Random Acts of Unkindess

I rose to a beautiful dawn. The air was cool and crisp, with a faint hint of autumn. I rose, dressed, spent time talking to John, who was on his way to bed. I went into my office/shrine room, bowed to my teachers, and thus began my day.

The dogs were already ahead of me, our Akita going into her crate and thumping loudly on her metal food dish demanding breakfast. Our schnauzer mix was dancing around my feet, shepherding me to the kitchen where morning kibble was stored. The cats were up too, stretching and yawning and making their way to the food dish perched high on the dryer.

I fed everyone, refilled water bowls with cool water, then took the dogs out for their morning walkies.

I marveled at how cool and crisp the air was, I adored the faint streaks of pink and gold on the horizon. The Cicadas, exhausted from their summer symphony, were quiet. Even the bachelor birds, those sweet, winged creatures who were unlucky in love this summer, had ceased their morning songs.

A few constellations splayed along the lightening summer sky, and I watched as each star faded out as the sun peeked all warm and golden between great old pine trees. It was going to be a glorious day, I thought. Tsuki seemed to agree as she playfully pushed me as we walked back to the house.

I was loathe to return.  The house was stuffy and uncomfortable ,whereas the air outside was cool and fresh. The sun had just risen and pink and purple clouds scuttled along the rim of the earth. A soft breeze rose, causing my prayer flags to flutter. I was deeply content. And thus, I decided to not meditate inside, but to go outside instead and enjoy the morning while doing my dawn practices.

I didn’t think anyone else was outside, and maybe they weren’t. Maybe a deeply unhappy face or two was peeking behind curtains, maybe someone heard me chanting, maybe someone saw me recite my mala. I don’t know. I was at peace. In the center of the universe and I was happy.

Afterwards, I wrote a brief post on my facebook page. I noted that nobody bothered me while I meditated. The world hadn’t ended. Maybe everyone in my neighborhood had resigned themselves to having a pair of unsaved heathens in their midst. Dunno. Didn’t care. I was happy.

John was awake and I fixed breakfast. We enjoyed our quiet morning together. We talked about nothing in particular and simply relaxed in the moment of being with one another. Later, he went back to bed, and I went to wash dishes.

The day proceeded, and as the sun rose, the temperature did as well. I went into the office to close the window and noticed a strange sight.

My prayer flags were drooping.

Well. I thought. Maybe one of the ends came untied. Or maybe one of the birds tried to perch on it or something. Dunno. I went outside, thinking all I had to do was retie the end.

As I got closer I saw something was terribly wrong. Half of the prayer flags were twisted up into the tree, where as the rest were dangling limply from the opposite tree branch. I was puzzled. Could a bird have done this? I didn’t think so. Perhaps a squirrel? No, the cord was ripped, not chewed, from the middle, and there was no way that the squirrel could have gotten to the flags in that way. It would have made more sense if one end had been chewed off. Instead, as I closely inspected the torn end, that the flags had been ripped apart. Someone walked between my and my next door neighbor’s houses, grabbed the flags, and ripped them. And when the flags came apart, half went up into the tree due to the momentum, and the other half was left to dangle from the other branch.

How disappointing. Those flags had been up for only a couple of months. So why now?
I suspect someone saw me meditating outside and decided to make a ‘statement.’ of their disapproval.

I equally suspect that someone was just walking by, saw the flags, and decided to do a moment of idiotic vandalism. And what makes it even more dis-quietening, is that whomever did this, it was someone we know, otherwise the dogs would have alerted us to their presence. I started to blame the neighborhood kids, but realized that there were no children in the neighborhood. School had started. The only people left were adults who didn’t have to work that early in the morning.

I had rather the person in question had stolen them. Then I could think that the person might have put them up, might have admired them, might have gone on line and learned something about Buddhism, maybe their mind and heart would have opened. I would have hoped they would be blessed. But that sadly was not the case.

This is the action of a rigid mind. A mind that won’t bend .A mind that is arrogant, selfish and fundamentalist in their thinking. A mind like that cannot fathom anything beyond their myopic perceptions. A mind like that tried to intimidate me, to silence me, to coerce me.

I will not be intimidated. I won’t be silenced. I won’t be coerced. My refuge is in the Three Jewels.

I will, instead, become resilient, resourceful, more loving and more compassionate and wiser.

These are not affirmations. These are statements of truth.

I am going go now. I am going to step outside in the sunshine and sit underneath the copse of elms that have grown into a beautiful arch next to the house. I’m going to sit and I am going to do Metta practices. I am going to remain truthful to the principles and ideas that the Buddha laid out long ago. I am going to remain…myself…

 

 

 

The Toxic Chicken Farm or Would You Eat From This Plate?

If you are squeamish and if these pics and video disturbs you, hold you nose, grab a bucket, and take a dose of smelling salts because this is something you need to know, no matter how disgusting it is. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/win-a-manjushri-statue.html

I can state that beyond any shadow of a doubt the poor hens living in these filthy conditions are suffering horribly, and they are suffering out of pure greed. I can state that this is a cruel and unthinkable way to treat a living creature. I would be right about that, too. 

However, I want to make you aware not just of the animal cruelty involved here, (which is undeniably horrible and needs to stop, like NOW) but to also make you aware of how dangerous filthy factory farming is.

You see, there is a lot more living inside those egg farms than just mangy hens. (poor hens). A LOT more. And what is living inside the tons of excrement is something that can effect us all on a global scale.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in631

Mites, lice and other insects live on the hens. Insects and microbes live in the excrement .Rats and mice are attracted to the stench and feast on dead chickens and other things. Just the smell coming from that chicken house must be beyond toxic. http://www.idph.state.il.us/health/infect/Poultry.htm

Farms like this are breeding grounds for diseases. Avian Flu, Leptospirosis, Salmonella, and Histoplasmosis are the foremost germs that come to mind, and all of these can be fatal. And those diseases won’t stay confined in those houses, either.

It doesn’t take much for a bacteria to mutate and create a more dangerous strain. It takes even less time for a virus to mutate. So? you could ask? The farmers must be pumping lots of antibiotics into those hens. What could go wrong with that?

What could go horribly wrong–and has been for quite some time now–is that overfeeding antibiotic to animals living is squalor doesn’t help the animals, but it does help the bacteria by forcing them to mutate.

Think about it like this: A farmer runs a toxic chicken house. Not only is the stench coming from those houses (there is often more than one) dangerous, but the excrement in those houses are going to pollute the ground water and soil, making the entire farm toxic. Further, the chickens are carrying diseases, as well as the filth they are being forced to live in. Once a worker or a farmer comes in contact with a sick bird or just coming in contact with the filth, they could become infected with a disease like Avian Flu. Heck, someone may not even have to go into the houses at all, just breathing the air would be enough to make someone sick!

If an infected person were to get aboard a plane and fly to say, Hong Kong, for example (The chicken houses in question are in Australia) then the sick individual has just infected everyone aboard the plane. Where ever these people travel, they will bring the sickness with them and they will infect others. This is how diseases are spread. This is how a pandemic begins.

Also, we in the USA get lots of our food from other countries and some of those countries have lax food safety regulations. Do you really know where the eggs you just ate for breakfast came from? I think you should make it your business to know.

This isn’t a scene from a Stephen King book. You don’t have to have a shady government agency piddling with viruses, all it takes is for one sick chicken to sicken its farmer… and from him to everyone else.

There needs to be greater awareness in preventing cruelty to animals.  There needs to be greater awareness in sanitation and treatment of the environment to which these animals live. There needs to be a global initiative to prevent filthy commercial farms from producing toxic wastes that could cause pandemic.

There needs to be a grass roots campaign, not just in the United States, but world wide, to to cut down on animal food production and prevent the spread of diseases produced by unregulated commercial chicken farms.

 

 

The Moon Smells: Apollo Astronauts Describe Lunar Aroma – Yahoo News

The Moon Smells: Apollo Astronauts Describe Lunar Aroma – Yahoo News.

Have you ever wondered what the moon smells like? Some astronauts commented that the lunar dust they tracked into the lander said it smelled like spent gunpowder. Others commented on a charcoal  like smell. This is an interesting article about the astronaut’s olfactory experiences while visiting our natural satellite.

▶ 8/15/2014 MASS SIGHTINGS OF A LARGE UFO CRAFT OVER TEXAS CONFIRMED! – YouTube

▶ 8/15/2014 MASS SIGHTINGS OF A LARGE UFO CRAFT OVER TEXAS CONFIRMED! – YouTube.

This is a very reasonable explanation of what could very well be a genuine UFO. I agree that this could not be a LED rigged kite for one simple reason the narrator does not mention: this object was seen hovering over Houston during a thunderstorm. If it had been a kite, the winds would have ripped it apart. The object in these images seem undeterred by the powerful drafts and windshifts that occur during a thunderstorm. Further, a kite could not have hovered like this object does, it would have been blown about. I agree with the narrator and think this could very well be a genuine UFO.