(drawing you may have seen before, from childhood, by am)
April 28 (from Eknath Easwaren's Words To Live By)
Know the Self as Lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot itself, the discriminating intellect as the charioteer, and the mind as the reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses, selfish desires are the roads they travel.
– Katha Upanishad
The Upanishads say that your body is like a chariot drawn by five powerful horses, the five senses. These horses travel not so much through space as through time. They gallop from birth towards death, pursuing the objects of their desire. The discriminating intellect is the charioteer, whose job it is not to drive you over a cliff. The reins he holds are the mind – your thoughts, emotions, and desires.
This image is packed with implications. For one, the job of the intellect is to see clearly. The job of the mind is to act as reins. When everything is working in harmony, our highest Self makes all the decisions. The intellect conveys these decisions to the mind, and the senses obey the mind. But when the senses are uncontrolled, they immediately take the road they like best: personal satisfactions, mostly pleasure. Then we are not making the decisions; the horses are.
“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”
For some time now, I've been slowly reading Red Pine's translation of Lao-Tzu's Taoteching, which has the Chinese characters next to the translation. Gradually I am learning to recognize some Chinese characters. In particular, I've been looking for 和 because I have a small framed calligraphy of the characters 和平, with the word "peace" below it. I had noticed 知 (knowledge) because it looks similar to 和. Finally, in the 55th verse, I saw 和 in a line translated as "knowing how to be balanced we endure." Just now I was able to figure out, via the internet, that the framed calligraphy is made up of the characters he 和 and ping 平.
Yesterday we had snow mixed with rain in the morning and exquisite sunshine illuminating the clouds to the east in the late afternoon.
is a Hindu story comparing the mind to the trunk of an elephant – restless,
inquisitive, always straying. In our villages in India, elephants are sometimes
taken in religious processions through the streets to the temple. The streets
are crooked and narrow, lined on either side with fruit and vegetable stalls.
Along comes the elephant with his restless trunk, and in one sinuous motion, he
grabs a whole bunch of bananas. He opens his cavernous mouth, and tosses the
bananas in – stalk and all. From the next stall he picks up a coconut and
tosses it in after the bananas. No threats or promises can make this restless
trunk settle down. But the wise elephant trainer will give that trunk a short bamboo
stick to hold. Then the elephant will walk along proudly, holding the bamboo
stick in front like a drum major with a baton. He doesn’t steal bananas and
coconuts now, because his trunk has something to hold onto ...
As I drove towards downtown Bellingham on Saturday morning, I noticed a group of people from the Lummi Nation gathered at the side of the road at the entrance to the Lakeway Holiday Inn where a conference associated with the CERA was taking place. This morning I found the above video of their brief peaceful protest of the conference.
I did some Google research and found this:
Both the CERA and the CERF are made up of white owners of Indian Reservations lands. The CERF and CERA members are third and fourth generation descendants of the people who profited from acquiring Indian lands. What alarms them these days is that tribes are re-acquiring some of these lands in order to build an economic base for their people again. The hate groups can't stand the idea that Indians would get some land back, no matter now it happens.
(from Racism in Indian Country, by Dean Chavers, published in 2009).
It would be worth your time to listen to the voices of some of the Lummi people whose reservation is next to the town of Bellingham, Washington.
On Sunday morning, having recently read solitary walker's newly published book of poetry, Raining Quinces, I noticed several flowering quinces in containers at a nearby nursery. Sensing there was some synchronicity involved in the unexpected appearance of flowering quinces that day, I bought and planted one next to where the golden day lilies will bloom on my little porch in June. I'm not much one for writing book reviews, but I can recommend his book if you are a person who lives with gratitude and awareness, in both levity and gravity, walking down as many paths and trails and roads as possible, both on foot and in the heart and mind.
Today's view from the porch, looking east toward the light:
Welcome to "TALKING 37TH DREAM (RUMORS OF PEACE)".
Outside my windows that look east southeast, I can see Scudder Pond, Lake Whatcom, low mountains, and then the Cascades and the sky. When I looked out one afternoon in July 2016, I saw a rainbow and the moon.
"OLD GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY" (the earliest name for my blog) was created in early December of 2006 so that I could post a 42-year retrospective of my paintings and drawings. For a while (sometime after spring of 2008) my blog was "TALKING 37TH DREAM WITH RAINBOW (RUMORS OF PEACE)". For a number of years, it's been "TALKING 37TH DREAM (RUMORS OF PEACE)." As of April 12, 2017 my blog is now titled "37TH DREAM / TALKING 37TH DREAM (RUMORS OF PEACE)".
To begin viewing the retrospective with narrative, scroll down to December 8, 2006, on this page:
How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be? -- Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. -- Martin Luther King (1929-1968)
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. -- Martin Buber (1878-1965)
It is only a little planet, but how beautiful it is.
-- Robinson Jeffers
The true end of a war is the rebirth of life; the right to die peacefully in your own bed. The true end of war is the end of fear; the true end of war is the return of laughter.
-- Alfred Molano
Enjoy every sandwich -- Warren Zevon (1947-2003)
Not in God's wilds will you ever hear the sad moan, "All is vanity." No, we are paid a thousand times for all our toil, and after a single day spent outdoors in their atmosphere of strength and beauty, one could still say, should death come — even without any hope of another life — "Thank you for this most glorious gift!" and pass on.
-- John Muir (1838-1914)
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do? Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. Hugh Fennyman: How? Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.