Well do I remember those cold winter days and nights when thousands queued silently to pay their respects to one of greatest figures of history.
And I remember the journey on the Thames barge, as if a salute by Royalty to a great Commoner.
To realize that was 50 years ago means we who remember him still have become a part of history.
‘Both sides of this conflict need to compromise’ John Kerry. By the way the USA paid for the bombs that did the damage in Gaza and will pay for most of the aid to rebuild it.
Billions of dollars that could have been spent constructively-treating malaria and Ebola for example.
Also bizarre seeing the commemoration of the centenary of the start of the ‘war to end wars’ by Britain juxtaposed on the TV news with pictures of the Israelis waging a ‘hightech war’ bombing Gaza installations and incurring heavy and predictable civilian casualities in the process.
There is much evidence for the existence of past lives much of the best coming from the work of the late Ian Stevenson. In some cases the situations may be quite dramatic, for example the child who confronted its murderer in a previous life. The evidence was so accurate that the man confessed and was convicted of the crime.
The World Health Organization says that the Ebola haemorrhagic fever virus outbreak now affecting Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leone requires additional urgent action despite the help of external experts already in place. This is the largest recorded outbreak of this highly infectious disease and there have been a significant increase in the number of deaths and reported new cases in the last three weeks.
As of June 20 the number of confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea were 390 with 270 deaths and a cumulative total of 158 clinical cases in Sierra Leone of which 34 have been fatal. As of June 22 Liberia had reported 51 clinical cases of which 34 have been fatal .
WHO has convened a meeting of Ministers of health of countries in the region in early July.
The Shamarpa, Shamar Rinpoche (the Red Hat Lama), seen by his followers as the embodiment of the Buddha Amitabha ( a bodhisattva named Dharmakara translating as the Buddha of infinite Light) who passed on the 11 June leaves us. Behind are the teachings of a modern living Buddha.
Wish him well in the immediate task of seeking the next incarnation.
This very recent and very frank and direct recording posted earlier this year provides a fascinating interaction between a lama educated in the tradition of Tibetan buddhism who is a modern Buddha and the presentation style of high quality modern journalism in the form of Barnet and Freeman on Cutting Edge Consciousness.
To start with the Shamarpa explains the tradition preventing a monk or nun from representing themselves publicly as a spiritual teacher. He describes the traps and pitfalls that exist for spiritual teachers and how easily this position can be misused.
Some way into the recording there is a frank discussion about the traditional vows taken by Buddhist monks and nuns and why they are taken. The conversation leads on to the profundities around meditation, reincarnation, karma and enlightenment.
After the Shamarpa leaves there is further deep debate between the two journalists of the implications resulting from the interview.
This valuable teaching is well worth listening to carefully over and over again.
Resources are limited on this earth we all share. Tha Amazon rain forest, one of the biggest of the earth’s ‘lungs’ is burning and dying. Take note and act before it is too late. Humanity must find some way of valuing the environment and pricing it’s destruction into our economics. Continual economic growth is just not possible. While the newspapers are full of the damage humans do to each other, we are sleep walking to an environmental and economic disaster.
This is an important and timely contribution to the debate about the effect of the environment on the development of children. The significance of neuroplasticity cannot be underestimated. Some individuals are more influenced be their environment than others. Resistance to the effects of a negative environment (poverty, no exercise, unemployment, high incidence of smoking and drinking) correlates with the levels of self-control present between 3 and 11 years of age.
This and other evidence leads to the postulation of the existence of an ‘executive network’ linked to the prefrontal cortex that regulates behaviour and thought. Essential for the inhibition of impulsive and negative behaviour, those individuals starting life with the strongest executive functioning are more likely to behave in ways that protect and nurture the brain and lead to better long term health in general.
These ideas link well with the concept of self directed neuroplasticity developed from studies later in life in for example the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders. Another strand of evidence derives from the changes found in the brain following meditation.
The attention of the world is at present on Syria and the use (or not) of nerve gas against a population indiscriminately. However there is a threat that is perhaps even more insidious emerging in Somalia. Declared Polio free by the World Health Organization in 2009, Somalia is experiencing an explosive outbreak of Polio with at least 105 cases this year, over half the cases that occurred in the world in 2012. Polio is considered endemic in only 3 countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, but now the virus has returned to Somalia.
This is an enormous reverse for the Polio eradication programme, with the virus reestablishing itself in an area considered free of Polio. Remember that for every symptomatic case of Polio there will have been 100 asymptomatic cases, implying widespread dissemination,of the virus.
The outbreak is largely occurring in the area controlled by the Islamist group Shabab