Tuesday, 26 March 2013

At first I was quite annoyed

Laos Temple

At first I was quite annoyed when the local temple piped up with full blast chanting at 3am. So I tried to find out why, and discovered this.

Boun Khoun Khao, or Boun Khoun Lan, is one of the year’s most important festivals. Sometimes known as the rice festival, it is celebrated around the city of Vientiane as a harvest festival to show appreciation for the spirit and abundance of the land and the rice harvest. Vientiane is the largest city and capital this country, situated on the Mekong River. Timing of the festival revolves around the Buddhist lunar calendar but it usually falls in the month of March.
Visitors to this celebration will be able to watch the customs and traditions of the small villages and Buddhist temples around the city. Traditional Baci, or su kwan, ceremonies are held to give thanks for the land, which gives the people strength. Su means togetherness or unity, and kwan means soul or spirit. During the ceremony people sit around an extravagant bouquet of flowers called a Pha Khouan. A senior village member leads the ceremony after which celebrants tie white cotton strings around their wrists and make good wishes. Food and drink are prepared that include delicacies like deep-fried Mekong fish, papaya salad and lao-lao or rice alcohol. There is music and dancing. Visitors are welcome to take part in the Baci ceremonies and the feast afterwards.

Wouldn't it be marvellous if the Buddhists could persuade the Christians and the Muslims to join them in next year's ceremonies.

Something like the next
Full Moon– Mar 16 2014 - a day of unity where everyone thinks about Mother Earth, and what she gives us.

I wish I could record the chanting -  it's quite boring, and incessant (4.5 hours so far) but eventually it gets inside your head, and forces you to stop what you are doing and get with it.

I reckon this kind of promotion is more in line with the new era. I reckon trying to sort out the intimate details of the past era are not as productive as introducing the new era to folks in the here and now. Most of them still have no idea what has happened.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Alert To Change Through Sentiment Analysis

Alert to Change Through Sentiment Analysis

The old saying goes that life begins at the edge of the comfort zone and easing out of the comfort zone becomes simpler when we recognise change as it really is. 

We used to consider a knife which had had five new blades and four new handles as being the same old knife. Now we recognise it as a different knife, so it no longer has all the old sentiment attached to it.

Sentiment keeps us in the comfort zone, and if we want to experience change as it truly is, then we will benefit by moving towards the edges of the comfort zone, and preparing to step outside. We have constructed our personal comfort zone over many years and many sentiments. When we  to distinguish between past sentiment and present sentiment we find obsolete stuff, so change occurs naturally . As we adjust our habits, our sentiments follow suit. We like some things more, and other things less.

Practicing meditation daily enables us to analyse our own mind, and to see where sentiment has been born of of past decision. Very often we discover that sentiment has moved on, but the past decision has become the basis of habit, and is now preventing us from accepting change. We still do what we used to do, but maybe we now find it not quite so interesting. 

We have to move some of the old sentiment, in order to allow new sentiments to flourish. Our quest to live our lives in the "here-and-now" is the starting point for recognising our new self. We know that our sentiments are very different to those of just a few years ago, yet we continue to run our lives as if the old sentiments were still current. Almost everyone we associate with is doing just the same, and we are all slowing down each other by hanging on to all this old stuff that aided us in the past, but is no longer of any use.

It might be the way we do our hair, the clothes we wear, even the food we eat. We continue because we feel we like it, but once we examine the sentiment in detail, we discover that the "like" comes from habit as opposed to current pleasurable experience. Our habits are not based on here and now, and this is where the difficulty lies. Of course, if we still experience a current pleasurable experience, then we should hang on to it and use it for an expression of love.

We often feel the urge to slow down when we discover our lives are speeding up. It is time to take control of ourselves. We must slow down in order to gain a better grasp of life. Everything becomes more noticeable when we slow down, and it is the extra things that we notice that will create the motivation for change of sentiment.

The process of slowing down gives us time to examine our natural urges, and provides the opportunity for avoiding the negative urges. By replacing negative thought and activity with positive thought and activity  we create a cumulatively accelerating process, and change then becomes easily accepted.

The life-cycle from infant to adolescent to adult to old age is repeated on all levels of consciousness, being initiated by the body through the chemical flows formulated by spirit. Recognising and promoting spiritually formulated behaviour over and above chemically and habitually induced behaviour is a key to the positive change.

Continuing to go with the flow is not a good idea when the flow is sewage.

If we imagine a world with no humans, then we can become immediately aware of the effects caused by humans, and we can see how each individual has contributed their own little bit. Once we become aware of this cause and effect, most of us will make some effort to avoid even a tiny bit of environmental destruction.

The most environmentally damaging footprints are created by fear, and for those who can step out of the fear paradigm, they can see the good, the bad and the ugly. The good emanates from the love paradigm which we are now all entering and is a different view altogether. It can be accessed by imagining no worry or fear, people giving instead of  trying to take from each other, no war, no starvation and no cruelty. It’s not impossible. If each of us avoided our usual little bit of environmental destruction, it would all stop, and our sentiments would change completely.

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