Predictions end 2012 from Vedic Astrology- Dennis Harness, PhD – Sedona, US

Dennis M Harness, Ph.D
Aum – Vedic AstrologyVedic Astrologer and Teacher
Jyotish Kovid, Jyotisha Vachaspati

Dennis M. Harness, Ph.D. is a professional vedic astrologer and lecturer who received his doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California.

For more than twenty years, Dennis has studied both Eastern and Western astrological techniques with some of the world’s most respected astrologers. He has published numerous articles, research papers and book chapters in the fields of astrology, psychology, and medicine.

Dennis was a founding member of the American Council of Vedic Astrology and served as president of the American College of Vedic Astrology, located in Sedona, Arizona, from 1999-2009. His book, The Nakshatras: The Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology, is published by Lotus Press and continues to be one of the few works dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of these important, and often overlooked, asterisms of Vedic Astrology.

Dennis is currently working on his new book, The Karmic CodeTM: Discover Your Spiritual DNA and Life Purpose….

View Here on his article on Moksha / 12th House and previous video interview.

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Chuang-tzu: The Tao of Perfect Happiness ~ Livia Kohn, Ph.D. [updated Oct 15, 2012]

The Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) is the second major text of the Taoist tradition. It was compiled in the third century B.C.E. and follows in the footsteps of the best known and oldest of all Taoist texts, the Tao-te-ching (Daode jing, Book of the Tao and Its Potency), known by the name of its author, Laozi (Lao-tzu), which literally means “Old Master” or “Old Child.”

There are many reasons to return to these ancient texts time and again, and especially to come back to the Chuang-tzu. The pure enjoyment of the stories, the vibrant humor of the tales, the fantastic aspects of reality — they all give pleasure, release, exuberance. The intricacies of ancient Chinese culture as revealed in the text, with its complex social hierarchies, demanding ways of interaction, extensive death rituals and multiple layers of existence, from the creative power of “heaven” (a word indicating both the sky and the natural world at large) through gods and humans to animals and ghosts — they all spark interest, transcend present limitations, open new ways of seeing and of being in the world. Last but not least, the complex philosophical and cosmological understanding of the universe, the vision of the individual as completely embedded in the greater flow of life, held and carried by the Way or Tao, the appreciation of the complete interconnectedness of all life, and the pervasive urging of the text to be who we are just as we are no matter where we are — all these give power and inspiration, provide strength and determination, encourage the will to live to the fullest.

Unlike most renditions this version arranges the text by themes, beginning with the core question of the text: “In this world, is there such a thing as perfect happiness?” The answer is “certainly.” But it takes work and a certain way of understanding self and reality combined with making clear and persistent efforts to actualize this understanding in body and life (although, according to Chuang-tzu, these efforts are nowhere near as organized as later Taoists would propose). Over a total of 14 chapters, the book then unravels key issues in Chuang-tzu’s thought, from visions of the universe through understanding of fate, self, death and dreams, to ways of personal transformation with the help of various forms of conscious reprogramming and meditative practice which then lead to the best possible way of living in the world, exemplified in several different kinds of people and social situations.

Here are some examples:

“Life is the follower of death, and death is the beginning of life: who knows their inherent structure? Human life is nothing but an assemblance of vital energy. When it comes together, we come to life; when it scatters, we die. Since life and death thus closely follow each other, why whine about either? In this most essential aspect, the myriad things are one. They consider life as beautiful because it is spiritual and marvelous; they think of death as nasty because it is smelly and putrid. However, the smelly and putrid change again and become the spiritual and marvelous; the spiritual and marvelous change once more and turn smelly and putrid. Thus the saying, ‘The entire world is but one vital energy.’ Based on this, all sages value oneness” (Chapter 22).

Hui-tzu asked Chuang-tzu:

“Can a person really be without feelings?” — “Of course.” — “A person without feelings, how can you call him human?” — “Tao gave him visible appearance, heaven gave him bodily form. Why not call him human?” — “But, if you call him human, how can he be without feelings?” — “This is not what I mean when I speak of feelings. What I mean when I say he is without feelings is that the person does not allow likes and dislikes to enter and burden his social self, but always goes along with his inherent naturalness, never trying to improve on life” (Chapter 5).

Confucius said to Yen Hui:

“Oh, come on, Hui. Your family is poor and your house is dilapidated. Why don’t you get a job?” — “I don’t want a job. I have eight acres of fields outside the city wall, enough for vegetables and grain. I also have an acre and a half of farm land nearby, which gives me enough silk and hemp. Strumming my zithers is enough to give me pleasure, studying Tao with you is enough to make me happy. I don’t want a job” (Chapter 28).

Passages and stories like these demonstrate Chuang-tzu’s approach to the best and most peaceful way of living in the world: see the bigger picture, stay within your comfort zone and do fully what gives you the most pleasure, ignore the demands of society and outside values in favor of inner wholeness and deep-seated contentment.

‘Chuang-tzu: The Tao of Perfect Happiness’ is published by SkyLight Paths.

Livia Kohn, Ph.D.
graduated from Bonn University, Germany, in 1980. After six years at Kyoto University in Japan, she joined Boston University as Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies. She has also worked variously as visiting professor and adjunct faculty at Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest, the Stanford Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio and San Francisco State University.

Her specialty is the study of the Daoist religion and Chinese long life practices. She has written and edited more than 25 books, as well as numerous articles and reviews. She has served on numerous committees and editorial boards, and organized a series of major international conferences on Daoism. She retired from active teaching in 2006 and now lives in Florida, from where she runs various workshops, trips and conferences and serves as the executive editor of the Journal of Daoist Studies.

Her books include “Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques” (1989), “Daoist Mystical Philosophy” (1991), “Laughing at the Dao” (1995), “God of the Dao” (1998), “Daoism Handbook” (2000), “Daoism and Chinese Culture” (2001), “Monastic Life in Medieval Daoism” (2003), “Cosmos and Community” (2004), “Daoist Body Cultivation” (2006), as well as “Meditation Works, Chinese Healing Exercises, Introducing Daoism” (2008), and — most recently — “Daoist Dietetics” (2010) and “Sitting in Oblivion” (2010).

Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness by Rachel Neumann

Overview

The book is a memoir of how a skeptical, fast-talking New Yorker became Thich Nhat Hanh’s editor, turned forty, realized she was aging, and slowly and reluctantly started to absorb mindfulness practice and grow up. Scenes with Thich Nhat Hanh and the author’s two vividly exuberant older parents, illustrate how the author adapts mindfulness techniques for the busyness of her life, without losing her edge. With honest and vivid stories about dealing with difficult relationships with family members, death, illness, vanity, exhaustion, and creating a safety net of joy, the author explores and offers guidance for three key mindfulness practices: Knowing When You’re Available and When You’re Not; Full-Attachment Living; and Interbeing (Other People are Not a Hobby).

This book is designed for adults who are new to mindfulness practice, Buddhism, curious skeptics, people familiar with the practice who want a personal story, and those interested in memoir.


Rachel Neumann has worked with a number of leading Buddhist and mindfulness authors, including His Holiness the Dalai Llama, Sylvia Boorstein, Sulak Sivaraksa, and others. For the past ten years, she has been the primary editor for the bestselling author and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Her writing focuses on the intersection of mindfulness, parenting, and the poli- tics of everyday life. She is a regular contributor to AlterNet and has written for various newspapers and magazines including Shambhala Sun, The Village Voice, and The Nation. Read her blog at http://www.peaceandsleep.org.

Urgent Message from Mother by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.

“Gather the women, save the world” is a message from Mother Earth, Mother Goddess, Mother archetype, delivered by author Jean Shinoda Bolen. The words evoke an intuitive recognition, a wisdom whose time has come. Women as a gender, not every woman but women generally, have a wisdom that is needed. This is a call from the Sacred Feminine to bring the feminine principle which most women and some men embody into consciousness and culture. When there is a critical mass and the tipping point is reached, gender balance ends patriarchy, and peace becomes possible.

In its original edition, this culmination of Jean Shinoda Bolen’s life’s work sold over 25,000 copies. Now in paperback for the first time Urgent Message from Mother is a call to action for all the women of the world. This unique combination of visionary thinking and practical how-to seeks to galvanize the power of women acting together in order to save our world. Bolen outlines the lessons we can learn from the women’s movement, draws on Jungian psychology and the sacred feminine, and gives powerful examples of women coming together all over the globe and making a significant impact.

Click Here To Listen to Jean Shinoda Bolen talking on a phone line about Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World. (13 min. 54 sec.)

Click Here To Browse Inside

Urgent Message from Mother:
Interview with Jean Shinoda Bolen
By James Conti

Jean Bolen, MD, is the acclaimed author of nine previous books, including The Millionth Circle and Crones Don’t Whine. An internationally renowned Jungian analyst, she is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF . Join Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, at East West Books in Mountain View.

There is no mincing of words in Jean Bolen’s newest book Urgent Message from Mother. Her subtitle gives us the message itself: Gather the Women, Save the World. American women, Jean notes, have twice changed their world, thereby effecting major change in the world as a whole. The women’s suffrage movement in the early 20th century led to political equality, and the feminist movement launched in the 1960s has brought about a significant shift in the personal, social and economic status of women. Jean now sees a third women’s movement emerging, whose agenda is clear, crucial and unequivocal: to save our planet from the patriarchal power games that have set us on a path of disaster. Wherever there is conflict, she writes, a commitment to cooperation must prevail. Gather the women.

James Conti: Jean, you have written in no uncertain terms that the world needs Mother—the Sacred Feminine—to set things right, because so much is out of balance.

Jean Bolen: Yes. As Bishop Desmond Tutu has said, men have been running the world and have pretty much made a mess of it. Basically it’s the compassion element that’s been missing. It’s really time for the feminine principle now, for connected reconciliation and forgiveness.

The goddess has been a primary theme in your work, and now in this book you’ve added an accelerated activism to it. The word'”urgent” in the title speaks volumes in itself. Living as we do in the shadow of potential self-destruction, is this new women’s movement a case of now or never?

Well, I think so. I think there’s about a 20-year window of opportunity for change. When the United States and the Soviet Union called off the nuclear arms race, it felt as if the danger of destroying the planet was over, and now it’s like it’s metastasized. So, there’s that on one hand. On the other hand there’s a generation of women who have never existed in history before. It’s the most empowered generation of women ever. These women are getting together in groups and really accomplishing things. These groups, or circles, have the potential to reach critical mass. Maybe that will be at the millionth circle. It’s what Malcolm Gladwell calls “the tipping point.” When a tipping point happens in a culture, the culture changes.

Your book cites a number of stories of courage and cooperation that demonstrate the power of your millionth circle idea. Please say more about the concept.

When it comes to changing the world, conventional wisdom says, “Who do you think you are?” But if you do your part, no matter what circle you belong to, there is movement towards critical mass. Gladwell’s notion of a tipping point comes out of epidemiology. It explains how a latent virus like AIDS can progress geometrically until it reaches epidemic proportions. An idea can spread in the same way. Circles of people who support an idea give birth to more circles. The millionth circle.

I was struck by your observation of a deeply rooted difference between men and women. In stressful situations, men have been conditioned to “fight or flee,” whereas women are inclined to “tend and befriend.” This is quite revealing of the world’s current state, isn’t it?

Yes. It is women’s way to take care of people. That’s the kind of energy that is needed whenever there is conflict. When we look at the really troubled spots in the world, there aren’t women involved in the negotiations. In Northern Ireland, it was the presence of women and their involvement that brought about the Belfast Accord. In South Africa too, the old way was conflict retaliation instead of resolution. It took really good men like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu to unite the country. Compassion and connection grew out of who they are.

Jean, you end your book with a discussion guide, and in it you ask a number of compelling questions. Are you hopeful that we will answer them with a commitment to action?

I have an optimistic sense that both men and women have reached a point of feeling that something really has to change. This is a book for everyone, but mainly I think there are two groups of women who will hear and heed the message. One is the young activist women who get it. They’re not buying into consumerism. They want to do something to make a difference, and they’ve got the energy to do it. The other is my age group. There are something like 50 million women in the U.S. who are over 50 now, a huge number of whom have a real sense of gratitude for what the women’s movement has done for them. They’re looking for what I call an assignment….

Your contemporary Ram Dass, has been admired lovingly as a man of “fierce grace.” It seems that your life, Jean, could be aptly described as one of “fierce compassion.” True?

(Laughing) Thank you. Yes. I mean, compassion is what is motivating me to do what I’m doing now.


Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity, an acausal principle, connects the ego to the larger archetypal self. This connection is like the ancient Chinese concept of the Tao in that it cannot be rationally understood. Jean Shinoda Bolen suggests that the images of the ancient dieties represent powerful projections of the psyche.

From a psychological perspective, all of the gods can be viewed as suffering from dysfunctional relationships and character disorders. By studying the myths of the gods, we can learn much about ourselves. It is by facing the truth of our lives that we can die to our past ways and enter into a new order of being.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., a Jungian analyst, is author of The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Every Woman, Gods in Every Man and The Ring of Power. She is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

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