Thursday, June 18, 2020

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Online Events for July 2020

 


Altar. SFTS Lodge.

NOTE: In response to the global pandemic. The suspension of our weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. To help flatten the curve. And to set a meaningful example. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge)

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for July 2020
 
On Sunday, 7/12/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Discerning Truth in Times of Uncertainty" with Ankke Orryn

On Sunday, 7/19/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Yoga Nidra" with John Paul (JPG Yoga)

To enjoy these two offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. It's all free and will be available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy

Saturday, June 6, 2020

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Online Events for June 2020

 
NOTE: In response to the global pandemic. The suspension of our weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. To help flatten the curve. And to set a meaningful example. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge).

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for June 2020
 
On Sunday, 6/14/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for Shamanic Reiki Meditation with Marjory Mejia

On Sunday, 6/21/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for Yoga Nidra with John Paul (JPG Yoga)

To enjoy these two offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. It's all free and will be available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy


Sunday, May 10, 2020

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message (April-May-June 2020): "This is the magic that each one of us has within us."

 

[Excerpted from Joe Miller in "Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller," Edited with An Introduction by Richard Power, Foreword by Coleman Barks, p. 79-80.]

Be Who You Are

I'm going to talk at random. I always do. Because it is the only way I seem to be able to talk. I sort of throw everything to the wind and try to take it from the intuition and pure love.
Pure love is the main thing. Love without the possessiveness. Can you feel that love? Can you touch that impersonal, yet highly personal love? You can't be impersonal unless you're personal! And when you're personal, you're impersonal Because when you're stingy, you're trying to keep it all for yourself. You don't have to do that. It's got to be universal love. Sooner or later, we'll all realize the whole world is one family, one beautiful family. That's the wonderful part of life.
If you don't shut off the thoughts that you have running wild in your mind, you can't meditate and you can't be at peace with yourself.
Now there are other times when you touch this MIND, suppose you go to the theater and you hear music that's so wonderful that it lifts you right out of yourself. You ain't even thinking of who you are, you've become drunk on the music and you are right into the music and it's beautiful. That's what we want, the BEAUTY, the HARMONY within.
Another time your lower mind will shut off is when someone WHACKS you unexpectedly. They utilize that a lot in Zen. Then, for a minute, the guy has clearness of MIND. "What did ya hit me for?" He's there, he don't know it but he has turned this thinking off. Then, if he wished, he could turn to the heart and the heart would tell him something.
Or, another example, let's say you go to a show and you really get tickled. You start laughing, then the jokes get better and you're going, "WOW! Hilarious." Well, when you're at the top of your laughter, arc you thinking about anything?
Can you just turn it off? Try it sometime. Turn “off your thinking. Usually, you can't turn it off. You say, "It just keeps on going." Well, it does keep on going, if you let it. But the programmer for your computer is in the heart, and you can turn off all that software anytime you want. You're the only one who can do it.
BE WHO YOU ARE. Be. Feel your at-oneness with that I AM within you.
It's not something that you can get if you go someplace where someone says, "Well, if you lay down fifteen dollars and you stay here for a couple of weeks, I’ll teach it to you." They can't. Nobody but you can bring you out of it. This is part of the New Age! You're not going out to temples of religions of the past, you're going into the temple of the Living GOD-yourself! We are all Gods in the making.
I say these things to people. Why? Not because you'll dig it now. The chances are ten to one that you'll say, "Oh, that crazy old coot with the fuzzy “muff don't mean anything." But sometime when you are in a bind, maybe five years from now, maybe ten years from now, you'll reach back inside and that'll pop out. I'm placing it in your computers for that purpose, to use when needed.
We've all met before or we wouldn't be here now. We wouldn't be here in this room together. There wouldn't be enough people to come up and fill this room and listen to me if there wasn't some connection. All I'm trying to do is give you the benefit of what I have dug in this life.
You've read this and you've read that and you've read the other, but you have to have an experience before it's real to you.
We're probably living in the most materialistic time the world has ever known-everything is only measured by the THINGS that are here. But we're not our bodies, our lower minds or our feelings, we're not that. We are sparks of Immortality, something that you can't describe. You can give an idea of what happens with it, but you can't show a picture of it. And you don't see it when you come to it. You just feel such a vast relief that, "Ah, this is what I have been looking for all my life," that peace that passeth all understanding.
I know I'm NOTHING, no-thing, no-thing, not me, not me. I'm just a wild-assed spark of the Infinite functioning in the Finite! I can turn it on or turn it off any damn time I want to. I could drag you through a pool of sad-sack stories and have you crying tears as big as horse-turds. This is the magic that each one of us has within us.
My viewpoint is that you surrender yourself to your deeper spiritual SELF. And BE that spiritual SELF. BE WHO YOU ARE. And that's who you are! You're all GOD. You're carrying around the GENERATOR of FORCE within you. Use it. That's what you got it for. You just needed some silly-billy like me to come along and mention it to you.
It doesn't matter if I ever see any of you people again, you won't forget that reality within you. Because you haven't heard this from a famous minister that's a member of the Hierarchy, I'm just a jerk ....

Friday, May 8, 2020

White Lotus Day, May 8, 2020




Annually, on May 8th, Theosophists world-wide celebrate White Lotus Day. To honor the passing of the great occultist H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

But in 2020, in the throes of pandemic, we are sheltered in place, to flatten the curve (and thereby demonstrate the power of the oneness of all life). So we will not be meeting in the physical space of the Lodge tonight.

Nevertheless, our etheric circle is strong. From this blessed, unbroken circle, love, courage, healing, sanity are radiating, inward, outward, and in all four directions. We will meet again. In the flesh.
Meanwhile, here are three powerful, personal reflections on the life and work of H.P. Blavatsky, from three other larger than life beings:

Annie Besant: And we, who lived around her, who in closest intimacy watched her day after day, we bear witness to the unselfish beauty of her life, the nobility of her character, and we lay at her feet our most reverent gratitude for knowledge gained, lives purified, strength developed.

Albert Einstein: Mme Blavatsky is a bit wild and somewhat irrational and speaks as if she were the Oracle of Delphi. But I will admit that I find some interesting observations in her book which was published as you know, back in 1888, at a time when physics and science were in their swaddling clothes... I'm astonished how much in keeping it is with modern Physics... There are many other significant statements of hers which I find interesting, but for which i have no time to discuss now.

Henry S. Olcott: She was a splendid pianist, playing with a touch and expression that were simply superb. Her hands were models—ideal and actual—for a sculptor and never seen to such advantage as when flying over the keyboard to find its magical melodies... There were times when she was occupied by one of the Mahâtmas, when her playing was indescribably grand. She would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside myself, and strike from the sweet-toned instrument improvisations that might well make one fancy he was listening to the Gandhâvas, or heavenly choristers. It was the harmony of heaven...

 References: 

Annie Besant, "An Autobiography," Chapter XIV

"I Visit Professor Einstein" by Jack Brown published in Ojai Valley News,(28 September 1983),

Henry Steel Olcott, Character Sketch of Madam Blavatsky, "Old Diary Leaves," Volume One, (1895)

 "Great Song" is available for Kindle via Amazon.com


Friday, March 13, 2020

SFTS Lodge Suspends Public Meetings Until Further Notice in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

SFTS Lodge Altar, March 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Both Govenor Gavin Newsome and Mayor London Breed have declared a state of emergency. 

The San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society will be suspending public meetings until further notice. During this period, we will continue working on a major archive project, and maintain our online presence, including occasional broadcasts via FB Live.

We are taking this action to contribute to what experts call "the flattening of the curve" in terms of the spread of COVID-19, and also to protect the life of the Lodge itself. 

We have been in existence since 1901, and we intend to continue far on into the future. Throughout the course of our long history we have endured world wars, natural catastrophes, economic collapses and other collective challenges. This is just latest. 

We're not going anywhere. We're here and we will be here. 

Stay tuned to this frequency for further updates in the nights and weeks ahead. 

"Only through the orchid door of the heart, and the violet flame therein, can you place your feet on the rainbow bridge that leads to the city of the Golden Gate, and the shrine of clear light therein!" 

-- Blessings, SFTS Lodge

 #noreligionhigherthantruth #nopowergreaterthanlove #notacaravanofdespair

Thursday, February 6, 2020

UPDATED: SFTS Lodge Calendar of Friday Evening Events for February-March 2020



[NOTE: Remember our new start times, the Lodge Library opens at 6 p.m. and the weekly Lodge meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.]

Friday, February 7th
 
Extended Library Hours 6-8 P.M. No Formal Meeting. Join Us. Browse the Collection. Sip Tea.
 
Friday, February 14th
 
NO MEETING. Lodge CLOSED. 
Joyous Valentine's Day, Happy President's Day!

Friday, February 21st

Lodge Video Night: Our Planet
(Episode 5: From Deserts to Grasslands)

Friday, February 28th 
Yoga Nidra
-- John Paul

 
Friday, March 6th
Conversations in Theosophy 

NOTE: March 13th, March 20th and March 27th programs will be rescheduled. We are suspending public meetings until June 5th in response to an ongoing public health emergency, i.e., the COVID-19.

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for January-February-March 2020: "Subhuti, You Should Know That ..."

Frontispiece, Diamond Sutra from Cave 17, Dunhuang, ink on paper.
A page from the Diamond Sutra, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of the Tang Dynasty, i.e. 868 CE.
According to the British Library, it is “the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book” (Wikipedia)

Excerpts from "The Diamond Sutra (The Jewel of Transcendent Wisdom)" Translated by A.F. Price


SECTION XII. VENERATION OF THE TRUE DOCTRINE

Furthermore, Subhuti, you should know that wheresoever this Discourse is proclaimed, by even so little as four lines, that place should be venerated by the whole realm of Gods, Men  and Titans, as though it were a Buddha Shrine. How much more is this so the case in the case of one who is able to receive and retain the whole and read and recite it thorough out!

Subhuti, you should know that such a one attains the highest and most wonderful truth. Wheresoever this sacred Discourse may be found, there you should comport yourself as though in the presence of Buddha and disciples worthy of honor.

SECTION XXXII. THE DELUSION OF APPEARANCES

Subhuti, someone might fill innumerable worlds with the seven treasures and give all away in gifts of alms, but if any good man or any good woman awakens the thought of Enlightenment and takes even only four lines from this Discourse, reciting, using, receiving, retaining and spreading them abroad and explaining them for the benefit of others, it will be far more meritorious.

Now in what manner may he explain them to others?
By detachment from appearances-abiding in Real Truth.

So I tell you -

Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world:  
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;  
A flash of lightening in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

When Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart they went their ways.