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Ocean Spirits

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023, 17:03


Scan of an abstract painting


Painted in acrylic. Prints available from here.

and also from
here.

© Asoka Richie 2023 (all rights reserved)

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Asoka

Water

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 23 Aug 2023, 21:14

A photo of a barrel jellyfish


Rain drops fall like a tranquil melody. 
As I walk to take a break 
from a mountain of studying.
So much revision to do
for an upcoming exam.
And my heart is just not in it.

The green of plant life
is luminous in the rain.
Green shades of every kind.

I stop to watch a
huge jellyfish in the water
Pulsating rhythmically
as it swims back and forth.
A barrel jellyfish I think.
Beautiful being. 
Blind as a bat though
As it bumps into the sea wall.

I get back home.
Shake off my umbrella
Sit at the computer.
Log in.

Then the tears start...

It comes in waves.

...

A photo of a barrel jellyfish




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Asoka

Psychic weather front

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Sometimes I feel alive, enthusiastic, full of excitement and wonder. Other times I am like a flat battery that can't seem to hold its charge or see much hope in anything. Other times there's an odd mix of brain chemistry that is so horrible I can't put it into words. 

It is helpful for me to remember the brain is the body. It is dependent on conditions largely outside my control, meaning it will change. It won't always function in the way I wish it would, and eventually it will cease when the conditions it depends on cease.

That is the way of things with dependent origination. Conditioned phenomena is impermanent. It isn't gloomy to think this way. It can be a helpful tool to bring some equanimity to the mind. It helps me let go of the clinging and aversion towards things, and to stop taking it personally. Which decreases the suffering somewhat.

Sometimes difficult things happen that are outside our control. And sometimes it’s our own fault, we behave in unskilful ways and reap the kamma for it. Whatever it is, we then go and add more suffering to the situation with the longing, aversion, and taking it personally. This is the mental pain we add to physical and worldly difficulties. This is what makes us suffer.

I remember one night I got stranded on the mainland after missing the last boat back to the island. I had just completed a lengthy 10-hour journey coming back from my dad’s funeral. And I arrived at the ferry terminal late due to a delay with the coach. I felt exhausted and a bit unwell. There was nowhere to stay, and a long wait till the next ferry in the morning. So I went to sit on the beach, tried to roll a joint to make myself feel better. And I'd almost finished rolling it, when there was a huge gust of wind that blew it all away, and then it started raining. I felt like the person off the Hamlet advert, but without the cigar.

Then the day of the funeral all came back to me, and I burst into tears. It all just gushed out. I felt so lonely.

Then I saw my dad’s face in the sea. And I said I was sorry for not getting chance to speak to him before he died. I wished him well and told him he was loved.

Then the wind and rain became unbearable, so I went to find some shelter. I spent the rest of the night alternating between walking, standing, and sitting meditation.

I went through so many mood swings in that one night. Like the mind was changing, morphing into all sorts of different shapes and patterns. I was even seeing things that weren't there. It was challenging.

Through it all I tried to remain still and not get disturbed by the changing psychic weather. I just kept bringing my attention back to the breath and body to calm and centre the mind. Not engaging with anything else. Meditation felt like a refuge. There were strange eerie sounds at times like banshees wailing. (They turned out to be seabirds, the tunnel making their calls echo in ghostly ways).

 Eventually after many hours of this, the mind converged into a oneness, and it all disappeared. The psychic weather passed. Leaving behind a stillness and beautiful emptiness that I can't put into words. 

I was greeted at sunrise by a friendly pigeon watching me intently with smiley eyes. Then it vocalised a set of patterns, and some moments later another pigeon responded in the distance with a different set of vocal patterns.

The pigeon flew away. 

The wind and rain outside had stopped. It also dependent on conditions.

I went to get a coffee and my card was declined by the reader. I laughed, and the cashier laughed as well. She said that happens to her all the time, and that she keeps a supply of cash with her just in case.

Luckily, I had a few coins on me and managed to buy the coffee.

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Asoka

A night in the harbour

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 5 Jul 2023, 20:36


Pacing back and forth
I am tired but mindful.
Waves of tears crash.
Into the ocean wind.

I leave the beach to find shelter.

Watch each presently arisen state
flow and fade away.
Mind is like the ocean.
A morphing psychic energy,
Restless
Dissatisfied.
Moving
From one thing to the next,
Darting erratically.
Flickering this way and that
Becoming different shapes and patterns.

Like the wind.
Its involuntary movements.
Constantly changing.

I sit still.
In the temple of the body.
In the solidity of the earth.
Attentive to the air element.
The cool touch of it on the skin.
Centre with the breath energy,
The whole body and mind.
Earth and air become one.

And in a moment of bliss.
The mind converges.
All goes into sync.
Becomes unified, and still.
Whole-hearted.
Content.
Present.
Harmonised.
Tuned into Nothing.

And I leave the world behind,
Everything disappears.

A pigeon watches me with interest
Perched above in the Victorian architecture.
Night becomes dawn
And it coos with delight.

The unnerving banshee shrieks in the tunnel
Turn out to be seabirds.

-Asoka

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The Song Thrush and the Sea

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 7 Apr 2023, 14:41


Ocean wavelets
Make pebbles sing
A song of stone
Of Ancient days
Sun shadows of time
Flickering before me.

I am still and silent like a human sundial
And somewhere close by
A song-thrush sings
The sounds carve
Spiral
Beautiful shapes
Across the air
Gladdening the mind.

A joyful usher of Spring
Reminding me of 
Love
And the beautiful spaces within.

- Asoka



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Turbulence

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Sea swirl, 
smash on path
air turbulently
picks up things
makes them dance
with playful icy fingers
that blow open my hood
Exposing head and neck
to ice chill blows
It is unpleasant.
But I endure 
retreat to a deep
sheltered place within.

The path changes direction
And now the wind is at my back.
I replace my hood and
The warmth feels pleasant
Soft touch of cloth flapping like wings.
As excited air blows all around me
Swirling puddles into
hypnotic patterns and shapes
A liquid reflection of how things change.

Seagulls hover above in perfect stillness
effortlessly flowing with the wind
weaving in and out of each other's paths
Masters of stillness in motion.



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Rising flowing

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Sunday, 18 Sep 2022, 09:49




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Kraken Wakes

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A deep sea mining operation drills a little too deep...

Painting of a kraken


Free download of a 300 dpi scan for personal non-commercial use is available at: https://thestonecub.wordpress.com/2022/04/25/kraken-wakes/

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Asoka

Seaweed

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 21 Jan 2022, 21:38

Not getting much done to be honest. Studying feels like a right slog. I had the assessment open on my screen and stared at it for ages and couldn't type anything, couldn't remember and understand the maths we are being taught very well, I find it a bit confusing; so I closed up my laptop went for a walk, but I seem to have constant butterflies in me belly, eyes down trying to have as little to do with people as possible, just can't be around other energy just now. Got enough to deal with with mine I think. Sat on a bench stared at the ocean, felt sad, got up continued walking, said hello to my crow friends, they are beautiful beings, they fly right in front and look at me with such loving eyes. I put some peanuts on the ground for them, and it is so comical the way they jump sideways, like avian kangeroos hopping to where I placed the food.

Walking along the seafront, the beach was laced with plastic of all different kinds it seems, all tangled in the seaweed left by the storm; there's a huge mass of seaweed everywhere. On the pavements, on the roads, even at the top of our road, which is at the top of a hill, (for the life of me I cannot figure out how it got there). Yesterday was comical and surreal, there was a geezer from the council in what looked like a hazard suit standing on the pavement with a leaf blower, blowing the seaweed back on to the beach, I honestly thought I had quantum leapt into a different dimension. As if things aren't strange enough already eh?





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Sea Nimitta

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Sometimes when meditating and one becomes still enough, a nimitta will appear. Nimitta is a Pali word that means: sign. A sign you are getting into a deeper state of concentration/samhadi and close to absorption. The nimitta is a mind generated phenomena, and varies in appearance and behaviour depending on what is being used for a meditation object . It can involve any of the senses, but for me mostly appears as a visual or tactile sensation. Once the nimitta is clear and strong enough it can then be used as a meditation object itself, which can then take one into even deeper states of stillness. There is often an otherworldly feeling that accompanies a nimitta and they can be very weird but in a good way, and certainly nothing to be afraid of. These deeper states of stillness feel very freeing and healing and one can encounter what is known as original mind which is beautiful beyond description.


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