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Winter Solstice 2018

‘As the ray blends with the sun and water merges with water,
so blends the human light with the Supreme Light and becomes totally perfect’

— Guru Arjan

Ik-oNkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhaN gur parsaad.

— From the Japji Sahib

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9 Responses

  1. I read somewhere last night’s full moon, solstice full moon would not happen again until 2094. For the first day of winter, we hade 50 degree weather, enough to walk comfortably around the grounds of the Mormon temple where they put up lights on all the trees, big and small. It is beautiful and a work of art. And then there are the proselytizers, two Sister x and y, young in their 20s, who struck up a conversation with us heathens to convert us.

    I told the Mormon Sisters about this anecdote: last week we had a pipe break at the hand of a handyman (no less) and water spillage in our bathroom. Then we had to call a real plumber to fix it. He happened to be a refugee from Burma (Myanmar) who came to this country 20 years ago. He did his work and then when we were paying his bill, he looked around the house and asked ‘you are good people, you were so nice to me but I don’t see any ‘worship’ place in the house (most Indians have a closet/room/nook dedicated to displaying their Gods), are you Christians?’ We said no, we don’t worship anything. He was like ‘how can that be? you are so nice, and good people.’ He was in his own way asking the age old question of ‘is religion necessary for being moral?’

    However, my conversation with the Mormon Sisters came off (if there were an observer) as me being the arrogant self who thinks everything is centered around me and that I take responsibility for all of it while they came across as being humble and without ego, giving themselves up for something they call higher than themselves. Their spiel sounded a lot more non-threatening. That is where the trick is.

    • A few years ago I became friends with a woman who is Mormon. We met through a knitting group that at the local library. I expected that our religions (I’ve been a Nichiren Buddhist for 45 years) might be an issue.

      It has not been. Mormons have experienced discrimination because many Christian sects do not consider them Christians. She explained that Mormons believe that each of us come to god in our own way. She has never tried to convert me. She and her husband and wonderful. Through her I met other Mormons and found them to be good people as well.

      • They are good people and on a one on one basis, I don’t expect them to discriminate or treat us differently. But like other Christians, they (the temple volunteers at least) think it is their duty to proselytize. We live a mile away from the big Mormon temple for the DC area (it is actually in Kensington, MD) — you see it while driving on 495 W/S. They do come knocking on our doors to talk about Jesus.

        • There is a new Mormon temple in Chicago and a ward in the community where I live. I don’t usually see Mormon missionaries going door to door. It’s mostly the Jehovah’s Witnesses that come around regularly.

          We do have a sign on our front door that says “no soliciting” and I recently added “no religious solicitating” which seems to work.

          • Yeah, good idea to put up that sign. But what is more annoying is that we sometimes get handwritten letters in the mail about Christianity and there is no address of the sender. It goes straight to the recycling bin but it still irritates me that they have the nerve.

          • I agree with you about the unsolicited mail. Earlier this year I received something from the local Catholic church. I called them about it and found that they bought a mailing list from somewhere and asked them to take my name off of it.

            I am always glad when Christmas is over because I don’t like hearing Christmas music in stores while I shop. My dentist’s office used to have a number of patients who worked for a radio station that played Christmas music throughout the holiday season. Because of them, the office would play that station during the holidays. I then started scheduling my appointments to avoid the time from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

      • I’ve been a Nichiren Buddhist for 45 years

        For a long time, I had a rule in my house not to have any deity pics, idols and so on. But an Indian guest brought me a Ganesha made of sandal wood and how can you say no, so I put it in the guest bed room. Then on a CA trip to Big Sur, I saw this beautiful Buddha statue with a red shawl and I could not resist. I have put it on a prominent table with other collectibles in the front room. When I was going through a rough patch, I would come down the stairs in the morning and call out ‘How are you today, Mr. Buddha?’ and on days I didn’t want to say that, I knew I was fragile and needed to take care. He became my emotional barometer. But really, I love the statue.

        There is a beautiful reclining statue of Buddha in the Ajantha caves in India. I covered every inch of the caves when I visited there in 2011.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajanta_Caves

  2. Fred Schneider of the B-52’s made a solo album many years ago (though Kate sang some backing vocals on it). 😛

  3. Kara Swisher is way overrated. She talks and talks but says very little of substance. Circumstances propel these mediocre people to where they are but they think they deserve it.

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