Means of Identification

Dunking it, what ever it is, in bleach is not always the best solution. Today I did dunk some stained fabric in a bleach solution, so far so good. That scrap and I started life together some 25 years ago as one of several cloths that go with a set of formal eating bowls, used during monastic retreats.

It just so happens ‘Bleach fact sheet’ is the first item listed under general textile care in an archival posting on Rebecca’s Pocket, which I was very glad to have found again this evening. Here’s the other headings in this treasure trove posting on caring for domestic linen; stain removal guides, miscellaneous, vintage textiles, textile conservation, caring for linen and vintage linen.

My bowl set linens have remained with me all these years probably because I have name tapes sewn on them. Such is community living. This evening I started the long project of sewing tapes onto all of my clothes. They are not required, however I love my clothes well enough to go to the trouble. After all one sock looks much the same as another, unless it has a name! There will be no problem finding out who I am should I be found unconcious with no means of identification on me. Sad thought, however such things do happen.

Here is where to buy woven name tapes which will last longer than the items they’re sewn to. I’m still using a couple that belonged to my paternal grandmother. Bless her.

Language On The Line

Back in the early days of weblogs, in the mid to late 1990’s, postings were written with html coding, all done ‘by hand’ as I see that referred to. Blogging, seems to me, was a craft and the authors took pride in their hand coding, time consuming as it must have been. Now we have the ability to tap tap away and the coding just happens behind the scenes. So I thought to take a pause to reflect on our weblogging ancestors and extend some gratitude towards those who pioneered this liberating form. One in particular comes to mind.

Rebecca Blood’s on line archive goes back to 1999 and her weblog, Rebecca’s Pocket is still being updated regularly. One of the first books I bought was The Weblog Handbook, which she wrote in 2002. There is a wealth of practical information and guidance as well as clear and compassionate instruction on just how to behave on line. She talks about right speech in such a way that one can go into the seeming jungle confident to behave with integrity, and not sell out to popularity and loose ones sitting place.

Bins to the Rescue

For days we have been anticipating the arrival of our new rubbish bins. We’ve speculated on the size, the number and the all important, when will they arrive? The mileage we collectively and individually got out of the subject of our new bins over the past week(s) has been impressive! And here they are, they arrived to-day.

Now we can discuss, in fine detail, just what we can, and cannot, put in the grey recycling bins. Yes, grey for recycling and green for the rubbish. We have already been reminded that this is counter intuitive.

Yes, it is not easy to find things to talk about that don’t lead to Preceptual difficulties. The new bins have been gratefully received, on several counts. Practicing right speech while not becoming tiresome or repetitive can be quite a test, where ever one lives.

Writing a blog without becoming tiresome or repetitive or just plain boring is a huge test. Especially when sharpening ones opinions is not part of ones daily practice.

Thanks for visiting.

A Bow to The Inside Smile

This image arrived in my email to-day. What struck me was the practice of changing the flowers/leaves/plants/branches that accompany the statue to reflect the changing of the seasons. This is usual practice with an altar. The symbolism of the flowers, or what ever is appropriate, is….let’s see now. I can use different words each time I explain symbolism, here’s what I have to say this evening.

The flowers are the offering up of the vibrant life of practice. That’s the blossoming of, ever changing and ever renewing, practice. So it makes sense that the altar is ever changing too. The flowers are the most obvious item to rotate however there are other parts of the set up that can be changed too. In our tradition, strictly speaking, the flowers go to the left of the statue, the candle on the right. And the set up below works in the situation within the home, perfect just as it is.

Hi Rev. Mugo

Thought I might share…this is the Hotei who sits on the shelf in our kitchen above the herbs and spices. I really enjoy cooking and to come into the kitchen and see the statue before beginning to make a meal really adds that deep happiness that is not the opposite of sadness but simply is. Does that make sense? He has had autumn leaves around him since September and soon he’ll have evergreens for the winter season.

All the best

In a real way the altar can be an expression of, a focus and a symbol of, training. The altar is a place one goes to bow before. What is it that bows? Is the bow to something outside or is it a bow to the inside smile?

Many thanks for sending in this photo, much appreciated.

Smile Inside

Here is Hotei. The Chinese character on his chest reads, ‘Happy’. The happiness that is being shown here is not something that needs sadness to contrast it against. No, this is an exuberance that springs up of itself. One sees this in children and sometimes in the elderly. And in the middle years perhaps joy is, more often than not, pinned to external things. However, not always.

Can one not fail to smile inside at what is being shown here?