Nature

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Nature

Postby greggorious » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:49 pm

Along with meditation, do many of you see being with nature as a blissful experience? I'm a huge Animal lover and love nothing more than you going to the park to see the Ducks, Geese and Swans, along with Tree's, meadows etc. Anyone else feel this sense of unity with nature? One thing I've noticed that people in the therevada tradition don't talk about nature much. They're obsessed with it in Zen.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Nature

Postby Aloka » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:05 pm

I've always liked nature ... plants,animals, open spaces since I was a child. One doesn't have to be a Buddhist to do that.

Lots of people I know, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist appreciate other lifeforms, nature, open spaces etc. especially if they lives in an urban environment most of the time.

I also prefer to meditate outdoors when possible.
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Re: Nature

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:09 pm

I think that there's a lot of emphasis on being secluded in the wilderness in the Canon but it certainly isn't fetishized. The following is one of the more poetic ways the wildnerness is seen in the Canon:

Let the wilderness serve for your seat and bed!
From fear; and in the fearless, released.
In places where frightening serpents abide,
Lightning clashes and the rain-god thunders,
In the blinding darkness of the deepest night,
There he sits — the monk who's vanquished his dread.

Let the wilderness serve for your seat and bed!
Go about set free from the ties that bind.
But if, perchance, you don't find there your bliss, then
Live in a group — but watch over yourself:
Mindful, proceeding for alms from house to house,
Mindful, with guarded faculties — and wise.


Andhakavinda Sutta: Let the Wilderness Serve!http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.013.olen.html

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Re: Nature

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:54 pm

We are nature...we are not an adjunct or alien.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Nature

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:56 pm

I find some bits of nature are very appealing. Trees and kittens I like. Mountains, if I can look at them from somewhere warm. Staphylococcus and animal poo, less so.
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Re: Nature

Postby greggorious » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:08 pm

Thanks for your replies. I wrote a song recently, I hope you don't mind if I share the lyrics with you?

SWANS IN THE SNOW

Verse 1

Taking in the cold day
by order of the solitary way
A mind consumed with all that I know
gives way to Swans in the snow

Verse 2

A tired river lies cold
This day has quickly grown old,
and as I shelter my thoughts from the foe
I see the Swans in the snow

Verse 3

This failing figure looks on
and hears the rivers old song
This moment enters, then away it will go
along with the Swans in the snow

Middle 8

The silence taken over
by nothing more than nature
dressed in wings of sailing Birds

Slithers of crystal water
conquer this season's quater
Winter caving in it's heart
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Nature

Postby adosa » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:59 am

greggorious wrote:Thanks for your replies. I wrote a song recently, I hope you don't mind if I share the lyrics with you?

SWANS IN THE SNOW

Verse 1

Taking in the cold day
by order of the solitary way
A mind consumed with all that I know
gives way to Swans in the snow

Verse 2

A tired river lies cold
This day has quickly grown old,
and as I shelter my thoughts from the foe
I see the Swans in the snow

Verse 3

This failing figure looks on
and hears the rivers old song
This moment enters, then away it will go
along with the Swans in the snow

Middle 8

The silence taken over
by nothing more than nature
dressed in wings of sailing Birds

Slithers of crystal water
conquer this season's quater
Winter caving in it's heart


Very nice, Greg

Perhaps you would identify with Maha Kassapa, one of the Buddha's greatest disciples.


People asked again why the venerable Maha Kassapa, at his age, wishes to live in forests and mountains. Does he not like monasteries such as the Veluvana Vihara and others?

"These regions are delightful to my heart
When the Kareri creeper spreads its flower wreaths,
When sound the trumpet-calls of elephants.
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1062)
These rocks with hue of dark-blue clouds
Where streams are flowing, cool and crystal-clear,
With glow-worms covered (shining bright),
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1063)

Like towering peaks of dark-blue clouds,
Like splendid edifices are these rocks,
Where the birds' sweet voices fill the air,
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1064)

With glades refreshed by (cooling) rain,
Resounding with the calls of crested birds,
The cliffs resorted to by seers,
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1065)

Here is enough for me who, resolute,
Desires to meditate (in solitude).
Here is enough for me, a monk determined,
Who seeks to dwell in the highest goal's attainment.[17] (1066)

Here is enough for me who, resolute,
Desires to live in happy ease (and free).
Here is enough for me who is on effort bent,
(Devoted to the practice) as a monk determined. (1064)

Like dark-blue blooms of flax they are,
Like autumn sky with dark-blue clouds,
With flocks of many kinds of birds,
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1068)

No crowds of lay folk have these rocks,
But visited by herds of deer.
With flocks of many kinds of birds,
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1069)

Wide gorges are there where clear water flows,
Haunted by monkeys and by deer,
With mossy carpets covered, moist,
These rocky heights delight my heart. (1700)

No music with five instruments
Can gladden me so much
As when, with mind collected well,
Right insight into Dhamma dawns. (1071)"


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel345.html#ch9

One thing about being out in nature, it most definitely is therapeutic to the mind.

adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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Re: Nature

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:25 am

Hi Greg,

I think you would like where I live during the week. I'm in a cottage by a small lake which is populated by black swans, ducks, cormorants and other water-birds who feed on the red fin and trout. There's a lot of wildlife about inc. possums, wallabys and perhaps the odd wombat and tasmanian devil - and lots of snakes. Across the river there's a large national park and state forest. In winter it snows on the peaks to the north of me - and sometimes on the hills on the other side of the valley. At night time I fall asleep to the sound of swansong on the lake and possums dancing on my roof.
When I go home (most weekends) I go home to my family and our pets which are two dogs, two cats and some horses.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Nature

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:53 am

I like nature a lot and it does not have to be the good stuff. Animal bones are a fascinating reminder of death and animal poo can be interesting for purposes of tracking what animals are in the area. I do have a line because I am repulsed by human pollution but even that is a potential meditation object. Of course I agree with the above ststements about mountains forests animals plants and water. Looking up is a regular sourse of interest be it clear cloudy or starry. Listening to birds can be a fruitful form of mindfulness.

My favorite thing about nature is when it helps me drop notions about my self identity, followed closely by the sense of peace and focus that it encourages.

That and a nice pair of legs.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Nature

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:16 am

" We sit by a lake on a warm summers day and and project feelings of peacefulness...meanwhile below the surface everything is engaged in a struggle to simply survive...everything is hunting or hunted by everything else...its the nature of Dukkha "

Ajahn Munindo.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Nature

Postby palchi » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:41 am

I also love to be out in nature.... And since I am currently posted in one of the most beautiful and least populated countries in the world (Namibia) there's lot's of nature and wilderness and empty space and animals.... There's a game park just 30 min from here where I go hiking and I regularly encounter antilopes, baboons, zebras, wildebeest, warthogs and - once - even giraffes.... I also have lots of birds in the garden and it's so nice listening to them and watching them.

Very good for recharging my batteries and getting back in balance.
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Re: Nature

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:14 pm

And do you suppose that all those furry and winged fellow denizens of this planet as they hunt and are hunted are also recharging their batteries ? Or is that a luxury afforded only to humans who find it all terribly romantic ...?
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Nature

Postby ground » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:16 pm

Nature is seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting ... amended by ideas and feelings.
Nothing special, right?

Kind regards
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Re: Nature

Postby palchi » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:13 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:And do you suppose that all those furry and winged fellow denizens of this planet as they hunt and are hunted are also recharging their batteries ? Or is that a luxury afforded only to humans who find it all terribly romantic ...?


Luxury? Romantic? As a development aid worker it is a luxury for me to be posted to this country rather than - as other colleagues - to Yemen, South Sudan, Afghanistan or any other dangerous or emergency country. But there is a lot of poverty here, a lot of AIDS, a lot of people who die prematurely, the list goes on... So no, things are not terribly romantic. But the ability to appreciate the world around me, to enjoy peace and being in nature and yes, to recharge my batteries, isn't that all part of being human? Yes, this is samsara. All sentient beings whether human or animal are suffering, are causing the death of other creatures and will die. But still I will enjoy life as I will also do my bit to reduce the suffering of this world.
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Re: Nature

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm

TMingyur wrote:Nature is seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting ... amended by ideas and feelings.
Nothing special, right?

Kind regards


Oh yes it is special. Not special because it transcends samsara, but special because samsara is so clear and in your face. In nature, the juxtoposition of beauty and death, the constant consideration of safety, food, and water, the natural curiosity of the animals as well as the humans. These things are not escape from samsara, they are a lesson in suffering and beauty. They are to be learned from as a great teacher. The purest form of samsara from which selfishness is the most easily abandoned precisely because it must be stared at right in the face. Natue is the most difficult place to cling to delusions.

Of course, this is just my ignorant opinion based on personal experience.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Nature

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:03 pm

Dear members,

This is a reminder to remain on-topic and to refrain from metadiscussion.
Failure to do so may precipitate unwanted moderation attention.
Thanks for your cooperation.

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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