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tariki last won the day on June 15

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About tariki

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  • Birthday 05/30/1949

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  1. Christian Art

    Beautiful Burl, love those old manuscripts.
  2. Yes, quite possible...........and I like to think so! Ah, that Derek............. On a more serious note, many Japanese thinkers appear to study the works of our Western philosophers - and some ask the question as to whether what they themselves have done (i.e. the Japanese) throughout their history is philosophy at all. All to do with the Kyoto School. All interesting stuff when I tire of Candy Crush Saga.
  3. Thanks Joseph, I tend to read a lot but having said that certain words/expressions/ideas seem always with me, are always "speaking to me" and moulding my experience. One ever-present over the past ten years or do has been the words of the Pure Land myokonin Saichi, when he was asked if he recited the Nembutsu only when he thought about it, and what did he do when not thinking about it. "Yes, well, when I do not think of it, there is the 'Namu-amida-butsu' just the same." That simple answer of Saichi, his faith if you like, has deepened for me over the years. Its reality touches everything, whatever and however widely I read. "Namu Amida Butsu is blooming everywhere!" All the best to you and all
  4. I have retired somewhat from Discussion Forums. My days of crossing swords with various other worthies are over - or at least, I hope they are. Nevertheless, the impulse to post bits and pieces remains. So I gather together a few stray thoughts. One thing that I miss sometimes is a Book that holds all the answers, like a big thick Bible. It can be clutched and brings reassurance. Having moved towards Buddhism, although it obviously has its very own texts and Scriptures, it really has nothing like the Bible. Thinking about this, I wonder why, and the answer would seem to be that the forward progress of Buddhism has never involved an attempted gathering together of what could be called an Orthodoxy - as happened in the Christian West with Constantine. This seemed to lead to an orthodox Canon and a varied collection of books became the Bible. Then the mind games started and the varied collection became an orthodox theology which was denied at your peril. This particularly after the Reformation when the newly literate for whom the Word as "word" was all, and had lost all sight of the Word made flesh. And therefore a whole host of theologies vying with each other. And given the equation in some quarters between correct belief and eternal destiny, the arguments became fierce. And still are if you dip into certain Christian Forums. But getting back to what I miss. I sometimes yearn for a Buddhist Bible. A nice thick leather bound tome with lovely thin pages that brown at the edge and become gently ruffled with use. Containing all my favourites. maybe a few Buddhist creation myths at the front, then a few Hindu stories and such, followed by a life of the Buddha. Then the Dhammapada, selected suttras from the Pali Canon, then onto the Lotus Suttra, the Bodhicaryavatara, the Heart Sutra etc, then chuck in a few things like Chang Tzu and the Tao te Ching to stir it up a bit and give the "orthodox" of the future something to quibble and ruminate about. Which makes the point that struck me and perhaps caused this post. What would such a Buddhist Bible lead to? How would it eventually grab me? Would the instinctual doctrinaire of mind seek a "common thread" amid the chaos of the various books? Eventually, the "one and only Dharma" emerge from its pages? Soon, no doubt, a "Systematic Buddhology" as the basis for the salvation - or perhaps "enlightenment" - of all. Good grief! is what I say, even though at a certain level my heart yearns for certainty. Anyway, my mind wanders, and just to add here a stray thought that arose when I typed above about the Word made flesh. It jogged my mind of a few words of Wittgenstein that I recently copied to my Notebook, having read them ina book about the Tractacus........"The human body is the best picture of the human soul". Lovely words. Others may not think so, thinking perhaps that there is something more to see. Well, I have started a Blog on Google recently, which Is pointed to by the "Dookies Place" icon found on this Forum. I have come to love being just a little creative, being able to include pictures and just ramble and waffle as the mood takes me, rather like this. As a taster, here is an example (though you will have to go to the actual blog to see the pictures) There was once a little second hand bookshop in Maldon, just at the bottom of the High Street. I often took a trip on the bus and ended up browsing the shelves. Being interested in certain "eastern" ways I once spied a book called "Ask the Awakened" by Wei Wu Wei. The book was just a bit water stained but I snapped it up at a bargain price and proudly took it home. For quite a while I imagined Wei Wu Wei as an ancient wizened and crinkled hermit, perhaps living in a cave in the Himalaya's, breaking his fasting now and again to put pen to paper. Then I stumbled upon his amazing secret - he was in fact Terence Gray, Anglo-Irish, theatre producer and racehorse owner. Did this knowledge mean that the teaching and sayings of the "awakened" who had been "asked" was suspect? Or even, perhaps, was where East and West did in fact meet? It does seem to be a common practice for those who write so called "spiritual" books to give themselves screen names. Another instance - seeking out the authentic way of the Buddha I picked up a very weighty volume called "A Survey Of Buddhism" by one Sangharakshita. I read the whole thing, reassured by the name that here was the real McCoy, the Dharma as per an authentic easterner and practitioner. Alas, at a certain point I found that Sangharakshita had been born Dennis Lingwood, and hailed from Romford. So what is in a name? And does it matter? I prefer questions to answers, so make up your own mind. One of the very best books on Buddhism I have read is "The Vision of Dhamma", a collection of weighty essays by Nyanaponika Thera. Nyanaponika Thera? You've guessed it, he is (or was) Sigmund Feniger, a German born Jew. He took on the name Nyanaponika when he was ordained into the Therevada Buddhist Order, Thera meaning "Elder". Another of my favourite Buddhist writers is Stephen Batchelor and he breaks the mould. I sometimes wish he was called Dharmachata, or perhaps Po-Che or even the Venerable Jinmyo something or other. But he insists he is only Stephen Batchelor, which does not appear to effect the sale of his books. He actually spent much of his youth in the east, raised in Tibetan monasteries, but is now back "home" giving meditation retreats and featuring on various UTube videos. Obviously, as either "Dookie" or "Tariki" I seem to have fallen for the very same thing. Well, my apologies if all this seems just a little perverse. Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Thanks, Derek
  5. Agnosticism

    Just following this thread from afar. Just happen to be reading a book on how poetry can transform and there was a quote from the journals of Gerard Manley Hopkins, where he was describing, amongst other things, the drift of snow, shaped by the wind, and then observes "chance left free to act falls into an order as well as purpose". Just seemed appropriate, but who knows? One little note from the book I added to my Notebook....."A work of art is not a piece of fruit lifted from a tree branch; it is a ripening collaboration of artist, receiver, and world." (Jane Hirshfield, "Ten Windows")
  6. Some interesting reading in Bruce Springsteen's autobiography "Born to Run" about military "discrimination" and how it was used by those who were against becoming "cannon fodder" ( for Vietnam ) Some guys "starved themselves thin" while other "fed themselves fat", while some learnt tricks as far as demonstrating their mental inadequacies. The tricks worked at the "soft" draft centres like Newark and Jersey, while others found other centres less accommodating. Discrimination? Ok, I would not like a known drug dealer, or a known paedophile to come near my grandchildren. And I would like also to discriminate between my own discrimination and that of Donald Trump.
  7. Joseph, thanks for clarification. So there were 15,000 transgender military (give or take a few) in the Forces prior to the "ban" being lifted - assuming they have not all joined up since. The ban was lifted and now, as a consequence, having "outed" themselves, may have possibly created a "problem" of which Donald Trump may or may not have been informed about by the current crop of generals. So there we are. As Romansh implied, too many "may haves". Tweets have consequences, as does being economical with the truth. As far as my own view, all discrimination is wrong. But so what? The President of the United States evidently does not agree. Travel bans, walls, whatever.
  8. Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender service members is facing opposition from more than 50 retired generals and admirals who are warning that the discriminatory policy would degrade military readiness and harm morale. The top military officials said in a letter published Tuesday that transgender military members “must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity”. It comes less than a week after the president announced on Twitter that the government would not “accept or allow … transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military”. The statement – signed by 56 retired admirals and generals and released by the Palm Center, a San Francisco-based research institute – adds to the mounting pressure against Trump to back away from the policy, which has also faced resistance from US defense chiefs, LGBT rights groups and conservative politicians. “This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent......" The above, in heavy type, taken from an article in a UK Newspaper. I assume its report is true and not "fake news" (which seems to be the first accusation these days when anyone does nor wish to accept an unwanted fact........ ) Obviously,not having served myself, Mr Trump may well know more than I. Exactly what advice he receives from his current generals is again unknown to me. Given Mr Trumps appointment of a Climate Change sceptic, Scott Pruitt, as head of the EPA (When 97% of scientists are NOT sceptical of climate change!) perhaps indicates the level of advice Mr Trump seeks, that maybe he is inclined to hear only what he wishes to hear? (Another clue to this latter attitude being that of Mr Trump's is surely the merry-go-round of sackings, appointments and re-appointments of his staff which we seem to hear about so often)
  9. Well, in his Tweet ( apparently his chosen organ for announcements and whatever occupies his mind at any particular moment of time ) Donald Trump questioned the economic viability of supporting those in the US military who were "transgender". Apparently about 15,000 people. The tweet ( of no consequence ) led to a few articles in the UK press about the various contributions of such people in the past, in both the USA and Great Britain. Worth looking up. Off topic, but mentioning "Great Britain", we now get a transcript of an interview given by Donald Trump to the Wall Street Journal - at least a mode of communication one step up from tweets. "Don't hear the word Britain any more.Nope". Which reminded me that over here we don't hear the words "President of the United States" anymore, just "Trump". In my opinion he has demeaned that high office and turned the Presidency into a cheap soap opera. Blame the "media". No, I don't think so.
  10. Presidential Poll

    Stephen Fry's observations on Mr Trump.
  11. Presidential Poll

    Yes, he is a loose cannon with no apparent capacity for self-criticism. I could go on ( and on and on ) but will end it there.
  12. Prayer

    In true obedience there should be no ‘I want this or that to happen’or ‘I want this or that thing’but only a pure going out of what is our own. And therefore in the very best kind of prayer that we can pray there should be no ‘give me this particular virtue or way of devotion’ or ‘yes, Lord, give me yourself or eternal life’, but rather ‘Lord, give me only what you will and do, Lord, only what you will and in the way that you will’. This kind of prayer is as far above the former as heaven is above earth. And when we have prayed in this way, then we have prayed well, having gone out of ourselves and entered God in true obedience. But just as true obedience should have no ‘I want this’, neither should it ever hear ‘I don’t want’, for ‘I don’t want’is pure poison for all true obedience. As St Augustine says: ‘The true servant of God does not desire to be told or to be given what they would like to hear or see, for their prime and highest wish is to hear what is most pleasing to God. The above is from Meister Eckhart's talk on "True Obedience" from his "Talks of Instruction". Obviously couched in theistic language yet many in the non-theistic tradition of Buddhism recognise in Eckhart a "dharma brother". As I see it, much revolves around selflessness, in all its guises. Which is not to lose the self, but to know it for the first time.
  13. Paradoxically, perhaps, my own journey away from "vaguery" and towards objectivity, was found and completed within the "mystical", even the "no-self" of Buddism. Maybe, as Thomas Merton saw, the "true self" ( of whatever Tradition or Faith) and the self we often identify with, particularly in the Western Tradition, are two different things. Whatever, goodbye to all my readers.
  14. Jesus made a way?

    Anyway, whatever, as I see it, the "way" is eternal, forever available. If we want some Biblical authority, then "the lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world" will do. The whole idea of any human being needing some missionary of a particular Faith to turn up before being "enabled" is distorting. To think in this way appears to me to imply that Christianity is uniquely unique (!) and that every other Faith in the world is somehow, in someway, lacking. It further implies that Grace itself is not adequate ( and if such is not realised then, as I see it, Grace is not understood and the life of grace is not lived)
  15. Jesus made a way?

    Possibly the indigenous population of America never realised they were now "enabled" until Columbus turned up on their doorstep.