Moving on – Letting Go Eyes

Yes! A new theme for Jade which reflects a ‘next step’ for me. I like the simplicity and hope you like it too. My next step is to move out of the house in Eastern Cumbria I have been house sitting for nearly three years. It has served me well and a number of people have enjoyed being at the house with me and walking together in the stunning countryside.

It is not a huge task to pack up my few belongings and store them (together with the rest) in an attic at Throssel although somewhat challenging due to nagging Bursitus in my shoulders. (Too much lifting and carrying, raking and gardening these past months no doubt.) I’ve several side trips to drop off donations, gifts and return borrowed items then on Wednesday I transfer over the hill to Throssel with what’s left. Thus the greatly simplified look and feel of Jade reflects how it looks and feels where I’m currently living my days. Thanks to my Throssel walking companion for the gentle push I needed to ‘move out’ of the theme I’ve been using these last couple of year.

A greater challenge than dealing with material items – and Jade’s look and feel – is to meet squarely the inevitable pangs of sadness as I view the familiar with new eyes. I’ll call them letting go eyes! And of course the eyes are windows which allow light to pass back and forth. The expression clear-sightedness has a particular sweet sadness when brought into the subtle spiritual/religious practice arena.

Jademountains Banner image aprox. December 2012 through June 2014.
Jademountains Banner image aprox. December 2012 through June 2014.

Jade’s former banner photograph was taken in March 2012 and now published for one last view, and goodby. Bows to my three companions that day and to those heights I’ve climbed a number of times since then. On a clear evening, to look across to the Lake District proper. Ah, the Nine Standard Rigg. Ah, the Eden Valley.

This post is for all those who have shared this house and walked this countryside and who have supported my being here financially with generous donations. Donations continue to be my source of support.

A special thought for those who are in similar circumstances, I am aware of a few. That’s moving house, moving on, moving out, moving in, moving job, moving family, moving country.

Let us be careful how we go and remember offering spiritual merit includes merit for oneself.

Contemplating Pop Culture and Spiritual Content

Spiritual Pop Culture Analyzing Spiritual Themes in Pop Culture Well I am still amazed Jademountains is listed in the Blogroll of this website. OMG just seen that the tag line to the blogroll entry reads ‘Beautifully written’! Blimey, and many thanks. There’s a lot of interesting content in this site for those who have had anything to do with pop culture – ever.

Here’s an older post from February 2013 Oscar Spirituality: Rebels, History Revisionists, Relationship Neurosis and Spiritual Battles but doesn’t suffer for that. I’ve seen a number of the films and wouldn’t mind watching them all over again.

Soaring In The Wind – Together With Friends

A walkers cake.
A walkers cake.

Because mountains are high and broad, the way of riding the clouds is always reached in the mountains; the inconceivable power of soaring in the wind comes freely from the mountains” (Eihei Dogen – Mountains and Waters Sutra)

After the solitude of the early morning on Sunday, sitting on the doorstep observing the neighbour’s garden came a companionable walk in the Lake District. There must have been about 15 sangha members and friends striding up towards this minor mountain chatting as we went.

Not to the top!
Not to the top!

It was a lovely morning. The sun shining with not a hint of a threat of rain and it remained that way for our eight mile hike. Some fairly vertical sections but nothing that required a scramble or offering much in the way of exposure. (Meaning no need to hang onto rocks for dear life, lifting and placing feet while keeping impermanence in mind!)

At a certain point there was a choice to make a side trip to stand atop the hill (Mellbreak). I’m not that interesting to gain the tops of mountains so I reclined on the grass and enjoyed the view from where I was. The others came back eventually and in the dim distance I heard, Do you think we should wake up Rev. Mugo? It’s sooo relaxing in the mountains. We lunched and walked onwards.

With bows of thanks to Jenny who’s 60th birthday we celebrated on returning to the valley floor. Splendid cake, with strawberries and cream and good company. Jenny has been leading Green Mountains Walkers from its inception. Now the baton has been passed on to another able leader.

Alone With Others

Nine Standards looking North1
Sitting on the doorstep early morning.The flowers in the neighbour’s garden. Pansies and others. Seeing them it was if they were beheld for the first time. By anybody. Ever.The school janitor in shorts collects his Sunday paper and a lone cyclist whizzes by. Rainbow colours.

For me the meaning of solitude is not the absence of other. And yet being physically alone; the empty hill the other evening or sauntering in a woodland brings with it a reminder. A reminder that everything IS being beheld for the first time. Including oneself. I’m thinking Solitude passes through. Not to be lingered in over long.

Off now for a walk. In company.

The Nothingness of Pain

The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers by Joanna Bourke. A Guardian Review
Is pain tedious, indescribable, even a good thing? This study offers a reminder of the days when suffering agonies was thought to be character-forming.

Also listen to the online edition of Start the Week, Radio 4. Joanna Bourke talks with authority, and I have to say enthusiasm, about the history of pain. Especially interesting is the brief discussion about the relationship between pain and fear which comes approx. 14 minutes into the program.

One can express the fears around pain and people often do. Will it ever end, will it kill me, am I going to die, what have I done to deserve this torture. But when it comes to describing what the pain itself feels like we are oddly lost for words. There’s a possible explanation for why this is so.
The following is taken from the Guardian review of Bourke’s book:

Our pleasures connect us to the world, it seems, but pain condemns us to isolation. There are odes to pleasure, and paintings, plays, symphonies and operas that celebrate its infinite variety; but there are no works of art that express the nothingness of pain.

For those who live alone in the presence of pain.