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Posts Tagged ‘Understanding’

Without wheels.

Without wheels.

Wheels of Progress.

This is the way, bikes for hire.

This is the way, bikes for hire.

The invention of the wheel took a load off mans shoulders. It has many commercial uses one of its first uses was the wheelbarrow, carts and chariots. Today we have a vast array of uses for the wheel it is seen everywhere from the push-bike to the locomotive, the family car to the huge road-trains, big trucks pulling a string of trailers all with many pneumatic duel wheels.  On the water the wheel has mostly replaced the tiller.

road trains

road-trains

In the late sixth century BC, before Christ, a man called Siddhartha Gautama lived, commonly known as the Buddha. Buddha found and taught others how to free themselves from life’s suffering. His teaching is called the Dharma by his followers. The basic teachings, fundamental to all schools of Buddhism, are known as The Four Noble truths and The Eight Fold Path. They are simple to understand but not so easy to put into practice as it takes mindfulness and self-discipline, without any supernatural assistance.

The wheel symbol on Thai Watt.

The wheel is symbol on a Thai Watt. (Thailand temple)

The symbol adopted to represent the eight ethical steps of the eightfold path is an eight spoke wheel. Each spoke represents a teaching to master. The first step is ‘right understanding, as outlined in The Four Noble truths, understanding that all things are passing. With right understanding the passing of people and material things no longer brings anguish and suffering. Through meditation on the impermanence of all things one learns equanimity. Also the futility of greed and clinging are realized. This is as big a step as the invention of the wheel but not in a commercial sense.

Cooktown foot-path.

A Cooktown foot-path decorated with indigenous peoples design.

If you are ignorant of right understanding, the first step on the path, the other seven steps will be harder to keep to. The steps are not necessarily in any order each one must be practiced when the occasion arises. To be aware and mindful therefore is an important step on the moral path to contentment. Every step is important the second step right thoughts are just as important as, right speech, right actions, right effort and right occupation, earning our living in a way that does not adversely affect other beings. The sixth step is equally important the right effort to practice this honourable path to peace of mind is critical. All the steps combined are vital. Our right thoughts lead to right action. Just as all things are interconnected and essential in the balance of nature, so all steps on this intelligent path need following and practicing equally.

The wheel spokes remind us to be cantered.

The wheel spokes remind us to be centered.

Evert time I see a wheel it reminds me of those eight steps, that when practiced take me closer to perfection. This is the under laying goal in my life. Often I find myself straying from the right path unmindful, distracted and heading to an unsavoury destination, not a burning hell nothing as drastic as that. It is a worldly mercenary hell of greed and aversion, a world that is lacking in consideration, compassion, reciprocity and respect. I have trained my mind to respond to other symbols as a reminder of the path I am following.

Road-train overtaking, all things are passing.

Road-train overtaking, all things are passing.

I am reminded of the fleeting nature of all things when I see a flower, a sunset or the face of a clock. This natural law that we are all subject to is not a case of being singled out and persecuted, victimized or picked on. Things are just as they are. Realizing all things are subject to change we become less grasping and clinging more caring and sharing  and appreciate the simple pleasures in our life. Happy to be well and when plagued by misfortune knowing it will also pass. All things can be used to keep one focused, following the spiritual. I have no organized religion dictating to me but everyone needs a guiding ethical path. Man has created many Gods there is, I believe, only one with many names

Inventions are often misused.

Inventions are often misused.

The wheel can be used for commercial purposes or ethical. How we use the wheel and other inventions is the critical point. The wheels on a car must be kept in balance for safe and comfortable travel. Our symbolic spiritual wheel also needs attention to keep it in good running order. When you see a wheel you may recall the Eight Fold Path as I do and try to practice the eight steps. They will not clash with or change any of your existing beliefs. But may change your life by providing direction and meaning. To conclude I wish you a wheel good life.

Warn -out and retired.

Worn out and retired.

Please look at the link, I have highlighted, it is well worth the effort. Another tip on effort the push has been taken out of the push-bike  with the invention of the powered bicycles. You will conserve more energy if you purchase one. Remember only if you need and do not just want to hang it on the garage wall. Like the Eight Fold Path it must be used to do any good.

Take care and stay on the  on the right  path.

Take care and stay on the right path.

     

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Pauline and June's bread.

Pauline and June’s bread.

Food for Thought.

Staff of Life.

Staff of Life.

The smell of baking bread wafting on the morning air as you pass by a bakery is a delight to the nose. To the eye the delight of warm natural golden brown bread remind us of the corn or wheat fields. Then there is the pleasure of eating bread. The feel of the crunchy crust the ears can tune in on this and the texture is a delight as the taste buds go to work. Bread feeds all the senses. It is no wonder it is mentioned in The Lord’s Prayer.

Bakery shelf.

Bakery shelf.

Give us our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses. I do not think it is that easy. As the saying goes, “There are no free lunches” I believe one needs to put in a bit more effort than praying. Practicing the steps in the Buddha’s Eight Fold Path is more practical. Eight self-imposed ethical rules that if followed lead to peace and understanding.

First step.

First step.

The first step is right understanding, realizing all things in life are constantly changing. All material things, no matter how we try to preserve them, deteriorate and relationships are also subject to change and bring sorrow. Aware of these facts one realizes wanting and clinging are not the way to happiness, caring and sharing brings joy, where as greedily wanting and clinging brings grief.

Healthy food.

Healthy food.

Prayer has not saved religious people in the Middle East the ground has been soaked in their blood. Ever since the Garden of Eden there has been sin and intrigue.  These people all believe in the one supreme, omnipotent, know all God. The Jews, Christians and Muslims have been in a frenzy plotting and killing in his name. These are the very things their perfect God commands they refrain from.

Peaceful Sanders Beach Qld.

Peaceful Sanders Beach Qld.

Peacefully follow the religion of your choice and allow others the same privilege. Read other ideas and incorporate what is good for promoting peace in our world into your beliefs. By taking responsibility for your actions and working to become a worthy person, that can be trusted to stand by his word and show kindness to others will not distract from your sacred beliefs.

Our wonderful land.

Our wonderful land.

We have a wonderful world if we show our appreciation by sharing and harmlessly enjoying its wonders. Whoever or whatever created this world will respond with kindness. Appreciation as opposed to destruction is the way to happiness. A prayer will do no harm but your actions are more important. Pray with your hands together and pick apples with both hands and see which fills your basket.

Savour your food to appreciate.

Savour your food to appreciate.

All food should be savoured, appreciated and given the time needed to allow for its enjoyment. Nothing can be fully enjoyed in a hurry try slowing the greedy haste in life and find more enjoyment. Live in the moment, enjoy the now and stop hurrying to some future pleasure that may only bring disappointment. The most important thing is what you are doing now. The most important person in the world is the one you are with now. Give what you are experiencing in the now your full attention.

Beautiful creatures.

Beautiful creatures.

No one can be forced to believe a religion especially when it has a track record of violence. If you want to convert people to your religion it is advisable to understand their beliefs first and know the history and many branches of your own religion. Then set a good example for them to follow. Do not make bread or wine something it is not and do not only pray for the hungry they need something more sustaining like real crisp crunchy wholesome bread.

Sugar Cane for those that like cakes.

Sugar Cane for those that like cakes.

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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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No worries.

Have they got it all.

Have they got it all?

All my personal problems, on reflection, were mostly of my own making. All I wanted was to be carefree, happy and not create discord and difficulty. In my ignorance I made a determined effort to achieve my desired goals. In hindsight my wanting caused pain and suffering to others as well as myself. The trouble I caused was not a deliberate wish; it was a product of my lack of understanding. Blind to the feelings of others my desires fueled a fire that burned all it contacted.

What else do they need?

What else do they need?

I no longer have regrets; I have learned the unsatisfactory nature of life is the causes of much suffering to the unaware. The young and inexperienced cannot be condemned for their misunderstanding learned from a materialistic social system. We are fed on the misguided belief that acquiring possessions brings happiness. Nurtured on greed and fear one strives for security, not realizing that fear and greed are poison to peace in our world.

It is a rat rce down there.

It is a rat race down there.

When helpful truths are learned, from worthy role models and life experiences, we realize wanting and struggling for material things does not bring lasting happiness. In time all things lose their sparkle and shine and the pleasure soon fades. The novelty of succeed does not stop the wanting urge. Wanting to fill our emptiness we keep striving on the endless tread mill, called desire. Wanting, grasping and clinging to things we desire and trying to avoiding what we do not want, we are never at peace. Out of misplaced zeal we strive for what we want and are unmindful of others needs, this behavior can kill love. Destroying our happiness, joy and contentment, the very things we value most. This is how ignorance leads us to fall into life’s traps and pitfalls.

With the right attitude it is beautifull.

With the right attitude it is beautiful.

We should not grieve over past mistakes, learn from the experience. Do not fear the future enjoy each day, tomorrow we have no control over. The most important time is now, the most important person is the one you are with now, and the most important thing you can do is what you are doing now. Try to live in a modest, uncomplicated way. Taking only what you need, all the really essential things, in life are available if we live in a kindly, sharing and caring way. You cannot change the world you can only live in harmony with the world.

This is the heigh position in Sydney.

This is the highest position in Sydney.

Never let fear, greed or hate influence you or led you into being afraid of unproven threats. Kindness and understanding are the way to peace, force encourages the opposite reaction. Selfish hording and greed breeds discontent. Lacking understanding of others needs, affluent people flaunt their greedy way of life. Television reaches the eyes of the poor and hungry also the uneducated and gullible who are then ready to be led by unscrupulous, opportunist leaders.

Back down to earth.

Back down to earth.

I am not saying life is not good, when I say life has an unsatisfactory nature and this is the cause of much suffering. I am saying it is a universal truth that in time all things change and to understand that grasping and clinging to anything is inviting sorrow. As all things are subject to change like water they will run through your fingers. You are left empty and cry out why is this happening to me?  It is not personal, it is just the way things are, it happens to everyone. When we have right understanding of the true nature of things we can face life with a balanced outlook.

Let's keep it simlpe

Let’s keep it simple

We still work for worthwhile goals but without the urgency, the frenzy or obsession. We enjoy our work if we chose an occupation that will be a benefit to all. Doing a useful job we can take a pride in, it could be cleaning windows, if we have the right attitude it is a wonderful job, for a time I worked at it, out in the fresh air, good exercise, a healthy job, no worries just learn all the tricks of the trade to make those windows perfect. I gave those office workers stationed at their desks a clear view of the outside world. I also enjoyed unobstructed views of the beautiful city of Sydney. We all need a clear view, good attitude and no worries.

That's all we want.

That’s all we want.

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The smile and body language says it all.

Miss who?

Misunderstanding, most of the problems, arguments and even wars, I believe are caused by misunderstanding and ignorance. With ignorance of the full facts a person misjudges a situation. There are other factors that contribute to our difficulty in living in harmony with our fellow man or should I say fellow person?

Here is an example of misunderstanding. Some woman may have had a bad experience with a macho man with a big ego. Then she reads, Miss who? Picks up on misunderstanding, ignorance and fellowman, she could easily wrongly assess the motive in my writing. My intention is to promote understanding. Miss Who? Was my idea of humor, I did not go too far and mention misbehave, that would be a misdemeanor, this is probably not funny to most people.

Stress of modern life.

We have to be very careful with humor. Normally no one minds you laughing with them but usually people do mind you laughing at them and often someone is the brunt of the joke. Remember moderation in all things especially humor, Still never lose your sense of humor, it can keep you smiling over those tough times.

No mistaking these smiles.

Hitch hiking back in the 60s sometimes, when the lifts were few and far between and the situation was getting desperate. I would think of something funny as a prospective lift approached this put a smile on my face. I had noticed other hitch hikers with grim looks on their faces, they were worried looks but to the drivers they looked unfriendly and desperate and fear prevented them from stopping.

Sam, I call him Sam Simardi.

Unsmiling worried looking faces can give the wrong impression to people making snap judgments. When a person is stressed and has troubles they may not only look uninviting, their disposition can also be unfriendly. In most cases this is only temporary. We need to have full understanding of any situation before we start making judgments and airing our views.

Fear contributes to a good deal of our problems; fear is often used by manipulative, ignorant, and greedy people to achieve their objectives. Armies and weapons of mass destruction, we are told, protect us from invasion. Conversely other countries aware of the buildup of forces, in fear, increase their weaponry. This fear is a waste of effort and resources that could be put to better causes. When we smile we send a message that is understood in all languages. Kindness and a helping hand promotes reciprocity.

All children are special.

You now have a positive and a negative list of words. Negative words are misunderstanding, ignorance, fear and greed, positive words are understanding, trust, kindness, moderation and balance.

People in love are beautiful.

This leads me to think, if less was spent by the rich countries on weapons of mass destruction and more on foreign aid, there would be less envy, discontentment and hate. There would be less damage to environment as our resources are wasted on blowing up cities, then rebuilding them.  Have you wondered who profits from war?

This is someones happy home.

I have traveled alone in foreign lands and been treated kindly by the locals. I have tried to smile and look friendly, respected their ways and never flaunted my affluence. I have been more a traveler than a rich tourist wanting a good time. My aim has been to experience their way of life and see the wonders of their country.

Finish on a happy note.

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