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Archive for the ‘Taoist’ 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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Jonny Cash walking the line.

Johnny Cash walking the line.

Get On The Right Path.

Don't be tempted off it.

Don’t be tempted off it.

The irony of my cryptic writing is, if you understand it you have no need to read it. Many will not understand, they have lost the Way. They have lost the balance, they do not understand the true nature of things. They look for happiness in impermanent things. They have cleared the trees to see the light. Had the carpenter been a gardener things may have
been different. We now realise we are not the centre of the universe.

This Buddha and the amulets helped me write this post.

This Buddha and the amulets helped me write this post.

We still do not understand the Way, the Way is beyond our understanding. It is the force that keeps the whole cosmos in equilibrium. When the opposing forces are in balance we find a state of perfect bliss.

The tranquil unspoilt quiet.

The tranquil unspoilt quiet.

There is another way, it is the path called the middle way. The path of understanding, walking this path we find peace, contentment and true understanding. Peace can never be found with violence. Peace is understanding, it is the turbulence that creates the muddy undrinkable water.

There is salt in this water but the water is wonderful.

There is salt in this water but the water is wonderful.

Still  the mind to find the clear crystal water.  Thirst for nothing else, to want for nothing is to have it all.

The wild steeds, wild water.

The wild steeds, wild water.

Remain calm under pressure allow the angry mud to settle. Anger is mud polluting the pure water, rise above it as the  lotus flower opening to the sunshine.

Unblemished by the mud to the light.

Unblemished by the mud to the light.

To become unbalanced by the anger in another being is to blame the sufferer for the dis-ease they are suffering from. Do not become infected by the disease yourself and spread the pain and suffering. Do not mistake the pure water for the mud spoiling it. Do not blame the person for what ales them. There are no bad people only the unbalanced, the  ignorant and infected. The only cure to their problem is understanding what they are suffering from.

More reminders of balance in music and life.

More reminders of balance in music and life.

Suffering could be caused by dehydration, lack of water, a necessary need, or fear could be causing their foolish actions. The coward dies a 1000 deaths the hero dies but once. With help and compassion we can ease their pain and calm their fear. Those that suffer the pain of greed and aversion, chasing their desires and running from their dislikes, they are never at rest. We must try to understand their pain and treated them accordingly. The greedy are suffering a dis-ease that can never be killed by force. They will struggle in the dense jungle with the wild beasts of envy, hatred, ignorance and anger. Till they find their way back on a righteous path or suffer their obesity and choke on their greedy hoard.

No longer Jungle, it is rain forest.

No longer Jungle, it is rain forest.

We cannot help them by slashing our way into their violent jungle of venomous, vile, vengeful beasts. We must walk the path step-by-step, each step bringing us closer to perfection.
Walk in comfortable shoes with souls of love, kindness and compassion.
Understanding is a giant stride, with knowledge  skip  along the path. Ever mindful of hazards on our joyous Way. It is inevitable in our exuberance we will stumble off our righteous path. When this happens it is not a sin, it is a lesson we can learn from. It is like when distracted in meditation – calm down and return to your focus.

I know the path he is focused on.

I know the path he is focused on.

All is good on the right path, critics tell us our faults so we can correct them. Adversity and accidents are our teachers.
Even the bad times are good with the right attitude and understanding.

Be mindful of very step.

Be mindful of very step.

You can be given a map showing the path to perfection. But to know and not to do is still not to know. No one can carry you all the way, you have to make the effort. Knowing the steps and not dancing is to waste the music. Life is a song to be sung. Love life and appreciate all the gifts and you will be appreciated and life will be reciprocal.

Your views will be enhanced.

Your views will be enhanced.

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Does Mother need more cloths or would she rather you took her on a picnic.

Does Mother need more cloths or would she rather you took her on a picnic.

The Cure.

It is MADNESS but some will not see.

It is MADNESS but some will not see.

What is the cure for the stress in the fast pace modern world?

We could pray.

We could pray.

 Is the detrimental effect the commercial system has on the environment causing us anxiety? Are we worrying that our protesting and complaining is futile against the multinational take over? Are we frustrated because advertising has invaded every available public space, as well as our home?

We could just drop out of the rat-race.

We could just drop out of the rat-race.

 Should we just sit back and let the TV ads induce us to buy things we do not need?  Advertising plays on our ego enticing us to buy superfluous things, brand names are only superfluous status symbols. Ads keep us working at the treadmills turning the wheels of production. It is a vicious circle this tread mill, known as ‘the rat race’. How can one escape?

You may think I am full of rubbish.

You may think I am full of rubbish.

There is a way to stop this stress, it has been around for 2500 years, but The Buddha’s philosophy has been distorted. There is another easier way to escape the ‘rat race’. I could write volumes explaining this method and not do it as good as putting in a few link, for you to click on. If you are interested in taking some steps that will benefit you, the environment and the community in general, look at these links.

This is all unnecessary rubbish.

This is all unnecessary rubbish.

Books are better than passive TV watching. Most worthwhile things in life take an effort. Make the small effort to hit these links and learn what they have to say and from there to further helpful reading links.

Can you see, 'we are living in this as if there was another to go to.'

Can you see, ‘we are living on this planet as if there is another one to go to.’

We would all like to help right the wrongs in the world.

I ask myself, what am I doing, helping or hindering the problems in the world today?

I do not sign partitions or join in protests, I do write my blog, but is appealing to others going to fix anything.

I actually do nothing because this is an important concept in Taoism. What Lau Tzu calls ‘wu wei’: the action of non-action.

who said you need shoes like these?

Who said you need shoes like these?

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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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Confucis

Confucius

Tell him his dreaming.

Could this be Lau Tzu?

Could this be Lau Tzu?

Had I accepted Gabriel’s challenge, what beliefs would I have promoted? The Way that can be explained is not the true Way. Call it what you may it will not respond to words the unnameable only reacts to actions. The Toa, translates to The Way in English, to me Toa is the closest understanding of the almighty that keeps the whole cosmos in equilibrium. I think of it as synonymous with nature and its laws.

My reminder to stay on The Path.

My reminder to stay on The Path.

To Hindus Brahmin is the unchanging reality in the world and beyond the world and is also difficult to exactly define. This one god can appear in any form, this accounts for the vast array of strange and colourful Hindu gods. Hinduism is a complex conglomeration of many different beliefs.

Another reminder to keep direction.

Another reminder to keep direction.

Jews, Christians and Muslims beliefs all have the same origin, Abraham. They prefer to call their same eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, creator of the universe, by different names. Jehovah Latin for Yahweh is the Hebrew word. The Christians have a trinity, one god in three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims reject the idea of a trinity, there is but one god they are emphatic on this point. Allah is the absolute with both Shiite and Sunni Muslims. These three religions have split into countless denominations each one claiming to be the authentic interpretation of God’s word. There has been nothing but drama since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. There is even disagreement over what variety of fruit was eaten.

Natures garden.

Natures garden.

I do not want to get involved; the supernatural is incomprehensible to me. I realize I may not be as intelligent as others so am prepared to respect their views. I hope they can be reciprocal towards me. We should treat others as we would like to be treated. The meaning in that cliché has been attributed to many different wise men by his followers.

The sun flower..

The sun flower..

This is why a dream or for real I would not have wanted to be another prophet endeavouring to correct the sinners that are wrecking paradise. The site of the Garden of Eden, Iraq, is now a total disaster area. Israel has seen centuries of bloodshed by people who should know better. Their God commands no killing. There may be a grey area with the Islamic Jihad but if one stirs up an ant’s nest they must expect to get bitten. I would have only added to turmoil trying to rectify an impossible situation.

Stay calm everything  passees.

Stay calm everything passes.

Under the threat of disobeying the wishes of a loving God, in the knowledge he is also a wrathful God. I may have put forward an amendment to the Ten Commandments. Promoting something like Buddha’s Eight Fold Path and explained the ideas of Lau Tzu of Wue and Yin and Yang and the pecking order system, promoting respect, similar to Confucius Not forgetting the children with the Pinocchio song “Give a little whistle.”

A real butterfly.

A real butterfly.

Dreaming of walking in a garden picking a flower and waking up with that flower in my hand can never happen in reality. Unless I was to believe in the supernatural, then anything is possible. I would like to believe I had an all-powerful ally to protect me as I did when I was a child. But we grow up and realize Santa Clause would not fit down our chimney even if he were real. Facing up to reality no Tooth Fairy we can live with, or live without, as long as we live. There are some things we are told by people we respect that may be too hard to grow out of.

Fairy treasure.

It would be nice to believe in fairies , I had to use Photoshop to get this one.

The episode with Gabriel was a dream and in the light of day I know the truth. I am not a butterfly dreaming he is a man. All those ideas are fantasy. We need to mature and take responsibility by systematically improving our thinking and ethical accountability. Ignorance, thoughtlessness, selfishness and greed will destroy our future happiness. Joy is to be found in understanding caring and kindness is our salvation. No one can do this for you, grow-up improve, follow a proven path to enlightenment.

Watch your step and keep to the path.

Watch your step and keep to the path.

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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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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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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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