So I have decided to remove all tech for 7 days (minus having a land line and transportation what with the kids and all). As to create my own 7 day retreat at home. My focus will be embracing my true self once more, meditation, study and reflection. I am tracking my progress on a legal pad which I will upload later.
Science Officer’s log: Stardate 69174.8
First let me say how difficult it is to count the Stardate when Star Trek has been off the air for such a long time and no computer or calculator at one’s disposal! After dropping the kids off at school and taking a few moments to meditate and gather my thoughts for the day, I quickly realized I had no new books to read that might spur on my reflective moments. After a quick jaunt over to the local book store, I managed to get a copy of Tesla’s Notes and Inventions in hard back and a paper back of the Essence of the Heart Sutra by the Dalai Lama.
Started reading the Sutra, best quote so far: “The Buddha recognized among his followers a diversity of mental dispositions, spiritual inclinations and interest, and saw that in order to suit this diversity he had to teach differently in different contexts. No matter how powerful a particular teaching may be or how “correct” a philosophical view may be, if it is not suitable to the individual hearing it, it has no value. A skillful Spiritual teacher will this judge the appropriateness of a given teaching for a given individual and teach accordingly. Buddha recognized the diversity of mental dispositions, interests, and mental capabilities of his followers and thus gave diverse teachings. Looking at all the world’s religions in this light, I feel a deep conviction that all of the traditions are beneficial, each of them uniquely service the needs of their followers.”
Decided to write things out on this legal pad after the kids went to bed to serve as a sounding board for my thoughts, much like I do when online. I find it therapeutic when my brain is scrambled with thoughts to give them linear form, thus making them easier to let go of.
After the kids got home and had finished their homework they had played outside till dinner then I decided it was best to give them the freedom of choice to watch Netflix or not. Just because this is something I am doing does not mean I should force them to go through it too. I retreated to a quite corner to read and meditate further.
One thought that I have felt a strong urge it to let a friend know that I have had a crush on her for quite some time, but I feel it is better to not mention it now that I have time to reflect instead of the instant form of communication brought via instant messaging. I don’t want to bring her into this troubled world I live, she deserves far better than myself.
End Entry Day 1
Science Officer’s log: Stardate 69177.7
Still quite the feat calculating Stardates but at least its easier with the initial Stardate calculated. Went fishing today, you may think “how cruel” when I say went fishing, I mean I went to the river and cast an empty hook and line out repeatedly knowing full well I would not catch anything but twigs and leaves lol. I had been difficult, I have subconsciously reached for the phone a few times, only to have been stymied by the fact that wifi has been shut off lol. Have managed to maintain a vegetarian diet the past few days as well as to not disrupt the flow of energy.
Today’s quote also from Heart Sutra about theologies with a creator deity.
How might we determine whether someone loves God sincerely? Surely, we would examine that person’s behavior and attitude toward fellow human beings, toward the rest of God’s creation. If someone has genuine love and compassion towards fellow human brothers and sisters, and towards the Earth itself, then I think we can be sure that that person truly demonstrates love for God. It is clear that when someone respects God’s message they emulate God’s love for humanity.
End Entry Day 2
Science Officer’s log: Stardate 69191.5
So the experiment comes to a close. What can I conclude? Although technology has it’s pros and its cons it is neither inherently good or bad. Good and bad are simple illusions, symptoms of an underlining problem, a colossal time suck for certain. The root of the problem, however, lies not in the tech but in the heart, the mind, and the soul. Although my self imposed isolation can hurt at times, it is neither fulled or caused by the technology, it is a crutch, and until I can learn to be ok with being alone, I will never be able to end my self inflicted suffering.
End Experimental Log….
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching here in the states, you cannot help sometimes but feel the twinge of the chronically single life style. With everything geared towards romance and couples, the days can pull at the ole heart strings. Admittedly a few times myself I have wondered if my standards were too high, if I should have settled when a relationship did not work out. Other times I have asked myself what I could I have done better when someone had left me and the shoe was on the other foot.
Lately while reading the Dhammapada a running theme kept popping up, and if you are like me you may find these words, if not inspiring, at least comforting when those doubts start to creep into your conscious trains of thought.
If a traveler does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal. let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; this is no companionship with a fool. DP 61
If a man finds no prudent companion who walks with him, is wise, and lives soberly, let him walk alone like a king who has left his conquered country behind, -Like an elephant. DP 329
It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes, like an elephant in the forest. DP 330
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by lust: therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from lust brings great reward. DP 359
If we want to be free of suffering in our relationships, we must find our equals and those who inspire us to better ourselves, we must not become trapped by our lusts, for when we do we become like spiders who have become trapped in our own webs.
But how is this fair we might ask? So many happy couples why not me? Honestly who knows, we should strive to continue on living in the now, continue our good works until our seeds ripen to bare fruits.
Even a good man sees evil days (finds suffering in this world), as long as his good deed has not ripened; but when the good deed has ripened, then the good man sees happy days. DP 120
Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, it will not come nigh unto me. Even by falling of water-drops a water pot is filled; the wise man becomes fill of good, even if he gathers it little by little.
So to my fellow romantically challenged brothers and sisters, I wish you press on, happily diligently, doing good works, for sometimes the sweetest fruits come from the trees that take longest to bloom.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! That is what “they” say right? Well sorry to say that beauty, like much of everything else, is an illusion. One only needs to look back far enough through out history to see that the idea of what is or isn’t beautiful is based on mainstream acceptance. As the Dalai Lama said “Nothing is inherently beautiful or not beautiful, it is only when in comparison to something else does it appear to have these qualities.” So this makes beauty, in itself a codependent arising truth, a truth that is dependant on certain conditions, which in turn makes it an illusion.
Beauty should be defined in the merit of actions. For true beauty lies within the heart not in the skin. If you find that you are lonely, as I often do, find the happiness in being alone, for true happiness is not found in the validation of our peers but rather in the altruistic service of our society.
“If you’re respectful by habit,
constantly honouring the worthy,
four things increase:
long life, beauty,
“As you sow so you reap” -Buddha