Thursday, February 25, 2021

cats exercising (V&V) vitakka and vicara, (S&S) sati and sampajano, and dhamma-vicaya

(1) Two minute video, 'Fluffy' the hero cat saves old man's life

Summary of above video and details of how V&V, S&S, dhamma vicaya were evident.

cat's name is 'fluffy.' 

whenever the old man's cell phone rang, he'd talk to his cat and say, "ring a ding, fluffy." So the cat knew that phrase of speech/vaca was a ringing cell phone.

old man fell in shower and couldn't move for 16 hours. He knew he'd be dead if  he couldn't call for help. So in last ditch effort, he calls out to his cat, "ring a ding, fluffy." 5 minutes later, the cat had pushed the phone off the counter and moved it to where the old man could reach the phone and call for help, saving his life.

Obviously the cat had sati, remembering that the vocalized speech vaca "ring a ding, fluffy" was associated with ringing cell phone. The cat had sampajano and dhammavicaya, lucidly discerning how that memory could be used to help the old man, and understanding that a cell phone could communicate with other people. And the cat must have been using vitakka and vicara, as an intermediary thoughts between vaca, V&V as vaci-sankhara, and the perceptions and attention that could comprehend the meaning of that human speech. 

In the remaining videos, you can work out the same logic in how V&V, S&S, dhamma vicaya are being used.


(2) 5 min. video cat prevents baby from falling off ledge 

summary of above video:

What's really clear is the cat totally understands what's going on, and is so gentle in carrying out the compassionate response. When the baby first reaches for the rail, the cat looks at the dad (camera man with cell phone on couch) as if to say, "what are you doing lying on that couch you negligent parent?" 

When the dad doesn't do anything, the cat steps in to help. Fully aware his claws are sharp, notice how he gently pushes the baby's arm down, and then repeatedly gentle and patient when the baby tries to climb up.

(3) 1 min. video, cat jumps on baby to prevent it from going down stairs, then blocks the stair entrance.

(4) 4 min. video, cat saves baby's life. 

summary of above video:

when baby was turning blue and gasping for air, cat ran down to try to get mom's attention jumping into her lap a few times. That didn't work, so the cat ran back into the baby's room, got right up next to the baby monitor (microphone on 24hr to hear baby in crib) and screeched and hissed so loud that the mom came up to investigate, then noticed the baby in trouble. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Announcing 🎙️audtip🔊‍ 2021 spring season podcasts - at least 10 minutes of new content generated every week.

subscribe now, or miss out on all the fun.

Announcing 🎙️audtip🔊‍ 2021 spring season podcasts - at least 10 minutes of new content generated every week.

Anyone know how to get blogger to show text within posts containing html links in a more obvious style? Right now by default hyperlinks tend to be invisible. You have to hover a mouse cursor over thee link to change color. Must be totally invisible for mobile users. Just another sad case of form over function (aesthetic pretty appearance of not having underlined hyperlinks). 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ideal bed sleeping set up for meditators and yogis

Friend asked about my sleeping setup, correctly guessing that I have some optimal minimalist arrangement.

In east asia, where it was super hot, 

I did experiment for some time with just sleeping on basically a slightly elevated bedframe with no mattress, just sleeping on the flat wooden surface. 

It's not as uncomfortable as it might sound, except for part of the lower back spinal vertebrae that would bruise and hurt. 

I sleep lying on my back for about 4 hours, from 10pm through 2am (AN 3.16).

I had experimented with lion posture on side, but it tended to cut off circulation to my right arm, right hand, right finger would get hang nail from decreased circulation, and also a pain developed on part of my muscle that took years to go away. So I keep the lion posture for naps, but the main 4 hour sleep I lie on my back.

To deal with the lower back spinal pressure point, I started using a thin foam tile about 1ft x 1ft square x a few cm thick.

Then I was fine.

The neck would feel a little bit weird, I'm not sure if this messes up spinal alignment in the long run.

I did that for many months, just to know my limits and that I could get a perfectly good nights sleep with the absolute minimum.

Living where things get cold

Then it's important to have good heat insulation. 

I sleep on the floor, with a backpacking/camping foam air mattress 2 inch thick fully inflated. The foam inside self expands, has good heat insulation, so if you just open up the valve it self inflates. 

I have a very old model version of this thermarest (A very reputable brand, I highly recommend). 

It's about 6 ft. long, 25 in. wide.

Sleeping on the floor, on this air mattress, is actually the most luxurious, comfortable, bed that is possible IMO, better than the most luxurious hotel bed that I've ever slept in. The flat floor gives you support where you need support, and the 2 inch of air cushion gives you softness so no bones are impacting the ground. I'm thin and light weight, average American or westerner might need a thicker cushion to achieve the same effect. 

In contrast, a water bed feels nice for a few minutes, but after a few hours you feel like your posture and body is out of whack. 

The beauty of this setup, is it's about 80$ for the mattress, I've used it for decades, I get to use the same exact luxurious bed when I'm camping in the forest, sleeping at home, traveling with backpack gear,  it packs away in under a minute (instant murphy bed pick up and line up along wall), freeing up your floor space to to yoga and taiji. 

If it gets to freezing or lower temperature at night, 

I slept in a tent at night in Nepal in the himalayas with an additional foam padding (about 5-6 in high, not that dense but traps lots of warm air for more insulation) underneath my regular setup.

Another idea to consider that I saw but have not tried, is putting a smaller tent inside a larger tent. 

You'll also probably prefer to have some good face covering, wool neck gaiter to pull over your face, baclava, a couple of wool beanies to pull over your eyes.

The secret to good sleep

Jhana, good diet and exercise. If I'm not sleepy, I sit and meditate. If I'm sleepy, I lie down and fall asleep in under a minute. Even if some loud noise wakes me up every 30 minutes, 4 hours later I wake up refreshed as if  normal person got 8 hours of sleep in a luxurious fancy hotel bed with all the fancy linen and trimmings.

People are misguided spending 1000$ or 2000$ looking for some perfect mattress. It doesn't exist. 

Jhana, good diet, exercise and your sleep will improve immeasurably.

Blankets for my bed

I have a wool shawl that I use for upper body warmth in meditation, blanked for hot nights sleeping.

I have 4 different sleeping bags I've accumulated in my lifetime. 

1. down backpacking sleeping bag that I use most of the time

2. and old thick down sleeping back with busted zipper, so I now use that as a down comforter blanket

3. a thin synthetic material sleeping bag for camping in warmer and hotter weather

4. thick synthetic material sleeping bag for cold weather

If it's really cold, then I experiment with the right combination of the layers to get the right comfort level.

If it's really hot, then having the sleeping bag partially or mostly unzipped,  in combination with blanket is usually the go to move. 


I have a klymit inflatable lightweight backpacking lengthy pillow thingy that wraps around your head and ears, which I then fold in half, stuff into a normal size pillow case, then fold the pillow case in half. Then I add an extra layer of cotton or wool between the inside of the pillow case and the inflatable air cushion for extra heat insulation and comfort. 

Height of bed

Sleeping on the floor is the easiest, most convenient, and the thin camping air mattress makes it as soft as any luxurious hotel mattress.

But I see nothing wrong with sleeping on a more elevated height if you're worried about spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc. 

Related topics

🔗📝notes on sleeping, wakefulness (jāgara) and sloth and torpor (thina-middhaṃ🥱)

Thursday, February 18, 2021

video of dying person's spirit leave, in the form of a small ball of light near the belly at 4:33.

A new entry added to our wiki archive of rebirth stories:


(friend send me this lightly edited email)

This is a youtube video where a son films the dying hours of his father. He sings 'amazing grace' to help guide him to a better place.

You can see the spirit leave, in the form of a small ball of light near the belly at 4:33.

It looks like he might have gone to the ghost realm based on where the orb was coming out (near abdomen).

(one hour later rewatching the video):

Looking at it again, it seems like the orb came out in front of the bed and not the abdomen.  

The first orb is on the top right at 1:43.

4:33 orb seems to came out of the lower back or buttuck.  

5:11 orb went left quickly from lower center left

5:29 orb went up quickly on right

I once heard a monk say that there are so many Americans going to the ghost realm as people don't know how to dedicate merits to the dead.


6. big karmic reward: rebirth in higher deva realm signaled by warmth at crown chakra

This is an extremely good sign that he has gone to the pure land. In the Mahayana sutras (also described in Taoist yoga, Hindu, and probably any meditative tradition will have similar observations):

* People who likes to practice the Dharma and chant Buddha's name would leave from the top of his/her head.

* People who like to do good but doesn't know the Dharma would go to the Deva realms through the eyes.

* People who are going to the human realms will go out from the chest.

* People who are going to the ghost realms, they go out from the abdomen.

* Animal realm - out from the knees.

* Hell realm - from the bottom of feet.  This monks spent his whole life promoting precept and chanting Buddha's name.

Related story on 'soul mist'

Strange Deathbed Mist & Light Explained by Michael Tymn


Posted on 04 October 2010, 22:09

In his recently-released book Glimpses of Eternity, Dr. Raymond Moody, (below) who is known primarily for his pioneering work in near-death experiences, explores the area of deathbed visions and shared-death experiences. In one chapter, Moody discusses a strange mist that is sometimes reported over a deathbed.  “They describe it in various ways,” he writes. “Some say that it looks like smoke, while others say it is as subtle as steam.  Sometimes it seems to have a human shape.  Whatever the case, it usually drifts upward and always disappears fairly quickly.”

raymond moody

Moody and co-author Paul Perry quote a Georgia doctor who twice saw a mist coming up from deceased patients.  The doctor explained that as the patients died they lit up with a bright glow, their eyes shining with a silvery light.  The mist formed over the chest and hovered there, as the doctor observed closely and saw that the mist had depth and complex structure. He further said that it seemed to have layers with energetic motion in it.  During the second occurrence, the doctor felt an unseen presence standing beside him and seemingly waiting for the patient to die.

A hospice psychologist is quoted by Moody as saying that the misty clouds which form above the head or chest seem to have an electrical component to them. A nurse reported seeing a mist rising from many patients as they die, including her father, with whom she saw the mist rise from his chest “as if off a still river,” and then hovering for a few seconds before dissipating.

The bright glow witnessed by the Georgia doctor has also been reported by many other deathbed observers. Moody quotes one man as saying that the room became “uncomfortably bright,” so bright that he couldn’t shut it out even when he closed his eyes.  A hospice nurse reported seeing a “luminous presence floating near the bed, shaped somewhat like a person.”  In the same case, the head nurse saw the light in the room and light coming from the dying person’s eyes but did not observe the presence.

Moody tells of his own experience as he and other family members gathered at the bed of his dying mother.  Among some other strange things, they all saw an unusual light in the room.  “It was like looking at light in a swimming pool at night,” Moody explains.


There are countless reports of dying people having visions of light and seeing loved ones gathering, but skeptics discount them as hallucinations.  However, as Moody points out, it is one thing to claim that the dying person is hallucinating, quite another to claim that healthy people in the room are sharing in the hallucination with the dying person.  He discusses a number of other shared experiences at deathbeds and opines that they tell us more about the afterlife than the NDE and that they are “the key to proving the existence of an afterlife.” (It should be kept in mind that calling something an “hallucination” does not mean it is not “real.”  It is just not objectively real.)

Caregivers Often Witness 

Such misty vapors and “lights” around the deathbed have been reported by other researchers, including Dr. Bernard Laubscher, (below) a South African psychiatrist.  “I was told by different ‘Tant Sannies’ (caregivers) how while watching at the bedside of the dying one with one or two candles burning they had seen the formation of a faint vaporous body, an elongated whitish purplish-like cloud; parallel with the dying person and about two feet above the body,” Laubscher wrote in a 1975 book, Beyond Life’s Curtain.  “Gradually this cloudlike appearance became denser and took on the form, first vaguely and then more definitely, of the person in the bed.  This process continued until the phantom suspended above the body was an absolute replica of the person, especially the face.”

bernard laubscher

Laubscher further reported that these caregivers, some of whom were apparently clairvoyant, reported seeing a ribbon-like cord stretching from the back of the phantom’s head to the body below and that the phantom would begin to glow as it was fully formed. “They noticed that some were more luminous than others and there was a light all around the outline of the [phantom], which I could only compare to a neon tube,” Laubscher added, going on to say that as the phantom righted itself the connecting cord thinned out as if it was fraying away.  Sometimes these clairvoyant caregivers would report joyous faces of other deceased gathering around to welcome the person to the spirit world before the “silver cord” was severed and the visions ceased.

As Laubscher came to understand it, the vaporous material has the same makeup as ectoplasm, the mysterious substance given off by physical mediums before materializations.  It acts as sort of a “glue” in bonding the physical body with the spirit body, and the more materialistic a person the denser the ectoplasm and the more difficulty the person has in “giving up the ghost.”

In their excellent 2008 book, The Art of Dying, Dr. Peter Fenwick, a renowned British neuropsychiatrist, and Elizabeth Fenwick also discuss the “smoke,” “grey mist,” or “white mist” which leaves the body at death.  “Sometimes it will hover above the body before rising to disappear through the ceiling, and it is often associated with love, light, compassion, purity, and occasionally with heavenly music,” they write, adding that not everyone who is in the room sees it.

The Fenwicks quote a woman named Penny Bilcliffe, who was present when her sister died:  “I saw a fast-moving ‘Will ‘o the Wisp’ appear to leave her body by the side of her mouth on the right.  The shock and the beauty of it made me gasp.  It appeared like a fluid or gaseous diamond, pristine, sparkly, and pure, akin to the view from above of an eddy in the clearest pool you can imagine…It moved rapidly upwards and was gone.”

In his 1970 book, Out of the Body Experiences, Dr. Robert Crookall quotes Dr. R. B. Hout, a physician, who was present at the death of his aunt.  “My attention was called…to something immediately above the physical body, suspended in the atmosphere about two feet above the bed.  At first I could distinguish nothing more than a vague outline of a hazy, fog-like substance.  There seemed to be only a mist held suspended, motionless.  But, as I looked, very gradually there grew into my sight a denser, more solid, condensation of this inexplicable vapor.  Then I was astonished to see definite outlines presenting themselves, and soon I saw this fog-like substance was a assuming a human form.”

Hout then saw that the form resembled the physical body of his aunt.  The form hung suspended horizontally a few feet above the body.  When the phantom form appeared complete, Hout saw his aunt’s features clearly.  “They were very similar to the physical face, except that a glow of peace and vigor was expressed instead of age and pain. The eyes were closed as though in tranquil sleep, and a luminosity seemed to radiate from the spirit body.”

Hout then observed a “silverlike substance” streaming from the head of the physical body to the head of the spirit body.  “The colour was a translucent luminous silver radiance.  The cord seemed alive with vibrant energy.  I could see the pulsations of light stream along the course of it, from the direction of the physical body to the spirit ‘double.’  With each pulsation the spirit body became more alive and denser, whereas the physical body became quieter and more nearly lifeless…”

When the pulsations of the cord stopped, Hout could see various strands of the cord snapping.  When the last connecting strand snapped, the spirit body rose to a vertical position, the eyes opened, and a smile broke from the face before it vanished from his sight.



The user comments section also has many interesting responses, here are a few:

I had a heart attack and emergency open heart triple bypass surgery. This occurred 1 week before I was supposed to go 500 miles north to lay my father to rest who had passed away 5 MONTHS EARLIER! The winter was already too bad in Michigans Upper Peninsula so we could not bury him. He was a devote/traditional Roman Catholic and putting him in a urn was out of the question. I was and still am his spitting image!!!!!! While in CCU 3 days after the surgery, I was fine/not doped up. I had discomfort obviously, but I was watching the Tigers game in my recliner.*It was then I noticed/perceived the fine mist that was swirling all about me. Having a medical background myself and quite familiar with a hospital setting i asked the CCU nurse “does the hospital use anything in the ventilation system etc” She replied NO! I decided to give this “Swirling Mist” the litmus test! Like smoke, if I were to sweep my hand across and through it then IT WOULD DISPLACE. Just like smoke from a fire. Well it didn’t! I was amazed yet calm and simply said “Hello, hope ya like baseball” lol

Chris, Fri 22 Nov, 01:53


First, sorry for my bad english, in my county we speak portuguese. I am very happy to have found reports of experiences with this white smoke, because I imagined that I was the only one who had experienced similar experience. My father died 18 years ago of a heart attack during the night while we were asleep. inexplicably I awakened in the middle of the night in an abrupt way with a strange thirst, but which was not physiological thirst, was a different thirst, which I can not describe. I got up and went to the kitchen to get some water, and when I got there I found my father dead on the floor and we could not do anything to save him.

The next night, during his funeral, I walked alone through the cemetery where he would be buried, and some 10 meters away, I saw a condensed white smoke, like a cloud, with the size and shape of a person. this form was lowered looking down, and suddenly it rose in a very fast movement, stood for about 5 seconds and disappeared very fast, shrinking to fade.

I went back to the funeral room and told to my family and friens, but obviously no one believed me.

I’m sure of what I saw, because the scene lasted for about 10 seconds, and I was totally lucid.

It was not smoke or mist, because these, besides not moving, slowly dissipate. What I saw had the solid form and proper movement.

I am very critical of these matters, but I am very grateful to have been through this experience, otherwise it would probably be very difficult for me to believe in these matters.

Marcos Ferrari, Sun 17 Jun, 16:31


This is something I share with many people. It is meant to give comfort in knowing there is more out there waiting for us all. On November 26 2016 my brother in law Joe who was a best friend to me passed in a hospital room after being in a coma for almost 2 weeks. We all were gathered around him when he was pronounced dead by the Doctor. Soon everyone started to leave the room to go home and console his wife, (my wife’s sister) and each other. As my wife and I were leaving I noticed Joe was going to be alone. I told my wife I am going to stay with him until the orderlies come to take him away.  Then it was just Joe and I in the room, I sat talked to him and prayed. A nurse came in we spoke, I told her what a great person Joe was. I was lucky to know him. I made her cry a little. Then she told me she has never seen anyone stay with the body before like this. Families tend to scatter once someone is pronounced dead.  A couple of minutes later, another sister in law and her husband came in. They said their good byes to Joe. The nurse then walks in and tells us “Can you step out of the room, we are going to clean him up now and take all the tubes out. We are going to put him in a body bag”. My sister in law and brother in law said they could not bare to see him like that. I told them don’t worry I will stay with Joe to the end, then they left. I went back into the room, it was just Joe and I again.  As I sat there, I saw the bag. White and pristine. I spoke to Joe, I prayed, I cried, I had my head in my hand. I said Joe, I’ll stay with you here until the end, but I hope you are not waiting around for me. If you have to go somewhere go. At that moment I was looking straight at the body bag. I saw a very thin mist or smoke rise from the body bag about 4 feet in the air. When it got to about 4 feet in the air it disappeared so fast. The only way I can describe is if you have ever seen a jet break the sound barrier. One second it is there, then it is gone. The look on my face was like, “no one will believe me,” but I don’t care I know what I saw. There was a camera in that hospital room. I always wonder what it could of picked up. I know it must have gotten the look on my face. The orderlies came about 20 minutes later and I asked them this, “take care of my brother.” The next day I looked on the internet and saw articles that this is actually a thing that happens.  It makes me think, why do we need these bodies if we have some kind of spirit already that floats around? I came to the realization we use our bodies, these shells as a tool, to make bonds through life with love ones, friends. It’s how we connect. Once you have your connections no one or nothing can take that away from you. Not even death. So now I try to make as many good connections as I can, that will stay with me into the next life. Not money, not power, but pure love. That is the true secret to life, happiness, understanding and strength. Thank you for your website Michael Tymn.

Nando Caldarone, Fri 2 Feb, 08:22

Isn't "re-becoming" a better word to use than 'rebirth'?

(user on forum asks:)

Is it right to use the term rebirth in the Buddhist context?

As I delve into the Buddhist literature deeper and deeper, particularly the Theravāda sutta literature, I am getting convinced more and more that when we use the term ‘rebirth’, and more so, the grosser English equivalents like ‘metempsychosis’ and ‘re-incarnation’, to signify what the Buddha talked about when he referred to the apparent continuity of the ‘life process’ after death, we are getting it all wrong. I have till now also been unable to find the equivalent of the Vedic term ‘Punarjanma’, which is used so very profusely in the Brāhmanic literature like the Upaniṣads and the Purāṇas. The Sanskrit/Pāli word that comes up again and again in the Buddhist context is ‘bhava’ which has been translated as ‘becoming’, perhaps rightly so. But, would it be right to translate this very word also as rebirth, re-incarnation, punarjanma, and the like, when it seems so very clear that bhava does not stand at all for any of these, because the very notion of rebirth/re-incarnation/punarjanma carries within it the concept of a permanent entity moving from birth to birth?

I remember a beautiful metaphor from somewhere that compares the notion of this recurrence of saṁsāra in Hinduism with that in Buddhism. If this recurrence is like a necklace of pearls in Hinduism where the pearls stand for various janmas and the string for the eternal ātman, in Buddhism it is like a pile of coins where each coin, each birth, thought dependent for its support on the coin below, on the birth that came before, does not have any eternal binding entity holding them together, only the unseen ‘gravity’ of karma. Isn’t it right, therefore, that the actual term in the Buddhist sense, used for this recurrence of lives, ought to be bhava, or, to be technically more exact, punarbhava/punabbhava/’re-becoming’/recurrent becoming, rather that punarjanma/rebirth/re-incarnation/metempsychosis?

Good question, well thought out and described in detail. Your proposal 're-becoming' may be better than the other words, at not implying an immutable soul underlying, compared to 're-birth' and 're-incarnation', 'transmigration', etc.

But it has its problems as well. The biggest one being that it doesn't easily convey you're talking about rebecoming after a physical death.

In the end, it comes down to what people agree on for a convention, or official dictionary definition. Theravadans usually prefer 'rebirth' over 'reincarnation' and the other words. Originally in the dictionary, 'rebirth' didn't even have to do with physical death and what happens after. That's probably why Theravadins chose 'rebirth' over the more widely used 'reincarnation', and other words.

Now that the Buddhist idea of 'rebirth' is in some dictionaries, it seems to be more commonly understood in Theravadin Buddhist context does not entail a permanent soul underlying. Other religions though, like Hinduism, use 'rebirth', 'reincarnation', with a soul/atta.

As long as the convention ('rebirth' in this case) is basically well understood, it's best to stick with it, otherwise you'll waste a lot of time having to explain to people what your new word means exactly.

The time to abandon words, is when it suddenly achieves wide adoption with a completely different and wrong meaning (compared to the original). For example, 'gay' used to mean 'happy and joyful', but once the common definition became 'homosexual', then you have to respect convention and change to a different word or risk being misunderstood.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

When you sign up for love, romance, Valentine's day, you also get religious leader sexual misconduct as part of the package deal.


I highlight the particularly interesting/gruesome parts in yellow.

NY Times


The influential evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who died last spring, engaged in “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape,” according to a report released on Thursday by the global evangelical organization he founded.


When Mr. Zacharias died of cancer in May at age 74, he was one of the most revered evangelists in the United States. Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service in Atlanta, calling him “a man of faith who could rightly handle the word of truth like few others in our time” and comparing him to Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis.


Though the report adds shocking new details, accounts of Mr. Zacharias’s sexual misconduct had arisen in recent years. In 2017, he settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple whom he had accused of attempting to extort him over intimate text messages he had exchanged with the wife.

Then last fall, several months after Mr. Zacharias’s death, the magazine Christianity Today reported on allegations that Mr. Zacharias had groped and masturbated in front of several women who worked at two day spas he co-owned near his ministry’s headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. After initially denying those claims, RZIM acknowledged in December that an interim report from Miller & Martin confirmed that he had engaged in “sexual misconduct.”

The full report paints a stark portrait of that misconduct. The law firm interviewed more than a dozen massage therapists who treated Mr. Zacharias. Five of them reported that he had touched or rubbed them inappropriately, and four said he would touch his own genitals or ask them to touch him. Eight said he would either start the massage completely nude or remove the draping sheets during the treatment.

One massage therapist “reported details of many encounters over a period of years that she described as rape,” the report says. She said Mr. Zacharias talked with her about topics including her faith and her finances, and she came to think of him as a “father figure.” After he arranged for his ministry to provide her with financial support, however, he demanded sex, according to the report. Mr. Zacharias, it says, “warned her not ever to speak out against him or she would be responsible for the ‘millions of souls’ whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged.”


The law firm also found a pattern of intimate text and email-based relationships with women. In reviewing his electronic devices, they found the phone numbers of more than 200 massage therapists and more than 200 selfies, some of them nudes, from much younger women. Mr. Zacharias also used the nonprofit ministry to financially support some of his long-term therapists. The report also reveals that he owned two apartments in Bangkok, where he spent 256 days between 2010 and 2014. One of his massage therapists stayed in the other apartment.

Mr. Zacharias said in 2017 that in 45 years of marriage, “I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

The report is a devastating blow for the reputation of a man who was for decades a widely admired evangelical leader. Born in Chennai, India, and boasting impressive academic credentials, he had a reputation among many evangelicals as a worldly and winsome intellectual. His ministry’s motto is “Helping the thinker believe. Helping the believer think.”


In 2014, Mr. Zacharias met a Canadian couple, Brad and Lori Anne Thompson, at a fund-raising luncheon in Ontario. They stayed in touch, and eventually Mr. Zacharias invited Ms. Thompson to correspond privately on BlackBerry Messenger. The evangelist was 30 years older than Ms. Thompson, and she saw him as a “spiritual father,” she has said. After she confided in him about her history of abuse and trauma, she has said, Mr. Zacharias began soliciting sexually explicit messages.

When Ms. Thompson told Mr. Zacharias that she needed to tell her husband about their relationship, Mr. Zacharias threatened suicide, according to leaked emails first published by the blogger Julie Anne Smith.

After a lawyer for the Thompsons approached Mr. Zacharias privately in 2017, he sued the couple, portraying them publicly as serial extortionists and saying that Ms. Thompson had sent him the explicit messages against his will. The suit ended in private mediation, and all parties signed a nondisclosure agreement.


CNN news


A digital forensics firm examined four cell phones and a laptop used by Zacharias. Evidence was uncovered of "text- and email-based relationships with women who were not his wife," along with more than 200 photos of women, the report said.

Several women accused Zacharias of using ministry funds to give them financial support, eliciting personal information about their lives and employing religious language during encounters, according to the report. 


The Miller & Martin report describes the case of Lori Anne Thompson, a Canadian woman who accused Zacharias of engaging in "sexually explicit online conversations" and exploiting "her vulnerability to satisfy [his] own sexual desires."

In April 2017, Thompson and her husband wrote Zacharias to demand "$5 million in exchange for a release of claims against him and the ministry." Three months later, Zacharias sued the couple in federal court for extortion. The couple and Zacharias settled the dispute confidentially in the fall of 2017, the report said.

Zacharias convinced the RZIM board that he was a victim of extortion and the matter was not investigated, according to the report. Witnesses within RZIM told investigators they were "marginalized for raising questions" about his explanations.

The RZIM statement this week said the investigative findings "caused us to think very differently" about Thompson's 2017 allegations.

"We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias," the board said. "It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified. This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed."

In an email statement to CNN, Thompson said she and her husband "are deeply indebted to every victim and whistleblower who spoke for not only themselves, but also for us."


(Ravi's 39yr old daughter is CEO of their RZIM organization, here is an excerpt of an article she authored)


What were your dreams for your future?

From the time I can first remember, I wanted a family. I wanted to give love and be loved. That felt the most important. When I got to college something awakened in me and I also felt more driven to a career and to grow and achieve, and that became part of my dream. I still think living from love is the most important. It just looks different to how I imagined as a child. Even though my life has not turned out as I thought it would, I can see now how God planted that seed–that purpose–to love, and how He has brought that purpose into who I am and who I feel He has called me to be.

What are some of the most difficult, but life-shaping lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Surrender. I was always terrified of full surrender, of relinquishing control of my life and my dreams. Coming to that place of surrender was very difficult and yet, I feel God lovingly brought me to a place where I truly desired to surrender everything to Him. I was in Shanghai with Ravi and the last night, the last event, during the Q&A, someone stood up and said that he was a Christian but he didn’t feel like he genuinely loved God. Ravi answered the question by telling a story that was in one of his books written for children, The Broken Promise. He applied the story by asking the questioner, “Perhaps you don’t feel you love God because you are holding something back from Him.” It was at that moment I knew I was withholding surrender but I was still afraid. But in that moment, I did fully surrender and simply asked God to be with me when disappointing or painful things happened, and I truly feel He has been and continues to be.

I have also learned grace through making mistakes, grace for myself, but also grace towards others. Though difficult, through this I learned God’s love for me and that not I nor anyone else is too far from the love and grace of God.

What is your favorite thing about being a CEO?

I am excited by seeing a vision for what can be, in people as individuals and in the organization. I feel fulfilled when I can recognize gifting or potential in someone else and then can clear the barriers so they can do and be who they are meant to be.

What is the most challenging thing about being a CEO?

I feel a deep burden of responsibility to honor what God has called this organization to be, to our team, to the people we serve, and to those who stand with us, and to make the right decisions for the organization while also loving the individuals well.

What is something most people don’t know about you that you wish they did?

Because I can be reserved, people often think I am serious or quiet, but I love being with people, I love to laugh, and believe it or not, some even say I can be witty! 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

February 14th is Saint Vangisa Day, February 7th starts Asubha week


Vangīsa TheraArahant famous for skill in spontaneous verse and poetry.

☸ Lucid 🐘🐾‍

Forum discussion 

February 14th is Saint Vangisa Day, February 7th starts Asubha week

Me: Dear Valentine 💝 this certificate is good for one guided asubha meditation.

Valentine: Gee, all I got for you were these monks robes 😭

frankk response:

"Thanks! That's what I always wanted!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

wiki crowd sourcing of published rebirth stories.

I've started an archive here:

🔗 collection of published rebirth stores

To submit a story of rebirth to add to the archive page above, 

post a link to the story on one of the forums listed at the bottom of this article, and tag frank's username on that forum, or contact frank through a private message in  contact info.

The first contribution gives a good example of the kind of stories we're looking for, very rich in interesting details, can be corroborated by many witnesses, not likely to be random or a coincidence:


short summary:

16 yr old novice monk remembers immediate past life as a monk where he died of fatal illness along with 3 other monks. After death, he witnessed large group of people called away to go to bad rebirths, and saw one lady with good karma ascend a water vehicle and rise to a heavenly realm. He was given the option to go to heavenly realm, or back to the human world to be a monk again. 

by N.B 

THE WRITER FIRST HEARD about the novice who could recollect his former life, while at the cremation of 
Phra Acharn Mun Bhuridatta Thera, in February 1950.’ Novice Lee-am from X Village was described 
together with the fact that he was due to come to the cremation ceremony. When the writer later met 
the novice, he talked with him and then asked about his recollection of a previous life. The novice 
didn’t immediately answer. He said that every time he told anyone about it he invariably became ill 
with a fever, but because of his respect for the writer he would explain. This is what he said: 

“In my previous life, I was born in Koke-la Village, Ubon Rajathani.’ My father’s name was yyy, and my 
mother’s name was xxx. My own name was then Bua. When I was a young man, a wandering tudong 
monk,’ Phra Acharn Tong, led his bhikkhu followers to my village, teaching the public as he came. In 
the evening, many of the villagers would regularly gather together and go to listen to the Dhamma 
teaching. I took the opportunity to join in and after a time my faith grew so strong that I became his 
disciple. Afterwards, I requested bhikkhu-ordination and joined with his group of monks which 
continued wandering through the jungle, visiting other villages. I travelled with him until the end of 
that life. 

Phra Acharn Tong led us to spend the Rains Retreat" at Bahn Sam-Pong Village, Nakorn Panom, which 
was in the densest jungle and full of fever.’ At that time, before my very eyes and within a few days of 
each other, two monks became ill and died from the jungle fever. Then I became ill and each day my 
condition worsened, until I realized I wasn’t going to make it through. Finally, I knew that I must die 
that very day for it was as if every part of my body was on fire. Realizing this was truly going to be the 
end, I collected myself and fixed my mindfulness on the heart,’ being concerned that I might be 
heedless at the time of death. 

When the end came, everything was extinguished, but the heart that had been in the body now left it. 
It was as if another Phra Bua had arisen from the Phra Bua who lay dead on his sleeping mat. (I) stood 
and watched the dead Phra Bua and the monks and people who had come to visit the dead monk. My 
robes were on properly, with my alms bowl over one shoulder and my krot’ over the other. It was as if I 
was about to go out wandering on tudong to develop meditation, but at that time I still didn’t feel like 
going anywhere. I just stood and watched the monks and villagers arrange the cremation and burn my 
own corpse. No one there realized or knew that Phra Bua had left his body and was in fact standing 
there looking on. I made no attempt to attract attention but just stood there waiting, watching my 
corpse until it was completely consumed and all that remained were ashes and charcoal. It was from 
this point that I began to realize that I had really died. 

After my body was burnt, I thought it best to leave—what possible advantage could there be in 
remaining there? So I then set out along the path and nobody perceived that a new Phra Bua had gone 
wandering tudong. It was just the same as when the old Phra Bua had gone, for wherever I went people 
would greet me and come out to receive me. They would offer food (in my alms bowl) as I continued 
on, always to the East. I still carried my bowl and krot and just wandered on and on without any 
particular destination in mind. 

I then came to a place where there was a very big pavilion or hall,’ the like of which I had never seen in 
our human world. It was full of many men and women, and though they all seemed to be dressed 
differently they were all the same in the fullness of their suffering. Everyone looked very sad and 
depressed, without a sign of a smile on any face. In the midst of this hall was one large table with many 
office chairs—they weren’t like our human tables and chairs. On the table were two piles of books; one 
pile being very big and the other very small. About thirty officials were in attendance there, all dressed 
differently, none the same. Each officer had flashing, fearsome eyes that made the people avoid their 

«Translated from the Thai by A. Bhikkhu. The piece is semi-anonymous, although the translator knows the person behind 
these initials and has complete trust that it is genuine. The translation is quite literal, except for some repetitions that have 
been edited and such places are shown by ellipses ... Similar descriptions are found throughout the world, though with 
different cultural symbols. 

gaze whenever it was directed in their direction. Nobody seemed able to meet and hold such a stern 
gaze and everyone was very afraid. I was the only monk present who had come without coercion and 
so I wasn’t as much afraid of the officers as everyone else seemed to be. 

Everyone was standing, nobody sat down, and that included myself as I listened to the people’s names 
been called. They were called in batches and sent out in groups. In one group there were about a 
hundred people, sometimes more, sometimes less, with only one officer in charge. A person once called 
always seemed terrified of the officer in charge, who each carried a strange, dangerous looking weapon 
in their hand. 

After most of the people in the hall had been called and sent off, only two or three officers remained. 
While of those who had been called by name, only one old lady of about sixty years remained, and two 
men and one woman who hadn't yet arrived. When all the work of sending people off was finished, the 
remaining officer called out the name of the old lady and invited her to go down to the lake in front of 
the hall. He spoke very politely and gently: “Please Madame, go down to the lake, first of all removing 
all your clothes, then walk through the lake and out onto the further bank. Then a heavenly vehicle’ 
will come down to receive you with a complete set of clothing and finery for you to change into.” 

The lady then descended from the hall in a very graceful manner, just as if she was an upasika” coming 
down from a monastery’s hall. The officer, meanwhile, followed her down to offer any necessary 
assistance, just as if he was an upasaka” waiting to help any visitors to the monastery. When the lady 
reached the lake, she removed all her clothes and walked through the water which was only about a 
metre deep. A heavenly vehicle appeared and flew down from the sky and the lady was invited to come 
across to it. A set of clothing and jewellery (etc.,) was put out and when the lady arrived the two 
drivers humbly and carefully helped dress her so that she became as beautiful as a heavenly maiden. 
This heavenly lake was full of heavenly water, with heavenly flowers full of perfume and colours of 
various hues. It was all so beautiful and arrested the eyes and heart so much that one could never tire 
of praising it. When everything was ready, the vehicle flew up into the sky like some fluffy ball of 
cotton wool lofted by a gust of wind. It flew by the power of her ‘past good deeds’ with no sound or 
need for any type of earthly motor. I stood there watching until it disappeared from sight. 

After the heavenly vehicle had taken the lady up to the heaven” realm, I recalled all that I had seen 
and wondered why they had called out the names and sent off the people in groups with such 
menacing gestures, while with this lady they were so gentle and refined as if in great admiration of her. 
So I asked them about the announcing of the names and the dispatching in groups, and about the 
purpose of the two piles of books on the table. They answered: “We call the names so that we know 
who has already arrived and who has yet to come. They are sent off in groups ... because of the 
different destinations according to the various degrees of ‘evil’ they have done. Some have killed their 
parent(s) ... some have killed water buffalo or cattle, which are animals giving much help to humans, 
some have killed other animals without any compassion, ... some have robbed and stolen from or 
cheated their fellow human beings, ... some are adulterers or seducers, ... Kamma of each type must be 
treated with the appropriate fruit of that kamma. While with the two piles of books, the big pile is for 
the names of those who have done evil, while the small pile is for those who have done good.” 

I then asked about those who had been called but who had not appeared. What would happen about 
them? They answered that though they hadn’t yet arrived it wouldn’t be long before they came. 
Whether good or evil, once their name is called they cannot not come. “And what about the lady and 
the vehicle that took her away. Where was she going?”, I asked. They replied, “she went to heaven 
because this good lady has much merit and throughout her life has been generous and done much 
good, and never caused trouble for anyone. Because of this, her ‘merit™ has helped her to go to the 
deva, happy realm.” 

“Well, what about me then?” I asked. “I never heard my name called at all. Where am I supposed to 
go?” They replied, “Your name isn’t in the accounts yet, they haven’t yet sent it. If you wish to go to 
heaven, please go down to the lake where the lady went, and a heavenly vehicle will soon come to 
receive you just as it did with her. If you want to be born as a human, please return the way you came 
and you will be reborn as a human being ....” I then replied, “I’m not going to heaven nor to the human 


realm because I’m so thirsty. First of all I must go and find some water to drink ... then I'll go on 
afterwards.” They answered, “Whatever is convenient for you”. 

I then said good bye and came down from the hall and took the old way back, with my bowl and krot 
over their respective shoulders. I walked on and on, with the intention of trying to find a drink of 
water. Then I came to the village where I was born (in this life), Bahn Nam Kum. I met a woman who 
was going out to fetch water from a well in the surrounding fields, so I requested some drinking water 
from her. The woman said to me, “Please venerable sir, go and wait a little in that house over there and 
I will presently fetch water to offer to you”. After hearing this, I walked straight over to the house, that 
I could clearly see and which wasn’t so far from the well. After going up into the house and sitting 
down in front, I felt very tired and sleepy so I decided to lean back and lie down for a short rest, until 
the woman should bring the water from the well. After refreshing myself, I would then continue on my 
way. On lying down to rest I fell asleep for just a few moments, and on waking up—where was I? I had 
already been born again! 

At the very moment of birth, I realized I had been reborn but I wasn’t able to act out my feelings 
because the body was still so weak and was painful and ached all over ... At the moment of my delivery 
as a new born baby, I still had old memories of being a bhikkhu that did not fade or grow dim. Even 
though I was a baby, it still felt as if I was wearing robes and carrying my bowl and krot. I was still able 
to remember everything from before; as far as the village where I had been born before, my mother 
and father, and relatives. I could recollect it all but couldn’t say a word. 

When I did start to talk, I used the special vocabulary of a bhikkhu, using the personal pronoun of 
‘Atamah”™ (or T) because I felt I was still a bhikkhu. This didn’t seem to change at all, following the 
body of a child ... My first spoken word was ‘Atamah,’ which followed from my previous practice and I 
endeavoured to pronounce it properly and articulately. When others heard me use the word Atamah, as 
if a bhikkhu was talking with lay followers, my parents and relatives would come and forbid my 
speaking in such a way. They said that I was (just) a baby and not a bhikkhu, and that I mustn’t say 
Atamah for the world would not approve of such startling expressions. But the child kept on speaking 
so ... My parents then scolded me and said that for an infant—“look at yourself!”—to use a bhikkhu’s 
special vocabulary was a sin ... At this I became frightened and sorry, and the feeling that had 
accompanied me, of being a bhikkhu, faded and fell away, leaving only the body of a child. From then 
on, I stopped myself from talking as before. 

After I was bigger, I longed to see the parents and relatives of my previous life ... and complained to 
my (new) parents that I wanted to visit my old home ... My parents then scolded me again, saying that 
I was only causing trouble for myself ... I then decided I must explain to them the truth about what had 
happened to me, so I told them about my previous life, my old home, becoming a bhikkhu and my 
death, and that I really wanted to go and visit my old house. 

On hearing and knowing their son’s story to be true, my parents both burst into tears and felt guilty 
about having continually berated me before. They asked for my forgiveness ... and my mother 
explained that her intention had always been to look after her son, whom she loved very much ... She 
said that although she wouldn’t forbid my visiting my old home, I should wait until I was older. And 
that I should consider that she was (now) my true mother, who would sacrifice even her own life for 
mine ... After hearing all of this, I felt very sorry for my mother and realized that I would have to put 
my desire to visit my old home aside because it would upset her too much.” 

(After hearing all this related by Novice Lee-am,) the writer asked if he had ever visited his old village 
in this life... and the novice replied that he had not, nor had he met Phra Acharn Tong, but that he 
would certainly remember him if he met him again... The writer then took the novice around to all the 
different meditation teachers (gathered together for the cremation of Phra Acharn Man), asking him 
which of them might be Phra Acharn Tong, testing him carefully... and he did recognize the true Phra 
Acharn Tong, and was without any doubts, even though the writer pretended not to know... At that 
time, it wasn’t possible for Phra Acharn Tong and the Novice Lee-am to meet because we were all so 
busy with other things, and the writer regrets losing such a perfect opportunity to corroborate the 



Later the same year, the writer happened to meet Phra Acharn Tong and asked him whether he had 
ever stayed at Bahn Sam-Pong Village (where Phra Bua said he had died). He replied that he had and 
that there was so much fever there that three bhikkhus had died, the last being a Phra Bua... Then the 
writer explained all about Novice Lee-am... Phra Acharn Tong remembered Phra Bua and said that he 
had been ordained three years when he died and his meditation had been good. Phra Acharn Tong felt 
it was a great loss when Phra Bua had died so young because he might have helped so many people... 
Phra Acharn Tong said that he had never met Novice Lee-am and he wondered if his bodily 
characteristics were as before. The writer then asked how long ago had Phra Bua died? Phra Acharn 
Tong replied that it would be sixteen years ago. The Novice Lee-am had that very year told me that he 
was fifteen years old. 



End Notes 

1. The cremation of Phra Acharn Man Bhuridatta Mahtthera in Northeast Thailand, in February 1950, saw a great 
gathering of forest monks come to offer their final respects. They camped amongst the trees of the forest, 
meditating, listening to Dhamma-talks, discussing Dhamma and preparing the cremation site. 

2. Northeast Thailand. 

3. Phra Kammatthana. 

4. For the 3 months of the Monsoon Season. 

5. Malaria, for example. 

6. citta. 

7. An ‘umbrella’, from which hangs a mosquito net, used as a shelter by tudong monks in the jungle. 

8. sala. 

9. vimana. 

10. Buddhist female lay devotee. 

11. Buddhist male lay devotee. 

12. lit: pufina or ‘merit’. 

13. deva. 

14. pufina. 

15. which is reserved only for monks. 

Forum discussion threads

on reddit r/Buddhism:


Dhammawheel forum:

116 yr old nun survives covid 19. One of the benefits of brahmacariya is a strong immune system.


One of the benefits of brahmacariya is a strong immune system.

This 116-year-old French nun, has survived two world wars, spanish flu pandemic, and covid 19. She was symptomless on covid 19, didn't even know she had it, sign of a strong immune system.

On the other end of the spectrum, many young people in their twenties have died of covid 19.

She ordained around age 40 after world war 2. Living the holy life for almost 80 years.

This reminds me of the bakkula sutta:

MN 124 - 🔗🔊 6m, Bakkula [Bākula]: name of monk:
ordained for 80 years, never once had a perception of lust or ill will.  

What Bakkula did in the sutta, sounds pretty far fetched, ordaining at age 80, and then living another 80 years.

But as the nun shows, ordaining at age 40 and living another 80 years in good health is pretty feasible, especially considering Bakkula was a doctor and health conscious. 

I suspect Bakkula was probably something like 60 yrs old, and ordained for 60 years, or something where it tops out around 120yr old lifespan. And then the Buddhist myth makers decided to embellish the story to make it more inspirational, but instead just ends up doing the opposite and making us doubt the whole story. Always best to tell the truth.


story from cnn news:

Europe's oldest person, a 116-year-old French nun, survives Covid-19

By Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 9:25 AM ET, Wed February 10, 2021

116-year-old nun, Europe's oldest person, survives Covid-19

116-year-old nun, Europe's oldest person, survives Covid-19 00:38

(CNN)Europe's oldest person has survived Covid-19 after testing positive just a few weeks before her 117th birthday.

Sister André, a nun who was born in 1904, tested positive for the virus on January 16, according to David Tavella, communications director at the Sainte Catherine Labouré nursing home in Toulon, southern France, where she lives.

André, who was born Lucille Randon, showed no symptoms, Tavella told CNN Wednesday.

Sister André, pictured in February 2020.

Sister André, pictured in February 2020.

"I didn't know I had it," André said in an interview with CNN affiliate BFMTV. "No, I wasn't scared because I wasn't scared of dying."

André is preparing to celebrate her 117th birthday on Thursday. Although visitors aren't allowed at the home, she will receive video messages from her family and the local mayor, as well as taking part in a video Mass, Tavella said.

"We're doing all we can to make her happy," he said.

A record one person in every 1,500 in Japan is aged at least 100 -- and they're probably a woman

A record one person in every 1,500 in Japan is aged at least 100 -- and they're probably a woman

André's birthday meal will feature her favorites: foie gras, baked Alaska and a glass of red wine, Tavella added.

"She drinks a glass of wine every lunchtime," he said.

"Sister André's birthday is taking place at a good time -- it couldn't be a better time, because it will mark the beginning of big festivities that will be organized around this relaxing of our restrictions," Tavella told BFMTV. "Our residents will be able to get out of their rooms, eat together, participate in activities."

André worked as a governess and a teacher, teaching the children to be "very polite," she told French TV station CNEWS. She became a nun in 1944 and moved to the nursing home in Toulon in 2009, Tavella told CNN.

Living to 125 and beyond: Scientists dispute there's a limit to our lifespans

Living to 125 and beyond: Scientists dispute there's a limit to our lifespans

She has lived through two world wars as well as the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic -- she told CNEWS she didn't catch the deadly virus -- and remains philosophical about the coronavirus.

"It will come and go," she told BFMTV. "I don't know."

André is the second-oldest person alive today, after Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was born on January 2, 1903, according to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).

André became the oldest living person in France in October 2017 following the death of Honorine Rondello, and is the second-oldest French person ever, following Jeanne Calment, who lived to 122.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

FAQ: in 4sp#3: citta-anupassana of satipatthana, what does maha-g-gata citta and anuttara-citta mean?


Re: What does this terms form satipatthana means?

Post by frank k » 

David ceballos wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:38 amI’ve been reading the satipatthana sutta and I can’t understand this terms from cittānupassana part:

A) expansive mind
B)unexpansive mind
MN 127 (search for "mahagg")
explains that it's gradually expanding the area of your awareness from a small spatial area within your internal body, and gradually increasing the radius to the size of a tree, town, country, universe, etc.

Other suttas in the MN 120's also explain it that way, I think in sunnata sutta.

As for an-uttara (unexcelled), that's referring to an arahant mind, uttara (excelled) refers to a mind that is excellent but still has more excellence to accomplish before it's reach the perfection of anu-uttara.
Can't think of a sutta reference offhand. Anyone?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Where are the Buddha images and statues where he looks human and follows his own vinaya rules?

If you search around for images of the Buddha, you find things like this:

Super big ears, long luxurious hair with a brahmin top knot far beyond his own vinaya rules which limit hair length to about one inch in length.

Even when he's practicing the austerity of starving himself to death, he makes sure to keep his long luxurious hair for what reason? Who knows? He can abandon and  risk  body and life in search of enlightenment, but can't seem to relinquish his long hair.  


or you have images like this, where he has pine cone tumor shooting out of the top of his head.

According to Vism. followers, who believe Jataka tales are literally true:

(They believe the Buddha never has to cut his hair. It's two inches long, curly, and stays permanently at that length)


In contrast, the correct Buddha images should have the following qualities:

The hair will look like small snail-like curls

There will be a literal bump (Ushnisha) at the crown of the head to represent his wisdom.

The legs and feet will be perfectly aligned. 

The Ushnisha is the thirty-second of the 32 major marks of the Buddha. The thirty-second of these is that the Buddha has a fleshy or cranial protuberance at the top of his head. Later sets elaborate that this is covered with hairs that curl in the direction of the sun.

Ushnisha. The cranial bump (ushnisha) symbolizes the “expanded wisdom” the Buddha attained at the time of his enlightenment.

Hair. The Buddha’s hair is usually depicted in the form of “snail-shell” curls. Monks have shaven heads, but according to legend, when the Buddha cut his hair, the uncut portions snapped into these curls and he never had to cut his hair again.


Then he thought, “These locks of mine are not suited for a mendicant. Now it is not right for any one else to cut the hair of a future Buddha, so I will cut them off myself with my sword.” Then, taking his sword in his right hand, and holding the plaited tresses, together with the diadem on them, with his left, he cut them off. So his hair was thus reduced to two inches in length, and curling from the right, it lay close to his head. It remained that length as long as he lived, and the beard the same. There was no need at all to shave either hair or beard any more.

 The most ludicrous thing I ever saw in my life

 The most ludicrous thing I ever saw in my life, I don't remember the name of the book, but it's a color illustrated story of the Buddha's life. Probably a children's book, and the part where he decides to renounce his princely life, cut off his hair, there's a a color illustration where he cuts off  all of his hair. And the very next page, the very next image, he's already got a full head of long hair again that seems to be the unwritten rule required for Buddha imagery. (can someone who has that book take a photo of those two pages and upload it?)

Here's a radical idea

The Buddha was human. He had back aches, he had a broken down body when he got older, he could get food poisoning, he had to eat, excrete, and fart like everyone else, and no, his feces did not smell like perfume and offer ambrosial flavors and magical nutritional benefits to anyone who tried to pick up his droppings and eat them. He had to cut his finger nails and hair like everyone else.

According to suttas, like in MN 128, when ordinary people saw him (who didn't know him previously), they mistook him to be just one of the ordinary monks with shaved heads. Here, the park keeper tries to keep the Buddha out.

Tena kho pana samayena āyasmā ca anuruddho āyasmā ca nandiyo āyasmā ca kimilo pācīnavaṃsadāye viharanti. Addasā kho dāyapālo bhagavantaṃ dūratova āgacchantaṃ. Disvāna bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: “mā, mahāsamaṇa, etaṃ dāyaṃ pāvisi. Santettha tayo kulaputtā attakāmarūpā viharanti. Mā tesaṃ aphāsumakāsī”ti.
Now at that time the venerables Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila were staying in the Eastern Bamboo Park. The park keeper saw the Buddha coming off in the distance and said to the Buddha, “Don’t come into this park, ascetic. There are three gentlemen who love themselves staying here. Don’t disturb them.”
Assosi kho āyasmā anuruddho dāyapālassa bhagavatā saddhiṃ mantayamānassa. Sutvāna dāyapālaṃ etadavoca: “mā, āvuso dāyapāla, bhagavantaṃ vāresi. Satthā no bhagavā anuppatto”ti.
Anuruddha heard the park keeper conversing with the Buddha, and said to him, “Don’t keep the Buddha out, good park keeper! Our Teacher, the Blessed One, has arrived.”

If the Buddha had looked like any of the pictures above, not following his own vinaya rules of short shaved head, having a pine cone tumor shooting off his head, having gigantic ears and golden color skin when everyone else just had a normal Indian person's sun tan,  surely the park keeper would not react like he did, he would have thought, "wow, this must be the Buddha people talk about. He looks different."

Let's start a new collection of Buddha images where he follows his own rules and looks human

Here's my contribution. 
1. A scene from Anatta Lakkhana sutta:

2. Polishing the statue at the monastery and bringing it to spec. (I removed the pine cone tumor and shortened the ears)

Contributions from forum discussions,_Buddha_is_letting_the_world_witness_his_enlightenment.jpg

post replyWhere are the Buddha images and statues where he looks human and follows his own vinaya rules?

from DiamondNgXZ via /r/Buddhism sent

Tzu chi made buddha bald, and also look like the founder of tzu chi.

Re: Where are the Buddha images and statues where he looks human and follows his own vinaya rules?

Post by frank k » 

JamesTheGiant wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:54 pmGood blog post Frank. People be crazy when it comes to that eh.
It's worth noting that the pointy head is a symbol of full enlightenment, and it's supposed to be part of their skull!
MUTANT! :jumping:
Some of the 32 marks of the great man are probably based on reality, there really are chakras, third eye, pineal gland, and the aperture at the crown of the head, the brahma aperture, probably does physically become altered when advanced meditators fourth jhana and beyond can connect and sense the energy in the universe beyond their internal body. But a slight bump at the crown is not going to look like a giant pinecone tumor. You could say maybe it's just Buddhist art, and for iconographic reasons, they exaggerate some features.

But why does everyone seem to prefer exaggerated caricatured images of the sacred religious founder? Surely some culture, some group of people want to see sculptures and images of the Buddha that look human, and the 32 marks of the great man are subtle, you have to get up and look closely to see.

Re: Where are the Buddha images and statues where he looks human and follows his own vinaya rules?

Unread post by waryoffolly » 

Borneo hunters shop on etsy occasionally has bald buddha statues.

Re: Where are the Buddha images and statues where he looks human and follows his own vinaya rules?

Unread post by Dhammanando » 

frank k wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:43 amBut a slight bump at the crown is not going to look like a giant pinecone tumor. You could say maybe it's just Buddhist art, and for iconographic reasons, they exaggerate some features.
In borān kammatthān the Dīgha Nikāya's "mythical" suttas are treated as meditation texts. In the case of the Lakkhanasutta the thirty-two marks are used as a visually elaborate way of practising buddhānussati, cāgānussati and sīlānussati.

When developing buddhānussati this way, the Buddha's ushnisha serves as a reminder of his past life piety and the present-life fruits of that:
Whereas, in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, became leader among men in goodness, foremost in virtuous deed and word and thought, in dispensing gifts, in conformity to morals, in attending religious festivals, in filial duties, in honouring recluses and brahmins, in deferring to the head of the family, and in other and sundry righteous observances, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, a head like a turban.

Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? The loyalty of the multitude, of brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get? The loyalty of the multitude, of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, of lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.
(DN 26)
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)

2021 dec. from

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