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Meditations articles

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Life and Death Is Good

Life and Death Is Good

Sometimes what people call meditation is as far from my understanding of it as a jihadist’s idea of heaven. It sounds more like the continuity of hell to me. Central to meditation is communion with death as an ever-present actuality. For some Buddhists however, death is a detestable riddle. Tweet

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Beyond the Ugliness, Confusion and Fear

So-called mystical experiences are impossible to be certain of, yet without experiencing something beyond the human mind life becomes a barren desert. Communion with the numinous is the wellspring of insight, but it gives rise to more questions than answers. For example, does prophecy still exist, or is it merely an Old Testament set of

Introspection main

Turning Inward Without Withdrawing

Since the beginning of civilization, and probably before, sages have said, “know yourself.” There is no truism more common, yet also more commonly ignored. Just what is self-knowing, and why is it essential? Tweet

us africa summmit

Climbing the Real African Summit

The African leaders at the first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington last week presented an upbeat image of an African continent ready to do business. But can business lead, or does the vision and direction for decent, if not good societies need to come from elsewhere? Tweet

The Atomic Bomb Dome is silhouetted at sunset in Hiroshima, west

The Shadow of Hiroshima

People that were unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to be near the epicenter of the atomic blast in Hiroshima 69 years ago today were instantly vaporized. They left only their outlines on pavement or walls, throwing a lengthening shadow on the nation that developed and used such weapons on a civilian population. Tweet

meditative state main

Initiating the Meditative State

There are many different forms of meditation, and people even speak of running or doing other activities as a form of meditation. But initiating a genuinely meditative state is a completely different animal, and has nothing to do with techniques, methods, traditions, or systems. Tweet

israel-gaza

Understanding Israel’s Criminality in Gaza

Some years ago, a friend, who sometimes unintentionally (I think) sets me up in uncomfortable situations, introduced me to an Irish lass in the only Irish bar in town. She was straight off the boat, taking classes for a term or two at the local college. “He’s Irish,” my Italian friend said with enthusiasm. The

united nations main

Beyond National Interest

In a tour de force of shallow journalism, the leading newspaper in America and arguably the world recently did what they called a news analysis on the United Nations. It’s central thesis? “The problem is not that the major world powers don’t care. It is that they care too much,” the piece risibly pronounced. Tweet

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