Sunday, 26 February 2012


The whole universe together with the minds and bodies of its human beings is in constant movement: pursuing and avoiding, planning and remembering, day dreaming and night dreaming.

"Be still... and know that I am." Don't stir it up with the spoon of desire and it will settle of its own accord. The shining consciousness that remains contains all its secrets buried deep within you.

the space between movements
the crack in the universe
the gloved hand
with the art
to pull apart
two thin life stitches
and let a stab of nothing in.
An eye
with sky behind
for mind,
a face blind,
a sunflower petal falling
stamen to earth;
or bird-song-bird calling
either side of the path.
No eye to meet your eye.


Monday, 20 February 2012


Pleasure is a feeling. When one of our six senses touches a sense object, the result is feeling. Feeling can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.

      It all comes down to the struggle to survive,
      the endlessly obstructed urge just to stay alive.
      All use just one rule as measure;
      avoidance of pain and pursuit of pleasure.

      Pain leaves an imprint which says, “Leave it be!”
      The sirens of pleasure leave a note, “Follow me!”

Happiness is different from pleasure. It's the natural state of mind, at peace in the absence of all desires. People seek happiness in their pursuit of pleasure. But pleasure can only provide the satisfaction of desire. And once a desire is satisfied and pleasure experienced, it soon fades and desire reappears to chase something else.

People think that the pleasure they get from sense objects makes them happy. This is not the case. When a desire is being satisfied or has been satisfied, happiness is often present. But it is not the pleasure that has causes the happiness. The satisfaction and subsidence of desire leave a temporary gap in the mind. Through this the ever-existing happiness can shine. Until it is obscured by new clouds of desire.

One needs to distinguish between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is always temporary. It always needs a sense organ and a sense object. It always needs a body to provide sense organs. It needs birth to get a body. A birth always results in a death. If the desire carries over after death, it will produce another birth, but where and under what circumstances? And in any case, there will be another death. Moreover, no life produces an unending sequence of pleasures, of desires being satisfied. Quite the contrary. There are at least as many unpleasant experiences: sickness, old age, disappointment, loss (and still the inevitable deaths).

      The rattling of teeth within the jaw
      mocks the tongue murmuring:
      "Please some more!"

Happiness, on the other hand, does not need pleasure. It is always there and easily accessible when one gives up pursuing pleasure and obscuring happiness with the clouds of desire. If it needs anything, it is Ethics. Ethics means not causing pain to others. A bad conscience causes obscuring clouds, too.


Monday, 13 February 2012


Thinking, speaking, doing: - we are scattering karmic seeds all the time. These affect others for good or ill and, in due course, return to confront us too. Though by then we may have no idea that we are facing the results of things we have done - maybe long ago. 

It is easier to chop down
an acorn
than an oak.
(The branch you bang
your head on
was an acorn
that you missed.)
Most of the time, the harm we do may be unintentional. Many of our words and actions (and especially our thoughts) are haphazard.  

Becoming more conscious of the seeds as we actually sow them rather than just impulsively scattering them at random, helps us to realise what we are up to and gives us the opportunity to select and choose. 

We can then create a garden for ourselves (and others) and not just be the cause of a wilderness.


Monday, 6 February 2012


The Laws of the Body are those which restrict the body's freedom: gravity, chemistry, ageing, temperature etc.

The Laws for the Mind are those which others attempt to impose on the mind and limit its freedom: legal penalties (pay your taxes), highway code (drive on the left here, on the right there,) moral prohibitions (don't lie, don't steal, you can eat a sheep's child but not your own). These are sometimes legal prohibitions as well. They involve the body in those areas where it is considered to be under the control of the mind. It is not yet illegal to grow old but you are not allowed to kill yourself (although you are allowed to change your sex).

The Laws of the Spirit are those fundamental laws which are inescapable and affect the very essence of a man. Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. Do good, be happy, Do bad, suffer (inevitably, sometime).The basic one is that permanent total freedom and happiness is only possible by withdrawing from the limitations of mind and body and remaining in the pure realm of the Centre.