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 (-:
" This I have made up:
Once the Buddha was walking along the
forest path in the Oak Grove at Ojai, walking without
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
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,"
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
Light rays like sunbeams
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 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
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:
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
And relax, Ho
And remember this: You can't miss. "
- Rick Fields, Dharma Gaia, pp.3-7
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.