Thursday, 14 May 2015

Illusion - Whatever you can point to – a physical thing, a person, a thought, an emotion – all are without self. All of them change.

Book cover from my Sketchbook/artjournal

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering. – The Buddha
We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all. – Kalu Rinpoche
According to contemporary teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, all appearances perceived during the whole life of an individual, through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations in their totality, are like a big dream. It is claimed that, on careful examination, the dream of life and regular nightly dreams are not very different, and that in their essential nature there is no difference between them.”

Sketch - Tender Illusion

Oogway: My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours, until you let go of the illusion of control.
Shifu: Illusion?
Oogway: Yes.
[points at peach tree]
Oogway: Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before its time.
Shifu: But there are things we *can* control.
[kicks the tree so that peaches fall]
Shifu: I can control when the fruit will fall!
[he slices a peach and throws the pit to the ground]
Shifu: I can control where to plant the seed! That is no illusion, Master!
Oogway: Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Shifu: But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!
Oogway: [folding dirt over the peach pit] Maybe it *can*, if you are willing to guide it, to nurture it. To believe in it.
Shifu: But how? How? I need your help, master!
Oogway: No, you just need to believe. Promise me, Shifu. Promise me you will believe.
Shifu: I... I will try.

Sketch - self illusion

When we first ask what the term “self” actually refers to, confusion sets in immediately. If we look up the word “self” in a dictionary, we find that it’s generally defined as “not other”. What is “other,” then? “Not self.” This doesn’t get us anywhere.
We can see that the term “self” refers to the existence of a supposed entity that doesn’t change. When you say, “When I was six years old, I was in first grade,” the “I” refers to something that must have been the same at the age of six as it is now. If it isn’t the same, then what in the world does “I” refer to?

 And if the entity is the same, what’s the same about it? Its appearance? It’s memory? The cells that make up its body? (Indeed, what now does “it” refer to?) All of these have changed drastically over the years, and continue to change now. 

To assume the existence of the self, an “I,” is to assume the existence of something that has not changed, that has remained itself through all these intervening years. And if the thing in question – the “I” – has changed, in what manner can it still be itself? To change would mean it has become something else.
It’s impossible for anything to remain itself and yet change. But this is precisely the thing we can’t find – a self that doesn’t change. For that matter, as we have seen, we can’t find anything that doesn’t change. In fact, we can’t find any solid thing at all.
Whatever you can point to – a physical thing, a person, a thought, an emotion – all are without self. All of them change. Even memory shows nothing but flux and change. There’s nothing, no component of mind or body, that isn’t in constant flux. Whether we talk about our physical body, or the bodies of the natural world – animals, plants, stones, lakes, raindrops, stars – or the objects of our purposeful world – chairs, windows, milk cartons, and sewing needles – we find nothing but flux and change. Every atom, every minuscule part of the universe, is nothing other than movement and change. The same is true of our mental experience, our feelings, thoughts, and images.
 Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steve Hagen

Sketch - playing with colors calms the mind.....

Po: Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles.
Oogway: Quit, don't quit... Noodles, don't noodles... You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

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