All Posts Tagged ‘meditation

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Take one step at a time, they said…

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Take one step at a time, they said.
But the steps,
if one steps enough,
are not separate from time.

And one step at a time
is too slow and mechanical
and ordinary.

So, we flew beyond what they
said to do.
We flew beyond their stale,
traditional ways.

We didn’t do it one step
at a time,
according to the patterns
and points that they
all so narrowmindedly accepted.

Cabbage Butterfly (female) taking it one step at a time. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Human Motives

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Much of what we do involves motive. Our reactions, throughout the day, largely emanate from motives. Oftentimes these motives are learned (i.e., absorbed) habitual responses, and the end-products (that they unfold into) usually are rather mundane and ordinary. The ramifications of this tend to be conformity, sameness, and a lack of real perception and real creativity.

Such sameness and conformity may not at all be beneficial for life as a whole. Superficial motives often keep one in stagnation, while imitating others. Such habitual motives are a form of inaction and are a wastage of energy. Beliefs stem from motives, and beliefs (with their separative groups) tend to cause division in the world.

The innocent/wise mind, throughout the day, can often look without mere motive. Such looking, such perception, is uncontaminated, whole, and pristine. Seeing beyond the ordinary, it flowers in insights and depth not merely dependent upon direction. Mere motive always has a direction. Such direction corrupts. Only what is beyond direction and motive can, perhaps, commune with the timeless, the immeasurable whole.

Hover Fly on Eastern Daisy Wildflower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Today is my Birthday, and here’s a little, true story concerning it (that you can unbelieve). Two Photos…

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[First, a few quick notes: 1. Albert Einstein, a vegetarian, and pacifist, had some of the best ideas about how to end all wars. For instance, he advocated countries systematically, in an intelligent and coordinated fashion, exchanging military personal on an equal basis, thereby making invasions into other countries (because of nefarious goals) rather impossible. But people don’t tend to listen to pacifists.
2. Most people just do not see the gravity of certain things, the seriousness of certain important things; they are oblivious, conform and fall in line, and life passes them by… and the many miracles never happen.]
3. This may not have much to do with anything, but here are what i hear as lyrics in the YouTube video of the Dharma for One song, as sung by Jethro Tull (live) at the Isle of Wright Festival. (This song, played in their first album, did not originally have any words/lyrics.)

Dharma, seek and you will find
Truth within your mind, Dharma.
Dharma, each to his own we say,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
Dharma, mad-time confusion burns,
Seek-money never learns, Dharma.
Truth is like freedom, it doesn’t fool me,
Being true to yourself, never think that you’re free.
Dharma will come eventually, Tao.
Dharma, Dharma…
Dharma, each to his own we sing,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
_________________________________________________________________________

Today is my birthday. I was born on November 4th, 1951. When i was the age to be eligible to be drafted (or not) concerning the Vietnam war, i was very concerned about what my draft number — according to the U.S.A. Draft Lottery — would be. I was (and still am) a pacifist and was not at all interested in going to war; i am a vegetarian; i don’t even care to contribute to the killing of animals. The lower the draft number that one is assigned, out of 365 (366), the higher the chances of you being drafted. Draft numbers were selected and assigned, via a Draft Lottery, according to your date of birth; the Draft Lottery, which was held to determine the draft status for my age-group, was held on December 1, 1970. So what was my draft number — assigned to my date of birth — after the Draft Lottery was completed? It was 39. I detested that number. I still detest it. It, being a very low number, meant that i definitely would be selected to go to the war. I was very disquieted about my “very draftable” draft number of 39. Circumstances being what they were, i went to college, where a student deferment was applicable. Later, when student deferments were terminated, i had to — because of my low 39 daft number — submit extensive paperwork requesting conscientious objector status.

So, while in college, around the time that i was becoming a vegetarian, i was visiting a friend of mine in his dormitory room. He and i were both avid fishermen; we would often go fishing together (on the weekends). On that particular day, my friend was not feeling well, so he could not go fishing with me (after i had invited him to). Right before i left his room, he gave me — following our brief discussion about music — a large Jethro Tull LP record album that i had never heard or seen before; it was the first album that the group had ever made. Since i liked the group, i thanked him for lending me the album; i left his dormitory room, and put the album on my bed, face up. (I did not look at the back of the album cover.) I went fishing.

I went fishing, alone, at the campus lake. As i fished, i began feeling immensely connected with the fish. One began seeing them as not being separate from what one was. I began seeing their pain as my pain… (or, rather, the “I” was absent and one was everything that was around). Around the same time at the lake, i began feeling like someone or something was watching the fishing; it was a very definite feeling, and i felt very embarrassed to be “seen” fishing (although no one was physically around).

I went back to my dormitory room, without any fish. After a short while, after relaxing a bit, i went over to the record album, that was on my bed, that my friend had given to me, looked at it and (when about to play it) turned it around to look at the back cover. The following is a picture of the album’s back cover. The album, released in the U.S. in February of 1969, is titled “This Was.”

This Was … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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To Exist as Nothing Psychologically

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To exist as nothing, psychologically, is not an unfavorable, weak state. Going beyond everything that you have been and believe in — instantly, without motive — is one of the most positive things, for it is of innocence, wholeness (beyond fragmentary reactions), and freedom. In fact, always continuing as mere reaction (from the old memory bank of stale ideas and images) is the continuation of sorrow. Sorrow must inevitably occur when mental things are second-hand and are constituted of mere reactions. Of course, thought/thinking must frequently manifest for one to do certain necessary things proficiently, with care. However, remaining in (and “as”) thought/thinking habitually, when such thinking is unnecessary, is sorrow and over-reacting. (It’s like endlessly clinging to a stream of shadows when — with deeper awareness — such shadows can be seen to be superficial and often rather insignificant.)

We, unfortunately, were miseducated to associate internal emptiness with internal poverty. Pure, uncontaminated, psychological emptiness is the most positive action, for it is of a pristine, orderly wholeness; merely being the reaction of thinking, however, is essentially inaction… dullness. Unfabricated emptiness is of a wholeness that is beyond mere sequential reaction in (and “as”) time; in that is vast energy, real freedom.

Monarch Madness … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Latest Sierra Club News as of October 2019

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(Please “like” this post if you perceive the seriousness of it, not because you like what is happening.)

The remote Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean are covered by 413.6 million pieces of plastic debris weighing 262 tons.

People around the world could be ingesting five grams of microplastic each week, the equivalent of eating a credit card.

July 2019 surpasses July 2016 as the hottest month in recorded history.

Emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from ammonia-fertilizer plants are 100 times greater than what’s reported by the industry.

So far this year, 182 dead gray whales have washed up along the Pacific Coast, many likely having starved to death because of changing fish populations in warming waters.

In April 2019, for the first time ever, more US electricity generation came from renewables than from coal.

Human activity threatens 1 million species of plants and animals with extinction.

A heatwave bakes India. Temperatures in Rajasthan reach 123 degrees F, and the four reservoirs that supply Chennai (population 9.1 million) go dry.

Republican lawmakers in 18 states want to criminalize protests against fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines.

By the end of 2018, 11 million people were employed in renewable energy worldwide.

Current White House officials suppress State Department testimony that human-caused climate change will be “possibly catastrophic.”

More than 1.8 million people object to a Trump proposal to strip gray wolves of endangered species protections.

Wild Thistle … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Standing Alone

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I am not overly interested in the words that the Buddha allegedly said,
since, over long stretches of time, words and translations get distorted.
I am not overly interested in the words that Jesus allegedly said,
since, over long stretches time, translations go askew, words get added and distorted.
Even the early Coptic versions of the Gospel of Thomas (which many top scholars say preceded the other four gospels), and which the power-hungry Roman-appointed hierarchical bishops rejected, was not as pristine as the even earlier papyrus Greek fragments found of that cornerstone gospel.
I am not overly interested in the words that Lao Tzu allegedly said,
since, over long stretches of time, words and translations get distorted.  (And each of the many translations of the Tao Te Ching is different.)
I am interested in discovering spirituality on my own, and learning directly, without distortion, without merely depending on old words, organizations, translations, and ancient documents.
They tried to get Walt Whitman to alter his poetry; he wouldn’t.
They tried to get E.E.Cummings to alter his poetry; he wouldn’t.
They tried to get me to alter my poetry; i wouldn’t.
They like to stealthily insert their ideologies into the works of others,
to suit their own ends, to suit their own self-serving needs.
They often (over time) like to get their conniving, little hands into the works of others (and twist things around).  
    

The Monarch that stands alone. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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The Precarious Times We Live In…

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We live in extremely precarious times.  We need to go beyond mere depression about things; we need to act and not merely “go along indifferently.”  The planet is getting more and more overcrowded with people (and people are still cranking out more and more babies); there is less and less space (especially for animals and plants).  Extinctions in nature are occurring at an unprecedented rate (with over a million species going extinct lately).  There is much less healthy agricultural land (as pollution is creeping in everywhere imaginable).   Carbon emissions and plastics are ruining the globe, while the Amazon and Western U.S. forests (and other world forests) burn rampantly, while some flat-earth political groups deny global warming and heavily contribute to the deterioration of the environment.  There is less viable fresh water.  Guns and weapons of mass destruction are on the rise; unfortunately, with many not realizing it, germ warfare is a very real possibility.  Automated robots will soon be replacing millions of people in the workplace.  The over-use of unnatural, made-made food products and the over-usage of synthetic medicines is making the human population more and more unnaturally sick and corrupt, with immune function diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cancer, depression, mental problems, and such things as diabetes becoming all too common, with increasing frequencies of occurrence.  We are rapidly losing what little freedom we had; political figures are becoming more and more dictatorial and propaganda news channels (much like what Nazi movies did in the past) are making crass people believe very crazy/hateful things. 

What is one to do regarding all of this obvious insecurity?  Too many of us are looking at the problems fragmentarily.  The problems are not isolated; one problem is related to another problem.  There is a bigger picture that is more holistic, more comprehensive, insightful, and caring.  We must look beyond the $-oriented opportunistic greed that is contagiously expanding as if it (i.e., such greed) is an accepted disease (that is OK).  A holistic, truly compassionate, non-indifferent mind of wisdom and insight would not be a huge contributing factor (to the above terrible situations) and would even seriously try to help change things.  A mind that operates in the old, traditional patterns, staying fragmentary, staying comfortable and barbaric (full of bias, indifference, and callousness) would not significantly help with the earth’s present very serious problems and with the problems that human beings face; such an indifferent/crass mind would merely continue to make the earth a living hell.  We can be stable and holistic or we can be fragmented and uncaring.  We can, (in all of this danger, fragmentation, and disorder), be order, wholeness, compassion, and largely be freedom from fear. 

No matter how terrible or disorderly things may seem on the outside, wisdom would primarily be stability and joyous harmony on the inside, in consciousness; it’s wisdom’s responsibility.  It’s wisdom’s responsibility not to be sad in a sad world; it’s wisdom’s responsibility not to be nuts in a nutty world.  Empathy would still exist; we wouldn’t look away from the suffering of those (supposedly) at a distance, and we would act to help; it’s wisdom’s responsibily.    

 

Ants caring for their young (larvae). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019