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Love Can Hurt.

Bondi Beach International Yoga Day.

Bondi Beach International Yoga Day.

Deep thought Meditation.

Of course Jack was there.

Of course Jack was there.

One  concentrates on a word or a phrase. Analysing it to find deeper understanding. I call this meditation deep thought meditation.

I missed out on the sunrise I went to see but got this surprise.

I missed out on the sunrise I went to see but got this surprise.

By the way I’m dictating this into my iPad and it doesn’t always understand exactly what I’m saying when I said “I called this meditation deep thought meditation” it wrote ‘I call this meditation stupid thoughts medication’. Proof reading is a must.

It was World Peace Day according to Sirs.

It was World Peace Day according to Siri.

Back to the focus of today, I was focusing on the word attachment. I understand the universal truth that all things are subject to change. I have given it the deep thought treatment. Looked at it from all angles, everything is in flux, all things are passing. Children grow up, cars dent, I cannot think of anything that in time does not change.

Some children grow up, others just grow.

Some children grow up, others just grow.

Understanding that change is the nature of all things we are less wanting and clinging. We realise becoming too attached to things is the course of much unhappiness. Wanting and clinging to impermanent things can never bring lasting happiness

Bondi Beach what a good place to meditate.

Bondi Beach what a good place to meditate.

To meditate on attachment by giving it the deep thought treatment. What do we mean by attachment? Adding a tail to the donkey or in the sense of affection or fondness? It is natural for a mother to have an affectionate attachment to her baby. An infant needs this close attachment of trust. The baby will interact with other people while mother or the person they have this attachment to is within sight. But if that person leaves the scene the baby will be stressed. So attachment is natural.

A baby Buddha in a florist shop.

A baby Buddha in a florist shop.

Things change the baby grows physically and its social circle expands. A child finds a circle of people to trust. As time passes, the baby becomes a child with an ever growing circle of friends and interests to explore. Change is the nature of all things the child becomes a young adult. Changing with the interaction of every person and thing encountered, every sensory encounter has an effect, building a unique character.

We are all unique.

We are all unique.

Meditating on attachment we realise all this change causes worry for the loving parents.

Same florist shop.

Same florist shop.

Love is not always a joy, love can hurt. This is an example of the unsatisfactory nature of things the Buddhists call dukkah, where love can causes pain. Love is very much subject to change when outside influences become involved.

An example of love love.

An example of puppy love.

You may agree with Siri (the iPad ) that this is stupid meditation. Then go no further than meditation on the breath it is very beneficial to your health. By calming the mind your stress level drops and stress affects every bodily function. Alfred E Newman was not Mad when he said “What me worry?”

Why not be a little crazy.

Why not be a little crazy.

Holding hands in paradise.

Holding hands in paradise.

Wake up call.

Wisdom mixed with folklore.

Wisdom mixed with folklore.

The wisdom of the sages
has been passed down through the ages.
Still we do not know,
Love is the way to go.

Rainbows must have been a real puzzle.

Rainbows must have been a real puzzle.

Man could not explain,
the sunshine and the rain.
Only Gods could know,
so they were made to show.

I would rather marching girls.

I would rather marching girls.

The perplexing mystery of all creation,
Was solved by gods from every nation.
Then the arguments began,
who had the correct plan.

Is this the right foot.

Is this the right foot.

To keep control it would seem,
One God must be made supreme.
His foot prints in the sands of time,
still appear to many as sublime.

An awesome example of nature.

An awesome example of nature.

Mother Nature still exists,
though patriarchal Gods persist.
The puzzle still remains today,
Can science now show the way?

A digital camera, computer and Photoshop technology.

A digital camera, computer and Photoshop technology.

Or will technology be used to fight,
to see who’s God is in the right.
All the good we have today
Could just be thrown away.

Do not waste the free gifts of Mother Nature.

Do not waste the free gifts of Mother Nature.

Appreciation, love and trust,
in today’s world is a must.
Ignorance, greed, fear and hate,
Mother Nature will not tolerate.

You can copy my photo, the real thing cannot be replaced.

You can copy my photo, the real thing cannot be replaced.

Mother Nature is eternally sublime.
Man is mortal and will pass on in time.
A grain of sand or the starry sky,
it will not matter as time passes by.

How many grains of sand or stars in the sky.

How many grains of sand or stars in the sky.

All the blood sweat and tears,
all our stupid arguments and fears.
Why waste our time on pie in the sky?
When it is only a few years before we die.

Another example of Mother Natures, sun rise, sun set are constant reminders.

Another example of Mother Natures, sun rise, sun set are constant reminders.

Do not cry, we never die, we only change.
Atoms do not perish they only rearrange.
We may turn into dust mites floating on the morning breeze,
or into song birds singing in the tall green trees.

In a tree or warbling on my windowsill.

In a tree or warbling on my windowsill.

Let us prepare here today,
to live our life in a better way.
Caring and sharing in peace and calm.
Wake up! these words are your clock alarm.

Technology can be used in better way, I have fun  doing my best.

Technology can be used in better way, I have fun doing my best.

Calming the Mind.

Wild but not angry.

Wild but not angry.

Back home grazing on the plains.

He looks friendly.

He looks friendly.

There once was a wild buffalo that roamed the muddy swamp lands of the young mind.

Rice field in Thailand.

Rice field in Thailand.

Things must change the swamp was drained the ox was tamed. It was a savage youthful game the picador, matador or bull, one must meet disaster. Death was flaunted in those adventurous, hectic years of joy and tears.

This is not a bullfight.

This is not a bullfight.

Let us not forget those naïve years and judge unfairly the youth of today. To tame the bull takes calm and patient contemplation. In time with practice a state of peace and contentment can be achieved. The ox is free from yoke and harness to roam the fertile grassland of the mind. It is now tamed and does not stray as in those stressful, boisterous party years.

An attractive flower.

An attractive flower.

Life is a challenging jungle to adventurer in, full of wonderful exotic things to tempt us from the virtuous safe path. To become the prey of some greedy hateful thing and be devoured by the beast of ignorance.

Lunch time on the Adelaide River.

Lunch time on the Adelaide River.

Carried away by the turbulent flow of life we desire the flowers blooming on the roadside. These flowers never last they wither fade and die. We crave for more and are led astray into the danger zone. We can be aware that we are straying from the path this is not enough we must be mindful of the danger in these misadventures and return to focus on the destination.

Showing respect to the Buddha.

Showing respect to the Buddha.

There are always wondrous temptations to distract the unmindful from the path that leads to the fertile grassy plain where true understanding resides and peace and contentment reigns. This is where the calm serene ox grazes.

Fertile land.

Fertile land.

 You may see this as bull but this is wisdom to the wise.

My favourite Buddhist quote.

My favourite Buddhist quote.

This is better than seeing me stretching.

This is better than seeing me stretching.

Beneficial Breathing Meditation.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

After doing my morning exercises a mix of Pilates, Tai- Chi and yoga. I do not do this routine as regularly as I should. Why fight the inevitable. I try to be accepting of the prevailing circumstances. Balance and flexibility are not only a physical concern.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

I usually finish off in the lotus position then meditate on the breath. Actually the whole exercise session is meditating on the breath as the breath is an important part of exercise. Expansion  and contraction, inhaling and exhaling in co-ordination with the movements. Relaxing into a stretch, using the breath helps further the range of movement.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

Focusing on the breath for a few minutes settles me down. Breathing is the most basic and important thing in life, it simply is life. Sportsmen especially swimmers know the importance of coordinating the breath with actions. Speakers and performers know a few deep breaths calms the nerves before going on stage.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Concentrating on the breath is a perfect focus for meditation practice. When the mind is calmed by focusing on counting each breath, you can progress to other methods of meditation. There are many ways to practice breathing meditation.

One of the ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One of the 10 ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One may think, ‘one, inhaling with love’ and on the exhale, ‘out with hate.’ ‘Two in with good,’ then ‘out with bad, continuing in this way to six. Then repeat these steps. Using any positive word on the ins and a negative for out. You will find your mind wanders, when this happens do the same as you would if disturbed when reading a book.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

We can develop our own method of meditation once the basic breath method is mastered. You will know  this when the invasive thoughts die-down. Like a radio tuned in properly there will be no static  or what is called the monkey-mind stops its monkey business. Like the ox in the ‘ten ox herding pictures’ the beast is trained it will no longer stray. The mind is still and concentration is not difficult.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

Some days you are focused, other days are difficult the mind wanders and you lose count. Do not let this upset you just return to your chosen focus. If things are too disturbing it is like with reading a book, either put it away till later or move to where there is less distraction. When the mind is calm and under control. Advanced meditations can be practiced to further your understanding of the true nature of things. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhist meditation to reach a state of perfect understanding.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

Passing Pleasure.

Ever changing.

Ever changing.

Passing not clinging.

Ripples.

Ripples.

Change is a law of nature. Everything changes with time. Everything alters in some way; impermanence is the nature of things. Realising nothing is permanent everything is passing, in a state of transition. Understanding this is the beginning of enlightenment. The Buddhist calls true enlightenment nirvana, a stillness of mind free of desire, aversion and delusion. The main cause of suffering is desire to possess something that is not permanent in its intrinsic nature. Realising this fact frees one from the burden of attachment.

This link to The Enthusiastic Buddhist explains further.

Demonstration of walking on water.

Demonstration of walking on water.

Everything is passing change is the very nature of life, grasping and clinging to things is the cause of much of our suffering. Fresh, new, pristine, is the fleeting pleasure that cannot be maintained, weathering, damage and disappointment follow. Everything changes, ages, dies and decays; this is nature’s interconnected cycle. Man is no exception, the fact we are all part of this cosmic soup. Interconnected with all in life we are part of the whole and at one with life. Knowing this we stop being small minded realising we are an infinitesimal part of the whole environment.

Flowers changing to fruit.

Flowers changing to fruit.

Impermanence does not diminish our enjoyment of life, it enhances it.  We appreciate the present experience, enjoying the now. The fleeting present now is not wasted regretting the past or hurrying to an unknown future.  Being aware of these facts and accepting them as part of life makes one realise the futility of grasping and clinging. We become more caring and sharing and the real good news is that hard-times change too.

Like new and the old.

Like new and the old.

One thing we are reluctant to apply the fact of impermanence to, is our own life. We want to be an exception to the natural law because we are attached to this form of existence. Attached to people and things we love. All the things we falsely think of as ‘mine’, in reality we own nothing. All will slip through our fingers like the sand in an hourglass, consumed by time. Me, my and mine are an illusion so deeply ingrained in our mind we have invented myths and blindly ignore the truth of impermanence.

It is more fun not clinging.

It is more fun not clinging.

Why are people that believe in life after death still afraid to take a chance and explore life? Clinging to life inhibits people from experiencing many joys in life. Caution is wise but fear is one of life’s poisons.  Do not be afraid, most people are honest, kind and helpful, if trusted and respected. Like wild creatures, if not threatened, they will not harm you. Most feared things are no more dangerous than a picnic lunch.

Used well and well used.

Used well and well used.

Being aware and understanding calms our fears.  Being aware of how our own emotions and actions effect a situation. Understanding grasping and clinging is foolish, caring and sharing is wise, a win win situation.  Change is inevitable all we can do is change our ways to fit in with nature’s law of change. Change our attitude if necessary as what we give is what we get. So give life your best and life will be reciprocal.

Every day appreciate the passing beauty.

Every day appreciate the passing beauty.

These men are at ease with themselves.

These men are at ease with themselves.

It is a shame if you are a sham.

A couple being themselves.

A couple being themselves.

For true recognition drop the act, be yourself. Pretending to be something you are not is not a good idea. Because we cannot take the credit, the applause go to the actor. We know we are pretending and we cannot deceive our self. We cannot feel right about a complement when we know we do not deserve it. We have to earn it to enjoy it.

He is happy being himself.

He is happy being himself.

To be trusted we have to be trustworthy and honest. To be respected we must be respectable. To be loved we must give love. Our lives reflect our actions.

Respect and appreciate beauty.

Respect and appreciate beauty.

All the acting, the splendid performance, is for nothing when we know we are not the hero. We know when we are a minor part of a performance, we need to get real.

Pushy not really part of the beauty.

Pushy not really part of the beauty.

Our ego is the villain in the act, wanting the applause by fair means or foul. The ego is not really you and when you realize this, the acting ends. Reality takes place no more stage props are needed. The powder and paint, the fancy garments are not necessary. We can be our self and relax. All the costly stage props advertised to tempt our ego are unnecessary. We are free to make our own choices of what we need. Not what a greedy ego wants as a status symbol.

All part of the act.

All part of the act.

Being an actor is not an easy job. It is like being a politician. You have to learn your lines and be in the limelight under the public scrutiny. All the publicity and hype can be overwhelming. Just too much for the ego that now cries out for peace and quiet.
The ego can never be satisfied whether it gets what it wants or not it is unsatisfied.

A quiet corner.

A quiet corner.

We need quiet time to appreciate the beauty of reality, to clear our mind of worrying thoughts that disrupt our contentment. Time to savour, chew and digest the nourishment, if greedily gobbled down the goodness is lost.

Do we need all this to be happy.

Do we need all this to be happy.

Slow down, life is not an action movie full of turbulence. With understanding it can be an enjoyable true love story. Not an unreal hectic TV romance. That is not what we need, we need the real thing. It is no good acting, you have to honestly carry out those noble deeds. That is what is needed to get true joy in life.

At the end of the day what do we need?

At the end of the day what do we need?

Overflowing.

My grandson sings the sane type of songs.

My grandson sings the sane type of songs.

Overflowing, hopefully with love and compassion.

With love and beauty in abundance.

With love and beauty in abundance.

As a child I sang this song “My Cups Full and Running over, running over, running over, since the Lord saved me, I’m as happy as can be, my cups full and running over.” What run over, ran to waste. Science has created a mind boggling array of inventions that distract us from focusing on what we should be focused on. Why isn’t this affluence bringing us the happiness we had envisaged it would? We are flooded with distractions, mind boggled with our possessions and craving for more.

We are so fortunate having this.

We are so fortunate having this.

Jesus, known as the son of God did his best to teach us to love our neighbours.   Gautama taught anapanasati that is meditation on the breath that calms the turbulent mind.   He was a rich man’s son but like Mick Jagger could get no satisfaction, riches were not the way to peace and contentment. He tried denying himself, deprivation did not work. He made it his life’s ambition to find a way out of suffering. Through meditation he found Nirvana or enlightenment, a middle way that freed him from the three poisons of greed, hate and delusion.

Free as a bird.

Free as a bird.

Fundamental to all schools of Buddhism is his basic teaching of The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. I have covered this in previous posts refer here. or may be here. All the steps are important practices, I will stress this point of practice with the saying, “To know and not to do is still not to know.” We must practice to achieve any benefit. Understanding is an important step there is a lot to understand in the Four Noble Truths; all things are passing and impermanent is a crucial point in right understanding. Mindfulness is equally as important all steps are related and must be practiced to achieve enlightenment or the elusive state of Nirvana where one becomes a Buddha meaning an awakened one.

We can escape.

We can escape.

Mindfulness is to understand what is on our mind and be aware of our thoughts and emotion. Through meditation we can learn to understand how invasive thoughts distract us from what we should be focused on.  We become calm and focused, attentive to the now, with practice a few deep breaths is all that is needed to bring one back to the now. This has many benefits, modern clinical psychology and psychiatry is using it for cases of depression and has given it other clever names like Mindful based cognitive therapy (MBCT) or Mindful based stress reduction (MBSR)

See the in every branch.

See all the beauty..

Mindah- Lee Kuma (Enthusiastic Buddhist) suggested I write a post on mindfulness and then put in a link to her. I wanted to introduce her to you because I am impressed by the way she explains Buddhist practices. She has seriously practiced Buddhism and her videos on YouTube and her writing reflect this fact Click here. My posts are more of a fun exercise in a healthy joyful way of experiencing life. Hit the link to meet a charming young lady who explains many wise practices calmly and clearly.

be mindful of real beauty.

be mindful of real beauty.

I would like to conclude with a few tips that I have found helpful. Slow down, when you are weeding your garden be aware of the daises.  Be mindful that a weed is only a flower growing out of place. Look at what you are doing and take an interest in what you are doing. The difference between drudgery and a satisfying job is attitude. Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions, are you thinking I have to do this or are you thinking I want to do this. We miss the joy of now, thinking about what’s on TV, worrying about what we might be missing and missing the wondrous now. The most important person in the world is the one you are with now. The most important thing is what you are doing now. Take pride in what you are doing, do it with your full attention. That way you will have fewer accidents and save time. Do not multitask, when eating savour food mindful of the taste and texture, a meal can be an enjoyable form of meditation. Many things we judge as routine or mundane can be transformed with understanding and mindful concentration.

Do not miss the basic beauty.

Do not miss the basic beauty.

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