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Archive for the ‘eight fold path’ 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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We will start off cool.

We will start off cool.

Habitual walking.

Cool morning Yoga meditation on Bondi Beach.

Cool morning Yoga meditation on Bondi Beach.

Habitual walking is not as Thich Nhat Hanh, in his beautifully written book “Peace is Every Step.“ describes walking. What he describes is actually walking meditation. If you are an active person you may prefer this rather than sitting.

Some habits are not wise.

Some habits are not wise when you are not so sure-footed.

Mindful walking is a cognitive process you are conscious and aware. If we repeat anything often enough it becomes a habit. This is very useful it enables us to become skilled operators. As long as we do not get too inattentive and become prone to problems.

It could have been worse.

It could have been worse.

Habitual actions describe how we fly through life in a fog. We do not actually see where we are going we are traveling on auto pilot. Our thoughts are on some thing in the future or past, not focused on what we are doing.  Meditation teaches us how to stay focused. Those thoughtless actions are the cause of pain and suffering.

A stitch in me wastes time, but helps healing.

A stitch in me wastes time, but helps healing.

The Buddha Siddhartha Gautama said the first step on The Eight Fold Path is Understanding, next is right thinking the next that automatically follows is right actions. Then he discusses right occupation The Buddha is only interested in getting you into a good job. By good he means harmless and beneficial.

This is a good clean job, not paid for sitting down.

This is a good clean job, paid for sitting up.

You may be more interested in getting a well-paid occupation. I would also advise doing what you enjoy to earn an honest crust. Then making dough is a pleasure. People often say what line of work are you in. They used to say out on the construction site, “What’s your game, mate?” Back then, in the good old days, before tight safety regulations took the virtuosity out of it. I would say, “I am a rigger.” I loved my high position looking down on everyone. I was a young show off and got my thrills riding on the crane hook.

Climbing up steps to operate a tower crane, we used to use the hook and climb in the window.

Climbing up steps to operate a tower crane, we used to use the hook and climb in the window, in the good old days.

The young extroverts today (I dare not call then show-offs) have to hoon-around to get a buzz. Putting the public in danger and they do not get paid for it. Instead it costs them, for petrol their motorbike or car and on top of that they get fined.

The police love hoons, they are keeping them in a good exciting job.

The police love hoons, they are keeping them in a good exciting job.

Well I suppose they could say, “It is better than walking.”

I should have been walking.

I should have been walking.

The next steps to consider are right effort, right concentration and mindfulness, not to stepping off the path. It is human to be unmindful and inevitable to step off the path. When we take a wrong step it is no good placing blame or fretting. Just pick yourself up and try again. The same as you do in meditation when your mind wanders.  You can falter but never fail to try.

It is safe in a sheltered harbour but ships were not made for that.

It is safe in a sheltered harbour but ships were not made for that.

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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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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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Dunedin from the deck of the Oosterdan.

Dunedin from the deck of the Oosterdam

Right Steps.

I would like to be playing their game.

I would like to be playing their game.

This post has more links than a chain letter.

Also a few pictures.

Also a few pictures.

My pommepal did a couple of splendid posts on Dunedin and the Chinese Gardens. There are a few photos I would like to add to supplement hers. Also even if I sometimes fail I never fail to try.  That is the main reason why these photos needed to be posted.

This is the fantastic entrance.

This is the fantastic entrance.

I often say things without thinking that is something I will have to be mindful of, I am always quoting the Buddha’s Eight Fold Path but this does not stop me from wandering off the path when I am enjoying myself.  Unmindful of all the consequences I burble on and then have to follow up with Right Effort.

II will send this charming lady her FANtastic photos.

I will send this charming lady her FANtastic photos.

I was enjoying Dunedin from first thing in the morning, seeing the timber being moved around by those wonderful machines. Then there were other things, other people may not have interpreted as I did. The captions under the photos will be a clue to the way I see things.

My version of his Scots dialect and what I read into it.

My version of his Scots dialect and what I read into it.

Robbie Burn’s monument reminded me of a few lines from Tam o’ Shanter.

For pleasures are like poppies spread.

You seize the flower the bloom is shed,

 Or like the snowfall on the river,

 One moment white then lost for ever.

Everything shows signs of ageing and change.

Everything shows signs of ageing and change.

This is so like the Buddha’s philosophy on impermanence.

The approach and every aspect of the railway station is a picture.

The approach and every aspect of the railway station is a picture.

Pauline’s blog is full of interesting facts and if you have not visited it you have missed a real treat. I could write an illustrated book on Dunedin. The old railway station’s amazing architecture, marvellous mosaic and superb stained glass.

A huge mosaic, I noticed the train wheel had eight spokes.

A huge mosaic, I noticed the train wheel had eight spokes.

We had a photo feast and can only show you the tip of the ice burg, that’s not a good cliché as it was a fine sunny day. Better than an over worked saying I could have said I can only show you a mini morsel that would fit in with my alliteration.

Pauline adds a nice touch to my snap shots.

Pauline adds a nice touch to my snap shots.

Like they say on post cards ‘wish you were here’ maybe our posts will inspire you to visit Dunedin. My main reason for my blog is to motivate and rev your motor up.

Pauline pumps my peddle and gets my motor running, go to  her blog  , hit the links, go for it, its an inspiration.

At the bus stop we end on the right note.

, At the bus stop we end on the right note.

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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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Pauline Annan river Qld.

Pauline Annan river Qld.

Life’s Stream. 

 These falls are not seen from the road so are often missed.

These falls are not seen from the road so are often missed.

Pleasures hurry by like a mountain stream,

                                        kissed by the sunlight’s golden beam.

Gurgling happily, bubbling along

 a child of the mountain singing Mother Nature’s song.

Borne in the mountains far from the ocean.

Born in the mountains far from the ocean.

All young play

 in a similar way

 joyful, joking full of fun

 from sun up till the day is done.

The sun sinks low, the sparkle is gone

 childhood passes, we must move on.

Soft patient water wears away hard rock.

Soft patient water wears away hard rock.

As we grow and mature

  pleasures in life become fewer.

Obligations and deadlines to meet,

 work to ensure our life stays sweet.

As sure as the sun moves across the sky

all things in life are passing by.

One of natures free gifts, Ok two of natures gifts.

One of natures free gifts, Ok two of natures gifts.

Only gather what you need

 grasping more is only greed.

When we struggle for possessions

 we have not learned our lessons.

The stream of life flows so fast

 the joys of childhood do not last.

A t tranquil place to rest and let the world catch up.

A t tranquil place to rest and let the world catch up.

The water flows to a lower plain

 it cannot go back up again.

Meandering slow it sings soft and low

 there is only one way it can go.

Cool and refreshing.

Cool and refreshing.

Our body is mostly water if we dehydrate we die

We leave all our possessions and our loved ones may cry.

When water dries up in a puddle I know were the steam will go.

But when I dry up and my life is over will I go up or down below?

Life's stream has many changing moods.

Life’s stream has many changing moods.

As a tear drops in the ocean we are so very small.

Compared to the starry sky I am nothing at all.

 Water returns to the sky above

 the best we can do is leave memories of love.

The moon showing off.

The moon showing off.

From the heavens tear drops fall

running back to the oceans primeval call.

The clouds gather heralding rain

 and the whole procedure starts again.

High above Cook Town.

High above Cook Town.

Man must return to mother earth

 to nurture new things for rebirth.

The ego that once was me,

who knows what it will be,

does it really exist in me

or an allusion that I see.

The wanting dictator in my mind

 that made me greedy and unkind,

keeping me desiring, wanting more

 although I need nothing, I am not poor.

Stirring the mud, polluting the air

 with an attitude of I do not care.

Water sings many songs.

Water sings many songs.

All beings need water and air to survive

 nothing is so important to staying alive.

As the wheel of life rolls along

 go with the flow, sing a song.

 Slow down, let the water clear

to see our obligations here

 are to promote good for everyone,

 appreciate life with wholesome free fun.

Rest by the river and revive

 be thankful you are alive.

the young play all day.

the young play all day.

There are places to swim and hills to climb

 to enjoy a view of the sublime.

As an example for you and me

Mother Nature’s gifts are free

for all to savour and enjoy

 not abuse, plunder and destroy.

I try to control thoughts of greed

 and only take what I need.

Banish anger, hatred and fear from my mind

 and replace them with what is good and kind.

 I try to understand and learn all I can

to become a better man.

Buddha statue, ruins of Ayuttaya Thailand.

Buddha statue, ruins of Ayuttaya Thailand.

 I am on the Buddha’s path, you should know,

 and think it is the way to go.

Many paths lead up to an inspiring view,

select carefully the  one that suits you.

There are many that know

but never go.

Pauline our van Matilda and Sunflowers, loving life.

Pauline our van Matilda and Sunflowers, loving life.

They talk the talk but do not take the walk.

Ice is water that has become cold and dense.

Man is cold-hearted if he loses commonsense.

This poem is not a work of art

 but in a small way may play a part

 in helping someone stay afloat.

Have I written a poem or built a boat?

Malanda Falls another  swimming hole..

Malanda Falls another swimming hole..

 

 

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