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The essence of Buddhism

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:10

Buddhism can be summed up as overcoming the three poisons of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. (These three can also be phrased as worldly-desire, aversion, and ignorance).

Delusion is composed of three things:

1. Lack of information

2. Misinformation

3. and Disinformation

This creates wrong ideas about ourselves and others, about the world and the nature of reality, which gives rise to greed and hatred.

If we allow greed and hatred to flow through us it will increase our delusions. And vice versa, our delusions will increase greed and hatred. Which is why greed, hatred and delusion is often portrayed as three animals chasing each other's tails (see the famous image below), who in their ignorance are perpetually creating the unsatisfactory and painful samsaric existence.

But if we can spot and become aware of greed and hatred as it manifests within us and prevent it from arising, or abandon it ASAP if it does, our fundamental perceptions and attitudes about the world and reality will change. And eventually once one no longer has a trace of greed, hatred or delusion in them that person is then a fully awakened/enlightened being who is no longer generating a samsaric experience; but instead has gone beyond samsara into a state of perpetual freedom known as nibanna, a liberated state of mind that cannot be reversed.

In a nutshell, nibbanna is what the mind becomes when it is no longer fuelled by greed, hatred and delusion. And practising the noble eight-fold path is the training one undertakes to accomplish this goal.

                                            The Wheel of Life.


The image is a famous depiction of samsara called BhavaChakra in Buddhism.
The monster at the top is Yama, the God of death and represents impermanence.
The Buddha on the outside shows that liberation is possible and points to the centre to show the root of the problem.
In the centre, greed is depicted as a rooster, hatred as a snake, and delusion as a pig - they perpetually chase one another's tails and generate karma (represented by the second circle), which in turn generates the six realms of samsara (the third circle).
The outer circle represents the twelve links of dependent origination.



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Asoka

Broken wing

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:48


Is there a way to generate joy that doesn't depend on anything outside oneself? 

Without it I feel like a bird with a broken wing, who longs to fly but can't take off.
Held down by the gravity of a crap reality.
The pain of separation, of living in a world that doesn't give damn.
A dream within a dream within a dream. 

What is real anyway? 

Is it the world out there? Or the world within?



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Asoka

Extinction

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 26 Nov 2021, 11:42

The life in the ocean is dying. I've lived here since 2003, and when we first moved here, the local beach was full of life, teeming with it. There where hermit crabs, crabs of all different types and sizes, fish, sandeels, starfish, shrimps, coral, sea anenomes, shellfish and seabirds of all different kinds. Now when I walk along the beach, look in the rockpools and the water, there's hardly anything there. I am lucky if I see the occasional tiny crab, even the shellfish are disappearing at an alarming rate and there's no more hermit crabs or sandeels to be found anywhere. The seabirds are fewer, and many species have gone completely, even the herring gulls are growing fewer. What can be causing this worrying loss of life? I don't know. I am guessing it is a combination of the horrible destructive practise of dredging, salmon fish farms, pollution and over-fishing. It breaks my heart man.

How is one supposed to feel any joy in this world?

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Asoka

Who am I?

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 25 Nov 2021, 21:43
I am not sure I have what it takes. Not sure I'm anything. Will keep fighting though. Mara is clever, far too clever for me. I have lost my way a bit. I wonder if I will ever be a Buddha. 

So confused, which is a sign that I am holding to a wrong view. I feel the Buddha's presence with me though despite all my failings. Not sure how that's possible when he has gone on to nibbana, and I don't know why he encourages me with his presence. I feel like giving up, it is so hard to train this mind. But then I look at the world and I can't go back to it I feel no joy in the things of the world anymore. It is all so shallow and consumerism is dissatisfying. My ego is changed and no longer finds pleasure in what it used to. The things of the world just bore me now. I care not for the world of man anymore.

I feel a bit stuck on the path and alone in my quest for enlightenment. But the Buddha is with me, I don't know why, I could think of many who are much more worthy of his presence than me, yet he believes in me for some reason. I hope I don't fail in this quest and let him down. I wanted to get enlightened for the sake of mother Earth and all beings. Because things are so dark at the moment here on Earth at this time 2021, and look like they are going to get darker. I wanted to be a light and help preserve the dharma and bring peace and freedom from suffering to all beings, or at least as many beings as I can before this body dies. Though my flame is not bright at the moment and nearly extinguished I will keep persevering on the eight-fold path. By myself if I have to.

 Is it wrong to feel so sad? I can't help but feel this sadness sometimes. This human world is so cold cruel and crazy. I am so useless, why is the Buddha with me? I am grateful for his support.

Is this a delusion? I don't know, today I felt so lost and alone. Sat here and I felt his energy support me, it felt real. I don't want to let him down.


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Asoka

Solitude

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:49
It is when you are struggling you discover who your real friends are. Those who don't care for you abandon you in those moments. 

Friendship is impermanent and subject to change just like everything else. One should learn to be fearless without needing friends by their side. I think the Buddha once said (at the time of his death) that we should become an island on to ourselves, we should take refuge in ourselves and the dharma. We shouldn't be dependent on anyone else, we should be our own teacher, our own guru, our own best friend. We should question everything, even what he says.

 Don't get me wrong, it is nice to have friends, but life and the nature of change can be a real bitch sometimes and the reality is people aren't always there for you, and there are shitty days where you will feel separated, disconnected and alone. Connections don't last forever, nothing does, and it is everyone's fate (whether we like it or not) to one day become separated from those we love.

 The only thing you can really depend on in this universe is that everything is changing, and it is up to you to free yourself from suffering. Friends come and go, but you will always be with yourself. So try to make a friend of your mind, and perhaps that can help ease the pain of separation. Besides one only feels lonely when they think: 'I am lonely'. It is just a state of mind, part of the story we tell ourselves. There are beings all around us, so noone is truly alone. It is all bullshit in the end anyway, none of it is real. At least that's what I am telling myself, I feel lonely as fuck just now, but I don't care anymore. 


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Asoka

Pink sunset

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:02


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Asoka

Metta bee

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:15

Found a bumble-bee struggling on the road earlier today, wasn't moving and seemed barely alive. I put my open hand next to it on the ground, and to my amazement it clambered on, and I carried it home.

 I was taking part in a meditation and writing retreat with a Zen group via Zoom. So I sat in Zazen meditation with it cupped in my upright hand. Where it just rested and warmed up, and over the course of the meditation it perked up and started cleaning itself and stretching. Then began crawling from one hand to the other, seeming to become more and more alive, its feet tickling my palms. At the end of the meditation (30 mins), the group leader on Zoom rang the bell, and the bee started buzzing excitedly and I got the sense it was ready to leave me. So I went back outside and stood on my doorstep, felt it vibrating as it buzzed on my palm. And from my open outstretched hand it took off perfectly, and flew away, seeming to be in good health and happy. I wished it well. 

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Asoka

Red Alert

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


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Asoka

Mother Tree

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:03

Still studying and learning about computing, just completed and passed a Java module with the Open University. I guess realistically getting a job in computing is my best chance of earning an income, but painting will always be my first love.


https://www.ArtPal.com/richie?i=216964-5&r=216964

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Asoka

The Goddess

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:12

Had this vivid dream of being in possession of a magical pebble.

I skimmed it across the water and each time it skipped it grew larger and larger until it became an island with ancient Aztec-style ruins on it. Me and some companions went to explore the island. We found an entrance to an underground tunnel and entered it. Whilst down there we accidently activated a secret entrance that held a sarcophagus, with horror we watched it  open and a female zombie with glowing eyes emerge. She was immensely powerful and terrifying to behold. She butchered all my companions but for some reason spared me and when I was the last person standing, she changed from the form of a zombie to a beautiful self-assured Goddess. She led me out of the underground tunnels to the top of the island, where she stood by the entrance to a cave. She did not seem to want to harm me, in fact she seemed quite protective and motherly towards me. And she had a strong sense of the wild about her, reminded me of the feeling of connection and kinship I feel with nature and other species of life.

Anyway I had no idea what any of that could mean, but it left a strong impression on me. I researched ancient goddesess, from all cultures. And found out some amazing stuff about how humans used to live in a matriarchal society. And it was women who invented agriculture and were leaders during the Neolithic times. The garden of eden story symbolises this, the move away from being hunter-gatherers to farmers.

 Women would often die in childbirth, and those that did would be venerated as fallen heroes. The neolithic peoples worshipped the Goddess. Silbury hill for example took 400 years to build and has stood for over 4000 years. A symbol of the ancient Goddess in the shape of a breast. 

 Things changed roughly around the time of ancient Greece, things became more and more patriarchal, and women became suppressed and demeaned; at the same time the natural world also started to become oppressed. Nature became seen as something to be dominant over, something to exploit and control. The idea of ownership developed, not just of the land, but also of people. Something which still continues to this day.

 Anyway, after much digging I finally found the Goddess from my dream. She was an Aztec goddess. Portrayed sometimes in their art as a frightening zombie-like figure. It is all symbolic though, she was actually quite benevolent, the frightening zombie side to her nature symbolises her consuming our misdeeds/impurities, so we can become pure enough to travel onward. The companions in my dream must have symbolised my impurities. The cave she stood beside, I think symbolised the womb. Ancient caves almost always symbolised the womb. And perhaps I am meant to enter it to become reborn, or maybe it means the world is about to be reborn. Perhaps the cave is the safest place to be in these turbulent times, a place to change, develop and grow into something new.

I dunno, I am maybe reading too much into this dream,  left a strong impression on me though and was odd that I would dream of a Goddess I had never heard of before and find out she was based on an actual ancient mythology. Cool dream anyway... but perhaps I am reading too much into it. 

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Asoka

What would happen if everyone believed all is one?

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 22:20

Interesting article:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/what-would-happen-if-everyone-truly-believed-everything-is-one/

Research seems to support the idea that believing everything is one and connected changes people's psychology to make them more inclusive of others, including different species of animal. The article seems to suggest this belief could be beneficial for human society. (*N.b. no belief in God required)




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