My vacation and the creation of simplicity

I had these grandiose plans for my three weeks off from the county. The problem is, I had to many plans. SO I fell into a week of procrastination. I had plans to work out quit smoking. But those plans were derailed when I talked myself into doing Thanksgiving.

I have this problem, it seems I try to grasp a thousand straws and slowly the fall through my fingers. I could grab just a few, but I try to do it all and end up getting little done. I over analyze things and then make them bigger than they need to be. SO I have read a few articles By Leo Babauta. He has some books for download and also one I checked out from the library. He mentions to pick one thing to do each month and then work on that one thing. Once that has been accomplished, move onto the next. I procrastinated going to the local Buddhist Temple and now they are closed for renovation for 5 months. SO I looked to my next project. Doing a little work around the house. Going home I was a little disappointed that the temple had closed, yet I had procrastinated again. I found a guy that was selling fruit trees from his house. We spoke briefly and he said he was leaving the country for a mission trip and might not be back. Remembering what happened with the temple, I made a date to come to his house on Monday and pick up a few trees for my backyard.

Monday was hectic, but I knew I had those plans. So after a few trips to run errands I made two visits to his house and got 3 papaya trees and also another two fruit trees. Cost 12 dollars. I gave him 15 and told him to be careful on his trip.

I spent a few minutes this morning writing this blog on Google documents. And now I have some trees to plant and a car to wash. Have a great Turkey day. I am going to quit smoking December first. I am putting it out there so I can have someone call me on it.     – Todd

Side note. I thought the food trees would help bring fresh fruit into my house. And help with a better diet.

Still trying to find the middle

I have been reading lots of blogs lately. In some way I think they are more interesting than what I post some days. I have read the “No Impact Man” blog for sometime. Well, I read his book recently. He mentioned this online book on minimalism. I have been in the past few months working towards that.

I downloaded the book three times to different thumb drives and also uploaded it to Google documents. Is it really working or am I just fooling myself?

About 2 years ago I had a major flood at my house due to a faulty water heater. It was a forced cleansing as it were. We lost alot of stuff that we had meant to get rid of, but was never able to get around to it. But when tons of water goes flooding from one side of the room to the other you have to make it a priority. In theory I am going to read the book and leave a copy saved in my google documents, but think so many copies is overkill at best.

Guess I need to use my wife’s Garmin to try and find the elusive middle road at least for me.

The Eightfold Path Pt. 1: Right View

This is the first in a series of, you guessed it, 8 parts. Firstly, I am no expert on any of this, these are just my opinions, and I am hoping to hear yours as well, so feel free to comment.

Most Buddhists strive for liberation and to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment, which means getting rid of all negative states of mind and to end the cycle of Samsara. The Eightfold Path was left for us from Buddha as a way to get there from here. It is obviously much more than that, but it’s a good start to accomplishing our goals of liberation from suffering.

An article on Buddhanet.net describes Right View as this “the right way to view the world. Wrong view occurs when we impose our expectations onto things; expectations about how we hope things will be, or about how we are afraid things might be. Right view occurs when we see things simply, as they are. It is an open and accommodating attitude. We abandon hope and fear and take joy in a simple straight-forward approach to life.”

What does this all mean? Let’s look at it and break it all down. It basically tells us, the layperson, that the way we look at the world is wrong, not that we’re idiots, but that we aren’t seeing what is really going on. Not talking about grand government conspiracies or anything, but just seeing the things that we don’t acknowledge or pay attention to. I’m no expert, but what I gather from this Right View is that we already have preconceived notions (habits) and need to change them. Buddha said that we are all born in original ignorance, and I believe Right View is one of the keys to start unlocking this ignorance we are born with.

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‘Jolly Lama’ to pay visit for shop’s celebration

From Denton Record Chronicle

For the sixth anniversary of her gift shop, Juliet’s Jewels owner Juliet Sangmu is doing more than having a sale.

Sangmu is hosting a visit with the Venerable Lama Rinpoche Dudjom Dorje, known as the “Jolly Lama.” Dorie is a teacher in the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Sangmu said he’ll talk about “The Eightfold Path (The Middle Way).”

“This is the sixth year I’ve had him here for the anniversary,” Sangmu said. “Last year, we had well over 100 people. His autobiography had come out and he signed books for people.”
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“More like a set of guidelines…”

Like Captain Jack Sparrow says, the Pirate’s Code is not necessarily a code of sorts or rules, but more of a guideline that the Pirate’s Of The Caribbean live by. As the 8-Fold Path of Buddhism is like a guide, so are the 5 precepts. Some traditions have more than 5 but we’ll stick to just the 5 for now. I’ll go into each one a bit, and give you my take on it. Please, if you have something to say and or add, please comment below.

The precept wording I am going to use here is from Steve Hagen’s book “Buddhism Is Not What You Think”. So let’s get right into it here…
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New idea…

…and I need your help. I was very impressed by the book “Buddha’s Apprentices” More Voices of Young Buddhists by Sumi Loundon. I don’t want to “copy” Sumi’s idea but in a way I would like to try to replicate it (yeah I know, that’s copying) in a small way.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, many well known Buddhists contributed stories of how they found the Dharma, certain things they’ve accomplished via the Dharma, people they’ve helped and impacts they’ve made, as well as what Buddhism means to them.

I want to do this on a much smaller scale, via you, the reader. If it goes well, I’ll compile this in a few editions. I am looking to put 5 “stories” per installment.
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Going It Alone

I was listening to some music that I liked quite a bit as a teenager. One of my favorite bands back then was Suicidal Tendencies. Being a fan of the band didn’t mean I wanted to kill myself, it was just the bands name.

There was a song I used to really love by the band, it was called “How will I laugh tomorrow (If I can’t even smile today)”. Listening to the lyrics I reminisced at how awful I used to feel. I can’t really pinpoint why this was, there were lots of things going on. Growing up we all have some sort of issues, but I felt like all of them were upon me. I felt alone, I felt like noone else could pull me out of the funk except me. Just to give you an idea of some of the lyrics here they are.

“Love and peace flash through my mind
Pain and hate are all I find
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Bindi Irwin meets the Dalai Lama

(Editors Note: I was very excited to read this story, and glad the Dalai Lama took some time to meet with Bindi Irwin (daughter of the late Steve Irwin). Even the Dalai Lama has seen how important this girls life is going to be. Bindi Irwin is keeping very close to the legacy her father left, selflessly caring for animals. She is an inspiration to us all, whether we realize it or not. She will go on to do great things, I guarantee it!)

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Story from : http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21897970-421,00.html

ABOUT 5000 people gathered at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast today for a talk by the Dalai Lama.
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