Real Tweets

Recent fascinating scientific investigations reported in the renowned magazine Science reveal that songbirds are adapting to the reduced noise of the lockdown period by modifying their sounds: I don’t usually read scientific studies. But this was so fascinating, simply for what it pointed to in our lived experience. Buddhist teaching emphasises the interdependence of all life — of all matter, really; all substance, at the sub-atomic level — and so I could not resist reading through this study. It was so painful to feel how the everyday background noise that we take for granted is, in fact, a mega suppressor of the voices and the communication patterns and frequencies of other beings. For this reason, rather than just offer a link that some might not open easily on a smartphone, it seemed more helpful to pass on as many chunks of the study itself. I have included the sections most salient for us non-scientific types to grasp some of the material implications of our behavior — of our very lifestyle itself — for the way other beings can carry on their lives, their “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Actions taken to mitigate the threats of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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Regensburg Cathedral Yesterday/Today

Exactly one year ago today… …and just this morning, right after sunrise… Photos are by a local Regensburg resident, Rudolf Rinner, who posts photos of our beautiful UNESCO-listed home city almost daily. I like his eye very much. More of his photos can be seen at https://500px.com/p/rudolfrinner. On Facebook, he can be found at Verliebt in Regensburg (“In Love with Regensburg”). [rudolf.rinner@freenet.de ]

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You Should Go Ask a Cat

You think you did “more” sitting when you sit for longer periods of meditation. That is actually not correct. In the same way that you think you are from a country called Greece or Norway or Germany. You think that you are your name, or your thoughts, or your memories or beliefs. But these are only partial, illusory truths. If you still don’t understand, go ask a tree. If you don’t get a good answer there, then go ask a cat. [An Insta-bite excerpt for Instagram from the talk “Moment = Infinite Time”.] Support further efforts like this to spread the Dharma by connecting with a regular contribution on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mirrorofzen Support Zen Center Regensburg: https://zen-center-regensburg.com/donate/ Film Editing/Design: Γιάννης Παπάκης Παπαδοπουλάκης /// Vajra Vlito Studios Graphic: Matt Semke /// www.catswilleatyou.com

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Reply to a Reader: Buddhism and the Arts of Harm

Question: If I enter the military, does it violate the Right Livelihood of the Eight Noble Path?  How do you reconcile military service members with non-violence [ahimsa] emphasized in Buddhism? Reply: This is a very good question. First, you must understand: guns do not kill people.  Bombs can never intentionally kill anyone.  Knives and chemical weapons, even missiles have never, ever killed people.  In all of human history, not a single weapon ever killed another human being.  Not one single time.  And they never will, because it is literally impossible for a gun or knife or bomb or missile to just jump up and kill someone. Only human beings murder other human beings. (Yes, and diseases do, and sharks do, and lions do, but that is another matter of agency and will: we are concerned here, in this question, with the question of human agency and the matter of ahimsa.) If you put a knife in front of someone, it is only according to their thinking that they either pick up the knife and butter some bread for you, or plunge the knife right into your chest.  The knife does not decide to make karma and suffering with itself; the

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Shorter? Longer? Sittings / 3

When the usual daily sitting meditation period is suddenly extended, without any warning, there is the tendency to think that something is “longer” than usual. From the standpoint of before-thinking mind, “don’t know,” nothing could be further from the truth… Moment has no border, no edge or boundary. So, it has no length. (Insta-bite excerpt from the longer teaching-video, “Moment = Infinite Time”.)

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