Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 - The Gift of Vipassana

In 2014 Julia Marie Gillette suggested the gift of Vipassana meditation via S.N. Goenka's 10 day meditation course. 

I sat my first course in March and served in two others:  one in June, and one in December.

Here are my interpretations of what Goenkaji says about our habituated ways of thinking:  our "default" unconscious mode of thinking thrives only in the past or future.   Those past/future thoughts consist of subject-things that we really like or want (crave) or subject-things that we really don't like or don't want (aversion).

Then we have our conditioned responses and reactions to the above ways of thinking.  Responses typically based in either anger, or fear, or hatred, or lust, or mistrust, or  cravings, or addictions, or any other negative actions (or combinations thereof ) that are painfully destructive not only to us - both  those around us too.

Our conditioned, habitual ways of thinking are based in ignorance and not the universal laws of Dhamma.

Goenka's 10 day course  gave me not only the necessary meditation technique, but it also gave me the actual experience of observing my habituated ways of thinking and my conditioned reactions to my  thinking. 

For example I am now much clearer about my default ways of reacting to things that I feel threatened by or do not understand.  I respond with negativity and anger.  Unfortunately my wife Jennifer has bared the brunt of my negative reactions during our marriage .  My conditioned triggers include (but are not limed to) money, mistrust, fears of being left, controlled, used etc. 

Jennifer and I both suffer because my reactions do not correlate with the truth of either who Jennifer is - or who I am.  I also know that all humans have their own habituated ways of reacting which fuels agitation and suffering.    With that said, I am and can be only responsible for myself.   

Goenka's 10 day course delivers detailed instructions about Gautama Buddha's 2,500 year old Vipassana meditation.  Please note that Vipassana meditation is not Buddhism - they are not the same.

Until now I was never taught the truth about our body-mind connection.   I was never taught about how observing and being present with our body-mind connection could bring such peace and happiness.

On the other hand -  I was never taught that my own suffering was and is caused by my own ignorance of  and disconnection from our body-mind connection.  I never knew that I was also always incorrectly taught that the key to our my salvation could only be found somewhere outside the experience of my body-mind connection.
I am committed to taking responsibility for the suffering that I am causing not only in my marriage, but in all areas of my life.  I am committed to unraveling my own ignorance and stopping my own negative, hurtful reactions.  

At the age of 63 and after years of therapy and other attempts at understanding what inside drives me, I am very excited and hopeful about my current Vipassana path.

OK.  Here are some realities of the course:

For 10 days you have to extract yourselves from your worldly habits in order to observe them.  Yes it must be done in silence and disconnection from the outside world.  Yes you are required to follow the rules of the course.  Yes there will be discomfort from sitting in meditation.  Yes you will be taken care of.  You will eat delicious vegetarian food and be able to discuss any questions  with your course teacher.  You will also be given daily DVD recorded discourses given by S.N. Goenka himself.  I found Goenka's humor and understanding of what I was going through to be invaluable aids to completing the course.

Finally I found it very powerful to know that Goenka's 10 day courses in Vipassana Meditation are created from a non-profit organization.  Previous students have "paid it forward" for you to be able to attend the course that you will attend if you decide to.  There are also centers world-wide.

Once your course is completed, you pay according to your ability and desire.  Also the teachers, managers and kitchen servers who make your course possible do so on a voluntarily, non-paid basis.   They serve because they believe in the value of this course.          

Namaste.  Love.   

Happy New Year! 


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vipassana Meditation - Hope For Human Beings

Vipassana Meditation - Hope For Human Beings

Vipassana meditation was taught by Gautama the Buddha 2,500 years ago.  There is a direct lineage from Buddha to the S.N. Goenka courses taught around the world today. 

Vipassana meditation is a technique and is not "Buddhism" or any other religion.  It is a method by which meditation practitioners can unravel habituated ways of thinking and reacting that causes the imbalance of their own body-mind complexes, but causes the suffering of loved ones around them too.

I practice Vipassana in order to get to the root of my angry, reactionary arguments that I have with my wife Jennifer.  Like a fighter shadow-boxing while waiting to burst out of  his corner,  all it takes is another triggering "bell ringing" and round ten million and something is on.  This argument reaction  often means the "vocal" gloves come off and we both habitually go for each other's  jugulars. 

Jennifer and I have never physically hit or harmed each other physically in any way.  With that said, who knows how deep the emotional damage runs from our destructive arguments.       

Those arguments are not only pointless but blindly repetitive to us both.  You know - money, chores, baseless mistrust, fill in the blank ad infinitum.  I know something inside of me is threatened and fearful and at the point of arguing I have little or no "control" of what comes out of my mouth.  I have tried therapy over the many years but to no avail.  I take medication for depression which helps.   I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder due primarily to my work as a US Border Patrol agent.  I incorporated (as we all do) what I learned at home as a kid which basically translates arguments into  screaming or leaving - or both.  All of the above are symptoms, but not the cause of my arguing and suffering.  I know that the root cause is buried somewhere in my body-mind complex and Vipassana is the only meditation I know of that directly addresses the body-mind complex as root cause of our problems.    

The promise of Vipassana is to give me awareness of my own bodily sensations before the argumentative, bullet-train blasts off from the station.  This is happening slowly and I trust that I will at some point be able to throw a monkey wrench in my habitual way of reacting and stop hurting Jennifer and myself too.    

Goenka's Ten Day Course offers sitting meditation periods, silence, no communication with the outside world and healthy vegetarian food  too.  By the way, Goenkaji's daily discourses will guide you along the way and one always has the option of privately asking teachers questions too. 

Goenka's 10 day course is a no-nonsense approach to unplug from our own habituated ways of being present in the world.  Some of mine frankly do not work and taint the time I have left on this earth.  The Clock of Vipassana has struck in my heart and gives me results and therefore hope that I actually experience.

Namaste, John      



Monday, December 1, 2014

Facts Are Facts Just Ask OJ Simpson

Facts Are Facts  Just Ask OJ Simpson

Were mistakes made in the murder trial against OJ Simpson? Was the jury possibly swayed incorrectly?

Facts are facts. OJ was not guilty because the jury said to.

Is it possible that the prosecutors made any mistakes or that the Grand Jury was swayed in the Wilson Ferguson indictment proceedings?


Facts are facts. The Wilson Grand Jury found no probable cause to indict Wilson. So he too, like OJ, is innocent because facts are facts and the juries ruled so.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Cop Hopped Up On His Own Egoistic Righteousness And A Badge Gets Away With Murder

In Response:

A Cop Hopped Up On His Own Egoistic Righteousness And A Badge Gets Away With Murder

In an unprecedented move St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch dumped his prosecutorial responsibilities upon a grand jury.  By doing so McCulloch created a quagmire in which a "true bill" for probable cause to try Wilson for Brown's death was buried in a nightmare of testimony and evidence that only an actual trail jury should have been allowed to sift through.

The results?  Michael Brown was fallaciously tried without legal representation.        

Beyond the above there was no reason for Wilson to have to pursue the wounded Brown on foot and continue to shoot at Brown.

Brown was running for his life.  Where would he go?  How could he hide?

Wilson easily could have jumped back in his vehicle, turned around and followed the wounded Brown until other backup arrived.

Nope.  Wilson saw his chance for five minutes of fame and took it. 

This case represents a cop hopped up on his own egoistic righteousness getting away with murder.  A cop not only immorally acting under his color of authority but immorally protected by it too. 

Please sign this petition:      

The same unconscious culture that created the conditions for the Wilson and Brown incident to happen creates the majority of the ignorant, callous, American- exceptionalist posters below.

The hell you see is the hell you create and are responsible for.
May you be free from danger.
May you be physically and mentally happy.
May you have ease of support and well being.
May you be liberated.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Washington's Horrendous Border Hunger Games Are No Joke Mr. President

In response:

Washington's Horrendous Border Hunger Games Are No Joke Mr. President

Study Washington's insidious approach to illegal immigration and you will see that the system is set up to keep people suffering in poverty at home and coming illegally to the US. 

Yes, over the years you will see give and take - as in Amnesties or some relief for the undocumented "balanced" with billions more taxpayer dollars given away in border security boodle.  With that said, the system keeps causing more people to come by rewarding a few. 

Is this not Washington's Horrendous Border Hunger Games? 

Yes undocumented, if you can make it though you will be allowed to work for us for years and you may be able to stay.  Meanwhile taxpayers Washington will continue to use you and lie to you as you suffer the costs and consequences of this scam.    

Everyone needs to address this decade's old scam.  People will continue to come and die crossing the border.  Deportations will continue.  Taxpayers will remain angry.  And unless everyone involved educates themselves to the above and protests the above, we all will be just as responsible as Washington's immigration profiteers for the deaths and suffering that will without a doubt continue.

John Randolph is a retired US Border Patrol/INS/ICE agent who writes and blogs under the name twopesos:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wilson's Five Minutes of Fame Traded For Brown's Life And A Lifetime Of Pain

Wilson's Five Minutes of Fame Traded For Brown's Life And A Lifetime Of Pain

Five minutes of fame for a lifetime of pain. Wilson will never be able to stop looking over his shoulder. He will always be haunted by what he did (despite his cavalier attitude now). Taking someone else's life is also self-inflicted wound, suicide by a thousands cuts and haunting thoughts so to speak.

Wilson shows about as much remorse from shooting Brown in the head as he would from giving someone a traffic ticket. 

Wilson will never see the inside of a cop car again (from the front seat).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Washington Has Again Immigration Punked America

In response:

Washington Has Again Immigration Punked America

Punked, deceived, swindled, defrauded, duped, hoaxed, hoodwinked, bamboozled etc.

Obama's executive action is simply another step down Washington's insidiously dark, decades' old, profitized illegal immigration hole. 

That hole is so deep and dark that most Americans can't even remember why it exists.

Illegal immigration is primarily driven by hunger and poverty.  The vast majority of the undocumented come illegally to the US to put food on their own families' tables and to improve their lives.

Notice how Washington's political illegal immigration narrative never really addresses the reason that undocumented people come here?  Does that not seem a bit odd to you?

Another point you will never hear Washington's immigration profiteers discuss:  Washington's culpability in creating the same illegal immigration that they pretend to try and control or "reform".

One need's simply to research NAFTA and the US War on Drugs as they relate to illegal immigration in order to understand Washington's true motives.

Two other points:  Washington's corporate cronies profit from not only undocumented labor but also from billons in border security tax dollars.   As with Washington's war on drugs, corporate profits from illegal immigration are made from both the legal enforcement side (border security tax dollars) and the illegal profit side (the use of the undocumented for labor and reform).

Finally effective enforcement of either of these decades'-old illegal problems is a sham.  Effective enforcement would effectively stop the illegal and legal payoffs for Washington's never-ending, self-inflicted "wounds".