Posted to Subscribers on 21 February 2012


Dear Subscribers,

Today is the first day of the Tibetan New Year, the year 2139 is not being ushered in with the customary celebrations due to a request from the government in exile (in Dharamsala). Instead, Tibetans are being asked to observe solemnity. This is a silent protest against years of oppression, extermination, and persecution since the Chinese invasion in 1959.

The calendar dates from the reign of the first king of Tibet in 127 B.C. The New Year, Losar, begins on the first day that the Moon appears larger than the day before, i.e., the first proof of the new moon. In this case, the lunation, earlier today, was in the early degrees of Pisces, conjunct Neptune. I truly feel the tears of this special lunation, not only for the Tibetans who were driven from their homeland but all the other refugees and victims of bad politics, bad economics, and bad use of science and technology. . . not to mention karma.

I hope I am not being negative because only when we dare to feel what we believe others feel will we find the compassion to renounce exploitation, violence, and the motivations that give rise to such predatory and unconscionable behavior.

We have serious problems on this Planet, and they will not be solved by war and plunder. In my inbox this morning, I was appalled to read messages from people banging war drums and waving flags of patriotism as if murdering strangers is a way to express national pride. It occurred to me that no matter how angry people are with one another, individuals do not have the capacity to wage war. They may shout or perhaps duke it out, but anyone who has tried this knows that the outcome is not a conquest even if there appears to be some temporary advantage to the mightier. So, war is the outcome of moral bankruptcy and the masses are lured into making sacrifices to satisfy the ambitions of the few.

Right Understanding

It being a special occasion, I might indulge in some of my favorite Buddhist teachings. These are widely known throughout the world, but the foundational teaching and what maintains the integrity of the philosophical system is that suffering is caused by ignorance so The Eightfold Path begins with two admonitions to help overcome the ignorance. The first is usually called Right Understanding or sometimes Right View. It means that we should try to see situations and life as they really are, not through whatever filters are put there to influence us. Basically, this one simple directive has the power, if taken seriously, to free us from propaganda and dogma and even to initiate us into the world of truth and reality.

Like all ancient teachings, there are reams of commentaries on Right Understanding so one can interpret this precept to mean that we see and accept the relationship between cause and effect or that we accept the essential oneness of all that is. We can also, if we wish, argue that if we were wise, we would also see how we create our reality and then perhaps, we could reshape this reality in a more idealistic manner.

Once we have correct understanding, our minds should become clear and our thoughts would become pure. From this foundation, we can set our moral compasses so that we have Right Intention. This is step two and just as there are nuances to the first precept, there are many ways to interpret the second. Since we are today in the soft space of Neptune, it might be auspicious to propose that part of what motivates and therefore becomes what manifests as intent is based on self-interest or, in the case of a sage or bodhisattva, on renunciation of ego and dedication of the personal self to the upliftment of others. This, of course, not only leads to good will but also to harmlessness.

Simple as these lessons seem, mastery can take a few lifetimes.

The next step is Right Speech. Obviously, one is to avoid lies but there is more to this teaching than simply telling the truth because, as we all know, using information in this world can create all sorts of repercussions. So, while deception is reprehensible, there are further elaborations that might help us to tweak this concept of Right Speech to include using our gift of language to uplift or motivate others towards more noble behavior.

I don't want to write a sermon. The next five precepts are Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. This last is so rich with nuance that I will simply add a note that it covers everything from how we meditate to what we allow to absorb our time and attention.

As you can see, in the fundamental teachings, there is no explanation of creation much less any attempt to engage in debates over theologies. The guidance is offered as a way to perfect oneself by evolving a sense of clarity and then harnessing it to ethical use of life energies.

I would like to seed these turbulent times with these thoughts because if we are carried away by our fears or desperation or by self-interest rather than the general good, we will surely not just step on toes but fail to use our fault finding skills to build a better replacement for what is disintegrating as we speak. As I tried to say over the Judeo-Christian holiday season, Neptune can be very deceptive or very compassionate. In the former mode, we swallow propaganda and pills that poison both our psyches and bodies. However, in the compassionate mode, we reach out a hand for those who need help and this actually makes both of us stronger. It can hence have a wonderful ripple effect so that the hundredth monkey really engulfs the global psyche and supports our sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.

So, tonight, I will create an alter with candles and offer prayers for those who are suffering but I will also try to use the power of my keyboard to encourage people to renounce all actions that have any potential for harming anyone else.

With all my heart,







Seventh Ray Press
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012

Home || Contact Us

No content on any of the pages of this web site may be reproduced without written permission of
Ingrid Naiman and Seventh Ray Press, publisher of this site.


Design by Damien Francoeur