Friday, 29 July 2011

Inviting Fear | Tricycle

I am of the nature to age, I have not gone beyond aging;
I am of the nature to sicken, I have not gone beyond sickness;
I am of the nature to die, I have not gone beyond dying;
All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will become
otherwise, will become separated from me.

Inside the world's biggest cave - so large the end is yet to be found | Mail Online

Inside the world's biggest cave - so large the end is yet to be found | Mail Online

Intrepid journey: A caver stands in front of a huge rock formation as the light shines beneath a skylight in Hang Son Doong

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Toward Ultimate Things

Toward Ultimate Things
Andrew Schelling - 'Meeting the Buddha'
Edited by Molly Emma Aitken

Only the walker who sets out toward ultimate things is a pilgrim. In it lies the terrible difference between the tourist and pilgrim. The tourist travels just as far, sometimes with great zeal and courage, gathering up acquisitions (a string of adventures, a wondrous tale or two) and returns the same person as the one who departed. There is something inexpressibly sad in the clutter of belongings the tourist unpacks at home. The pilgrim is different. The pilgrim resolves that the one who returns home will not be the same person as the one who set out. Pilgrimage is a passage for the reckless and subtle. The pilgrim - and the metaphor comes to us from distant times - must be prepared to shed the husk of personality or even the body like a worn out coat. 
A Buddhist dictum has it that 'The Way exists but not the traveler on it.' For the pilgrim the road is home; reaching your destination seems nearly inconsequential.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Ram Dass interviews Thicht Nhat Hanh

I have just watched and listened to the simple words of my first teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh
I remember my pilgrimage to see 'Thay' when he was in Vietnam 5 years ago.
I have no idea why I was propelled to see him.
Was it 'my hurt little child'  that sought him out as my Zen Master suggested?

When I picked up that CD  in the city bookshop titled 'The Art of Mindful Living' by Thich, my life was changed. That is how I started on the Buddhist path.
How fortunate I was to happen upon the dhamma  that day.
Even though I have tried to stay within one form of Buddhist teaching I find myself moving in and out of groups. Tibetan, Zen, Engaged Buddhism, Theravada.

Dipa Ma would not approve. She says 'Stay with one meditation practice and stick with it.'
Yesterday I was able to easily incorporate Calm Abiding meditation into my usual practice.
So strange - When I picked the title for this blog I had no idea what 'calm abiding 'was.
The name just 'appeared 'to me. Now I find I am connected a form of meditation practice that  differs from my current Vipassana practice.

Calm Abiding Meditation Practice

"There are many stages in mental development, but as soon as we are able to maintain the mind in a calm state, at that very moment there is joy and peace. This is reflected in the body becoming relaxed, and then the mind becomes more relaxed. As the mind calms down, the hidden enlightened qualities emerge more and more."
—Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche

My heart is with all my teachers.
Each one has showed me an aspect of what I need to know.

You can find Thich Nhat Hanh  looking youthful in his 80's on his web page.
One day I could end up in Plum Village.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sogyal Rinpoche - Natural Great Peace

Here is the text which Sogyal Rinpoche is quoting.

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

As I say farewell to the day I allow these words to wash over me.
In the darkness -  the heaviness of mind is acknowledged as  I prepare for meditation.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Please call me by my true names by Thich Nhat Hanh

Please Call Me by My True Names
Thich Nhat Hanh, Thich Nhat Hanh poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry, Zen / Chan poetry, [TRADITION SUB2] poetry,  poetryby Thich Nhat Hanh
(1929 - ) Timeline

Original LanguageEnglish

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Poem: "Beannacht"


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(Echoes of Memory)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

You wouldn't look too good either - if you had just had 33 treeth pulled out.

Poor old Nessie!
One sick little doggie.
Thank goodness for a little shot of morphine.

Thirty -three teeth needed extracting today.
Only five left.
This picture looks as if it comes from an animal cruelty film.

The vet assures me she will be a new dog tomorrow.
'You won't know her' he said.

Discovered today that she has a severe heart mumur as well.

Needing lots of loving kindness our dear old Ness.

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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The lonely life of Natalie Jean Wood, the woman Sydney forgot |

The lonely life of Natalie Jean Wood, the woman Sydney forgot |

Natalie Jean Wood


My friend asked me if I understood what a  'chrysalis' was.
I remember watching caterpillars spinning themselves into a chrysalis and later, with wet fragile folded wings, emerging completely changed.
I don't really understand....but I felt the wonder of it all.
I wanted to imagine this friend weaving a protective shell around himself and later...not too long away...emerging free of the curse of alcoholism.
A small miracle.

Has it ever happened?
Can someone go to bed a hopeless drunk who is in an alcohol induced hell realm, and wake up clear and clean and never ever crave another drink [or drug] ?
I searched on the web - but couldn't find a single documented  miracle.

What right have I got to want someone to change to make life easier for me?
It certainly would be easier for them.
Suffering upon suffering.
So much suffering I want it to end.
How many lessons does a truthseeker need to know enough about suffering?
Enough I say.

I bring the compassion of Kuan Yin, the power of all the Bodhisattvas, to  lift the wise good heart of my friend from this word of suffering and to restore his good, wise calm mind.

Hold him gently in your arms great deity.
Cool his troubled brow and wipe away every trace of his affliction.
No one with such a good heart should suffer as he is suffering.
Let him emerge from his tight restricted place, free of all the hindrances.

Let him fly unfettered.
To the eternal peace he once came from.