What Books show us

Books let us into
their souls and
lay open to us
the secrets
of our own.
William Hazlitt

At throssel arranging a well overdue climb of Great Gable in the Lake District later in the month. Ah to have a walking companion to walk beside. Walking is easier when not alone. So like life itself – given our ‘souls’ are not alone.

Time Not Passing

Limestone Pavement
Limestone Pavement

The unknown, the Unknowing. Falling. Falling over. Hurt. Old body, seen life. Falling. Falling over. Hurting. Much water passing, many clouds wafting.

Through a keyhole. Surgery. Saintly surgeon. The unknown, the Unknowing. Then. A Mallard Duck. Motionless in a glass cage. Stuffed? Later gone. Up through the top of the cage. Gone. Just like that.

Wonders never cease. Do they? Slip a card into a slot, a slit. Later. Cash! (Sorry, no receipt.) Yes, plastic bag please. Crossing the road. Not getting run over. Coins. Money. Purchase. Food cooked and eaten.

Been around and about. Now back.

When people you know and love are on the brink, in danger of passing away. At least the possibility. Simple things come into sharp focus. Crazy things like the trapped duck in the middle of a hospital. Leave a lasting impression. Just everyday living, just for a short while, is deeper than you’d ever think.

How does it go? There is an ‘unknowing’, that goes on for ever and ever. And is even now.

Where is the Joy?

At Throssel last Sunday for the day, Buddha Day, celebrating the birth and enlightenment of the historic Buddha. The Enlightened One.

The main altar was sparkling, the flower bower over the baby Buddha, inspired. One after the other in procession during the celebration ceremony we ‘bathed’ the Buddha. We ladled pure water over the golden statue, and walked on.

Many times over the years I have participated in this ceremony. This year was different for me. ‘Where is the joy’? I asked myself casually. In the singing? The abundance of flowers or people or children? Being with the monastic community?

Where is the joy?
Who knows?
Who asks?

Listen to Rev. Master Daishin’s Dharma Talk, The Illusion of “Me” given after the ceremony.

Not Bothered

Lambs. Not bothered!
Lambs. Not bothered!

This year they seemed to come in a rash.  All over the fields, a rash of lambs. Could that be the collective term for lambs? Probably not. And because of the multitude I’ve taken less notice of them. Become less engaged with the wonder of them; their springing and prancing, their rough and tumble playing together. Bringers of life to the former sodden fields of December and January (February and March too to be honest.)! Love ’em but try to catch a picture of lambs in repose and as you can see they got up sharpish and walked away. Not bothered. Have a photo taken? Not bothered.

Which brings me to thinking, at what point does something, some event, some kind of multitudinous abundance bring us to being not bothered, to being numbed. When, what ever it is, becomes unimportant to us due to it having become a ‘rash’. Food for thought.

For all those hungry people in the world who are surrounded by food.

Writing is for:

1 painted desk

Writing is for:
dredging up
Eternal ‘not knowing’

There are people we meet in life who help bring about a profound change. A change in ones life  direction, thinking and most especially take one deeper than ones own mind. Just so. My first writing at my now transformed writing desk was about just such a profound meeting which came through the medium of television.

At age fourteen I witnessed, I was to discover later, my teacher Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett being interviewed for British TV soon after she arrived in Japan to study with Zen Master Koho Zenji. She was standing with shaven head and flowing robes, resolute, in a garden in the grounds of Soji-ji Temple, Yokohama Japan. As the interview concluded up into my mind came, If she can do it, I can do it too. That’s all it takes. A thought unbidden, seemingly out of nowhere which in my case lead me towards  ordination as a Buddhist monastic. At the time I was not in the least bit interested in religion. Far from it.

Anyway, my first piece of writing at my transformed desk was for the OBC Journal, and I will publish the short paragraph after the Journal is published.

For all the people who have come into our lives, for all the twists and turns they have brought about which have us here now. We are alive, breathing. For that, and much more, we can be grateful. But who’s counting?

Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives