Friday, April 20, 2018

Film: "A Joyful Mind" (Mingyur Rinpoche)

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (, via Paul MacGowan; Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Happiness is easy.
A Joyful Mind is a one-hour film about the path to true happiness as portrayed through the life and teachings of Tibetan-Buddhist meditation rinpoche ("precious one") and best-selling author Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche ( Through his example we can learn about the simplicity and practicality of meditation (development, cultivation) as a powerful tool for discovering the wisdom, peace, and joy that is already residing within us. Visit

But, venerable rinpoche, what about this crazy monkey mind?

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche possesses a rare ability to present the ancient wisdom of Tibet in a fresh and engaging manner. His profound yet accessible teachings and playful sense of humor have endeared him to students around the world. His way of teaching weaves together personal experience and modern scientific research, relating both to the practice of meditation. He was born in 1975 in the Himalayan border regions between Tibet and Nepal. From a young age he was drawn to a life of contemplation and spent many years of his childhood in strict retreat. At the age of 17, he was invited to be a teacher at his monastery’s three-year retreat center, a position rarely held by such a young lama. He completed the traditional Buddhist training in philosophy and psychology before founding a monastic college at his home monastery in north India. More

InsightLA: Waking Up with Psychedelics (event)

Dhr. Seven, Ananda M. (D.M.I), Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly;

Waking Up With Psychedelics: A Conversation Exploring Psychedelics and Consciousness
Ram  DassWaking up with Psychedelics will be an honest discussion and potentially controversial evening.

This event explores whether there is a meritorious relationship existing between ancient wisdom traditions and psychedelics.

Are mind-altering substances [psychedelic actually means "mind-making"] a legitimate means of personal transformation?

Trudy  GoodmanIt’s inarguable that many Westerners have found spirituality through the use of psychoactive substances.

It’s also true that practitioners with established contemplative disciplines incorporate mind-expanding plant medicines and chemicals as a tool to go deeper into their consciousness.

Vince  HornBeyond the mystical aspects scientists are researching the potential benefits of psychedelics as therapeutic agents for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, addiction, and end-of-life care.

On Sunday May 13, 2018, 7:15 PM-9:30 PM, Vincent Horn, Buddhist Geeks Podcast host, will moderate a panel conversation that will include two Western pioneers of Eastern traditions.
Spring  WashamRam Dass, the legendary 1960s spiritual teacher, will be live-streaming from Maui, Hawaii.

He will join Trudy Goodman, LA’s senior mindfulness teacher and founder of Insight LA.

They are partnering with author, teacher and healer Spring Washam and UCLA psychedelic researcher Dr. Charles Grob.

Charles S Grob, M.D. Each participant will be providing his or her own unique perspective on the use of psychedelics in the waking-up process. Music by Johnny Mesa.

PANEL: Vince Horn, Ram Dass, Trudy Goodman, Spring Washam, and Charles S Grob, M.D.
  • Fee: priority seating: $75
  • 7:15-9:30 PM, Sunday, May 13, 2018
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery (MAP)
  • 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA, 90038
  • This event is sold out. Waiting list available is a community of people dedicated to maintaining a safe and welcome, open and diverse environment that stands firmly against all racial, gender, economic, and religious biases.

Dharma Meditation Initiative - - Punx -

Avicii, EDM star, DEAD at 28 (video)

Dev, Crystal Quintero, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Avicii Mexico, doc, April 2, 2018

Coachella sighs. Avicii, top electronic dance music artist, found dead at 28 One of the world's biggest dance music stars has died today, his representatives say. Swedish rave sensation Avicii, electronic dance music DJ, found dead ( The Swedish EDM (electronic dance music) DJ Avicii, 28, died this afternoon in Oman, according to a statement from his representative. Avicii Dead: Musicians, Celebrities React ( Following news of the death of DJ Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii [the worst place in Buddhist cosmology, the lowest hell, "the waveless"], on Friday, celebrities expressed their condolences on social media.

Avicii dead: Swedish DJ and musician passes away aged 28 ( The Swedish-born producer and DJ known as Avicii has been found dead in Oman. The musician -- born Tim Bergling -- was 28. Avicii's publicist Diana Baron confirmed the news in a statement that the DJ was in Muscat, Oman when he passed away. Avicii: Swedish DJ dead at 28 (

Tim Bergling, the Grammy-nominated Swedish DJ better known as Avicii, died Friday, his publicist confirmed to CNN. Avicii was in Muscat, Oman, according to a representative. Avicii, electronic dance music producer and DJ, is dead at 28 ( Tim Bergling, who worked with pop stars like Madonna and Coldplay under the stage name Avicii, was found dead in Muscat, Oman. What is Avicii's cause of death? Swedish DJ found dead (

Why does anyone care? Avicii had hundreds of millions of views.

Dharma Talk and Meditation Group (Spirit Rock)

Jack Kornfield (Spirit Rock); Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Wes Nisker, Anne Cushman, John Martin, Julie Wester, Tempel Smith, Erin Selover, Andrea Fella, Oren Jay Sofer, Donald Rothberg, Dana DePalma, JoAnna Hardy, Larry Yang, Anushka Fernandopulle. Phillip Moffit, Sharda Rogell, Pamela Weiss, Sally Armstrong, Heather Sundberg, John Travis (Emeritus), Kittisaro, Anna Douglas, Eugene Cash, Erin Treat, Will Kabat-Zinn, Howard Cohn, Debra Chamberlin-Taylor, James Baraz. Matthew Brensilver, Michelle Latvala, Nikki Mirghafori, Mark Coleman, Thanissara, Nisha Shah (
"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins, there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."
– Spring Washam
Monday Night Dharma Talk & Meditation Group
Bringing Home the Dharma
Meets every Monday night from 7:15-9:15 pm in the Spirit Rock Community Meditation Center. The sit is also available via livestream:
The Monday Night Meditation Group is now in its 33rd year and serves as an introduction to the practices of awareness and compassion that are the heart of Theravada Buddhist teachings.
The sit is appropriate for beginning and experienced students alike. New to Spirit Rock? Join the weekly Community Welcome Program at no charge. Fee on Monday nights: $15-30 (sliding scale).

Wonder Women: Latin Raquel Welch (video)

Editor Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Raquel Welch, Lynda Carter, Cher

Raquel Welch and Cher "I'm a Woman"
Cher's DVD, Closer to the Truth: The Whole Story, a two-disc set celebrating her 50th anniversary as an entertainer. Here she and the inimitable Raquel Welch perform "I'm a Woman" live on The Cher Show (1975).

Helen Reddy performs the iconic "I Am Woman," an anthem for the ages with lyrics included

Latin Wonder Woman Lynda Carter
I always confuse American sex symbol Raquel Welch with Lynda Carter, so much that they've been one person in my mind. Maybe it's because they're both Latinas! "Raquel Welch" was born Jo Raquel Tejada, and Lynda Carter was once Linda Córdova. Imagine that, the most beautiful women in the US actually being Latin but nearly no one knows it. There was One Million Years B.C. with Carter, no, Welch. Then there was Wonder Woman with Welch, no, Carter. Who could forget her in the cult classic Bedazzled, beautiful and a sense of humor. Comedy is rare. Then there was that tragic marriage to singer-politician Sonny Bono... Oh, wait, that Cher, the pre-Lady Gaga, preternatural ageless diva.

Beauty is fading so have a back up talent to fall back on because no
one wants to see what makeup can't hide, as Craig Lynch said.

420: High Times Cannabis Cup, L.A. (concert);; Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Now that prohibition is ended and people are eager to become potheads, some people, the old magazine High Times has to stay relevant, but how? How about a concert say with Lil Wayne or 2 Chainz or Cypress Hill or Wiz Khalifa? Bernie Sanders can help. It's supposed to be medicine, y'all, you know CBD over THC. Isn't it funny how Los Angeles is just about the coolest place in the country, yet all the pot smoking and drug abusing this weekend is going to be in the San Berdoo with Coachella and this show.

2 Chainz loves his mom, makes her PROUD ft. YG, Offset. Lil Wayne said never again in 2017:

What is the High Times Cannabis Cup?
High Times Cannabis Cup 2018
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s leading music and lifestyle festival featuring main stage music performances, high-touch exhibitor village, educational seminars, culinary experiences, and much more! When is the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup? It's this weekend, April 20-22, 2018, at noon (VIP) 12:00 pm, with general admission at 12:30 pm. Where? It's at the National Orange Events Center 689 South E Street San Bernardino, CA More
  • High Times Cannabis Cup 420 - LA
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Friday-Sunday, April 20-22, 2018
Then there's the bad news
High Times Cannabis Cup 420 event rejected in SoCal

Thursday, April 19, 2018

UPDATE: Noah Levine accused of nonconsensual sex

Snooping investigators of Wisdom Quarterly; letter from

We have known for weeks. Yet, we have have sat on our findings so ATS can do its investigations, if they are going to. Here's the scoop: It does not look good for Noah Levine. It looks bad, but not that bad.

The Board or the "ATS Grievance Council" found the allegations/accusations very "credible," according to Mary Stancavage. She said so at a regularly-scheduled meeting in Santa Monica that discussed the situation after she put the gag on everyone present by insisting we only use "right speech" (of which she would be the judge, one presumes) when discussing this in the group. 

Then she repeated that the allegations they read about were "credible." Then she said not to read anything into her having used of the word "credible" twice. Mm hmm.

All of this is to say that the people on the inside believe what they read in the secret letter written by the accuser, who is not the victim herself but a friend or teacher. We'd like to see that letter so everyone can hear the accusations. What were they told he did? Noah Levine is alleged to have had sex that was not always consensual. What is another word for sex that is not consensual? Mm hmm. 

We're keeping our mouths shut until we're told we can speak. Until then we'll whisper.

But on the upside, the woman herself did not make the allegations to the Board. She told another woman, possibly her teacher. And that woman saw fit to contact the Board. So the allegations are coming from a third party. Levine offered to meet with the Board and the woman and call her a "liar" to her face or in any case explain himself. We have to agree that a woman one is having consensual sex with cannot, after the fact, say that some of those times it was "not consensual." But she has. And so PC a person as Levine should have known that, even if it was not expressed in so many words.

Maybe they'll fire me. Will I keep my license?
The Board, we are told, is comprised of a bunch of lawyer types and insiders. Who could expect much more from them than saving the business? The woman should step forward and accuse Levine rather than doing it by proxy.

In any case, we can predict the future already. The friend or teacher making the allegations is available to tell anyone what she was told. It is not a secret from everyone. It is just being kept from "the sangha" because, well, why upset them? One supposes, as in the Harvey Weinstein cases, this woman can be paid off to keep silent. Will the Board do that with our donations? How aggressive is Jack Kornfield's investigation going? That was not mentioned. "Guilty as charged" we might have titled this post, but there's more nuance to it. And Levine is no longer married, nor do we think that woman was, so it was not sexual misconduct in the strict Buddhist sense. A popular sutra we've translated deals with that topic.

Should we say more to upset the cart, to give our opinion, our findings? Nah, this is painful enough. Let everyone wait so the Board can disappoint appease everyone on their own time.

Official letter from Against the Stream
Dear Sangha [ATS, DP, RR Community],

We are writing with an update about the current situation at Against the Stream. As you know, a few weeks ago ATS received notice of allegations involving our founding teacher Noah Levine. The Board and Teachers’ Council deemed these allegations worthy of investigation and, as is protocol in such cases, Noah was asked to step down from all his teaching duties.

The ATS Grievance Council has convened and collected information relating to the concerns. We have retained an independent investigator to conduct the investigation and make findings of fact which will be provided to the Grievance Council. We currently anticipate that the investigative process will be complete in approximately three to four weeks, and a report will be provided by the investigator shortly thereafter. The Grievance Council will then review the report and make recommendations based on the findings. This is the information we can share at this time while maintaining the integrity of the investigative process and respecting all involved in the process. We will let you know if anything in this projected time frame changes.

We understand this is a difficult time for all involved and sitting with uncertainty and all the accompanying emotions can be a challenge. We recognize the hurt and confusion that is being felt by many in the community and we are doing our best to be expedient as well as holding safe spaces to practice together.

With gratitude for your patience,

Against the Stream

Praise, Blame, and Worse in the World (sutra)

Ven. Thanissaro (trans.), Lokavipatti Sutra (AN 8.6), Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.); "Success and Failure" (Saccharine Trust); "Meditation" (Yongey Mingyur Rimpoche)
How do we keep from drowning in the world and cross over to the further shore?

"Meditators, these Eight Worldly Conditions chase after the world, and the world chases after these eight worldly conditions. What are the eight? They are gain, loss, honor, disgrace, praise, blame, pleasure, and pain....
"For an uninstructed worldly person there arise gain, loss, honor, disgrace, praise, blame, pleasure, and pain. And for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones there also arise gain, loss, honor, disgrace, praise, blame, pleasure, and pain. So what distinction, what difference, what distinguishing factor is there between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed worldly person?"
"For us, venerable sir, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, and their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explain the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the meditators will remember it."
"In that case, meditators, listen and pay close attention, and I will speak."
"As you say, venerable sir," they responded.
The Blessed One said, "Gain arises for an uninstructed worldly person. And that person does not reflect, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is impermanent, disappointing, painful, and subject to change.' One does not discern the situation (reality) as it actually is.
"Loss arises... honor...disgrace...praise...blame, pleasure...
"Pain arises. One does not reflect, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is impermanent, disappointing, painful, and subject to change.' One does not discern reality as it actually is.
"One's mind/heart remains consumed with the gain. One's mind remains consumed with the loss... with the honor... the disgrace... the praise... the blame... the pleasure. One's mind remains consumed with the pain.
"One welcomes (grasps at) the gain that arises and rebels (pushes) against the loss that arises. One welcomes the arisen honor and rebels against the arisen disgrace. One welcomes the praise that arises and rebels against the blame that arises.

"One welcomes the arisen pleasure and rebels against the arisen pain. As one is engaged in welcoming and pushing away, one is not released from birth, aging, death, from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, or despairs. One is not released, I say, from dukkha (suffering) and disappointment.

"Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones. And that person reflects, 'Gain has arisen for me. But it is impermanent, disappointing, and subject to change.' One discerns the circumstance (reality) as it actually is.

How to overcome monkey mind to meditate
(Mingey Yonger Rimpoche) How can we possibly meditate in this corrupt and confusing world?
"Loss arises... honor arises... disgrace arises... praise arises... blame arises... pleasure arises...
"Pain arises. One reflects, 'Pain has arisen for me. But it is impermanent, disappointing, and subject to change.' One discerns reality as it actually is.
"One's mind/heart does not remain consumed with the gain that has arisen. One's mind does not remain consumed with loss... honor... disgrace... praise... blame... pleasure. One's mind does not remain consumed with pain.
"One does not welcome the gain that has arisen nor rebel (push) against the loss that arises. One does not welcome the arisen honor nor rebel against the arisen disgrace. One does not welcome the arisen praise nor rebel against the arisen blame.

"One does not welcome the arisen pleasure nor rebel against the arisen pain. As by abandoning welcoming and pushing, one is released from birth, aging, death, from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. One is released, I say, from dukkha and disappointment.
"This is the distinction, this the difference, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed worldly person."
Gain/loss, honor/disgrace, praise/blame, pleasure/pain, these conditions among human beings are impermanent, inconstant (in flux, radically impermanent), and subject to change.

"Knowing this the wise person, mindful, ponders (reflects on) these changing conditions. Desirable things no longer charm the mind/heart, and undesirable ones no longer bring about resistance.

"One's welcoming and pushing away are scattered, gone to their end, and no longer exist. Knowing the stainless, sorrowless state, one discerns rightly, has gone, gone beyond becoming, to the further shore (nirvana).

Snorkeling for Mushrooms (video)

When it rains the northern watershed gathers it in the foothills to feed the LA River.
There are entheogens, edibles, and even underwater mushrooms like Psatyrella aquatica.

(Time River Productions) Why is Hahamongna Watershed, Pasadena, California so special?

Our mycology expert (Arboretum)
HAHAMONGNA, California - In Pasadena, in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, northern Los Angeles County, above the Rose Bowl, we gathered.

We trekked through stinging nettle as Christopher Nyerges warned us, over fields of chickweed and lambsquarters in search of the elusive "snark."

We came to the bridge by the distant City of JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab, a world unto itself in collaboration with nearby Caltech University and NASA) along the Gabrielino Trail behind the world-famous facility.

Clusters of mushrooms fluorescing
It was after a sudden spring rain that turned the whole area green and flowery.

Water rushed down the Flintridge Wash of the Upper Arroyo into Devil's Gate Dam to the delight of ducks paddling like  pargeons in a pool.
California Foraging: Los Angeles

Real "Street Food": Urban Foraging in the City of Los Angeles
(Great Big Story, July 11, 2017) Christopher Nyerges (The School of Self-Reliance) has always loved plants and the outdoors. When he was a kid, he would forage and store plants in his parents’ refrigerator. Now Nyerges is teaching others to do the same. But this isn’t some nature hike foraging. Nyerges uses his encyclopedic botanical knowledge and a keen eye for urban-dwelling edible wild plants to teach other residents of Los Angeles where to find them. At his School of Self-Reliance, he shows city folks how to scour alleyways, parking lots, city parks, and the sides of highways to find unexpected wild treats. From mushrooms to mustard flowers, radish pods to mallow fruits, Nyerges can help anyone forage the best veg street food ever.
California Foraging: Hahamongna
(KCETOnline) Mia, Eli, and Pascal show how fun it is to forage wild plants and live off the land.
Everywhere we turn in wild California, there's something to eat -- if one knows what to look for. Foragers Mia Wasilevich and Pascal Baudar of Transitional Gastronomy shop at the grocery store, but they also head into the woods regularly, carrying daypacks, little knives, and compasses, finding edible plants scattered across public lands.

Old ones, bold ones but no old-bold shroomers
They like it so much they've turned it into a business, with Pascal leading interested food nerds out into the woods to collect cat tails, purslane, wild radishes, and more, with which Mia cooks up a feast using these wild ingredients (SoCal Food). Eli Newell came along for one such VEGGIE HUNT with Pascal and learned about native versus invasive plants in Southern California's woodland parks. Which do you suppose peaches are?). We ate flowers and asked Pascal just why, exactly, he makes a habit of rubbing poison oak on his face.

California Foraging: The Gabrielino Trail

PART II: Beware the common poison oak, which didn't bother the Natives.
Underwater Mushrooms?
Oregon Mycologist Darlene Southworth reveals her new discovery: Psathyrella aquatica

Learn: Wild Mushroom Fair, L.A.
A few days before we wandered through our hunt, finding ourselves under the big wooden bridge next to the dam. Looking below us we could see tree oysters in clusters.

We scrambled down in search of mycological samples blooming high in the trees, too high to reach.

Soon the water came and we needed to dive for them, not fancy scuba diving in the pollution, but messy snorkeling in the muck. Who tosses this plastic junk and automotive residue into the river way?

Boating the LA River by canoe (
There they were, tree oysters! This was not the first time we had spotted them in these woods. They love willows. Nor was this the first time we fished for them. Monica and I came out in the mist of a swollen creek by the magic tree.

Not only did we collect the fruiting bodies from the tree, there was a big "fishy mushroom" floating in the water, pink as salmon, slick as rainbow trout.

Oysters grow on trees not on the ground!
We grabbed a branch and reeled it in in disbelief. It was such a large sample that, soaked, it had broken from the tree and plunged into the temporarily swollen creek, where the water can rise 12 feet or more in a day.
What's so special it? Tim Brick (Arroyo Seco Foundation) explains
Founation preserving Los Angeles Foothill communities (


The Great 2018 LA River CleanUp
April 21, 2018

Middle River
Los Feliz Blvd at Bond Park Register
Fletcher Drive/Bowtie Parcel Register
Marsh Park Register
The Frog Spot Register
April 28, 2018

Lower River
Compton Creek at Del Amo Metro Station

Willow Street Estuary Register
Golden Shore Marine Reserve Register

The Great LA River CleanUp (La Gran Limpieza) three weekends in April (

Foraging for Free Wild Edible Plants (video)

The Outsider; Pure Living for Life; K. Dice; Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
Wild Spring Delicacies: Ramps, Morels, Fiddleheads, Birch Sap
In the world of wild edibles, springtime offers a buffet of delicacies that can't be found at any other time of the year. Let's find morel mushrooms, ramps/leeks, fiddlehead ferns, and birch sap. The season for these wild edibles is short, and they can be tricky to find. In this episode we'll learn how to look for, identify, and prepare them from field to plate.

Forage for Wild Edible Plants, Barter Free Forest Food
This is the life!
Support Pure Living for Life on Patreon. Being self-reliant goes beyond trying to run a self-sufficient home and homestead. We want to be self-sufficient outside, too, so one of the things we’ve been focusing on is learning what edible plants are in our area. That way we might be able to capitalize on free natural food! More specifically, it’s Huckleberry Season, and we’re gathering as many berries as possible to stock the pantry! This short video is to share more information about how we are foraging in the forest and then turning our finds into delicious goods to barter or give as gifts! Here are some posts you may enjoy.
Video by Werner Elmker ( Jefferson County Park, Fairfield, Iowa, September 2015.

Wild Edible Plants Class by Kathy Dice
Kathy Dice introduces participants to nature’s wild edible plants. She co-owns Red Fern Farms in Wapello, Iowa and has been a wild edibles enthusiast for over 35 years. Sponsored by, Red Fern Farm is a family-owned nursery and farm run and owned by Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice. It is the site of ongoing research on a variety of tree crops and forest farming systems. We raise and sell container grown tree seedlings and medicinal planting roots well suited for the Midwest.
  • (319) 729-5905
  • 13882 I Ave., Wapello, Iowa 52653