When I started this blog, it evolved around The Buddha, but
how many people understand Buddhism so maybe I should add my thoughts. Firstly,
Buddhism is not a religion The Buddha sought the middle path and when he found
it he shared it with others to save us having to go through the long journey he
went through to find his enlightenment. He never expected to be worshipped as a
god, he didn’t even preach that there is a god so why do we seek these
spiritual experiences? There is something inherent in us that tells us there is
more to life than just what we are today. Reincarnation, when we die, we don’t
simply disappear whatever happens our atoms our being is reabsorbed back into
the universe, I happen to believe in reincarnation but that’s for each of us to
decide for ourselves.
So what about The Buddha? He was born a prince (Siddhārtha)
his father wanted to protect him from the outside world and built a palace were
his every need was catered for. One day Siddhārtha went outside and saw old
people, illness, death etc. for the first time (can you imagine the impact that
would have on you). Buddhism was founded and he is believed to have lived and
taught mostly in the north-eastern part of ancient India sometime between the
6th and 4th centuries BCE.
Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and
the severe asceticism found in the Sramana movement common in his region. He
later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is believed by
Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared
his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his
life, discourses and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been
summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections
of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed
to writing about 400 years later.
So Buddhism has been around a long time, longer than
Christianity, Islam and many other so called religions. We should be encouraged
to know that there is this middle path, a life to enjoy, its our duty to enjoy
this life and so long as we do no harm to others then anything goes. Forget the
teachings we’ve been indoctrinated with throughout our lives Peace and Love
will prevail. Namaste.
Well what a couple of days. It all started on Thursday 4th May 2017. I decided to take Lidia’s advice (my Nemesis) and stay in Malta before getting my flight to the UK and get a taxi to the airport. Let’s face it I’m going to be away for around a month so to park in the airport would cost around €600. The last time I flew from Malta I was away 10 days and it cost more for the car park than the flight!!
So the journey started with me arranging for Maria to take care of Peace while I’m away. She was happy to agree and has already been well rewarded. I get to the ferry terminal and get a message from Charlotte my German friend “John when can you take the rest of the barbecue away?” I’d part dismantled the very big and heavy barbecue in her house and moved the lighter part to the roof garden that I’m making on the roof of my house. The base needs at least 2 men to move. Sorry Charlotte on my way to the UK. Her reply 😦 (Now I feel guilty). But I find the hotel very easily with my phone’s satellite navigation system. Checking in and parking my car outside was OK so I decide to go and have an early dinner a delicious pizza just 20-30 paces from the hotel. I go for a swim and then try to get some sleep. No chance! So perhaps I should do some work on the phone, I go downstairs to find an outlet as the charger won’t work in my room. Sitting outside the Chinese massage parlor in the hotel foyer I decide to have a 30 minute aromatherapy session. The Chinese lady says get ready and I’ll come back in. I hear her on the phone shouting at her husband about dinner haha. I joke about it when she comes in. I go back to my room I must get some sleep I nap but I wake around 1-30am and decide to go on my small balcony for a coffee, just as I step into the fresh air Prabhu sends a reply to my previous message, he will arrange for me to be picked up at the airport when I get to Bali. I close the door but it locks behind me. Oh holy crap… I’m stuck on the small balcony in my pyjamas (but I have my phone), I surf the net for the hotel number and call the reception. Help please I’ve locked myself on the balcony! HaHa the lady says I’ll come and let you in, she enters my room I can see her through the glass door and opens up. Thank you so much, are you the lady that made the reservation for me, we start talking, I explain I live in Gozo and am going via the UK to Bali to my Guru’s Ashram. Who’s your Guru, Prabhu DarmaYasa, Oh Lidia she say’s?? Do you know Lidia?, yes she says, I explain that Lidia used to be my partner (BUSINESS partner) that is. We talk for quite some time, I give her one of Prabhu’s books, clearly there was a divine guidance to do so.
I decide there’s no way I’m going to get any sleep so start looking at Facebook, I see a post from Velvet my granddaughter in-law in California, I comment she comments back for once (Velvet and I have slightly different political views to put it mildly), then another from Chuthima in Thailand, Velvet’s mother in law, (my daughter in law) this is getting quite complicated I’ll explain later ha ha. Messages then start coming in from all over the world. It’s amazing how ‘messenger’ helps you keep in touch. I’m writing this on the airplane time for a break the battery is almost drained.
Well it’s now the 10th May and I’m sat in Sarah (my daughter) house in Hull UK. I’m waiting to go to the bank to collect some currency for Bali. I leave tomorrow and will be in Bali about a day later. So I’m travelling from Hull to London Heathrow by train, then Heathrow to Densapar (Bali) via Singapore and then to the Ashram. Then I expect I will have very little time to go ‘online’ so I will quite probably be ‘absent’ for some time (yes I know Oh good you are saying). This part of my journey to become a Buddha is hopefully going to answer many of the questions I have and maybe heal my body and spirit, who knows I may even find the answer to Nirvana, who knows? Whatever happens I’m sure the story will continue to fascinate maybe not you but certainly me.
Bye for now Love and Peace.
So the journey continues and whilst I continue to learn ‘mostly’ alone I can refer to many online resources such as Essence of Buddhism which has just won an award for its contribution to understanding Buddhism. I’ve found I can ‘fast track’ my learning online and at my age I need to fast track. But nothing compares to the personal teachings of a wise teacher a ‘Guru’. My own teacher is Prabhu DarmaYasa. He continues to surprise and sometimes I think he ‘tests me’. However, it’s all done in a friendly, humorous way, and I can smile when I feel it’s happening.
Just recently Prabhu (DarmaYasa) has taken to posting his teachings on Facebook, in the early hours of the morning. The language is Indonesian and I feel obliged to translate into English, so that English speakers who don’t have time to kill can understand the importance of these messages. The added bonus however is that I get to read these ‘Spiritual Pearls’ before most people here have even woken up. The downside of course is that I don’t get much sleep, something that my old doctor (Dr. L) my Nemesis ha ha.. say’s I need. The thing is this awareness seems to have lifted not only my spirit but my energy. So it’s a win-win which I used to teach my team was important in my previous Commercial life.
I’m also fortunate in being a volunteer at the Lotus-Tal-Qalb where there are similar people to me, mostly Brits, (but not quite as crazy), we discus some of the questions and issues we have with each other in our regular Monday talks. Talking helps. If we talked more there would be less trouble in our world.
If you were to ask The Buddha if this style of ‘fast tracking’ was OK I think he’d say “sure that’s what all my teachings are about”. So I continue on happy and blissfully unaware if I’m offending anyone along the way. I hope not…
I’ll take my own journey in my own way, each of us should decide the best way for ourselves. We’re all faced with different responsibilities, whether it’s looking after our family or a commitment to a cause. Fortunately I have the luxury of knowing (as best I can) that my family are fine and I can look after my commitments to any good causes that I’m attached to. So I can focus on ME and finding that Nirvana (that I know is there).
I think that’s enough for today, the cock is crowing in the background, his job is supposed to be about waking people up. I hope his helps bring a wake-up call to everyone who reads my blog.
Peace and Love and all the best as Prabhu would say.