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Microplastic

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022, 17:33

photo of a painting

Original painting available for sale on Etsy here

Click this link to download a free jpg of painting to your device; that you can print and use for your own personal non-commercial use.

Peace and love (-:

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 29 Dec 2022, 20:12)
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Ghost tree

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022, 14:36

scan of painting, links to a place where one can download high quality scan for free (-:

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The Very Short Sutra on the Meeting of the Buddha and the Goddess

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 25 May 2022, 18:07



" This I have made up:

       Once the Buddha was walking along the

forest path in the Oak Grove at Ojai, walking without

arriving anywhere

or having any thought of arriving or not arriving

and lotuses shining with the morning dew

miraculously appeared under each step

soft as silk under the toes of the Buddha

When suddenly, out of the turquoise sky,

dancing in front of his half-shut inward-looking

eyes, shimmering like a rainbow

or a spider's web

transparent as the dew on a lotus flower

--the Goddess appeared quivering

like a hummingbird in the air before him

She, for she was surely a she

as the Buddha could clearly see

with his eye of discriminating awareness wisdom,

was mostly red in color

though when the light shifted

she flashed like a rainbow

She was naked except

for the usual flower ornaments

Goddesses wear.

Her long hair

was deep blue, her two eyes fathomless pits of space

and her third eye a bloodshot

ring of fire.

The Buddha folded his hands together

and greeted the Goddess thus:

"O Goddess, why are you blocking my path.

Before I saw you I was happily going nowhere.

Now I'm not sure where I want to go."

"You can go around me."

said the Goddess, twirling on her heels like a bird

darting away, "or you can come after me.

This is my forest too,

you can't pretend that I'm not here."

With that the Buddha sat

    supple as a snake

    solid as a rock

beneath a Bo tree

    that had sprang full-leaved

    to shade him.

"Perhaps we should have a chat,"

he said.

    After years of arduous practice

at the time of the morning star

I penetrated reality, and now..."

"Not so fast, Buddha.

I am reality."

The Earth stood still,

the oceans paused,

the wind itself listened

--a thousand arhats, bodhisattva, and dakinis

magically appeared to hear

what would happen in the conversation.

"I know I take my life in my hands,"

said the Buddha.

"But I am known as the Fearless One

--so here goes."

And he and the Goddess

without further words

exchanged glances.

Light rays like sunbeams

shot forth

so bright that even

Sariputra, the All-Seeing One,

had to turn away.

And then they exchanged thoughts

and the illumination was as bright as a diamond candle.

And then they changed mind

And then there was a great silence as vast as the universe

that contains everything.

And then they exchanged bodies

And clothes

And the Buddha arose

as the Goddess

and the Goddess arose as the Buddha

and so on back and forth

for a hundred thousand hundred thousand kalpas.

If you meet the Buddha

you meet the Goddess,

the Goddess is the Buddha.

And not only that.  This:

The Buddha is the Goddess,

the Goddess is the Buddha.

And not only that:This:

The Buddha is emptiness

The Goddess is bliss,

the Goddess is emptiness

the Buddha is bliss.

And that is what

and what-not you are

it's true.

So here comes the mantra of the Goddess and the Buddha, the unsurpassed non-dual mantra, just to say this mantra, just to hear this mantra once, just to hear one word of this mantra once makes everything the way it truly is:  OK.

So here it is:

    Earth-walker/sky-walker

        Hey, silent one, Hey, great talker

    Not two/not one

        Not separate/Not apart

    That is the heart

        Bliss is emptiness

        Emptiness is bliss.

    Be your breath, Ah

    Smile, Hey

   And relax, Ho

And remember this:  You can't miss. "

- Rick Fields, Dharma Gaia, pp.3-7


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Strange virus

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022, 21:57

I am feeling better today, but my son is still unwell with COVID. He is seventeen, so am suprised he has had it much worse than I have being middle-aged. It is a strange virus how it affects everyone differently.

I read that the USA has been developing a chimera version of COVID by mixing it with the original SARS, to create a more deadly and aggressive form of the virus. In fact they may already have created it. The reasons for doing so are not very clear. Apparently it is dual-purpose, but I suspect one of the purposes is for the military. Madness. Such research should be banned worldwide, as if it isn't bad enough we have nuclear weapons of mass-destruction, now we are creating biological weapons of mass destruction. We really are doomed as a species if we carry on the way we are.

I also read an article about how the so-called 'Life sciences' are creating technologies to kill off entire species of animals and plants that are considered pests. I thought the Nazis had been defeated, but it seems they are still alive and well and still playing with science. I wonder if this is a consequence of operation paperclip, where Nazi scientists where whisked away to the US, Britain and Russia. Given new identities and amnesty if they worked for those governments. Some went on to occupy high positions in NASA and the CIA, and God knows where else in society. Quite a chilling thought as many of them where insane unpleasant people.

I don't think using life science to wipe out entire species that we consider a nuisance is a good idea. The Chinese tried to get rid of sparrows believing them to be a pest that was damaging their crops. So they wiped out loads of them, but an unexpected thing happened, they made things worse, and the harvest got ruined by caterpillars that the sparrows had been eating.

This looming future with our new Life science technology is something that gives me the creeps, honestly the amount of arrogance and ignorance we humans show to nature and the other beings and eco-systems around us is going to be the end of us as a species I think. We are like kids playing with loaded guns, no, we are kids playing with weapons and technology of mass destruction. We have not evolved much in terms of the mind whilst playing with science that could destroy everything on the planet.

We are even in the middle of the sixth mass extinction event and still we are creating weapons of mass destruction and technology that has the potential to make things worse. We are building more nuclear power stations while we are still clueless about what to do with the nuclear waste.

We talk about war, but our biggest threat is the mass extinction event happening around us.

War is like two humans who have jumped off a cliff and are shooting at each other as they fall to their deaths.

This human world is madness.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Darren Menachem Drapkin, Thursday, 24 Feb 2022, 12:02)
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Rubbish art

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Some funky bubble wrap painted in acrylic. Was thinking it will be good for wrapping up paintings with for postage. And the recipient may decide to keep it, which means one less piece of plastic in the ocean.


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Wisdom of the sangha

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021, 18:28

This is a tough module I am studying (M269). Spent hours trying to understand and answer a question on the TMA. I tried so hard, but had to quit in the end and submit the assignment, leaving the last parts of the question unanswered, I will lose a lot of marks, but I did try my best. I am honestly wondering if I am going to pass this module, it may be that I'll have to resit it again next year if I don't. 

After submitting the assignment, I sat in Zazen over Zoom. I was feeling stressed about a lot of things during the meditation. And felt quite dark in mood while sat there. I was worrying about the assignment; but also anxious about the state of the world and all the crazy stuff happening just now. Sad and mad about seeing species go extinct, something I am witnessing with my own eyes. 

 Then there's the homelessness crisis, in part due to banks kicking people out of their homes due to missing their mortgage payments, not their fault either, these familes lost their income because of the lockdowns. The government is so keen to save lives by treble-vaxxing everyone, yet I can't help but feel if they really were trying to save lives, why don't they help these poor folks trying to survive on the streets in the middle of winter? Why don't they help the old and vulnerable dying in care homes due to staff shortages or dying in NHS hospitals because relatives can no longer afford to pay for their care. I feel afraid of the huge poverty that is coming from the fallout of this pandemic. Why are they doing nothing to help these people who are at risk of death from extreme poverty?

 I also feel so sorry for the refugees. it was horrifying to hear on the news about that large fishing boat that purposely put itself in the way of drowning refugees and the lifeboats trying to save them. How could they be so heartless and cruel. I cannot understand why people can become like that. 

And I am sick to death of all the happy clappy fake plastic smiley corporate advertisements. Sick of all the celebrity bullshit, blah blah blah so what. All this being broadcast while the Earth is in a major crisis right now. I wish the governments of the world would show more enthusiasm, effort and coordination over reversing the sixth mass extinction event than this mass-vaccination campaign. If they can put so many resources, logistics, academics and energy into vaccinating everyone, surely they could do the same for turning this terrifying mass extinction event around, and also help all those suffering from poverty and homelessness. The governments are so fake, them and the media.

I spoke of all my concerns with the Zen group today (one can stay and have a discussion with the group after meditation). They were all very kind and said a lot of helpful things to cheer me up and help me feel better. Reminding me there are lots of good people out there. And although it all seems futile at times, whatever small way we can help others means something to those we help. That one needs to fight back with compassion. They advised me to read about someone called Joanna Macy, saying she was someone who may be a kindred spirit for me in these dark times, and might help me feel some hope and rekindle love and compassion in my heart.

 I also stated to my friends in the sangha that I had made a vow to never take my life no matter how hard things get. After confessing to them that I had felt like doing so. Mainly because I couldn't bare the thought of seeing any more species go extinct, or witness any more refugees drowning at sea, any more war, poverty or suffering, I didn't want to live in the Orwellian, dystopian world we seem to be heading towards. They were happy to hear that I have made a vow to never commit suicide. I feel publicly making this vow and the painting I made to seal it is a kind of protection for me. Because the thoughts do constantly whirl around my head at times, but seeing my painting and remembering my words can help me stay alive I think.  

One bit of advice that stuck out for me was to try and see my negative mood cycles as like being in a womb, a state of becoming. A time to retreat, nurture and take care, not get too overwhelmed with the sorrow of the world, but care for it with a tenderness like one would a growing baby, and all that sorrow can give birth to something beautiful if one is patient and gentle with it. It can become love and compassion instead of anger and hate. The bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshivra has many many hands and eyes, and those who have taken the bodhissatva vow are her many eyes and hands in this world.

I was so glad that I sat with them today and that I stayed to chat at the end. I nearly didn't, my mood was so negative I didn't want to bring it into the online zendo, but at the last minute I decided I would sit with them. And it did help, not just me, but the other people there were grateful for the discussion we had at the end, as the words of wisdom shared by the different members of the group seemed to help everyone. 


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Red Alert

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:42


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):

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Sunday, 3 Oct 2021, 11:22

So sad about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. The ocean is also dying. And the insects. Human civilisation is going down a dark path. We have reached the point now where a mass extinction event is happening around us and refugees are left to drown at sea; humanity is in a bad place.

Wish I could do something. Feel so powerless against this global madness. I don't know what to do? I feel like I am witnessing the end of the world...

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Save the Firth of Clyde

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:10

These salmon farms are an environmental menace and cruel, they are proposing to build one of these horrors round the coast here. It will be terrible for the wildlife. Please sign to save the Firth of Clyde:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-proposed-cumbrae-fish-farms-going-ahead

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March 1st 2019

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:13

Not feeling too great today. My self confidence is a bit low. There's this part of me that is constantly putting me down, making me feel inadequate and stupid. I have been doing OK so far with the Open University, but there's always this voice in the back of my mind telling me it won't last and I just am not smart enough to do a degree. The human psyche is such a complicated place man. I try not to hate that part of myself. I am gently working with it, attempting to re-train those neurons to be put to some better use. It is a part of me that has seen a rough part of reality and it will take time to re-programme myself. Yeah this world is a hard place for many of us. Sometimes wonder what the point in any of it is. There are so many different pressing problems coming together just now globally, that it feels like the end of the world and worrying about career and stuff just seems irrelevant when we are currently in the Earth's sixth mass extinction event. There is so much war and violence in the world. So many refugees and so much homelessness. So much depravity among many of the wealthy, much like how things may have been before the collapse of the Roman empire I guess.

Pretty much every generation thinks the world is going to end; perhaps it is time to create a better world where future generations don't feel like that. A world that isn't oppressive, violent and lacking in love. Human society doesn't have to be this way, there are alternatives. The people who keep telling us there is no alternative are the ones who profit off the status quo. Change can happen and is still possible, but I fear there is not much time left now for that change to happen before everything around us collapses. I think any humans that manage to survive the looming collapse could find themselves living in another dark age, but one far worse than any that have happened before. If land and oceanic eco-systems die it will be a bleak and harsh world to try and survive in, it is possible humanity may not even survive this time.

The odds don't look great just now; but I am trying to keep hope alive in my soul. There is evil in the world; but there is also good.

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Eco-bubble

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:18

Find it difficult to say much lately not been too well and very low mood. Sad about the state of the earth. The environmental crisis feels a bit like the financial crash of 2008. None of the banks believed the housing/mortgage bubble would burst, people warned them it didn't look good and others bet against it, but noone took the warnings seriously and we ended up with a credit crunch. If there is an environmental crunch then all the money in the world won't help us.

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Move the mountain of greed

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:43

I alone cannot change society; but I can change myself. Transform my own consciousness. Overcome the conditioning that limits me. We can all do this, if enough people do, then we can change society from the inside out. 

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An experiment

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 21:41

I was thinking about stuff I have written in the past about my sadness for the plight of the natural world. Today I became so frustrated by these thoughts I concluded it was an impossible thing to fix. This then seemed to cause the gears of my mind to slow and grind to a halt and I lost motivation for anything.

Then I remembered about the strange phenomena of faith. A writer, unfortunately I cannot remember his name, said he acted as if there was a muse even though in his mind he thought such things were nonsense; and so he turned up to write at his desk every day having faith the muse would be there, and strangely his reality became as if the muse was really there.

Even though I do not believe in God, perhaps if like the writer with the muse, I turn up each day and pray for the change I want to see in the world and have faith it will happen maybe this will be like a butterfly wing that starts a wind to turn this extinction event around. In the Jesus myth we are told if you have faith you can move mountains. Even though this is a mythological story, that idea must have come from somewhere. 

I will give faith a go anyway, see if it really can move mountains. It is irrational, possibly delusional; but in all honesty I do not  know what else to do really. The only other option is to give up and descend into apathy and deep sadness.

I have to try. I do not want to see the world end on my watch. 



Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Simon Reed, Sunday, 25 Nov 2018, 11:15)
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Exit

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:52
I don't care for your politica speak
people are dying

I don't care for your selfish corporate greed
animals are going extinct

seven times three
this is the 21st century

lose your last century crap
and self-centred ideology

World can't take no more fossil fuel

concrete jungle invasion 
grey bleak city cruel

no more poison
sprayed across the land
killing birds and insects
to satisfy supermarket demand

disinvent the trawler
sink them to the depths of the sea
scooping up all the fish
while sea-life goes hungry

and orcas go sterile from pvc

stop cutting down trees
leave the forest alone

open your hearts to one love
Altruism is better
for our survival

All life is interdependent

we are one

Aye-man 

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