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Archive for the ‘Dao’ Category

Natures Way.

Natures Way.

Natures way.

Simply beautiful.

Simply beautiful.

Standing in natures green cathedral blessed by serenity,

The forest is sacred; there is no better place to be.

Slow down to appreciate the beauty, smell the scent upon the breeze.

Listen to the bird songs and appreciate the trees.

Lao Tzu rode a buffalo that is considered slow today.

Lao Tzu trained his buffalo to support him on his ‘Way’.

Training the bufflo.

Training the buffalo.

Haste was not a priority he just went with the flow.

Today out on the road that is something we should know.

Walk to the valley, follow the mountain stream.

Meander to enjoy all nature’s gifts supreme.

Waddle by the watter.

Waddle by the water.

Stroll to the ocean, earth-out bare foot on the ground.

Let others wanting more, power the tread mill round.

Bath in the cleansing water, glad to be alive,

The wisdom is you need few things to survive.

Go with the flow.

Go with the flow.

The importance of time spent this way,

Is we are refreshed to earn our pay.

For necessities needed to sustain life.

Wanting more brings trouble and strife.

Lau Tzu spoke of yin and yang to balance work with play.

The Buddha taught wanting was a problem that got in the way.

Garden ornament.

Garden ornament.

To understand all in life flows like a mountain stream.

We cannot cling to water or capture a sunbeam.

When we have surplus to what we need,

Then to hoard not share is only greed.

Balance greed with kindness is wisdom too,

As helping others, brings happiness to you.

To give thanks to the inexplicable Tao, what’s in a name anyhow?

Nature's symble for The Eightfold Path.

Nature’s symbol for The Eightfold Path.

Appreciate with joy and delight,

Do not argue over who is right.

To appreciation nature’s gifts is a prayer to the supreme.

To argue over a name makes the beauty all obscene.

The stream runs to the ocean, every tear drop becomes one.

We all bleed the same colour, why can’t our life be more fun.

The storm has passed.

The storm has passed.

The tear drops fall like rain,

 All this fighting is insane.

Like the Christian who has found God I want to share with you.

A way to peace and contentment, that’s an admirable thing to do.

The joy that I have found.

I want to share around.

The light is behind the clouds and trees.

The light is behind the clouds and trees.

I do not think God was ever lost,

Man gets lost and pays the cost.

Lost unmindful of our emotion,

Like a storm raging on the ocean.

Stop look up at the stars above.

Do not kill the things you love.

The sand on the beach the stars in the sky,

We are so small you and I.

Thanks for another good morning.

Thanks for another good morning.

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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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Australian gum tree as seen in the bush.

Friends.

I received a comment that inspired me to write this post. Comments are very valuable, without encouraging comment a beginner is apt to give up. I had doubts that I was qualified to write a blog. I have had little formal education, my wonderful childhood not shut up in a school room, it was spent wandering in the bush. With my only friend Pinto a bits’a dog (bits of this breed and bits of that breed). He was a valuable friend warning me of snakes. Snakes, after hibernation, look for a sunny place to warm up their cold blooded body. They often find a dusty, well trodden animal track is just the place, and this is just the place for a bare-foot carefree child to run. Snakes, or any animal, normally, are not aggressive, they will not hurt you unless you frighten or disturb them. Most people that have been bitten by snakes were trying to kill them; fear and hate are a big problem in our world.

Australian gum trees have many different bark patterns.

I learned a lot bare-foot in the bush, Mother Nature is a good teacher and totally impartial, making no favorites, you either obey her or you pay the consequences. Not to listen to her, disregarding her, and trying to change the rules to suit yourself, will inevitably incur punishment. What I have learned from my observations will that enable me to write an interesting, entertaining and blog helpful to others? I have my doubts, therefore I am thankful I am receiving enough likes and comments to encourage me, an extrovert does not need a lot.

Broken off trunk of the (Xanthorrhoea) Grass Tree.

In my youth I was ignorant I took on my first job knowing nothing, except what I had learned from helping my mother on a small poultry farm. I still love to hear the sound a hen makes when she is contented, a clucking no, chirping no I have not the words to describe this soothing and trusting sound of contentment. You will have to listen yourself. Be mindful in the presence of birds, they are easily startled you have to be quiet and not disturb them and they will reward you with the sounds they make, song or whistle is an inadequate descriptions. Words are only descriptions the word food does not feed the hungry.

Fowls visiting at Bivouac camp ground.

Nature’s garden is a magic place for you to spend time. Mans garden is too manicured and sterile and has few insects, consequently birds do not visit. Wu wei! Why does man make all this work, ironically he believes it will save him work. Without the knowlidge that a garden needs the balance provided by all creatures. Like yin and yang, Lao tzu knew this that is why Taoists go with the flow of nature. Without this knowledge we are ignorant of what our garden needs.

A different view point.

People with big egos do not like to be told they are ignorant. Wise men know a lack of knowledge is a great handicap and appreciate knowing where they are lacking. I think I would like to know if I am lacking in any way but am not sure that I am wise enough. Will I act like a wild bull or accept it like a wise man? I think we can take the metaphorical bull by the horns in our blogs and comments and find out.

Natures abstract bark painting, I called this one Jesus.

I am carried away my mind is not focused on the subject; I will take a deep breath. After eighty years of practical experience in the school of hard knocks I only need a little encouraging comment to spur me on. My V.I.P.C.F. has given me encouraging comments when I needed them. He also introduced me to a host of writers, people noted for their wise insight. My friend took on a mammoth task of doing a post every day for one year, with a photo and an extract from a noted writer; these words were from a wide range of beliefs and philosophies. As well as that my V.I.P.C.F. used his valuable time to answer all comments.

Trees can be seen like people with a bad hair day.

Acronyms and text short cuts and technical jargon need explaining.  V.I.P.C.F. you know V.I.P. stands for very important person. All friends are very important so we will let that stand. As for the P all preconceived understanding must be put aside and see the p in the full context P.C. we clearly see now the relevance of the p, the F please put right out of your mind any associations you may be considering, When I write F it means exactly what I want it to mean nothing more nothing less, F stands for friend. When I write something please consider it without any preconceived ideas you may have. You may see things from a new perspective. Now you know I have a very important personal computer friend. If you would like to know why he is important to me go to his blog, hit this “Shantideva Life is a dream.” hyper link.

 

I asked this Black Headed harmless Python about the apple story, he would not comment.

      

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Go with the flow.

You sit here quietly enjoying yourself, forget your active self. Such is not a denial of real self.

There is no real self to deny, as a self that persists always in one pattern, one mood, one degree of intelligence, one turn of affection.

The living you is always changing. Live now except yourself as you are now. There is no one to always blame no one to be always praised.

Each moment you are lifted by a different wave, blown by a wind from a different coast line. Each moment you are responding differently, as chemical combinations change and result in different reactions to changing external stimuli.

If winds seem too strong, know they will subside. If waves seem too high remember the calm below the waves.

The tree on the shore accepts both storm and calm. You must accept, perforce, go with what happens and be part of it.

With no ego to set its self apart, you will find accommodating much more pleasant, than trying to insist the universe accommodates it’s self to a certain ego that feels it’s self too be the eternal, unchanging centre of the whole show.

 This little Boat will survive the storm, as it suits its motions to the wave’s heaves and the winds most furious blasts.

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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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Temple gate gards.

The Waking Dreamer.

The title could have been “The Waking Dreamer.” or “The Awake Dreamer.” because when I dreamed up the picture for this post I was wide awake. I was tired and relaxing uninterested in any activity so I was not focused and concentrating on anything. This is when the mind takes off on its own and if you are tired why not let it take over? If it starts to take you some where you would rather not go, do as you would in meditation take another deep breath and start concentrating on your breath.

Guarding four directions.

What is that noise? Then the thought popped into my mind and I let it run. People just do not understand shouting will do no good; you have to reason with people. The thoughts came racing, some will not listen, they think they are right, no it is their ego that is stopping them, maybe it is they have been told not to listen, that is not reason, that is unreasonable, we will never learn anything if we do not listen.

Beautiful Jesus staned glass,

Some religious people are like that, they are extremists, bigots, fanatics. My mind is racing now. These people are fundamentalists that give a religion a bad name. Why do they disagree, argue, fight, go against all moral decency and kill?

The om syllable a Hyndu symbol for Brahman.

Stop, it is time to cool down, relax take a deep breath, do not get all excited. This is the danger of letting the monkey mind takeover. One needs to be mindful of those uncontrolled thoughts. I then thought music could sooth the situation. The song ‘Imagine” came to mind, then the boy cow herder playing his flute and Shiva doing her dance, Buddha, Lao Tzu,  Confucius and Jesus could sing along I think most religions like singing.

Chinese temple Darwin.

All the heavenly angels and the like could gather in the heavens to listen. Some gods might find this a bit below them. But we could have a copy of the Creation of Adam that Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as a back drop. What a superb fantasy, everyone invited to the greatest concert of all time. Hold on! Let’s not get too carried away, focusback to the breathing meditation.

Muslim art represinting Allah.

It is one thing to dream up a picture like this. How do I achieve my dream picture? I will do it with the help of the Photoshop program, I have no picture of the Creation of Adam so will use Google and the snippet tool. Even if my photos are not the best I always use them. The montage is going to be difficult to bring them all together in reality, harder still to bring them all together. Well it is not a bad way to pass the time and it is exercising the 80 year old brain, just like the body needs a work out, so does the brain. I have found the saying “use it or lose it“to be true.

Picture in Chinese Temple.

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How I imagine lao-tzu.

Star Wars and Lao-tzu.

In the movie Star Wars Obi-Won Kenobi said to Skywalker “May the Force be with you.” I have forgotten all the action that made Star Wars a great movie. The one thing that has stayed with me is when Obi-Won Kenobi said to Skywalker “May the Force be with you”. This force is everywhere and gives the Jedi their power. Conversely it gives the villain Darth Vader his, opposing power.

Darth vader.

The similarity between Lao-tzu and Zhungzi writing about the Tao and Star Wars power is obvious. The Tao is described as the driving force of everything an indescribable force that keeps the whole cosmos in equilibrium. Lao-tzu is quoted as saying “The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao.”

Obe Won kinobi

The opposite forces of Yin, the dark and negative, and Yang, the Hot and light side, as shown in the beautiful Yin and yang symbol of opposing opposites are attributed to Zou yan. All this has a Pantheist philosophy about it, the unfathomable laws of nature and the delicate balance, nature needs to keep things flowing in harmony. Mans ignorance of natures laws are causing problems. When the Yin and Yang are out of balance, like nature out of balance there are problems.

The ego does not like to admit it does not understand the big questions, so man invents explanations in the form of powers, forces and gods. I really do not know, one of them could be right; I will not debate on that subject. I try to keep an open mind, I have my ideas but they are like clay that has not been fired, they can be reshaped. I do not mind sharing my ideas, largely they are not my ideas, they are a combination of ideas from many sources.

Mimiatere Buddha in geode.

The Buddha is supposed to have said “Do not accept my teaching, practice then and only accept them if they work. I have been putting those words into practice, testing many vastly different beliefs and concepts, from motivational books to religious writing, myths to scientifically proven facts. As well as science fiction like Star Wars. It does not matter where it originated or who said it first. If it works for you practice it.

People are looking for truth, truth is hard to define, it is subject to change, what was true in the past is often not true today. The exception to this is that everything in time is subject to change. All things in time change it is a universal unchanging fact. It is part of the Buddha’s teaching and when fully under stood will help to alleviate suffering.

Fundamental to all schools of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths and The Eight Fold Path. Refer to my earlier page A Path to Live By. Also The Way to Peace and Contentment. Ignorant of right understanding, the way things really are, we grasp and cling to things we should realize are fleeting, unsustainable and impermanent. Like a child with an inflated balloon an unpleasant outcome is inevitable. This is learning the hard way from life experience. The lesson may have to be repeated. Still many never learn that giving is more rewarding than clinging and hording. To be able to share and let go when the need arises.

This is all part of the original teachings of Sakyamuni the sage of Shakyas,  Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha.  No other ethical guide, religion or philosophy reveals so clearly actions leading to peace, contentment and the end of suffering. The Four Noble truths: that life has unsatisfactory aspects causing suffering, because of ignorance craving and attachment. The Eight fold Path leads to cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering. Sanskrit words describing the Four Noble Truths, The first truth is Dukkha a word that has no exact synonym in English. To describe dukkha as suffering is misleading. All beings are subject to suffering because of ignorance of the true nature of things. The problem is all things are impermanent described by the Sanskrit word Anicca. The Buddha was like a doctor discovering the disease first, noting the cause second, prescribing the medicine third and fourth the cure, The Eight Fold Path.

Meditation is another Buddhist teaching that originated at a much earlier time, it is mentioned in the Bible, Hindu Vedas, Chinese Taoist and adopted in Buddhism as a way to calm and train the mind. These are the profound teachings The Buddha gave to his followers. As Buddhism spread it absorbed other beliefs, religions and myths, some like the Taoist are worthy of study. Though many only muddied the water, but do make interesting reading and should be looked into.

The Eight fold Path is a way of life that gives one a long-term goal to aim for. Taking self-discipline without any divine help, it is not an easy path to adhere to in the turmoil of life’s distractions. To stray from the path has no dreaded fear of retribution from a demanding God. The only repercussion is karma, the law of cause an effect, the seed you sow governs the crop you get.

The idea of Karma originated in Hinduism they believed a just God punished or rewarded as was deserving of the individual’s deeds. The Buddha did not enter into discussing gods and creation his interest was in finding a cure for suffering. Originally Buddhists believed Kama to be the law of cause an effect. To test this smile and usually you get a smile in return when we act badly there is a negative response. It may not happen immediately but when the conditions are right the deed will yield a like response. Karma is a fact in this life, as for the afterlife I would not speculate.

Buddha’s teaching is a profound philosophy that has been polluted as it spread to other lands. Today it is a conglomeration of many beliefs, myths and religions. I find this reading colourful, interesting and a wonderful puzzle to be sorted out. Wise and helpful aspects have been added as well as unintelligible nonsense.

I try not to criticize the beliefs others hold because religious people are usually sincere, kind and trustworthy, if treated with respect. Reciprocity is needed, one cannot expect respect, if they are not respectful, or be trusted if not trustworthy or be shown kindness if they are unkind. All this can be thought of as aspects of karma.

Unfortunately religions create positions of power that can have an adverse influence on the religion. Yet if religion is sincerely practiced it can be a great comfort and do a lot of good.

All major religions have the same basic principles, commandments, precepts or laws.  Beyond all the other differences there is a neutral place we can all meet and share the basic good values we all hold, a place where empathy and kindness lead to understanding.

miniature buddha in geode.

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