Showing posts from July, 2023

A Brief History of Coffee

  Topic: A Brief History of Coffee Today we are talking about one of the plants that is significant to the Path: Coffee. Both starter fluid and break fluid, depending on what time it is, coffee is enjoyed by seventy-four percent of Americans every single day. Coffee beans are not actually beans at all, but the seed of a berry that originally grew wild in Eastern Africa. According to an Ethiopian legend, coffee berries were originally discovered centuries ago by a goatherd named Kaldi. He observed that his goats became frisky and energetic and did not want to sleep after eating the berries from a certain shrub. (This, by the way, is why I think that The Dancing Goat would make an awesome name for a coffee shop.) Kaldi took the berries to the local monastery, where the monks roasted the seeds and brewed up the recipe for coffee that has remained unchanged to this day. Coffee has spread across the globe in the years since, and can be found in some form in nearly every country in the w

Recommended Reading: 1984

  Topic: Recommended Reading: 1984 Our topic today is the book 1984 by George Orwell, published 1949, and the theme of using war and other-ing to deliberately inflict suffering on the populace so they are easier to control. This book takes place in a dystopian future where a fascist government has taken total control of its citizens and keeps everyone in line partly by way of constant war and associated shortages. They also use the familiar tactic of “other-ing” to trigger tribalistic loyalty from the people, who have completely given up the idea of revolution and simply accept the government’s constant surveillance and control over their lives. They are only allowed the media that the government has approved for their consumption, which consists almost exclusively of propaganda. In Orwell’s world, there are three major powers that are constantly said to be at war with one another: Oceania (where the book takes place), Eurasia, and Eastasia. Eurasia and Eastasia are alternatively O

Self-Control: Everything Begins From Within

  Topic: Self-Control: Everything Begins From Within Today we are talking about this quote from Lau Tzu, a Chinese philosopher: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” This quote, which is also on the wall here in the Temple of the Path, really encompasses three Virtues: Self-Control, Effort, and Mindfulness. For now, we are focusing on the Virtue of Self-Control. Lau Tzu points out the natural progression of thought to word, to action and to habit, and then to character and destiny, and reminds us that all of these things are under our control. While luck may play a part in the shape of one’s life, character and Self-Control have a much greater influence.The Wheel of the Virtues always begins with Self-Control, because the practice of every other Virtue and every Core Tenet starts with controlling your

Self-Harm is Still a Kind of Harm

  Topic: Self-Harm is Still a Kind of Harm Today we will talk about the first Core Tenet of the Path and how it applies to harm done to the Self. While we do have bodily autonomy, it comes with a responsibility to take care of the body so the body can take care of the Self. Certain kinds of self-harm can also do harm to others, and we must be Mindful of the effect our choices have on those around us. The first Core Tenet of the Path instructs us to do no harm, except in self-defense. One thing we need to remember is that some kinds of self-harm still qualify as harm according to this Tenet. There are two things we must consider when an action may be harmful to the Self: Intent, and effect. As with witchcraft, sometimes it is what you intend that matters. If you are causing yourself temporary pain with the aim of alleviating future suffering, such as when we must subject ourselves to medical care, it is not a damaging kind of self-harm. But things like cutting yourself to get high o