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Rapture, serenity, a blackbird, and the mountain of awareness

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Monday, 24 Jan 2022, 11:20

I have found a nice spot in the Winter gardens which provides adequate shelter from the rain. And I have made friends with a blackbird that hangs out there. It came to say hello as I was meditating, and perched on a stump directly in front of me, watching me in its intent birdish way, at one point it did this cute cartoon-like yawn that opened my heart right up, and then there it was, a great whoosh and rush of something that swept and carried me off in the strength of its current and for a moment took me away from it all, leading to a free-floating spacious rapturous serenity which was a very pleasant state of mind.

 I think an elusive feeling I have been trying to pin down for a good year or so now in meditation, is in fact rapture, which for me at least is a better description of what one is trying to invoke in meditation than joy. Rapture is much more ecstatic, it carries one away in its intensity. With plenty of rushes, tingles and otherworldy feelings, there is a slowing of time that makes sensations exquisite with pleasant trails and echoes as they rise and fade away like the tide of the sea. Rapture feels like a connection to the divine, to the heavenly realms.

I reflected on what one-pointed attention is. Remembering what I heard in a dharma talk that it means an embodied awareness, a wholeheartness involving the whole of one's being paying attention. One should be aware of the whole body, of one's presence while paying attention to the breath. Using the metaphor of attention being like the peak of a mountain. When one is looking at a mountain, it isn't just the peak one sees hovering above an invisible land-mass, one sees the whole of the mountain. This understanding of what one-pointed attention means, and my encounter with the blackbird brought a genuine feeling of rapture which lead to serenity and a happiness that felt otherwordly and freer than anything I have encountered before in the material world.

I left an offering of sunflowers seeds on a nearby stone for the blackbird. Nature has often been a teacher on my journey to enlightenment.

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Birds fly by flapping their wings

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Saturday, 22 Jan 2022, 20:39




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Mellow birds

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:58


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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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Mid-feb

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:06

I've not been at my best lately. Energy levels low. Studying has been a mission. Learning slow. Clear day today with some hazy blue in the sky. Working on assignment with a cat sleeping next to me and a jackdaw hopping about on perches by the window. Had a problem with a leaky hot water bottle and now have a wet elbow when I accidently leaned on it. Lots of little birds about in the garden just now. I've seen goldfinches, green finches, bull finches, chaffinches, sparrows, two robins, one wren, lots of blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, coal tits, and another kind of tit that I don't know the name for. There's also blackbirds and two song thrushes. When I go outside I can hear them all chortling away in the background, it feels sometimes like an aviary but one without cages where the birds are free.

I think I better get on now, I keep procrastinating with one of the questions it is one of those ones where I don't know where/how to start, I know once I start writing it it will get easier, but that initial start can be tricky sometimes. Glad to have written this blog post though; is like a warm up before I start writing for the assignment.

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Winter solstice

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:38
A blue tit came to my window today. Flapping dead-still like a hummingbird; watching me intently through the glass, when it made eye contact it flew away. I suddenly had the thought I better check the bird feeders outside, and they were empty so I filled them with sunflower seeds and mealworms. Smart birds are bluetits, in fact all birds are smart. Papa seagull came for some cat biscuits soaked in water along with his partner, a much shyer more suspicious character. He is a beautiful seagull with big bright eyes, and he makes this happy 'honk honk' noise when he sees me. Fills my heart with joy when he comes down from the sky and runs as fast as his long legs can go to greet me. He trusts me completely and I feel this bond with him that is like family. He has nested on our roof every spring and summer for a while now. My magnificient avian neighbour.

I feel bad about the cat biscuits though. I think of the horror of the factory farmed meat industry. Animals suffering for-profit and some sad delusion that life is all about making money. How greed can turn us into soulless monsters if we are not careful. I myself do not eat meat, but I will buy it and give it to the animals. A strange compromise I am not entirely comfortable with.

Over the years since I looked after one of their injured young who never recovered the power of flight. I have gotten to know many jackdaws, some will come into my room when my window is open and just chill out while I study. I love listening to the calls they make outside, and it cheers me up when I go out to give them some peanuts and leftovers to see them all perched on the fence in a row chattering and looking happy. There's some crows too, a rook, pigeons, blackbirds, a song thrush, robins, chaffinches, sparrows, a pied wagtail and the stealthy magpies with their magical wings.

I wish them well. I wish all people well, all species of life. I pray for the lost souls in the world chasing their greed, that they will find the strength to turn away from their games of monopoly, wake up and see the damage they cause and decide in that moment to change and become more altruistic people. That leaders will turn away from the path of destruction and look instead towards a world of compassion. That all humanity evolve as one together, to be a better kinder happier species that can live in harmony and give the eco-systems room to thrive.
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A great tit in my window

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Saturday, 25 Dec 2021, 14:42

Was just having a wee break from studying and looked out the open window and a great tit came and perched on it and I got the impression it was trying to tell me something. I immediately thought maybe the bird feeders are empty and went outside and they were all empty. So I filled them up and there was the great tit again along with many other hungry small birds. 

I must have forgotten to put anything out for them this morning. Shows the intelligence of birds though. That great tit knew I would be in my room studying and it came to my window just as I was looking out of it and somehow it made me think of checking the bird feeders, which I did and there it was again waiting for me by the feeder, somehow knowing I would do this. Clever bird.

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Avian pipe dreams

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:08

Feels like some of the jackdaws see me now as part of their tribe. They'll come and hang out with me when I sit outside. Not for food, just cause they want to, which makes me feel honoured. Hope the neighbours don't mind. I also seem to have made friends with a flock of pigeons. Their eyes are so gentle, and their feathers look beautiful when the sun catches them, the colours on their chests remind me a bit of peacocks. There's also some very tame blackbird chicks about, one follows me around, I worry a bit though cause it's a little too tame and needs to understand cats aren't friendly to birds.

Not sure what the neighbours think about all these birds, hope they don't mind. I'm bracing myself for possible complaints by some who see them as vermin, cause there are quite a lot of them now. I don't think I fit into what is considered normal human society, I much prefer the natural world to the artificial world. 

One day if I prosper in computing. I will buy some land that has been killed by agriculture/industry and heal it, I'll re-nourish the soil, plant trees, and plenty of plants that will attract insects, make it a place where there's plenty of natural food for wild animals. A place were wild life can come and live, thrive and be safe from the human world, I'll live in peace with them as equals, and not worry about what any human neighbours think, cause I won't have any (;


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