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Prārthana

Appreciation through prayer

Like describing love, most everyone has a different understanding of prayer and there can be no one description. For some prayer maybe asking, beseeching or petitioning God, confessing to God, thanking God, praising and worshipping God, being with God or as in meditation, conversing with God.

A prayer can also take the form of a person merely pouring out his/her emotions as an act of sharing. One of the main ends of a prayer across all religions and cultures is seeking inspiration or solace. What is almost universal is bringing one’s palms together to facilitate this communication. This is based on ancient yogic science

THE HINDU WAY OF PRAYER : In a Hindu’s life, the prayer forms

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Ethics in Yoga

The art and core of being

As with the ten commandments of the Christian bible and the more ancient Egyptian 142 commandments, the social and personal ethics known as Yama and Niyama are the rules which we must abide by for self realisation and for our survival as a society or civilisation. In other words, these constitute a formula for world peace and internal harmony.

Yama:

Peacefulness (ahimsa) Truthfulness (satya) Honesty (asteya) Continence (Bramacharya) Acceptance (aparigraha)

Niyama:

Purity (saucha) Contentment (santosa) Ardor or Austerity (tapas) Self study(svadhyaya) Dedication to the Lord (isvara pranidhana)

Why Ethics? Thesocial ethics, when practiced, bring about a harmonising of the community. They build trust and friendliness. Personal ethics assist us to see our true colours,

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Karma - Cause and Effect

A science fact denied by many

Isaac Newton famously stated that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there are a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects.

As with Albert Einstein’s equation of E=MC2, the scientific world is in complete agreement. This theory has clearly been demonstrated and proved in many different ways. For instance when someone says something nice to you, the reaction is appreciation and a nice sense of feeling. If someone is hostile toward you, then you may also react with hostility.

When our environment is badly polluted, the reaction is ill-health and suffering. This idea of cause and effect is embodied in the

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Korea Divided

A victim of geo-politics

Sunset over Seoul from the Banpo Bridge by Robert Koehler

There has been human habitation on the Korean peninsula for a very long time as evidenced by pottery dating to around 8000 BC. Like most of the world of the time, kingdoms formed, some merged and eventually Korea became distinct from China, Siberia and Japan although shamanism common to the northern latitudes was widespread and linked to Siberia, Mongolia and North America.

According to historical evidence, Korea was well developed as a nation. During the period prior to 300 BC, Hinduism and Hindu culture had a strong influence after which Buddhism became established. According to local history,

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Yoga Tantra

The art of transformation

Tantra yoga is not a clear classification within western yoga because for thousands of years it has been passed from master to student, and because of inherent dangers within tantric practices the real knowledge has been kept out of the public domain. So unless one is raised within Hindu or Buddhist societies engaged in tantric practise, understanding tantra in any classical sense is impossible without years of detailed study.

Most hear of Tantra as a new age buzz word that has evolved over the past 50 years. Mention tantra to many people and they think of kinky sex and a mystical union between men and women. This is a limited view because there is no

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Recognising Science

The future is in our hands

I invite you to play this short video to your right in which Neil deGrasse Tyson argues the case of science and our collective knowledge about what works as a means for our decision-making.

We can use this rational scientific approach to ask whether peace is better than war or whether we should have greater social equity or to continue shaping the world based on sociological and economic systems that are failing.

Can take his dialogue further and ask what is the meaning of life?

For many, life has no meaning at all and as individuals we have absolutely no responsibility and no need of any morality. For others life has become a quest

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Understanding Karma

Towards an Ethical Way of Life

Spash Art via Tumblr

Most of us have heard the term karma, a Sanskrit word (कर्म) implying the interlinking of cause and effect. Karma signifies a moral caution and a stimulus to become responsible in life because when we cause harm to others by accident or even design, consequences will come back to us at some point.

The Dhammapada is one of the most sacred and best-loved of Buddhist texts. It points out the method of self-realization, by the way of moral conduct:

Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers, Fashion from your life as many good deeds.

The text further enlightens on the nature of the karmic fruit:

For while the

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The Sound of Mantra

Connecting and uplifting

In contrast to music and song designed to soothe or stimulate one’s heart and mind towards some short-term happiness, the intent of mantra is to help an individual to transcend the mundane and enter a super conscious existence.

Much of our modern music can stimulate right action towards greater peace and harmony that like the brokenhearted cowboy songs it serves to reinforce a sense of hopelessness and limitation. Some music will set your body free to move and dance while some music facilitates greater reflection.

Mantra if you like is the most sophisticated of reflective sound. The melody or arrangement of sounds is conducive to brain function and the activation of intelligence rather than emotion. The words

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Buddha's Wife

Finding meaning in the legend

There are many legends of Buddha’s wife, some close to truth and some completely fabricated. But it’s an accepted fact that he was married and left his life in the palace sometime after his marriage.

This is not mentioned in the Tipiṭaka or Pali canon, the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. In the Tipitaka she is only ever referred to as Rāhulamātā, that is ‘Rāhula’s mother.’ In the earliest reference to her, she is called Bhaddakaccānā, which may be her real name (Bv.26,15) whereas Yasodharā is an honorific title meaning ‘Fame-bearer’ and became the name of legend. Other than this, there is almost no information

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A Female Buddha

Enlightenment does not discriminate!!

Women can achieve Buddhahood, the story of Yeshe Tsogyal

Yeshe Tsogyal who lived between 757 and 817 was the consort of the great Indian tantric teacher Padmasambhava, the founder-figure of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Nyingma tradition considers her equal in realization to Padmasambhava himself and both the Nyingma and Karma Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism recognize Yeshe Tsogyal as a female Buddha.

The meditational practices related to her stress her enlightened aspect, and are similar in form to tantric deity practices in general. She is sometimes equated with the deities Vajravārāhī, Tārā and Sarasvatī.

The spiritual biography of The Lady Yeshe Tsogyel is an important milestone in Western understanding of the Tantric tradition.

The

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