Thursday, 18 October 2018

Inktober zentangles – 13th to 17th

Here are the next five of my tiles for the Inktober Zentangles challenge. The five tangles for these days were: Dewd, Ando, Inapod, Joki, and Narwal. I knew Dewd and Inapod already, but the other three were new to me.
13 – Dewd
Dewd had been a tangle that did not really attract my interest when I first came across it. It seemed a bit simple and obvious. However, in using it for a monotangle I quickly realised it is far more clever and subtle a pattern than my first impression grasped. In fact I had to discard my first attempt at a tile because I kept making mistakes in drawing the tangle. Although it looks like the inner lines create separate areas, the white background is in fact continuous. Fascinating. This is one of the things I love about zentangle.
14  – Ando
Ando is a lovely ribbon pattern. I decided to use it to create a zen-button. I’m happy with the result.

15 – Inapod
16 – Joki
I love the swirls of Joki and am sure to use it again.
17 – Narwal
I couldn’t wait to start drawing when I saw this tangle. So clever and so lovely.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Battlecry of Freedom – slogan 12: Drive all blames into one

I think the slogan from the Seven Points of Mind Training that has most affected me in terms of the transformation of my view, is slogan 12: Drive all blames into one. This embraces the view of taking responsibility absolutely and completely without compromise.

Identity as a fixed, unchanging reality––as a thing that permanently abides––is the primary delusion. It is the source of all pain, aggression, hatred, prejudice, discrimination, disinterest. It is to blame for everything.

'If I am in the saddle, I have the identity of a rider. If I am in the stable grooming the horse, I have the identity of a groom. If I am lying in the dirt watching the horse disappearing down the trail, I have the identity of a pedestrian. 
The identity of rider dissolves into emptiness when I dismount. The identity of groom dissolves into emptiness when I leave the stable. The identity of pedestrian dissolves into emptiness when I find my horse grazing, and get back in the saddle. Identity arises, abides, and dissolves – as is the same with all phenomena. Any impression of continuation is illusory.' 

'The illusion of a self-existent identity is isolating and selfish
– I am in pain, which is much more important than your pain. 
The illusion of a self-existent identity prevents enjoyment and appreciation
– you are happy, but I cannot appreciate it, because it is not my happiness. 
Pain is pain – the identity associated with pain is irrelevant.
Practitioners wish to alleviate pain. 
Happiness is happiness – the identity associated with happiness is irrelevant.
Practitioners enjoy and appreciate happiness, and wish to increase it.

Even if there is no intention to harm from my own side, I am still the cause of others' pain. I am the object that made you angry  even though I didn't mean to. I am the person of whom you are jealous  even though I am just doing my own thing. I am the reason you felt overlooked and unloved  even though I didn't intend to ignore you. Taking the blame does not have to be associated with guilt and martyrdom. It is just recognising that everyone is confused and lacking awareness, and sometimes simply being there can aggravate that. It could be my delusion of an inherent identity that is the problem, or yours. The cause remains the same. Recognising this is driving all blames into one, and taking responsibility at a profound level.

'To take the blame for everything is to understand the root cause of all pain and unhappiness as the belief in an inherently existent identity. Practitioners take responsibility for this mistaken view. To be able to embrace the view of taking on the blame for anything and everything, is the most extraordinarily powerful practice of awakening.'

Extracts from Battlecry of Freedom by Ngakma Nor’dzin, Part II  the slogans;
to be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2019.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Inktober zentangles

We have the builders in at home at the moment, which is a most distracting experience. Sometimes they turn up, and sometimes they don’t. When they turn up their work is first class, but they are so unreliable that they are already a week behind schedule. Today was a no-show day, so I went for a long walk once I had given up on them. It was good to be out in the windy weather, away from our half-finished lounge.

I’m catching up with my Inktober tangles. Here are my tiles for 7th - 12th October. The 12th of October tile is also my zentangle for the IAST challenge #264, which happened to include the tangle heartswell.

07 - onion drops

08 - cockles 'n' mussels

09 - fe-ba
10 - sez

11 - copada

12 - heartswell

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Zentangle Inktober – fleavy and pais

The prompts for October 5th and 6th were the tangles Fleavy and Pais. I really like both of these.



Friday, 5 October 2018

Zentangle Inktober – Facets

The tangle for October 4th was Facets. I am not a huge fan of grid patterns. There are a few I like, such as Cubine which looks fabulous for creating a 3D effect. I used it in the tile below.
To find some inspiration from the prompt of Facets—taking responsibility for my limitation—I decided to use a cell of it as the string, and then tangle Facets within that framework. I’m quite pleased with the result and enjoyed creating the tile. Maybe I will be able to overcome my prejudice against grid patterns!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Zentangle Inktober -- Ginilli

Ginilli is a very soothing tangle to draw. As the tile turned out, it reminds me of seaweed rather than flowers.

Battlecry of Freedom; Mind Training, Lojong

Cover mock-up
I have been writing a book about Lojong—Mind Training—for the last two or three years. This Buddhist teaching is presented as 59 pithy slogans on how to train the mind, organised into seven points. It is a teaching that originated in the 11th century, and the Seven Points of Mind Training were composed by Chekhawa Yeshé Dorje (1101–1175). The book is going to be called Battlecry of Freedom as the word slogan originates from an ancient Celtic word meaning  battlecry. 
Writing the book has been quite a big project involving a lot of research. The research is essential, but in the end has to be discarded to a great extent, as the book itself must be written from the basis of practice and practice experience, rather than from intellectual study.
The reason for the picture of me on a horse on the cover, is that horseriding is a theme that is used throughout the book. Horsemanship and mounted warriorship has been an important aspect of Tibetan culture since ancient days, and the experience of training and riding a horse has many similarities to the experience of training and riding the mind. I have ridden horses throughout my life. Drawing on this experience and the relationship with horses, and through telling horseriding stories, I am able to present a view of the practice of Mind Training that is both traditional and personal.
When looking at the spiritual path, it can be useful to compare it to a more ordinary experience—such as horseriding—and leave aside the enigmatic and mysterious atmosphere of spirituality. This can make spiritual practice more approachable. Ultimately deep spiritual understanding is beyond words, because such understanding is beyond the capacity of intellect. This is also true of the deep relationship developed between a horse and rider.Ngakma Nor’dzin, Battlecry of Freedom, Aro Books worldwide, 2019
Battlecry of Freedom is in the proof-reading stage, and is expected to be ready for publication by the end of the year. It is time, therefore, to start presenting snippets to whet your interest.
A horse cannot be forced to cooperate with the rider, and will resent the attempt. Similarly the mind cannot be forced. This is easily discovered through trying to force thought to disappear.’ Ngakma Nor’dzin, Battlecry of Freedom, Aro Books worldwide, 2019