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There's a teaching in the Suttas where the Buddha gives lay disciples advice about what to do with money. He advises them after they have met their living expenses, to divide up any remaining money into four equal parts. Part one should be invested in something. Part two should be saved. Part three should be donated to a charity/noble cause. And the fourth part should be spent on oneself, so one can enjoy some of what they have earned. 

I thought this was great advice. And I have adapted it to also work with time, by dividing my day's activities into four equal parts. For the first part I study my university degree. For the second part I do some painting. For the third part I work on my dhamma studies (Buddhist lay disciple training). And the fourth part I spend working on my website. This division of time seems to work well for me so far (-: And I wonder in what other ways this division by four may come in useful? 

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Ode to joy

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Tuesday, 26 Oct 2021, 14:14

I regularly sit in Zazen with a Zen group via Zoom. And there is a chant we do at the beginning of the sitting called the verse of the robe. And I have a pet jackdaw, and she has recently started chanting along with me and the group, and it made me laugh today whilst I was chanting. But in hindsight I hope it didn't upset or offend anyone. Obviously we are muted, so it was my Zoom self laughing away on the screen whilst we were chanting, which may have looked inappropriate and odd to anyone looking who couldn't see the context of my situation. Still, it did help me to generate some joy and gladness in meditation today. Something I feel is an important and necessary step in training the mind. Joy can help one work better and stop becoming too dry, dark and grim in thought.

 In my experience whatever the mind focuses on tends to snowball. 

There is the middle way where one is neither excessively happy or sad, but I am not someone who likes to be dead-centre in my emotions. I imagine equanimity as being like a dial, and for me the ideal spot is where the needle is a bit off-centre to the right towards joy and pleasure, but not completely all the way, because if that gets too excessive that is not helpful either. But I find without any joy or pleasure I feel a bit like a stone Buddha, so for me a bit of joy and joviality brings the mind to life I find. 

Ah well enough of my crap, back to my studying. M269 has been the most challenging module I have studied yet, but is stretching my brain in good ways I think. Very chewy module, so have to study in bit-size chunks and have regular breaks.

Anyway have a good day wherever you are, at whatever point in time and space you are reading this.

May all beings know profound peace and wellbeing.


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Murmurations

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Sunday, 12 Sep 2021, 14:08

I am depressed at the moment. It is a struggle each day just to get out of bed and do anything. My energy levels are low. Studying is difficult, my cognitive abilities are getting worse and I am finding reading difficult, constantly have to read and re-read the same paragraph for the information it contains to eventually sink in, and even then I am not sure it has. Starting to doubt if I have what it takes to finish this degree. I'll keep going though...

It could be this dark time of year, I find November a difficult month. I feel like a hedgehog that wants to go hibernate somewhere, maybe humans should hibernate, that would save energy and resources and maybe help the planet not die from over-exploitation.

We got some cool starling murmurations here, look really amazing, and when they pass overhead you can hear their collective wing-beats.

There are some that think everything is conscious, even molecules and atoms, that it is a natural consequence of an interconnected Interdependent form. Meaning every level of reality could be conscious from atoms, to molecules, to cells, to neurons, to a human. And consciousness could even go beyond that, to perhaps a family, a neighbourhood, town, city, nation, the Internet, an eco-system, biome, planet, solar system, galaxy, the whole universe might be conscious.

A lot of things in reality are like fractals.

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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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