Saturday, April 19, 2008

[The Random Factor #40 (part 3 of 5)] - Our mental and physical realities

Part 1: Emptiness
Part 2: The interdependence of all things
Part 3: Our mental and physical realities
Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities
Part 5: Meditation on Emptiness & Compassion

Part 3 : Our mental and physical realities

The 21st century has brought a very high
material standard yet the people who enjoy
these luxuries are mentally and emotionally
not very stable. There is constant stress,
fear, frustration, and jealousy, and these
emotions disturb the mind.

Since all sentient beings innately desire
happiness and therefore do not want
disturbances we seek pleasure to block
these disturbances.

Unfortunately, when you partake in
pleasurable events these actions immediately
begin to become less pleasurable, meaning
we need more next time to get the same
level of satisfaction.

The Dalai Lama talked of meeting
billionaires filled with stress and worry,
and pointed out that this demonstrates the
limits of material facilities in achieving
happiness. Since a contented mental level
is perhaps impossible to achieve through
material means we must instead take a look
at our inner world.

"Mental level is more superior than
physical level because physical can not
subdue discomfort on the mental level but
the mental level can subdue discomfort on
the physical level." - Dalai Lama

Imagine two patients with the same disease
in the same hospital with the same doctor
and the same treatment. Now imagine that
one of them is relaxed and optimistic,
while the other is filled with worry. The
calm and peaceful patient will report a
more positive experience. The mental worry
is an additional problem...

The DL said a scientist assured him it has
been scientifically proven there is a link
between an optimistic outlook and a speedy
recovery. Our attitude, the power of our
mind, is therefore of great importance.

Another perspective; "Traits of the Survivor"

"When the going gets tough the most important
survival skill is contained within your mind.
You need to want to survive, no matter the
situation and prospect of outcome. Survivors
never give up."

After January 1st, 2000 the death rates
spiked as it turned out many dying people
had been "holding on" to see this landmark

So it's safe to say our attitude is related
to not just the quality of life but the
length of it too.

"Like outer space our brain is vast and
not fully explored. We should look at what
makes a good day a good day and a good night
a good night. We can not eliminate our outer
experiences but we can change our inner
attitude. Thankfully, more and more people
are looking inward... it is time to look
more closely... but how to change it?"
- Dalai Lama

"Consider the close link between our physical
well being and mental well being, anxiety,
fear, and anger eat our immune system while
forgiveness strengthens it." - Dalai Lama

"Our physical comfort is important but not
at the expense of ecological and societal
damage. All man-made problems are linked to
our emotions so using force or technology is
NOT the answer. The answer is a deeper study
of the emotional world and analyze what
emotions we have, what causes it, and what
can change it at the mental level."
- Dali Lama

Accepting that the experience of our "reality"
that exists "out there" is a product of our mind
sets the conditions for a happier and more fulfilling

Some Guy

NEXT: Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities

p.s. Ralph Waldo Emerson's corollary - "People
seem not to see that their opinion of the world
is also a confession of character."

[ The Random Factor#44 ] More Interesting than the New York Times

Greetings brothers & sisters of Earth!

I am very pleased to announce the results of a
recent poll. The poll question is as follows:

"Read a random article from the New York Times,
and a random article from The Random Factor and
let us know, which article was more interesting?"

The result? A shocking 73% of people find The
Random Factor more interesting than the New York

This is stunning, of course, as the NY Times
is one of the world's most read and respected
newspapers dedicated to covering the most
news-worthy events of the day.

The NY Times hires the best journalists they can
find and gives them both the credentials they
need to access nearly anybody on the planet and
the expense accounts to get there and back. They
even have fact-checkers and editors who know
grammar great!

This would seem to lead to only one of two
conclusions. Either, the Random Factor really is
more interesting than world events or two, the NY
Times is not actually covering world events.

Since the first conclusion is clearly ridiculous
the second must therefore be true. The NY Times
does not actually cover world events!

Thankfully, they do cover some of it very well.

What is really staggering is we have a winner of
the Nobel Peace Prize revered as a divine
reincarnation by his people and even he can not
stop the violence amongst his own people much
less the Chinese.

Anger is the result of people not getting the
respect they feel they deserve. We should need
no more proof that as sure as people will fight
for their own life so too will a strangled culture
fight for it's existance.



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[The Random Factor #43] Why Do We?

"Why do we create the things we create?"
"To be fulfilled."

"Is it fulfilling us?"

"Are we still chasing it?"

(Prem Rawat, Adi Magazine)

"The peace we are looking for is within."

(Prem Rawat,

love and light,


[The Random Factor #40 (2 of 5)] The interdependence of all things

Part 1: Emptiness
Part 2: The interdependence of all things
Part 3: Our mental and physical realities
Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities
Part 5: Meditation on Emptiness & Compassion

Part 2 : The interdependence of all things

Greetings brothers and sisters of Earth!

Continuing an exploration of Buddhist
thought resulting from a week of teachings
with the Dalai Lama in Hamburg Germany July

The topic was Aryadeva's 400 Stanzas, also
known as Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic
Deeds of Bodhisattvas, a text at the heart
of Tibetan Buddhism.

Key Concepts

- Emptiness
- The Interdependence of all things
- Our mental and physical realities
- The goal of clearing mind of obscurities
- Meditation on emptiness & compassion

Ok, let's just look at the interdependence
of all things.

------ Interdependence -------

According to Buddhist thought, a great
misconception of the mind is that the
characteristics of an object are part of
the object itself, when "in reality", they
are conceived by our mind and filtered by
our beliefs.

The existence of THE PERCEPTION of these
objects is not refuted, but the objects
themselves are said to not have any
independent or "inherent existence."
Buddhists refer to this understanding
of natural phenomenon as Emptiness.

Because of the nature of interdependence
all objects can appear to exist in
infinite ways. That is to say a starving
person views a hamburger much differently
than a vegan after a big meal. Therefore,
the only "actual" existence of an object
is in it's interdependence.

2000 years ago they didn't have many
possessions or objects to use in
discussion, so in Arydeva's book "the pot"
was the subject of many stanzas. After
hearing about the pot for a week we had
enough of that pot, so I have tried an
updated illustration.

Your computer monitor's existence depends
on the company that manufactured it. This
company is dependent on the companies that
made the components for the monitor. And,
in turn, the companies that made the
components of the components and the
companies that mined the resources that
became the components and the companies
that made the tools used to do the jobs
needed by all the companies making all
the components for your monitor.

And, of course, the monitor is dependent
on the computer the monitor plugs into, and
is therefore dependent on the computer,
not to mention the electrical grid that
powers it all. Without all this in place,
your monitor would not quite be the same,
would it?

Your monitor's existence in your life is
also dependent on the store where you
bought it, and the company that shipped

All the people employed at all these
companies are dependent on food to do
their job, and that food is dependent
on the people who grew, sold, delivered,
and prepared the food.

Your monitor's existence is also dependent
on geniuses who made breakthroughs in
electricity, computing, optics,
manufacturing, even transportation and
economic breakthroughs... and the parents
who raised them and the schools
that challenged them.

And, don't forget about the dinosaurs and
the comet that killed them and time itself
which turned them into crude oil, the big
bad oil companies which drilled for the
oil, and the companies that created the

And, definitely don't forget about the
big bang which led to the formation of
the elements from which the monitor,
the components, the food, the trucks,
the people, the dinosaurs, the company
offices, and all the tools are made.

Your monitor exists in the eyes of the
company that made it as "a sale", A genius
looks at your monitor and thinks "good
thing those LCD cathodes don't use more
than 1 kv." the trucker sees "a package",
and the dinosaurs might complain, "hey,
that was my ass!"

This lesson of the nature of interdependence
tells us there is no such thing as "separate."

Such things may have some affect on a person's
perspective on life.

How far would the Dalai Lama's message have
spread without the invasion of the Chinese?

Part 2 of 5 in
"A Closer Look at the Dalai Lama's teachings"

Part 3: Our mental and physical realities

Some Guy

p.s. The Dalai Lama's in the news getting respect
and giving the Chinese fits.

For CNN's look at why


This text published originally in the newsletter
The Random Factor at

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