INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE
UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 12:00 NOON IN YOUR TIME ZONE

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vatican reminds Obama of differences on healthcare, abortion | Reuters - The Vatican congratulated President Barack Obama on his re-election but reminded him on Wednesday of the thorny differences between the Catholic Church and his administration over abortion and healthcare. The Vatican hoped Obama would be able to serve law and justice "in respect of the essential human and spiritual values and the promotion of the culture of life and freedom of religion, which have always been so precious in the traditions of the American people and their culture," a spokesman said. The "culture of life" is a phrase covering the Church's opposition to abortion. Obama supports abortion rights and made women's health issues a key part of his campaign.

Vatican reminds Obama of differences on healthcare, abortion | Reuters: "The Catholic Church in the United States has been at odds with the Obama administration over his healthcare law, which requires private employers, including most religious private institutions, to provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives.

The Church has seen this as a threat to the freedom of religion enshrined in the U.S. constitution, a cry that was taken up by Pope Benedict this year.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed against the birth control law by the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of New York and other organizations."

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Barack Obama: Muslim world looks to him with hope : World, News - India Today - If he hasn't brought peace to the world's fire zones, or done much to slow climate change, or sparked global economic growth, he is credited at least with having started no new wars, and having tried to heal relations with the Muslim world even while aggressively pursuing al-Qaida and its affiliates. "I think it is good that Obama won," said Pawel Kukiela, a 30-year-old company consultant in Poland, one of the few countries around the world where Romney has sizeable support. "He has a good programme and I think it will be much better for Obama to continue what he has started."

Barack Obama: Muslim world looks to him with hope : World, News - India Today: ""I think it is good that Obama won," said Pawel Kukiela, a 30-year-old company consultant in Poland, one of the few countries around the world where Romney has sizeable support. "He has a good programme and I think it will be much better for Obama to continue what he has started."

A BBC survey during the run-up to the election found remarkable support for an Obama second term. More than 21,000 people in 21 countries were questioned in July, August and September, with residents in all but one country backing Obama. Only Pakistan, where Obama's heavy reliance on drone strikes has been unpopular, preferred Romney."

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Buddhist, Hindu Make History With Elections To Congress - Tuesday's elections brought two historic firsts for religion in American politics: A Buddhist senator and a Hindu representative -- both from Hawaii -- will join Congress. Democrat Mazie Hirono beat former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), making Hirono the first Buddhist in the Senate. In Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard defeated Republican opponent Kawika Crowley, making Gabbard the first Hindu in Congress. Both elections were cheered by Hindu and Buddhist Americans, members of two faiths that share a common history that traces back to ancient India. "These are all signs of dharmic communities being accepted in the country," said Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities. "It's all about inclusion and acceptance. The feeling that my faith and my people are accepted. Ultimately, politics comes down to 'how does it impact me?' or 'how am I included?' It will mean so much for the upcoming generations of Hindus and Buddhists."

Buddhist, Hindu Make History With Elections To Congress: "Hirono, who was born in Japan, practices the Jodo Shinshu tradition of Buddhism. She was first elected to Congress in 2007 to represent Hawaii's 2nd District, the seat that Gabbard won Tuesday. Prior to that, Hirono served 14 years in the Hawaii state legislature and was the state’s lieutenant governor for eight years. She is also the first Asian-American woman senator and the first senator born in Japan.

“I certainly believe in the precepts of Buddhism and that of tolerance of other religions and integrity and honesty," she said when she first joined Congress.

Buddhism, which includes a widely diverse set of spiritual practices, is one of the largest religions in the U.S., but statistics vary on how many Buddhists live in the nation. Surveys have estimated the population between 1.5 and 3 million."

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Congress adds Hinduism to its religious composition | OregonLive.com - ncreasingly, Congress reflects the religious diversity of the United States. Preparing for its biennial report of the religious composition of Congress, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life noted today that Hawaiian voters elected the first Hindu-American to serve in Congress: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who has served on the Honolulu City Council and in the state legislature. She will serve Hawaii’s second district, which had sent one of the first Buddhists to Congress in 2006, Rep. Mazie K. Hirono, a Democrat.

Congress adds Hinduism to its religious composition | OregonLive.com: "The first Muslim elected to Congress was Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). The first Jewish member, Rep. Lewis Charles Levin, represented Pennsylvania, in 1845. The first Mormon, John Milton Berhisel, was chosen in 1851 to represent the territory of Utah. Dalip Sing Saund (D-Calif.), the first Sikh to serve in Congress, was elected in 1957. 

"Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress" is available online. The new report will be posted soon.

–- Nancy Haught 
"

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Hindu Festivals Oct 15, 2012 Monday Pitr-paksha Ends Oct 16, 2012 Tuesday Navaratri Begins Oct 21, 2012 Sunday Durga Puja Begins Oct 23, 2012 Tuesday Navaratri Ends Oct 24, 2012 Wednesday Dusshera Oct 29, 2012 Monday Lakshmi Puja Nov 03, 2012 Saturday Karwa Chauth Nov 12, 2012 Monday Dhan Teras Nov 13, 2012 Tuesday Diwali Nov 28, 2012 Wednesday Kartik Poornima

Hindu Festivals – Hindu Religious Calendar 2012: "Jan 14, 2012 Saturday Makarsankranti / Pongal
Jan 28, 2012 Saturday Vasant Panchami
   
Feb 20, 2012 Monday Maha Shivaratri
   
Mar 08, 2012 Thursday Holi
Mar 23, 2012 Friday Hindi New Year
Mar 23, 2012 Friday Telugu New Year/ Ugadi
   
Apr 01, 2012 Sunday Ramanavami
Apr 06, 2012 Friday Hanuman Jayanti
Apr 13, 2012 Friday Tamil New Year
Apr 13, 2012 Friday Baisakhi / Vishu
Apr 14, 2012 Saturday Bengali New Year
Apr 24, 2012 Tuesday Akshaya Tritiya
   
May 05, 2012 Saturday Vaisakhi
May 21, 2012 Monday Savitri Pooja
   
Jun 21, 2012 Thursday Puri Rath Yatra
   
Jul 03, 2012 Tuesday Guru Purnima
Jul 24, 2012 Tuesday Nag Panchami
   
Aug 02, 2012 Thursday Raksha-bandhan
Aug 10, 2012 Friday Krishna Janmashtami
Aug 29, 2012 Wednesday Onam
   
Sep 19, 2012 Wednesday Ganesh Chaturthi
Sep 30, 2012 Sunday Pitr-paksha Begins
     "

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dashain (दशैं) is the 15-day national (religious) festival of Nepal,[1] It is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese Hindu of all castes throughout the globe. It is not only the longest festival of the country but is also the one which is most anticipated. The festival falls around September–October, starting from the bright lunar fortnight and ending on the day of full moon. Although the festival is being celebrated for 15 day, the most important days are the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th and the 10th day.[2]The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon.[3]Dasain is also popularly referred to as Bada Dasain, Dashera, Vijaya Dashami etc. It is also referred to as Durga Puja,[4] in some parts of India.

Throughout the country the goddess Durga in all her manifestations is worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual of holy bathing, drenching the goddess for days in blood. This festival is also known for its emphasis on the family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties.[1] People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate together.[1] All government offices, educational institutions and other offices remain closed during the festival period."

'via Blog this'Dasain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "

"Dasara, derived from the Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning "remover of bad fate", is among the most important festivals celebrated in India. Regional spellings include Dashera, Dussera and Dussehra.

Specifically, it may refer to:
in South India, the ten-day festival of Navratri as a whole
in Mysore, Mysore Dasara
in Madikeri, Madikeri Dasara
in Nepal, Dashain
in North India, the tenth day of the festival, Vijayadashami
in Himachal Pradesh, a seven-day festival starting on that day, Kullu Dussehra"
Dasara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
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Navratri Hindi: नवरात्री Gujarati: નવરાતૃી Bengali: নৗরাতরী Assamese:নোরাত}}Marathi: नवरात्री Punjabi: ਨਰਾਤੇ Kannada: ನವರಾತರೀ Telugu: నవరాతరీ Tamil: நவராதரீ Malayalam: നവരാത്രി is a festival dedicated to the worship of a Hindu deity Shakti. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights

"During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or "Dussehra." Navratri is a very important and major festival in the western state of Gujarat and Mumbai, during which the traditional dance of Gujarat called 'Garba' is widely performed.This festival is celebrated with great zeal in north india as well including Bihar, West Bengal and the northern state of Punjab. Bengali "Durga Puja" is best of its kind and center of attraction worldwide."

'via Blog this'Navratri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Only those who believe in ending person's life as judgement can conspire in any form of killing human beings

Our virtues will lead us to peace. What kind of virtue do you hold when it comes to judgement? Do you believe in ending a person's life to get the justice or do you let the person's life be spared and rehabilated to be given another chance to live? Do you believe in death sentence or do you believe in "life sentence"? What kind of peace do you imagine? We manage our own mind by choosing the virtue that our soul will keep to make us more closer to God. Religion can help us, but the personal conviction will be the one to lead us. If we believe in the power of the One God that is above us and takes full control of our life and the lives of our fellow creations, then we will submit to God's power. If we believe that God owns our life as well as our fellow, then only God can take it away. Thus, we will not favor the killings, neither do we join any conspiracy theories and practice to end a person's life.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: For a change, pray not for your intention. Pray instead for other people to get their heart's desire. Pray for your loved ones to be happy.

This time focus yourself for other's welfare. You exist because others exist. You are happy because your loved one is happy. It is not sacrifice but decision to live because others are given the chance to live. We help them get their dreams. We help them survive. We support them, if not financially because we are also limited, but emotionally and spiritually through prayers. We are happy for their achievements. We are proud of their undertakings. We support their career. We are their partners in prayer! If at the end, they won't even recognize our efforts, that doesn't matter because their happiness is our happiness. Our peace is to see them live well and always in good shape!

Peace Vigil 2012: We love to love, and we care for people to be happy, that's why we pray everyday!

Never get tired of loving. Never get tired of being responsible for others. Even if you are limited of time, capacity, resources, etc, never than ever stop the communication. Even if you are not there physically to interact and communicate, be there and let them feel your presence spiritually. Never get tired of spiritually connecting. Never get tired of praying for the welfare and security of others. Include the praying schedule for those who are dear to you, pray for every person you meet, pray for all, as much as possible to have a kind life. There is a way for us to help by the simple act of praying. We pray not only for ourselves but for others. We pray because we do not expect something in return, but we pray, because we love and we love the feeling every minute of it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Keep our place Holy, even if others do not, even if others will not. The sanctification of our place is a product of our own doing and is not dependent on others.

We make our own road, we choose our own destiny even if it is already pre-destined to happen. We have our Free Will to decide on what is good for us, to others and to God. We are the ones responsible for our own actions. We keep ourself holy, we strive and maintain the holiness of our place, we work for the holiness of our community - we are the ones who reap the rewards after that. We do not depend on others to do it for us because whatever we do will come back to us, and what will come back to them is their own doings also. Our sufferings are by-products of our own actions and by-products of the actions of people who overused their power to oppressed other people. But, it won't do any good further to our soul if we plot for revenge. The more we stray away from the acts of holiness, the more we plunge ourselves to depth of sufferings, and eventually death of our souls to hope. If we we want justice and equality, we can do it! We should monitor that every word, action and deeds that we shall be doing will stay on the road of holiness. Holiness does not kill. Holiness protects God's creations. Holiness believes in the power of prayer to heal. Holiness forgives and open hearts to love again. Holiness is perfecting one's faith through full trust and total submission to God's will. Holiness is detachment from material gains. Holiness is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and caring for the sick. Holiness ends discrimination. Holiness respects dignity irregardless of economic status quo, diversity of culture and personalities, age, race, gender, creed and faith. Holiness is not dogmatic. Holiness is not equivalent to righteousness but rather holiness is equivalent to kindness. Holiness is living sensitively and ethically with other God's creations. Holiness ends violence. Holiness is Peace.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Waiting can weaken one's hope, but it can serve as an exercise to strengthen faith

When our prayers were not answered, we tend to lose hope, and sometime abandon the prayer altogether. We get frustrated because what we want is not given to us. Our hope fades and eventually we lose interest to pray. This can happen even to religious people. Humans as we are, we always need a confirmation. We wanted to know the answers to our prayers. Patience is one trait that is put into test, that when we finally reach our limit, we back out, and we forget everything all together. This whole process can be to our advantage, for we can use it to strengthen our faith. Not the faith to our prayers but our faith to God. When we abandon everything because we lose hope, we let go. We "just" surrender to "what will be, will be". We do not care anymore, we just let nature take its course. We just let God do His will. Thus, we let God be God. We abandon the control gear and we just let God control everything. When this happen, I find it the balance of faith and free will. Just like this quote "We did our best, and God will take care of the rest".

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: We are all Champions of Faith. When you think of enriching the life of others , when you give the high spirit in your community and when you glorify God!

We see God everywhere, in nature and in all beings that we meet everyday. Our interaction and cultivation of relationships makes us the champion of faith! The faith that God exist! Whenever we work for the good of humanity, whenever we are attuned to nature, whenever we pursue the beauty of life, we promote God. Faith is not limited to religious rituals or righteousness to dogma. Faith is not limited to your church definition of faith. Our faith to God is private and personal. We know how faithful we are with the actions we do to our fellow beings, human, animals, the environment. No one can question your faith, only you knows. Let us not fall into sterotyping and branding on who is right and wrong to define faith. Pursue your faith, develop your relationship to God, and all God's creations! We are many in pursuing the tract of faith... Proceed, be brave! You are a Champion!

Peace Vigil 2012: "The consequent peace that passes all understanding is not peace of mind; it's peace of soul and heart"

Inquisitive mind will not rest, and if we rely on the peace of mind to achieve peace, it will be close to impossible, also, doing this is curtailing the capacity of our mind to explore and be free to think all possibilities. Achieving peace is within our heart as we connect it to our Divine Creator, our God. It is the opening of our heart to love that will lead us to peace. Once we allow our heart to accept that God is love, we can accept people for who they are. Our heart is small and limited compared to the vastness and hugeness of God's heart. In our search to achieve peace, let us submit our small heart to God's huge heart. Let our small heart beat consistently inside God's heart. In full confidence, we give in, we take our rest, we let God be God, and we let ourselves healed by God's love. As our heart is being cuddled inside God's heart we are free to love, all the sorrow is gone, and we achieve peace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: The greater our faith, the deeper we trust. Our faith is a by-product of our fellowship with the person we want to trust. We strengthen it by deepening the relationship

I understand why some agnostics or some atheists have a hard time believing in the presence of God. One reason maybe because there's no exact confirmation of God's existence, there's no exact science that will absolutely explain God. Thus, faith is always questionable, and resulting also to a less trusting attitude. It may sometime take a miracle for one to believe. But, miracles happen only to those who have hope. Cases have shown that those whose faith came back had experienced some kind of test to renew or discover their faith. One was saved from an accident, another one was given a second life, and other stories that one may find hard to believe to be true. But to those who experienced the miracle, they know it did happened! Some people need to be push to the edge where their life is at stake, and at that horrible situation "hope" pops into their head. So, where does hope came from? Can hope come from disaster, from illness? Or is hope a survival instinct that was actually given to us by our Divine Creator so that when we badly need it, only hope can save us? Do we need to be miserable just to have hope inorder for us to finally believe and have faith? Look around, science have exact definition of the environment, why don't we take it from there? If science can explain nature, then we can draw the explanation in our mind on why God exist. Be with nature, analyze all details if you can, and research until you have the explanation to God's existence. I think this is a better way to learn how to have faith, rather than going through the agony of disaster and diseases. Now, once we got even just a seed of faith, take care of it, harness it by deepening the relationship with our God, our Divine Creator until one is ready to pray. Eventually, in due time, little by little, we will all develop the habit to trust.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: You were sent as sheep in the midst of wolves. So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Life is survival of the fittest. How can we remain holy and remain alive at the same time? Earth is our planet and heaven is what we make it, or according to how our religion made us conceived it to be. Holiness is not limited to spirutual cleansing but to actual physical living. Working on the perfection of our virtue is an act of holiness. These virtues include, faith, hope and love. How do we perfect love? By having the conviction and the application to love unconditionally. How do we perfect faith? By detachment to all the material valuables, by controlling our passion, by consecrating our life to God, by trusting Him wholly, without fear and hesitation every second of the day. How do we perfect hope? By working with our fellows, showing them the future of goodness, by helping people pursue their dreams, by letting them live, by curtailing their sufferings. Every work that we do that we consecrate to God is an act of holiness. To consecrate is to forget ourself, but to live with others. We breath, we work, we teach so others will have the chance to live their life also, accordingly. We inspire and we make things happen, one step at a time, in God's time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Curve habits leading to peace because rebellion is not limited to fighting the status quo, acting irresponsibly and doing nothing is an act of rebellion

Taking no consideration for the suffering of others, and doing nothing about it, is grave offense to our Divine Creator. Responsible living is taking care of one another without bias and barriers. Look at how we can ease the suffering of our fellows. Do you have time to volunteer, do you have the resources to give, do you have the talent to contribute? Life is basic needs, what made it complicated is the division of our race, definition of our religion, concept of morality, definition of one's capacity. The quantitative and qualitative approach to segregate the superiors to the inferiors made human interaction complicated. Let's do something to the problem at hand, together we can provide solutions leading to world peace. Beyond spiritual, of praying for the welfare of our fellows, we need to heal human interaction by breaking the walls that divide us. We are all equals, no superios, no inferiors. Everything that humans achieved in this lifetime are just "gadgets" that made humans useful to live and adapt in the new environment. If we really want to contribute, we know deep down in our heart that we are not empty, we have something to share freely, either it is our time, our resources, or our talent.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Developing Culture of Peace starts with Respect, while Culture of Violence start with Intrigues. Our speech, action and deeds will define the kind of culture we breed to children's hearts.

Look at the street kids, and we can see the kind of culture that a country is heading itself. Children absorb the habit of adults. When we speak of peace, we are negotiating the present because we are working for the future. The present generation already have problems to solve and issues to resolve. We join the peace work to present solutions, to widen the perspective, to teach. The ultimate objective is for the future generation to have a better place to live, where virtues are respected irregardless of age, race, gender, creed and faith. Peace is character formation, making us all better caretakers of our planet and evetually leading us all to the global call obedience of our Divine Creator to love one another, unconditionally. Ideal as it may seem, but peace work can happen one step at a time, one place at a time - and we start it by cutting the habit of intrigues that curtails peace.

Peace Vigil 2012: "Bayanihan" - the greatest expression of "Community"; the love & compassion people extend to one another in times of calamity

When people help each other and provide the needs of their fellow, without the need to be told to share, that is the whole concept of "Community". In the Philippines, it is called "Bayanihan". Filipino tradition of helping one another is a historical and remarkable trait. This can be best seen during times of disaster. Filipinos have this instinct to help without expecting anything in return. That is why, Filipinos can withstand any disaster, facing it, crying in full emotions, wih all the mess, and hardships that goes with it, hoping and praying as a group, helping one another, until everything goes back in order again, one step at a time. That's why, at the end of the day, Filipinos can still afford to smile and share a meal together. It is this jolly position that makes Filipinos unique and one of a kind; a certain kind of resilience in handling pressure with hope remaining "intact".`Thus, despite any issues that the country is dealing with, Filipinos faith will not be shaken.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Ironic but true, disaster unites humans and force people to pray for safety and salvation.

Push to the edge, that is the best time for us to unite for a cause. When lives are at stake, houses perish, and future becomes unstable, people work together to save whatever remains to be saved. We will exhaust all means, including prayer. Thus, prayer becomes an instant pill for all our miseries. Like a magic wand, the faithfuls believe that miracles will happen. But it does, miracles do happen, because it happen to those who believe, and there is nothing wrong with that! If that is the way, where humans will unite to believe in God, then why not? Though very risky, disaster is not only the way, We know that every second of the day is a miracle, because we believe that our life is a spirit - a breath of God that can be taken away anytime. So maybe, just maybe, we can pray not to be saved, but to pray to "thank" our Creator, our God, for giving us more seconds, hours, days and years to live, because our work is not yet done. And, disasters or no disasters, come what may, we pray.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "Faith is dynamic, alive, co-existent with doubt. Indeed, if there is no doubt, there would be no need for faith." The key is to find ways to strengthen the faith

When we start to ask, we open ourselves to be enlightened. The worst thing that a person can do when something that bothers him/her is to do nothing. Anything that will lead us to question our faith, is an ooportunity for us to strengthen it. Do not be afraid. Seek for the answers and clear your doubts. One question can lead to another, and that is okay. No one can actually claim to hold the absolute truth of which faith to follow, in what religion, or in what sect. But you hold yourself, and you know the truth that you are looking for. You know that in your searching through discernemnt of prayer, you will find it. Open your senses, take God with you, and enjoy the ride, come rough roads or smooth path, trust that the light of the tunnel will come. When you see it, you feel absolute, and everything is just perfect!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "For every activity there is a proper time, but for the "prayer" there is always time

Prayer is 24/7 irregardless of age, race, gender, creed or faith. Why? Because prayer is the direct communication to God. Prayer is the sole activity that defy the barriers of rich and poor, of superiors to inferiors, of the priveleged and the oppressed. In prayer, there is no concept of what is right and wrong. In prayer, everyone is equal. In prayer, there are no issues to solve, there are no compromise, but only a dialogue between you and God. Prayer is private and personal and when we share it to others, prayer is a connecting dot, a circle of energy, creating harmony and cooperation. Prayer is the energy that gives life to humans, and other creations. In prayer, we create life. In prayer, we pursue peace.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "Religious life if properly lived, demands solitude, peace and silence. The most important solitude is "inner solitude". Inner solitude is the God and the soul, nothing more."

Silence of thoughts is difficult when a person is born to be analytical. Human mind is complex and won't easily be pleased, but amazingly, it can be programmed. Constant exposure to hatred, violence, and apathy will produce a difficult person. Constant exposure to love, harmony, and prosperity will produce a cooperative person. Know how we were raised, in what environment, and how did we educate ourselves to be a better person, and used it to work for peace. Education through religious teachings are helpful because it gives human the form and the organization to connect spiritually to God. But, if the religion is corrupted, with its virtues tainted, shown by its division, noise, and intrusion to human rights, then a religious person will find it hard to work for peace. A person's faith to God is personal and no religion can dictate their supremacy over the other. Religious life if properly lived is a close connection to God with the mission to unite and not to divide in order to abide to the global call of obedience to love one another, and make peace possible.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "When your weapons are dulled and ardour damped, your strength exhausted and treasure spent, neighbouring rulers will take advantage of your distress to act. And even though you have wise counsellors, none will be able to lay good plans for the future" - Sun Tzu

Make peace a priority, not an alternative, but a first choice to make. It will save a nation to further damage. Peace is the way to the future, not violence. When there is an ending, there is violence, but when we want to open the way, there is peace. Cool down, prepare to engage, gather your strength, master the art of war and convert it to face your opponent to make PEACE. God bless your peace work!

Peace Vigil 2012: The fruits of Meditative Prayer are attentiveness and sweetness to God, As we realize the faults we've done, we fear not to do it again. Then, we achieve peace, humility & love to our neighbors

Respect is one of the products of meditative prayer. We realize how much we offend others and how many beings are currently suffering because of us, thus, we become more sensitive to their needs. We also realized how limited we are in making up for our offense. We become humble as we accept each and every human being that we meet and encounter as God's creation. If we are hurt by them, meditative prayer can heal us not to pass on the pain to stop the chain of violence. In meditative prayer, we still seek for justice, so we can be at peace, only this time, we let God rule our heart and tame our passion. In meditative prayer, we are healed, and in the process, we also heal, spiritually, those who hurt us.

Peace Vigil 2012: Listen to your mind and follow your heart. For in the end, when everything is gone, what remains are just good memories

Our heart knows where our passion is, and what will makes us happy. Before it pass through our heart, our mind already took hold of it. We just act it according to what our mind conceived it to be. The way we conceived depends on how we analyze the facts we've got. Mind first before the heart. The mind is the parent and the heart is the child. Listen to your mind, trust the capacity of your mind to analyze, research, inquire and itemize facts down to details. If matters are not yet resolved in your mind, listen to what it says before making a decision. Control the impulse by doing the meditative prayer, tell to God everything that bothers your mind, and make a dialogue one-on-one. Tell to God what you want and tell how do you think you can get it. Continue praying because you believe, and at the same time, continue analyzing facts because your inquisitive. Be diligent, and do not lose your patience. In due time, everything will be clear to you. When that time comes, then you are ready to follow your heart. What is the sign that you are already "ready"? When in your mind, while praying and thinking, the thought becomes absolute! When you no longer doubt your thought, then you are "ready" to follow your heart!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: End all forms of discrimination and we end the culture of violence. We are the ones who can make peace possible in our own personal relationships and in all the people we see. We are the ones who can make a peaceful community.

It is the very act of feeling superior to other race, other sex, other gender, other specie, etc that makes peace looks unattainable. Superiority is prelude to violence. When you think you are good, others think you are not. Same goes with the rest, unconciously, and subconsciously. Competition kills peace. For one to work for peace is to forego the "winning and losing" concept. Scores are for games, and games has rules and schedules only for playtime. People compete to get gold, a prize, the recognition, the rewards and the benfits that goes along with it. That is alright, when we talk about games and not relationships. Games are material gains but relationships are spritual gains. Peace is not a material concept, but a spiritual concept. It is a seed that we plant into a child's mind that we cannot see, but we can only feel, In due time, we can have what we planted in the child's mind. If we end all forms of discrimination now, we breed the next generation of children, whose mind is open to understand anyone, no barriers, no judgements, no bias. If we end even small acts of discrimination to other people's faith, religion, belief, traditions, gender, sex, race, etc, we invest for the security of peace in the future. Peace is a spiritual feeling and immaterial investment, but the effects that it give is forever priceless.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "When unified, we are brought into synchrony; cooperation begins then we experience peace. This meditation process is not only to self but to society"

Work is a meditation process for as long as you keep your focus. To keep the focus is to stick only with work and stop thoughts of intrigues to co-worker. The office is a meditation area where employees meditate together at work. Meditation is an individual discipline to focus on the task at hand while joining the rest who applies the same kind of meditation discipline at work. Once, one of the employee deviate its focus from work to intrigues, then the group meditation shakens, resulting in disharmony at work, affecting the company's productivity. This discipline holds true with nation-building. If the people will always intrigue and discuss their complains to the people in authority, it affects the rest who are working for nation-building. The key is to maintain the balance. Take the case of the Philiipines, after its Edsa Revolution, people became open and free to raise their complain to the government. Philippine media became a magnate where politicians, leaders, etc fear out of bad publicity. Unlike with Arab uprisings where bloodsheds happened, Philippines' EDSA Revoltuion is peaceful, where only people power was used. However, the effect now, is that since 1986 until now, Filipinos developed the habit to complain before they cooperate. The presence of numerous NGO's also weaken the authority of the government to govern its people. NGO's are non private institutions whose funding are from various sources also provides services to the masses usually taken care of by the government and/or private companies. The result is imbalance, too much concerned will also produce too much complain. Thus, it is the hope to maintain the balance by going back to the basic of etiquette, that is the teaching to respect the people in authority. Support people in authority, the adminsitration, so that work plans can be implemented. The nation is the big scale of seeing the harmony of people to one another, when we see this, we can also see how the harmony is taking place inside the workplace, the school, and most of all the basic unit of society, which is the home, or the family.

Peace Vigil 2012: "There's no simpler proof of goodwill than to meditate with the person we disagree with

Just like basketball, only that we play for friendship and fun, not to compete, and take scores on who will win or lose. The games we play, enemies and friends, how long will it go on? We are both hurt of what happened in the past, that's why we call ourselves enemies for life, but where will this lead us? There are so many sufferings in this world, why do we need to join the crowd of noise, of hatred, and of apathy? What do we get from hating each other? We can curse, throw insulting words, kill each other's character until we bleed for mercy? But in the end, what does it take? More vengeance, more innocent souls perish brought by our own irresponsible moves of not giving into reconciliation. Let's not bury the past, but let's talk about it on how we can settle and heal the wounds we've caused each other. Sit with me, talk to me, look at me, and hold me. Let's give ourselves the chance to reconcile. Let's meet halfway. Let's meditate together in a free space, and with God's help, let's find a way. All trusting, we submit our commitment to each other to work for peace.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wellness Tips for Peace: Enjoy the moment. Do not worry about the past or the future. Moments are glimpses of time and capturing one beautiful moment is priceless in our memory bank. Just one moment can make a cold heart love, a thirsty soul filled, and a restless mind at peace

Life is not short, but is filled with endless moments. Seeing these beautiful moments will remind us that living life is really worthwhile. Maybe we've been here before, like a merry-go-round, and we feel bored because it's the same thing all over again. But look closely, we are a better person now. More attuned to ourself and more knowledgable to face the same kind of people again, solving the same situation again. You were not stuck there, you happened to be there where you are right now, because you've gone through the process of hardships and rigorous test to be an expert in your field. Measure yourself and see how much wisdom you've got! And still how you maintain your humility, your simplicity and purity of your soul. You deserve it. Life life! Enjoy it! Because your moment is now! Do not worry, your virtues will protect you to face what is there that is still unexplored by your restless mind and rentless spirit! Go! Your people needs you, lead them and make way for peace... For more FREE Wellness Tips for Peace visit: Personality Development for Peace @ www.innovativemindandbody.blogspot.com

Peace Vigil 2012: Am I too human to be enlightened? We need faith to begin to meditate for God's enligtenment shines in human heart. Believe, pray and make peace

Human weakness can cripple one's faith. Once we succumb to temptations of the flesh and fulfill our sensual desire of power, wealth & sex to the point of greediness and obsession, it will be hard to take it away from the senses. It becomes a habit, and worst, it controls our being. If at this point, will it be hard to still attain the "enlightenment" and work to pursue "holiness"? Keep trying, because the discipline to attain holiness are not just meant for the saints. Humans are capable to do it, by way of holistic perfection. Holistic is the harmony of the mind, body and spirit as one connected to the Divine Creator, our God, who we believe is our Source, our Maker, the Powerful One. Thus, our holistic lifestyle is meant to take care our mind, body and spirit to continue life as we submit it to our God, thereby making us better caretakers of our environment. No human weakness should hinder us or stop us to work for holiness and perfection of humanity balancing spirituality. Do not isolate and be left alone in angusih because of failing to win over our weakness. Everything is work, and work is not easy, it will take efforts, consistency and professionalism. In the long run, we will learn how to get by, and at its best defeat our weakness. Just proceed, for as long as we believe and pray, we will never be alone, we will never get lonely, and we will always be at peace.

Peace Vigil 2012: When in doubt, talk it out. However if the other person doesn't want to speak with you, leave them alone, but pray for their soul to understand what you mean

Human soul have been the subject of debate for the atheists, and some agnostics. Different religions have their own descriptions on what a human soul is. But for me, I believe that our soul is our mind, and our spirit is the breath of God that is within and inside our body. Thus, the connection of mind, body and spirit. and I also believe that we need to take good care of what information we put into our mind, for doing so is protecting the composition of our soul. As the mind process everything like a working machinery, it transmit everything to our body for its reaction. The life that makes everything work inside the body is the spirit, the breath of God, that is a gift given to us to make use wisely. Thus, on matters of negotiation, we are used to meet people face-to-face in a meeting or a conference. With the presence of technology, meetings are done on-line via webcam. People are comfortable this way, because we see, we feel instantly what the other person is feeling or reacting. Humans as we are, we always seek for a confirmation of what we have in our mind as we relay it via "talk" or "meeting" with the other person on the other line. Humans have difficulty trusting people they don't see in person brought about by programming of the human species civilization to be extra "cautious". The civilization of humanity thus made human to be careful "for his/her security not to be harm" by other human. Barriers were put in place, discrimination resulted, groupings of who is in and out of the society's norms, etc. Imagine, with our century old of the mind programming of this kind, do you still wonder, why people have difficulty trusting other people? So for the sake of innovation, why not consider that there is also another way to communicate with humans (and other species). Because if you believe that you have a spirit (which is the breath of God) within your body, where God communicates to us everytime we pray, don't you think we can also learn to trust our capacity to communicate to the person we want to meet through prayer? Before we know it, those matters that we failed to agree upon to this person because of cultural differences and/or limitations of physical contact, can actually be resolved. It will take time, but the patience to wait and pray has its "fruits of peace" as God heals and mediates within.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "Our perception of the world, which is culturally embedded in us, influences how we interact with others and how we approach particular situations

Humans are programmed to hate each other through exposure to situations, events and media programming. Hatred is not given, but was planted in our brain, that is why humans became racist, rebellious, angry, mean, and all inhuman attitudes that you can think of. The programming is deep-seated plus the trauma brought about by living life comprised the negative attitude of human to other humans. To be a peace worker is to discipline self to purify the mind and stop the negative programming process. We can do this by always searching for the balance in everything we read, hear and see in the broadcast media. While for the trauma that we we've gone through, is to have the conviction to be healed so as to put an end to violence. Because violence starts in the negative thoughts in our head, and not unless we clean it, we cannot stop the chain of violence. The whole process will take a big, really huge effort to do so. But if we do not do it, who else will? Once we start the call for peace work, we can always infect others to do so, and together, we can provide the justice in our little planet.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "Reconciliation by its very nature has to do with relationships between people and/or between us and God. It is not a sytem or method" Thus, whatever it is that we feel is comfortable way for us to reconcile, just do it. No dogma or teachings will tell us the proper way to do it. It is our instinct that will tell us how to do it. Meditative Prayer will help us clear our doubts and will also help us to be brave enough to make the first step to reconcile.

The beautiful feeling of reconciliation is the chance to once again embrace the person we love so much, hold his/her hand, walk again together, share laughter once more, and a moment of silence just looking in each other's eye knowing that this person you are with right now hurt you in the past and you never even thought of that one day, you can sit beside him/her face to face like this up close and personal. It will take time to forgive, I know, I've been there. Meditative Prayer can help to clear the doubts and be brave enough to take the first step closer. Don't shut the door to renew the friendship, because it can happen again. The friendship that was once lost can be found there inside the purity of your heart and sincerity of your intention. Have faith and submit everything to the Powerful One, our Divine Creator to lead you to be reconciled, finally, to the person you are thinking right now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "As we dwell into the silence of Meditative Prayer, we discover that Life is indeed Simple and complexities are just by-products of our own actions"

What we give, we receive. We give love, we receive love. We give hate hate, we receive hate. We rebel, we receive rebellion. We follow, and we will be followed. Everything is a merry go-round. And nature is gravity. If we apply this to all the people we meet, we will have the discipline to control our reaction to their indifference to us. They have their own problems and they are suffering in their own ways. It just so happen, when they release their emotions, you are there. So, avoid being infected by their virus by doing the Meditative Prayer to save your own karma. Do not give back hatred, if they give you hatred because if you do, you will also get the hatred from others. So stay calm, be still, step back, find your own private corner and Pray meditatively. This way, you will not lose your focus, you will maintained your peace within as you pursue your mission in this lifetime.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "The poor are not just individual souls to be saved, but as members of the society to be transformed"

Poverty is a state of mind. In the spiritual world, no one is poor because everything that is given and that is happening is a blessing. It goes totally different in the material world, because if one does not have enough to live decently, then he/she is poor. The standard of living in a place where the person lives is the measurement of his/her decent living. For developed countries, it is more than just a food in the table or a roof in the head, or suitable clothes to wear, these are just very basic, what they need are beyond that. Quality of life to live and not just to live out of mere existence. But, for underdeveloped countries, having just the basic of food, shelter and clothing is more than enough. In some cases, being given the basic is already, for them, a luxury! Poverty is both a mental and physical issue to be settled by those who are concerned to help the poor. The concept of wants will lead people to extreme poverty. The more a person works for what he/she wants the more he/she is dissatisfied because wants are endless. Mentally, if we want to help the poor is to divert their wants to what they need as of the moment. They need to it, they need to sleep, they need to work, so we provide what they need. We give them food to nourish their brain and be capable to think rationally. We give them clean clothes and place to stay where they will not be discriminated, so they can have the peace of mind to sleep and rest be ready to work. Then we give them work, a dignified work according to their capability, where they feel they are part of society and community as dignified workers and not slaves. We give them their professional salary as ruled by law. We let them work, we give them the respect due for every human being that we meet. We do not classify them as poor because that will give us the discipline to treat them as our equal. Thus, we respect their existence as our need to keep our earth moving in harmony with everyone. If we want to help the poor, we must clean our minds on the cobwebs of how we see the poor. If we think we are far beyond them, and we are just lucky that we are not like them, forget it, do not help the poor anymore because you will just make them pity themselves more. They will just succumb to depression and lose hope in life as they see you better than them. Avoid that. Treat them as equal and as a responsibility of your human race, of our existence here on earth. We provide because we can afford to give. We help them because we believe in their capabilities, in their talents, in their skills, in their humanity. That is why we provide, so that they can join us in working day by day in making the life of all God's creation here on earth worthwhile.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: As we all commune meditatively in Prayer, we have much to communicate leading us all to work for Peace. The Holy Spirit unites us all in faith

Our differences is cultural, not personal. We do not dwell too much into our differences but to our commonality. We accept that we have our own individuality. Each one with colorful personalities making each one of us unique and one of a kind.

Our conflict is healthy, because it defines who we are. What matters to us is we actively settle our conflict without losing each other.

We agree to find our point of contact, our basis of respect to peacefully co-exist in this world filled with personal, social, religious and political issues. We keep our faith to each other because we both agree to end our discrimination. We trust each other that we are working to have a beautiful place to live in and that is why we call ourselves the peace makers, the peace advocates, the peace workers...

We are rational individuals who knows how to tame our passion to manage very well what nature has to offer. We both know how to keep our peace within, because we know that only if we reconcile our innermost conflict can we effectively manage and solve the conflict in our home, family, workplace, community and society.

Thus, we both respect authorities and we made the commitment to find ways to work inside the system because of our loyalty to stop all forms of rebellion. But we actively use our mind to analyze, we do not just conform, we study all angles, we hear all sides, we remain open for all options available before we decide. But when we make our decision, we are brave to stand for it and pursue it to the end.

We work sincerely and we make things happen!

We both have the mission not to kill but to heal relationships. Thus, we value our friendship, and no matter what will happen, we will always be friends. We will no longer be enemies but partners in this journey to reach our destination.

We meditate together irregardless of what we believe in because we both understand and respect everyone's faith. We are together in this journey of life and we are both thankful that destiny gave us the chance to meet again in this lifetime to work for peace.

We will not let this moment pass by to take care of each other by praying for one another.

And as we both believe in the power of prayers in making peace possible....
....we now pray....
... we close our eyes...
... we connect to our God...
....and for a moment...
.... we are united in spirit
.... globally as one!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Meditative Prayer purifies our heart, allowing us to be grateful of God.s greatest gift to us - our innocent child within, free from the complexities of life

Meditation is a rare moment of dwelling within the innermost core of our being. It is actually a privelege to enjoy for a certain moment in time to get to know ourselves better as designed by our Divine Creator. In meditative prayer, we get the chance to connect fully to God to have a clear vision of the life that we have, understanding deeply what we've gone through, facing the reality it gives and a pathway on what is reserved for us to take in the future. Meditative prayer is an opening, a gateway for us to go through life with confidence and entthusiasm. Meditative prayer helps us see the light of the way, and as we discipline ourselves to do the habit of praying deeply and unceasingly, we face the life's difficulties not as hindrances, but with full understanding and acceptandce. The discipline of meditative prayer make us more stronger, more attuned, more grounded to life as it unfolds its mystery day by day. Thus, we are not caught off-guard. We are given moments to contemplate and be enlightened by God's plan for us. In the process of doing the meditative prayer, we strengthen our relationship to God because we just revolve around Him. We feel God's presence sweeter and more intimate as we feel His guidance up close and personal. Meditative prayer is a moment with our Lord where we cuddle our innermost child, innocent and free from the complexities of life. We trust everything to God, our Father who makes us understand what we are going through in life, as we listen attentively like a child. Our doubts are erase and we learn to trust, we develop our capacity to love... unconditionally because we understand why we need to forgive ourselves and people who hurts us. For one to work for peace, meditative prayer is not just a necessity but is already a part of the person's existence. Once a person develops the habit of meditative prayer, peace is always there, available anytime. For God is there ready to communicate and cuddle us, anytime.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Whatever our vocation is, we all need to belong to something ideal. There's one ideal, not news or views, but by Silence, and we call it Prayer

I got a feedback that those who are meek, pray, but those who are brave, fight. On the contrary, I should say, people who knows how to pray are in fact, brave! Why? Because these are the people who have a strong faith. The faith to believe that prayers can move mountains, can make miracles happen, can heal relationships. People who pray are brave to trust in the control and intervention of the Divine Creator. People who pray are leaders who lead by following the discipline of believing in the power beyond their human control. For the non-believers, prayers may be seen as a waste of time, intended only for those who have free time. But for those who believe, prayer is everything. Prayers is the oil that keeps the flame of passion to life burning. Prayer is the light to get through the dark tunnel of life. Prayer makes the impossible, possible!

But of course, I cannot impose what I believe in. I can just inspire through writings and actions. Having faith takes a conviction. Conviction cannot be gained right away. It takes the whole process. I know the process because I was once an agnostic myself. I am a humanist whose concept of humanity is to live in harmony with my fellow humans and be responsible to nature. I am an activist who pursue human rights causes for more than a decade. I trained myself to hold my emotion very well because other people see me as their leader, and so I should be firm, strong and dignified. I pursue human rights cases to the point of working earnestly to have a revolution inorder to change the system and make it pro-poor where justice is served and where there is equal opportunities for the rich and the poor. The work to make a better place for the future of the children is in my heart, and I dedicated my life to make it happen. It is ideal? Yes it is.... very ideal....

All throughout I live my life only on the humanist level with little and most of time, no spirituality. The work schedule and passion to fight for the causes of human rights fill my sched, that I do not have time to pray. I believe that there is God, but I don't think that I still need God, because then, I believe that God is not too powerful anyway. During that time, I find prayer a waste of time, because there's a lot of work to do, people to meet, and places to go, and prayer is not a necessity anyway. So why pray?

It took years for me to realize that my habit of not praying had actually caused more waste of time. I should have been more productive and more sensitive to humanity, should I took time to pray. It took years of trial and error on my activist life that I've learned that prayer is not a ritual, not just a recitation of chants or verses, but prayer, is plain and simple DIALOGUE: a meeting schedule to God, my Divine Creator, my Leader, my Mentor, my Boss, my everything.

Now in all the things that I do, I make it a point to first and foremost, make a dialogue, a prayer to God to clear all the doubts in my head, to show me the way, to guide in the process of doing my work. And it doesn't only help, but it made me more human. I became more sensitive to my fellow; I've developed my potential better as a leader because of the guidance of handling my strenghts and weaknesses well in order to pursue my mission. With the power of prayer, my idealism on human equality and ways to pursue it, found its direction. It is not trial and error anymore, but there is a vision, a plan designed not only by my mind, but my Divine Creator for me to implement as a missionary and a soldier of life. In prayer, I've found the fulfilment to make real what is ideal! And I see God everytime I pray - the reason why I am no longer an agnostic.

Conviction is faith. Faith is conviction. Miracles happen to those who believe. It may take time for the apathetic, but don't worry just like in peace work, everything is a process. It takes time...

But, if this article hits you, maybe the time for you to believe is near... very near... maybe, just a grasp away?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: "One refreshing dimension which Meditation brings, gradually and painfully, is liberty of spirit which opens the freedom from being dominated by emotions"

Meditation heals by opening the wounds of the past, cleaning it very well by reconciliation of self to the Divine Creator in the process of enlightenment. Healing is emotionally painful but liberating. Meditation leads us to light as we passed through the tunnel of darkness in our mind. All the thoughts that we cannot understand, all the memories that imprisoned us to live a beautiful life, and all the pain and the hurts of the past are reconciled as we communicate directly to God, our Divine Creator. Meditation is a private and personal discipline that can be done by anyone, whatever is the religion, or even if there is no religion. What matters is the faith and the willingness to refresh the self so it can always be ready to face life's challenges with a healthy body, sound mind and nourished spirit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Peace Vigil 2012: Working for peace is a journey - we have to keep moving. Self-analysis on negative emotions are moods we pass through; stopping it at once helps to break our ego

Irritations are given and can go out of proportion if we allow it to explode. Anger is healthy only if it meant to work things out to continue giving life and not give death to relationships. Meaningful anger intends to make a point to make a relationship work for the better because something needs some fixing and mere act of kindness is not enough. It requires intellectual sensitivity to draw the line in making a point be heard. The drawing of line does not intend to push people away but to get them inside the drawn circle making them more closer. If you heard this line, this can best describes it: "Get close to your friends but get your enemies more closer to you". For the main reason that you have work to do, mission to accomplish and vision to pursue.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update: Pakistan blocks, then restores, Twitter access - The Washington Post:

 "Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology to restore access to the site. Details on the allegedly offensive tweets were unavailable, but they apparently urged participation in “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,” a campaign launched two years ago that Muslims worldwide have denounced for encouraging depictions of Islam’s prophet, which adherents consider blasphemous. The campaign led a Facebook user to set up a Facebook page to promote May 20 as “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” to support freedom of expression. A Pakistani court ordered the page blocked two years ago when it was created. In banning Twitter, Pakistan joined a list of countries including China, Burma, the United Arab Emirates and Libya that have denied their citizens access to the micro-blogging site, according to free-speech advocates."

'via Blog this'Pakistan blocks, then restores, Twitter access - The Washington Post:

Update: Indian Police Drop Charges Against Tibet Holy Man - ABC News

Indian Police Drop Charges Against Tibet Holy Man - ABC News: ""We have maintained all along that the allegations against His Holiness were baseless," the office's deputy general secretary Karma Chungyalpa said in a statement, adding that great spiritual masters were not involved in financial administration and money matters.
The Karmapa himself thanked the Indian government for giving him and thousands of Tibetans asylum, saying "India has been my home for almost half of my life." Last year's raid on the Gyuto Monastery was unprecedented and particularly surprising since the Karmapa, Ugyen Thinley Dorje, is revered by Tibetans and Buddhists. India has gone to great lengths to provide asylum to Buddhist leaders who have fled Tibet, including the Dalai Lama.

The 27-year-old monk is seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama as the head of the Tibetan freedom movement in exile"

'via Blog this'

Update: Catholics sue over federal birth-control requirement in the US

Catholics sue over federal birth-control requirement | The Columbus Dispatch: "In an effort to show a unified front in their campaign against a birth-control mandate, 43 Roman Catholic dioceses, schools, social-service agencies and other institutions filed lawsuits in 12 federal courts yesterday challenging the Obama administration’s rule that their employees receive coverage for contraception in their health-insurance policies.

The nation’s Catholic bishops, unable to reverse the ruling by prevailing on the White House or Congress, have now turned to the courts, as they warned they would. The bishops say the requirement is an unprecedented attack on religious liberty because it compels Catholic employers to provide access to services that are contrary to their religious beliefs. The mandate is part of the Obama administration’s overhaul of the health-care system, which the bishops say they otherwise support."

'via Blog this'

Update: Hindus' Opinion on Obama's 'Gay Marriage' Stance

"According to the Hindu American Foundation, there is no evidence in the Hindu scriptures that support or deny marriage to same-sex couples. “The Hindu American Foundation stands strongly against discrimination of any kind, and we believe no one should be discriminated against based on their sexual preference,” said said Samir Kalra, director and senior fellow for human rights at HAF. “It doesn’t matter what your sexuality is, the main concern is your own individual spirituality. There is no distinction between a heterosexual and a homosexual person.” In contrast, Raj Bhanot, co-founder of the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple in Sunnyvale, Calif., said that in Hinduism, “the only marriage that is accepted is husband-wife.” At the same time, he said that the temple supports Obama’s decision and has previously advocated for gay marriage. Bhanot acknowledged that there is a discrepancy between the temple’s acceptance of gay marriage and the beliefs of its constituents. “We never discuss that issue at any social gathering or religious gatherings,” he told India-West, adding that it is important for that dialogue to begin."

'via Blog this'Indiawest: Indian American Leaders Applaud Obama’s ‘Gay Marriage’ Stance:

Update: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally Against the "Evils of Internet" vs Counter Rally on "The Internet is Not the Problem"

Ultra-Orthodox Jews to gather at Citi Field for event on evils of Internet - Under God - The Washington Post: "Since the Internet became a part of everyday life in the 1990s, ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups both in the U.S. and in Israel have in some cases attempted to ban or filter the Internet. The community seeks to protect traditions and rules that they feel are threatened by modernity.

A counter protest called “The Internet is NOT the Problem,” wants to highlight what its organizers feel are more pressing problems in the community, including “the dismissive attitude towards sexual and physical violence against children, inadequate educational systems,” said Ari Mandel, an organizer of the counter-rally. “The Internet is an unstoppable force. Every religious man has an iPhone or Blackberry they use for business anyway. It feels like they are just trying to shut down anything that allows people to question ideas.”"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Update: Catholic Bishops and Republicans in America

 "America's Catholic bishops have been allies of the Republican Party for almost four decades.
The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 launched the cooperation as Republicans quickly proclaimed themselves forever opposed to abortion. President Nixon and others thought it was a very good political strategy. They were right. Evangelicals, many Catholics, and the bishops came to the Republican side."
'via Blog this' Read more: Fred Rotondaro: Catholic Bishops Support Republicans:

Update: Why there is a schism in Islam?

"Sunnis Muslims make up about 85-90 percent of all Muslims worldwide, and Shi'a Muslims are the other 10-15 percent. Both sects accept Mohammed as the final prophet and both believe the Quran is the last revelation of Allah.

The division between the two groups began shortly after Mohammed’s death. The secular leadership of Islam, the Caliphate, was given to Abu Bakr, Mohammed's father-in-law, rather than to the person Mohammed had named as his successor, his son-in-law, 'Ali. The Muslims who supported 'Ali became known as the “Partisans of 'Ali” or Shi’a 'Ali, becoming shortened over time to Shi’a.

The Shi’a recognized as legitimate authorities only the successors to 'Ali, and to distinguish their recognized leaders from the secular Caliph of the Sunnis, they gave to their designated authority the title “Imam”, or spiritual leader of Islam."

'via Blog this' Read more Why there is a schism in Islam and what it means for Iran | Star-Exponent:

Update: Neuroscientific studies since 2004 claimed the minds of Buddhist meditators are stable, capable of greater compassion and have higher levels of activity in the part of the brain associated with wellbeing

The president of the Buddhist Council of NSW, Brian White, said interest in meditation was "generally increasing because of the scientific aspects becoming better known".

Venerable Thubten Chokyi, a Tibetan Buddhist nun and spiritual program co-ordinator at the Vajrayana Institute in Ashfield, said the mental pliancy and reduction of stress and anxiety that were byproducts of meditation were beneficial whether it was practised in a spiritual context or not. "Both have their place," she said.

The director of the Sydney Meditation Centre, Kevin Hume, who leads meditation classes for "highly educated professional people" said that while his clients were aware of scientific research on the benefits of meditation, the global financial crisis had been "far more significant in terms of the spike in numbers"."

'via Blog this'Buddhism expert wants science to rethink meditation claimsNeuroscientific studies since 2004 have claimed the minds of Buddhist meditators are more stable, capable of greater compassion and have higher levels of activity in the part of the brain associated with wellbeing.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/buddhism-expert-wants-science-to-rethink-meditation-claims-20120409-1wl4r.html#ixzz1rmbwHIvg

Update: Alltopics.com Offers All the News on Hinduism. Check it Out!

Alltopics.com Offers All the News on Hinduism: "The best Hinduism news and articles are gathered in one place. With Hinduism.alltopics.com users can search all over the globe and the web to find the best Hinduism stories, hints, ideas, tips and breaking news, all to help the reader to stay abreast of the conditions and situations that might affect the world of Hinduism. Alltopics rates the articles, garnered from social networks like Facebook, Google and Twitter, by popular demand. Alltopics is the number one stop on the Internet that helps to find all the latest gossip, breaking news, unusual conditions and news flashes that might affect Hinduism around the country and around the world."

'via Blog this'

Be the Peace Leader

Be the Peace Leader
Pray for Peace by Amb Zara Jane Juan

Come & Join Inter-Faith Prayers & Inter-Cultural Dialogue for Peace

Come! Share your Peace! - Ambassador Zara Jane Juan, Sailing for Peace

2012 Video International Day of Peace Vigil by Sailing for Peace

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil
Prayer Vigil for Vatican as Pope expresses sorrow over terrorist attacks and prayed that God will sustain all men of goodwill who courageously roll up their sleeves to deal with the plague of terrorism and this bloodstain which is gripping the world in a shadow of fear and bewilderment

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador
I choose to be a Missionary of the Interfaith, Interracial, Intercultural Sailing for Peace Program inspired and guided by the discipline and life of the Virgin Mary of the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic, a Lady Datin of the Muslims, a Buddhist in my Healthy Lifestyle and a Hindu in Purifying my Soul. With Free Thinking and Scientific Approach to my Peace Work, my life on the over-all is a whirlwind of Faith and Fate. I refuse donations to my peace work to prevent corruption but rather I decided to live a very simple so that I can fund it personally through my own personal income as Professional Resource Speaker, Author, Visual Artist, Playwright and Director

JESUS CHRIST - 7 LAST WORDS - Lenten Recollection for Christians