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The Gabriel Initiation: Satya Center Winter Solstice 2007 Newsletter

By Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry on Dec 18, 2007

Welcome to the High Holy Days of Christmas!

Welcome to the December 18, 2007 edition of the SatyaCenter newsletter.

Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry. We wish you every blessing during this magical holiday time of year, the time of the Winter Solstice in Capricorn. We are pleased to offer you the following instructions for obtaining “The Gabriel Initiation”. Our guide to this powerful meditation practice offers you a simplified version of an Ancient technique that was originally offered only to advanced students of the Western Mystery School traditions.

At this spiritually potent time of the seasonal cycle, we experience the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

The word solstice comes from the Latin “solstitium”, from “sol” or “sun” and “stit” or stopped. In the Northern Hemisphere, we all notice how the sun appears to be higher in the sky during the spring and summer, and slowly rises and sets lower and lower in the sky as autumn and winter unfold. At the time of the Winter Solstice, for a three day period, the sun appears at its lowest point at noon, and appears to stand still in its annual journey across the sky.

For this brief moment in the yearly seasonal round, we notice more readily that the strength of light from the sun over time waxes and wanes throughout the year. Just as the light from the moon waxes & wanes in a monthly cycle, the strength of sunlight waxes & wanes within a yearly cycle, which is what creates four seasons.

This waxing and waning of the sun is the result of the fact that Earth is tilted on its axis, and so for half the year, the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, and for half the year, the Earth tilts increasingly away from the sun. To an observer in the northern hemisphere on planet Earth, beginning at the Summer Solstice in June, the sun appears to decline day by day. It appears lower and lower in the sky, because the sun travels slightly southward in the plane of the ecliptic as the Earth’s seasonal tilt moves the observer further and further northward relative to the solar orb.

On the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, the beginning of winter, the Earth begins to tilt back in the other direction, but there is a three day period when the relative degree of tilt appears the same to our northern hemisphere observer. Then the sun begins to “rise” in the sky, nights shorten and days begin to lengthen.

For millennia diverse cultures and religions across the Northern Hemisphere have celebrated that moment when the sun once again begins its yearly ascent in the sky, on the third day after the Solstice, which falls on December 25, Christmas Day.

In countries around the world, social rituals evolved at the time of the Solstice which were designed to encourage the sun’s imminent, much hoped-for, ascent, to celebrate the coming “resurrection” of the light, and to affirm abundance and good fortune for the upcoming season by consuming autumnal stores of grain and liquors and by eating newly slaughtered herd animals that for various reasons, could not be supported throughout the long winter months still unfolding.

In Rome, one of the most famous of these celebrations occurred during the Winter Solstice Week, from December 17th through December 24th, when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. Because Saturn is the planetary ruler of Capricorn, this Solstice festival was known as Saturnalia. All of Rome celebrated with wine, feasting, and ribald expressions of sexuality. The moment when the sun again begins his apparent ascent, as days begin slowly to lengthen, and the promise of spring is writ large across the sky, was celebrated on December 25th as the Feast of the Invincible Sun.

This Winter Solstice week, the 17th to the 23rd of December, there is a very powerful energy signature written in the stars. There's an unusual conjunction of the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, opposed to Mars retrograde in early degrees of Cancer, joined by the Full Moon in Cancer on Christmas Eve, December 24th. For more information on this unusual energy signature, and what it portends for the future, see Esoteric Astrologer Malvin Artley’s insightful article “Capricorn Solar Festival: Year-End 2007 and What is to Come.

Wisdom Traditions of both East and West have always taught that the Winter Solstice presents those of us on the Path of Spirit with a unique opportunity for accelerated development in our chosen practices.

Those who wish to participate in the Esoteric Mysteries, the Wisdom School Teachings of Mystical Masters of the East and West, are encouraged to call upon Archangel Gabriel, the Guardian Archangel who presides over The Winter Solstice and the winter season at this most sacred time of year.

Gabriel is the Archangel known as the Leader of the Heavenly Hosts, the Messenger of the Lord. As Messenger of the Lord, Gabriel is first and foremost the Archangel of Vision, and also the Archangel of revelation, creativity and faithful service.

Gabriel is known as the messenger who brings good news from Divine realms. In the Old Testament, in the Book of Daniel, verses 8 and 9, Gabriel appeared to interpret Daniel’s dream vision of the future of Israel to the prophet.

Jewish sacred tradition says that Gabriel inspired Moses to write the Book of Genesis, and that Gabriel taught Joseph 70 languages he needed to rule in Egypt.

Islam teaches that the Archangel Gabriel revealed the 114 chapters of the Koran to Mohammed.

Most famously, as the self-announced “Bearer of Good Tidings of Great Joy”, Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary bearing a lily flower at the time of the Annunciation, bringing her the Good News that she was to become the Divine Mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This moment was at once a revelation, a fulfillment of prophecy, an interpretation of a sacred vision, and a unique sacred empowerment of the Virgin Mary.

Gabriel is often pictured with a trumpet, because he is expected to return at the Second Coming of Christ to announce the Turning of the Aeons, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Last Judgement.

Gabriel figures prominently in the Sacred Tarot, the repository of the Wisdom Teachings of the West during the time of the Inquisition and thereafter, appearing in Trump 20, known as “Judgement”, which is also called “The Aeon” in some modern decks.

All the people, places and events pictured in the Tarot are not just archetypical figurations of chapters in the world’s history, they are, perhaps more importantly, representations of archetypical stages in the evolution of the Soul on its journey from animalistic instinctual behavior to rationalistic egoistic mentality and eventually to achievement of the ultimate goal, Unity consciousness and Self-realization. (For more information on the Tarot and the true Mystery Teachings of the East and West, see my article, “Tarot: The Yoga of the West”.

The Tarot teachings concerning the Last Judgement consider that apocryphal event to be the culmination of a lifetime’s spiritual practice, the doorway to liberation of the mind and enlightenment.

The Judgement or Aeon card is about transformation of the egoistic personality, and awakening to a higher consciousness, the birth of the Higher Mind, the dawning of the Higher Self, and represents the final preparations before the disciple can attain the final goal, Christ Consciousness, or Cosmic Consciousness, Self-Realization, pictured in Trump XXI, called The Universe.

In the Waite deck, Judgement pictures the Archangel Gabriel blowing his trumpet, as three figures, a man, a child and a woman, rise from coffins in the lower foreground. The man represents the conscious, rational egoistic mind, the woman represents the unconscious powers of instinctual wisdom, and the child represents the infant born of their union, the intuitive consciousness residing in the Higher Mind.

Gabriel’s golden horn delivers the sacred sound that triggers our awakening from the living death and spiritual imprisonment represented by consciousness dominated by the egoistic personality and the instinctual impulses of the unconscious mind. The energy signature of Gabriel’s horn is a sacred tone, or mantram, which also exists as a vision ­– a frequency of golden light. This golden light of inner awakening, which emanates from Gabriel’s horn, and at his command, appears in the mind’s eye on a field of deepest midnight blue during the meditative state at the moment of initiation and realization.

In the Western Mystery School Tradition, the Winter Solstice is traditionally the time when the initiate strives most intensely to attain this Gabriel initiation, which comprises the inner nativity, the birth of the Higher Mind and the Higher Self, the moment when the Inner Christ manifests to us offering us at least a transitory glimpse of Higher Worlds.

For students of the Ancient Wisdom, Gabriel’s role as bringer of visions makes him the Archangel who reveals the truth of one’s unique role in the world – which is known as the Higher Purpose, the Soul’s true calling, and empowers one to pursue that Higher Purpose successfully.

Thus the time of the Winter Solstice is the time for those walking the arduous path of Spirit to seek a vision of their Higher Purpose, to connect with the Divine Wisdom as revealed by Archangel Gabriel, and to connect with Higher Self and Higher Mind through the intercession of Gabriel, who interprets the super-rational wisdom found in Higher Realms into words and symbols that can be understood by the rational mind. Through Gabriel’s intercession, we can gain understanding of the mysteries of our own life’s journey, and of the larger mysteries surrounding the evolution of our spiritual brothers and sisters, our nation, and humanity as a whole.

Gabriel’s element is water and his chakra is the throat chakra, which is associated with the color blue, with creativity, and with communication. Traditionally, the opening of the throat chakra represents the beginning of the attainment of Higher Consciousness, once the heart is opened and compassion is attained. The opening of the heart chakra is a long, arduous process, which depends upon the purification of the emotions, which are associated with the element of water.

When we have successfully banished negative emotions, such as jealousy, greed, lust, and anger, and successfully released the old energies of past emotional traumas and failed relationships, then we are prepared for the Gabriel Initiation of the Winter Solstice.

This is why the season of Advent is traditionally a time of purification, and Christians are encouraged to perform acts of penance, fasting, and abstinence during the forty days prior to Christmas. Penance, fasting and abstinence are designed to purify the physical body, and also to cleanse the emotions, as well as turning our attention away from material pleasures and toward the summits of spiritual attainment.

The Gabriel Initiation

Those who wish to pursue the path leading to the Gabriel Initiation of the Winter Solstice are encouraged to spend the three day period of the Winter Solstice through Christmas in a spirit of wakeful awareness, open and waiting for a revelation, and to perform their normal spiritual practices in a relaxed, yet determined manner, in an attitude of certainty born of faith, for Gabriel is the Archangel of Faith.

As Messenger of the Lord, Gabriel appeared to the Shepherds in the Fields near Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, and announced to them the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

As it says in the second chapter of Luke, “. . . there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

On these three sacred days of the Solstice Festival, especially on Christmas Eve, the aspirant is encouraged to seek the Vision of the Inner Sunrise in a late night meditation session. If the preparation is adequate, and if the disciple’s spiritual evolution has brought the individual to a moment of inner awakening, and if the individual’s karma allows it, the disciple will receive an initiation.

To best prepare to receive this initiation, the disciple is encouraged to identify with the shepherds in the field near Jerusalem.

Quiet the mind, and enter into a meditative state using whatever practices have been taught to you by your Teachers and Guides. Call upon the Archangel Gabriel to illuminate your mind, to elevate your Soul, and to grant you a Vision of the Birth of the Christ Child, Unity Consciousness, your own Higher Self or Higher Mind.

Allow the indigo blue of a clear, cold starry night to permeate your consciousness. Ideally, you will see a field of deep midnight blue in your mind’s eye. Maintain an attitude of watchful wakefulness, expectant but open and relaxed.

Then, cast your consciousness through the center of the Earth, and into deep space on the other side of the globe, where the Sun is shining, radiant and golden. Imagine a ray of illumination, extending from your third eye, and penetrating through the depths of the Earth, and imagine that as this illuminating ray penetrates the Earth, your consciousness penetrates and illuminates the roots of your own personality, your own egoistic mind, your own human nature.

Allow images of the high and low points of your life, and of your past lives, if they are granted you, to appear as you penetrate deeper and deeper into your own Earthly nature. Maintain your inner equilibrium, and remain identified with the Inner Watcher who sees all without becoming emotionally involved, no matter how turbulent or difficult or painful or delightful those images of your inner lifetimes become as you envision them within your mind’s eye.

As each vision appears before you, simply observe what happens. Observe the emotions attached to these actions. Simply observe your own emotional reactions, and identify with that watchful presence within you rather than with the visions or the emotions they release.

Continue this practice in your meditation until you reach a point where you achieve inner stillness. For the Birth of the Word of God is found only in Silence. Although Gabriel’s element is water, his inner nature is Fire, and his Word which is a mantric blast from his trumpet is a brilliant Light. You will know you have achieved this inner stillness when the inner visions of your own Earthly nature dissipate and your field of vision is filled with the midnight blue of the starry night of Bethlehem.

Feel the peace that passes all understanding, for this is what the shepherds felt on that Nativity Night so long ago. Relax into this peaceful indigo blue energy. Allow the mind to completely relax. Let go of all thoughts, emotions and mental considerations. If you like, you may again call upon Archangel Gabriel to grant you an initiation or to grant you an initiation into the Birth of the Christ Child at this time.

If you are successful in this meditation, you will see a small, brilliant globe of golden light appear within the field of midnight blue in your mind’s eye and this golden globe will grow until a brilliant light fills your field of vision and you will have a sensation similar to that of being in an open field on a summer’s day, but without the heat – you will sense a downpouring of this brilliant light from above the crown of your head, streaming into your being, filling you with a brilliant, yet cool, golden light.

This is the golden dawn of the invincible sun within you. Know that this is the Gabriel Initiation, the announcement to you of your own inner awakening to Higher Consciousness. Whether or not you see everything described here in this meditation, it is highly productive spiritually to repeat this meditation as often as possible during the period between Christmas and Epiphany.

Consecrate this time as a time of your own personal Vision Quest. Concentrate during this period of inner questing upon your own strong, heartfelt desire to receive an understanding of your own Higher Purpose, and of the best path forward for you to achieve that Higher Purpose during the upcoming year. Open yourself to receive messages from the Universe in meditation, and in your daily life as synchronicities and in the form of meaningful coincidences of all kinds. Remain observant day and night.

May the Archangel Gabriel favor you with a Vision of your path forward in life during this High Holy Season, and may the Archangel’s trumpet blast penetrate your inner ear, awakening you to the Life Divine that dwells within you. May you be present this year and every year to come at the Nativity of the Christ Child, and may his birth signal a birth of Unity Consciousness within you that will connect you ever more closely to the Spirit of the Invincible Sun.

 

Top Satya Center Stories of the Week

Esoteric Astrologer Malvin Artley presents his prognostication for the New Year in his new article, “Capricorn Solar Festival: Year-End 2007 and What is to Come. The times they are complex, and they are a’changin’.

“A 12-year cycle has just ended and a new one about to commence,” Malvin explains. “There are four significant retrograde periods that bear some examination and there are three full moon periods, especially, that are going to bring potent energies into lives of this planet. We will start with the 12-year cycle.”

“Saturn reaches its retrograde station on Dec 18th on the 9th degree of Virgo, the symbol for which reads: ‘An expressionist painter at work,’” Malvin continues. “It finally reaches its direct station on the 2nd degree of Virgo on the 3rd of May next year, the symbol for which reads: ‘A large white cross dominates the landscape.’”

“What began in mid-September of this year might be called, as Dane Rudhyar states it, a ‘liberating ordeal’. It has certainly been a liberating period since then, and in a number of ways for different people. It has also been a trying time in many ways. What we will gain from the experience of Saturn’s sojourn in its shadow area is compassion and, hopefully, the requisite wisdom. The die has been cast since 15 September,” says Malvin.

Click on the link to Malvin’s article to read more about the many complexities writ large in the skies.

Are you concerned about the deteriorating condition of the global economy, the US dollar, and the subprime lending crisis? Well you probably should be.

In his new article, Jim Ridgeway, the Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones magazine, warns us about “The Next Financial Crisis: Credit Cards.

“The next step in the growing financial squeeze—what the banking community likes to call the "soft landing"—is coming down in credit cards,” Ridgeway warns. You may want to pay down those low-interest credit cards you’ve got because you may not be getting any more offers like that in the future, and the banks are hoping that when the low-cost interest rates expire, you’ll be left paying astronomical interest rates to them in perpetuity.

“Take a look at those offers you're getting in the mail,” Ridgeway explains. “Gone are the promises of permanent low APRs on purchases or balance transfers. Instead, the companies are offering a low rate for 6 or maybe 12 months, and then it shoots up to 15 or 20 percent or higher. And there's usually a 5 percent transfer fee on your whole balance—the ceilings on transfer fees are disappearing. So even if you get, say, a 4.9 percent APR for 12 months, it's really 9.9 percent.”

Lightworker, crystal healer and channel James Tyberonn offers a new Archangel Metatron Channel entitled “MultiDimensionality and the Flashing Universe.

“Now we will speak on multidimensionality, time, and the flashing universe,” explains the Metatron Channeling. “Lifetimes, in your terms, are not linear, rather they co-exist in the Quantum Field of the eternal NOW moment. This is an absolute truth that some of you are familiar with, but Dear Ones, do you know that even the moments in your lifetime, are truly not linear. So you may ask how can that be, I am aware of what happened yesterday and last year, and the results of many things I plan came into effect because of the linear sequence, the build, of my past actions leading to my present.”

“Dear Ones, we tell you that the nature of your Universe, and all its myriad of probabilities co exist both above and within the waves and particles of consciousness. The Universe as you know it, flashes in and out in a pulsing sequence of light energy frames, that consist of what we term consciousness units. . .”

Shamanic Healer Jade Wah’oo Grigori tells the story of one person’s experience with Shamanic Re-Dreaming, and offers this powerful technique of spiritual healing to the world in his new article, “The Retriever.

“Central to Shamanic methodology is the ability to Dream the World,” explains Jade. “This occurs first when the Shaman enters into the Dream while fully awake. Next we, as Shamans, quest the source of discord within the Soul's Dream, whether our own, that of a client's, or from within the Dream of the Earth Mother. Then, by means of Shamanic Dreaming, the Shaman re-dreams the Soul's Dream, re-establishing balance where once there had been disequilibrium. The re-instatement of harmony within the Soul will result in a greater experience of beauty and effectiveness in a person's daily life and contributes to a more wholesome soulfulness of the peoples of the world.”

“At this time I am making available the service of 'Dreaming the World' on behalf of individuals. The person requesting this assistance will present the single-topic situation or condition that needs to be altered. I will then enter into Shamanic Dreaming on their behalf, there to re-dream the client's world into balance and harmony.”

“Inform me of your request via email, JadeWahoo@Shamanic.net or telephone me at 928-284-0110, of the situation that is causing you distress, your desired outcome, and I will re-dream your request and inform you of the dream and its inherent significance. There will also be tasks that will be required of you to bring your re-dreamed World into attunement with your Soul.”

We wish to extend a warm welcome to Sofia Pavlatou, a Reiki, crystal healing and art therapist in Athens, Greece, who is the newest member of our healing community.

“I have studied in London (Middlesex Uni) for my Psychology BSc and Crimonology and Youth Justice MA,” says Sofia. “I am a Reiki SeichemTera Mai™ Master/Teacher, also attuned in Sakara 2, YOD and ordered in the Order of Melchizedek. I have studied a 1 year seminar on Psychodrama in Greece, and I studied Crystal Massage also in Greece.”

“For my personal growth and therapy I have worked with psychoanalysis, Jungian dream analysis, hypnotherapy, reflexology, reiki, drama therapy, yoga, shamanic healing, crystal healing, meditation, Trauma therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, art therapy and Medieval Swordsmanship.”

“My personal experience with the various healing methods has given me the insight for choosing the tools with which I work with my clients, offering a unique approach to the unique needs each person has.”

 

New Treasures in the Satya Center Store

Jane has prepared a new winter selection of Jane’s Homemade Toiletry Products. Jane’s Homemade toiletries, teas and other seasonal limited edition garden products are made in Jane’s kitchen in Claverack, New York. Most of the herbal ingredients in the products come from Jane’s backyard organic garden, and, in some cases, from reputable organic suppliers. Jane and Curtis infuse all the products with Reiki energy and prayer. We offer these products to you in the spirit of love for your healing and nourishment.

Check out Jane’s new Creams and Salves, including Cocoa Butter Coconut Lip Balm, Breast Massage Balm, Three Kings Sacred Anointing Balm, Myrrhical Rose Cream, and more.

Turn your bathtub into a healing spa with Jane’s Lavender Patchouli Sea Salt Scrub with Shea Butter.

And if you are looking for last minute Christmas gifts, tools for Lightworkers or beautiful jewelry, we’ve got more online than ever before.

More Lemurians

More Super 7

More Jewelry by Satya

More in the Collector’s Corner

And More in the Crystal Gallery


Top Spiritual Stories From Around the Web

AcuMind
WORLD PREDICTIONS 2008
by Joe Ivory, Numerologist

What you are about to read is not the product of a psychic reading, a spiritual forecast, ghostly channeling, a remote viewing experiment or any other sort of prophetic prognostication. It does have a divinitive component, however, since the suggested trends and "possible" events discussed have been carefully sourced and filtered through the Ancient eyes of Numerology (as well as its first cousins Astrology and Tarot).

It's important to bear in mind that the conditions, circumstances and/or probable eventualities suggested here, should never be blindly accepted as fated, preordained, impending or inescapable eventualities. They should, instead, be employed as one would use a barometer or weather reportŠ to inform, alert and suggest "possible" future trends.

As we wave farewell to 2007 and slowly merge with the energies of 2008, the Planet Earth and our entire World, (everything we've known on an economical, political and social level) is entering a very serious and major cosmic transformational reality continuum. It doesn't mean that you should expect to experience a hyperspace (warp drive) dimensional shift (similar to one of Captain Picard's Starship wormhole excursions), but it does mean that our very existence and routine daily lifestyles are about to be lifted and warped into an entirely new and unexpected survival paradigm. The effects experienced will be much the same as experienced by the American colonists during their 1776 leap to freedom (from under the monarchial rule of Great Britain and King George).

Numerologically, the entire World will be entering a (1) Universal Year during 2008. That's determined by adding together the separate digits of the year (2 + 0 + 0 + 8) = 10. These two digits (10) are then added together (1 + 0) = 1 which is the Universal Year Number for the year 2008.

The ONE UNIVERSAL YEAR signals a year of new beginnings, new commitments, new directions and an end to the style of events and conduct experienced during the previous (9) years (that began during 1999). So what does all of this newness mean for the world and the U.S.? Well for one thing, it means that the consciousness of the U.S. and the world's populace will feel that conditions endured for the last 9 years must change. Conditions such as the war in Iraq, the numbing down of our Congressional willpower, its direction and failing determination to change and redirect their weak and decadent decision making. The World will follow that same urge and desire, country by country, to find better and more effective ways to exist together universally.

The 10th card of the Tarot Deck's Major Arcana is a further indication that the U.S. and World consciousness have reached a moment of decision and action. The 10th card is the WHEEL of FORTUNE that begins spinning clockwise during January 2008. Its message for the year is that change and forward movement are now underway and inevitable. Further, that dramatic changes are the ultimate result, as its increasing speed/momentum centrifugally tears and rips resisting elements (from the wheel) skyward flinging them into outer space. The spinning wheel will not support or carry clinging and resistant old ways and customs. It shows that 2008 will be a surprising and eye-opening awakening for the world. . .(Click on the link to the article for specific predictions.)

Light of Consciousness
The Mind: Our Greatest Journey
Satsang by Swami Amar Jyoti

 THERE ARE MANY TENDENCIES and beliefs stored in our subconscious—our individual tendencies and beliefs as well as the Totality, all of which are presently unknown to us. Yet there is a thrust from within our psychological complex that drives us to act because of them. This emerges as a blind belief, an emotional outburst or sometimes even a fanatic outrage. At other times it is simply a determination to do or not do. Somewhere from within us a force or voice is creating these tendencies.

 Very few of us want to know what these tendencies are, to culture this knowledge of ourselves. The majority are simply victims or slaves of their tendencies, not knowing or reflecting why and where they come from or what purpose they serve. The Sanskrit term for them is uppadhi—the pre-recorded impressions or modifications of the mind, as explained in Raja Yoga.

 Unless we understand these tendencies, probe into them, analyze, auto-reflect and so on, we do many things ignorantly or unconsciously. The main purpose of Raja Yoga is how to culture the raw material of the human mind, how to bring out its hidden tendencies, how to purify and free the subconscious mind. In order to know the Ultimate—God, Light, Bliss—we have to know all the compartments of our own mind. True knowledge is in Superconsciousness. Unless we know our conscious and subconscious mind we cannot really fly or reach the joy of abandonment—Superconsciousness.

Shambala Sun
How to Practice Vipassana Insight Meditation
Step-by-Step Instructions on how to do this important practice ­— the foundation of all Buddhist Meditations — from the famed Vipassana master Sayadaw U Pandita.
By Sayadaw U Pandita

Vipassana, or insight meditation, is the practice of continued close attention to sensation, through which one ultimately sees the true nature of existence. It is believed to be the form of meditation practice taught by the Buddha himself, and although the specific form of the practice may vary, it is the basis of all traditions of Buddhist meditation.

Vipassana is the predominant Buddhist meditation practice in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was an important revival of this early form of meditation practice led bythe Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Following his death in 1982, Sayadaw U Pandita, who studied extensively with Mahasi Sayadaw, was chosen as his principle preceptor. U Pandita is one of the world's leading teachers of Vipassana meditation and has been an important influence on many Vipassana teachers in the West, including Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein of the Insight Meditation Society. He is the founder and abbot of Panditarama Meditation Centre in Yangon, Myanmar.
(Click on the link above to the article for specific instructions.)

 

Breaking News Headlines 24/7 at Satya Center 
Tune in to Satya Center’s 24/7 environmental news headlines and listen to environmental news radio from Environmental News Network.

Top News Stories From Around the Web
[Ed. Note: These are excerpts from lengthy news stories that provide the analytical context, the intellectual framework, the historical analysis, that is so completely missing from most so-called news in the mainstream media. If you are interested in the topic, click on the link provided to read more. . .]

 

Prisonplanet.com
Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside Job
Man who set up Operation Gladio tells Italy's largest newspaper attacks were run by CIA, Mossad
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Former Italian President and the man who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio Francesco Cossiga has gone public on 9/11, telling Italy's most respected newspaper that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.

Cossiga was elected President of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide 1985 election to become President of the country in 1985.

Cossiga gained respect from opposition parties as one of a rare breed - an honest politician - and led the country for seven years until April 1992.

Cossiga's tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio - a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Gladio's specialty was to carry out what they coined "false flag operations," terror attacks that were blamed on their domestic and geopolitical opposition.

Cossiga's revelations contributed to an Italian parliamentary investigation of Gladio in 2000, during which evidence was unearthed that the attacks were being overseen by the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

In March 2001, Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony, "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."

Cossiga's new revelations appeared last week in Italy's oldest and most widely read newspaper, Corriere della Sera. Below appears a rough translation.

    "[Bin Laden supposedly confessed] to the Qaeda September [attack] to the two towers in New York [claiming to be] the author of the attack of the 11, while all the [intelligence services] of America and Europe ... now know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the CIA American and the Mossad with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic Countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part ... in Iraq [and] Afghanistan."

Cossiga first expressed his doubts about 9/11 in 2001, and is quoted in Webster Tarpley's book as stating that "The mastermind of the attack must have been a “sophisticated mind, provided with ample means not only to recruit fanatic kamikazes, but also highly specialized personnel. I add one thing: it could not be accomplished without infiltrations in the radar and flight security personnel.”

Coming from a widely respected former head of state, Cossiga's assertion that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job and that this is common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies is highly unlikely to be mentioned by any establishment media outlets, because like the hundreds of other sober ex-government, military, air force professionals, allied to hundreds more professors and intellectuals - he can't be sidelined as a crackpot conspiracy theorist.

 

Information Clearing House
One Million Dead in Iraq
Our Own Holocaust Denial
By Mark Weisbrot
11/22/07 "ICH'

Institutionally unwilling to consider America’s responsibility for the bloodbath, the traditional media have refused to acknowledge the massive number of Iraqis killed since the invasion.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s flirtation with those who deny the reality of the Nazi genocide has rightly been met with disgust. But another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million.

This is five times more than the estimates of killings in Darfur and even more than the genocide in Rwanda 13 years ago.

The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion. This is consistent with the study conducted by doctors and scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health more than a year ago. Their study was published in the Lancet, Britain’s leading medical journal. It estimated 601,000 people killed due to violence as of July 2006; but if updated on the basis of deaths since the study, this estimate would also be more than a million. These estimates do not include those who have died because of public health problems created by the war, including breakdowns in sewerage systems and electricity, shortages of medicines, etc.

Amazingly, some journalists and editors - and of course some politicians - dismiss such measurements because they are based on random sampling of the population rather than a complete count of the dead. While it would be wrong to blame anyone for their lack of education, this disregard for scientific methods and results is inexcusable. As one observer succinctly put it: if you don’t believe in random sampling, the next time your doctor orders a blood test, tell him that he needs to take all of it.

The methods used in the estimates of Iraqi deaths are the same as those used to estimate the deaths in Darfur, which are widely accepted in the media. They are also consistent with the large numbers of refugees from the violence (estimated at more than four million). There is no reason to disbelieve them. . .

 

Palestine Monitor
Demands of a thief
Gideon Levy, Haaretz
25 November 2007

The public discourse in Israel has momentarily awoken from its slumber. "To give or not to give," that is the Shakespearean question - "to make concessions" or "not to make concessions." It is good that initial signs of life in the Israeli public have emerged. It was worth going to Annapolis if only for this reason - but this discourse is baseless and distorted. Israel is not being asked "to give" anything to the Palestinians; it is only being asked to return - to return their stolen land and restore their trampled self-respect, along with their fundamental human rights and humanity. This is the primary core issue, the only one worthy of the title, and no one talks about it anymore.

No one is talking about morality anymore. Justice is also an archaic concept, a taboo that has deliberately been erased from all negotiations. Two and a half million people - farmers, merchants, lawyers, drivers, daydreaming teenage girls, love-smitten men, old people, women, children and combatants using violent means for a just cause - have all been living under a brutal boot for 40 years. Meanwhile, in our cafes and living rooms the conversation is over giving or not giving.

Lawyers, philosophers, writers, lecturers, intellectuals and rabbis, who are looked upon for basic knowledge about moral precepts, participate in this distorted discourse. What will they tell their children - after the occupation finally becomes a nightmare of the past - about the period in which they wielded influence? What will they say about their role in this?

 

The Nation
Global Warming Is Reversible
by BERNIE SANDERS
[posted online on November 27, 2007]

Scientists now tell us that the crisis of global warming is even worse than their earlier projections. Daily front-page headlines of environmental disasters give an inkling of what we can expect in the future, multiplied many times over: droughts, floods, severe weather disturbances, loss of drinking water and farmland and conflicts over declining natural resources.

Yet the situation is by no means hopeless. Major advances and technological breakthroughs are being made in the United States and throughout the world that are giving us the tools to cut carbon emissions dramatically, break our dependency on fossil fuels and move to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. In fact, the truth rarely uttered in Washington is that with strong governmental leadership the crisis of global warming is not only solvable; it can be done while improving the standard of living of the people of this country and others around the world. And it can be done with the knowledge and technology that we have today; future advances will only make the task easier.

What should we be doing now?

First, we need strong legislation that dramatically cuts back on carbon emissions. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 309), a bill that I introduced with Senator Barbara Boxer and that now has eighteen co-sponsors, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.

Second, if the federal government begins the process of transforming our energy system by investing heavily in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, we can accomplish the 80 percent carbon reduction level and, at the same time, create millions of high-paying jobs.


PopSci.com
The New Dawn of Solar
—MICHAEL MOYER, 12-02-07  

Imagine a solar panel without the panel. Just a coating, thin as a layer of paint, that takes light and converts it to electricity. From there, you can picture roof shingles with solar cells built inside and window coatings that seem to suck power from the air. Consider solar-powered buildings stretching not just across sunny Southern California, but through China and India and Kenya as well, because even in those countries, going solar will be cheaper than burning coal. That’s the promise of thin-film solar cells: solar power that’s ubiquitous because it’s cheap. The basic technology has been around for decades, but this year, Silicon Valley–based Nanosolar created the manufacturing technology that could make that promise a reality.

The company produces its PowerSheet solar cells with printing-press-style machines that set down a layer of solar-absorbing nano-ink onto metal sheets as thin as aluminum foil, so the panels can be made for about a tenth of what current panels cost and at a rate of several hundred feet per minute. With backing from Google’s founders and $20 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, Nanosolar’s first commercial cells rolled off the presses this year.

Cost has always been one of solar’s biggest problems. Traditional solar cells require silicon, and silicon is an expensive commodity (exacerbated currently by a global silicon shortage). What’s more, says Peter Harrop, chairman of electronics consulting firm IDTechEx, “it has to be put on glass, so it’s heavy, dangerous, expensive to ship and expensive to install because it has to be mounted.” And up to 70 percent of the silicon gets wasted in the manufacturing process. That means even the cheapest solar panels cost about $3 per watt of energy they go on to produce. To compete with coal, that figure has to shrink to just $1 per watt.

Nanosolar’s cells use no silicon, and the company’s manufacturing process allows it to create cells that are as efficient as most commercial cells for as little as 30 cents a watt. “You’re talking about printing rolls of the stuff—printing it on the roofs of 18-wheeler trailers, printing it on garages, printing it wherever you want it,” says Dan Kammen, founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley. “It really is quite a big deal in terms of altering the way we think about solar and in inherently altering the economics of solar.”

In San Jose, Nanosolar has built what will soon be the world’s largest solar-panel manufacturing facility. CEO Martin Roscheisen claims that once full production starts early next year, it will create 430 megawatts’ worth of solar cells a year—more than the combined total of every other solar plant in the U.S. The first 100,000 cells will be shipped to Europe, where a consortium will be building a 1.4-megawatt power plant next year.

Right now, the biggest question for Nanosolar is not if its products can work, but rather if it can make enough of them.


 Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor
The consensus is moving from the soft vs. hard landing debate towards how severe the hard landing will be
Nouriel Roubini | Dec 11, 2007

While a few months ago analysts were still heatedly debating whether the US would experience a soft landing or a hard landing (a recession) the center of the macro debate has now clearly shifted away from soft landing versus hard landing discussion to a recognition that a hard landing is the most likely scenario; thus, increasingly now the debate is on how deep and severe the forthcoming hard landing will be.

David Rosenberg of Merrill Lynch is now clearly predicting a recession for the US economy in 2008; Jan Hatzius at Goldman Sachs is not formally speaking of a certain recession in 2008 but most of his analysis is consistent with a high likelihood of a recession in 2008; Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com is also very close to a hard landing view.

More interesting now even the thoughtful Richard Berner – who used to be strongly in the soft landing camp while his counterpart Steve Roach was in the hard landing camp – is now predicting a recession in the US in 2008, even if he expects such a recession to be mild. And even the soft-landing optimists at JPMorgan are now recognizing that the likelihood of a US recession is now at its highest level in years.  When mainstream analysts such as Berner start to talk about a recession beng likely  you know that the debate has clearly shifted towards a discussion of not whether a recession but rather how deep of a recession.

And in the academic camp some of the most senior economists in the profession – Bob Shiller, Marty Feldstein, Larry Summers, Paul Krugman – are all in various degrees in the hard landing camp or very concerned about a hard landing.

So it is time to move away from the soft landing vs. hard landing discussion and start considering seriously how deep the coming recession will be; in the view of this authors the 2008 recession will be more deep, protracted and painful than the short recessions of 1990-1991 and 2001; this time around – unlike 2001 when only tech investment faltered - most components of aggregate demand are under threat: falling residential investment, falling capex spending by the corporate sector and now evidence of a sharp slowdown and near stall of private consumption that accounts for 70% of GDP. When the US saving-less and debt burdened US consumer is now under threat the risk of a more protracted and severe recession than the mild one of 2001 are significant.

Counterpunch
December 17, 2007
The Collapse of the Modern Day Banking System
Staring Into the Abyss
By MIKE WHITNEY

Stocks fell sharply last week on news of accelerating inflation which will limit the Federal Reserves ability to continue cutting interest rates. On Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 294 points following the Fed's announcement of a quarter point cut to the Fed Funds rate. On Friday, the Dow dipped another 178 points when government figures showed consumer prices had risen 0.8 per cent last month after a 0.3 per cent gain in October. The stock market is now lurching downward into a "primary bear market". There has been a steady deterioration in retail sales, commercial real estate, and the transports. The financial industry is going through a major retrenchment, losing more than 25 per cent in aggregate capitalization since July. The real estate market is collapsing. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Friday that he will declare a "fiscal emergency" in January and ask for more power to deal with the $14 billion budget shortfall from the meltdown in subprime lending.

Economists are beginning to publicly acknowledge what many market analysts have suspected for months; the nation's economy is going into a tailspin.

 

Meditation Moment: The Invincible Sun

"In reality, the light we see is the materialization of primordial light. And this primordial light, the first emanation of God, is the Christ, the cosmic Sun.

Yes, the spirit which manifests and speaks to us through the sun is the spirit of Christ, and if we learn to unite with it, we will receive all its blessings: light, warmth, life, beauty, purity and health.

But for this it is not enough to expose ourselves to the sun instinctively, without conscious participation, as many people do: the few rays they receive at such moments are of little benefit.

To receive elements from the sun that are truly divine, our spirit must touch it, enter into relationship with it, penetrate it and dissolve in it.

Yes, our spirit, not merely our skin! To expose yourself physically to the sun is good in itself, but if your consciousness, your intelligence and your spirit participate in
this encounter, the sun will give you a great deal more than
health and vitality: it will give you understanding and enlightenment."

-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov