T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
A personal blog with diverse topicality and multiple interests!

On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!

Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Je suis un francophile .... Bienvenue à tous!

* Your comments and evaluations are appreciated ! *

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"The Don't-Know Mind" [A clean slate] ~~ by Zen Master Seung Sahn Soen-sa

"The Don't-Know Mind" 
[A clean slate] 
 by Zen Master Seung Sahn Soen-sa

Throw away all opinions, all likes and dislikes, and only keep the mind that doesn’t know… Your before-thinking mind, my before-thinking mind, all people’s before-thinking minds are the same. This is your substance. Your substance, my substance, and the substance of the whole universe become one. So the tree, the mountain, the cloud, and you become one… The mind that becomes one with the universe is before thinking. Before thinking there are no words. “Same” and “different” are opposites words; they are from the mind that separates all things.

The Three Pillars of Zen's Don't-Know Mind :

Zen Practice … requires great faith, great courage, and great questioning.
What is great faith? Great faith means that at all times you keep the mind which decided to practice, no matter what. It is like a hen sitting on her eggs. She sits on them constantly, caring for them and giving them warmth, so that they will hatch. If she becomes careless or negligent, the eggs will not hatch and become chicks. So Zen mind means always and everywhere believing in myself….

Great Courage … means bringing all your energy to one point. It is like a cat hunting a mouse. The mouse has retreated into its hole, but the cat waits outside the hole for hours on end without the slightest movement. It is totally concentrated on the mouse-hole. This is Zen mind — cutting off all thinking and directing all your energy to one point.
Great Questioning … If you question with great sincerity, there will only be don’t-know mind.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Assessment and Prognostication - by Hénock Gugsa

Assessment and Prognostication 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~
A Seriously Damaged Party:

The Democratic Party has taken a severe blow in the gut.  
The anger and frustration (hopelessness, helplessness) of the "working class" was not sufficiently addressed.  Hillary was never really there, and Obama was misguided in his unnecessary and (I believe wrong) advocacy of TPP* ~~~ both Clinton and Obama, thereby damaging the Democrat brand.  Hillary never picked up Bernie's cry, instead she chose the bland and uninspiring route. Big miscalculation!

And as for Donald Trump ... he's just an opportunist and a wild card! He stole the fire that should have been in the Democratic Party's camp!

Beginning of the Future: 

If things don't go well for this new Republican administration, you can bet your bottom dollar that indiscriminate scapegoating will be the order of the day. What's more, since Mr. Trump's agenda is obscure and not even seriously thought-out, there is great potential for self-propagating failure. I do not see clear skies in the horizon. 

In the global sphere, I am envisioning the world as conceived by George Orwell in his book, "1984".

The setting of Orwell's book  is the futuristic, fictional country of Oceania .  When Orwell wrote the book in 1948, the future he envisioned was 1984 ... hence the title of the book.
Oceania is one of three world powers; the other two are Eurasia and Eastasia. War with one or the other world power is a constant reality. 
It is always an alignment of two powers against one.

I am now envisioning the Americas as Oceania ... Eurasia as being all of Europe including Russia ... and Eastasia as China, India, etc.

Currently, with the Putin and Trump friendship, can you see the beginning of an alignment between Oceania and Eurasia against the "current" threat, Eastasia?  

*  TPP = Trans Pacific Partnership (trade pact)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Still I Rise" - by Maya Angelou

 Still I Rise
Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Latest Statin Scare - by Hénock Gugsa

Click the image to tnlarge

Yet another prescription drug quagmire! 

"Statin Use Linked to Increased Parkinson's Risk"

- by Nancy A. Melville, Medscape Medical News, 10/26/2016 -
//// Contrary to previous research, a new study shows a higher, rather than lower, risk for Parkinson's disease associated with statins. ////

My take on the Latest Statin Scare
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

A few years ago, Lipitor was prescribed for me to curb my high cholesterol count. When I started having serious joint problems, I complained to my Doctor. He changed the prescription to Pravastatin, but I have been so traumatized by such types of "medicine" that I'm naturally gun-shy about taking it. I only take it for about three days before the next check-up so my lab-test results would show a passing grade or better.

Aside from the joy of being a rebel, I have over the years grown to seriously question the wisdom of those in the medical profession. So, in that vein, may I here offer a piece of Ethiopian wisdom: "Nobody knows about the self better than the self!" .... That should answer your puzzlement as to why, although these doctors keep asking you questions, their own answers (understandings) are in the end no better than guesses !!!

George C Scott