Thursday, 20 April 2017

Plantings





          The photies were taken up the allotment over the last few days or so. So the plantings have started. And I moved the leeks that were over-wintered. Anyway, I don't feel under pressure with the allotment like I have over the last couple of years. Well, I'm not travelling anywhere this year.

          After spending most of Easter down the southside, I really needed to get back here to put in some solid practise. The worst thing you can do is hang around with people who aren't meditating. Well, you have to take them in the right dose. Today I should have gone to Bellshill to see Hughie and Kathy, but tomorrow I really should go and see Kate Nixon, and all that was really too much to contemplate this morning.

         Instead of going to Bellshill, I decided to try for a two hour session in the lobby. This turned out to be wonderfully reassuring!! All I have to do is sit and everything will beautifully unfold just the way it should.

         I'm going to the southside today for most of the weekend. Okay, Johnnyboy. Stay off the piss and get into the bliss!!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Reincarnation of 16th Karmapa

       
          |I watched a documentary about finding the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa

Very interesting. Of course, bugger all about the initial problems with false declarations, schisms, etc., and you might expect. I watched it because you have to do something when you stop drinking and smoking, but I was very pleased to do so.

           Odd to see the three "regents" whom Lama Rinchen introduced me to a couple of years ago. They looked a lot younger. Made me feel so pleased to have met Lama Rinchen!

           Very odd to see grown men doing what a child told them to. Most interesting to see the 17th Karmapa telling folk to bury a rock because he said there was a demon living in it. We regard such things as demons as superstitious crap these days - not maybe not Bible thumpers. Christ is supposed to have sorted out some demons. My name is Legion - and I don't believe in believing in things I haven't actually experienced myself. But what do I know? Bizarre to watch the Karmapa telling the demon to calm down!!

           Someone bought a copy of The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf. God knows why, and how did they find it, etc. I'd give it away.

Monday, 3 April 2017

New starts for Springtime



          Today I finished digging the allotment. Next time I'm up there, I'll start planting. I really love that the winter is over and the flowers are all coming out now.

          I was feeling kind of adrift over the weekend due to not writing. I don't have to write and five years ago I tried to give it up completely. Now that I'm out of the habit I realise how difficult it will be to get back into it. If it was just the time, I've got the time. But at the moment I don't feel settled enough. Most weeks recently I've slept in three different beds. To write I'd like to sit down and do it at a set time every day. That's the kind of discipline you need. Well, I need.

          The trouble is that there's not much reason for me to write, apart from the fact that it did give me some joy and some satisfaction. Do I have the time? Unless I meditate all day, I should be able to find an hour or so a day no bother. I'd prefer to meditate than write, but my practise isn't in a place where I just meditate and do little else.

          Anyway, I haven't written much for the last year. Tonight, I start again. What will I start on? I think I'll have a look at the second thriller I left off some time ago. I could get a plot line worked out and maybe try to put it in script form first. I'd really like to write about the juju, but I'll have to wait a few years till I've got some realisation to write about. No, I'll go back to the thriller. Maybe make the protagonist a Buddhist!

           I found a one star review of the Ecuador book. It's better if someone bothered to give you a five star review, but if you put someone on the internet, you have to take what you get. Anyway, the book is probably the worst of the three Buddhist books and I'd only recommend it to someone who was interested in meditation and Buddhism and probably Ecuador. Otherwise, it would put them to sleep. Thrilling, it aint!! No one has ever posted a review of the first one, The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf and that must have been read by hundreds of folk by this time. The Stumblebumming book was only downloaded by twenty two people when it was put up for free and a crap review appeared almost immediately, and the reviewer normally reviews toasters and hairdryers and that kind of thing. Nothing's as queer as folk. I came here to post this review, but I can't find it right now!! For some reason, the book isn't on my Amazon page.

         I feel that I can do anything now that I've given up the alcohol. Maybe I should forget about the writing. It's a bit self indulgent!! I don't care about getting published. If I wanted to get published, I know what I'd write. The last time I wrote a book to get published, I got it published. Sex, violence, tight story line would do it this time. Getting books published doesn't make you happy. Money is the only good reason.

         I posted the photie because it sparked joy when I saw that Lama Rinchen had sent it to me. Vulture's Peak and the Heart Sutra! Yes!!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Vulture's Peak




             Just found these photies from the lama on my email. Wonderful! They are of Vulture's Peak where the Heart Sutra was expounded. Thanks to Blackie for taking them. Gamso (?) is the solitary monk. He's a venerable.

Tummo and the Bliss




          It starts, if I remember right, with a bit of a creepy crawly going up your back or pulling at your shoulders. Maybe that's the way one part of it goes. The other part might be the straight out white light blissy stuff you get with your eyes closed early doors. These can operate separately, but are linked in some way.
          What I mean by that is that sometimes these days you can feel a lot of force moving in your body, especially in your upper body, but there will be no bliss or not much present.
          Of course, it is difficult to describe feelings and such to folk who might have no experience of them.
           This morning the meditations were wonderful and in some ways more developed - that is, feeling different - than before. It's glorious the way the wonderful feelings emerge just by sitting quietly. It is truly wonderful.
            I'm practising this juju is the worst possible way. That is, surrounded by folk who are not in the slightest bit interested in meditation and are an encouragement to drink and carouse, to behave just like them, and they are not happy.
            I'm often not a happy bunny either. I can do the bliss, but there isn't enough progress with the afflictive emotions. I think I am generally happier than most folk, but I know I need to work hard at the analytical meditations. But one has to acknowledge that our humanity means that we will grieve and such like, and you have to accept stuff like that.
            Other sources of afflictive emotions right now are in politics. I'm trying to ignore politics. I felt so much better when my sister sent my my grandfather's birth certificate. I can get an Irish passport and stay a member of the EU whatever happens. Hurrah!!
            The photie is of Khenpo Karthar. Meeting him was a big moment, though more in retrospect. He bumped heads with me and said: I am happy to make a connection with you. What a fortunate creature, I am, I am! What a fortunate creature I am!!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment is out there.


          Lovely springtime weather today and yesterday. Gorgeous.

          On the book front, I put the Stumblebumming up for free last week and it got downloaded about twenty four times. I've put it up free tomorrow as well. Be nice if someone actually gave it a nice review and some stars, but ...

          I must get another writing project on the go soon. I don't really like it as much when I'm not working on anything. But I don't have to write. Over the last five to ten years I've been able to give it up. Well, not giving up obsessions. Sharing the time with other obsessions. But I will get something on the go soon.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Holiday snaps

































Back from the hightlands!



              While I was on holiday last week, the politics went ballistic. I felt a little drawn into this because I don't like Scottish people running down Scotland, saying we are too poor or too small to be able to govern ourselves. But que sera sera. I am not a floating voter. I'm going to try to keep away from all the vitriol.  

               

Monday, 6 March 2017

Belief



                    I'm reading this very interesting book at the moment by a lama who was very close to the Dalai Lama. In fact, he was only a couple of hundred yards away when he was murdered. Apparently, he was done in because of some dispute over propitiating a spirit, Dorje Shugden, which the Dalai Lama had told folk to stop propitiating.

                    Dearie me. I don't do beliefs. Folk professing beliefs cause most of the trouble in this world. Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment is partly about cherry picking your way through Tibetan Buddhism, ignoring all the cultural appendages like guardian spirits, demons and whatnot.

                   It's a bit of a shame when someone who has done so much practise, like Lobsang Gyatso and Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche, ends up dead in such a brutal fashion.

                    I put Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment up for free on Sunday. Although I screwed up the marketing message on the Meet Our Authors forum, eight folk downloaded it. I've put the message on the forum again and the book will be free tomorrow. Lets hope for some reviews!!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment



                    I just put Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador? onto Kindle. It's now called Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment, the title probably being the best thing about it! To try to get it published in paper, I sent about forty random emails to folk listed on Everyone Who Is Anyone in Publishing. I don't think I got anyone to read it, which was hardly a surprise. But I told Lama Rinchen Palmo I'd try to make her some money, but books by me on Buddhism .... well, there isn't a market there, I don't suppose. Not a genre, not even a niche!! So it's been uploaded onto Kindle and will probably be available in a couple of days.

                     All the other books on my amazon book page have a cover by my daughter, but she's too busy to ask right now. I was asked by Kindle for a photie and gave them the one above. It's frost on sand.

                      Though this book might not be very interesting if you aren't interested in meditation, Buddhism and whatnot, I'm pleased that it's there. My books are a bit like milestone's to me. Sometimes they might not be all that good, but they talk to me about times in my life, whether they are semi-autobiographical or not. This one is probably a coming to terms with bereavement book.

       

Friday, 24 February 2017

Back from the Samye LIng




   ,                  I'm just back from the Samye Ling and, as usual, I'm pretty tired. I always find it exhausting.

                      The weather was poor so I spent almost all the time in the temple or in my room. It's hard to go from here into such a full on meditation regime, but it's how it happens. I bought the hagiography of Khenpo Karthar, whom I met in the Catskills in 2015. It made me feel a bit silly. I wander among spiritual geniuses like a fool. I'm amazed that he spent forty minutes talking to me and Winnie.

                        Seeing him was really important for me since I was having real problems with guru yoga before I met the Khenpo, who was of course the guru of Lama Yeshe. I have no problem with guru yoga now.

                          The centre was very quiet for these prayers this year. This might be because, it seems, Lama Yeshe spends the winter in retreat these days in Purelands.

                           Felt a lot of things I'd never felt before as the meditations progress. In the book about the Khenpo, the author talks about the tummo demonstration at the end of a big retreat. They walk about in the cold in cotton shifts so folk can see if they're shivering. The khenpo said the cold, cold wind blowing felt like a welcome breeze, so I've got miles and miles to go!!

                            I can't believe how fortunate I have been since I met Lama Rinchen Palmo. And I am mindful that it was my partner Rowena who hustled me to go on that retreat. I owe a lot to a lot of people.

                            Next week |I will try to get the Ecuador book onto Kindle. Since my daughter is very busy these days, I will have to wrestle with some tool for making book covers. I will not like doing this, but I might as well since I've no intention of hustling it to anyone else. Forty odd random emails to agents is all I'm prepared to do.  I'm going to call it Stumblebumming towards Enlightenment and the best thing about it might be the title!!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Meeting with the lama



                    I had the great good fortune to meet up with Lama Rinchen Palmo yesterday. She is my spiritual friend. She was on a break from guiding folk through the winter retreat on the Holy Isle.

                    The lama is so wise and well practised that it is always inspiring to be in her company. I would really like to go on some kind of dharma visit with her, and I was able to make that offer to her since my central heating seems to be fixed without it breaking the bank. She took me to Bodh Gaya, of course, around Christmas 2014. Be great going somewhere with her again.

                      When we were talking about preliminary and foundational practises, she told me what I was doing with the heat/warmth was not a preliminary practise. It's the biz. I was so pleased when she told me that. She said the heat would burn off the neuroses. She made the future seem possibly glorious. I can hardly believe it with my bad habits and all. But I have been meditating for thirty odd years.

                       So I left her feeling pretty elated, which I always feel after speaking to her. I became an old age pensioner a year ago now, and my old age is going to just get better and better. I assume this will go hand in hand with my physical and probably intellectual decline. But my mind will get a lot better. The meditations are really galloping along now. It's as if it was pushing from outside, with a momentum of its own. Making an effort, trying hard, etc ... well, all this must get easier. The sensations will improve. The effect of purification on the sensations makes it easier to stay off the drink and tobacco, etc.

                        It's great to speak to the lama because no one else knows what the hell I'm going on about. It's a real shame that no friends of me got into the meditating, but that's not my fault.

                        I told the lama I really want to live now. If I could stay sober for the next couple of years ... and just keep meditating .... what a wonderful life I will have had.

                        Amazing how uplifting it is speaking to someone like the lama. Completely life affirming.

                        Raising heat is often mentioned alongside the illusory body and clear light mind. I had thought you'd have to have the first of the three before the other two. They might all show progress together. Anyway, she explained what illusory body means.

                        I said I liked the heat and that because it re-inforces my ignorance in that it shows that our model of what a body consists of is at best partial. She said it was crap.