Birch reflections and reeds

Birch reflections and reeds, Craigellachie, Aviemore

A sunny morning at Craigellachie lochan, reflecting the last of the birch colour along with a patchwork of autumnal reed-leaves.  I love the combination of the purple birch branches showing through as the orange fades.  Its a shock every year how quickly we lose daylight once we’re into November – after 3pm you can forget it!
This week: challenging perceptions!

“The Buddha told his disciples the following fable:

Once upon a time, a clever king invited several people blind from birth to visit the palace.  He brought out an elephant and asked them to touch it and then describe what the elephant was like.

The blind man who rubbed its legs said it was like the pillars of a house.  The man who stroked its tail said the elephant was like a feather duster. The person who touched its ears said it was like a winnowing basket, and the man who touched its stomach said it was like a round barrel.  The person who rubbed its head said the elephant was like a large earthenware jar, and the person who touched its tusk said the elephant was like a stick.

When they sat down to discuss what the elephant was like, no one could agree with anyone else, and a very heated argument arose.

‘Bhikkus, what you see and hear comprises only a small part of reality.  If you take it to be the whole of reality, you will end up having a distorted picture.  A person on the path must keep a humble, open heart, acknowledging that his understanding is incomplete.  A follower of the Way must remain open-minded, understanding that attachment to present views as if they were absolute truth will onl prevent us from realising the truth.’ “

– Thich Nhat Hanh ‘old path, white clouds – The life story of the Buddha’

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