Of course you Fart, everyone Farts, right? Maybe your a silent but violent kinda of girl or perhaps your just a loud and proud type of guy. The Fact is we all Fart right? But
Have you ever wondered why you fart?
It wasn’t until I had decided to rid myself of the toxins in my body and try a three day meditation and fasting retreat, that the subject of Farting and Burping really took hold in my mind. After finishing the fasting and meditation it was time to replenish the body, and after filling my stomach with exciting new foods, the action really took off.
I began farting! And far more than usual, I was passing so much wind that I could probably of powered a wind turbine. After three days of no food my stomach was doing somersaults and producing the accompanying notes of joy.
So Farting simply put is just that “the accompanying note of joy as our stomachs process the food we consume”. Now I know that’s not the official Oxford English Dictionary’s version of a Fart, but it is surprisingly similar.
So Does Everyone Fart and Burp?
As stated above, Farting and Burping are a result of the process of consumption. The accompanying notes of joy, to indicate we are all well fed and watered.
So No We don’t all Fart and Burp, yes we all have the capacity to Fart and Burp but not all of us are lucky enough to eat as well as those of us in prestigious countries.
So the next time you have a good Fart, or a decent Burp, instead of feeling embarrassed or shy, I want you to feel proud and satisfied. After all it means you are well fed and watered, and you have the money and food in your life to create these wonderful noises that makes us all laugh. (Well maybe not in front of your mum)
On a more serious note. There are a lot of people in this world who are a little less fortunate than ourselves and they don’t have the means to be well fed and watered. So every time you pass wind, or burp loudly, remember how fortunate and lucky you really are.
P.s I personally apologise to any Mums reading this. I know your job is hard enough without some ex Buddhist monk explaining how wonderful it is to burp and fart. So too all you guys I apologise if your kids tell you that Dhamma Tāpasā said it was alright to Fart & Burp.
From very small all of us start to learn individualism, we may not realise this is what we are learning but with re-enforcements from parents, teachers and peers we soon begin to experience ourselves and those around us as individuals. We begin the process of labelling each other and ourselves, Matt’s rich, Katie’s an artist, Gordon’s good at sport. We start to see where we fit in life, and who we associate with. Groups start to form of likeminded individuals, and labels soon follow to identify each other. I am French I am Scottish, I am Male, I am Female. This is a good thing right?
Individualism is welcomed and even encouraged in our society as a good thing. Finding what your good at and enjoy, what you like and dislike is all normal behaviour. You and I have been participating in this game all our lives.
We find our passions, what we like and dislike. We find the right type of work befitting to our character maybe that’s manual work or working in an office. We find what types of food we like, books to read music to listen too. We also gain country, religious, race and sexual identities. By the age of 20 most people have formed so many characteristics we can easy state; Josh, he is a white Male, heterosexual, of no particular religion, wants to be an engineer, likes football, swimming and T.V. All very normal behaviour. So is it actually good behaviour?
I do actually indeed salute individualism and believe it plays an important role in our societies and lives of today. However I am also a firm believer and advocate of the complete opposite of individualism that of similar-ism , or togetherness, and how we are also very much more alike than individual. I feel this vital piece of information is missing from our educated lives and if we can only see how alike we all really are, I see a real beginning to the ending of racism, sexism, and religious conflict.
If we could truly understand how more alike than different we are, I see the start of a kinder more understanding society that starts to loose its hatred for other religions, countries or the colour of skin. If we could only see how our brothers and sisters from every corner of the world are more alike than individual, maybe, just maybe, our collective consciousness can have a shift in its thinking and start to distribute the wealth, food, water, and medicine more fairly.
How does this shift in consciousness begin? If I take a look at the person next to me I only see differences? How do I associate myself with someone on the other side of the world?
This all starts with recognising and embracing our similarities, seeing how each and every single one of us experiences pain, disappointment, anger, boredom, happiness, in exactly the same way. How my happiness is the exact same feeling of pleasure you also experience. The difference is the intensity of that happiness and the context in which it arose. The pain of loosing a child is exactly the same sadness no matter where you grew up, what education you received, religion you support, job you do, or football team you support. The intensity and context for arising will always be different.
As humans we experience the world through our 5 senses. The sense of smell, touch, taste, sound and sight these sense impressions are then experienced within our six sense, that of the consciousness and can only be experienced in three ways. They will be either positive, negative or neutral. Since everyone reading this is a human everyone of us experience the world around us in exactly the same way. The education, parents, health, country and a trillion billion other possibilities happen to create different contexts and levels of intensity for us to experience pain, or hatred, happiness or love. This illusion of individualism gives rise to an impression and feeling that no one can truly understand my suffering believing that this is personally happing Me, I or Mine.
Everyone of us is living and experiencing life exactly the same way. We all suffer with anger, frustrations, love, fears, and anxieties. We are a complicated bunch on an individualistic level. But as we start to see these same similarities of experiencing the world, we start to see that everyone is our brothers and sister no matter what side of the world you come from. We soon develop a deep empathetic compassion for the other, no matter who he/she maybe. We see the others suffer as our suffering is to us and can only have compassion for say the shop keeper who might have been a little bit off with you this morning.
I honestly believe if we could truly start to see this simple truth of life, if we could just start to teach our children this fact, that we are more similar than individual, I can only see a better and better society of individuals but also of common unity. After all we have given ourselves the proud and noble title of MANKIND so let’s try to live up too this Kindness we so proudly named ourselves, and see how the suffering and it’s pain associated are felt by us all. How the elations and joys of life are also felt by us all. Then we will begin to act more kindly towards our fellow man and truly live up to the name MANKIND.
Please follow the links to YouTube to see our Audio & video version of “The Four Trees” narrated by Dhamma Tāpasā. If you could also share, like and comment that way we can spread the kindness further.
Our story comes from a time during the Roman Empire where there were mighty gladiators and legendary Emperors. Our story is centred around a normal soldier who became a legend in his own right.
Inspirational Short Moral Story
The Roman Soldier
From a young age our soldier was always good at sports and always dreamed of becoming a soldier. His dream wasn’t just of an ordinary soldier he dreamt of glory and recognition.
By the age of twelve he had proved himself, and was excepted into the military academy. He enjoyed his life and strived everyday to become the best. He knew of nothing better he could be, than that of a soldier in the Roman army.
He progressed well becoming one of the top students. Finally the day came of graduation, where he was selected to join the twelfth legion. An elite legion known for there bravery and savagery on the battle field.
He quickly excelled with his new legion, making friends quickly and soon become recognised as fearless and ruthless in battle. He rose through the ranks and became a sergeant looking after a dozen men.
Battle after battle were fought with our soldier and his brave twelve victorious at every turn.
He was gaining a reputation as one of the most mastered and revered soldiers in the entire Roman Empire.
More battles came with victories at every turn.
Until things started to change and a true legend was born.
It began with a pause in a battle to remove the wounded. While resting he watched the old and young come and tend to the wounded and find their loved ones. He watched as tears flooded the eyes and heart of one particular mother who wept desperately for her son, now lying motionless.
Like a lightening bolt our soldier could see this heartache and devastation was caused by his own sword and how his actions had an equal and opposite reaction.
No matter how hard he tried to shake these thoughts from his head, he just could rid himself of what he had witnessed. Something deep within him had started to change.
The battle was won and the legion were triumphant, but our soldier wasn’t celebrating, he was in deep remorse for that poor old lady and her son.
Right there and then he threw his sword to the floor never to pick it up again. He went to find the old lady who had wept for her son and on bended knees begged for her forgiveness.
He was released from duty, officially recorded as exhaustion, where he returned to his home town. Upon arriving home he was greeted as a hero, anyone brave enough to fight in the Roman army were treated this way. He felt very guilty for all this praise knowing the hurt and pain it had caused others.
Within a matter of days he entered a monastery to practice a simple life and to repent all his sins. He learned under a great master of the time and before long his heart was pure enough to allow for the healing.
With love now in the soldiers heart he walked the countryside spreading kindness and compassion wherever he could. His reputation began to spread far and wide as a saintly man full of love in his heart. He now wore the simple robes and collected only alms for his food.
He began to gather a following of men and women all eager to hear words of wisdom from this great man.
All our actions have consequences this is called Karma. Whatever we do, think or say produces Karma. If we harm others or ourselves then that karma caused is only negative. Over the long run that has a devastating effect on both our peace of mind and our wellbeing. What we think we become!
*Dhamma Tāpasā a trained ex Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. An inspirational teacher of mindfulness and meditation techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.
Most of us have heard about meditation and mindfulness over the last few years, but how many of us truly understand how to practice this ancient art form passed down for thousands of years. This article is where I want to correct the balance and put straight some of the facts about this noble way to practice.
Most of the information I see on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram is given freely but at the cost of heavily advertised websites, Click baited headlines to draw your curiosity in to only find a half hearted explanation and little to no advice. Most of these websites are written by wanna-be social media stars and there is a growing concern that meditation and mindfulness has become, or is becoming, a watered down version of a truly remarkable aid in the development of our human consciousness. An aid, that if understood correctly, can and will change your life dramatically for the better.
What can Meditation do for me?
Meditation has the ability to reshape your life towards a more peaceful, respectful and compassionate way to live. A life with less worry and less anxiety, a life where gossip doesn’t amuse or intrigue and fear struggles to reside. Meditation can calm and clear your mind like that of a still lake and reflect back a better version of yourself. And by searching within for that elusive happiness we truly can change the world around us.
My experience with Meditation
My experience with meditation has completely changed my life for the better. I have been practicing meditation for well over 15 years, a large number for some but a small number for others. In this time I have gone from a lost soul not understanding the way of the world, feeling like I didn’t fit in, or that something was wrong with me. I now have a life living completely satisfied and fulfilled, a life full of love and compassion. I now have a relationship with my father something that in my early life I did not and this is something I cherish dearly.
In these 15 years I have been trained by meditation masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh and from the direct descendants of the forest monk Ajahn Chah. I have been an ordained Buddhist monk for many years practicing in the seclusion of the northern forests of Thailand. I now wander the European countryside as a monk still searching the depths of my mind and all its wily tricks and parlour games it plays. I am totally addicted to meditation and mindfulness like a smoker is to cigarettes. Everyday I practice watching or observing the play of consciousness and it’s relationship to our experiences. Everyday I grow and learn more.
I am not enlightened and don’t pretend to be, I am enjoying the search tremendously and as so I have for a long time dedicated my life to understanding the truth of our human condition.
How to truly meditate
We have all heard that the art of meditation is to follow the breath. Breathing in, you really observe and feel the breath coming in. We need to be invested in this process of observance, completely absorbed and focused. See how the air passes through you nostrils, tickling the hairs in your nose, watch and witness the abdomen enlarge and the lungs expanding gently as a response. Breathing out observe the process as you would a movie get yourself involved and watch the lungs deflate as a response to you abdomens movement. Observe the air as it comes out through your nose, tickling those nostril hairs. And then the slight pause before we breath in once again.
This is just one step in meditation and is the foundation of all training it is called Samantha or Samadhi meditation. However this is just a foundation and only when our foundations are solid and secure can we start to build upon this to investigate and discover the real interplay between our thoughts and there corresponding actions. This is known as Vipassanā meditation. Translated as ‘truly seeing‘, or insight meditation.
Vipassanā Meditation is an observance of the our thoughts within the consciousness. We watch, without interference, how each thought arises from something and then passes away. How one thought leads to another and to another and then to another. Vipassanā Meditation is the observance of the minds three facts of existence, impermanence, suffering and non self as they reveal themselves through consciousness. Truths that once experienced as reality changes your whole way of life. Knowing this is not enough, experiencing this for yourself is the true purpose of meditation and one that can take minutes or sometimes a life time.
Vipassanā is an art form that takes a long time to develop and should only be attempted after many hours of Samantha meditation as described above. The reason is to develop the skill as an observer without interference so as to experience these truths for yourself. There is no point in just mere understanding, one must truly experience this birth and death for ourselves, experience the ever changing impermanence that exists in everything.
The most important factor to remember with meditation is to always be kind towards yourself. When we loose focus on our breathing, gently laugh or chuckle to yourself and bring back your attention. Try not to be harsh with yourself it is the journey that is far more important than the destination. Kindness goes an incredible long way in this world and something that if practiced towards ourselves helps elevate a lot of our problems.
Practice breathing meditation or Samantha meditation until you have got a solid foundation, a foundation where you feel present in the moment, grounded in the breath. Once this has become established then allow your mind to investigate, to clearly see with Vipassanā Meditation.
For any help or advice please feel free to contact me using the contact form provided in the menu. There is no pressure on your behalf and I am here to help. I have been lucky enough to be guided by Masters over my time and it would be a delight to help in anyway I can.
These Words of Wisdom or inspirational quotes have all been selected to try and ease our suffering, to bring about a calm within our minds. There is an unprecedented amount of pain and suffering going on in the world today and it is each of our responsibility to help in any way we can.
The world we all live in is an ever changing, impermanent entity and today this seems more so than ever before. Coronavirus or Covid19 has altered our entire way of life in a very short period of time. No matter what country you come from, no matter what colour your skin, no matter the religion you believe or disbelieve everyone has been touched by this deadly virus. Masks are starting to become an everyday aspect of our lives, social distancing is necessary or enforced and millions of people are suffering as a result.
Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my adopted stray dog, Marley Moo, spend our time wandering the European countryside, what the Buddhists call Tudong, in search of spiritual enlightenment. Each day we meet scared individuals, frightened for there very lives and that of their families. My job as a Monk and Meditator is to help in anyway I can, through my unique Moral Stories created from real life experiences we come across during our week. We create words of wisdom or inspirational quotes that have been passed down through the ages and we teach meditation and mindfulness techniques to calm the mind from worry and try and alleviate our own suffering. Meditation is more than just a relaxation tool and I urge you to find out more.
A New Set of Moral Principles through Moral Stories
I believe the world needs a new set of Moral principals to help us progress, develop and thrive in this 21st century. Our time on this planet is short and at the moment it seems the manipulation of large corporations, the absurdity of immoral sports personalities, lying governments and the wealthy elite are gaining ever more popularity of followers all dreaming that this is the correct way to live our lives.
The results or our Karma following this way of life are very clear to me. With more and more searching for Youtube star sensation and Facebook fame we are all starting to fall victim to an immoral set of principals that only harm others in favour of ourselves.
We share this planet with 7 billion other humans and more than 7 times that number of other mammals, insects and birds, something we have all seemed too of forgotten. If we keep chasing greed of wealth, and the constant wanting of more things and stuff we will be the generation that brings the end to life as we know it.
I urge us all to change our ways and learn more about peace, happiness from within ourselves and not from external situations. For none of us can become truly happy by external happiness, only by looking deep within can we truly escape the suffering we are causing ourselves and others.
Morality seems to of been casted aside in this century and I wholeheartedly believe a new set of principles needs to be found by all of us. This is why I try to write a Moral story each week to show clear examples of our behaviour and it’s direct consequences. Most of these short sweet Moral stories are from inspiration on our wanderings, designed to be read by children and adults alike.