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Thomas asks…

What should I do about this?

I’ve been studying Buddhism for almost 8 months and am interested in attending a meditation class at a local temple. The only problem is, is that the only places nearby that offer classes in North Texas are an SGI and New Kadampa Center. I’ve been warned that these are cults and best avoided. There are two other temples but I believe that they are only taught in Vietnamese. How can I continue learning when all the places around me either don’t teach in English, or are cults?! Help meh Buddhists, help meh!

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

SGI is not a cult, Look at our web site and make up your own mind. Don’t be decieved.We are about 12 million members world wide who believe in world peace. Judge for your self. Look at our organization Charter and see if there is anything that you disagree with.

Charter of the Soka Gakkai International
Purposes and Principles
1. SGI shall contribute to peace, culture and education for the happiness and welfare of all humanity based on the Buddhist respect for the sanctity of life.

2. SGI, based on the ideal of world citizenship, shall safeguard fundamental human rights and not discriminate against any individual on any grounds.

3. SGI shall respect and protect the freedom of religion and religious expression.

4. SGI shall promote an understanding of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism through grass-roots exchange, thereby contributing to individual happiness.

5. SGI shall, through its constituent organizations, encourage its members to contribute toward the prosperity of their respective societies as good citizens.

6. SGI shall respect the independence and autonomy of its constituent organizations in accordance with the conditions prevailing in each country.

7. SGI shall, based on the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, respect other religions, engage in dialogue and work together with them toward the resolution of fundamental issues concerning humanity.

8. SGI shall respect cultural diversity and promote cultural exchange, thereby creating an international society of mutual understanding and harmony.

9. SGI shall promote, based on the Buddhist ideal of symbiosis, the protection of nature and environment.

10. SGI shall contribute to the promotion of education, in pursuit of truth as well as the development of scholarship, to enable all people to cultivate their individual character and enjoy fulfilling and happy lives.

Austin Activity Center (details)
5555 N. Lamar Blvd.
Suite L-123
Austin, TX. 78751 US

Telephone: 512.323.9191
Fax: 512.323.9198
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2 Dallas Community Center (details)
2600 N. Stemmons Fwy.
Suite 190
Dallas, TX. 75207 US

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3 Dallas North Activity Center (details)
4821-A Keller Springs Road
Addision, TX. 75001 US

Telephone: 972.250.4445
Fax: 972.250.4446
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4 El Paso Community Center (details)
2901 North Campbell Street
El Paso, TX. 79902 US

Telephone: 915.534.7022
Fax: 915.534.7146
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5 Fort Worth Activity Center (details)
2709 W. Berry Street
Fort Worth, TX. 76109 US

Telephone: 817.923.4545
Fax: 817.923.4546
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6 Houston Community Center (details)
3465 West Alabama Avenue Suite B
Houston, TX. 77027 US

Telephone: 713.622.6181
Fax: 713.622.6184
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7 Killeen Activity Center (details)
116 East Avenue D Street
Killeen, TX. 76541 US

Telephone: 254.554.6960
Fax: 254.675.1106
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8 San Antonio Community Center (details)
7142 San Pedro Avenue
Suite 116
San Antonio, TX. 78216 US

Telephone: 210.653.7755
Fax: 210.653.0625
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Charles asks…

what is a chmod? in english please. i dont know what a “unix” is?

I’ve been trying to install an application called MooCow Music Drummer on my iPod Touch, but it says in the manual installation i need to “chmod”. What is that and how do you do it?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

The chmod command (abbreviated from change mode) is a shell command in Unix and Unix-like environments. When executed, the command can change file system modes of files and directories. The modes include permissions and special modes.

Chmod changes the permissions of each given file according to MODE, which can be either an octal number representing the bit pattern for the new permissions or a symbolic representation of changes to make, (+-= rwxXstugoa)

The first digit = selects attributes for the set user ID (4) and set group ID (2) and save text image (1)S
The second digit = permissions for the user who owns the file: read (4), write (2), and execute (1)
The third digit = permissions for other users in the file’s group: read (4), write (2), and execute (1)
The fourth digit = permissions for other users NOT in the file’s group: read (4), write (2), and execute (1)

The octal (0-7) value is calculated by adding up the values for each digit
User (rwx) = 4+2+1 = 7
Group(rx) = 4+1 = 5
World (rx) = 4+1 = 5
chmode mode = 0755

chmod 444 file – Allow read permission to owner and group and world
chmod 777 file – Allow everyone to read, write, and execute file


The Open Group holds the definition of what a UNIX system is and its associated trademark in trust for the industry.

In 1994 Novell (who had acquired the UNIX systems business of AT&T/USL) decided to get out of that business. Rather than sell the business as a single entity, Novell transferred the rights to the UNIX trademark and the specification (that subsequently became the Single UNIX Specification) to The Open Group (at the time X/Open Company). Subsequently, it sold the source code and the product implementation (UNIXWARE) to SCO. The Open Group also owns the trademark UNIXWARE, transferred to them from SCO more recently.

Today, the definition of UNIX ® takes the form of the worldwide Single UNIX Specification integrating X/Open Company’s XPG4, IEEE’s POSIX Standards and ISO C. Through continual evolution, the Single UNIX Specification is the defacto and dejure standard definition for the UNIX system application programming interfaces. As the owner of the UNIX trademark, The Open Group has separated the UNIX trademark from any actual code stream itself, thus allowing multiple implementations. Since the introduction of the Single UNIX Specification, there has been a single, open, consensus specification that defines the requirements for a conformant UNIX system.

There is also a mark, or brand, that is used to identify those products that have been certified as conforming to the Single UNIX Specification, initially UNIX 93, followed subsequently by UNIX 95, UNIX 98 and now UNIX 03.

The Open Group is committed to working with the community to further the development of standards conformant systems by evolving and maintaining the Single UNIX Specification and participation in other related standards efforts. Recent examples of this are making the standard freely available on the web, permitting reuse of the standard in open source documentation projects , providing test tools ,developing the POSIX and LSB certification programs.

From this page you can read about the history of the UNIX system over the past 30 years or more. You can learn about the Single UNIX Specification, and read or download online versions of the specification. You can also get involved in the ongoing development and maintenance of the Single UNIX Specification, by joining the Austin Group whose approach to specification development is “write once, adopt everywhere”, The Open Group’s Base Working Group or get involved in the UNIX Certification program.

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