Monday, 13 December 2010


The universe is everything that exists and everything that does not exist.  It includes the Past, Present and Future.  The project refers to everything that exists because no communication is possible in the realm where nothing exists.  Everything that exists is vibrating.  The vibrations accurately express a thing's present time condition.  The vibrations flow out from a thing's location in space and impinge upon other things.  If this impingement vibrates at a frequency within the range of any sense organs other "things" have developed, it can be consciously perceived and interpreted.  This is communication.

The English word "language" emphasises communication with the tongue; "lingua" = "tongue".  However, the vibrations which flow out from beings cover a wide spectrum and are perceived by different sense organs in different ways.  Slower vibrations are perceived as sound; faster ones as light.  There are many gradations in between and outside of these.  Different beings have developed different sense organs in order to perceive these vibrations and interpret them for survival.  It is always a mistake if a human being assumes that, because he cannot perceive something with his five senses, it doesn't exist.

Even human beings do not limit communication to what can be heard or transmuted into symbols and written down.  We have sign language, body language, intuitive perception, body contact (kisses, pats, punches, caresses.)  Unintentional perception enters through the nose and communicates stinks and aromas.

So this vast network of vibrations from every existing thing is eternally communicating its all and everything.  Is anyone listening?  In a nutshell, what does it all add up to?

Looking with dispassion,
with equanimity,
doesn’t it shine brighter than a thousand suns?
The broken wing
the severed finger
the uncompleted life
‘the smyler with the knife’
the smell of fear
spirochaetes, viruses and germs
and the ever-chewing sepulchral worms?

And don’t we see a thousand times and more
that what we build and try to hold in place
disintegrates, vanishes without trace?
And what we hoard up
and try to store
provides a breeding ground for rats?

And this, which is the Past,is also Evermore?

What we cannot preserve here
when we have felt the betrayal of the breath
we save for heaven,
taking our joys and pains
across the no-man’s land of death
and there, in finer, subtler, intellectual realms
plant our standards.
And still the Eternal, empty wind
blows them down.


Where there are listeners
there is no silence.
Either the sounds
of the listeners’ minds
from the boundlessness of space,
or the universe itself pounds
out a multivociferous chatter;
the sound of reaching out,
and pain;
coming together
and falling apart again.

Every plant, every stone, every sun
has its tongue,
its subtle and interminable vibration.
Every whirling planet
and spinning electron
screams (or whispers) its history.
Reaching out
coming together
falling apart again.

Where there are listeners
there is no silence.

The universal music thunders discordant tones
the unintended harmony
in its unintended composition;
the sound of creation
and of decomposition.



The terracotta pavement is lined
with pradhu trees,
the symbol of the Navy,
hung with orchids (wooden bananas).

Outside a shop called “Modern Optical”
with its reflecting rows
of à la mode spectacles
is a line of large Chinese fish bowls
in which live (and will die)
three-foot high pudtan trees.

On these pots, sit five of the very poor,
hunching together as penguins do,
to keep the outside out.
One is grey with age,
two play old wooden instruments discordantly,
a girl sings;
the harmony is in the poverty.
Each has a tin labelled “Donations”.
No eyes are visible in half open sockets.
For they are blind.

They touch to make a living human chain
so that the fragile world they share
does not disintegrate.
A sharp-eyed woman,
with eyes for all five,
assists (or exploits)
their helplessness.

When the owner of Modern Optical
comes out to speak
and wave his hands,
she leads them away
to the market to find a new pitch.
Each holds onto the one in front
like a medieval European dance
of Dies Irae.

“What were they playing?”
The music of human misery.

New Project: THE CENTRE

('THE CENTRE' continues as this week's Project)

Monday, 6 December 2010




What is that sound?
Like the trailing of a fan
through a silent anteroom?

It is the murmur of air
ruffling leaves.

It is the herald of the whirlwind
which will strip those leaves from their trees
and wrench the trees from the hillside
and blast the soil from the rocks beneath,
leaving the skeleton of the earth
to bleach and crumble.

And what is that sound?
Like a cascade of pearls
on a silver salver?

It is the rushing of the waterfall
in the Italian garden.
It presages the tempest and the raging ocean
which smashes earth’s boundaries
and drives the rivers back up to their sources,
drowning and destroying everything that lives on air.

And what is that sound?
Like the crackle of dry twigs
under the heavy boots of soldiers?
It is the fire in the hearth,
logs spitting, blue and yellow flame dancing
under the granite lintel.

It is the messenger of the Sun
which will rage and burn the planet
to a cloud of incandescent interstellar dust
for the winds of space to disperse forever.

And what is that sound?
High and plaintive
behind the polished nursery door?

It is the crying of a two-day-old baby.
It tells of the heavy tramp of armies
across the continents of the world
marching to the rhythms
of dark gods
bringing the destruction of cities
and the extinguishing of civilisations.

It is the sound of an empty skull
there in the desert,
abandoned by dog and raven,
dry and bleached and splitting along its seams,
home to gusts of wind
and the occasional locust.

These are the sounds of the end of human
the end pages of books,
the silence which silences the symphony.

When the gums shrivel and decay,
the teeth are cracked and broken
and there is to be found no place where the smile
or its shadow has ever been;
no echo of long ago laughter.

This is the sound of eternity.


Monday, 29 November 2010


COMMENT: The soil is always the same; made up entirely of the corpses of uncountable bodies. These have lived and fed upon each other and died and rotted down and been digested into soil.

Each body is a life in which the experiences of becoming, the sangsara, are tested and its sweet and bitter fruit digested.  All is recorded on a timetrack which has neither beginning nor ending.  Each body is the fruit of its past.  Each fruit spills out its seed (murmuring "please some more!") into the soil (which is always the same).

Same soil.  Different seeds.

The splendour of a hundred kings
fades like the bloom on a butterfly’s wings.
The meanest flower that blows
goes the same way the forest goes.
All is consumed by worm or fire;
nothing needs building any higher.
The rattling of teeth within the jaw
mocks the tongue murmuring:
“Please, some more!”


Monday, 22 November 2010


INSIDE OUT indicates the direction of flow: from the Centre outwards into the Universe of Becoming. Obviously, everything "out there" has come from the Centre, the Point of Origin.  Our Point of Origin is in the centre of our physical bodies but is unnoticed and forgotten by most beings that have physical forms.  If we don't overlook or lose sight of it, then all of our behaviour (thought, word and deed) is grounded in the Centre, flows from it and is in harmony with everything else "out there" which has the same origin as ourselves.  We are therefore able to sustain contact with our Point of Origin.  We do not go astray and, in the end, we return to it.

OUTSIDE IN indicates a flow in the opposite direction: from the Universe of Becoming "out there" into our minds.  Everything "out there" seems separate and competing with everything else for survival and happiness.  Points of views and knowledge arise based upon this separateness, self and other, me and you.  A cloud of thinking founded on multiplicity obscures our ability to see clearly.  We do things which cause suffering to ourselves and others.

INSIDE OUT OR OUTSIDE IN.  We have to chose.  Worldly values (the World) or ethical values (the Centre)?

Ethics shows us that it is wrong to kill (Who cuts off his own hand?).  Worldly wisdom says that we need the protein from meat and explains that if, for example, a country like Denmark gave up exporting meat and dairy products, it would be a very poor country indeed.

Indeed.  But it would also be richer spiritually and happier.  Because the more you tune into the Centre, the happier you are.  And the more you adjust to the wisdom of the world (compromise), the more you cause suffering (and suffer).

Ethics is the highest science,
concerned with surviving,

not merely knowing.

A man without Ethics
is already drowning;
ever sinking
ever lower
in a sea of being.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month


What does it mean?
(does it mean anything
 to whom

What difference did it make?
(did it make any difference
 to those who died
 to those who survived
 did anyone survive)

What difference has it made?
(to me
 to you
 to those)

Where are those now?
(where are the others)

The bullet links shooter and shot?
(if one goes up can the other go down
 if both go up…
 if both go down…)

And you?
(and me
 and those)

Further Comment:


November Rose.
Pink and white and mauve.
Solitary, still,
among the rosemary and late autumnal gorse.

Sea winds have blown.
The first frosts have frozen the short grass.
Spring and summer are memories,
midwinter an echo in reverse.

November Rose for the dying.
November Poppies for the dead,
who cannot sleep
but stream towards new birth;
whose pain outlasts
the bitter Flanders earth.


This year
the dead are blind
and do not seem to hear
our prayers.

Nor do they seem to mind
that we now own
what they once thought was theirs.

they shed no tear
at all the pain
they left behind.

when they come again,
they only find
echoes of the long-ago,
and landscapes that they hardly know;
deserted buildings, unpeopled streets,
lonely corridors, empty rooms,
where each his own image meets
in every shape it now assumes.

Normally, if something is inside out (like a sock for instance) it will be outside in as well. So the conjunction would be "and". In this case the conjunction is "or".

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


COMMENT: Blondin

 Hermit in the forest,
 the mind begins to play.
 Māra’s hosts are grinning.
 Every thought is Judgement Day.


NEW PROJECT: The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Sunday, 31 October 2010



Power aims
at Freedom To;
finds itself
on a collision course
with all the other Freedoms To
that inhabit gods and men and beast;
storm and drought and pestilence;
sickness, old age and death.

Wisdom aims
for Freedom From
discovers that all the competing Freedom To's
struggle within the stadium of life
and win and lose and win and lose
and lose at last at the gates
of old age and death.
Discovers that he who enters not
the arena of the breath
suffers no loss and dies no death.

Freedom To can be used to discover how one gets into places and situations that one wishes one could be Free From!

FURTHER COMMENT:  You are free to jump out of the girls' bedroom window but you are not free from the consequences of landing in the slate courtyard thirty feet below.


Blondin above Niagara,
the rope begins to sway.
The rocks below are grinning.
Every step is Judgement Day.

Monday, 25 October 2010


COMMENT: The Labyrinth is made of Think.(Who built it?)  Ariadne's thread enables you to explore it safely.  What is the thread?  (If Ariadne's name was Sophia, what would it mean?)  Who or what is the Minotaur that lurks in the Labyrinth waiting for its annual sacrifice of seven young men and seven young women?  Who were its parents?  Why?

The River carries debris, dead animals, sewage, messages in bottles, courting couples in bath-tubs, other people's treasures, yesterday's memories, tomorrow's plans, everyday's fantasies.  The flow of Think is endless, ever-changing, always the same.  It is different from the flow of the river, though in exactly the same place.


Monday, 18 October 2010


Entries into the intray should be cleared immediately or as soon as possible. If not, they build up and one's whole life becomes unbalanced and out of the present moment (which is where one actually lives). Even when the company folds, your desk goes with the rest of the furniture to auction and the office is demolished to make room for a motorway, your intray accompanies with all its contents, eternally waiting to be cleared.


Think is interesting
Think is knowing
Think is funny
Think is painful
Think is boring
Think is difficult to control.

Speech is Think.

Think is not thing
Think is not seeing
Think is not hearing
Think is not smelling
Think is not tasting
Think is not feeling
Think is not doing

Think is not understanding.

What (or who) is Think?
Who (or what) controls Think?

Sunday, 10 October 2010



Right Concentration specifically produces Happiness.

Suffering is embedded in every aspect of the Sangsara.  The Sangsara is our world (and all other worlds).  It is life itself.  Everywhere, beings are being born into circumstances they don't want.  They are growing old (which they don't want).  They are sick (which they don't want).  They are dying (which they only want if they think it will be better than being alive).

When a man concentrates the mind successfully on a single wholesome object, he deliberately withdraws his attention from his physical link with our world.  He does not see, hear, smell, taste or touch the world.  It therefore does not cause him physical pain while he is in this state of 100% concentration.  Because he does not see, hear smell, taste or touch, there is no point of contact with external things and therefore no feelings arise.  So feelings cannot cause him pain.  Because his mind is fixed on a single object, he makes no contact with the outside world at the mind sense door.  He does not contact thoughts or memories or mental images with the mind.  So these things cannot trouble him and cause him pain.

He finds himself, consciously, in a state which is absolutely free from pain, discomfort or any kind of suffering, whether mental or physical.  Absence of suffering is the beginning of Eternal Happiness.

Therefore; Right Concentration specifically produces Happiness.

NEW PROJECT: In-tray / Out-tray

Sunday, 3 October 2010





You Inheritors of Immortal Bliss!

Now is Here!

And This

Is All there Is!


Samādhi (sam + ā + dhā): "the (mental) state of being firmly fixed". The fixing of the mind on a single object. Concentration is right or wrong in so far as it is associated with wholesome or unwholesome states of consciousness.

Monday, 27 September 2010



RIGHT EFFORT: Effort is energy deliberately directed in a certain direction.  It can be physical; the effort to push a broken down car: or mental: the effort to learn multiplication tables.  If the effort is successful, the aim of the action is achieved (the car is moved, the tables are learned).  A successful action is not necessarily a right action: “when the bomb exploded it killed everyone in the shop”.  Nor is an effort necessarily a right effort; “an effort was made to beak the Jewellers’ shop window”.

Right Effort is an effort that has a wholesome action as its goal.

A wholesome action is an action that does not cause suffering to other living beings.  Experimentation on animals is unwholesome action irrespective of the motivation.  Wholesome actions arise from wholesome thoughts.

Efforts to empty the mind of unwholesome thoughts and feelings constitute Right Effort.  Negative thoughts and feelings include cruelty, jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, ill will and even laziness.  Positive thoughts and feelings are those that are directed towards the happiness and well-being of others and oneself and also energy, determination and courage.

Mettā shines;
the cancerous growths
which cling to the living cells
of the Children of Light
shrivel into powdery dust.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010


COMMENT: If you have nothing better to do, there is no reason not to do what you are doing. If you have got something better to do, then there is no reason not to be doing it.

The splendour of a hundred kings
fades like the bloom on a butterfly’s wings.
The meanest flower that blows
goes the same way the forest goes.

All is consumed by worm or fire;
nothing needs building any higher.
The rattling of teeth within the jaw
mocks the tongue murmuring:

“Please, some more!”


Saturday, 11 September 2010



Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor
Everyman is his own gaoler;
shuts the door and turns the key,
ends up where he wants to be,
looking at what he needs to see
- you for you and me for me.

Right Livelihood supports your Life.  Working for a living may take up most of your working day.  Would you do it if you didn't have to?  It involves sacrifice.  Is the life you lead worth that sacrifice?  What are you working for?  What is the purpose of the work you do to earn food, clothing and shelter and the other things you consider necessities?  Are you working in order to go to work?  What is the purpose of your life?

Walt Disney lies in a deep, deep freeze
Like a packet of Smedley's frozen peas.

New Project: Justify your Existence.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010



When you throw yourself
down from the top of high mountains,
the Earth does not take you
into her arms
and comfort you.

When you kneel
and kiss the ground,
the Earth does not praise
your humility.

It is for this reason
that she is called
‘The Great Mother’.

Every moment
is a fork in the road.
And every fork
is always the same:
the choice between right and wrong.

The wrong is always
arrogating to oneself
things which do not belong
to oneself.

The right is always
following the Light.

        *  *  *

Time drifts away
as mist fades on mountain.
The world itself is hardly more substantial.
Living water springs
from life’s fountain
yet it runs dry,
leaving powdering bones
bleaching in the sun.

Molecules of arm and leg and brain
are rebels and would all be free again.
The whole pageant of our days and hours
runs only till we lose our feeble powers.

As children we play out our days
with sandcastles and fantasies
until the turning tides erase
what we work so hard to raise,
struggle to protect and call our own –
fragments of things, at very best, on loan.

Upwards our thoughts might usefully aspire;
nothing down here needs building any higher.

Deal justly with your neighbour
and make of him your friend
and in your inner garden, labour
until you reach your end.


Thursday, 26 August 2010



It's the Words one hears
but the Thoughts that are revealed.
And thus the Mind appears
that would be otherwise concealed.

If the Words give this Example
of the flowing mental din,
thus being but a Sample,
what Torrents seethe and boil within!

In the Tangle of the Senses,
the Wandering Mind has lost its Way
and stumbles through its broken fences,
confused, in darkness, Night and Day.

Words upon a page,
ripples upon a mind,
ripples upon a sea.

Wind drops,
sea calms.

Where are the ripples then?
Who thinks




Because we sit and dream (and dream)
we cannot separate is and seem;
images come in floods and teem.
Because we sit and dream (and dream).

Because we lose ourselves in thought
(and all our errors are self-taught)
in Māra’s nets we are well-caught.
Because we lose ourselves in thought.




To the  rose
the garden disappears.
To the garden
the rose withers away.

(If you were the gardener,
what would you say?)

Trace it all back as far as you can
from where it is now to where it began.
From knife to hand
from hand to eye;
from footprints on sand
to sun in the sky.

Trace it back further to where it begins
to the gateways and windows where all things get in.

The scent is not the rose
but the hairs that line the nose.
The seascape is the roving eye,
the tongue is the taste not the apple pie.
Mozart is what you hear
and his place is in the ear.

And all the subtle sensations that impinge upon the skin
flare their little on/off switches
in the mind that shines within.


Thursday, 12 August 2010



If these precepts were kept throughout the human world, it would make an unbelievable difference. There would be no war, no serious crime, and no need for money to be spent on armies, policing, courts of justice or prisons. If we were wholeheartedly to adopt these five precepts and live our lives by them, we would no longer cause suffering to other living beings by our actions. In this way we would normalise our relationships with others and the world around us.


Wednesday, 28 July 2010


July 26

Today is the full moon of July. This is the anniversary of the Buddha's First Sermon which was the beginning of Buddhism.

Project: First Sermon Cycle

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


NEW Dhamma Booklet (26 pages) 
A translation and explanation of the Ten Fetters,
the Buddha's teaching on what binds us to the Sangsara and suffering.

Comments and feedback welcome

Sanyojana The Buddha's Doctrine of the TEN FETTERS by Brian Taylor


Monday, 5 July 2010


Doing Evil causes one to move further away from the Centre. Cultivating Good aligns one with the Centre which is the source of all Good and draws one back towards it. Purifying one's Mind removes those unwholesome things in the mind which lead to unwholesome actions. It also clarifies the mind so that the Centre itself can be clearly seen.


Tuesday, 29 June 2010


MATTHEW 7:vi : Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Jesus came. He healed the sick and said, “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  The Jews “turned again” and had him crucified.

Sabbapāpassa akaranam kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanam etam buddhāna sāsanam.

Not doing all sins, perfecting (all) wholesome deeds,
Purifying one’s own mind; this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Don’t do bad. Do good. Purify your mind.

Monday, 21 June 2010


The man who gets off the train is not the same man as the one who crosses the platform. The man who gets on the next train is someone else again.

That's the problem. Now I see things one way. I understand them very clearly. I make a decision. Tomorrow's man inherits this. But his viewpoint, feelings and understanding then are likely to be different from mine now. He may come to a different conclusion. If he does, he will make a different decision.

What's the answer? One has to work until one really does understand something through and through. 100 percent. Then one has to make an effort to fix this understanding in the endless flow of selves so that, although the selves continue to change, this decision is constantly inherited by each in its turn and is always there. Then one can move smoothly towards one's goal.

The effort to fix a decision is called in Buddhism - Adhitthāna. This is usually translated as “determination”. But this is not practical enough. Literally it means "place, foundation". That gives us a clue. If you use something as a foundation, everything you build on it remains durable and in place. Even if you keep changing the superstructure, the foundation remains constant. If you make an adhitthāna about something, all the succeeding selves rest on it and inherit it. So it appears as a foundation for each of them. The Buddha made an adhitthāna under the bodhi tree to the effect that he would sit there until he had either found the truth or died. He also made adhitthānas before each of his last ten births as to which of the Perfections he intended to perfect in that lifetime.

NEW PROJECT: Cast not your pearls before swine...

Monday, 14 June 2010


One spirals upwards until one reaches a barrier which at some stage one has put there oneself or allowed others to do so. This has become a ceiling.  One bangs one's head against it again and again until one loses momentum and ceilings-out.  One then spirals down until one can summon up enough momentum to have another go.  This can go on for a long time until one feels defeated and gives up.  One then spirals down and ultimately goes through the floor.  Thereby creating another ceiling .  Lower down.

This is the week to set yourself a worthwhile goal AND ACHIEVE IT!  If you succeed it will give you the momentum to try something and, in this way, gradually/quickly reconstruct your life.

To achieve a breakthrough, you need:

1. A clear idea of what you want to achieve

2. A definite intention to achieve it

3. The right tool(s) for the job

4. Clear understanding of the tool(s) and how to use them

5. Perseverance to see it through

Why "breakthrough"? It implies resistance and difficulty (Up the Down Staircase). If you have tried and failed again at something, it suggests there is a ceiling that you yourself have put there. The difficulty here is that one is pitting one's energy against oneself.

If you failed last week, look at 1 - 4 above and try and pinpoint the cause(s).


Monday, 7 June 2010


It could be that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In that case you ought to go to an Up Staircase which is either empty or has people travelling in the same direction as you (up).

It could be that you are doing the right thing but are out of step with the rest of the world/people around you. In this case you should look for an Up Staircase even if there are hordes of people coming down it.

It could be that you are right but not only are many other people wrong but they have succeeded in taking over the escalator.  The problem is therefore more difficult than you had thought.  The honourable answer is to use your free will and persevere with great patience.

On a purely personal level, you might be a meditator and find that when you sit down to move towards total peace of mind and happiness, you find hordes of thoughts, memories and feelings rushing towards you, getting in the way and trying to push you off course.  These are Mara's children.  Many are defeated by this and give in.  The honourable course is never to give in if you are right.

The honourable is always to try to be right.


Monday, 31 May 2010


Beings spiral away in ever-widening orbits.  They ask their endless questions but do not accept the answers they provide because they are not the ones they want. So their vortices lose altitude, weighed down by the answers that they do want.  

This is called ceiling-out.  

Naturally, beings spiral upward endlessly into ever greater happiness and light.  When they project a mental ceiling by refusing to let go of where they have come from, they bang their heads against it until, exhausted, they fall away and down, trying to fit into what they have outgrown!

Lady Tremayne was a hostage to Fortune
but now she is a hostage to Herself.

She has made herself a cage
of what she wants to be
and though her dreams
pass through the bars occasionally,
they cannot set her free.

This week's project: UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Use what?  The Centre.

The centre of what?  The Centre of the Universe.

How?  Locate it.

How do you find the centre of the universe?  It is found in your body.

How can the centre of something as big as the universe be found in something as small as my body?  All beings come from the Centre of the Universe.  The Centre is found in all beings.  It is a tiny spot which is too small to register on any scientific instrument.  It is the tiny door through which you came into the world, then you started accumulating matter around it and grew into what you are now.  The tiny door is still there, overlooked and forgotten.

Where exactly is it?  In the centre of your body about two inches above your navel.

How can I perceive it?  Either by feeling or seeing it with your inner eye, that is the one you use to see with in dreams when your physical eyes are closed.

Assuming I could perceive it, in what way should I use it?  It is the source of all good things (including you!): 

1.  You can use it to introduce positive and wholesome states of mind into your environment; that is, feelings like friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy, compassion, evenness of mind.

2.  You can use it to bring health and well-being into your physical body.

3.  You can use it to investigate itself.  That is, you can learn what it is, how you came from it and ended up in this world and how you can go back to experience its fundamental state, which is peace and happiness. Actually, you can do anything with the Centre.

New Project: Spiralling

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Knowing and practising Scientia Causarum Sufficientium, the Science of Adequate Causes, lead us to understand and be able to observe how karma works. We come to see that if one does good one gets good: if one does bad one gets bad; no-one ever escapes the just consequences of an evil deed. It is only short-termism which causes one to see it otherwise. This realisation produces peace in one's heart, renewed motivation to do good and improve oneself and unbreakable confidence in the ultimate perfection and justice of the universe.

Knowledge of the Science of Adequate Results enables us to see how we can achieve our goals by applying the law of karma. Simply put, if you want to end up with an oak tree, you plant an acorn. Of course, soil condition, moisture, location and care are important but the sine qua non is the acorn. There is no use in trying to achieve one's goal until one has clear understanding of the essential cause. At the highest level, the Buddha has offered us the ultimate goal, Nibbana, perfect peace and happiness. This is exactly what many of us want (not all of us). He has also indicated the necessary cause, the Noble Eightfold Path. This involves a completely new start to one's life, covering all aspects of living: how to understand things, how to think, how to speak, how to behave in our dealings with others and the world, how to earn a living, how to make the right kind of effort if we want to be successful, how to develop mindfulness and awareness, how to meditate in order to bring the mind under control and bring about its development to its highest potential. Tread the Path, he says, without change or modification, and we are certain to reach our destination.

Tens of thousands of men and women have achieved just this. Applied Cause, realised Effect. Even more men and women have attempted this while modifying the Teaching, "bringing it up to date" adapting it to cultural or national or fashionable considerations, - and failed. They have wanted an oak tree and sown a sycamore seed. No amount of loving care and compost will ever result in an oak.

This week's project: Use it!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Scientia Causarum Sufficientium

Everything perceived in the physical and mental universes exist because there is, or was, an adequate cause for it. This cause may or may not be apparent to any particular observer. But it exists all the same.

Scientia means "knowing" from the Latin scio: I know.

The Science of Adequate Causes is a process which starts with the Effect which is perceptible and investigates it in order to know the adequate Cause which makes (or made) it possible. In this way one comes to understand things. One sees how things are. One may not approve of what one sees. One often doesn't. There is an adequate cause for that too.

Everything is understandable but it takes an honest and detached mind, a longer or shorter period of time and perseverance to realise it.

The mind is naturally curious unless it has been interfered with by others (parents, society, educationists, dictators etc.) who try to make it work in directions which they consider desirable. When its curiosity is aroused, it is not normally satisfied until it comes up with a satisfactory answer. In this sense it doesn't mean that the answer is one that one approves of; simply that it makes sense. Why is there a dead blackbird on the lawn? Investigation reveals that the cat killed it. The mind is satisfied that this an adequate explanation. It may also decide to put a bell round the animal's neck to make sure that another similar effect is not produced in the future.

NEW PROJECT: The Science of Adequate Results.


When we were very young
we dug up the ground
to find Australia.
Australia was out.
A few old toys were all we found.

Because we were here
we wanted to be there.
Because we were dark
we wanted to be fair.
Because we were thin
we wanted to be fat.
Because we were this
we wanted to be that.

We longed for the country
for we lived in the town.
We wished we could have fair skin
because our skin was brown.
We had black hair
but we prayed for gold.
Because we were very young
we wanted to be old.

When we were very young
we dug up the ground
to find Australia.


Trace it all back as far as you can
from where it is now to where it began.
From knife to hand
from hand to eye;
from footprints on sand
to sun in the sky.

Trace it back further to where it begins
to the gateways and windows where all things get in.
The scent is not the rose
but the hairs that line the nose.
The seascape is the roving eye,
the tongue is the taste not the apple pie.
Mozart is what you hear
and his place is in the ear.

And all the subtle sensations that impinge upon the skin
flare their little on/off switches
in the mind that shines within.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


In the pursuit of Pleasure
and the avoidance of Pain,
we come back for ever
again and again.

And though we remembered,
we also forgot.

Why is it that you don't want to what?

New Project: Scientia Causarum Sufficientium

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Māra is the deity ruling over the highest heaven in the sensuous sphere (kāmāvacara). This is the heaven of the paranimmitavasavatti-devas, "deities wielding power over the creations of others." Māra followed the Buddha, looking for a weakness in him, for six years before his Enlightenment and one year after it. He also tried to persuade the Buddha not to teach others the method of putting an end to suffering. He reappeared again before the Buddha's Parinibbāna and urged him on, not wanting him to continue teaching the way out from suffering.

Māra is seen as the Tempter who encourages beings to believe that the satisfaction of sensual desires is the highest form of existence ("eat, drink and be merry"). There are many people who agree wholeheartedly with this and they live their lives accordingly.

The Buddha, on the other hand, says, "eat, drink and be merry" is all very well, but "tomorrow we die". That is, in order to enjoy the pleasures of the senses, we have to have senses. In order to get senses we have to be born. When we are born, we don't only enjoy sense pleasures, we also get sickness, old age and death. The only way to avoid the suffering which is experienced between birth and death is not to be born again.

If we take the view that death is the end of it all, then we could say, " Since we only live once, we might as well make the most of it and satisfy the pleasures of our senses as much as we can while we still have them."

If "we only live once", this is not unreasonable. But the Buddha says that we don't only live once but many times. Every death is followed by a new birth until we put an end to the desire for birth. And each new birth depends on how we have behaved in our previous birth i.e. our karma. We can go up or down. We can even be reborn as animals.

The word "Māra" has as its root an Indo-European syllable that means "Death". The significance of this is that if we go along with Māra's "eat, drink and be merry" and get ourselves senses by being born, we are trapped under Māra's Net and "we die". Over and over again.

We are, of course, free to choose between Māra's view and the Buddha's. Those who enjoy a life of sensual pleasure, find Māra's view very tempting. Those aware of a larger picture see the suffering inherent in birth, sickness, old age and death. To these, the Buddha's view offers a lasting prospect of happiness and peace.

There is the Great Māra.
There are māras (you meet them everyday).
There are the māras in the mind; these appear as thoughts and mental images.
And sometimes as voices.


Sunday, 18 April 2010


Negativity is a poisonous cloud of dust blown about the universe by the winds of space.

It is also like the game of "Pass the parcel".  Someone unexpectedly passes you his parcel of poison.  You instinctively pass it back to him or pass it on to the next unsuspecting person. With each passing on one adds one's own pennyworth.

(Which is where the cloud comes from!)

New Project: Māra