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Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

This lets you know where we are.

This lets you know where we are.

Am I a Buddhist?

Pauline in action.

Pauline in action.

Pauline’s post about Watt Buddharangsee, meaning Move or Change Places Temple, prompted me to think, All schools of Buddhism have the basic logical (Dharma) teachings of The Buddha. The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path.

This photo shows the wheel with eight spokes.

This shrine shows the wheel with eight spokes.

The countries of South East Asia that have adopted Buddhism have incorporated their own cultures and customs in it. This resulted in many different varieties of Buddhism.

Inside the Stupa.

Inside the Stupa showing a stained glass Buddha window.

Still the fundamental teachings are the same. To abstain from all kinds of evil, promote all that is beneficial and purify the mind.

Stupa out side.

Stupa out side.

To understand all things are impermanent and subject to change, abstain from all kinds of evil and personally develop ethical behaviour, as outlined in the Buddha’s basic teaching. Consequently there have been no major conflicts between different Buddhist religious groups.

Pauline put this photo in her post.

Pauline put this photo in her post.

The three major Abrahamic religions conversely are in aggressive conflict for domination. Regardless of the fact that their God, the one they claim to be almighty, condemns killing.

Why is this abandoned little church?

Why is this little church abandoned?

Perhaps Lau Tzu had it right when he said “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.” (The Tao is the inexplicable force that keeps the whole cosmos in equilibrium.) Another aspect of Taoism is yin and yang, when yin and yang are in balance it is believed to be perfect harmony. This is described as Wu Wei meaning in flow with nature.

The trees were an ideal setting for the Stupa.

The trees were an ideal setting for the Stupa.

I am not a Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu and defiantly not one of the many factions of the Abrahamic dogmas, Jews, Christians or Muslims with their multitude of denomination all arguing for dominance.

The trees looked good from all angles.

The trees looked good from all angles.

I believe they all have the same good basic ethics but much of the good is lost in the belief in the supernatural, other myths and wishful thinking.

The monks do not use a blower on the leaves.

The monks do not use a noisy blower on the leaves.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Tan Mr Cool.

Tan the man, Mr Cool.

The Ice Dragon.

Early stages.

Early stages.

 A slim Asian man looking after a photography exhibition at Robina library complex asked me which photograph I thought was the best. I chose a clear crisp picture of a white cockatoo in flight. He said “Thank you my name is Tan.” I introduced myself and we discussed photography. I then realized Tan had taken that photo. He shared his lunch of berries and vegetarian treats, a delightful change to my usual lunch.

Chain saw rips into the ice.

Chain saw rips into the ice.

That is how we became friends. Tan was very generous giving not only material things he shared his wisdom with me.

Taking shape hours of artistic action.

Taking shape hours of artistic action.

I think Tan had suffered a lot of racial prejudice, probably because of his talent and good ethics. Also Tan would not bend to please bigots or fools.
Visiting the Buddha’s Birthday celebrations at Southbank, Brisbane, I was surprised to find Tan carving a large dragon out of ice using power tools. Just another one of Tan’s many talents.

Detail.

Detail.

The picture of me and the Ice Dragon hangs in my room reminding me of many things. I learned from Tan and the Ice Dragon.
Our paths meet up only occasionally. Men rarely keep in contact but no matter how long it is when they meet again it is like yesterday.

The tail.

Detail now the tail.

Voyaging on the vast ocean of life ships may sail together in a fleet for a time then drift apart.  Reciprocity and commitment is needed for people to stay together for any length of time. If we are fortunate sailing in the same direction we find good company.
If the company is really good  we change course. So if you are fortunate enough to find a really compatible companion appreciate and change your way to suit. The scenic route may be longer but more enjoyable.

Tan was fully in the now.

Tan was fully in the now.

 The photo of the Ice Sculpture Dragon reminds me.

Out of the ice the dragon appears.

Out of the ice the dragon appears

Born in fire and made of clay.

I thought myself very clever.

To make a dragon that would last forever.

Your ice dragon will not last

But you are wise as well as clever,

Giving is how you get your pleasure.

Better and bibber than the pottery I did.

Better and bigger than the pottery dragon I did.

 We are aware an ice sculpture will melt and appreciate its beauty without clinging.

Tan smiles at his achievement.

Tan smiles at his achievement.

 It is not so obvious that all things change regardless of what they are made of.

The ice dragon made me more aware as it melted, that the joy of doing anything is to be absorbed in the delight of doing.

I no longer cling to my pottery dragon it has shattered. Not a smooth expected transition like the beautiful ice dragon as it melting.

I asked for a pose.

I asked for a pose.

We cling to a fragile memory that time will inevitably consume.

Reluctantly we must let our past slip into the abyss of time. Time is the ultimate winner.

 The ice dragon teaches pleasure is doing,

 joy is giving and that sorrow of cling.

This is my reminder of impermanence motivates me.

This is my reminder of impermanence that motivates me.

 

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First Choice Fitness, on my way to the beach.

The burliegh beach is around the corner.

Turn in and Tone up.

Hard work pays off.

Hard work pays off.

We have been busy traveling and although we both have not been taking it easy. As we have been gardening, biking and a lot of walking and for me the occasional swim. We also have been spending a lot of time on the computer since we started blogging.

Go at your own pace.

Go at your own pace.

I realized I was loosing what little muscle I still had and stiffening up in all the wrong places. Travelling is wonderful but it is easy to get out of the exercise routine. Casual visits to gyms are more expensive and a bit inconvenient.

It all helps.

It all helps.

That is only an excuse if I make the effort I could have fitted in a visit to a gym. Like I am now doing, three weeks in one place then miss a week then start again at a gym in another place. I will do it and also keep to my morning stretching exercises where ever I am.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

All exercise is good but I find I need to get into a habit of systematically doing a variety of exercises. We need stretching exercises to keep supple, resistance to tone up the muscles and strengthen our bones.

I do not let my ego stop me.

I do not let my ego stop me.

Weights are good for this but at my age it is better to do more repetitions with relatively light weights. I am not trying to get big muscles, just tone up. The cardio vascular exercises are for the heart and lungs.

Same exercise but more weight.

Same exercise but more weight.

I like the cross-trainer as I can monitor my progress, time, resistance; cadence and heart rate are shown on the dash-board.

On the cross-trainer.

On the cross-trainer.

I try to beat my best effort and it gets easier after a few weeks then I add five more minutes or put up the resistance. At least twenty minutes at a challenging pace is advisable for best results. Work hard as possible but not to the point that you cannot carry on a conversation.

They say no pain, no gain but there should never be pain, just a demanding uneasiness. Get out of your comfort zone, but not to the point of hurting. Challenge yourself; you only need to compete against your best performance. There are days you will not quite reach your best performance, but with effort and perseverance we do improve.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

I hope this post inspires any one that needs reminding, that doctors are not responsible for our health. It is our responsibility to respect and not abuse the gifts we are given.

82 year olders are prone  to falls, practice balance.

We are prone to falls at 82, so I practice balance.

Like yin and yang balance is needed for a healthful life. Balance food intake against calories burnt. Balance physical exercise against mental exercises, the body needs its quiet time to rejuvenate. Meditation is a part of this process.

I think they are over dressed.

I think they are over dressed.

Blogging helps me and perhaps may help others. If nothing else it reinforces and reminds me of the important things to value in life.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

This world, regardless of dukkha http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/dukkhaexplain.htm, world is a wondrous place, with the right attitude and understanding. I rave on a bit but when you are in love you are apt to do this. I am in love with Mother Nature and this wondrous life I am blessed with.

They can't keep up with Pauline on her bike.

They can’t keep up with Pauline on her bike.

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True Aussie King of Mareeba.

True Aussie King of Mareeba.

Think, Question and Act.

A fan or a follower of Buddha.

A fan or a follower of Buddha.

I was born into a Christian family, had my parents been Muslims I would have read the Koran instead of the Bible. The omnipotent, supreme creator endowed me with a questioning mind. Therefore I questioned the patriarchal religions handed down from Abraham. I had no faith in miracles I wanted more factual evidence. Why would an all-knowing God put a tree of knowledge at Adam and Eves disposal, tell them not to eat the fruit, knowing they would? God does work in mysterious ways and it is probably good that he does or I would be, naked as Lady Godiva, living off nature’s garden, just like the indigenous people, before the white missionaries arrived.

Indigenous didgeridoo artist.

Indigenous didgeridoo artist.

Lao Tzu, is credited with the “Tao Te Chan,” a book the Taoist follow. Translated versions of Lao Tzu’s words have obscured some of the sage’s message. He writes about the Tao the inexplicable power that keeps the universe in equilibrium, He said “The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao.” Could this inexplicable power, be the unanswerable answer to mans search for God? “Wu–wie!” Is that the “Way”? Another Taoist idea is Yin Yang explaining the relationship and balance of all things.

Krishna devote.

Krishna devote.

The Hindus have one God but to accommodate everyone he can appear as any deity one desires. Consequently there is an incredible number of Hindu gods and Hinduism has a lot of other complex things that are hard to fathom but there is a wealth of wisdom and goodness to be found in Bhagavad Gita.

Miniature Buddha image.

Miniature Buddha image.

Buddha was a wise man his ethical ‘Eight Fold Path’ is worth following. He was only interested in finding a way out of life’s pain and suffering. After he died his teaching became a religion, to qualify as a religion a God is needed. It was then that Siddhartha was promoted by some of his followers. Buddhism spread and picked up other local myths and beliefs making finding useful wisdom difficult.

A dragon added for luck.

A dragon added for luck.

Major dogmas agree on the basic principles promoting good and not killing their fellow-man, some beliefs extend that to all sentient beings. To focus on what we agree on and not arguing would allow us to progress in harmony. Replacing fear with understanding, hate with kindness. Then the ordinary citizen would not be manipulated by the greedy that profit from war, they make the armaments that destroy and then prosper from rebuilding.

Making war look heroic.

Making war look heroic.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html

I will not accept any religion that condones war and intolerance. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama or the ‘Sage of the Shakyas”, was a pacifist. He never entered into the creation debate. The Buddha was like a doctor, interested in finding a cure for pain and suffering. He first found the cause of the suffering. Then he prescribes a cure. The causes he outlined in “The Four Noble Truths”. He prescribed a cure “The Eight Fold Path”, a logical self disciplined guide to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment. If practiced diligently peace and contentment is attained. In Buddhist term Novena, described in English as perfect peace and understanding or total enlightenment.

Colourful Hindu stained glass.

Colourful Hindu stained glass.

Buddhism was borne out of Hinduism. The Buddha and his teaching are shrouded in myth, time has distorted and added to his words of wisdom. Buddha’s philosophy has become a religion. Buddhism spread to China and other lands. China added ideas of *Confucius, the Tao and ancestral worship. Buddhism has become much like other religions, a group of revered leaders arguing about technicalities irrelevant to ethics. They are more concerned with their authority and power than peace and contentment.

Colourful Christain stained glass.

Colourful Christian stained glass.

Sincerity and practice are more important than the dogma. The helpful, benevolent action the belief inspires is what matters most. We all need a guide to follow to find peace. Do not let your guiding belief be distorted by fear, greed or hate.

When yin and yang are in balance it is perfect.

When yin and yang are in balance it is perfect.

               

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Defining Love.

Nan Tien Temple statues, Photos and buddhist sayings added by Jack.

Nan Tien Temple statues, Photos and Buddhist sayings added by Jack.

What precisely is love? As a parent it is to cherish, hold dear and protect. As a child it is attachment and need that grows into feelings of affection. Then feelings of longing for and desiring things begins, children know how to love without reservation. Some never grow out of these wanting ways. Their love matures into innocent romantic love, maturing into deep emotions of sexual attraction and intense desire. These feelings are reptilian impulses that need conscious thought to control them. Without mutual understanding and caring fondness it is not love, but lust. Lasting love endures with trust, unselfishly caring and sharing all life’s experiences, the joys and sorrows, helping in every way to promote a priceless friendship.

I love this saying.

I love this saying.

As time passes it is a universal truth that all things change, love is no exception. Like all things without care and attention love will fade and die. Lovelorn and lonely, like in tennis a score of zero is love; you lose because you did not put enough into the game. All games have rules. In the game of love the rules are warmth and kind attention at all times for love to grow and flourish. If you want love you must be a loving person, if you want respect you must be respectable. It is true ‘as you sow so you reap.’ it has been said in many ways by many renowned sages. It is the basic idea of karma in life, your deeds, both good and bad, will automatically rebound in a like manner.

Two joys songs and birds.

Two joys songs and birds.

Love can be described as a great fondness, this could have inherent problems.  We want or desire what we are fond of so, as I mentioned, desires need to be controlled. That romantic puppy love, the embracing, cuddling kissing can lead to problems for the young uninformed. They are not bad; they are ignorant of the gravity and all the ramifications they are in need of understanding. Wanting is not only a problem with sexual desires, many cravings need controlling. All things in excess are harmful. Moderation and balance are needed. To love food and eat in excess of the body’s needs brings health problems. Balance the calories eaten to the calories burning in exercise done.  Wanting more than we need is greed. Ironically love is linked to wanting and greed. Actually it is excessive wanting and greed that brings bad karma.

No judging or adding too.

No judging or adding too.

These are down to earth thoughts on love. I will leave the worship, adoration and devotional love to the believers in a benevolent God to explain. I love the world the way it is. I do not love the way our wanting is changing the world faster than nature intended. Love has both wondrous aspects and adverse features. The word love is stretched beyond its limits we need to qualify all the different forms of love. Then use mindfulness, moderation, balance and understand all the aspects of love. Love is intrinsic to our human needs, we need love to exist. We need to consider love in all our dealings. Most of all we need to understand love, if not we will be deeply hurt. If hurt by love it will be because of lack of understand.

Reflect on this.

Reflect on this.

Love is freedom, needing and possessing is not love this is pain and suffering. Love is being sensitive to all we encounter in life. Life is a love song to enjoy without wanting, clinging or attachment. Let the music play and enjoy the entire performance not only your favorite guitar rift. Nature gives her free gifts out of love for all that appreciate. Nature makes no judgments on who deserves, people either appreciate and enjoy or ignore and miss natures example of love. The sun shines warmth on all of life without favor as the rain falls on both the needy parched earth and the ocean. When one picks up a broken bottle off the beach, it is not known who may be saved from pain. There is no reward other than the joy of knowing someone may benefit. This is a simple act of human love.

 

Buddha, Nan Tien Temple, branch of Fo Gong shan.

Buddha, Nan Tien Temple, branch of Fo Gong shan.

Visit the temple hit this link.

Charming statues of all kinds in these lovely gardens.

Charming statues of all kinds in these lovely gardens.

 

 

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Montage of Religions.

The montage of religions.

Although all these religions have good aspects, they all have doubters and disputes, within their faith and with other religions. All have good intentions and can help in living an ethical life.  But in my opinion none are the ultimate answer. I could be wrong, I am still learning, no doubt I am ignorant of some of the details. We often look outside and criticize others, when the fault lies within our self.  I will follow what I believe and not be dogmatic about other dogmas and beliefs. With an open questioning attitude I hope to gain some understanding, of what is possibly an unanswerable question.

A piece of heaven.

I learned some interesting things, while gathering pictures for the montage.

thanks to.

Peace in heaven.

Thanks to Google and all the people whose pictures I used in the montage. All the other pictures I used are my own photos and drawings. That works out reasonably well, thanks to the Photoshop program. For the montage I decided to explore another way of getting pictures and I learned a lot more than I had expected   Thanks to the web site, Islamic Academy, I read the article for non Muslims, well worth reading, especially for people who consider Muslims a threat. That was where I got the beautiful art representation of Allah I liked others but chose the one with the flowers as they are more in keeping with purity and seemed more as a gift from the above. Thanks for the picture I used in the montage from other sites. They all gave me a bit more interesting knowledge about the beliefs they represented. I give thanks to them for this knowledge that contributes to my understanding and enlightenment.

Many rivers flow to one ocean.

Knowledge and understanding are the antidote to fear and hatred. It is said, “Things are neither good nor bad, things are just as they are.” to the wise. We can get too emotionally involved, too judgmental. Some times we think something is wonderful when we learn the price; decide it expensive, not worth the time and effort and often an adversity is a blessing in disguises.

The ocean is vast.

If we look for the good we will find it, if we look for faults we will find them. It could be what we see is only a reflection of what we are looking for. So let us start to look for the good in our fellow man, he is a reflection of you. Smile at the people you meet, they will usually return your smile, do not get upset if they do not, they may have problems and need kindness, not more troubles. Do not be too quick to judge that untidy, mean-looking person, in reality he may have dreadful problems plaguing him. See him under favorable circumstances and he could appear much more appealing.

The ocean is deep.

To judge a belief as a myth and nonsense, before studying it with an open mind is biased, prejudice. A mind interested in the underlying reasoning is more rewarding. Things I once thought had no useful purpose or were unintelligible nonsense, after further investigation I saw the reasoning behind them. Some I then judged as helpful to my spiritual advancement others I decided were not helpful to me. I always benefited in that I gained understanding of the people that lived by those beliefs.

The ocean is beautiful.

Reciprocity, understanding and respect are things that could save a lot of turmoil in our world. To live with trust in our neighbor, knowing he has the same needs as us and if not deprived of his fair share of these basic needs, like us he would rather live in peace than risk his life in war and the destruction. War does more damage to our environment than all the peaceful activity. Nature is infinite and will not be destroyed, man is mortal he will be destroyed, if he refuses to learn.

Natures beautiful gifts we should appreciate in your own way.

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