23 November 2005

The Dalai Lama at Stanford

The Dalai Lama has visited the Stanford University on last November 4 and 5. The notable events he was involved included a talk on meditation, a conversation on nonviolent conflict resolution and an academic conference. The videos of his talks are online in the live webcast arquive available in the site.

I watched the videos, and it was the first time I saw the Dalai Lama talking. I must say that his kind ways actually impressed me very positively. His humorous mood, his simplicity on serious matters, attention to details, his ability to communicate with simpathy and honesty, all that turned me into a new fan of His Holiness.

That seems to be the kind of posture urgently needed in our relations in the world.

See by yourself. ;)

12 November 2005

My Integral Transformative Practice

Now they're calling it Integral Life Practice. Here is what I've managed to do so far:
  • Body (gross-physical): weight lifting (1h30, 4 times a week), protein and carb based diet.

  • Body (subtle-emotional-sexual-pranic): none. I think good sex counts, right? ;-)

  • Mind: reading, writing and moderating on-line discussion groups about Ken Wilber and related subjects.

  • Soul: none.

  • Spirit: buddhist meditation (20 minutes everyday) oriented by Lama Padma Samten, who focus on the Heart Sutra, Nagarjuna's Prasangika Madhyamaka and on the inseparability of emptiness and luminosity.

  • Community: None, except that I'm helping a buddhist center with their website, and also transcripting audio teachings for them.

  • Nature: None.

  • Arts: I play the drums everyday.
That's it. You see that my main focus right now is at the lowest level: physical body. It's 1h30 to weight lifting and only 20 minutes to formal meditation. Now, that's highly spiritual, huh?

11 November 2005

Nagarjuna's Verses of the Center

Here's a fine document with the Nagarjuna's classic Mulamadhyamakakarika translated from the tibetan text by Stephen Batchelor.
"Mulamadhyamakakarika, or Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way, is a key text by Nagarjuna, one of the most important Buddhist philosophers. It now stands at the centre of modern philosophical analysis of the Madhyamaka philosophy, which is rapidly proliferating to match the rich and varied commentarial tradition that the text has accumulated over the centuries since its composition (most likely in the 2nd century)."
You can find some more info about the text at Wikipedia.

01 November 2005

The Great Synthesis of Pietro Ubaldi

Pietro Ubaldi, who did consider himself a christian thinker, has authored 24 books about his insights on philosophy, ethics, religion, society, evolution, sciences and many more related topics. His most significant publication is The Great Synthesis, first edited in 1937. This book can without doubt come to show us instigating perceptions on life and maybe even touch some cherished paradigms with its beautiful and sofisticated argument. "It is admirable the force of the language and the vastness of the subjects covered there", said Einstein.

Here's a little excerpt from the chapter titled "Psychism and Biological Decay":
"The past never dies; it always rises again indestructible. All spiritual conquests remain in the world as a real and active force, as a basis for new impulses, as an eternal witness and measuring index of the evolution accomplished. In this wise, age in the individual will not be decadence if man learns to live again by continually being reborn in spirit. Fatigue and old age are normal moments in the metabolism of life, where biological maturation reveals itself without any wearing and substantial dynamic deterioration.
Only thus is it possible to understand the phenomenon by means of which life produces consciousness; our having explained the mechanism for instinct formation and experience stratification had not been enough. Biological decay takes an integral part in the evolutional phenomenon, and exists as a condition for the psychism’s genetic process. Just as dynamic evolution imposes a process of energy decay, so biological evolution implies a downgrading process in the phenomenon of life. In these phenomena, the same principle actuates exhausting the original impulse, a decrease in the kinetic qualities of the sensitive potential of forms occurs. In this sense, the evolutional process means a progressively downgrading potentiality. The profound reason for these phenomena lies in the nature of the evolutional transformism. The same progressive kinetic waning from phase energy to life, as from that of life to spirit, is nothing more than a constant and substantial characteristic of the evolutional phenomenon. This is because evolution, reduced to its fundamental substance, is movement, that is, a process of kinetic decentralization, a kinetic principle expanding from center to periphery, an actuation through which an impulse becomes exhausted, offspring of preceding and involutionally inverted impulses that had been kinetically concentrated and dynamically condensed, offspring of the Substance’s potential concentration, to which now counterpoises an inverse ascensional process." - Pietro Ubaldi | The Great Synthesis.
The entire book can be downloaded here.
See the (italian) official site here.