Showing posts from May, 2017

Exploring Beethoven string quartet no.7 Opus 59 no.1

I like listening to Beethoven's string quartets - it took me a while to appreciate them but I think I'm getting there now. Here's the one they call number 7.

First movement - the days of afternoon tea are behind us. It starts off quite nicely - there is a strong promenading feeling of enjoyment, a jolly man walking down an Edwardian street. We are soon lost in moments of introspection that take us on a little voyage into somewhere more thoughtful. These moments of inward reflection continue but they are slowly injected with a sense of anxiety - the pleasant beginning is being eroded. Our afternoon stroll gradually transforms into a psychological, paranoid, edgy episode. We are left realising that life is not a basket of flowers. Bad things happen to good people. Beethoven has broken down the good mood.

Second movement - the sense of disquiet continues as we are plagued by sharp, stabbing notes and a feeling of not being quite right. Beethoven takes us to the brink of a gl…

Do you find yourself having an opinion about things you know nothing about?

Well, this is quite an interesting phenomena that I see quite a lot on the news. The journalist finds a hapless member of the public and asks them about Brexit, or political policies or world events and the poor hapless person responds with an opinion that is clearly just a rehash of something they've heard on the news already. Then, I find myself having an opinion that is equally without any first hand knowledge of the situation and ask myself where did that come from? I am talking out of my arse.

Then it becomes clear that no-one knows what they are talking about, especially politicians, and all we have are these opinions that are founded on media junk that we've been fed over the last few months. Then you see people getting all bent out of shape because of these opinions and it becomes clear that something is not really right. It's this flow of information that is shaping the world we live in, not the actual world we live in.

Does anyone know what they are doing? I thi…

Moorland stream

A relatively empty contemplation

Exploring the six sense bases

I'm going to be jumping about a bit with this blog as I randomly accumulate written material for various projects. However, stick with it and you'll be transformed in no time. I've been mastering Buddhist techniques for a while so that's what you're going to get this time.

Deep down in the fourth foundation of mindfulness, we find the six sense bases. Here we are asked to contemplate the five physical senses and the mind as the sixth sense. The contemplation goes something like this:

- We get very still and calm
- We place our attention on one of the six senses - I like sound best, or sight if I am doing staring meditation
- We observe contact with an object, e.g. sound - It all happens very fast and at the same time, but we observe contact, consciousness, feeling, perception, initial thoughts and then mental proliferation (thoughts on thoughts). Now this is a continuous process so stick with it.
- We also are asked to observe fetters that arise with sense contact.…