These are the only photos I had relating to jails, they are not exactly appropriate but do tell a story often ignored and also serve to make us realise how fortunate we are.
Jaol House Key.
I believe there are no bad people there are only sick or ignorant people. Would they be in jaol if they were not ignorant or stupid? By ignorant I am not saying you are stupid I mean you may not have had a good role model or the opportunity to learn. If you are mentally sick I cannot help you. Go see a doctor, parson, priest or clergyman they will help you, that’s their job. I am only interested in the facts I have no faith in praying, so don’t walk on the water where I am trying to fish. When you pray you are talking to God, I meditate God talks to me and his language is silence or maybe meditation just stills my mind and understanding comes. I tried prayers and found I was talking to myself, so could only rely on myself.
I used to be an angry, ignorant man I worked for money and lived for pleasure. I wanted to have all those wonderful things cars, holidays in Hawaii, best hotels you name it I wanted it. I was always chasing after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You can never reach that pot of gold. Lasting pleasure is something out of reach and never achieved by possessively grasping and clinging to things that are by nature impermanent. Nothing is permanent, everything passes and you can’t take it with you. I am reluctant to go for that very reason, this is a wonderful world. One day when these old bones really ache I may be less reluctant.
The anger is in the past, the past has gone no good grieving over the past good or bad it’s gone, Robbie Burns said “for pleasures are like poppies spread you seize the flower the bloom is shed or like the snow fall on the river one moment white then lost forever.” We can learn from the past but must live in the present. Now is here to live it is a gift that is why we call it the present. No good dreaming of the future we have to enjoy the present.
Being deprived of freedom in any way is not my idea of a good present, but with the right attitude we can put it to the best use. We can read good books, meditate, that is a good way to spend time, no pun intended. The purpose of meditation is to calm the mind and control our thoughts by concentrating on something, like counting our breath, and not being distracted by outside distractions and our own thoughts.
Everything changes, nothing lasts, this is a universal truth and the first of The Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. These are the truths that freed me from ignorance, put me on the Eight Fold Path and gave me an aim in life. Reading is good but practice is the key to happiness. Think about that and do it. The Chinese say, “To know and not to do is still not to know.” Sakyamuni, The Buddha’s name, he also said do not accept my teaching without question, try it and see if it works. We should not accept anything on blind faith, but where ever we find helpful ideas we should practice them.
About 2500 years ago The Buddha taught a way of life that promotes peace and contentment. It spread from India to other lands. As it spread it had myths and local religious ideas added and became a mixture of many ideas, not all were rubbish. In China Daoism or Taoism was added, Yin and Yang as well as ancestral worship and Kon gfuzi or in English Confucius ideas. There are many buddhas displayed in temples and many forms of Buddhism. This is confusing, but makes interesting reading as you sort out the under laying reasons and logic behind these puzzles.
Why there are so many buddhas is because anyone who practices The Buddha’s teaching and reaches novena, becomes a Buddha. Novena is a state of perfect enlightenment. I do not know about Novena, I do know as you learn more about The Four Noble Truths and practice The Eight Fold Path as a way of life you do reach more understanding. As you progress you will become a calmer and happier person in the process.
The indigenous Australians in these photos were guilty of nothing they were used and abused. Today Australian gaols are not barbaric and there is a chance to learn and make a new start, with the right attitude.
I have never been in jaol but that is more good luck than good management. If I had been unfortunate I am not sure how I would have coped. It is so easy to say I would use the time to do all sorts of productive things. Like get physically and mentally fit. It is easy to talk, but it takes money to buy whisky. That saying is not attributed to The Buddha; he did say all things in moderation, I suppose that includes whisky.