fish pond

Buddha and the Fish

On Saturday we went to Home Goods looking for a mortar and pestle, which we found. We also came home with Buddha, which we put above the waterfall. Feeding the fish breadcrumbs.2016-11-06-18-29-18 2016-11-06-18-30-59

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Spirituality

Unity

We are all one.  We create divisions, but ultimately we are all one.  Every thought, every action is a ripple in the universe.

Humans expend a great deal of energy in setting up divisions between each other.  Nature works in harmony.  I truly believe nature is one of our biggest teachers.  We have been unconsciously and sometimes consciously destroying nature for the longest time.  Nature is made up of opposites that depend on each other as well as compliment each other.  Humans are opposites.  It is the unification of opposites that make up the world.

From Las Tzo:

When everyone in the world sees beauty, then ugly exists.

When everyone sees good, then bad exists.

Therefore:

What is and what is not create each other.

Difficult and easy complement each other.

Tall and short shape each other.

High and low rest on each other.

Voice and tone blend with each other.

First and last follow each other.

So, the sapient walks around doing nothing, and teaches without speaking.

All things appear, but he makes no claim on them.

He works for them without making them dependent.

He claims no honor for his deed.

Because he claims no honor, he will never be dishonored.

Buddha:  “He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Psalm 133:1

I’m thankful that even as much as we destroy nature, nature ultimately prevails.  Its unity gives it the advantage.

Mind

Control the Mind, Control the World, At Least My Own World

This could have just have easily been called Save the Mind, Save the World, but I thought it best to deviate from what has been lately one of those overused slogans or catch phrases stemming from the popular television series, Hero’s.  In actuality it’s more like saving our sanity or in the spiritual realm, saving our soul, when we save our mind or rather more realistically learn how to control our mind or what stems from our mind – our thoughts.  Our thoughts can be both our heaven and our hell – as Christ said, “as a man thinketh.”

Five hundred years before Christ, Buddha was teaching control of the mind to achieve detachment and enlightenment.  Even much earlier than Buddha, Krishna was handing down the same wisdom to Arjuna.

Our mind can be our biggest enslaver or our road to freedom.  The mind is a tool, and learning the proper use of any tool makes all the difference in the world.  The mind is that which builds our physical world or at a higher vibration detaches us from the illusion of the physical world.  In the majority of instances we are being controlled by our thoughts rather than being in charge of them.  Thoughts taking charge of us create all kinds of misery, sorrows, and hardships.  The thought patterns of most individuals would resemble pure chaos.  Our menagerie of thoughts if translated onto a movie screen could be seen as for every one moment of green fields and pure water, there would be ninety-nine moments of looting, brutal attacks and walking through a haunted house cowering in fear.   As our mind spins out of control from thoughts of the mundane, or the absurd, and mostly the dangerous, our ability to function seems haphazard at best.  To compound matters these wanderings of the mind like everything else in our materialistic world are based on quantity rather than quality.

Our bodies need rest.  Our minds also need rest, a longer gap between the thoughts.  The most profound solutions to our problems come not from the thoughts, but from the gap between the thoughts.  “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10.  The stillness results in inspiration, which can be defined as divine influence, the true problem solver.  Whereas, thinking creates more thinking, as a dog chasing its tail, non-thinking provides the peace from whence solutions come.

“They themselves are makers of themselves” by virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.

James Allen

Ilfracombe, England

As long as you do not subdue the mind, you cannot get rid of your desires, you cannot control your restless mind. Hence, knowledge of Truth, subjection of mind and abandonment of desires are the joint causes of spiritual bliss.

Yoga Vasishta, Sage Vasishta’s precepts to Sri Rama

I’m thankful for these great teachers and endeavor to do better in my though control issues.

 

Spirituality

If I Were a Book

On the cover would be the Buddhist wheel of life – rich with color and intricacies. It’s only one book of a series of how many I don’t know.  Within the pages one will find a brutal honesty of reality, as real as the illusion of maya gets.

The first pages turn with a crispness that only previously unturned pages can.  Awe, wonder and excitement lie in the first chapter, as seen from the eyes of a babe newly born with a fresh start.  But after that they change.  There are stains, torn pages, a lot of meandering word paths that don’t lead anywhere and invite the reader to skip in hope of something better.  There is tragedy, sorrow, and blurred words with traces of tears.  The pendulum swings.  The pages become crisp once again with renewal, joy, birth, – a fleeting enlightenment.

There is no escape yet, as the pendulum moves in the other direction.  Pages are missing, secrets too painful to reveal.  Karma ensues.  Grace picks up the pieces.  The story emerges once again as the pendulum swings upward.  A shift has been made.   Old supporting characters fade and new ones appear.  The pendulum still swings but not as brutally.  After countless eons of contemplation Arjuna begins the battle.

At the end, “to be continued.”  With apprehension I read my reviews on Amazon from the supporting characters.  There are many and range from one (ex-husband – there is a one star minimum) to five stars (current husband), with the consensus lying somewhere in the middle.

There are many books to follow until the masterpiece of the series emerges.  The binding is totally white, so white that it glows, as are the pages.

This was for a writing assignment.  I’m thankful, once again, for this writing group, that pushes me to explore my inner workings.

 

 

Spirituality

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

From our flower garden one year

How many times have you heard a statement or read something or saw something of the simplest nature that has had the profoundest effect on you?  That one simple thing that took up a mere second of your life comes back to you over and over as one of the best spiritual teachings you’ll ever receive.

When I was a teenager I saw written on an overpass, “Jesus is coming soon, and man is he pissed.” I think sad might be a more appropriate term than pissed, since I personally think Jesus is on a much higher plane than “pissdom.”  Still, I think the graffiti artist or poet definitely got the point across by using that term.  It’s more that we should be pissed at the messes we have gotten ourselves into by not respecting ourselves, others or nature.

One of the other most profound teachings I heard was something that was repeated to me by one of my best friends.  Our teacher, a Himalayan monk, called her by name, and told her to be happy.  I am still analyzing the significance of this statement.  How could he tell her to just be happy when so much in her world was crumbling around her from her own personal tragedies and those happening in the lives of most of her loved ones?  Was it really that simple – just be happy?

She did take his advice.  Things in her life that seem insurmountable began to dissolve.  There are still struggles but she has an inner faith and beauty that radiates outward with which she takes on life’s challenges.  She plucks each weed one at a time.

All of us have the Garden of Eden within.  Most of us have let the weeds take over.  We have not only let the weeds take over.  We water them as well.

The neglect of our gardens has gone on for so long that the task of refurbishing it becomes daunting.   The weeds have intertwined with our good plants trying to suffocate them

We don’t realize who we are or the potential we possess.  We are not self-realized.  We label ourselves as fat, skinny, poor, sick, aching, sad, depressed, unlovable, or ugly. We identify with a disease or the divorce we went through or some other tragedy or drama that has played out in our life, never letting go long enough to see the lesson in it.  Our petals would open with our own true brilliant color if we would just quit watering the weeds.

As Buddha said, “Happiness is the way.”