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Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz (1950 - 1998) was a miracle maker, visionary feminist, software entrepreneur, music producer, author and enlightened American Buddhist teacher.  Based on interviews with over 100 people, this biography covers Rama's life and early teaching years from 1950 to 1989.

Real instruction takes place through transmission, not just words.  Rama transmitted states of joy and stillness to his students and lecture hall audience members.  These empowerments are present and available for you today.   

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Fake News

Liz Lewinson

“Chicken Donates Legs to U.S. Supreme Court”

Ms. Chick Pea, an Ameraucanas Chicken, donated both her legs to the Unites States Supreme Court to draw attention to the plight of chickens forced to lay eggs in a mindless environment in which all chickens are forced to think the same, dress the same, eat the same feed and breed with the same rooster. 

True or fake?  Upon further examination, Ms. Pea was found to be the favored pet chicken of a Newport Beach, California family with a spacious grassy back yard that she roams and pecks freely.  She is a virgin and lays eggs under blue wooden lawn chairs.

Truth:  there is a Ms. Pea, chicken.

Fake:  the rest of the story. 

Stories with this degree of veracity appear regularly in media.  “Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership, online sharing, and Internet click revenue.”

My Buddhist teacher, Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz, was the target of fake news.  It was written with the intent to mislead and to damage him and his reputation.  It was sensationalist, dishonest and outright fabricated in order to increase readership and put misplaced authority in the hands of a few trolls and compliant journalists.

The fake news about Rama appeared in the 90s when there was no social media or platform for rebuttal.  If someone was running a chop shop, that was it.  You got chopped.  Fake news is an old problem. History provides examples. Ramses, a 13th century pharaoh, spread stories and built huge statues of himself glorifying how he crushed it in “the Battle of Kadesh,” when in fact the battle was a stalemate.

Fake news is always distorted.  What good or cool thing is out there that someone does not want you to know or learn?

In the case of my Buddhist teacher, the real news was and is that an actual, enlightened American person signed on to truly teach.  He could fill entire rooms with brilliant golden light and bring 1,000 people to uproarious laughter while he filled the gaps in their being with bliss.  He loved beyond comprehension.   He was always teaching, and he taught creatively and brilliantly for as long as he could—for 18 years.  He’s gone now.  He said he was “crucified in the media.”

If you encounter distorted journalism about Rama and consume it, you will feel it.  It feels sharp and discordant. Your eyes may burn.  You may feel a bit queasy.  You are feeling the egos and states of mind of the distorters.  If you can, go take a walk on the beach or in the forest.  Laugh off the fake news.  In fact, read American Buddhist Rebel!  There’s preponderance of bright and wonderful news in many places about Rama! 

I hope for you that the light prevails.  Ms. Chick Pea may even drop a light blue egg under the lawn chair for you.   

Meditation AND Mindfulness

Liz Lewinson

 

It's 2017.  The reincarnation of Ramses II (according to Rama) is in the White House, meaning we now have a world leader who has a penchant for building grandiose things, believing himself to be the god of all, surrounding himself with corrupt courtiers, marrying hundreds of wives as well as his own daughters and other unimaginably horrible things.  

It helps if you know what you are up against.

The essence of inernal change -- no matter what external circumstances are playing out -- is meditation, whether strengthening your practice or starting for the first time.  Meditation means stopping thought.  When thought stops, the world stops and changes -- you see more correctly and a new depth and power enters your life, in any circumstance.  For tips on meditation, see the Rama Meditation Society meditation suggestions.  Rama created music for meditation and it really works.  You can use the notes of the music for meditation -- focus on one note at a time until you find thought stopping.  Then just listen to the music in stillness.  I like meditating to Mandala of Light.  

In addition to meditation, mindfulness is the other essential aspect of continuing to grow towards light during darker times.  Mindfulness means not slipping into emotions that are considered poisons in Buddhism -- anger, jealousy and greed.  These are emotions that will trash your awareness no matter how high and happy you felt the moment before these emotions arose.  Using mindfulness, you set up an inner alert system that triggers a response -- you feel anger arising and stop it at its root.   You feel jealousy arising, you cut it off at the source.  Having a strong meditation practice will help you witness negative emotions as they arise in your mind.  As a witness, you then have a choice not to be sucked into the vortex.  

Feelings of helplessness can lead to anger.  Riding your bicycle along a bike path and a pet owner lets their leashed dog dash in front of you -- this can lead to anger.  Feeling you are RIGHT and someone else is WRONG can lead to anger.  Being cut off in highway traffic can create a sudden swell of anger, the list is endless, but the issue is the same.  Anger is a toxic emotion that drains your energy and the energy and life force of others.   You will lose the path and the merit of your meditation practice if you indulge in it.  The conscious resolve to practice mindfulness will allow you to stop the emotional poisons that will take you out in rough times, and turn those same times into a path of success and greater realizations and insight.

Rama employed a saying:  "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade."  

The reincarnation of Ramses II in the White House?  Who could have predicted something so destructive?  But inner light is still achievable and available, and the need is more apparent than ever.  Now is the time to buff and/or start the meditation practice and simply glow.  

Happy New Year, 2017!

 

 

 

Tell me about an Enlightened teacher...

Liz Lewinson

 

What is it like to work with an enlightened teacher?  This is described in many ways in Blue Skies Buddha, quoting from the experiences of many people.  There isn't one way.  An enlightened teacher, as any good teacher, works with everyone differently. 

Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz wrote a poem about enlightened teachers. 

Enlightened Masters -- from Insights, Tantric Buddhist Reflections on Life (1994)

 

Enlightened Buddhist Masters are hard to work with

Because they are:

Touchy,

Critical,

Changeable,

Aloof,

Overly friendly,

Too optimistic,

Too pessimistic,

Too realistic,

Never tell you what you want to hear,

Never appreciate your efforts,

Always point out your weak spots,

Are unattached to everyone and everything,

Don’t grant you your every wish,

Make fun of you on a regular basis,

Are always on time even when they are late,

Have power but are controlled,

Are infinitely more happy than you are,

Are empty,

Are able to do things you can’t,

Are above desire and aversion,

Always do what is spiritually correct,

Pay no attention to your preconceived

Notions of what they should be like or

How they should act,

Turn gold when they meditate,

Don’t care about morality or immorality,

Will do anything to alleviate the spiritual

Suffering of another,

Love God beyond comprehension,

Have passed beyond the boundaries of human reason,

And are always able to find a parking space

Quickly and without apparent effort.

 

 

Expand Your Views on Love -- Valentine's Day, 2016

Liz Lewinson

 

Valentine’s Day celebrates love in all its forms. Blue Skies Buddha reminds us of a different type of love that stems from the deepest regions of the heart. Blue Skies Buddha is in fact a love story, the love of a Buddhist teacher for teaching and helping others.  

As Rama pointed out, we can waste our energy thinking that romantic love is the only game in town.  The excerpts selected below from Blue Skies Buddha remind us that there is more to love than romance and flowers.  There is also an ecstatic love for life that fulfills our deepest yearning, empowers us and elevates our spirit.  The awareness of this love is kindled through meditation, inner stillness.   Blue Skies Buddha is an iconoclastic, modern love story.

Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz spoke of love from different viewpoints:

--- When we love it takes us beyond our self, otherwise we're just absorbed with the preoccupations that we invent. But when we love someone, we can do something magnificent. We look beyond our own immediate needs and we become more concerned about the welfare of another.

--- In the process of the years of meditation and self-giving, self-analysis, I found that I no longer loved as I had formerly done.  As I went on, the relationships got better and better.  And they meant less.  The relationships that I had became more and more impersonal, yet had more love in them.  It's an odd incongruity.  I loved more but I was less attached.  In other words, my love was no longer bound by the body, it was a love of spirit.

--- I’m trying to tell you that life is so much better than you can imagine.  That eternity is so complete, nirvana is so perfect and shining, but you’re just skimming it.  You’re missing it.  And that’s a part in the process.  But if you just reach a little more, if you just extend your self-giving, your love, a little deeper, if you just try a little harder in your meditations, it’s endless, it’s perfect, it’s beyond anything that you can imagine.  And I would like that for you.

--- [Referencing meditation journeys to the desert, where he zoomed 30 yards across the sand without touching it] If I believed there was a physical, I could not do this.  We walk upon the Grace of God.  Nothing else exists except that.  It’s like gliding.  You walk just above the physical.  You only walk or live this way if you have a terrific love for Existence.  If you have total faith and love then that which you love will help you.  Then you can walk on anything.

--- When I find myself coming back to this world, I realize it's because of love.  Love is the strongest force in the universe.  You can travel to all the multifarious realities – infinite planes of awareness – merge with them and become them.  Yet, if love is lacking, it will all remain flat. If love is lacking in your consciousness, your awareness will be dry.  You will be empty.  If you love enough, you can do anything.

--- About 75 to 95 percent of all attention in this world is devoted to romance. And it's such a waste, it's incredible, because you get almost no return on your investment – it’s power lost.  I think you need to look at yourself a little bit and assess how much of your energy you're putting in that direction. I have no argument with romance or with love but if you're fixating on it too much, you'll find that you're losing a tremendous amount of energy.

--- You can store power through love. Whenever you love, you compress time. Time stops. The world stops and you step outside of it.

--- Love creates a bridge, a bridge between peoples, a bridge between nations. The absence of love is war, hate, enmity, fear.

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Instead of focusing on romantic love (its presence or lack in your life), why not use Valentine's Day or any other of the 364 days in the year to consider a more universal love? Close your eyes and meditate by trying to stop thought and focusing on the heart chakra in the center of your chest.  Imagine love emanating from your heart center out to your home, your city, your nation, the globe.  To help you, listen to some music that radiates love -- the band Zazen's "Ecstasy," which was created to help you stop thought and meditate.

Please also scroll down and see the blog from 12/22/14 titled "Men and Love." 

This will give you new experiences and insights about love.

 

 

Solstice News: Blue Skies Buddha #1 on Amazon Kindle

Liz Lewinson

Reached another milestone this weekend -- Blue Skies Buddha is a #1 bestseller on Amazon Kindle.  How cool is that?!?  It happened right before the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.  Rama spoke of the Winter and Summer Solstices as two of the times of great power, meaning power to transform and change. 

People make New Year's resolutions but Rama spoke of visualizing the jumps you intend to make in terms of awareness and material achievement in the framework of Solstices and Equinoxes.

In the Fall Equinox of 2015, I pictured Blue Skies Buddha as achieving some initial success by the Winter Solstice, creating a foundation upon which it would grow.   During the past three months, the biography became a finalist in two categories of USA Book News Best Books of 2015, hit a #1 spot on the Amazon Kindle best seller list (in its category for Buddhism), received great new reviews and more -- that I can't say yet! 

I am visualizing the future for Blue Skies Buddha between now and the Spring Equinox.  Rama's suggestion to follow the energy lines from Solstice to Equinox is a powerful way of making wonderful and empowering change in your life.

USA Book News 2015 Best Book Awards Finalist

Liz Lewinson

i got the news a few nights ago that Blue Skies Buddha had been named a finalist in two categories (the only two in which the book was submitted) in the USA Book News competition for best books of 2015.  

The two categories are Biography and Spirituality: General.

Over 2,000 books were submitted by publishers from big mainstream to indies.  The judges were also from a wide range of backgrounds.

As a writer, I am thrilled.  My goal in writing was to create a book that everyone could read whether or not they were familiar with Buddhism or had ever heard ofRama - Dr. Frederick Lenz,    My goal was to share the huge, peerless adventure that his students experienced, so that those who weren't there might partake of it.  My goal was to share teachings that are perfectly targeted for 21st century people with careers and aspirations, so that readers might learn and gain.

Now these goals seem closer.  I look forward to engaging in the dialogue!