Where I’m At

As you may have noticed, or maybe not, posts have become erratic at best here at Precious Metal. I’m going to explain why, and where this is all going, or not going.

When I started this blog, I had the best of intentions. I planned to chronicle my entrance into the stream, and to report on things I learned along the way. The blog started morphing into something more than just that. I started reviewing things like books, DVDs and most recently vegetarian/ vegan food products.

With all of this, a certain level of “promotion” was necessary, that way the blog, and products that were being reviewed, got noticed more. I got a Facebook page, a Twitter page and anything else I thought would help. I delved right into it all, I mean REALLY delved into it. It began to overwhelm my life, and sadly, I wasn’t seeing it.

This practice started enveloping every moment of my life as well. I took every opportunity to talk about it, telling people all the time what it had done for me. How I was able to see things so differently. The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t seeing anything, I was just regurgitating the same things I’ve read in a million books I’ve read. This buzz word was used, that story was quoted, etc. Cutting through all that bullshit, the real work is living right now. I’ve become more aware of the fact I was using it as a crutch of sorts. I have no intention to do that anymore.

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Samsara and beyond

As you’ve noticed, it’s been a while since I posted anything. Well, to be honest, samsara is kicking my rear end. Dukkha isn’t being so nice either, not that I expect it to.

My practice as of late is beyond sufferable. I have not sat in over a month. I’ve barely mumbled a mantra.

I’ve been trying to fall back on the things I’ve learned, in the face of some things that are going on, and they have worked, minutely at best. Things are looking up though, and there may be some relief in sight.

I am working on a larger piece, and hope to have it up in a few days. So until then, just wanted to check in and say, see ya soon!

ps. This is not a sympathy post, not looking for any nor do I want any. Thanks though!

Some Time Away

As I work through this thing we all call a practice, I’m coming to terms with some of the things I would love to cling less too. The internet, and social media are a couple of those things. I spend way to much time here, online.

It’s part of my chemical make up that I get so involved in something. I’ve always been that way. When I felt passionate about an interest, I immerse myself in it. Not that I am overly passionate about the internet, but I do enjoy the comraderie of the online community. That’s the hook, and it’s been set in for a while.

So I am taking some time off from internet land, mainly from social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I will from time to time be posting here. I think it may come down to one post a week, with some books reviews sprinkled in. I’ve been reading some great new books and can’t wait to share some words on them with you all. This weekend will see a review or two hit the blog.

This in no way means Precious Metal is disappearing. If anything, it will become more focused. I have enjoyed writing this blog since day one, which was sometime in April of 2007. This blog will continue on as long as people keep coming back. For that, I am deeply appreciative.

 

My Brief Perspective on Osama Bin Laden’s Death

I’m a little late blogging about this, that’s what happens when your the cable guy and are on-call. 11 1/2 hours later, here are some minor thoughts…

I’ve seen the following quote floating around today, and I think it truly sums up how I feel about the current news events.

‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Ed. Note: I understand this quote is not entirely MLK’s, at this point. But it’ll remain because the context of the words are fantastic for these circumstances.

From here, I had a whole post typed up, nearly 700 words. I have read it, re-read it and decided to let it go. It was filled with unnecessary fluff, inflated chest bumping and other bits of American machismo.

The thoughts I had pale in comparison to the brilliance of MLK. So, I will let his words speak for me, and leave it at that…

Off for a bit…

My family and I are heading off tomorrow night for Florida to go see the rest of our family. I will be offline most of the time.

Hopefully I’ll catch up on some books I need to read too, which means lots of content coming soon.

Hope you all are well and will talk to you soon!

“The Flower Sermon”

Laugh if you will, but up till yesterday I had never heard of the “Flower Sermon”, possibly because no words were exchanged, it is believed. The story itself is not so much a story, but feels much more like a koan. My new friend Chuck brought it up and gave me a brief idea of what went down. I did some more research and here is what I surmise based on the research.

Before the Buddha’s passing, he and his disciples went to a quiet pond for a teaching. They all sat and patiently waited for the Buddha to speak.

He sat for a moment, quiet as could be. He reached down to the earth and pulled a lotus flower from the mud. It was covered and dripping with the mud.

The Buddha sat for a moment, patiently looking at the flower, twirling it a bit in his fingers.

He held it in his hands for all to see. Most of the disciples were uncertain of what was happening and waited for an explanation. They did not receive one.

He stood up and and began to show it to every person. They were still unsure of what was going on.

He made his way to his follower, Mahakashyapa, and he could sense his understanding. Mahakashyapa smiled and began to chuckle. The Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakashyapa and thus, had taken him as his disciple.

Now, I’m not 100% on the reasoning behind this teaching, but a beautiful thing, such as a lotus, coming from something as uninviting as mud is always an inspiration. Suffering, in and of itself, is just as repulsive as mud. With a little clarity, that mud begins to wash away. In the end, when it has all washed away, we are left with something beautiful. This story gives me hope that we all may reach this level of lucidity in our lives.