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Archive for the ‘Yin and Yang’ 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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First Choice Fitness, on my way to the beach.

The burliegh beach is around the corner.

Turn in and Tone up.

Hard work pays off.

Hard work pays off.

We have been busy traveling and although we both have not been taking it easy. As we have been gardening, biking and a lot of walking and for me the occasional swim. We also have been spending a lot of time on the computer since we started blogging.

Go at your own pace.

Go at your own pace.

I realized I was loosing what little muscle I still had and stiffening up in all the wrong places. Travelling is wonderful but it is easy to get out of the exercise routine. Casual visits to gyms are more expensive and a bit inconvenient.

It all helps.

It all helps.

That is only an excuse if I make the effort I could have fitted in a visit to a gym. Like I am now doing, three weeks in one place then miss a week then start again at a gym in another place. I will do it and also keep to my morning stretching exercises where ever I am.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

All exercise is good but I find I need to get into a habit of systematically doing a variety of exercises. We need stretching exercises to keep supple, resistance to tone up the muscles and strengthen our bones.

I do not let my ego stop me.

I do not let my ego stop me.

Weights are good for this but at my age it is better to do more repetitions with relatively light weights. I am not trying to get big muscles, just tone up. The cardio vascular exercises are for the heart and lungs.

Same exercise but more weight.

Same exercise but more weight.

I like the cross-trainer as I can monitor my progress, time, resistance; cadence and heart rate are shown on the dash-board.

On the cross-trainer.

On the cross-trainer.

I try to beat my best effort and it gets easier after a few weeks then I add five more minutes or put up the resistance. At least twenty minutes at a challenging pace is advisable for best results. Work hard as possible but not to the point that you cannot carry on a conversation.

They say no pain, no gain but there should never be pain, just a demanding uneasiness. Get out of your comfort zone, but not to the point of hurting. Challenge yourself; you only need to compete against your best performance. There are days you will not quite reach your best performance, but with effort and perseverance we do improve.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

I hope this post inspires any one that needs reminding, that doctors are not responsible for our health. It is our responsibility to respect and not abuse the gifts we are given.

82 year olders are prone  to falls, practice balance.

We are prone to falls at 82, so I practice balance.

Like yin and yang balance is needed for a healthful life. Balance food intake against calories burnt. Balance physical exercise against mental exercises, the body needs its quiet time to rejuvenate. Meditation is a part of this process.

I think they are over dressed.

I think they are over dressed.

Blogging helps me and perhaps may help others. If nothing else it reinforces and reminds me of the important things to value in life.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

This world, regardless of dukkha http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/dukkhaexplain.htm, world is a wondrous place, with the right attitude and understanding. I rave on a bit but when you are in love you are apt to do this. I am in love with Mother Nature and this wondrous life I am blessed with.

They can't keep up with Pauline on her bike.

They can’t keep up with Pauline on her bike.

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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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A variety of passion fruit flower.

A variety of passion fruit flower.

Gay or Sad.

Flowers are gay without being controversial.

Flowers are gay without being controversial.

There is nothing wrong with being gay. I used to be gay but now I am sad I cannot be gay any more. To day to be gay you emerge from a cupboard and declare I am homosexual this then makes you gay or happy to be out of the confined space of the metaphorical cupboard. Your unique balance of Yin and Yang, to some people would make you appear as queer as a square egg.  Yin and Yang in Chinese Taoism is the balance of opposites Yin representing feminine things in nature, cool, soft, the moon, Yang the masculine, hot, hard and the sun are examples. Yin and Yang are not actually opposites, one would not exist without the other and each contains some of the other. It is the balance of Yin and Yang that gives all things their unique nature. When you have the Yin and Yang in perfect balance you are fortunate you are in tune with nature.

More variety.

More variety.

I knew a girl named Gay she decided to go into the cupboard to change her name to Sue. Johnny Cash then pulled out of the cupboard a song “A Boy Named Sue.” Another trip to the cupboard for Sue, you could have knocked me down with half a house brick, out she came as Bob. Now she has a job driving a big Kenworth truck, yes girls can do anything. It was not always that way but John Wayne is dead, ‘the little woman’ can do what she likes, we now have power steering and automatic transmission. Men can also do anything now that we have, plastic baby diapers, TV dinners and dish washers. All the labor-saving devices that make house work child’s play. That leaves the children free to play computer games.

Australian variety of Grevilleas.

Australian variety of Grevillia.

We have happy marriages, why shouldn’t we have gay divorces. Why is something as popular as divorce sad? One does not have to give back the wedding presents or reimburse the parents for the cost of the reception or even pick up the confetti. What about the kids? Hopefully the kids now have two homes to choose from and lots more options in playing one parent off against the other. The children also have the legal system to look after their rights. Children are well-informed of their rights; no adult dare lay a hand on them. Even a friendly helping hand can be misunderstood. It is unfortunate children are taught to fear, God and man, when most men want to help and protect children. Lacking the time to take care and teach your children. You think it necessary to teach them fear? I am surprised at how many children grow into kind caring adults, when I consider their role models.

This is a close up of the Crown of Thorns.

This is a close up of the Crown of Thorns.

I am confused, I don’t know if I am Arthur or Martha, figuratively speaking. Actually I am fully aware of my gender. It is whether I agree with the values our society places on possessions and status that puzzles me. I do not want to be taken up the wrong way and it is not my intention to offend those people who are personally affected by an imbalance of Yin and Yang so to speak. There have been, and still are, a lot of talented people. Freddie Mercury, Queen’s vocalist. Remember their hit “Another One Bites The Dust.”? I still love that hit. Freddie made no secret about his bisexuality he actually capitalized on it. As a unique playwright wrote “There is only one thing worse than being talked about that is not being talked about.” That is attributed to Oscar Wild, so is “They are terrible temptations that it takes courage to yield to.” One of his young acquaintances may have said these lines and Oscar took the credit?

It is variety that makes a garden interesting.

It is variety that makes a garden interesting.

We should not judge people harshly just because they are different to us. Nothing in life is simple there are many variables. I hope this post triggers food for thought that prompts tolerance. The modern world is full of diversity and we need to look at everything with an open mind. If a woman drives a truck or a man is a house husband and women set up house together or men kiss on the football field. This is irrelevant it is whether they are helpful, kind and considerate to others that matters. We can have our preferences without condemning others for theirs and this tolerance should be reciprocal.

A Powder-puff Lillypilly.

A Powder-puff Lillypilly.

Sex, Religion, Race or Colour We have this in common we all bleed red.

A visitor to the Powder-puff.

A visitor to the Powder-puff.

 

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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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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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Barkley H/way.

 

Symbol of Appreciation.

Traveling on the Capricorn Highway from Dingo to Emerald North West Queensland, I was riding in the passenger seat while my pommepal did the driving. I was mesmerized by the panorama passing by and the endless similar landscape appearing before us.

I relaxed into a samadhi state of mind. I thought although all the bush looked very similar in overall pattern it was totally unique in detail. Every plant in nature has its own genetic blue print to follow and if left undisturbed would be perfectly symmetrical in its growth. This would make a very boring world.

So it is fortunate there are interference from the wind as well as birds, animals and insects doing damage, to cause trees to grow in distorted shapes and have interesting notches and hollows. This is what contributes to making the Australian landscape so interesting and beautiful. There are endless wonders to behold, if one takes the time to slow down, stop and look. As 130 km/hr. is the speed limit on many of these outback roads, many people never see the wondrous variety of things to enjoy.

Learning from books is a good way to gain knowledge, but to know and not to do is still not to know. To have knowledge from books and experience from life is truly wisdom. Nature has something for everybody to enjoy and be interested in. Not to be interested in the wondrous beauty of nature is to insult the creator, whoever or what aver you believe that to be. To be in tune with nature is to be in balance. Like a tightrope walker ever mindful, walking the line between ecstasy and doom.     

Traveling the outback in a modern vehicle should never be dull or monotonous. Having said that, these are the longest, straightest and flattest roads in the world and at times we need to get to a camp site before dark so stopping for a break has to be forfeited. When this happens I do need a change, so I do some writing, sometimes in rhyme; with a bit of imagination you could call it poetry.

I drew a symbol on a long run somewhere near Camooweal not far from the border of Northern Territory. It was a rough sketch so I have worked on it in Photoshop.

Guiding symbol.

It incorporates the Four Noble Truths, represented by the square. The eight pointed star for the Eight Fold Path. Yin and yang symbol for balance of opposites. The curved line between Yin and yang is for perfect balance and harmony of all things. The circle is for everlasting never ending eternity of nature.

Barkley Homestead on way to Renner springs.

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Sunrise on the Gold Coast.

 

The Pantheist.

At the closing of the day nature often gives a spectacular display. To quietly watch the sunset is one of nature’s many magnificent gifts. To quietly focus on the shapes and colours of the clouds, relaxes, rejuvenates us freeing our mind of stress. We often forget, neglecting to appreciate what is freely given.

Nature has no ego to feel insulted and threaten punishment for our insults to Gods beautiful gifts. If we would rather admire man made things, or watch T.V. or make money our god. Nature goes her impartial way; the loss is ours, just another one of nature’s automatic laws.

Paddle your feet.

To get away from the pressures of town, we find peace where we can, earth-out,    paddle bare-foot in the shallow water by the sea, or in a forest stream, or in a puddle as a child would, is a simple pleasure often unrealized by adults.

We do not have to meditate on a mountain top. Our mind can be stilled and our body rejuvenated by time spent in quiet contemplation close to nature’s virgin wonderland. Hearing sounds, seeing visual displays and marveling at the complex system that keeps this ever changing, environmental system in balance, actually the whole cosmos in equilibrium.

W,A. wild flower.

Spirals, eddies, meanders, fractals, trees branching and Fabonacci spiral sequences are all part of natures functional application, of mathematics and physics, where space and time are controlled, using minimal space and effort. Man has only copied from nature and our achievements are only child-like in comparison to nature’s example.

Both flower and seed pod are beautifully aranged.

Though I try, all this complexity is beyond my comprehension. So I just show my respect and admiration as often as I can. In return nature gives me rewards of peace and pleasure. The day will eventually come when I will reluctantly have to leave these marvelous gifts.

The river meanders far below.

I will return to where I came from, as nothing is wasted or destroyed in nature, it only changes and reforms. I may fly with dust-mites in the air, or reappear anywhere. This is why we need a belief in some supreme Force a Tao a God or something to pin our hope on.

Dead branches make beautiful petterns.

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