Finally!
Posted: 07 February 2005 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Sam Harris appears to have beat me to the press.  I too studied theology and practiced Buddhism and meditation, and determined that religion altogether was a disease.  The difference between Sam and I is that I was poor and went to a state university on public grants.  How nice it must be to be wealthy enough to go to Stanford and write a book—and to follow your dreams.

Here is a sentence I wrote in my journal in the year 2000:
“No single human invention has ever caused so many wars and deaths as religion.”

I’m jealous of his book—but I’m happy that the message got out in the end.  I saw him speak on C-SPAN and I was amazed at his calmness and rationality.  When he revealed that he had studied Indian meditation it made sense to me the reason why he was so calm and rational.  Buddhist/Hindu meditation teaches you about the reality of void which, when finally understood, changes you forever.

But the title of his book “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason”.  Hmm…kind of ambiguous.  It should have been “Religious People: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid…”.

I’m joking of course.

But seriously, the title seems a little too “marketing-ish”, like it was designed to throw people off from both sides of the argument in an attempt to get them to pick the thing up off the shelf.  Oh well.

I much prefer something along the lines of Al Franken’s books titled “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” and “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations”.  You know exactly what you are getting when you pick those books up.

But I know that Harris is trying to establish that he is neither a “liberal” or a “conservative”.

But I also bet that the Republican blogs have already demonized his work to their followers ensuring that not one word of his wisdom enters their ears.

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Posted: 09 February 2005 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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The more books the better. Write yours too. It isn’t a contest.

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Posted: 20 February 2005 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“zyglob”]Sam Harris appears to have beat me to the press.  I too studied theology and practiced Buddhism and meditation, and determined that religion altogether was a disease.  The difference between Sam and I is that I was poor and went to a state university on public grants.  How nice it must be to be wealthy enough to go to Stanford and write a book—and to follow your dreams.

Here is a sentence I wrote in my journal in the year 2000:
“No single human invention has ever caused so many wars and deaths as religion.”

I’m jealous of his book—but I’m happy that the message got out in the end.  I saw him speak on C-SPAN and I was amazed at his calmness and rationality.  When he revealed that he had studied Indian meditation it made sense to me the reason why he was so calm and rational.  Buddhist/Hindu meditation teaches you about the reality of void which, when finally understood, changes you forever.

But the title of his book “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason”.  Hmm…kind of ambiguous.  It should have been “Religious People: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid…”.

I’m joking of course.

But seriously, the title seems a little too “marketing-ish”, like it was designed to throw people off from both sides of the argument in an attempt to get them to pick the thing up off the shelf.  Oh well.

I much prefer something along the lines of Al Franken’s books titled “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” and “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations”.  You know exactly what you are getting when you pick those books up.

But I know that Harris is trying to establish that he is neither a “liberal” or a “conservative”.

But I also bet that the Republican blogs have already demonized his work to their followers ensuring that not one word of his wisdom enters their ears.

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Posted: 28 February 2005 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You say as if making it so that more people would take it off the shelves is a bad thing.  But I see it as a really big plus, because then some believers might end up picking it up and it might free their mind in the process.

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Posted: 28 February 2005 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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ZY

I hereby state my intent to buy your (yet unwritten) book. Do change the title though.


Stay Well

Wot

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Posted: 28 February 2005 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Howdy all….told my dad the same thing about religion 45 years ago…guess I should have written a book too.

Please give us the lowdown on “the reality of the void” if you can without invoking any unknown holyspirits that we might finally understand.

Interested…..Rod

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Posted: 28 February 2005 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Hi Rod ...

I copied this one guy’s experience with meditation from the pbs.org forum on ‘The Question of God.’  The guy is a Vietnam vet from Texas who went from Catholic to atheist to a non-religious believer whose signature was ‘Nothing lasts forever ...’  I’ve made a couple of sad attempts to try out his method, but I must be in a worse mental state than I thought because my mind constantly wanders.  Fifteen seconds of peace ... I wish!  I haven’t given up though.  Still working on it ...

Susan

Wileycoyote wrote:

It was meditation that moved me from believing in no God to the kind of belief system that I have now. I learned to meditate from a book written by Ram Dass. He is actually an American professor who was an associate of Timothy Leary. His real name was Dr. Richard Alpert. Anyway, I just followed his instructions of getting completely comfortable in a position that I would be able to stay in without discomfort setting in. You let yourself relax, and just breathe. Not fast. Just normal breathing. Try to concentrate your full attention on your upper lip just below the nostrils. Breathe in and think to yourself “in”. Keep the attention focused on that one spot. Fill your lungs to capacity, not over capacity. As you breathe out think “out”. Staying comfortable is the key. At first you won’t be able to keep your mind from straying for more than maybe 15 or 30 seconds. When you realize you have strayed from concentrating on that spot bring your attention right back. Start again. Breathe. Concentrate on the spot. Think of nothing else. It’s kinda like lifting weights. At first you can’t lift much at all, but with practice you get to be able to lift heavier and heavier weights. Same with concentrating. It may take a week or two before you can even get 3 minutes or 5 minutes but with practice you get to where you can go forever.
At first I was looking for some kind of “high” or something and kept telling myself “This ain’t working. I don’t feel anything.” After a couple of months of this I suddenly started to realize that even though I was feeling nothing during meditation my life had changed. I no longer felt anger or impatience. I felt more empathy and understanding for my fellow man. I felt really good. After maybe 6 months I felt more free than I had ever felt in my life, even though I was still in prison. I felt inner peace. Good things began to happen in my life.  One night during meditation I felt my consciousness rise above my body and it was at that moment that I felt I had actually been touched by “God”, or whatever name you want to give it. I felt the connection between myself and every other living thing on this planet. I KNEW God. That was over twenty years ago and my belief is still just as strong. What works for one will not necessarily work for all. I just wanted to give you that info, for what it’s worth. Remember, you don’t just start today and tomorrow you reach enlightenment. You have to sow the seeds, water them and tend them. Soon you will reap what you sow. Nothing good comes easy. Whether you decide to try this or not, good luck to you.

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“Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it.”  Andre Gide

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Posted: 28 February 2005 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Thanks Susan….finally something practical

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Posted: 28 February 2005 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Let me add that the same search for serenity (Trademark) can be found by many people through cognitive means such as RET.  (rational emotive therapy) 

For those who aren’t as well suited to the “Inner Game of Tennis” style approaches, the more thoughtful approaches may work.

This might apply to you, Susan.

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Posted: 01 March 2005 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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This unique optical illusion may help you get into a meditative state.

http://richstevens.thinkfulsolutions.com/UNREAL.SWF

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