Moon Watch

We all know the moon is made of cheese. Right? Cheddar I always think. Well last evening, later than I tend to be abroad, it transformed to something akin to Red Leicester.

I guess I’m not the only soul who stood moon watching in the cold night last night. What an evening! A clear navy blue sky with our moon having increasingly large chunks bitten out of it until at around 10.45 it was almost completely red, and strangely pulsating. Or was that my eyes getting tired from gazing heavenwards for too long.

We even have a Moon Watching ceremony. I can only remember us doing it a couple of times when Rev. Master first introduced it in the early 1980’s. Both Zen Master Dogen and Kaizan died on the full moon night in Autumn and this ceremony is to remember them in particular. There is teaching embedded in the ceremony, with the food that is on the altars. The juice should be pomegranete since the small seeds in one fruit represents the all is one and the all is different. In the book of instructions for ceremonies I see there are receipts for dainties, all having a symbolic meaning. There is one for Moon Cakes.

At the start of the ceremony the priest gives a brief talk. Just as the moon reflects the sun so too Keizan and Dogen reflected the Unborn Buddha Nature, and continue to do so down to this very day. As we observe the moon we should think deeply on how we too may be as ‘moons’ of the Unborn, reflecting its light.

It would seem in the East there is a long tradition of celebrating the Autumn Equinox with the Mid-Autumn Festival. So we have that to look forward to, however first we have the Spring Equinox on the 21st March when traditionally we hold a Segaki (“feeding the hungry ghosts”). This year the ceremony will be on March 17th.

Throssel Ancestors

Hello O multi-tongued one.
What language do you speak?
My O my what a lot you have to say.
Your trilling, warbling, chipping, chopping song.
And again.
Trilling, warbling, chipping and chopping.
And again!
There! I see you up in the bare Field Maple.
Who are you?

I see you are kind of tan in colour with speckles and, if I may say so, really quite plump. Could you be the noble Thrush, the Thrush of Throssel Hole Farm? Well, if you are your descendants have been serenading monks here since 1970.

Sing on please. Bring us spring.

Just Biking

As I was biking to work the other day, I got to thinking about how I take the same route all the time, and how sometimes the ride is interesting and sometimes boring, and it occurred to me there’s an analogy to be drawn between biking and sitting meditation.

The Logogryph has just past the one year mark. Congratulations!

High Over Hartside

Looking towards Galloway and Gretna Green, South West Scotland famous for ‘anvil weddings’ . Today, Gretna Green remains one of the most popular wedding venues in the world, and thousands of couples still come from all over the world to be married ‘over the anvil’ at Gretna Green.

West with the mountains of the Lake District on the horizon.

An angry sky pointing towards the north with traffic reaching the summit from Melmerby. There is a sign reminding drivers of the recent 70 fatalities on this hairpin bend infested crossing of the backbone of England. Cumbria Police have a great description of this part of the road.

Note the web cam mounted on a pole. Too bad the camera is still out of order however the map gives some orientation as to where Hartside Summit is.