In The Black Forest

For reasons I do not understand, or know how to fix, I am not able to make posts to this blog in the way I am familiar with. This one is being posted via email. Hopefully things will normalize over the next few days. Here a photograph while out and about in the forest above the Gutach Valley.

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Gutach Valley1

Greater Integration of Intention and Action – Book Review

The Hidden Brain is an altogether spectacular read, the kind that gives the best possible hope for changing our minds in the most necessary direction there is – toward more fairness, greater self-awareness, and a vital integration of our intentions and our actions.

The Hidden Brain: How Ocean Currents Explain Our Unconscious Social Biases from Brain Pickings.

The review of The Hidden Brain on Brain Pickings makes for disturbing reading especially since at first glance, a superficial glance at the cartoon style drawings, you might dismiss the whole review. I advise reading on. Fascinating and informative to say the least.

Donde Esta the Master?

Donde estar, where is? That’s a small morsel of Spanish retained from the early 1970′s when I attempted to learn the language. Where is the Master, Where is the Teacher? The problem is in the question. Seeking inwardly or outwardly and one is no closer to finding the answer in the deepest sense.

Contemplating Who is the Master. we seek and we search, and honorably too. As we go on the Way seeking mind invariably alights here and there and in that there is not a problem. Not a problem if the basic Buddhist endeavour is honoured. That’s to keep ones eyes open, yet not grasp with them (or any other of the senses.) while keeping to the sixteen Precepts as compass and guide. Love, Compassion and Wise Discernment flower naturally through this non grasping.

In small glimpses, and sometimes not so small, there is the dawning of a realization that the Teacher/Buddha/Master is identical with oneself. What’s more the rocks, trees, rivers and grasses are Buddha, identical with oneself. When we say all things teach that’s what I understand the teaching to be. Non separation. Not a whisper of a gap.

The verse previously quoted says:

You are your only master.
Who else?
Subdue yourself,
And discover your master.

When I read the word ‘subdue’ I think of the horses, ponies, donkeys and goats etc. I’ve soothed into cooperation. A number of those creatures have tested me with their stubborn, flighty, ornery ways. When looking within oneself all those characteristics are present to some degree.

Compassion/acceptance for animals is essential as is kindness, gentleness, tenderness all exercised with a firm hand and mind too. As with animals so too with ourselves. The master in this sense is the one who exercises these qualities with a loving heart. Over time, and now, one becomes ones own kindest master. One that wont let you down. Donde esta the master? Now!