Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Roots of Halloween (video)

Christopher Nyerges (; Stuff; Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Edvard Grieg "In the Hall of the Mountain King"; Apocalyptica

Peter, come into the Hall of the Mtn. King
Here's a look back at a centuries-old holiday that’s come a long way from its original intent.

We wondered: How was the holiday (holy day) Halloween commemorated before it was commercialized into a night of trick or treating?

More to the point of our discussion, Is it possible to observe it in a way similar to that of our ancestors?
Let’s begin with the day itself. It is believed that the ancient Celts observed something called a “Samhain [sao-win] festival” toward the end of October.

The redheads of Ireland gather (TG).
According to World Book Encyclopedia, the Celts believed that the dead [Buddhist pretas] could walk among the living at this time of year, when dark and cold would begin enveloping much of the Western world for the next several months.

Elements of these customs can be traced to a Druid ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods -- one governing the sun and Samhain, God of the Dead, whose festival was held on Nov. 1st, the beginning of the Celtic New Year.

This day, or period, was to mark the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter.

(Stuff They Don't Want You To Know) In the United States, Halloween is replete with ancient traditions that may seem bizarre to outsiders. Why do we carve faces on pumpkins or dunk our heads in water trying to bite apples? Here are the origins of our traditions, how they became what they are today, and how religious syncretism has blended different beliefs, myths, and rituals.
(Apocalyptica) Norwegian black metal version of Ed Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King"
Samhain (“summer’s end” and also the name of the god) is seen by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have died, often involving paying respect to ancestors [the grateful dead], family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have passed on. In some rituals, the spirits of the dead are invited to attend the festivities.
Various sorts of activities on Samhain have been described over the centuries. In Ireland, Samhain was a time to take stock of herds and food supplies. Cattle were brought to the winter pastures after six months in higher summer lands. Then, the people chose which animals to slaughter before the winter. After this, there was feasting.

Catholic intervention
Let's take over this party for Rome!
The Catholic Church was aware of all the so-called “pagan” observances and had their own day to commemorate the dead or dearly departed, May 13th.

This began in 609 or 610 C.E., when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon -- the Roman temple of all the Roman gods -- to the Virgin Mary [the Mother Goddess, Kwan Yin, the Mother of all the Orishas in Yoruba, etc.] and all of the martyrs.

That date was changed by Pope Gregory III (731-741 CE). He dedicated a chapel in Rome to all of the saints and ordered that they be honored on Nov. 1st. This was done, in part, to overshadow the pre-existing Samhain commemorations.
In the 11th century, Nov. 2nd was assigned “All Souls Day” in commemoration of the dead. This began the use of the term All Halloweds’ Eve, or Hallowe’en for October 31, the day before All Saints Day.

The Day of the Dead
Hallowe’en customs are similar to the observance of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, commonly practiced in Mexico and traceable to early Aztec times.

Apparently, this “Day of the Dead” was originally commemorated in Mexico in May and was changed to Nov. 2nd sometime after Spanish contact in order to correspond with the Christian tradition.
Food and Gifting
Hey, Beavis, let's go get candy and break stuff.
Trick or treating in modern times goes back to leaving food and wine for roaming spirits.

The custom was referred to as “going a-souling” and was eventually practiced only by the children who would visit the houses in their neighborhoods and be given gifts of ale, food, and money.

It was believed the spirits of the dead returned to visit their old homes during this time, so in ancient times people left food out for them and arranged chairs so that the dead would be able to rest.

Treats called “soul cakes” were given out in memory of the departed. The practice in the Middle Ages of souling -- going door to door begging for food in exchange for prayers -- became popular and is even referenced by William Shakespeare in 1593.

This is obviously the root of the modern “trick or treating” -- threatening pranks and mischief in exchange for mini Snickers bars and sugar in all forms, a practice every dentist loves.
Seasonal foods such as apples and nuts were often used in the Samhain rituals. Apples were peeled and the remains were tossed over the shoulder, their shapes examined to see they formed the first letter of a future spouse’s name.
Nuts were roasted on the hearth and then interpreted: If the nuts stayed together so, too, would the couple. Egg whites were dropped in water; the shapes foretold the number of future children. Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from the number of birds or the direction they flew.
“Mumming” and “Guising”
Hey, I know! I'll be a clown this year!
Celts would wear masks when they left their homes during the night hours during Samhain days because they hoped they would avoid being recognized by the ghosts and be mistaken merely for fellow ghosts.

“Mumming” and “guising” were a part of Samhain from at least the 16th century and was recorded in parts of Ireland, Scotland, Mann, and Wales. More

Police begin arresting Water Protectors in ND

Actress Shailene Woodley strip searched
Xochitl, Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; WN; AJE;; AP (mail)
(Wochit News) Authorities have moved in on activists demonstrating against a controversial North Dakota oil pipeline. NBC News reports that armed soldiers and paramilitary civilian police in riot gear forcibly removed demonstrators using trucks and buses. The water protectors include Native Americans and allied environmental activists. They have been camped on sacred ground (which Dakota Access calls private property) since Oct. 23 near the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. The 1,000+ mile pipeline would run close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Opponents of the project say the pipeline would disturb sacred burial sites and could adversely impact drinking water for Native Americans and those who depend on the Missouri River.

(RevRadMedia) LIVE from the frontlines, ND, Standing Sioux Stand-off
(DN!) On Sept. 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline's construction. If completed, the pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of dirty crude per day from North Dakota’s Bakken Oilfield to Illinois. The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of nearly 100 more tribes from across the U.S. and Canada.
Authorities begin arresting pipeline protesters
CANNON BALL, North Dakota - The latest on the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest (all times local).

3:00 pm: Authorities have begun arresting some Dakota Access pipeline protesters at a camp the demonstrators set up on private land in the path of pipeline construction.

Strip Searched!\
"I was strip searched" - Shailene Woodley
(DN!) Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley was arrested during the Standoff at Standing Rock on October 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while attempting to blockade the Dakota Access pipeline construction at two separate worksites.

Footage of Woodley’s arrest was streamed live to roughly 40,000 viewers on her Facebook page. She was later strip-searched in jail. She says her dedication to protest with indigenous people who are at the forefront of the fight remains strong: "Every time we allow another pipeline...we are endorsing the fossil fuel industry and only prolonging the time it is going to take to switch to renewable energy."

Woodley recently starred in the new film "Snowden." She has appeared in the TV series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and has also starred in films including "The Divergent Series" and "The Fault in Our Stars." She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Alex King in "The Descendants."
An Associated Press reporter says law enforcement officers formed a horseshoe-like loop [corral trapping everyone in it] around the camp in North Dakota. Several protesters were arrested on the perimeter of the camp as [heavily armed] authorities slowly moved in.
Soldiers and police launched the operation at midday to oust the [water protectors], a day after they refused to [give up the cause] voluntarily. Many of the protesters were openly defying the authorities, yelling at them as they approached. Others were taking part in prayer circles.
Water protectors pray to Great Spirit (AP)
2:35 pm: A woman who's been helping handle security for Dakota Access Pipeline [water protectors] says some of them are determined to be arrested while praying.

Vanessa Dundon, an Arizona Navajo, says many want to be arrested when authorities arrive to remove them from a camp in the path of the pipeline construction. More

  • (Al Jazeera English) On The Stream: Native Americans protest a massive oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota.

Hillary Clinton exposed by Daily Mail

Alana Goodman (, Oct. 27, 2016) Facebook; Wisdom Quarterly
US mainstream media will do anything to elect establishment candidate Clinton (AP).
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Clinton's long-time lover reveals how he called ruthless Hillary "The Warden," bemoaned his sex life with his [lesbian] wife who had greasy hair and [horrible] body odor but wanted a baby [which she got from her infidelity with co-worker Webster Hubbell not Bill] to dispel the rampant "lesbian rumors."
  • Parkinson's disease? (NE)
    Arkansas native Dolly Kyle says she had an affair with Bill Clinton that began in the 1970s and lasted for decades.
  • Their relationship ended in 1990s when Bill Clinton threatened to "destroy" Dolly Kyle if she spoke to the media, she tells in an interview.
  • When Dolly first met Hillary in Hot Springs, Hillary's eyes glared at her from behind "Coke-bottle-thick lenses with an air of real hostility."
  • "She looked so bad and she smelled so bad, I just didn't believe this was Hillary; I hoped that I wouldn't gag when she got in my car," said Kyle.
  • Hillary is "a mean, angry person; she’s a volcano waiting to erupt, and God help you if you’re anywhere near the lava flow."
  • The last time Kyle spoke to Bill Clinton was at their 35th high school reunion in 1994.
Bill Clinton is a sex-addicted "monster" who mocked Hillary Clinton by calling her "The Warden" in front of friends and privately boasted about his high notch count [number of sex partners as counted on one's belt], according to his long-time mistress and childhood friend Dolly Kyle.

Dolly Kyle, now 68, says she had a decades-long affair with the former president before and during his marriage and had a front-row seat to Bill's salacious double-life in the 1970s and '80s. More

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters in Mexico (concert)

Music And Fireworks; Wisdom Quarterly

Music And Fireworks(Music And Fireworks) The creator of Pink Floyd, singer/bassist Roger Waters, who wrote most of Pink Floyd's material throughout their long career, played live in Mexico City in 2016 (with new sound). Full show.

Halloween Haunted House with Jo (video)

Jo Kwon (KFI AM), [(818) 520-1534,]; CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly

Hey, guys, it's getting too hot!!
Jo Kwon visited a warehouse in Boyle Heights (East Los Angeles) that has been converted to give people a spook, but it's no ordinary haunted house. They say the Titanic-style Queen Mary is haunted. So it was incredibly amusing to watch Jo Kwon try not to freak out as she toured the #Evil8 Queen Mary Dark Harbor. Check out Kwon's other adventures at other haunted houses located around town: Here's her full Tension Ascension Experience! Watch her try not to throw up as she waits for the Men in Black to come for her. The best has been saved for last, Kwon's final freakout at the 17th Door Haunted House. More

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump roasts Clinton: charity dinner (video)

Global News; Wisdom Quarterly
(Global News) Full monologue: Donald Trump roasts Hillary Clinton at Al Smith charity dinner

Clinton, Fr. Timothy Dolan, Trump (AP)
Faux Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump roasted his rival Hillary Clinton during the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner. Trump joked about the "nasty woman" comment he made during the debate, Clinton's experience, Wikileaks' revelations, erased emails and what the FBI didn't do about them. He got great laughs, and delivered the night's best lines, but he was also booed and heckled by the audience during his speech for going too far in attacking Clinton. A Catholic priest sat between them as they smiled at each other so much that one could believe that Trump is working for Clinton to present such a scary alternative to her election that no one cares how many people she has had killed, the disqualifying Parkinson's disease she suffers from, how many women she has ruined as an attorney and as the wife/beard of serial philanderer Bill Clinton, or what a war hawk and Kissinger-admiring war criminal she is.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Making MERIT: Katina Ceremony (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Buddhist Temple of America
(Ajahn Brahm, Western Australia) One Minute Newsreel: Katina on a beautiful spring day. Lovely to see so many people welcoming the monks at the end of their annual retreat in 2015.
(Bodhinyanarama Monastery, New Zealand/Philip Maskell) Kathina Robe Offering) Ceremony 2016. This annual festival arrives at the end of Vassa (Rains Retreat) as celebrated at the monastic complex in Wellington, New Zealand in the presence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand.

This time of year, as Buddhist "Lent" (Vas) comes to a  close, is marked with a very special ceremony: Katina.
The Buddha proclaimed it the most meritorious ceremony to participate in for lay followers.

It is the ceremonial offering of an extra durable robe to the entire monastic community that has been engaging in intensive practice for the preceding three months of the Rains Retreat, roughly corresponding to our hemispheric summer.

Buddhist Temple of America (Wat Bhuridattavanaram)'s photo.The Buddhist Temple of America (Wat Bhuridattavanaram) -- a large Thudong (Dhutanga) or Thai Forest Meditation tradition temple in Ontario, Riverside County, California -- celebrated writ large.

We traveled to the hinterlands of Los Angeles by the great mountain. The desert before us, the foothills to the north. A thousand gathered to mourn the recently deceased Thai King Bhumipol, all in black, and support the monastic community. On the same day in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara, celebrated Sri Lankan style with all night pirith (paritta) chanting, dressed all in white, and constructed the special hardy robe on site before offering it to the monks to select someone among their ranks for the honor of receiving it this year. Burmese temple on the eastern edge of L.A. County kept the tradition.

There are more celebrations to follow as every temple in the Theravada lineage holds events. This weekend in North Hollywood, the Sarathchandra Buddhist Meditation Center will mark the annual event with Sinhalese vegetarian island cuisine, clad in white taking the Eight Precepts, and seeing to it the monastic community maintains this unbroken custom.

It began at the time of the Buddha when two monks ventured to see him but got caught in the downpours of the rainy season in Ancient India. They carried on with thin robes and no heavy outer cloak to protect them. The Buddha advised them that it would have been a more appropriate course of action to remain in one abode to practice intensely and realize the goal, sparing many small creatures that flourish in the rain along the way. The Buddha called for the offering of a durable robe, and much has been made of it ever since. The question is, Why would this offering be any better than any other offering at any time of year?

The answer has something to do with the likelihood that monastics engaged in meditation have attained the supramundane paths-and-fruits (magga-phala). There is special significance to two offering, a meal give before attainment that enables that attainment and a meal right after attainment because it is now given not to an ordinary good person but to an extraordinary enlightened person who has changed lineage (gotrabhu). That is the way karma is whether we understand it or have yet to understand it.
  • มีเวลาทำงานอีกวันเดียว วันอาทิตย์ที่ 23 ก็ถึงวันงานทอดกฐินแล้ว

Image may contain: 19 people

Buddhist Temple of America (Wat Bhuridattavanaram)'s photo.

Buddhist Temple of America (Wat Bhuridattavanaram)'s photo.

"Listen, Liberal"! What about the election?

Thomas Frank; Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
Thomas Frank (author of What's the Matter with Kansas?) and Editor Robert Scheer will be in discussion about the upcoming election.

Frank's new book is Listen Liberal: What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

Sunday, October 30, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Real Democrats vote Independent: Bernie
THE BOOK: From the bestselling author Thomas Frank comes a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: What's the matter with Democrats?
It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.
"Stronger together" propaganda slogan
But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal... More

Friday, October 21, 2016

Los Angeles: Urban Wildlife Week, P-22 Day!

Casey Schreiner (, Oct. 7, 2016); Xochitl, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Beth Pratt-Bergstrom is the California Director of the National Wildlife Federation and one of the driving forces behind L.A.’s upcoming Urban Wildlife Week (Oct.16-22) that culminates in Griffith Park for P-22 Day, in honor of its resident celebrity mountain lion.
Finally, one of us gets a day of our own! got a chance to chat with Beth over the phone during a rare bit of downtime in the lead  up to this incredible event. The following responses have been slightly edited for conciseness and clarity.

Urban Wildlife Week, P-22 Day coming to L.A.
When Mountain Lions...
Modern Hiker: What inspired Urban Wildlife Week?
Beth Pratt-Bergstrom: P-22 Day and Urban Wildlife Week were some of the first things I started working on in the Santa Monica Mountains with the NPS and other partners, because P-22 has really captured my imagination both personally and from a wildlife conservation perspective.

I always had it in my head I wanted to retrace his route. That idea just kept sitting there and sitting there and as we got more and more into our work in Los Angeles, he came to symbolize not just this call for a crossing at Liberty Canyon but connectivity throughout the whole city.
The great megalopolis of Los Angeles home to 10 million and its native wildlife (wiki)
That’s what this hike and event are really about. Obviously we’re trying to call attention to the visionary wildlife crossing we’re trying to build -- which will be the biggest in the world -- but it’s also about showing connectivity or lack thereof.
Near the Hollywood sign: Celebrate P22 Day!
What these hikes have shown us -- and this was no big surprise -- is that there are some points where connectivity is great like the Backbone Trail...and then there are some points where there’s terrible connectivity like along Mulholland Drive where there aren’t even sidewalks! I mean there are beautiful parks along that street but it’s hard to connect to them -- for both wildlife and people.
This event has turned into more than just re-tracing the cat’s route, but that’s where it started.
Where are Los Angeles' wildcats? (
I have to say after doing it -- as someone who’s written a book about this cat’s travels -- after having hiked it I am more impressed this mountain lion made it at all. It is ASTOUNDING he was able to make it to Griffith Park. More

The supernatural is REAL (shocking video)

Seth Auberon, CC Liu, Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; SC Videos, 8-15-16

Happy Halloween. It's time to thumb through the Petavatthu to scare ourselves with Ghost Stories or Tales of the Departed, a collection of sacred Buddhist texts like the UFOs of the Sky Dwellers.

Vimanas are space vehicles/homes, starships
There is much that happens in the unseen world that affects the world we know and contact with our ordinary five senses (which are actually greater in number as science well knows but which is rarely mentioned, such as proprioceptive feedback) and the most important, the sixth or cognition, with "mind" as the sense organ.

Anyone who cultivates the third eye or dibba cakkhu (at the agni chakra and other paranormal powers) can see for him or herself that there are many unseen beings around suppressing our full human potential.

Demon dancers, Tibet (
It is as if we are being "farmed" or "mined" for our strong emotions, sexual energies, wasted psychic emanations, and genetic material, which is combined with that of other beings' by artificial insemination to produce hybrids.

But Americans -- claiming to be reasonable, scientific, experiential and experimental, taking a "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude -- refuse to open their third eye or increase their sensitivity to energy.

Instead, we do all we can to deaden our senses, inebriate our minds, and corrupt our spirits.

Just yoga poses, a humane-natural diet, and pranayama (gaining control of the subtle breath) would do much to bring us into our potential for compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment at least to get us into a fortunate rebirth if we ignore bringing a complete end to rebirth all suffering.

NOTE: All videos uploaded for this compilation are with the express permission of the original owner or are in the public domain and thus falling under Fair Use for commentary, research, news reporting purposes under applicable copyright rules.