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#1410 - Wednesday, April 23, 2003

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1410 - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - Editor: Jerry ... Expression He was a religious writer and interested in the Master s views. How does one discover God?
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 25, 2003
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      #1410 - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
       

       
      Expression

      He was a religious writer and interested in the Master's views. "How does one discover God?"

      Said the Master sharply, "Through making the heart white with silent meditation, not making paper black with religious composition."

      And, turning to his scholarly disciples, he teasingly added, "Or making the air thick with learned conversation."

      ~Anthony de Mello, SJ
       
      (contributed to Live Journal Buddhists group by Rejuvenation.)
       

       
      The Tea Picking Season 
      In the beginning of May, we start picking Sencha leaves and about two weeks later, Gyokuro. The first harvest of the year which is called the New tea (or the First tea) is highest in the quality of aroma and flavor.
      A traditional hand processing

      Charcoal fire is
      put into Hoiro.
      Freshly picked leaves are immediately steamed. While steaming, charcoal fire is built in Hoiro, or a flat stove set under the rubbing table whose top is a replasable board called "Jyotan". Tens of sheets of traditional Japanese paper are glued one over another to make this board.

      Chakiri,
      drying tea leaves
      Steamed leaves are spread over the "Jyotan" board and dried for about 25 minutes with the heat of charcoal fire below. The leaves are constantly and gently mixed throughout this process.

      Yokomakuri,
      rolling and drying
      Further drying process is applied. As the leaves are rolled and rolled, the moisture in the leaves disappers gradually.The scent of fresh Green tea starts to rise toward the end of this process which lasts nearly one hour and twenty minutes and requires more laborious handiwork than any other process.
       
      HIGH PRIEST, Myoe : The founder of tea manufacture in Uji

      It was by High Priest, Myoe of Kozanji-temple at Toganoo, Kyoto, that tea was first cultivated in Uji. He planted the seeds brought back from China by his Zen master Eisai at the place called Toganoo Fukase. When the seedlings grown from the seeds were ready to be transplanted, he chose Uji as a model region to grow them into tea trees and manufacture tea on a sufficiently large scale.
      It was the beginning of the History of Uji tea and the first of many steps taken by High Priest Myoe in his effort to spread the production and drinking custom of green tea throughout Japan.
      "HOW TEA BENEFITS OUR HEALTH"
      by Eisai

      Zen priest Eisai to whom is traced the beginning of our tea drinking practice wrote a book titled "How tea benefits our health". In this book, he explained about various medicinal effects to be found in tea and encouraged people to drink it. As a result, the tea drinking practice spread gradually from aristocrats and priests to samurai worriors. In Muromachi era, the practice took a ceremonial form and has developed to becoome Tea Ceremony of today.

      Kitano Tenman Shirine
      HIDEYOSHI TOYOTOMI AND GRAND TEA CEREMONY AT KITANO
      In 1587, Hideyoshi Toyotomi held a grand tea ceremony party at Kitano Matsubara near the approach of Kitano Tenman Shirine in Kyoto. It is said that Hideyoshi himself presented an offering of tea at the shrine and that there were as many as 1000 invitees present on the occasion. Two events take place successively on November 26 and December 1 in commemoration of the fete that was held 400 years ago. The first is named "The pot offering festival", the second "Kitano Tea offering ceremony." On both days, the neighborhood of Kitano Tenman Shrine is enveloped in the aroma of green tea.
       
       

      Falling to Pieces
      Vicki Woodyard

      I am good at falling to pieces--always have been.  My emotions are wired to
      my stomach and once I threw up into a pair of silk shoes.  I was on the way to
      a college dance.  There are no pictures of this mishap nor should there have
      been. 

      I suspect that you, too, have had days in your life when Prince Charming came
      to take your ugly stepsister to the ball and you were left sitting by the
      proverbial hearth.  The sad thing is, like me, you may have grown to expect it. 
      Cinderella had her animal friends but we have no toons for our inner turmoil.

      Some times it seems as though the sky were falling.  Your life rains down on
      you like shrapnel, as if God were taking potshots at you.  You become the
      downtrodden hero in an oater with emotional overtones.  Where is Roy Rogers
      now?

      I started collecting some of the pieces of my life and putting them into a box. 
      When it was full I would send it to God and ask for a refund.  One large jagged
      piece had fallen into my life like a meteor.  My daughter died when she was
      seven.  Cancer.  Catastrophe. 

      Two years ago another piece crashed into my universe.  My husband was
      diagnosed with the same cancer that killed his father--multiple myeloma.
      More cancer. More catastrophe.  I decided it was time to go to the basement
      and get a bigger box.  All I needed was to find out God's address and I would be
      in business.  So down I went.  Go down, Moses, go down.

      As I packed the rejected pieces of my life into a sturdy cardboard carton, I
      began to look at some of the smaller pieces which at one time I thought were
      worth returning.  Unmet hopes and dreams, disappointments in friends,
      distancing from family members that I had once loved.  I ran my fingers over
      the edges of these shards, half-expecting them to cut me.  Instead, they now
      seemed quite harmless, even silly.  How could I ask God to take them back? 
      But the cancers--now He would understand why I was rejecting those.  Damned
      dangerous stuff.  Kind of thing even an archangel could get hurt on.

      But I didn't leave any pieces out of the box.  They were, after all, my life.  I
      wanted to see what God would do with them if I turned them in for something
      better.  It cost me a few dollars to mail it, but I was okay with that. 

      A few weeks passed and I had not heard back from God.  I should have sent
      them certified mail.  I never do anything right.  But that is neither here nor
      there.

      One day the postman knocked at the door.  He had a package.  It was my own
      cardboard carton, only this time God had scratched out His address and
      written in mine.  My fingers were trembling.  Anything that God has a hand in
      is amazing.

      I got a paring knife and slit the shipping tape so that I could quickly prize open
      the box and see what God had sent me.  At first I saw nothing but lots of
      bubble wrap.  I removed that and after popping a few bubbles just for fun, I
      looked down into the box.

      There was a note.  "Dear Vicki, I am sorry that you have not been happy with
      these pieces of your life.  Have I not always said that you could have my peace
      anytime that you wanted it.  Well, here it is.  I have taken these dangerous
      pieces and turned them in for recycling.  I never waste anything.  Not a
      sparrow...not a lily...not a sunset or a rainbow.  Because you have had such f
      aith in my company, Father and Son, Unlimited, I am giving you a free gift.  My
      peace.  It is only one but it is enough.  Enjoy.'

      Your Heavenly Father

      P.S.  I will reuse everything but the piece about the time I that you said I
      tempted you to jump off of Walmart's roof if they were out of peanut
      buttercups.  That was clearly the devil's work, not mine."

      So God and I are on better terms these days.  I changed my pieces for His Peace
      and it's a different life.  Maybe not as emotionally charged but infinitely more
      peaceful.  The reason I wrote this little essay is to let you know that you are
      not alone. When the sky starts to fall, get a sturdy cardboard carton, put God's
      name on it and throw the rejects in.  God guarantees to send you His peace in
      exchange. 

      Vicki Woodyard
      http://www.bobwoodyard.com
       

       
      Garbage and the Goddess
      Bubba Free John
       
      You cannot know yourself or the world in the form of any perceptual evidence, any media, because that always brings a limitation, a reflection from a secondary point of view, not a real knowing of the event. The reason that evidence is binding is because of another assumption that underlies it. Mere perception is just things flying about, but each individual is himself a way to make 'sense' out of it. This is because in each such case there is the assumed perceiver. That is the conventional assumption you are always making, and, by assuming also that the perceiver is not a mere assumption or a practical convention but is in fact real and the foundation of present existence, you make everything that arises binding and mysterious.
       
      It should be clear that it is not by working on perceptions or the contents of your mind that you undo that assumed limitation. It is only through a radical process in which that assumption and all its extensions are confounded, in which the separate self sense is dissolved, and the conscious principle falls into the intuition of the Divine. When that occurs, things may continue to arise and appear in conventional terms, but they will no longer, in themselves, be binding. Therefore, this convention of 'the individual' makes sense out of life in practical terms, but it also makes life impenetrable relative to its real Nature and Condition.
       
      We need to make the conventional assumption of the individual self in order to walk about and do things and live a human life. That is a convention, and it is useful in those terms. But we tend also to make that assumption the medium of our comprehension of existence, whereas it is just a bit of theatre. Our thinking is a convention, the forms of all our perceptions are conventional. They are based on the conventional model of the psycho-physical 'entity'. There are ways of making use of this natural vehicle, this ordinary condition, and making it serve the aspects of existence to which we are experientially awake. But, apart from that, the conventions and their supportive model (the 'ego' or 'entity') have no value.
       


      Iamom
       
      weight loss 1: eating

      a basic premise:
      eat less than you require for your energy level at least until your weight reaches a healthy balance

      a common obstacle:
      eating habits grounded in emotional and other non-nutritive motivations

      another common obstacle:
      ongoing concern about the past and the future
      (e.g. I shouldn't have eaten that; what should I eat next; I'm not going to be able to do this; this has never worked before)

      a simple, effective approach:
      -- plan your meals and their schedule in advance each day
      -- follow your meal plan and its schedule each day
      -- eat each meal slowly and mindfully while seated at the table
      -- eat each meal at the prescribed time
      -- when finished each meal, clean up after yourself and don't think about your next meal until it's time

      before you start:
      -- take all of your measurements along with a photo (weigh yourself, measure your Body Mass Index (BMI), and measure your biceps, chest at nipples, waist at navel, hips at buttocks, upper thighs, and calves)
      -- write down up to 5 specific goals you will attain with respect to your weight loss and health improvement (e.g. "I will lose 20 pounds in the next 12 weeks" is more effective than "I want to look better in a bathing suit this summer")

      some tips:
      -- eat 4-6 smaller meals spaced at 2-3 hour intervals throughout the day
      -- drink a glass of water before each meal
      -- avoid excess simple carbohydrates like white breads, pastries, and sugar
      -- eat protein at every meal (chicken, fish, lean beef/pork, nonfat/unsweetened dairy)
      -- eat 2-4 servings of vegetables each day
      -- eat 1-2 servings of fruit each day
      -- grant yourself 3-4 "free" meals each week (if you like, plan them and look forward to them so that it doesn't feel like you're on a restricted diet)
      -- weigh yourself fully undressed every morning before you've eaten or exercised; make note of your weight in your journal and take each week's average to track your progress

      observations and other tips:
      -- plan your meals in general from one week to the next and do all of your grocery shopping for the week on one day; bring a list with you to avoid impulse purchases
      -- it takes at least 2 weeks to become accustomed to a new eating plan, so be prepared to make some mistakes and not to follow it 100% for the first 2-week period; by the 4-week point, if you find yourself cheating once a day or more, reassess your plan and motivations, and start over
      -- from one week to the next, your newly-acquired healthier eating habits will become more engrained within you. After a month or two has passed, these habits will begin to feel quite natural; after 3-4 months, they will simply have become the way you eat.
      -- keeping a daily journal of your progress for the first 2 months and then making regular observations 1-3 times per week thereafter will help you monitor your progress and stay on course
      -- take stock of your progress on the same day of each week; if you've maintained a generally forward momentum throughout the previous week, congratulate yourself heartily and continue to build momentum in the following week. If your momentum has stalled or gone backwards, pick one important thing to improve and work on it for the following week. Reassess your progress the following week to see how you're doing.

      more on overeating psychology and exercise routines later

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