On The Road | Puerto Vallarta and Barra de Navidad

IMG_1416On the waterfront, Puerto Vallarta, early Friday night; it reminded me of Bourbon Street, New Orleans, with a Mexican touch. It is beginning to look like Mazatlan. I didn’t stay long.

IMG_1432This is where the laguna meets the ocean in Barra de Navidad. Of all the places I have been on this trip I like Barra the best. It still has a friendly atmosphere. I’ll be here for a while. San Blas was noisy, rude-noisy. 

IMG_1426This tree is close to the estuary in Barra.

Some Mexicans know, but most Americans in Mexico are unaware of what’s happening in their country; they are the walking dead, fans of Fox newsthe programmer. We refuse to see the emperor has no clothes. There is more response in Canada also, and I quote from a recent article at AE 9/11 Truth  “This will be the third nationwide tour of Canada by AE911Truth. Why? A real 9/11 investigation is more likely to evolve from outside the US. Canada’s hundreds of 9/11 Truth activists have been the most unwavering in their pursuit of this goal.”

Do you ever wonder what happened with Hitler’s Germany? Well, wake up! It is happening again, sheep to the slaughterhouse. Spread the word!

I’ll upload more pictures later; my wi-fi is slow today.

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The Forest Moon | Reincarnation | Enlightenment

The Forest Moon in Thumb Butte, AZ (Click to enlarge)

I was recently talking to a friend over dinner and the subject of reincarnation came up. I said there is no reincarnation.

I know, some Buddhists (including the Dalai Lama) believe there is reincarnation. But if the Buddha explained that there is no “self,” who is reincarnating? Hindus believe in reincarnation. And Paramahansa Yogananda, a very respected spiritual master, stressed reincarnation, with proof. But Hindus do stress that only the “Self” exist; everything else is an illusion, a projection–including time and space. So, it would be an “illusion,” reincarnating into a bigger “illusion.” Right? It gets complicated, doesn’t it? I suggest that what we need to do is forget other lives until we master this life, our present challenge. Once we do that everything will be revealed to us, and there will be no more doubts or beliefs. We will know and be free.

This reminds me of an interesting question: Are you enlightened? “I” can’t be enlightened because “I” is the problem. In fact, everybody is enlightened but that “I” pulls the wool over our eyes and doesn’t let us know. If  “I” am looking  for enlightenment, “I” am missing the point and making enlightenment one more item on my “I want list.” All we need to do is drop that “I” with its incessant jabber and selfish wants, and . . . wake up!

The moon is a symbol of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism.

A Dream | A Sound | A Koan

I had a dream recently. It was not “lucid dreaming”; it was a regular dream. In the dream I was clearing a table which had an uncorked bottle of wine, or maybe champagne. Accidentally I knocked the bottle over, and it started spilling its content emitting a swishing sound. At the same moment I started to wake up. When half awake and realizing it had just been a dream, I was still hearing the swishing sound; when fully awake, it stopped. Where was the sound? What made it?

And . . . what is the sound of one hand clapping?

What is Yoga? | What is a Yogi?

Recently, I came across an article in a well known Los Angeles Yoga magazine. It had the picture of a young lady in terrific shape doing the scorpion pose with total ease. The article said she was kicking ass. If she was, she was a gymnast not a Yogi.

The Sanskrit word Yoga means, literally, ‘union’. Yoga has nothing to do with competition; it is a way to unite with the Spirit. The pose you are adopting do have health benefits, but its main objective is to help you concentrate, to help you silence your jabbering mind and touch the ‘One’, unite with ‘It’.

Yoga is something you can do while washing the dishes, so don’t worry if you can’t do the scorpion pose, let alone kick ass with it. Just do Yoga!

Non-Attachment | The Buddha’s Teachings | Thich Thien An

“When Zhuang-Tzu’s wife died, his friend the philosopher Hui Shih went to his house to console him and found him not weeping and wailing as one might expect, but laughing and singing. Asked how he could be so ungrateful to his wife, the sage replied :”When she has just died, I could not help being affected. Soon, however, I examined the matter from the very beginning. At the very beginning, she was not living, having no form, not even substance. But somehow or rather, there was then her substance, then her form and then her life. Now by a further change, she has died. The whole process is like the sequence of the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. While she is thus lying in the great mansion of the universe, for me to go about weeping and wailing would be to proclaim myself ignorant of the natural laws. Therefore I stop.” From this story we learn that the key to happiness is non-attachment, and the secret of ono-attachment is right understanding.”

“METHOD OF PRACTICE
A common method to help the student lessen his attachment is the koan method of Rinzai Zen. The koan is a philosophical topic given to a Zen student for meditation by the Zen master. It may consist of a single word, a phrase, a sentence or a short passage. A most famous koan is called “the sound of one hand clapping.” Everybody knows what the sound of two hands clapping is like, but what it the sound of one hand clapping ? That is the koan. The student meditates on it until he can hear the sound of one hand clapping. Many of us have heard the sound of silence. If we can hear that sound, then we can hear the sound of one hand clapping also. This koan does not stop with hearing of not hearing, but goes further. If we can hear the sound of one hand, why can we hear it, and how can we hear it ?
If not, why not ? Where does the sound come from, and where does it go ? What is the nature of the sound, and what is the nature of the sound, and what is the nature of hearing ? If their koan is solved, the meditator may consider that he has experienced kensho.”
Source : Zen Philosophy, Zen Practice, Dharma Publishing, College of Oriental Studies, 1975, PP104-112.

These excerpts are from Non attachment, an excellent article in non-attachment.

Maria Kitano’s Art | Abstract Paintings

I found Maria in Twitter and I was impressed by her work; maybe there is hope for twitter. Enjoy! Her website is below.

app1s I have been painting and drawing since childhood, using various techniques , going from pencil and graphite to pastels , watercolors and finally oils which I like the most. There is no complicated philosophical explanation about my paintings , the whole sense of my work is to communicate an emotion to you by watching a painting .

My work is a celebration of life, inspired from things I see every day , things that most of us do not pay much attention to.
My daily experiences: watching the sky , a bird , conversations, media, photos, television, memories, are reduced to abstract shapes and colors which allow me to show what I feel is important and beautiful. Abstraction is the way I come closest to representing the world around.–Maria Kitano

 

 

garden2s

 

 

 

For more information and to see more of her paintings go to: http://tweeart.blogspot.com/ 

 

 

 

 

” When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.”– Mahatma Gandhi

Stalking Castaneda | Excerpt | Castaneda’s Legacy

. . . and in case you don’t know Castaneda, I’ll tell you a little about his work as I go along, for it was a great help in my search for the eye of the dragon. I will also be comparing it with other works that have also been helpful. I won’t delve into any of these works; that is unnecessary. I will just say that their main and recurring theme is our destructive egomania, and I’ll let my own experience illustrate. It behooves you to do your own research and confirm the damaging effects of the ego, for being the bane of humankind its study is worthy of our consideration. Consider this:

     In an article I once came across in a monthly magazine, I read about a six-year-old boy who died after breaking his neck under an extremely heavy load, too heavy for the child to carry. The article also said that he had been a slave all his life. The author knew this because archeologists are trained to read bones. And the child’s bones, together with other bones (a mass grave for slaves) had been found while excavating somewhere in New York City (of all places) to lay the foundation for a new building. His bones not only told this archeologist how he had died but also how he had lived. They told him that he had been overworked all his life, that he had been malnourished, that he probably never had a loving arm around him. His bones told him that that heavy load killed him at the tender age of six years old.

    Should I ever feel sorry for myself? But actually, a more pertinent question would be, should I ever be sorry for that little boy? For just like that little boy I am going to die, and although longer, my life might well end up being much more miserable than his was. For only by reducing my self-importance to the lowest can I claim to be different from his captors and murderers; there is such a thing as a collective responsibility, a social contract. We all endorse a social contract that thrives in egomania, an egomania that causes the suffering of humanity.

Carlos Castaneda is dead now, but his controversial legacy remains.

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