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Vol. 01.01

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  • Jhanananda
    July 1, 2006 ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ THE GWV Samadhi NEWS ^:^:^ ^:^:^ Vol. 01.01
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2006
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      July 1, 2006

      ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^
      ^:^:^ THE GWV Samadhi NEWS ^:^:^
      ^:^:^ Vol. 01.01 ^:^:^
      ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^ ^:^:^

      A newsletter for the ecstatic contemplative and the Ecstatic Buddhist

      a service of the Great Western Vehicle
      € Mahapacchimayana €
      a 4th wheel Buddhist tradition

      The Buddha¹s definition of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path
      Maha-satipatthana Sutta (DN 22.21)
      "And what is meditative absorption (sama-samadhi)? There is the case where a
      contemplative; who is withdrawn from sensory phenomena, and withdrawn from
      unwholesome mental states; enters upon and abides in the first meditative
      absorption state (jhana), which is accompanied by bliss (piiti) and joy
      (sukha) originating from withdrawal...² (through fourth jhana).

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEE FOR YOURSELF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Find out what the Buddha really said

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buddhist Meetup !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      First Thursdays Tucson Buddhist Meetup meets @ 7:00 PM at the Epic Cafe 745
      N 4th Ave Tucson, AZ 520-624-6844 *. http://buddhism.meetup.com/

      MAR 10-19 Jhana Retreat led by Bhante Gunaratana at The Bhavana Society, Rt.
      1, Box 218-3, High View, WV, 26808, (304) 856-3241 <info@...>

      MAY 23-JUNE 1, 9-day Jhana retreat near Boulder, CO, led by Jeff Brooks
      (Jhananda) for the Great Western Vehicle at Jeff & Susan Combelic¹s Kiva,
      Goldhill, CO. Contact: Michael Hawkins, P.O. Box 696, Boulder, CO
      80306-0696, (303) 442-3985, adreampuppet@...

      JUNE 16-25, 10-day Jhana Retreat led by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Nayaka
      Thera at Sanctum Retreat Centre Yoga & Meditation Community Center of Marda
      Loop, Caroline, Alberta, Contact: Judy @ <metta2u@...>

      JULY 13-16, 2006 the CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions),
      Conference on Religion, Globalization, and Conflict: International
      Perspectives at San Diego State University, San Diego, California. USA. On
      the 16th Jhanananda will deliver the paper ³The Witch-hunt Continues, the
      Oppression of the Ecstatic Contemplative²
      Organized by CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Torino, Italy and
      the Department of Religious Studies and the Society for the Academic Study
      of Religion at San Diego State University, in co-operation with ISAR
      (Institute for the Study of American Religion), Santa Barbara, California
      Contact: <cesnur_to@...>
      < http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/events/CESNUR2006.html>

      July 20 - 30: Jhanas and Satipatthana led by Leigh Brasington and Lucinda
      Green for Rocky Mountain Insight at Benet Pines Retreat Center, Colorado
      Springs, CO. contact: Julia Keller, 1432 E. La Salle, Colorado Springs, CO
      80907 <http://www.rockymountaininsight.org/index.htm>

      OCT 2-December ‹ Jason Siff, will be Teachers-in-residence at Santa Fe
      Vipassana Sangha, <http://www.santafevipassana.org>

      OCT 9th to 18th; 9 day JHANA & INSIGHT MEDITATION Retreat Led by Leigh
      Brasington at Gaia House, West Ogwell, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6EN, +44
      (0)1626 333613 Fax: +44 (0)1626 352650, <generalenquiries@...>

      OCT 14 ­ 22nd, 10-day Wilderness Jhana retreat in Gila Box Wilderness Area,
      led by Jeff Brooks (Jhananda) for the Great Western Vehicle: Contact:
      Jhananda at Jhananda@...


      ++++++++++++++++++++++ EDITORIAL +++++++++++++++++++++

      Dear friends, After spending almost 2 weeks at Diamond Mountain University
      in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona, where I was graciously
      hosted, I drove to the Bowie Hot Wells for a soak to treat the back injury,
      then I drove through Duncan, AZ, which is a very nice town on the Gila
      River, I left Arizona May 16.

      I decided to take the little 2-lane state highway through the Gila
      Wilderness instead of the 4-lane interstate. I stopped for a break midday
      in the mountains just outside of Silver City. I parked the van under the
      shade of a large old juniper tree, and worked on responding to email,

      After about an hour or so break I headed on to Silver City, which is on the
      edge of the Gila Wilderness, where I found an internet café to buy a cup of
      non-caffeine tea and post and download email. I left around 5 PM and drove
      into the Gila Wilderness. I stopped to spend the night just before the
      Mimbres Valley. I found a jeep trail that took me off the county road far
      enough for a peaceful night surrounded by pines and junipers.

      The next morning I drove on through the wilderness passing many cool green
      Arizona sycamores and walnuts along the way. On my way out of the Gila
      Wilderness I saw a great deal of Apache Plume, which is a bush that I
      collected the seed of a few years ago for a seed collector. The bushes were
      just bursting with their fuzzy white fairy duster-like seeds.

      I stopped in the small town of Kingston, where the creek supports a rich
      growth of Cottonwoods Arizona sycamores and walnuts. I stopped to speak to
      the proprietors of the Black Range lodge, who teach straw bale and Cob
      construction methods. I asked if they were interested in running a workshop
      at Diamond Mountain University in the Chiricahua Mountains, but they said
      they were much too busy for that.

      I then continued on to Truth or Consequences. Before entering the town I
      stopped at a county park along the bank of the Rio Grande and took a dip in
      the dark, cool water to freshen up. After a short break I continued onto T
      or C to visit Allan, a supporter of the GWV. He is a very kind retired man
      who has an extensive organic garden. He has jhana, but no one is interested
      in what goes on in his subjective experience, so he lives very reclusively
      on the edge of T or C. He graciously hosted me for the night at his house
      and we had many fine conversations about jhana. After spending the night, he
      helped me find an internet café in T or C, where he bought me a cup of tea
      and I caught up again on email.

      Truth or Consequences actually got their name from the 50s TV show. The TV
      show offered to give any town that was willing to change their name to
      "Truth or Consequences" some money. Back then I do not know what the name of
      the town was, but I am sure it was a lot smaller and poorer than it is now,
      so the money I am sure was needed. The name "Truth or Consequences" is very
      Southwestern anyway, with names like: "Horse Fly," "Snow Flake," "Flag
      Staff," "Skull Valley," and "Tombstone."

      I am not familiar with a Native American tribe having lived there, but I am
      sure there was one or more that frequented the spot for its hot springs,
      because archeology reveals hot springs were special places to many
      pre-Colombian Native American peoples.

      The early Spanish explorers and colonists of what they called ³New Spain²
      traveled up the corridor of the Rio Grande, and most probably stopped about
      every 25 miles along the way to refresh the horses and people. The hot
      springs and the river at Truth or Consequences would have been definite

      After catching up on email in T or C I drove north on I-25 through
      Albuquerque and Santa Fe to the small town of Las Vegas, NM, where I stopped
      at a free public hot spring by the side of a small county road. The hot
      springs are owned by the World University, which is across the river from
      the hot springs.

      At the springs I met some Native American gentlemen who come to the springs
      every afternoon to clean them up. They directed me to the universities
      meditation hall, since I told them I teach meditation. After a good long
      soak and excellent conversation I drove the short distance to the meditation
      hall and found it quite a beautiful modern sculpture with clear Puebloan
      influences in its choice of local stone as a building material, but with
      many five foot long prisms built into the roof and walls, so that the inside
      was filled with rainbows. Inside I found a stack of sabutans, so I
      collected one and placed it on of the rainbows on the floor and meditated
      for a while.

      After meditation I drove back into Las Vegas, and drove around town for
      quite some time trying to find an open internet café, or a open WIFI node,
      but I did not have any luck, so I drove on north on Highway 25 until the
      mountainous juniper and piñon pine forests gave way to the vast golden grass
      covered Great Plains, where near sunset I pulled far enough off the highway
      for peace and quite and a great view of the plains to parked for the night.
      It is quite remarkable to see the plane of the earth just go off into
      infinity without a mountain to punctuate the view.

      After meditation and sunrise the next morning I drove further north on I-25
      to the picturesque town of Trinidad, CO, where I found an open WIFI port. I
      sat on a park bench in the shade on a brick street to respond to my daily

      After driving for quite some time, I had the choice to either; push on
      through Denver, and arrive late in the evening in Boulder a few days early;
      or camp for the night far enough south of Denver where a campsite could be
      found. I decided to look for a camp spot for the night in the mountains near

      I tried finding a camping spot in my usual way. I am used to just taking a
      rural road in Arizona or New Mexico and fairly quickly finding a place to
      rest. However, it appears that all of the available land along the "front
      range" has been bought up, because everywhere I turned there was a fence and
      a "No Trespassing" sign. So, today I felt a little like a whale hopeless
      caught in the net of human civilization.

      After about 5 hours of wondering around the Colorado front range I finally
      found a meadow in the San Rafael National Forest with a creek running down
      the middle of it and surrounded by Aspen trees, and it did not cost me a
      camping fee nor did I have to share it with a park full of RVs with their
      generators running until late.

      It was such a sweet camping spot I decided to stay a few days in that little
      meadow. After a few days I continued on to Boulder where I gave a public
      talk on jhana at a yoga studio on Sunday night. Friends of jhana hosted me
      there for two nights, then we caravanned up into the nearby mountains to a
      little mining town called "Gold Hill" where a kind resident hosted me to
      lead a 10-day jhana retreat. About 5 people attended that retreat.

      After the retreat I was hosted for another 2 weeks by the organizer of the
      retreat who is an ardent meditator and has considerable jhana. We meditated
      together at least 3 times a day for the next two weeks. I used that time to
      edit and convert the recorded dialogs from that retreat. They are now
      posted to the GWV website at this URL:
      or they can be purchased on CD by contacting Michael Hawkins at P.O. Box
      696, Boulder, CO 80306-0696 <adreampuppet@...>

      I left Boulder about a week ago and spent the first night camped above
      10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, where I saw glaciers,
      deer, elk and moose just grazing leisurely outside the van window. If all
      the national forests did not have hunting, and were as restrictive to human
      access as the Rocky Mountain National Forest, we would most probably see
      creatures as fearless of humans as these, but then camping was too
      inaccessible there without backpacking to some distance, so I only spent one
      night there and continued on.

      The next night I found a campsite in the Arapaho National Forest on my way
      to the Rainbow Gathering, where I hope to find a group of people who want to
      meditate rigorously and develop jhana. Here I found a small, remote meadow
      surrounded by Aspens. I camped for about a week taking hikes in between
      charge cycles for the laptop.

      On one of my many hikes I found a large buff colored mushroom about 8 inches
      in diameter. I got down on my hands and knees and peered under it cap to
      see if it had gills or the sponge-like surface of a spongefore. It had pores
      not gills, which was a good sign. I examined it closely to remember its
      features. It had a thick stalk with a rough, rasp-like surface, called
      scabers, and it grew under aspens.

      When I got back to camp I looked up the characteristics of the mushroom in
      the Audubon Field Guide and found the closest match was an Aspen Scaber Salk
      mushroom, which is a prized Bolete edible mushroom. Last fall I collected
      King Bolete mushrooms in the Eastern Sierras and found that it is fairly
      easy to collect a very large quantity of mushrooms in a fairly short period
      of time. I sun dried them and now eat King Bolete mushrooms in soup every

      I am only just learning about foraging wild mushrooms, but it seems to be a
      pretty successful venture so far. I use the Audubon Society's field guide
      for mushrooms as my guide. It seems quite good, but it recommends making a
      spore print and gives the description of the spore print for each mushroom,
      but it neglected to say how to make a spore print.

      I have a dharma friend in Tucson who is a mycologist, however, she does not
      do email and I do not have a phone. I¹ll have to wait until I next get back
      to Tucson to ask her about the methodology of making a spore print. After
      spending days examining the field guide, I finally decided that it was safe
      to eat the mushroom. In that time I found 3 others of the same species.
      Two of them were too old and bug eaten to harvest, but two of them were just
      the right age. I collected them, sliced them thinly and sautéed the smaller
      of the two and first ate just a nibble of the mushroom raw to see what it
      tasted like, which was like a raw mushroom. Then after sautéing in the
      whole sliced mushroom I ate just one slice and waited an hour to see how I
      felt. After an hour I felt fine, so I ate the rest of the mushroom over
      some curried basmati rice. It was delicious.

      My purpose during this week was to compose an essay to read at the CESNUR
      conference on new religions at UCSD on July 16th. Since the conference is
      specifically on the topic of religious oppression, I decided to tell the
      story of how I have been so irrationally treated by the Buddhist community
      over my dialog, research and development of jhana.

      The Witch-hunt, The Oppression of the Ecstatic Contemplative

      The essay required that I revisit many of the essays that I have composed in
      the last few years; the many letters I have received that expose the
      demonizing of jhana and meditative absorption; and the canonical references
      that I have collected. It was very fruitful work, as it seems very useful
      to understand how the teachings of the various mystics have been
      appropriated, subverted, obfuscated and mystified by the priesthood of
      almost every religion.

      I have noticed lately that the orthodoxy of Theravadan Buddhism, including
      IMS, and even Shinzen Young, who was the first to demonize me over the
      issue, are now starting to talk about jhana, but it is all appropriation and
      obfuscation. After all they are not willing to take responsibility for how
      they have spent decades invalidating others for the attainment of meditative

      On June 19th I finally cooked one of the mushrooms and ate a small portion
      of it. After an hour I did not notice any discomfort, so I ate a larger
      portion and waited another hour. Then with not discomfort I decided to just
      eat the rest of the mushroom. I found I later had some small indigestion
      and realized that I should have just eaten half the mushroom instead of the
      whole thing. Un-cook the mushroom was quite large at about 8² in diameter,
      but cooked it did not look like much.

      I left the campsite on the 21st of June and headed on my way to the Rainbow
      Gathering where I hope to find a group of people who want to meditate
      rigorously and develop jhana. The Gathering is in the Rout National Forest
      near the Big Red Meadow. The meadow, Big Red, is quite awesome. It has
      many little red flowers growing on it that turns it red. There is also the
      Snake River winding through it.

      When I got to one of the last turns in the directions to the gathering I
      found the Forest Service had erected a road block and were arresting people,
      and just creating a lot of mayhem. Not wanting to be a part of the conflict
      I drove on and camped in a remote location for a few days.

      When I returned I found the roadblock gone and the Rainbow Gathering in
      disarray. Unfortunately the National Forest Service had decided to
      filibuster the Rainbow Gathering this year. They arrested several hundred
      people and turned the whole place into a war zone. So, I just left and
      started working my way slowly toward San Diego to deliver a paper on how
      people have been demonized for charismatic phenomena, such as ringing in the
      ears occurring in their meditations. I plan to spend a week camped
      somewhere near Flag Staff, AZ to avoid the heat and soak in some peace and
      quiet before the conference.

      I drove south on highway 40 back to Kremmling, where I arrived at the public
      library in time to exchange email with my server. Then, I drove on to see
      if I could find Radium Hot Spring. I could not find it before sunset, so I
      found a campsite above the Colorado River for the night. About 5 minutes
      after I had arrived a BLM ranger came and after a short conversation he gave
      me the directions to the hot spring.

      I responded to GWV email and dialogs from a cliff above the Colorado River
      near the Radium hot spring that night. It is about 14 mile west of the town
      of Kremmling, CO.

      The next morning I took a long hike and found the hot spring. After a long
      soak I headed south.

      That night I camped at about 14,000 feet on Mount Sberman in central
      Colorado.  There were glaciers just outside the window of the van.  On the
      way here I found an open WIFI signal in one of the many little towns I
      passed through and exchanged files with my mail server.

      The next day I took a few hikes and found bristle cone pines with their
      characteristic small purple cones with bristles on them. The valley floor
      had a stream meandering through it with many beaver damns along the way.

      I left Mount Sberman around noon and made it to a pass just before the San
      Leandro Valley, where I found a place to camp in a grove of aspens.

      The next morning I noticed storm clouds forming, so I broke camp, packed the
      van and headed south through the San Leandro Valley to the Rio Grande
      National Forest, where a large storm was making havoc. I did not want to
      drive through the mountains during a storm, so I drove into the National
      Forest and found a campsite at a high meadow, just as the storm broke. It
      rained most of the day.

      The rain stopped toward the end of the day. I took the sunshine as a sign
      that I could get a break from the cramped quarters of the van and took a
      hike. About half way a fog moved in. I kept hiking, but the trail
      eventually disappeared, and with the fog, I had quite some trouble
      relocating my campsite and the van.

      The next morning I left camp and continued driving toward Flagstaff. I took
      highway 160 through the Navajo reservation, which took me past monument
      valley. Just before turning south on highway 89 the van blew a tire. After
      changing it I noticed that the tire was unevenly warn, which is an
      indication of a front-end alignment problem.

      I camped that night on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks, which are
      sacred the Hopi.  They believe their Kachinas return to the San Francisco
      Peaks every year after they have helped the Hopi with their winter

      I am presently out of money and the van is not running very well, but it is
      getting me around for short hauls. I am trying to get to a conference put
      on by the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) of Torino, Italy.
      The conference this year is at San Diego State University, San Diego,
      California, USA. I believe it is important for me to attend this conference
      and deliver a paper on July 16th. The paper topic is ³The Witch-hunt
      Continues, the Oppression of the Ecstatic Contemplative²
      The point of the conference is an International Perspective on
      Globalization, and Conflict in religion. Thus, I believe the issues of the
      oppression of the ecstatic and charismatic contemplative and the Ecstatic
      Buddhist should be represented at this very important international

      If you are interested in supporting the very important delivery of this
      paper, the work of the Great Western Vehicle, and an emerging community of
      Western ecstatic contemplatives, and Ecstatic Buddhists, then please do make
      a contribution today. The URL below will direct you how to make a
      contribution to this work:

      Supporting the Great Western http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/support.html

      If it is not bliss (piiti), joy (sukha) and ecstasy (jhana) then it is not
      jhana, which is Noble Meditative Absorption (sama-samadhi).

      Your comments and opinions are most welcome, and please do let us know if
      you wish your comments to be publicized in this journal.

      May you dwell in the joyful home of the way

      Jeffrey S, Brooks
      the Great Western Vehicle € Mahapacchimayana
      PO Box 41795
      Tucson, AZ 85717-1795

      Find out what the Buddha really taught


      This Issue
      The Demonizing of Jhana and Ecstatic Buddhism

      The Witch-hunt Continues, The Oppression of the Ecstatic Contemplative,
      Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western Vehicle, 06-19-06

      The Suppression of Jhana by the "Sangha", Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western
      Vehicle, July, 7, 2005

      The Demonizing of Ecstatic Meditation (Jhana) , Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great
      Western Vehicle,

      The Boycotting of Jhana by IMS and Spirit Rock revealed in Correspondence
      with Marcia Rose, Guiding Teacher, Taos Mtn. Sangha & The Mtn. Hermitage,
      Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western Vehicle, February, 2003

      The Boycotting of Jhana by IMS and Spirit Rock revealed in Correspondence
      with Eric Kolvig, an Insight Meditation Society teacher, , Brooks, Jeffrey
      S., Great Western Vehicle, 07/2005

      Evidence of Shinzen Young oppressing people for the attainment of meditative
      absorption, Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western Vehicle,

      Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC) oppressing people for the
      attainment of meditative absorption, Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western

      The Suppression of Jhana at a Goenka Retreat, Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great
      Western Vehicle, (August, 2001)

      The Boycotting of a GWV Jhana Retreat at Bell Springs Hermitage by the monks
      of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery (14 Apr 2004)

      Exposing translator bias in the translation of the Pali Canon and other
      Asian literature, Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western Vehicle, updated

      The Cha'an, Son and Zen Concept of Makyo the "ghost" or "devil's cave",
      Brooks, Jeffrey S., Great Western Vehicle,

      Correspondence with Mark Vetanen Jan 22, 2004, revealing the negative Zen
      attitude toward jhana as "bliss ninny"

      The orthodox views of some Theravadan monks revealed in Correspondence with
      Richard Estes (aka Bhikkhu Dhammarato) in the guise of Phramaha Somsak

      The suppression of Jhana by European Vajrayana teachers revealed in
      Correspondence with Ingmar Pema Dechen 6/3/03

      Correspondence with Sudhamma 04-19-04, revealing the lack of jhana among the
      orthodoxy, Great Western Vehicle,

      Correspondence with Sudhamma 8 Jun 2004, revealing the resistance to jhana
      and the ability to oppress those ideas by the Theravadan Orthodoxy, Great
      Western Vehicle,

      Correspondence with Bhikkhu Samahita 04-04, revealing the attempt to subvert
      jhana in the non-canonical belief in "supramundane" verses "mundane" jhana
      by the orthodoxy, Great Western Vehicle,

      Herman Hofman on the poor treatment of ecstatic meditators on Yahoo Groups,
      Great Western Vehicle, 10 Apr 2004

      The dirty little secret of Asian Buddhism by Mark Vetanen, Great Western
      Vehicle, 25 Apr 2004

      Correspondence with Mark Vetanen 27 Apr 2004, revealing the oppression of a
      Western interpretation of the Dhamma by the Zen Orthodoxy, Great Western

      Correspondence with Bhikkhu Sujato revealing the conflict over jhana within
      the Theravadan Orthodoxy, Great Western Vehicle, Wed, 27 Jul 2005

      Long term meditator but no hint of Jhanna! And anti Jhanna philosophy of
      some Buddhist schools. By Stephen Hendry, Great Western Vehicle, 29 Jul 2005

      Original Buddhism And Brahminic Interference by Dr. K. Jamanadas

      Jnanavira, Dharmachari. Homosexuality in the Japanese Buddhist Tradition.
      Western Buddhist Review, Volume 3. Journal of the Western Buddhist Order, 12
      Oct, 2005 revealing pedophilia and misogyny in Japanese Buddhism.

      SCANDAL HAUNTS TEMPLE MURDERS, A textbook example of the warping effect that
      $10 billion of China White heroin had upon major media, law enforcement, and
      judicial processes in Arizona. B.Q. 4-20-96 by Brian Downing Quig, also
      reveals ties between organized crime and the Buddhist orthodoxy of Asia

      More information on Goenka¹s cult-like activities within VRI

      A view into the Goenka cult by a long-term member

      Your comments and opinions are most welcome, and please do let us know if
      you wish your comments to be publicized in this journal.

      May you dwell in the joyful home of the way

      Jeffrey S, Brooks
      the Great Western Vehicle € Mahapacchimayana
      PO Box 41795
      Tucson, AZ 85717-1795

      Find out what the Buddha really taught


      The intention of this newsletter is to provide timely information to the
      Southwestern community of contemplatives. This newsletter offers a monthly
      calendar of meditation retreats and other related activities. You are
      welcome to forward, reproduce or copy in anyway or part this newsletter for
      helping others to lead a contemplative life. I only ask that you give credit
      to the newsletter and publisher.

      This newsletter is a service of Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) of the Great
      Western Vehicle € Mahapacchimayana The editor/publisher alone takes
      responsibility for this newsletter and its content. Please direct all
      comments or submissions to the editor: Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) at:

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      May you become enlightened in this very life-time,

      Jeff Brooks
      the Great Western Vehicle
      PO Box 41795
      Tucson, AZ 85717-1795
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