The Tyranny Of Numbers – Counting Sheep!

Tyranny is a strong word to use here. However it speaks of the strength and pull that numbers can have in our minds, towards the positive or towards the negative. Numbers, numbers and more numbers are quoted on the news and elsewhere. Constantly. But what do they actually MEAN. Just the sum of something or other. I’ll leave it there though, I’d not want to get into a whole debate about numbers. We need them. They most likely are useful. And I’ll not be getting overly up or down about the numbers we are exposed to.

I was given a postcard the other day of this old sign which lists the words used by sheep farmers to count their sheep. The counting goes up to ten however, apparently, the counting went on indefinitely to account for fields full of them woolly beasts! I’ll maybe ask a farmer what he uses, what language he uses, to count his sheep now.

Counting Sheep

This post has given me the opportunity to link to this delightful animated video. Several readers will appreciate the banjo playing characters are dressed head to toe in “knits”! All together now, One! Two! Three!

And you might want to watch the English Version which speaks of our knitted friends mission…. With a hat tip to Mailchimp the free Newsletter distributing service we ( are using who directing me over to these vids.

Thanks to all of you who have signed up for the Field of Merit Newsletter, who have left comments and sent emails via the contact form. Yes, I have been watching the number of subscribers rise and rise. Numbers do, of course, mean something. They mean a lot in terms of being supported in our, how do we put it, “inspirational” project!

So sorry for not posting so regularly. Perhaps you can appreciate why that has been the case.

Field Of Merit – New Project Launched

Field of Merit website banner photograph

I’ve been hinting in past posts that there is a project about to be launched which I am involved with. Well here it is…. We opened the doors eight hours ago and we hope you will support our efforts any way you can. Why not be the first to leave a comment and sign-up for our monthly Newsletter for starters? Read the first two posts of our blog, read our About page. Let us know via the contact form if the pages don’t display correctly on your computer.

The photograph, which we are using as the website banner image, was taken in the grounds of Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey a month ago. Newcastle had just had the devastating storm which left houses and businesses washed out, the black cloud to the right speaks of serious weather near by. Incidentally, when conditions calmed down, people were kayaking up and down the flooded streets! Everybody loves a bit of fun even in the midst of serious conditions. And why not?

Rev. Alicia and I have been working towards opening up our website Field of Merit and it’s great to see it go live for all to see. It’s the public face of our efforts to establish a new temple of our Order in Britain. Given it’s history the buttercup field seemed like a good photograph for our banner image. In my own mind I offer my best thoughts, spiritual merit, to the situation that unfolded at the time the photo was taken. No doubt people are still dealing with the aftermath of the flash flood that hit them so suddenly.

Perhaps those of you who have been visiting here, and early on Moving Mountains, or know me personally, will appreciate how significant this project is. There is enlightened self interest in that I’ll have a permanent place to live, eventually. More importantly though is the opportunity to collaborate with another monastic working towards providing a facility close to our hearts.


Dog rose with moody Pennines

Ah how good it is to be out walking with summer wild flowers strewn around.

Writing Naturally

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.


Brain Pickings – 10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy.

Make of this what you will…. I pre-ordered the book The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners.

The Heart Of It

Peacefulness follows any decision,
even the wrong one.
Rita Mae Brown

This seems to be true. It might be due to the utter relief of making some kind of move, any kind of move, in ones life. A move large and far reaching or small and still far reaching. But the awareness of the long term consequences of small or large decisions are hidden to us. For the most part. Who knows what twists and turns will influence our decisions as we continue on our way.

It is not as if there is one final decision and then everything follows from there. Although one good decision, made for the right reasons, has the power to carry forward into future good decisions. The key lies in the ability to keep listening to those inner prompting, or the internal bell I mentioned recently, and steer by them. As best one can.

I’m particularly, acutely perhaps, aware of this need to keep listening and keep flexible because I, and another female monastic of our order, are standing on the brink of launching a project. The public face of it will be a website which I will tell you about when the moment comes to open it to the world. The subtle face, the spiritual dimension if you like, is one you will connect with because the heart and expression of our project are identical to the heart of Jade.

The merit of this post is offered to a young woman who has gone missing. And for all others in similar circumstances – anywhere in the world.