Peace? Where… when?

Let’s begin with this extremely distressing, but very moving brief clip…

 

I grew up in the Midwest when America was still proud to be a melting pot of immigrants. We weren’t taught to hate or discriminate. I was wide-eyed and hopeful just like little Rachel in this video. I had friends who went to the Peace Corps and I became a journalist. We were all working for Peace and Truth in our own way…  believing if people had facts they would do the right thing.

What an eye-opening journey this life has been. I’m over 60 now and things seem so much worse than I could have imagined. I was sure that after JFK, RFK & MLK were killed, after Watergate, and after the long, horrifying Vietnam war ended, surely there would be peace in the world, or at least here in America. But no. The never-ending conflict in the Middle East raged on and the USA was in the thick of it.

As a 20-something I was shocked to learn what a sinister role we had in that mess.  I was also shocked at how America always sided with Israel (I thought because of WW2) and the Saudis for oil.  There were “memes” back then, like “The Ayatollah is an ass-a-hola” and even John McCain would sing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb… bomb bomb Iran”  (a stupid take on an old Beach Boys song.)

During the Iran-Contra scandal in the mid 1980s (during the Reagan years) I had a new job in Albuquerque, NM as a local government spokesperson.  I was paying more attention to my love life and local politics than the weird “arms” trade (selling weapons to Iran? Seemed too complicated.) But, I remember hearing of Islamic Revolutionaries.

By the time Big Daddy Bush (former CIA guy) became President, I knew we were in for a rough ride. He wasted no time before he WAS bombing the Middle East back to the stone age, as so many right-wing hawks wanted. The Gulf War and then Desert Storm were outrageous (or impressive depending on your PoV) displays of American military might.

My then Zen dharma taught me we were creating serious karma in the Middle East.

We sure did. When baby “W” Bush was coronated <sic> by the SCOTUS in 2000, even tho my pal Al Gore won the popular vote, it wasn’t just environmentalists who lost. We all lost. Those Islamic revolutionaries had become terrorists and Americans felt the “shock and awe” this time, horrified when they took down the World Trade towers in 2001.

So what does all this have to do with a girl getting bulldozed in Israel? EVERYTHING.

Israel’s Prime Minister #BiBi Netanyahu refuses to even acknowledge that 3.5 million Palestinians are disenfranchised and living under occupation. That’s not me being inflammatory, those are words used by BiBi’s predecessor Ariel Sharon.* 

My point?  As little Rachel says at the end, “We’ve got to understand that they are us. We are them.”  Bombing, killing, becoming “nationalists”, vilifying “other” whether Islamic or Christian, Israeli or Palestinian only creates more hate and future terrorists.

People have memories and sadly many want revenge. Karma = consequences.  As for who started it? We all have. We’ve all harmed someone and we’ve all been harmed.

If we’re EVER going to have Peace (of mind, or planetary) we’re going to have to forgive and move on.  It’s called grace by some, compassion by others. Let’s drop the labels and show some.  Namaste!   (which means, I see myself in you.)

 

* footnote:  Sharon pronounced Sha-rone
Here’s an excellent piece that takes a deep dive into the current Israeli controversy and includes a video of Sharon calling it an “occupation.”  <<no need to read it now, unless you want to. >

the Butterfly Effect

Without a long academic analysis of the phenomenon called the Butterfly Effect, I want to use the concept to bring together two divergent viewpoints–  the enlightened approach versus what we now call #Trumpism. Definitions will emerge, just as a butterfly does.

I used the term Butterfly Effect while writing about my current intense grief over losing my 17 1/2 year old. She was my K9, but that does not diminish my sadness. Rather than call everyone I know to cry and lament over my loss, I tried to take a more zen approach. Continue reading

ZiaLink Ink

books, blog & tweets

Learn more about the books (and how to buy) on ej Morgan’s Amazon.com Author Page.
For large font paperback of Seeing Clearly —  click here  dear “hard copy” readers. 😉

Some history of ZiaLink and ZenWoman on the “about” links at top.

Other projects underway:

  • aBoP (too good and too early to reveal) but think androids, the singularity, AI, and consciousness exploration. Yep, a new fiction!
  • #grappling — another nonfiction take on reality and realizations –coming SOON!
  • Simply Divine! — nonfiction on health & wellness (mental and physical) — client project –  DONE!!
  • #PeacePledge —  NOW more than ever we need humor and healing.

 

Good Karma?

On the first day, actually in the first hour, of Anthony Scaramucci’s new gig as #Fake45’s White House Communications Director, he claimed Trump has “really good karma.” What? 😵
The hedge fund manager turned communicator is not Seeing Clearly* how karma works.

CNN’s lovable Jake Tapper wasn’t much clearer claiming karma “takes place in the next life.” Not necessarily.

It’s trendy thinking that yoga is primarily poses and postures and karma is only tied to the afterlife, but actually neither is true.  Yoga refers to practice, usually a spiritual practice, and karma is cause and effect (which can ripen immediately or much later.) Either way Trump is FAR from generating “good karma.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/jake-tapper-hilariously-mocks-scaramucci-for-insisting-trump-has-really-good-karma/

Nothing limits karmic consequences to a future life…  in fact, “extreme thoughts of malice” often ripen quickly (in this lifetime.) We can “purify” (clear karma) or continue on mindlessly, uncontrollably repeating our patterns (sound like our fearless leader?)  While “negative” actions can result in a miserable future life, in Buddhist thinking it’s also possible to prevent future rebirths through beneficial actions in this life. Who knew karma was so complicated, Moochie!

As you can see, it’s basically impossible for me to write about Trump without generating angst, anger and karmic consequence for myself.  It’s why I stopped blogging about him. I’m convinced the candidate and and his campaign colluded in Russian espionage to get into the White House and don’t understand why the “MSM” is so willing to accept that he won legitimately. Let #Mueller or a totally independent, bipartisan commission decide that.

Why am I and others so suspicious of Trump’s Russian connections? 1) there are an INCREDIBLE number of ties and links (to use Trump lingo) so many that a Buddhist might call it “auspicious” (but that exalted term is reserved for “good karma” not dirty tricks. ) 2) follow the money. Financial trails are quite revealing. In this case, after the Donald had stiffed all the U.S. banks (call that “bad karma”), he found friendlier funding sources through Deutsche Bank, Chinese and Russian banks and maybe some in Cypress.

And, it’s impossible to search Trump topics without encountering nefarious web sites. Russian and Ukranian hackers and bots have created so many #FakeNews sites, that unless you are a savvy web user, you can easily get sucked into scam sites and stories. I’ve noticed that if I click on some of these dubious links I get virus warnings (from my non-Russian security software) and often my VOIP (internet-based) phone rings! This happens on my desktop PC. I don’t know what the karmic consequences are of following such links on a phone or tablet.  I try not to.

Bottom line: the difference between real news and #FakeNews is not what Donald Trump thinks; it’s actual, factual information on established news sites not made-up stories created by hackers. When reporters or journalists use the term “sourced” part of the sourcing is knowing who you are speaking to (okay, “to whom”– Trumpism is wearing down my standards.)

I could go on and on, but let me close where we began, with karma.  When asked about the Chinese military torturing and killing Tibetan monks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has commented:  “No I don’t hate Chinese people for the terrible human rights violations their government engages in. But, I do feel compassion for the future suffering they are creating for themselves.” That answer, my friends, is good karma.

*Shameless plug for my book  😇

Fire Bird: Awakening

FireBird2017February 27 marks the Tibetan New Year and another opportunity to start fresh, abandoning old patterns of hope and fear.  That is really the crux of Buddhist philosophy: staying present and mindful in THIS moment, rather than hoping or worrying about other outcomes.

On our Western New Year I wrote about Seeing Clearly (also the subject of my last nonfiction book, here on the main page.) Basically it means accepting what is. Seeing things as they are, without our filters and interpretations– just “as is.”

Whenever we struggle with our situation (whatever it is) we suffer. That is what Buddha is said to have realized back in the day, and what all the various Buddhist teachers express. Grappling with this concept IS our practice (as one of my favorite teachers Tsunma Pema Chodron) is fond of saying.  (It is my intention to title my next book Grappling, for that reason.)

The rub, for me at least, is even accepting that fact. I constantly want to say, “yes but…”  As in what about physical pain? What about the need to rise up and fight against fascism? (or hate, greed, torture, abuse.) Isn’t it lame to let go of the Valiant struggles? Isn’t that just caving in and giving up?  Words matter, especially in Dharma.  Acceptance vs. resignation is a favorite topic for grappling.  Here’s a podcast from the Secular Buddhist on that very issue (only 11 minutes and worth the time.)

So, the upshot (as Noah explains in the podcast) is about how we handle our moment to moment experiences; responding– rather than reacting emotionally– to whatever is occurring.  It’s about creating the space and freedom to respond, not resigning or surrendering.  The answer comes by grappling with this process and letting go of our reactive patterns. Translating that to our big concerns takes practice, unless you are so fortunate as experience instant Enlightenment.  🕉️  (More on that in a future post.)

As for the Fire Bird, it is part of the Tibetan astrological phases based on a lunar calendar. It represents passion and also awakening.  Beautiful image!