Feb 1, 2020


Pema Chödrön steps down from Shambhala position

Pema Chödrön, a bestselling author and one of the best-known American Buddhist teachers, has stepped down as a senior teacher (acharya) in the Shambhala organization.

In a letter released yesterday, she states that she was ”disheartened” by news that Shambhala leader Sakyong Mipham may resume teaching this year with the approval of the organization’s board. Sakyong Mipham has currently “stepped back” from his roles in the community after allegations against him of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct.

“I experienced this news as such a disconnect from all that’s occurred in the last year and half,” Chödrön says in the letter. “It feels unkind, unskillful and unwise for the Sakyong to just go forward as if nothing had happened without relating compassionately to all of those who have been hurt and without doing some deep inner work on himself.”

While noting that “I haven’t actually served as an acharya for a long time, and I have been considering retiring for a few years,” she says that at this point “I do not feel that I can continue any longer as a representative and senior teacher of Shambhala given the unwise direction in which I feel we are going,” she says.

Trump's spiritual adviser responds to backlash after sermon calling for 'all satanic pregnancies to miscarry' goes viral

Televangelist Paula White, who also serves as President Trump's spiritual adviser, took to Twitter to clarify remarks she made in a sermon calling for “all satanic pregnancies to miscarry” after a portion of her address went viral and sparked backlash.

“I don't normally respond but clearly this has been taken out of context. I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” she tweeted on Sunday. “Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life, that is- any plans to hurt people.”

. . .

"We declare any strange winds — any strange winds that have been sent to hurt the church, sent to hurt this nation, sent against the president, sent against myself, sent against others — we break it by the superior blood of Jesus right now," she said in the sermon earlier this month.

"In the name of Jesus, we command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now,” she also prayed. “We declare that anything that has been conceived in satanic wombs will miscarry, it will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm."

Naturopath who claimed ‘quasi-divine’ powers on trial for sex assaults

A Montreal naturopath who made claims of having what a judge described as “quasi-divine” powers is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting two women during treatment sessions.

. . .

According to evidence presented during his trial, Agapiadis is alleged to have used his position as a naturopath to commit the assaults.

In both instances, the Crown contends he assaulted the women on the massage table during treatment sessions and that when they urged him to stop, he told them they needed to cooperate if they wanted to heal.

. . .

Among them were Agapiadis’s claim to be able to “read” people’s energy by observing them and that he told both women their ailments were the result of “bad sperm” while he had “good sperm.”

In New Book, Retired Pope Benedict Breaks Silence To Speak Out On Priestly Celibacy

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, who promised to remain silent when he resigned as head of the Roman Catholic Church seven years ago, has stepped back into the ongoing debate over priestly celibacy with a new book defending the traditionalist view.

The surprise move is seen as a rebuke to Pope Francis, who is weighing the possibility of a revolutionary move to relax the strict celibacy requirement for ordination in some South American countries where the shortage of priests is particularly acute.

In the as-yet-unpublished book, whose title translates as From the Depths of Our Hearts, Benedict and his co-author, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, defend the "necessity" of celibacy in the priesthood. On Sunday, the French newspaper Le Figaro printed excerpts, which were also obtained by The Associated Press.

"The priesthood of Jesus Christ causes us to enter into a life that consists of becoming one with him and renouncing all that belongs only to us," the pope emeritus writes. "For priests, this is the foundation of the necessity of celibacy but also of liturgical prayer, meditation on the Word of God and the renunciation of material goods."

In death of dinosaurs, it was all about the asteroid—not volcanoes

Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, according to an international, Yale-led team of researchers. It was all about the asteroid.

In a break from a number of other recent studies, Yale assistant professor of geology & geophysics Pincelli Hull and her colleagues argue in a new research paper in Science that environmental impacts from massive volcanic eruptions in India in the region known as the Deccan Traps happened well before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago and therefore did not contribute to the mass extinction.

Most scientists acknowledge that the mass extinction event, also known as K-Pg, occurred after an asteroid slammed into Earth. Some researchers also have focused on the role of volcanoes in K-Pg due to indications that volcanic activity happened around the same time.

"Volcanoes can drive mass extinctions because they release lots of gases, like SO2 and CO2, that can alter the climate and acidify the world," said Hull, lead author of the new study. "But recent work has focused on the timing of lava eruption rather than gas release."

The Pacific Ocean is so acidic that it's dissolving Dungeness crabs' shells

The Pacific Ocean is becoming more acidic, and the cash-crabs that live in its coastal waters are some of its first inhabitants to feel its effects.

The Dungeness crab is vital to commercial fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, but lower pH levels in its habitat are dissolving parts of its shell and damaging its sensory organs, a new study found.

Their injuries could impact coastal economies and forebode the obstacles in a changing sea. And while the results aren't unexpected, the study's authors said the damage to the crabs is premature: The acidity wasn't predicted to damage the crabs this quickly.

. . .

The ocean is acidifying because it's absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which lowers pH levels in the water.

Oldest material on Earth discovered

Scientists analysing a meteorite have discovered the oldest material known to exist on Earth.

They found dust grains within the space rock - which fell to Earth in the 1960s - that are as much as 7.5 billion years old.

The oldest of the dust grains were formed in stars that roared to life long before our Solar System was born.

A team of researchers has described the result in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When stars die, particles formed within them are flung out into space. These "pre-solar grains" then get incorporated into new stars, planets, moons and meteorites.

Something Appears to Have Collided With the Milky Way and Created a Huge Wave in the Galactic Plane

An enormous wave has been discovered in the Milky Way that may have formed as a result of a collision with a massive mystery object—potentially a clump of dark matter—scientists have said.

The "Radcliffe wave" was discovered using data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite. It had previously gone unnoticed because of its extreme size and our proximity to it. From Earth, the wave covers half the sky, making it difficult to see the whole structure. Details of the discovery are published in Nature.

. . .

Researchers led by João Alves, from the Department of Astrophysics at the University of Vienna and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, were initially trying to map a structure known as the Gould's Belt. This is a large band of star-forming regions that the team was hoping to learn more about with Gaia—a mission to create a 3D map of the Milky Way.

In doing so, the team discovered that Gould's belt is "just a projection effect" of a far larger structure, Alves told Newsweek. "As you can imagine, I was very surprised," he said. The Radcliffe wave, they found, was one enormous, long filament. It stretches 9,000 light years in length and 400 in width. It was also found to go 500 light years above and below the mid plane of the galactic disk in a wave-like shape.

Mummies of ancient Egyptian priests found buried with thousands of afterlife 'servants'

A massive burial ground holding the remains of several high priests of ancient Egypt, along with their assistants, has been discovered in the northern part of the site of Tuna el-Gebel, Egypt's antiquities ministry announced Thursday (Jan. 30).

So far, the archaeologists have unearthed 20 stone sarcophagi (coffins) made of a "very good quality of limestone" in the burial ground, which lies about 170 miles (270 kilometers) south of Cairo, said Mostafa Waziri, the general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, during a news briefing.

In addition, the burials together contained some 700 amulets, some made of gold or precious stones, along with more than 10,000 shabti figurines made of faience (a glazed ceramic), Waziri said. The ancient Egyptians believed that shabti figurines served the deceased in the afterlife.

The archaeologists said they aren't sure how many mummies are buried at the site. But given that many of the stone sarcophagi have yet to be opened, it is likely that many will be discovered, the researchers said. 

January 6, 2020
Tourists flock to Egypt’s Hatshepsut Temple to catch glimpse of rare astronomical phenomenon

Tourists in Egypt flocked to Queen Hatshepsut Temple on Monday to witness the sun fall perpendicular on the holy shrines of the ancient monument, a unique astronomical phenomenon marking the ancient Egyptian festival of the Goddess Hathor.

A group of Japanese tourists visited the temple, which is located west of Egypt’s Luxor, in order to witness the phenomenon, with dozens of visitors from countries around the world taking photos inside the complex.

The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut was constructed to fit seamlessly into the area’s surrounding landscape and high cliffs, and the temple was designed on a solar axis to receive the winter sun. The sun falls perpendicular to the temple’s holy shrines on January 6 and December 9, which used to mark celebrations for the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor and the god Horus, who served as a symbol of royal power and legitimacy in ancient Egypt.

The deities were celebrated by ancient Egyptians in separate winter feasts, during which various religious rituals were performed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Opinions and ideas expressed in the comments on this page
belong the people who stated them. Management takes no
editorial responsibility for the content of public comments.