For almost all countries that Buddhism came to, it was a force of civilization. Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Mongolia, all got their written languages from Buddhist scholar-missionaries. But not China. China was a civilized country at the time, with its own language and literature when Buddhism arrived.
The day my 7 year old laid down beside me and told me she was afraid to die was the day I realized my daughter was starting to have questions that were beyond my ability to explain and her maturity to understand the answer. Her logical reasoning told her that dying is so scary that it would be better not to be born at all. At the moment she told me her thought, my mind started to scatter about all the possibilities.
In previous articles we looked at how the digital technologies of our modern world are affecting us physically and emotionally and now we come to their psychological impact. On each level; physical, emotional and psychological the affects are pervasive and widespread but perhaps their impact on our mind space is in most urgent need of our consideration.
My approach to astrology, and to most things in general, is to learn, to listen, to be open minded, to research, and then to check it out deeply for myself, using my common sense, my intuition, my body, contemplation, observation, waiting and cross checking. Somewhat like a scientist. Somewhat like a meditator. Somewhat like an artist. I don’t and never have taken things on blind faith, and I would highly recommend you don’t either when you read my posts.
Cyber technologies and social media have enormous potential for reaching out in a way that previously was never possible, but there is also a shadow side. They give us a degree of on-line anonymity that makes it easy to enter into relationships in which our normal responses and responsibilities can be evaded. What might this mean to the younger generation who are being brought up within this kind of environment?
While we appear to be more easily contactable more and more people are actually alone with their devices than not. Take the ever increasing instances of when family or friends are sitting together in a restaurant, or at home, ostensibly to share a meal together and yet all the while busily tapping out messages or fiddling with something on their smartphones and quite oblivious of one another.
There can be no doubt that our digital age has extraordinary and beneficial advantages but nothing in the material world comes to us without a price. What is the price of digital technology? Can we offset the dangers by being more aware or are we all inextricably caught up in this seemingly unstoppable electronic tide?
Each kind act is like a rung on the ladder to the truth of wholeness, dissolving the illusion that we are separate. When we drop our own story to listen to someone else, it forges cracks in the mind’s inner shell, allowing light to flood in.
I lived less than a hundred meters away from an old village cremation ground and witnessed the unceasing flow of processions, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. The solemn groups of family, friends and community members who carried the deceased on their final journey to fires of dissolution all passed by my small abode.
I took the Red Elm tree as medicine, the inner dried bark of which is used as a remedy for a number of ailments for thousands of years by the north American natives and is in use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. From years of agonizing pain an unable to walk more than 20 meters, 95% of my pain is now gone.