P N C O

Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation

23: Dark December

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Winter approaching
Shorter days and longer nights
a ​dark December

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22: Alien World

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Alien World

There are aliens among us
You may not recognize them
But they know who you are
They dwell in our dreams
And roam the streets at night

There are aliens among us
Are they peaceful
Or are they a threat?
Who can tell what they’re up to
If we don’t know who they are?

Perhaps I dream too much
Let my fantasies run wild
But I’m sure there are aliens
Cause i surely saw them
While i was lying in my bed

When I come to think about it
The aliens looked so familiar
Almost like a human being
They even have the same eyes
And spoke in plain English

These aliens among us
Creatures of doom and delight
Only seem to visit me at night
I’m now beginning to question
Was I really in our world?

20: Autumn Dream

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Autumn Dream

Leaves on the ground   hardly any sound
The wind is soft and sway
What is still here will soon fade away
The mystical atmosphere of the forest
Trigger dreamlike images    fantasy of the mind
The magic lake mirror merges the sky and earth

As i drift away swimming in a sea of thoughts
The depth of being    unfathomable
Traveling between waking and sleeping
Life unfolds itself like an infinite dream
Where beings of the old play ancient games
Their dance of illusion distorts reality

Slowly awakening from the catnap
I realize i dozed away again
I can’t help but wonder how i didn’t see
That the whole time sleeping
The world was upside down

18: Flower of Compassion

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Flower of Compassion

Oh flower of the heart
Shine your light over us
Open up and show your beauty
The guiding force

You know what it is like
To be vulnerable
Naked and alone
You know there is no need
To be afraid of our tears

You grow so easily
As you are inherent within us
On the good soil of pure intent
Our wish for all to be happy
Stems from your seeds

Oh flower of compassion
Love is your guiding light
Teach us to be human
Help us to accept
The basic uncertainty of life

 

This poem was inspired by the documentary Crazy Wisdom (2011) about the late Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Rinpoche taught people how to become warriors of Shambhala, how to become genuine human beings. A beautiful and encouraging message worth contemplating.

17: Looking 4 You

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Looking 4 you

As the world turned upside down
I realized i was more lost than found
Wondering what caused all this pain
I learned the skills how to restrain
No longer wanting to be different

The endless craving  felt insignificant
As the insight dawns upon me
I no longer juggle with struggle
From what i can now see
Only the inside sets me free
All the while i was looking for you
And i wonder..
Do you look in the mirror too?

 

16: The Extraordinary Ordinary

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So often we tend to look for the extremes.
It has to be fast, beautiful, precious and rare.
It has to be true, profound, smart.
But having explored these realms of inner riches,
i’ve found that all the beautiful things my mind can create,
have never been able to really fulfill me.
Sure, there have been days in which i’ve been thrilled and exited by an insight,
but as the years have passed i’ve come to learn
that these fleeting moments don’t define my existence.

The extraordinary experiences can become addictive,
like drugs they lure you into the next big high.
But never high enough, as the sky is the limit.
I’ve decided not to give in any longer,
not to crave for that which is delusive.

And so i’ve turned away from getting the next kick,
instead, i’ve learned to recognize what was always there.
The normal every day life which i took for granted,
has learned me life is full of surprises.
That which i once deemed boring and to be avoided,
turned out to be the exact place where the magic happens.

The extraordinary is that the ordinary is extraordinary!
Whether we recognize it or not, each moment is pure magic.
But we don’t need to describe it eloquently with words,
or try to grasp it’s innermost secret meaning.

We are part of the extraordinary ordinary.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is extraordinary!

15: The Duet

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The Duet

Orchids singing in harmony
A duet full of magic symphony
The green grass got excited
Waving along with the beat
As all flowers around invited
The nice summer evening’s heat

Self-Improvement

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Self Improvement

Like so many of us, at one time I became somewhat obsessed with the idea that I could improve myself all the way up to enlightenment. I was convinced that I was here to make that realization and the best way to do it seemed to be improving myself on all levels. So I started reading a lot of philosophical and spiritual books. Also I started having some mysterious and unexplainable experiences which seemed to come from a different world. I was intrigued by my own success and it never came up to me that these things could just happen by themselves.

Alan Watts explained my situation to me in a video on self improvement. As a start, he pointed out that our whole educational system – and after that the business world – is only occupied with the idea of improving and growing. In school we get grades and degrees to show that we have learned something. But instead of seeing the learning as the real goal, the degree has become the goal in our society. So the curiosity of a child who just wants to learn about the world is seen as bad and is replaced by the insatiable mantra “improve yourself and you’ll become the best”.

The same goes for work. When we work because we like what we do, we tend not to focus on the money we earn with it. The money is not a goal in itself, but is a necessary good since you need money to survive and eat in this world. So far there is no problem with money. The problem arises when the money becomes the goal. The reason why you started working in the first place (e.g. because you like making good clothes) is pushed to the background and is replaced by the need to earn as much money as you can. Success is no longer measured by your ability to do what you really like doing, but instead is measured by the amount of money you can accumulate. More money means more improvement.

But it’s just an idea in our head. What if there is nothing to improve?  What if the world happens to be just as it is right here, right now? We’re in constant conflict with this idea. Because we feel the need to improve ourselves, we’re unconsciously telling ourselves that we’re not good enough. We think we need to overcome all our flaws in order to be a good person. But what if it is actually perfectly fine to have flaws? I’m not saying we should stick with old and toxic behavior; we should try to let go of the idea of improving ourselves.

Just look at growing up as a child. As a child, you’re not busy improving yourself and yet you grow. It’s a basic characteristic of human existence: you are born as a child and inevitably you will start to grow and learn. It’s part of being human. And it explains why we are so curious by our nature. If we can see that there is nothing to be improved, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with us at this moment, we can start to relax and breathe. We can start to observe the world in a new way. There is no need to look for something to be improved. Why make the world a better place, if it is ok right now?

To me this is a powerful mirror. If I look at my own situation; I think I want to help other people. What does this actually mean in the light of self improvement? It still reflects that I want to improve myself, helping other people being the disguise.  So I still believe at some level I need to improve myself in order to be whole. But where is me? If I look I can’t find it anywhere. The world seems to be rolling by itself just fine!

*The quote used in the image comes from the website https://www.tinybuddha.com

14: Nature’s Sonnet

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Life of a Tree

As a tree admires her beauty by looking into her own reflection
Water flows gently beneath and carries along her mirror image
Birds singing from the canopy come down to see the spectacle
A moment in time connects the tree to her own past lifetime
Once she stood firmly and proud on the banks of the forest creek
She was a home and shelter to many animals who befriended her
Her roots went all the way down deep below the water level
The crown on her head was majestic full of the greenest leaves
Years went by as she grew and grew with many seasons passing
She saw humans dramatically change the landscape around her
But the forest was left untouched and remained a peaceful sanctuary
With her birth ground safe she started giving in to gravity
Letting go of her connection to both the air and the ground below
Her the faithful task was to become a bridge between life and death

13: Slow down now

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Slow down now. Take it easy. Take a deep breath

Sometimes i really need to remind myself of this. Slowing down comes natural for snails. Home is wherever they are.
I think we humans can learn a lot from snails. For me snails represent beautiful metaphors and a powerful reminder that it’s ok to take things a little more easy.
Why worry and hurry if you can achieve the same thing while being relaxed? Focusing is much more easy when we’re relaxed.
And we’ll get there in the end, just like the snails do. Just glide towards where you want to be and you’ll arrive there one day.

Speaking about the heart, why not see our heart as our true home? Everything else can be taken from us, but as long as we are alive our heart is with us. And if we take up compassion as our armor, we even have our own little shell protecting us just like the snails have…

11: Being one with nature

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Last weekend i did a course called Deep Ecology which is inspired by the work of Joanna Macy and Arne Naess. The following poem is all about my experiences of last weekend

Being one with nature

We come together
To share our concerns

Overwhelmed by our common fear
At first it is painful to admit
Will there be a future?

Speaking out our truth and worries is liberating
I am concerned about what we do to our planet
Why do we chose to remain ignorant
When profit comes before people and planet?

It is difficult to listen to what everybody has got to say
Despair, courageous words, anger and deafening silence
We ask for guidance and wisdom – what is happening right now
Is impossible to ignore at the same time too big to comprehend

Allowing all of this to be with us in the present
Opening to the totality of experience is a gift in disguise
Through pain and suffering comes space for joy and peace

I feel a strong connection with nature and the planet
Spending time contemplating in solitude
Realizing there is no true separation

Letting the heart of nature speak
I feel grateful to just be here

Being one with nature