Reflections on Water

Water contained
It could not have been a better day for walking. Sunshine out of a clear blue sky, still chilly though. Two walks, each circling around and ending where we began. The good company of Adrienne who is in training for the long walk around the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in April/May, much appreciated. That’s along with her husband Nigel.

We walked and snapped away at snow and trees and snow and water. Snow piled high above remote roads where drifting must have cut communications. Snow and water do some artful plays especially when reflections are part of the picture. But this evening I am not thinking about anything artful or playful regarding water. Oh no. When water hisses and bubbles from places it really oughtn’t it’s all hands on deck and a phone call to a plumber! Having a boiler malfunction during a long holiday week-end is not fun. However when I think about it there are people who have been without electricity for more than a week following the heavy snows.

In Response to Ryokan – Buddha is Here


Having seen oneself
Utterly lost in the world
Bow down
With ease
Look up

In gratitude and grief
There are waves of light flashing through the trees
In gratitude and grief
Buddha is here.

Another poem which will be read at the cremation ceremony.

Hidden Nearby….

JIll by Ruth Scott

In the entire ten directions
Of the Buddhist universe
There is only one way
When we see clearly there is no difference in the teachings.
What is there to lose?
What is there to gain?
If we gain something, it was there from the beginning.
If we lose something, it is hidden nearby.
Zen Master Ryokan

Sitting with Jill this afternoon, I didn’t want to leave.
She’s hidden nearby….

River of Faith

For the March edition of the Field of Merit Newsletter I wrote a follow-on piece to my last post. The title is Water, water everywhere. Here is an extract:

There is a blackbird on the kitchen windowsill; jet black against the brilliant white snow with bright yellow beak and distinctive yellow eye-liner. Exquisite! It’s not often one can observe a wild creature at such close quarters. But what is it doing there?

Now, having returned to Eastern Cumbria, there is a lot of catching up to do after being away for a whole month. It has been a good and varied one taking in North Yorkshire, Berkshire, Devon and Cornwall. And Northumberland too of course. Hopefully I’ll now get back into the swing of writing regularly.

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That’s Suffering

You know, the trouble is I know there is nothing I can do to make myself feel or be better. He replied, That’s Dukkha! And I had to smile. It is so true. Yes, sometimes a little bit of this or a little bit of that will help alleviate suffering but in the ultimate sense there is nothing that can be done to get rid of it. And knowing that to be true can help with accepting and being with pain. Battling pain IS suffering. Being with pain is…..just pain.

I have a stinker of a cold at the moment. The worst one for years and years. Running nose, sneezing constantly and explosively, headache, exhausted. And to top that I’m jointly responsible for running a retreat. The theme is The Four Seals of Dharma, one of those seals is Dukkha. Nothing like the Dharma showing up, true in the moment.

But do not worry. It will pass. The sneezing will end the dripping nose will stop, the wind will abate (blizzard conditions here at Throssel) and fairly soon the sun will be out again. In the mean time…I’ll endeavour to walk and sit with few complaints. That only makes matters worse!

The most recent post on Field of Merit, Moving and Changing by Rev. Alicia could not come at a better time. Could it be that the process of having and living with a cold or a more serious health issue be about creativity? In a certain way I think it is…oh but wait a moment, here comes another sneeze. I can leave my thoughts on that for another time.