Wind, Water, Ice On – Shetland

Loch of Drigeo Shetland New years Day 2010, wind blown water over the frozen loch. By Didgykev

I find this short video most appealing. Hope you enjoy it too. Kevin who is something of an expert on all matters Didgeridoos, is a regular Jade reader and Throssel congregation member. He recently moved from the North East of England with his wife and young son up to Shetland. That’s and island very much north of the mainland of Scotland. By all accounts it sounds like a great place to be.

Meanwhile where I am, it is cold. Sub zero this morning. There is a quality to snow, about walking on it, at around -9 or -10 that has me transported into being impossibly jolly. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the light reflected off the snow is blinding, the air is simply…crisp! Wonderful! But I’m alone in my jolliness and I must remember to tone it down. People in Britain just don’t appreciate deep coldness. I learned to love and respect deep cold in Edmonton during a couple of winters there.

Gradually the house move I am helping with is taking shape. Iain of Little House In The Paddy, whose house move this is, writes about Clearing a path up the back yard. House moving is a high stress business and this weekend is the final push to get all the furniture moved in. Weather permitting.

Long time readers may remember that Iain escorted me during my travels in Japan and China back in 2005. He has just posted on, and about, perhaps the most beautiful section of British motorway where the road passes up along the edge of the Lake District. That section of the M6 should be filmed and set to music…especially when white with snow. Tomorrow I drive south with Iain through that beautiful valley. Perhaps I will manage to take a photograph as we go.

Let Us All Be Careful Out Here

A thought for all those people caught up in the drama of the severe weather here in England. My huge sympathies for the hardship it is causing so many people. I’d hope we, collectively, can maintain a level of walking forward, looking up and generally acting in a way that keeps everybody safe.

My, now about to be disclosed, location is Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. There is not that much snow here although bitterly cold. The current project is…to get out of where I am now, sitting on the floor of a guest house room. Walk down the very icy street, calling in at the Spar shop to top up my mobile phone with air time – and buy some vegi. And then make my way to the house where I am cleaning and painting walls, and shifting stuff in preparation for furniture to be moved into next week-end. Weather permitting.

Sometimes I end up helping people, in this case a person who studies with me, in very practical ways….and gladly done.

Let’s be careful out there.

Asking The Bell to Ring

Chion-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan on New Year’s Eve is home to an amazing New Year’s Eve scene: 17 monks ring the largest bell in Japan 108 times.

Within our tradition we too ring the bell 108 times at the start of the New Year. Our bells are considerably smaller than the one seen in the video. Apparently the last cry (heard on the video) before the bell is actually struck goes something like, Ring Out!, or Sound!

We have started to NOT talk about the weather…it is THAT bad! And I will be away across the Pennines tomorrow. I hope to continue to post from my, as yet, undisclosed location.

Always The Mountain Remains


The first day of the new year. 2010. It’s ten years since the following messages were written in my Daily Office scripture book.

Sun and mist come and go –
And always the Mountain remains.

In gratitude for all that has been given;
for all we are, collectively and singly;
for all that will be received,
and in readiness…

How fortunate we are…
To meet friends
along the way.

Yes, how very fortunate we are.

The first words my Master spoke to me were, Come in friend! in response to my opening a door to the room she was in. I can hear her still.

We celebrate Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett’s birthday this morning with a ceremony, The Festival of the Birth of our Founder. Without her, this place would not be in existence.

Thank you friends. Please continue to come here, you are welcomed.