Monday 29 December 2014

The Tao....

The Tao....

Master Lieh Tzu asked gatekeeper Yin if he could explain the following;

"Only the perfect man can walk under water and not drown, can walk on fire and not burn and can pass over a multitude of lives without fear.
How is this possible?"

Gatekeeper Yin replied;
"It is because he preserves his original breath, and this has nothing to do with knowledge, work, persistence,
or bravery."

"Everything has a face, form, sound and color. These are just appearances."

He continued;
"How is it possible that this thing or that thing are separated from each other?"
"Indeed why should each be viewed as the first of all beings?"
"They are just forms and colours and nothing more."
"However everything arises from what is formless, and descends into that which is changeless."

"If we grasp and follow this using it to the full,
nothing can stand in our way!"

"It means being able to reside within limits which have no limit,
be secluded within boundaries which have no beginning,
go to where both the beginning and the end of all life is;
combine essential nature, nourish the original breath, harmonize Virtue and, by following this Path, commune with the origins of life."

"We will guard our unity with Heaven,
and then our spirit will be without fault,
nothing can get inside and attack us."

"We must retreat to the serenity of Heaven and as a result nothing causes us harm."

"We must recognize that everything under Heaven is united."

"It is possible to get rid of the rigors of punishment and execution, of chaos, violence and war."

"This is the Tao."

"We must not cast aside the Heavenly, and ignore the human aspect; only then will people draw closer to the realization of Truth."

This is a Dharma from the writing of Chung Tzu and I thought it appropriate to the situation we both face right now.

With Metta
Nathan


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Monday 15 December 2014

Eric's new book.....

Eric's new book.....

"I have heard....

One day or so after the Buddha's enlightenment, a man saw the Buddha walking towards him.
The man knew nothing of the Buddha, but could see there was something very different about him.
He asked:
"Are you a God?"
"No", the Buddha answered.
"A magician,
a sorcerer, a wizard?"
"No."
"An angel?"
"No."
said the Buddha.
"Then what are you?"
"I am awake,"
the Buddha replied."
.............
I have been so fortunate to receive a present of a book from my friend
Eric Dowsett.
This, 'Collapsing the Wave,'
his fourth book,
just on the market,
is about change.
Of course change cannot happen unless we choose to change.

Most are asleep, dozing, non-compus.
Not caring for anything other than desire and the pursuit of dreams that are out of all proportion.

Eric challenges us to step out of this cycle.
Not to become involved.
To be in this world, but not part of it.
To rise above the mundane, the madness and the futility that our suffering causes ourselves and others.

Eric talks of our conditioned mind.
To let go.

I am enjoying this book, a reminder of things I did do and shouldn't have done, and of things I haven't done and should do.

I highly recommend and will write more after I read more.

Thanks Eric
www.ericdowsett.com


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Friday 5 December 2014

Holidays;

Holidays;

Most of us are about to take a holiday,
Friends will say:
"enjoy yourself, don't do anything I wouldn't do".
What does that mean?
That's really scary.
What do they expect us to do?
I most certainly wouldn't do the things my wild friends get up to. Not that there is anything wrong with being wild, I just don't do wild things.
I go on holiday to relax.
I try not to speak,
not a lot of social intercourse.
Just commune with nature, and watch the Universe at work.

Of course, there are other things, like food, always the food.
The most important part for me,
is the letting go.
We carry so much nonsense around with us, so much garbage.

Concerns from the past, future dreams that will never happen.

The stress and suffering caused by past and future should be left at home.

Of course when we realise the cause,
we become truely enlightened.

All of a sudden, our surroundings look and feel different.
Very clear, crystal clear, no judgement, only joy and love.

Even when transport is not on time, service not the best, there are flies and bitey things, never mind.

We rise above the argument in the mind.

We overcome obstacles that normally stay and build, and if we don't, we share our problems with strangers what we hate about everything.

I don't do that anymore.

I realized that I caused the problems.
I was the argument.
I only saw in others what I didn't like in myself.
All that has changed.

There is nothing I don't like about me now.

Unconditional love, for myself and all beings.
It's not easy, practicing a 'no judgement' attitude.
Practicing unconditional love takes work.
The decision to practice, is the work.
It takes a decision.

Our whole life is based on decisions.
To get up in the morning,
till the time we sleep, decisions.
The decision to be nice, that is another matter.

What to eat, what to wear, which wife, which life.
These are the easy decisions.

When it comes to behavior, that is another matter.
To be at peace with oneself is the key.
How can we be at peace when our behaviour is determined by our emotional state?

Most of us spend our waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, being
depressed or other negative states of mind.
These directly effect our behavior.

When we are able to enjoy simple things, like listening to the sound of the wind,
or the rain, or watch the beauty of clouds moving across the sky.
Be alone without the feeling of loneliness, not needing to be entertained.

When we find ourselves treating a complete stranger with kindness.
We find a space has opened up,
our behavior changed.
It is this space that gives us a sense of well-being, of peace, of what the Indian sages called Ananda-the Bliss of Being.

We appreciate simple things, our own company, and we relate to others with loving kindness.

The common element: contentment
peace
being alive
just being

I love holiday.
Nathan


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Wednesday 26 November 2014

Two problems;

Two problems;

There are two problems getting to my age
First is forgetting things
I can never remember the second thing....

Buddha's help;

A man seeking help,
went to see the Buddha.
He told the Buddha he was a farmer.
"I like farming but sometimes it rains too much and then not enough and one year we nearly starved."
"I like my wife,
but sometimes she nags too much and my children are good, but they don't show enough respect..."
the man went on and on.......

The Buddha sat through all the farmers problems and finally, when he finished,
the Buddha said;

"I am sorry I can't help you."

"Everyone has problems,
in fact we all have eighty three problems"

The Buddha then told them all to the farmer from birth to death.

The Buddha finally said that he may be able to help the man with the eighty fourth problem.

"What's the eighty fourth problem?" asked the farmer.

"The problem of not wanting to have problems."
replied the Buddha.
..................

I still have my problem of forgetting things.
I don't have the other eighty two problems as I probably have forgotten them.
Anyway, with practice we can let go all our problems.

Nathan


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Wednesday 12 November 2014

Six areas....

Six areas....

Here are the most important six areas of our lives, where we can lack, and cause ourselves and those around us to suffer.
My six week plan may help.
Please join me....

Week one:

Today,
a great day to start to let go!

Today, I have decided to do something about this.

So now I am sitting in my most comfortable lounge chair.
I have made notes in preparation for my letting go session.
There are six headings on the paper in front of me regarding the major areas of my life.

I have worked out over all these years of
"soul searching"
that should I lack in any one or more of these areas, then I must want to lack in these areas.

I believe that I am in charge of my life,
so I must be in charge of these six areas of my life.

So what are these areas?

Over the next five weeks I will look at each area in my life in greater detail.
The first area to look at is;

Physical:

My question to myself is am I happy, satisfied and fulfilled with myself in this area,
or am I lacking physically?

Could I be doing something to extend my life by dropping a habit I don't really need?

When I feel ok with myself, the amazing thing is that the whole world feels great.
Nothing bothers me.
I sleep well and when I wake up in the morning,
I feel as though my whole life is starting again.

There is a yesterday and a tomorrow, but I am not living in them.
I am living physically right here and now.

Of course, this is well and good, but as I try to get up from my comfortable chair, I notice that I am a little overweight.

Alright,
a lot overweight.

My doctor has put me on the PDTF diet.
She said it should only take a few months and I will be fine.
I asked her what is PDTF
She said;
"Put Down The Fork"

The actual doing is made easier when we know we lack in this area and it is holding us back.

Like a magician who takes a rabbit from his hat, we must become a magician who takes a habit out of rat.
Comparing myself to a rat is not such a bad example as I scurry off to write the next area of my life.

As for my own physical wellbeing,
I love who I am
and have decided to drop the need to substitute food for emotional happiness and boredom.

I now have a week to initiate change in this,
the first area of my life.

Care to join me?
................
Week two....

Financial:

What an area to discuss as we all feel we lack in this most important part of our lives.

The funny part,
is should we think we lack, then it must be true, and we act accordingly.
We want, we need,
we must have,
it never stops.
The more we have,
the more we want.

Apparently, desire leads to suffering and suffering is the biggest cause of high blood pressure, which in turn can cause disease and death.

The Buddha said:
"When we give up desire,
we get what we desire."
That's ok for the Buddha,
he lived the life of an ascetic, never staying in the same place for too long,
not accumulating,
not desiring to be better, or to succeed in any way.
The Buddha did not suffer with high blood pressure.

The Buddha did say that desire is the root cause of all suffering.

Where does this place us in this success orientated world?
Do we strive to succeed and prove how clever we are by accumulation,
or do we live the life of a devout monk?
Some of us choose the latter, but only the fewest.
For the rest, the daily struggles go on, striving to pay bills and lead a "normal" life.
Some even succeed beyond all expectation.
For the rest, financial hardship and struggle is a daily fact.

The question is how does one cope with this area of our life,
so that it does not cause us to suffer?

The answer is as the Buddha suggested;
by giving up the craving,
by giving up desire.
When we let go of these defilements,
the Universe provides.
We get what we want.
We attract all that we need.

We now have a week to let go of something that is holding us back financially.
Please don't say that a lack of money is holding us back, cause that's not funny.

I am asking to let go of the craving, the desire,
the cause of suffering.

Please join me.
.................
Week three:

Home and family.....

Here's the thing,
do we act differently at home, than at work,
or with our friends?
Are we all smiles and a show of happiness outside the home and once at the front door,
our demeanor changes?
It's an effort to be nice for one reason or another.
The excuses don't really matter, its all in our heads and totally within our control.

Does our family have expectations about us that we are not fulfilling?

What is it about our home life that we feel we lack?
Do we lack love, respect,
admiration, or is it just boredom and a feeling of being locked in that stops us from performing as a role model should.

All the above and more are only in our head.
These feelings of loss will only go away when we decide to let go of them.

Again,
how to let go is simple.
When we recognize and understand our behavior, realize the consequences of our behavior,
we can then embrace the behavior,
forgive ourselves,
and let go.

This process does not take two to be involved,
it takes one and one only.
Ourself......
The most important person in our life.
................

Halfway:

We are now half way through my version of the six most important areas of our lives....

Should we be bothered to have a hard look at these areas and see we lack,
then we are halfway to discovering a new us.

It is only the recognition that something could be better that determines our attitude to ourselves and the consequences that effect others..

Our behavior is the only standard by which others judge us.

When our behavior does not fit with others values then we are looked at as different, or looked at in a poor light.

In each of the first three areas, it is our behavior and the way perform financially, look physically and react with our home and family,
that determines all our interactions.
Should we not be fulfilled or satisfied, then an effort to let go may be in order.

Behavior does not involve two,
it normally starts with one.
Ourself.
The most important person in our world.
..................

Week four:
Spiritual.....

Do we believe we do the right thing, because its the right thing to do?
Or, do we think we do things, because it is what is expected of us, with no thoughts of consequence?

Our spiritual beliefs differ from our religious faith.
Spirituality is our deepest commitment to the way we behave and how that behavior effects those around us, now and into the future.

Our spirituality denotes realms of our inner life.
The purity of our motives,
our affections,
our intention,
and the analysis of our feelings.
That is how we feel,
what we think,
what we say,
and what we do.

The Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh said;
"We must not be attached to a view,
ours or others,
a doctrine,
even a Buddhist one
and call it the truth."
"The Buddha said that when we adopt something as the absolute truth and we attach to it, then we no longer have the chance to reach the truth.
Even when truth knocks at our door,
we won't recognize it.
So we must not be attached to dogma,
or to what we think,
we believe, or perceive"

Only the truth can set us free from the prison that we set for ourselves and spend most of our lives trying to escape.

Lets escape now
and be free.
It only takes
a spiritual thought.
................
Week five:

Emotional....
(Social)

Oh!
I don't want to talk about this
I am so sick of your inane comments
You make me sick
It's all your fault
The government is against me
I hate you

Recognize any of the above?
Do you want to add at least another seventy,
or so, emotional outbursts, some positive, most negative.
Here is a small list?

Affection Anger Angst Anguish Annoyance Anxiety Apathy Arousal Awe Boredom
Confidence Contempt Contentment Courage Curiosity Depression Desire
Despair Disappointment Disgust Distrust Dread Ecstasy Embarrassment Envy
Euphoria Excitement Fear Frustration Gratitude Grief Guilt Happiness
Hatred Hope Horror Hostility Hurt Hysteria Indifference Interest Jealousy
Joy Loathing Loneliness Love Lust Outrage Panic Passion Pity Pleasure
Pride Rage Regret Relief Remorse Sadness Satisfaction
Self-confidence
Shame Shock Shyness Sorrow Suffering Surprise Terror Trust Wonder Worry
Zeal Zest

The range is enormous and as varied as our behavior allows.

Emotion is what motivates our behavior in a negative,
or positive manner, depending on how we feel at the time.
So the list above can be both positive,
or negative.

In most cases of behavioral lack, we hide behind the use of emotional blackmail that we call communication.

It's the juggling between our own personality,
character and our perception of how we believe others see us,
that determines which emotion we use and whether it will have a positive,
or negative outcome.

The consequence of excessive emotional outbursts can cause damage to qi (life energy) which in turn damages vital organs for both ourselves and those we communicate with.

When we lack in this most important area,
we effect directly all those we contact every day,
in every way,
family and friends,
in fact all we contact.

Please take care with everything
we say,
think,
and do.
The more mindful we are, the more able to let go of useless,
emotional,
rubbish.
...................

Week six:
Mental....

I have started this,
the last area of our life with a plea.

We take a shower everyday to wash our body clean,
then why are we so careless about our mind?

Why should we not cleanse the defilements from our mind,
by meditation every day.

Lets give our mind the shower of meditation everyday, for our mind is the ultimate source of all our happiness.

I ask that once in awhile please sit,
just sit
and cleanse the mind.

Please don't forget;
"As a broom sweeps the streets clean,
the breath sweeps the mind clean."

Sogyal Rinpoche wrote from his Tibetan book of living and dying;

"Sometimes when I meditate, I don't use any particular method.
I just bring my mind home and relax.
There is no question if this is "correct",
there is no effort,
only a rich understanding.
When I am in the nature of mind, the ordinary mind is not there.
I simply am."

It really is so simple.

We have one life,
one period of time that is so fragile,
so impermanent.
It is guaranteed to end.
The only thing in our life that is certain, is our end.

Why then do we hasten this certainty by choosing stupidity.

The stupidity of our desire to constantly keep a state of lack, in one or more areas of our most precious gift.

The gift of being.

There are,
as we have seen,
six main areas in our life that incur consequence.

This insuring result can bring about Karma with devastating calamity.

The prison that most of us live in is self made.
The bars and locks self imposed.

To break free is easy.

Sit
Relax
Let go
Break free

Thank you all for allowing me to come into your life and share.

Nathan




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Six areas.....

Saturday 1 November 2014

Humility




Humility...

I have heard about a young man whose father was a great teacher.
All his young life he had heard his fathers wisdom.
He felt he knew all there was to know just by listening to his father's words.

His father said,
"I want you to learn from a farmer, an illiterate peasant teacher."

The son travelled for many days and finally reached the farmers village.

The farmer was on horseback returning from a trip.

He watched as the young man approached and bowed before him.

"Not enough." said the peasant.
The young man bowed again, bending his knees.

"Not enough." said the peasant.
So the young man bowed so low his knees touched the ground.

Once again he was told "not enough."

He then prostrated himself flat on the ground with his fingers touching the horses hooves.

"That's it"
 said the peasant teacher,
"you have learnt everything I can teach,
you go home now."

Nathan 

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Monday 27 October 2014

Mondo.....



A monk asked 
Yun-men: 
"Should one leave home without a parents consent?"
The master said:
"Shallow!"
"I do not understand,"
the monk replied,
"Deep!" said Yun-men.

Yun-men(864-949)
Zen Master

Yun-men addressed the assembly and said: "I am not asking you about the days before the fifteenth of the month. But what about after the fifteenth? Come and give me a word about those days."

And he himself gave the answer for them: "Every day is a good day."

In 949AD he gave his final talk to his monks and said: "Coming and going are continuous, I must be on my way."   He then sat in the lotus position and died. 

Yen-men gave one word answers to most questions. Always sharp, to the point, and most did not understand. To the few who did spend some time in contemplation of his words, came clarity and awareness.

His belief that we think too much was a revelation in his time. Maybe, today we need to adopt some of his thinking. 

"The less we think,  the more we see."

Nathan



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Wednesday 22 October 2014

Seeds....




To sow seeds.....

In Brazil, some two hundred years ago, 
a small  village was starving.
The crops had failed once again and things were desperate.
The head man called all the smartest young men and chose one to go and find a way for the village to survive.

All the gold in the village was collected and given to this smart young man.
This was the first time anyone had left the  village to go outside alone with the village gold.

Two years later, 
the smart young man came back.
The head man was the only one who had believed the young man would come back.

"What have you brought us after all this time?"
 the head man asked.
"Seeds", he replied " they are called coffee". 

History tells us Brazil was placed on the map by this one young smart man.
In the last century Brazil became the largest coffee producer in the world.

So the question is what seed have we, 
that can give others a future?

The seed doesn't have to be financial, it can be seeds of love, 
or seeds of hope, or the seed can be in the form of a Dharma from the Buddha.

All of us have seeds that have not been shared.

Some seeds never sprout, never grow, because we don't know, or understand, that the seeds exist within us.

When we operate from our true self, our inner self, the self that has no ego, no fears, no thoughts of past or future.
This is the self that operates in the now.
The present moment.

This self, this pure self, knows about the seed.

Nathan 


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Tuesday 30 September 2014

The power of.....

The power of.....

" I am "

I saw these words the other day and a light turned on in my head.
I thought about how strong our words are and how our words effect us.

"I am sick,
I am tired,
I didn't sleep a wink last night,
I hate you,
I hate my job,
I can't stand banks, government, weather, dogs, cats, relatives."

The list is endless.
The effect is instant and not only do we carry these thoughts with us,
we pass them on.

We can cause a ripple effect that can touch dozens of people effecting how they feel and all of those they mix with.
The effect can be disastrous.
Hundreds of people having a bad day because we decided to vent a negative....
"I am."

How about....
I am strong,
I am beautiful,
I am full of vigor.
Full of love,
I am perfect.

With Metta
Nathan


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Sunday 28 September 2014

Some are blessed...

Some are blessed...

Some of us are blessed that choose to listen.

Some never find or hear the voice that lives within.

Do all who manage to hear the voice listen?
I don't think so.

I know I am blessed as I listen.

My voice wears a Monks robe, worn loosely draped over both shoulders drawn together with a sweep of his arm.
He wears his robe covering his head like a cowl. This gives the impression of a most mysterious Monk.

I have written many stories about this Monk.
I call him
"The Silent One."
He seems to arrive when needed.
His arrival always welcome, even though the message is not always pleasant.
The delivery is always the same.
Total silence.
He stares.

I see love and my future in his eyes, and as I look at him, I hear the voice.
Sometimes soft, other times harsh, always with compassion and love. The message always pertinent to the situation. The amazing thing about the advise he gives, is that it's never wrong.
All I have to do is listen and then take action.

The last time, I was delivered a harsh but timely message
and I heard, about my bad manner, my temper,
my impatience,
and my arrogance.
Of course I took his advice and now twenty four hours later, I have not needed or chosen any of the above.
Once we are shown our suffering and bad behavior to ourselves and others, then we can fix everything.

So the question is
"Where do we find our voice, or how?"

I found my voice the first time whilst meditating on a beach some five and a half years ago.

"Anapanasati"
The breath,
only the breath.
Apparently my voice lives in the spaces between the thoughts. Once the mind chatter ceased, the spaces became longer and clarity pervades.
I then hear the voice...
"We meet again seeker...."

He appears and calls me "seeker"
Earlier this year he told me his message was the last one between us. He has spoken five more times since then. Maybe he needs to stick around, or maybe I need him to be there. Whatever it is, I am pleased when he appears.
I feel blessed by his presence and my advice is, should you find your voice within,
listen.

With Metta
Nathan




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Friday 26 September 2014

Let us share....

Let us share....

I want to share a dharma how we can help others

Most people want things for themselves and
it's human nature to desire things

The Buddha said the cause of suffering is desire

Even our prayers are full of me me me and the things we desire
Health wealth and happiness

A great man once said
If you want to be happy for an hour
Have a massage
If you want to be happy for a day
Go for a picnic
If you want to be happy for a week
Go to Bali
If you want to be happy for a month
Get married
If you want to be happy for a year
Win the lottery
But if you want to be happy for a lifetime
Help others

It is so much better to give than to receive

The Reverend Joel Osteen tells the following

A child from a poor family comes into Jacks grocer shop and looks at the fruit and veggies
Jack asks him what he wants but the child tells him he is only looking

Jack notices that the boy is holding some marbles
and tells the boy he will swap a bag of fruit for the marbles
The marbles are the boys pride and joy but his family was hungry so he offered them to Jack for the large bag of fruit

Jack told the boy that he only wanted red marbles and didn't like the blue ones the boy had
He told the boy to come back next week and bring red ones

The following week Jack handed the boy a large bag of vegetables and told the boy he wanted blue marbles not the red ones the boy had

This went on for months with Jack never accepting the boys marbles

Some fifteen years later Jack passed away and at his funeral there were three well dressed young men standing by the open casket
Each one in turn held Jacks hand

After the funeral the minister asked Jacks wife about the three red marbles he found in Jacks hand
She told him that jack had fed three families with fruit and vegetables for years in return for red marbles that he never took

It is so much better to give than to receive

A young man about fifteen years old was going door to door selling plastic containers that he had recycled
He explained that he did this after school to feed himself as he had no family

Some people felt sorry for him and gave him a dollar most just slammed the door in his face

At one house a girl answered the door and he stood speechless
She was so beautiful
The girl saw he was so thin and obviously starving and she offered him a glass of milk
He drank it down in one go so cold so delicious

It actually saved his life

Some twenty five years later the same girl had a life threatening growth in her brain
Unfortunately she could not afford the operation and there was only one doctor who specialized in the delicate area of her disease

The doctor stopped in to see her and the moment he saw her he said he would operate

The operation was successful and she was worried about the cost and how she could pay

On the bottom of the bill she received was a hand written note from the doctor

"paid in full with a glass of milk"

It is so much better to give than to receive

I heard about a poor family with five children
It was a struggle just for the food each week

The eldest boy wanted to go to the Amusement Park for his birthday and the father had saved fifty cents each week for a year just for this treat

They were so excited as they stood in line to get in
When it was the fathers time to pay he got such a shock at the price just to get in and he didn't have enough for the entrance fee

The man behind him tapped him on the shoulder and said in a quiet voice
"excuse me but $40 just dropped out of your pocket"

The father looked at him with tears in his eyes and said
"thank you so much
you are a saint
God will shine on you"

It is so much better to give than to receive

Nathan




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Tuesday 23 September 2014

.Better than ....

.Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point on hearing which one finds peace
Dhammapada 100

Reflections....

The Silent One entered my dream
My sleep interrupted by his presence
He stared at me for what seemed minutes and then I thought he said.....
"Seeker I warned you about your bad manner, your temper, impatience, arrogance and above all, your intolerance of others beliefs and needs."
He continued....
"We have been down this path before. 
You have let go of old beliefs and prejudices, but now you return to your old habits. 
I ask why?
Fortunately, what is done can be undone.

The decision is yours.

The mantle one wears is of no importance and as you see my garb is just a rag taken from a cemetery.
I asked no ones permission, I took no advice, I was given this robe by my teacher and the only thing he told me was to respect the rules that the robe brought with it.
The Precepts that come with the robe are to be kept without exception. Breaking any one of them shows weak character and is an offense to the community.
There are also Monks rules to be kept that the Buddha created to keep one on the path of ones practice."

"You are not yet ready for this step, too many rules. You are not disciplined enough."

I woke thanking him and thinking that I really must start being serious about my practice.

The sun is shining in through the window.

What a glorious day. 
Nathan





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Friday 19 September 2014

Taking Precepts?



Dr pannaji told me I was experimenting with my Buddhism
with my wishes to take precepts and to wear robes for the time I am here in MahaVihara.
I told him I was experiencing what the Buddha offered freely, and what I have been following for many years and that I had already worn robes.
This Doctor has a novice program and one would think this supposed great thinker translator and teacher could be maybe a little more empathetic towards a fellow asking for his guidance.
But no he blithely  without any consideration or deliberation dashed any aspirations on the spot by not allowing a fellow Buddhist the joy of taking vows that the Buddha himself gave freely to all who asked.
I understand he is old and one should respect ones elders but there is only a twelve years in our age difference and I feel that when I get to his age in twelve years time I will be a little more understanding.
Nathan
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Wednesday 17 September 2014

First day.....

First day.....

First day at the
Buddhist Maha Vihara KualaLumpur......

One of the best ways to clear the mind,
is to sweep, just sweep.
The leaves, the pebbles, the dirt that washes down the walkways and across the car park.
What a joy to sweep the water that gathers in little puddles that splash on the bottom of Monks robes.
Each stroke like a brush, painting a large canvas.
Not putting down pictures but taking away thoughts.
Early morning, first thing,
dappled light, shining on a few insects to be avoided.
Like the opening of awareness slowly unfolding its layers,
the broom starts to sweep, clearing the thoughts, relaxing and cleansing all in its path.

The teaching has started.

One feels contentment to be in the company of such wise advanced beings. The experience and knowledge of teachers from around the world imparting Buddha Dharma as though there is only one in the room.

Then there is the chanting that resonates from head to feet emptying all but the words of praise.

After personal meditation its off to bed and then it will start all over again.
Wonderful.......

Metta Nathan



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Tuesday 2 September 2014

I love this story....

I love this story....

Zhuang Zhou went to see Duke Ai of Lu.
Ai said 'There are many learn'ed scholars in Lu but few of them study your works Master.'
Zhuang Zhou replied
'There are few learn'ed men in Lu'
Duke Ai said
'there are so many men wearing the dress of scholars how can you say there are few?'
Zhuang Zhou replied
'the ones who wear round hats know the seasons of Heaven and those who wear square shoes know the shape of the earth. Those who tie semi circular discs on their belts deal perfectly with what comes before them. But a nobleman can follow the Tao without having to dress the part. Indeed one may wear the dress and not understand the Tao at all.
Should my Lord not be sure of this point, why not issue an order of state;

"Any person wearing the dress, but not practicing the Tao, will be executed!"

This is what happened and within five days throughout the kingdom of Lu, not one wore the dress of a learn'ed man.

Only one old man wore the formal dress and stood at the Duke's gate.

The Duke called him in and discussed all manner of affairs of state and the old man never faulted in his answers.

Zhuang Xhou said
'My Lord you see only one old man who is learn'ed in the ways of life in your whole kingdom,
how can you say there are so many?'
..................

Isn't this a bit like our lives right now and how nothing changes.

Nathan


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Friday 29 August 2014

Sights and smells....

An eighty year old is out playing golf with a very young pretty girl.
His doctor is also playing golf.
The old man sees him and yells out
I took your advice to find a hot momma and stay cheerful
The doctor yells back
I said a heart murmur and be careful.

Do we ever really listen to advice?
Are we even aware that others care about us?
Maybe we think the advice is not meant for us or maybe it's just wrong.

Thus I have heard;

Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them.
Dhammapada 51
Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at and scented too, fine words bear fruit in a man who acts well in accordance with them.
Dhammapada 52

To listen and to see an advice, as it is meant, with love and compassion,
we must have already lost our ego. Or at least to have let go of some of our preconceived ideals of who we think we are.
Only then can we appreciate the sight and scent of the phenomena that assails us.

Nathan




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Tuesday 26 August 2014

Brother Billy Tan

Brother Billy Tan
This story is for you....

The axe or a donation...

We hear every day;
I want to change my ways.
I want to, but.....
It may take me twenty years before I change my ways or.....

Many years ago there were two friends and they did everything together
They lived next door to each other
They sat next to each-other at school and when they left school they got a job at the same shop
They bought the business together and had no time for women or to get married
They even went on holidays together
They travelled to smart foreign cities
They had no time for cultivation or even to think of the Buddha
They gave no donations to any charity or went to any Temple
On one of their many trips they came to an inn and asked the owner for food and lodging
The owner asked if they were Buddhists and if they would like vegetarian food
The reply came sharply and they said they wanted meat and drink and be quick and they didn't bother with such rubbish and didn't want to know the Buddha
The owner left them sitting at a table waiting for service
All of a sudden the owner came rushing back into the dining room looking most fierce with a large axe in his hand
He shouted at the two that he would kill them for their money and jewels and if they knew any prayers now is the time to pray
They fell to their knees and cried
Help us Lord Buddha
Save us Lord Buddha
We will dedicate our lives to you Lord Buddha just don't let this monster kill us
We are too young to die
The owner hearing their prayers put down his axe and smiled
I am sorry to frighten you
Just relax now
I am not going to kill you
Let me tell you a story

Twenty years ago Buddhists Monks visited here with a famous Master
They were on their way to open the great Temple that stands not far from here
The Master became very ill whilst he was here with a serious heart disorder
The Monks asked if they could stay whilst the Master recovered
Unfortunately he didn't recover and just before he died he asked to see me
He told me that in the future two non believers would come to this inn and when they did I was to threaten to kill them with an axe
The Master then passed away before he could say more
You are the only two that have asked to stay and are the only non believers we have seen here in twenty years
So I threatened you as the Master asked

We have seen the light the two friends said
The Buddha has saved us
We will now go to the Temple and share our wealth and dedicate our lives to the Buddha

We don't know what caused the Master to say his final words to a stranger about killing two friends in the distant future

We do know that twenty years after the Master passed the Temple needed a new roof as a storm had damaged it and we do know that all the Temples money had been used to help the local villagers from starving after the storms

We do know that the two helped the Temple with a new roof and replaced all the money used to feed the locals

We do know that Heaven and Karma work in mysterious ways

Our thoughts at this time must be with the unfortunate and our spare coins used to benefit others
We don't know if in twenty years time we will be threatened by an inn keeper with an axe

Nathan



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Monday 18 August 2014

The ritual.....

The ritual.....

A man went into a bar and ordered six whiskies.
He then drank the first,
the third and the fifth glass leaving the second, fourth and sixth untouched.
When asked why he did that, he said that the doctor told him he was allowed to have the odd drink.

We can always find a way around a rule, a law,
an advise.
We make it a ritual,
a way of life to escape commitments.
The ritualistic person can be a cunning person. They can be with the ritual, but remain untouched by it.
They can do the ritual but not be transformed by it.

Prayer can be a ritual, most are not aware how to pray, or even that they are part of the ritual.
This is why so many pray for change, but remain the same.

Millions of people praying, with no fragrance in the prayer, no love,
no compassion,
no flow.
Something's wrong.
Prayers being done
because they have to be done.
It is ritual, it is duty,
a pretense.

The cunning person keeps the heart out of anything they do.
Empty gestures.
Always a loophole for escape.
The basic problem is knowledge and I believe only knowledgable people are clever enough to be cunning.
To be knowledgable and unaware is to be unconscious.
When we become conscious, we become aware, we are full of light, enlightened.

The whole effort of knowledge is to investigate the mystery of life, but unfortunately most simply close their eyes to the mystery,
until it is proven.

The person who knows ignorance has started knowing, this is the point of consciousness.
The start of becoming aware.

A five year old boy gave a loud whistle In the middle of a sermon in church.
The Minister stopped and asked the boy why he whistled?
"I have been praying to God to teach me how to whistle and just now,
God answered me."

The childs prayer is to learn how to whistle, someone else for money, for romance, some one else to be prime minister.
All ask for the ego.
For some importance,
some superiority.
Few ask for nothing.
Real prayer does not ask for anything.
Real prayer is just giving thanks for what we have, for what we have already been given.

My prayer is for you and yours.
May you all be guarded and guided.

Nathan






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Wednesday 13 August 2014

Most want more....

Most want more....

An eager novice kept asking for more from his Master.
Finally the master said, Don't bother coming anymore. Just make yourself like a tree stump on the mountain.
Put your body and mind to rest. Do this for ten,
or seven, or even three years, and surely you will discover something.
................

Don't be so sure you want to be enlightened.
From where you are looking it would be awfully dull.
Shunryu Suzuki
................
Gain is delusion.
Loss is enlightenment.
Uchiyama Roshi
..................
Followers of the Way,
you take the words out of the mouths of old teachers and think this must be the Way.
Blind idiots!
You go through life betraying your own two eyes!
Lin-chi
....................
Men cannot see their reflections in running water, only in still water
Chiang-Tzu
.....................

Most want more,
there are a few,
who are at peace.
For those of us,
who practice,
there is clarity.

Follow the breath...
Nathan


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Sunday 10 August 2014

A dedication

A dedication to dedication

I have a friend
Richard P Wisnesky
who gave me a book.
Well, not really a book,
but a diary of his daily thoughts for 2013.
That's a thought a day,
for everyday,
for the whole year.
He didn't take any days off, not even public holidays.
In the forward of his book,
Richard tells of re-reading "Haiku Year" where three friends challenge each other to write a three line poem each day for a year. So Richard decided to do the same.
To give you an idea of what he did each day...

12/08/13
He went for a run
To clear the head
Plugging in his earphones

13/08/13
The Press Death notices
My name wasn't there
Gratitude.

05/08/13
My thinking these days
Has been reduced to three lines-
So I'll be brief....

13/11/13
French woman at the gym
Votre derrière est magnifique-
I think!

30/11/13
Random acts of kindness
Take mail from pigeons holes and
Give to those without

Finally.....

31/12/13
Today
My days will cease to be
Governed by succinct observations.
.................
I asked Richard
would you do it again?
He answered.....

From the Elizabeth street tram this morning
Saw a man with a dog
The dog deserved better.

Thank you Richard
Nathan





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Dedication

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Perfection--

Perfection--
A novice monk asked the his Master;
"Why are you so happy,
so peaceful?"
"I have accepted myself."
explained the Master.
"Look out the window,
do you see that bush with the beautiful red flowers,
the large tree behind it?
I have been watching them each day for the 23 years I have been in this Temple and at no time,
over the years, have I heard one compare itself to the other.
The tree is, the bush is,
no comparison, you are taller than me, you have more flowers, you need less water.
The difference between most people and what we see here is comparison.
You, my dear monk,
are always comparing.
More hair, better body, more money, larger car, bigger house, better food, cooler, warmer, the list is endless."
"We are told to become more like Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, why?
Drop all of this, all the ideals of being not what we are."
"If you must compare then......
We are like the snowflake that falls from the sky.
Each flake is perfection.
It is then gathered and made into snowmen by external forces,
each snowman is different,
but the underlying is perfection."
"As the snowman melts and turns to water,
the water evaporates,
returns to the sky and once again becomes a cloud .
It can then return as a snowflake.
Perfection.
Again there is no comparison, the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth happen automatically."
"My dear monk,
your original face was perfection."
"I see perfection now before me.
It is only your thoughts that make the difference,
it is comparison that makes the difference."

"To me you are perfection."

Nathan



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Monday 28 July 2014

The Buddha said;

The Buddha said;

"Wonderful, indeed, is it to subdue the mind,
so difficult to subdue,
ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires.
A tamed mind brings happiness.
Let the discerning man guard the mind,
so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires.
A guarded mind brings happiness.
Dhammapada 35-36
..............

The Master asked;
"Fa-yen, last night I heard you say several times that everything is only mind.
Is that so?"
"Indeed yes." Fa-yen said
"That boulder over there,
is it inside or out side the mind?" The Master asked
"Inside. It's inside my mind." Fa-yen replied
"Well, monk, you're going to be carrying a very heavy burden on your travels."
Fa-yen did not answer.
.................

What burden will we carry today?
What boulders and rocks and how heavy is our load.

Lets remove the load now and be happy.

Sit, relax and follow the breath....

Metta
Nathan


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Saturday 19 July 2014

I have heard....

With what right did they have to inflict such pain on so many innocent people!

The Buddha spoke of such matters......

Dhammapada 137-140
"He who inflicts violence on those who are unarmed and offends those who are inoffensive will soon come upon one of these ten states:
Sharp pain, or disaster, bodily injury, serious illness, or derangement of mind, trouble from the government, or grave charges, loss of relatives, or loss of wealth, or houses destroyed by ravaging fire, upon dissolution of the body that ignorant man is born in hell."

We have a right to be enraged!


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Monday 7 July 2014

In action:

In action:
The eight fold path.....

'He carried a bamboo stick but had no hat on his head. The suns rays best down so harshly that the tiles along the walk burned his feet.
He worked hard and was covered with sweat.
I asked him how old he was. He said that he was sixty eight. I asked him why he never used any helpers.
Other people are not me, he said.
You are right, I said, and I can see that your work is the activity of Buddhadharma. But why work in the burning sun?
He replied: if not now, when will it get done?
There was nothing more to say.'

Dogen, on the Tenzo,
or monastry cook.

Tenzo is a title given to the chef at a Japanese Buddhist monastery.
The literal translation is 'Heavenly Monk'.

From ancient times Buddhist monasteries have had six office-holders who, as disciples of the Buddha, guide the monastic community. Amongst these, the Tenzo bears the responsibility of caring for the community's meals.
The Zen Monastic Standards states;
"The Tenzo functions as the one who makes offerings with reverence to the monks."
.............

I have just come back from Brickfields Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Kuala Lumpur.
I was visiting my friend Bhante Nanadhaja Bikkhu
and spent four days in learning Dharma practice from him. What also amazed and delighted me, apart from Bhante, was the wonderful food.
The food was lovingly prepared by devotees.
Like the Tenzo these 'heavenly lay people' prepare and serve with love and reverence.
This act of kindness and compassion can only be found when one practices the Eight Fold Path.

When was the last time we did a 'random act of kindness.' When was the last time we thought about our practice in terms of random kindness.

Thank you
With Metta
Nathan


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Thursday 3 July 2014

Giving


Gift ---

The most wonderful thing we can do in our lives is to give.
A gift is the supreme cultivation.
It doesn't matter what it is and in what form the giving takes.
It may be just a smile,
the type of gift is not important.
It is the gift itself.
The ultimate gift is being able to take an illness and distress from another,
and send joy and love in return.
This week, for me,
has been has been a joy.
I have been visited by Ministers from three different religions.
The message was the same, the message of love for our fellow beings, who are not so fortunate at this moment.
The Ministers were from Burma, India and China.
Different religions from
different backgrounds,
each asking for blessings for those who have nothing.
Their prayers, for those unfortunate to be caught in the latest disasters, both natural and man made.
For me this was an occasion of joy and rejoicing, not one of sadness.
To be able to give is a joy.
I give thanks to The Divine for bringing together those whose prayers and gifts are helping.
It is so easy to criticize and condemn those in power for not doing enough, or seemingly not caring.
From disasters we must receive a clear message to let go of all regret and fear.
Regret for failures in the past, and fear for what the future may bring.
The most positive thing we can do at this moment is to give.
To give our blessings is enough.
Every thought is precious, every gift, a sign of our cultivation.
Everyone deserves the right to joy and love,
to be at peace with themselves and others.
The only way this will come about, is when,
we all realise that the gift of joy and love is our most precious possession.
Right now, when things seem to have no way out, the homeless and destitute need our gifts.
This is the time to be full of joy and love for all mankind.
The Universe will pick up the way we feel and out of the seeds of adversity will come hope.
This is our prayer.

Nathan

Monday 23 June 2014

"The wise are restrained in body. They are restrai

"The wise are restrained in body. They are restrained in speech as well. They are also well disciplined in mind.
They, who have safeguarded the three doors, body, speech and mind, are supremely restrained"
The Buddha
Dharmapada 234


Doorways......

There are many doorways we need to go through in our lifetime.
These doors take us to places we want to go,
and sometimes, to places we don't like.

When we are lost, we look for a door to enter that will fix our emotional state.

The doors I speak about, are the door of the body,
the door of speech and the door of the mind.

The one we enter is not important.
The door is only important when we are lost, and at that time, the closest door is the one we choose.

The tension in our neck and shoulder might be the nearest entrance,
or our doubting mind,
or our inner critic.

We often overlook the closest door and pick the longest way.

We have a shop that sells Feng Shui and Buddhas.
We have a large Buddha at the front of our shop.
It's a small shop of only thirty square meters.
It has a front door to the street and a large double door at the back.
We are part of the Victoria market, so a lot of people visit us.
We are very busy.

People rub the Buddha's stomach for luck.
They see the money in his hand and ask why.

I explain if they drop a coin or two in the Buddha's hand, he will take away their problems.

As a side benefit,
the coins go to charity.

Just tell him your problems.
See the size of his ears,
See the size of his bag,
Put your problems in his bag and then you won't have them.

He is not there for his good looks.
He is there to change your world.
He will stop your anger,
your greed, your jealousy.
He will give you love compassion and calm.
He will show you how to smile.

Can you look at him and not smile?

I tell them that he is a doorway to peace and happiness.

That's fine,
one person said,
a smile doesn't fix the problems I have,
He won't pay my debts.
He can't feed my children.
And on and on with negative agitation, irritation, and anger.

She asked me if I was a doctor, and if I wasn't, how can I give advice.
I told her I was just a person of love and compassion.

However I do offer medicine just like a doctor.
This medicine pills can be taken daily, whenever the symptoms arise.
The symptoms are
agitation, irritation and anger.
These are the cause of all negative thoughts and actions.
The cause of suffering.

Now you can have three pills to take at least three times a day, I told her.

The pills are;
the pill of stillness,
the pill of silence and
the pill of spaciousness.
These pills can open doorways of refuge.

When we find ourselves agitated:
take the pill of stillness and not practice distraction,
but feel the stillness within the agitation.
When we hear irritation and complaint in our voice, we can take the pill of silence.
We can actually listen to the silence within us.
When anger takes over and our minds are filled with things we should not say or do, we can take the pill of spaciousness and settle into it's calm.

These pills are offered freely and available to all.

Most don't take the medicine I offer,
as it doesn't taste sweet.
It's too simple and as we have to do something when we take the pills,
it becomes too hard.

So to make it easy.

I give instructions with the pills.

When we are rushing around and become agitated.
We realize we have chosen agitation.
I advise at that moment to
take the pill of stillness.

It's the same when we hear complaint in our voice, we can take the pill of silence and with anger, we take spaciousness.

These three emotions are the doorways to our body, our speech and our mind.

Agitation effects our body,
Irritation effects our speech, and anger effects the mind.

These doorways can be opened with my pills and in this way we are able to discover a deeper truth to all our problems.

The problem is in opening a doorway that has been closed all our lives,
we might find something we don't like.

Taking a pill is the easiest way to liberate the suffering experienced through the doorways of body, speech and mind.

In taking these pills we can show others how positive, calm and cultivated we are.
How loving and compassionate we can be.

In opening our doorways,
we can benefit others through the positive qualities that become available to us.

Nathan





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Friday 20 June 2014

Brother Billy Tan

Brother Billy Tan
Thank you for your talk last night.
You inspired me to see through different eyes.
"All we see hear taste touch smell are all a Fallacy? Delusion?"
Total confusion.
So Brother Billy I have decided that its;

Time for a change!

Today is a great day for letting go of something I think I don't need in my life.

I could wait for tomorrow or even next week,
but I have been putting this off for a long while,
so today is a good day.

The problem now is what illusions to let go.
I suppose a few old clothes would be a start.
You know the jackets with the large lapels that I was waiting to come back into fashion.
Maybe the odd socks that the washing machine ate.

Maybe I should let go of some old habits!

You know the fallacies that have held me back from being a complete person.

I have felt for some time that maybe it's me that's at fault, not the dog, or the neighbor, or the wife, or the government, or the aliens that abduct only stupid people.

There was a feeling that all was not quite right with my world.
Now that I have owned up and told myself I need to change,
I really feel better.
Now all I have to do is
"do it"

Of course
"to change "
is
"to change"

We change our underwear, we change our mind, we can change partners and homes,
but when it comes to changing our attitude,
or our perception,
or the way we behave, then this is a different matter.

We find the excuse;
I am so busy,
I haven't the time now,
Living like this is ok,
If you don't like the way I behave, you can all leave
Etc.....

I am now going to sit quietly and have a cup of tea.

Today is a great day to let go of something I don't need in my life.

Now you try....

Thank you Brother Billy
Metta
Nathan


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"Develop the mind

"Develop the mind
of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness,
the absence of pride."
Sutta Nipata
..............
A potential student went to see a Dharma Master and asked:
If I work really hard,
how long will it take me to become enlightened?

Ten years
the Master replied.

No, I mean really work at it
the student said.

The Master replied,
I am sorry
I misunderstood you,
it will take you twenty years.

The student loudly said,
I am serious I am willing to do anything to gain enlightenment.

Oh that's different,
said the Master,
it will take you thirty years.

So I ask myself
Am I ready for enlightenment ?
Can I commit to one day of silence?
A month, a lifetime?

Am I able to one hour, every now and again, to sit and follow my breath?

As a broom sweeps the street;
My breath sweeps my mind.

I am told this practice will lengthen the spaces between my thoughts.
I then become aware it is the spaces that are important,
not my thoughts.

What would happen should my thoughts become less,
do I become a lesser person?
Not when I realize how calm I am.
How peaceful my surrounding, how vibrant the colours.
This place must be where my Buddha Nature resides.

With the practice comes realization that when there is no thought.
I am one with the Universe.

Nothing external.
All is joined.
All is one.

My entire practice is based on this premise of Oneness.

Awareness comes when I let go all past, all future.
I actually achieve serenity beyond my wildest imagination .
This awareness and realization frees me from the mundane.

Is this enlightenment?
All I have to do is practice........
Nathan



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Wednesday 18 June 2014

Once,

Once,
the Blessed One, addressed the householder Anāthapiṇḍika thus:

"There are,
O householder, five things that are wished for,
loved and agreeable,
yet rarely gained in the world.

What five?
Long life, beauty, happiness, fame,
and rebirth in heaven.
But of those five things, householder, I do not teach that they are to be obtained by prayer,
or by vows.
If one could obtain them by prayer or vows, who would not obtain them?"

"For a noble disciple, householder, who wishes to have long life, it is not befitting that he should pray for long life, or take delight in so doing.
He should rather follow a path of life that is conducive to longevity.
By following such a path he will obtain long life,
be it divine or human."

"For a noble disciple, householder, who wishes to have beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven, it is not befitting that he should pray for them, or take delight in so doing.
He should rather follow a path of life that is conducive to beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven.
By following such a path he will obtain beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven."
(5:43) AnguttaraNikaya2
.................

When we don't get what we wish for, we become anxious.
This anxiety is one of the causes of suffering.
When we suffer,
we lose the path.

Desire
Anxiety and Suffering

When we wish to escape from the state of anxiety, all we have to do is desire something.

We can spend money,
on things we don't want,
take a pill, that we don't need, go on holiday,
and complain constantly.
Or we can pray for relief. Anything to escape from our anxiety.

We believe this is our way out of suffering.

We create a world for ourselves that doesn't actually exist.
This is our first attempt to escape suffering through desire.

We don't know that desire creates anxiety.

We don't know that desire is the root of all suffering.

We do know that humanity is based on desire and is anxiety driven.
We also know that we become anxious about everything we know,
and everything we don't understand.

In the world of a Buddha,
there is no anxiety.
A Buddha is Siddhas,
a being beyond mundane things.
No goal, no movement,
the journey complete.

Should we be able to see through a Buddha's eyes;
no anxiety, no agony,
no urge to do this or that.
No fever to become.

There is ecstasy,
peace, bliss, well being.
Love and joy.

The Buddha said that ignorance, including desire, is the root cause of all misery.

Our second attempt to escape, is to involve ourselves in misery that causes us to create a future, projecting ourselves into make believe and thus,
causing anxiety.

When we create a tomorrow, and start to live in it, that's when
today dissapears.
We cannot see today, when our eyes are clouded by what tomorrow may bring.

So, desire is born out of the past and projected into the future,
where once again,
we can repeat our mistakes from the past.

This projection causes anxiety, which causes more desire, to be something or someone, other than who, or what, we really are.
We then believe that the past and the future, constitutes our entire life.

Should we analyse and dissect our daily thoughts,
we find only two thoughts,
past and future.
We don't find a present.

The present however,
is our only reality,
the only existence.
Our only joy.

Present moment can only be found when our mind ceases it's chatter.
When it is stilled.
Silent.

Bliss.

Only then does anxiety cease.

Be still
and follow the path.

Metta
Nathan



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Friday 6 June 2014

Come! Behold the world, which is like a decorated

Come! Behold the world, which is like a decorated royal chariot. Here, fools flounder, but the wise have no attachment to it.
Dhammapada 171
--------------

I am about to leave on my search once again.
I try to leave ego behind and remain humble with all I meet.
This story reminds me;

......A traveller came in search of the most famous Zen Master Roshi.

He had come so far and was tired and grumpy.

He stopped to ask a Monk where the famous Roshi lived and explained how far he had come and how famous he had heard the Master was.

The Monk said;
You mean to tell me you have travelled so far to see this man?
What a waste of your time.
I know this man personally and he is a zero. You have wasted your time and money on silly rumors.

The visitor was outraged.

You lowly despicable man, what do you know.
You obviously have no understanding of anything spiritual or holy.

Very upset the traveller stormed off.

Later that day, he finally found the great Masters home and having been granted an appointment, was brought into his office.

He nearly fainted in shame and remorse.

The man who he was so rude to in the street was sitting in front of him and was none other than the great Roshi himself.

With tears in his eyes,
he begged forgiveness.

Why are you so upset, there is no need to apologize,
the great man said,
I told you the simple truth,
and everything you said was also true.

The great man then said,
Don't let the kharma of your action take hold of you and make you regret our meeting.

Let go.
Be conscious,
Be responsible,
Buy me lunch.

Nathan


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Tuesday 27 May 2014

The Buddha,

The Buddha,
I have heard,
said in the following Sutta;

"You're overjoyed if you get what you want.
If you don't, you writhe,
a hunter pierced
by your own arrow,
born of desire, engendering desire, desire driven.
No matter what you long for: a house, land, livestock, gold, serfs, servants, slaves,
men, women, family, (innocent things of themselves) the longing overwhelms you till troubles bear down
and suffering follows like water rushing into a leaky boat.
But if you're mindful,
you evade desire
as easily as side-
stepping a snake.
You're free of the world's sticky traps.
Be mindful.
Abandon desire.
Bale out the boat
& reach the further shore.
Sutta Nipata
................

I was recently asked by a young man;
"Why do I feel so guilty?"

My answer;
"Why are you so fearful of your future?"

He felt guilty, he said, because his parents had struggled for years,
to save, to pay for his tuition overseas.

"Would I find a job,
after graduation.
Would I be able to pay them back?"
"Would my work pay enough?"
"Would I have enough money to get married?"

In his mind it wasn't enough to be an A grade student.
It wasn't enough he was about to leave on an adventure of a lifetime.
All he thought about was future failure and the consequences.

So the outcome, in his mind, must be failure, remorse and loss.

Fortunately, he asked the question as to why he feels the way he does.

Help is always only a question away..

It is the questions we ask that are important.
We know the answers
but look for confirmation as most of us don't trust our own perceptions.
We don't believe we are capable or good enough.

What will people say?
What will happen should I fail?

So now, how do we help this young man with his question?
Will his thoughts be at peace with our answers?

Our answer starts with the statement that we can only react to a picture, or a scenario, that we create in our mind.

We then add to the fact of what we now believe is true, as it comes from our own imagination.

Should the thought creation be a positive one then it will have a positive outcome.
A negative thought process brings a negative result.

It is therefore crucial to only allow good thoughts, good speech, and good behavior, to be our way of life.
Just like
The Buddha
said it should be.....
Metta
Nathan


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Wednesday 21 May 2014

I am inspired by many people.

I am inspired by many people.

Recently I was immersed in a mindful hand movement meditation that was shown to me by my friend Phra Fred.

As I was in my practice,
a thought came to search for the compassionate thoughtful monk who passed on the practice.

There is a biography of the monk written by the doctor who was not only his student but also who looked after him till his death.

Dr Vatana Supromajakr faithfully wrote down thoughts from this great monk over many years of their friendship.
Here are a few that came to me as I meditated.

Deceived By Thought

Venerable Luangpor Teean said that we human beings are always thinking, just like the ever-flowing current of a river.
Being lost in and deceived by thought,
he said, is like continually scooping out water and storing it up for no good use.
But if we have sati, (awareness) seeing thought immediately,
as it really is, it is like the water flows freely and passes on by.
Being lost in and deceived by thought gives rise to suffering.

Suffering

In discussing Samudaya, (the second Noble Truth, the cause of suffering) Luangpor placed an object in his hand and then clenched his hand tightly around it,
making a fist.
He then turned the fist over and opened his hand and showed the thing dropping to the ground, he pointed out,
"This is suffering."

We understand immediately that suffering is a thing that we conceive, and assume, and seize firmly, and then we realize that it can be released and gotten rid of.
Luangpor said that someone who can understand this quickly is one with wisdom.

Working With Awareness

Luangpor declared,
"All of us have duties and responsibilities that the society we live in requires us to fulfil, and this is normal.
Performing our duties with sati, will produce results that are completely satisfactory, the best possible results."

Luangpor was a great and most unusual man from whom I have learnt a great deal.
My thanks to the doctor and Fred.

With Metta
Nathan



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Sunday 18 May 2014

Gatekeeper Yin

Gatekeeper Yin
and the Silent One....

Yin Xi, nicknamed Guan Yinzi, was also called Guan Yin or keeper of the pass.

The Annals of History, tells of his receiving scripture from Laozi, and refers to Yin Xi as
Prefect of the Pass Yin.

About 70km west of Xi'an, at Louguan Tai, there is a temple by a mountain range that claims to be the place where Yin Xi was the Gatekeeper.

When Laozi arrived at Louguan Tai on his path out of the world, Yin Xi persuaded him to write a book, the result being the 'Dao De Jing.'

Laozi then disappeared westward, riding on an ox.

Guan Yinzi, once said;

"As for people who are good at playing the 'Qin,'
if they are sad, then the sound is filled with pathos;
if they are thoughtful,
then the sound is hesitant;
if they are resentful,
then the sound is irresolute;
if they are yearning,
then the sound is elegantly grand.

This sadness, thoughtfulness, resentment and yearning does not come from hands, from bamboo, from silk, or from wood:
it comes from having the heart matched with the hand and the hand matched with the object."

"People who have Dao,
are always centered
in the Dao."
...........

One last time....

All of a sudden,
he appeared.

He was dressed differently, his robes pulled around him like a shroud, his head covered in a cowl of faded yellow robe.

He acknowledged me with a slight movement of his head, almost a nod.

I thought I heard him say;
"we meet for the last time seeker, you must listen well."

The Silent One then told me the following;

....Master Lieh Tzu asked Gatekeeper Yin;
'Only the perfect man can walk under water and not drown, can walk on fire and not burn and can pass over a multitude of lives without fear,
how is this possible?'

Gatekeeper Yin replied,
'It is because he preserves his original breath and this has nothing to do with his knowledge, his work, his persistence, or his bravery.'

'Everything has a face, form, sound and colour, but these are just appearances."

"So, now I ask you, Gatekeeper, how is it possible that this thing,
or that thing, are separated from each other?'

'Indeed why should each thing be viewed as the first of all beings?"

Gatekeeper Yin continued
"They are just forms and colours and nothing more.

However, everything arises from what is formless and descends into that which is changeless.

If we grasp and follow this, using it to its fullest extent, nothing can stand in our way!

It means being able to reside within limits,
which have no limit,
be secluded within boundaries, which have no beginning, go to where both the beginning and the end of all life is;

We then must combine essential nature, nourish our original breath,
and harmonize virtue.

By following this path,
we can commune with the origins of all life.

We will then guard our unity with Heaven, and our spirit will be without fault.

Nothing can get inside and attack us.

We must retreat to the serenity of Heaven,
and as a result,
nothing can cause us harm.

We must recognize that everything under Heaven is united.

It is possible to be rid of punishment and execution, of chaos, violence and war,
this is the Dao.

However, we must not cast aside the Heavenly,
and ignore the human aspect;

Only then will we draw closer to the realization of Truth.'
.................

"This is a Dharma I share with you, seeker.
It is from the writing of Chung Tzu who lived over two thousand three hundred years ago.

I thought it appropriate to the situation all face right now."

The Silent One then said, "Understand what I have just said and you too will become the perfect man."

With that,
he disappeared.

Nathan


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With love

Gatekeeper Yin

Saturday 17 May 2014

A special day.....,

Today is special to me.

My father passed away forty years ago on this day.

My mother was born on this day in 1913.

My love and respect for both has not diminished with time.

I remember their faces and voices as though it was yesterday.

My thoughts and prayers are with you whose parents are living.

There is time left to show them love and respect before it's too late.

For those who are estranged from loved ones, find love in your heart, find time for a call.

The benefits are too many to list here, but the feeling of letting go old animosity is overwhelming.

Please make this day special with a thought for lost love ones.

A special day, to be able to call, to share love with those who are with us.

May you all be guarded and guided, on this,
my most special day.

With Metta
Nathan

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