Sunday, 28 March 2010

Moment of quiet -
inspiration strikes -

(for even watermelons manage themselves)

(my very unorthodox attempt at a haiku, sorry :)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

On deliberate living:

On deliberate living \di-ˈli-bə-ˌrāt ˈlɪvɪŋ\: A way of living that is about being "fully aware; present in the moment, to the experience that we are living through our body, mind, heart and spirit, in deep connection and relationship with the world and everything in it." (Stephen Hodge)

This is the edited version, as, as usual, it is much better than how i have put it, before i saw Hodge's version.

 "Conscious day-to-day living stemming from an attempt to understand, to empathise with one's world, one's environment and oneself, and thus actually living life spontaneously and creatively. That, to me, is true freedom. Be good. Be reflective. Be quietly contemplative. Be wildly artistic and expressive. Go and truly Live!"

Its about being (the joy of being), living, learning, and growing (and falling down, of course).

(and it is all beautiful, in that peaceful little way...)

(and if you're religious, even better!)

In Mandarin, i would just put it down in two words: 用心 ((very) literally - using the heart)

See also: Focused living

On understanding and empathy, I am amazed and very touched by this brilliant short article: The key to enlightenment is learning

Pleasure v. Happiness

Just to clarify the previous post (on Expensive Things): There is a fine line of difference between enjoyment (pleasure) and happiness.

Its like the weather and the climate, actually. The weather doesn't change the climate.The tail doesn't wag the dog. Pleasure is by nature transient. Happiness is more a state of mind.

I.e. pleasure does not always lead to happiness. Happiness is an end in itself. True happiness, to me, inextricable from being Good and living the Good life (in many ways), can lead to enjoyment, in that simple peaceful way.

HH the Dalai Lama extrapolates clearly - a murderer may feel pleasure at his actions, but does he truly feel happy about it?

Sunday, 21 March 2010

On expensive things

Nice? Of course.

On living simply, of course, people would say that, expensive things manifest more Quality (as Pirsig puts it), are more enjoyable, and better.

And of course, they are right. We should not be hypocrites, really.

But my question to myself is, is it worth it? The quid pro quo? What do you give, in exchange?

We make our own calculations, our own weighing, our own choices.

After all, we are what we are. (It is what it is, as a friend of mine likes to put it). I might be a rich man, and indulge in life and quality, but unfortunately or fortunately (in the face of fate it doesn't matter - there is after all no point arguing with fate) i am not. I am who i am - specifically, i am me, and my circumstances.

We all live.

(and there is of course also pleasure to be found in a simple meal, a long bus journey, a gentle sunset...)

We all live.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Tat Tvam Asi तत् त्वम् असि

When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.

"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.

"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."

At these words Banzan became enlightened. 

Phewa Tal on a rainy evening, Pokhara June 2008.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Cappadocia is another world, man...

That day running to work these words were running through my head, and i was trying so hard to place them, and the emotions running through me - Cavusin, Beyaz Vadisi, Uchisar....

Evocative, yet, somewhat... distant. Familiar, but foreign, all at once.

And then i realised - Cappadocia.

Where it was a fairytale, falling asleep in little mushroom-shaped caves, waking up and walking through the fairytale landscape and the flowers all around - gentle clouds of dandelions blowing in the breeze touching my face - and no one but the whistling of the wind, and the sun shining... In the distance i can hear soft music, from a ranch... A snow-capped peak, a little village in the distance, at the end of the road, Anatolia...

I felt as if i have died, and woken up in another world. In my mind, if there is one picture of how paradise looks like, this is it.

I remember buying bags of fresh apricots at a little village stall and munching on them, walking through the indescribable landscape, tall weird windswept fairy chimneys, yellow flowers and sun, just sitting down under a tree and looking at all that fantastic landscape around me, resting, thinking, munching on my apricots...


" When someone is seeking", said Siddhartha, "it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing that he is seeking, because he has a goal. Seeking means: to have a goal, but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see the many things that are under your nose".

And in the finder's mind, the beginner's mind, there are so many possibilities! So many things to do! So much joy and wonder and discovery at the little things in Life. So much of Life to live, open hearted, broad minded.

"What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find."
- Siddharta