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Just Have a Go.

Our bikes stand by while engines are refuelling.

Our bikes stand by while engines are refuelling.

 Just Have a Go.

Zeebra will agree with this in her “time out for art”

First Wwoofing place, frame from po. shop.

First Wwoofing place, frame from op. shop.

  “You are not going to post that rubbish?” My ego enquired,

“Why not?”

“Your grandkids can do better drawings and the photos are just snap shots.”

“Because I am not a genius you would have me doing nothing but sit around watching TV. I am not hurting anyone enjoying a pastime, people with no mobile phone to play with would be left twiddling their thumbs and getting up tight and impatient. “

Keeping up with the news.

Keeping up with the news.

So why not show other people that they do not need an expensive toy or talent to look at the wonderful world around them. Matt Groening did not let it stop him while he was waiting, he drew Bart Simpson. I enjoy the lulls in life, instead of getting impatient, I draw and it is relaxing and takes my mind off myself. Even when you have some discomfort the diversion will take your mind off what is ailing you.

I am on the bus, what are you doing.

I am on the bus, what are you doing.

My sketching is not for other people, it is for my enjoyment. Critics can knock it, that is no problem, as long as the comments are constructive, I can learn from criticism and if it is intended to upset me I can laugh at it. Then like a gift that is not accepted, it will remain with the giver. Dale Carnegie said “When someone hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” Your friends will not knock your efforts, at the worst they may have a laugh and laughter is good. When the first baby laughed, that was the beginning of fairies, according Peter Pan.

I am on the bus too, I didn't see you get on.

I am on the bus too, I didn’t see you get on.

My sketching helps my memory; I can recall details of places and things after sketching them. Like photos they are good to look back on, but you can add a bit of yourself in a drawing, a camera just shows the facts; the artist is at liberty to alter the composition, leave things out or add in. When I say artist I am including myself, because if I don’t, no one else will. Yes an artist can distort, or get really abstract.

An old wooden recycled frame, not plastic.

An old wooden recycled frame, not plastic.

Drawing is like playing the ukulele, the more you practice the better you get. It is that way with most things. I say most things but I can’t think of anything that doesn’t improve with practice. It may take a lot of time and practice so the sooner you start the better. That is my biggest fault I started too late. I let my ego get in the way of a lot of things when I was young. Thinking I might look silly or it was not masculine. Groucho Marks did not worry about being silly and John Wayne is dead, so don’t be shy, have a go.

She went two stops, but it was too far to walk.

She went only two stops, but it was too far for her to walk.

My Answer.

Quiet time.

Quiet time in our garden.

My Way of Coping.

Quiet time in garden above a busy city.

Quiet time in a garden above a busy city.

We would like a peaceful world no agitation no hatred. I found it was useless grumbling and complaining. I wrote letters to politicians and received printed sheets back with their party’s answers. The only hand written part was the signature. No more acknowledgement than a two-fingered salute. Complaining is useless even to those with some power to change things. Expecting others to fix things by stirring and organising people to protest only adds to the problem and makes you unhappy. Mass protests only aggravate the problem and it becomes a highly explosive situation.

a smile from my grandson Geoff.

a smile from my grandson Geoff.

I have come to the conclusion, mindfulness of others feelings, showing friendliness, being kind caring and sharing is the only way to reverse the downward spiral taking us into the wasteland, created by our greedy throwaway society.

A smile from Jade.

A smile from Jade.

My challenge is in the now, mindful of my thoughts, emotions and action. That is the first step mindful of my thoughts and emotions and understanding grasping and clinging is not the answer, caring and sharing is the only way to alleviate the problem. We must be aware all things are passing and subject to change and everything is interconnected; therefore I must change myself to become a better person. Changing my faults has an effect on all my surroundings. A good attitude and wholesome thoughts brings about a positive change in my immediate world. A smile is infectious and a person’s attitude is passed on.

Jasmine shows a sweet smile.

Jasmine shows a sweet smile.

Practice starts at home with you and I, then will expand to the rest of the world. This is a slow process and we are living in a fast paced age.

Michael is bursting with smiles.

Michael is bursting with smiles.

If we plant and cultivate nourishing seeds of kindness and compassion we will harvest a storehouse of happiness. I am not religious but I am guided by the Buddhist Eightfold Path and helpful wisdom from all beliefs. We need an ethical set of precepts to follow. We do not need a bigoted hierarchy type religion. We need to think for our self and in our heart we know what kindness is. We only have to imagine how we would feel in another sentient beings circumstance.

Amie the newest member of a smiling family.

Amie the newest member of a smiling family.

A smile is a good start to promote friendship; a smile is the seed that love grows from. Be aware of your emotional state, it is difficult to smile if your attitude is negative. A gloomy or tense face can be mistaken for an unfriendly face. Start with a smile then a kind word or deed. Then the true practice starts where effort to be a better person is needed. To be trusted you must be honest and trustworthy.

My grand children follow Jesus I learn from all.

My grand children follow Jesus I learn from all.

So smile be happy stop grumbling, complaining and getting upset. All the worry only upsets you and disturbs your mind and the downward spiral starts. It is this disease that leads to anger, hate and bad actions.

Look above the muddy water to see beauty.

Look above the muddy water to see the beauty.

Change and love life do not destroy it. Meditate on peace, dispelling anger promoting all the virtues, to a point where you glimpse Nirvana. At times I feel everyone is my friend and I am in tune with all that surrounds me. I have reached a point of tranquillity where the outside hustle and bustle has little effect on my inside tranquillity.

Unaffected by the mud the lotus blooms.

Unaffected by the mud the lotus blooms.

 The TV stirs the mud by bringing the problems of the world and tempting advertising into our homes. Inflaming desire and greedy wanting for unnecessary luxuries. When you feel the pressure of commerce and the worries of the world getting to you take a deep breath and if necessary keep quietly concentrating on your breath till you find your mind clear and settle. With regular meditation the turbulent muddy water settles and clear crystal understanding emerges.

Find peace beyond the city.

Find peace beyond the city.

You need to take a rest from the rat race at every opportunity, in nature’s garden. Cultivating and caring, appreciating the wondrous things created for all to enjoy. Be patient, it will take time, but will never happen till you take that first step on the path to paradise. It is a slow process reaching the stage where your part of the world is at peace. It will take much longer for your achievement to inspire others. At least you will have the joy surrounding you. It is up to you the ball is in your court as they  say.

A quiet place is never far away.

A quiet place is never far away.

 

 

 

 

Dream Time.

Young men looking after the environment in Arnham Land.

Young men looking after the environment in Arnhem Land.

More Dreams.

Fair dinkum Aussies we met in Katherine N.T.

Fair dinkum Aussies we met in Katherine N.T.

The Australian Aborigines speak of their ‘Dream Time’ of the serpent and creation. In the light of day their dreams were shattered, they were forced to step from hunter gathers into a modern age. In a few generations technology has advanced rapidly and everyone is finding it hard to manage the transition. Few have any understanding of how the indigenous people are struggling to cope with their crushed dreams.

The Buddha’s aim was to relieve suffering in the world. He explained the universal truth that all things are passing and subject to change.  This is the cause of dukkah, a Pali word that has no precise synonym, in English we loosely translate it as pain and suffering. The Buddha prescribed a cure for suffering by following  eight steps.

Pauline reads a sad reminder of History.

Pauline reads a sad reminder of History.

The Eightfold Path or The Middle Way is a way of moderation, a philosophy that can be practiced in conjunction with other religions.  Because of it being compatible with other beliefs the Buddha’s teachings are now associated with religions and local myths from other countries. There are many schools of Buddhism just as there are many branches and denominations of other religions. The below teaching I have outlined is fundamental to all schools of Buddhism. If you incorporate these steps with your beliefs your life will improve.

A Chinese representation of The Buddha.

A Chinese representation of The Buddha.

This is a self-disciplined guide, to become a better person.

Right understanding, Is understanding the true nature of life, realising all things change and cannot be clung to, is the beginning of right understanding.

Right thoughts, are kind, caring and compassionate thoughts.

Right speech, is honest, considerate and not harsh.

Right actions, are a benefit to all sentient beings.

Right livelihood, is to earn our livelihood in a decent, helpful way not a destructive way.

Right effort, is a matter of doing your best.

Right concentration, meditation is training in concentration and mind control.

Right mindfulness is to be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

A very impressive representation of The Buddha.

A very impressive representation of The Buddha.

These are not commandments they are a guide to self-disciplines, the goal to self-betterment, a path to peace and contentment in a troubled world. The Buddha’s philosophy became a religion after his death, as it spread to other countries their folk laws and myths were added.  Many different branches of Buddhism developed, a hierarchy debating over their differences. With all the complex religious ritual and added myths the basic path has been obscured.  The result is the basic philosophy Buddha taught, The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path, is often neglected. Buddhists need to wake up.

Once a belief becomes an organised religion it is lost in a power struggle for converts.

Peaceful image representing The Buddha.

Peaceful image representing The Buddha.

Image result for tell him he's dreaming the castle

“Tell Him He’s Dreaming.”

Image result for tell him he's dreaming the castle

When someone makes an outrageous claim we say ‘tell him he’s dreaming.’   In an Australian movie called “The Castle.” A habit of one of the son’s was searching the sales in the local Trade and Exchange paper. When he found a bargain he would ask for his father’s advice. His father would enquire how much and then say,” Tell him he’s dreaming.” The movie got a cult following, it was so typically Aussie humour. If you have the time and enjoy the kind of humour inherent of English comedy see “The Castle”. When the father was given a gift he always said, “This is going straight to the pool-room,” Where he kept all his prize possessions.  If you give an Aussie a gift and he says, “This is going straight to the pool-room. “, you will know he is grateful. But tell him he is dreaming and you are saying he is unrealistic.

A good place to rest.

A good place to rest.

Yet many still believe in dreams, why do some still cling to the impossible? We desire a favourable outcome that is why we have faith in dreams. Facing up to the hard reality that all things are impermanent is too devastating. We would rather live with a dream than face the reality of impermanence.  If believing in a book of dreams helps you that is good. As long as you do not despise those who have a different book of dreams.

‘The Da Vinci Code’, a book by Dan Brown, was made into a movie. Let us suppose this book came to him in a dream. Would we then assume it was the word of god and Dan Brown was a prophet?  Would it be listed under religion in a category of its own or under non-fiction?

A beautiful inspiration.

A beautiful inspiration.

How can we be sure of what happened around two thousand years BC, around the time of Abraham? From what I have read, and the many movies made by Cecil. B. De Mille, Abraham wanted his people to give up their belief in an array of gods and accepting his monolithic god with the purpose of uniting them as a people. That formed the basis of the Abrahamic religion’s of today. Abraham made his god ‘The Almighty God’ the god that stated, in his second commandment, that he was a jealous god to be feared.

It is all good with the right attitude.

It is all good with the right attitude.

This post is going to be like sailing a small boat into stormy waters. Some sailing with me may decide not to take the voyage. Others, with courage, open minds and curiosity, will stay with me. I do not want to hurt you, or lead you astray. I only want to open your eyes to other possibilities and to realise in time all things change, and have changed beyond belief since ancient time. Some things may still be good practices, others are useless hindrances that give us nothing and are a burden, like unessential junk when traveling.

You don't need a lot to be happy.

You don’t need a lot to be happy.

Things did not go as Abraham had planned, but this was good material for films. Cecil. B. De Mille was quoted as saying. “Give me two pages of the bible and I will give you a motion picture.” C.B. De Mille made some colossal movies using Bible stories. ‘The Sign of the Cross’ 1932, “Cleopatra”, Claudette Colbert made a splash in the film when she bathed in ass’s milk. There has been more recent movie actress’s to play the part of Cleopatra, Elisabeth Taylor was great and in Technicolor. I was an impressionable boy when I saw the rerun of Claudette Colbert in the old version, she haunted my youthful dreams. “The Crusades”, David and Goliath”, “The Passion of Christ “made De Mille a lot of money but I think he lost on “Sodom and Gomorra”. “The Ten Commandments” was a winner.

Charlton Heston played Moses in Cecil B DeMille's 1956 version of 'The Ten Commandments'

God should have given Abraham the Ten Commandments, in my opinion, but it is calculated about five hundred years passed before the Ten Commandments were given to Moses, amid a display of pyrotechnics put on by Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments were supposed to make man law-abiding. Our judicial laws today are based on them. Somehow this has not worked; perhaps it conflicted with empowering man with freewill. If everyone could agree on one dream there would be no problems. But people of different cultures have different dreams, and debate on whose dream is the best. They argue over technicalities, they fight over whose dream to follow, so the outcome of religious dreams can lead to disaster. It can also be a great comfort.

Simply beautiful.

Simply beautiful.

Ataraxia.

Eyes for each other.

Eyes for each other.

Ataraxia.

The only care is a caring Dad.

The only care is a caring Dad.

Ataraxia is peace and freedom from fear and aponia means absence from pain.
The Greek philosopher Epicurus believed the goal in life was happiness and pleasure, he defined pleasure as the absence of pain.

A simple joy for Mum and her boy.

A simple joy for Mum and her boy.

Aponia is the pleasure one has when they are free from want or pain. He advocated a simple life, this is more like Minimalist, than Hedonism.

What a way to spend the day.

What a way to spend the day.

A couple of hundred years before Epicurus the Buddha found freedom from pain and suffering in a similar way.

Especially if you catch something.

Especially if you catch something.

Epicurus school of thinkers met in a garden and were the first to admit women into their school and he emphasised friendship as an important ingredient to happiness. Like The Buddha he said nothing should be believed till tested by practice and logical deduction.

I feel for the fish but he was trying to steal my bait.

I feel for the fish but he was trying to steal my bait.

The Buddha never entered into the God debate. Whereas to Epicurus fearing and worshiping gods did not fit in with ataraxy.

This is better than watching some one TV, have fun.

This is better than watching some one on TV, having fun.

To quote Epicurous, ‘It is preferable not to commit crimes, even secret ones, since there will always be anxiety over the possibility of detection, and this will disrupt the tranquility or ataraxy that is the chief basis of happiness in life.’ Gods were unnecessary in his opinion, gods were useful only as an example in life.

This is not John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

This is not John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

Like  Democritus he believed in the atomic theory. That matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms, from the Greek word indivisible.

 

My pommepal miles from home.

My pommepal miles from home.

Our understanding of atoms has come a long way since then. The cathode ray tube the basis of television, x-ray and nuclear fission.

Creating not spoiling.

Creating not spoiling.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945 is a long way from ataraxy.

Enjoying life with loved ones.

Enjoying life with loved ones.

Can we get back to Ataraxia, a state of freedom from anxiety and distress, to
tranquility and a peaceful state of mind?

This is how it is done.

This is how it is done.

It will take some education in understanding the true nature of things.
If we have not got the self-control to stay thinking and acting decently.
We need an ethical personal trainer in the gym of life,

Here is my personal trainer.

Here is my personal trainer.

May be this is where the God-fearing idea originated.

Together and looking with appreciation.

Together and looking with appreciation.

We should be able to live without fear, fear is a poison that kills loving kindness.
We are made up of atoms that will one day disperse and become part of the cosmic eternal oneness.

All together in the swim.

All together in the swim

As we all bleed the same colour we all decompose to feed the circle of everlasting life, There is no need to fear death while enjoying life and when dead sentient beings feel nothing. Dead men don’t cry.
Death is going home to where we came from before birth, at one connected with all.

Just take it easy.

Just take it easy.

Get with it! Live life with respect and appreciation, savour the taste of this passing experience. Delight in friendship, relish the nourishment that sustains you, love life and it will love you. I hope after this somewhat heavy meal you do not suffer indigestion.

Pushing up daisies..

Pushing up daisies..

Opportunity Knocks.

Denise Kirk's calling card.

Denise Kirk’s calling card.

PC Problems Bring Opportunities.

Stay calm, put the jug on for a cup of tea.

Stay calm, put the jug on for a cup of tea.

I am not Robinson Crusoe, you have all been marooned, cut off from the cyber space world  by a computer glitche.
This creates no real problem, unless you are not relying on your PC for your living.

Waiting for the bus.

Waiting for the bus.

As a mater of fact it did me a favour.
I got back into enjoying some basic activities.
One was my art, I will never be a Leonardo but that does not matter. What matters is it is a relaxing pass time that opens ones eyes to the natural wonders surrounding us.

A reminder not to have too many cakes with your cup of tea.

A reminder not to have too many cakes with your cup of tea.

Pauline was inspired to try her hand at drawing, when she saw, how a small pad and box of pencils could keep me amused while waiting on delayed transport and like situations.
With free time we joined an art group. The teacher Denise Kirk has for 35 years been teaching people how to really see the world around them.

154 pages of enjoyment.

154 pages of enjoyment.

An ex commercial artist who has written and illustrated a book, called Art Workshop. This book teaches one how to draw and paint. It is a well written book that contains wisdom quite beyond a mere art book.
It motivates ones to observe beauty in the every day common place things we have come to disregard.

See the improvement already.

See the improvement already.

In a light-hearted way we are taught to see again with the fresh eyes of a child.
Computers are wonderful but like all the fantastic inventions they have a tendency to take over our life. We no longer have time for the simple enjoyment of hands on activity.

This post is appropriate for Zeebra’s post Time Out For Art. Lisa is another inspirational artist.

You don't need glasses to see I am having fun.

You don’t need glasses to see I am having fun.

We Are One.

Weight for it or wait for it.

Weight for it or wait for it.

We Are One.

Is beauty only skin deep.

Is beauty only skin deep?

Taking the time to look after our own health and welfare rather than leaving it up to doctors and drug companies.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Our first concern should be for our own welfare.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

This is not a selfish attitude because a healthy person can help others instead of being a sickly burden on the community.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

It takes effort and willpower to maintain a healthy body and wholesome outlook. Restraint is needed on the amount of food and what we drink. Balancing, exercise activity against the intake of calories consumed. Learning what is beneficial for us and how to cope with the stress of modern life.

Or father Time.

Or father Time.

People respond positively to a smile. When we are in pain or suffering in any way it is not easy to smile and a stressed look is often interpreted as unfriendliness. So it is very important not to look dejected but smile and not complain. Do not burden other people with your problems.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

An unsmiling face is not always a sign that a person is unfriendly. People in unfamiliar surroundings, amongst strangers, can feel pressures the locals are unaware of. They need a friendly smile and a kind word of reassurance. Vary rarely will this bring a negative response.

Some think I am unbalanced.

Some think I am unbalanced.

To travel in foreign lands makes one realise simple things like shopping for groceries can be stressful. It is easy to get lost or commit a faux pas in a foreign land. So a traveller is cautious and can look unfriendly.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

A smile can transform an old wrinkly face into a charming beautiful one. A smile makes the whole interconnected world sparkle. We realise we are one in the cosmic creation and all the silly differences vanish.

Especially for old push bikies.

Especially for old push bikers.

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