Archive for nature

Masanobu Fukuoka – The One-Straw Revolution

“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”

“People think they understand things because they become familiar with them. This is only superficial knowledge. It is the knowledge of the astronomer who knows the names of the stars, the botanist who knows the classification of the leaves and flowers, the artist who knows the aesthetics of green and red. This is not to know nature itself- the earth and sky, green and red. Astronomer, botanist, and artist have done no more than grasp impressions and interpret them, each within the vault of his own mind. The more involved they become with the activity of the intellect, the more they set themselves apart and the more difficult it becomes to live naturally.”

“Until there is a reversal of the sense of values which cares more for size and appearance than for quality, there will be no solving the problem of food pollution.”

“We can never know the answers to great spiritual questions, but it’s all right not to understand. We have been born and are living on the earth to face directly the reality of living.”

“When a decision is made to cope with the symptoms of a problem, it is generally assumed that the corrective measures will solve the problem itself. They seldom do.”

“Fast rather than slow, more rather than less–this flashy “development” is linked directly to society’s impending collapse. It has only served to separate man from nature. Humanity must stop indulging the desire for material possessions and personal gain and move instead toward spiritual awareness.
Agriculture must change from large mechanical operations to small farms attached only to life itself. Material life and diet should be given a simple place. If this is done, work becomes pleasant, and spiritual breathing space becomes plentiful.”

“Food and medicine are not two different things: they are the front and back of one body. Chemically grown vegetables may be eaten for food, but they cannot be used as medicine.”

“I wonder how it is that people’s philosophies have come to spin faster than the changing seasons.”

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Morning of the Earth – I’m Alive

     “Earth you were magnificent through the pain of being born…..

It was the morning of the Earth.”

I’m Alive – Peter Howe

Look around at the day
I’m alive on being around,
Where the waves come smiling
With curls all flying,
Yeah we spend a lot of time
Inside the world of delightful rain,
And the whirling wind blows its song
Around the bay.
And the whirling wind knows my name.

 

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Terence McKenna – Articulating the Human Condition (Lecture)

I found this lecture by Terence fascinating, from May 1990, Santa Fe, New Mexico:

“We are going to find out the nature of human nature … The real question is, is man good?”
“Its an absolute horse race ….neck and neck……between education and disaster. We ‘re either going to burst out into a millennium of freedom and caring and decency or we’re going to toxify the whole thing, turn it into an ash heap. The responsibility falls mostly on us. The lethal momentum of these institutions is terrifying. Our position is like that of people who are attempting to turn a battle ship 180o with an oar.”

Watercolour by Fabrizio Cassetta

“The world is whatever you say it is if you say it right…..We serve the idea that matter is ultimately at the command of mind, but we need to move that forward as a demonstrable principle…..”

“The concern is to get the word out, to get people to confirm these realities for themselves.”

“We are mental creatures…..we have never taken the imagination seriously…..we have always thought that things should go along like a random walk….we have the design process of the whole planet on our desk and we are being asked to step into the stewardship of the entire planetary environment…..we have to have the vision, the dream, and it can’t come from the personality of human beings, but has to come out of the bones of the planet.”

“We’re aren’t going to understand that this weekend, next week or ever, this is not a relationship of solving a problem, its a relationship of being an initiate to a mystery and then living your life in the light of that. The task of understanding is endless…..nature is pattern upon pattern, level upon level….everything is infinite and everything is animate and everything is filled with a kind of deep concern for humanity……We seem to be cut off from the rest of this.”

“I’m just banking on curiosity doing a lot of the footwork for the revolution, this is too good to miss (psychedelics)…..now that Marxism has collapsed, if we don’t substitute something for consumer values we’re just going to rape the earth in an effort to create crap for everybody.  The only alternative to materialism is spiritualism…..I mean there has to be as much inner richness as there previously was outer richness.”

“Reject everything except gold, it’s hard to take psychedelics, it’s not hard to sweep up around the ashram……’You went to Harvard, we went to ayahuasca’.”

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Images on the Road ’16-’17

Practicing Tai Chi – Beside the Forbidden City, Beijing

I’ve been on the road for over a year; Spain, Italy, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Nepal, India, soon to be Ethiopia (flying visit), Lebanon….. I enjoy taking photographs and I challenged myself to pick a few of my favourite images to show you. I came up with these.  All taken on my Mum’s old phone.

Girls dressed up for a festival – Kathmandu

The Togean Ocean – Sulawesi, Indonesia

Annapurna 1 – Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

Graffiti – Valora, Albania

One of a Billion Diety – Kathmandu, Nepal

Have a coconut – Pondicherry, India

Green Canopy – Somewhere in Indonesia

Shepherd Family – The Accursed Mountains, Between Albania and Kosovo

Flower Shower – Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Chai Stop – Mcleod Ganj, India

Books by the Fire – Pokhara, Nepal

Snack Time – Kolkatta, India

Guru Bar – Anjuna, Goa

Incense Offerings – Henan, China

Streetside Art – Lecce, Italy

Mountain Donkeys – Annapurna, Nepal

Little Monks – Kopan Monastery, Nepal

Old Men Gambling – Guangxhi Province, China

Concrete Nightmare – Guangzhou, China

Baba – Kathmandu, Nepal

Home grown Chilli – Longchi Rice Terraces, China

La Azhoia Sunset – Murcia, Spain

Longchi Rice Terraces, China

Meditation – Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Taken by Jase Web)

Monkey Minds – Bins, Mcleod Ganj

Sewing Machine – Kathmandu

Riding Effortlessly on the Great Wall – China

 

 

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Reflecting by the lake

Winter has come for many of us. A time for endurance, truth, creativity and most of all, reflection. Have we lived well in 2016? No doubt we have been doing our best in difficult circumstances. Being here is tough!

I love to watch the seasons pass, each has its own characteristics and gifts. Nature offers a beautiful reminder of my own lifes journey, from spring to winter, and guidance in how best to live well in the seasons of this life. In winter I appreciate stillness, learning to forgive and heal, myself and others.

The world is a rocky place, filled with distractions and conflict, but a healthy connection with nature and the earth is central part of contentment, happiness and fulfilment. I have a great relationship and responsibility when I realise that I am an essential part of nature and life cannot be sustained without the vitality of the earth. My life, in so many ways, is a fragile harmony.

I was reading this this morning and found it focused my mind on a simpler path of appreciation (many traditions refer to the earth as ‘her’ or ‘Mother’ and I like it):

‘Every particle of us comes from her
Through the food we take from her daily.

We all start out as tiny seeds.
We have grown to our present state and status
Through what she provides.

She is truly our Mother
And must be acknowledged and respected.’

– Ogala Peace Pipe Ceremony

We once, as a human family on each continent of the earth, lived in balance with nature. With this approach and sentiment maybe our collective love of money and power will be transformed and we can reclaim our own balance with love and respect for ourselves and each other; Mother Earth, wise nature and every living thing.

We are all highly sensitive beings, it is no wonder there is so much fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation and resentment. The way that our societies approach life and treat nature is rotten at the roots. We are treated like cold machines, when in reality, we are warm breezes.

Each morning brings fresh opportunities. So many chances to change, build deeper and more sustaining relationships, making ourselves stronger with unity and love, giving ourselves the strength to ride out even the roughest of times with dignity and respect. An example to follow. Each one of us a great leader contributing to a brighter future.

A crisis sometimes just needs a shift in perspective and appreciation of what we are and have.
This is my wish this mornning reflecting by the lake.

Peace and Happiness from Pokhara, NepalX

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“The more knowledge we acquire, the more mystery we find…”

“The more knowledge we acquire, the more mystery we find…A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical illusion o his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace alll living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Albert Einstein

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“The best way to take care of the future…” Thich Nhat Hanh

“If we cling to the idea of hope in the future, we might not notice the peace and joy that are available in the present moment. The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”

“The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.”

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.  But I think the real miracle is not  to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.  Every day we are engaged  in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes.  All is a miracle.”

“You are like fireworks. You go out into your children, your friends, your society, and the whole world.”

“You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”

“I hold my face in my two hands.
No, I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands
to keep the loneliness warm –
two hands protecting,
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
my soul from leaving me
in anger.”

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.”

Mindful Consuming

“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in the body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and for the transformation of society.”

“You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are …transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment.”

“The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other.  We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.  Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering.  We must become one with the subject of our observation.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.””

“The Buddha’s teachings on love are clear. It is possible to live twenty-four hours a day in a state of love. Every movement, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.”

“Use your time wisely. Every moment produce beautiful thoughts, loving, kindness, forgiveness. Say beautiful things, inspire, forgive, act physically to protect and help.”

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”

“Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just Be.”

“May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

“We have to learn to die in every moment in order to be fully alive.”

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