P N C O

Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation

Enjoy the moment

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Had a marvelous week in France.. also enjoyed a few beautiful sunsets..
Being there helped me to really be present and to enjoy the moment.
Let the mind talk, there’s no need to follow all those thoughts
As i relaxed into this mood of being, thoughts vanished by themselves

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A bit of Scotland

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Dunvegan IMG_9958 IMG_9958-2

Edited a couple of pictures from Scotland, as i was inspired by another person who posted some amazing photographs. Really tried to focus on details within existing images. The first one of the Dunvegan Castle is the total image, the other 2 are cut-outs from different images. Fun to look at photos in this way, as you create entirely different scenery πŸ™‚


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Boeddha Shakyamuni klein

I realize that it’s quite a while since i last blogged about anything different from photography. But lately i feel inspired to also give some attention to writing, as i was reminded of the fun of writing. Just got back from 2 weeks of working for the tour of my Buddhist teacher. At the end of it was a 5 day silent retreat. Really interesting how 2 weeks not doing the regular job can shift things. Before the tour i was wondering what it would be like, whether things would go as planned and how the retreat would be. Now it’s all retrospect. And yet it’s all still so fresh.

I’ve noticed that the balance inside has shifted. Perhaps more than once. It’s very interesting to watch the movement of the mind. A few years ago i would be left perplexed by the process, but as i get to know the process better i now know what is the most important. And it’s surprisingly simple. Rest the mind. The rest will follow naturally. And perhaps you’re now thinking ‘easier said than done’. And it is, exactly because of our mind. So used to habitual behavior of chatting, thinking, judging and liking and disliking, the mind becomes uncomfortable once you enter the silent space within.

It has been a week since the retreat ended and my mind seems to be quite happy to be out of the silent zone. It got me engaged in some pretty rusty habits again and it’s trying its best to convince me that these habits are good for me and enjoyable. But as my mood gets worse, i know that these habits are actually not good for me. This was what helped me to give up on drinking. I noticed that each time i drank, the next few days i was more edgy, less patient, less friendly, less happy, less relaxed, less rested. I’ve once heard that nothing can stand scrutinizing observing. Perhaps that did the trick for me. Cause i tried to force myself out of using alcohol, but the same force came back to me with a big smile (and an even bigger hangover of course πŸ˜‰ ).

So now that i understand my inner workings better, i can see that i’ve made quite a few improvements in my life the last few years. In a way i’ve found more balance. But the mind is still resisting the new lifestyle which includes yoga and meditation. It’s not yet comfortable with being silently present all the time. The chatter still springs up from time to time. My guess is that it has to do with deeper layers of inner work which needs to be done. There are quite some themes which deserve attention. To name a few: working with fear, insecurity, uncertainty. Buddhist practice has helped me to see beyond all these layers, it’s now up to me to clean everything which blocks me from seeing unobstructed. The true nature of the mind is clear, the thoughts and habits are like the clouds blocking the sun. And so looking back to the last few weeks, i can see that i’ve removed a few blockages, then stood on a box before falling down again and stumbling over the debree.

The good thing is that there is no need to improve anything. Again, just resting the mind is enough. It can be achieved by resting the body. I just know that my mind can’t understand that there is nothing to improve, that everything is perfect. All its life it was taught that to be someone, it had to work hard, strive to be someone, to become the best it needed to improve all day every day. And now there is this teacher in my life who paints a different picture. A clear picture, one in which everything is perfect just as it is. I really need to learn to balance between the old and the new. Cause being switched from one to the other is yet more suffering. So it’s great to see that there is so much to learn still. With trust in my teacher, i know that i’ll overcome all obstacles, one by one. Even if it takes a lifetime. Cause with his example and the support of the teachings and the students, the sky is no longer the limit. For the clear sky is already here, shining from within.

Deep in yourself, deep within all the turmoil of daily life, way below the waves of aggression, jealousy, desire, hope, fear and doubt, there is a calm ocean. Abide in there and you will calm down too.
* quote inspired by my yoga teacher

Red Desert Sand

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Red Desert Sand klein

Australian sand is beautiful with its red color. Especially in the Northern Territory and the northwest of Queensland we’ve seen many miles of it and actually drove a bit on dirt roads. Amazing to see and when it’s pristine like this, the details become enhanced. It was a real treat πŸ™‚


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Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Salisbury klein

Photo from Salisbury Cathedral, transformed to black and white and enhanced it a bit by dramatizing the scenery πŸ™‚

Nature’s Quarry

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SAMSUNG CSC

This is an image of a quarry where they used to mine for lime. Nowadays it’s a protected nature area where nature is free to roam. It already is succesful; since a few years a pair of Eagle Owls is breeding there. In the past when i was younger, i would go here at times to dig for fossils and pyrite (fools gold). So it was nice to visit it at the view day. This is an image of a part of a long side of the quarry. You can see the layers very clearly. In the front there is a bit of grass, beyond that is 30 meters down! Always wonderful to see how much influence perspective has on an image!

Brickworks

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Steenfabriek WP

Took this picture yesterday around sunset. This factory is still operating, though the activity was very limited due to the winter. This is the mine where they work, with the factory in the background. On the other side of the road (behind where i took this picture) is another deserted mine in which the Eagle Owl (Dutch name Oehoe) has bred for the last few years. And the spot was chosen as the best natural spot in the Netherlands. Typically Dutch i’d say, we choose a former mine as our best nature spot lol