni Muni Mahamuni Sakya Muniye Swaha
Muni Muni Mahamuni Sakya Muniye
Gate Gate Paragate Bodhi Swaha.
This chant refers to Lord Buddha:
Silent One, Great Silent one of the Shakya clan,
Gone, Gone Beyond, Hail the Enlightened One. So be it!
When asked the question, “Are you God?” Buddha is said to have answered “No.” “Well, who then are you?” “Awake!” was his answer. This chant inspires us to awaken. The traditional tune Seneca Square Dance was originally recorded by Fiddlin’ Sam Long of the Ozarks in 1925. The music and these words form a beautiful new creation.
Jim Beckwith, lead vocal; AC Bushnell, Marilyn Grubbs, Betsy Bickel, Jon Seskevich, John Moore, vocals; AC Bushnell, fiddle; Bobb Head, banjo; Robbie Link, bass; Bill Parsons, guitar.
9. Walking with Krishna 3:47
Govinda Jai Jai, Gopala Jai Jai Radha Ramanahari, Govinda Jai Jai
Govinda is another name of Krishna. This chant is a love song celebrating the union of Krishna and his consort Radha. It reflects the joy of both lover and beloved of God. Walking Georgia Row is a rarely heard, beautiful fiddle tune.
11. Jimmy Johnson Gopala 3:35
Gopala Gopala Devakinandana Gopala. Devakinandana Gopla
Gopala is baby Krishna. Krishna’s mother is Devaki. Ananda is the word for bliss. This chant is about the bliss of the mother that comes from the unconditional love for her baby. This was the first BlueGrass Kirtan track we recorded. It is from the traditional Appalachian tune Jimmy Johnson.
Jon Seskevich lead vocal; AC Bushnell, harmony vocal; AC Bushnell, fiddle; Bobb Head, banjo; Alan Julich, bass; Mark Weems, guitar.
September 21, 2011
September 20, 2011
I partially went to a retreat called Sacred Space about how to find the sanctuary within, made a cameo appearance at the Wheeling Farmer’s Market, sat in an impromptu blue grass style kirtan, all good and uplifting things, and both the local sports teams I root for won, so even my lower self got to enjoy vicariously.
It started Friday night at the opening session of the retreat. I won’t give a comprehensive account, just bits of what I got out of it. The story that stuck in my mind that evening was a variation of this Zen koan:
In some regions of Japan it was the tradition that a traveler could request lodgings overnight at a Buddhist temple. The only condition was that the traveler should have a debate with one of the monk and show skill at the art of debate.
It so happens that at one small temple there were two monks. One was fast-witted, the other, who only has one eye, was much slower than his brother.
Late one evening they hear a knock at the door. The quick-witted monk was feeling tired and so asked the other to deal with the stranger. The one eyed monk said, “But brother, I cannot defeat the traveler as you could. Tell me what I should say”. “That is easy, if you do not know what to say, tell the traveler that he must debate in silence and that he must start the debate. That way, whatever happens, the traveler will have to think hard and almost certainly will lose”.
The newcomer is admitted and goes off to a private area with the one-eyed monk. A short while later, he is at the door, ready to depart. As he is leaving the other monk stops him and asks, “Why are you leaving?”.
The reply comes, “I was asked to debate in silence, so I thought for a while and held up one finger, to represent the oneness of Buddha. The monk frowned as he thought hard and held up two fingers, representing the division between Buddha and the material world. I considered for a moment before holding up three fingers, to show that between Buddha and the material world stands the third of humanity that can bridge the gap. Instantly, the monk grasped the concept and held up no fingers, showing that all these differences are of no significance. Defeated, I leave”.
The bright monk was impressed until his brother reappeared, asking where the visitor might be. The obvious question was asked to which the debating monk replied, “First the traveler tried to provoke me by holding up on finger, to indicate that he felt I was inferior because I only have one eye. I responded by holding up two fingers to compliment him on still having both of his. His response was to hold up three fingers to say that we still only have three eyes between us. I am afraid I lost my temper and raised my fist to hit him, but he ran away. Where is he? He has defeated me in debate and I must apologize to him for my loss of control.”
I didn’t go to any of the Saturday sessions because I went out to the Wheeling Farmer’s Market to sell Vidya’s crafted gourds. I did the market for many years until end stage liver disease pinned me to the couch and this was the first time since my liver transplant that I had asked if I could come to the market. I was assured I was a lifetime member so I went out.
I set benchmarks of sales and did hit the “it’s worth it to go again” one. As in general I only have half the energy I used to have I don’t really have a surplus of veggies to sell, but Vidya was kind enough to let me take her stuff, a lot of which was discontinued items I was able to sell cheap.
Besides the money, it was fun to be back doing what I used to be able to do routinely. I am friends with all the older vendors so it was almost like going to a reunion. I go to the market all the time anyway but being a customer isn’t the same as being set up.
After I got home I hoped to attend the later sessions of the retreat but was too exhausted and spent the rest of the day lying on the couch, a not unfamiliar routine for me.
Sunday between retreat sessions naturally I was drawn to the yajnashalla between the Temple and the lodge because Tapahpunjah was selling his garden produce there. Devananda Pandit had his guitar and a visiting devotee had a homemade string instrument and they were jamming bluegrass style kirtans. Soon a ukelele player appeared and joined in.
The yajnashalla has a bit of an elevated platform so there are slight ramps going up into it. Remember when you would lean back in a chair and your mother and/or wife would chastise you for being hard on the chair? I sat on the ramp so I had the comfort zone of being leaned back and no guilt. :-) The ambient temperature was a little cool but the black knit cap I was wearing was absorbing the rays of the unclouded sun so I was feeling literally warm and fuzzy physically plus the retreat buzz was still in hand.
Kirtan with physical and mental comfort as side dishes, what more could you want?
The last session the swami reiterated his three key points with more lecture and exercises.
1. I am not this body
2. Practice the role of being an observer
3. Practice (Krishna consciousness) with taste.
Another random bit from the retreat is that at one time he was talking about if your mind is agitated or disturbed, spend time with people who are serene. He then suggested that if you were in such a state, go spend some time with cows as cows are extremely serene.
The the last question was how to maintain the space we had entered during the retreat as we return to our daily lives. He acknowledged that this is a great challenge as we tend to revert to our habits.
He suggested that we consciously decide to develop one new habit that will help us retain that inner peace. We will see how that works out.
September 19, 2011
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Poetry  Comments
It begins with
a primal scream
because we haven’t
yet heard the joke.
We lurch into life,
blinking, startled. We
didn’t know it was a
womb until we left it.
We take a look around and
whistle, watch the sparrows
as they fly by, wonder if
there’s a plot to this story.
Whatever we discover, Nature
thought of it first. Mother
Nature, we call her, even as
we make her our battered wife.
The sun teaches us to waltz
and rumba, lights our terrors,
massages us with heat. It
does not demand sacrifice.
The moon guards our
orbit, plays with tides,
reflects its searchlight
on this spinning planet.
The stars, scattered like
rice at a wedding, hang out
in the sky and wonder what
all the fuss is about.
The bear nuzzling for honey,
the snow-specked wolf, the wary
cat, find each other curious;
only humans question reality.
Souls harbor demons, shadows
that whisper and haunt our
blood. The way to overcome
a fear is to embrace it.
Risk is natural, stability
isn’t. The search for sanctuary
takes us past red lights, smiling
strangers, loves we don’t understand.
Our passions are who we
are, the dreams our dreams
dream of, the butterfly
of our crawling caterpillar.Life is a rough draft,
never ready for itself.
The only style that makes
any sense is celebration.
Symmetry is not harmony.
Parallel bars were meant
to be uneven. To live is
to constantly reconsider.
Give and take. Joined,
separate, just two
The mind can make an apple
of a desert, turn a garden
into a favorite novel.
Perspective is everything.
The magician asked God
how to levitate without
trickery. “Don’t come
down,” said God.
It’s all natural magic:
a baseball game, an
act of love, the odd
One man’s oatmeal is
another woman’s science-
fiction. We are mostly
water, but partly irony.
If we can speak, we can
sing. If we can move,
we can dance. We are the
answer to our prayers.
We choose our paths, seek
shelter from our storms.
But only within ourselves
will we find sanctuary.
September 17, 2011
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Health Leave a Comment
I truncated most of the sections, you will have to go to the source to see the full article.
Source of article
Have you heard people say they just can’t lose weight even when they nearly starve themselves? Ever felt that way yourself?
A large number of Americans struggle to lose weight every day, despite adhering to healthy diets and regular exercise programs. So what is really going on? While diet and exercise are certainly the two biggest factors, and eating healthy and exercising will result in weight loss for the majority of people who try them, for some it’s just not enough.
In fact, there are several causes of weight gain that have nothing to do with diet or even exercise … so if you’ve been stuck in a weight-loss plateau, keep reading to find out if one of these explanations may be to blame …
1. Lack of Sleep
Too little sleep can have a big impact on your waistline, and not in a good way. How? By altering levels of hormones that regulate hunger. According to one study by University of Chicago researchers, people who slept only four hours a night for two nights had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, a hormone that signals your brain you’ve had enough food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the “hunger” hormone.
Not surprisingly, after getting such little sleep, the participants noted a 24 percent increase in appetite, with a particular desire for sugary, salty and starchy foods, like candy, chips and pasta.
A separate study also found that people who sleep less than four hours a night are 73 percent more likely to be obese than people who sleep more, while a new study in the International Journal of Obesity found that middle-aged women who have trouble sleeping may gain more weight than well-rested women.
In short, once your sleep patterns have been disrupted, your body will be prone to weight gain and overeating. Meanwhile, overeating may further throw off your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, leading to a vicious cycle that can be hard to overcome.
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, which can include a warm bath, a foot massage, stretching, or listening to the wonderful soothing music, can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
According to Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, numerous studies show rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity are doubled and even tripled in people who sit a lot.
2. Sitting Too Much — “Sittosis”
Americans spend an excess of time sitting — leading to a variety of “sittosis” conditions, not the least of which is weight gain. Even independent of how much time you spend exercising, if you spend the bulk of your day sitting you could be inadvertently packing on the pounds…
3. Intrauterine and Childhood Programming
Although the link is still being established, some studies have found a link between a mother’s weight during pregnancy and the future weight of her unborn child…
Depression and obesity have a reciprocal relationship in that people who are depressed are more likely to become obese, while those who are obese are more likely to become depressed. Among initially normal-weight individuals, depression increases the risk of obesity by 58 percent, according to a new study by Dutch researchers…
5. Certain Medications
Certain prescription drugs cause weight gain as a side effect. According to Consumer Reports, these include:…
6. Portion Sizes
If your portion sizes are too large, you can quickly gain weight – even if you’re eating primarily healthy foods. And if your foods aren’t always healthy, the weight gain from over-sized servings will be even quicker…
7. Obesity as a Symptom
If you’re inexplicably gaining weight, it could be a signal of another health problem. The following conditions, for instance, can cause weight gain as a symptom of a larger underlying problem:…
Pollutants are all around us, many of which have an influence on your delicate hormonal and metabolic systems. Among them, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), pesticides, PBDEs, and others can predispose you to being fat.
Frederick vom Saal, professor of biological sciences in MU’s College of Arts and Science, told Science Daily:
“Certain environmental substances called endocrine-disrupting chemicals can change the functioning of a fetus’s genes, altering a baby’s metabolic system and predisposing him or her to obesity.
This individual could eat the same thing and exercise the same amount as someone with a normal metabolic system, but he or she would become obese, while the other person remained thin. This is a serious problem because obesity puts people at risk for other problems, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.”
Vom Saal pointed out that out of the approximately 55,000 manmade chemicals in use in the world, 1,000 may be endocrine disrupters.
To cut down on your exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, avoid Polycarbonate, Lexan and Polysulfone plastics, which contain BPA, and instead use your own personal reusable water bottle made of HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic, which is BPA-free! For example the “Wellness H2.0″ portable water bottle features a unique filtration system that not only purifies ordinary tap water, but also enhances the water for better absorption and hydration.
Because household items like cleaning products, toiletries (fragrances, hairspray, deodorants, shampoos, etc.), air fresheners, paint, bug sprays and many others are major contributors to the toxins in your home, seeking out natural varieties of these items is essential.
Also, because indoor air can be two to 100 times MORE polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA, having a high-quality air purifier is now as essential as having locks on your doors. A simple way to keep your home’s air clean and safe is by using an Air Treatment System, which uses photocatalysis designed to oxidize organic odors, germs, and fungi to create clean, pure air in your home. Ask your practitioner what air treatments system they use and recommend for the best home and office air quality?
9. A Virus?
Studies suggest that an adenovirus called AD-36 may be involved in some cases of obesity. There are more than 50 types of adenoviruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold and gastroenteritis. Typically, the illnesses are not serious and resolve on their own…
September 16, 2011
“It is the business of the guru to deliver this disciple, sisya, from this blazing fire of samsara, samsrti, bandha, conditioned life, to save him from that position and give him the eternal happiness, brahma-saukhyam anantam [SB 5.5.1].”
Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture 3.26.7 — Bombay, December 19, 1974
September 16, 2011
By Steve Leone
It was 1996 and Rear Adm. Larry Baucom had a job to do. His mission: Protect American oil interests in the Persian Gulf. Even with the backdrop of peace, Baucom understood this was a costly endeavor.
While the price of military intervention is often measured in American lives, in this case it was the staggering amount of American dollars that most clearly made his point. In today’s dollars, keeping just one of America’s 11 aircraft carriers fully operational for a year costs about $400 million. Often times, that is the role the military plays — keep the shipping lanes open and keep the oil flowing. To Baucom, it’s just another of the many hidden costs of maintaining our current energy needs, and it’s an argument that is usually lost amid the debate on subsidies and government support.
Baucom, now retired, is adamant that America’s dependence on foreign oil — relatively unchanged over the past three decades — undermines our national security and our ability to dictate our energy future. He argues that climate change will ultimately result in more natural disasters, more famine and more global instability, and that too will require more American military intervention.
The former fighter pilot and current Pentagon consultant was among those pushing a renewable energy agenda Wednesday in Concord, N.H., a state capital that will hold significant political sway during the upcoming First in the Nation Presidential Primary.
The event was hosted by Operation Free, a coalition of military veterans and groups with national security interests focused on breaking America’s reliance on fossil fuels. Baucom was joined onstage by an unlikely figure in an effort to redefine government policy in favor of renewable forms of energy. Last November, Republican State Sen. Gary Lambert was part of the nation’s dramatic rightward shift during the midterm elections. Now Lambert, a self-described strong conservative and the first Republican to win his district in 95 years, is facing stiff political pressure from his own party for his support of the carbon cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and for his stance that the country should invest public money to support the growth of renewable forms of energy.
“Getting GOP support [on energy policy not based on domestic drilling] is a difficult sell,” Lambert said Wednesday, the same day he successfully blocked a Republican-led effort to pull the state out of RGGI. “I’m a conservative on a lot of issues, but there’s a camp out there that says that if the free market doesn’t control energy, we don’t want to have anything to do with it.”
The notion of over-reliance on foreign oil has always carried weight within the Republican Party. The issue, however, has largely been answered by a call to increase domestic drilling. That, he says, is a fallacy that scores easy political points but falls short as a feasible solution. Lambert notes that the U.S. consumes a quarter of the world’s oil output while holding three percent of the known reserves. “We cannot drill our way out,” he said.
Instead, he says his party needs to take the lead on energy security, and it needs to do it by promoting renewable energy as a job creator and as a sustainable solution to the country’s energy needs. But does his party see it that way?
“I’m not seeing a lot of momentum,” said Lambert. “What really concerns me as a Republican is that the Democrats have stolen this issue from us. And there’s no reason for them to do that. This is about America’s future. This is about national security. We should be out on the lead with this.”
Both Baucom and Lambert have had extensive military careers and each has been involved in numerous foreign conflicts. They both painted a stark picture of the current landscape, the potentially volatile times ahead and the role the military gain play in leading change.
Among the points they made:
- Addiction to foreign oil and climate change are national security threats that are now spelled out in our national military strategy.
- Dependence on foreign oil funnels money into regimes that often are not friendly to the United States, and some of that money likely ends up with the very terrorists that are targeting American forces.
- The Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of oil in the United States, accounting for 93 percent of all the federal energy consumption at 340,000 barrels of oil a day.
- Fuel convoys are ripe targets in war-torn areas, and using renewable technology like solar power gives a tactical advantage that will ultimately save lives.
Strides Already Made
There has already been a change — or an order, if you will — that has come from the highest levels of the Pentagon. While the shift hasn’t necessarily resonated politically, Baucom says it has been noticed by the rank and file members of the military.’
“I think there’s a growing pride,” said Baucom. “Sailors are proud that we don’t throw trash in ocean anymore, we don’t pollute as much as we used to and we have a lessening impact on the environment.”
At Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, most of the energy output comes from a solar installation while at a Navy and Marine training facility at Dam Neck, Va., about half the power comes from geothermal sources. On the same day as the press conference, the Department of Energy announced a deal to install solar panels at 160,000 rooftop locations at military bases in 33 states.
In August, the military announced a plan to install large-scale renewable energy projects on its lands to meet a goal of drawing 25% of electricity from clean sources by 2025.
Even more potential comes from biofuels that will be used by the Air Force and the Navy. Also in August, President Obama announced a federal investment of $510 million over three years to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. The goal is that by 2016, all military fuel will be blended with 50 percent biofuel.
That type of progress brings Baucom back to his days as a fighter pilot. “When I used to fly F-14s, I’d go through 2,000 gallons of jet fuel in 15 minutes in full afterburner. That’s a lot of foreign oil to go through. Cut that in half, and it’s a step in the right direction.”
September 15, 2011
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Jokes Leave a Comment
Thanks to Sita Pati for this one.
Click on thumbnail
« Previous Page — Next Page »