On Fragrant Hill – Grant Remembered


Grant died on the 27th August 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. This video is remembering him and his impact on the people he worked with in the mental health field and his Buddhist friends and friends generally too. So sorry about the sound quality. It’s not easy to record out of doors on a phone. In the wind.

And Michele takes a Merit Walk remembering her dear husband. Wondering about our tendency to remember people while outdoors walking in the hills and Dales. Perhaps in Grants case he loved to be out and up in the mountains, wind in hair. So that’s where Michele and I took ourselves on the day of his death. To places he would have loved to be, remembered. He was a fit chap, long-limbed and with a long torso. He could cover ground at breath taking speed. Up and down Mt. Shasta in a blink of an eye. He was here with us, and gone, in a blink of an eye.

Here is a quote,  a moment of uplift, on the day his widow and  friends join together and hold a Memorial  Service in Vancouver, Canada on this very day.

Know that it is by the means of the self that we find the Buddha Nature. Know that it is by the gateway of the body that we find the spirit. Do not be concerned with places and things, with heavens and hells; do not be attached to your training: Gyatei, gyatei, haragyatei, going on, going on, always going on to the Fragrant Hill; Ten thousand miles in a flash of an eye.
-Rev. Master Jiyu Kennett

Lamb Rescue on West Side of Great Gable – Video

Ricky Lightfoot @rickylightfoot was the chap who rescued the lamb on the West side of Great Gable when we were there, scrambling about, on May 31st. Little did we know he was wearing a GoPro. The video is edited down to just under 5 minutes but the rescue probably took longer. To date the video has had over 36,000 views. Watching Ricky in action is the closest most of us will get to knowing what it’s like to clamber about on a fell side in what looks like extremely exposed (potentially dangerous) conditions. He is fell running royalty (but I could be wrong) and in my book a Bodhisattva, tah boot.

Can you spot the lamb and the man? Towards right of middle.
Can you spot the lamb and the man? Towards right of middle.

The chap stopped on his way down the scree to pass the time of day and answer my (predictable) question. What are you doing with that lamb? Taking it down to the farm, he replied but it looks like the lamb found its mother before reaching bottom. According to the video, right at the end.

And here is the video I recorded at the end of the day where I mention the lamb rescuing incident. We were impressed.

Thoughtful in The Mountains

Behind this post is much pondering on why I, and others, do what we do. And the meaning we attribute to our lives and the living of it. Rio ’16 has had me thinking.

Here now is an Out and About post on my most recent walk in Cumbria. (And I should mention that around an hour into a long walk I generally stop and think about turning back! The why question is there but there is a deeper one and it is around the matter of meaning. I’ll work on this theme for a while.

X Marks where picture may have been taken...
X Marks where picture may have been taken…

This map marked in red is not the entire route I took. I cut the walk short by taking a route which included going past a small unnamed Tarn, several stone shelters on it’s rim and on up to Nan Bield Pass. Where I turned right and joined the marked route eventually making High Street and Racecourse Hill. The ridge marked with a X (marking more or less where the photograph was taken) looked dauntingly long and exposed (i.e. dangerous). Consulting a chap on the path who looked ‘professional’ he assured me that if I’d done Striding Edge I’d have no problem. Wondered, as I walked on, if it counted if I’d walked/balanced along the Edge when I was 14!

Blea Water and long ridge down to Haweswater.
Blea Water and the long ridge down to Haweswater Reservour.

A good afternoon/evening out on the fells on Tuesday. Clearly there had been heavy rain early in the day with waterfalls gushing and in several places becks had spilled out across the land washed rocks and mud across the paths. Caution called for every step of the way. The most dangerous time is when close to completing a walk. Easy to get over-confident and miss footing or trip. The horse running for the stable as the late Rev. Mildred would say as we drove rather too fast along the lanes leading to Reading Priory. Back in 1992 that would be. This post is for her. She taught me so much.

A reminder that caution is needed on and in the mountains. Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team has been in the local news recently having recorded 86 ‘incidents’ in 2016 with 52 call-outs. Reading their site and the kinds of trouble people can get into makes for salutary reading.

With mention of Wasdale my mind goes to the 31st May and our walk up and around Great Gable and the chap who came running down a scree with a rescued lamb under his arm. Turns out he had a GoPro on and recorded the rescue. I’ll link to that tomorrow…

Richmond Park – The Way

Background information on these gates on the edge of Richmond Park. Interesting.

The Way – Going Nowhere In Particular

Richmond Park. London, Tuesday. A hidden gate leading to nowhere in particular. A hidden gem of an iron gate with remarkable detailing. And the park itself. Hardly hidden yet remarkable. A gem of an open rural playground. For all.

Today marks the end of nearly three weeks away from home base. The way has been varied, from Welsh hills to Derbyshire Dales. Rural to urban to plain old motorways. All to the accompaniment of…? Hard to express yet ever-present. I guess it’s the music of The Way. Background music. And I’m not talking about the racket of the exhaust pipe vibrating against the body of the car I’ve been driving!

Note added 19th August.
For those who wonder/worry. The cause of the noise was an easy fix. just a bolt on exhaust pipe heat shield sheared off. What a clatter! Friendly local garage fixed it for free.

Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives