The blogging world has been hit with a huge flood of spam commenting these past few weeks and Jademountains has been awash with it. Somebody kindly switch off the comment facility this morning, thank you J, and I can take a deep breath out with relief. Deleting page after spam page of comments has left me frazzled. At the moment only registered users can leave comments, which is basically just me. If you want to say something about a post you can send it via the contact form and I can post it for you.
Over the next week or two my energies will be devoted to organizing moving Jade Mountains into, or onto, a different ‘platform’ where I will be able to drive the site more easily. Comments will be enabled then.
So there will be some changes in the appearance of the site. For the better hopefully. Maybe some disruption of service but hopefully not for long periods of time.
A new post on Field of Merit has the title of Song Of The Skin Bag. The title is a riff on the title of the previous post (Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage). That post featured a poem by one of our spiritual ancestors Sekito Kisen which has the same title as the post itself. Here is a middle section of the poem which I really resonate with:
Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.
The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned
Bunting fluttering from the guttering – Edmonton Canada
These Buddhist flags were strung along the front of the house where the Edmonton Buddhist Priory had its’ home back in 2004-2006. I took this picture in the winter with, as you can see, snow on the ground. Ah, those cold crisp and bright days. Sometimes the wind would get up and the flags would billow and flutter pleasingly.
Flags are so welcoming. We don’t see this particular style so often out for the public to see and most people don’t know they are Buddhist flags. Everybody on the other hand knows what Tibetan pray flags are like. Of recent times temples have been making their own bespoke flags with symbols such as a wheel or a lotus stenciled on them. Colourful and jolly and most often used at the time of the Buddha’s Birth (Wesak) in early May.
In Edmonton these flags were permanently attached. So much so I remember struggling to get them down when the Priory moved to an apartment in June of 2006. One chap, who became a regular attender at the Priory, told of how he was out walking one day and saw the flags. Knowing them to be Buddhist ones he knocked on the door and was amazed and glad to find a place to meditate which was just around the corner from where he lived.
For those who know their meaning these flags are great advertising. They got at least one person out of the cold and onto a chair to meditate.
This post is in gratitude to the couple of friends in East Asia who have send a parcel of these flags as a gift. I believe they will come in handy some time in the future.