The Middle Way is Not Straight


Green is bursting out all over the place. This lane is in the Black Forest Germany where I’ve been spending some time.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Lake District, there has been a whole lot of ‘greening’ going on too. Lakeland Fells are on the horizon.

From my vantage point a small gathering of young deer lurk behind me. The sheep persistent in her presence.

Artful Nature

Then there is nature up close. This dandelion caught my eye,  extending one of it’s fluffy seed heads into a notch at the end of a rural bench.

As you will observe from these photographs the sun has been shining, the weather has been great. So much so one wonders if is will stay this way for ever. Well, nothing lasts for ever and rain today is in the forecast. There is the weather outside and there is the ‘weather’ inside.

This post is for those whose internal weather is testing them mentally/physically and in all ways. We call that having health ‘challenges’. Challenge covers a whole spectrum of pain, discomfort and worry. The question is, how does one meet the challenge. Practically speaking, how does one tread the middle path? That’s between: having ‘further tests’, ‘living with’ what one has, escaping. From my own experience the middle path includes all three: tests, living with (acceptance) and finding ways to escape if for a brief time. Oh yes, and medication.

In particular this is for three people I know who have had, or about to have, further tests or in one case a medical procedure.

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Why am I Doing This?

Within this article, which goes to the extremes of human behaviour to be sure, are questions for all who endeavour to live a conscious life.

2189 Mile Marathon’. The question ‘Why am I doing this’ is a good one. Introspection is good, unless you are an ultr-marathoner…..https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-2189-mile-marathon/559112/

How do you get the unrelenting sense of purpose that sustains, say, one of the world’s greatest ultra-marathoners? Not the way you might think: Avoiding introspection seems to be key. Hutchinson, a creditable runner himself (though his career never came close to matching Jurek’s), spends long passages puzzling over the mysteries of his own peak performances and dissecting his failures. Jurek, meanwhile, gives the impression that doubting his commitment hardly ever even occurred to him—until he hit the Appalachian Trail.

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Mother’s Day – USA

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Buddhism From Within

Tom (Thomas) Wharton, a Canadian author, wrote the following back in 2005 when I was running a priory in Edmonton. At that time I was keen to see Rev Master Daizui”s book more widely read or even known about. The following review copied below was never used, up until now. Here it is. Thanks Tom for letting me put this onto Jade after all this time.

I like Rev. MacPhillamy’s relaxed, conversational style. The lack of terms from other languages is also refreshing and offers a less "exotic" approach to the subject, which is a good thing. The ancient, Asian terminology that most Buddhist books use can make it seem that you should be having an ancient, Asian experience to really practice meditation, whatever that might mean!

The section on karma and rebirth I found particularly fascinating and helpful. I’ve never seen these elusive concepts set down in quite this accessible way. Rev. MacPhillamy proceeds from a straightforward description of ethical cause and effect which one can quickly verify for oneself with a little thought (when we hurt others we hurt ourselves), and proceeds from there to the more "cosmic" way of looking at the consequences of our actions.

At the stage I’m at with all of this, I find I’m not ready or willing to invest belief in some of these more cosmic notions. But of course neither Rev. MacPhillamy nor Buddhism itself would insist that I do so. And I feel that this respect for the individual person’s freedom of belief is one of the best clues that Buddhism points a trustworthy way to the truth about the universe. Truth shouldn’t need to be policed.

The last chapter, "So, Is this a religion?" offers a brief telling of Shakyamuni Buddha’s life which thankfully doesn’t scatter lotus petals over everything. This is the kind of biography that I would show to people who wanted to find out about the historical Buddha. It’s hard for us cynical westerners to believe that he is not actually worshipped by Buddhists when one reads some of the more mythic versions of his life story. Maybe these magical stories are true. How should I know? I just find it’s more encouraging to me to think about Buddha the human being.
Review written by Thomas Wharton

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Buddhism in Plain English – a Book Available

For those of you who have not read Rev. Master Daizui’s book Buddhism from Within there is now the chance of buying a print on demand from LULU, downloading a .pdf or buying a copy when visiting either Shasta Abbey or Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey. I’ve a particular connection with this books since Rev. Master Daizui finished writing it sitting in my mobile home/trailer in Cornwall when he visited in the spring of 2002. He was a monk with a mission striding to my trailer each afternoon to work. In the mornings we would do Order business.

We are pleased to announce that Shasta Abbey Press has arranged a second printing of Rev. Master Daizui MacPhillamy’s book, Buddhism From Within: An Intuitive Introduction to Buddhism. Rev. Master Daizui was a senior disciple of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett and served as her successor as Head of the Order from 1996 to 2003. The content of the book remains the same.

Buddhism from Within can now be purchased through Lulu.com as a print-on-demand book. This means that when someone orders a copy from Lulu, the book is printed and mailed to the person. The proceeds from purchases help support the Order.

The book is also available for sale at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey and Shasta Abbey; it can be downloaded as a free PDF on the Shasta Abbey Publications webpage.

Copied from an OBC Web Page

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives