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Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

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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An old favourite.

An old favourite.

No worries so simple.

Glass House Mountains.

Glass House Mountains.

We grow attached to things that are close to us. Not close like a pair of undies, not that kind of snuggly close. More the being together of a warm wooly jumper on a bleak winter day, the something or someone who shared the wins and the losses and kept you smiling when it was all up hill. Through the sun shine and storms, time takes its toll, the shine and sparkle diminishes but the fondness grows for the tried and true the familiar and reliable.

Softened by Nature.

Softened by Nature.

I am pleased with the fad that made faded, frayed and tattered jeans and other garments fashionable. Stressed furniture with artificial crackling and peeling paint showing the under layers became the in-thing. Now I can take pride in my old weathered and worn comfortable things that I find appealing, without feeling inferior to the upwardly mobile fashion conscious crowd. Not that it worries me what people think now that I have my ego subdued and under control.

Nature's art.

Nature’s art.

At twenty I worried about these things, at forty I lost interest in what they thought, at sixty I realized no one was even noticing me, at eighty I am pleased if people smile at the way I dress so I wear what is functional and comfortable.

Nature are is every where.

Nature’s art is everywhere.

Our friends will excuse our idiosyncrasies and we should not grieve over unjust criticism. Most of the things I worried about never happened. So is worrying a way to prevent misfortune happening?  I stopped worrying a long time ago and the answer is worrying does not help in any way.

Their passing is beautiful.

Their passing is beautiful.

I genuinely like things that Mother Nature has aged, mellowed and softened. Perhaps it is because it reminds us that all things are impermanent and wanting this to be otherwise can only bring sorrow.

Castles are gone the old dog remains.

Castles are gone the old dog remains.

 The child builds castles of sand the tide comes in, the child cries, that is one of the first lessons nothing lasts. Childhood passes also, have we learned we cannot cling to impermanent things. The flower blooms, fades and dies, the brilliant sunset fades into the dark night.

Past Reflections.

Past Reflections.

Nature’s lessons teach us not to cling and hoard but to freely share. The truth may well be, though I am well past my use by date, I still feel useful and am pleased I have not been discarded as worthless. I live in the now, sharing the good before it passes into infinity.

A beautiful fraim of a picture.

A beautiful frame for a picture.

There needs to be balance as one can get too fond of old things. I worked with a bloke; he was built like a brick chicken coop, but gentle as washing up liquid. One day to attract his attention I pulled on his shirt and a button popped off under the strain. The passive, massive man turned on me like a wounded buffalo, eyes flashing like hazard lights on a road train. He took off his shirt and tossed it on the floor shouting “You have wrecked my shirt!” “Sorry mate, I did not mean to, it’s an old shirt.” I should not have said it was old. “I’ve had that shirt since I was an apprentice, I only wear it on special occasions now.” He raved on about the places he wore that shirt, wakes and weddings, sporting events and music festivals. It took a lot of diplomatic bull dung to calm him down. Actually I did not say a word. I let him call me names that indicated I was far from dexterous and my mother let her heart rule her head. I used this opportunity to practice my exercise on staying calm under pressure. The fire burned down the pot went off the boil, he turned and left.

Dramatic departure.

Dramatic departure.

Next day I saw him and gave him back his shirt washed, ironed and with a new golden button in place of the lost one. I explained how sorry I was and returned his repaired shirt. He smiled and said he regretted losing his temper over an old shirt. “No worries the new button can remind you nothing lasts forever.” I said. He put out his hand in a gesture of friendship. I shook his hand and the rest of me stopped shaking. I felt so relieved and happy, over the moon as they say. I felt like laughing, so jokingly said “You were lucky I did not lose my temper too or you would have been in trouble.”  “Yes, I would have been up on a man slaughter charge.” He replied. We both cracked up laughing. It is so simple just do the right thing and you have no worries.

Natures amazing beauty.

Natures amazing beauty.

 

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Happiness is fleeting, this is a fact of life. Contentment is more lasting and peace, is a state of mind.

The object of meditation is to calm the agitated mind, to be aware of our thoughts and take control of them. A good way to practice meditation is concentrate on your breath, count each inhalation and exhalation as one count, count up to six breathes in this way, and then repeat one to six. Every time your mind is distracted or wanders, and you realise  you have lost concentration, do not worry just start over. In this way you will gain control.

Meditation is very important I will do a future post devoted to meditation in detail.

Things don’t always start out beautiful, all thing are subject to change.

life is like a rough winding road, with many turns and diversions this makes it easy to lose focus, just as in meditation. When this happens don’t look for excuses, note the problem, and return to follow your quest. My quest is to find peace and contentment by following ethical practices. 

To achieve your goal you will need a guide. I have an Indian guide, his name is Gautama Siddhartha. He has been around a long time and knows the road well and its pitfalls. He has given me good advice, He said when you fully understand The Four Noble Truths, you  will know the true nature of things. Then you will have to know and practice the steps of  The Eightfold Path.

The first noble  truth is life is dukha , there is no exact word in English to describe dukha. Dukha leaves room for misunderstanding when described as pain and suffering or unsatisfactory. The second noble truth is the cause of dukha is wanting and desiring. The third noble truth is there is a way to overcome the problem of suffering. This is by knowing, following and practicing The Noble Eightfold Path and realising the ego does not exist. Then a state of peace, contentment and true understanding is reached.

Following my posts may help you understand the profound depth of  The Four Noble Truths, also the Eightfold Path. They are basic to all schools of Buddhism and are without any myths, dogma or nonsense. A philosophy that does not clash with any major religion.

This is a life long road of learning, it will take practice and perseverance, It is a way of life I have been exploring this path for more than thirty years and have not conquered dukha. I still suffer but the life has become much easier by practicing the moral self-discipline of the eightfold path.

It is said a state called nirvana, or total enlightenment, can be reached. Nirvana is beyond description, you have to experience it, and when you do you become a buddha. 

My understanding, at this stage on the path, is if you are wanting  to reach this exalted state you never will. The irony being wanting is the cause of dukha. Irrespective of this working towards improving my faults, one example being impatience, by following The Eight Fold Path has helped me find more tranquility and joy in my life. 

 

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