Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

The doorstep of the palace is very slippery

– Polish Proverb

palace warsaw 20160702_103444

 

“The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.”

-Dave Chappelle

 

Bergen view

 

What do you make of the Polish proverb?

Is it a warning against brown-nosing the elitists or those in authority?   

and as for the Quote this week:

Do you agree with Dave Chapelle? 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this week’s sayings.

Please feel very welcome to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, below.

 

StPA

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

If you wish to join in, check out Purple Pumpernickel for the Rules.

BlogNow posting on Fridays

 

 

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Traditional Art – Buddhist Thangka

 

Very likely one of the oldest Buddist symbols, the Wheel of Life is a popular theme in traditional Tibetan Buddhist art and it is known as the Thangka. Historically this highly skilled art form is commissioned for both spiritual and mundane matters, such as aiding the sick,  or to gain merit during commemoration of religious events.

At one time, Buddhist monks used to draw beautiful and complex mandalas on the ground, using colored sand. Once the Mandala was completed, it was removed as conclusion of the ritual, a strong symbol of the impermanence of reality.

 

patan Temple Katmandu

 

 

 

 

One of our treasured artistic possessions from a trip to Bhaktapur, in Nepal, is a Tibetan Buddhist Thankgka painted on silk, pictured below.

 

Buudhist art Apologies for the reflection on the image.

 

Thangkas are painted by the monks themselves, and the art form demands great mastery over drawing, as well as a high understanding of the geometric and iconographic principles within this style of traditional art.

Lamas and pilgrims would carry them in ceremonial processions and Thangkas were hung in monasteries as a way to display Buddhist teachings, in pictorial form.

Certain pictorial elements are outlined in 24 carat gold and are still considered an important method for studying and preserving the religion, history, culture and traditions of the Himalyan countries of Tibet, India and Nepal.

Here you can see the painstaking and long hours needed to produce this work of art:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YyptY72-rk]

What do the Symbols Mean?

This art form is highly formalized typically seen as four or five concentric rings, or their symbolic equivalents, depicting the realms of existence associated with the journey towards enlightenment.

 

  • In the central ring, you will often find the intertwined images of a pig, a rooster, and a snake which symbolically depict the three “kleshas,” (mental states affecting actions), being ignorance, greed and aggression, called Samsara. These three states characterize the world of suffering and dissatisfaction.The snake and bird can be seen coming out of the mouth of the pig, indicating that anger and attachment arise from ignorance. At the same time the snake and the bird grasp the tail of the pig, indicating that they both promote even greater ignorance.

 

  • Half of the second ring depicts light, showing contented people moving upwards to higher states, possibly to the higher realms whilst the remaining half-circle, (usually dark), shows people in a miserable state being led downwards to lower states, or realms. These images represent karma, the law of cause and effect. The light half-circle indicates people experiencing the results of positive actions, the dark indicating negative action.

Propelled by their karma, beings take rebirth in the six realms of Samsara, as shown in the next ring.

 

  • The outer rim of the wheel is often divided into twelve section.  Whilst the three inner layers display the three poisons that lead to karma, and the suffering of the six realms, the twelve links in the outer rim show how this can happen. This is reference to cause and effect, or karma, over several lifetimes, demonstrating our current life and how our past lives and our present action influence us and our future.
  • The outer area contains decorative floral motifs and mythical animals, which were elements introduced into Buddhist painting in the mid – twentieth century by Newar artists of the Kathmandu valley.

 

 

  • Surrounding the wheel is either Mara, the fearsome demon who tempted Buddha, or Lord ‘Yama’, the Lord of Death, with his tiger skin hanging beneath the wheel, (indicating fearsome- ness), and it is he, who holds the wheel of life in his hands. Regardless of which figure is depicted, it represents impermanence and the transient nature of existence; everything within this wheel is constantly changing. The four limbs, (that clutch the wheel) symbolize the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness, and death.

By contemplating on the twelve sections of the outer ring, one gains greater insight into karma and this insight enables us to begin to unravel our habitual way of thinking and reacting.

  • The twelve outer sections, paired with their corresponding symbols, are:

lack of knowledgea blind person, often walking, or a person peering out

constructive volitional activitya potter shaping a vessel or vessels

consciousnessa man or a monkey grasping a fruit

name and form (constituent elements of mental and physical existence) – two men afloat in a boat

six senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind) – a dwelling with six windows

contactlovers consorting, kissing, or entwined

painan arrow to the eye

thirsta drinker receiving drink

graspinga man or a monkey picking fruit

coming to bea couple engaged in intercourse, a standing, leaping, or reflective person***

being bornwoman giving birth

old age and deathcorpse being carried

*** The images of the couple lying together in a sexual union, we were told, was never intended to be pornographic, but rather to excite and increase the potency of fertility, especially for males! Devotees consider all creation begins with the sacred union of male and female energies. To experience the pure creative passion between man and woman they believe; to know unconditional love, is to manifest the body, mind, and spirit of a Buddha.

Something traditional to Ponder About

Monday Mystery Photo – Last time, Bath

Every second Monday, I post a photo of a ‘mystery’ location, and sometimes a mystery object.  I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location, or what the mystery object might be.

If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog in the follow-up post, when the answer is revealed. Comments will be released on alternate Monday (Australian E.S.T.), so as not to spoil the fun for late-comers.

N.B. If you have a travel photo you would like featured on Monday Mystery, please leave a comment  below, or contact me by email, [find this at my Gravatar and Profile info].

The mystery photo, this time, comes from Allison. Do you know the location?

IMG_1526357507338.jpg


Previous Monday Mystery Photo

Many thanks to Lorelle from A Mindful Traveler.com for contributing the below photo on Mystery Photo last time.

Lorelle 3

 

Alejandro thought the picture was from the Netherlands, and it certainly has that Dutch gabled look about a few of the buildings, but the correct answer was Bath, England.

Newcomers: Susie from A Secret Knowledge of Spaces and Andrew P of Have Bag, Will Travel, joined Drake Andrikken and Mel and Suan from Travelling Matters, in correctly guessing the location.

Well  done!

 

cropped-stpa1.jpg

Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

 

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

Indian proverb

 

 

 

Photo by shy sol on Pexels.com

 

 

“They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, I told them they didn’t understand life.”

–John Lennon

 

 

 

Feelings are like chemicals, the more you analyze them the worse they smell.

~ Charles Kingsley

 

 

 

Charles Kingsley was a English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, who must have had some strong feelings that greatly disturbed him. I am certain that thinking for too long about something might be a curse, in that one sometimes feels that there’s never a moment of peace, in one’s own mind, from the self-talk.  The memory receptors, in our brain, work by reconstructing events, and with each recall of memory, there appears to be a slight change or enhancement of the memory, so if they are recalled often, they might be far from the reliable truths we regard them to be. More often, we find memories are often peppered with an individual’s own particular bias, rather than a precise itinerary of events.

But the Indian proverb, refers to something completely different, don’t you think?

Or can you see a correlation between quote and proverb?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please feel very welcome to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, below.

 

 

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

If you wish to join in, check out Purple Pumpernickel for the Rules.

Blog

Now posting on Fridays

Indeed this is something for us to ponder about

Poetry Writing Tips and May Challenge

Poetry Writing Tips included below:-

Time is almost up for posting poems for the A and I Poetry Challenge for the month of  May. Have you written your poem, yet?

Post a poem with a linkback to my blog and Ineke’s before the 28th May, so I can easily find it and include it in the next monthly Poetry Challenge post.

 Poetry Challenge –  May Prompt

*Write a poem using this photograph or one of your own as inspiration.

 

N.B. If you choose to use your own photo, please post the photo along with the poem.

 

You will find the full post on the May prompt and guidelines here

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

Poetry Writing Tips

I will discuss more about using concrete language in poetry next month but here is a taste to get you thinking and writing in a more concrete way.

Tip: Use concrete language instead of abstract language

The key to writing great poetry is to write focused, concrete poetry. But many beginning poets write poetry based around wide themes such as love, life, and anger, generalizing their writing.

By using strong language, active verbs instead of passive verbs and concrete language instead of abstract, you can capture a reader’s interest and captivate a reader’s imagination. Poetry, as something others read, should be at its best interactive, and at its worse, straight forward and clear.

Here is an example:

Abstract vs concrete Example 1

 

Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses.

  • orange
  • warm
  • cat

A person can see orange, feel warm, or hear a cat.

Poets use concrete words help the reader get a “picture” of what the poem is talking about. When the reader has a “picture” of what the poem is talking about, he/she can better understand what the poet is talking about.

Abstract words refer to concepts or feelings.

  • liberty
  • happy
  • love

“Liberty” is a concept, “happy” is a feeling, and no one can agree on whether “love” is a feeling, a concept or an action.

A person can’t see, touch, or taste any of these things. As a result, when used in poetry, these words might simply fly over the reader’s head, without triggering any sensory response. Further, “liberty,” “happy,” and “love” can mean different things to different people. Therefore, if the poet uses such a word, the reader may take a different meaning from it than the poet intended.

Change Abstract Words Into Concrete Words

To avoid problems caused by using abstract words, use concrete words.

Example: “She felt happy.”

This line uses the abstract word “happy.” To improve this line, change the abstract word to a concrete image. One way to achieve this is to think of an object or a scene that evokes feelings of happiness to represent the happy feeling.

Improvement: “Her smile spread like red tint on ripening tomatoes.”

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

Writing poetry is something to ponder about