The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. 

Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don't go back to sleep

Rumi

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Compassion and Selfishness

rise and shine

rise and shine

How exactly would I go about changing the world?  I would probably start with myself.

Self improvement is a terrible concept.  It is terrible not of itself, but outside of itself.  Self improvement is the concept of imperfection, the meaning behind criticism, not the good kind, but the unkind.

 

Mcleod Ganj

Mcleod Ganj

 

 

 

 

So in changing the self, I would have to accept it, first.  This is not acceptance of the criticism, but instead depending on myself to show me the world.

In Ocean of Wisdom, the Dalai Lama advocates anger to be directed only towards hatred.  This is sensible, because our anger skews us, it warps perspective and does not allow for that loss of self improvement.  This is because your sight does not come from anger, but instead love.  So direct it at hatred and its put to good use.

The Dalai Lama also has something to say about empathy, namely that empathy brings us the gifts we cherish in relationships, through a reaction with others.  The reaction can be love, respect, friendship, and that makes us feel good about ourselves.  But this is a selfish motive.

So from this motive, we can learn to forgo a worry about selfishness for the good it brings out instead.  This good is not exclusive but is not a tax either.

In picturing empathy, we see a part of love that is from the outside in.  We also know that what is from within is worth sharing with others.  And empathy is key in compassion.  So to change the world, we don’t need to improve ourselves.  We could need to tolerate more from both ourselves and others.

In empathy we find the pathway to compassion.  In compassion is the love we aspire for ourselves and those around us.  It is not a destination, but rather a vessel, without the eyes of criticism, the discrimination of duality, the memory of faults.  So in compassion there is the tolerance found in empathy, the inspiration found in weakness, but still the self.  In selfishness, though, we can love all, serve others, free our minds from anger and develop empathy in relationships.

Remember that to truly see you need to let go of anger, or direct it all at hatred, which will eat you up from the inside out.  To do good is to serve others, to develop empathy and put yourself on the journey toward freedom from suffering.  This development of empathy leads to compassion, and compassion is the vessel of the journey.

Wouldn’t it be better if I could just see things the way they actually were, and not in terms of how I wanted to see them.  At the very least it would be more efficient.

Wouldn’t it be better if I could just see things the way they actually were, and not in terms of how I wanted to see them.  At the very least it would be more efficient.

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My trip to Leh

This is from my trip to Leh in October.

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Leh:

Four Heavenly Kings:

These gods watch over the four cardinal directions.  They live in the four palaces of the four directions of Mount Meru, in order to preserve and protect the Buddha dharma by taking the form of world protectors.

Yulkhor Sung: white, east, plays guitar, because he rule the realm that lives on melodious music

Phah-Skespo: blue, south, his sword presents him as a defender of the faith

Chanme-Zang: red, west, a stupa in his right hand and a snake in his left

Nathos-Ses: yellow, north, a mongoose in his left hand which pours gems out of its mouth, and a victory banner in his right, causing showers of wealth to fall by shaking it

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Wheel of Life:

This wheel, held by Yama, represents the realms a soul can be reborn into, the causes of suffering, and the stages of dependent origin.

The realms: human, gods, titans, and ghosts, animals, hell

The causes of suffering: ignorance, greed, hatred

The stages of dependent origin: ignorance, willed action, conditioned consciousness, form and existence, senses, sense-impressions, sensation, craving, attachment, becoming, birth, old age/death

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/bhavachakra/

http://www.npr.org/programs/re/geography_heaven/kawakarpo/wheeloflife/slide.html

 

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Om Mani Padme Hum: The oldest mantra of Tibetan Buddhism, the lotus representing human consciousness, and the jewel, as within the conscious, bodhicitta, the awakened mental state, is representative of compassion and the seeking of nirvana

This mantra is painted and carved onto rocks and boulders.

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Stop taking pictures

Interning at Maitri has been completely eye opening.  Today I went to the slums for the second time, and I was invited to take pictures of the vocational training and children’s tutoring centers.

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I have never in my life seen anything like what I've seen in India. I repeatedly got the vibe that I should stop taking pictures, before I was actually told to stop.  We were in the second slum, which is not nearly as nice as the first, and we were getting some attention.  My first visit to this slum ended with chills in my spine, and I’m not one to get scared.

The slums, even though I didn't like that word at first, have some severe issues with childhood disease and neglect, malnutrition, extreme poverty, permanent homelessness, and obstacles to basic hygiene, and educational and economic opportunity.  I've never seen pictures of this.

I took this one from the car.

I took this one from the car.

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If I could continue to take pictures, I would have documented the dirty goats and roosters, the boy by the fire with a big forked stick, standing proud, the tire swing and laughter, the colorful way of life and the stocky buildings.

I couldn’t help but love, and worry about, two little boys, playing with matches and lighting plastic on fire.  One stuck out his tongue at me. 

I wasn’t about to take pictures of a lot of other things I saw.

Lacking appropriate resources, the slum exemplifies the extreme stresses of the cycle of poverty.  Winter will be a challenge for the homeless community especially, including families with small children.


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.
 -Rumi

 

 

There are huge mounds of garbage here, with birds of prey circling, and trucks like big ants, climbing the mound.  But eventually, they turn to grass and flowers.  I’m not saying anything about people.

 

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Cars and bikes

I hope I make some sense. 

 

At some point this summer, staring at a sprocket nailed to the wall, I had the sudden but fleeting realization that I am trapped, that this life is a trap, and no matter how much I destroy the material world, it will all still be here.

This was also the acceptance that I had ruined the family car, slowly over four months, which will be fixed and in the past by the time I ‘m home.  I followed a demographic charting of destruction.  This is my understanding of regeneration, and the god of destruction. 

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Country can be tied to the conceptual self, or else the perception of freedom.  The circuitry of the self and freedom will be explained, as will the possibility of reconditioned pattern.  Country will represent power, deed over time, finite community, and emotive.  It is not necessarily government: people, not guidelines, define countries.

This is the third time I’ve gotten wings in New Delhi, and they only get better.  Pink Lounge Haus Khas.

With a carbon fiber bicycle, any damage can compromise the structure, like a web spreading out into the universe.  In some cultures, spiders are seen as creators.  The integrity of a structure may be shaped like a web, with destruction as definition.  A carbon fiber bike frame is better, but a terrible steel bike in New Delhi will last without doubt, even when neglected.  Innovation is circuitry. 

This may function in concept of growth and degeneration; see how webs are found in fungus and the universe alike.  It has been a point of research that fungal generation may actually foreshadow changes to come in an ecosystem.  Pattern is not necessarily reversible, requiring new materials for new analysis, and analysis does not replicate.  This can be organic or inorganic, as indiscriminate behavior is causative of innovation.  Indiscriminate behavior does not resemble symmetry.  But this is equality, not education. 

Architecture has cultural and material importance.  Inertia, movement, and the structure of materials: webs can be made of pillars, but may compromise the material.  Rather than undoing a frame, it would be better to find something that will not achieve balance.   At Maitri, I showed the kids a basic physics concept of structure.  If you stack books on top of a square, triangle, or circle pillar, the circle pillar will hold the most books.  This is in between youtube and candy.  Real science is food coloring in milk and “rave toilet.” And candy to make life better.  Thanks for the Magic School Bus tip, all previous interns.  Remember that the web and the universe share affinity with math.  All that spirals is truth.  To simplify, concept is not real, but perception is.  In pattern, there is affinity.  Energy attracts, be mindful of material and structure.

Remember, Tuesday is funner than Monday.

A good pattern foreshadows structural composition.  Lose yourself, if you want to grow.  The snake on the ground can teach us to move our feet.  Wisdom may be found in analysis. 

It takes many souls to destroy a car, but only one to swear against the crisis of doubt.

Wisdom does not come and go.  So in country, remember there are rewards from taking risks, destroying cars, and living a little circuitry.  Build from presented webs.  Give up the self for the country.  Live a little, zombies! 

It takes forever to upload pictures. 

It takes forever to upload pictures. 

Timing is everything.

Look into the puddles, at your palm, into a friend’s eyes, and there’s always something to be learned.  Learn and be seen, look and be heard.  It has been said that God is kind, that men are honest, and that life is righteous. 

We all encounter those who fear, those who see, and those who know.  But how is it to know reality from delusion?  Delusion is from our fear, while to see, to know, to be real, takes courage.

I can love the rain, thunder, but I can’t have it.  I can feel lightning, but it belongs to God’s plan, and not my own.  Rain is my favorite weather, for this reason, that it is anticipated, known, and respected.  But it is of the universe.  We must walk in step, not lag behind or feel anxious.  It is not religion, it is neuroscience.  Life is wired within every drop of rain, so it may be better embraced.  Raise your palms, bow your head. 

Embrace beauty, love, wired within.  The future will not go away, but live in the moment and do as your soul wants, because all is one, and there is no break in the web, the sphere, the music that is life.

Don’t confuse delusion with reality.  The self is dreaded, but accept who you are, because, haven’t you learned by now?  Reason tells us that anything is possible, that the future can be changed, that the self will lie to the eyes.  So watch how you teach yourself.  Love and be kind, awaken.

The birds watch, the men of God thunder, I am the creation and creator.  Be yourself.

Drink water.

 

Om, I salute the Lord, the awakened

Swami Vivekanda

Glass Houses

On the wall at Maitri is a framed picture with a quote:

Strength is life, weakness is death. -Swami Vivekanda

On my way to Delhi, I stopped in Amsterdam for a sandwich.  Or, rather, I learned a little about the self and others, that we are all united in consequence, and time will not stop for any of us.  

This morning, a few days later, I woke up early, with a thought in mind.  Taking it for a run, a mediation for my impatience, it was before 6:30 when I said to myself: 

"Your actions have consequences." 

Your weakness as a strength?  Maybe if you're dead.  My last run was at least July, if not June.  So, before my sandwich: 

It was morning in Amsterdam, and I waited for my eggs in line, got them on a ceramic plate, and went to pay.  I didn't get a tray, moved my hand, the plate slipped and fell.  I grabbed the eggs, of all options, they fell too.  Next to me were three small and curly-haired, barefoot kids, I went to pick up the shattered plate.

Rather than eggs, I got two cut fingers.  This was a blessing, because then I could focus on the cuts on my hand, and I have not been homesick.

The bandage and water bottle later, I spotted a McDonalds, and a cafeteria, which led me to my actual breakfast: a tuna sandwich and beer.  This was a learning lesson, no punishment ends with a sandwich and beer: 

We all live in glass houses, and every house has a ceramic plate of hot eggs.  Similarly, the metaphor of the ceramic plate of eggs is a realization that there is no self, there is no implicated action, there is only the pattern, and we are all related.  On one ceramic plate, there are infinite drops of blue paint. 

I am clumsy and usually tired.  Which is to say the universe within me is graceful, awake, and has poor coordination.  This is not my weakness, rather, it is my strength.

At least I'm awake.  I will always have my tuna sandwich and beer. 

My next topic: 

Om Nama Bhagavate Sambuddhaya
Om, I salute the Lord, the awakened. -Swami Vivekanda

 

The laptop died, because I didn't charge it.  No worries. 

The laptop died, because I didn't charge it.  No worries. 

Source: http://www.vivekananda.org/readings.asp