sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2016

Sri Ramakant Maharaj USA visit on 10th Sep,2016

Sri Ramakant Maharaj USA visit on 10th Sep,2016 * * *
" In our lineage,
Bhausaheb Maharaj, Nisargadatta Maharaj
strictly instructed all disciples
not to expect/demand money from any devotee.
Knowledge is free.
There should be no marketing,
no commercialization of knowledge.
It is my duty to share knowledge. "
~ Sri Ramakant Maharaj
Sri Ramakant Maharaj will be holding Satsang
OneCircle Center
3804 Littleton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20906
Friday, September 16: 7:30-9:00 PM
Saturday, September 17: 5-7 PM
Sunday, September 18: 11 AM – 1 PM
For details visit : www.ramakantmaharaj.net
(Shri Ramakant Maharaj, a direct disciple of Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, was with the Master for almost 20 years.
Shri Ramakant Maharaj received the Naam Mantra from Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj on 2nd October 1962, over 50 years ago.
A unique opportunity to receive Direct Knowledge from a Living Master.)
*** “I AM” Mediation ***
Q. What exactly is ‘I am’ in simple words, and what is it not?
Ramakant Maharaj : 'I am' is an indication of your Spontaneous, Anonymous Presence,
but it is without any shape, without any colour.
Names are given to ‘Atma’, ‘Paramatma’, ‘God’,
just to understand, to communicate.
Reality is beyond imagination.
There should not be any confusion.
It sounds like some people have created a special house for ‘I am'.
At the advanced stage, ‘I am’ is also illusion.
Again, be clear, there is no ‘I am’, there is no ‘you are’ -
these are words.
Prior to beingness,
you did not know what the ‘I’ or the ‘you’ was.
What has happened is that
you are artificially moulding yourself,
saying ‘I am’ somebody else (an individual),
and in the light of that knowledge thinking and meditating on ‘I am’.
You are limiting your Reality by naming it, enclosing it.
Remember, ‘I am’ is a concept.
We are just using words to try and understand,
exchanging words through which we are inviting attention of the Invisible, Anonymous Listener within you.
All words are used for the purpose of understanding.
Try to know your identity.
Try to know your Unidentifiable Identity.
The knower will disappear.
Trying to know Ultimate Truth,
the knower will disappear. No knowledge, no knower.
"You are limiting your Reality by naming it."
Q. The understanding is that ‘I Am’ is very deep…
Ramkant Maharaj :
Who is understanding that 'I' am understanding?
Who is understanding that?
All this requires Presence,
but your Presence is not any shape or form. It is formless.
No beingness, no non-beingness,
no consciousness, no unconsciousness, no awareness,
no unawareness.
No knower, no knowledge, etc.
You are neglecting the that which already exists within you,
the Formless, Invisible Unidentified Identity.
You are That. You are Brahman, Atman. ‘I’ is just like the sky. Does the sky say ‘I am’?
Sky is totally unaware of its existence.
Likewise, your Presence is totally unaware of your existence.
All these words are body-knowledge.
Beingness is also illusion.
Who says beingness and non-beingness?
When you came across with the body you created a big illusionary field:
beingness, non-beingness, awareness, unawareness, consciousness.
You are roaming in the field and trying to extract knowledge.
Come out of the field! Be brave, be courageous!
"You are roaming in a big illusionary field and trying to extract knowledge."
Q. Has the ‘I Am’ practice maybe been taken too literally and grown out of proportion?
There is a lot of confusion around it, a third of a century since Nisargadatta Maharaj’s passing.
It has perhaps ballooned into something?
Ramakant Maharaj : What happens is that devotees read books,
and on the basis of their reading, they form a square,
and then they expect answers from within the square.
"Master is not in the square,he is out of the square."
So you have to leave all that.
Whatever is realized from the existence of the body (body-knowledge), is illusion.
You have brought yourself into the confusion field,
using confusing words.
You are a victim of your own ideas, your own concepts:
‘I am’ ‘you are’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘Brahman’.
Q. When we abide in ‘I Am’ , well, how are we to stay, or go beyond, ‘I Am’?
Ramakant Maharaj. Forget about spiritual talk.
To say ‘I’ is ego.
Why are you trying to remain in/as I?
It means you are taking some ego, and saying "I am somebody else". "I am", this means you are somebody else,
and you are to stay like this, (eyes closed), ‘I’.
This is duality.
You have not to make any efforts.
In the beginning, you are to accept that your ‘I am’ is in existence, and that you know ‘I am’ through the body only.
It is an open fact that the body is not your identity.
But while remaining in the ‘I am’,
you are considering yourself as somebody else and,
with the subtle ego,
you are staying as “I Am”.
This is not the Ultimate Truth and will not give you happiness.
Your Presence is spontaneous – don’t think, don’t apply the intellect. To stay in the ‘I am’, how to stay there?
This is all illusion.
You are already in that. It is already within you.
But you are trying deliberately to remain in the ‘I am’.
I am somebody else, and I am to remain in the ‘I am’.
Illusory concept! Be as it is! Reality!
Don't think, don’t pressure the brain.
The spontaneous feeling is just that, "I am", there is no concept.
As Nisargadatta Maharaj says: What is this body?
Just glimpses of “I”. Just the glimpses of ‘I’ which has no shape, no colour, no witness, no experiencer, just,
Maharaj holds his hands up, relaxes and, says ‘I’.
We’re trying to experience ‘I’, to be Brahman,
Atman, and to do that, you are having to be somebody else.
Q. So there is duality, there is a split?
Ramakant Maharaj. Immediately! When you try to stay like that. Why try? "I want to stay as John". I am John.
You are already John.
John is the name which has been given to this body.
It is not your Ultimate Reality.
Similarly, your Spontaneous Presence, existence is without shape.
Q. I think the understanding is that if you stay in the ‘I am’, meditate on the ‘I am’, then you will go beyond the ‘I am’. But it seems we are not managing to go beyond?
"Your Spontaneous Presence, Existence is without shape."
Ramakant Maharaj. You see, your Spontaneous Existence manifested ,
so without you, there is no focus. When I say ‘I am’,
‘I’ stays there, the subtle ego.
Don’t make any effort.
Don’t take the literal meaning of these spiritual words, rather, take what they are trying to convey.
You cannot realize Presence through the bodily ‘I’.
You are your own Master. So whatever you read or listen, to some extent, it is helpful, but after reaching the Final Destination, you do not need an address.
Don’t take the literal meaning of what the Masters say.
What they want to convey is most important. To remain in ‘I’ is keeping you stuck.
You have created a balloon, a concept out of how to stay?
It's not like that.
Why remain in the ‘I am’, when you are already there?
All you have to do is realize that the body is not your identity.
You are posing as someone else when you meditate, and therefore the meditation has become dual.
Q. Why did Nisargadatta Maharaj not make this teaching clearer?
Ramakant Maharaj. Listen to me!
The 'I am' is only an indication, so not to analyze it so much.
This ‘I am’ is also a concept, which maybe has been over-emphasized and misunderstood.
All this meditation, concentration, knowledge, self-inquiry –
these are all only various steps, a process, and through the 'I',
you are coming to the Final Truth. After Conviction, that you are not the body,
there is nothing left to do. Your reaction is Spontaneous Action.
You are already ‘I am’, without saying.
So you just have to know yourself in the real sense because your Spontaneous, Invisible Presence is there,
to whom you are giving the name, ‘I am’. Except your Selfless Self, there is no ‘I am’. So why stay in the little world of ‘I am’?
You are already there.
You are already 24 hrs in the ‘I am’, but you are unaware.
You are 24 hrs together. You are ‘I am’ only.
Why to remain in something that’s artificially created or imagined, guesswork?
Why to remain like that 'I am' in the square?
So don’t struggle with ‘I am’ - the words are just indications of Ultimate Truth and how that truth is your Identity,
but it is Invisible and Anonymous. So don’t imagine, don’t guess, don’t use logic or intellect.
You are 24 hr Presence, so no need to try to be,
or think of 'I am’ at all.
Don't try to stay as I am

WHAT IS REALITY....? Sri Ramana Maharshi :


Q: What is reality?
Sri Ramana Maharshi :
Reality must be always real.
It is not with forms and names.
That which underlies these is the reality.
It underlies limitations, being itself limitless.
It is not bound.
It underlies unrealities, itself being real.
Reality is that which is.
It is as it is.
It transcends speech.
It is beyond the expressions `existence, non-existence', etc.
The reality which is the mere consciousness that remains
when ignorance is destroyed along with knowledge of objects,
alone is the Self [atma].
In that Brahma-swarupa [real form of Brahman],
which is abundant Self-awareness,
there is not the least ignorance.
The reality which shines fully,
without misery and without a body,
not only when the world is known
but also when the world is not known,
is your real form [nija-swarupa].
The radiance of consciousness-bliss,
in the form of one awareness shining equally within and without,
is the supreme and blissful primal reality.
Its form is silence and it is declared by jnanis to be the final and unobstructable state of true knowledge [jnana].
Know that jnana alone is non-attachment; jnana alone is purity;
jnana is the attainment of God; jnana which is devoid of forgetfulness of Self alone is immortality; jnana alone is everything.
Q: What is this awareness and how can one obtain and cultivate it?
Sri Ramana Maharshi :
You are awareness.
Awareness is another name for you.
Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it.
All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is of the not-Self.
If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains, and that is the Self.

Everything We Have Been Taught About Our Origins Is A Lie

In June 1936 Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk beside a waterfall near to London, Texas, when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. What they found within shocked the archaeological and scientific community. Embedded in the rock was what appeared to be some type of ancient man made hammer.
A team of archaeologists analysed and dated it. The rock encasing the hammer was dated to more than 400 million years old. The hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old. Additionally, a section of the wooden handle had begun the metamorphosis into coal. The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without assistance from relatively modern smelting methods.
In 1889 near Nampa, Idaho, whilst workers were boring an artesian well, a small figurine made of baked clay was extracted from a depth of 320 feet. To reach this depth the workers had to cut through fifteen feet of basalt lava and many other strata below that. That in itself does not seem remarkable, until one considers that the very top layer of lava has been dated to at least 15 million years old!
It is currently accepted by science and geology that coal is a by-product of decaying vegetation. The vegetation becomes buried over time and is covered with sediment. That sediment eventually fossilises and becomes rock. This natural process of coal formation takes up to 400 million years to accomplish.
Anything that is found in lumps of coal or in coal seams during mining, had to have been placed or dropped into the vegetation before it was buried in sediment.
In 1944, as a ten year old boy, Newton Anderson, dropped a lump of coal in his basement and it broke in half as it hit the floor. What he discovered inside defies explanation based upon current scientific orthodoxy.
Inside the coal was a hand crafted brass alloy bell with an iron clapper and sculptured handle.
When an analysis was carried out it was discovered that the bell was made from anunusual mix of metals, different from any known modern alloy production (including copper, zinc, tin, arsenic, iodine, and selenium).
The seam from whence this lump of coal was mined is estimated to be 300,000,000 years old!
A hand crafted bell found in a 300 million year old lump of coal!
A hand crafted bell found in a 300 million year old lump of coal!
These extraordinary discoveries although bizarre, are not unique or even uncommon. There are literally thousands of them collecting dust, locked away from public scrutiny in the vaults of museums throughout the world.
There are many other unusual reported finds including the following:
The Morrisonville, Illinois Times, on June 11, 1891, reported how Mrs. S. W. Culp found a circular shaped eight-carat gold chain, about 10 inches long, embedded in a lump of coal after she broke it apart to put in her scuttle. The chain was described as “antique” and of “quaint workmanship.”
Displayed in a museum at Glen Rose, Texas, is a cast iron pot reportedly found in a large lump of coal in 1912 by a worker feeding coal into the furnace of a power plant. When he split open the coal the worker said the pot fell out, leaving its impression in the coal.
Yet another report found in the Epoch Times told of a Colorado rancher who in the 1800’s broke open a lump of coal, dug from a vein some 300 feet below the surface, and discovered a “strange-looking iron thimble.”
A cast iron pot found in a lump of coal.
A cast iron pot found in a lump of coal.
The Salzburg Cube is yet another ancient puzzle found by a worker named Reidl, in an Austrian foundry in 1885. Like the others, this man broke open a block of coal and found a metal cube embedded inside. Recent analysis established the object was of forged iron and obviously hand crafted. The coal it was found in was millions of years old.
The list of such items goes on and on and on.
Welcome to the world of Ooparts, or Out of Place Artefacts.
Out of place artefacts (Ooparts) are so named because conventional scientific wisdom (an oxymoron if ever there was one) states that these artefacts shouldn’t exist based upon currently accepted beliefs regarding our origins and history. These discoveries are out of place in the orthodox timeline of human history.
The usual methods of the conformist scientific community, when faced with such anomalies is to attempt to debunk their reported age, or perhaps endeavour to discredit the source of the report or even the reporter. If this approach fails then usually the artefacts themselves are banished to the shadowy vaults of museums and warehouses, never to be seen again.
If these unusual artefacts were one off then perhaps one could be forgiven for accepting the view espoused by the mainstream scientific and archaeological community that they are hoaxes or misreported stories. However, when one realises that thousands upon thousands of these anomalous artefacts have been discovered and reported over the years, then one may need to re-evaluate ones acceptance of the integrity of mainstream archaeology and science.
Occasionally an honest archaeologist will attempt to reveal to the public the true age and origin of such anomalous objects. They will question the accepted beliefs of their mainstream peers. They usually find that their career ends quite abruptly.
Unfortunately, the majority just accept what they are taught in school and university without question. That is how our educational system is designed. It does not encourage individuality and originality. It purely indoctrinates one with established beliefs and dogma.
If one requires evidence of this mainstream mentality, one need look no further than the realms of psychiatry. Modern psychiatry seeks to demonize and declare mentally ill anyone who deviates from what is regarded as the norm.
These so called mental health professionals have even invented a new mental disorder named Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD (love the irony of the abbreviation).
This newly invented condition is listed in the latest instalment of the industry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, which dubs people who do not conform to what those in charge declare to be normal, as mentally insane.
So there you have your proof, I’m obviously an unmitigated nutter and completely insane. At least that is what those in authority would like everyone to believe!
Anyway, I digress.
On one side of the field we have the Darwinists and their theory of evolution, trying to establish the extremely flawed view that we have somehow evolved into highly intelligent sentient beings from a primordial blob of gunge, miraculously brought to life by an electrical storm billions of years ago. (Perhaps one of this cults followers could explain to me when consciousness evolved, and provide proof I await with baited breath!)
On the other side we have the creationists with the belief that some omnipotent invisible being who lives in the clouds, waved his magic wand about 7,000 years ago and created the earth and everything on it. Again the adherents of this equally flawed theory rely on nothing more than a book called the Bible for their proof of this concept. The fact that this book has been bastardised during translation numerous times during its existence, has been re-written to certain individuals personal preference on a number of occasions, and has had many complete chapters omitted, is irrelevant to its followers. All they require is faith. Proof and evidence is not a prerequisite!
One couldn’t get more opposing beliefs if one tried, and both camps adhere to their beliefs voraciously, and with unshakable fervour. Yet neither are based on any kind of factual or hard evidence.
The reality is that the origin of the human race is a total enigma. No one, anywhere, actually knows how old humanity is or how and where it originated. It is a complete mystery. Yet from birth one is indoctrinated into one or the other of the above factions, with no questions asked or alternative opinions allowed.
The problem the mainstream has with these anomalous Ooparts is that they throw into question every single established belief there is regarding our past.
It seems that everywhere we look, we find things that contradict much of the scientific orthodoxy of today. The scientific establishment will never acknowledge or admit that these artefacts are authentic. To do so would be to admit that they are completely wrong about our origins, and consequently, invalidate all of the text books used to indoctrinate us and our children.
The discovery of Ooparts completely annihilates the [comparatively recent] theory of evolution. If, as this hypothesis would have us believe, modern humans only evolved 200,000 years ago (or thereabouts), one has to ask how man made artefacts, found in substrata originating millions of years ago, could be explained?
Alternatively, the advocates of creationism have a very quaint way of acknowledging the existence of Ooparts, and bizarrely, actually believe that Ooparts substantiate their world view.
Creationists just completely disregard the established dating methods, and declare every single recognized archaeological and geological process null and void. They would have us all believe that coal seams, rock strata, fossils, minerals, precious stones and every other antediluvian element, took only a few thousand years to form.
Yet the psychiatric establishment would have me labelled as the loony for questioning this baloney. Go figure!
There will no doubt be readers who, similar to predictable conservative archaeologists, and probably due to their indoctrinated belief system, will also dismiss the aforementioned Ooparts as hoaxes or forgeries. Perhaps they would like to consider and offer an explanation for the following.
It is an accepted belief that humans and dinosaurs did not co-exist. According to conventional academia, dinosaurs roamed the earth between 65 and 225 million years ago, whereas the earliest upright biped humanoid, homo erectus, only appeared about 1.8 million years ago.
However, in 1968 a palaeontologist named Stan Taylor began excavations of fossilised dinosaur footprints, discovered in the bed of the Paluxy river near Glen Rose, Texas. What he unearthed shocked and dumbfounded the scientific community. Alongside the dinosaur tracks, in exactly the same cretaceous fossilised strata, were well preserved human footprints.
Human footprints crossing 3 toed dinosaur footprints fossilised in the Paluxy river bed.
Human footprints crossing 3 toed dinosaur footprints fossilised in the Paluxy river bed.
The immediate reaction of evolutionists, archaeologists, and science in general, was to debunk the find as a hoax.They were carved into the rock by hoaxers or They are not human footprints, but more dinosaur footprints that have been eroded to look human were the arguments most commonly proposed.
However, their line of reasoning falls somewhat flat when one asks why only the human prints were eroded and not also the 3 toed dinosaur prints? Additionally one has to consider, if the human prints were carved as a hoax, how did the hoaxers manage to carve further human footprints that continued under bedrock that was later removed from the side of the river bed?
Since the initial discovery, hundreds more human footprints have been discovered and unearthed, both in Paluxy and in many other places around the globe. Either those hoaxers have unlimited time and budget or someone is telling porkies!
Next one needs to consider another find discovered in 100 million year old cretaceous limestone. A fossilised human finger, which was found along with a childs tooth and human hair. This finger has been subjected to numerous scientific tests and analysis. Sectioning revealed the typical porous bone structure expected in a human finger. Additionally a Cat-scan and MRI scan identified joints and traced tendons throughout the length of the fossil. This is one find that science cannot explain away as a hoax.
Cat-scan of a human fossilised finger shows dark areas showing the interior of bones and bone marrow, along with tendons.
Cat-scan of a human fossilised finger shows dark areas showing the interior of bones and bone marrow, along with tendons.
There is however another find of recent years that blows all of the others into a cocked hat regarding age.
Over the past few decades, miners near the little town of Ottosdal in Western Transvaal, South Africa, have been digging up hundreds of mysterious metal spheres. These spheres measure between 25 and 100 mm in diameter, and some are etched with three parallel grooves running completely around the equator. Two types of spheres have been found. One is composed of a solid bluish metal with flecks of white, the other is hollowed out and filled with a spongy white substance.
These spheres are reportedly so delicately balanced that even with modern technology, they would need to be made in a zero gravity environment to attain these characteristics. These objects have become known as the Klerksdorp spheres.
A Klerksdorp sphere
A Klerksdorp sphere
Geologists have attempted to debunk these artefacts as natural formations or limonite concretions. They fail to explain sufficiently how these formations occurred naturally with perfectly straight and perfectly spaced grooves around the centres.
Perhaps the real reason for such fervent attempted debunking by the scientific community, is that the rock in which these spheres where found is Precambrian – and dated to2.8 billion years old!
Whether one wishes to accept these out of place artefacts as genuine or not is I suppose, down to personal beliefs.
Evolutionists refuse to accept them as to do so would mean re-evaluating their whole indoctrinated belief system. They will even stoop to producing outright fantasy in their attempts to discredit these discoveries. If that fails then they will just pretend that they do not exist, and then hide them away forever.
Creationists on the other hand willingly accept them as some bizarre kind of proof that the universe is only about 7,000 years old, and totally ignore any evidence, from any source, to the contrary. They continue to cling to a medieval belief system based purely on blind faith. How quaint.
Personally, I don’t belong to either camp. I keep an open mind regarding our origins. I don’t have any particular philosophy on the subject but rather prefer to adapt my understanding as new evidence becomes available. My only current belief based upon all of the available facts to date is that the human race has inhabited this planet for millions of years longer than is presently accepted.
I realise that I will never discover the answer to the question of our origin. The human race has been searching for this answer since the dawn of time, and it still evades us.
Everything we have been taught in our schools and universities about our origin and history, is based upon nothing more than speculation and hypothesis. There is not a single provable fact out there that conclusively answers the question where do we come from.
What I will continue to do however, is question everything, and not just blindly accept any mainstream viewpoint because it happens to be fashionable at the time.
If that means one day I get a knock at my door from men in white coats holding a straightjacket, then so be it.
————–
This article received over 1.4 million social media shares (mostly Facebook) making it one of the world’s most widely shared articles of its type. Most social shares took place within a matter of days, despite our website endlessly crashing due to the enormous traffic as we upgraded our servers to cope. The article has been read by millions of people. However, we have recently had to upgrade our website and migrate all of our content from our old website to our new website and update our link structure to be more Search Engine friendly. This has resulted in us losing the original link and statistics that were able to be viewed by our readers. Below is a screenshot taken before the migration.

The study is not the first time that researchers have identified an inverse association between marijuana use and the development of cancer. In 2009, Brown University researchers

Scientific discoveries are published almost daily in regard to the healing properties of the cannabis. But most of these findings appear solely in subscription-only peer-reviewed journals and, therefore, go largely unnoticed by the mainstream media and by the public. Here are five just-published cannabis-centric studies that warrant attention.

1. Men Who Smoke Pot Possess a Reduced Risk of Bladder Cancer

Is cannabis use protective against the development of certain types of cancer? The findings ofa just released study in the journal Urology imply that it might be.
Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period. The results? While men who smoked cigarettes possessed a 1.5-fold increased risk of cancer, those who only smoked pot possessed a 45 percent reduced risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
“After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, and body mass index, using tobacco only was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (hazard regression 1.52) whereas cannabis use was only associated with a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer incidence (HR 0.55),” investigators reported.
The study is not the first time that researchers have identified an inverse association between marijuana use and the development of cancer. In 2009, Brown University researchers similarly reported that the moderate long-term use of marijuana was associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers in a multi-center cohort involving over 1,000 subjects. In addition, the largest case-controlled study ever to investigate the respiratory effects of marijuana smoking found no positive association between inhaling pot and lung cancer risk. “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” pulmonologist Dr. Donald Tashkin, Professor Emeritus at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA told The Washington Post. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.

2. Long-Term Pot Exposure Isn’t Damaging to Lung Health

All smoke is not created equal.
Unlike tobacco smoking, the inhalation of marijuana cigarettes – even long-term — is not associated with significant adverse changes in pulmonary health, according to data published online in December in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. Researchers reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline or deleterious change in spirometric values of small airways disease. They further reported that marijuana smoke exposure may be associated with some protective lung effects among long-term smokers of tobacco, acknowledging, “[T]he pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”
Their findings are similar to those of a 2013 literature review, published in the same journal, which concluded: “[H]abitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function. Findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking.”

3. Alcohol, Not Pot, Alters the Brain

It was less than a year ago when the mainstream media was chock-full of headlines like this one: ‘Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults, study finds.’ But a funny thing happened when a team of scientists from the University of Colorado and the University of Kentucky tried to replicate these results in a larger, more well-controlled cohort of subjects.
“We acquired high-resolution MRI scans, and investigated group differences in gray matter using voxel-based morphometry, surface-based morphometry, and shape analysis in structures suggested to be associated with marijuana use, as follows: the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and cerebellum,” researchers summarized in the January 28 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience. “No statistically significant differences were found between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest. Effect sizes suggest that the failure to find differences was not due to a lack of statistical power, but rather was due to the lack of even a modest effect.”
They concluded, “In sum, the results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures. … [I]t seems unlikely that marijuana use has the same level of long-term deleterious effects on brain morphology as other drugs like alcohol.”

4. Marijuana Use Doesn’t Lead to Depression

“Regular use of marijuana has also been linked to depression, anxiety, and a loss of drive or motivation.” So says the online publication, ‘Marijuana: Facts for Teens,’ published by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. But is this claim true? No, according to longitudinal datapublished online ahead of print in the Journal of Affective Disorders, which reports that future incidences of major depression are not higher among cannabis users compared to nonusers.
Investigators concluded, “Our results do not support a longitudinal association between cannabis use and increased incidence of MDD (major depressive disorder); rather, they indicate an inverse relationship between the two, which may be attributed to self-medication factors.”
Previous studies have similarly dismissed the notion that pot use is associated with increased suicide risk. Specifically, a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported a drop in suicide rates in states that had legalized marijuana compared to those that had not, finding: “Suicides among men aged 20 through 39 years fell after medical marijuana legalization compared with those in states that did not legalize. The negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young men is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events.”

5. Marijuana Possesses a Unique Margin of Safety Compared to Other legal and Illegal Drugs

Despite the US federal government’s ongoing insistence that pot is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, an objective review of the plant’s safety profile finds that it is comparably safer than most other drugs, particularly alcohol.
Writing in Nature.com this past January, an international team of German and Canadian researchers published a comparative risk assessment of the toxicity of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis. Their evaluation concluded that the risks of cannabis have likely been “overestimated” while the dangers associated with booze “have been commonly underestimated.”
They concluded: “[Our] results point to risk management prioritization toward alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs. … [and] suggest a strict legal regulatory approach [for cannabis] rather than the current prohibition approach.”

About the Author
Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and serves as a senior policy advisor for Freedom Leaf, Inc. He is the co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2013).

viernes, 2 de septiembre de 2016

To feel God’s Grace means you have to Surrender completely, have humility. You have to have the attitude, “ ‘I’ know nothing! YOU are everything”. This kind of attitude will set you Free.

*** The Jnani that was a Snake ***
There was once a young girl who was brought up in a house of prostitution. This was her destiny at the time. She could not get away from it. But she used to pray to Ramana Maharshi,
“Oh Lord, if I must go this route, be with me. I am not praying to change my life, if this is my destiny. But, am praying that your strength and your love will always be with me.”
Now, across the street was a so called Jnani. And he used to stand in front of the market place telling everybody that they are Consciousness, Absolute Reality, preaching, screaming. This went on for years. Finally, the time came when they both died and they went before God.
God told the girl, “You have to go back to the Earth,
and you have to be a Jnani.”
And told the so called aspiring Jnani,
“You have to go back to the Earth as a snake.”
God said, “You Have No Heart.
This Girl Gave Me Her Heart. She Surrendered.”
The man said, “How come, Lord? I extolled your virtues to everyone. I told all the people they were Consciousness and they were Absolute Reality, and you send me back as a snake. What did I do? “
And God said, “You have no Heart. You came from the talking school. All you did with your life was to talk, talk, talk, talk. But, this girl gave me her heart. She surrendered to Me. She
did not bemoan her fate. She just wanted me to be with her during her trials and tribulations. And I gave her the strength to carry on, so no she is Free. But, you still have a lot to learn. So you have to go back as a snake.”
This makes us think. What are we really doing with our lives? We
read lots of books, see lots of teachers, have a lot of head knowledge, but, how many of us have given our hearts to God? How to Contact God: “I Know Nothing. You are Everything.” And
God is not far away. God is really The SELF. But, in order to contact that SELF, you have to have a lot of humility. To feel God’s Grace means you have to Surrender completely, have humility.
You have to have the attitude, “ ‘I’ know nothing! YOU are everything”. This kind of attitude will set you Free. And yet, how many of us have an attitude like this? Many of us think to become a Jnani, to become Self Realized, we become proud, and you actually become more egotistical than you ever were before!
There Really is No Difference
Between Heart Devotion/Bhakti and Jnani.
We have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. This will never do it. There really is no difference between a Bhakti and a Jnani. One Surrenders to God, and they have no other life. They realize that
whatever they do, it is God doing it. Therefore, It is Good. They never complain. They never think of their problems. They think of others, and their problems, rather than their own. And the
other one realizes that the I is responsible for all of their problems, and for their existence. So, they trace the I back to it’s Source, to the Heart, and they become Free. At that stage there is a merging of both Bhakti and Jnana.
So a Bhakta is a Jnani, and a Jnani is a Bhakti.
Therefore, if you see a teacher who thinks they are better than anybody else, and they seem egotistical, be careful. Most Jnanis never take on a teaching role at all, and they have very little to
say, after all what is there to talk about?
The Words Have Value- Open You Heart so the Grace may enter. Just being is enough. Not being this, not being that, just being. Being at ‘satsang’. And whether I talk about ice cream or jelly beans it makes no difference. The words themselves have
value, because the sound of the words are the Grace that you fee. But, the meaning of the words are only interpreted in your mind. That is why, whatever I say is taken differently by each one of you. For it filters through your mind. And your Consciousness and your Being-ness mix with the words, and the words come out according to your way of life.
But, if you listen with no mind, then you get the true meaning. In other words, do not put too much value on everything I say.
But open your Heart so the Grace portion of it may enter, and you may pick it up and lift yourself upward.
How do you do this? Just by becoming still, by stopping the mental activity. And you may stop the mental activity by any method you know. If you like to do pranayama breathing, do
that. If you like to practice vipassana meditation, do that. You wish to observe your breath, do that. If you wish to practice Self Inquiry, do that. In other words, do whatever you have to do to
stop your mind from thinking.
The empty mind is not realization Vichara, Self Inquiry, is only to keep your mind from thinking. That is all it is. All the practices
of yoga lead to the place where you stop thinking. All of the higher religions are to make your thoughts one pointed. And when your mind stops, you become your SELF. You are Free. There are no rituals you have to go through really. You don’t have to chastise yourself and try to get rid of your guilt feelings, samskaras, or anything else. Identifying with an empty mind will do the job for you. But, the empty mind is not Realization. It is the step before Realization.
Realization is not an empty mind. Realization cannot be explained. Suffice it to say that Realization is beyond everything and anything you can ever imagine. But, if you achieve empty
mind, then you are on the way to Realization. At that stage the Guru within your SELF will pull you inwardly, and you will awaken to your SELF.
Number One: Humility, Loving Kindness:
Two: Help Others
So, number One: You have to develop Humility. You have to open your Heart to Loving- Kindness.
Number Two: You have to forget about yourself and your problems as if they never existed and help others. Give of yourself to others, because there is only One SELF and I AM as
THAT.
Number Three: You have to stop quoting teachers, and telling yourself that I am Brahman, I am no mind-I am Consciousness, for that really inflates your ego.
You have to stop comparing yourself with anybody or anything. In other words, you have to become no-thing, and that hurts some of you. Because you say, after all, I have gone to school for
50 years, I’ve got a profession, I am doing this and I am doing that. And now you tell me I have to become no-thing. Well, Consciousness is nothing, IT is no-thing. What you call God is no-thing.
So if nothing is good enough for God, it should be good enough for you too. Can’t you see now that when you say to yourself, “Well, I will never be nothing, I’m somebody. I’ve studied for
years, I am somebody important,” can’t you see now that this is what holds you back? Every Sage has come to the point where they have thrown away the Scriptures, thrown away the books,
thrown away their body, thrown away their knowledge, and thrown away themselves with a small ‘s’. When you get rid of all that stuff, then you become your SELF.
Surrender is Mentally Done-Have Perfect Faith.
Can you see now why it takes so long for some people? Because they are holding on to something. They say, “I can let go of this, but I can never let go of that.” I don’t mean you get to
the point where you don’t care. I do not mean you quit your job or leave you family, or go anywhere. You have to do all this mentally.
You do all this in your mind. You use your mind to do all these things. And then, the mind turns within and disappears into the Heart. So, take a look at your life and see what is holding
you back. What are you attached to? What do you think is important in this world? You cannot have both. You cannot mentally be attached to person, place and thing, and awaken at the same time. If you want liberation, you have to pay the price. And the price is letting go, giving it all up, surrendering. Having perfect faith that All is Well.
Not trying to interpret what ‘All is Well’ means. Just realize that everything is in its right place, just the way it is. Don’t interpret it. There are no mistakes. As you begin to dwell on this, as you begin to dwell on these things, automatically you will come to the place where you will realize the last thing you need to go is
the ‘I’. Everything has been attached to the I. But, you see how long it takes to get there? You have to do everything else first.
Egotistical People Become Greater Egoists
So You Have to Have Humility First
This is why it is dangerous for some people to just teach ‘Jnana Marga’ path by itself. For egotistical people become greater egotists. It builds up your ego.
You have to have humility first, and go through all these things we discussed. If you really want to do this, you will. You will not do this by taking action, but by sitting in the Silence and
Surrendering your mind and your body to your SELF. I AM will take care of itself.
You see, I AM is your Real Nature. Therefore you do not have to try to bring it about. All you have got to do is to realize that this stuff that is holding you back, has to be given up. Everything has to go, your whole belief system. What are you holding on to? Think, what is in your mind that is so strong?
Fear, a job? All of these things are meaningless if you want to awaken. You will still have your job. You will still do whatever you came here to do. I have to emphasize this, because we always
believe, and the question that I get from most of you is that, “How will I function if I do what you say?” I keep telling you, “Have no fear, you will function.”
You will function much better than you can ever imagine. It is hard right now working with your ego, to think, “How can I function without a mind?” But you will. Here is something that cannot be explained in words. When you get to the Ultimate State, you become human like everybody else. That is why it is difficult to know what a Sage is, because a true Sage appears no
different than you and I.
The Ultimate State is functioning like everybody else, except there is something inside, there is something that makes you understand that you are like the mirror, and your body, your affairs, and everything else in the Universe is a reflection. You become both. It appears that you act out your human-hood, but you are not human. And this is the most difficult
state to explain. For it is beyond words. It is beyond thoughts. It is beyond reasoning.
You cannot be reasonable to become liberated. It is beyond every human faculty. That is why you cannot think about it, and you cannot try to explain it. And you cannot even discuss it. All
you can do, is to do whatever you have to do to get rid of all your stuff. That is all.
And everything else will take care of itself.
~ Robert Adams
From Silence of the Heart book

How to Use Leading Lines to Create Compelling Landscape Photos

How to Use Leading Lines to Create Compelling Landscape Photos

Leading lines are vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines that attract a viewer’s attention and lead the eye to critical areas in your image. Leading lines are an effective tool for landscape photographers looking to create depth in their photos, and to draw the viewer deeper into the scene.
For the image below, I used a leading line—the reflection of the sky above a flooded slot canyon—to encourage the viewer to explore the entire composition from bottom to top.
leading-lines-7-web
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, USA. Canon 5DIII, Nikon 14-24mm lens with Canon adapter, ISO 100, f/11, 2.5 seconds.

What are lines?

Quite simply, lines are visual elements of a scene that are more or less straight and that have significant length but relatively little width. An example might be tree trunks in a forest, such as with the image below. Technically, lines alone are nothing. As the famous painter Henri Matisse once said, “A line cannot exist alone; it always brings a companion along. Do remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume.”
For example, each tree trunk in the photo below isn’t really a line, but rather two lines that form the shape of the trunk and give it volume. For simplicity’s sake, however, I will refer to many objects that are really a collection of lines as simply a single line.
leading-lines-2-web
Olympic National Park, USA. Canon 5DIII, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, polarizer filter, ISO 100, f/11, 6 seconds.

Use lines to lead the eye

An effective way to create depth is to use lines that lead the viewer’s eye into the composition. Leading lines encourage the eye to travel deeper into the scene. Particularly when the lines emanate from the bottom of the image frame and point to important elements in the background, they can be very effective at grabbing the viewer’s attention and propelling their eye into the scene. For example, the image below uses leading lines coming in from the bottom of the image frame, directing the eye into the heart of the image.
leading-lines-5-web
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, USA. Canon 5DIII, Tamron 15-30mm lens, ISO 100, f/13, 1/30 second.
Diagonal and vertical lines often make for a more dynamic composition than horizontal ones, giving a sense of upward or downward motion as they lead the viewer’s eye. Horizontal lines, such as a distinct horizon line, can sometimes be problematic as they tend to visually divide a scene, and if placed improperly can interrupt visual flow and trap the eye. Lines often work best when starting at the bottom of the image frame, but you can also make effective compositions having the lines come from somewhere else. In the image below, lines formed by rippled sand effectively lead the viewer’s eye from the foreground in the bottom of the composition, to the background near the top.
leading-lines-6-web
Campo de Piedra Pómez, Argentina. Canon 5DIII, Canon 11-24mm lens, ISO 100, f/11, 1/30 second.

Use converging lines for compositional power

For greatest effect, multiple diagonal lines can help create a sense of depth in a photo by converging at a single point of interest. This is known as a vanishing point, which is the point in the distance at which objects become too small to see. This concept is easily illustrated by railroad tracks: even though they are parallel, when you look down a set of tracks, they seem to steadily converge to a point at the horizon. This point is the vanishing point. When used in landscape composition, a vanishing point creates an important perspective cue and can be very effectively used to create depth in a photograph. For example, with the image below, the ripples in the sand appear to converge in the distance, even though they are parallel and don’t actually converge.
leading-lines-4-web
Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Canon 5DIII, Canon 11-24mm lens, ISO 100, f/11, 1/40 second, focus stack for increased depth of field.
This realization—that objects receding in size with distance (especially parallel lines) appear to converge on a single point—revolutionized perspective in art during the Renaissance. Painters took full advantage of the use of vanishing point, using it to create depth in their compositions and to create a realism of perspective that had not been seen before in art. It didn’t take painters long, however, to figure out that the use of vanishing point didn’t just create depth—it also riveted the eye, compelling it to travel headlong deep into the image. The human eye is naturally inclined to follow a line to its conclusion; this is what makes vanishing point so powerful, as a vanishing point is where two or more lines in an image terminate. For the image below, I used a long exposure to capture streaking diagonal lines resulting from foam flowing toward me in the moving water. The effect creates a vanishing point powerfully leading the viewer from foreground to background.
leading-lines-1-web
Tettegouche State Park, USA. Canon 5DIII, Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 50, f/11, 15 seconds.

The visual vortex

You can create powerful compositions with radiating diagonal lines emerging from the corners and edges of the image frame, inevitably drawing the eye to a central vanishing point: I call this a “visual vortex” composition, which produces a dizzying and compelling perspective, creating a commanding visual effect. If all the lines in the image terminate in the same place, the viewer’s eye is inevitably drawn to that point. When using this technique, look for leading lines radiating from the corners and edges of the image frame, such as the striations in the rock in the slot canyon image below. The sandstone striations were perfect for a visual vortex composition, with diagonal lines coming from all of the image edges and converging in the middle. The eye is drawn to the vanishing point, strongly focusing visual attention there.
leading-lines-3-web
Antelope Canyon, USA. Canon 5DIII, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens with Canon adapter, ISO 100, f/14, 3.2 seconds.

Conclusion

Leading lines are a powerful tool for landscape photographers. Used properly, they can effectively draw the viewer deeper into the composition.