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Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category

What is your problem?

1997 Korean trip.

 Korean 1st trip.

You see your world from your unique position; it is crystal clear to you. You know your version of your vision. I see my world from my point of view; it could be close to yours or totally opposite to you. It is clear to me what I see, but you cannot see it my way and I cannot see as you do. Perhaps we should change positions. You would then have a clearer view from my position and some idea of my understanding, and I would see things from your angle. We could then decide the advantage of holding a particular point of view. We would then realize we need a three hundred and sixty degree view and this is difficult for a mere mortal to do. Then who has x-ray vision? We still would not know the secrets hidden below the surface. We would remain ignorant but at least have established some understanding of another point of view.

2006 top steps

All our views lack a full understanding of what is beyond our view. On this limited view we make our hypotheses to explain the nature of the inexplicable universe and this is our view. There are many views from scientific to the super natural, some totally different to the view of another, but armed with reciprocal understanding of the other persons view, there is no need to take up weapons to defend our view. Realizing these views are only theories, to explain what we cannot see.

2004 view from steps

Look at some facts; find out how many different views there are on a subject like religion. You may be surprised every major religion, and there are many, have thousands of different branches, denominations or schools. Then there are the cults, the secret societies, the shamans, the witch-doctors and many new age groups. All sincerely believing they are right many without looking into any of the many other beliefs. They may tell you their God has spoken to them. May be God spoke to me too, but evidently I was not listening. Maybe a different God spoke to someone else. There are many Gods and all are the true God to the one that believes in him or her, or ‘it’. Yes, god could be an ‘it’, a force or something like nature with natural laws all interrelated and interdependent.

 Look out

It is easy to accept someone else’s words on faith. Words they claim were given to them from their God. There have been many prophets. The only one with any credibility in recent times would be Haile Selassie a very good man by all accounts. He was an inspiration to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King also Malcolm X and if you are a fan of Bob Marley you will know about the Rastafarian Movement. Throughout history there have been many admirable men such as Jesus and the Buddha. It is not unusual for followers to enlarge on the good deeds of the deceased. In the case of the Buddha some people have elevated him to the status of a god. A lot of things change over 2,500 years and it takes a lot of unbiased reading to realize the truth is difficult to ascertain. Recently a man was interviewed on T.V. he was claiming to be the returned messiah I do not think anyone believed him.

Gwancheol gate

Metaphysics a philosophy concerned with knowing and being, a metaphysicist tries to explain the fundamental nature of the universe. All I can say is philosophy is a very heavy subject. Was the Buddha a metaphysicist? He taught

The Four Noble Truths. 

1. life was  dukkha, dukkha equates to the unsatisfactory nature of things.

2. The origin of dukkha.

3. the cassation of dukkha.

4. The Eight Fold Path the way to the cessation of dukkha.

Insige wall.

The first step on the path is ‘right understanding’ to realizing all things that are subject to arising are subject to cessation. Wanting these impermanent things is to invite eventual pain. If we have right understanding and practice  the other steps on The Eight Fold Path. We avoid dukkha, much of life’s suffering and will promote good in the world.

good view

We should study all the good teachings available to us and our P.C. gives us access to a vast amount of wisdom. If you are interested type into Google names and things in my post you are unfamiliar with. I do not wish to take anyone to exclusive sites I have chosen.  It is up to you to learn from the outside and growing on the inside. Not accepting anything or ruling out anything till it is tested thoroughly. Any God that objects to this is very insecure and not the true ultimate power in the universe.

Lookout

That is our problem, perhaps it is an unsolvable one. The Alcoholics Anonymous has adopted a prayer, attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. That is appropriate to quote here, The Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Stream and wall

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Chanting meditation.

Accept the Gift of Life.

There is nothing beautiful or grotesque in nature. The beauty or obscenity is in mans mind. As the pendulum swings there is a point where it pauses to return. When we breathe in there is an instant before we exhale this is where the life force resides. Grasping for the future or clinging to the past, we can miss this moment and this is all we have.

Into everyone’s hands nature impartially provides her gifts. Do we hurriedly grasp or do we savoir and enjoy? How a gift is received is our choice, how a complement or a criticism is received is also our choice. Everything is governed by our attitude. Our thoughts control our actions our actions in time become habits forming our character and our outlook on life. Try to see the good and beautiful in all you encounter.

Take the criticism objectively, if it helps us see our faults we can correct them, or if it is meant to hurt us we can smile knowing we have matured in our understanding. We have control over one thing in life our attitude we must not let the outside control inside. Peace is not to be in a place where there is no noise or distraction; it is to be in the midst of all this turbulence and still remain calm. Like a stormy sea, deep below the violent foaming waves there lays a calm and undisturbed peace.

Stilling the mind is the whole purpose of meditation, when the mind is still the whole universe surrenders. Take a deep breath focusing on the breath is one of the best ways to meditate. When the mind becomes distracted do not be put off, return to focusing on the breath.  In our everyday lives we let our mind jump from thought to thought this is an ingrained habit and is not easily overcome. With patient and constant meditation practice you will reach a stage where a few deep breaths will bring you back to a calm state.

There are many forms of breathing meditation. Hindus, Taoists and Buddhists all use the breath as a method. The beginner will find being aware of the breath as it enters and leaves the body natural and relaxing. Counting either each inhalation or exhalation up to the count of six breaths, is a good way to begin. Other techniques can be tried like focusing on an object or mantras, repeating sounds, words or phrases. The Sanskrit word Om is used by the Hindus as a mantra and is worth a try. Breathe in gently, and as you exhale, say Om as three sounds: a as in father, oo as in room and ‘mmm’ Try to feel the sounds vibrate in your body.

To become totally absorbed in any mundane activity is a form of meditation. When cleaning metal one can focus on the shine, note the beautiful way the light reflects, people smoke cannabis to tune in on this kind of thing, there is no need for this, or any other drug to find peace, pleasure and wonder in the world around us. A book by Thich Nhat Hanh called The Long Road Turns to Joy. Is about walking meditation, I like this man’s charming, uplifting writing.

Take a deep breath, set aside your stress and discomfort and focus only on good. You can find some quality of beauty and goodness or some redeeming feature in all situations by taking the time to look for the good. You can shift your awareness in this way and change your attitude by looking for the good in all you observe and every activity you do.

When you go rushing breathlessly from one thought to the next, anticipating another problem or hungering for another pleasure, you miss the joy of the present which is constantly unfolding before you. Meditation teaches you to slow down and awaken to the present moment.

The coming and going of our breath is vital to our existence to spend some time contemplating this fact has many rewards helping us to realize that the past is history, a memory and the future a fantasy on the movie screen of our mind and actually a mystery yet to unfold. Relish what you are doing, savor the flavor when you eat, chew every morsel feel the texture smell the aroma enjoy the look.

A person in a hurry, agitated or angry does not taste or enjoy the food it is just devoured and not appreciated. Some people say words of thanks in appreciation for the food they receive. This is a good practice to be thankful but words are not as convincing as actions. So calm down your mind and your body will follow, enjoy the simple pleasures life and nature offers. With this wisdom the balance of the entire universe will fall into place. All things will be just as they are neither good nor bad.

Beautfully relaxed.

 

Smiling gum tree.

 

Banksia and gum nuts.

 

The Banksia Flower.

 

I love a sun burnt country

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“Enter the Eight Fold Path and put an end to sorrow.” The Buddha said.

The path is not easy to follow it takes understanding, perseverance and self discipline. Each person must work out his or her own salvation,       without divine aid.

The Buddha said: “By oneself alone is evil done, by oneself is one defiled.By oneseff is evil avoided,by oneself  is one purified, impurity depends on oneself, no one can purify another.”

Right understanding is the first step on the Eight Fold Path. To understand The Four Noble Truths is right understanding. The first truth is life is dukkha, dukkha has no equivalent meaning in English, to describe it as pain and suffering is misleading.  Life is unsatisfactory because every thing in life is subject to change, because of this fact nothing gives us permanent satisfaction. Not realising this we want and cling to impermanent things, this is the cause of much of our pain and sorrow.  

 The second noble truth:  the cause of suffering is ignorance, greedily wanting and clinging to pleasurable things, and fearing and avoiding the opposite, causing suffering.

The third noble truth:  there is a remedy to these problems.

The fourth noble truth: to follow the Eight fold Path. Some times called the Middle way because it is a way of moderation and balance. the Buddha knew from experience that a life of indulgence did not bring contentment and a life of abstinence and suffering did not bring salvation. after questioning and searching and meditating, stilling his mind, applying deep thought, The Buddha came to true understanding or enlightenment, the basic truth and the ethical path that leads to the end of sorrow.

There is nothing supernatural about this. Over the years folk laws have been built up around the Buddha and his teaching by his followers. The Buddha said ” do not follow my teaching without question. Follow follow truth and goodness where ever it be found”.  

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