Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dhamma Cartoon

As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently met a Buddhist monk called Ajahn Kalyano.  The Ajahn is the first Buddhist teacher that I’ve come across who uses art in his dhamma talks.  If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll probably have realised that I prefer plenty of pictures with my words, so I like the idea of illustrated dhamma talks.  The Ajahn has kindly given me permission to share a “cartoon” that he created recently (see below).

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Did you notice the spirals?  It turns out that the Ajahn has just become interested in Celtic art.  He wants to incorporate Celtic knots into artwork for a book of his talks.  So that was a serendipitous meeting, wasn’t it?  I was able to help him a little with the designs for inside the book, and I’ve sent him copies of my knotwork dhamma wheel, which may be suitable for the cover.

[Update 30/09/14: I’m told that the Ajahn’s book “The Thread” will be available for download from http://www.alokabodhi.org.uk/ soon.]

Still Retreating

Blogging is still on the back burner for me for a while but I wanted to share this poem with you.  It was written by a senior Buddhist monk of the Thai Forest Tradition called Ajahn Kalyano whom I met at a retreat centre last weekend.  I’ve been on quite a few retreats at this centre – Sunyata – before but this time was a bit different.  While Ajahn Kalyano is in residence, Sunyata is being run as a monastery.  This means, amongst other things, that residents try to abide by eight precepts, the spirit of which is summed up in Ajahn Kalyano’s poem below.  I think it is a beautiful way to show that the precepts are not about denial or self-punishment but about love and dharma.

Sunyata

Every man is our brother.

Every woman is our sister.

Everything we have is a gift.

All the food we eat is shared.

The front door is always open.

***

We have enough spirit, we’ve no need of a drink.

We don’t look for beautiful things we make everything beautiful.

With love.

We don’t make or listen to music we make all sounds into music

With love.

We don’t watch movies we make our life into a movie.

With love.

And when every man is our brother

And every woman is our sister

Sexual desire does not arise.

And truly awake we can find truth in peace and peace in truth.

Compassion and Kinship

This is one of the best TED talks I have seen so far.

Endless Light and Love

My Dear Friends,

Compassion, what does that word mean to you? What does it actually mean?

Mother Theresa said ” The problem with our world is that we have forgotten that we belong to each other”

Please take 20 minutes out of your busy day to watch this short video from Fr Gregory Boyle, its a very informative, funny, to the point and sad video which cannot fail to touch your heart, and to me it sums up compassion perfectly.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

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