Nature's Place

Disguised

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Tending to the compost bin recently I noticed what looked like a bee come to investigate. It looked and flew like a bee in that its path was cautious, slow and deliberate as it entered the open drum and made its way around inside.

When it stopped on the plastic rim of the entrance I got a few shots and it became apparent it was a fly, by the eyes and other parts, to me.

A bee mimicking fly, must afford it some advantage. Difficult to see past the disguise in motion.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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The Dead of …

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Male and Female Lynx spiders

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… winter, if that it be.

Sun shines so much I don’t know you see.

But the absence of little ones is telling to me.

Time spent in the garden used mostly to pee.

So no pix to post on this dark wintry night.

Crows only about that do take to flight.

Maybe a pic from the past is aright.

One from a world that can afright.

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Time ebbs and flows, form comes and goes, how hard it sticks depends on a coupla tricks.

Tricks as in feeling for the bottom to clear out the mud, looking not thinking that settles the water, reaching with seeing to the emptiness above and beyond. Where there’s nothing to take or to give. Til the nothing I am in all things is all there is left, until …

Time ebbs and flows, form comes and goes …

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© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Night Fly

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Not much to report from the wilds, in fact the garden has the feel of stasis due to the recent cold. But there’s never really nothing, is there … So I do the rounds of the various nooks and crannies and what do I find but one of the great survivors, the garden fly.

This one, and a couple others, was making his bed in the flowers, literally. At sundown I would find it down on the flower’s centre while the petals would close up around it, to keep the cold and wind off. Not an unintelligent action at all.

In fact it isn’t hard to see the intelligence in any part of nature, the power animating and giving function to the form so that all the parts fit together to make the whole, of nature. It only requires the surrender of prejudice, thought.

Nature, what we are in existence, is represented by the planet and all its parts, the night sky full of stars too, and looks like it never ends, ‘out there’.

Intelligence, what we are before nature, ‘inside’, that gives rise to the appearance things are, can only be a mystery, to a fly resting on a flower.

Being, the silence upon which it is all drawn, endless and endlessly.

What is endless upon which nothing is written?

I’ll have the endless please …

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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To Laugh About …

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With the rain and cold of this winter came the Kookaburra family to the garden, the male and female. Mates alone, with the young from last season gone to find their own place to live and die.

I suspect a shortage of food around these parts, suburbia, where people keep tidy gardens. It seems to be a rule of mind, with the occasional refreshing wildness.

These birds know where their bread is buttered, a plethora of small lizards to be found scuttling around my garden, plucked mid-stride. Gulped.

Every now and then a sudden raucous noise hits my ears, the distinctive ‘ HA HA HA, HO HO HO, HAHAHA’. Well, something like that.

They remind me of the practicality and diversity of nature, and to laugh – while they scan the ground for a morsel.

A proper laugh strategically applied can change the pattern or weight of a mind.

Does mind have weight, or is it the gravity of the past that tugs?

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Long Night in the Undergrowth

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A wholly unpredictable nature. Rain or shine, at least the season is reliably that. Mid winter now, just past the shortest day in Oz, and the rain has blessed the earth. Washing all the dryness down and into work with the living of the soil as the basis for the forms of spring to come. And the freshness can be invisibly sensed, just behind the appearance, inside. A clarity above, a functional chattering of other forms below.

The sun lights the morning yellow and clear calling ‘Good Morning’ as it rises above the rooftops. The green alights to the calling light ‘I’m here’, me too … ‘present’ good lord. It is the lord of the morning, when the storm is not, here whatever … A functional lord, of the solar system, solar lord. Having dominion, care for, the children in its influence – us, me and you at the beginning and end …

All we have to do is ‘the work’. To find and establish the only resting place, inside, to observe the wonder of the passing dancers – the other forms of me and you, the colours, the shapes and other senses of things that die, and don’t. It’s what passing is, a movement from visible to invisible and round again. The passed being something else, at the base of it all, you or I.

That’s the way of things here, a cycle of events in form that represent the inner life. A process of detachment through pain, or something more extraordinary – to me, that ends in … peace.

It’s the perception that matters, is realised and actualised, here … it’s a long night in the undergrowth, everybody sees.

Good morning sun … good morning bee.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Dragon Hunt

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I have been finding a few Dragonfly’s recently, perhaps because of the generally warmer than usual weather, and the new location – a place I haven’t been to for many years. A nearby nature reserve that will soon become a horse track, I am told, so there may be some dung beetles soon to photograph … amongst the many creatures already to be found there.

The site is huge and Dragons can be found all over at different times of day, some by the water where it is clear of trees and brush, some hunt in the fields, some can be found asleep or at rest in the shade where the brush meets the open track, others in the dark shadows. At present there isn’t a ‘best’ spot, maybe as the spring gets on after the winter solstice locations will be more determined – by the nature.

There are many colours of Dragon though few individuals, and getting close to one can take a long time as they are inclined to take flight at the slightest disturbance in their view. Those big eyes are some indication of how sensitive is their sight.  Along with being consummate hunters goes a correspondingly evolved survival instinct.

Stillness is the key to observing these wonderful creatures, of mind and body, and the approach takes time and demands an attitude of respect for best results, in my experience.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Nectar of The Gods

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Amrit, ambrosial immortalising food of the gods, fit for an ant – for if there is a god it is surely in all things, without exception, or the creation is flawed. Notice any holes in the fabric of your universe lately? Well, let’s not go into that too much …

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It was Garuda, bird – king, who stole the Ambrosia of the gods in order to release himself and his mother from enslavement to the snakes – or snake energy. He had to perform impossible feats in order to do so. And so impressed with his character was Vishnu that he made Garuda free forever.

It’s an interesting myth from Indian lore. And like all myth it has truth behind it. He had to take it.

Have you performed impossible feats lately?

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A site that is good for some creatures can be enhanced for macro shooting by the addition of a source of food, as with the honey for the ant here. Nothing wrong with enhancing the scene if everyone concerned benefits.

A little nectar goes a long way.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Portraiture

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… to portray – the art of rendering ‘some-thing’ in the best possible light, according to accepted practice, by intuition – an untethered understanding reached through experience by letting go the already known – sifting gold from muck. Photography is just one medium for such expression, writing is another, gardening no less so.

Everybody is an artist, has something they excel at, if they have been lucky enough to find or been guided to it in these dense materialistic times. Some are more ‘artistic’ than others, doesn’t deny anybody’s art. Anyone who hasn’t found it is holding on to some mental construct of what they are.

The image is unreal, any image, only a representation of the thing, any thing. And representations change, being of things that die. Thing is to see the fact and go with the reality of change rather than hold to the known, old and worn. A representation is always of something passed, or past.

One such representation, bordering on the solution to finding the lost art, is to stand on a diving board in the dark of night with the intention of jumping in the water. Feel the fear? There are others, more fitting to some than many.

The simple solution is inside, looking past the sensation that is the basis for meditation, to no-thing – that has no image. It’s no big deal, it is where is after dreaming stops, from awake to asleep – a place inside.

Trick is to not ‘fall’ asleep, but go to sleep, looking to see. Just never mind the imagery on the way.

Or enjoy it but don’t hold on to what passes, as everything does.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Of a Certain Nature

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An unusual place to find a Huntsman, atop a flower, in the morning.

 

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A big Drone fly landed on a nearby flower. Standoff, in my mind …

 

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But didn’t get caught by this spider, this time …

 

… gardening, and how not to do it.

Until recently my attitude to the garden has been of a minimalist approach; determine, sometimes intuit, location, plant a selection, water and feed – with little to no regard for the suitability of the earth it happens on and in. Lazy, yes, being a poor study of things I don’t ‘see’ the need for.

Then something happened, I stopped wasting energy in one area of my life, thinking I ‘should’ apply myself where I just didn’t fit, and that energy became available for other things. So I began to look deeper into where I do apply myself without the ‘should’.

The notion of growing a certain plant, for its wonderful flowers, slowly grew in my mind and I found myself thoroughly involved in researching how to do it the best I can – not unlike a root-bound seedling released from its constraining pot and transferred to fertile soil.

Of course, because nothing is certain in a world of change, it may not turn out as I envisage but I will have done my best – and that’s what counts, the doing, not the end.

I still love the little creatures, when they show themselves, but maybe I will focus a little more on the flowers that feed them – in all their ways.

When the garden’s soil develops and spring comes around.

… not the end.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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A Sleepy Dragon

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It’s all … a gift, or a curse, depends on how you look at it. But the fact is whatever it is today is gone tomorrow, so there’s no point fretting it – whatever ‘it’ is. Making it less a curse, or a gift, and more simply what it is.

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I know, easy to say. But it can also be ‘done’ if done enough. Letting go is the key, not holding on to what’s inside – though it may appear outside – by thinking too much or getting emotional about ‘it’. Whatever it is.

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This sleepy dragon doesn’t give a … Lying there, resting in the hot afternoon sun, takes no notice of me – as long as I am careful, considerate of its sensibilities, discernible as what my own would be if …

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… I were a dragon.

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© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …
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Road – Kill – Heaven

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For a green head ant it is, heaven. Fresh meat delivered to the door and nature embraces the bounty, heedless something died for it. And heedless of the observer, absolutely un-self-conscious except with reference to the instinctive need to survive, these little beauties process the red meat into pieces small enough to carry back to the nest, to live. Heaven is relative here.

An honest ant, you always know where you stand with a green head ant, they bite and sting, what ants do. You could say the ant is the same no matter what it is doing, and that is true, ant is always ant, never a pretense at being anything but what it instinctively is.

That’s what makes its state of being heaven to this observer, no mind to confuse or conflict, no mind but ant mind. Human mind is something else, potentially full of conflict, with itself reflecting off self in the hall of mirrors the mind is.

Human being is something else, being what being is beyond human, or ant.

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Then, later when I went to see how things were, the meat was gone and there were paw prints in the earth around the area. Something, maybe a feral cat, had come and eaten the meat, ants and all.

So much death in one day, any day now – ‘heaven’ comes to us all in time.

We are lucky that way …

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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New Born – Again

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My little Fire Tail Resin Bees – entertainment for the day.

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Just before I started putting mesh net over the buckets of water in the garden, to keep drinking insects/bees from drowning, I found this new-born Orange Tailed Resin Bee floundering. So I picked it up and brought it back to where it had recently emerged, to rest and recover out of harms way, on the bee hotel hanging under the veranda.

It was a bit stunned to begin with, shocked and recovered from near death, but soon took to exploring the wood and holes drilled in it for nesting bees. You know it’s a new born by its relative size. I do.

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Born Again. Looking at the term, from King James bible, by the man Jesus apparently, speaking of what it is to be born again; “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Clearly there is no past or future, thinking and imagination, trying or hoping, no deceit, cunning or self delusion – all born of the past or reaching for a future – of any sort, in Spirit. And Spirit begins in sense.

Not an easy job for man or woman, to get back to sense, the work still needing to be done – the negation of self to the realisation of the one real moment Spirit is, now.

Nature has no such impediment, born anew every moment at source, free of the reflective element that gives rise to the need to master self.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Apple Ant

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A piece of fruit in the morning is a good thing for the body – possibly one of the few things that wouldn’t be denied by anybody. And sitting eating it on the veranda overlooking the garden is a pleasure – also a good way to start the day.

Using a knife to section the apple for eating I notice different kinds of ant walking around the old wooden table where I sit, looking for morsels no doubt. It doesn’t take much to shave a little apple for a little creature, a tiny slice, to sate the perennial hunger.

And this one was hooked, couldn’t get too much of the sweet juicy pulp it had probably never come across before. It also seemed excited the way it supped at the apple for a while then stopped and ran around, stopped to groom itself and then back to the apple – over and over.

I helped it along, keeping the slice from blowing away in the breeze, orienting it for access and of course a few shots. It wasn’t very co-operative, wouldn’t be still for long, but I accept what comes.

It surely enjoyed the pure juice on the blade. Just one of life’s under-excitements, a simple pleasure when the mind is slowed enough there is no impatience.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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Meditation …

P2220213 - Mark Berkery-001Above is a native Australian Leafcutter Bee, I believe, getting ready to sleep in a local field of grass. They have a sting but never used it on me, really gentle creatures.

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Rarely do I write a post directly on this subject, meditation, but today I begin teaching once more, having taught a number of times before in different places. There has been a good response to the only ad I put out, a free one in the community column of my local weekly paper The Bayside Bulletin, which covers a large area of the SE of Brisbane.

I am grateful for that service as it allows me to gauge the local need for meditation without a significant, to me, cash outlay. Part of the arrangement is that I don’t charge for the meditation instruction, which suits me fine as I prefer to keep money out of the process as much as possible and my costs are reduced to a few phone calls and a bit of ink and paper.

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The key to the meditation I teach is to ‘recognise the need to slow down and relax the mind from the stress of negative thinking and emotion.’ It is the only prerequisite to learning this form of meditation really. Without it there is no ‘real’ need and it would be too simple and so boring to the mind that’s looking for another form of excitement or entertainment.

This is the very practical work of stilling the mind so living can be enjoyed in its simplest form, the senses. It is practical because it works. It works by the practise of some simple exercises that enable the transit from mental emotion living, or being, to being in sense – as the sensation inside where it is always a pleasure, and the senses that reveal the wonder of the earth. Anybody who is willing can do this.

Sensation is best described as grains of sand in space, inner space, seperate and immersed. It’s the actual feeling and not the image the mind would make. There is space between each grain and space in and behind. Look into it until there is nothing else but that.

Or it could be dots of light in the darkness inside, appearing and disappearing in inner space. A pressure, a pulsing, whatever it is for you is what you focus on – the actuality. The mental image is not the actuality.

Space, inside and ‘out’ – everything occurs in space, see it, sense it, allow it to be. Everything else passes.

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There is a distinction between the earth and the world. Earth is magnificent, where we can see the wonder of the stars at night and the beauty and magnificence of the flowers and insects of the garden by day, the clouds as they pass on by and the rain or sun on our skin, all forms of sense. Sense is simple, there’s no problem in it, it’s a pleasure that everyone experiences at some time, especially when young. The simple pleasure of sense only becomes eclipsed in time by the emotion generated by experience when the truth of the matter is not known or understood. This emotion, and the thinking it generates, which begets more emotion, accumulates until it is enough of a problem to do something about it.

Mind is where all problems originate, mind as rampant or unbidden thinking and emotion. Mind as seemingly endless associative thinking that stirs emotion which generates more thinking in an ever worsening spiral of negativity until it just can’t be tolerated any more. That’s when a solution ‘must’ be found and the realisation may occur; my mind is the problem, it’s not ‘out there’ at all – and nobody else can fix it but the one realising it.

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When this meditation is practised properly for long enough the transit from the occupation with complicated mind to the simplicity of sense is effected and living, what was once a pain, becomes a pleasure, or a love – and what other purpose is there to it ‘all’ …

That’s the beauty of it, once the solution is known nobody can take it away. It also eventually dawns; ‘I’ am responsible for my life – I do it or I don’t do it.

The way of stillness or ‘no-thing’ is difficult at times, and invariably rewarding.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK a link for more – MeditationThe IdeaNature’s Place

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Storm Crew

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The long dry spring come summer ended with a massive thunderstorm, fittingly – the dry spell to, well, dry out, and the rain to impel the life-forms to rise up anew.

I was outside in the field when I saw the storm coming, darkening the sky until I was in between the afternoon light on my right and night-time dark on my left where all the street and car lights had come on of necessity – a thin line.

The sky was black grey and it started to rain as I got home, pouring down soon enough. The lightning would flash and the thunder did follow, the time it took between them indicating the distance to the centre. In a short time the lightning flash was followed immediately by a thundering clap of the air – attention.

Right outside my window, the surrounding storm electrifying; it’s coming an exclamation, it’s passing a sign of the new to come. And as it passed I stood out in the rain, the pleasure of the clean cold water washing away the dusty days. In the few days since there has been cloud and rain and damp so some bees, and others, have come into sense once more, heralds of the new year – angels of a kind.

Magical brew … and just as I finished the necessary work in the garden.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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