Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sitaram's literary writtings...

It really humbles me to read his works for I know I have still a way to go, but I definitelly can relate to his writing and the meanning behind his writing...

Saturday, December 31, 2005
Reform of Islam

Iranian_Engineer: hello Sitaram
Iranian_Engineer: I read a bit of your childhood it was quite interesting

Iranian_Engineer: special kid you were

Sitaram: oh, hi... I am watching educational television.... a Dr. who studies Tibetan monks brains while they meditate

Iranian_Engineer: its really interesting!

Sitaram: it just ended the show... and now... Religion and Ethics in World News is coming on

Sitaram: the doctor was Jon Kabat-Zin

Iranian_Engineer: what were the conclusions?

Sitaram: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Sitaram: MIT Massachusetts


Iranian_Engineer: how do they study the brains of meditators

Sitaram: electrodes... brain waves

Sitaram: now the show with Fareed Zakaria is on (he is an Indian intellectual)

Iranian_Engineer: what happened to brain waves while meditating?
Iranian_Engineer: they were slow?

Sitaram: yes... very 20 yr practitioners...
Sitaram: patterns not thought possible

Iranian_Engineer: what were the patterns like?


Sitaram: I am doing Google search now


Sitaram: He was dismayed that the world’s most brilliant scientists, many of whom were on his own campus, could be so sophisticated about science, yet so unsophisticated about the nature of the mind that produced the science. “We use all these fancy instruments, which are extensions of the senses—electron microscopes, radio telescopes, spectrophotometers—to study the world, but we haven’t paid much attention to who’s doing all this studying. Who’s doing all this knowing? What’s the mind of the scientist? We were, and are, smart in a lot of ways, but idiotic in a lot of other ways,” he says.

Iranian_Engineer: interesting



Iranian_Engineer: do you meditate?


Sitaram: I did for years , now... only time to write now

Iranian_Engineer: how did you do it?


Sitaram: here is the show I just watched... from the station that broadcast

Iranian_Engineer: you mean you read this and started meditating?

Iranian_Engineer: ah ok thank you

Sitaram: here.... Washington post... brain waves and meditation

Sitaram: over the past few years, researchers at the University of Wisconsin working with Tibetan monks have been able to translate those mental experiences into the scientific language of high-frequency gamma waves and brain synchrony, or coordination.

Sitaram: they have pinpointed the left prefrontal cortex, an area just behind the left forehead, as the place where brain activity associated with meditation is especially intense.

Sitaram: the longtime practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before," said Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the university's new $10 million W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior

Sitaram: Their mental practice is having an effect on the brain in the same way golf or tennis practice will enhance performance." It demonstrates, he said, that the brain is capable of being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine.

Sitaram: Scientists used to believe the opposite -- that connections among brain nerve cells were fixed early in life and did not change in adulthood. But that assumption was disproved over the past decade with the help of advances in brain imaging and other techniques, and in its place, scientists have embraced the concept of ongoing brain development and "neuroplasticity."

Iranian_Engineer: you know the disease ADHD?

Sitaram: yes
Sitaram: all children have it, joking
Iranian_Engineer: not all haha, some

Iranian_Engineer: in that disease which you they cant keep their attention etc

Sitaram: The Dalai Lama ultimately dispatched eight of his most accomplished practitioners to Davidson's lab to have them hooked up for electroencephalograph (EEG) testing and brain scanning. The Buddhist practitioners in the experiment had undergone training in the Tibetan Nyingmapa and Kagyupa traditions of meditation for an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 hours, over time periods of 15 to 40 years. As a control, 10 student volunteers with no previous meditation experience were also tested after one week of training.

Iranian_Engineer: and concentrate

Sitaram: The monks and volunteers were fitted with a net of 256 electrical sensors and asked to meditate for short periods. Thinking and other mental activity are known to produce slight, but detectable, bursts of electrical activity as large groupings of neurons send messages to each other, and that's what the sensors picked up. Davidson was especially interested in measuring gamma waves, some of the highest-frequency and most important electrical brain impulses.

Iranian_Engineer: and guess which part of their brain has problem?
Iranian_Engineer: the prefrontal lobe!

Sitaram: Both groups were asked to meditate, specifically on unconditional compassion. Buddhist teaching describes that state, which is at the heart of the Dalai Lama's teaching, as the "unrestricted readiness and availability to help living beings." T

Sitaram: Davidson said that the results unambiguously showed that meditation activated the trained minds of the monks in significantly different ways from those of the volunteers. Most important, the electrodes picked up much greater activation of fast-moving and unusually powerful gamma waves in the monks, and found that the movement of the waves through the brain was far better organized and coordinated than in the students.

Iranian_Engineer: yes I opened that page

Sitaram: so, the mullahs did not block it

Iranian_Engineer: its interesting
Iranian_Engineer: tell me about your experiences of meditation you learned etc

Sitaram: I would need to compose an essay... to gather my thoughts...
Sitaram: which I am happy to do

Iranian_Engineer: compose essay about?

Sitaram: duh... about the complex question you just posed

Iranian_Engineer: ah ok

Sitaram: regarding my experiences with meditation

Iranian_Engineer: yes !!!I am really eager to read that essay!

Sitaram: look at this page I found JOY DETECTIVES

Sitaram: I have been writing things about it over the past 8 years
Sitaram: I suppose visions are the most interesting aspect of it
Sitaram: I will give you one link

Iranian_Engineer: what kind of visions?


Sitaram: there is good example
Sitaram: you can see music and pictures if this link is not blocked but I think they block this


Iranian_Engineer: its not blocked

Sitaram: noooooo!!!!! this one
Sitaram: is that block.... I think yes
Sitaram: here is copy at non blocked site... I think
Sitaram: that is perhaps not blocked
Sitaram: otherwise, first link is minus pictures/music

Iranian_Engineer: I meant your first link doesn’t have pictures

Sitaram: duh... that’s what I told you... not blocked... but no pictures/no music
Sitaram: you can download my entire site, as zipped files ... and unzip it on your hard drive... with music and pictures on several pages


Iranian_Engineer: ah there was problem the page disappeared!

Sitaram: but... perhaps, if the authorities discovered it on your hard drive... you might be in big trouble

Iranian_Engineer: come on

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Sitaram: if you download only the first 100 pages... plus wav plus gif

Sitaram: I am serious... after page 100, there are some pages which would get you executed or imprisoned in Saudi

Sitaram: but, if you only download 1st 100 pages, wav, gif, jpg... you can see music and pictures

Iranian_Engineer: well how can they know what I download?

Sitaram: well, if police come to your home.....

Iranian_Engineer: why police should come to my home?
Iranian_Engineer: its not that much anarchy
Sitaram: for example... let us say that I am charged here with some crime.... and police get search warrant (this is hypothetical example).... but this has happened.... and they seize my computer... and find child pornography on hard drive... then I could go to prison

Iranian_Engineer: and what are those which they can execute me for?
Iranian_Engineer: but here there are no such rules

Sitaram: ok... TODAY you do not have such a government... but how do you know that there will not be SOME OTHER REVOLUTION... another ayatollah, or perhaps.... some Wahabi group will gain power

Iranian_Engineer: I dont think so?

Sitaram: oh... nonsense... you have had morality police... and women are lashed for improper dress, makeup.. or acid in uncovered face (or is that just Afghanistan)

Iranian_Engineer: why should I fear of something which doesn’t exist?

Sitaram: well... in 1920... if I talked concentration camps to a German, and lamps made of human skin, that German would say "oh I don’t think so"

Iranian_Engineer: when there many fearful things already?

Sitaram: in northern Nigeria, they now have Sharia law, and are cutting off the hands of adolescents..... and stoning women... who would have foreseen that

Iranian_Engineer: you know

Iranian_Engineer: if they find out what I talk here etc ..they might put me in prison

Sitaram: in 1930s who would have foreseen in USA the Senator McCarthy witch hunts for communists,.... and the blackball lists which ruined careers of entertainers and others

Sitaram: OK, so... excellent example

Iranian_Engineer: but I don’t care
Iranian_Engineer: I don’t limit myself!!

Sitaram: martyrs rarely do

Sitaram: Nabokov said, in "Pale Fire", "Curiosity is the highest form of insubordination"

Iranian_Engineer: interesting

Iranian_Engineer: here many people are fearful

Iranian_Engineer: you know there are enough outer authorities without creating for yourself an inner authority to haunt you and stalk you.

Iranian_Engineer: but the main problem comes when you make yourself a prison

Sitaram: I was quoting something today to my wife, said I think by Asar Nafisi, or some Iranian... cant remember

Iranian_Engineer: yes?

Sitaram: they said that "the ultimate degree of religious fanaticism is when you do not feel comfortable even in your own home"
Iranian_Engineer: yes

Sitaram: my wife said... "what does that mean"...

Iranian_Engineer: well she wasn’t living here so she might not understand

Sitaram: I said "well, you are alone at home, and you worry that you are properly covered up, ... or look at the clock for time of prayer.... or you must release gas, and you worry...
Sitaram: a paranoia that you are always being watched, judged
Sitaram: even when alone

Iranian_Engineer: I know what it means

Sitaram: hadith give account of one city where the toilets faced Mecca,.... so the muslims would turn their face away, as they moved their bowels
Sitaram: this is not a joke, but a true account

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Iranian_Engineer: how stupid
Sitaram: so.... they do not feel at ease even to take a dump in the toilet... or fart

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Sitaram: oh.... Islam teaches in Hadith, that if you wash wudu, and enter masjid, and then fart, you must hold your nose, walk out of masjid, wash again, and then return to prayer

Sitaram: that is not a joke... that is an actual hadith

Iranian_Engineer: these are nonsense !! and people are stupid see how dangerous religion could be for blind followers!

Sitaram: I cite these to give dramatic illustration of how one might feel ill at ease even alone in home or in bathroom

Sitaram: you know.... I got to be intimately familiar with Sikh scriptures , the Adhi Granth, and Nanak, the founder... and it is truly ISLAM reformed.... and quite appealing and compelling....

Sitaram: Sikhism developed around 16th century, in an area in Punjab India, where Muslims and Hindus lived side by side

Iranian_Engineer: you are starting a religious talk again

Sitaram: so, we shall change the subject... I thought you might find the Sikh example fascinating

Sitaram: we shall change subject

Iranian_Engineer: you know that I agree those things are stupid and they exist in every religon and stupid people follow such silly rules and.......

Iranian_Engineer: so don’t try to persuade me how terrible things are
Iranian_Engineer: I am more interested to know about meditation
Iranian_Engineer: or how can we change the situation?
Iranian_Engineer: you know its negative critic ...and its not productive
Iranian_Engineer: negative

Sitaram: well, I told you about engineer in Tehran, who went to yoga classes,.... and when I asked what mullahs thought, he said it is billed as exercise, not religion

Iranian_Engineer: imagine a poor girl in a country like Iran
Iranian_Engineer: yes true

Sitaram: but the notion was that it was a secret way to go some place, and be spiritual in a hidden fashion

Iranian_Engineer: I am so worried about the future of my country I love to know what am I able to do!!!

Sitaram: you know... I felt the concern of my African friends for their troubled societies

Sitaram: which is why I created

Sitaram: so... I am not deaf and blind to the problems and sufferings of other nations and cultures...

Iranian_Engineer: I know

Sitaram: you are right.... what is to be done in countries such as yours
Sitaram: is there not a way to have Islam and also Democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, tolerance for other religious beliefs

Iranian_Engineer: you feel everything is in its wrong place and you cant do anything..upper system is corrupted!

Iranian_Engineer: I think not

Sitaram: you have mentioned a key word... corruption

Iranian_Engineer: I don’t think one can rule a country with religious absolutism?

Sitaram: in so many nations
Sitaram: the Philippines... such corruption.... when it could be a shining star...
Sitaram: in so many African nations..... those who seize power, and steal resources from their starving people
Sitaram: north Korea has now suddenly refused food from NGO foreign groups
Sitaram: Non Government Organizations

Iranian_Engineer: yes like us. we have such oil !! the price of oil increases each day and we become poorer each day

Sitaram: they will only accept help for power plants.... and no one wants to give that, because of their agenda for nuclear weapons
Sitaram: I will tell you a saying from American farmers...
Sitaram: the farmer is the only one who BUYS retail, and sells wholesale
Sitaram: if farmer needs hammer, he goes to hardware store, and pays retail price...

Iranian_Engineer: what does it mean?

Sitaram: but he sells his milk wholesale for such little price... but the milk factory (i forget correct term)... becomes wealthier, and grocery store becomes wealthier, than farmer who makes the milk

Iranian_Engineer: true!

Sitaram: wholesales is cheap price
Sitaram: retail is highest price to consumer...

Iranian_Engineer: yes
Iranian_Engineer: that’s a sad truth

Sitaram: the diamonds miners do not make the same profit as the jewelers

Iranian_Engineer: I know

Iranian_Engineer: that’s what happens to our poor people

// posted by Sitaram @ 8:18 AM 0 comments links to this post

palLABS: laboratory of the universal particular

On the other hand...while Stumblin Upon a little more, I found this trully elaborate, yet simple blog, which, I think establishes a common denominator with the way I view life and living today...

palLABS: laboratory of the universal particular: "palLABS: laboratory of the universal particular

philosophy + spacetime. quality + tea. push + boundaries. containers + emotions. meticulous + neon. introduction + sleep. hindsight + semiotics. foreground + needs. scratch + thermocol. needs + windshield. 73 + alien. spine + instead. etc."

Furthermore, I clicked one of the links within...(he he, notice I said within, not inside...
and lo and behold, I found another interesting site...It is called Urban Dharma. I will probably stop by again at both spots...

But, what really caught my attention was the article there about Hurricanes and Karma...
Here is sort of an intro to the essay:
Was the Tsunami Caused by Karma? - A Buddhist View -- by Kusala Bhikshu

The world is filled with so much pain and suffering and now a Tsunami kills over 170,000 people. Why did so many people have to die, was it their karma?

I was watching the news, listening to a famous American Buddhist scholar say the death and destruction caused by the Tsunami, "Was karma." A simple answer and a great sound bite to a complex question, but to say the reason behind this tragic event was simply karma appears glib and indifferent.

I've never found the cause of anything in Buddhism to be just one thing. Saying the reason for a complex chain of events is the result of one action-- whether it's God, sin or karma-- doesn't seem like a viable option for a Buddhist. Buddhist cosmology is non-theistic and lacks a first cause. I admit some Buddhists feel karma can replace God as a first cause, because Buddhism has a moral code and lacks a divine law giver... But is it fair to say that a Tsunami is the moral consequence of unskillful intention, speech and action?

The Buddha was clear on this. We lack a realistic world view because of lust, greed, hatred and delusion. Science can add some clarity and meaning, but the Buddha warned us about this world of ours (samsara) being unsatisfactory, it's the place where birth, death and change occur. We experience pain because we have a body/mind, and suffer because of desire and impermanence.

Sickness, injury, aging and death are simply the signs of flux in an insufferable world.

Early Buddhism gives us something called the five Niyamas, or the five aspects of cosmic order. These Niyamas can deepen our understanding and give meaning to why things happen. Niyama is a Pali term (language of early Buddhism) for cosmic order. The Niyamas show how certain conditions, laws of nature, work at different levels of cause and effect.
read the rest of the article here

I've seen it all now...!

Here is a perfect example of a stupid criticism of people, places or things...
How in the world is th eplacing of cookies by the NSA different from what has happened in the internet since the invention of the cookies to track you and me on the internet???!
C'mon folks...Give me a break will ya???

Here is the post:

December 29, 2005
Is the NSA a Cookie Monster?/New Year's Greetings

Another lazy post from me while I am traveling....Can you believe that the National Security Agency has been covertly placing cookies on the computers of people who visit its website? With these cookies, the NSA could track the Internet surfing of those visitors. That's what AP is reporting:

The National Security Agency's Internet site has been placing files on visitors' computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most files of that type.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Top Ten Reasons to Live a Life of Integrity...

It has been a rough life for me this last year. I have refused to get into the 8 to 5 life of corporate schemes and rendezvues. I have paid a price for it. I also have embarked all this last year in the divine assignment I was given to start my own business. In the process, I have also paid a high price, incorporating, marketing and customer development, promotion, multitasking 7 days a week, no vacation, insurance, and many others...
I agree with the reasons Mr. Angier lists for living a life of integrity. I agree with the motivation behind all 10 of his reasons, but I have had several nights of insomnia, my health has not been the greatest,and my peace of mind has fluctuated. But I have to agree with him: I'd rather live a life of integrity, in spite of it all, than live a lie...
Life and Living for real is healthier, saner, better than the alternative...

The Top Ten Reasons
to Live a Life of Integrity

by Michael Angier

You might think that it's a no-brainer why one should live an honest life. But it's apparent to me that a life of integrity is the exception rather than the rule. How many people do you know who are honest all the time?

We could make a case about the morality and the "rightness" of living honestly. Religious leaders have been advocating this for thousands of years. It's doubtful that even they could provide a true model of integrity.

I believe in the moral and ethical value of integrity but I also think there are very practical and worthwhile reasons for living an impeccable life. Here are ten:

1. Trust. In order to be successful in business or hold a responsible job, a person must have a reputation of honesty. Resources are not entrusted to people who have proven themselves as untrustworthy.

2. Good Health. I have no research to support this, but I'd be willing to bet that people who tell the truth are healthier. They have less concern, less stress and feel better about themselves. This has to translate into better health.

3. Pride. I've yet to meet a liar who has any real pride in themselves. Any good leadership training will stress the importance and value of having pride in what you do and who you are. If your reputation is grounded in deception, your opinion of yourself is poor indeed. Being honest just plain feels good.

4. Peace of Mind. If you cheat on your income taxes, you may get away with it, but you'll probably always worry that you'll get audited and face fines, extra charges and even jail as a result. Your reputation would also be tarnished. When you deal honestly, you have peace of mind. It's impossible to worry and be happy at the same time.

5. Remembering. It's been said that no one has a good enough memory to be a good liar. When you don't tell the truth, you have to INVENT it. When you do, you'll often be asked to recall your rendition of the truth, and you may not be able to do so because you forgot what you said. You KNOW the truth, but you can't remember your version of it. Very embarrassing. Besides, it's hard work to continually come up with false stories.

6. Good Sleep. If you lie—unless you have no conscience at all—you'll often lose sleep because of your fears of being found out. Your worry and your guilt will keep you awake. A good night's sleep is one of life's many pleasures and honest people sleep better.

7. Confidence. Many people have excellent "bull" detectors. They know—at least at some level—when you're being fake. If telling lies is your modus operandi, you know that these people will often see though your façade. There's no way to have real confidence in oneself when you're walking on "bull."

8. Good Relationships. Relationships are the jewels of our lives. Some would argue that relationships ARE our lives. And breeches in trust are the death knell of relationships. When trust is gone, there is no foundation upon which to build. Relationships lacking in trust seem hollow and shallow. They lack joy.

9. Legal Problems. We don't have to look very far to see the legal trouble people get themselves into from dishonesty. Lying in a court of law or to an officer of the law is literally AGAINST the law. Conversely, if you have no secrets, you can rest easy and its hard for anyone to blackmail you.

10. It Doesn't Work. All too often our deceptions and duplicity are discovered. In the information age in which we live, it's even more likely that lies will sooner or later be seen for what they are. Dishonesty is just plain inefficient.

The right thing to do is seldom the easy thing to do. But it's worth it.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Focus of Our Attention

Focus of Our Attention
By Jeanie Marshall

"A weak mind is like a microscope,
which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones."
- Lord Chesterfield

The focus of our attention determines our life experiences. Where we put our attention, we put our energy. Where we put our attention, we put our consciousness. We draw into our lives the thing to which we give our attention, whether we want it or not. We seed the thing or idea that has our attention. That seed grows into the experiences of everyday life.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

An Unhappy 25th Anniversary

An Unhappy 25th Anniversary

by Joal Ryan
Dec 7, 2005, 4:55 PM PT

Music, activism, vigils.

Things that were so much a part of John Lennon's life are being used to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. In New York City, fans of former Beatle will gather Thursday night outside the apartment building where he was shot to death on the evening of Dec. 8, 1980.

Not far from the imposing facade of the Dakota, others will pay their respects at Strawberry Fields, the Central Park oasis dedicated in 1985 to the memory of Lennon.

read on...

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Holiday shopping ideas...

This article came to me in a newsletter I am subscribed to:
* Self Improvement and Personal Growth Weekly Newsletter * Issue # 378
Week of December 6-7, 2005
Publisher: David Riklan -

***Article: The Most Important Gifts of All – By Pauline
Wallin, Ph.D.***

In This Season of Gift-Buying, Don't Ignore The Most Important Gifts ofAll.
In this season of holiday gift buying, advertisers bombard us withmessages, some
of them contradictory.
One ad tells us that the best way for men to show love is to spend three
months' salary on a piece of diamond jewelry.
On the other hand, MasterCard commercials remind us that there are some
things ("Priceless" moments) that monëy can't buy."Oh, that's a sweet
sentiment," you might say, "but can it reallysubstitute for the latest video
game or hot toy?"
Very few children raised in this materialistic culture would say, "Gee mom,
thanks for making my favorite meal.
What a great Christmas gift!"
Yet 20 years from nöw, these same children probably won't remember the
items they got for the current Christmas. They will, however, recall the special
games that their family played together, the time that their older brother took
them to a movie, or the way their parents tucked them in at night.
These are the little moments, which over time, have a huge impact.
Unfortunately people tend to take them for granted.
With so much emphasison holiday shopping, and on buying the perfect
gift, we can losë sight ofthe importance of the less flashy, but "priceless"
gifts: gifts such as thoughtfulness and gratitude that we can give to one
another all year round.
A diamond may be forever, but its value is nothing compared to a lïfetime
of moments that monëy can't buy.
I'm not suggesting that you forego the presents this holiday season, but
don't worry so much about how "perfect" they are.
Go ahead and buy somegifts, but more importantly, resolve to focus your
energy on helping others feel valued and appreciated. They will remember your
acts of thoughtfulness and compassion long after the material gifts are
Hëre are some examples of small gestures that can help people around
youfeel valued:
1. Show your appreciation with a thank-you, a smile or a hug (or allthree).
It takes just a moment, but it can make a person's day.
2. Practice a random act of kindness every day. Make this your "gift" to
astranger. For example, let someone in front of you in line. Hold a door open
for someone. Smile and greet people you pass at work. These acts take only a few
seconds or less, yet they create a mood that can last for hours.
3. Call up someone you haven't spoken to in a while, just to catch up on
how they are. You've probably been meaning to do this for a long time. Nöw is a
good time.
4. If you have children, give one child at a time your full attention foran
afternoon: Go for a walk; go to the library; or just sit and read or draw
together. The activity itself isn't as important as sharing time and interacting
together. Going to a movie or watching a video doesn't count.
5. Write a note of appreciation to someone who is important to you. Don't
be surprised if that person keeps the note for years to come.
6. Think of the way you'd like to be remembered by those around you, and
give of yourself accordingly throughout the year. The added benefit for you is
that you'll be in a more positive frame of mind overall.

About the Author:Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA,
and author of"Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating
Behavior"(Beyond Words Publishing, 2001).
for more information, and subscribe to her frëe, monthly Inner Brat

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