Keeping still long enough…..
It is notoriously difficult to photograph creatures. The smaller they are the harder it is to have all the moving parts distinct and visible with a facial expression they would be proud of! In the case to these two Jack Russell Terriers, parked outside of a local sandwich shop, I had a lucky break. The man in the shop explained that they were advertising.
We are constantly on the move physically aren’t we, let alone the shifting about in our heads! Even when sitting still doing nothing in particular one part or another is moving. Wriggling, adjusting position, raising an arm to adjust clothing, crossing and recrossing legs. Our face is constantly animated even when not talking and simply listening to somebody else. I notice this particularly when using a webcam to talk on Skype. If the other person is animated, shifting about a lot, it can be disturbing and general restlessness can set in on both sides of the screen! The non talking head can be as expressive as on a silent movie. On the other hand I’ve sat in on a Skype call with several people on camera who were not restless and that was a deeply moving event. At times we all fell silent together. It wasn’t planned to be that way.
Talking on-line and being able to see oneself in the ever-present tiny pop out window and getting constant feed back is great real-time feedback. It is showing up habits of how ones speech is augmented by well established mannerisms. And how physical discomfort or fatigue effects the quality of the speaking too! The other day I saw this happening and seeing and hearing the feedback I quickly switched to a more supportive chair. That made all the difference. Without that visual feedback I’d probably not have noticed the fatigue and slogged on regardless. That is my habit!
I am not advocating for rigidity or for obsessing about body language, not at all. More that how we are in ourselves has an impact on those we are with. And the more we are within our own skin the more others may well be encouraged to do the same. Here is the first photograph I took of the two dogs.
Ty Canol, West Wales. Once home to a cave dwelling hermit.
I was just about to take a long breath and complain about the basic minor burdens of every day life. It has been another long day ending with a long Skype call to America where it’s their lunch time and my bedtime! Then I remembered coming across this video called This Is Water in which the point is made that we are not the center of our own small universe. And we can exercise choice to think differently rather than, when the chips are down, go to our center-of-the-universe default setting. The animated video uses the first part of the now famous commencement speech given by the late David Foster Wallace. The Guardian published the entire speech back in 2008 soon after David Wallace died. He took his own life. Tragic story.
Hat tip to Future Health 2020 where I found the video.
Sleeping lotus flower
The Buddha’s Birth is celebrated around this time of year. Although traditionally we look at May 8th as THE day we tend to be pragmatic and schedule on a week-end close to that date so families can come and join in. Gladly I was here today at Throssel and able to be part of the ceremony. I love to sing and there’s usually quite a bit of that during this particular event. The children are very much part of it all and receive a present at the end from the abbot. This year was no exception.
I was feeling a bit ho hum I must confess this morning. A combination of a few factors but mostly suffering the effects of a long drive yesterday up from West Wales where I’ve been for the past five days. Then something happened which made my day. At the end of the line of youngsters waiting to be given a present stood a two year old girl. Picture it. A huge hall, lots of strangers, lots of empty space to get lost in. All the children received a blue box which they were told was heavy. There were no more blue boxes left by the time it came to the small girl to receive her gift. She was last in line and there were two lotus blossoms left on the gift tray. Presents or decorations? Standing there alone before the imposing abbot the girl was given a huge lotus blossom. Gasp! She received it with dignity and then skipped and ran across the empty space back to her mother in obvious joy and pleasure. It was a moving moment and seeing her so obviously happy made my day. But then there were other moments after that.
- Listening to the monk singing the ending Offertory, a solo piece, with clear bright heart.
- Seeing the daffodils in the lane, flowering perfectly.
- Reconnecting with the little family, the girl and her twin and their brother now all grown up brother aged five.
- Meeting the brother of a chap soon to join the monastic community who said he thought the word hole in the name of the monastery (Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey) best referred to the hole in the sky where one rises up through spiritually. Nice thought.
Later this riff from a Beatles song….
There is a hole in the roof where the light
Stops my mind from wandering…
Then I ran out of steam. Should be something about looking up but nothing came to me.
Happy Wesak Day to all who visit here. Thanks little family for making my day and to ‘dad’ who is a regular and faithful reader.
Contemplating lollipop trees
When I bumped into an article about happiness in the very excellent Brain Pickings
site I immediately launched into Ken Dodd’s catchy song, Happiness. In 1964 this song made it to 31 in the Hit Parade. Interestingly a year later in 1965 his song Tears
made it all the way to number one and stayed there for quite some weeks!
Here’s a couple of stanzas from Happiness for old times sake. And to reflect on too.
Happiness is a field of grain
Turning its face to the falling rain
I can see it in the sunshine, I breathe it in the air
Happiness happiness everywhere
A wise old man told me one time
Happiness is a frame of mind
When you go to measuring my success
Don’t count my money count my happiness
Ken Dodd – Happiness
One can only surmise that between singing Happiness and Tears a year later something happened in Ken Dodds life. He has certainly stood the test of time, he is still touring! Tears can be about grief and sorrow and the grief around regret. That would be regret about something in the past. An action, an attitude; words spoken, deeds not done or deeds unwise and harmful.
Harbouring regret is to live partly in the past, or quite a bit in the past for that matter. What is to be done to move on? That’s to travel one’s day in an immediate kind of way as talked about in this article The Science of How your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness.
I know of no other way than to return to the flow of what is here now, internally and externally. That’s to direct ones attention time and time, without the demand/expectation/requirement to be happy. ‘Tis fleeting after all!
Hole in the wall…
Instead of spending time
getting rid of of the clouds
go right to the Sky!
Whatever we do
it is extraordinarily important
to proceed with correct motivation:
the wish to break through
To Unconditioned Reality,
Having gained access
To our innate
Wisdom and Compassion,
Attributed Rev. Master Daizui MacPhillamy
To the very end R.M.Daizui’s motivation was to benefit others.
It is a clear blue sky day, in every way. Clouds come and go to give the sky shape and texture.