Hi everyone! After almost a year away I decided it was time to come back and see how you all are.
What’s been happening?
My sister, dated someone in a band who used the same promoter that Tina used.
I got to see Tina perform 54 years ago in a small bar club in Vancouver as a 14-year-old, where the management said I could only attend if I sat near the back kitchen door, in order to skedaddle through & out if the cops came in, because I was underage.
I didn't fully understand the full complexity of what I was witnessing at 14 but the undeniable electricity of that performance can still put a smile of remembrance on this guy's heart today.
So I'm based in NSW for the foreseeable future and I recently took my Bodhisattva vows. I was wondering if anyone else here has taken them and how it's changed their practise for them.
I'm finding that I am much more mindful of my speech and actions. I mean, I always tried to be but now I'm very aware of not wanting to incur root or secondary downfalls.
A female elephant seal below my morning's sea walking trail. They come ashore,
stay out of the water and eat nothing for what is often a month long uncomfortable process of moulting. This babe was about 7 ft long.
In one of Osho’s books I came across the phrase ‘I teach you a religion of warmth, love, singing, dancing, music’ and in my experience of neo-sannyas that was actually true, the ashram was very much a place where these things came about. It was an interesting piece of the book ‘The Transmission of the Lamp’, where Osho also talks about how the repetition of a mantra tends to dull the intelligence, and how various traditional methods of religious practice make one cold and inactive.
My experience of Buddhism on the other hand was one of a gradual finding of silence and inner peace. I found it quite cleansing, because you drop so many things that all the bad things go. But in a way, perhaps the good things also go. I certainly found that there was a lessening of energy, like the moving from a more energetic space where one is pulled by desires and pushed by fears to a more quiet place where things moved more slowly.
It happened very gradually, and it is part of getting to know all the different aspects of yourself. In the end, I found I did not agree with the Buddha that life is suffering. Yes, there is illness and death, but how much time do you spend on those things, compared to all the mornings where you enjoy a blissful cup of coffee, the song of the birds and the rising sun? Why should one insist that rather than the mixture of things existence has gifted to you, there should be only bliss?
Buddhism has much to offer, an approach to virtue, a letting go, but in the end for me there was a way beyond just Buddhism. I still come back to it occasionally, to test things against eachother, to compare my Buddhism with a bit of Taoism and a bit of Osho.
A woman is having an affair during the day while her husband is at work.
Her 9-year-old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them, and hides in the bedroom closet to watch.
The woman’s husband also comes home so she puts her lover in the closet not realizing that her son is hiding in there.
The little boy says ”It’s dark in here”
The man replies ”Yes, it is”
Boy – “I have a baseball.”
Man – “That’s nice.”
Boy – “Want to buy it?”
Man – “No, thanks.”
Boy – “My dad’s outside.”
Man – “OK, how much?”
Boy – “$250”
In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the closet together once again.
Boy – “Dark in here.”
Man – “Yes, it is.”
Boy – “I have a baseball glove.”
The lover remembering the last time, asks the boy,
Boy – “$750”
Man – “Fine.”
A few days later, the father says to the boy, “Grab your glove, let’s go outside and have a game of catch.”
The boy says, “I can’t, I sold my baseball and my glove.”
The father asks, “How much did you sell them for?”
Boy – “$1,000”
The father says, “That’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that… that is way more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.”
They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and closes the door.
The boy says, “Dark in here.”
The priest says, “Don’t start that again!’
The theme of Buddhism being a practice of not just peace, but also of joy goes to it's origin. in th Lotus Sutra, for example, in the chapter describing the Bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, the leader of these Bodhisattvas emerges dancing in joy.
Buddhism has alwas been intended as a practice of celebration, of joy, embracing the unity of life, both within and without.
Peace to all
I thought I would resurrect this thread and give it a shot. Maybe I'll never post again in this thread, maybe I'll keep posting for 10 years, who knows Let's see what happens.
I will aim to write about the activities that I am doing aiming to better my situation, health and mind/emotions, as well as my struggles. Maybe it will make me more accountable and maybe it will be of some inspiration to others stuck in similar ruts. I will write about both nominally spiritual activities but also everything else, since I've done quite some spiritual bypassing in the past and don't wish to repeat that ever again. I also won't aim to impress anyone but will rather try for this to be a down-to-earth account.
I've had a super stressful few days so today I am taking a mental health and sports day to reset and regenerate.
I have already done some Wim Hoff breathing exercises and meditated for 5 minutes.
The plan for today going forward is to:
Not drink coffee in the afternoon (even though I feel drawn to do so, since it picks-me-up for 5 minutes, it makes me anxious immediately after)
Not take any more of the anti-anxiety medication (I am tapering off it and already took the dose for today).
Buy a ticket for the spiritual Zoom event that will take place on Saturday (I've had trouble with payment recently so need to figure out a way how to do it).
Take a cold shower or bath once I return from hiking.
Aim to be calm, relaxed, positive and introspective and not allow the various undone duties to interfere with today's effort to relax and regenerate.
These are my most important activities and anything else I manage to do I'll take as a bonus.