P N C O

Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation

29: Momentary lapse of reason

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Momentary lapse of reason

When i was younger i sometimes dreamt of being famous. Whether a singer or a movie star, i looked up to the ‘stars’ as a youngster.
Now a little older i realize that being famous comes with a big price. First of all a loss of privacy. Not being able to go somewhere without being recognized. Having to live up to others expectations or disappointing people for not living up to their expectations. What a life. And what is even more striking to me, is that being famous is very likely to inflate the ego.
As i can see what pride does in my very anonymous life far from the cameras and media, i cannot imagine what it’s like to having to deal with those issues on a daily basis. So i rather focus on seeing my life as a movie, a film, an illusory display of the mind. So no need to be in others people movies too!

Lately i’ve noticed a wish for simplicity in my life. Less distractions, less fuzz, less buzz. So basically i long for anonymity, like being in a desert where no one can remember your name, for the lack of reverence. America sang about it beautifully. Longing for anonymity does not mean that i don’t  want to interact with the world. But if you’re anonymous, there are no expectations.
Reading the life stories of Patrul Rinpoche (a famous Tibetan Buddhist teacher from the 19th century) illustrates this with beautiful examples.

The book which was composed by Matthieu Ricard (see Enlightend Vagabond – The Life and Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche for more info) has multiple stories where this great realized master is disguised as a simple nomadic traveler. And disguised is perhaps not the right word, cause it’s a deliberate choice of the master to wander around like this. In being anonymous, Patrul Rinpoche helps beings without limit, not being limited by the formal ceremonies people perform when they would’ve recognized him. He just wants to be and act out of compassion for all beings. To me he sets a wonderful example of the limitlessness of true unconditional compassion. No need to get praise for the achievements as a master, he is humble and helping wherever possible. When i compare this to the way we treat our stars nowadays, the contrast is striking. We glorify Hollywood stars and Grammy award winning artists and take their opinions serious, sometimes more serious than scientific experts or politicians.

The most important thing i’ve learned from Patrul Rinpoche is that the best thing one can do to counter pride and arrogance, is to practice compassion.

Patrul once wrote:

One: Praise is nonsense – empty and unfounded.
Two: Fame just results in a swollen head
Three: Creating a cache of riches out of offerings creates a rich cache of bad karma

Having given up all these three, May I, Old Dog, die like a dog

source:
Enlightened Vagabond – The Life and Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche
by Matthieu Ricard

 

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28: Retreat

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Retreat

Lines throughout the landscapes
Reflect the path of my life
Surrounded by colors
I find refuge here
Together with friends
Becoming still as the land
Unconditional love and trust
Allowing me to be
By retreating into myself
Opening up
To the world and beyond

Cell Phone

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A friend of mine used to call a smart phone a cell phone, thereby emphasizing the ‘cell’. Cause it creates a cell for ourselves..

Just read a great article which speaks about the increase in usage of smartphones in the last few decades and what the consequences are.
A timely reminder to remain aware of smartphone usage and to use my attention wisely

If you’re interested, you can read the article here:
http://levekunst.com/are-smart-phones-making-fools-of-us-all/

I found you when I lost you

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We met in the dark
Your eyes shone as you approached
Keeping the distance you made your moves
Weeks had passed since I last saw you

I had to let you go
You didn’t want to be with me
The choice you made was hard to swallow
I fought it off initially
Seeing it as a phase which would pass

But you were determined
The nights without you continued
When I brought you back in
Within minutes you vanished again

Back to the open door
WIth the food waiting for you
You no longer wanted to be with me
As painful as any loss can be

So to my surprise this night
The pain had subsided
Making room for somehing bigger
A feeling of love and compassion

As you carefully approached me
Never close enough to touch
But my heart was moved deeply
You were at home now

And yet you didn’t forget about me
As you turned around
And walked back to the door
Your meow resounded in my heart

I may have lost you to the neighbour
For the first I know
I truely found you
Thank you White Spot

Breaking Free

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The illusory play of mind
Makes me believe what I see
Let’s me hear what is not there
Thoughts pop up ceaselessly
Like effortlessly playing a game
The mind tries to hold me hostage

I want to break free!

Daring to cross the threshold
Confronting the familiar patterns
Overcoming addictive habits
Questioning the rigidity of this body
Investigating the very nature of I
Where is this mind I hold so dear?

Who wants to break free?

Mortality

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Reading Buddhist literature makes me question mortality and impermanence. Or not so much question, it makes me think of it.
In fact, it’s such an obvious fact that we’re all going to die that it’s almost weird that we tend to look the other way. We picture it a great drama or keep it far from our every day life. But death does not seem normal in the west. We tend not to talk about it.

I think i’d rather follow the Buddhist advice, which is to think of impermanence and death all the time.
It may sound depressing, but I know from my own experience it’s not. It actually helps to deal with difficult situations more easily.

Why quarrel and fight if you could die tomorrow?

And yet all these things – or distractions – lure our minds into busily debating sports, politics and the latest technical gadgets. Short term happiness is what we strife for.

But in the end we’re going to die. Even if we amass great quantities of wealth, we can’t take any riches with us. Why not give up attachment right now? Why not stop fighting over unimportant matters? Would it not be wise to consider death some more?