People who are not serious will not care about this. The turbulent mind, the mind that is constantly reacting, constantly chattering (internally), constantly being agitated, is much different than a placid mind of true quietude. A quiet mind is analogous to a small boat in the middle of a pond, with little haphazard movement, with its oars still and not disturbing the water. Then, in such stillness, the surface of the water may be mirror-like, accurately reflecting everything. Contrastingly, the constantly chattering mind, the agitated mind, is like a small boat — in the middle of a pond — that is endlessly rocking, rowing circuitously, and splashing. Then, in such unending agitation, very little of the water’s surface reflects accurately; then there is a great deal of distortion; this is when a lot of twisting takes place; this is when a great deal of misrepresentation and misinterpretation can take place.
I will not offer you (like so many of the charlatans do) concrete methods and techniques — meditative or otherwise — to make the mind still and quiet. Any such concrete techniques (that you can practice) will only make your mind more mesmerized, more robotic and dull. For many, the “I” or “me” can allegedly “make” the mind quiet. However, the “I” and the “me” are protrusions of thought/thinking; any such “quietness” that they supposedly conjure up is inevitably an extension of a false and deceptive process. One conditioned reaction cannot make other conditioned reactions quiet, at least not in any legitimate sense; one form of agitation cannot cause similar forms of agitation to be quiet by using “control” as a means to an end. Only natural, simple, unpremeditated observing of what is going on (without dependence on antiquated patterns and suppositions) may — perhaps — allow an effortless, non-concocted quietness (beyond gross separation) to take place. Deep intelligence perceives the whole. Thought/thinking is primarily choppy, primarily fragmentary.
First Butterfly — a Red Admiral — of the season; they were eating sap dripping down the Birch bark. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
The cadence of song
saw its pinkish-purple notes
and yellow hues
while sweet nectar
was just icing on the cake
The Cadence of Song … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
It’s a wonderful day
to look beyond the crime of politics
and, instead, perceive things without measure,
while realizing that simple, pure things are
(the only real treasure).
Common Blue … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
When there is the negation of what order and love are not, perhaps love will be there. There is no “you” that wills that negation, for the very self itself (i.e., the “I” or the “me”) must be part of that negation… not merely controlling it from (or “as”) a distance. Of course, we are not suggesting harm to the body in any way; such harm would not entail love. Love is not merely measurable (i.e., not merely of measure), so one cannot merely “know” that one has it. Thinking and time are of measure and a mind that is merely caught up in thinking and measurement (in and “as” time) cannot love deeply (though it can easily think that it can). Clinging to an isolated concept of “me” (apart from all of life) requires distance and a measurement of opposites. Psychological distance and measurement create the “I” and the “I” would not exist without such psychological distance and measurement.
A lot of people say “I love you” very easily (as if one knows that one “has” it… as if it entails an absolute separate subject and object). Is there really an “I” that is separate from what the whole world is? Is there really an isolated “you” — that is looking from a (learned) distance, an accumulated psychological space — that is separate from what the whole world is? Psychological separation, isolation, and conflict depend upon limited thought/thinking, and without limited thought/thinking, such separation wouldn’t exist.
Our minds are often so very distorted and not whole. The grocery stores, these days, are chock-full of fragmented, over-processed, pseudo-foods. And, in the United States, for example, there is more obesity and more cancer (and strange, deleterious syndromes popping up) than ever before. Too few of us eat real, whole foods like our grandparents did; we assimilate garbage both mentally and gustatorily, and we don’t mind being normal (and swallowing it all) one bit.
Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
Lo Zu, after one of his frequent walks into the fields and wooded areas of nature, came walking into the village. He stopped to rest for a while and leaned on his sinuous pole, his meandering cane; nearby, a small group of men, all of them sitting together, continued to repeatedly laugh hysterically.
Lo Zu realized that they were laughing at the fact that a nearby dog was repeatedly chasing its own tail. Lo Zu continued to walk again and came closer to the men who were laughing. He heard one of them say, “That dog is really ignorant!” All of them, except Lo Zu, continued to laugh at the dog as it continued to chase its own tail.
Lo Zu turned to face the sitting men and said, “It is so easy to come to conclusions; conclusions that are wrong.” Lo Zu further went on, “That dog could chase that cat that is a little way down the road, but cats can quickly scratch and the dog could easily get a gravely injured eye. Likewise, the dog could chase after that man walking across the street. However, the man could kick the dog or throw something at it, injuring it. Instead, the dog takes the prudent approach and, for great exercise, chases its own tail. A most intelligent animal! I, myself, walk daily to the meadows and woods to enjoy the sweet butterflies and creatures; therefore I get quite a bit of exercise. I see that dog exercising ‘most every day also. Sometimes I see it chasing butterflies, which is also a very wise and safe form of exercising. Exercising often is great intelligence. I see you men sitting around here a lot each and every day. Do any of you exercise?”
“Not really,” said one of the men. (The men were no longer laughing.)
“I didn’t think so,” replied Lo Zu. He further added, “The beginning of this doglike life always chases its own end; let the dog be your teacher.”
Black Swallowtail on Thistle Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
Let’s pull some forever out of a hat
mail a kind letter back to oneself
and sit again wisely where always sat
Allow tears to flow back into red eyes
and dream again of flying as a child
beyond cold gravity… blue skies
Getting ready to fly… Male Clouded Sulpher Butterfly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
As Grover on Sesame Street
— not that i ever watch it
with our pet parrots —
says: “Oh, lower case “i,”
you are so cute with your
Grover is right! It is a
marvelous letter and helps
to represent what i am
(even though it really isn’t
what i am whatsoever)!
Two Pearl Crescent Butterflies… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018