Welcome to Allan's Blog:
I hope to use my Blog to introduce some of the simple techniques I use such as mindfulness and would like to share that experience with others in an entertaining, simple, non-dogmatic way
‘I’m finding it hard to get going today,’ must be one of the most common statements made in any language. Breaking free from the lethargy octopus is never easy, besides, as cephalopods go, it’s actually, quite a cosy creature to cuddle up to. The alternative is the prevaricating porpoise, which playfully does everything with reckless abandon apart from what it should be doing. What I personally should be doing is focussing on the blog, which requires concentration, that, however, throws creativity out of the window... or does it?
Maybe there’s a bit more to this mindfulness thing than appears on the surface, perhaps the point of it all is to find, and be, well, you. For instance, I am considered witty, insightful, and can occasionally, write pearls of wisdom that make oysters jealous. It’s what others have said, I’m too modest to even mention it.
I also do this weird thing of meandering off to strange places, like the bottom of the Caribbean, (the water is fairly warm, where else would I go?) All I do, when I get there, is look around, like any tourist should. I did take my straw hat off before walking straight from the beach though, mainly because it floats. These little differences matter, I don’t want sunstroke when I wander back. Mindful imagination is something I’ve never really considered before, the two seem mutually exclusive. A mindful opinion, however, is an attitude that will always consider changing. Admitting it was wrong, in the first place, is something Buddha never mentioned, so I will follow the master’s lead on that.
The biggest conundrum, though, are digressions. I do love my digressions! A mindful blog would never digress, but, as I’ve said already, I meander. Obviously, if I am simply reporting from that particular point of, ‘where’s ‘e gorn now?’ There is no digressing involved.
The other thing I have learned this morning, apparently, while writing this is I really must stop getting hung up on instructions, which were never meant as such. Buddha made recommendations, which the more I think about the looser they become. The paradox being that the conclusion would never have been reached without the single mindedness required to understand why the imagination needs to be controlled. This could get dangerous as it means my readings can have a little more bite. Not a shark’s one, I’ll start off gradually, with barracudas.
My new mantra is now, ‘Never struggle to get going, just go somewhere.’ It works for me. An automatic, infinitely supplied espresso machine there, wherever it is, would be nice. In fact, it would be the icing on the cake. Cakes, however, at the bottom of the Caribbean would be silly. Unlike salted caramel syrup, I can just stick a Werthers Original into the cup for that.
Mind’s eye mindfulness.
The modality of dream.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 27th September 2022
Life on Earth does this strange thing in that it never completely stops. There are major pauses in isolated places occasionally, like on 11th September in the U.S, or yesterday in the U.K. It’s also a safe bet that during the minute long silence, held to honour Queen Elizabeth, somebody sneezed. If that offends you, then substitute a baby cried in there instead.
It’s not often I have to think about the British monarchy, and I never thought I’d be doing it in this fashion either. It would be more along the lines of corgis being originally bred for herding animals. A couple of them let loose, amongst the scaly nuisances would definitely alter the status quo. Life had to go on for all of them, immediately. Everyone of them had to be, well, regal. Whatever they felt inside couldn’t be revealed to the outside world. It is to their outstanding credit their guard slipped a bit allowing their humanity to shine through.
The Royal family is held up as an example, to all, by various institutions, from Parliament to the Daily Mail. It’s not something I’ve really bought in to. However, I am not a rabid republican either. It’s a historical fact that the head of state acquires the title through the process of accession. I can live with that. My feeling is what I should learn from all of this is that others come first, always, and without exception. If possible without any drama attached, or the mind games of, ‘I’m doing this for you, so do that for me.’ I can only speak for myself, though, but a few dragons seem to be nodding in agreement.
Zen keeps everything simple, defining it just adds complications. It is what it is, and everywhere, every time, including never, and nowhere too. What’s difficult to understand? It flowed through all the pomp and ritual of the funeral. We all saw it, but what we expected to see. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly surrounded by dragons that I thought of the people involved as just people. Zen can be thought of as the Universal flow, the glue holding it all together, for no other reason that it’s all held together, why is unimportant. Obviously, if it wasn’t there, nothing else would be either. Which would come as a major shock to us all. A lot like the past few weeks has been. Psychics do the picking up bit, what people send out finds a home. I was involved through that process. Buddha’s splendid isolation is only a recommendation sometimes, it needs to be ignored. Thinking of others is a no-brainer, but, for the no-brainers, it is a direct instruction. One day they might actually get it, which apparently, is when Buddha can hold the Nirvana door open while everyone says, ‘No, after you.’
Anyway, the National mourning is over, it’s official, ‘Life goes on.’ What you decide to make of it is up to you. For what it’s worth, though, I would recommend not letting the experience of the Queen’s funeral go to waste. For the most part it did bring out the best in people there’s no reason, whatsoever, that has to come to a stop, or is there?
Ends silent meditations.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 20th September 2022
My horoscope mentioned someone looking over my shoulder while I tried something new, or at least it would feel that way. Anyway, I’ve emailed NASA and they don’t have the technology to rearrange planetary orbits, but apparently, they are working on it. So I shall have to just get on with the blog with the usual presence of the scaly nuisance who is grumbling that since I knew they were coming why are the Rolos still in the fridge?
A question I am often asked is, ‘Do dragons make good pets?’ It depends on how you define, ‘pet.’ Bouncy puppies they are, thankfully not, although they are more tolerant of humans than most cats. The closest analogy I can come up with is an aquarium. A fish tank, is, well, just there in the corner of the room. It comes with responsibilities, but the fish are sort of companions in a way. Actually, an aquarium is a hobby involving water quality, however, an empty one would fill up with dragons as soon as your back was turned. It’s what dragons do! Dragons are the best entities to have around though, obviously, I’m biased about that. They never make a mess, and if you place Rolos appropriately, you’ll always know where they are. A dragon will not try to take over your bed either, as long as you check for missing Rolos underneath it.
Pets usually do stuff, whereas dragons tend to know stuff which is more or less the same as what they pass on is always intriguing. They also love the concept of being, ‘owned,’ or, ‘tamed,’ by us. The atmosphere generated by their gentle chortles clears negative or stale energies faster than a ton of obsidian. They are, in fact, the crystal meth of crystals. The only problem with a dragon pet is that eventually, as with all pets, there comes that time when decisions have to be made. Good luck with any of them, especially neutering!
Strangely, dragons don’t seem to mind being considered as a pet, and all that means, they just take it in their stride. They would if they really took strides rather than just shuffling along, which they do so, ummmmm, gracefully. If you are looking to re-home a dragon taking one in as a pet might be a good way to start. Remember dragons are social thingies and have this weird ability to attract other dragons, lots of them, but that’s an upside, not a downside, as they can all take turns in being annoying. That said the sound of snoozing dragons is remarkably therapeutic, while they do like power naps, so their being a scaly nuisance time is self limiting.
Dragons and pets really don’t fit together, it’s a vocabulary and comprehension issue. They can’t be owned, but will be around when needed, or not. You can’t argue with a dragon, however, unlike cats they don’t consider humanity to be there for them. It’s also possible for a dragon to open a tin, in a dragony way, of course. Cats can too, but they won’t. Would I personally recommend dragon wrangling to others? Of course, I’m not the only one on the planet doing so, it just feels like it, sometimes.
Are for our life eternal.
Not just for Christmas.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 13th September 2022
Apparently, a stitch in time doesn’t save nine, it causes a quantum anomaly. Obviously, the scaly nuisances are grumpy about something. The object of this game is to get me confused, so I drop an ephemeral, philosophical, boulder on my foot. The resulting giggles, while I rub my toes, helps them lighten up a bit. It seems even the highest cosmic beings in the Universe are, officially, allowed ten minutes off, occasionally.
Today, however, being a teeny, tad, tetchy myself I’m going to try a different approach. By contending that a grumpy dragon cannot exist within the Universe, while accepting, completely, that a dragon’s grumpiness can... As long as it’s not attached to a dragon. It seemed like a grand idea, but the collective mumblings of, ‘This is going to be good,’ rattled my confidence to the point of going for a less strenuous blog instead. Along the lines of, ‘If dragons can have a break from being their, usual selves shouldn’t we follow the example? It’s not as difficult as it sounds, for instance I chose not to write obnoxious in the previous sentence.
Buddha basics are that we choose to be who we are, so, basically, choosing not to be that way should be simple. If only the theory matched the practice. Who we think we are follows many years of societal training, and the first step is go against it. For some weird reason this is frown fertiliser. Eventually, those frowns grow into anger, which leads to retribution such as being ostracised to the point of no return. Of course for exiles that have gone through this process, there is a monastery waiting to welcome them with open arms. The problem being that non monasterial behaviour will cause frowns too, perhaps well meaning frowns, but what’s the difference really?
I’m becoming drawn to the idea of being much less of a Buddhist, and much more of a myself. The downside of this is the personal responsibility thing, I’ve no excuses. I don’t know if I am morally, and ethically strong enough. It’s also one of those things without a half way point, an instant sink or swim. Unlike the dragons there are no ten minutes off either... At the absolute limit I’m pretty sure I can’t claim, ‘I was asleep,’ as an excuse. Mindful dozing is not reserved for dragons, and has no ‘levels,’ to it you either are being, or you’re not being mindful.
As usual, the dragony collective isn’t really helping as I am, according to them, acceptable company. I don’t need to change a thing. There was a slight nudge from them to just accepting myself though. Perhaps that’s the point I’m missing, maybe we all do or, at least take ten minutes off from self acceptance. The problem is that while the idea is we are all perfect, there are mirrors everywhere. Not seeing ourselves, fairly often, is difficult. I’m not talking about a superficial glance, what’s required is constant, critical surveillance. I’m not quite ready for that one, however I live in hope. Until that wonderful day of complete acceptance arrives, all I can do is keep trying. Reassured by the fact the dragons see I’m trying, as they often mention how trying I can be.
Ten minute haikus.
Require more syllables.
Which wouldn’t, quite, work.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 6th September 2022
Picture this... a ginormous dragony thingie demonstrating how to melt the individual chocolate chips out of a cookie. What surprised me was the finesse with which it was done, resulting in an extra crispy, dunking resistant, coffee sponge. Dragons don’t drink coffee, for obvious reasons. The Universe prefers them to be lethargic, not frisky. Although mocha, with a good dose of caramel syrup, might get them interested due to the Rolo similarity. Today seems to be a good day for plotting a rebellion... I’ll bear it in mind.
Inner strength, resilience, and absolute bloody mindedness often look the same to an interested observer, who are usually on the receiving end of any of them. Resilience is actually an expression of stubbornness, as it’s not always possible to change the situation. We bend until we break. Inner strength is a dragon’s preferred modality. Which makes sense for a lump the size of a mediaeval moated castle. Humans don’t quite have the impressive bulk of a dragon. I would love to say but humans have brains, which, according to the scaly nuisances is the problem, not the answer. Inner strength requires subtlety to be utilised successfully. The issue being that the odds are the cause of our distress have already got in the way of clear, analytical, thought, so we either, resiliently, or stubbornly, suffer in silence.
It’s easy to forget that everyone is more, or less, equal in the eyes of the Universe, human society is a different matter. It’s a construct, an illusion of our own perception. Admittedly it’s a very good illusion. Making it disappear could lead to being jobless, penniless, and an outcast, albeit one with honourable fortitude. This is why Buddha spent all night under the tree, trying to work out the implications of this one, and why he settled on the middle way. Basically, sometimes, it’s fine to keep your mouth shut even though you know you are right, and the boss is being a, well, boss, for instance.
Detachment requires inner strength, letting go doesn’t, yes, there is a big difference between those two. Again, it’s a brain issue as you are always going to remember, or be reminded of, whatever happened. Detachment results in the memory not having the same effect, mainly by removing the self blame factor from it. That’s the difficult bit, especially in regards to traumatic, abusive, events. If it helps don’t blame the Universe for allowing it to happen. It didn’t, in exactly the same it didn’t give us this grand idea of developing civilisations. We dreamed that one up by ourselves.
One of the reasons I am so drawn to Buddhism is there are no easy answers, while the complications seem to be explained by our, ‘human,’ nature. That too, is a construct of our own life and experiences. Like dragons and chocolate chip cookies, deconstructing leads to the best bits. It isn’t easy, sometimes a spritz of stubbornness comes in handy too. Resilient flexibility helps with sitting in the lotus position for hours, but a comfy chair is just as beneficial.
Dragons, and biscuits.
Now, there’s a haiku concept.
Oh look coffee time.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 30th August 2022
My electric fan is thoroughly enjoying their well earned day off, which looks like being extended for the foreseeable future. I haven’t got it in me to tell it that it’s facing possible redundancy. I just hope that it isn’t worrying too much. I can keep it sheltered and plugged in, without it draining my resources, unless I switch it on. The problem is it’s a constant reminder of semi sleepless nights, with ditched duvets. In time I’ll get over those. What is weighing me down is the worry that there’s a conspiracy with the kettle, and the toaster, (I talk to them... like most of us do, but never admit the fact). The last thing I need is mutinous appliances. I’m sure the fridge is neutral, and just chilling.
Regular readers will have already worked out this is another of those, ‘He hasn’t a clue where this is going,’ sort of blogs. I have a confession, the ones where I know what the topic and point are seem to be as rare as Antarctic tigers. Which gives me the opportunity to point out borders are human constructions completely irrelevant to the physical shape of the Earth. I have to admit the Southern Ocean is an issue, but tigers are fairly good swimmers. So, after careful consideration I have decided not to go there, well, in a bloggy sense, visiting the Antarctic is definitely on my bucket list. I would make do with Alaska and convince myself it was a tiger hunt which would avoid any possible disappointment. You may have already realised the idea came from the refrigerator comment...
Actually, Alaska and the Antarctic have tigers, as in apex predators. Every environment on the planet has its own, ‘I always want to eat, you never want to be eaten, but, bad luck, you’re tasty,’ animal. The ones whose only enemy are humans. Funnily enough what happens at the top occurs at the bottom too. There’s any number of fish occupying their little bit of any ocean, contentedly, doing what they do until they find the net. Maybe the World Wide Web is just Karma having a giggle reminding us all we’re as trapped as a Gilt Headed bream. Everywhere we look there are constant reminders of how interconnected everything is. Do we take enough notice? Probably not.
What is weird is that Buddha encourages isolationism in a way. The detachment from everything is paramount in his teachings. So I am a bad Buddhist as I recognise detaching completely is more or less impossible, and highly likely to be detrimental to everyone else. I try to take my environmental responsibilities seriously, as every little helps. I would draw the line at chucking a tiger into a rowing boat, then cruising on from South Georgia. It’s helping a little too far. If I am a naughty Buddhist then, at least I can try to be considerate human. We are all so tied together that whatever I do affects others in some way, while wherever I go we all tag along together. Although I wonder if this particular blog has put some people off joining me in my weekly wander. My only consolation is the dragony applause directed at my perseverance in writing a blog every week. Any hint of moaning, and groaning, is purely for literary effect. Except, of course, for the mumble around the dragons always seeming to have the final word.
Seven lucky syllables.
But not for penguins
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 23rd August 2022
I haven’t a clue where this is leading to, at all. It’s a precondition free blog and smells a bit like the dragony dare when some Rolos went on to a rotisserie. It got messy, of course, but they didn’t go to waste, as, according to the scaly nuisances, hedgehogs love grilled Rolos. Anyway, I wondered what dragons fear most, and their answer was a bit of a surprise, since it was, ‘Anyone running while holding a pair of scissors.’ Obviously, my, ‘Why?’ Knowing that all dragons are, practically, indestructible got the reply of, ‘well, they could hurt their self.’
The cunning plan of grabbing some dragon scaring scissors and having a few hours of solitude in the bestest place I know, was ruined, as the explanation started too quickly, It would have been churlish to leave, especially since I had started it off. Dragons take their personal responsibility seriously, so seriously it morphs into being responsible for all, since all are one. It’s always being kind taken to the extreme. The problem is that being kind, as in preventing a running with scissors injury, is being kind for a reason, and being kind should be the reason in itself. I did wonder if dragons are more scared of paradoxes, but it was pointed out this isn’t one, it’s a no brainer. Helping others is an expression of kindness, so disarming a scissor runner is being kind, but unless something has been actually scissored it’s also interfering with someone’s fun. Which is the opposite of being kind. In the end we reached a consensus. What dragons are frightened of is finding a question without a straightforward answer.
Me, being human, and a bit thick, postulated that could be a big part of the pursuit of the meaning of life, what happens next? Is there a purpose to existence, and how do you thread Rolos on a rotisserie? Of course they’ve figured all those out and amuse their selves trying to educate me. To a dragon there is no question without a very simple answer, which usually condenses down to accepting things are as they are. After all, in the presence of unconditional love acceptance of it is all there is. Unfortunately, unconditionally loving, omniscient, dragons can’t accept anyone running with scissors, at least not in their paddock.
What makes it all seem incredulous is the duck. It swims around on the pool of reflection slap bang in the middle of dragon land. There, all is complete silence and peace. Total hush reigns, as the slightest sound sets the duck quacking for hours. Said water fowl doesn’t mind people running with scissors, as long as the metal doesn’t clink, clank, or clunk, if it does the quacks follow... incessantly.
So a dragon’s greatest nemesis is a duck, specifically, the duck on their pond. Being kind to the duck means no signs prohibiting running with scissors can be placed in the dragon paddock. It could be done, but not without asking for permission, which would lead to quacking, and make the whole exercise pointless. Dragons don’t do pointless, ever, at all. After hearing all this I decided to abandon my manifested, symbolic, scissors. I slowly walked over, then threw them into the pool of reflection. I honestly thought a symbol would clash, my bad, it splashed.
Write a duck haiku...
It’s simple enough really.
But drove me quackers.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 16th August 2022
My blogs seem to have an inbuilt ability to create their own law of unintended consequences. For instance, last week’s, concerning the weather, congealed itself on a fine, sunny morning. Today, it’s going to be squished from a deluge. A bit like a crewless Viking boat, emerging from the mist and crashing into the rocks. Knowing my luck, its precious cargo, my blog, will sink. The dragons are hinting that sometimes, I can be a bit too obvious when I’m struggling for an idea to get started on. Scaly nuisances, however, already know what the idea actually, is. That said, so do I.
The simplest explanation to life, the Universe, where odd socks go, and who had the last Jammie Dodger? Is K. It gets stuck in to the phrase eternal now, transforming it into the eternal know. I was musing on this earlier with a friend, so I literally, have no excuse. My initial ramblings were a wilful attempt to evade the responsibility of just accepting, while the dragons prefer saying it’s just me being the usual fikko. Where all are one, all are now, and logically, have never moved from, so what’s the problem? They wonder in their annoyingly, dragony, way.
The implications for starters! All the fandangled explanations get vaporised, none of them are needed, eternal life, wrapped up in a neat parcel, the idea of Nirvana, delivered. Mahayana, the eternal vehicle, and our innate perfection, arrive faster than an Amazon Prime order. It really does explain Buddha’s gentle smile too, he found it, realised it, then just lived it, mindfully. Everything else disappears, including the desire to find definite answers, there’s no need to ask the questions in the first place.
What is really annoying is my wish to ask the extremely scaly, extremely nuisancey, dragony things how long they’ve sat on this vital piece of information? I might have, but by the time they’ve finished giggling I’ll have decided against it, and anyway, the answer is eternally, just now. Interestingly, wherever and whenever, this knowing is it is never static, although nothing gets taken away, it all morphs away to itself. Morphing dragons are included, which is a bonus I suppose. They might change into being sensible and cooperative.
Another way of explaining this might be to think of your higher self, the soul, spirit, etc. as more of a sideways self. It just requires a change of perspective to see it for yourself. Everything else stays the same. In fact, the eternal know is the ultimate basket. Of course that only increases the dragon’s laughter as I have admitted to being the infinite basket case. A thought I can, very happily, live with as I know it’s not going anywhere, at all, ever. Washing up after breakfast, however, is a different matter altogether. It goes into the sink, with some bubbles, then the drying rack, and eventually, back to the cupboard from whence it came. Life goes on, but I knew that already.
You’ll have to excuse me, though, I have a rather large gathering of dragons inviting me to join in their raucous laughter. I’m not bothered that it’s at my expense. We’ll do the same for the next one who just, well, knows. That’s the only question, who will it be? Apparently, understanding, and accepting, is a free will, and unpredictable choice.
A knowing haiku.
Would not need to be written.
Just like graffiti.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 9th August 2022
Blogs, I have decided, are like mushrooms, devious ones too! They’re too clever to get sizzled with some sausages, and only appear when your back is turned. Once you start looking, again, the hedgehogs got there first, or so it seems. I’ve been here before, though clueless and aimless. Waffling on, a bit, seems to bring a spark of inspiration to connect with my inner Hemingway. Which, immediately dies, extinguished by an unexpected, but apocalyptic deluge. Now there’s a thought, I haven’t done a weather blog for a while and being in the U.K. does give me some entitlements.
In the Nordic countries, there is no inclement weather. I always thought their weather God was Thor, so I don’t have a clue who this Clement is. The Viking descendants now only mention inappropriate choices of clothing. Maybe there’s a lesson for us all in that approach, you can be certain something is going to spoil the day, no matter how idyllic it has been. You could plan ahead of course. The problem being how many removed layers does it take to verge on indecency? Although, to be fair, they have a more lenient approach up North, and to the right a bit, we are not talking Yorkshire here. To be absolutely certain of success and happiness, perhaps the phrase should be inappropriate choices within one’s suitcase. Which brings me neatly to the concept of baggage. Our insistence of carrying unwanted memories and behaviours from extinct relationships, regrets from our own mistakes and perceived failures. Our excuse being they might be useful one day. I suppose that depends on how long you want your arms to stretch from the weight of the burden.
It could be argued that the essence of Buddhism is to awake each morning, without any preconceptions from yesterday. This would guarantee being in the eternal present of the now. Which is a nice theory but can only work in warmer climates. Wandering around Harrogate, wearing a flimsy saffron robe, during January, is not recommended. Go to Bangkok for that, if it floats your boat. Besides, Buddhism isn’t about what you wear, it’s about what is going on inside. Annoyingly, that is our own choice, apparently. Maybe the rain is Buddha’s reminder to think about it, a little. My feeling is any reminders from, ‘above,’ centre around being sensible and down to Earth, since that’s where we are, so it should be our focus for now.
There are a lot of Japanese people in the afterlife, they like the sound of falling rain. So much so that traditional Japanese drain pipes are chains, with buckets attached, which amplify the drips. Logically, an unconditionally loving Universe isn’t going to upset them by making apprentice Zen masters exist in a desert, or let them sleep through it all with only dusk and dawn drenching. There will be wet stuff of some sort, that’s a no-brainer.
Like everything else what comes next, whatever it is, requires consideration and choices. Does it require preparation too? I would say it isn’t a requirement, but that’s from my mediumship, nothing else, we all seem to go back to the same place, regardless of anything else. All we need is to have taken our last breath. What umbrella you wish to grab on to is none of my business. I’ll be happy leaning up against a scaly nuisance, come rain, or shine.
Water in Yorkshire.
Falls where, and when, it wants ‘t.
Through PROPER gutters.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 2nd August 2022
Have you ever noticed that our thoughts often find their own way out? Even when they’re supposed to be locked safely away. What’s worse is that completely innocent thinkings seem to hold the dungeon keys, and, before you know it, you have a prison riot going on between your ears. I am having internet problems at the moment. So, naturally I mused on the fact that toggling things off, then back on, doesn’t work on humans. Of course, I might be wrong on that. There are a lot of theories regarding the Universe being a humungous computer program I don’t actually hold to them.
Buddhist thoughts tend to be fairly above suspicion, but the teachings do seem to suggest the off, on thing, might be part of what he was getting at. He, steadfastly, refused to discuss what happens next, referring only to the concept of Nirvana, and cleverly not telling anyone what that is. Apart from pointing out you don’t have to die to see the light, but all the other switches have to be turned off.
Being left in the dark is the Buddhist way, especially with Zen practices. It is difficult to see through the fact, and I feel it is a fact, that the black and white of life and death combine to form the grey area of the underlying reality. Extrapolating a long way, rather rapidly, Earth could be in perpetual Nirvana if we all changed our attitudes a tad. The same reasoning applies to the paradises promised by all the major religions. We are all in the dark, because we are all stood in our own way. Of course living happily is important, I don’t like lentils! Well, not all the time, besides, they go better with a nice bit of animal, I reckon. Does that imply my aura is a darker grey than it should be? Tantric Buddhism would suggest not, as it involves walking over an infinite zebra crossing. Detaching from the enjoyments life offers, but still partaking of them. Zen, basically instructs us to do whatever we like as it doesn’t matter, because we will never know... Until we do.
So, after getting nudged, by a scaly nuisance, into the pleasant realm of controversy. It’s fairly obvious where I was going from the start. Humans can’t live in a perpetual washing machine. It’s unhealthy, we all need a little grime, occasionally. Medical science has progressed to poo transplants. Google for details, some of my readers have delicate dispositions. If we are all a God’s child then we should be happy ones, and mucky as dustbin lids. The only thing we should try to avoid is doing the dirty on others. Some of us feel that comes from a command of a, ‘divine representative,’ of some sort. If that works for you, that’s wonderful, so stick with it. Buddhism asks us to work out why you should be kind, to everyone, even if there are no recriminations beyond the off switch of our last breath. There may, however, be consequences. Which is my wonderful. Buddha, though, was an on sort of person. I can sort of see what he was getting at. Whatever happens at the off point should have no bearing on our, here, and now.
A dirty haiku.
Was, scrupulously, laundered.
With comforting thoughts.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th July 2022
There’s an old joke about doors... When is a door, not a door? The answer being when it’s ajar. If you give this some dragony consideration it could lead you to deciding it’s not funny, at all. In fact, it’s downright dangerous. A door is always a door, and that’s that. Our perception of the door’s state is the issue, as we’ve been conditioned to see a half open one as not a door. Some of you may feel that the scaly nuisances are being a bit picky, but Buddha teaches that we must always, conscientiously, guard our thoughts. Any thought is simply an action waiting to happen, and we all know what actions lead to, consequences!
The implication is that thoughts are harmless. This, of course, is a very human implication. I admit it isn’t easy to change the way we think, for a start we immediately conclude that we’re making it all up. No one should live an imaginary life, unfortunately, many of us do. Which brings us neatly back to the door, since connecting with others is key to a healthy life as they can tell us when we are being delusional. Assuming that they perceive we are being slightly self obsessed then feel able to point it out. Again, that is a big assumption to make, as they probably share a lot of similar conditioning. Basically, thoughts are as dangerous as a loaded crocodile. The only safe thought being one that results in a form of art. Others may perceive that as a direct attack though. It depends on which side of the political satire line you’re stood on. Some will laugh, others will order, ‘Lock them up.’
The strange thing about personal responsibility is it seems to be accompanied by a sense of both helplessness and depression, when it wanders in. It should be exhilarating though, as it is the route to ultimate freedom. Buddha encourages us all to follow no one, and included himself too. However, blaming others is a lot easier, been there, done that, very successfully. While now, I can only try not to. Conditioned behaviour is a serious sickness we all suffer from. It is also highly contagious, we pass it around faster than the mince pies at Christmas.
Buddha refers to attachment a lot. Dealing with the biggies, for example, material acquisitions, is comparatively easy. The little things, like controlling coercive behaviour are the difficult ones, as we will convince ourselves we are right, We were only trying to help, after all. I also know that Buddha insists we should always help others, but when does our aid become their hindrance?
So, I hear you ask, ‘What’s the answer then? I don’t know, and not knowing means I can’t mess you about, at all. I found the dragons answered my questions about the important things, the downside being they expected me to put them into practice. Dragons, unlike doors, remain dragons, even when they’re stuck in a jar of Rolos.
‘Open the door then!’
‘I can’t, it’s locked, where’s the key?’
‘It’s in your own hands.’
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 19th July 2022
Hello blank page, my nemesis.
It’s time to write the blog, it is.
An idea was slowly growing.
While the kettle came to boiling.
The dragons said I would never try, but the idea stayed and, still remains.
So the scaly nuisances listened.
Don’t ask me how I got here.
One step. and then another.
Leading me to desolation.
Where mountains move, swishing their tails.
And Rolos flow, like a black river beneath a jungle moon.
I walked along its bank.
As my mind went silent.
As the quiet built to a roar.
Ten thousand dragons, maybe more.
Dragons talking without speaking.
Dragons too busy Rolo munching.
Dragons thinking thoughts beyond the human mind.
Then someone dared to interrupt the dragony silence.
They already knew my name.
Gathering round me in welcome.
Making sure their tails were neat, and straight.
Accidents happen, so they used restraint.
I knew words were no longer needed.
Gradually their wisdom began to be heeded.
It took a while to understand.
The higher powers are down to earth.
Simply being, all that’s required.
To reach the place many desired.
Then I knew I could never leave.
There’s a sign saying, "The books got it wrong! We’re not as bad as we are described.” Which is what you will find.
Within the dragony silence.
Are always evasive, but.
I like a challenge.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th July 2022
Writing a blog is like having a semi-trained tiger as a house guest. (Having a tiger as a pet would be silly). Every so often it’s going to demand attention, and until they’re satisfied, domestic peace moves into a hotel. I’m fine with that, but obviously, my credit card gets charged. Eventually, I cave in, sit down at the desk, and do the doings on the keyboard. The only bonus, I can see, is a set of extremely warm toes. Shoving them under a contented tiger will do that, I suppose.
Very occasionally, maybe to confuse the tiger, who knows? I don’t actually, have any doings to do to the keyboard. For some reason the scaly nuisances insist I just ramble on for a while, just as they are now. So I will, obligingly, witter on until the end of the page. Some of you might be thinking I’m forcing myself to just get the job done so any old twaddle would do. Dragons, however, dislike twaddle. It’s either, ‘All is well,’ or, ‘all is not well, so sort it.’ There are no waffly, twaddly sections between those extremes. The tiger’s input is reduced to gentle snores, so, being a sensible blogger, I won’t wake them up to ask.
Maybe there is an underlying esoteric wisdom channelling thingy going on, after all. In that the end result is less important than how the task is approached. Buddha would be bouncing around and shaking pom-poms at that concept. We all tend to think a certain way, especially in regard to religious and spiritual ideas. Do this, don’t do that and especially, never imagine Buddha shaking pom-poms. I can’t help it though. I laugh with the Buddhas, not at them, while learning from the dragons by appearing dumb... O.K. perhaps I shouldn’t try to make them look even dumber. I will meditate on this.
It works for me, that’s all I can say. What others term intense spiritual experiences, or physical manifestations of Universal energies I phrase as sweaty tigger tootsies. It’s a lot more precise and twaddle free so its dragon approved. It would have to be for me to get the idea. Some of you may be surprised to learn I’m not imagining all this. We can all dream up whatever we wish to, but for the blog, I choose not to.
Zen complicates things, a tad, since the tasks and the end result, are both irrelevant. Which is fine, as long as you are looking back at the task from the point of the end result. The only thing that has importance is the understanding of why this is true. Tigers don’t do Zen, trying to get their heads around it sends them straight to sleep.
So, like Buddha, it seems what I am trying to say is what matters is beginning the journey, and continuing regardless, until the end. There will be an end, one day, breathing will be problematic for us all. Our life has a limited span. Maybe, just maybe, for those who really try, without making a fuss and simply are, what they feel, is the right way to be, there could be a bonus. I can’t promise them a gaggle of pom pom shaking Buddhas guiding them to the welcome mat. I wish I could, though, I really wish I could.
Buddhas with pom-poms.
A penta syllabic gift.
That needs a punch line
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th July 2022
Dragons have this unique ability to make you question your own sanity. A friend of mine is visiting Arizona at the moment and asked me if there was anything I would like her to bring back... Yes, I occasionally get treated to things, it’s Karma’s way of helping me cope with the scaly nuisances. Of course, the previously mentioned nuisances chimed in with, ‘A Phoenix feather,’ as obviously it’s where they’re staying. I thought, that’s clever, (this doesn’t happen very often where dragons are concerned). We both get to feel good about it as my friend can have some fun working out the riddle, but won’t, so I won’t get anything because I don’t like putting anyone out, in any way. All is well.
All was well until the picture of the gift arrived on my phone a few hours ago. It’s from Phoenix, and guess what, it’s a feather. To be precise it’s an artwork rendered with some weird techniques, but if Phoenix feathers existed in reality, I reckon they would look just like that. Of course Phoenix feathers are real, just not in this reality. They are also extremely difficult to obtain as Phoenix are bigger than an ostrich, twice as bad tempered, while choosing to self combust, occasionally. The smell of singeing is everywhere, but that’s all that’s left of their plumage.
Anyway, the real beauty of the gift is I’ve got two blogs out of it, although I don’t know quite where this one will end up following the longer than usual introduction. I will be writing a follow up when the pressie arrives, with a piccie too! Maybe that’s today’s blog subject, things happen and they have to be dealt with. My friend was going frantic, worrying about what to get, and there it was in the window of the first shop on her, ‘Maybe I’ll look in there,’ list. Phoenix has a lot of, ummm, let’s say esoteric shops, full of crystals, what-nots, bobs, bits, and paraphernalia. All that pre-finding angst accompanied by swearing at Google maps was completely unnecessary. The right thing just happened, as things always do. I also got to practice my dragony nature, because I was, absolutely, unhelpful, restricting my input to repeating, ‘A Phoenix feather.’ Yes, I was being dragony, not demented parroty.
Wonderful moments tend to be shared with others. Yet, according to the Buddhas, the most important times are those which yield some form of result within ourselves. Perhaps, I’m heading for Buddhist heretic status, because this whole thinking in isolation bit can be wearying, it also seems counter productive. Besides, when do I ever think alone? The dragons make sure that can’t happen. Until we reach a point where we know something weird is going on, because we knew something weird was going to happen, while it involved someone else too, so it can’t be self delusion, how can anyone really understand this, ‘All is one,’ concept? I can live, quite happily, with the thought that the only way to know all are one, takes more than one. Maybe I’m not a heretic, just feather brained, as the dragons have been pointing out for years.
Combusting in unison.
What a dawn chorus!
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st June 2022
This week’s blog doesn’t have a dragon in the title, because it’s all about Schrondinger’s cat. It’s a hypothetical cat, and the idea wasn’t harmed, at all. In fact, it’s even more hypothetical since Erwin Schrodinger was a dog person, thus catless. It’s Schrodinger’s cat, not his dog as humans tend to favour one idea over another, we are all prejudiced, basically. Dragons are egalitarian, which is the fancy word for neutral, although sometimes wishy washy would fit too.
Schrodinger IMAGINED a cat inside a box, but, if the lid was opened, the cat would be killed by an electric shock, there was also a timer which would do the same, at some random moment. His question being how do we know if the cat is alive? If we look, it’s dead, if we don’t it might still be alive, but we won’t know without opening the box. The science behind this is that any observation can interfere with the actual result. This matters to theoretical physicists, and apparently, cats.
When following certain spiritual ideas everyone is encouraged to think outside the box, I’m beginning to wonder if that is actually possible. Is there an outside to the box? There seems to be only one way to find out, and causes a transition from having spiritual thoughts, to being a spiritual thought, which assumes someone thinks of me, occasionally. They might not. All I can state, as a matter of fact, is that existing outside the box is a complete unknown, although not unknowable. However, the methodology of my knowing is through mediumship, this is slightly dragony, as at times it can be wishy washy. That said I know the box we are all in has some form of electric shock waiting for us should we somehow escape.
Buddha called it Nirvana for a reason, talking about empty boxes tends to put people off listening, especially when the topic is, just that, an empty box. Except it isn’t empty, it’s just as full as it ever was. While everything changes, everything stays the same, apart from our perception and perspective of the cardboard prison. We can look at ourselves behind the bars, then slowly squeeze other bits through to the side of freedom. The box, one day, will be our coffin, whatever is left in there will eventually do the cat thing. Buddha never mentioned what happened next. He did give instructions on how to get past the cell bars though. Paradoxically, the directions led to me wondering if there’s another box around the one I just got some of me outside of.
The problem with any school of Buddhism is that it removes belief, to replace it with practices, and a way of life to be followed without fearing some form of retribution, for lapsing into, well, what we all do sometimes. Our fear transforms into a constant watchfulness around one’s thoughts and actions. They’re the same box! The way to happiness can’t lie in that direction. Zen practice has no signposts, perhaps none are needed. Accepting our box, for now, and knowing one day the lid lifts up should be all the happiness anyone requires. Of course, that can only happen within a perfect cuboid world.
So, Schrodinger’s cat.
Is it happy? They have food.
Well, for now, at least.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th June 2022
If you think about it, like I have, then we are both probably in the same state of confusion, at the moment. Paradoxically, this blog is theoretically impossible to write, but it’s definitely going to be written. Obviously, that’s a dragony, definitely not an Alany one, as I really wonder if I can do this one justice.
Numbers don’t actually, exist. There are plenty of numbers of things, such as partridges in pear trees and French hens. Oh come on! It’s June, Christmassy jokes are allowed. However, what exactly is a one, or a three? It gets worse as mathematically a one, whatever it is, can be its own infinity. You just need an infinite number of zeros, but only one decimal point. A one contains all possible 0.999’s etc, ad nauseam within it. The only one that can be realistically defined as a one, is the entire Universe, as we know it, since it also has everything within it too. That assumes there is only one Universe, and there may not be, we don’t and may never know if that is a fact. To the dragons that is seen as a, ‘So, why let it bother you?’
You may be wondering what this has got to with Zen Buddhism and dragons? Well, basically everything. Knowing that there can be no definition of what we are looking for is the whole point. We can stop looking, perhaps that ‘Can,’ ought to be should. It’s very difficult to stop looking when we are trying to find the one, also known as God. Of course, other words are available. Even when the concept of, ‘It can’t be defined,’ is, completely, appreciated the search still seems to drive people forward. I wonder if that’s the biggest mistake that it is possible to make. Even more humungous than associating oneself with scaly nuisances.
If we choose to do it then even the most ardent adherent to Buddha’s teachings has done what he said we should never do. Our greatest enemy will be our doubts, and, if we carry on looking we’ve decided to make our doubts into our new practice. It will come as no surprise that I personally did, exactly that. On the plus side it did cause genuine, dragony, frustrations to emerge, these were of course balanced by my own. Being a one, whatever it is, the Universe can’t tolerate being even a teeny bit lopsided.
Zen principles teach nothing, apart from understanding nothing in its infinite entirety. No one needs to follow Zen ideas, or any other ideas to accomplish what many try to. Which is the drawing closer to who \ whatever this one is. You’re alive, you’ll die one day, after that you’ll get to meet the one. I sometimes wonder if this is why people are annoyed with the thought of going to meet their maker, when they don’t feel ready. Let’s face it, no one is ever ready for that. Perhaps we, instinctively appreciate we already know them, which means they know us. Before you start panicking yourself into doing the goody two shoes thing, relax. You’re already in Heaven. The problem is you have to stop looking for Heaven before that makes sense.
One and one is two.
But two cannot be two ones.
It’s already one.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th June 2022
All my blogs are written with invisible ink, a bit of heat from a cooperative dragon wafted over the page makes the words appear. I can happily live with the concept, mainly because the scaly nuisances can’t corrupt the statement too much. I could say, ‘I’m a dragon channel,’ but I won’t, for obvious reasons. Beginning with sewage works have channels, I’m sure you don’t need a list, or map, to see where I’m coming from. What’s more important, though, is where I’m going for the next half hour, or so, as the blog is coming with me.
It’s perfectly possible to hide away from everything, except for yourself, that is. Wherever you go, you were there just before you arrived. Of course, you could hide behind a convenient tree, so you can surprise yourself, but you’ll know who said, ‘Boo,’ without having to ask many questions. Maybe this is why so many of us try to achieve self ignorance, which, I believe, is the worst form of self harm, and perhaps the root of many other behaviours, like addictions. If something numbs the pain, even for a moment, most of us, me included, would succumb. The answer is simple, self acceptance shouldn’t be difficult. To be fair our collective excuses do give the dragons something to chuckle over, so there is a slight benefit.
Buddha wasn’t self accepting when he sat under his tree. He couldn’t hide behind it, though, as it would be highly unenlightened to jump out and shock himself sensible. Instead, he thought it through, realising that everything had to go. Which was the easy bit, as he basically had nothing at the time, including his mojo. Yes, according to the teachings he had lost his faith, knowing something was missing despite his constant abstinence and piety, he felt no closer to what he was looking for. After a while it all started to make sense, the biggie being we are all the same, with the same problems. He never was any different to anyone else, nor are they different to him. We’re all in the middle, probably because we’re afraid to wander off from the security of the herd. Buddha didn’t amble, though, he was led away, by himself.
Who is our self? We can do without asking, ‘And why am I here?’ For now. My honest answer has to be, ‘I don’t know.’ What worked for me did the job, but my this would be your that. It’s like saying this is the most important facet to a sparkling jewel, rather than that one. Both are the same, and each contributes to the light pattern. We are all glitter on the Universal greeting card, separate and unique, although, simultaneously combined as one extraordinary glimmer. What is there not to like about yourself? Buddha understood our ability to make things up fabricated the illusion he had lived with, and now woken up from. He came up with a self help guide so other could do the same. It didn’t help me though, yes, that is a confession. Nothing worked, apart from Zen meditation. I’m an, ongoing work in progress, but so are we all.
It just requires effort.
Not much, just enough.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 31st May 2022
I was contemplating a dragon free blog this week. The idea was to disguise myself as a mushroom, sneak into the dragon paddock, then do a reality blog of what they all get up to. Of course, thinking, while allowed, should never be done, aloud, in the presence of scaly nuisances. Although being elevated to the status of, ‘Fun guy,’ eased the frustration a little.
In this respect dragons are a lot like life. No matter how well you think something through there will always be the unexpected occurrence. Very few plans survive contact with the enemy. On top of that everyone else has their own agendas. Perhaps the best tactic is not to think at all! It’s only good for shutting dragons up though, and only for as long as it takes to melt a few Rolos into a medal for being brainless.
The strange thing is that mindfulness is actually, mind emptiness. Whatever is being done, gets done, and keeps getting done until something else needs doing. The world’s greatest mindfulness practitioners make the world’s best washer uppers. It’s the same for meditation. No one can stop their awareness being, well, aware. However, just being aware of being aware is, apparently, something Buddha managed only occasionally, (according to the pre-enlightenment legends.) By that logic meditation is simply a lot like life, which, with a little extrapolation, makes it a dragon, and explains why so many people get put off doing it.
I have a theory that one of mankind’s biggest failures is managing our own expectations. For instance, everyone expects dragons to be fierce, wantonly destructive, beasties from the depths of Hell. They’re the complete opposite, which everyone from any country East of Israel, (ish) appreciates. The pre Columbian races of South America did dragons too, so whatever should have circled the globe never quite made it across the Atlantic.
Actually, it did, us history types know that. Pagan beliefs involved dragons. Of course, the churches of the time decided to paint dragons in a new colour. It seemed a good idea, at the time, and, at the time, I would have been forced to agree then burned alive. Except times change, now most of us are allowed to think however we want. I used to believe that organised religion of any kind was something to run away from. So I did, and hurtled straight into the side of a snoozing scaly hillside. Who told me to turn around, and run straight back in the direction I had just come from.
Buddha teaches that only love can overcome hatred, prejudice of another form, will never defeat a prejudice. Organised religion does a lot of good. There I’ve admitted it, which took a few years to get to. Another admission I should make, is more of a confession. Quite often people say, ‘God bless,’ to me after their reading. I really must stop thinking, to myself, ‘And which God would that be?’ After all, there can only be one, so they must be referring to them.
Put into five syllables.
Ummmmmmm, or Aum... sorted.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 24th May 2022
‘Mornin’ Gracie, what are you doing here, I thought you were down for blogatories this week?’ ‘Hiya Maude, how’s you? I am, but there’s a bit of a problem. The only activity, so far, has been making coffee. I am detecting a slight teeny amount of angst as well.’ ‘You mean he’s totally brain frozen?’ ‘Yes Maude, that too, but.’ He always does that Gracie, what’s so different today?’ ‘Well, Maude, our resident dragon botherer, first class, with bars, is sat in front of his computer determined to do something totally different.’ ‘I hope you wished him good luck with that one Gracie.’
‘Luck, he doesn’t need luck! All that’s required is a right good tail thwacking so he loses his lack of confidence.’ ‘That’s never going to happen Gracie, we all know that. It keeps him humble, semi respectful towards dragon kind, and it happens every week too. It’s why the blogatories has such a long waiting list of volunteers. I just hope no one realises why it’s pinned on the side of the emergency Rolo silo.’ ‘Oh, come on Maude, everyone knows it’s a skive. It’s not a secret. We all do it though, use it as an excuse to hang around and say we’re waiting to help.’ You’re right Gracie, it’s Alan’s energy making me want to keep up the aloof bit, and appear proper dragony like.’ ‘Maude, you’re a dragon. What else are you supposed to appear like, an overgrown iguana?’
‘It sounds like he’s about to kick off Gracie, you’re receiving his thoughts, obviously.’ ‘No Maude, he’s still on the, ‘I must be original,’ track, and low on coffee, so it’s going to be a while yet.’ ‘Maybe we should get him stacking pebbles instead, that’s a great way of finding inner peace.’ ‘We could get him to use Rolos.’ ‘Gracie, sometimes you really are almost too dragony for your own good. Plus we’d get him back for the things he’s come out with in the past.’ ‘Now, now, Maude, you know I couldn’t possibly comment. We all signed up to the blogatory code.’
‘OOOOOOOh I’m in the zone now too, it’s a stereo blog.’ ‘Maude, if it is then it’s being played extremely slowly, and sounds like grass growing.’ ‘It’s a good job humans don’t write their thoughts out, the rejects would cause an ecological disaster from all the waste paper.’ ‘You’re not helping, Maude! Oh, hang on, that sparked a glimmer in the grey stuff, let’s try and breathe some fire into it. ‘Well, that was a failure, one of us went a bit too far and it wasn’t me. Was it Gracie?’ ‘No, Maude, it wasn’t you... There’s something about the aroma of sizzling human brain though, very savoury.’
‘Well, that’s that! He’s only gone and decided to think about the haiku for this week.’ Gracie, he always does the haiku after he knows what he wroted, doing it backwards is impossible.’ Yes, Maude, you don’t have to explain everything on its absolute simplest level. ‘Gracie, I’m a dragon, and we’re discussing a human. It doesn’t get any more simple does it?’ ‘Well, thinking about writing the haiku first did the trick, Maude. We have a blog topic. Apparently he’s going to rabbit on about Mercury retrogrades.’ ‘I thought he was going to be completely original this week Gracie?’ ‘So did I Maude, so did I, but that’s humans for you.’
Would be Yrucrem, backwards.
What’s the difference?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 17th May 2022
Today is one of those rare moments when I, willingly, forgo my tentative grip on the underlying reality, and hurl myself into the welcoming arms of the delusional octopus. I want to be a Dragonslayer. In fact I want to be a dragonmangler, scaleythingy Vitamixer, then do the slaying bit, slowly, with round edged pointy things to produce bigger contusions. Why? Because when they do the smug thing it’s annoying enough to warrant it!
I was thinking about a blog around the symbolism of the Tarot card, depicting strength, that’s been postponed, maybe next week. Anyway, while I was musing around the concept and making my blog writing coffee... Buddhism helps blokes multitask, the Yin-Yang symbol came up. Mainly because it neatly illustrates the concept I was going to explain, whilst going some way to showing the Zen Universality of it is all what it is, and that’s all you really need to know.
The problem with the symbol is that it’s easy to draw on a sheet of paper but reality is a three dimensional existence. Trying to work out how the four different areas fit together and interact within the sphere they form, is fascinating. That’s, obviously, a Mr. Spock fascinating, as most people would immediately conclude, ‘What’s the point.’ That is even more fascinating as it shows they have really grasped the idea of Zen studies as there is no point in studying what just is, it just is. I spent years meditating on the Yin-Yang sphere. Although it only took me a few minutes to understand I had only scratched the surface. All available, fabricated, Yin-Yang spheres CAN only scratch the surface. I, mentally, plodded on. It would have been much easier to write Japanese symbols, with water, on a hot pavement. It would have been, except finding hot pavements, in Wales, is always problematic.
Almost as problematic as sitting down at a computer, to write a blog, and have a head filled with a vision of several thousand dragons, skilfully, manipulating yoyos. Not simply average run of the mill yoyos, these were Yin-Yang spherical ones. That is not the moment I refer to in the first paragraph. That occurred a few seconds later when I was allowed to have a close look at one. I realised that unless it was moving, it was a scratched surface on the end of a piece of string. Which is exactly when I lost it with the scaly nuisances.
Don’t worry, folks I’ve regained my composure and we are all buddies again. Happily wandering off, through mindful avenues, together. Think the Pied Piper but with trackless trains instead of rodents. I know some of you may be wondering about what you just read, and was there a point? Which, from a Zen perspective, is the point, except it’s the point that can’t be made. It just is what it is, like everything else.
The Zen of dragons.
Start round, go very round... then.
Taper the tail.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th May 2022
Today, April 26th, was William Shakespeare’s birthday. I have decided not to be like him and will keep the blog restricted to simple language, as usual. Being a natural peacemaker, I don’t want to fall out with anybody with whatever I blog about, it would just be much ado about nothing. Of course, even when using feathers to tap on the keyboard, scaly ears still get drawn to the sound. I can cope with that, ish, I’m having difficulty with the pronouncement that there are no birthdays in the afterlife. One can go off dragons, it’s allowed, it should be compulsory, but there you go.
I will explain, because the dragons won’t. Heaven, or substitute the term you prefer, has one simple rule, ‘Be happy.’ So, if reincarnation applies, and I can’t say it doesn’t, this causes problems. Which particular birthday are we discussing, while how many applicable sets of proud parents are invited round for nibbles? There is also the fact of clashing dates too. We all like to feel the centre of attention when we celebrate. A birthday would be bound to coincide with several other significant dates in your family(s). Infinite bliss slowly wobbles into infinite angst around seating plans, and indigestion from a surfeit of cake. Eternal happiness it is not.
It gets complicated. How can anyone get in wearing a beatific smile after reading the pamphlet headed, ‘Why we don’t do Birthdays’. It’s on the information stand, next to the gates, or so I am reliably informed. Of course the Buddhists among my readers have leapt on to the bandwagon of the importance of detachment. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but detaching from a physical, Universal, fact is impossible. The only way to make that happen is self delusion.
Whenever the Universal mind is confronted with a Universal whoopsie, (I polited that up, the Universal consciousness has been heard to swear, occasionally.) It does one of two things. The first is to ask the dragons, I’m with you on this, I don’t believe it either, or it does something profoundly simple. There are many other similar reasons for their decision that, in the afterlife, the concept of time does not exist. The result being everyone is happy, as there is nothing to complain about. Even the hamsters are ecstatic as the shredded leaflets make excellent bedding material. All is well that ends well.
You would think so, but, there’s a but, a big but. I sounded just like a motorbike then, but I’m digressing... again. As a Reader I am often asked about the timing of certain events. I receive the standard reply from my various guides, which is, ‘What’s a when, please rephrase.’ I do my best, under the circumstances. Human nature plays a big part in my answer. This is why I have to sense I am connecting with everyone concerned. That said, we all know how, naturally, unpredictable some humans can be. Logically, if Earth wants completely correct, guaranteed, to the second predictions, Earth needs to drop their Birthdays in the bin. Whens would no longer exist, patience could go out of the window too. Now, there’s a thought to ponder on.
A timely haiku.
Is out for delivery.
Wait for the postie.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd May 2022
‘So, what’s our legendary genius coming up with to top last week’s offering?’ Thus spake the dragons. My reply of, ‘I didn’t know friendly conversations were now a competitive sport,’ actually earned me an, out of ration, extra, Rolo. I gave it back when the green meanie, who never says anything nice, remarked, ‘Well, your lot invented Politics.’ Dragon wrangling, apparently, is more of an art, than a science. Most of our days start like this, everything is perfect until the reverie ending cobra spits their venom into our bleary eyes.
Buddha taught that the way to approach life, with all its hidden dangers, especially the really minor ones is resilience. We should, boldly, stride, like an elephant, over the plain. Fearing nothing, harming nothing, (squished grass is just getting its Karma), and being a detached observer. I’m sure that applies to Buddhas, but for us wannabes I reckon we should emulate a three toed sloth in all we do. For a start they have that annoying, smug, Buddha smile in exactly the way elephants tend not to. Sloths also move slowly, considering each arm, or leg stretch, before acting. Until it becomes instinctive behaviour we need to do the same. Quick witted is great if you are, but it’s still, ‘Oh so easy,’ to say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. It’s especially worse if everyone else just laughs. Resilience knows when to keep quiet, even when a wonderful opportunity presents itself. Resilience is, in many ways, another word for kindness. That’s according to the scaly thingies. I’m going to have to ponder about that.
Sloths are the key to unlock the door of the underlying reality too. They’re not smiling, it’s a result of how they’ve evolved into their habitat. Perfectly natural, just as the Universe intended, all is a slow, but harmonious, symphony. Along comes Joe, or Jilly, human to play the flattest note ever heard by saying, ‘Ahhh, how cute, he’s happy, look, they’re smiling.’ What’s worse is Joe, or Jilly, is at the zoo!
OK, Sid the sloth might be well cared for, but happy? No one could possibly know but everyone assumes he is. We’ve all been to the zoo, in fact, we wake up in the human one every morning.
Sloths tend to keep their self to their self. Which is difficult for humans. Being around others is probably the greatest test of our own resilience. Tutting, is unknown in sloths, we are all masters at it. Usually from a judgmental position we’ve decided to occupy. Sloths do trees, not ivory towers. I don’t know when humans evolved to forget that we are social animals and have to just get along with each other. We don’t forget though, its trained out of us by our upbringing. It shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to be that way of course. Resilience knows what to accept and reject. Resilience, as a concept of how we express our free will, is something to think about. I’ll have to trust you on that, as like the sloth, descending the tree trunk, we’ve nearly reached the end of our bloggy journey for another week. You will all be pleased to know I don’t like long goodbyes. I’m not sure what a sloth’s preference is, and I’m not going to speculate.
A tapir haiku.
The punch line will be in the....
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th April 2022
Due to circumstances beyond my control I’m not sure there will actually be a blog today. It all started when someone referred to me, in THAT email, as being a legend. This did not go down well with the scaly thingies, who are, of course, legendary. Both for their dragony abilities and extreme sulkiness. Other people get guided, me, I’m surrounded by a bunch of overgrown newts who decided to organise themselves into a mutually supporting nursery! Anyway, they’re giving me the silent treatment unless I can prove I really am a legend by disappearing up my own mythologicals. I’m sure they will have got over it by next week, which is a long way off, but the gap would run into another ‘page,’ of MS Word. I only allow myself one. (Other word processing software is available.)
It’s happened before, when it’s, usually, a nudge for me to just say what I’m feeling, rather than interpreting rumbles, with grumbles, or the occasional earthquakey tail wag. Which is the basic problem. I’m having too much fun giggling, while this lot ramble on about why I can’t be a legend. I’m not helping as my natural, nay, legendary, humility makes me agree, wholeheartedly, with the dragons here. Of course, legends aren’t made, they’re just talked about by others, so, by, dragony, definition I are one. I think that’s what is really upsetting them, in that, eventually, they will just have to accept it as a fact. What someone else thought, I became, just like Buddha said was the way of the world.
Except I am not a legend in my own perception. Which takes precedence as our own perception is paramount when it’s a choice between illusion and reality. I could easily buy into the compliment, stick myself on a pedestal, then demand praises and adulation. I could, but seeing as I am surrounded by dragons, at the moment, it’s not a thought that has occurred since THAT email arrived. One thing that does come to mind is the impossibility of living a Buddhist life on the outside of a monastery, or convent. Except it isn’t that difficult, people will always do what people have always done, and those are the same people on the other side of the monastery wall. It’s all down to my perception, which would drive my thoughts and actions towards them.
Possibly, we all need to think before releasing the mouth clutch. Most of us run on an automatic gob box nowadays, Buddha always stuck to a manual. It might seem a bit old fashioned, but it can be useful sometimes. Whatever we say to someone may have unforeseen consequences, so always think first. I might seem like I’m nit picking over a trivial incident, which wasn’t even meant to cause harm, rather the complete opposite. Look at it from my point of view, though. How often do I get the legitimate chance to say exactly what I, sometimes, wonder about dragons? It’s never happened before, will never happen again, they’ll make sure of that. It might as well be a new, Universal, Law. Getting one over on scaly nuisances really is the stuff of legends. So, Tracey, thanks for THAT email, like me, you’re a legend now.
Here is the tale of.
Some legendary dragons.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 19th April 2022
Dragons, being hyper-intelligent, omniscient and omnipresent, higher beings must have a naughty day once a year. The day varies according to the angle Jupiter makes with the Andromeda galaxy, when viewed from the mirror like surface of the tadpole sink, (which is currently vacant of tenants). There’s this long winded ceremony involved in declaring, ‘Yes, we can be naughty.’ So they are. Dragons, being dragons, have a problem with spontaneity, thus their naughtiness is highly standardised, revolving around a plan to kidnap the Easter Bunny, then demand a Rolo ransom for their safe return. It’s the same every year, with me elected official fun spoiler for pointing out the Easter Bunny is a figment of people’s imagination, besides, in France, it’s a big bell!
At this point, it all gets very technical. Theoretically, planning a kidnap of something that doesn’t exist, isn’t actually being naughty. The misbehaviour is compounded by the fact of still carrying out the plotting though. Basically, it’s naughtiness, but not as humans understand the concept. In fact it’s the only act of evil Buddha approves of. I tend to think he only agreed to shut them up, and have a bit of meditatory peace and quiet. My argument around, ‘What we think we become,’ always gets shot down as thinking about a kidnap will not lead to the materialisation of the Easter Bunny. Allowing non-naughty naughtiness to prevail, but only for twenty four hours. Normal service soon gets resumed when the scaly nuisances end the day with the traditional Rolo celebration. This, strangely enough, looks like every other dragony tea break, I’ve seen.
I took a different approach this time by pointing out bad behaviour should never be rewarded, and there should be consequences for every incorrect action. It sank faster than a Tungsten filled rubber duck. It can’t be bad behaviour, for several reasons, everyone is behaving the same, without exception. Apart from me, of course... I should have seen that one coming. The agreement was I should take responsibility and suffer all the consequences, as my not being naughty is more naughty than what the dragons are not doing, while freely admitting they are. Telling fibs would be a naughty too far for a dragon.
Having nothing to lose I tried one final shot from the philosophical canon, (clever innit?) Stating that dragons must be continually naughty, as they always come up with this plan, every year, so at least one of them must remember it. Not so, they replied, in chorus, which sounds as annoying as it reads. It’s written down and hidden until the next time. Knowing where it’s hidden isn’t naughty, and since everyone knows the location it’s not really hidden in the first place.
Anyway, that was yesterday. Jupiter, and Andromeda, have moved on from each other. I’m sure they will reconcile again some time. Oh, and if you’re thinking not being on Santa’s nice list is proof of dragony misdeeds. I’ve tried that one myself. They are on the list but choose to donate their gifts to those who would appreciate a pair of rainbow socks, or anything similar. They always acknowledge the thought behind the giving though. Could any being be any nicer than that?
A naughty haiku.
Would break the syllable rules.
But, this one doesn.................................................................................................................................’t
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th April 2022
The worst form of evil is when it’s not expected. For instance, I saw a joke, mooning ring box for sale, recently. As well as the pop up plastic posterior inside, when it was opened it made a noise, to add humorous insult to savage injury. The guy in the ad was shown as laughing his socks off, his, presumably partner he had presented it to, seemed less amused. I can understand why, to the point of thinking whoever thought that one up is probably also a mental health statistic. The weird thing is describing it makes me genuinely smirk, mainly with the ring connection, while the watching only caused me to squirm. The thought someone will actually buy this article rapidly takes me back to dismay. Whoever does, needs reminding that April 1st is just one day of the years their callousness will be remembered. Guys, never, ever, toy with a woman’s emotions regarding rings; they’re all hardwired into their inner dragon.
‘I was only joking,’ is a common form of coercive control. Yep, today is the day for calling things out for what they are. Well, can be, it all depends on the individual’s motivation. The big problem with, ‘I was only joking,’ is it can be a cunning disguise, hiding a retreat to rethink, and come up with a more effective manipulative tool to achieve the desired effect. If you are going to gaslight somebody, then at least be straightforward about it so they can figure out where they stand with you. Eventually, the evil will become expected, turning it into unacceptable behaviour, followed by a gap in a person’s life where their victim used to be.
Complete honesty doesn’t mean having to become boring, it can actually be hilarious. If you don’t believe me go back and read the first paragraph again. It is simply a statement of facts. It makes life so much easier too. The problem is trust is the key to open the honesty door. Without that people immediately become suspicious, then begin hallucinating, by making things up, or delusional by making things up. They must love me being the delusion that leads to them deciding they didn’t mean what they said, or, I will believe that is what they said. Every time I come across this behaviour, in a relationship, my heart breaks, literally. It’s the sensation I feel to help me understand what’s going on without having to ask. Don’t worry, folks, if I’m wrong I will soon get put in my place, if, and when, that ever happens.
It’s the time of new beginnings, this side of the equator at least. The concept can get over the imaginary line around the Earth, and do the flying thing the swallows will soon be doing. Are you in need of one? A new life, that is, not a swallow. It’s a simple enough question to answer. If you find that you are constantly having to make excuses for how your partner acts towards you, or are starting to question your own thought processes based on their comments, maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a fresh start. I can’t say for definite. After all, I’m writing a blog, not giving you a reading. It doesn’t stop my feeling of heartbreak for you, though.
Always try to keep smiling.
Behind their tears.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th April 2022
Last Tuesday, I was waiting for a delivery, and for a bit of fun posted something on the Reader’s Facebook page inviting predictions regarding the actual arrival time. The winner was Vicky, who, as promised, gets star status in this week’s blog while also choosing the subject, which is...’What do dragons do when they’re waiting for the Postman?’
Dragons don’t write letters, or send cards, paper, being flammable, causes them problems. Besides, most postmen are literate, (it goes with their job,) and the, ‘Here be dragynnes,’ sign, on the gate, makes them a bit anxious. However, since the price of a stamp is now a hoard and a third, dragons are boycotting the Post Office on a point of principle. The exact cost is just less than a hoard and a third, there’s a distressed damsel in change. Dragons leave them in the charity tin, on the counter though. Since dragons have never distressed a damsel before, and have no intentions of starting now. De-distressed damsels usually revert to princessy, quite quickly, with daily demands for doilies, which, being paper, are a NO, NO. Anyway, who wants to be carrying pounds of loose change around?
So, I am sorry to disappoint you Vicky, dragons can’t wait for the Postman. They do have to wait for other deliveries though, which amounts to the same thing really... (There isn’t a prize for guessing the next sentence). Dragons, being go with the flow type thingies get most of their stuff from Amazon. We all know what that feels like.
Dragons, being dragons, tend to do their waiting, mindfully. Which simply involves getting on with everything else. Theoretically, waiting is a human concept, in the same group as procrastination and wishful thinking. Dragons have evolved a little higher though, vaporising the trauma of waiting, by diligently, snoozing. I’m not asking what they dream about, I’ll just make a guess of, ‘Where’s my stuff’?
Apparently, when dozing off fails and the man in the van, is still way over the horizon they have another method of usefully passing the time. Out comes the abacus. Then they conduct a statistical analysis regarding the probability of Vicky winning a trivial Facebook challenge, in a purely random, and equitable way, without a whiff of collusion, corruption, or cash exchanges. Vicky uploads the blog every week. She was also the only one who gave a time, as per the rules of entry. Vicky won, fairly and squarely. The red and green meanies are just miffed that I guessed what they’re dreaming of. The one eye open and gazing at the gate, was a bit of a giveaway.
What both me and the dragons, find hilarious is Vicky, while being staff, isn’t a Reader, herself. Maybe there’s some truth in this idea of we are all as psychic and intuitive, as each other, so that’s how and why, it works. I will now leave you all in peace and meditate, mindfully, on whether I should show abject remorse for the Amazon joke. Like me, and the scaly nuisances you’ll have to wait for the answer.
Waiting is a pain.
Trudging an endless road or...
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 29th March 2022
Apparently, we humans have invented a new linguistic activity... Chexting. It’s when two people, in a relationship decide to hold a conversation over some form of text only medium. This, like the game of chess, is actually warfare on a grand scale, but rendered completely portable, and without the collateral damage tanks try to avoid. Chess has a few, fairly simple rules, chexting has none at all, unfortunately, that has to be the case otherwise we would all be robots.
Chexting is as black and white as a chess board, whatever you tapped out and sent, is right there on the other person’s screen. This is where the trouble starts. There are no contextual language buttons, no matter how smart your phone is. A chess master considers their move carefully and always thinks ahead. Blokes on a garage forecourt aren’t that subtle and it’s the same with women at the supermarket pizza counter. Minor upsets are guaranteed, while there is also a high chance of escalation to, ‘Wait until they get home!’ This is all due to the fact of there being a slight difference in how men and women communicate around a task. Choosing what to have for tea, is a task.
Men do the straight logical thing and leave it to their partner, to them it’s food, and they’ve made the kill all that’s left is rendering it edible, which might not involve them at all. Women, however, immediately go into, ‘You don’t care about me,’ mode when this happens. OK, he inadvertently tripped your wanting to be cherished and valued, by a decisive partner switch, which is hardwired into your nurturing those you love circuit, this also runs the wanting to be superwoman routine, but you don’t know what their deepest desire for tea is. That’s on top of the, ‘it seems they don’t care,’ as they haven’t helped in any way. What women fail to realise is that males prefer to show they care, rather than say it. This is virtually impossible to do through a short text. Men are immediately put on the defensive because their comfort zone just got steamrollered.
Chess is a game, which can sometimes be taken very seriously, relationships are always serious, but, too often, get treated like a game. Games by definition always have a winner, and a loser. Draws are a possibility but another word for them is a stalemate, and who wants one of them in their relationship?
The dragon sized biggie of all this is there is no simple answer, there isn’t a complicated one either. Women will never like one word texts from their partner. Look, guys, the shortest phrase you can ever expect to get away with is, ‘I do,’ and that’s two words. However, ladies, just because something isn’t liked doesn’t mean it has to be a principle you are prepared to do a Lady Macbeth over and hurl yourself from the highest turret of your Redrow semi detached. So, if you’re going to both chext each other, take a leaf out of the grandmasters instruction pamphlet. Know your enemy, paradoxically, it could stop some of the fighting.
Grey is black and white.
But the edges are fuzzy.
Where is this going?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd March 2022
This one is, unashamedly, in support of Ukraine.
This morning got off to a bad start... Someone, who will remain nameless but honestly should have known better, used the word dragonslaying in a message. The result being thousands of chortling dragons, rolling around, giggling, at the ridiculousness of the concept, on a blog day! I can’t do a thing with them. Dragons are indestructible. If you drop a Hydrogen bomb nearby, they might reach for the factor 50 and a pair of Raybans. The last person who tried the theory out, however, melted the Rolos. There is no record of what happened to them after the event. When dragons decide something needs to be obliterated, that’s exactly what happens. History never argues with a dragon.
Humans, like everything else, have a little bit of dragon inside. Everything, apart from wasps, comparing a wasp sting to a dragony action would be as daft as trying to kill one, (a scaly nuisance, that is.) Wasps are nuisances, without scales, obviously. It takes a lot to drag out our inner dragon, an awful lot. It’s anger, yes, but of the rare righteous kind. Once it appears it doesn’t retreat until the task is completed. No matter how long it takes, or what it might require to achieve. Inner dragons also have this weird magnetism. They sort of connect to other inner dragons, wherever they might be. The collective term for a group of gathered inner dragons is a hurricane, and good luck to anyone who tries deflecting that with a wind chime, in fact anything else would be just as effective, and so, basically, useless.
One thing inner and outer dragons never need is an exit route, unlike a swatter confronted wasp. The reason for not having a plan is fairly simple, as inner dragons never seek to get involved. They just go about their dragony business which is mainly snoozing. Waking them up is problematic as suddenly they are all awake and roaring in unison. It hasn’t quite happened yet over Ukraine but it will.
Outer dragons, sensibly, never get involved with clearing up a mess. Apart from melted Rolos of course. It’s how fudge brownies were invented by the way. No, the outer dragons will leave the sorting out to the inner dragons. Hopefully this time, it will be done effectively, permanently and, above all, peacefully. There will always be an uninvited wasp at any picnic, but, with a few sensible precautions in place they needn’t spoil the day. Wasps have a right to exist; in fact they are more beneficial to us than we think as they eat a lot of insect pests. Does it mean we have to make them welcome? Buddha would say so, but within our own boundaries. Love them, but not necessarily like them because of their current behaviour. So, let’s try this as an experiment. If you really want to help Ukraine send your inner dragon. It might be all that’s needed.
(Send Rolos too... Alan’s dragony editor.)
What is war good for?
Edwin Starr once asked us all.
Is there an answer?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th March 2022
In celebration of St David’s day, (March 1st) I wish to share what the dragons don’t know. Yes, there really is such a thing. The only answer that can be blowin’ in the wind is the name of whoever left their question by the open window? They’re full of beans this morning because they made it to the Google home page picture. They’ll be over it by tomorrow, which, they were at pains to point out, won’t happen for a lot longer in Hawaii. Also, given the prevailing wind patterns and the humidity levels over the Pacific basin, the chances of the scrap of paper under hypothetical discussion making it there are remote enough to be ignored. It’s as bouncy as dragons get.
It may seem humdrum to you and me, but, to them, it’s almost as magical as Christmas Eve is to a four year old human. Excitement is relative; some of us are really pleased to visit our mad Aunties, others not so much. Whatever the reaction is, it is difficult to keep it internalised, joy, or misery, is infectious. Being surrounded by happy dragons is a wonderful place to be, as long as the Rolos don’t run out, which they won’t. That is a Universal law, ever since there was a problem with the delivery and the dragons all had a coffee while they waited patiently. Very patiently, about ten flat whites, patiently.
It soon started to get a bit messy, but only because the barista couldn’t keep up with washing the buckets. There is a theory that what happened next was basically, the big bang, so here we all are because of it, but only if the theory is correct. Since it’s actually, impossible to know what existed before whatever caused creation it has to remain a theory. The dragons, ‘might,’ know, but have a reasonable excuse it was another answer that got blown away in the breeze when it all exploded. Logically, that makes them innocent of all charges, even if they did it. It would make sense of their inbuilt desire to help, especially when it comes to messy thinking. That said, I can’t know it for a fact, and I shouldn’t speculate... Especially when a speculative thought, about having a speculative thought earns me one of, ‘those,’ looks.
Buddhist teachings all have the same precept around happiness, in that it has to come from within our self. So what is this, ‘happy,’ thing? It can’t be an internal, windblown, answer, unless, like me, you have a warped sense of humour that, occasionally, relies on bodily functions for smirks. This is the problem, there isn’t an answer, and one does not exist. We think it does, using others as our yardstick to gauge our level of joy, even worse, we apply the same measure to material possessions. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a complete separation of self from material needs is, more, or less, impossible. We all need to eat. Buddha tried the spoonful of bean soup, a day, diet. It drove him to sit under a tree, with the wind rustling through its leaves. Oh look, we’re right back where we started. I wonder how that happened? Not that it matters, I’m just happy it did. I always find a big part of my happy in the little things of life.
Are dust in the wind, due to...
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th March 2022
This is going to be difficult, but I like difficult... Just before settling down to write I had an email from The Circle. This had an attachment, I like irony too. It was a certificate marking my 250th blog, which was totally unexpected but a very welcome surprise. I had decided to just blog on, regardless, and not mention the number, obviously, other ideas were floating around which took precedence, so here we are. Another blog taken out of my hands by extraneous forces I have great difficulty in always being grateful to. Everyone of us will relate to that one.
It’s all about numbers, apparently. Today is 22 02 22, but that zero, which is nothing, can be ignored so we have 22222. What is so special about that is it’s one of the rare dates which the UK, and USA actually agree on. Of course, the spacing needs a tweak, slightly, but an empty space is another nothing, and nothing should ever get in the way of harmony between countries. If you have seen the sense in that, congratulations, you are now thinking like a dragon.
222 is also an Angel number, so if you are inclined to think the preceding sentences were complete garbage then, you’re still thinking like a dragon, as Angels and dragons both play the same instruments in the cosmic orchestra. This, of course, begs the question, ‘Is it possible to think like an Angel?’ Of course it is! Earlier this morning I had a message from an American friend asking which I was more drawn to, 222, or 333? They pointed out both are Angel numbers. I went with 333, as sometimes, I can be a little devil, and I have a funny feeling the wings of whoever gave me the idea were not green, or scaly.
There is no escaping the fact that the world is currently going through a few ups and downs... I like understatements too. Again, it all comes down to numbers. The dragons can’t understand why, when the vast majority just want to live in peace, there is so much conflict. All we should be doing is sharing our Rolos. I know there will be thousands of contrary voices screaming, ‘It’s not that simple,’ at their screens right now. If you really thought like a dragon, or Angel, you would soon understand it is that simple, well, as a concept to be applied to various situations. Don’t start muttering that you can’t think like a celestial being either. You’ve have had that lesson already, from both sides.
If I think like a grumpy dragon, I can see the flaw in the easy answers. They don’t frame what the questions should be. The only system that would suit absolutely everyone would be no system, at all. It’s called anarchy, I don’t think it’s feasible as there would always be the one who felt they knew best. So the Universe, knowing better, left us with some grand schemes that, throughout history, never quite worked. Like a rusty watch, occasionally they were useful, but not for long as a few seconds later the errors crept in. The point is I know how you feel. My blog is my not sitting on my hands. You might not even have that, or need the support of others to make any progress. It doesn’t mean you are weak, simply that our strength has to lie in our numbers, as does the volume of our collective voices.
Inner, and world peace.
Seem to be impossible.
But, are they, really?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st March 2022
Happy is a weird, but very wonderful thing. We can only know when we were happy, or are, right now. The idea of will be happy can cause major problems, which is also weird, not so wonderful, and might not, actually, exist as a reality, just as a delusion. For instance, no one would argue that a lottery jackpot would change their happy level in some way. No one can know how much and in which direction, until it happens to them. There is no will be involved, if the cheque is in the post you are happy, right now, it’s the same when you check your ticket.
All Buddhist teachings, around happiness, amount to the same thing, stop looking for it, that’s the only way you can be. It goes without saying that a lot of Buddhists haven’t quite grasped the concept, so don’t give up on yourself. There is still hope, which is not the abbreviated form of will be happy, although many would argue otherwise. The trick seems to be to be happy in the moment, then, whatever came before, or arrives later, is irrelevant. It really is, but it’s difficult to see this as being unimportant at the time. Of course applied to one person everything seems so clear cut. Most people’s happiness involves some form of relationship, usually several of them. So the potential for our happiness to be affected rises exponentially with each person we are, ‘attached,’ to. Humans, being humans, are social creatures, so our ability to self sabotage our own happiness seems to be genetically hardwired into our existence. ‘There is always hope,’ seems to be a bit of an empty statement after that.
So what is the answer? Having no more questions is a good start. Look at your relationship(s) the only remark you should ever have to make on anyone else’s behaviour is, ‘I don’t believe you just did that.’ Most of us are far, far, away from that point. Instead we change our own actions to avoid any confrontation. We allow ourselves to be manipulated, sometimes, even controlled up to a point. The levels of which vary. It’s done simply to keep the other person happy since we fear the consequences when they are not. What is happening is that your happy just got twisted, and perverted, into someone else’s addictive substance they rely on to keep their life together. Strong language there, for which I can’t apologise. What’s worse is the fact that this whole thing is on a spectrum ranging from murder to getting a slice of your bacon at breakfast. Yes, you could give it willingly, that’s fine, what isn’t is the alternative actions often used. From body shaming, through I pay the bills, to I’m having that.
If all your relationships are free from all I have mentioned, then consider yourself very lucky, but you probably made some conscious and difficult choices along the way. It could be that you wonder if it was worth it sometimes. Especially when everyone else around you appears to be happy. You might have figured out, for yourself, that sometimes appearances can deceive. No one is immune from any of this, so let’s be kind to everyone who’s been affected by it in some way.
The right way to live.
Has not been discovered yet.
Feel free to ad-lib.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd February 2022
Like you, I receive regular updates and reminders from The Circle. Either through the app, or via email. This morning one arrived and went through me with a cold shiver, as if the grim reaper had put the kettle on while they were waiting for me. The gist of it was recommending the reader blogs to those searching for inspiration today. My blog is more of an explanatory note for clients whose readings went off at a complete tangent, like the back story of characters in a soap opera. So, this morning I have decided to be inspirational!
Of course, it comes with a dragony twist. Inspiration doesn’t actually, exist. It is just an idea until it is acted on, so the word determined is an adequate substitute, sometimes that means having to be stubborn in the face of adversity. It might require a lucky break, or a small opportunity that grows over time. Basically, inspiration means, ‘I think I will,’ and that’s it. What happens next, as Thomas Edison so aptly put it, is perspiration or nothing. The problem is the word, inspiration, seems to take on some ethereal and corporeal presence when it’s applied to anything, even remotely, of a spiritual nature. Too long talking to dragons has made me forget why that happens, so I can’t help you with that one.
Buddha teaches that change can only come from within, while Zen teaches nothing changes, only our ability to perceive why that is impossible matters. It would seem that neither school of thought has any inspirational faculty members. A good reason for that being inspiration can’t be taught, it has to be found, and usually, comes from ourselves. In fact, based on my own experiences, inspiration is simply getting distracted enough to see things from a slightly different angle. I have weird ideas about the meaning of spirituality anyway. The closest definition I have for it is having the wisdom to know we are wise, and the common sense to keep extremely quiet.
One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s noisy upstairs, when it’s virtually silent. Insight, arrives quietly. Sometimes the meaning, or impact arrives hours, even days later, when it becomes relevant to the current circumstances. Why would it be different here, to over there? I don’t think it can be for the simple reason here, or there, are the same oneness. Angels don’t need megaphones in that case and can stick to whispers. Dragons do use loud hailers, but only as Rolo funnels when no one is watching.
We are all as inspired, and as inspirational, as each other. Logically, I can see no other explanation for how this particular cog could fit into the delicate, Universal clockwork. I suppose what I am really saying to my spiritual friends is if you don’t feel inspired you could be right on track. OK I accept trying to explain why to others could be a tad problematic, but should you have to explain in the first place? If someone has placed their self on the, ‘I’m inspired,’ pedestal then they would be high enough to see why they didn’t need to ask. Excuse me, but the grim reaper has found the bikkies, so I have to leave off here.
Just do it quietly, though.
Silence is golden.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th February 2022
‘You can do this!’ The dragons rumbled. “I’ll give it my best shot,” my knocking knees responded, in Morse code.
Apart from the tip-tapping patellae it’s awfully quiet over there, with good reason. The Eastern dragons are recovering from the Chinese New Year celebrations, and the Western ones are getting ready for Imbolc, which runs from sunset to sunset. On top of which it’s a New Moon. The silence is as deafening as moonbeams dropping onto fresh frost, and as intriguing as the iridescent sparkles the collision produces.
What I have only just been informed of, and another reason behind the request for my respectful hushment is, it’s Rolo day too. This is when the infinite supply of them, to feed an infinite number of dragons, infinitely, is renewed by the Universal infinite consciousness. The fact everything happens on blog day is simply down to the infinite being having an infinite sense of fun. Of course, dragons, being dragons, have infinitely eaten all the infinite Rolos. The fact that there are just as many left, as when they started, is irrelevant, they say. However, their chocolate induced stupor helps the fairies get on with their own renewing duties of getting everything ready for spring which is waiting in the fairies’ wings. Over Rolo’d dragons look a lot like over sized daisies, apparently, so they all get a good polish along with the rest of the, still resting, flora.
Of course, this is the reason Imbolc happens in the dark. Otherwise the dragons would be scoffing throughout the twenty four hours, and miss the surprise of seeing the fresh, infinite, Rolo pile in the morning. Dragons, in their infinite wisdom, choose to ignore the glaring paradox of the day in that infinity, like the Rolo stash, is changeless, an eternal constancy. Nothing, on the cosmic scale, happens suddenly. In accepting this, the dragons acknowledge the highest power, but, in their own way. It’s a power so high no one really knows what it is, just that it’s there. I think the problem is that whenever any being gets close the giggles become infectious so further advancement would involve their sides, literally, splitting. Oozing dragon giblets would not be a pretty sight, while their rolling around, chuckling, is bound to lead to geological incidents, like earthquakes.
We all need a day off to just sit and reflect. One day a year lasts well into the next one too. It’s what memories are for. A meditation need only take fifteen minutes, or so. Be careful though, infinity might look like a cosy welcome mat but it’s impregnated with infinitely sticky glue. Coconut fibre is a bit like Velcro so multiply that up by infinity and you can see where I’m, happily, stuck. There are many forms of meditation, sitting, walking, washing up, laundry, even blogging. As long as it’s done mindfully it’s a meditation, or life as we don’t know it but really should. Anyway, I failed. I was supposed to, simply, write, ‘All is well in my world today.’ Being human I just had to explain why that is, and also applies to you too.
The perfect haiku.
Would have to mention Rolos.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th February 2022
I have a theory, although the experiment to prove it might get messy. This regards blog ideas. I was thinking of using a dream catcher, but pre-soaked in coffee to keep it awake, so it became a daydream catcher. That way, every Tuesday morning, I could shake it out, and then see what had landed on the desk, besides stale coffee. I will keep you all informed regarding developments. Like all our lives, it’s a work in progress.
So, after muttering, ‘Where do I go from here?’ to myself, a few times, there was a dragony chorus of, ‘That’s the question!’ I have a bad feeling about this, but I’ll go along with it. Apparently, there is an ultimate answer which resolves all questions, apart from the biggie of where do we go after here? Dragons aren’t concerned with that one, being there already does that. I can only manage half-way, but that works for me. Back to the penultimate answer... You’re going to love this, it’s, ‘I \ we, don’t know.’ The implication being that you are forced into a thinking stop, rather than performing a thoughtless reaction.
Most of us, me included, go straight to I know. Except you can’t, ‘know,’ the best you can hope for is to narrow the possibilities down. For instance, the chances of being hit by a falling donkey are fairly remote anywhere you travel to, while being injured by a kick from one, happens a lot. That said, more people die in air accidents, worldwide, than from donkey attacks. In any situation there is a risk. Another word for risk is paralysis, it’s what the dragons term permanent where do I go from here. Their view is there is no here, only a now. OK, ‘Where do I go from now?’ Is abysmal grammar, however, adding on to it makes complete, mindful, sense. We seem to be obsessed with the future, and haunted by the past, when all that should matter is the when we are in right now.
Students of Zen spend years trying to find the underlying reality, which annoys the underlying reality, no end, as it doesn’t, didn’t, and will never, hide its self away. There it is right in front of you, right now.
By standing still we can realise how we got to wherever here is, where do we go from there is irrelevant, as everyone else has already done it while we stood and watched. Their now is their now, our now is our right now since we allowed it to happen rather than trying to make it so. Of course everyone else will assume their own now is the right one. It is for them, but not necessarily for us. In your right now that shouldn’t matter as you’re not in a herd anymore. I know how difficult doing nothing, even for a short time, is. Humans are natural, ‘doers,’ taking a pause isn’t our natural response. We like our thens too much. Then goes forwards, and backwards. I remember back then, for example, but I will do this, then that will happen, can apply just as correctly. Either way then takes us out of the now we should be, mindfully, always in. I always like to draw some sort of conclusion from my blog. There isn’t one, there can’t be. If there was I’d already know what next week’s idea was going to be, without spilling any coffee. Where’s the fun then?
There is an answer.
Do we want to know?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st February 2022
Today’s blog was going to be about how to communicate in a scaly nuisance way. So, obviously, there will now be a titanic digression, although that, ‘was,’ should be an, ‘is,’ but with a dragony, sort of, attached...
After getting the idea, and while making my coffee, I had a call from someone. It ended with them mentioning they had their head filled with a Rolo juggling dragon, who seemed a bit impatient. My response being, ‘That’s my back rest for when I’m blogging.’ They didn’t know that, due to extenuating circumstances, the blog day had changed. It seems that talking to dragons is simple enough, shutting them up is the problem.
Should I be surprised it happened? I’m grateful it did, for my friend’s sake, they’re going through stuff, perhaps knowing there is some invisible help around may help. Me, I’m not surprised, one bit. All are one, and great minds think alike, well that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. In fact, that could be the key opening the door on this whole, ‘how to,’ thing. You have to know they are there in the first place. Otherwise, talking to dragons would just increase a person’s delusions around merely hoping dragons are in the vicinity. Dragons don’t like delusions! Apart from the noise they make when they get shattered. Buddha nature, which apparently we all have, teaches us all are one, so we are born knowing they must be. All religions do the same, but with their own nuances.
Another reason for my nonplussment is its happened before. I seem to attract dragons, ’Like flies around a compost heap,’ as they, eloquently, phrased the concept. They would be dragonflies then. A groaning dragon is a very comfortable back rest, I have to say, it’s just like a massage chair. I suppose the two secrets to communication between mountainous regions with tails, and humans, are, keep it simple and prepare to be educated. Dragons have no need for airs and graces. Besides it’s my job to correct any compliments they might receive, I take my work seriously.
The whole myth about treasure hoarding dragons came from a misunderstanding. They are light beings. The fire in a diamond matches the twinkle in a dragon’s eye, for instance. A row of dancing daffodils reflects their shimmering scales. Look in those places, and many others. Don’t get too carried away, though, a snapdragon is a flower, you’re not a bee. Before you start muttering about a huge dragon residing inside a tiny crystal, and it must be symbolic of a deeper understanding known to a select few etc. I have mentioned before, how the entire Universe fits very neatly into the space between your ears.
All are one really does explain everything. If there is only one, there is always one. I’m a one, thus spake the dragons. The right one, the odd one, when I excel myself I almost make it to THAT one. Anyway, I must conclude here as I’ve several thousand dragons to sign up to Weight Watchers. They started it! Besides, I’m safe, since I can claim complete innocence as every dragon knows compost heaps can’t use computers.
Clever compost heaps.
A world changing idea.
For dumb gardeners.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 25th January 2022
Once upon a time a woman was angry. No one knows why, because the male story teller was sensible enough not to ask. Her husband draped a red tea towel around her shoulders, so it was like a cape, proclaiming, ‘Now you can be super angry.’ No one knows if she laughed or buried him in a shallow grave. Of course she could have done both, along with the laundry and child care.
Buddhism teaches that we are not punished for our anger, but by it. There is also the one that anger is to drink poison and wish someone else suffers the consequences. This is similar to the lesson around taking a hot coal from a fire to cuddle. Basically, the consensus is anger is a bad thing so don’t do it. Which is all wel, and good, but no one has actually come up with something that stops anger. Yes, of course there are therapies involving anger management they often work too. As long as the client cooperates, which is true for all therapies. The key word, though, being management, it’s not anger banishment. After such an (I think) brilliant introduction everyone reading is expecting me to come up with the answer, and they might be a tad miffed when I don’t, well, not quite. Let’s call anger for what it is, an overwhelming desire for something to immediately change.
The only thing in the Universe that instantly changes is a person’s attitude. Whatever is upsetting you isn’t going to go away. Shooting it, or them, just causes further problems. It also enables Buddha to do that smug smile thing... So, my proposal is that anger should be encouraged to make changes happen, as quickly as possible. I’m working on the principle that busy people won’t have time to be ticked off. I also firmly believe anger is necessary in some respects. It prevents us from becoming complacent, or being subservient zombies to another person’s will. Suffering in silence is the worst form of anger in my opinion. Of course there are many levels of anger. So many, in fact, that most of them aren’t anger at all. Real anger is uncontrollable; it makes us react in some way. It only subsides when whatever caused it has gone.
Maybe we’ve lost sight of what anger actually, is. Perhaps civilisation sanitised it over the millennia, if we, collectively, cleaned it up we deliberately muddied the waters too. There are many laws around the consequences of a person’s anger with very little attention paid to whatever may have caused it. Winding someone up is, very nearly, the perfect crime. Is it time to look at it all from a different angle? What I am not saying is everyone now has an excuse to do whatever they want to whoever, or their property. For instance, big expensive cars make me angry! Only from the aspect of the environmental damage they can cause. Personal responsibility still applies to all the actions we choose to take.
Buddhism isn’t easy, it’s black and white, without any shades of grey. Murder is as bad an act as maliciously mixing salt into the sugar bowl. Life isn’t Buddhism for most people though. Stuff happens. Don’t be too hard on yourself when your hackles rise. Evolution preserved our anger for a reason. Sometimes, with the right attitude, it can make a difference. Ask someone who met Mother Theresa if you doubt me.
An angry haiku.
Would not be funny at all.
Which is my problem.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 18th January 2022
This could be one of those rare, digression free blogs, however you are all going to have to accept that the topic following the introduction is not a digression, as such. So, as John Cleese would say, ‘And now for something completely different.’
Over the past few weeks a few longstandin clients have been in touch regarding developments around their situations, most of them apologised for their repeat calls wondering if they were doing my head in. They weren’t, no one ever does. Not because I’m completely unsympathetic, or have this professional detachment I can rely on, I simply don’t assist in the process. Once the phone rings I am in the company of someone who needs my help in some way. I help, it should be my only focus, anything else would be froth which needs blowing away. I never feel as if I have been invited to someone’s dramatic performance, so I don’t act like a theatre critic. I become an interested observer, offering my observations. These, though I say it myself, can be, occasionally, quite interesting.
If, at the end of the reading, or chat, I don’t feel I have taken something for myself from it I would know I hadn’t done what I was supposed to. I am grateful that after an awful lot of practice, it seldom happens now. Does that make me an excellent psychic? Not at all, it’s simply a reflection of Buddhist practice, especially of the Zen school I follow. Or would if Zen actually used schools. The idea is to only attend for as long as it takes to realise you shouldn’t be there... The master must always learn from the student, apparently. I read it somewhere, a long time ago. Once that happens the student is the master. Another way of expressing it is a bit more airy-fairy, all are one. This admittedly sounds nice cosy and comfy.
I suppose it is, I remember those halcyon days when, ‘Spirituality,’ was just another word that looked good on a T shirt. I could take it off and wear, ‘Bliss,’ to relax, while watching TV. Once I realised that I was seeing this in action, everything got reduced into those three little words. They are the answer to the infinite why, whatever concept it’s applied to. It took me a while, ideas never change overnight, some, especially the big ones, need to be lived with first.
My biggest are green, or red, scaly, mountain sized thingies, with a penchant for Rolos. They are the ones, whatever that all, really, is knew I could relate to best. Angels gave me T shirts, the dragons helped me understand. A big part of which is knowing there is no difference between oversized lizards and the highest form of Universal messengers. We, and them, are all in the same boat.
I know I did the dragon’s heads in on numerous occasions, maybe that’s why an Angel led me there to stop me from doing Angelic ones in. I, and the dragons, like to believe my questions were getting too complicated, so a more knowledgeable source was required. Karma applies, the dragons were patient with me. I will be just as patient and non judgmental, with all others, including you. Nothing else will do.
I have a problem...
How to haiku a dragon?
I will have to think.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 11th January 2022
Happy New Year! If I may make a point of order, it’s still the same old me. The resolution I made is about to get broken, rapidly, since I obviously have to make a huge digression to get from here, to whatever this week’s blog is about. However, there’s a slight chance I may be slightly erroneous in that assumption... Whichever scaly thingy, said, ‘Again!’ I know where you live.
The problem with making a fresh start is all the ingredients have to be, well, fresh. It’s no good rooting through the fridge for whatever will do. No one would find ancient tomatoes appetising, for instance. However, you can only work with what you have. It’s what you do next that matters, and can totally transform the leftover turkey. The past can never be erased, but it can be, sometimes, safely ignored. The menu old experiences tell us we should stick to has to go. O.K. It’s worked fairly well up to now, when all is said and done, but it’s time to cook on diesel rather than gas.
Buddhism embraces change, sometimes in a vegetarian way, admittedly, but it’s not a requirement. A monk, from Thailand, would be just as grateful whether you tipped a tin of corned beef into their begging bowl or a can of peas. Basically, a fresh start can only begin from exactly where you are right now. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, which has to be to get your shoes on. Nobody would think of walking that far in a pair of new shoes. Too many people attempt it and give up as soon as the going gets a bit painful. They also forget it’s just as far back to where they were, as it is to their destination. Going forward becomes the sensible option if you look at it that way. Of course, that assumes the path has milestones along the way, and it doesn’t appear to. They are there, but you have to look closely. Especially when a short cut seems exactly like an obstacle at first glance. A fresh start isn’t a race, you’re not up against the clock and competing against yourself is never a good idea.
The other biggie is around those who are going to get left behind once you wander off to pastures new. Three gruff goats and a psychopathic troll, with a bridge fetish, should cover that one nicely. When explanations fail direct action is the only answer. When the actions are done with kindness and understanding, no one needs to get carried off in the mountain stream. A fresh start is never all about you, it’s simply all about you until the new you has appeared. That happens about ten seconds after deciding to start again. You don’t have long to be selfish so make the most of it I reckon.
I often wonder if I make this all appear too simple and gloss over the nitty gritty of life. Nitty gritties always cloud our vision by making our eyes water. I remember what that feels like. Getting out of a comfort zone usually means someone else is going to be uncomfortable in theirs too. Change can only come from within. I believe it’s best to acknowledge that it’s there and release the pressure, somehow. When people explode things always get messy.
Let’s do a haiku.
Although I’m a bit rusty...
I’ll find my mettle.... (The dragons groaned too).
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 4th January 2022
I really like the way of writing three blogs, around a theme, has worked out, obviously, there was a plan and just as evidently, it wasn’t anything to do with me.
Christmas is the season of goodwill to all, and minor, sometimes, major disasters. Anyone possessing a decorated tree, along with a toddler, dog, or cat, understands this. Those are minor disasters being easily repaired, although at a regular frequency. A dog, getting on the outside of a resting turkey, which a big Boxer finds a simple enough task, (I know), is a different matter. However, it need not put an end to the festivities. Corned beef, with all the trimmings, might sound weird until it’s the only option left.
A tadpole would consider spending Christmas with several thousand dragons might be a weird experience until their pond had a little disaster, by deciding to become a puddle instead. So a dragony kitchen sink is no longer strange and is simply a reason to be grateful that someone, actually, cared enough to help.
We all try to be the hostly, with the mostly, at this time of year. Circumstances, or big greedy dogs might dictate otherwise. It doesn’t matter! Visitors arrive to spend their time with you, not the turkey. In my case, if they admired the dog too, they got both (ish). Christmas is about people, sometimes tadpoles, but mainly people. The turkey is just a pleasant distraction, which, according to the dragons, may safely, be omitted. The point is tadpoles don’t eat turkey dinners, but they are welcome guests for the season.
You’re a people too. Possibly, one of those who think nobody cares about their welfare. Apart from Elvis who stated, succinctly, it can be lonely at Christmas. I’ll let you into a secret, dragons have a sink each. It was the only way to stop the arguments around the washing up arrangements. Quite why there were disagreements, though, escapes me as dragons don’t use dishes. Unless that’s the Christmas mystery seeing as the tadpoles weren’t. I digress... be fair it’s the last for 2021.
Tonight is my sacred day, as it’s the solstice. It’s a day I choose, to all intent, and purposes, to be alone, contemplating. I’m grateful that the sun will start to remain in the sky a little longer, as the year turns. I don’t assume it will though, so I do stuff to offer thanks. Let’s get this into proportion, I don’t dress up, that would be silly and whatever I do is done very, very, quietly. I send out thoughts to the world as part of this. So if you really do think no one cares you’re compounding the dragon’s premise that all humans always think the wrong way. At the same time I, quietly, wish everyone, on the planet, a Happy Christmas, or whatever they choose to call the day. That, like the turkey, simply doesn’t matter.
The Christmas haiku.
Full of the season’s wishes.
Just like the dog was.
There will now be a blogging break, until the 4th of January 2022.
Merry Christmas, everyone, and may the New Year bring renewed hope for all our futures.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st December 2021
The dragons, bless ‘em, are suffering from a surfeit of puzzlement at the moment. It’s easier if I accept full responsibility, to the extent of writing down what the problem is, so whoever is nosing over my shoulder at the blog can explain it to the others. I suppose I did, sort of start it by letting Vicky know when I was having the blogging break and her reply mentioned bank holidays... Which is the precise moment when the scaly nuisance in charge of blog correspondence and editorial team liaison, grabbed hold of the very wrong, pointy end, of a very long pointy stick. Went into puppy mode, then boldly charged into the muddy water of not getting the point at all.
Humans just understand. Dragons have no chance of gaining even a fairy light glimmer of comprehension around what happens if Christmas day falls on a Saturday, like it does this year. Why do the hyper-intelligent, pan dimensional beings, we all know and love, have an issue? Simples, banks don’t open at weekends so why would bank holidays be required? From the way they’re carrying on it’s as if the large hadron collider decided to connect with its inner Santa and squeezed an extra two days into the space time continuum. Maybe I should have thought my response through a little more, just maypossilerhapsibly. Accusing them all of being Scrooges was not a good idea. I forgot that dragon, in Dickensian, is Spirit of... Resulting in a series of Christmas lectures the Royal Institution would be dragony green in envy at.
Obviously, when several thousand dragons encounter a human who has been dragonly educated to maintain a position of truth, and the problem is a truth which runs counter to dragon logic there can only be an impasse. Of course I can see their viewpoint! Not being human, however, means they can’t see mine. Besides, I’m not in charge of allocating public holidays in the U.K., I don’t know who is, and it’s a safe bet they keep their mobile phone number private. (I’ve had it all thrown at me today, except the kitchen sink as it’s full of tadpoles, don’t ask why.)
The last thing I want over the blogging break is a bunch of sulky nuisances, no matter how scaly they are. My head would be mashed, then, when it’s time to start again they would probably decide to have a non-human bank holiday when everyone knows dragons don’t use banks. They’ll probably claim discrimination now and go on strike. Don’t worry, they won’t read that bit I typed it in invisible ink. There is also no way any self respecting dragon would admit to following one of my suggestions, especially at the moment.
I just want to disagree and move on. Of course, they sense my frustration, which means they also smell a Rolo manifestation to show there’s no ill will. Although, being in the right ish, means I shouldn’t reward bad behaviour. Resolution will take a while, at least a week. I’ll let you know what happens. Oh, and I promise to find the reason for the tadpoles, by then. With dragons anything is possible.
No Haiku this week!
Alan has told you all why.
The muse is muted.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th December 2021
I’m in a bit of a quandary, at the moment, wondering where to go. It seems three themed blogs would make a sort of dragony advent calendar. Obviously, this could never happen in reality as the little doors would have to be barn size, while the hidden chocolate would be re-hidden inside a dragon. I feel a bit of a hypocrite though. I don’t, ‘Do,’ Christmas, being more of a Yule, solsticey person. The last one of these would get out there on December 21st... So it appears the Universe has decided already, setting the solar system spinning, appropriately, to allow for correct timing. I’ll take that as permission to spin a few things in the blog.
Buddhist Christmases begin with gratitude, the gratitude that comes from being able to give freely in the first place. Giving unconditionally, not because someone is worse off, and you get on a guilt trip, or someone gave you, ‘THAT,’ jumper last year. You give because you can and would like to. Freely means without any attachment, at all, not even to a credit card statement with a six months interest free period. Of course, if that’s how you manage your finances normally, it’s fine, but if you don’t, maybe you might want to think about it first. I know everyone expects certain rules to be followed at this time of year, although the word expects can soon morph into demands, worse still, we place those demands on ourselves. Christmas is a single day of 24 hours. Most people turn that into a major disaster, planning ahead for months. There’s never any time left for gratitude.
The thing to remember, with Buddhism, is we are only encouraged, there are no fixed rules. So, in theory, we can be nice to everyone, and still wantonly gorge on the goodies, without affecting our Karma. I say in theory because it’s all about the individual’s own intentions. One would have to be intentionally nice, for no other reason than being generous. It’s the same with the Ferrero Rocher, you eat them because you want to, not to prevent others getting their share. Here’s the thing, though, you could finish the lot yourself, without sharing, if you honestly felt it would be of benefit to your spiritual well being. Bear in mind, however, the after life is full of lie detectors so sincerity is the key. I’m pretty sure if each hazelnut crumb is used as a meditation, on gratitude, for each hazelnut crumb, enlightenment, and Nirvana must follow. It’s the excuse the dragons have been using, with Rolos, since the Big Bang! All are one, so there’s no way around it.
To me the highest form of gratitude is for our self, honouring and loving, who we are simply because that’s who we are. Yes, I do accept that never happens overnight, many people don’t even consider the possibility even exists. Buddha didn’t gift wrap what he found under his tree, he left it there, hidden in plain sight. It does take a certain mindset to have a closer look, at first it’s a lot like cuddling a porcupine. Things improve, with practice and you’ll soon find the soft bits that respond to a gentle stroke. So, this Christmas take ten minutes out of the mayhem, find somewhere quiet, and be grateful for all you have done for everyone. Don’t expect them to understand, they don’t need to. Oh, of course, sipping your favourite tipple is almost a requirement at this moment.
Adorned with shiny baubles.
Topped with a dragon.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th December 2021
So, while making the blogging coffee the scaly nuisances came up with a grand idea, then got stage fright and ran away to hide. Seeing as Christmas is just over the horizon, why not write a pantomime blog? They wondered. It began badly... with my pointing out something that can use Wembley stadium for a curling up cushion can’t, believably, do a, ‘Behind you,’ thing. I also mentioned that, being flammable, I would light up, brilliantly, as Tinkerbell, but only once, then it’s my curtain call. Peter Pan is most definitely out.
Cinderella was the next proposal. A haystack would make a fine wig for the ballroom scene. Seeing as all the female dragons wanted to be the star of the show, it would equate to several thousand haystacks, several thousand dragons and a lot of sneeze making dust. There would be plenty of cinders, obviously. This highlighted another issue, dragons are very democratic and completely non competitive. Any pantomime would involve all of them. Someone would have to run the stage lights and everything else. I didn’t ask who they had in mind. Seeing as they were all behind me I had technically stepped forward to volunteer.
Getting miffed, sometimes, can actually be quite inspiring. My next ploy was asking who was going to play the baddie? The wantonly evil antagonist who gets their just desserts. Dragons can’t do bad, they break. A quick dragony shuffle resolved the issue as I was, once again, on the wrong side of the volunteering line. Claiming it would contravene union rules sorted that out, as I couldn’t stage manage and play a part.
Rather than getting bogged down in technicalities, the committee moved the agenda forward to a suitable venue. The last one was Salisbury plain, big, flat, and previously dragon stomped. How else do you think it was smoothed out? However, since their last shindig some inconsiderate humans have erected a UNESCO preserved monument slap bang in the middle of it. My new dragony status is official fun spoiler. I’m sorry but emailing the Ministry Of Defence to enquire about their practice firing ranges because of dragony health and safety, is not something I am prepared to do.
Eventually, common sense prevailed, the project was canned. I’m blameless too, as I take responsibility for my sensible actions. Maybe a few scaly hillsides have a different take on that, which is their problem, not mine. Those hillsides are welcome to their views. It’s a shame, really. A draconic pantomime would have been fairly iconic. Especially the sing-along bit at the end. What led to the breaking point was when the researcher, in charge, waddled up with the information about giving sweets away to the audience. (Which, conveniently, would be me.) So guess who would have all the Rolos? There was even a happy, but very unexpected ending, and every pantomime needs one of them.
The world is a stage.
Unless you’re a dragon, then...
It’s just a planet.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 30th November 2021
A few days ago I read a brilliant quote, ‘Worry is a waste of our imagination.’ I say the same thing, fairly often, just not as succinctly. The other one I am particularly fond of is, ‘It doesn’t matter how thin the ice is, as long as you’re still skating.’ That’s one of mine, so, obviously, I’m biased. If you add, ‘Keep calm, and carry on,’ to them, you have the instruction manual for life as a human on Planet Earth. Of course no one is going to agree with that, as we all like to complicate everything. That, basically is going against the first quote because every one doubts it could really be that easy. A doubt is, after all, a worry that you might be wrong in some way.
We are curious creatures. A certain proportion of us wouldn’t need someone to hold our beer, and watch, we’d have already risked it just to see the result. This, when you think about it, should have disappeared from our evolution at a very early stage. It didn’t, curiously, because curiosity is the mother of invention. Necessity comes second. No one knew they needed a wheel until they had one, for instance. Wheels came about because a long-suffering partner told her him to find a round stick. It got the him out from under her feet, and, incidentally, transformed society. She, however, wasn’t pleased having worked out a round stick would come in handy as a boomerang, so the children would know their food was on the table. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a world before mobile phones.
Humanity is a result of happy accidents, double entendres, and individuals just doing stuff for the sake of doing it. Giving up isn’t really an option since life has this annoying habit of just going along, as usual. I don’t know what normal is, or should be, does anyone? We all seem to worry that we’re not though. Perhaps that is the one concrete benefit of scaly nuisances, abnormal normality with encouraging words thrown in. Life makes sense. Of course that’s my life, and my own sense of sense. Which, logically, is absolutely unique and therefore, not common at all.
Realising balance depends on wobbling helped. I can still wander around the supermarket aisles, inconspicuously, the dragons are always by the Rolos, drooling. Then they follow me out. Maybe the trick is to stop worrying that wobbling might cause a fall through the thin ice. Curiously, (you can’t make this stuff up) the advice around water safety and thermal shock, from sudden immersion, is not to struggle and remain as composed as possible. In other words keep calm, and carry on breathing.
If one assumes nothing ever works out the way we intended there is very little point in worrying about anything. We can keep skating along, completely prepared to, calmly, carry on, no matter what disasters unfold. Parachute training focuses on landing safely, rolling with the impact when the ground and gravity, get their own way again. I wonder if that’s why I, and many others often feel like we’ve been thrown out of an aeroplane?
A boating haiku...
We are all in the same one.
Drifting with the wind.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 23rd November 2021
Today’s blog seems to be a personal challenge in reconciling the title with the subject matter. Which, right now, is the equivalent of making a fluffy, Lead, soufflé. I was really chuffed with the title too, being instantly filled with thoughts of, ‘OOOOoo a new dragon.’ Listen to the voice of experience, folks. Never think anything around scaly nuisances with telepathic abilities.
There is no such thing as new! Logically, old can’t apply either. A new tepee is constructed from a hide with as many birthdays as the buffalo it came from. Similarly the concept of ownership is an illusion. The buffalo gave what it had, this was used, is, and will be used by others. It is the natural order of things. Everything has to eat but unfortunately, nothing wants to be eaten. Perhaps that’s another human perception we should consider either forgetting, or rethinking, a little. My feeling is we’ve lost our way.
We’ve all given into our inner magpies. Ignore the wolves for now, that’s another story to tell around the campfire. Native Americans and many other, ‘primitive,’ tribes have a different world view. It’s the one the so called advanced nations are slowly getting wise to. Our planet isn’t a supermarket aisle. It has to replenish itself whenever something is taken. Which all takes time. Anywhere from how long a sardine takes to reach a reasonable, tasty morsel, size, to the fingernail growing pace of continental drift. The Earth is a natural recycler. Strangely, the highest life form arising from it has difficulty grasping the simple concept. Luckily, I don’t have the responsibility of changing anybody’s mind set, but excuse me for pointing out who does.
What really annoys me, yes it does happen occasionally, is how easy it is to see the planet as a whole living entity. Let’s give her a name, Gaia. So far, so how little imagination was required. Now saw her arm off, which is what we all do, every day, through our wasteful, modern lives. You’re really going to have to come up with a reasonable explanation if you want to continue living that way.
I’m not an eco-loony, I’m a realist who is rapidly losing faith in reality. The truth is if we all made a few minor adjustments, collectively, it will make a significant difference. You won’t see it for yourself as it will take too long. Look on it as an investment in your great-grandchildren’s future. That future now includes wild buffalo again, but only after a massive effort to bring them back from the brink of extinction. There are many other similar success stories. It just seems mankind likes dancing, blindfold, on cliff edges. I haven’t lost hope entirely, I want to live to see the say when the new ideas, around sustainability, become the old facts of common sense. Help me make it happen.
The wilderness calls.
It’s voice is being silenced.
But we don’t listen.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 16th November 2021
Foresight is a wonderful thing, but not quite on hindsight’s level. Which is the reason the Universe decided which way time should flow. It may seem a bit strange to base all your choices on what you’ve already done, rather than what’s possible, but you can never know what’s possible until you get there, and have to find out. Being the fragile, easily spooked, creatures, we are, it was a no-brainer for the Universe to work out the implications. Humanity would reach for the superglue to make sure they always stayed, safely, stuck if they knew what was coming.
Unfortunately, doing what we’ve always done can lead to another form of adhesion. We can only achieve the possibles we’ve always had. This complicated situation then moves onto the human equivalent of multi-dimensional hyperspace when other people are factored in. In case you hadn’t noticed you’re not alone, just make sure to avoid those who think they are the only person on the planet.
Bearing all that in mind I have a confession to make... Most of my helping people to make dramatic leaps forward come from me doing, basically, nothing. I just wait, and listen. They do all the work themselves. You’re expecting me to explain now, aren’t you? In between foresight, and hindsight, is being present, that’s where I do my readings from. For instance, it would be pointless telling someone what they don’t want to hear, or aren’t quite prepared for at that moment. I never, knowingly, deceive though. There always is further contact from the problem him, for example. However, after a while, the need to reconcile transforms into would they find his body?
I’m always as surprised as the client when this happens. Actually, I’m surprised, they’re more fully committed to finding their next, possible, now they’ve achieved, what a few weeks before, seemed impossible. I’m assuming I’m just a distraction so the client’s guidance can get a word in edgeways. It works the other way too, If I can’t sense an emotional connection between people that’s exactly what I say, and the call, or chat, ends there. Of course that one comes with caveats. It could be a very new attraction, and these things take time to move forwards. I usually point that out though. The added bonus to all this is I never have to be right, the client does, and, since I’ve pointed it out, the idiot proofing, inbuilt by the Universe, makes complete sense. By the way it’s problematic to get to the future without going through the present, so why not just stay in it?
Zen masters have already seen that the Buddhas are part of the fail safe system. If we detach ourselves from the problem, analysis becomes a lot more objective. It’s the desire thing, though, which really is super-duper glue. Strangely, in a very convoluted way, remaining present helps loosen the grip of desire. We stop looking, imaginatively forwards, or, selectively remembering the past. Everything becomes cold, and clear so we can plan our best move forwards. Going with the flow has a lot to recommend itself as a life style. Including where to hide bodies... You simply let a river float them away from the crime scene.
The past, or future.
Is always irrelevant.
To those in the (k)now.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 9th November 2021
I don’t have a God, in the general understanding of what the word means. I have an invisible friend, who’s deaf. So all my questions are answered in sign language. They’re always around, squeezing in between the scaly nuisances. Sometimes though we meet up in meditation. It’s always in the place of complete silence. Which makes sense as nothing needs to be said. This helps me with my dumbness, apparently. My invisible friend looks after me in that way.
They’re much cleverer than I could hope to be. Setting the Universe free, with love, to achieve its potential. Knowing one day all will return to explain where they went in the great cosmic game of hide and seek. Everyone will be too busy giggling to do anything else. I like the concept. Eternal laughter leaves no time to be miserable or philosophise. I used to wonder about my invisible friend, and what they were really like, as none of the books I read seemed to make sense of what I felt. Also, knowing through my mediumship there is an afterlife I wanted to do the research. No one ever goes on a holiday without first browsing the brochures do they?
One of the conclusions I drew to is that wherever that place is there is only one of them. We all go back there. There is no escape from the grim reaper. Don’t worry, they’re a lot less grim than the stories suggest. Given the fact every religion goes to the same eternal spot, (of course I could be wrong about that), how can we live together, eternally, and at peace with one another? Especially when free will is brought into the equation. The invisible friend, I know, doesn’t command, only occasionally raising an eyebrow while wondering why we just did that.
Buddha understood the conundrum, thought it through, and found the obvious answer. It’s all about how we live, not what happens next. One Heaven, however it is perceived, is a given, the other isn’t. Humanity has got those two the wrong way round for millennia. That realisation changed my entire outlook. Not from fear of any consequences, but a desire to be better. The first change that had to be made was to lose the idea of smugness, and being, ‘special,’ in some way. Finding my invisible, unconditionally, loving, friend sorted that one out. We are all grains of sand on the same beach, each one of us warms their toes, equally, when they pass. We can all be, equally, irritating to the same toes just as easily, but have the understanding to choose not to.
Like Buddha another realisation was you don’t have to die to see the light. It’s just a very bright sun that takes its time to dawn. I suppose that’s just another way of saying the same thing, or, perhaps, it warms the sand before the toes arrive, then turn up over something else I’ve done.
I’m happy with the idea of being a sand castle. One day the tide will surge in making me a bit of beach again. What occurs after that will remain unknown. It took me too long to stop speculating, and, I’m sure, you will excuse me for not starting again.
Castles in the sand.
Are like pictures in the clouds.
Or the warm fuzzies.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 2nd November 2021
Most people would agree that giving a child ice cream for breakfast isn’t a good idea. A better start to the day would be fruit, mixed into yogurt and sweetened with a bit of honey. All is well, until your child prodigy makes it in the evening then puts it in the freezer overnight. How far are you prepared to go with the argument and where are you going to begin from?
Rigid boundaries never work, unless all the consequences have been thought through. Although a sensible parent would have banned their child from placing anything in the freezer from the moment any offspring understood the word NO! Unless you want to find small, furry, mangled ups, the cat dragged in, next to the frozen fries. The problem is not all parents are that foresighted, while hindsight is a wonderful thing. (I think it was originally a mouse, although it was the neighbour’s cat.) It may sound a little strange to turn all our relationships into war zones, and some might find that easier than others, but boundaries, or borderlines, help keep the peace. Everyone knows exactly where they stand, so a dynamic peace can be maintained. That’s the theory anyway.
It’s a belief I’ve held for a number of years. I seem to be changing my mind on it though, as with everything, it depends on the circumstances. There’s no way back from barbed wire and guard towers. Whatever caused them has to be addressed, which means the relationship has to change in some ways. If that is strict controls, with no diplomatic engagement, fair enough. Negotiated settlements need negotiations which break down as often as they succeed. Obviously, the big issues are easier to deal with than the little ones. These can be more infuriating than finding a tank on your lawn, or to wake one morning with several lined up by the garden shed, leaving you wondering where they came from.
The answer to this boundaries conundrum seems to be communication. Which is its own dilemma as it involves talking and listening. People in control of the automatic machine guns, and know where the land mines are, don’t need to listen. No matter how uncooperative, and self destructive that could be. Conversely, disempowered individuals tend not to discuss things, in case they lose, or give away something else.
The abridged version, of the ancient Chinese manuscript, ‘The Art Of War,’ translates into English as, ‘It’s not always all about you.’ Oh, and in the same vein aisle, altar, hymn is another misconception which leads to delusion and suffering, probably for both parties.
I’m with Buddha on this. It’s all about being thoughtful of others. Here’s the paradox, which is someone with their own, strongly founded, personal boundaries, is invulnerable to the manipulation of others. They don’t do if you loved me you would, instead, it’s because I love you, and myself, I will. It has to be said that sensible people don’t walk into a war zone. Which makes me wonder where sensible people hang out? We’ve all done it, so, wherever it is would be both very peaceful, and very crowded.
Tolstoy’s, ‘War, And Peace.’
Takes a lot of getting through.
Just like some lives do.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th October 2021
Scaly nuisances can be really annoying when they flop into a train of thought, then turn the train into a bus and drive it off in a different direction. It all started with me thinking, ‘I have to write a blog.’ Their obvious answer being, ‘You don’t have to, you just want to.’ Which, when reduced down logically, is the absolute truth of the matter. The sneaky part comes from changing that just, to must. Unless I choose to be creative I won’t be. Although, right now, I’m not too sure what this trap, I’ve blithely walked in to actually is. I only know I haven’t quite hit the bottom of it yet.
I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to speaking before engaging my brain. A thought stream is no different to a conversation, and many people do talk to their self but would never admit it. I have to think, quietly. If I spoke aloud the dragons would say I was going nuts. This would lead to an audible chat, then being whisked away to a mental health facility of some sort. If you think I’m going to give the dragons another opportunity to smugly point out how right they were, again, you’re wrong!
Choice, I would argue, might be what separates us from the rest of nature, but a lot of those choices are not, fundamentally natural. I could choose to be a porpoise, an aqualung would help with that. If I wanted to play tag, with cheetahs, a Lamborghini could be useful. Neither choice is completely realistic, though, and bombing around the Serengeti would ruin the suspension. Technology has enabled us to push the boundaries. Our society slowly evolved from squatting around in caves to throwing clever people into universities. We are living with the results. I sometimes wonder if humanity, conveniently, forgot the intervening steps in the process, or it was just easier to go along with them.
Along the way, have to, and want to, seem to have acquired slightly different definitions.. If you bring in the word need, as well, the fog thickens. We all need to eat, so we have to go to work, to give us the money then buy the food we want to. I wonder whose job it was to tell the trees about the new plan as they seem to be growing chestnuts according to the old directive. It’s the same with peas, they have to be put into a tin, by a person, not the plant.
Maybe I slackened off and deserved the minor mental maelstrom. It’s all too easy to just flow along without thinking concisely. Taking that down to its logical conclusion the underlying reality is lost. I went back to sleep, then dreamed. Another way of saying the same thing is precious moments of the eternal now have passed, never to return. Buddha urges us to remain vigilant, at all times. He might, possibly, have been on to something.
A sombre warning.
On melancholy Tuesday.
You’ve just got to laugh.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 19th October 2021
Every so often we just need to get completely away from it all. Especially when we’ve just had a big disappointment. These can lead to hours, even days of angst. There does seem to be a quick fix though. It just means throwing the whole Buddhist thing out of the window for a while...
Talking of windows, Microsoft released the latest version today, guess who has a computer too old to run the operating system? I’m not rushing out to grab a new one, although I could, and was sorely tempted, for a while. I resisted, OK, I went into the poor me instead. Tried on an angry hat for size but went for the T shirt instead. Basically, I lost my self control. Which got me thinking around the big black hole that had suddenly appeared in my mind where being sensible used to be. Although after reading this you might begin to wonder where the boundary between sensible and a mental health statistic is.
I chose not to embrace my frustration, then deal with it, instead I absolutely rejected it going for a little walk through the green pastures of day dream. I got as far as the pearly gates, (I’ve just seen the dragony humour here!) I had a little chat with St. Peter, who was very out of sorts himself. Buddhists cause him a problem as he never knows where to put them. While wandering anywhere suits me, it doesn’t fit others ideas and the last thing that Heaven can tolerate is anyone being unhappy. I suggested he just put me down as being human. I’m not sure if his beaming smile sorted me out, or the simple action of accepting that’s all the tantrum was. Anyway, instant renewal all was, is, and will be, well.
Regaining control of a situation might possibly be helped by letting it go, then starting again. An example is having hold of a dragon’s tail. Dragons aren’t tigers, unless you grab hold of their tail. Doing so makes them wriggle because it tickles, which is why tigers try to stop this by chewing your hand off, a dragon might just accidentally squish you. Holding on is the only form of control we think we have, but sometimes, letting go is the only answer.
Never in my wildest dreams \ meditations \ visions would I have ever considered going to the concept of the heaven I was taught at infant’s school. Clever me has thought it through too much. Until Mr. Genius regressed back to being a five year old who just dropped their bikkie into their glass of milk. I was helped, obviously. We are all helped, though, it’s a big part of being human. It’s not often Buddha insists on having the last word. I am reminded of the fact, ‘It’s OK not to be OK,’ I could have held on to that thought until the moment of madness subsided. I’m still practicing, but some days seem to need more practice than others.
Tigers have tails.
Dragons, though, are more tales.
See the difference?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th October 2021
It’s been a while, so I thought I should write a blog angled more towards my male readers. Don’t worry, I am only going to mention football once.
Harangue is an interesting word. According to the Cambridge dictionary it means, ‘To speak to someone or a group of people, often for a long time, in a forceful and, sometimes, angry way, especially to persuade them.’ A good example of a haranguing is when a referee uses VAR to make a controversial decision. An even better one is what happens, occasionally, when you step inside your front door. If you mess around with the letters it’s possible to form hanging too. We all know what that feels like don’t we guys? What is fascinating is when you remove I, R,A,N,G, and U, because that just leaves harmless gobbledegook, also known as sweet nothings. Nowadays R,A,N,and G, can be replaced with T,E,X, and T.
I reached the conclusion of, It’s all about communication,’ a long time ago. That said there are always two sides in a game of cricket. (I said I’d mention football once.) It might help smooth things over if the slight differences, in how the two sexes use words, was recognised and understood by the other. A male O.K. doesn’t mean I can’t be bothered to talk to you, it’s the complete opposite. Message received and considered, with a pending decision on appropriate action. Male language is both logical and brief. We expect to be listened to at all times. It’s the same thing gorillas do by chest beating. Of course, what we expect, against what we get, depends on what we gave in the first place. Women tend to like the back stories, the explanations of why males seem to have deviated, like I did with referring to sport twice, instead of the once I promised. It was simply to get the point of how males think across.
Contrary to a self sustained male myth, women aren’t usually being manipulative or controlling, by wanting to know where their partners are. It’s a big part of their nurturing nature. Males have it too if they allow their self to express it. It’s why you polish your darts trophy with your sleeve when you walk past it. Yes ladies, that is a male nurturing response, basically, I did this for you all, simply because I felt I should.
So, after a brief pause for thought I’m left wondering what the Buddhist spin on this is. Mutual respect and tolerance isn’t quite enough. Both lead to something bigger, like a constant shared understanding, with an unwillingness to break the underlying relationship, not from fear, but knowing in so doing we only harm our self. Relationships, like Buddhist practice, require work, hard work, self discipline, and the ability to let go of preconceptions then adapt to a change of thinking. They should also function like a monastery with the only outside influences being those invited in, occasionally. Anyway, I’ve got to go. I’m due a haranguing by a miffed dragony nuisance after writing a blog around communication, when apparently, I never listen. As males go just put me down as being typical.
Should be given silently.
Through inner ears.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th October 2021
I love idioms, especially the ones that are completely wrong, such as, ‘You are what you eat.’ Dragons should be sweet, gooey and slightly squishy if it were true. They are not! Another one would be, ‘Love is a wonderful thing.’ This leaves everyone reading screaming at their screen that it is, and me to explain why it’s not in around four hundred words. Here goes...
Love is wonderful, it’s so wonderful that we all have our own concept of what it, actually, is. Love can only be a subjective experience which arises from an individual’s own perception. Basically, it can’t, physically, exist. We all know it does, which is wonderful heading towards fandabbydozey. Love must be unconditional, or it disappears to the point of never having been. The opposite of love is indifference not hate. Love, therefore, is a wonderful, without the thing bit. Which is grammatically incorrect in most languages. The Universe does like to be understood, (ish), this requires clear communication so we have to now accept love is wonderful can be the only true statement.
The weird thing is the only reactions possible, when confronted by unconditional love, is to accept, or reject it. Trying to alter it, in some way, to suit our own ideas of what it should be is another form of rejection. It’s just a long winded way of explaining why our own desire is our downfall. If you apply this to our life and death it might be a bit clearer where Buddha was coming from. The Universe brought our life into being, unconditionally, and with love. One day we will die and go home. In exactly the same condition as when we wandered off. Our desires come with us, they are ours after all. Obviously, this is going to cause problems in our eternal life. Many theories relate to those with possible remedies too. I personally prefer Buddha’s idea of let it all go before you are forced to, but can’t, so the whole cycle starts again. If that all sounds a tad uncaring, even brutal, I agree. Like Buddha I feel there is some moderating force behind the simple cause and effect, while, like Buddha, I try to avoid speculation as to what, or who, the moderator might be.
Unconditional love can’t really be wonderful either, all must be as wonderful as everything else. All would be one then. We are now left with love is, and your own conception of what that is. Logically, there can be no other conclusion. Unless, of course, you wish to bring in other factors. Like celestial beings, or cosmic forces such as Karma. Shoot me down in flames, but thinking along those lines imposes conditions, where perhaps they shouldn’t be. If this all sounds like I am saying, ‘You’re on your own, deal with it.’ I’m not, I’ve seen too many dragony, and Angelly we’ll helps. I know none of us is on our own. The reality is we can’t be. We should, though, take responsibility for our own place within the love that is. Why? I hear you ask. Because whatever love is can only be our own concept of how unconditional it must be. Buddha sat, in the mud, under a tree, it worked for him. I chatted to my kitchen wall which made the difference I needed. When the moment arrives, accept it for what it is, love. How wonderful is that?
Might use a loving spanner.
It’s all energy.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 28th September 2021
It’s not often I have the privilege of starting the blog with a relevant digression. If you’re wondering how is that possible? Bear with me. If it looks like a dragon, roars like a dragon and is as big as a geological feature, the chances are it’s a delusion, not a scaly nuisance.
In its simplest form mindfulness can be expressed as one’s ability to say, ‘I don’t believe you just did that!’ Hearing your inner voice make the same statement is the first step. What you should try to achieve is sensing, somehow, ‘I don’t believe I was about to do that.’ Obviously, your guidance doesn’t have to intervene, as nothing happened. They can continue munching their cucumber sarnies and slurping Earl Grey, or chomping on Rolos. What seems to matter is why you paused from acting. If it was from fear of the consequences, for you, go back to the start. While understanding the consequences to yourself and others, of whatever action you took puts you where you should choose to be.
Dragons seldom roar, they’re far too busy gently giggling. It’s easy to spot as the nostril smoke is a light grey colour. A roar is darker and has a hint of overcooked caramel to it. They are, admittedly, rather large, but so is a cruise ship. Both are the size they are because of the purpose they serve. One is where humans are entertained, the other finds humans entertaining. Strangely, our first impressions to either are roughly the same. Awe, wonder, and some trepidation over what happens next. Usually, the journey is full of unexpected little pleasures and new experiences. Some, however, find they get sea sick which dampens things, a bit, I can relate to both.
Not many people run away from an ocean cruise, mainly because they would lose their deposit. Too many people avoid dragons because they are there. Mindfulness is a dragon, one, which, like every other dragon, makes us confront our self. Unless you really are dumb enough to try confronting a dragon. They’ll just wait until you get bored with giving yourself bruises. Mindfulness overcomes first impressions and assumptions. The ones with dragons are fairly noticeable, and along with their toothy grin we tend to get put off by them. They are also hard work, in that they make us work hard to understand where they are always coming from.
Here’s the thing, dragons are everywhere. At every moment we have the opportunity to be mindful of the reality of the situation, or jump into our own delusions. Acting accordingly, with unintended consequences, or a successful conclusion that helps the greater good. Dragons don’t do rewards, they do acknowledgements. Having a few extra Rolos to mark the occasion. Besides, mindfulness should be its own reward. There are some benefits, so don’t think it’s all for nothing. One of mine is knowing that scaly hillside fits inside me, very comfortably. Then drops the fiery decibels to a quiet whisper. Yes, it often says, ‘I don’t believe you just did that.’ I’m only human, after all.
Buddha, and dragons.
Seem beyond understanding.
It comes, with practice.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st September 2021
‘Baking is a science, cooking is an art, discuss.’ I’d rather talk about what gits dragons can be sometimes! Well, O.K. most of my time, which would be most of their time too. Unfortunately, that’s the blog topic for the week, and, obviously, comes from some half baked scaly nuisance who’s probably cooking up some devious plot for me to walk into.
You should never over think when cooking. A recipe should be like a palette of colours to paint from. It’s perfectly possible to just chuck things together in a pan and voila, food. Baking, though, requires measurements, with certain standard processes, like creaming butter, sugar, adding room temperature eggs etc. My mother could whack a sponge together in around five minutes; she must have used a magic fork though, or an enchanted bowl, as there was no other technology involved. Yorkshire pudding was the same. All I know is the skill isn’t genetically inherited. My Yorkshires are the consistency and colour of laminate flooring. Strangely, whenever the wok was pressed into duty that was my job.
I learned a lot of what I know from her, all the basics around what needs to roast, braise, or stew. It was done by simple observation, with the occasional questions. For a long time I was happily self sufficient until You Tube came along displacing my inner confidence into an orbit around Saturn. I know, I should have resisted falling into the ditch of doubt, but we all seem to have the ability to forget everything once the despicable, ‘I want to do that,’ arrives.
There’s this Chinese chef, I’m subscribed to, who has a recipe for melt in the mouth pork ribs. The problem is he starts off by throwing the whole rack into a deep fryer for five minutes. That was me finished. However, I wasn’t baking, I would be cooking. I can just use a decent heavy frying pan to get the same level of caramelisation. Like him, I could make the sauce in the same pan to save washing up. The bonus being my best skillet has a lid, just like his fancy wok. Voila, food, thanks mum. Would it be exactly the same as their version? It shouldn’t matter, but, to many on the planet it would.
Picasso once said, ‘We are all born as artists, but then we grow up, and stop.’ I don’t think we lose our talents, of any sort, instead we bury them beneath our need to be approved. My mother wouldn’t have approved of my deep frying pork, while the pan idea gets the thumbs up. Wobbling, between extremes, is the best way to find our balance. As long as they are our own extremes. Shallow and deep frying are opposite ends of the same spectrum, although some celebrity chefs would use the word sauté. Why? I’m not impressed by fancy terminology. Things get cooked until they look right, while cakes get baked for as long as it says on the packet. (Ooops). That’s all you need to know for feeding the family, or yourself. No one should be judgemental; it’s one of my go to phrases, so is change comes from within. Give those two a quick scrambling together, then let your inner artist feast.
‘Let’s do this, shall we?’
Keep it, sensibly, simple.
Ready? Steady, cook.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th September 2021
I often wonder if I can write a digression free blog, knowing full well there’s only one way to find out. Let’s see. Buddha teaches that our greatest enemies are our doubts, so far, so stating the blooming obvious. However, we are supposed to love our enemies, which means making them our friends. You can sit in the corner muttering to yourself at this point, I did. Basically, a doubt that isn’t a friend, will work against us. One that we understand and love, is an ally to be trusted, with advice we should listen to.
My biggest doubt is it can’t be that simple, while the more I look at it the less complicated it becomes. All are one and that one is unconditional to, well, absolutely unconditional. If you try to put it in a box, the box disappears, since the box is also unconditional. The annoying part is the fact it vanishes with a giggle. On looking where the giggle originated and finding it was within myself I gave up looking. I stopped pondering if all are one as the only conclusion was there could be no other explanation. The implications got to me though, which helped the doubts build up. On top of those are the usual human doubts we all have. Perhaps that is better phrased as should have.
It’s really easy to convince our self we’re right, it’s even easier when surrounded by people of the same mind set. We join in, self supporting each other. There’s no doubt involved, our greatest enemy lies slain on the philosophical killing fields. Actually, we surrendered the fight before hostilities were declared. Doubt should be our first thought when confronted by anything, fact, fiction, imagination, or runaway bus. Try not to doubt the last one for too long, just in case it’s a part of the underlying reality. The situation is especially bad when it applies to another person. Doubting stops our jumping to a conclusion about them, then throw them under a convenient bus. Which is why we seldom do it, we prefer to shoot the driver instead. We become our own, doubtless, metaphysical, handy, runaway bus.
Of course none of my readers would do that, would they? So I have even more reasons to doubt that is the case. I know I’m guilty of this, in the past, but accepting helps me take a pause, before jumping off the cliff of assumption. The one I am most ashamed of is not looking closely at what Buddha’s teachings really say, and why that is so. I felt that the question of doubt could only lead to negative inferences. I was a doubt hater! I can’t say I’m a doubt embracer yet, that’s going to take a while. At least I am beginning to recognise I need to work on it. Happily, I’m looking forward to it as it appears to be an endless mind maze. Possibly, one of those Zen things which illustrate the futility of over thinking when what’s required is a bit of acceptance. Although this feels too meaty, and intrinsic to why we are how we are for that. Anyway, I did it, a completely digression free blog. When I wrote, ‘wonder,’ I should have used the word doubt instead. I’m too honest for my own good sometimes.
A doubtful haiku...
Would, actually, be prose.
In a haiku way.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th September 2021
Occasionally, I bounce out of bed, full of anticipation for the day ahead and ten seconds later realise I’ve been joined by the GrumpyBuddha. It always begins in the same way by me wondering if it should be spelled with two G’s rather than D’s. Stangely, they seemed to be in a slightly better mood this morning. I say seemed as, after a brief chat, they wandered off. Leaving me wondering if they might not be as grumpy as I thought.
We all like to have things our own way. The only problem being to make that happen, obviously, if no one else was involved it would be easy-peasy. There’s always at least one something, or other, in the way though, usually, it’s several somethings and quite a few others. For instance, the GrumpyBuddha would love, in a non desirous way, of course, for my mindset to be a bit more, well, Buddhist. Guess what’s in the way? If you’re thinking me, it’s not, although that was my first conclusion. The answer is, surprisingly, me blessed dragons. I’m supposed to have nothing, not even scaly nuisances are allowed. Of course, that’s strictly according to the rules. Rules enforced by the GrumpyBuddha. Which is why they’re always grumpy. Their rules are always being bent by their own good and grumpy self.
Pointing out, in a thought, to a being like them that the only rule to follow is unconditional love for all is not recommended. I’ve never been aware of a BallisticBuddha before. I hope I never come across one again too. Working out their propulsive power was actually a roaring giggle helped when they landed.
Apparently, the secret to getting your own way, with everything, is to let everything else get its own way first. It’s the old adage of letting a butterfly free then seeing if it returns. The concept applies to everything, not just relationships. Which is why humans, like me, oh, and you, have this problem. We never let go. There’s always a reason to hang on to it, whatever it is. Buddha called it desire. The point is wherever we go next is beyond desire. The only thing we can take with us are our own desires, or lack of them. It’s also a bit pointless taking desires to a place where nothing exists in a physical sense. Someone has to twist that rule, otherwise the land of eternal bliss would be filled with a lot of miserable souls desiring Hob-Nobs. Dragons, being Rolo oriented, never go there. In the end patience pays off and we seem to get the point eventually. Like Buddha I’m not going to speculate on how that, particular, eventually, thing works, we all have our own theories.
I’ve realised something today. Desire is intrinsic to our physical self. There’s no getting away from it but a multitude of ways to control it, all without causing any suffering to our self. The simplicity of the statement, ‘Let it go,’ is deceptive. It might be the only thought the Universal mind is capable of. Which might make the Universe sound a bit dumb but I know it to be highly intelligent, humorous, slightly sneak, and very occasionally, grumpy.
A commercial break.
The haiku is now sponsored.
For product placement.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 31st August 2021
Dragons don’t chase butterflies, they used to, but stopped after causing the Himalayas to appear. To be fair it was a big butterfly. We chase butterflies, especially spiritual ones, the biggest of which is understanding it, ‘All.’ Zen teaches it all, by getting rid of everything else, so what’s left has to be whatever it all is. That’s the theory anyway. Zen also encourages chasing butterflies. One day, we realise how tangled in our net we are, then sit, and think.
Zen keeps it all simple. There is no being present, meditative, or mindful. They’re moths, so are unwanted in the butterfly hunt. Beetles, or bugs, would be just as effective in getting the point across, as there are no butterflies, only moths, beetles, and bugs. Those three mental states, a lot of people bang on about so much are the same. Each leads naturally to the others. Practicing Zen, alongside Buddha’s recommendations for a healthy, brain oriented lifestyle, following the middle way is worth recommending. I would, if I could, but Zen also means not teaching others and letting them find out for their self. I can’t say I’ve got all my butterflies pinned to a board quite yet. I have chucked the collection away though and will stop beating myself up for starting it soon.
Having a belief system, where one learns from one’s own mistakes, seems paradoxical to most of us. We are creatures of order, we like to know where we stand. There have to be rules to live by. Buddha agreed with Zen and put our self in charge. In a roundabout way most religions, do the same, but they have ethereal security cameras watching to make sure we comply. Buddhism allows for spiritual guides and helpers. They’re usually driving our inner voice to scream, ‘I don’t believe you just did that!’ Of course, your experiences might be completely different to mine.
One experience we all share though is eating. We have to do so to live, which, unfortunately, means something else has to die. Cut the top of a carrot the next time you make a beef bourguignon then stick it in a saucer of water. After a few days you’ll see where I am coming from. Of course I, completely accept a vegetarian \ vegan diet is fine, if you want to follow one, but if meat is murder, salads are sadistic. Should you feel you have to follow certain rules about food to ‘Progress,’ I am not saying you mustn’t, at all. I just reserve the right to wonder what you’re doing with your butterflies.
Dragons and Zen, are another two interchangeable states of mind for me. One being a lot easier to deal with than the other. That might be another butterfly I need to ignore. I could experiment and see which disappears first if I did... Zen simply is, while dragons simply are. I think we could all learn from that, and simply be.
Free from their cocoon.
Blown here, and there, by the breeze.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 24th August 2021
Cute, aren’t they? Even more so if you’re a fish. Which, obviously isn’t the case. You’re reading the blog and there isn’t mobile signal 300 metres down. Apparently, scaly, non dragony things go bonkers for them. Attacking them as food, probably because the deliveroo app doesn’t work. Fish just notice, assume and react. Some versions have a separate head, to avoid tangles when they’re falling through the sea. They are supposed to work even better then. I couldn’t possibly comment, as I don’t have a boat, so I’ll take You Tube’s word for it. Oh, and this isn’t some new fangled idea, the Japanese have been using a similar set up for many years. They just kept quiet,about the, and the price of sashimi remained exorbitant. I noticed some prices when I Googled for the picture, by the way... So, if you have an angler, for a partner, maybe you should consider crowdfunding to pay the utilities bill.
We have, I think, established no sentient being reading this, is a fish, but it’s a safe bet all those who are have noticed, assumed, and reacted, more than once. Unless you’re a nosey, exceptionally smug dragon watching what I’m typing. There was a time, though, when they did this too. It was around the third second after the creation of the Universe. When something, dragony, big lashes out at everything it ends in tears. The supreme consciousness put them on a training scheme. So Rolos were brought into being in the fifth second. It took a while, but, the not so smug now, scaly nuisances, got the idea, eventually. Not rewarding bad behaviour always works, whether you’re a two year old, or an eternal concept of the divine mind. The thing is noticing, assuming and reacting, is hard wired into all that lives. It’s called the instinct for survival. Humans evolved a social order for protection, but that instinct for survival remained. It morphed a bit too, applying equally, to our social interactions, and our meetings with leopards.
What has all this got to with Buddhist practice? Any fish chomping a lump out of this arrangement of lead and rubber, will rapidly become aware of the underlying reality and awake from its delusion. The poor fish will struggle, and suffer, from its own desire. It might be lucky and be released after capture or, I apologise in advance... it has had its chips.
Buddha never stated we must, only that we should practice. I’m sure he understood the human conditioning of instinct. Overcoming it isn’t easy, and, in my opinion, there is no permanent fix. This explains the teaching to remain ever vigilant, while monitoring our thoughts.
If I am allowed to daydream for a moment, which I am, it’s my blog! I wonder how much of a dragon wrangler Buddha was way back when there were no Buddhists? It would make perfect sense of his incarnation, to an earthly life, for some peace and quiet. Although dragons, are dragons, I can see the similarities in the direction both come from. All I need to do now is come up with something that looks nothing like a huge Rolo and throw it as far away as possible. Knowing dragons have the potential to overcome their training, and notice, assume, and react, could come in very handy.
Seems like a haiku...
It smells very similar...
But, it’s just the end.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 17th August 2021
For those of you who need extreme therapy, I mean wonder how to draw closer to dragons? I have some good news. They all have a human P.A. so you can sign up for that. Humans make great dragony P.A.’s as we’re too scared to make a mistake, and never argue when the boss takes a day off. Of course, I’m too thick to make it to P.A. I just take notes at the meetings and peel the Rolos. I’m not useless! I’m not entirely useful either, unlike a butter knife. Now, while that may look like a digression this could be one of the rare blogs where I don’t deviate. Further proof, if any were needed, that a butter knife works on anything.
They can be a screwdriver, lid tapper, scraper, crowbar, lever, wedge, you need a job done? Grab a butter knife. This is why you have to risk your fingers when you make toast, all the butter knives are out of the drawer and gainfully employed elsewhere. A good trick is to keep them next to the screwdrivers and other tools. Somebody might get the hint and that somebody would be a female.
Women are more ingenious than men, we woulds always use the proper equipment, and, if it wasn’t available, we’d toddle our self down to the DIY shop to buy it, along with anything else that took our fancy. Men lack the imagination required when necessity drives invention, while women are too busy to hunt through the shed. If the butter knife can’t fix it then it stays broken until he gets home. Either way the job gets done. I’m sure this isn’t a modern development. Men and a fire means a barbecue, so they would have gone hunting, and, by the time they got back, the tree would be cold ashes. Someone had the idea of warming up left overs while they were gone. Although a man invented the microwave, typically, he was supposed to be doing something else at the time. Strangely, that involved chocolate, so it was only a matter of time before a woman spotted the same effect.
What worries me is the age old concept of women being kept uneducated and trained to house keep for their lord and master. It’s never sat well with me. It also never seems to happen in native tribes, which, for the most part, share the labour equally. Then there’s the religious bit, apparently, women can’t communicate with the divine. Again, I don’t buy that. I wonder if this goes way back to while humanity was dragging itself up by their collective bootstraps, when women were the clever clogs and men could hurl a spear with a 50% accuracy rate. It’s a certainty a woman invented both boots and straps.
It’s coming up to exam results season and I sincerely hope any children you are involved with have done really well. If they haven’t, it isn’t necessarily the end of their world. Life has this funny habit of throwing second chances to us. I want to dedicate this blog to all of them, and on behalf of all the mothers, plead for the safe return of the butter knives. I wish to add don’t get pushed into someone else’s idea of your suitable box. Always think outside of it.
Someone had broken.
The large hadron Collider.
Fixed with quantum string.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th August 2021
There’s nothing worse when stepping, barefoot, onto a finely manicured lawn, fresh with the morning dew. Connecting with the energy of the earth mother, to reactivate deep inner peace, then find you’ve squished a slug between your toes. Of course, there is any number of wet, slimy things to tread on. But, guess what, they’re all gifts from Gaia. It’s what she does! Your first concern should be for the slug, not your personal hygiene. A quick shuffle across the wet garden will sort out the mess. Except, the rest of your day will be ruined by constantly referring back to that ewww moment. Nature, however, doesn’t ‘DO,’ ewww; she does, well, nature.
Anthropomorphism should be subject to the same legal consequences as genocide, in many ways they’re the same thing. Applying human characteristics and expectations to anything removes its identity. Of course the way it happens in the movies is, slightly, excusable until people think that’s real life, which, unfortunately, happens all too often. Someone ought to make a rom-com about a couple moving into their little cottage in the country which details their adventures regarding the smell from the pig farm next door. The scenario would be even better if one of them, actually, understood how a piggery works.
Most of us claim to love nature and the environment. If that’s love, nature would be entitled to file for divorce on the grounds of neglect, mental and physical abuse, coercive control, on all levels plus the fact we never clean up after ourselves. Love is a series of processes, one of which is learning to understand another’s point of view. One point no one can argue with is that nature was here first, yet many people seem to have adopted the, ‘I know best,’ attitude bringing us to where we all our now. We’re on the same ship, this is the life raft, and yep, it’s in danger of sinking. Nature, by the way, can only know better, she’s humble like that.
It’s a question of balance rather than rocking the boat. It’s how nature works, all the time, without exception. So every little helps, or hinders, equally. To me, obviously, the biggie is changing our mentality. I’m not promoting an end to farming for meat that would be as bad as banning vegans, or eating them to cut back on waste. Although that might get a few minds wandering in the right direction. We all need educating, the only way that’s going to happen is if we start on our self now.
If I sound slightly smug, forgive me, it’s more a well defined honesty. Other people have said the same thing, many times, and probably better than I could. Besides, I’m more focussed on the spiritual consequences of not, at least, trying to understand this particular dragon we call the earth mother. Elephants never forget for the simple reason they learned all they know from her. The afterlife, with Gaia on your case, might seem a little less idyllic than most of us expect. Love means many things, including respect for others that would be all others, including slugs.
Cold, and soggy toes.
In a quite strange way.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd August 2021
Due to the current weather I am suffering a slight, existential crisis, after altering the thermostat on the fridge. Did I turn it up, as more energy will now be used, or down, because it’s running at a lower temperature. Logically, if, as I firmly believe, a simple underlying reality exists there can only be one answer. Me, being me, have spent several happy hours considering the possibilities until I found the dragony solution. I changed the setting, anything else is based on my perceptions and delusions. In an unconditional Universe there is neither up, or down. Of course, when you’re a dragon then a dimension is reserved for a weird sideways glance. It’s another of those where the Universe decided it would lose the argument things.
Humans, me included, tend to do the Universal thing when we’re arguing with our self, rapidly switching into why bother mode. Except, this time, I decided to persist and think this one through to the end. Apparently, the little things matter most as starting early with what appears inconsequential can rapidly lead to thoughts with great implications. Zen masters are born, then have it all educated out of them, until they find a fridge going through a heat wave. A quick turn of the dial, with a quick think, over a cool drink, and there you go, enlightenment.
Zen teaches it really is that simple, but being human, me included, again. For some weird reason we do it backwards. We learn and keep learning, until that wonderful day when it rains what’s really relevant so our brains become washed. Dragons dislike going backwards, tapered tails never cooperate in reverse. Their advantage being they don’t believe in an underlying reality, to them it’s more of a duvet to spend the whole day wrapped up in.
Maybe there is more to the fridge conundrum than I first decided, which was it’s a waste of time, and probably borderline madness to consider it as a means to understanding, well, everything. The problem is while I’ve been writing and thinking, weaving the threads together, it all adds up. It might look more like a dog blanket, than a duvet, but I’m not a dragon. The exercise might be therapeutic too, I looked long and hard, at each preconception that pushed me into either up, or down. This was a bit pointless, as I’ve dealt with most of them already, but I could see with hindsight, where they might have pushed me into giving up.
Not giving up, seems to be the important lesson. It’s something Buddha refers to a lot, along with doubt being our greatest enemy. Perhaps we expect too much from major, life changing moments. All they can ever do is give another point to progress from. This happens every morning when we wake up, then head to the fridge for the milk. How cool is that?
Too warm to haiku.
Too big to fit in the fridge.
I’ll grin and bear it.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 27th July 2021
Angels have been popping up in my readings a lot lately. The dragons reckon I should go to the chemist and see if there’s an ointment available. Of course they’re giggling as they say it. Not everyone wants to be guided by dragons, or there would be tube of Rolos under every welcome mat. The way I look at it is our guidance is a garden, with different flowers. Sometimes it’s great to take in the whole thing, but there are those occasions when we just want to smell the roses, or admire the antirrhinums. (Horticulturists will see what I did there, the rest of you can Google it.)
My latest phrase, for letting someone know they’ve been asking for guidance, is... Angelly bothering. This may seem a tad disrespectful at first glance. The strange thing is the Angels don’t seem bothered by it, well not in the normal human sense. Angels feel they should be bothered because they can be bothered to actually help. In other words, to them, it’s a compliment. The concept also removes the pedestal we have this weird need to place under our guidance. It’s a neurological fact that we can only reference things according to our own human experiences and knowledge. We paint our own picture. Archangel Michael’s indigo gown and flaming sword play looks like someone in a boiler suit fiddling with a spanner to me. Either way it looks pretty certain things can get fixed.
A few times a week someone says...’How could you know that?’ It’s a simple answer the same Angel, they asked, told me. It isn’t a big deal! What would be the point of a Universal guidance collective that was selective in whom it guided? This is why the image of it all as a garden works, and explains everything nice and neatly. A garden is also a living entity, where a lot happens, invisibly, below ground. It is all one, a single whole in the ground.
Paradoxically, because I like paradoxes, the garden symbology is a problem in that we all like to have our garden the way we want it. Gardens go against nature rather than working with it directly. Gardens are cultivated, so are our own beliefs and ideas. Not all composts are equal. Although, there is a lot to be said for the self generated kind. It seems to get constantly refined, and purified. Buddha’s, apparently, works best under a shady tree. Zen asks, ‘What’s compost?’ then takes it from there. You either grow, or wither, die, while growing again. Simplicity itself, except all three occur simultaneously.
It is perfectly reasonable to talk to flowers as it encourages their growth. So why is there this reticence, among people, to admit to talking to the guidance we all have? If you’re reading this, wondering what the appropriate form of address is, ‘Oi, you,’ is as good a place to start as anywhere else. Most importantly, be yourself, that’s the real, authentic you. It’s a bit of a no brainer really. To them you are as see through as Swarovski crystal, so don’t try to make yourself as clear as mud. Happy bothering!
When the all is one.
The all is where you are now.
Scary isn’t it?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 20th July 2021
The only thing I’ve never heard any of the dragons say is, ‘Excuse me, but you appear to be stood on my tail.’ I have, in my time, stood on several. I am tempted to say it’s because the signal never reaches their brain, but the scaly nuisance peering over my shoulder might object. I’ve decided, I’ll play it safe. This, incidentally, is why a dragon keeps quiet about where your shoe heels are. If it was mentioned there would be a reaction ranging from absolute remorse, to utter fear and dread at the possible consequences. Obviously, they keep quiet from compassion, suffering a little in their silence while allowing us to keep our composure.
As regular readers know this is a regular tub thump of mine. It used to be an absolute no-no. Now it’s a more nuanced, no, well, maybe, but it depends on the circumstances. Keeping quiet is one colour of a very broad spectrum. The problem being it’s, actually, a circle so the shade for not tolerating anything, at all, is the same. We all have a place in the purple, indigoey, red with green flecks, and yellow highlights, fog of reality. What I’m beginning to realise is that the little speck of me chooses where it wants to be in the swirly, sparkley, misty, thingie, also known as whatever it is. Another, perhaps bigger realisation being Universal rules are made for breaking. Things make more sense, to me, if all the implications of each individual cosmic hearsay are reduced right down to an ultimate simplicity of, ‘Try to be kind.’ I think this works, the problem is taking one’s self out of the equation, occasionally. There is a paradox between try to be kind, and loving one’s self. It’s explained by understanding in giving to others we receive as much for our self. Just don’t define, or expect, what the pay back will be. It’s all unconditional, and rightly so.
I could be losing my marbles a bit. No, we’re not holding a poll. Buddha was always, basically, saying that it all needs to go. Which is fine, that’s the easy bit. There are more than adequate resources to help anyone who wants to go through the process. It’s what happens after which is the intriguing bit. Another reason Buddha kept quiet about it was the teachings have to go too. We become as alone as it is possible to be, but at a point where being completely alone is utterly impossible. It’s in that spot where everything that really matters always congregates. Which sounds wonderful, paradisiacal, sublime even, until you try asking it to be quiet so you can have a bit of peace in the, well, peace of it all.
Perhaps this is my moment of enlightenment. Knowing that the dragons are my main method for hearing the cosmic mind, all I have to do is stand on a dragony tail to shut them up. I know it would work too. After a few good stomping sessions on the storm’s wiggly bits; (fish swim in herds, cows roam in sheds, dragons gather in storms), they would soon get the idea. The only thing is it would be unkind, evil in fact. My choice of where I am in the scheme of things is a no-brainer. Besides, there is another answer, involving Rolos and a rather large catapult. It might only be a temporary respite, but in the eternal unconditional, now, minor details don’t matter.
Never hurt anybody.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 13th July 2021
While I was making a coffee, a few minutes ago, I happened to wonder when someone would invent a self writing blog. It was then pointed out it’s a dragony concept already. The words come from them, I just tap without any creative input. In a literary sense I don’t write them, which makes me a blame free zone. Obviously, I pondered on self tapping out blogs and was politely asked if I wanted to haunt a keyboard, as it could be, ‘arranged.’
In Chinese the word for dragon sounds like the English word, ‘Long.’ So, if you had any doubts the Universe doesn’t have a sense of humour you might need to rethink that one. In fact, if you feel having a spiritual mindset means being constantly serious that might need consideration too. However, I have to admit, in my perception, dragons are like leaves on trees, which colours my thinking in all shades of the rainbow. The blue tints are provided by dragony bluegrass. They’re the ones with guitars, strange accents, and always wish that you have a nice day. I suppose it’s a bit easier for me as I carried unconditional to its logical end point, like Buddha, and others, I accept all is one. That leads to huge consequences, such as raising a smirk, rather than my eyebrow when haphazardly discovering how the Chinese refer to scaly nuisances.
In its own way the dragony coincidence, and the connotations, in English, of the sound, is classical Buddhist froth. Except, in this case, it’s a highly desirable collection of bubbles. A giggle along with the Universe. Froth, according to Buddha, is when our own perceptions interfere with the underlying reality. Going with the flow means just that, wander along without preconceptions. I know, it’s impossible. Humans are born helpless, like most mammals we need time to grow, and that time, until we can survive on our own, is governed by our carers. How we think is quickly shifted to what is acceptable to our family and wider social groups. It doesn’t ALL have to go. It’s all about balancing the less desirable influences, with the better ones. There can be no best way, so forget trying to find it. That, quite simply, is how it is. The Universe works on the principle of always knowing better.
Paradoxically, realising how flawed we actually are leads to an understanding of our own timeless perfection. When we accept we are who we are and that’s who we always will be everything changes. Oh look another, apparent, paradox. It is easily explained as we just revert to our natural state, free from the preconditions that had been imposed on us. It’s a process, which, in my opinion, only needs one step. If you wonder, ‘Where the,(whatever), did that come from?’ Each time you have a random thought, that’s enough. If the Universe is as unconditional as dragons are long, then, logically, it will appear random as there are no specific terms of reference to be aware of. Acting from acquired habit, perhaps, I should say, ‘Think about it.’ But, in this case, I, definitely, won’t.
Very long dragons.
Are easily squished up.
So they’re portable.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 6th July 2021
Albert Einstein had an opinion that a person didn’t really understand a concept of advanced physics unless they could explain it to a six year old. Obviously, I’m not saying my readers are childish, as I’m not Einstein. Although I have been wondering about how things work for quite a while now. Schrodinger had their cat to help them see the quandaries of quantum theory, I used a rubber band. It really did bring it all together.
Kali, the Hindu goddess, brings both destruction and creation at the same time, in one smooth process. I’ve always struggled with that one. It’s also an important idea of Zen. They are simply opposite ends of a rubber band. Stretch one between your fingers to get the idea. The Universal flow goes from one, to the other, via the (w) hole in the middle. Neatly, the whole remains unchanged at the end of the process. Clever innit? I should have stopped there, I didn’t. In my defence can I point out the solstices are always holidays, for me, so I had time to think.
The Yin Yang symbol is as complicated as it gets. I’ve always been fascinated by the possible internal structures when I see one as a globe. Do the white bits turn to shades of grey as they become black for instance? I was smugly happy with the idea that whoever made them could only scratch the surface since there is no way of looking inside. Well, not without smashing it to bits. Which wouldn’t be required as all those I’ve seen are clearly just etched with the markings. This all fitted my theory of the Universal mystery which has no solution, but keeps the philosophically minded content for hours.
Yesterday I remembered how my granddaughter used to beg the postman for rubber bands. Patiently, she wove them all together and made a fair sized ball. It turned out pretty big in the end. Of course you can see where I’m coming from with this, but it gets worse, much worse. The day before the solstice was Father’s day, and the card, from my granddaughters, was the ping point. It’s all about rubber bands. There is a conspiracy here too! The energy to stretch those bands is occasionally, cosmic giggling at my expense.
I might have brought this on myself in a teeny, tiny, way. Archangel Michael has been, ‘around,’ in a few recent readings. In one, which was a chat, I said, ’Never joke with the Angelly git who loves to wind me up.’ It came after one of the weirdest and most undeniable validations I’ve ever given. I told them they had asked Michael to bring a look alike partner into their life, as she had a thing about his Angelly hair. I needed the information as much as they did so I knew what I said next was right. After that, I came straight out with it. Yes, it was important, life changing in fact. Client confidentiality means I can’t repeat it, and besides, it would go against my ethics. So flirt a rubber band at me for not telling. I can see why it had to be Michael, though, rather than one of the dragons. Relating to someone they had asked for a dragon to come into their life is way, way, way, too weird. Even for me.
Things just bounce along.
Life has low points, and high points.
Sandpaper might help.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 29th June 2021
My dragony challenge today is fairly simple, convince you all I really am weird, but without actually, telling you. The point being that although I have revealed myself, it’s irrelevant, or should be. You might not realise how much until a little later on. It’s another one of those fitting the cosmos into a rice grain ones. Sushi rice, as Koan are a Japanese concept. What’s a Koan? They’re simple profound sentences with infinite implications. Today’s being, ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.’
I can’t point out each individual consequence of those few words. I will maintain that they’re applicable to any situation you might find yourself in, from meditating, to New Year’s Eve in Trafalgar square and all points in between. It’s an expression of unconditional life, for yourself and others. We all have to lead ourselves, and others, sometimes that means a change of tactics, or seeing that another is trying to make us drink from their poisoned stream. That’s just one flow of thought around it.
Mine started off on a slightly different track around the theory and practice of Zen and Buddhism. Thoughts are strange things, you can have a lot of big ones while waiting for a kettle to boil, or none at all for weeks on end. Buddha worked out the theory while he was sat under a tree for a night, the theory led to the practice, and Gautama’s your uncle, (Uncle Bob is busy). Which is what I realised, before blogging, and saw how it couldn’t be any other way. Bob has his own stream, Buddha has his, and I’m a happy donkey. Which brings me neatly to the flow I often bang on about. Water cycles itself, constantly. It’s never still. Just like human minds, however, most of the time we cause our own ripples. On a spiritual level this could be equated to a thirst for knowledge, or a greater understanding. Your actions will have consequences, on yourself, and the stream you’re drinking from, or sometimes, walking away from.
Thinking it through soon made it clear, crystal clear, in fact, is what matters is the water. It’s always been there, is there, and whatever it does tomorrow, is up to the water. My constant bubble blowing just stirred the mud up. The only time to drink from it is when you’re thirsty. You now know how to gently admonish a donkey.
A statement of fact isn’t always a telling off, most of them don’t start with that intention, but there are consequences of the facts we might need to consider for ourselves. Which is where I am at the moment. It’s more an attitude tweak than a change. A slight perception modification, that’s all. I could wander off to another pool and start again. I’m not thirsty now, so there is no need, besides if I tried it would only start raining, and not being a Spanish donkey means I don’t have a straw hat.
A Koan haiku.
Would be quite short and simple.
And kick like a mule.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd June 2021
Every so often there has to be an editorial board meeting. I’m not, actually, excluded, but kept busy arranging Rolos on silver platters and brewing raspberry tea. The dragons don’t drink it, the scent just mingles with the aroma of chocolate, caramel and doilies. Washing up is a breeze! Well, more of a tornado, when they all fly off. It’s just a case of stacking everything until the next one. Of course I know I’m being conned, but if they’re happy with the arrangement, I’m happy too. When an output is connected to the input things get messy in a sparking, flashy, incendiary, way.
I could get miffed, I don’t. My own self worth isn’t lessened by the fact I do as I am told. There is no subservience, no chain of command, simply an understanding of who does what and why. I only used, ‘as I am told,’ there, because saying having an understanding of the Universal law sounds terribly pompous. My ego doesn’t need inflating, I wish I could remember where I left it though. I might need it one day.
It’s not easy to just get on with your work, especially if you feel someone is constantly watching what you’re doing. It’s like throwing sticks for a pack of hungry hyenas. One mistake and you’re lunch. We all know what that feels like. In fact we know what going through the entire digestive process of being a hyena’s lunch feels like.
Most of us feel personal relationships have distinct roles in them the question is should they? I don’t think so, for the simple reason hyenas don’t throw, and then fetch sticks for each other. If you asked a hyena they would probably tell you that’s what humans are for, so why would they want to interfere with things?
Obviously, a role free relationship can only begin with a management meeting, and when we get defensive, out comes the inner hyena. Then there are the inherited societal values to work around. The biggie, though, is when we love someone we want to nurture them too. That’s a bit difficult when we have to work long hours, then come home to take the rubbish out, with a beaming smile, because that’s our job. Except the rubbish has been sitting there for thirty minutes, while the rain started lashing down in the last five. All it takes is a little forethought, but hyenas don’t do forethought. Especially when the bins are at the end of the washing line, and the washing is now out of the rain, on the worktop, ready to be folded.
The bigger biggie is that a role free relationship can only work if you both care about each other and you put them first. In this case both people stay dry, one cooks, while the other folds the laundry. It doesn’t matter who does what does it? It probably does to a hyena. They’re a lot like leopards, apparently, never changing their spots. Buddha, however, would disagree with that. Everything can change its spots when it chooses, or has a reason to.
Know the hilarious jokes
But don’t use mirrors
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th June 2021
The problem with a dragon’s snout is it’s absolutely indestructible. If you ever find yourself, as I do now, with one pressed, firmly, into your back the sooner you work out resistance is futile, the quicker you can do what is required. I was hoping to write this blog from underneath a dragon, thereby avoiding responsibility. It didn’t happen. I’m the spokesperson, so I’m doing the spoking. Anything else would be insincere. This thank you has to be completely honest, as it’s on behalf of the dragons, those who read the blog, and, obviously, myself.
Wendy, the blog uploading person, is retiring soon, so someone else will be taking over. Obviously there is a temptation to gush. For some strange reason, dragons are remarkably like humans on these occasions. That would give the Welsh dragons enough time to sneak together, form a choir, then start singing. ‘We’ll Keep A Welcome,’ If the timing is right then this blog fades out with a draconic chorus, backed up with Angelly harping. Compressing a billion words, expressing gratitude, into a few that takes ten minutes, or so, to type isn’t easy. Tuesday won’t be the same fits into the very large gap Wendy’s departure has caused.
Tuesday won’t be the same, the dragons have seen to that... even though they didn’t have to! All the snarling and teeth baring at the Universe to mark the occasion, permanently, were unnecessary. Things have changed, Tuesday won’t be the same. In their defence I feel I should point out the dragons were a bit upset, at the time, which is why they didn’t quite think it through.
Maybe there’s more to this saying thank you, to someone, than we all, including scaly nuisances, currently assume. Somehow it should be a permanent reminder of an event that, in its own way, contributes to the highest good for all. A synchronicity with the Universal love which is all everything is. If the Universe has acknowledged Tuesday won’t be the same, it is now an eternal fact. The dragons forgot that one. I’m not reminding them either! The blog will carry on, and I’m not lining myself up to be surrounded by cantankerous dragons every week. We have all gained from the experience. I think that’s just how it should be.
Of course Vicky deserves a mention too. She’s taking over, but has added the blog, to the site, in Wendy’s absence. It would be churlish not to include her. She’s a part of Tuesday won’t be the same. There are, for all involved, new beginnings for everyone. If you want to be sad for those, well, I wonder for you. If you want to be miserable that Tuesday won’t be the same by constant reminiscing that’s just as bad. Life, for us all, goes on. Anyway, I’ve said the peace for everyone, so I’ll get meself de-snouted.
We need a fanfare!
Ahem, tap tap, ‘We’ll keep a...’
That’s enough of that.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th June 2021
If you ever want to annoy a dragon, use your imagination about them. For instance, they all fly with a unique, dragony, technique. It’s in between how swooping swallows should, and airborne office blocks shouldn’t. They’re big too, infinitely so. Again, in a dragony style, sized to almost fit, exactly, in the grey stuff between your ears. Their tail hangs out a bit, so the rest know where they’re hiding. Other than that, each is a distinct individual.
Imagination, to a dragon, is always a judgement too far. It imposes boundaries that are completely irrelevant. Almost as irrelevant as trying to show two words, everyone knows have a different, intrinsic meaning, are interchangeable under certain circumstances. Such as when we meet someone for the first time. We get to know them. Well, that’s the excuse we make to ourselves, for doing the complete opposite. What really goes on is a series of jumps to various conclusions about them and their life. With any gaps quickly backfilled with whatever we choose to make up. While wearing a friendly smile to hide whole the process behind.
The first dragon I ever met didn’t smile. O.K. They smirked a bit after I realised I’d walked the wrong way around them to get to the talky bit at the front. It was miles! It was a toothy smirk, a good dragon will do that. So, I quickly realised politeness might be the best policy. After a while we just got along, a few of their dragony friends showed up, and it turned into the ongoing, eternal, party. The conversation got to the question around why I hadn’t run away, screaming. I think my answer touched them, it was, ‘I didn’t know I had the option.’
We all forget that a dragon is just a dragon, which, if it isn’t roaring fireballs at you, is just a dragon wondering why you haven’t fled in fear of your life? They are curious creatures, who, curiously, say the same thing about humans. Knowledge is power, so they say. A dragon acknowledges your superior power as you know who you are, or should. They don’t, but would like to find out. You’re not a puny human to them. You’re an interesting individual with a story to tell. A blank canvas to be filled with dragony wisdom, and you could be a source of Rolos.
Now compare this to how we behave. Out comes the power, straight away. The power fires up the interrogation light. We seldom listen to others without projecting our own I AM... whatever, at every opportunity. We miss out on what matters getting to know another person, properly. After a few minutes there is the impulsion to run away. Dragons understand that bit, obviously, which is why they choose not to act as we do. The world would be a different place if we filled it with dragons, paradoxically, it could be if we let go of our imaginations a little.
When a dragon talks.
You can always answer back.
It isn’t fatal.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st June 2021
If you asked a Celtic warrior what they feared, their answer would be, ‘The sky falling on my head.’ The next question about what worries them produces a long list beginning with Roman tax collectors and ending with their wife. According to the legends, the men wore trousers so the ladies knew who to order about. Extrapolating, from the myths, it seems that the warriors spent most of their time gassing about how brave they were, but without actually killing anyone. Which suited the women, as they were free to just get on with everything else. Life was, admittedly, simpler then. Unless, of course, you were a Roman tax collector telling a Celtic lady why she couldn’t have that new frock. For the record the Celts invented indoor plumbing, although a man might have dreamed up the how? The why definitely had a feminine influence.
History was not on the women’s side, though. It never is! The men got to tell all the stories, then there were the invasions mainly led by unreasonable men who didn’t know their place or purpose. Things changed over the centuries. My biggest complaint is how the males dominated the new religion of Christianity, although it took a while to happen. Again, there are numerous legends and myths, the most notable being those concerning Saint Brigid. Who is venerated by the Orthodox and Catholic churches, while being the patron Saint of several countries.
One train of thought around some of the legends of Brigid is that she was a reincarnation of one of the Celtic deities, basically, the queen of the fairies. She was born into a noble family but gave most of it away to the poor while her father was bragging to his warrior mates. This is not far from Buddha’s own upbringing. He went away to think it through, Brigid just got on with it.
I’m always harping on, (I’m stuck in a Celtic groove) about ultimate realities, however I am human. I can daydream and mind wander with the best of them. Sometimes, I think, we all need a reminder to honour our own imperfections. Mainly because they might not be. It’s a simple fact that a world ‘run’ by women would be a completely different place. My problem being, and this is where I could appear slightly contentious, I feel the other world, whatever you choose to call it, is organised by a feminine consciousness. Nothing else makes sense of what I’ve come to understand through my journey.
Of course, I could be wrong. I accept that completely. I am also not looking for converts. The thing is any ‘God’ of any religion shows a lot of female characteristics, such as universal forgiveness, tolerance of others etc. At least, without exception, that is what it says in the Holy books. Some of them add that God is beyond man’s understanding. They could have got that one spot on, but the men, being too busy gassing and bragging haven’t quite twigged the significance of it... yet. I try to treat people as a people. Not just a singular person, I take their culture and ideas into account, well, I try to. Ridding myself of prejudice and preconception, will be a life long task. Which is, according to Buddha, just as it should be.
Brigid of Kildare.
Was she really a person?
Why should it matter?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 25th May 2021
What happens next is logically impossible. Not because the scaly ones are going to have to be brief but explaining it simply might cause mental gymnastics with associated injuries. Basically, no one can know everything at a single point in time, while moving to another moment causes partial sensory amnesia. How do I know there are things that can’t be known? Well, obviously the dragons told me. My big mistake was listening to them.
It might help if the definition of ‘known’ is tweaked slightly. I know, right now I’m tapping on a keyboard. I can see it, feel it, while you see the result. You are seeing the words and can appreciate it was generated, somehow. You might assume it came from a keyboard but I could have used a phone, or dictated it. You can’t actually know for sure, unless you’re here, at the moment. Speculations have to be applied, there’s no logical way around them. Of course I could just admit to using a keyboard, I could be fibbing though. You will never know, while you could if you are here, at the same point in time.
Buddha realised that is how we should consider everything. Why be attached to things that have a reality dependent on your own perspective or memories? We are all attached to things, especially life itself, most of us are firmly glued to the concept of an afterlife too. There is one, I’m not shattering illusions this week. O.K. maybe a little bit. Buddha advises us all to trust our own senses above any teaching, if it makes sense, looks and feels right, then it’s probably right for you, at that moment. We are all allowed to change our thinking as we go through life. That is until the point of knowing that not all can be known. Paradoxically that changes everything, while what is known remains as it always was.
It makes perfect sense if you’re a dragon. Being present and being aware, enable the present reality to be completely appreciated. An absolutely present mind, knowing there are things that are not known, can go and diligently look for them. If you want to know about the afterlife then go there, getting back might be problematic though. As a medium I’ve had glimpses, it took me a while to accept that’s all they are. The big picture remains obscure. Indistinct, maybe, but I know where it is on the gallery walls.
The same situation applies over there. You will have all your memories, you’ll remember how things felt, or appeared, but I am not too certain you will have fingers and eyes. Which sounds slightly gruesome and I am sure there are different forms of the senses. They’re just not quite the same but I can’t say I know what they are at the moment. Of course, I could be completely wrong and there is a brand new body awaiting our occupation which sets everything straight. Apart from why Buddha stressed the concept of detachment so much. I don’t know, as I wasn’t there when he came out with it. I just wonder about it all, while trying not to speculate.
Zen, the known unknown.
Appears when we’re ready.
But no one knows when.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 18th May 2021
Crispy seeded wholemeal toast, buttered, then lightly spread with peanut butter, and a spritz of golden syrup drizzled, sparingly, over it attracts dragons. I got waylaid, while having a pre-blogging nibble. It gets worse, their minds seem to be unable to cope with the whole concept, which is possibly due to their Rolo fixation. Toast, apparently, makes dragons doolally. Anyway, I’m digressing, let’s get back to the bunnies.
If you think of problems as bunnies, loads of them! Then every problem has two opposite rabbits, one, the question, being black and white, the answer is white and black. So, if every person on the planet has three, personal, fluffy eared thingies there’s about twenty four billion of them hopping around in the field of human existence. Problems always arise from a question, and answer, but, for some strange reason, self multiply. The trick is to recognise your own bunnies hopping around with the others and keep them separate so you know what’s going on at all times. Which sounds really easy, in theory, but is practically impossible, as rabbits will always do what rabbits, well, do.
The only method to know which is yours is to catch one, pick it up, then feel the resonance of it in your hands. Problem solved, as the answer, and question, will naturally gravitate to the problem. Simples! Except humans do what humans do, and wander off the point. It’s easy to assume someone else’s problem is our own, or theirs is much cuter and does this thing with its ears. The only help you can really give another person is to find their rabbit, and hand it over for them to deal with it in their own way. Quite often, after finding the problem, humans completely ignore the question around it, so the answer can happily munch on carrots for as long as it likes. This has the same effect on us as watching a toaster does to dragons. We get driven nuts.
What the kitchen intruder is getting at, now they’ve had enough Rolos to recover from toast shock, is the importance of standing back to see the whole picture. Bunnies hopping everywhere, at random, is how our life seems most of the time, it’s simply because we’re too in the field to appreciate what is required. Maybe, we have an inbuilt desire to round up all the rabbits into some sort of comfortable sanctuary. Buddha, in his own way, thought that was the case, but never used bunnies as an example.
Something else to think about is that instead of pondering on life, through words, try visualising it all. It might help. Words are blunt instruments when it comes to thoughts, pictures are way more descriptive, which helps with precision in the required action to take. Of course there’s a downside to that. A very big one. I get so wrapped up in the picture I completely forget what I’m supposed to be using it for to resolve. I wander off, usually to where the dragons are. It can’t be cheating either, as they always pass the solution on in some way. If they don’t I can always make some toast.
A bunny haiku.
With ears, and fluffy tail.
I’ll hop to it then.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 11th May 2021
One thing Buddha kept very quiet about was what happens next, probably because no one would believe him. His time was one of superstition with very little understanding of how the Universe works. It was all down to the God(s). In many ways, for many people, not much has changed, although it all did, but, slowly, through the advances of science. The facts are the scientific facts, while religious beliefs are alternative facts. There is no middle ground. Which I find quite acceptable, almost inevitable, if the latest theory of everything is true. It’s the theory of cosmic Kings and Queens. Not quite the ones Buddha was raised to worship, but not far off.
Basically, there are two forms of energy. Quanta, which do what they want, whenever, and wherever, they feel like doing what they do. The other one is matter, which is what your world, and mine, is composed of. It’s a lot more organised, and relatively stable. You know where the kitchen is at any time. A quantum kitchen could decide to relocate to Easter Island. There it was, gone, but it’s still your kitchen. The problem is that matter is made from quanta. Some clever people worked out how to reconcile the two conflicting states. Pure quanta and pure matter are two Kings and Queens, reality lies between the two extremes. I don’t have a problem with calling this process the Universal flow. At a pinch I would agree if the term shakti was used too. If the word God was insisted on then I would have to ask, ‘Which one?’ To me all these concepts simply express the same basic idea of a something behind everything.
I’m sure Buddha found the something while he was under the tree meditating. I’m also sure he realised that he could only understand whatever it is in terms of his human reference points. Buddha was aware of being instructed and guided. I don’t know if it was through images, a voice in his head, or funny feelings of a presence, even a mix of all three. Buddha’s big step was understanding he couldn’t completely understand, but, being human, he could see straight through the human condition then arrive at a sensible method for its correction. Buddha’s honesty prevented him from speculating about the after life.
Nirvana, is not life as we know it, although it would seem like paradise to some, and death to others. It is the absence of desire and need. The relevance of that being to those who help others. If the Universe evolved to the point where there is no suffering all would be in Nirvana there would be no help required. We would all be in a state of inner peace and tranquillity throughout eternity.
The other thing Buddha kept to himself is that Nirvana has a back door which opens on to the theme park, also known as Heaven. Your idea, around that, is as valid as anyone else’s. I learned, through my mediumship, life doesn’t stop when we’re dead. The only thing that really changes is our choices. Many of those in Nirvana often visit the theme park. They’re the grumpy ones sat by the duck pond, and are always willing to have a conversation. As for the dragons, they have their own little nook away from the crowds. So there’s no need to ask why there is an island, the size of Australia, in the pond. Just so you know, the water is only six inches deep.
Would be grumpy or mellow.
Depending on need.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 4th May 2021
Every so often the vast space, between my ears, enters an eerie silence. It’s like the moments in Jaws, when the cello starts up, but less noisy. I always wonder what we’re up to when it happens. I say ‘we,’ because while I’m, obviously, part of the process, being temporarily brain dead, limits my active participation. The problem being I know, for sure, that whatever I’m not doing is getting done to the best of my ability, because we told us so. Regular readers who understand the, ‘All are one,’ thing will be sat saying, ‘Well duh,’ to their self. Everyone else, including me, is nervously pondering on where this is leading to?
Meditation teachers are always banging on about losing the sense of self to become fully immersed in the session. I don’t think it’s possible, without external help. Paradoxically, the wish to remove one’s identity, so to speak, can only reinforce that sense of existing as an individual. My experience is that we disappear by a happy accident. It doesn’t matter, at all, what we are doing before we vanish only that we notice the vacuum we’ve been sucked into. Maybe we could all learn a thing, or two, from unlucky spiders here, because we were the other one involved in their temporary enlightenment.
None of us can understand what goes through a spider’s mind. Most of us struggle to cope with what goes through our own, and then it has to be in terms of our human reality. Not many of us have the ability to reassemble our being after it’s been dissolved. Magicians appear to, but they rely on an illusion. Putting oneself back together needs a different technique, rather than smoke and mirrors. It could be that we don’t lose our identity so much, as parking it for a while. Knowing me, though, there wouldn’t be a silence, just a lot of swearing while I remembered where I had left myself. It doesn’t happen since someone knows where it was.
A similar thing happens when we are driving, apparently. We switch off but are actually more alert and focussed for a while, or so the psychologists reckon. It’s also the basis of Zen meditation, do anything else rather than meditate but whatever is being done should be done meditatively, or mindfully. It gets around the paradox of wanting something to occur, since being mindful makes us notice when it happens.
Seeing as we are getting to the end of this week’s thrilling instalment brings me to consider the point of all I’ve said. There isn’t one! There is, but because I disappeared I don’t need to know what it was, or it isn’t relevant yet. A sensible person would throw a disgusted glance in the direction of their significant other, their guides, who aided the vanishing moment. A sensible person never gets haughty with dragons though. Not because they have foot long claws, and sabre sized teeth, but they do this sad, puppy eyes, look if they get upset in some way. Five minutes of that is enough for anybody, trust me on this one.
O.K. clever clogs.
Write a vanishing haiku.
I can if you blink.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 27th April 2021
Regular readers may find this extremely hard to believe, but I’m, actually, a bit of a rebel. Facebook kept recommending a very ($100,000) expensive watch I might be interested in. I’m not interested, at all. The last thing I want is to organise a few bodyguards into a huddle which is both secure, but allows me to look at my wrist, occasionally. Besides, it was all gold and precious jewels, not Titanium. I have a thing for Titanium, but I’m in a digression free zone, at the moment. Anyway I clicked on the already purchased option for the advert. I am now being seduced by the opportunity of owning a glass bottomed, personal, four seat submarine. I’d love one, but, put it this way, it’s about seven watches, and a house, a big house, a very big house, in Knightsbridge.
I daren’t do the same again. I haven’t a clue what you would give someone with a personal submarine on Father’s day. I’ll be happy with a Toblerone, as usual. Whatever it is I am fairly sure I would want one. In other words I am confronted by the consequences of my deeds, every time I log on to social media. Putting all this into context makes it sound like a three dimensional game of Trivial Pursuit, rather than an important life lesson. It’s both. Unconditional being is a double edged, razor sharp, scythe, requiring a lot of practice to use safely. Unconditional is also the only thing that can be utterly permanent, you might need to think about that one. What was my heinous crime? I lied, I misled, I bragged, I also took pleasure in my misdemeanours, there’s a few others but this is a blog, not a list of reasons why Santa won’t be visiting in December.
You’ve probably worked out for yourself that this is a bit of live reporting from the naughty corner. Yes, I do have to wear the pointy hat with the big black D on the front. Except I’m not a dunce, I’m supposed to be a pupil of the dragons, we all have a pointy hat with a big D on the front. Remembering the human traditional image just adds to my shame. I did wrong, there was, eventually, a human being at the end of Facebook’s algorithm. I don’t know, for sure, if artificial intelligence has artificial feelings which, through my artificial actions, felt an artificial hurt.
Which is round about when I burst out laughing. I know I can’t undo what I did, but I can get over it, and move on. A human, or artificial intelligence, will somehow be made aware of my very real contrition. You might be part of that process, you might not. The important thing, for me, is this is the only way I could make recompense. It really is the single option. I could save up the cost of the watch then make a donation to a charity. The problem there is I would be thanked, and probably asked why I was giving so much. Explaining would probably get me locked up, or, at the very least, forcibly sedated. The punishment wouldn’t quite fit the crime then, would it? One thing the Play Nicely, Or Else, dragon definitely is, is she’s completely fair like that. Anyway, I’m now being beckoned back to the front row of dragon class. They always put the naughty ones at the front.
A sarky haiku.
Is not the best idea.
I will have to wait.
P.S. Yes, it’s a Titanium, glass bottomed, personal, four seat submarine, except for the glass bottom, obviously.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 20th April 2021
Gorgeous, aren’t they? An Easter present from Jayne, in Spain, who lives on the coastal plain. As soon as I’d got them out of the box I knew I had my next blog. Which I should have thought through a little more, but heigh-ho, that’s life. I thought the best home for them was on the desk, at the top of the keyboard. That way they can watch over the chat readings, listen into the calls and nosey over the blog. Which is where the heigh-ho thing started.
Seeing, hearing, and speaking, no evil, should be simple enough. Us humans can do that easy peasy, when we choose. Dragons, though, just have to be different, and take it all a level higher. The level we are talking about is high enough to have a resident Yeti. Funnily enough it was snowing here ten minutes ago. That’s the digression done for the week. Dragons are more concerned about the intention behind any form of evil, since, if it’s an accident it’s not, necessarily, naughty. What goes beyond naughty, into unforgivable, is ignoring what is seen, heard, or said. You really are your brother’s keeper as Jesus said, and Buddha agreed with.
We seem to have forgotten that, or morphed it into a palatable alternative. There will now be a short heigh-ho type pause while I think of a non controversial example, knowing, full well, that it’s going to raise the odd eyebrow. Conspiracy theories, for instance, those broadcasting them must have the best of intentions in wishing to educate and inform others. They feel they have the information others don’t. Surely, they are brothers and sisters to the wise dragons? Well, not exactly, especially when things are taken out of context, videos are edited, or completely false statements are re-labelled as the truth. There are no alternative facts, the problem is finding out what the, actual, facts are.
Which leads me into two conclusions. The first being that heigh-ho is being sung to me by seven dwarves. A good dragon will do that, though. Secondly, our leaders, all of them, wherever they are, and whatever they are, don’t trust their populations enough to provide all the facts and allow people to choose to act appropriately. If that seems a bit contentious you might want to stop reading right here. A lot of populations can’t be relied on to do the right thing since it would require consideration of others to be our prime, (dragony minded), concern. Take the current epidemic, for instance. It’s real, and the only way to get on top of it is to, basically, keep people away from people. Guidelines were issued, and they might as well have been kite strings for the amount of notice some people gave them.
Maybe we all need to dream up another three wise dragons. Stop, Think, and Don’t Do What Everyone Else Is Doing. They might help us all muddle through just that little bit more easily.
Once, three wise dragons.
Sat down and wrote a haiku.
About a yeti.
P.S. It’s just started snowing again. Anybody fancy adopting some dragons?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 13th April 2021
It’s looking like this is going to be another of those personal thought process blogs. (In which case it will be, mercifully, short... Alan’s dragony editor). A few things have happened, recently, for other people, so I got turned to. Most of them have been positive events, while one was anything but. Like us all I wonder if I’ve done the right thing, which led to pondering on what is the right thing to do?
When someone dies they’re fine, immediately, everyone else connected to them falls apart. Those pieces need putting back together. We all go through major life changes too, those bits have to be integrated back in then the diversion on to the new track is less of a trauma. Perversely, when something good actually happens, most of us consider the possible catches involved, or pile the negative connotations so high they obscure the good ones. After what’s been going on I’ve reached the momentous decision that feelings of sympathy, should last, at most, for twenty seconds. After that empathy has to be at the core of any help offered.
Empathy is sharing someone’s burden, to the point of carrying it for them until they feel able to pick it up again. That’s all it should be. There’s no need to buy into the drama. Being objective doesn’t mean you are uncaring, it is more of a help to others to choose to be cold. Look at it this way, you would give your coat to a soggy, frost covered, beggar, knowing you have plenty of others at home. All that would be required is a simple, ‘Thank you,’ and, ‘You’re welcome.’ Anything else is unnecessary drama, or, what Buddha termed, ‘froth.’ Sympathy seems to be the gas in life’s lemonade. It’s an important part of the initial offer of help, but too much of it is going to get up people’s noses, eventually. Sympathy says, ‘That looks heavy, here, have a cold drink.’ Empathy just picks the boulder up, and carries on, while keeping the conversation going.
The other downside to sympathy is it can disempower people. Relating to someone’s plight is fine, imposing what worked for you under similar circumstances might not be. Pointing out that when you need cash you go to the bank, doesn’t quite apply to someone on Universal Credit. Empathy waits to find out what it doesn’t know.
Of course the difference between the two is more subtle, and nuanced, than the dragon’s black or white sledge hammer would imply. They only have a single word when it comes to influencing interactions, be kind. Yes, I know that’s two words, but it’s such a no-brainer neither of them should, actually, need saying. Sympathy comes from within ourself, we relate to others’ problems by going back over our own experiences. Empathy, however, seems to be more ephemeral, almost like an enveloping mist. We know when we should do something as we feel a tickling chill down our neck. Most of the time, we act on the impulse, some of the time we don’t. If we were all perfect, though, there would be no need for the Buddha, and the teachings. The main one being to, at least, try. To which the dragons would add, ‘You could find you like it.’
What is this life thing?
Up, at dawn, then back to bed.
Something seems absent.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 6th April 2021
I was thinking of starting this week’s blog with, ‘Hello, white box on my monitor. Here we are again.’ Then, gently, ramble into the thought process of how the blog, sort of, congeals from random ideas. However, as the big botherations pointed out, for that process to happen there would have to be some thinking involved. Seeing as I am supposed to be passing on what the dragons pass off as wisdom, a joint decision was made not to go there. As the plan would probably constitute an unfair description under trading standards laws.
This leaves me floundering, in the shallows, for a while. Let’s try this. There is no such thing as a deserted beach. The tide is always washing up, well, stuff. Strangely, many people wish they were on a beach whenever something unexpected arrives in their life. Life really is a beach, and holidays are an illusion, but that entails thinking like sand. If there is one thing, on the planet, that has to go with the flow it’s the sea shore. Apart from being the ocean’s dumping ground it suffers constant change caused by external forces completely beyond its control. Is this sounding familiar yet? Sand, however, doesn’t complain, and still finds the energy to creep between a child’s toes making them giggle.
I know I’ve covered this before, but a good tide will do that around twice a day. Just because life appears to repeat itself, at regular intervals, doesn’t make it boring. Buddha, and some Greek philosopher whose name escapes me at the moment, both pointed out that no one can cross the same river twice. Water flows, and replenishes itself. It’s the same with sand, without the tides and wave actions there wouldn’t be any. We are no different, apart from the fact we think. Which is the problem behind everything, unfortunately, it’s also the answer in equal propensity. How we think is fairly irrelevant to anyone else, what we think is the most important part, especially to others. Sand doesn’t wonder what the grain they are laid next to thinks about them. Collectively, they all huddle together, at peace with one another. The billions of little bits act as a whole. Which is exactly what we, nature’s clever clogs, should be doing, but just keep thinking of a better way. Maybe I have, finally, crumbled, since I feel sand has worked it out in the best way possible.
Now it’s getting warmer I can get back into my habit of a walk in the morning. I usually end up at the local beach. Don’t get too excited, it’s an estuary where the water retreats a long way. Maybe I’m realising that the mud is just as easy to meditate on as the waves. There could be more to this, ‘All are one,’ than appears at first glance. We can only see what is there, though according to Zen teaching it’s a question of recognising the what in everything. Sand gets that too. It’s happy being turned into whatever falls out of a child’s bucket. Which with a few pats from a shovel is now home to a princess. Sand shares in the joy, naturally, by simply doing what sand does.
Going with the flow.
Allows the tide to decide.
And so we proceed.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 30th March 2021
Every so often the blog begins with a moment of absolute dread. I know it’s coming as there is a deep inner quiet just before it arrives. To make matters worse I start the process myself, by doing something unusual while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil. Which is why I thought they were joking when the scaly nuisances demanded an ABBA based blog, but I’m sure my neighbours were ecstatic when my rendition of ‘I Have A Dream’ ceased abruptly.
The line, ‘Something good, in everything, I see,’ needs a couple of dragony commas shoving in it, (to save time I’ve already done in it for you.) My moment of paralysing fear stemmed from the fact I don’t, really, ‘Do’ ABBA. Heavy metal, bring it on! Which is the problem. Sorry, was the problem, it has been corrected. A basic tenet of Zen is to see the good, or Zen, in everything. I kept looking while scrooging cocktail sticks into my eyeballs. Another way of putting it is I was peering through the murky windows of my own prejudices, and conditioning. In a way it’s instinctive, I’ve just begun to realise how subtle, and pervasive, they can be.
When we look, are we seeing the good in everything, or what we feel could be there? Things should be left as they are, the only changes should be coming from within our own self. That doesn’t mean we become the Universal doormat for everything to wipe its footwear on, far from it. In being completely neutral we avoid the dramas while discerning the good, which is simply shorthand for the underlying reality. Our guidance has lost the ability to judge which has implications for how effective their guidance can be if we insist on placing obstacles in their way. In becoming non judgmental, and acting completely unconditionally we become invulnerable, and fearless. Keep that new ability sensible though. I will elaborate.
After half the blogging coffee I reached the conclusion that having seen the point, realised achieving the aim will take a little time, and effort, meant I could refuse to do the ABBA blog. There wouldn’t have been a thing the dragons could, or would, want to do to persuade me. My no was a righteous one, from the same place all good no’s should come from, the home of careful consideration.
Understanding others is the same thing but understanding needs some investigation into the facts first. Instead of hiding behind your inner army of preconceptions be the leader, and stand out in front. It’s where your guidance always is. Unfortunately, it’s also where dragons have laid an unmapped mine field ready for me to step on. Some explode, violently, causing a shock, while others burst into a song. The latter have the same effect, but the former don’t come with a flame fired, dustbin oven baked, pizza Napolitano.
The pizza problem.
With ham, yes! Pineapple? Ummmmmm.
Ask Gordon Ramsay.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 23rd March 2021
This week’s blog comes with an advisory note. If you have a delicate composition you might want to go and do something else. At least for the first few paragraphs, the conclusion will be a gruesomeness free zone. Although it probably won’t make any sense, at all, without the back story.
The sacoglossan sea slug has a really neat trick of decapitating itself and growing an entirely new body within a few weeks. There’s a couple of videos out there if you’re curious. It just does a little wiggle, then off pops its head. Scientists think it helps the slug get rid of parasites and other nasties. Two things got me thinking, the first being it’s found in the waters around Japan. We all know how clever the Japanese are. The second was a little more profound. What would happen if humans could do the same? For instance, clothes shops would also need head racks. Shoe shops too! Imagine never having to worry about a pair not being in your size.
In fact, the world would have to be totally different, no more stretching in the supermarket. Dump the body, grow longer arms, and then finish the shopping. Mobile phones would all have to be hands free, because a lot of fussy people would be spending long periods without hands. Then there are the ‘cosmetic’ reasons for losing your body. Which probably outnumber the practical ones by a few orders of magnitude. Friendships would be completely different too, a lot of people would become the nominated head minder. Tescos wouldn’t let you park your head for nothing would they? Someone would have to take you home.
There’s another problem, apart from decreased mobility. The body would be the same as the one that got shed, while the head hasn’t changed at all. You are, basically, still you. Saclogossan sea slugs haven’t discovered the secret of immortality either, one day the head will die. The new body too, is just as susceptible to disease, and illness, as it ever was.
So which is the more intelligent? Humans, or saclogossan sea slugs. (See what I mean about the conclusion not making any sense now?) The Buddhist answer would be neither, with the proviso being they are at peace within their self. Each is at one with the one. Not many people actually manage that one, I know I haven’t. Understanding the theory is a long way from practicing the path naturally.
I suppose not wanting to do what a slug does could be an important first step though. Thinking through all the implications of changing your body, and, even after doing so, realising nothing much happened. It’s all about how you feel, yourself. If others are having a dig around your weight, etc. just remember they’re acting like a saclogossan sea slug. Since they spend their whole lives wriggling around in the darkness, it should be fairly easy to rise above their comments. One thing the saclogossan trick would be good for though, is meditating... Almost instant detachment.
Change comes from within.
When within is without want.
Nothing needs to change.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 16th March 2021
Here we are, the second day of spring. Of course, that’s the meteorological spring. To celebrate its arrival a couple of dragons decided to fly backwards, over Bristol, on Sunday. The BBC called it a meteorite, which may have confused a few people. Being fair, it was dark, and dragons do, sort of, blend into the background, so that’s understandable I suppose. If they had, actually, managed to pull the stunt off, on time, at midnight, everyone would have known what was going on. Having now dug myself into the ‘Why did some backwards flying dragons change course, while at the same time cease their incendiary display?’ hole, I will extricate myself by talking about something sensible. That’s a Spanish hole by the way, more of an ole´ really.
Many people sit, and wait, for a magician to pull a symbolic rabbit out of a mystical hat for them. I’ve done it myself on many occasions. It’s not a problem as long as you can be patient and just get on with the rest of your life. The magician is, quite often, just a little time. Which is when it can get interesting, as, during the wait, attitudes can change, unknowns become known, and the whole situation morphs into something completely different. We all, always, get the rabbit, but it’s never the one we expected.
Waiting for something doesn’t, actually, set us outside the eternal now, cosmic flow, or whatever term you prefer. Expecting does. It might seem like splitting hairs, which are nearly rabbits, but the two words are, to my mind, totally opposite in their meaning. The Universe wants you to have something, it’s set in stone, you have an appointment with fate, so sit, and watch the clock tick. That’s fine. Deciding, or expecting exactly what, and when, puts you in the wrong place at the wrong time since you thought that’s where it would be. There is a crock of gold at the end of every rainbow, they all have gift tags, with absolutely secure combination locks, which, bizarrely, open with the letters of your name.
Whatever you are meant to have, you will have. The Universe meets our needs, over time. The Universe would prefer if we dropped our wants during the interval between asking, and getting. Quite often the getting is a small opportunity which leads to bigger, and better, things. Without taking the first step, no matter how cryptic, or unconnected it seems, there is no chain to link together. This is why we have guides and other cosmic help. Humans have a problem with obscure, we need dragons flying backwards to notice it’s dark. Repeating patterns in your life might not be some Karmic debt repayment, rather the umpteenth opportunity to see what is under your nose again.
To be absolutely in the eternal now makes everything, and I really do mean everything, a case of wait and see. The Universe is both bigger, and wiser, than anyone alive today. Including dragons, they’re more like right ones though. If you really do believe you know better than the Universe well, I admire your faith.
Wish upon a star.
But dragons wear disguises.
Discernment is key.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 9th March 2021
I started the blog on the 13th February 2017, so do the maths. One a week, ever since, apart from the four breaks over Christmas, means this is number two hundred. At the beginning I never thought it would turn into a rod for my own back, which it did, occasionally. That phrase, though, can easily be inverted. The rod can empower by stiffening our resolve. In other words what hasn’t killed you, yet, really has made you stronger in some way. Of course, clever people, like my readers, know when it’s appropriate to call time on a lost cause. The blog is, obviously, the dragony exception which proves the rule as there is no way I’m calling time on it. I will also use the little bit of determination, and sense of duty I’ve gained, wisely. Well, I’ll try to.
The blog, though, is rarely about me. There is always the person it’s being written for on the other side of my monitor screen. Some weeks it is directed at a, particular, person while others have been more general. I just do as I’m told. To everyone who has gained from the blog, I’ll say my usual, ‘Ya welcome.’ As I’ve already pointed out we shared, and that’s just how it should be.
My only regret is not tackling some of the more pressing problems facing the world at the moment. Choosing, instead, to waffle on about something else. Although there were the occasional, cryptic, allusions with the odd bit of prophecy chucked in. That was just the dragons making sure I didn’t nod off. I suppose if I had gone political, ecological, sociological, and economical it would have been a rant, rather than an amuse bonce like they serve in fancy restaurants. Besides, it’s not up to a single person to change the world, it has to be a collective choice, or there’s no way it would be the world we all wanted. I’m not sure the perfect world is, actually, possible. In my opinion, dawns should have a lot more purple in them, while rainbows should be contrary to physical laws as they attract unicorns. Those are just examples for argument’s sake, I’ve made my position on arguing clear, several times, in the past.
All that remains is to express my thanks to you, whoever, and wherever, you are; applaud Wendy, and Vicky, for uploading them every week, while raising a hearty cheer towards the technical department behind the web site. You all make this possible, and worthwhile. Thank you.
Then there’s the scaly nuisances... seeing as they’ve got as many tears of gratitude in their eyes as I have, right now, I don’t think anything needs to be added to that. I don’t know how to thank the Universe for their contributions, over the years. There have been many, but, as agreed, we kept them quiet, and just between ourselves. I could argue that thanks aren’t really required in that case, but it could also be taken as arguing with the Universe, just in case I’m wrong. Which seems an ideal place to end, before I drop myself right in it...again.
No haiku this week!
Just a sincere, ‘Thank you.’
To all my readers
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 2nd March 2021
Digressions are really vegetarian vultures, disguised as budgies. The best way to attract them is to chuck a few handfuls of millet seed on the ground, then stand well back. Vultures, being vultures, aren’t that good at subterfuge so these are big budgies, and big budgies can mean a big mess. Luckily, the dragons thought ahead, scorching an area of meadow to sand so all digressions would arrive hygienically. Yes, of course it would be much simpler but boring if they just got on with it so I could get on with it. We don’t do boring though. It’s a blog not a debate! Debate is the millet seed for de budgery vulturey thingies, keep up.
Where was I? Oh yes, digressing. One of the weird things I enjoy doing is sitting in the dark watching the dawn break. I used to complain about my occasional insomnia until I befriended it. There’s no point staying in bed knowing you’re not going back to sleep is there? I do wake myself up a bit first, with a coffee, my horoscopes, then a brief peruse of the BBC news. After that it’s a case of being alone, in the gloom, with me. This may sound dreary. For a while it was, at least until I started to enjoy my own company a little more. At that time of the morning, around five am, my phone is still offline. If you thought my sitting is the dark was weird, you’re going to have a hissy fit when I say my mobile doesn’t get switched on for a good few hours.
I’m almost at the point of declaring this my favourite time of day. I’m pretty sure I never will though, as that would lead to planning for it, and setting the alarm for stupid o’ clock. It would also mean sitting in the dark, alone, cut off from civilisation intentionally. I’m not that weird. No, when it happens, it happens, which is good enough for me.
There is a bonus. It’s the only time when I seem able to meditate without meditating, or doing the mindful walk. It’s dark, I’m comfy, things just seem to flow, naturally, into a stream of thought that isn’t really thought, or thinking. For a few brief moments, everything really is, exactly as it should be.
Being part of a dawn breaking is something I highly recommend too, at least once. Especially on a deserted beach. It’s a very gradual process, obviously, but as the light increases our eyes see more in an instant. Those continue until the point the sun rises when all becomes perfectly clear. It’s almost as if Zen Buddhist practice has been wrapped into a single experience that no one has to be mindful of doing as long as it’s done and doesn’t make any sense while undertaking it.
Many people reading this might be thinking I’ve gone too budgie minded, as in feather brained when, the truth is, I’m trying to explain a difficult point. There are some things that can’t be taught, only realised within our own heads, and hearts. Dawn watching is one technique of helping that process along. Just don’t set the alarm clock.
The Sun never sets.
The Moon always rises too.
How profound is that?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 23rd February 2021
You can’t motivate someone who knows they are doing their best, under their current circumstances. If you try it will probably have the opposite effect, and make them feel worse. ‘Pull yourself together,’ doesn’t work with depression. It’s also too easy to assume someone isn’t trying, because they’re not doing what we would. There’s a lot of truth in the old adage about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. There’s a lot of jokes too, but I’m under dragony orders to be sensible this morning.
Speaking of the U.K. in general, I think we’ve all had enough in regards to the ongoing restrictions. There’s a lot of people, out there, who have had more than enough. For them, just scraping by is their absolute best. It’s also difficult to complain, as everyone around them has the same complaints. We might be all in this together, but we are not all the same. Each of us has a unique persona which, right now, many people feel they have lost forever. Having been in that position myself, a long time ago, I can reassure you it does come back, well almost. It will be stronger, subtly changed with a few different outlooks, at least that’s what happened to me.
I can’t put it any better than Pink Floyd, ‘Hanging on, in quiet desperation, is the English way.’ For the record I had five years of it. The lockdown isn’t going to last anywhere near that long, besides there have been breaks, mine was constant. When I say, ‘I know how you feel,’ it isn’t sympathy, it’s a fact. I also know others have been through, and survived, harder trials than mine. In a way it was all worthwhile. At the time there was no one there for me, I, the me behind the words you’re reading, is there for you. This ‘we are all one’ thing Buddha puzzled out does have benefits. We don’t have to ask to be thought of, we already are being. Which is, exactly, when the weirdness kicked in. I’ve just read an email, from Wendy, asking if I would get the dragons on her case around her being able to return home. If someone, somewhere, has the time to nosey in while I am writing the blog, it’s a pretty safe bet you are being nosied over too.
If I had a magic wand it would have been broken into very small bits a long time ago, so I could give all who needed it a little piece. I suppose I could argue, and we all know how much I like arguing, the blog does the same thing. I like the idea of it being a piece of my peace. Quite often, I wish it could be cake though, as someone would feel obliged to return the goodwill. Biscuits would do, at a pinch.
I thought I might have had more to say, but it appears that’s enough. Whoever this is meant for, don’t judge me too harshly. I did my best. Oh, I almost forgot to say, I’m proud of you.
We are not alone.
It is an illusion of...
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 16th February 2021
Perhaps this blog should focus on fishing, as it nearly got away. Instead of emailing Wendy, and pleading, ‘I’ve not been well,’ which I haven’t, I’ll just sit and wait for the right idea to come along. Of course, when this happens, the dragons dress up as fish, helping themselves to my brain worm. No hooks are involved so it’s a cruelty free pastime. There does seem to be something about water, in all its forms, which attracts us humans. Skiing down a mountainside, is, to some people, as relaxing as a wander around a lake, or a visit to the sea shore.
It goes without saying that either extreme view wouldn’t see the common ground between them. That’s something else us humans are good at too, disagreeing. Which makes me wonder where did that come from?
Language probably evolved from a series of physical movements with accompanying grunts. As a means of communication it’s fairly effective, and is still in common use to this day. Notably amongst teenagers, and hungry partners home from work. Speech came later, but, for some strange reason, the physical actions, although no longer needed, were retained as a means of emphasising the words being used. It’s not easy to talk to someone if you can’t use your hands. Try it out for yourself. The whole point of communication seemed to have been to give the group an advantage because they could cooperate. The problem being there was more than one group, while each had its own system of grunts. Signs, though, would be obvious, a pointing thumb being as effective as any finger.
Maybe humans really are too clever for their own good. If one group used their thumbs as indicators, while another used them as signals of imminent danger, they would find it extremely difficult to function as a whole. Fluffy bunny hunting takes on a whole new dimension. Then again, I often wonder if mankind is, collectively, coming, or going.
What I find really fascinating is the emerging evidence around modern day humanity seems to be a hybrid of two distinct groups, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens. One was assimilated by the other, as shown by the genes we all share. Assimilated is the long word shy scientists use instead of the phrase, ‘making babies.’ One thing that can’t have changed, too much, over the millennia is the fact baby making requires a certain level of communication and mutual understanding. If this process was happening today imagine the uproar it would cause! The fact is it does occur today, with accompanying uproar, but is called mixed marriages for example, rather than assimilation.
As a Buddhist I am ‘supposed’ to understand people’s intolerances and accept it as part of their own path. This practicing Buddhist, clearly, needs a lot more practice as I really struggle with it. The best I can manage is to view discrimination, dogmatism and bigotry as ‘being bonkers.’ Seriously, I simply cannot relate to the mindset. Maybe I’m more of a Neanderthal than those who think that way.
Might be wondering about...
How did we get here?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 9th February 2021
Every time I use the phrase ‘Scaly nuisances,’ I am very aware of raised, dragony eyebrows, followed by a sensation of thin cracking ice under my feet. It seems only right to blog about their revenge, which was not only perfect, but seems to have served a deeper purpose. It was also surprisingly painless. Before we go on, keep these two dates in mind, the 25th and 26th of January. Today is the 26th, AKA my birthday. It’s not my fault Australia and India decided to surf my wave too.
Jayne, my friend in Spain, is Scottish, so yesterday morning I sent her a gif message wishing her happy Burn’s night, which falls on January 25th. The video was of a bloke, in a kilt, playing a set of flame throwing bagpipes. At the same time Jayne was busy on her phone and replied immediately with, ‘I’d forgotten about that (Burn’s Night), as I have dragons on my brain.’ Neglecting to tell me about the surprise she had ordered the previous evening. Said surprise arrived a day early, on Burn’s night, which seems to be the go to day for rehoming dragons. He’s the purple sparkly one in the picture. He’s also unique in that he is the only one it felt right to give a name too, Hamish. I couldn’t decide between Tatties, or Neeps, and digressed instead.
It gets worse... Regular readers will have noticed I’ve mentioned about dragons and Angels being, basically, the same when it comes to helping humans. Hamish is holding a blue crystal. It’s the shade I always associate with Archangel Michael, who often wanders into my readings when needed. Quite often to give some information as a validation and leaves the client with hope, and strength, to endure whatever they are going through. Maybe that’s why Hamish, is Hamish, rather than an incognito mega-iguana.
For the past few days I’ve not felt well enough to work, it was just a cold, or something. Last night, though, with Hamish sat under the screen was, well, different. I am not saying it was all down to the paracetamol, because there’s that ice cracking sound again. I have a funny feeling things are starting to shift again, energetically, quite where I’m moving to remains to be seen. All I know is there isn’t a map, and, when I get there, it won’t be a holiday camp. Something else I am trying to avoid saying is there seems to be a lesson in taking a little more responsibility, almost seriousness, in my approach to what I know, and use it to accomplish. Only a bit! I wouldn’t be me if I stuck on a tutu, and went off dancing with the Unicorns. I can work through that at my leisure, in many ways I already have.
I have to say a massive thank you to the dragons, I know they already feel my gratitude, scaly nuisances can do that. I’m referring to the other opportunity all this has presented, which is being able to say, to you all, ‘Welcome to my world.’ It is magical, and wonderfully weird. Just like yours is. I’ve just noticed it’s 11.11, so it seems an appropriate point to stop.
The Birthday Haiku!
After twelve months of thinking.
There it was... now gone.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 2nd February 2021
A friend, who reads the blog, recently asked where I get the ideas for the beginnings? As they always make them want to keep reading. My honest answer was, ‘I haven’t got a clue, they just happen.’ So, in a break from the traditional, ‘just happen,’ here is a little factual reporting. I’ve not been feeling too good over the past few days. I let the support team know, and explained my absence as being a bit rough. Adding, ‘But now I feel as slippery as an electric eel in speedos, I should be back this evening.’ It came as a bit of a shock to realise I still felt drained, and had to take another night off.
I suppose what I’m actually trying to say is no matter what the circumstances, there are always hidden opportunities to put to good use. It’s the silver lining in clouds thing. Obviously, I have infinite opportunities available for blog writing as I can make the whole thing up. I could, but the dragons would, quite rightly, object. Double entendre alert: I also try to be entertaining, the easiest way to do that is by entertaining myself as I go along. If only it were that simple, in reality. One side of my head types, the other opens endless tubes of Rolos. The scaly ones have to approve what I say, as well as whatever they are munching on.
Explaining things, without self justification, isn’t easy. We all assume everyone has their own agenda, which may, but usually doesn’t, quite fit with our own. This leads to having to defend our actions, or views, to them. This leads to their doing just the same, back at us. All that is needed is an agreement on what the common goals are. The way to achieve them shouldn’t be a plan, but rather a continuous experiment in what works best. Another little word, with huge implications for all this would be trust. That applies to any form of relationship, or a better word might be interaction. If the goals are already understood, the resulting conversations should be less confrontational, and way more motivational.
I may have mentioned this before, dragons don’t have agendas. Except they do! Both are relatively harmless. Getting their gums around as many Rolos as possible is one. For the record Rolos are symbols of expressed kindness, and gratitude. I am grateful for their other agenda, which is to help. In my case the help took the form of an education I couldn’t have enrolled for. Since this blog is mainly about my being honest I don’t think I would have signed up for classes if I really understood what the common goal was. I must have given permission on some level, although I can understand why it wouldn’t be necessary. That, however, would be a dragony doings PhD. Yes, I’m still learning.
Which nicely brings me back to self justification and agendas. My only aim, with the blog, is spend a little time opening Rolos for dragons. My friend should have asked, ‘Where do the dragons get their ideas for the beginnings from?’ The answer to that one really is cosmic, considering they’ve been around since before the big bang itself. There is a dragony legend it all started with a dragon sneeze. That could just be a lot of hot air though.
Haiku perfection, almost.
Rolos needed too.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th January 2021
I was having a chat with a client, when, guess what? The subject of dragons came up. Well, actually, they were asking about Angelic guidance. I just happened to mention there is no difference between the two. Most of my readers will have already had a nasty case of the indignants by now, so bear with me. As it only took another two sentences for them to type, ‘Wow, yes you’re right.’ My mission, should I choose to accept it, is simply to explain the concept in a little more depth.
Mainly, it’s about horses for courses. We all benefit from a light, spiritual, nudge occasionally. Dragons don’t do light anything! Once we’ve been knocked into the middle of our next week, along come the Angels to dry our tears of shock, wrapping us in feathery, comforting wings. It’s a bit like the bad cop, good cop, thing. Which is a nice picture to explain the energetic reality of there being no separation between creation and destruction. The flow doesn’t have gaps in it. Obviously, both events are expressions of the same divine love. Dragons express the divine grumps a tad better than an Angel would. Which is another mistake we all make. We equate this with anger, or our own transgression in some way. Call it whatever you want, love is the easiest word for me, but, whatever you decide it is, never changes. Forgive and forget are both the same, eternal, moment.
Dragons are more learn it, live it, than Angels, who are better at explaining. Just because a dragon writes ‘You’re not listening’ in fiery letters across the midnight sky doesn’t mean it’s miffed. They are simply trying to help. The weird thing is I have seen angry Angels, maybe it was a dragon with feathers. I do know their mood, at the time, was justified according to the circumstances. No, it wasn’t anything I’d done.
In my world(s) dragons are the sharp end of the Buddhist teachings. Someone has to restore the balance our actions have caused to wobble. The only way to overcome hate is with a loving response, no matter how long that takes. Sometimes that’s longer than our life. All that garbage will, one day, have to be disposed of. Angels hold the brush, dragons mind the dust pan.
Being a medium has coloured my own viewpoint, but my biggest lesson came from realising I can only think I know what I know. Of course I decided to carry on, trying to find the one thing that does, really, know. Paradoxically, it’s you, and, if it’s you, it’s me. Infuriatingly, as the dragons and Angels pointed out in a simultaneous chorus of cosmic proportions it wasn’t required. Perfection can’t be improved on if it’s already there.
I was going to conclude by stating which of the two I prefer to wander into my working day. Which is when the scaley fun spoiler grumbled, ‘And be honest about it.’ I can’t pick and choose, it’s not up to me to decide how to help anyone. Like Angels, and dragons, I’m just another messenger.
Or Angelic dragonys.
Their song is the same.
(You might have noticed I always capitalise the A in Angels, but not the d in dragons... I am now going to spend the next six months trying to work out why that is).
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 19th January 2021
I’m seriously considering giving up the blog for mental health reasons. Last week’s was just too prophetic considering that the national restrictions were announced ten hours later. I’m used to predictions I make coming in. What I’m confused around is the point the scaley ones are trying to make. I was going to write a rainbow draped, unicorny bliss filled, sunny uplands sort of thing today. Tempting fate, I know. It’s too soon unfortunately, give me a week, or three. As I’ve already said the happy ending is guaranteed.
That said the dragons are in agreement around cheering you all up. The process begins with explaining why I can’t, actually, be cheered up, although anyone else can. I won’t be cheered up unless someone else is, besides, I don’t need cheering up I just need to write the cheering up blog. The very best I should hope for is to be happy in my work. Which was part of Buddha’s revelation, as I well know!
Another thing I know, too well, is how dragony jokes have to be Universally correct, and evolve over the same time frame as the average galaxy. So, wondering how they are going to cheer us all up, in 600 words, ish, nearly made me fall off my chair laughing. What is even more hilarious is the exchange of puzzled looks between them as whatever they all did wasn’t supposed to happen. Green, and red, fire breathing monstrosities, can’t get their heads around the concept of unintended consequences. I’ve tried, numerous times, to explain it, but their logical minds won’t accept anything illogical occurring. All seeing, all knowing, beings of all kinds, occasionally, take a nap. It’s what they wake up to which makes their ever present, eternal, now interesting. The Universal mind sometimes changes, or, even better, dares to dream.
A major, unintended consequence of my ‘relationship’ with dragons, (AKA divine guidance) is my treating them as equals. Of course this, absolutely, annoys them especially with their knowledge of that’s just how it should be. People tend to get slightly judgmental if you claim the ability to banter with Angels, mentioning dragons just raises the odd eyebrow. If it’s how it should be for me, then it’s how it will be for you too. Although, I’m sure, most of you don’t need a reminder.
Another reminder you don’t need, and want even less, is the ‘change only comes from within,’ thing. Many of my readers will use their government imposed extra spare time to meditate, most of them will become more aware of the general gloom, and doom, dynamics flying around when they do. So crack, fall apart giggling, let some of your own light out. I dare you! It took me far too long to understand that, sometimes, meditation should be just chuckling on a cosmic level. Here’s the difficulty with trying the technique, it doesn’t work if you try. You could visualise asking a dragon why exactly this is so, then patiently wait for their blank expression to fade.
A funny haiku...
You can do this! Go for it.
O.K. Be right back.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th January 2021
This is one of those mornings when I wish I was at a Pantomime screaming, ‘It’s behind you!’ Rather than sat at my desk, staring at the screen, knowing I’ve got a blog in front of me. Not just any blog though. Being the first one of the year it, sort of, needs to be semi spectacular. Apparently, there is no such thing as mental WD 40, well, Amazon don’t stock it if there is. On top of that I’m getting the dragony evils. Their expression of dismay, at my attempts to go for everyone’s sympathy is something I’m used to by now. They do this puppy eyes thing, and appeal to my higher nature, so it’s not that evil.
The best meme I’ve seen, for ages, was a very simple white text, on a black background, which read, ‘2020 won.’ Obviously, that will resonate more with anyone living North of Watford. The sort of people who use their big coat to keep the dog warm and have a pair of February sandals. My sort of people. To explain to everyone else it’s an accent thing, won is how my people pronounce one. Not all of us, but enough. All I need to do is stick a question mark in there, and we have a blog. 2020 won? No, it didn’t, unless we allow it to.
We all want to get back to normal. It’s been the new normal for so long maybe we’ve forgotten what normal, actually, is. Perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing. People pulled together to help each other. Those on the other end of the rope lost that particular tug of war though. You have to give them credit for trying, and some of the conspiracy theories would make good Pantomime storylines. For those booing and hissing, just remember I’m psychic, I know where you’ve stashed what’s left of the treats.
It’s going to take a while, I am also sensible enough to admit the world may not be over the worst, just yet, however, it is getting there. It will have a happy ending, eventually. How happy that is remains to be seen. We could all do a Cinderella, and run away, or we could carry on being completely abnormal, by looking out for each other, just as we did for most of last year. Call me weird, but the idea of acting abnormally appeals to my sense of humour, while if everyone did it my Buddhist side would be a step closer to inner peace.
The other thing to remember is you can only be as locked down as you allow yourself to feel. It’s your mind, your thoughts, and, yep, you’re the jailer with the jingly, jangly keys. If you rub them a genie appears. A genie, ish. They won’t grant your wishes, but you might get a different perspective on things, which, let’s face it, can be a bit magical in its own way.
2020 won if we just let 2021 carry on as planned. The vaccinations end the pandemic, gradually. The world goes back to how it was, and everyone breathes a long, sincere, sigh of relief. It would take a special kind of person to want to keep the best bits of 2020. There were many of them too. Each shopping delivery, checking up on elderly neighbours etc. Millions, upon millions, of kindly actions that would not have, usually, happened. If you think along the same lines then you’re my kind of person, even if you haven’t got a big coat.
Which almost haikus itself.
Nearly, but not quite.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th January 2021
The coronavirus has now managed to squelch down every major religious festival occurring this year. Christmas is going to be different too. How different? Well, don’t dream of a white Christmas, hope for a warm, and wet, one. That way you can keep some windows open, adequate ventilation seems to help limit the spread of infection. As for New Year’s Eve, just be careful with over exuberant elbow knocking. You have some sensitive nerve endings in that area, that’s why it’s called your funny bone.
In fact, I could argue the pandemic has accomplished what thousands of years of society has failed to do, and which is unite all the major faiths under similar circumstances. Diwali and Eid went west for their followers, Easter suffered too. Basically, for the first time in history, everyone is in the same boat. So don’t rock it too much. (The clever ones will see what I did there). Being sensible helps, and protects, us all. You might find that the 2020 version of turkey murder day becomes your new normal. Only having your absolutely nearest and dearest around, with constant, conscious, thinking of others welfare, actually, brings an added meaning to insisting on at least one sprout, per plate, no exceptions. Who knows, and, I admit this is a long shot, we might even lump those who can’t celebrate, at all, in with our regrets at who isn’t sat around our table.
Those are meaningful, ‘we’s’. Whoever’s giggling grow up! While I will have my usual solitary, solstice shindig. Having dragons for besties pays off, occasionally. I can’t escape the invitation to have Christmas lunch with my daughter, and grandchildren. Some of the family have to stay away for health reasons so I’m the obligatory welcome guest. Those are genuine, medically recorded, reasons, by the way and not down to my cooking. I usually disappear once the potatoes are in the oven. This year I will be staying. So, like you all, my Christmas is different.
I do accept that coincidences happen, but not everything is just a coincidence. The conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter, is at its closest and brightest, on December 21st. There will be a bright light in the heavens during the longest night of the year. That’s been planned for several hundred years. Now you’ve been told, you won’t have to see it to know it’s there. I am choosing to believe it isn’t a coincidence, and, if it’s symbolic of anything, let’s hope it’s the light at the end of 2020’s long, dark, tunnel.
Being a nut case comes in handy. I can wish everyone a peaceful few days around the solstice without causing any offence, as no major belief systems bother about it. Those that do are into this Universal love, and forgiveness thing, so I’m safe. From me, and the scaley nuisances, whatever you do, and, however you do it, have a good one. Memories last longer than grumbles. Of course sprouts are the exception to that, particular, rule.
The Christmas haiku.
Another year in the bag.
More, or less, of course.
The blog is now taking a well earned rest while we get our own back for all the times our illustrious names have been taken in vain. We reckon on that taking until Jan 5th 2021. (Alan’s dragony editor)
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd December 2020
Apparently, the most requested article on Amazon this year, is a holly wreath with a built in, remote sensing, thermometer. Seeing as they don’t, actually, exist you’ll just have to slap the band on people’s foreheads before you let them in. Tell them it’s the new Christmas greeting, as cards aren’t environmentally friendly. Avoid a harsh slap when it comes to your more, ‘spiritual,’ friends as you might cause a slight third eye trauma, the only cure for that being sherry trifle. Actually, there will be another blog before the Christmas break, but it was an idea too good to waste, OK so call me self opinionated.
Blogging on... I had another idea of writing about Bubonic plague, then wondered if it was just a tad too close to the knuckle, while, paradoxically, too far from anyone’s funny bone. There’s been a lot of research which takes the blame for transmission of the disease away from rats, and places it on humans. Rats can’t squiggle along as fast as would be needed. It took a while for the idea to sink in with academics, but it’s now, more or less, accepted as an established fact. Everyone else is still, happily, giving rats a hard time though. What is more understandable is the thing about the original infection starting with gerbils and hamsters. While all the evidence adds up there is no way I’m going to persecute them. No matter how guilty they might be there had to be mitigating circumstances. No one is going to shift their ideas around hamsters!
Which is the problem with our own opinions, they bend. Like gold they are precious, to us, and just as ductile as the metal. Buddha, actually, tried to teach that our own opinions should be avoided, and then realised that his entire philosophy is based around thinking it through until we arrived at our own opinion. Neatly sidestepping the conundrum, the work around is, eventually, that the opinion we think through to is the one Buddha held, but couldn’t tell us, as we had to think it through. Zen takes the whole thing one step further, and doesn’t even give the idea behind the idea away. Our opinions are always going to make us seem judgmental of those who don’t agree with our ideas. This shouldn’t, really, be a problem, if we just agree to disagree and move on. To me, that is the whole essence of the discernment we are supposed to practice. Stand back, discern the moment, and ask the question, ‘Do I really want to get into an argument over this?’
Sometimes we have to, or turn around, then walk away. Another person’s ignorance will always be stronger than our own knowledge because it has back up from their ego. Not that there is anything, intrinsically, wrong with the ego. We’ve all got one, but like everything else it’s a good servant, while a very bad master. Most people manage to turn that one around though. Having established that humans have this overwhelming capacity to upset others, while, continuously, stating the meaning of life is to be happy, what’s the answer? As Buddha found the way lies in the middle, and it’s narrower than people think. Of course that realisation comes from thinking it through. It also seems to come right at the end of the process, if it was otherwise people might never start the journey.
Hamsters and gerbils.
Stood, accused, of mass murder.
Case quickly dismissed.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th December 2020
Writing a blog, a couple of hours after the astronomical full moon, while a lunar eclipse also occurred a few minutes later, might be pushing my luck a bit. This week’s blog day had to be a Monday, which, of course, meant Sunday became Monday, as Saturday was rained off. Tuesday is the problem, but it’s a lot less of a problem now, and I’m all prepared to lose the morning due to some minor maintenance in the abode department. Specifically, a boiler safety check. A boiler is the same as a furnace, (for my U.S. readers). So now everyone is, as they say, up to speed.
The deep thought emerging from all that is I actually care enough to put myself out. In fact, I care so much I don’t want to mention it. ‘Ya welcome,’ should be all that’s required. I could escape from tootling my own trumpet with a stupendous digression, except the scaley ones seem to be enjoying watching me wriggle a bit which means I’m stuck. I, recently, had a very similar conversation with a client. Blowing their bugle got them the job which, of course, I had already said was theirs. I suppose, sometimes, self aggrandisement is required to achieve the goals we set ourselves. Theirs was to get the role, mine is to make a point. Which can only be made by taking myself right out of the next bit, and seeing as the dragons got me into that, particular corner, it seems fair for them to get me out of it too.
As with most things it comes down to the intention behind the action. A lot of males do this peacock thing, mainly because they’re being encouraged to. It’s called dating. Weirdly, peacock prancing tends to put women off, although they still need to feel worthy of another person’s attention, and interest. Peacock performers tend not to listen as feather ruffling is energy consuming, while listening implies some use of their brain as well as not being the centre of attention for thirty seconds. When this is pointed out to peacocks they either tail spread even more furiously, or hide under a rock after morphing into some type of invertebrate which only communicates in squeaks. Yes ladies, our egos really are that fragile.
Unfortunately, this behaviour often gets carried over into every life situation. Which is where the term Alpha male came from. I would be impressed by someone who was so skilled as an archer they wouldn’t need to loose the arrow, since everyone would know they had already hit the target. Note, I would be impressed, not many others would be since they need that, ultimate, proof of ability. In the real world that evidence is really hard to come by, especially when it’s applied to a relationship. The little things accumulate, over time, until, one day, it becomes the friendly elephant in the room. Both parties know where Cupid’s arrow struck. Ooh look, a romantic dragon. Some of the Rolos must have fermented. Of course, occasionally, the peacock needs to come out and play. Denial of that part of the male psyche is unhealthy. It’s all about balance. As you can see, I wobbled a bit to find mine, which meant staying in the same spot for two weeks, well, ish.
Peacocks have feathers.
So do arrows, but arrows.
Also have a point.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th December 2020
Microsoft used to use the slogan ‘Where do you want to go today?’ Which, seeing as I’m using Word, seems highly appropriate. I can even answer the question with, ‘I don’t know,’ followed by a dragony ‘yet!’ We seem to be on a bit of a slow burn regarding blog inspiration this morning, so I’ll probably talk to myself for a few minutes. Maybe I shouldn’t have been too hasty a while ago when I wrote about sitting in silence being therapeutic. That idea would have come in handy this morning.
I suppose it’s human nature, we always feel the need to say something when in the company of others. (The blog is a gathering, but with a rather large ish.) The dragons reckon that’s to stop us having to really listen to others, because, if we did, things might be so different we all wouldn’t cope. Which reminds me of the time I filled in a, ‘What’s my religion?’ Questionnaire, I’m a Quaker. Apparently, they listen to invisible voices too, while, occasionally, sharing what’s said with others. Of course this blog won’t appear until next week so the Thanksgiving thing gets a bit drifted off. My U.S. readers can take that as my well wish for them though.
An interesting question to ponder would be, is being quiet anti-social? Maybe we need to show off how clever we are, because we can talk. A Charades party, where everyone is silent, would be really ice breaking, socially levelling, and way more entertaining than talking about the weather. It would need a lot of space though, with the arm waving etc. On a slightly sinister note, the mime for ‘I’m allergic to prunes,’ could be interesting. Especially in the last half hour when people are allowed to ask questions. It’s a fair bet everyone would have followed the rules, we do that, even when we are supposed to be having fun. Someone dropping to the floor and not breathing for a while should be a no-brainer for call an ambulance. Hopefully, someone would have got it right, if not, don’t serve the same dish next time.
Which is another source of scaly fascination. Why do we worry about what to cook for others? They’re coming to see us, not eat us. If you can turn out a really great spag bol it’s perfectly acceptable to present it more than once to the same company. It would, actually, remind them of so many things. It’s saying to them I know you really like this, I enjoy making it for you. What better expression of a guest being made welcome is there? Unfortunately, what usually happens is our culinary peacock performs, resulting in a week of angst, three days of hard work preparing, and seven solid hours of washing up.
We seem to have forgotten the point about being sociable, it’s never about us, and always about others. Somehow, that’s been twisted around. How to untangle it is the problem, which, paradoxically, is all about you. If you really are insistent about letting others into your life give them the genuine article, along with the Ferrero Rocher. Yes, I really do practice that one. I keep the choccies under the sink until everyone’s gone, except my granddaughter got wise to it a while ago.
Let’s have a party!
There is much to celebrate.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st December 2020
Thanks for the idea. C******* I’ve had the PayPal notification, and you can remain anonymous... The dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station a few hours ago. So I’ve been explaining to the scaly fikkos what a dragon capsule is. The main focus of their puzzlement being dragons don’t, actually, DO capsules. So, whatever it is, must be a figment of the human imagination. I gave up when they decided this required a round of dragony applause, at the achievement of, magically, thinking four people, several hundred miles into space.
There was a time when spooky things were never spoken of, back then though, they were thynnges. Superstitions weren’t ephemeral ideas but real and accepted parts of people’s life. Nebulous, harmless, thoughts which led to burning people alive. The way I at look at it most of the world has managed to move on from there, as in now we use petrol, instead of logs. Admittedly, some of the incineration is more symbolic, but, unless we appear to follow the group thinking we are an outcast.
Me, being me, had to carry that one to its illogical conclusion. I don’t follow any of the current conspiracy theories, and I obviously have some very weird ideas around how easily world peace could come about. Rather than being miserable I took consolation from the dragon’s observation that shunning is shunning, and I can’t be more shunned, well, not unless I started to hide the Rolos. Except it’s a certain kind of shunning, in which I keep what I really believe quiet. Like most of us choose, and some of us have to do. Arguments, with certain people, are simply not worth the bother. Discussion is pointless as their mind is made up, sealed around the secret knowledge as firmly as it would be in a pyramid. They would go on to defend their stance using sacred geometry too! Which, of course, they are completely entitled to do.
It gets worse... My day job is talking to people, usually in a slightly weird, psychic way. What I do depends on my ideas of how things work so I can get the information required to help someone. I accept, totally, my concepts might be so far removed from the actual reality as to be farcical. It could be an Angel, or a Fairy, even a Unicorn I’m talking to. On the other hand I could be getting flashed by a random electron going through its energy levels as it circles a Hydrogen nucleus. I can’t say for certain, as I can’t get outside of this bodily box far enough to know for certain. Now for the controversial bit. I don’t think, or feel, from my guidance anyone actually has. Many have come close, of course, but there is always an element of faith required in following their teachings.
In some ways, Buddhism gets around the ‘have faith’ problem, by instead talking of our doubts working against us. Practice making perfect, eventually, as long as the practice is done with mindfulness. A mindful mind would have to doubt mindfully, which is mental gymnastics beyond the current abilities of neuroscience to explain. Although it comes naturally to dragons, they just don’t involve doubts in their thought processes. Basically, if what you feel, feels right, then, without a doubt, it’s right for you. Which is fine, for you. Other ideas are available for others, which should be just as fine for us all.
A thoughtful Haiku.
Is not manipulative.
But open ended.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 24th November 2020
Cliff hangers are literary devices used to keep people interested in a story. They usually happen at the end of a chapter, or episode. Which is why I’m beginning with one. I could make the excuse this isn’t an enthralling tale, it’s a blog. I won’t, as the scaley nuisances would point out tale, should be tail, since dragons don’t make things up, and dragon tails always have a dragon at the other end. Just like the blog. So, before this cliff hanger slowly smoothes itself a gentle slope let’s talk about The Fool, as depicted in the Tarot deck, rather than the non dragony type currently writing. Don’t worry, I’ll get my own back on them.
No one would argue that the world has reached a crossroads. Which includes you, sorry about that. Whatever happens next will be our new normal. It might ebb, and flow, for a while, but, eventually, we are all going to be sunbathing on a different beach. There’s two ways of dealing with this reality. Panic, and try to prevent it, or stride, boldly, forward, like The Fool. Sometimes, they are shown blindfolded, but I don’t think that’s quite correct. Jumping into the unknown first requires gathering all the information required, no matter how little that might be. The Fool always takes an educated risk. They also accept the existence of a higher power at work. Gravity is going to have a major effect on their life. It could go splat shaped, or be their first step towards the sunny uplands. Either way the journey begins with the next step. Which, basically, is where we all, always, are.
There is no getting away from taking the action, although deciding when to do so is allowed. What Tarot books never mention, but, strangely, Buddha does, is point out The Fool’s cliff is a very narrow bridge. If you turn around then you go over the same edge. I think I prefer doing that, otherwise known as sink, or swimming. I tend to trust in the invisible safety net. Not everyone can.
Fools are, obviously, adaptable creatures, but aren’t daft enough to think they can grow a pair of wings to make their escape. Whatever comes next, will come next, and have to be dealt with. If you compare life to crossing a swift flowing river using stepping stones it’s the same process as cliff leaping. Every step forward is fear filled until your feet are back on the ground, while the raging torrent ripples around your toes.
The water is six inches deep, you could just paddle. Even splash a few dragons, soak an Angel, or drench a fairy on the way. You can’t float your boat, it’s too shallow. That fact is not in any of the books though. It takes a Fool to find it out for their self. The failure of missing a stone, enables the success of knowing an underlying reality. Fear is a weird beastie. Easily overcome, it’s like shoving a nylon dragon into a washing machine, then running the boil wash program. The more we know the less is unknown. Fear is only the recognition that no one can know everything. Unless, of course, you happen to be time, (whoever, or whatever, time actually is). Time, however, has the luxury of hindsight. Fools only have their past experiences to go on. That’s a shame, as they are usually where our fears originate.
‘The man’s a fool.’
Eric Morecambe, often, said.
As a compliment?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 17th November 2020
Thoughts are strange things. They can be quite dangerous in the wrong hands, except it’s not the thought that matters then, but the resulting action. Perversely, actions can lead to thoughts too, like, ‘That went well,’ or, the one that launched thousands of discoveries, ‘This is interesting.’ What I find fascinating is that you can shove quite a few animals, a sponge, for instance, in a Vitamix or similar blender, whiz it to bits, and, after a while, it reforms. Don’t let your children read that or they’ll be experimenting with the loofah in the bathroom. If they ask why they can’t, point out it’s the silica skeleton of a species of sea cucumber. Don’t come running to me when they melt your brand new hob trying to make Pyrex instead.
I have a strange idea that following on from last week’s epic on achieving stillness of mind, the scaly tormentors are heading me towards writing about why thinking is beneficial. Not having a lot of say in the matter I’ll go along with it, for now, but point out I’m always banging on about not reacting. That was until I got check mated, because, without the action, the thought is useless. Never play mind games with dragons, they turn it into a chess match. What I do in my day job relies on my reacting to a random thought, except, for some weird reason, it never feels as random as it should. I, sort of know, and, if I know, we all do. At the risk of appearing slightly controversial, and whoever said, ‘Again,’ I know where you live: perhaps our earthly life is simply our spiritual life in the cosmic Vitamix.
No one knows for sure what happens next, apart from the fact the button will get pressed one day, and, whoever we are, becomes who we were, but only after we reform. Which, I think, is a highly appropriate word to use. Many religions state the need to reform our self and, basically, stop being naughty. A good blending will cure anyone’s misbehaviour though. It would also explain the idea of recalling bits of past lives, as they would be floating around in the squish. Soul groups, from ineffective rinsing between whizzes, twin flames and soul mates for the same reason. All are one suddenly becomes a reality if you accept the blender premise. No matter how implausible it might seem.
Actually, the theory works at the level of our current knowledge of how this Universe, we are all in, functions, at its most basic level. No one knows where our atomic bits begin and end. We are all very fuzzy felt, on an even fuzzier background. It’s a big, shiny, sparkly, mush. As much a part of us, as we are of it. Or, you could assume God did it, a while back, and, being God, it’s probably safe to presume they knew what they were doing. My problem being Buddha never mentions God, only making various suggestions to how to re-make our self. Buddha probably knew very little about blenders but must have seen a few pestle and mortar sets in his time. Our brains are wired for recognising patterns, maybe even in complete randomness. Now there is a really dangerous thought to ponder on. Unfortunately, though, it’s haiku time.
Are, apparently, tasty.
But, I’ll stick with cod.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th November 2020
This week’s blog inspiration is all down to Lisa, from a chat we had a few days ago. I nearly forgot but was reminded through thinking about IKEA meatballs and the creamy gravy. That, for some weird reason, tastes of mushrooms when I make it. So, some mental fungus did its fungal thing. That, being a stupendous digression, already leads me nicely into the next regarding meditation techniques, which is what Lisa was asking about.
I am going to have to be brief, obviously, but I am sure you know the basics already, peace and quiet, not being disturbed, warm and comfy. That’s the first steps, the second is to relax, which means forget trying to meditate. Yes, I know what I just said. Instead, close your eyes, and think about what you’re actually doing. Which is sat somewhere having a few quiet moments. You’re going to think about things, like broadband bills. Treat them like cats, there’s a flap on the door, they can find their own way out, which they will. If you have to listen to anything it should be the gentle purr of your own breathing, nothing else matters, and, let’s face it, breathing is important. After a while you will suddenly realise the cats have gone to sleep. The trick here is not to realise it, and stay in the quiet space, mind, you have created. This is the difficult bit. I’ve found the best way is to repeat the simple steps until I got back to a quiet mind again. You soon become used to ignoring the shock of your brain dozing off.
Advanced meditation techniques follow on from knowing you can meditate, and silence the mind. Paradoxically, you let it mumble in its sleep. I guarantee it won’t be muttering about the broadband bill. Obviously, if you are thinking, and know you are not quite thinking, then the thoughts you are having might not be entirely your own. Those fairies you floated off with, can be quite choppsy at times. So you let these particular cats stay in the room with you. They will interact in their own way, and at their own pace. Slowly, but surely, as cats do, they take over... I recommend sticking with furry, cuddly, cats. The scaly, fire breathing ones might look cute, at first, then they do this strange, morphing, sort of thing, until you become Rolo obsessed.
Mindfulness, believe it or not, and, given the hype, I don’t think you will, is a case of banging these two things together within the same frame of mind. It’s like crashing two buses into a box. Whatever you are doing should be relaxed in to, and any distractions are treated like cats, as before. That said, if you need to be creative, then allow those moggies to mooch. You can now be mindful in your work. Simples. You won’t suddenly transform into some metaphysical hyper-hippie if you weave this into your whole lifestyle. You are always you, unless and until, you decide to be different. A walk in the park becomes almost other worldly, the leaves on the trees are all cats, as is each blade of grass. Noticing their presence is all that is really required to produce their purring of understanding which empowers your inner peace. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? The only person holding you back is, of course, you.
A thoughtful Haiku.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd November 2020
A post appeared on my Facebook recently. It was a picture of some ikkle bunnies, while the text said the collective name for a group of wild rabbits is a fluffie. So, guess who spent the next two hours odd, attacking Google, with a vengeance, only to find that it isn’t true. Although I did find some uses of the word I would never have dreamed of, acquiring a whole new dimension to my passive-aggressive insults in the process.
Inspiration comes in infinite ways. I’m sure Alfred Hitchcock was fascinated for years by the fact crows fly around in a murder. Admittedly, it could have been a vicious budgie that gave him the thought for, ‘The Birds’. Most people think the plural of octopus, is octopi. Good luck getting the pastry top on that one too. It’s actually octopuses. My favourite is kangaroos, they bounce about in a mob, just like a marsupial mafia should. There are also the boring ones, like a pride of lions. A stay well away from would be much more informative.
Of course, everyone knows dragons go around in a very tight knit Rolo. As soon as the packet gets opened there they all are. Which poses the interesting question of why all that mass, in such a small space, doesn’t lead to the formation of a black hole? Gravity did try to make a stand, and this happened, once. Faced with a few hundred thousand very vexed dragons, who couldn’t find their Rolos in the dark, gravity reconsidered and changed the rules a tad. This fact has been pushed as scientific proof that whatever goes into a black hole can never re-emerge, if it could, wherever it sprang up, would be where the dragons are. Cosmologists keep that one quiet, for obvious reasons.
I’m wondering if this week’s blog is going to make some sort of point rather than just battering your senses with humour’s blunt instrument. There’s so much doom and gloom around at the moment I, personally, needed a bit of light relief. That said, I am always at the whims and wistfuls of the scaly editorial staff who know I could decide to rebel, at any time, lock myself into a dragon proof room, and say what I think. There’s two very good reasons why that will never happen. It wouldn’t be the blog and, there’s no such thing as a dragon proof room.
The only object in the Universe capable of withstanding the onslaught of determined dragons is a Rolo wrapper. Not the new plastic bag, that’s easy peasy. I’m referring to the original foil surrounded by a paper tube. It’s impossible for a dragon not to squish the foil into the chocolate, so they have to spend years trying to extricate it from their teeth. Being dragony they don’t salivate so much as steam, but, due to the Maillard reaction it glues on even more firmly. (Maillard reactions are the brown crispy bits on fried and roasted food.) Dragons need humans, as much as some humans need dragons. There is a mutually respectful relationship between the two, and, like most human relationships, is slightly conditional. Dragons refuse to admit they have a need for anything, including Rolo unwrappers, so they ignore the problem hoping it will go away. Which, as I have already stated, won’t happen.
Or, as the dragons might say.
What’s he up to now?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 27th October 2020
‘Google, Buddha quotes, and use the third one.’ Thus spake the dragons. Weirdly perhaps, dragony three came up in a little box, right at the top of the page, the last one was... ‘The mind is everything. What you think you become.’ Except I haven’t become a dragon, and I certainly don’t think as they do, otherwise I wouldn’t get grumbled at so often. Besides, I’ve tackled the topic a few times before. So, me being me, I sat, for a few moments, listening to the rain, until I found the drift to follow.
There’s this thing called a brain, they are not restricted to humans, a lot of worms have them too. (Not being sarcastic in this blog is turning out to be more difficult than I thought.) No one knows how brains really work. On top of that is the mind, which, apart from probably having something to do with the brain, is all we understand about that. Memories are, sort of, fairly well nailed down by science. Memories also nail us down in many ways. What we are taught, we become too. It’s perfectly possible to think our self out of the programming, behave differently, and become someone else. Been there, blogged it, and I’m working on it myself.
So, on one level, Buddha’s philosophy is validated. That’s important to a good Buddhist, like me. Except, I’m a naughty Buddhist, as I can see where this all falls down. Which is at the point of realising everything, the whole shebang, doesn’t actually think, but it does giggle a lot. What made it roll off the sofa, laughing out loud, is the look on my face while I type the next bit. You have to think it through to get there. Once I reached the spot I should have had my brain pickled for posterity. Except I don’t think Buddha did that either. Yes, his words are frozen in time, forming signposts along our merry way, but we can choose to ignore them when we think they are irrelevant. I, personally, don’t think you become ignorant if you do. Amidha, another of the Buddhas, points out, in their own way, there’s always a get around when it comes to the Universal laws of cause and effect. So chill, it will work out well in the end.
Rightly, wrongly, or completely insanely, guess who chose the Zen route? This doesn’t quite get around Universal laws, instead, there’s this dynamic of the great vehicle, or bulldozer. Which sounds fine until you realise it’s always behind you, pushing you forwards and flattening you if you pause in the process. One day you just fall over, in weariness, do the squishy bit under the tracks, then carry on, but with a slightly different mindset than before.
Inner peace is really, really, annoying, although it’s given me a new hobby of trying to find the way of shutting up a giggly Universe. No matter how hard I try I find myself in a loop of thought dragging me back to the absolute basics I began the whole journey with. It’s a HOBBY, I don’t expect to win the game, but prefer the fun of playing. I suppose what I am getting at is, quite often, life isn’t a bed of roses, or a laughing matter. Situations need to be tackled, people need sorting out, etc. If we approach things with the right attitude, and think before acting, instead of simply reacting, we might, just possibly, become successful in our undertakings.
The cancelled Haiku.
Will be appearing here, soon.
Quite soon, honestly.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 20th October 2020
We’re all doomed! It started when we were born, and ends when we die. That’s it. The years in between don’t have to follow the same trajectory of complete certainty. Nothing is set in stone, unless of course, you’re an astrologer when everything is determined by lumps of stone, and the positions they happen to be in. Paradoxically, the cosmological shapes the planets wander through are, actually, formed from big bubbles of gas. Which got me wondering, perhaps dangerously, but obviously, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity of a neatly introduced divergence of monumental proportions. You could hide a few Pharaohs in this one.
Making a good curry is an art form I have dedicated a large part of my life to. The problem is about finding the balance of flavours. Capsaicin, the hot stuff in chillies, causes the taste buds to seize up. It’s the same sensation as Fugu, and, like puffer fish consumption, can lead to the casualty department. I’ve sorted that out, well, ish, as there’s a lot of variation in the strength of fresh chillies. It’s a no brainer to use flakes or powder for the consistency, only the flavour isn’t there. Adding extra ginger isn’t an option as I’m making a curry, not a cake.
The only answer I’ve found, that always works, is to nibble at the stalk after I’ve cut it off the pepper. That way I get some idea of how hot it is. Call me a coward for not munching on a whole one, I don’t care. Besides, it defeats the whole object of the exercise, as I wouldn’t be able to taste what I had concocted. Like many things in life, curry construction follows some unavoidable rules, just as you can’t unsay, or undo, what you have done, it’s problematic taking ingredients out once they’re bubbling away in the pot. Just like life starts with a new day, curries can’t have reusable chillies.
If I completely compromised on a few of my principles regarding food waste and unnecessary expense, I could just get a packet of Scotch bonnet peppers, knowing I would be throwing some of them away. Giving in seems to be the sensible solution, but I never take the sensible option unless it’s the Buddhist answer too. So, I’m happy to persevere with the stalk nibbling. It makes me a more diligent, and aware, curry cookist I suppose.
No, I am not taking the Michael. Buddhist practice requires an holistic approach to life, all encompassing, and applicable to every moment. The blogs are just little snapshots, and, you’ll like this one... food for thought.
The perfect curry.
Like catching a butterfly.
Please note:- I only chose the word butterfly to fit in with the haiku structure, but we’ve all had those moments when one flutters in, then needs to be gently flittered outside again.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 13th October 2020
You can blame Facebook! As an added bonus Mark Zuckerberg can afford to be sued! That said he can hire the best lawyers too, so you might need to bear that in mind. Every so often I get reminded of something I posted years ago, they’re called ‘memories.’ This one came up on Monday, so I thought I would share. I haven’t a clue what I was thinking about when I came up with the phrase, ‘Every sea has a shore.’ So, I’ll cheat, and witter on about what I’m musing upon now.
It’s not easy to stand at the end of Llandudno pier and see Drogheda, because Anglesey gets in the way, but that doesn’t mean Drogheda has disappeared. Life is exactly like that, as we get caught up in the mundane. Focussing on why we can’t do something. Sometimes the we can’ts are obvious, quite often, though, we make them ourselves. Instead of clinging on to our floating jetsam, which we rely on to keep us afloat, perhaps we should let go and let the tide decide, which it would have done anyway. Making that choice is extremely difficult in regards to one single aspect of our day to day existence, Buddha suggests we do it for everything. He also neglected to mention the first thing that happens is you’ll sink if you do. That is until you realise you can float by yourself, no longer needing the concept of a shore at all.
One of the biggest mistakes we all make is assuming we are surrounded by enemies. Sitting on an inflatable swan, drifting in the Celtic sea, this would seem like a logical conclusion. At that moment the ocean wouldn’t look like our bestie, at all. The truth is it’s the only ally we have. We will be supported until we’re rescued. All we have to do is sit tight, and, quite literally, go with the flow. This is the sneaky part of Zen, it’s totally hidden in plain sight, appearing only when you’re totally pre-occupied on something else. Just as every sea has a shore, nothing lasts forever. It just seems like it while the situation is ongoing.
Every sea has a shore are five simple words, which, surprisingly, is the number of fingers on the average hand. You can count them off as you think, or say them, to yourself. After a while it might become instinctive, and you can practice while watching the telly. If someone asks you what you’re doing you can answer honestly, ‘Mudras.’ It might drive them to Google, but you’ll get a few minutes of peace while they do. Then, of course, you’ll have to explain. I doubt, very much, they’ll understand though. Most inflatable swans are only suitable for a single occupant.
Which poses the conundrum of is it better to endlessly drift, or should we head for solid ground at the earliest opportunity? Fish tend not to be too lively after a walk in the Sahara, unprepared humans are the same. It’s perfectly possible to sit on a crowded, noisy, beach and find inner peace. All you have to do is move your thumb, across your fingers, at one second intervals. You’ll soon find your shore at the end of the sea.
The easy haiku.
Every sea has a shore.
Now, that’s really neat.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 6th October 2020
Mendacity is an interesting word, with extensive connotations. It’s not just the telling lies bit, but rather the ethos of conning people. Unfortunately, the concept has crept into our everyday life, and is now so commonplace that we don’t often see it. Honest advertising would be a novelty, so novel that no one seems to have embraced it yet.
If someone is being open about their porkies, I tend to laugh at their delusion. That’s a quiet, inner, Buddhist laugh. According to Celtic mythology telling the biggest whoppers won kudos, and respect. It’s why the heroic stories are so unbelievable, almost like a verbal, illuminated, manuscript. Irony, the acceptable form of sarcasm, is similar. The origin of the lie, the Irish are thick, is the fact that the first university began in Dublin. Of course, that’s only applicable to the English. Other countries pick on someone else, in the U.S. it’s the Polish, and yes, Krakow university has been around a long time too.
If anyone is offended you’re missing the point. I’m being honest and open, simply stating the truth. Why would that get up anyone’s nose? The way I look at it is a good lie is just another form of humour, as long as it’s obvious. Mendacity never is straightforward though, well not until you see through it. I can’t avoid talking about politicians, briefly, very briefly, because I don’t really want to. They can only get away with their mendacity because we let them. Has the tissue of lies surrounding us all, slowly solidified into cold, hard, concrete? We’ve all contributed our gravel into the mix, constructing our world, and world view, as we, merrily, went along. Many people would argue that society is crumbling as they look around, and see what’s going on. Perhaps it’s time to mend a city. (I said it was an interesting word, so don’t moan about the lack of warning).
It’s a shame, and an indictment on us all, that we can only imagine a world which functions with complete honesty. That’s assuming you can, actually, imagine it, as I can’t. King Canute, the one famous for his wet feet, tried to turn the tide to show his sycophantic courtiers he wasn’t invincible, and all powerful. The independently minded sea chose not to listen to their ruler. His followers got the message, which we, through the ages, seem to have forgotten.
The weird thing is once we’re away from the herd we do think for our self. Our homes are castellated havens away from the lunacy outside. For some reason the peace never spreads. Perhaps, like Marmite, you either love it, or hate it. After all, following the crowd does allow for safety in numbers.
I know I wouldn’t be a good monk, no matter how appealing a life of quiet contemplation seems, my social conscience kicks in. The first thing I would be praying for would be the WiFi password. Hiding away is as bad as joining in, to my way of thinking. So, Buddha, and his middle way seems to be the best option, all round. When all is said and done it’s only the same, basic, message as all the other world religions, which is be nice, not nasty.
Shouldn’t come naturally.
But, it does, why’s that?
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 29th September 2020
There’s this old conundrum around a coracle, a goat, a bale of hay, and a man who just happens to have a pet wolf. He needs to get them all across a river, which is fine, because he has a coracle, the original personal water craft. A jet ski would only spoil the peaceful ambience, so bear with me. The boat is big enough for him and one other item. This is where things get interesting, the wolf, given half a chance, will eat the goat, while the goat has already started munching on the hay as he’s floating the coracle.
Apparently, the sequence of journeys is ferry the goat, then the hay, bring back the goat, take the wolf for a very short cruise, and the goat is the last passenger to cross. It’s simple when you think it through, but there are so many layers to the puzzle I fell in and nearly drowned in the complexities. Which wouldn’t surprise anyone who’s tried taking a coracle ride. Hydrodynamics doesn’t appear in any Welsh dictionary. It’s life in a nutshell, and guess what shape a coracle is? Well, ish.
The goat received preferential treatment, obviously, the feelings of the wolf don’t come into the rationale, the hay is happiest of all as it’s not causing any problems and is innocent. Although you could argue it’s as guilty as the goat, if it’s eaten. The wolf would only do what wolves do and has been placed into a slightly alien environment, possibly against its will, but certainly has received training and conditioning to be a pet. It might be clearer to change the initial problem to there are these three children who need amusing for the next hour and there’s only one iPad, the TV is broken, it’s raining, and the crayons are all in the Hoover. Doing nothing isn’t an option, the river, of the problem, has to be crossed, somehow. Sitting for an hour, pulling your hair out and declaring another three corners as naughty ones is just one solution, but is it the best one?
There’s an interesting parallel here. Buddha teaches that you should leave the raft you used behind and build another at the next obstacle you face. In relation to learning and moving forward, it makes complete sense. However, when it comes to real life, our own experiences are the coracle on our back, which we can then use to navigate through the wet and muddy stuff we encounter on our way. In other words Ivory towers don’t float.
In any situation that requires choices being made, I seem to get drawn into a current of there is no perfect answer. Any remedy is a sticking plaster, under which things heal their self given enough time. Humanity, though, doesn’t work like that. Letting things sort their selves out seems against our nature. That said it’s all down to our own individual natures which govern how we act. Speaking, personally, I’d have taken the wolf over the river, gone back for the nicely, now fattened goat, then followed Buddha’s advice, and had a coracle fired goat Barbie. Before anyone starts criticising, I would be sharing with the wolf.
Wolves in sheep fleeces.
Will always be wolves, at heart.
While goats are tasty.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd September 2020
A client of mine recently took a psychometric test in regard to getting a new job and called me about it. Which is my highly professional way of saying this is another blog I can’t be blamed for. It’s all their fault. Unfortunately, they don’t want their name mentioned, so I suppose that puts me, firmly, back in the frame.
She was worried about her resilience score. This got me thinking. I know, that’s extremely dangerous, especially around an uncommon word. In the context of the test it seemed to be appraising their ability to manage change, and their relationships with other team members. After all, everyone thinks they’re the sharpest, brightest, knife in the drawer until someone decides that’s the ideal screwdriver. Which brought my first thought to mind, doormats are resilient. They have to be, for obvious reasons. Of course, I’m not hinting that many organisations treat their employees as doormats. O.K. I am, but my fingers are crossed and behind my back as I do so. That said, a good doormat just carries on for years slowly building up mud, which, one day, needs a good shaking out. All that experience finds its feet, and walks off, to another door.
Resilience is a two way street. If you push something to its breaking point, guess what happens next. It breaks, usually with unexpected, catastrophic results. Sometimes it can be repaired, but like a gold bracelet, it’s not quite the same as it was. Clever people try not to intentionally damage stuff, any stuff, especially not the stuff they are in a personal relationship with. Which is what being a boss, actually, is. It might be an idea to go for the candidate with the highest fibre content, for the better doormat, that’s fine, unless the job needs moral fibre. Ethical people tend to lack the swivelling ability others display so well. Morals are rigid, but the people holding them tend to have to be more resilient because of being surrounded by those who think it’s all about making a profit.
Veering slightly away from the employment and relationships angle, I would argue that our resilience score would be more appropriately described as our Buddha nature index. The Dharma we are supposed to follow is rigid, set in cosmological stone. Life isn’t, but Buddhism respects all life, our own being one of the most important to consider. If we get that one right, or just come close by trying our best, then, the other Universal boulder of Karma, tends not to drop on our head. Juggling those two is a matter of timing, observation, confidence in the possibility, and determination. Not beating yourself up when you drop one of them helps too, although it’s not a necessity. We all have those moments in our life when there are ‘What ifs?’
Rudyard Kipling wasn’t a Buddhist, but, like us all, he had a Buddhist, or to avoid controversy, let’s use the word spiritual, even religious, nature, if that helps you feel better. Being resilient I’m not really bothered (in a caring manner, naturally). Kipling wrote If, by the way. Yes, it’s sexist, when judged by today’s standard. It’s still some very wise words, strung together, in an engrossing sort of way.
Make resilient haikus.
But coffee helps too.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th September 2020
Two good ways of becoming mindful are learning Chinese, then enrolling at the Shaolin monastery. It’s all part of Kung Fu training. Or, if you are more of a sedentary nature, you could boil eggs. As far as I know nobody has combined the two techniques... yet. Although it would keep the children quiet at breakfast if their soldiers were, precisely, sliced with nunchaku.
Eggy and Kung Fu minds don’t just happen, both require input. That said, in regard to attaining mindfulness, it’s the same for both. Like all things training related breaking the job down into simple, repetitive, steps make the difference. Yes, I know boiling eggs is completely repetitive, that’s the point! It’s how you approach the task that matters. Each part requires your total concentration. You know where the eggs are, how to turn on the tap, which pan needs least cleaning, who likes Marmite, and who doesn’t. There are no external factors to consider, but everyone will be thinking of anything else rather than which step they are doing. When you are waiting for the time for the eggs to cook you can let your mind wander. I’m not a tyrant. There’s nothing else to do, and mindfulness relates to individual activities, so you can be mindfully mindless at appropriate intervals. Mindfully mindless is actually a Zen meditation technique, but let’s park that one for now.
There is an upside, you are guaranteed to get peace in the kitchen. You might even get bonus choccies, and flowers, from a partner who’s very concerned about your stress levels. This is because you are quietly muttering, to yourself, until you’ve finished that part of the process. It does need to be said out loud, quietly though, until it becomes second nature, and the silence aids your concentration as much as the verbalising did.
Once you’ve got that under wraps, you’re done. Everything, in life, has become as easy as boiling an egg. I will only add there is a certain, heightened, pleasure to mindfully waffling down a, mindfully, made chip butty. Peeling the spuds only adds to the experience, although frozen fries are a passable alternative.
Many of you will be scratching your heads thinking, ‘If only it were that easy.’ Well, bear this in mind, according to the legends, Buddha found enlightenment more, or less, by accident. He found several ways that didn’t work and gave up trying. He sat under a tree, going right back to basics. The rest is history, and the occasional legend. I’ve been on a lot of retreats and attended many workshops. Like Buddha I found the advances came when I was doing something else, without any expectations at all, but, like Buddha, I observed the results. Maybe I should have just boiled a few eggs instead, however, I wouldn’t have made the same journey. Mindfulness has lessened my need to think wishfully, without crippling my imagination. Journeys begin, occur, and end. It’s just as mindful to sit on a train, looking at the scenery, and wonder why egg sarnies are always on the station buffet menu. Honestly, you really don’t want to know the answers I could dream up to that one.
The chicken and egg.
One came first, then the other.
Mindfully? Of course.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th September 2020
A million pounds is a life changing sum. Here you go, please accept this million pounds. You have thirty minutes to decide how to spend all of it, otherwise you have to give me two million... I like this game. Phoning a friend is allowed, but they can only say one word in reply, which is their choice from the following list. Risk, chance, gamble, reset, opportunity, speculate, prospect and hazard. All their answers will come after they’ve been told what you’re planning to buy, investing the money isn’t an option. After listening to their responses you have a final minute to change your mind to taking your family and friends on a trip to Disneyland instead.
How we see things are directly influenced by what others think of the situation. We seem programmed to put ourselves into the scenario and say how we, personally, would react. Taking a step back isn’t our usual response. I think it should be, however it goes against our training which means it isn’t easy. There is also the added complication of our own agenda(s) getting in the way. Clever people don’t tell the friends they’re phoning about the Disneyland option. What we hear depends on who said it too. None of the words, in the list, are inherently positive, or negative. They could come across totally differently when they are said by people who have had influencing roles in our life.
Life changing isn’t in the list for two good reasons, I’ve already said it! While any changes to your life can only come from within. A mansion just gives you more room to be miserable in, if that’s your inclination. The money is irrelevant in a way, the crux is how you choose to use it. You could, and, according to Buddha, should, be just as happy without it.
That said, if I felt you would make appropriate use of a mansion my answer would be opportunity. It’s also what I would buy. Well, a rambling fixer upper with plenty of guest spaces, a mind-blowing kitchen, and a very fancy espresso machine. The rest can come from IKEA. My choice is governed by wishing to help others, if I can. They can rock up, stay a while, just enjoying the calm for as long as they wanted to. Making coffees for people is another of my Zen practices, along with cooking. The only problem would be finding the right place, as it needs a couple of holiday lets to help finance the new lifestyle. The council tax would be horrendous, but that’s just something I would have to live with.
In regards to life changing, the only alteration would be to my surroundings. Maybe that’s the clue to how to win this particular mind game around possessions and the desire for more. Being happy is a very strange place to be in, once you get there. You don’t get ecstatic, overjoyed, or slightly happier. It stays the same, even when it all changes. Perhaps that’s why Buddha is always smiling to himself.
Infinite ice cream.
From an everlasting cone.
Is already ours.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st September 2020
This is my favourite sort of blog. The idea came from someone else, so I can tap out my ramblings completely innocently. Ann, a regular client, emailed me a few days ago and during the conversation the question of, ‘Is there such a thing as a bad sign?’ I thought, ‘No, which has now changed, ‘possibly,’ but only when said sign points to a blog... this one in particular.
Signs always, without question, gain our attention to guide us, safely, through life, or let us know we have arrived at our destination. This is why there isn’t one at the entrance to the afterlife, the reception desk is clearly marked to avoid any confusion. Don’t worry, you can’t get lost. The only bad signs, I feel, are those which are illegible, for whatever reason. It’s a bit problematic to find, ‘These bears are dangerous,’ altered by the weather to, ‘The beeg eos.’ Filling in the gaps might take thirty seconds and becoming bear food requires only fifteen. Any warning has to be beneficial, although, quite often, it isn’t what we want to become aware of.
However, it isn’t quite as black and white as most signs, actually, are. Just because someone is showing all the personality traits of being a complete narcissist, they may also be showing the underlying causes to their behaviour. Something caused their reason to be the way they are. It takes a certain special person to notice these and hold on for as long as it takes, so that things become normal again. Of course it depends on who’s reading the sign around whose neck it’s hung on.
Digressing, ever so slightly, our language, and manner, is a sign to others too. It’s long been an absolute tenet of my own belief system that there’s no such thing as a bad person. We are all perfect. When it’s put into this context mind boggling consequences, and personal responsibilities quickly emerge. I know I am perfect, I understand why this is so and encourage others to find their own understanding, which is all done extremely quietly. The noisiest it gets is when I mention that Zen worked for me. I appear to be an exception to the, generally, held rule of screaming one’s spiritual evolution from the nearest, and highest, roof. Buddhism, especially the Zen school, works along the show, don’t tell, formula of fiction writing which is all about getting a reader to think, and imagine, for their self.
Maybe, as we write out our, ‘This is me,’ we should remember a few things. If it looks like an albatross, it was probably put there by others. Once recognised it can be appropriately disposed of. I don’t think recycling centres accept albatrosses, so it will probably have to go for land fill, or put into the compost. Use really small, but clear, writing. That way, anyone who wants to know has to come close to read, which gives them a far greater chance of getting to know the real you. Always say what the sign says, be honest, keep it as real as a lump of wood. Lastly, don’t use stone! Bad idea, as it will crick your neck, while alterations become even more difficult. As Buddha often said, ‘They think they have more time.’ Quite what he meant is often debated, so, if you are thinking of changing your life perhaps it’s best to...(wait for it)... sign up now.
Quick! What does it say?
Nothing, the sign is silent.
And speaks to within.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 25th August 2020
I was thinking of postponing the blog due to the weather, but I decided to just get on with it as it’s not going to get cooler before next week, apparently. Writing might also get rid of the dragony mutterings about Percy Veere, and what have they got to do with this week’s pearls of wisdom scattering? This is another problem dragons refuse to admit to, half telepathy. They quickly assume, instead of waiting to find out the finer details which might save a little embarrassment further on.
That would make a really neat introduction for this week’s topic, but I’ve already covered it. Seeing as variety is the spice of life, which I’ve already blogged about too, I’m going to have to come up with something original. So, there will either have to be a digression of stupendous proportions, (see last week’s blog). I could go back to my original thought of postponement, however, seeing as I’m around a third of the way through it would be a bit pointless, while hardly giving Percy their due credit. If I change digressing, to veering slightly off topic, we might just have a blog.
It’s not easy to stick to something when you don’t have to do it then and there. At work it’s not negotiable what you do, it’s in front of you. I’m slightly different in that I really enjoy what I do, and, in many ways, I’m my own boss. Unfortunately, for me, I can be very understanding and lenient, sending myself home at every opportunity, especially on sunny Tuesdays. That puts me in a strange place, mentally, as home is where I blog from. I’m not quite sure if the dragony giggles are in encouragement, or shock, as I’m doing a fairly good impression of how they think. If a task is worth doing it’s worth pondering over. There’s two ways to do that though. Start, and be prepared to rectify mistakes, or plan everything out, meticulously, then plough on. If that is your chosen strategy be prepared to amend the faults in the plan. Basically, there’s only one way of doing things, do them, or don’t. Not doing can often be the sensible option.
Logically, that means it’s perfectly OK to give up, and try something different. Changing your approach to a problem isn’t giving up and could just bring you to the same level of frustration later on. Giving up is surrendering, completely, walking away without looking back. The weird thing is, especially around relationships, doing so, very often, brings about the desired result none of the plans, and ploys, actually achieved. I’ve seen this happen so many times, I often recommend it as a course of action too. Don’t do it unless you really mean it as this is the easiest mind game to see through. Of course, having walked away, you can’t do an about turn and amble straight back in to how things were.
I’m going to give up, and surrender, only on this blog though. Percy Veere, and I, are going to share a nice cold drink, sit, think, talk, setting the world to rights. No doubt the dragons will interrupt in their scaly way. If they ever shut up, there wouldn’t be a blog, would there?
An instant haiku...
Define applying one’s self.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 18th August 2020
Any similarity between this week’s blog about teaching old dogs new tricks, and the previous one concerning biscuit breaks, is purely coincidental. In that strange, dragony, everything flows together way, of course.
Apparently, the key to teaching old dogs new tricks, is simple. A constant variation of doggie treats. Immediately, it’s all new and exciting, so the grizzled, grey, rug hugging, fire blocker becomes a bouncy puppy again. This blog has suddenly become really difficult to write, as I need to morph from talking about canines to humans, without sounding insulting. I could go down the Buddhist route of all change must originate from within, but that’s a bit over most dog’s thought processes. I reckon the safest way is one of my world-famous digressions.
Set patterns of behaviour can be self destructive, when applied to a relationship that negativity is squared. In other words there can be a lot of it about. We all need training! Which is a completely different concept to manipulating, all my readers knew that already. That training comes from within, it has to. Which is where the problem lies. Any rewards are going to be a while in arriving, whereas manipulation is a lot quicker, but there’s a difference between parchment, and loo roll. Both only have a single use, however only one can last a lifetime. Oh look! A double digression, in the same paragraph, too. I’m almost impressed with myself.
If you don’t like how things are then the first change to be made is the decision of up with putting I will no longer. I’ve had enough of this game of soldiers, will do, just as well. It’s at this point where we all tend to become a prudent lemming, pausing, at the cliff edge, as we ponder on the possible consequences of our actions. It’s a lot easier to retreat back into the comfort zone. Except that space we curl up in keeps getting smaller each time we try to escape. Our doggy blanket has shrunk in the wash, one day it won’t be there. Keeping the peace, especially in our relationships, often leads to wars that grow out of all proportion. If that happens then the only sensible option becomes barbed wire, land mines, with separate existences.
It needn’t be that way. I admit it’s not easy to start as we always mean to go on. In fact, it’s probably impossible as there is a constant change in the dynamics of our life. People come and go, new jobs, house moves etc. We have to become the old dog that always looks for the next trick to learn. Perhaps we should aim for someone saying, ‘Where the, (whatever appeals to you), did that come from?’ As our highest compliment. The only trick required is consistency. That way they’ll get the message, eventually, probably finding their own reward after applying their own changes you instigated in them.
I was going to end by saying, ‘It’s worth thinking about.’ I changed my mind though. Just in case someone starts day dreaming of chasing squirrels.
Dogs do what dogs do.
Try to avoid what dogs do.
Please walk carefully.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 11th August 2020
Whenever I have a deeply philosophical question churning between my ears, my first thought is someone has been using my brand of coffee to smuggle psychoactive substances again. The second idea is to ask the dragons, for clarity. Dragons don’t really do clarity, it’s clouded by their stance around being personally responsible for our actions. So, after a lot of prevarication, I tend to think the issue through by blogging about it. With dragony help, of course. Apparently, constantly interrupting is defined as help in the draconic dictionary.
Is it possible to be too honest? This may come as a shock to regular readers, but my answer would be yes, it is, and, in certain cases, positively harmful. I’m not talking about the infamous white lie, that’s simply telling porkies with self justification. What makes it worse is I’m beginning to realise it only happens when another person totally trusts someone else to give the honest answer by saying, ‘Go on, make me blissfully happy, or completely devastate me for a few weeks.’ Of course, the question is never framed like that, although the reply will be shattering either way. For example, ‘Of course they love you, and will be in touch in a few days.’ They never came back so a life is wasted in false hope. It’s just as possible the honest response of, ‘Get real, move on,’ moves the enquirer over a cliff, or under a bus.
Speaking for myself running away is never an option. It’s a result of having dragons for guides as their bulk makes a very efficient wall. I also took a vow, a long time ago, to never, willingly, hurt another in any way. If it’s bad news then I’m the town crier. As long as I’m nudged to say it, if I’m not, I don’t. Usually, when it’s a relationship question being asked I have to feel as if I am sat between two people on a park bench. I’m the gooseberry with the bread for the ducks. If the sensation isn’t there then I know it’s not looking good. So, as you can see, I have this inbuilt honesty meter which has a failsafe mechanism built in. I can’t make the feeling up. At the same time I am also aware of the client not being able to process the result if it’s bad news.
Strangely, my dilemma is always solved by the client ending the call, or chat, their self. It doesn’t happen very often as there is usually a way through the tangle with a little patience, and, of course, honesty. It appears the Universe knows how ready we are to deal with things, and how willing we are to do whatever is needed to muddle through as painlessly as possible.
I suppose it all comes down to how detached we are, either from reality, or our own agendas. Obsession is never healthy, even if it’s just a sniffle rather than a full blown, manflu sized, dose. I know I’m weird in thinking the best relationships end every morning, to begin again when we get back home. While total trust and commitment, fill the gap in between. If things are like that then the question of where have they gone? Never arises. Which neatly brings me to my, personal, eternal philosophical conundrum. Why can’t the world be perfect?
In a perfect world.
Dandelions would blossom.
On every lawn.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 4th August 2020
I’m often asked where I get my ideas for the blog from. My questioner runs off screaming when I answer. Perhaps the books, and legends, are right after all, dragons might be dangerous if they have that effect on humanity. People don’t look where they’re charging off to in their escape either, so a nearby cliff, or flooding river, could be problematic. Of course, the dragons are innocent, while not being a lawyer, means I can assume I’m not guilty too.
Thankfully, up to now, the question of why I write the blog has never arisen. I could say, honestly, the dragons only shut up when I put the words down, which they do. The difficulty I have is silencing myself. There’s a blog in me I haven’t found yet. It may never surface. Like with a cello playing shark I only hear the background music, or glimpse the ripples where the fin returned to the depths. Yes, it’s frustrating, but not quite head mangling to the point of giving up, so I persevere. In a way each blog is a failure, in another way it’s a success. It depends on your point of view, and perception of what constitutes a failure.
Buddha, definitely, and the Universe, probably, don’t actually DO this failure thing humans embrace so easily. Failing to proceed is a different concept. Not starting something might be a big mistake. Any endeavour begins, and progresses. It ends at the appropriate moment. Often, we associate that with something we should have done differently, because it’s easier to think it’s always about us. Sometimes, it isn’t, this all are one Universe has others to consider. Which it does, to exactly the same level for everyone. That tenner you forgot to take out of the automatic check out went towards feeding a few hungry children, for instance. So why beat yourself up for doing something that contributed to the higher good? It wasn’t part of the divine plan, there isn’t one. The Universe just makes best use of the opportunities as they present their selves.
Maybe that’s the key to writing the ultimate blog. Each one is another chance of finding the seam of Gold, and mining it. Do you know how many processes Gold ore goes through to extract the shiny stuff? A lot! I can’t melt all the little nuggets down, they wouldn’t mix together. Dragons, being purely creatures of thought, and each blog being an individual dragon’s thoughts, wouldn’t look good after a whiz in a Vitamix. Don’t you just hate it when you answer your own questions? Especially the really deep ones.
I think I should have stuck with the shark analogy. One day I’ll have chucked enough fishy gunk into the water to attract it to the boat, then it might take the bait... Which only leaves the problem of getting the hook out, as a blog needs to be released, otherwise it’s just an idea swimming between my ears. I will take consolation in the thought that we all have something inside which, we know, one day, will come out. Whether it’s a blog, escaping a manipulative relationship, or being recognised for who we are. Fishing for sharks, or tiddlers in the stream requires one thing, patience. At least you can now take the cello music with you on your mobile phone. It might make the waiting more tolerable.
The ultimate blog.
May only be imagined.
Now, that is cryptic.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 28th July 2020
It’s July 14th which is Bastille Day, in France. Wendy reminded me, and every time anything remotely French is mentioned la demoiselle de la Dordogne playfully wags her dragony tail. Which, this time, is absolutely welcome since I didn’t have a clue what the blog would be about until she did. In case you didn’t know the Bastille was a symbol of oppression that got mangled by the French revolutionaries. Once it was repaired the revolutionaries used it to lock up the oppressed aristocrats. This, to a certain French dragon, who, by the way, watched it all happen, seemed a tad barmy. Incroyablement inutile, in fact.
Freedom is a strange concept and can only apply to individuals in the dragony way of thinking. As soon as they get together, freedom suddenly switches to a mass movement against another group. Dragons play nicely, they understand that’s the only rule required. There isn’t a dragon alive who couldn’t eat all the Rolos in one sitting, but not one has ever tried. Rolos, like freedoms, are for sharing. This might take a little bit of mental gymnastics. Freedom, and responsibility, mean the same thing when applied to others. Your personal freedom places a responsibility on you towards others, whether they agree with you or not. It turns out you are your brother’s keeper. Or, as Buddha often said, ‘All are one.’
I have a theory that humankind isn’t quite ready to grasp this particular concept. We need a little more practice. Confucius, and a few others, pointed out global harmony starts at home, which leads to peace in the village and so on. This, obviously, doesn’t apply to anyone reading this, but many of ‘them,’ need to work on that one. Relationships aren’t a battle, if they are then it’s not a relationship, it’s a war zone. Someone is going to get hurt. Of course, life is complicated by the fact there are two sides to every argument. It takes as many to Tango as it does to fight. A war starts, continues until both parties decide they’ve had enough, then they enter into a negotiated truce. Eventually peace is restored, or, in other words things are exactly back where they began. Dragons realised, a long time ago, the bits in the middle are a complete waste of time.
I’m not saying we should all become everyone else’s doormat either! Far from it, everyone else has a responsibility to uphold our freedoms. Which means listening when this is pointed out. Behaviours might need tweaking a bit, a few attitudes might need to alter. In a relationship that’s called, ‘getting to know each other.’ Maybe that’s the real problem. Many of us rush into a relationship, or worry about saying anything in case the other person does a runner. They might make promise, after promise, only to break each one. It’s like someone parking a tank on your petunias, and, eventually, things escalate. We’ve all been on that particular moving staircase at some time.
Don’t ask me what the answer is, practicing tolerance, a bit, might help though. Buddha was always going on about practicing for some reason. He might have been on to something.
The book, War And Peace.
Seems to go on forever.
Not bedtime reading.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st July 2020
It’s not often I win the argument. I’m pretty sure this is just a lull in hostilities until the scaley thingy gets their head together again and roars back for round two. They started it! I was accused of being a perfect nuisance. O.K. I admit I can be a little wearing with my constant questions, but perfection involves stability. I jump around. The knockout punch was pointing out being a nuisance implies I have flaws, and perfection wouldn’t allow for defects of any kind.
Obviously, they must have just woken up from a good doze. As all is perfect, according to the Universe I am, like you and Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. Which might sound completely big headed, almost arrogant. The important bit is, like us all. I’m only as puffed up with the concept as everyone else. So how can everything be perfect when it, obviously, isn’t? It’s that old conundrum of perception, especially in regard to how we see our self in relation to everything else.
I’m a monkey, I’m happy with being a monkey, because it explains certain behaviours I struggle with, or try to improve. Humans evolved, or were created by a divine power, either way we still have the ability to act wonderfully, or obnoxiously, depending on how we feel at the time. Perfection would involve always doing the right thing, even if others think it’s the wrong thing, but because they are unhappy with whatever you did, it might have been right, although it’s still perfectly wrong to upset another, willingly. This all seems head mashingly complicated, so, being a nuisance, I’m instinctively drawn to the simple answer. Which is, ‘Do what you feel is right, but only if you absolutely know, for sure, it’s the only way for you.’
You are not personally responsible for how another person reacts. Which sounds great as long as you didn’t purposefully set out to upset them, then you are completely at fault. The usual defence of, ‘They deserved it,’ won’t wash, as it’s being judgmental. Perceiving without judging isn’t easy, actually it’s very easy which is why it’s so common. Us monkeys like to get involved, it really is part of human nature to take sides and form alliances. Acting in this way could, arguably, make you a perfect monkey, except we have the ability to choose not to react in the way dictated by our programming. The perfect monkey can become the imperfect human simply through choice.
I’m sure Buddha spent his time off thinking about the implications of nothing being permanent. They are huge, bigger than the Universe in fact. The Universe, itself, isn’t constant. The stars we see in the sky aren’t necessarily twinkling now. I sat down, a long time ago, and turned my mind to this concept. I admit I made an assumption, something, out there, might actually be permanent, unchanging, as perfect as it is possible to be. I think there is, but that’s just my perception of it all. Yours is just as valid.
Like a diamond.
Our flaws are unique to us.
We still shine, brightly.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th July 2020
Apparently, one of the first signs of madness is talking to one’s self. This then begs the question of who heard you to decide that you are a loony? In the beginning Zen practice has a lot of self conversations. The trick is to realise who’s talking, who’s listening, and where, exactly, are they coming from? Having had a bit of experience of both sides of this particular coin I can see how things get spinned. Heads it’s the Angels, guides etc, tails it’s the Universe, higher self, whatever. With dragons it’s when the penny lands on its side that the penny really does drop.
What really drops though, are the labels. The map, once so filled with minute details, becomes a blank sheet of paper. I should point out that it’s still the same map. I know how crazy that might sound. An example might help. When a tiger is born it doesn’t have a map, the only agenda it is taught is how to be the best tiger it can be. Good tigers survive and thrive, mediocre ones tend to become tiger food. When humans are born it’s a slightly different scenario, but, in the big scheme of things, we have the same map as a tiger. Reality, I know from my own life, is not quite like that. We are, let’s say, ‘educated,’ in how to act so we fit into our culture. Which is fine, as far as it goes, the problem being which society is the right one? All of them, none of them, or that strange, dragony, zone in between?
I don’t have the answer as having one would involve being judgmental. I often think that whoever I’m listening to would benefit from talking to their self a little more. I know I would, so it’s not being judgmental and more of an acknowledgement that all are one. In fact, whenever this happens, I find myself giving me a really good talking to which ensures I stay in the right place. Interestingly, according to physics, no two things can exist in the same place, at the same time. All things are energy in the final analysis. Everyone thinks the spiritual set up must be very, very, different. I happen to disagree. I have a feeling the same rule, sort of, applies, but the other energy present happens to be the one who makes the rules. In fact they’re so busy making the rules the concept of map making got thrown out right at the beginning.
Dragons keep things simple, this makes talking, and listening to whoever is talking, much, much easier. The Universe follows the same principle; the simpler the rule is to understand the greater the possibilities are. Our conversations should explore the implications. All are one, for instance. Unconditional love is a biggie, it’s so unconditional that it can’t exist, but it does. One thing I can say is love has nothing to do with liking, or accepting bad behaviour. Quite often the kindest thing to do is just walk away in another direction. Try not to mutter though, otherwise people might think you’re showing the first sign of madness. One day they might realise you were doing the complete opposite while glimpsing the underlying realities of existence. The underlying realities of existence, now there really is a mouthful to chunder to yourself about. I found the best way to tackle that one was to stop talking to myself, and, quietly, think it through.
Silence is golden.
It’s the currency of choice.
For the discerning.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th July 2020
Blog writing is adult Lego, but adults have forgotten how to play nicely. I’ll let you put your own extrapolations to that one. I’m supposed to have a plan, then follow it, producing a recognisable result. It makes more sense to me to just mess around with the bricks until there is some sort of structure appearing and go with that. Occasionally, if the scaly thingies need to make a point then the bricks are scattered on the floor. I find the right one by treading on it, barefoot.
The sensible ones amongst my readers might have already worked out I’m going to compare human existence to Lego. Obviously I am, but, just as obviously, I can’t. Lego has infinite variations. Your intergalactic rocket is my Anaconda. The same bricks produce a totally different perspective to any onlooker. Which begs the question, ‘Who are you trying to please?’
It seems there are two, irreconcilable, tribes of humans. Those who do as they are told and follow instructions. They’re the ones who build the perfect models from the box sets. Which, I suppose, is some sort of success. Then there’s the players, the Lego builders, those who just get happily by. Neither mindset understands the other, but, strangely, only one tribe complains. The players are too busy enjoying playing to have a moan.
I used to struggle because I felt there has to be a middle way. I’ve decided, there isn’t. It’s either play creatively, or keep quiet to follow someone’s instructions. Whichever you decide is right for you is right for you. All I can ask is you respect my decision on what is right for me. If you’re happy doing what you are doing you’ll never have to do a day’s work, life is just one long holiday. That’s the theory, life isn’t a theory. As Buddha points out, what matters, most of all, is the continuous practice. Part of the practice is playing around with the bits that fit together and losing those that don’t. Rather than being a construction slammed together by others, we become who we choose to be.
Play nicely together, neatly sums up the teachings of most philosophies and religions. It’s a simple expression with huge implications. Like Lego, and life, the possibilities are infinite. Which brings us to this apparent paradox. How can two vastly differing approaches play together nicely? By practicing two way detachment, in other words being a brick, but not being used in anyone else’s construction. Buddha put it as going through life like an elephant, but he hadn’t been introduced to Lego. He might have rephrased it then.
Another reason blog writing is like Lego is, eventually, you run out of bricks. Of course, there’s loads more in the box. They can stay there for another day.
Five, seven, and five again.
Syllables, not blocks.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 30th June 2020
I will start this week with a confession. I was wrong again! When the idea floated between my ears, my immediate response was whinging, whining, moaning, groaning, in fact, complaining in general should be avoided. Grumbling, however, according to dragons, is both therapeutic and enlightening. As long as it’s a genuine, effective process that releases how you are feeling about any situation.
Laundry day is a good example, just as you hang out the washing along comes the rain. That would make anyone grumble, ‘Why did that HAVE to happen?’ Well, unless you want to live in a desert, rain has uses. Grass is green because it rains, it’s why taps usually work too. Basically, you are complaining about receiving one of life’s necessities, abundantly. Grumbling doesn’t mean you are being ungrateful. You are acknowledging the gift. Obviously, though, you have to answer your own question the grumble proposed. You know why it HAS to rain. If you really were a shrivelled up husk of a human then you would have reasons to query the Universal mindset. Being all knowing the Universe saw that one coming. A functioning brain doesn’t function without water, and desiccation is a grand way of shutting humans up, permanently.
Dragons have elevated grumbling into an art form. A unique way of communicating that avoids arguments since it will always lead to understanding of the other’s point of view... eventually. We sometimes struggle to think laterally enough. Most of us think in terms of our self, rather than as part of a whole. There now follows a dragony ‘joke.’ ‘This is why rain fills wholes.’
The other thing to remember, especially when listening to a good grumble, is to really listen. Take on board what is being related, and think it through, unselfishly. That way the grumble can be sorted out which is always to everyone’s advantage. This is another problem for us. People tend to go on, and on. This isn’t grumbling, it’s usually based on their ‘Poor me’ outlook. It might take a while but people zone out. If this becomes a downward spiral, well, we all know the possible consequences.
A good grumbler has already weighed up all the options before commencing the grumble. They are stating facts, as they see them from their perspective. The grumblee, the one receiving the grumble, might have their own take on things though. The grumble should establish common ground to work forward on. That means a certain level of self acceptance, including the faults being grumbled about. Dragons, being perfect, don’t have that issue which means they can leave it to us.
I was wrong about that too. I always thought, given the state of the world, dragons would be constantly grumbling about human behaviour. They don’t, yet, but one day, if we ever start to actually listen to each other’s grumbles without taking any further action, they might have reason to.
Haikus are a pain.
Sometimes, though, they are blissful.
This one just happened.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 25th June 2020
Technology is a wonderful thing, until it breaks. Usually it ceases completely and often without any warning signs. The only thing to do is get the device fixed, or get a new one. Human society doesn’t, actually, stop working and just carries on, well, apart from the checking social media breaks. I admit many people think we’re all going to hell in a handcart. They would argue our society needs a complete overhaul, with repair, and upgrades. Which is fine, except the rebuild would be their vision, not necessarily everyone else’s, so the whole gradual breakdown cycle reactivates. Technology becomes obsolete, ideas bouncing around in societies do the same. It just takes a little time for each to happen. In fact this blog might be outdated when you read it. I always live in hope.
Would the world benefit from a complete upgrade of its operating system? Probably not, the basics are already in there, and have been for millennia. It’s fairly easy to see early humans cooperated with each other, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens didn’t go to war, most archaeologists would agree with that. Genetically, we all carry Neanderthal traits in our cells. It’s a common insult to compare brutality to the cave man mindset, when it’s really the complete opposite.
All was going well until someone decided hate might be a good idea. Every other conflict, from there on, was simply a consequence of that decision. The basic thought of others being different, in some way, led to all the associated apps connected to modern society being uploaded into the system. Now we all look at the world outside through constructed windows, thinking we see the true reality. A reality so complicated it defies repair. There isn’t a reset button on the World’s mind. There is one on all our own brains. It’s called free will if you need to find it in the owner’s manual.
Artificial intelligence is just human intelligence translated into ones and zeroes. The other form of it is human artificial intelligence, which we have been programmed to accept over thousands of years as being the right way. I’m absolutely sure that the intentions, at first, were honourable, and benign. The programming errors just got compounded as we went along.
Buddhism is a form of selective amnesia. One day I might forget to remember what I keep trying to forget because there’s no point remembering what may not be correct according to Buddha. I also have this problem of attitude. Like Buddha, I loath ignorance, even more so when it’s wilful ignorance. When it comes to all lives mattering I agree, but your life matters more. How you live it would, in my opinion, be like our troglodyte ancestors. A simple, peaceful, co-existence with the planet, and all other beings. Perhaps that’s humanity’s basic problem. We would all be happier in a cave, with central heating, plumbing and WiFi. I could, personally, forgo all those as long as there was a dragon hidden among the stalactites.
To furnish a home.
Stalagmites, and stalactites.
Just need some cushions.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 16th June 2020
Barking up the wrong tree is an idiom, it’s also how I usually begin my blogs. After the first paragraph, or so, the celestial woodpecker finally gets the message drilled in and off we all go down a totally unrelated track. Logically, the tree I was barking up had to be the right one because that’s where the woodpecker was. It could just as easily be a squirrel dropping nuts on my head to make a point. Strangely, this blog will not deviate, the whole idea being there is no wrong tree to bark up, while it doesn’t matter if it’s a woodpecker, squirrel, or even an orang-utan up there.
I’ve got a friend who teaches English as a foreign language. One of the most difficult parts of the course is teaching the students common English idioms. Mainly because they already have their own, but they don’t translate very well. Their brains are barking in Spanish, knowing what the thought should be, but it comes out as, ‘De-rinding the cork oak.’ When they meant, ‘posiblemente actuando por error.’ Unfortunately, idioms are a part of the advanced courses in spoken English. Learning them by rote misses the whole point of the exercise too, as no matter how clever the parrot seems, it hasn’t a clue what the words mean. The only way is to begin with the basics, and gradually add to the collective understanding of the class. This, obviously, involves a lot of wrong tree up-barking, at first. Unless it’s anyone from the age of eight who totally gets what an own goal is, in terms of the English language, and la Liga.
Children bounce back from their mistakes more easily than adults, they just move on, usually growing wiser from the experience. There must be a point in our life when fear of what might be up the tree silences the barking, just in case, and, let’s be honest, a coconut wielding orang-utan isn’t a laughing matter. We stop exploring the amazing jungle of life, and our wondering, while we wander.
Weirdly, we all carry on chasing squirrels. Our attention gets drawn, so off we go, headlong into whatever. Eventually we see the squirrel for what it was, a distraction. Which is when we regress to childhood, becoming upset. While we should bounce back, quite often we don’t. Let’s apply to this relationships... Let’s not, this blog would become more of an encyclopaedia, but I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from.
While there isn’t a wrong tree, neither is there a right one, well not exactly, as in perfect. All trees look very similar, but some are more right for us than others. Getting your needs across to someone might feel like wasted woofing, for a while. Unless you persist you won’t get to the breakthrough with them. It might not happen. In which case it’s time to move on to another tree to bark up. Sensible people leave a mark where they’ve been to stop their self going around in circles. Which is another idiom to think about, but, really, it just makes scents.
Just like terriers.
Lumberjacks know what to do.
When they see a tree.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 9th June 2020
Wendy, the wonderful person who uploads the blog every week, emailed just before I started, letting me know the update had been done. Prior to her getting in touch it was the usual blog story of ‘I wonder what I’ll be writing about?’ She pointed out one of her and her partner’s favourite pastimes is kayaking. When I wrote last week’s haiku I didn’t know that! Her hubby was an instructor, in the paddling arts, for many years. If anyone might know the difference, he would. So, in deference to la belle dragonne de la Dordogne, this week’s blog is around synchronicities.
There’s an easy to understand difference between synchronicities and coincidences. Coincidences arrive, causing a raised eyebrow, a synchronicity feels like an Angel feather tickling your nose, or, if you prefer, a dragony tail across your ear. They always cause a ping in the brain, of some sort, followed by an, ‘I wonder what that’s about?’ I’m still learning the subtleties of this, and, I apologise for not wondering more about the haiku last week. You should always apologise whenever there’s a dragon involved. The other strange thing about synchronicities is they seem to be infectious, getting passed between people with the same pinging sensation. A coincidence doesn’t have the same effect. Yes of course we can convince our self there is more going on than meets the eye, but without the ping there probably isn’t. I used to read so much into coincidences I could have opened a library, but synchronicities are far more interesting and don’t seem to be as rare as you might think.
Zen explains synchronicities in a single word, Zen. If it’s possible to be in perfect step with the Universe, at all times, then that would make sense, except I don’t think that’s quite how it works. A synchronicity could be a moment when we are, unknowingly, in accord with the Universe, and, just for fun, the playful Universe does our head in. Of course that’s an unconditionally Universal love head doing in which causes the ping. Then there are the important synchronicities, those are even more head doing in. Like when a certain client comes into my thoughts, and a few hours later I find out why the Universe had to do my head in. To be completely dragony fair to the Universe, I do my own head in, and not at the time when the event happened. The Universe is innocent.
Actually, looking back, synchronicities were an important learning tool for me. The most important thing I discovered was to simply accept them as they happened and not dwell on how the result occurred. I used to stop and pick the beautiful flower growing by the path. I would examine it closely, if I held on to it long enough I would see it wither, but it was already dead.
Life should be a stroll in the park, it isn’t, we all know that only too well. Perhaps synchronicities are the Universal park keeper covering up the ‘Keep off the grass’ signs for an all too brief moment.
Now, there’s a coincidence.
The perfect haiku.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 2nd June 2020
I’m not too sure I should be writing a blog. Wales is maintaining its social distancing measures, without any change. I don’t know what happens when blogs hit the border. I’m totally aware of the mess my blogging fingers make on the keyboard, and wonder if the effect will be similar. If you’re reading this in the Carolinas brushing up on English Mediaeval history might help explain what I just said.
Explaining is never easy. Mansplaining is way too easy and us males should always challenge our selves by explaining things simply, in a non patronising way. Which is another reason, like Mary Poppins, I never explain, making things even more difficult for myself. I work intuitively, I feel the right thing to say and just burble it out. My mediumship is the same, just a little more complicated in that I feel I’m having a two way conversation. Sometimes I work intuitively with help from a passed over loved one and their own guides. This is a four way discourse as I’m sat wondering if I should have said what I did. It gets even more interesting when I’m doing all of the above, but in a different place, after a quick astral travel.
The easiest explanation is it’s all impossible, but it happens. Obviously, no one can explain the impossible only why it is so. Which is exactly what we should all do around our own intuition! (That’s a dragony exclamation mark by the way.) We could simply accept an intuitive event occurred.
Of course, that’s another impossible. Intuitive events stand out in our minds. Maybe they should, but only for as long as it takes to build the evidence to confirm an intuitive event happened. If you are still not convinced that the Universe has a weird sense of humour, consider this. An intuitive, and, or, predictive event, can only be recognised as such in hindsight. The explanation being everything moves forwards, backwards.
Perhaps this explains why I might seem slightly weird to people, going forwards, backwards with the occasional sideways swivel, seems perfectly normal. No explanations required. However, being a caring, compassionate, person I often feel that I should give a little background as to where the previous sentence I muttered actually came from. Now, there’s the thing too. My reading style is conversational, although, admittedly, there are times when I do most of the talking. If I digressed with explanations, I might not get back on track. Of course I don’t know where the track is, and intuitions don’t come with a route map marking points of interest, it’s a flow, with eddies and whirlpools. So let’s put it this way, a reading with me is a canoe ride. A paddle is available, and is in constant use, it’s just invisible.
That’s the best explanation I can give. In regards to your own intuition it could also be the best explanation to apply as well. Explanations cause questions, and it’s not polite to ask the Universe questions.
Canoes, and Kayaks.
What’s the difference? You ask.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th May 2020
I don’t think many people would disagree if I said the biggest arguments often start with the smallest misunderstandings. Of course there’s a twist, I can start the smallest of arguments with the greatest of misunderstandings using the phrase, ‘It’s perfectly OK not to be absolutely OK.’ In other words we are allowed off days. People’s reactions are amazing to that one. Of course they are reacting, and projecting, rather than thinking it through. If they did they might realise it’s a minute argument since it can’t exist. I’m OK with the fact they’re not OK with what I just said, besides, I seem to be in agreement with the Universe on this one.
If we are OK then there is no incentive to change a thing. In fact we tend to resist any changes at all. One of the tags applied to Buddha was the physician who healed himself, then found the cure could be used by others just as effectively. He knew he wasn’t OK when he sat under his tree, after that, when he was OK, it didn’t take a lot of mental gymnastics to see how one state of mind leads to the other. To me, and, possibly, the Universe, they’re the same pattern of thought. We are, who we are. Changes of our self can only come from within our self. That’s only going to happen when we decide it’s necessary. So far, so traditional Buddhist teaching. Alan’s maxim being, ‘but you don’t have to.’
If Buddha was a medium then he kept it very quiet, speaking as a medium, I wish I had! You learn stuff, uncomfortable truths which defy logic, but they don’t go away. One thing I know, for certain, is the after life is just that, what happens after, and that’s the same for all living things. There is no separation. Existence is continuous, so exist in the way you feel you should over here, as over there things just carry on from where you left off. I struggled for years with this concept, maybe because you don’t have to. In meditation I would always ask to communicate with the highest teachers, so I would understand what was required to ensure my arrival in Heaven.
There are no rules, apart from be yourself. Here should be as there, it’s that continuous existence thingie. I know it isn’t, I’m crazy enough to know it could be. Including the fact that it’s OK not to be OK, occasionally. Look at it this way, paradise can only be a paradise until the next grumpy person dies, and they educate their self into degrumping for the sake of everyone else. It would take a grump of monumental proportions to obstruct that process. No one will impose it on them. They might be avoided, by others, though, except for the rest of the grumps so everyone is happy, including the grumpies. That might seem like a consequence, it is. It’s non judgmental though, and is the Universe benignly providing what we seem to want for eternity. Maybe we need to be more careful of what we appear to be asking for?
I talk to a lot of people with the attitude of it’s OK not to be OK firmly embedded into the conversation. I only suggest possible solutions, and it’s usually a little patience to let things work themselves out. I could, notice the could, say I’m speaking on a direct line from heaven. I don’t, because I’m not. There is no invisible barrier. OK.
Life is often strange.
If you think here is weird.
Heaven awaits you.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 19th May 2020
Every so often I have what I think is an idea so grand you could make a piano from it. I then spend the next two hours wondering if I can do it justice. The only way to find out is to start. Which is when the panic really sets in as it involves trip-trapping over the troll bridge to the greener grass on the other side. I would say close your eyes, to think goat, but it might make further reading problematic.
There are many reasons why the grass looks greener. It could, actually, be that the risk of travelling to the new pasture, (keep thinking goat thoughts) is your goat reality. Getting there might be tricky, but it’s definitely worth investigating. Then again the grass could really be greener, more lush, and tender. A good weed killer will do that though, and render the field toxic, for a while, at the very least. Of course it could just be Astroturf, a plastic illusion. You’re not going to find out unless you go across the bridge and confront your troll. Any sensible goat knows trolls don’t exist, they’re a metaphor for our own capriciousness, however, that character trait is a big part of who we, actually, are.
Unlike the average goat, human beings can use a lawn mower, or a fertiliser spray. We have the ability to make our grass greener. In fact it could become so green you would want to share it with everyone. What a wonderful goat you are! There will still be the weeds to deal with. Occasionally any relationship can get a bit toxic with those long, stony, silences, or Japanese knotweed eruptions. It doesn’t have to be like that, but the ground needs clearing and ploughing to keep it fertile. If you live on an Astroturf lawn the only one who can break out of that illusion would be you. Yes, it means sorting out the troll, but their manipulation, and control, can only have any power if you agree to live under those terms. If that’s too harsh, then look at it this way. Have you ever sat on Astroturf? That’s even more uncomfortable.
I make it all sound oh so simple don’t I? Humans complicate everything, goats tend not to. They have a few less perspectives to deal with. Having complications isn’t the problem though, it’s how we deal with them. Sticking with the Swiss theme, fancy watches have complications, like moon phases. Even the date function is, technically, a complication. Most people want a relationship with someone they would spend all their time with... It’s Astroturf. Life isn’t quite like that. The grass can still be green though, not a plastic construction.
Which brings us to the conclusion, you will be pleased to know that feels like I dragged the piano up the Matterhorn, and now need to get it down in one piece. My complication is a simple shove isn’t acceptable. So, while I’m pondering I’ll let you draw your own conclusions this week. Don’t moan either, the clue for the ending was in the title.
Three Billy goats gruff.
Undertook a pilgrimage.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th May 2020
In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I’m slightly weird. I wonder, a lot. One of the few things I don’t wonder about is how many people, actually, read the blog. I seem to think myself into having a conversation with a single person, and it flows. Once it gets going, I wander off and wonder how we ended up where we did. Yes, you’re included, although it wouldn’t be fair to say, ‘It’s all your fault,’ I, obviously, helped. Usually by now a topic to wonder about has reared its scaley head. Not today, this is about you, and you alone. Whichever way you want to read that is absolutely fine.
You haven’t disappeared, it just feels like it. You’re not alone either. Logically, you’re reading the words, so it doesn’t take a gyration of mental gymnastics to hear them, in your head of course. If you think about it, that’s where you hear everything. Your ears just help in the process. We are now having a conversation, aren’t we? That idea might take a little getting used to, when it first happened to me I wobbled, so I can relate. It doesn’t take any effort at all to regain your balance. It’s simply a matter of focussing on the moment and realising what’s going on.
You might be thinking no one cares. Everyone feels that occasionally. I’m listening to you, it’s a two-way conversation. A moment of calm, away from harsh reality. The strange thing though, this is reality. Nothing’s changed, it’s the same screen, on the same device, you were using when we started talking. Nothing changes if I take myself out of the picture either, the chat carries on. No matter how difficult life gets that voice is always there, it just needs a little peace and quiet, to hear. I don’t know who it belongs to. I could venture a guess or two, except I would know I was intruding into a private conversation. I believe that’s why Buddha is very quiet about what happens next, in the afterlife. What he, and I, think is completely irrelevant, you’re the important one, what you feel is all that matters.
One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is tolerance for others, that’s the easy bit. Tolerance of our self is the biggie. I’m finding myself saying this to many people at the moment who feel their ideas are too off the wall. If you are still listening where have the walls gone? As an observer I can state, with complete conviction, your changing state of mind is simply a consequence of the current circumstances. I’ve been on a lot of spiritual retreats which seemed exactly like social distancing. It’s having the same effect. It’s why monks sit in their cells meditating, and you’re doing the same, but without trying. You’re going to feel different because your life, right now, is different. There’s nothing you can do about it! That said when things begin to return to normal, which they will, you might want to hold on to some memories of this current abnormal. As I said, I’m weird enough to think this is how normal life should be, well, apart from the queues at the Post Office.
There is no haiku.
I will leave that up to you.
You might not want one.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th May 2020
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is also a very useful road map for all schools of Buddhism. Why? Well the big, red ‘DON’T PANIC’ button on the front is really all the information you need. Been there, done that, and yes, I panicked sometimes. Especially when Zen proposes leaving all the books on their shelves. Which, I realised, is fine. Why stop at the galactic border when the rest of the Universe lies beyond? Panic over, I went forward, alone.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing. Any swamp is easily drained once someone has the knack of alligator charming. Getting the knack is the tricky bit and will always involve moving on to bigger alligators to practice with. No matter how experienced an alligator wrangler we become, there will always be the awareness of that one, recalcitrant reptile which has decided to stay put. If I was in that situation I would let it be, since that is what Buddhism teaches. I also would have heeded the lesson regarding right livelihood and wouldn’t have got involved in environmental degradation in the first place. There are many forms of swamp though, my knack seems to be wandering in and helping those who are lost out of theirs. It goes without saying those swamps have the biggest alligators which need the most careful of coaxings.
I was chatting to someone yesterday, who, being a regular client, apologised for being a pain. I replied, ‘You’re not, and besides I can be one too.’ Of course they wouldn’t accept that, as they think I’m wonderful... I can be a pain though, by maintaining my single line based on someone’s first reading. I never change an outcome I have predicted. I might press the internal ‘DON’T PANIC’ button for myself, but, outwardly, I maintain my experienced swamp drainer composure. Usually the situation self rectifies over a short time period and often by people not reacting too hastily. Just because I predicted the outcome doesn’t mean I have the map to that particular swamp and which mangrove to turn right at. Situations evolve, what’s going around has to go pear shaped occasionally, before it comes around. Like mud, life finds its own, preferred form, eventually.
Buddha taught we should, rather than we must, however when we know what we should be doing it’s a no-brainer not to. This enables us to try harder, then progress to other we shoulds. Exactly like alligator wrangling there are definite, discrete, steps to success. Which sounds great until you realise the last step took you back to where it all began. Nothing has changed but everything is different. Well, not that different. The scaly things are still around, only a bit bigger, and more into Rolos than human appendages. While the wannabe wrangler gets wrangled their self now. I can live with that, without panicking.
Are often misunderstood.
They like things that way.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 29th April 2020
As soon as I saw the picture I thought ‘That’s the blog.’ While right now I’m wondering what it should be around. I’ve already covered the social responsibility aspect, and how many people are missing the outdoors. I’m sorry if the image is a bit of a red napkin to a raging bull for them. If that conjures up images of Spain and cancelled holidays, I’m sorry! However, we have a blog... about blunders.
We all make them. I made a big mistake with Nessie, who isn’t a dragon, she’s a Kelpie, which makes her only an honorary dragon. She’s also the only dragon who can dole out honorary squishes. A good squishing won’t make you an honorary dragon, only slightly flattened. That’s the thing with blunders, they’re always made in innocence, and, for some bizarre reason, happen even after careful consideration of the situation. Perhaps a blunder is the Universe directing its sense of humour directly, at us, for a moment. Only a few people find their blunders funny. While everyone else thinks it’s hilarious, or, even worse, prolong the blunderer’s agony. They don’t need to, a good blunderer, like me, holds on to the painful memory, for years.
One of the common spirits in every mythology is the chaos maker, such as the coyote of the Native Americans, or a raven for the Celts. So, comparing Nessie to a budgie, (they’re both green) isn’t a blunder, it’s just taking a slight risk of a squishing. Yes, I know ravens are black, but they have feathers. Anyway, Nessie too is a chaos bringer, as you will discover for yourself if she turns up in your garden. Mistakes should be honoured, as they are one of the easiest vehicles to bring learning to us, and, most importantly, knowledge of our self. You could do Buddha’s head completely in by considering that a perfect person must be completely aware of their own imperfections, and act appropriately imperfectly. That is the self of which he often spoke.
This blog is probably the most good humoured dragony lecture I’ve ever received. It’s also short, sweet, and to the point. Laughter only works when it is shared and when it is completely spontaneous. Stand up comedy follows the same principles. You buy your ticket, go along, but everyone is expecting the unexpected. That was another blunder, as, obviously, no one can buy a ticket for any form of entertainment at the moment.
We will now dive into philosophy, deep down to the bottom of the kelpie’s domain. Mindfulness, and being present, is simply a matter of expecting the unexpected. Then dealing with it as it arises. ‘Oh look it’s the Loch Ness monster.’
‘Where?’ Show us’
‘There she was, gone.’ That wasn’t a blunder, although people would treat you as if it was, so you, and I, being sensible, would just keep mindfully quiet. All who have seen Nessie remember one thing, her smiling wink just before she disappears back into the kitchen sink. Be careful though, dropping any of the dishes, from surprise, would be a blunder.
A Scottish Haiku.
About low roads, the high roads.
And warming wee drams.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st April 2020
This past few days has been a bit of a revelation, apparently people are finding my blogs helpful at the moment. It’s been mentioned in a few emails, calls and chats. Luckily, I don’t do self adulation, but I do use Paypal. Obviously, I don’t do totally serious either. I suppose I should just accept the praise, however I can Zen it up a bit. Oh come on, what did you honestly expect?
You could call Zen, God. Except Zen is completely accessible, but, like any self respecting deity, we assume they are so high and mighty, knowing their mind is impossible. Zen seemed like that to me, but that particular door has an infinite number of locks, while we are all born with only one key. I found the right lock, eventually. It opened on to a classroom, where nothing is taught, because that’s what’s really important once you realise everything is nothing, so by knowing nothing everything becomes apparent. The problem is we all assume we know something, so we don’t, actually, know nothing.
That’s the theory behind the blogs being useful. I’m not trying to be anything other than a blogger. There’s a nothing hidden within the something the reader is reading, and sometimes they spot it. I never do, so well done clever clogs. Anyway, what I, and the scaly thingies, want to get across is the fact inspiration, or spiritual energy, basically whatever label anyone wishes to apply is, well, so everywhere, that the word itself is irrelevant. You don’t have to go outside, or bring it inside. It is already within (this is the difficult bit to get your head around)... you. You don’t have to meditate either. A day dream is just as effective, but try not to bring wishful thinking into it. Imagining yourself in the park is fine, wanting to be there won’t work.
It’s called being present. I can’t be unique in finding huge insights when I’m doing the washing up. If I’m weird it’s in that simple way of knowing when I’m thinking, and when someone else is talking. Although the Rolo breath is a bit of a give away too. When these two are combined there is mindfulness. Which, for a while, was my new normal, now it’s just my normal. We are all in a new normal for however long the Corona virus is a problem, maybe our old normal will be changed forever in some ways. You, and I, will cope with that, and happily too. It just means a few adjustments to our assumptions around how we think everything should be will be required.
Angels, dragons, and Zen don’t hide away. They come looking for us when there is a need. That connection is always open but seeing as many of us feel we know best, we assume it’s been broken in some way. Right now there are a lot of possible ways we think it has. Space is infinite. According to the dragons the space between my ears is even more infinite, but that infinite space is around you, just as much as it is around your favourite park bench. Nothing needs to move, like you, everything is exactly where it needs to be at this present moment, so chill.
(This week’s haiku requires prior parental consent, and approval, before being read by anyone under 12 years of age.
Like Jack the ripper.
Without victims on the street.
The virus will stop.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th April 2020
In case anyone was wondering I’m practicing ancient Egyptian healing modalities around the Coronavirus situation. The first step is not to jump into denial, (think about it) I’ve built a firm foundation for my pyramid, mostly using my own, freely given, labour, and sealed the entrance. Locked inside the cosmic energies can be focussed onto, and then throughout, my eternal body. I am alive in every sense of the word. I could just as easily play dead while slowly mouldering away. Either option is available it depends on your own perspective.
We are living in extreme times, which, to me, calls for extreme blogs! Buddha however, insists on the balanced, middle way, although giggles are allowed. Durga, who many believe is an aspect of the highest divine power, laughed in the face of the most powerful demon. Overcome with his rage he became the cause of his own downfall. Being a goddess, she helped him along as doing otherwise would be in contravention of the Universal law regarding free will.
Getting through the next few weeks is also a matter of our free will choice. If you accept we are all in this together that seems a much better attitude than assuming isolation, and self survival, is the right way forward. Either way works for the individual, while only one will benefit every person on the planet. The missing word there is eventually. No one wants to hear that right now. There should be a quick fix to the problem faced by our technologically advanced civilisation. There actually is, it’s called staying away from others to break the infectious cycle.
Most of us, by now, don’t have much choice in regard to self quarantine. We’re under government orders to do so. I’m also very aware that people are struggling to cope for various reasons. My eldest granddaughter is recovering from a confirmed case, so yes, I do have grounds to speak from experience. So speaking from experience here’s the plan. You’re not isolating, you’re helping others recover. You’re not alone, we’re all in this together. In fact, we’re all so in it together it doesn’t need mentioning.
Maybe I am a little weird in my thinking occasionally. Nature doesn’t frighten me, human nature, though, terrifies me. There seems to be this inbuilt instinct in humans that they, personally, know best. I know I don’t, and if that impression ever comes across in anything I write, or say, then you are projecting your own assumptions of infallibility on to me. Of course, no one reading the blogs would do that.
In the end the war against Coronavirus is going to be won, but, from now on we are all going to have to learn to peacefully co-exist with it. Accepting that simple fact is not surrendering, nor does it abrogate any of our responsibilities to others. I’m not a stay at home General, I’m in the trenches with everyone else and paradoxically wishing I could go home. How quickly that happens is beyond my control, but within yours.
The happy haiku.
To lift everyone’s spirits.
Is stuck in the post.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th April 2020
So far the blog has had five titles, seven opening sentences, (they were interesting titles) and several prevarications. There was almost an admission of defeat with an email to Wendy, asking to postpone. As you might have noticed it’s not often I’m stuck for words. Excuse me while I mutter to this dragon. ‘I can see what you did there.’ It looks like we have a blog after all.
I never know what to say when someone expresses their gratitude for something I did, or gives me a compliment. The same applies to pressies, it’s either the standard ‘Thank you,’ or a digression of monumental proportions. In my defence I need to point out my eyes usually light up, so that has to be a clue, it only works face to face though. I’ve got the gratitude from others covered with my ubiquitous, ‘Ya welcome. While any compliment can be swiftly turned around. Isn’t it amazing how so many people love talking about their selves?
Of course that all requires explaining. On a human level, ‘I’m shy,’ is the honest answer. I’ve honed my ‘find the quietest corner’ ability to absolute perfection. On the dragony, or, if you prefer, higher level of consciousness planes, I’m in total agreement with the scaley thingies. Such things are irrelevant. In fact they are so irrelevant there is no reason for their existence, so they don’t. Buddha’s ‘froth’ comes closest. Dharma, the correct way to be, the aspiration of all Buddhists, is a code for how to live. It’s the right way, but living without the need for compliments, or gratitude from others, puts me in the wrong, according to some.
In a weird way I can appreciate how the Universe helped me to turn what others would consider a weakness, being shy, into a strength of appreciating a large part of what Dharma actually is. Dharma is often translated as ‘Duty,’ which implies a belief in having to, when the Buddha only ever taught, try to. Maybe I do understand the Universe, a little. It makes perfect sense why it got me into having to talk to people for a vocation. It’s a lot more than a job folks. That, however, is said in hindsight. Obviously there have been many moments when I just wanted to run. For a while I escaped, I came back, willingly.
I’m sure I’ve said I’m no different to any of my readers enough times for it to have established itself as a fact, which might cause you to ponder on this. Perhaps those weaknesses, which keep getting pointed out to you, are your God given gifts and your greatest strengths. Every religion on Earth teaches the equivalent of God moving in mysterious ways. It’s a lesson I learned a long time ago. Along the way there was Zen, that’s shy too, hiding away in plain sight, doing its thing quietly and unnoticed.
Silence is golden.
And is hoarded by dragons.
They know its true worth.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 31st March 2020
It can’t have escaped your notice there is a new ‘C’ word. Except this one is perfectly acceptable in polite society, even the Prime Minister says it regularly on live TV. If you catch your children using it there’s no need to wash their mouths out with soap, and anyway, soap should be saved for hands. In fact, if everyone acted as though the rest of the planet was shouting the old ‘C’ word every ten seconds, the new ‘C’ word might rapidly fall out of use. Another ‘C’ word is China, who, sort of convinced their citizens that was actually happening, so they stayed at home as far as possible. It seems to be paying off.
My preoccupation with ‘C’ words began a few days ago. I was stood in a checkout line, keeping a safe distance away from the person in front. They were obviously a couple. Anyway, he decided to walk across the space I’d created, leaned into me, and got as far as saying ‘Did you hear about.’ My response was totally new ‘C’ word orientated. ‘Would you mind stepping back from me, please? You might want to take unnecessary risks, I don’t.’ Their face changed, completely. As if I had said the old ‘C’ word, with a few attached adjectives, and an ‘F’ worded invitation to, rapidly, take their self, elsewhere. At no point did I consider a need to reference the old ‘C’ word... OK, I did think of it after, my bad.
Going from their reaction they could remember the episode, perhaps even learning from it. Dragons are experts at benign embarrassment. That evening all the bars and restaurants closed, so they couldn’t share the experience with others. Who knows? They could have been given a few pints to help them get over the shock, but, perhaps, not being able to go for a drink simply reinforced the reason behind my actions toward them.
So, there you have it, a serious situation rendered harmless simply by being true to myself. Actually, it’s less pompous than that. I did the sensible thing. Which probably shockadoodled a few dragony gourds. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Maybe we should all be doing it a little more right now.
Oh, and if you were wondering where the know it all rumour mongers, who used to stand at the corner of the bars, spouting whatever came to mind have gone, they’ve moved to the queues outside the supermarkets. This makes them fairly easy to identify, then avoid. I discovered that yesterday.
I know real life isn’t funny at the moment. We are all fearful for our self, and our families. Here’s the paradox. By constantly thinking of others we increase our own safety. As far as the dragons are concerned that’s how it should always be.
We need to talk about it.
Kevin had his day
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 24th March 2002
Carrying on with the dragony questions... Mercedes PIN 1726 wondered what do dragon’s smell like? My original answer was ‘A visit to hospital to heal injuries caused by asking impertinent questions.’ This is when the pause button got pressed. It’s, actually, very pertinent. Especially when Donna’s, PIN 8866, is factored in too. She wanted to know if dragons can become invisible, like Elliot in Pete’s dragon. I can’t answer them singly, and, each in their own way, sums up a lot of what I am trying to say in my blogs. When they are combined, only the pure essence of dragon remains. Either in your face, right up your nose, or, in my case, both.
Cinnamon has a smell, scents are really good at activating memories. Some people think carnations have a whiff of cinnamon, while others are remembering apple pies. The strange thing is it’s impossible to describe a smell in words. Technically, you can write down a building’s measurements, or the combined vibrations that make a unique sound, a smell has to rely on subjective description. They are personal, just like how any of us are aware of our own dragon. Which is, basically, Zen in a nutshell. My this is your that, but both are applicable to the invisible Universal energy.
If you close your eyes in the kitchen, the freshly baked bread doesn’t disappear. Don’t try this with cake if I’m around. Magic will happen, and I’ll blame the dragons. If you leave the door open the house becomes filled with a homely warmth too. Your rattling letterbox cover spreads the love to the world in its own, small way. Everyone will know it’s bread, but only those in the house will be able to see it.
I can’t resist saying this is proof all dragons are half baked. We are too, it’s only through the connection of awareness that the dough becomes wholesome, and ready to share with whoever comes along. Of course you can now keep your kitchen pest free by pointing out there is a dragon in the oven. It will probably rest its scaly head on your shoulder while you do the washing up too. Like Elliot, dragons slowly appear. Once they have they never fade, however, that doesn’t mean they are always around, sensible conversations with others are allowed, and encouraged. A dragon is for life, not the entire period, but how to live as often as possible.
None of the Buddhas have ever stated ‘You must,’ only ‘You should.’ Which is why Yoda, is a Yoda, not a Buddha, ‘Do, or do not, there is no try,’ goes against the concept of advancement of our eternal being. Even dragons fail, occasionally, I usually listen but not always, and a lot of things need explaining several times before making sense.
So, Mercedes, dragons smell exactly like love should. I don’t know what that is, but you do. Everyone reading this does, in their own way. Yes Donna, dragons appear when we open our eyes to start seeing the underlying universal realities. As for disappearing, I’m sure they could, I just don’t think I’ll ever see it happen.
Onwards, and upwards.
Towards the next milestone.
Fifty more to go.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 17th March 2020
I tried to run away soon as I saw my horoscope for today. ‘A time for exposing and talking about hidden, intensely private, or secret subjects.’ This, being the 150th blog, is a bit different, real dragony questions, asked by real people. It’s a bit longer than usual, admittedly, but you can dip in and out as you please. So, without further ado we shall mentally hum along to Approaching Menace, (the music which opens BBC’s Mastermind) and take our first, highly appropriate, question.
Which comes from Helga, my boss, basically, who asked not to be mentioned, and, because she’s the boss, I won’t. She asked, I'd love to know what music Dragons listen to, is there a Dragon anthem, do they have a Dragon music festival?
Well Helga, dragons did have a festival a while ago, but it caused a few problems. Salisbury plain used to be as hilly as the Cairngorms, it was, obviously, a right good do as it’s now as flat as a pancake. The dragons did leave the stage behind so the locals could use it as a social centre, but there’s been a few arguments about maintenance costs. Dragons have eclectic musical tastes, and, as they are higher vibration beings, can get by with cheap headphones. Wireless being preferred due their rather larger than human heads. They don’t have an anthem as such, but when Roll Over Beethoven is playing they all stand up and salute.
Cambiel, one of TheCircle Readers, their pin is 1670, wondered do different coloured dragons represent anything in particular? Do they really hoard treasure (besides Rolos) and what makes them happy?
Some dragons be red, other dragons be green. Red ones are Freds, while greens are Maureens. Dragony children always use their fingers to paint. It’s difficult to tell what they are, or they ain’t. This is one of those examples of various rumours that have grown through the ages Cambiel. Someone asked a dragon how to find eternal life, they said, ‘Stop dying.’ When pressed to answer how that was possible, the reply was, ‘Start living.’ Dragons only hoard what is freely available to all and everyone can help their self, once they understand what they are actually looking for of course. Dragons don’t do happy, or sad, they do consistency and balance. Laughing with someone, especially when they have seen their error, warms their cockles though. It’s a bit difficult to answer as they, like us, are all individuals. I’m a bit wary of enquiring as to the condition of a dragon’s cockles though, they like their privacy.
Christine Ritchie wanted to know, how do they keep themselves clean? Lick like a cat or roll in dust (gold dust?) like a bird?
Christine, when dragons decided to fly gravity took a long, hard look at their bulk, and fragile wings. It then took their teeth and claws into consideration and decided to take the cautionary approach of not getting involved, at all, ever. Mud, being sensible, took the same approach. Dragons don’t get dirty. If they need a shine then a couple of baby unicorns having a few belly bounces, and tail slides sorts that one out.
Wendy, is the wonderful person who uploads my blog every week, her question is, do dragons really 'frolic in the autumn mist' like in the song about Puff?
Have you ever seen the disruption a bit of fog causes at Heathrow Wendy? The closest dragons get to frolicking is rounding up the baby unicorns for their afternoon nap. Which is more of a mayhem than a frolic. Dragons, being so bulky, have to organise these things taking health and safety into consideration. Apparently, some nosy humans were watching the music festival and decided to copy the moves. One of them was called Morris, and the tag stuck.
Marie Falconbridge chirped in with, I would like to know how they breathe fire? What do they drink to make that happen and where can I get some?
Marie, you already have the ability to breathe out alcohol, the fact that it’s expelled via the lungs is the basis of the breathalyser test. What you lack is the ability to self combust the fumes. Dragons actually have a modified metabolism which causes alcohol to be an end point of glycolysis, under ideal aerobic conditions. This avoids the synthesis of lactic acid, as a dragon, with cramp, just doesn’t bear thinking about. Dragons spend most of their lives nicely tanked to mellowness, but, being responsible mellowers, they know when they’ve had enough and burn off the excess alcohol, politely. Basically, it’s a belch, and a genteel dragon will always say ‘Excuse me’ afterwards. It’s not their fault we are flammable and stand too close. There are various methods whereby humans can simulate the effect of igniting bodily gases, but, well, I’m just not going there... I might if enough people write in with a request.
Jerry, another of our Readers, his PIN is 0764 is pondering the point of do dragons watch Game of thrones and how do they feel they are represented in the media?
Shiny dragons tend not to watch TV, as it’s surrounded by baby unicorns who will claim to be viewing while tail sliding and belly bouncing. It’s more of a polishing device rather than for entertainment. According to the dragon, A Game Of Thrones is why the pointy bit on top of a baby unicorn’s head is an exact fit for the off switch on the TV remote. As for their media representation they’re quite happy with any exposure they receive. No one believes anything the papers publish, so the status is firmly quo’d.
To be continued.
A haiku is not needed
So there isn’t one.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th March 2020
It’s never funny when someone dies, nor when a person diets. It’s a safe bet that many people are concerned in regards to the availability of tea in the hereafter. There is, if you want it. By the way tea, or coffee, is a necessity, not an attachment. You don’t go to Hell if you’re dying for a cuppa. Living isn’t amusing either, especially when a loved one has just died, which, unfortunately, they often do. The older we get the more that seems to happen to us. My conundrum is that there should be a balance to everything; but when it’s tested on the see-sawing, swinging roundabout of our life, and death, reaching an applicable conclusion is difficult. Luckily, not being dead, I don’t have to decide what happens when I am, just yet, and can happily speculate just like everyone else.
Mediumship, as in talking to dead people, although I have chatted with several ferrets and an alligator, etc. should qualify me to state, categorically, the exact conditions of our continued existence. For a while, when I was performing ‘live’ on the platform I used to do just that. Right up to the point I was dragoned. I’m not saying that everyone connected to a spiritualist church is wrong in their views, I just realised I might not be as right as the dogma dictated. Knowing, as a fact, everyone, including ferrets and alligators, go to the same place was a bit of an epiphany. There were several others.
So, how does this all add up, what is the bottom line? Life is eternal, that is all you need to know. All Buddha did, while he sat under his tree, was ponder on the implications of this simple truth. You can reincarnate as many times as you feel you should, or not at all. It’s still an eternal life. We all go home, as we are, right now, and that’s for eternity. We all have the capacity to change our self, at any time throughout our eternity. Yes, I know various belief systems introduce rules, regulations, and coercions to comply. What no one can deny is that all religions have to end where the afterlife starts because it’s where truth begins. That might sound a bit heavy, don’t worry about it, your eternal life carries on regardless.
The weird thing is there do seem to be pockets in shrouds after all. Obviously, all our material possessions stay here, on earth. We take the thoughts and good wishes of those left behind with us. It might be a bit of a bonus to know negative feelings don’t get across the truth barrier, but, if you live surrounded by negativity then you’ll be in a bit of a vacuum over there. Imagine it’s an eternal Glastonbury. If people are hearing your name constantly mentioned then they will want to meet you and get to know you better. Who knows, you might even get asked to take the stage. If you want to bring religion into it, then imagine it’s a constant tea party at the vicarage, \ mosque,\ temple, whatever. I won’t be invited to those sort of parties, although, I’m sure, I would find like minded people to chat with if I attended. Heaven doesn’t have to be complicated to work, and the more simple your speculations are, the closer to reality you might be in your ideas. I would say that though, wouldn’t I?
Relax, don’t worry.
Simplicity is the key.
Opening the door.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd March 2020
One of my favourite songs, of all time, is The Rose. The last two lines get recalled a couple of times a day. ‘Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows. Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring, becomes the rose.’ My bad for thinking about it just before starting the blog, because along comes a dragon with an agenda... They have a problem with the word seed, it should be bud. Modern day roses, so appreciated by people, don’t grow from seeds. Part of a chosen varieties’ stem is grafted onto pre-grown roots. The best anyone could hope for, if they planted a rose hip, would be a spindly, shapeless, thorny mass of greenery that might have a few small briar type flowers. How romantic is that? Although completely honest, and factual.
Not that said dragon with their agenda, is being overly cynical. Love has nothing to do with romance. I guarantee everyone reading this disagrees on that. Like me, until a few moments ago, you will be thinking seed, rather than bud. If you love a rose, you nurture it until the bud blooms, then, romantically, stuff it in a vase so it can be appreciated by you, and you alone. I’m not saying the rose objects, many roses, Daphnes and Daisies would be enthralled with such treatment, while it lasts. The problem is roses tend to eventually wither, fade, and die, in the romantic process. Real romance is not planting the rose seed, but when someone becomes the rain and warmth which allows the bud to thrive. Romance would never prune or train a rose’s growth either.
Being loving to each other is, perhaps, how we should treat everyone around us, but if we tried to be romantic to all, there would be a lot of slapped faces, several arrests, and a soaring divorce rate. Of course I accept romance is a big part of any relationship, but I’m beginning to realise it should come after the relationship is established, and thriving. Some people would appreciate a midnight serenade, with a mandolin accompaniment; many others have children to get off to school, and lunches to pack. Romance, like sex, should be consensual, with accepted boundaries, true feelings, and a little spontaneity could be good too.
People would have to get to know each other intimately first. This makes the whole concept difficult. It takes time to trust someone enough to open up revealing all your foibles, especially when you haven’t a clue about the other person until they do the same. There is a huge risk of rejection involved so it’s a lot easier to make it up on the hoof. It goes both ways too. He didn’t get you flowers because he wasn’t sure if you are a rose or carnation type, and it’s a bit naff giving Ferrero Rocher to a diabetic. We all expect pressies at Christmas, and we all demand gifts from our partners. Regular readers might notice what I did there. Romance evolves with the relationship, it can be the glue holding things together, or the solvent, slowly dissolving it. The wrong type of romance being just as bad as none, or too much. In the end it’s all about communication, thinking about the words you use. A single one of those can make a big difference to the meaning of what is, actually, heard.
Roses can be red.
People, though, are not like books.
Unless you’re psychic.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 25th February 2020
If anybody giggles at the next sentence would they kindly let me know how it could be rephrased. There’s an old story, from Holland, concerning a young boy who stuck his finger in a dyke and saved the town from flooding. He did his bit standing there, in the freezing wind and rain, until help arrived. Did he solve the problem? Actually, no, it was prolonged by his actions, being, eventually, rectified by the dyke builders. Although they could walk there rather than using a boat. The moral of the story according to the dragon being, quick fixes never work they just seem to. However the seeming to might be all that is required. Obviously this is a very double Dutch dragon. Who, I hope, will explain.
Basically the approach to solving a problem should be defined by what the problem is, when there really is one. If our young hero had a basic understanding of fluid dynamics, soil structure, in regard to load bearing etc. he could have assessed the situation, and summoned the appropriate help. Instead he stayed out all night, caused his mother to panic and start a search, while not achieving anything in regard to water flow retardation. (Make that a very, very, double Dutch dragon.)
Admittedly, he set a course of events in action that led to a positive result, but other scenarios were possible, while his delaying tactics could have led to a disaster. The issue is he decided to be a hero instead of a sensible coward which would have been far more effective.
Personal responsibility is a biggie with both Buddhists and dragons, however the important thing to remember is we can only accept responsibility for our personal actions. Being nice people, who always try to be even nicer it’s really easy for us all to be convinced we are the problem, or worse, we are the answer if we only... I will now channel my inner Tina Turner, ‘We don’t need another hero.’ There seems, however, to be a significant dearth of sensible cowards with the bravery to say, ‘Hang on a minute,’ to someone. Tolerating bad behaviour is being a hero, sensible cowards fight back, but very peacefully. (O.K. a very, very, very, double Dutch dragon.)
As you should all be able to see, it’s a lot easier to be a hero than a sensible coward. A hero will always hold the fort until help arrives. A hero knows the cavalry is on its way and fights on until they collapse. A hero thinks they only hit me because they love me, and it was all my fault for winding them up. Sensible cowards survive, usually by avoiding trauma, conflict and manipulative behaviour. That said, most sensible cowards are born as heroes, then slowly get re-educated by experience.
The simile of the leaking dam is pretty apt to how we see ourselves in regards to others. Holding on so they don’t suffer. Which is how it sometimes has to be, but, it’s a quick fix, not a permanent solution. That requires the cooperation of everyone else involved. I agree with the dragon, life is all about being inwardly happy. If standing outside, in the symbolic downpour, with your finger stuck in cold mud makes you content, feel free to carry on. You might want to reconsider though, in which case I’ll get the kettle boiling so you can think about the options while you warm up.
When the levee breaks.
Is a Led Zeppelin song.
Which I relate to.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 18th February 2002
This morning was spent waiting for Godot, but the gas fitter arrived first, which meant I could write a blog instead of postponing it for another day. Apparently he’s called Phil, unless his I.D. tag tells lies. So, in a way, this is Phil’s fault. I can’t blame the dragon in my head space can I? Let’s keep it real people!
Here’s the boring bit. If you didn’t know, an acronym is an abbreviation formed by the initial letters of other words, well you do now. This bit isn’t boring, I find it really fascinating, so fascinating I thought it worthy of a blog. Bios, the Greek origin of the bio prefix in biology, biological, etc. means, ‘one's life, course, or way of living a lifetime.’ B.I.O. screams to be turned into an acronym. Alright it screeched quietly, but I heard it... Bring It On. Of course others are available, Blame It On, for instance, or, But I Often, and Because I Ordered.
I’m a, Bring It On, type of person now. Maybe we all have to go through the rest until we realise that’s the only way to be. I can sort of see the budding Zen around the concept, but if we waited for it to bloom this would become an encyclopaedia. In fact, making a giant leap for mankind I would say the Universe is a Bring It On type too. It just makes small steps forward. I also think our Universe never brings more than we can have on our plate, whatever it is.
Bringing It On would definitely liven up some group meditations I’ve attended. The wonderful calm peace of the room would suddenly go wall to wall Angels, or dragons. A bit like the space I’m sat in right now. I used to think that everything philosophically relevant to me, such as Buddha’s teachings, Universal love, and unconditionality, for instance, could be summed up in the one word, acceptance. I’m quite chuffed to have condensed it further into three letters. Life though, should be like that, making the most of whatever is brought on. Which applies to troubles and woes, just as much as joys. Yes, I do know from painful experience how difficult it is to keep up a chin that wants to play at being a slug’s tummy. At those times it’s impossible to remember that nothing lasts forever. Until something else is brought on it will seem like it’s permanent.
Dragons are a bunch of gits, and I’m sure the Angels sometimes use them to set me up too. I always like to bring things to a conclusion, and around, Bring It On, it’s basically impossible. The Universal Bring It On will be eternal. That, I would argue, has to be true. Me, being me, would add this makes sense of the illusion of having to learn lessons, and we cause our own pain to benefit from the experience. It goes against the concept of unconditional love. Bring It On fits the reality we all perceive, simply, and quite perfectly. Maybe it’s a case of allowing Bring It On to work its magic by accepting all that has been brought on. It works for me.
No matter what the dressing.
Letters is needed.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 11th February 2020
Regular readers, perhaps that should be those who peruse the blog as part of their weekly routine, today, we are talking digestion. Dragony digestion in fact, especially their penchant for Rolos. Of course any sane person would think I made the Rolo thing up, which I didn’t. When I first began talking to dragons, (other pan dimensional spiritual beings are available, as a particular label doesn’t apply) I found a tube of Rolo in my meditating pocket. I was also on the end of a very inquisitive dragon’s snout. I eventually got the message, and, one by one, the Rolos got eaten, all of them, except the last one. This was placed on a pile in the centre of the dragon paddock, which is when I realised I was surrounded, and vastly outnumbered.
Over the years the ‘vision’ hasn’t left me, although my concepts and beliefs, have totally changed. Each time I re-run the video I learn something new, or see a subtle nuance which validates something I’m pondering on. I know it’s all highly symbolic, everything is one, a light beam from the candle of Universal love. Other people have the same experiences with Angels, or their ginormous, but, very friendly, white wolf. What matters is the experience itself, the message, not the messenger. Writing it down might make the whole episode seem fantastic, and magical. It was, however, not long after the wonderful moment my hard work began.
Looking back it was all worth it, except I shouldn’t really say that. Nothing changed inside, only the way I looked at me from outside. It’s impossible to attach a value to nothing, which also means it is absolutely priceless. I remember when I would snort with derision at a similar statement, whoever made it. Now I seem to have this inner dragony smile of contentment whenever it occurs. It’s a strange feeling, nodding in agreement with the Universal mind, but anyone can get used to it after a few times.
I very rarely eat Rolos now. Not through some strange idea of disrespecting the dragons, or sacrificing a part of myself in a show of penance. I see the Rolos, and don’t need to eat them. Just as the archer knows, the arrow will hit the target without letting it loose. I will have one if one is offered, but every time that happens there’s a large scaly thingy in the way. I suppose Rolos are an expression of Zen to me personally. Everywhere, and under our noses, but not recognised for what they really are, because we miss seeing it in one small part, everything else escapes us too.
The pile in the paddock keeps growing. The last Rolos are all mine, but the crafty dragons know I’ll share. Which is how it should be, as they constantly share too. When all are one, sharing is the only, possible, way. I used to think there would be a Rolo party when I go home. It’s just another symbol of the eternal cycles of creation and destruction. The dragons obliterate the Rolos, and I make a nuisance of myself. All is, has been, and will be, well.
Like the Duracell bunny.
Just keeps on giving.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 4th February 2020
Well, that’s weird, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything. The blog started with a protest from me, ‘That’s a bit heavy!’ With the dragony editor’s response being, ‘I’ll show you what’s heavy.’ Followed by a playful sitting on. Apparently, I’m losing weight which makes squishing a bit uncomfortable because of the bones. Seeing how the blog turned out it made sense to enable my inner burger, or overripe strawberry. While, like the best of grapes, I gave out a little whine under pressure. We will now go forwards, not backwards.
There’s a lot meat is capable of, (vegetarians can substitute butternut squash as they read along). It can be roasted, fried, put in a pie, stewed, etc. The one thing you can’t do with meat, is educate it, while it can be cured. Humans can be both educated and cured. The problem there is our education can, sometimes, make us believe we are sick. I’m not talking about sneezing, then spending the rest of the day Googling for symptoms. This is focussed on those who have done the work required in sorting their selves out. Buddhism isn’t the only way of doing that. After resolving the traumas of childhood or failed relationships, illusory inadequacies, even undergoing cosmetic surgery can all result in our feeling better about ourselves. You will, however, inevitably, remember those times when you didn’t. They are just memories, not a signal from the Universe that more needs to be undertaken. Happy doesn’t require a fridge, or single use plastic packaging, it is eternal and self sustaining.
I’ve been through this particular mincer myself. Talking to someone who points out that I have unresolved issues, or festering trauma, based on what was being discussed. It’s happened many times. I have memories, otherwise it would be a very one sided conversation. I admit it was always painful, beating myself up for no reason, however understanding it was pointless led to complete acceptance of myself. Buddha speaks of being our own physician, basically because no one else can sort our self out apart from us. This also begs the question, ‘When does therapy become mind control?’ Maybe I saw that line in the sand and decided not to cross it.
Each time I remember something less than pleasant, which includes things I’ve done to others, it takes a while to get back onto the Mahayana bus. Obviously, other great vehicles are available including boats if that’s what floats yours. Perfection is an ongoing process, which involves thoughts, and that’s all a memory is. Unlike meat, or cabbages, we are sentient beings. Before anyone writes in you can cure cabbage, where do you think Kim Chi comes from? If any bright spark just muttered Korea, I know where you live.
Maybe the words of the Dalai lama are the basis of what I’m trying to say. ‘If you can’t help someone, at least don’t hurt them.’ We are all responsible for our own education, but, it’s so easy to get bamboozled by usually well meaning people who we assume know what’s best for us. I do try to follow the concept in my readings, some get it, some don’t, quite a lot of callers are, actually, fine, just needing a quick heads up around something. It’s refreshing to know I’m not the only person who feels this way, because I still have those moments when I think I am.
A healing haiku.
Would make everybody smile.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 28th January 2020
I’m heading towards an obvious conclusion. Life is only weird until everything makes sense. If I used the word everythoneing, or perhaps, onneveerythig that might help. People, quite rightly, object to being labelled as objects but they’re part of the everything I’m talking about. For the past few weeks I’ve had trouble sleeping. Which isn’t the reason for the gobbledegook. It is now pointless if I try going to bed before 1 a.m. ish. Which explains why my friend in Spain has changed her working hours, so we can only talk later in the evening. They’re an hour in front time wise, so that later quickly mounts up. It’s no longer a problem. It’s so much of no longer a problem that I can see why my rota hours for work have been extended up to 11pm. So, over the space of a fortnight, my what the (blank) is going on? Has become ‘Well, that makes sense.’
I am amazed by the perfection of the solution. I’m even more amazed that I don’t have to do anything to make it happen, apart from the little cog, in the big machine thing, that was easy. OK, I admit, like most people I took a little persuading that it wasn’t a crazy idea, and what’s the point? Yada yada, yada. Now I’m almost smug about it. The almost is important, because, as I’ve already said, I didn’t really do anything.
I could start banging on about the highest good of all (of which this is a brilliant example). Expound on the miraculous chain of events as being undeniable proof of a Universal consciousness (I got that a long time ago). Scream about manifesting and Universal ordering (which would be pushing the point, as, at the time, I don’t have a clue what was wanted, or needed). If it’s OK with you, I’ll just go with the flow. Which, apparently, is all of the above, with sprinkles, and I can now see has a sense of humour.
We all assume that when a problem arises we have to find the answer. It’s one of the principles of taking responsibility. Which is fine, except it wouldn’t have worked in this case. It might have led to ongoing negotiations, angst on several sides, and a bodged up compromise no one was really happy with. It’s come as a slight shock to realise it’s possible to take responsibility before knowing what the responsibility really is, or, have a clue about the outcome. According to the dragons it’s simply a case of being in the now, and, since that’s where we all should always be, why am I mentioning it in the first place?
The punch in the base chakra is the icing on the cake for me. I can say what happened, why, who, and when, but I can’t say how I did it, besides, I had help from others not doing anything to help, which helped immensely. It couldn’t have been learned, or taught, appeared without being looked for, and is perfection. That sounds a lot like Zen to me.
The circle of life.
May seem pear shaped, sometimes.
Because it’s a square.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 21st January 2020
Regrets, according to dragons, don’t actually exist. They are simply an illusion created by our own thoughts. My response was ‘A bit like you lot then?’ Dragons, however, don’t quite understand sarcasm, yet. I am working on this, the closest I’ve managed so far being jokes that aren’t really funny. So, I am always asked ‘Why tell them?’ Which brings me neatly back to the topic of regrets, which I never experience when I’m having a dig at the dragons. I might, if they ever get their scaly heads around sarcasm as they have very long memories.
I can see where they’re coming from. A regret is pointless unless it’s used as a reminder to correct a past action. If it can be sorted, sort it, if it can’t, the only option is to move on. Of course, a sensible dragon would have thought through the action before it was taken, avoiding any chance of regret afterwards. Regular readers might have begun to notice that dragons keep it very simple. Their wisdom might emanate from a powerful spiritual centre, but it always seems to fit into the space between someone’s ears. I can only speak from personal experience though.
Losing the ability to regret is impossible, our brains aren’t wired up to separate thoughts from feelings. We always remember both at the same time. Except that isn’t quite what happens. We recall an event was painful and could, or should, have been handled differently, however the actual hurt can’t be felt again. There is a gap in our thinking, which seems to be plugged with a regret, because, as we all know, they hurt. Regrets are, according to that logic, just another way of beating our self up. Avoiding regret is simple too, think before acting. Simple, but with simply astounding implications for how we live our life.
Which got me thinking, I know, I’m dangerous when I think. Dragons have a weird thought process compared to our own. They have lost, or never had, the power of imagination. That sounds a bit sad, but they don’t need one. Everything imaginable, unimaginable, and just shouldn’t be imagined at all, ever, but guess what somebody did, is within their access. The lack of the skill doesn’t stop them appreciating art of any form. They love stories, paintings are seen as an expression of the skill required. Perhaps they do have an imagination after all, using it only when required, or simply for fun.
Maybe we should try that approach with our own thoughts. If only it were that easy! People around us seem to have an inbuilt inability to accept any changes. In other words they imagine the worst, and do everything possible to stop it happening. Of course no one reading this would ever imagine doing that. Except I read as I write, and, as a wannabe dragon I have to be totally honest, or I will regret it. Let’s say I did, once or twice, hypothetically, for artistic and imaginative reasons, as a really neat way to conclude.
(A note from Alan’s dragony editor. That folks, is an admission if I ever saw one.)
A winter gale.
Wafted the haiku away.
Sorry about that.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 14th January 2020
It’s 2020 already! How did that happen, and shouldn’t there have been some sort of advance warning? We are in a new decade, which, to a dragon, is a decent scratch. A tummy rub should be forever, or until the demise of the rubber, (whichever happens first). Tummy rubbed dragons often dream, usually about tummy rubs. We lead slightly more complicated lives, so our dreams are often more intricate and involved. We also tend to let real life, and others, intrude into our dreams, often with soul shattering effects.
Buddha spoke of awakening from the dream of life, then becoming aware of the Universal reality. He still dreamed of everyone else on the planet understanding what he had found, but, in a way, he achieved his dream. His awakening began with a choice to make his dream a reality, except now, it was less of a dream and more of a lifestyle choice. So he did the Buddhist thing, and sat under a tree, thinking, for a few months. Slowly the choice evolved into a project, this, obviously, needed a plan. Now things were going well, it was obvious that the first step was to go back to where it all began to go pear shaped. He journeyed back to the place he had left the disciples who had abandoned him because of his radical views on how to achieve salvation. When he spoke, for some strange reason, none of the ancient texts explain, they listened. As they heard the Buddha their own dreams changed, as did their lifestyle choice.
No one reading this has to sit, in the mud, under a tree, for all to be well. It is a simple option of deciding things are wrong, understanding when and how they went wrong, then letting it fix itself by not repeating the same actions. You could say dreams are a form of temporary insanity, but, as Einstein pointed out, ‘Madness is repeating the same experiment and expecting a different result.’
Simples isn’t it? Well, yes, it is, theoretically. The problems are the people we are, for whatever reason, involved with. Buddha’s answer to that one was to live a hermit’s life, which, let’s face it is a bit extreme. Quite a lot of us are too afraid to say what we feel when others impinge on our life in a way we don’t like. I, personally, can’t think of anything more extreme than accepting the unacceptable. That really is crazy. Unfortunately, too many people, through no fault of their own, find their self in that position. I know, I talk to them. Their awakening often begins with their realising they aren’t to blame, although they’ve been convinced otherwise. Many choose to slumber on, which is a shame.
So here’s the deal. Scrap any New Year’s resolutions you’ve already made and make a single one to carry you through the decade. ‘I will achieve my dream.’ That’s your dream, not mine. I had my dream, lifestyle choice, project planning and organising, a long time ago. Now I am just waiting for the opportunity. Within this decade would be nice. While I find embracing Buddha’s philosophy a doddle, although it took a lot of groundwork, the patience thing he had is a bit of a bind for me.
To dream in Haiku.
Would be very difficult.
Instead, use English.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 7th January 2020
It seems weird doing the last blog before Christmas on the 10th of December, perhaps a bit hypocritical too. I’m always the first to write in ASDA’s complaints book about hot cross buns being stacked next to the Yule logs, which has already happened! It’s just how things have worked out with writing a week before it appears on TheCircle site. (I’m giving them a plug as a pressie). OK I know I could have done one for Christmas Eve, but gimme a break, that’s only two days after the winter solstice. Which falls on the 22nd this year. So now you know.
A few readings ago I picked up someone had placed a dragon on top of their tree. It was, admittedly, a cuddly toy, but I admired their thinking. Dragons, being helpful creatures, willingly sit on top of anything that’s got Rolos within five feet of it. This could come in handy if you have over boisterous pets who insist on playing lumberjacks every time you leave the room. There is a downside... Dragons are natural goodwill generators. They have a unique ability to stop arguments. Just because someone believes they are imaginary twaddle doesn’t stop the icy glare reaching straight through their head from back to front. This often causes a sneezing fit, but it also shuts them up.
Regular readers know I steer clear of mentioning politics, which is why it seems reasonable to make this last blog of 2019 all about politics, well sort of. Many turkey dinners have had conversations focussed on the previous referendum. Perhaps even more this year will be around the results of the recent election. Why not ban political discussions until the 27th ? Stick a post-it note under the mistletoe, if necessary. Shoo people out of the door if they refuse to listen. It’s your house, so your rules apply. As long as you make it plain to everyone, before they show up, they have no grounds to complain.
I know, I can hear the mutterings of ‘If only it were that simple,’ grumbling like distant thunder. According to Buddha it is that simple though. Which gives everyone a neat escape tunnel because Christmas is a Christian festival, the clue is in the name. Forgiveness is best practiced quietly, and, if you disagree with someone, understanding their point of view can be done just as silently. Understanding is the first step to forgiveness after all. Obviously, a Christmas without politics is the Christian thing to do, so, if everyone wants a proper family gathering, politics is off the table. In the words of Jean Luc Picard... ‘Make it so.’
I am enough of a realist to know it’s actually impossible to have a totally, politically free, Christmas dinner. A Christmas dinner \ lunch \ whatever, isn’t the same without crackers. Christmas crackers all contain jokes, which are all old, irrelevant, and usually not funny unless you’re an eight or eighty year old. You, of course, would never think that applied to whoever you recently voted for, but the person asking you to pass the parsnips might.
Whatever you do, and whether you celebrate the day or not, have a great time. Remember what the Dalai Lama said. ‘If you can’t help someone, at least don’t hurt them.’
The Christmas Haiku.
Don’t forget Santa’s cookies.
To keep his strength up.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 18th December 2019
Strangely, the idea for this blog came in a reading over chat yesterday evening. Thanks Harpal, the cheque is in the post. I wandered off and looked at something else, when the little voice in my head, said ‘You’re just a candle in the wind.’ Which is fine, listening to disembodied beings is what I do for a living. Try not to think about that too much. Anyway, seeing as we are now in Advent it makes sense to talk about candles, which, as far as the dragons are concerned, is as Christmassy as it will get. Today’s blog is a rare dragon \ Angel collaboration. I will type quickly, before they get to arguing.
Actually, I’m more of a candle in other people’s hurricanes. No matter how hard it blows I stay alight for them. Everyone else, which probably includes you, dearest reader, think the prevailing winds are just about to snuff out what little light they have left to give. Which is actually impossible, and, if something is impossible why worry about it? A candle out of the wind is still in the shop, lifeless and inert. Without air, you would burn your fingers to a crisp attempting to light any candle. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!! A candle is just an expression of the Universal light which surrounds us all, there is, has been, and will be, only one light. Whatever you’re going through, you will get through. It’s a natural course of events that your light will also attract the help you need. Just be aware that moths might be a nuisance. The trick there is to shine a little brighter and singe their wings.
There will be a short pause while I break up a teeny tiny squabble. The dragon wasn’t implying Angels are moths, it was referring to people who intrude improperly, while offering false hope and inadequate help.
Where was I? Oh yes, Buddha. Some have taken his teachings as a reason to isolate their light away behind a wind shield, commonly known as a lamp. Which is fine, if they want to be a lamp. I think they’ve missed an important point. We are all one. While it is perfectly possible to follow a lamp, and its light can guide the way out of the darkness, what happens if you are in a boat and the lamp is sat happily on the reef? It may all seem fine, to a lamp, sheltering behind their cosy windows. Risking the wind is what candles do best, and, I think, is what Buddha actually meant with his way of encouraging us all to be in the world, mindful, and present.
How the, ummmm, heck, did we get on to fairy lights? They spend most of the year tangled, and ignored, in a box. To be hauled out and shouted at for being tangled by the very person who tangled them in the first place. After this they are grumbled at for hours until they seem just right. Then they, willingly, give their light out knowing full well after a few weeks it’s back in the tangly box for them. What a life. Except fairy lights are not fairy lamps, and understand all really are just one. It’s why and where consideration of others begins. They are called the winds of change for a good reason. You might want to think about that for a while, just don’t let the sprouts boil dry if you do.
Candles in the wind.
Dancing, as bright butterflies.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th December 2019
Sinking in quicksand tends to focus the mind, and, quite often, leads to a radical change in priorities. For instance, few people would object to being dragged out of a bog with a plastic rope. The same thing applies when you need a tourniquet, you wouldn’t question if the bandage came from an ethical, sustainable source. In both cases I agree, the rope and bandage should not have injured the environment while saving a life. No single person is more important than the planet. Sometimes it seems they might be, I suppose it depends on the circumstances.
We should all do our bit. Unless that bit involves drowning or bleeding to death. If you are brave enough to disagree with that I applaud your principled stand, but I reserve the right to question your sanity, and perhaps, honesty. Maintaining the moral high ground is a lot easier when it’s miles away from the swamp. Swamp, of course, is just another way of saying real life. People don’t need to be in a precarious situation where they are obviously in danger to need our help. Everyone carries their own personal quicksand patch around with them, ready to jump into it at any moment. As the only one around who could reach out to them, how are you going to approach the situation?
Most of us would probably let our own experiences dictate our actions, which is a lot like discussing which type of rope would they prefer to be pulled out with. It’s easy to forget our quicksand isn’t theirs. This also usually has the effect of just moving them from one mud hole into another. The other thing to bear in mind is tourniquets shouldn’t be tightened around a person’s neck. When taken to the extremes this helping thing gets a lot more complicated than it appeared at first. Buddha used the example of rushing in to help someone drowning, then remembering you can’t actually swim yourself. Wanting to help others is, and should be, a normal human reaction. Which is where the problem lies, rather than a reaction it should be a considered action.
I have given this conundrum a lot of thought over the years, I’m in a helping job after all. My conclusion is I can only do what I can do on a human level, which is often enough. There is always a plan B, when the guidance does something absolutely weird to get the message across. I don’t see those events as a failure on my part, or anything to boast about. I knew where the rope was and handed it over to be thrown. On a percentage basis I suppose it would be a 50 – 50 split which way a reading might go. There is a downside, which, in its own way proves the rule. Occasionally, I have nothing to say which is exactly what I do by ending the reading in as positive a way as possible. I don’t question why that’s the case. I also don’t assume the person needs to sort their self out, that’s up to them, not me. Again it depends on the circumstances, some relationships are like quicksand, and, pointing out that I can’t feel any emotional connection from the other person might be the right rope to throw.
We always panic.
When there’s an emergency.
Unless we’re a nurse.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd December 2019
I’ve done the calculations and there’s just four blogging days left before Christmas. Please note that reads blogging days, not shopping days. There’s no need to panic. Going from previous practice this should be the Easter blog, it won’t be. Anyone who thinks I’m going to let Edgar loose, anywhere near chocolate eggs, is sadly mistaken.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the advert yet, and my non U.K. readers can find it on the web, but it’s absolutely brilliant. It is also timeless. A dragon really is forever. We are all Edgars, or, at least, have been at some time in the past. We’ve all done something unintentionally we regret. It just happened. When Edgar gets excited he erupts, things either melt, or get incinerated. Of course Edgar is then the subject of the villager’s collective miffdom which makes him retreat into his little place of safety.
The thing is Edgar is a dragon, causing mayhem is his dragony nature. Humans aren’t supposed to do this, however we always do. Not from genuine, innocent, excitement but by acting or reacting without thinking. This excitement though, is a problem. It’s natural and desirable to express joy. In fact it’s one of the subjects Buddha doesn’t seem to address in any of his teachings. I get the constant peace of mind way of thinking is a great help and benefit but, guaranteed, every so often something good is going to happen and the Zen mind falls under a bus. Weirdly, it also happens during readings or meditation. There is an energetic shift and I can’t stop giggling, or crying, but the tears are of pure joy. Whenever Buddha hasn’t given me the answer I’ve turned to the dragons. In this case Edgar came up with it. ‘If you’re happy, and you know it, clap your hands.’
There are not many places where an adult would feel comfortable spontaneously clapping. Which is the whole point. The joy remains, but further actions taken are now under conscious control. You might not be applauding yourself but you’re not going to do anything daft either. It’s a shame but no one else will be cheering what you haven’t done. Whether they should, or not, is a philosophical question so far above my pay grade it has its own resident Yeti.
The most difficult thing we have to do in life is get over the mistakes we’ve made in the past. No matter what the intention was at the time, the actions can’t be undone. Of course there are ways to lessen the impact, like apologising. Sometimes that means saying sorry for being happy though. If the whole idea behind the Universe is to be joyful then the paradox becomes painfully obvious. Which is probably why Buddha avoided the issue. Perhaps his core message of ‘Be yourself’ carries deeper meanings. If, and when, we understand why we took a particular course of action it becomes easier to forgive our self and just move forward.
Edgar the dragon.
Was slightly accident prone.
All’s well, that ends well.
P.S. Other Supermarket’s Christmas adverts are available.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 26th November 2019
There will be a slight departure from the usual direction of the blog. We aren’t going that way, but this way instead. While this is being written in Wales, the home of archery, there won’t be any arrows. Dai Hood was an outlaw, Robin, was his alias, and Sherwood forest was a lot closer to Maid Marian, than Machynlleth. Which is a real place, I didn’t sneeze.
I found the picture on my Facebook news feed this morning, and, immediately knew it was going to be a feature. O.K. I thought, ‘Ooooh my dragony blog editor sent me a selfie.’ Just for the record it was shared, it isn’t nicked, only being offered a little more widely now. I will be using it as the advert for next week’s blog, which many of you, until now, don’t get to see. This of course, neatly opens up the sharing can of worms dragons are so fond of banging on about. Where did it begin and does it have an end?
I don’t know, and Albert Einstein wasn’t sure if the Universe is infinite or not. I am pretty sure that whenever and however it came into being sharing happened and continues to this day. Everything we are, the planets and stars, were, originally, something else in the cosmic charity shop. When you look at it like that, and dragons do, sharing, in whatever form you choose, paying forward, forgiving, (think about it), gifting, allowing, tolerating, become a no brainer. It’s a lot easier for dragons though, they only have the same word for each concept. ( Alan’s dragony editor... We now understand the idea of tolerance as being a separate notion, which is why he hasn’t been squished.)
The more I think about it, I wonder if the dragons ever use the word sharing between them? If it needs a word it requires a thought, which perhaps shouldn’t be the process. If you know you can help, you should. Buddha summed this up a lot more neatly than dragons ever could. In his teachings it’s compared to rescuing a drowning person. If you can’t swim, keep out of the water, otherwise the result could be two very soggy corpses. You can only help someone if you have the appropriate resources to do so.
Dragons, and the Buddhas, stress personal responsibility above all things. I agree with that, obviously, but I go a step further. Sharing with another entails taking from someone, or something else. While that’s usually myself it needn’t be. Which is the origin of the problem. I think, therefore, I am going to think about... before I...
It’s difficult to the point of impossible to be right every time. Getting in our own way is intrinsic to the sharing process. We all believe we are the monkey with the last banana in creation in our possession. Which is when you can ask yourself whether or not you are hungry? One thing is for sure, you can’t take that banana with you when you go. It will either become compost, or an interesting aroma around the crematorium. One way, or another, it will be shared along.
I share my haikus.
Make of them what you choose to.
Add straw for manure.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 20th November 2019
For the past few days the four noble truths of the Buddhas have been on my mind. Yes, there’s been more than one, but they are all of a like mind. In fact, if you can get your head around that the other four truths, instantly, become irrelevant. The problem is you are going to have to explain your reasons to yourself. My saying it to you is cheating. Basically the four truths are a prescription in regards to the cure for suffering. Buddha does the doctor thing! Unfortunately, like most medics, his handwriting is terrible. The only option left being to follow the course of treatment, unquestioningly, although meditation on a full stomach isn’t recommended. Zen practice is more of a physician heal yourself, as in you sort you out because no one else can.
Dragony thinking is to take each thought to its logical, utter, finality. Dragons think a lot. My best explanation for humans who wish to simulate this is to try finding the way around the Universal laws. There aren’t any, but the avenues which open up, although not short cuts to Nirvana, lead to a greater understanding of the Buddhist nature of reality. The way to tame the monkey mind is to let it carry on being a monkey. It will find the right banana eventually. Whether or not it is then satisfied is why the Buddhas came up with the four noble truths in the first place. For the record I am a happy monkey. Weirdly, trying to convince myself I am not, by going against all I hold to be true, just makes me more happy in the Buddhist sense.
Apart from the biggies.
These are two of them:- the first being a desire to be free of desire is still a desire which, as we all know, is the cause of suffering. There is no such thing as a good desire, but, as I’ve already mentioned, Buddha has a legibility problem and didn’t use English as his preferred language. We can all have a wish list, which is why there are fairies out there. Fairies will never grant grasping hopes, and needs aren’t desires. Zen thinking doesn’t have fairies, but the Kami are everywhere. Dragons don’t DO wishes, AT All, especially the one I, sometimes, have of them being squished into a bottle.
The other one is there should be no difference in how we live on Earth, to our behaviour in our continued existence, wherever that is. Heaven here and now is how it should be, and could be. My problem is the first breath I take in the after-life... Yes folks, I’m still pondering on it. The conclusion, so far, is that I should use the whales’ entrance. That’s a dragony conclusion, in case you were wondering. It makes sense too. Once I’ve struggled up from the depths of the sea of souls to the surface, I won’t be thinking about how do I breathe and just be grateful that I can. Which is, precisely, when the Alan brain kicked in. Bottles sink, so there is bound to be one at the bottom of the sea by the whales’ entrance. I can just sit there, and wait, turning purple, until the dragons cooperate. There must be a Universal law about a first time for everything.
The tide turning Moon.
Pours silver snow on the earth.
The Sun chooses gold.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 12th November 2019
‘Be careful about going overboard with your sarcasm. Some people take your comments seriously. Not everyone understands your humour. This could make communication unclear at times.’ Thus spoke the astrologer in my horoscope for today. So, just for today, I will make sure I explain all of the funny stuff in words so simple, even a dragon could understand them. That would however mean drawing diagrams, with graphs and pie charts. On balance it would probably be easier to remain completely serious, this would, basically, be impossible for me.
According to Google, as an Aquarian, (in case no one had worked that one out already) my ruling planet is Saturn, but that was before the discovery of Uranus which has, apparently, usurped my ancient despot. I wish it had been the other way about, and Saturn had run rings around Uranus. Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be. I appreciate the Divine sense of humour, but it seems to be more of an, in your face thing, rather than double entendres. Dragons are the same.
Strangely, Uranus is known as the awakener, which is an awesome similarity to how the dragons see me as the annoying nuisance who always gets in the way of a good doze off. The only problem there is I don’t really ‘do’ astrology. It’s a bit difficult for me to get my head around the planetary influences, other than the gravitational one, and Uranus is a bit too distant to have that affect. In my humble opinion of course. I’m neutral about it all, I suppose I have to be given the number of dedicated, mystically wonderful astrologers on TheCircle lines.
Just don’t get me started on the lunar and solar influences, as we could be here forever, well at least for the five billion years it’s going to take the sun to become a red giant. I don’t view them from a mystical aspect though, more of an evolutionary one. Of course that means being happy we are all, originally, primeval pond scum and have retained the effects of the tides within our bodies. Lunar energies become a no brainer from that viewpoint. A natural that’s the way it is, because that’s how it was. I accept, completely, not everyone shares the concept of evolution.
In my wanderings and the ups and downs of my learning curves, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of the application of scientific principles to spirituality and esoteric practices. Einstein wasn’t an atheist, he just didn’t believe in religion. Buddhism, in its experimental approach, is totally scientific as a philosophy, however because the data collected is of a personal, anecdotal type, the Nobel prize always goes to something more recordable and repeatable. The way I look at it is the main influence we should allow the planets to manifest in us is to, peacefully, go on our way through the space-time continuum. Interacting with those who resonate and leaving those who don’t, quietly alone. One benefit to my way of thinking is whenever Mercury goes retrograde, I don’t feel I have to follow. October 31st to November 20th will just be another normal, almost lunar, dragony, month (ish).
With the right compost.
I could grow a haiku tree.
Blogging made easy.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 5th November 2019
I have learned three important lessons this morning. This isn’t bad going, as I’ve only been awake since 7am (It’s not quite 10.30 right now). 1: Never, ever, dream of letting the dragons loose for a Halloween blog because they will wreak kindly havoc, while getting them back in the paddock will never happen. 2: Trust my dragony guidance, as the best time to write a release the dragons special Halloween blog, is, obviously, today, the morning of the dark moon. I knew that last Tuesday though. 3: Typing from inside a locked cupboard can be problematic. If the dragons ask, you haven’t seen me OK.
I actually thought I would struggle finding a direction to take the blog in, when all I will be doing is recording the facts. So, what happened? There I sat, having a coffee and starting to panic, when, at 08.09 Pat’s purse piccie arrived. The blog appeared, as my audience appreciates I often alliterate, while I had my ghostly goings on to give out.
My reply to her email was, ‘It looks like something made to go inside a first dynasty Pharaoh’s sarcophagus, or the grim reaper has started trading at car boot sales.’ I then went on to say, ‘Perhaps you should bury it in the Vatican, just in case it’s as evil as it looks. This could work in your favour, as no one will want to take your haunted money.’ Pat, I should explain, is a long standing friend, and we have similar ideas on a lot of things. The purse came as a gift from her father and Pat was more shocked at the price, which is around £125. The tag is in Thai Baht.
There, as promised, is the Halloween special blog. Of course I didn’t have a clue how it would work out, and I didn’t think it would be as spectacular as this. People think that being a Reader I know what’s going to happen. This may come as a shock... I don’t. Well, to be exact, not for myself. I’m supposed to listen to the guidance and remain present. I should have had my suspicions raised last week when Wendy mentioned she would be on holiday so the blog could be delayed. I can honestly say that’s when I knew something was being planned.
I am still trying to work out if I have been tricked, or treated. I have definitely been dragoned! Oh poo! They’ve found me cupboard. A Halloween story has to have a ghost in it, or some form of spiritual energy. How often do dragons get in on the spectres, skeletons and spooks action? Only when they are released and barge in. I reckon it’s going to take me until Next Saturday to coax the scaly darlings back into the pen. They’re going to be around until then. Where all is one then they are around you all, just as much as the one blogging. Luckily for us all they’re in a playful mood. Maybe, just maybe, when the children come a knocking on Thursday there could be a dragony grin for everyone handing out fun size packs of Rolos. Especially for those who, like me, need a little dragon magic in their life.
Have a great Halloween and an illuminated Diwali for those who celebrate it.
Dragons, and Pumpkins.
Is an interesting mix.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 29th October 2019
I’ve decided. I prefer bloggy mornings when my misty mind hazily shadows the glimmer of a subject, over the glaring, Sahara sunrise ones. Those are when I know exactly what I’ll be banging on about, before switching the computer on. The trouble is it means turning a lump of lead into a peacock feather, gently wafting around the reader’s head, but retaining the ability to knock them flat or, at least, cause them to think. So what sort of morning is it? Oh look, a camel.
One of my most off the wall ideas, according to the observations from others, is I don’t think God, (however you envision that concept) is, actually, infinite. For example, I know for a statistically backed up fact, there is enough of everything on the planet, to give everyone on the planet, more than enough to live happily, and sustainably, on the planet. Mankind has a single problem, which can be expressed in the single word, distribution. Sharing is a spiritual scheme designed to enable this to happen. I don’t think it’s working, but, if God were truly infinite in their giving, sharing wouldn’t be required. It would be a human construct to enable someone to strut their stuff a little more piously. This may, occasionally happen, although the basic instinct of unconditional sharing still remains within us all. I believe that’s because ‘God,’ knowing their limitations, planned it that way.
Another thing to consider is Karma, which I understand as the balancing mechanism of the Universe. They would be redundant and good luck to whoever gets the job of handing the envelope to them. I have seen Karma at work, both for myself and others. It was probably the start of wandering this path of the non-infinite, totally unconditional, Universal consciousness. I do accept that my thinking is, obviously, flawed, since I am limited by my own humanity. That only applies when I am not meditating and often sit, silently, aware only of the Divine mind. This, as I have just explained, is a lot less than most people imagine, and so doesn’t give me any bragging rights. Not that I would use them.
No one would disagree that poverty causes suffering, Buddha had a light bulb moment, realising the worst form is poverty of thought. There are many causes of this, instruction while we are young, peer pressure, society’s demands for example. I’m sure Buddha, for a while, realised God was vastly overrated, which is why he chose to turn from his aesthetic quest to find them. Except they wouldn’t go completely away. One night they sat together under a tree.
The other thing about sharing is the weird attitude a lot of people have when anybody dares to share what their God told them. Throughout history that one has never ended well. Which is my own validation of the loving, but crafty, Divine being I honour. Buddha did the same and took responsibility for his teachings. I listen, but only to my inner voice. I know how deceptive that can be from some of my readings. People think they are just making it all up. Until one of the Angels blabs, and I share the words back again. I stopped worrying I was making it all up a long time ago, funnily enough, that was while I was sat under a tree.
To sit in silence.
While waves crash against the rocks.
P.S. Next week’s blog will be a ‘Release the dragons’ Halloween Special. I’ll be hiding under a nice, safe rock to keep my excitement in control.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 22nd October 2019
So I had this wonderful idea! Being completely bereft of blogging topics at the moment I typed ‘On this day,’ into Google. Did you know that October 8th 876 saw Louis, the Young, defeat Charles, the Bald, in battle at Andernach? I could cheat and see what happened on October 15th (which is when this would be read) but, for some, probably dragony reason I won’t. Although it would give me bit more blog filling waffle. It’s a case of onwards and upwards, rather than Charles’ hair which was more outwards and combwards.
I suppose I made a promise, a while ago, when I started writing these. There are very occasional moments when I regret it, every other Tuesday is occasionally! I’m over it once it’s done and emailed. I’ve benefited from the promise, simply from the discipline of writing. Promises aren’t made for others, they are made for ourselves as an ‘In our highest good,’ credit. Which is why they should be taken seriously once one is made. (I feel like I’m back at school writing lines at the moment.) I’m as guilty as anyone of chucking out, ‘I promise,’ way too often and with way too little commitment. On a deeply spiritual level a promise, given with honest intent, is actually a prediction. A statement of what the Universe wishes. In a way a promise is stating, ‘My God says this will be.’ The most powerful symbolism I can think of is the rainbow in regards to the Biblical flood.
Dragons don’t make promises, but they remain true to their words. Which, when you think about it, isn’t the same as making a promise. Being honest doesn’t have the same cachet as swearing to do something. Until, as often happens, the promise is broken. Honesty is unbreakable, if crockery was made of it everyone would be eating and drinking from priceless antiques. Washing up would be done weekly, in the garden, with the hosepipe. Children would volunteer for the task. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, what’s worse is it seems easier for us all to make promises rather than being honest. A broken promise is a lie, pure and simple. Yes that’s harsh, but it’s honestly harsh. I, like everyone else, have broken promises because I had no other choice. I don’t judge myself for it, so I am not judging you. I just had one regret too many and it helped me to not repeat the suffering.
Buddhism makes only one promise to its followers, practice pays off in the end. One of the basic teachings is on the use of correct speech. Except sneaky Buddha, who I am sure is a dragon in fancy dress, never mentioned the implications of changing thought patterns, and the effect on our personal behaviour to others. It happens every time I write the blog and I try to integrate the lesson into my life. Maybe, while you read them, you experience something similar. I can’t promise you will find spiritual enlightenment within them. I don’t think that is their purpose, it would also go against the principle of Zen. We all need our principles, they’re the promises to our self in regards to how we live. Choose them wisely, as a Zen master would say, or, do what we all do and find them by accident. Which, dragonly speaking, is what Zen is all about.
A haiku each week?
He won’t do it! They roared.
Guess who won the bet...
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 15th October 2019
Apparently it’s never been easier to switch energy suppliers. I’ve just done it myself, and it was completely painless, apart from getting slightly soggy taking the meter reading. While I was sending it off via the online form, I started thinking, which, for me, is far from painless, and, quite often, downright dangerous.
I’ve changed my spiritual energy supplier quite a few times. In fact, over time, I have completely transformed how that energy is produced, then transmitted to me. Weirdly, it correlates closely with the changeover to sustainable ‘green’ energy that’s happening to electricity. Without using too much science green energy uses a low power source, like a breeze, but there’s a lot of it around. While traditional power stations use a high power source, like a lump of coal which makes a lot of mess. There’s a lot of everything around me, and, since I understand that as a complete, Universal, whole I can just tap in when needed. Uswitch dot cosmos will no longer be getting any of my clicks.
One of the major reasons for the sustainability of the new energy supplier is I use a lot less of it. I was taught to ground myself, protect myself, call in this and summon that etc. Then, one day, the quiet voice whispered, ‘Alan, we really do need to have a little chat.’ That opened my eyes to the meaning of unconditional love. While it happened many years ago, I suppose I am still considering some of the minor implications, especially around the intuitive, and psychic, side of my life. I’m beginning to like the idea of being a dice, whatever way I land that’s the face I speak from, whether it’s straightforward mediumship, looking around a relationship issue, using the emotional connection, or helping someone make sense of their own spirituality. I should just go with the throw, as well as the flow. In the end it’s all the same energy.
The astute and observant ones will have noticed the use of ‘I should.’ Putting the theory into practice is the problem we all have to bear in mind, all the time. In my ever so humble opinion, of course. I only know I am right for me, no one else. My own answers will never be their questions. I also accept my own human failings and conditioning. I am dealing with the baggage, and, hopefully, will be travelling with just a toothbrush and towel in the afterlife. Yes, of course, I know neither is necessary, but, if you’re carrying them everyone knows you’re on a journey so the conversations are much more interesting. That, obviously, is according to the dragons, who, living in an infinite, unconditional land, are surrounded by a myriad of places to explore, accompanied by literally endless chats with anyone who travels there.
A word to the wise, just take a toothbrush, no toothpaste. A dollop of it, and a quick rub with a towel, really brings out the gleam in a dragon’s scales. I can think of worse ways of whiling eternity away. I can think of a few better ones too. I really am spending too much time with the scaly thingies, I’m starting to see through their sneakies.
A smiling dragon.
Will always shine from within.
No dusters needed.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 8th October 2019
I could start with saying I have the Monday morning blues, except I might be pushing the point at half past two in the afternoon. I might even break my own rules and play on your sympathy. I’ve had a touch of something or other for the past few days, so the blog got postponed... I could, actually, be honest and admit I’m just rambling until I find the digression to follow which results in the blog. I have arrived there, but, it’s not a digression, simply a plea from the dragons to ‘Get on with it, effeffess.’ Effeffess is one of their pet names for me, at least I think it is. I do hear it quite often.
Getting on with anything is never easy, although it should be. The problem is we plan everything out before we start. I, personally, have been thinking about writing this for around eight hours. What I am currently composing bears no resemblance at all to my previous wonderings. (( A note from Alan’s dragony editor... That’s because it’s decomposing, and smells.))
We do like our plans though. Plans are fine until they involve others, as, obviously, they have plans too. I might be a tad way off with this theory, but I’ve noticed plans fall apart, fairly quickly, while agendas, which look a lot like a plan, tend to last much longer. Agendas often cause pain to others, which, strangely, is the point at which plans seem to get dropped, or severely altered.
Buddha didn’t like agendas. Especially the ones imposed by anyone else. He realised no one knows best, carefully including himself in that category too. Buddhism is probably the ultimate anarchy, as the self responsible for everything is the self reading and writing this. Buddha probably realised that the main reason behind our need to plan is the get out clause contained within them. If the plan fails it was because of someone’s action, or something unplanned for. We didn’t fail, we were sabotaged! It’s a nice, comfortable, way of thinking. I’m not criticising it either, I used to think along those lines myself. I chose not to, and I’m happy with the results. Being otherwise would lead to my self, blaming myself, and seeing as my self thinks myself is actually doing OK, while my self doesn’t have an agenda with myself everything seems as it should.
Buddha talked constantly of the self in singular terms. Another word which means almost the same is the eternal soul. A perhaps better way of looking at it is to use ego. The I who you really are. That self is free of others plans and agendas. If only it was as simple as just breaking free of past conditioning. It’s a good place to start, I freely admit. The issue is the one self, because that seems to be the conclusion Buddha reached. That one, isn’t one, without your one, it’s not a half of one, and is still very much one, with you, eternally, included. Once Buddha worked that out, and not wanting to influence other’s thoughts, he says nothing on how to realise, and understand, the simplicity of the unconditional reality. Now you know why he went quiet. If you are planning on severely slapping him in the after life there is a very long, but very orderly, queue. Half way from the end your planned blow will change into a hug.
A poorly haiku.
Wouldn’t take its medicine.
Chicken soup instead.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 1st October 2019
I could start by offering a list of excuses. It would be long, and, honestly, accurate. Or just jump straight in by stating writing the blog on the actual day of the equinox makes perfect sense to me. So that’s what I decided, with a little scaly help. The day marks the first day of autumn, which, obviously, makes yesterday the last day of summer. The problem is that the equinox is when the day and night are of equal length. Perhaps the day after it should mark the beginning of autumn, the day before being when summer fades away. The equinox would then stand on its own. Seeing as there are only two of them every year it wouldn’t cause too many problems with the almanacs.
Except the equinox, just like the solstice, falls on a variable date. Being human we do like our security blankets, which is why autumn always starts on September 23rd. I am spending too long in the company of dragons. It doesn’t work like that! There are Indian summers in October and Arctic winters in April. Who, or whatever, is in charge of the seasons uses an egg timer, not a Rolex. They also forget to turn it over every four minutes, or lose count of how many times they have.
As I have mentioned this is the first blog when something doesn’t need explaining, at length, with several, relevant, diagrams scratched into solid granite. I’m beginning to think like a dragon. Which wouldn’t be an issue if everyone else did. Of course they are all rolling around laughing at the fact the equinox signifies balance. I can live with that, almost, but way too many are humming the theme tune from ‘Happy Days.’
The phrase, ‘going with the flow,’ seems to have taken on a life of its own. Which, logically, is the only way the dragony Universe can, actually, function. Without wishing to be controversial, really I don’t, but this whole concept of pre-determined destiny doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Unless the Universe has a wonderfully warped sense of fun. I happen to think that’s the case. Every so often the autumn gales are switched to balmy sunshine. However it usually happens just as the clocks change, so it’s dusk before we can hit the beaches. Perhaps, just maybe, the Universe is gently pointing out the slight flaws in our thinking. Nothing is set in stone, apart from dragony diagrams.
There is another way of looking at this. In our own way we are, collectively, saying to the Universe ‘We know best.’ Good luck with that one. I tried it with the dragons and lasted around ten seconds. The thing to remember is the unconditional bit. Insisting the constructed calendar should reign supreme is like switching off gravity to stop your toast landing buttered side down to the floor. There would be implications, and not just here on Earth. My major, and, ongoing headache, is I understand the concept. My flow has changed, to a Flo (rence). It’s like having an eccentric auntie visiting. The good thing about it all is that the nights are drawing in, so I can quietly hide in the dark.
The Haiku follows.
And will appear shortly...
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 24th September 2019
One thing you need to remember is, in Heaven there is no sadness. It doesn’t matter which one you end up in, there is only blissful joy. Some of you will find that in screaming at your voice activated alarm, others through marvelling at the immensity of the Universe in the night sky. Which is a bit weird, as in Heaven there’s no time, at all, at all. I’ve noticed that most folks adapt, eventually, staying for as long as they like in the moment they find themselves in. So here’s a moment from me.
You must have noticed how when water moves, it’s noisy. Now I should get all poetical with the description, but you’ll understand why not when I tell you what me job is. I watch over the lake of tears, filled by mankind’s woes. I share your pain, which often lingers, for years. I listen, I counsel, and try to keep your hope alive. Well, someone has to. You see, in a way, that water, once salty and bitter, is part of what we all are or were. The problem is the salt. One touch of that and the green lawns of paradise would be browner than a pint of Murphy’s. And, as you know too well, this lake keeps getting filled. This is the clever bit, when the water within feels ready to move on I open the flood gates, and it rushes out giggling and burbling, almost singing on its way. A quick, fiery roar over a few potatoes, and the salt tops off a huge, steaming bowl of colcannon. Sorted!
Now, I can’t do a thing about what you do to others, that’s down to you. I can do a bit around what you choose to do to yourself. Like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter, even with what I do for me Rolo ration. Yes, I negotiated an inkling of a bonus around St. Patrick’s day. Anyway, here’s that moment I promised, and it’s a moment you all have every day. ‘Tis your cup of tea, or coffee, in the morning. It’s guaranteed that the first one will make you feel just a little better. Maybe for only the time it takes a twinkle to flash across your dozy eyes, but you had your moment. That’s because the drink moved. Now you could have another sip, and, at the same time you could remember what I’m telling you about the flowing river I, constantly, let loose. Just be careful with that one. I’m funny about exactly where I’m thought of. The last thing you want in your toilet is an Irish dragon.
Now, the clever ones, and that includes you of course, will have figured out I’ve just squished a possible new outlook on your life into a mug. It has to be a mug to save on the washing up, so you have that little bit of extra time for yourself. And that is the important part of the day, so don’t just have one, have as many cups of meditation pool as you want. After a while you won’t even need to sit quietly, sort of contemplating, and you’ll be doing it naturally in no time, at all, at all. Which sounds a bit like it is here. ‘Tis then that, instead of being deafened by me roar over the spuds, you might hear me giggling in time with the flow. That would be Zen though, and Zen is a bit hard to find on the mountains of Morne. Like the pot of gold at the rainbows end, it just appears when you’re not looking for it.
Zen, like a haiku.
Should happen without effort.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 17th September 2019
Buddhism is based on four noble truths and eight principles. Everyone can remember twelve short phrases. I might be heretical, which is fine, as Buddhists don’t, usually, burn dissenters alive, but they will always receive a disapproving eye roll. This week’s blog just adds to the collection.
My knowing is all twelve can be reduced to just one word, acceptance. Acceptance of our self, and acceptance of others, there is no distinction between those two. Which is the bit that takes the most head getting around. It seems simple enough but there’s a consequence, it’s actually the bit Buddha never mentioned. One of those others is the embodiment of Universal love and truth. I can only understand them as a fellow human, one who accepts others completely and unconditionally. This led to some very strange conversations, until I began to see there was no agenda. Which was a major shock, and had further implications to consider. Obviously, your knowing is yours, and is just as relevant to you, as mine is to me.
The major consequence is once they are found you will never have a quiet moment again. As soon as you do they’ll be inside your thoughts, which isn’t as bad as it sounds, although slightly more annoying than most people think talking to, their, God would be. Until we achieve something, we can only imagine what the new reality could be like.
There are two ways of massively changing our life, one is a major win on the lottery, the other is accepting things are just as they are. Acceptance, strangely, overwhelms complacency mostly through that quiet inner voice. Gently nagging us into taking the small opportunity which becomes an International MegaCorp. Richard Branson started on a market stall. I am not saying he was singled out by the Divine Being, but I would get decent odds from Ladbrokes on betting he accepted that just staying on a stall wasn’t his final goal, but it would do for now, until other things came along. It’s the dragony way, gently snoring, while throwing out the occasional pearl of wisdom, until the Rolo delivery arrives. Please stand at the opposite end of the field until the mayhem subsides. It’s a condition of our insurers.
Dave Allen the comedian always ended his shows by saying ‘And may your God go with you.’ I believe that’s exactly what the supreme Divine, Universal, consciousness would use as their own goodbye, simply because it has to be the ultimate truth. That dynamic is as much a part of us, as we are of them, all are one is, possibly, the greatest acceptance. Which could explain why it is so difficult to achieve. I am miles away from where the theory tells me I should be. Then again, perhaps not. I can be fairly robust, (I like that word) in my dealings with people, not all the time, just most of the time. It’s who I am. It’s not that I am uncaring but I choose not to explain, or justify, my thought through responses. I don’t react, well, I try very hard not to, however, I accept that might be how it seems at the time. Maybe I should offer those affected my last Rolo as a signal of sincerity and compassion...
Dragons with banners.
As they quietly protest.
Peaceful silence reigns.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 10th September 2019
I owe all my readers an apology for slightly misleading you in the past. As you know I value the words of the Buddha who spoke often of detachment. I woke up this morning with the thought I might have missed the point of what he was actually referring to. Buddha sought the underlying truth of the Universe, and, silly me, has wilfully encouraged detachment from things like material possessions. Look at it this way, the dragon sighed with frustration, ‘Bricks are a human construct, made from clay, which, unfortunately, is a Universal reality. Houses however, don’t exist!’ I now have great reasons to believe all Buddha meant was don’t get drawn into other people’s dramas. In the same way it could be that his teachings on our own perspectives, and perceptions, relate to this too. What we think, we become, but what others think of us we sometimes allow ourselves to also become.
Obviously, the implications of listening only to our own thoughts are immense. It’s the path to insanity, after walking the route I’ve discovered it’s a cul de sac, with a traffic roundabout at the end. I’ve decided to stop going round in circles.
This all started with a battered handbag on a windowsill. The night before I wrote this blog I was in a chat with someone who was in a flat panic over seeing it, because the implications were huge. I just didn’t get drawn in and stayed completely objective. Pointing out it wasn’t a fashionable item, a bit battered, and any lady visiting the house wouldn’t leave it in the kitchen round the back making it so easy to steal. She was happy, but it looks like I opened a door for my guidance to come in. Weirdly, that was the subject of another reading I had given the previous evening. I really should have paid more attention to the fact it began with a Y (why?) Being, highly, relevant.
I suppose I’m thinking aloud here. I have my own style of giving psychic readings, and, as a medium, seem to be favoured by the lovely, but slightly loony, grans and aunties. I’m not going to mention the ferrets... I have been accused of being unsympathetic, even brutal, but if there is no sign of a relationship happening between people it’s what I pass on to the client within twenty seconds or so. It’s not what I think, it’s what I feel. What I do know is I’m not infallible and time changes everything, I might have been wrong, or the circumstances altered. Do I feel the angst of the client while I do this, of course, but I always tried to remain professionally detached and objective. I’m beginning to realise detached and objective are the same word. While everyone’s profession should be to live.
I have always maintained that a psychic reading should be a two way exercise. For me I learn something from each one I do. So I would say to anyone who doesn’t feel engaged by their Reader after a minute or two, they should politely end the reading and try someone else. This is why I work at TheCircle, because it really is the company’s policy to enable this to happen. I don’t honestly think I could be appropriately detached anywhere else.
Just beyond our own belief.
Faith unlocks the door.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 3rd September 2019
I’m one of those people who talks to the automatic checkout, and not just when something goes wrong. In fact, it’s not very often I get told there’s an unexpected item in the baggage area. I can’t say it’s because I treat the machine with respect, or not. I’m also not going to withhold my interaction as an experiment. The checkout doesn’t have legs, so getting itself to a therapist might be problematic. Talking to plants encourages their growth, there’s a but here, screaming threats at one plant also affects the others in the vicinity. It’s now known that trees communicate with each other via their root systems. To complicate things a fungus is sometimes involved as a go between with other tree species. The wild wood, is only the wild wood since a feisty Sycamore decided to have a wild party then invited all the others.
I don’t know how big a part of the one we all are the automatic checkout is, when compared to the wild wood. Who am I to judge? When you put it in those terms, with those examples, I wonder how anyone can judge anything. There are no parameters, or boundaries, to balance the decision against. Be honest, hands up all of you who think I’m a bit off the beaten track in talking to an automatic checkout? Now you know why. That statement isn’t made in my defence, since I can’t be guilty.
OK, I admit to having a wandering mind which sometimes stumbles across weird implications for us all. That assumption is only valid if I am right. Buddha taught we are all one, and he realised it while he was sat under a tree. When he did that automatic checkouts hadn’t been invented... just so you know. Buddhism, in general, has a down on being judgmental of others. I’ve come to the realisation this is, basically, impossible. So who’s the lunatic? Me, for talking to the checkout, or those who think they can judge others? The Universal sense of humour applies here, in spades. Most religions tend to be a tad judgmental, only a bit, I don’t want to be controversial in pointing out they have an impossibility as a basis for their beliefs towards non believers.
Buddha covered that one too, everything, our own reality, is formed as a result of our own perceptions, or, what we think, we become. What annoys me to my core is the way that has been twisted into various modalities of positive thinking, and ways of manifesting our desires. The basis of all suffering is desire. I didn’t think I would be covering two impossibilities in one blog, but, there you go.
Being miffed is not the same as being judgmental, we should always be discerning as that’s the only way to discovering the underlying reality behind the illusions our own perceptions have created. Annoyance with something, might, actually, be the key which unlocks the door of our own discernment. Yes, I know what Buddha taught about anger. I just feel, sometimes, the slight tickle of not being happy is the voice of the one we all are, quietly saying ‘I don’t think so either.’
Are we really one?
Our perceptions tell us No.
The trees know better.
Allan Pin 0572
Published: 27th August 2019
There are times when the only reasonable course of action involves slapping some sense into a dragon. This is one of those moments. I wish I was a Rolo and could disappear in their presence. I’m not unfortunately, I’m writing a blog, and Rolos tend not to.
Imagine striking a match, then using it to light a candle, and, before you burn your fingers, blow out the match. One light shines, but it’s the light of the match. You then light another candle by reigniting what’s left of the match. How many lights twinkle now? Only one, and it’s still the light of the original match. You might manage to do this a few times, but, eventually, the match is totally burned away. That doesn’t stop you lighting other candles from each other. The one light can remain aglow for as long as you wish to carry on the process. Creation, and destruction, are the same dynamic, one is a reaction to the other. Instead of using two words it makes sense to simplify the concept, let’s call it change. Simples innit?
This might take some head getting round... You are both candle, and match, when it comes to your life. It is also a Universal law that everything resists change, being happily attached to re