Wednesday, 4 July 2018

In These Sunny Days.

            Somebody bought the three buddhisty books on my kindle thing last weekend. I really like that. It's not the money. I think I'd get about 75p, not enough to even give away. But it's some kind of almost subliminal connection. Whoever it was, wants to know something about buddhism and all, and I'd like to do that too.

          The bug photies are because of the smart phone... for an old joe like me, the cameras are amazing ... like the first Bladerunner when the boy zooms in. The photie is because my friend likes bugs and asked me to take them. Damsel flies.

          Some of the photies are just the bit around where I was meditating today, sitting in the dirt in the sunshine. The weather has been hotter than it should be, but I always like it when the grass goes yellow and starts blowing away.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Meditation injuries!

          Aye, it's a rough old game, this meditating! My alarm went off in another room after I'd been sitting in the lobby for bit. My legs had gone numb so I bum shuffled into the kitchen, but the phone was on the table, so when I tried to put weight on the dead leg ,,,,, It was a couple of days ago now.

          The train from Bellshill today was cancelled and the next one delayed by ..... hot rails. It was bloody roasting, mind you.

           Almost every day when I meditate I seem to feel something a wee bit different. Keeps it most interesting.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Sunny Days

          It was a bank holiday yesterday and the weather was glorious. I was at Newcastle Battle Abbey and the middle photie is of Borthwick Castle. You can see Crighton Castle from there. Lots of castles in Scotland!

          Every day the meditations seem to move on. Rollercoaster these days. I'm so looking forward to the next few months!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Pressmennan Wood

                    I've started watching Russia Today over the last few days. It's referred to by our media as a propaganda news station and it probably is. Unlike the BBC of course. The first ten minutes of the evening news on Friday was devoted to the royal wedding, which was due to happen the NEXT  day. Well, can that be even counted as news, something that hasn't happened yet?
                    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love being a subject  of our royal family, but I had to go to Pressmennan Wood when there was nothing else but advertisements for the Breetish establishment on the telly and it was very beautiful there yesterday.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Beautiful May days.

          The top photie shows the view from the door of my hut these days, now that someone else is working the other half of the plot. I was up the allotment today and planted some tatties and some onions. I guess I should have all the allotment planted by the end of the week. It's so much easier than working a whole plot.

          I was at Lauriston Castle on Saturday and took the cherry  blossom photies then.

          The meditations are moving on at a helluva pace. Really don't know why.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Bluebell and Tulip Days Now

                    Yesterday I was at Kailzie Gardens, a place near Peebles. Very nice it is too!

                     I'm feeling entirely positive at the moment. 1988 is the year I look back on with special affection. I was looking after my baby daughter and off work and loving it. 1988 had one of those endless summers of childhood.

                    All I have to do is not get too pissed and lay off .... well, purification and accumulation is the name of the game. But the meditations yesterday were so, so good. You are supposed to be on a path, though you may not know where the path is leading you, so you can expect change in the meditations, or some development. Despite living like a normal idiot, the visualisations are getting much clearer, almost as if a switch was thrown a couple of months ago, but a bit slower than that.  The bliss has been fantastic too. I was meditating in bed yesterday morning, and even although I drank quite a lot of wine the night before, it is just almost straight into the great bliss. Of course, it would have been better for my concentration, etc., if I hadn't been pissed the night before, but .... I don't deserve this. I do feel blessed sometimes.

                   So I think this year could be special. Just love that the winter is behind us and the summer still in front. My nephew has passed recently and my brother nearly kicked the bucket last week, so I'm trying to take some impetus from this and stop wasting time drinking beer and such like.

                    On the other hand, everything is going splendidly.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Allotment stuff

                   First of all, I think I might have sorted the problem with uploading photies from my phone to this bloggy. So you share the photie on the phone to Google Photos. Then, when you want them, you can copy them from the photos place to your desktop, and copy them from there onto the blog. I think the main problem is this crap laptop which has never been able to recognise the phone when it's been attached. Basturns!

                   The bottom photie is of  the allotment yesterday afternoon. The paramedics are with a lady allotmenteer who seemed to have hurt her ankle. I had no idea. She was talking with someone when I dodged passed them and went to do the digging. Anyway, the poor woman was lying there on her own for about ten minutes .... I thought she might be having a wee rest, or be a bit pissed, or resting in the sunshine. So the paramedics were giving her nitrous oxide, and I heard today she was in agony. But not a cheep out of her. Stiff upper lip. She seemed to think her ankle was broken. Today it had grown to a broken leg with her break at a forty five degree angle, but I don't think it could have been that bad. But there you go. Calamity just waiting unexpectedly round the corner. Luckily, the guy who got half my allotment was there and got the medics to her. I'm bloody useless of course.

                    I did the first plantings today: onions and tatties. Piece of cake with only half an allotment these days.

                    My meditations got a boost when I got onto this buddhist pilgrimage in November. Actually, it looks like a brilliant pilgrimage. Northern India is my least favourite place, but it'll be great to be able to quiz the lama for three weeks or so. Hurrah!


Friday, 27 April 2018

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Strange Sensations.

          I was hoping to download some recent photies - a main purpose for this blog - and, of course, Windows 10 is effing me around as usual and I only managed to download a photie of my old training shoes. I've probably been using these for shadow boxing around the kitchen for more than decade, but threw them out yesterday. No photies of the daffodils at Lauriston Castle at the weekend. Oh well.

          There are a lot of sensations being experienced in these meditation and there have been for some time. For years and years now, whenever I've been sitting quietly doing nothing, a lot of stuff is going on. Say, there were ten sensations which you don't feel unless you meditate. None of these sensations are bad sensations, but some are neutral. There are a whole different set of variable sensations which check in as the after-effects of the vase breathing.

          So what does all this mean? It means nothing to me really. These sensations just occur. I was hoping yesterday that I might recognise some order, as in, this is happening so I know what to expect next. But I'm not anywhere near there.

          The sensations progress and develop and they are just sensations to me. I don't even have labels for them. No names. If you have a label for something, that is not the same as understanding it, but at least it is a start, an attempt at classification.

          This is a lovely time of the year. I've agreed to go an a pilgrimage with Lama Rinchen for most of November. Unfortunately, it's to Northern India mostly and that's my least favourite place, but what the hell. Shame the man didn't become enlightened in the south of France.


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Mornings as time goes by.

          About twenty five years ago, I decided to try and get up and meditate for an hour before I went to work. This is probably starting in January with the New Year resolutions and all, and trying to give up the tobacco.

          So I'd get up about six in the morning and sometimes sit beside the radiator because it was cold then. Later on, I started just sitting up when I was wakened by the alarm. So I'd put a duvet round my shoulders and try just to sit up and do some meditating for an hour before going to work.

          Encouraging times for me. About then, I discovered that I could go into a meditative state of some kind when I gazed on the green light at the bottom of the computery thing. The road to freedom! But the best thing was how great I started to feel when I started off for work. Used to feel the wind so much in my sails as I walked up the road to the bus stop.

          Now I do not have a jobbie and so don't have to get up in the morning to do anything, but the first things in the day these days are so, so very nice indeed. You're lying on your back first thing and the duvet is nice and warm over you. Almost as soon as you get consciousness, you get the bliss and you can lie there and just be there and do that. So you are not meditating in the normal sense, and you might move onto your side, etc., etc., but how brilliant it is to waken into this. It's not meditating, I suppose, since you have not tried to do anything, but you know then that though you have to get up, how can getting up beat this?

         I fell into the love of meditating very quickly. I needed it. Most folk don't. All I have to say is that the flatheids do not seem to be happy. Flatheids just don't get the bliss. But why should anyone think that concentrating on anything, particularly mumbo jumbo, should lead to wakening up in the morning to the .....

Monday, 9 April 2018

Daily Practice

          This should be a pretty usual Monday. I'd like to record my practice these days, so here goes.

          10:15 began the first meditation of the day. Sometimes I've wondered if this is even meditation, but this is what I do. I go through a list of gurus, some I have met and some I haven't. They are in this order, Lama Yeshe, Dr Akong, Ringo Tulku, Ani Llamo, Lama Rinchen Palmo, Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Thebten Yeshe, Tai Situ, Khenpo Karath, Dilgo Khyentse, Dalai Lama, 16th Karmapa, 17th Karmapa, and, last but not least, Jesus Christ who suffered and died for me.

          When I'm doing the gurus, I try to visualise them in front of me. Then have the different coloured lights coming from them into my head, throat and chest. Then imagine them over my head and pouring down into me.
          Then I go through the list of dead folk I know or who are close relations. Since I'm still dedicating merit to my nephew Malk, he starts and finishes this list, but when the seven weeks are up, I'll slot him in beside his maw. The list then will be Rowena, maw, da, sister Jane, brother Makie, Ken Davis, Uncle Dan, John McKenzie (!), Teresa Lennon, Malk, Rose Anne McKenzie, Paul, Dr Bowman, Mrs Bowman, Gordon Watts, Carol Rich, Wilbur, Colin Quinn, Daso, John Doyle, Brian Lithgow, the Big Jambo, Colin Smith, Tony O'Boyle, Rachel A., Auntie Mary, Anastasia, Dave, Tin and Rowena.

           So if you are a good friend of mine or a close relative, you will cross my mind every day (as a fine example of impermanence!) until I snuff it.

            Time for a tai chi set and another hour on the cushion before lunch!

             Meditated from noon till quarter past one. The second meditation was mainly about deity yoga. Generating and dissolving. A wee bit of vase breathing there. The deity yoga stuff is really a cut down sadhana from Thrangu Tulku's book on Medicine Buddha meditations. These are not preliminary exercises, but maybe they are for me since I can't do them properly.

             The meditations later on will go into the channels and symbols. There was warmth in the first meditation today. Yesterday it didn't show up till I'd been meditating for three hours. The difference is down to going out with Brian Wilson on Saturday afternoon.



Sunday, 8 April 2018

Because thou art saved, shall there be no more cakes and ale?

           Doesn't that look like a perfect spot to go on retreat?       

           Anyone who knows anything about me knows that for most of my adult life I've spent some of the evenings drunk or stoned. This is not an anonymous blog, so ... sadhus smoke dope. With drugs, if you can still maintain concentration and do some kind of mental calming ... something that has just heightened your awareness a little bit might not be too much of a problem if you can bring on the focus ..... drink is the curse of course since you never get the dose just right and it is the worst drug if you want to do this juju at all. Of course, I'd like to be happy being completely sober and straight all the time, but I have to admit that my practice isn't there yet. But what I'd really like to do is stop drinking. I'd like to go to sleep at night sober and straight so I could practice dream yoga or, at least, start to remember my dreams again.

           In some kind of weird way, I think I might find it easier to give all these pollutants up if I give up trying to give up. If I can be happy for a little bit here in Stockbridge, I think gradually this will sort itself out. The meditations might begin to make taking any pollutants seem idiotic, and only a way to have a less enjoyable time!!

          At least, I managed not to get steaming with Brian Wilson yesterday. I had about five pints of awful tasting, mainly weak, beer over five hours. I might have had seven beers but Brian Wilson drank two of mine. I don't think he knew how much he was drinking because whenever he went outside for a fag, I poured some beer from my glass into his.

          Brian Wilson's betting strategy was to work out who was certain to win by studying the form all morning. He put double rings round this horse in the newspaper and it did indeed win. But he didn't bet on it. He bet on horses that might have been owned by protestants or folk who might have voted NO in the Scottish referendum. Nags with monikers like HunsRUs, and WeRthick. After he lost all his money, he stole some off me and lost that too. Then I had to give him a tenner to get a taxi home. But it was a very successful day really. Normally, at some point when I'm out boozing with Brian Wilson, I have to pretend to the bog and run away.

           Spending all afternoon sipping beer that tastes like piss is a good way to put you off the off-license in the evening. So I spent the evening sobering up and around eleven I was sitting in my hard back seat watching Match of the Day, as you do. Sometimes when I'm like that, I take a wee, inadvertent vase breath. That might have happened then .... wow! What was that? This channel opening shit suddenly seemed to have opened further, again.

           So I was in a different zone once more!! Couldn't believe it. The warmth and bliss were delicious and the space it was happening in was somehow expanded. I was a bit shocked and surprised. Then I thought I should blog about it and sit up into the wee hours meditating, but I thought it would be better to get an earlier night and march on today.

           It's less than a week since my girlfriend packed me in. The events of last night during Match of the Day were very, very encouraging. I have had more time to put into the meditations, especially in the evening, and that's already paying dividends despite the emotional eddies resulting from the relationship aggravations. The next part of my life could be really wonderful ... all I want is for everything to calm down, for me to have time to settle into my life in Stockbridge and have the time to fix my flat. Just sitting quietly doing nothing gets the lollipop, but it would be a big help if I can manage not to be a sitting target for the afflictive emotions of the too dumb to meditate. Pay attention to your friends, but don't be too available. That should do it.

           I really feel as if I'm going to have a great day today. May go to the allotment or the Botanical Gardens this afternoon. Doesn't matter. Every day in every way I'm getting better and better and better.

9.50 p.m.
          Just finished meditating. Must have done over seven hours today which is quite good considering I also did some digging, some shadowboxing, some writing and had a lovely, lovely long bath. But I've got four bottles of weissbier which I'm going to start necking right after writing this!!

          In the hut today, there were two incidents of  a feeling of much bliss a great expansion. I remember being in the Zen Mountain Monastery (three years ago now!!) with Winnie and she was telling me about sitting in the zendo, feeling really achy and tired when .... kazoom, there was the wonderful expansion and bliss and she wasn't feeling tired or achy at all.
          I really wish there was some kind of explanation for all this stuff. It isn't enough to say stuff like this happens to folk who meditate a lot. There must be causes that result in these sensations, something going on in your body/mind or whatever. So you concentrate and repeat mumbo jumbo to yourself or whatever, and this happens .... not enough of an explanation!
          I'm tired now. Come on, the beer!!



Saturday, 7 April 2018

Where to go? The pub!

          For most of last year, Saturday was usually the best day of the week. There were green spaces, rivers, beaches, castles and a lot of being driven about nice places in Chilly Jockoland.

          Today I will be spending the day with Brian Wilson, aka the Old Toothless One. This is not a cause for future happiness in that it will involve lots of beer, but is a way of making up some of the social capital I lost by being exclusively with someone else over the weekend for the last couple of years.

           The Old Toothless One has been wearing Union Jack underpants since the Scottish Independence referendum. He only wants to talk about cricket and the Beach Boys, but he is a good example of what happens to the evil bourgeois when they are too dumb to meditate.

            For he took the plunge in his twenties with the TM people. They give you a secret, magic word. Because I wanted to learn how to meditate and because Brian Wilson refused to reveal his secret magic word, I had to invent my own secret, magic word and learn to meditate on my own.

            My secret magic word was Sussquehanna. I used that for nine years and sometimes still default to that in my meditations.

            I discovered that the TM folk recommended two twenty minute sessions a day. Maybe one before you go to the jobbie and one when you come back. Anyway, I always reckon the meditations really start to work during the third one, but twenty minutes twice a day doesn't seem like a huge burden for anyone.

           So you are invited to become a blissheid and they say two times a day should do it. You are being invited to join the bliss feast and you have been given two chopsticks. Faced with this sumptuous feast, Brian Wilson threw away one of the chopsticks and tried to eat the sumptuous feast with just one chopstick. Of course, I don't think from my experience that you will make much progress behaving like that and you will in fact end up throwing away both chopsticks, which is what he has done.

           But at least he had a go of some kind, and he did stimulate my interest in meditation, so here comes an afternoon with One Chopstick Harry. Thank God the Aussies were caught cheating at the cricket recently. Something to talk about that isn't how stupid and greeting faced the Scottish people are and how we should all be really happy to let the Conservative Party in England take all the decisions for us because we are too stupid to govern ourselves.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Where to go?

          If you do not get it from yourself, where will you go for it?

          I was reflecting on such as this today. It's a zen quote I wrote on my wall about thirty years ago. The problem I have with going away and probably being dead virtuous on a retreat is that I'd have to come back. And come back to all my bad habits.

          Well, my habits are no worse than most people's, but most folk aren't wanting to try to do the Six Yogas of Naropa. Anyway, I'd like to feel more settled in this flat before I go anywhere else and I've said before that I've got everything here that I need to meditate. If I've habits to alter, I should be able to do it here.

           I depends on where you think you are in your practice as well. When I first lost Rowena, well, my practice then wasn't up to spending so long on my own in this flat, and coping with the quiet evenings and all that bereavement stuff. But I think it's up to it now.

          This blog then will be used liked a bliss diary. I'll write in it often and write down what my practice has been like. This might be no use to anyone else, but it might be useful for me when I have a chance to look back on it.

         So I wakened up today and lay in bed for about half an hour doing the bliss. What a great start to the day this is!! No aggravation from anyone and perfect peace. Sometimes you think the day can only go downhill!! Anyway, I did a two hour sit no bother after breakfast and did another two hour sit after lunch. By then I'd done a backbend, tai chi set and stood on my head. So after four, I did the six three minute rounds of shadowboxing in the Beer Monster Reduction Vehicle, but was too tired then to run up and down the stairs, which I have been doing a bit of recently. Then after dinner, I wrote for a while and then meditate again. At nine I stopped and went to the off licence for three bottles of weissbier. I'll have to get rid of the beer sometime, but not yet!

         That is more or less what my days are going to be like then till August. I'm going nowhere. If I don't reach out, I could be left alone here and that's what I need. I can meditate for about seven hours a day and with the writing and the exercising, I might have a couple of hours to write in. And that's it. The whole day.

         When it comes to seeing folk, I'll see anyone who wants to see me. I'll make sure I give priority to the folk I know will come to my funeral. As far as friends are concerned, that's only about five or six folk, so no bother really.

         So I think that's what I shall do, given that I can stay single, for at least the next four months. By that time I expect .... god knows! But it's now a great opportunity for me to really get going on the Deity Yoga. Of course, this is not an easy path to follow. It's easy to be a slob. Sometimes some things are maybe worth a wee bit of deferred gratification. Maybe I have three good years left till I am seventy. If I can sit on my arse doing the juju for eight hours a day, what a wonderful three years they would be!!!

        This is my tao. Now I feel comfortable. I'm taking inspiration from Milarepa. In his biography, he says he doesn't mind dying in the cave all alone because he is happy to die a yogi joe. All through the biography you find that his outer circumstances look terrible with the hunger and deprivation and all, but there is bugger all about what is going on inside that makes him stay there in the cave despite everything.

       I really think I am just starting on the best time of my life. I'm getting heat. I get so much bliss, I don't even go looking for it anymore. The visualisations are coming on. What more can a body ask for? What a wonderful life! What a fortunate creature I am, I am. What a fortunate creature I am!!

Monday, 2 April 2018

Future Prospects

           This year has started off not very well. Didn't manage to get to the Samye Ling or the Holy Isle and I'm still dedicating merit from my meditations to my nephew Malk, much missed. Things in my social life have been very stressful, but now the relationship seems to be over, the Spring has arrived and now is the time to look forward to better things and better times.

           I tried to put a photie of Dilgo Khyentse on top of this post, but couldn't get it to work. During my first meditation of the day, I go through a list of eminent religious folk, trying to visualise them, etc. Dilgo Khyentse has been on that list for a while, ever since I read a commentary he wrote. He said in it that if you wanted to help people, you should do the retreats and get siddhis. Dilgo Khyentse, according to a biography I came upon, spent seven years in a cave with books, etc., within reach so that he didn't have to move much. Most folk would think that this is a complete waste of life, but flatheids just don't get the bliss. I have a complete admiration for folk like Dilgo.

          So what am I going to do?

          Since I am solo again, I can do almost anything I want. But I am sixty seven years old and we are not guaranteed the time. Before I die I would like to have completed the meditations given in The Bliss of Inner Fire. I spoke to Lama Rinchen about this the last time I saw her. I told her I was getting some heat, which surprised me since I thought it wouldn't happen unless I could do the visualisations, and wondered if you could gather the four blisses described in the book when you couldn't visualise properly. She said you might get spontaneous happenings, but you couldn't control it properly unless you did the ... time, really.

         There has been a lot of shit hitting fans over the past few weeks, but throughout it all my meditations have got better and better. By this I mean that there much expansion and more bliss and some heat. It's hard to describe, but it looks like things are really accelerating. Of course, it often feels like this!! Then you kind of habituate to the new plateau. But this time it really does seem to be accelerating.

         So what am I going to do?

         Khenpo Karthar is still alive and well in the Catskill Mountains. He was the first one to  bump brows with me. He said: I am happy to make a connection with you. His people said I could go there to meditate, so I could go to the Catskill Mountains for a couple of years.

         The last time I spoke to Lama Yeshe, about five years ago, he said come and see me when you want to start meditating. I was meditating about six hours a day at the time. I mentioned this to Lama Rinchen. She said but you know what he means. I've had a hankering to go down to the Samye Ling for a month or so with a tent. Keeps recurring that one.

         Lama Rinchen has invited me to Belgium. I could go there.

         What I would really like to do for the next few months is meditate right here. Apart from my ex-girlfriend showing up on Thursday, no one has visited this flat for months and months. I would prefer to do all this stuff here because if I go away somewhere, I'll have to come back and all my addictions are here waiting for me. So I've got a hut, a lobby, and plenty of time on my hands.

         I could do all of these things though not at the same time!!

         I told myself about fifteen or so years ago that I would count myself a "proper practitioner" if I prevail against the cold. In this afternoon's meditation it came on more than ever before. So I can count myself as some kind of practitioner, if not a very good one! The best thing is the bliss in the bath and first thing in the morning. Wakening up and becoming conscious then very soon having the bliss is the best thing. Such as that should make staying sober at night very worthwhile.

        If  I did nothing, everything would still turn out great. I've only been doing about four hours a day recently, and much less when I was with my ex-girlfriend. Just by having that time back will make all the difference.

        I couldn't handle being on my own all the time before when I wasn't on a retreat. I didn't like the evenings, but over this weekend the time in meditation has been sailing by and on two out of the last three evenings I've had the best meditations of the day between eight and ten.

       I hope the best of times are just ahead of me. I think my practice these days could handle a bit of solitude. This might be hard, but you don't get the lollipop if you don't give it a go!

       As the man might have said before he passed:
       All compounded things are subject to dissolution. Pursue your salvation with diligence. Walk on.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Ebook download numbers since November 2011

          My friend Heather returned from the States on Sunday and hasn't had a fag for a week! Great! No reason for posting the photie here except that things are looking up a bit now and I'm looking forward to many happy days sitting in my allotment.

         I checked the historical data on the kindle books. It seems since November 2011, which is when Dave and I started putting the books on, there have been 16,348 downloads. Quite surprised by this. Most of the books were downloaded in the first couple of years, so new stuff probably gets downloaded more. When I had two novels published in paper, they sold about 1,700 each, if I recall correctly. Well, for most of the time there were ten books on kindle and nearly seventeen thousand downloads. So almost as many folk read the books that weren't published in paper as did the paper ones when they were published.

       Nobody would have read these books if it hadn't been for the ebooks arriving, so I'm pleased that I put them up. Also, I seem to have made about £200 and I promised myself I'd buy myself another guitar with the money I made, so I must do that soon.

       And I met someone in the pub last night who was doing physics at uni. So I quizzed her about the Prof Higgs stuff, which I cannot get a grip on. Anyway, when I asked her if consciousness could be a field, and she looked a bit flamonxed  and it did not seem to compute. Consciousness? What?! Of course, everything is supposed to have "buddha nature". Saying that might have been even more confusing.

       "Reality is not what it seems" by Carlo Rovelli says there can't be a Big Bang. Thank God for that. Everything coming from nothing seems like a very stupid idea. Probably can't understand that either!!

Friday, 2 March 2018

Malcolm McKenzie R.I.P.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, suit

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and outdoor

          Today I was hoping to get through to Bellshill for the funeral of my wonderful nephew, my mother's first grandchild, Malcolm McKenzie. Unfortunately, there were no buses this morning to the train station and no trains to Bellshill in the morning anyway, so I had to change out of the funeral stuff and just sit here practising for him, for most of the day. It's probably too early right now to say much about this, but he will be surely sorely, sorely missed.

          Last year Malk had a diagnosis for a tumour on his bladder. It was removed. Because of this, I went on holiday with him last year to visit his brother and other folk, and go to Denmark and Hamburg. That was a very good idea, as it turned out. His mother passed away with cancer when he was maybe twelve and I thought he might be facing a near future with lots of chemotherapy and such, and have the hope that his passing the way he did - deep vein thrombosis, said the autopsy - was maybe a blessing. But we will all miss him. Died when he was fifty years old. Too young.

         Not getting to Bellshill today was hard. Harder than not getting to the Samye Ling for four days when I got the news about Malkand harder than not getting to the Holy Isle, where I was due to go on retreat for three weeks from the 27th February. The year so far says I should not make appointments. Everything I need is really here between my ears.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Second diggings!

          It was a bit weird seeing folk working on the other half of the allotment this afternoon. They said they'd been on the list for ten years. Anyway, I've now dug half way down the side I have left and it is going to be so much easier to keep it tidy and keep the letters of complaint from the allotment man at bay.
         Apparently, we are due some terrible weather next week, but the weather has been lovely this weekend, very bright and clear and cold. Stockbridge looked like a great place to stay today as I went down to the shop for the paper.

          My friend Heather is in America right now, so I'm spending a lot of time on my own this weekend, but that's been okay. This could be a really great year for me. Feel it in my waters!! Shame about the folk who don't meditate, but that's not my fault.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Could consciousness be a field?

Image result for electromagnetic field

         I'm half way through the book about quantum gravity, so it's already lost me. But still very interesting.

         I have worked out what question to ask Prof Higgs the next time I see him on the bus!!

         Newton knew there was a problem with gravity operating through what seemed to be empty space.
         Faraday showed by the iron filings on the magnet that there are electromagnetic fields in the space between things.
         I think the Higgs Boson stuff showed that mass became part of particles when they move through a "field". Before that, I don't think there was an explanation as to why there was mass. All the explanations seem to be about "fields" these days!!

        In Dzogchen,  the example is of a light and a crystal. When the light is shown on a crystal, the effects are different to that when you shine the light on a stone. The physical make-up of the crystal is such that the light can shine through.

        If there is a field of consciousness, the same as the Higgs field, then consciousness or a basic awareness operates where it can dependent on the arrangement of matter. So don't expect to have a conversation with a stone, but a blade of grass can follow the sun, a cat must have what can appear in a cat, and us human beings can have a conversation about consciousness.

        I know I know bugger all about quantum mechanics and I realise this must be a very stupid idea, but I do find it quite satisfying.

       So the question when I see Prof HIggss on the bus is : Could consciousness be a field?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Carlo Rovelli and Reality is Not What is Seems. The journey to quantum gravity.

          I got this wonderful book from my daughter and her man for my birthday. Most, enjoyable and landed right on the money for me now.

          I would like to spend some time writing something about this book and its effect on me, but I don't have much time right now and I'll just jot down some stuff as a kind of aide memoire right now.

          About getting towards non-self and emptiness through physics.

          With Newton we have space between things. Gravity seems to act across this space, but Newton knows there's something unsatisfactory about bodies acting on each other without anything being between them.

           Faraday with the magnet and iron filings shows us that there is something called a "field."

           So there is at least one field between things, the electromagnetic field. James Clerk Maxwell (from this parish!) worked out the equations for that.

           Einstein says space is an object. We have space time. Space curves and bends, Space is a gravitational field.

         Most interested in reading that Einstein wasn't all that good at sums. (We're not comparing him to me!). It seems that Einstein was able to "visualise" or "imagine" what reality was like, and then had to hack about and find the mathematical description, the equations to describe this. But it seems to have started with "vision" or some kind of "seeing."

         This has a lot of similarity to "enlightenment." Or, rather, realisations. I assume in some kind of realisation, you are mainly "seeing". I assume what you are seeing is the world in a different way. If you are talking about "non-self" and "emptiness", the whole must become self as your self goes out into everything visible so that you are the focus with the senses and somehow the reference point, but you are everything, your sense of self encompassing everything.

         I has about ten seconds of this about twenty two years ago. So what I "saw" might be described as a "field" in that it was through everything and penetrating everything. But it was conscious and joining everything in a wholeness,  a unity. Everything was essentially supported by consciousness which was integral to everything and not outside it.

       So Faraday  shows a "field" and Maxwell works out the equations.

       If the field is consciousness, how would you do that? No idea. I cannot do sums. Can you have an equation with a big C in it to stand for consciousness?

      The Big Bang is a very stupid idea.

       Everything comes from nothing, a very wee nothing which goes bang. Stupid idea. I think no one is happy with the idea that your dog started as nothing since no one has ever seen nothing, and nothing is maybe like absolute zero ... no one has ever been there.

        Maybe there's a problem with time. The Big Bang looks stupid since times seems to go forwards. Does it look any less stupid if you say time isn't going forward or backwards, but the history of this universe is there and we are somehow moving through it. Like the beginning is there and the end is there already. Is this a help?

        I looked up ontological last week since I couldn't remember what it meant. Knew it then, but ....

       Consciousness or mind? Start there. We don't know why (as with the other Big Bang theory), but lets start with consciousness, or mind, or something that might be described as bare awareness. An awareness without compounded thoughts. Then go Big Bang (still no reason for that!!) and then we can see that the history of this universe is about consciousness trying to know itself, or love itself, or be aware of itself.
        So we have consciousness (going bang) and then we get energy and matter.

        The energy thing ... I'm not there yet!

         With matter ... this seems to come from energy and is in different forms, maybe levels of complexity.

        Imagine light being consciousness before the Big Bang. There develops energy and matter, but the matter is in various forms. So the light/consciousness is trying to 'project' itself through matter. Now, like it can do with through a glass or crystal. Put light through a crystal and you might get something interesting. Put the light on a stone and zippo.

        So my consciousness is not that of a stone. My consiousness when I have just wakened up and haven't had any thoughts yet ... well, what difference is that from the consciousness of probably any other mammal? Surely, if I am not actually thinking about anything and look around, there might not be that much difference between me and a horse?

         When you turn your mind inside out .... consciousness and self is in everything ... You cannot be separate or alienated or isolated. Is everything arising simultaneously in the eternal present?

          The "field", the joining up stuff that I saw, was thick in the air ... there was no vacant space between things .. and it was filled with ribbons of red and blue moving into what we might call the physical objects. It seems to say non-self and emptiness, this is how it works.

          It's so partial, and so incomplete and so lacking in so many things, but I did feel when I was reading this book that it was a real help. Mind, consciousness, field ... we need more words.

          The Higgs Boson boy was on the telly (another joe from this parish!!) when they showed the proof at Cern. Particles, fields, what are we talking about .... the boy on the telly said the Higgs Boson maybe indicated a field that be there to show how weight or mass appeared. They think the wee tottie things are supposed to be massless. Is that true? So maybe there's a field that adds weight. Is there a field that incorporates consciousness? Adds consciousness where it can? Doesn't work too well with stones or flatheids, but is evolving surely to work a bit better ..... and then we will realise that we live in perfection and that nothing we little fuckpigs can do will ever change or effect that? Nothing is perfect is God's perfect world. I'm looking for a way to see this world as we perceive it  as a play of higher consciousness, but it is not easy!

           I love this stuff. Brian Wilson is one of the two other people who read this blog. He won't have read this far. He only likes the Beach Boys and has no interest in anything else. The other person, Albert, claims he invented the internety box, and he doesn't meditate. So this post is just for moi!!!

           Anyway, the reason for being interesting in this is that if there is no objective reality, why fucking get bothered by stuff. It doesn't exist in the manner of its appearance.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Surprising sales!

          Started work on the book again after a lay off over the holidays. Always takes a wee while to get into it, but I'll be there after this evening.

          Thought I'd post that five books were sold last week from the kindle site. Someone even bought a copy of Stumblebumming despite the two terrible reviews it's picked up so far. The best you might say about that is that it is aimed at a very niche market, really those more than interested in Tibetan Buddhism and meditating. Anyway, who knows why some books were sold last week. Weird stuff this internety thing.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Three Day Fast.


            I stopped eating on Sunday night and didn't start again till this morning, so that's me done another  three day fast. I might have done two before, but I definitely did one. Maybe you always remember the first time! I'm quite pleased to get through the three days because usually when I start fasting I don't make it past breakfast time.

          Any purification seems to affect the meditations very much. I don't know why this is, but fasting definitely counts as some kind of purification and I hoped when I started this fast that it would boost what was happening with the vase breathing, etc., the heat and all that kind of thing. Well, I meditated for the first time after eating about an hour ago, and the after effects of the vase breathing have just went right out of the park. God knows what the hell is going on! I'm nowhere near standing on one leg half way up the Himalayas in my simmit, but I think I might be slowly creeping onto that ball park.

          I was fortunate enough to get a meeting with Lama Rinchen Palmo last Friday. She can't tell me what's going to happen. Everyone, it seems, is different.

          She was most helpful on the visualisations. For some time, I lost confidence in  the deity visualisations because they are almost impossible to do. I'm sure you'd have to be in retreat for some time to get anywhere near that. So the technique seemed to be to have a steady visualisations of the symbols and move the heat up from chakra to chakra, but if you cannot visualise the channels and whatnot, then I don't see how you can systematically move it up.

           But, despite the crap visualisations, I am getting heat. It's more like a full body heat (at least in the upper torso) and is not centred on the navel chakra.

            I respect this juju. I'm sure it could be dangerous. It would be nice if someone could give me a roadmap for this, but since that is not going to happen, I'll just have to soldier on. Be great to give up drinking this year. If I have a drink this weekend, I'll try to give it up on Monday. There's always Mondays. Tell me why I don't like Mondays.