500 Feet Below the Surface of Venus

Flowers blossom 48 million miles away from 50 feet below Mercury's surface.

Flowers blossom 48 million miles away from 50 feet below Mercury’s surface.

The title says it all. I often contemplate things such as this. What is 500 feet below the surface of Venus? 50 feet below the surface of Mercury? 1000 miles deep inside Jupiter’s gas?

Below Mercury’s surface, it is probably solid rock. Well, at least at 50 feet down. Perhaps further down there is liquid metal. My mind, my brain thinks of these remote locations, buried, hidden deep inside the Universe. I think my mind does this to affirm that there is ‘truth’ out there. Just because we can’t see 50 feet down into Mercury, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is there. No one ever thinks about it, well most people don’t. I also think these things because, well, I have a deep faith that all the answers are indeed in the Universe. Sure, they aren’t hidden in some chest buried on Venus or something, but they exist. So, with our minds, we can travel… in our minds-eye, we can visualize the depths inside distant planets. What is happening there right now? Then we can start to bring our minds-eye’s spaceship back closer to home… What is happening in the dark craters on the moon? Is water sublimating? Then coming closer still, what is happening 1000 feet below our feet right this second? Solid rock? Air? Water? Magma? Bring it closer still, and closer, what is happening to the bottom of our toes? Are they touching socks? What about inside ours toes? blood flows… bones stay strong, muscles flex and relax… and closer again.. up our bodies to our hearts and mind…. where are they? what are they doing? When did Mercury’s core become separate from our heart-mind? Is it separate? You know, every single atom that exists once was only one thing.. back at the Big Bang. Then there was no separation, all truly was One! Is is different now? If so, in what ways? Can we feel how close it all still really is?

People have always talked about clairvoyance and about prophets from the beginning of time. Why? Sure, many people have taken advantage of this and a thriving market exists to exploit people’s beliefs and ignorance. Classic ‘fortune tellers’. But do these crooks give something that may be genuine a bad name? Perhaps.

One time when I saw the Dali Lama give a talk, he was discussing how he become the Dali Lama. About how he was the rebirth of a previous Buddhist master. But he said many people, many Buddhists talk about their past lives, with such clarity, but he never had such visions, such memories. He said he didn’t know if past lives exist. He, personally, had no proof!

This makes me think about the Buddha’s dying words.. Be a lamp onto yourself. No-one besides your own self knows the Truth. This does not mean not to trust people, to not believe people, but it means that even if other people’s views, beliefs and experiences are true and correct, only you yourself can realize them to be true. This is where faith is born. I personally have deep faith the Buddha was pretty clued up! And so far my experiences of realising truth have confirmed the Buddha’s teachings. It is not that his teachings have confirmed my views. There is a key difference. It is like this: The Buddha has a flashlight and he is shining it all around, and it shines straight into my heart. Wonderful! It is very beautiful, but how do I know if it is Truth? Only by using my flashlight can I illuminate the Buddha. I see the Buddha with his flashlight because I am looking all around too, with my flashlight. (Imagine a pitch-dark night and someone shines a flashlight at you. You can not see them at all, only their light… Only if you shine your own flashlight back at them, can you see who they are).

Never relinquish the power of your heart’s lamp, never give it to anyone, no matter how correct they are. This is why in Zen, they say if you see the Buddha, you must kill him. It sounds horribly evil and demented. But it is a symbolic phrase. Do not live in someone’s else light, no matter how beautiful… Learn from it, yes, use it, yes, but only to help spark your own light into an inferno of blazing light and love. Anyhow, it is always far more beautiful than anybody’s else’s!!

Parenting

Natural Mama Big Camp 2013

Natural Mamas Big Camp 2013

This past weekend, I went to a camping event that was put on by a group called ‘Natural Mamas’. There were over 700 people camping, with over 400 under 5 year olds! Here in the UK, this group is dedicated to parenting with a focus on doing it ‘naturally’. What does this mean? Well, I am not a member my self (though it is open to papas too!), so I don’t want to define it incorrectly, but it focuses on parenting in a manner that is more in tune with how mothers evolved. So, instead of putting a baby in a stroller, you “wear” your baby, keeping it close to your heart. Just as a premature baby will benefit from a mothers touch, so too does a full-term baby, and an infant, and a toddler! Even as an adult, a mothers hug is pretty awesome! Also, ‘natural’ parenting involves things like baby-led weaning, breast-feeding, co-sleeping and cloth diapers (nappies) or even no diapers! Some may call it hippy-parenting, some may call it third-world parenting, but in reality, it is how we as humans evolved to parent. So, in essence, it is coming back to our roots, our true nature. I love it! And I loved the camping this weekend. My wife and my toddler also loved it.

Of course, on a deeper level, what is not natural? of course everything is ‘natural’, but that doesn’t mean it is correct function. So, getting back to the correct natural function of being a mother, of being a father, is very important. Modern humans are very far removed from how we evolved over millions of years to live, so it is difficult. I am not saying if something is natural it is always correct and I am not condemning any ‘unnatural’ or new ways to do parenting. Far from it. But getting back to the core of what it means to be human, to be a parent, is very important, very beautiful and very magically powerful!

How things should be

This clock should have IV for the 4, not IIII, or should it?

This clock should have IV for the 4, not IIII, or should it?

I often battle with thoughts such as ‘this is how things should be’ and more so battle with thoughts such as ‘this is not how things should be’.

So, how should things be? What a horrible question when it comes down to it. Nothing should be any way or another, things are, simply, how they are. It is our preferences, our ideals that make us want things a certain way. This isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself. In fact, it is downright necessary to live. Food should be not poisonous, or we will die. Eat the wrong mushroom, berry or fish, for example, and you will die.

But a constant background of thoughts creating an ideal personal world of what it should be can very entrapping… We naturally become attached to these thoughts and they can consume us. ┬áSometimes these thoughts can make us strive for, and accomplish fantastic things. Sometimes they can do the opposite. But either way, they both ultimately restrict us.