The Allthing

The Allthing

Sometimes, I like to call it the Allthing. It has a certain mystery about the word that I like and maybe also because it mimics Odin’s title of the Allfather. I think though, it is because it is the perfect antidote to Nothing.

The Allthing is not just something, or just a thing, it is the Allthing. Some people like to think nothingness is the ultimate truth, or oneness, and I can accept these words and talk using them to those who prefer to use them. No problem- appropriateness is paramount in discourse. But, for me, reality isn’t nothingness, it is at least something. And not quite oneness because although there is a fluid interconnected matrix forming a oneness, All is a word that fits this better, and the use of “the” beforehand reinforces the connection of the components of the all into the one.  All here refers not just to all the things of existence, but all the thing of potential existence. All really means all, as a thing. Thing keeps the vagueness, the mystery, about the infinite and paradoxical nature of what we are considering here.

“Just as a reservoir is of little use when the whole countryside is flooded, scriptures are of little use to the illuminated man or woman, who sees the Lord everywhere.” – Bhagavad Gita 2:41 

“But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.”-G K Chesterton, 1900

A week of Hell #02

A week of Hell #02

Every moment is alive.

And there is a rebirthing constantly occurring, layered in complexity. You are impermanent in more ways than one. Not just you as a human, but you as the kind of human you are, your size, your age, your health, your chemical constitution, your experiences, your faculties, etc. You are not the same you that you were when that you opened up this blog post (thank you for visiting by the way), and that’s not because I’m so profound and wise that I have made you such, it’s because whatever you do, you can’t escape your impermanent nature. 

What’s this got to do with Hell?

When you understand that rebirth is not a once in a lifetime event, if you do come to perceive that, then Hell (in all it’s degrees) is a possibility at any time. Not just somewhere you may fear of being after death. Because all though death as we know it is a big occasion, it’s only such in the egosphere. It is a rebirth moment, for sure, but rebirth is not only a matter for death, or the dead, but of life, and the living too. In Truth, rebirth doesn’t discriminate between these two states. 

But Hell is still a threat, right?

The way Hell may be talked about by some people to other people, may sometimes be conceived as a threat or punishment. Maybe a way to get a group of vulnerable people to conform to a certain way of living. This can be done away with and still Hell is a possibility. I don’t want you to experience a state of Hell, but I am aware that you may, and the Cosmos is sometimes too complex in its unfolding of karma to ever pinpoint why that happened. I certainly would not wish to get someone to conform, it would be far too forceful. But advice from others, guidelines that have been tried and tested, is what the Buddhist way provides when it comes to living to avoid Hell, and as a Sangha, our role is wish all beings well without discrimination (that means wherever they may reside). So, in my experience Buddhist Hell (as some people say, though it’s not just for Buddhists!) is not a threat and a way of controlling people to conform, and I sincerely wish others don’t try to make this so.

You could argue it’s a warning, but one that comes from a place of authentic concern for the wellbeing of everyone. Maybe something analogous to saying: “If you swim over there, you may be at risk of a shark attack, because last week there was a shark attack over there.” and the threat, “If you swim over there, sharks will be released and will attack you, because you shouldn’t be swimming over there.”  

So as I open up, in these next few days, and continue to explore and delve into Hell, I wanted to share with you my stance; Hell is not just for the dead, and Hell is not a threat. 

If you have any thoughts on areas of rebirth, impermanence, Hell and how different traditions, people and societies approach the concept, then please feel free to comment.

Kind wishes,

-dharmacaterpillar

Time to Blossom

Time to Blossom

What’s your favourite aspect of Spring? 


Welcoming the Spring, we all emerge from the shadows. Now is a good time to reflect, if we haven’t been already, on what our shadows have been in the last few months. What’s been keeping us from living vibrantly? 

What have we been in the dark about? Our (mis)conceptions and views about ourself and others now have a bit more light shone upon them, we may see them clearer. It is a chance to reconsider things, to see everything that little bit clearer. 

Maybe a time to revitalise meditative practice? In the winter period meditation can be more difficult to keep up, lethargy can set in, we can lose momentum. Now Spring is here, I feel more invigorated, looking upon the blossoming trees in the woodlands, there is vibrancy. Life is once again plainly obvious. Meditation, the act of living life, is easy! 

Don’t let Spring pass you by and lose this grand opportunity to touch the reawakening of vibrancy and colour. So often we can be in winter then to summer, and miss the transition, miss the blossom, miss our own blossoming. I love noticing the tiny green buds emerging on the trees. How many of us in society fail to notice these moments? 

I welcome the Spring, I welcome myself and everyone else to be an active part in Spring. 

Kind wishes,

-dharmacaterpillar 

Just ask. 

Just ask. 

Life can be sticky, it’s easy to get stuck. You feel like there is no way out and this is often accompanied by hopelessness. 

Ask the correct questions and find out the nature of the stickiness. What are you stuck to? And how for how long? I hope that by asking and enquiring into the nature of how you are stuck, you can unstick yourself! 

Why would this be the case? This may happen because what you are doing when you ask these honest questions is that you exercise one of the most magical faculties you have; imagination. The very phrase “I’m stuck” derives from a place of imagination. Extrapolate. By exercising the imagination, solutions become available, and asking is a great place to start this process. 

Who are you asking? You are not alone. No one is. Not truly or absolutely. You may, or may not, feel alone, or experience periods of loneliness. I don’t deny you of that experience. But fundamentally, you are not alone. So when you ask, even if there is no person you feel you can ask and explore your life’s trends with, ask outwardly. Ask the Cosmos. 

Some people would call it prayer. You may also, but you needn’t give it a name. What’s important is the process. Get grounded, sit with a confident and open posture, sit with silence for a while and then just ask “what am I stuck to?”. 

Be patient, be diligent, be receptive. 

Kind wishes,

dharmacaterpillar 


Abhyāsa

Abhyāsa

Are you committed to your practice? 

  • Many will say they are, and many of those will be committed to a headache. 
  • Many will say they are not; for they do not want it to become a rigid thing.
  • Many will say what practice? That has got to be a joke?!

Abhyāsa is the coming back, with gentleness, to the breath, to the cushion, to the Buddha within and around us, at every available opportunity, with regularity. 

More than we commit to act out the desires of our egos, good effort put in can help us commit to practice. 

Why practice? We practice for a whole number of reasons, each of us have different ones, but when it comes down to it our healthiest, and truest answer, is surely “to practice”. In this way, the difficult times in meditation don’t make it feel wasteful, or make us question it’s assumed efficacy, and our successes can be enjoyed but not expected; appreciated and not taken for granted. 
The cushion awaits

And expects nothing. 

There is no extra burden here,

In the Land of the Do-to-do. 


Thank you friends for reading,

Be well, be aware,

– dharmacaterpillar 

What Matters is That Which is Real

What Matters is That Which is Real

Patience. Patience isn’t a waste of time, even though it may seem like a literal waste of time on paper, it is anything but that. Patience paves the way to insightful thinking and view, thoughtful speech and receptivity. Sadly, patience is severely lacking in the modern world.

People’s perceptions of you and the workings of the world are incorrect and incomplete, they are mostly false and limited to cynical imaginings of vaguely recollected memories of experiences gone-by. And without a grounding spiritual practice that offers routine silence, cultivation of gentle awareness, compassion for all beings, and limitless insight into the workings of the world, is there any hope? 

Please, please be aware of one’s own misperceptions, and rash and harsh speaking. It can do damage beyond the scope of your intended damage. But instead of putting one’s energy into feeling guilt from acting in this way, or fighting the feeling of guilt with a dangerous self-righteous facade; please let us practice patience. 

 
Before you step onto the pedestal of righteousness and cause unintended damage onto the lives of others, which is never healthy for anyone, please let us be humble for we can not know fully any other person. 

Those affected by another’s rash and harsh words, all of which are incorrect and harmful conduct, please let us continue to practice compassion towards all beings. You may have been affected but take a look into your own depths, your own life, and the good work you put in; for what matters is only ever that which is real, that which you can know but never coherently utter. 

My beautiful daughter teaching me what’s really real 🙂

Blessings Friends 🌟🙏🏼

-dharmacaterpillar 

Get your hands dirty

Get your hands dirty

When was the last time you got your hands dirty? 

I mean in the literal sense; your actual real hands covered, layered maybe, in actual dirt, mud, earthly Earth. 

How many of us can actually say that by the end of the day we will have, at least, touched the Earth, the real ground beneath our feet? 

What has this got to do with your inner transformational process? Everything. 

Feel the cold Earth beneath you with the palms of your bare hands, get down on your knees and feel it. Embrace the Earth as much as you like and are able to, and open up as much as you can to receive the Earth’s embrace back. In my experience this is Zen. A great paradox. The safest of feelings, protected but not claustrophobic in any way, life giving, life affirming, but at the same time; the most powerful beating of the heart is induced, because it cannot be contained- a beautiful, living, huge (hearted) Bodhisattva’s presence is felt. 

There is nothing like becoming One with the Earth, by actually (for a few minutes at least) rooted your  body, mind and heart into that very Earth. 

And besides that, isn’t the smell of soil just exquisite? The perfume of life.