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admin | to meditate in silence | 09.07.2014
The Karmapa Lama is the holder of the oldest lineage of reincarnated high lamas in Tibetan tradition, and head of the Karma Kagyu stream of teachings. Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits. Theravada School (or Hinayana School)Known as the Theravada School, or the School of the Elders (Skt. The early Buddhists split into a number of factions following Gautama’s death, each faction holding firm to its own interpretations.
Theravada Buddhism is still practiced widely in Southeast Asia, where its principles have been accepted with few differences in interpretation, but Theravada is not practiced widely in Japan. Marcia Montenegro, a former professional astrologer and astrology instructor tells why she left and how she became a Christian. Before becoming an astrologer, Marcia was involved with various New Age, occult, and Eastern beliefs and practices, including Inner Light Consciousness, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Hindu teachings and meditation, and psychic development classes. Spirit guides, meditation, astrology, the “higher Self,” raising the kundalini, developing psychic abilities, praying to gurus, astral travel, numerology, Tarot cards, contacting the dead, hanging out with witches, Sufis, followers of Muktananda, Rajneesh, Sai Baba, Maharaji, — all these and more were part of my journey. That journey continued through college where I had paranormal experiences, made friends with someone who said she saw auras, and attended spiritualist meetings where the ministers received messages from the dead. The journey stretched into the 70?s when I visited psychics and an astrologer, and did a lot of reading on the paranormal, and about Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. In an Inner Light Consciousness class, I was introduced to my “spiritual master” during a guided visualization. Finally, it seemed I was on the edge of a hidden wisdom, a truth higher than the everyday superficial thinking around me. I noticed that while doing chart readings for clients, I would “tune in” to the chart in a paranormal way, during which I felt an energy connecting my mind to the chart, and felt guided through the chart. There was also the disquieting teaching that whatever thought was in my mind at the moment of death would determine the after-death experience for some time. Being taught to be natural and “holistic” on one hand, but then learning to let go of my natural reactions on the other, seemed a contradiction. I also learned that the nature of occult and New Age thinking is that there is no one answer. We are just drops in the ocean, I learned, and the goal is to eventually, after many lifetimes, rejoin the cosmic oneness that some call God. The best way to help others and stay true to your path, I heard and read over and over, was to work on yourself and love yourself. Despite the meditations, trying to live in “the now,” and the talk of love, I continued to have frightening experiences.
In the opening minutes of a service in a large church in downtown Atlanta, I felt a love I had never known wash down over and through me, so powerfully that I started crying. After several weeks, I began to feel unclean about astrology although no one in this open-minded church said anything about it. Spiritually, I had been in a grave with the buddhas and the sorcerers and the seekers of wisdom who had rejected the truth of Christ. Since becoming a Christian, Marcia has been on several radio shows, including “Unshackled!,” Bill Bright’s “WorldChangers,” “Janet Parshall’s America,” and the “Dawson McAllister Live” show for teenagers.
Marcia graduated with High Honors from Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College), St. Yoga is an integral part of Hindu belief and practice; to say otherwise is considered an insult by Hindus.
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The Theravada school advocates the meditative monastic life as the path to salvation and liberation, a path reserved for those few (the monks) who can give up all to follow its austere practices. During these years, she also participated in past life regression, numerology, Tarot cards, spirit contact, seances, astral travel, and received a spirit guide through a guided visualization.
Through these contacts and her own experiences, she became familiar with a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices that were an intrinsic part of the New Age and occult community. My sister and I had to attend church, because my mother thought that was the right thing to do, although she did not always go. One bright sunny Florida afternoon, as I rested on my bed fully awake with eyes partly closed, I felt myself floating. I remember reading a book on Vedanta (sect of Hinduism) each morning in the cafeteria of the building where I worked. I studied astrology and took a 7-hour exam on astrology in Atlanta, Georgia, administered by the City but formulated and graded by an astrology board, in order to qualify for the business license. It often seemed that I was being fed information or led to specific things to say about the client. Since I came to believe there was only ignorance, not evil, stories of vicious cruelty and murder made me uncomfortable. Trying to detach myself from all desire involved a meditation that allows thoughts, fears, or desires to come up and then not to respond to them.
Although talk of “love” was common and was taught to be the basis for everything, it also seemed that some used the “law of love” as a way to justify whatever they were doing. One of the worst was waking up to see an older woman staring at me from the bottom of the bed. He was more real than the spirit guides, the Ascended Masters, the Higher Self — all those airy, elusive things that gave no evidence of their existence — because He came to earth in flesh and He hungered, thirsted, felt pain and sorrow. The complicated and intricate studies that had enthralled me, the endless layers of truths and realities I had pursued, the constant effort to evolve, the paranormal experiences, the need to believe in one’s own goodness at all costs, were all a maze and a trap. Well, a few months later, as I was about to go forward in a church to publicly proclaim faith in Christ, I got incredibly ill.
She has also been on Christian television, including having her testimony dramatized on Dr. In fact, yoga was a very esoteric practice in India until Westerners arrived and sought out gurus. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice.


Theravada sought to preserve the original and orthodox teachings of Gautama Buddha, while the Mahayana tradition was more flexible and innovative.
See Additional Readings to learn about their early efforts to recall and codify the teachings of the Historical Buddha. In 1983, she passed the 7-hour exam given by the Atlanta Board of Astrology Examiners, a Board set up by the City to formulate and grade exams to be given to aspiring astrologers wishing to practice legally in the City of Atlanta.
Due to my father’s job in the Foreign Service, we moved around a lot, so we ended up in different churches located overseas and in the Washington, DC, area. I opened my eyes and was stunned to see my body on the bed below me as I hovered near the ceiling. I started to see connections in my life with the colors of the chakras, the seven psychic centers of energy in the body according to Hindu beliefs. My spiritual progress seemed assured, especially since I was having so many paranormal experiences.
Passing the test, I started practicing astrology, and eventually I taught astrology, gave public talks, wrote for astrological and New Age journals, and sat on the board of astrology examiners that gave and graded the exams, becoming chairman of that board. After so many years of Eastern meditation techniques, I was slipping without effort into an altered state of consciousness while doing astrology. Though I believed I would be coming back after my death, where would I go in between and for how long?
So that meant my identity, memories, talents, and personality would be swallowed whole into the cosmic One. So, if your husband was not your spiritual match, then “real love” allowed you to leave him or find another with whom you had a true bond. I first ignored this compulsion, then resisted it, and then, after struggling against it for awhile, I decided to give in, hoping that it would go away. One evening while reading part of the 8th chapter of Matthew, right before Christmas of 1990, I saw who Jesus really is. He did not give a message that denied the dirt and dust of life, but He sat with the outcasts, the prostitutes, and the hated tax collectors yet remained sinless. This book contains the firsthand accounts of 12 people who came to faith in Christ from other spiritual beliefs and told their stories to Dr. She is now enrolled in a long-distance program at Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, working toward a Masters in Religion.
Gurus brought yoga to the West as a vehicle for teaching Hinduism; this was acknowledged in a Yoga Journal article in 2000. If one seriously investigates yoga, one will find that it leads to and comes from Hindu beliefs.
Theravadins revere the Historical Buddha, but they do not pay homage to the numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva worshiped by Mahayana followers. The Mahayana school allows the masses to enjoy the pleasures of worldly life while still bringing them the hope of salvation.
Marcia later was a member of this Board for four years, and Chairperson for three of those years. This and other experiences pushed me into an active plunge into the alluring worlds of the paranormal and Eastern beliefs. I also had unpleasant, scary and weird experiences and visitations, once seeing a tall hooded figure in dark robes looking at my body in the bed as I hovered out-of-body nearby.
I can take it!” I had a lot of anger and defiance in me which probably came from dealing with an alcoholic parent. I gave credit to my “past lives” as an astrologer and spiritual counselor, to the help of spirit guides, and to astrology itself.
For someone like myself, carrying a lot of emotional pain from my past and my present, this was appealing. If there are multi-levels of reality and there is no absolute truth, then there must be many contradicting truths and realities. She did not speak, but I heard her in my mind say to me, “I am here to take over your body.” Too scared to speak, I said in my mind, “No! In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. She was also active in the Metropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society, serving as president from 1989-1990. Although extremely frightened by this apparition, I rationalized it by telling myself that I was being tested.
It seemed I was literally one with the universe, and the teaching that we are all connected to one force seemed true. In those years, the only source of such information could be good since I did not believe in evil.
Others taught that we go somewhere to be spiritually purified – how, it was not explained – then our next life would be chosen for us. The idea was to transcend the rational mind which was a barrier between me and enlightenment. In the abstract, this was fascinating food for thought, and led to being comfortable with whatever truth I wanted. I returned the following Sunday, not to have another experience, but so that I could be where that love had happened to me. Though fully man, Jesus was fully God incarnate, equal to God in nature but setting aside that glory (not deity) to be among suffering men and women. I basically told him I belonged to Christ and there was nothing he could do about it, that even if I died, it was too late.
There is more to learn and much room to grow, but the learning and growth spring from Christ as the foundation, not from a search outside Him.
She has led workshops and spoken at conferences, churches and retreats, and written for Christian publications. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken. She was also Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee, as well as working in other areas of this organization.


But reading about other religions and meeting those who believed differently made me wonder. This was my first out-of-body experience and I had no idea what it was or that it even had a name. Another time, as I was out-of-body, I not only saw my body on the bed, but also saw a double of myself floating across from me. It helped me get through a lot of painful situations, and it was going to help me deal with the bizarre experiences I would face.
After all, I believed that truth was in experience, and here my experience was confirming that belief.
Although I failed in achieving detachment, I clung to the paradoxical teachings of Zen, reading books with Zen tales, and continuing the meditation. Jesus Christ willingly was tortured, laid down His life and died an agonizing death to pay for our sins. Yoga is probably the only form of physical activity that massages each and every one of the body’s glands and organs.
Maybe there was more to it than what I had — some knowledge of God and Jesus which was mostly superficial. I had spontaneous out-of-body experiences that sometimes kept me from sleeping and that were also often very eerie. Seeing “the emptiness” behind my surroundings, another sign of spiritual acumen, struck me as nihilistic and depressing. I noticed that the peace I had felt with my initial meditations had decreased, causing me to meditate more in an attempt to re-capture that elusive peace.
There was no personal being to love me; there was this energy coming from the cosmic One and that was it.
He bodily rose on the third day, conquering death, so that we can have eternal life with God. This includes the prostate, a gland that seldom, if ever, gets externally stimulated in one’s whole life. Known also as Gautama Buddha or Prince Siddhartha, the Historical Buddha lived in India from around 560 to 480 BC. I did become cynical although it was usually hidden, even from myself, behind a desire to help people.
Later, my studies took me on many paths — Tibetan, Hindu and Zen meditation and philosophy, spirit contact, numerology, psychic development, past life regression. Maybe if I had pursued these practices more devoutly, I might have gradually replaced my natural reactions and feelings with non-feeling.
No sorcerer, no spiritual master, no Buddha, no shaman, no witch, no psychic has conquered death, but all still lie cold in their graves. For comparative purposes, his contemporaries were Confucius and Lao-tzu (the founder, the “old boy” of Chinese Taoism) -- slightly later in the West comes Plato (427? Suffering is caused by human weakness -- desire, lust, pride, anger, greed and a host of other foibles. Reincarnation seemed to answer questions and I experienced what I thought were memories of past lives.
But is it human to be non-feeling, to accept every thought, action, and emotion without judgment? At the time, I was chairperson of the curriculum committee, a member of other committees at the astrological society, and scheduled to teach an upcoming class.
The Eightfold Path means the Right View, Right Resolve, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Occupation, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. I knew a lot of people had not done what I had, and I thought most people were wimps and satisfied with superficial lives, not searching deeply as I was. However, it was sad to think that my next life might not be so great so if I did not learn lessons from this or previous lives. In India, in the four centuries following Gautama’s death, his dialogues and teachings were preserved only in the memory of followers. I was separated from God by everything I had done in my past — I had lived my whole life based on my will, a will that had rejected and defied God and His word. No written records or artistic representations (except for the footprints of the Buddha) survive into the present age.
He sought, through meditation, to attain a state known as Nirvana, in which one is free of desire and therefore suffering. I realized that the only way to be forgiven, the only way to be reconciled with God, was through Jesus, the God-man who suffered and died for me out of a great and unconditional love. Like the Hindu Brahmins, the early Buddhists believed that religious knowledge was too sacred to be written down, too sacred to be etched in stone or wood.
It took over a year for full comprehension of what I had been involved in to sink in.) Now what happens?
Being someone who wrote poetry, being in an alcoholic home, having no real roots all combined to make me feel different and unlike other people. Thinking I should read the Bible, I started reading in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.
My focus is on the One who is worthy of attention: Jesus Christ, who has power over all rulers and principalities, in both the physical and spiritual realms.
In those several minutes sitting on my bed with the Bible, I knew that the truth and the answer to all my questions were one and the same: Jesus Christ.
Although I had read the Bible before while growing up and had quoted from it for astrological articles, this time it was different. Several months later, I found out that a young Christian man at the part-time job where I worked had been praying for me with a fellowship group at his church during 1990.




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