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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Monkeys, Demons, and Ten Days on a Cushion

Occidental meditation

(An account of a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat in 2008)

“Just observe,” said the guru’s voice. “Whatever the sensation, just observe.”

I had been seated cross-legged, eyes closed, for what felt like hours and had probably been at least 15 minutes. The pain shooting through my back was excruciating.

“Limit your awareness to the triangular area below the nostrils and above the upper lip.” He had a perfect Indian guru accent and said the word ‘nostrils’ as if it were ‘nose-strils’. It made me smile. My ‘nose-streels.’ I desperately wanted to know if anyone else was smiling, and so for the first time in what had to have been at least 18 minutes now, I opened my eyes.

There we were, 200 or so of us, seated silently on the floor of a vast, wood-walled, slightly drafty hall that was vaulted like a church, but if there was a Jesus up there above the raised dais on which sat the solemn ‘assistant teachers,’ He had been carefully and discreetly covered by white cloth sheets.

Down here on the floor, we meditators were seated in precise rows, as if on a chessboard. I was in spot F-9. The guy on my right, F-8, was starting to slouch forward, forward, to stretch his back. The guy right in front of me, E-9, was unmoving, a solid rock of a meditator. I was surrounded by men. On the other side of the ‘A’ row was an aisle, and the women were seated on the other side of the aisle. Indeed, throughout the entire ten days, the men and women were strictly segregated and we never saw each other. I discreetly glanced around me; many men were silently shifting positions in discomfort.

There were no smiles. (more…)

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Posted in Inner Life
by Tony Brasunas at 11:16 am on February 16, 2017

Giveaway: Double Happiness Nearly Free New Year’s Week

A Journey across China and through the Soul of a Young American

Double Happiness: “A journey across China and through the soul of a young American”

This week, entering the new year, and through January 15, as a celebration of human potential and possibility, and as a gift to you or to a friend, the book is (nearly) free.

There is a nominal shipping cost for the paperback and a special $.99 price for the e-book.

(While supplies last).

How to Get Double Happiness

Simply click this link to get the book:

>> Get Double Happiness <<

(Formats available: e-book, audiobook, and paperback.)

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Posted in Double Happiness
by Tony Brasunas at 11:27 am on January 5, 2017

Are You Living in the Corporate Media News Matrix?

How do you know if you are accurately perceiving news about the world?

How do you know if you are accurately perceiving news about the world?

A quick test to understand your viewpoint in today’s bizarre political media landscape.

It was a political year in which up was often down, and right masqueraded frequently as left. The year 2016 then wrapped up with a steady stream of diametrically opposed media stories all clamoring for recognition as “the truth.”

The mainstream media featured incessant talk of “fake news,” and pundits propounded conspiracy theories about Russians hacking email servers. The independent media continued to analyze piles of evidence showing collusion on the part of the mainstream media and the two political parties who ran the worst presidential campaign in modern American politics.

With all this news and theory swirling around, some of which must be false, it has become difficult to know at any one time whether you’re reading the news correctly, whether you’re seeing the role of the media itself clearly, or whether there’s a Matrix-like veil obscuring your comprehension of national events.

Here’s a quick test to determine whether you’re “in the Matrix” right now with respect to world and national political news.

The Test

Pull out a piece of paper or your favorite electronic recording mechanism, and jot down your points as you go.

(more…)

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Posted in In the Media | Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 5:50 pm on January 4, 2017

Double Happiness Free on New Year’s Weekend

A journey across China and through the soul of a young American

Double Happiness: “A journey across China and through the soul of a young American”

Starting tonight, and all weekend, including Monday, on the anniversary of its publication, as a gift to all the great people I’ve met this year and as a celebration of human potential and possibility, the book will be free in all formats: e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

(While supplies last, and with a tiny shipping cost for the paperback and hardcover since those will be physically mailed to you).

How to Get Double Happiness

Simply click this link after midnight on December 30 to get the book:

>> Get Double Happiness <<
(All formats still available.)

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Posted in Double Happiness
by Tony Brasunas at 4:25 pm on December 30, 2016

Triple Happiness: Giving away Double Happiness in Gratitude

A Chinese bridge between worlds

Next week, as a celebration of the anniversary of its publication, and as a gift to all the great people I’ve met this year as part of the peaceful political revolution, Double Happiness will be free in all formats: e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

(While supplies last of course, and there will be a nominal shipping cost for the paperback and hardcover since those will be physically mailed to you).

Double Happiness is my life-changing story of teaching and traveling in China, of exploring a foreign world and discovering my own heart and mind. The messages are adventure, international understanding, and personal discovery. My hope is that this story and these message will be useful and welcome for you or those in your community as we move on from this troubling election season and into the work that we need to do to create a world of peace and prosperity for all.

Consider this a small token of my appreciation.

If you’re taking part in the Peaceful Revolution here in the United States and around the world, thank you for your beautiful work this year, for inspiring me to do more, and for the promise of what we can do together.

Logistics on getting the book will be straightforward, and I’ll post here next week, as well as on facebook and twitter. UPDATE: See below.


How to Get Double Happiness

To get the book, simply go to this page at Torchpost, after midnight on December 30, and all weekend:

Double Happiness 
(This page will have all formats.)

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Posted in Double Happiness | Peaceful Revolution
by Tony Brasunas at 1:18 pm on December 23, 2016

Standing Rock Reveals the True Colors of Both the Media and the Democratic Party

standing-rock

Peaceful Water Protectors have been met time and again by militarized police.

The historic gathering of over two hundred Native American tribes and thousands of their allies at Standing Rock in North Dakota has put on stark display the state of this country’s corporate media and its nominally left-leaning party.

This is a massive movement that brings together virtually all the biggest issues of our day — from environmental justice and racial justice to climate change and corporate control of natural resources. Its treatment by the media and by our political parties is as instructive as any recent political event.

To begin, the media coverage of Standing Rock provides a nearly perfect picture of the current state of today’s media world, which is comprised of the “corporate media” and the “independent media.” There are those who trust “corporate media” more, and there are those who trust “independent media” more, but the balance has steadily been shifting in favor of “independent media” over the last 20 years. The term “corporate media,” refers to the big media news channels and publications funded and run by large corporations. “Independent media” essentially refers to everyone else: smaller publications, bloggers, and independent social media journalists.

The New York Times is the nation’s largest daily newspaper, the “paper of record,” and it is the corporate media publication trusted by many. The Times doesn’t actually have a single reporter in Standing Rock.

When one young woman, Sophia Wilansky, had her arm blown off by a police grenade, all the independent media and all the eye witnesses there in North Dakota confirmed that this (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 3:54 pm on December 4, 2016