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Archive for the ‘change’ 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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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.

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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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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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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.

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