Category Archives: Information

Thinking Day

At the start of a meeting Brownies dance (skip) around a giant plastic toadstool, or at least that’s my memory, something to do with ‘togetherness’. My rebel sister in arms and I didn’t! We were five or six and not ready to be ‘together’ with the rest, dancing. My fascination with fungus however has been lifelong and here among the trees at Shasta Abbey they are shooting up everywhere.

My rebel friend and I parted and by eleven I was a Girl Guide and devout. Each year we had Thinking Day when at our evening meeting we would remember all the other guides around the world lighting a candle for each country where guides were doing the same thing. Not a toadstool in sight! It was a solemn occasion and I loved it.

In Britain we have just had Remembrance Day and here in the US it will be Veterans Day on Sunday. I like to think of such occasions as Thinking Days as I remember them from Guiding. Massive transfer of merit occasions for everybody around the world. Alive and dead.

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Short film in the making

A 2nd year short film project has captured my imagination. The film is called The Priest and the chap behind it is Mathew Herbertz. Here is a brief idea of what the film is about.

In a world where organized religion has become violently persecuted, an aged priest, Father McNalley, searches for a safe place to start a new church. After a long journey, the priest collapses on the doorstep of a family farm. The family takes the priest in for the night without knowing his true identity. Father McNalley must decide whether or not he should trust the family enough to let them know who he really is. Will the family help the old man continue his ministry or will they hold his faith against him?

Today is day one of Mathews fundraiser on Kickstarter. I particularly like that he has posted a short video saying thank you for pledges so far – his dog features in the video and does a great yawn too!

It’s rare for me to publicize something like this. I’m not soliciting funds or support although if anybody is moved to do so that’s great. It is more the wish on my part to support this young man just starting out on his film making life and the thoughtful subject he is tackling. Non of us know just how long Buddhism will be able to be practice peaceable here in the West.

Good fortune Mathew and crew. I hope this short post helps spread the word for you and this project.

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Being on an introductory retreat

1 silent retreat article
This is a .jpg (photograph). To render it readable/larger press CTRL + (Mac users do something different…)

This article is from a British in-house (Sainsburys) magazine. A hat tip to the monk who passed this article onto a layman, who posted it on Facebook. Isn’t it wonderful that interesting articles such as this one can be passed around the world for others to read and appreciate. And so very quickly too. Yes, hat tips all round.

And OF COURSE a hat tip to Fiona Gibson who wrote about her experience of being on retreat at Thossel Hole Buddhist Abbey.

Added after publication: Oh red faced am I! Turns out the Sainsburys Magazine is a pay-for one and the above is a copy from the magazine. I hope my linking to this site will bring in subscribers and also viewers to their recipe packed website. Yes, hat tips all round. All the same I acknowledge that I’ve not followed ‘best practice’ in publishing this article.

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Silent Retreat

Busy bicycle made silent - The Netherlands 1999.
Busy bicycle made silent – The Netherlands 1999.

The monastery will be on silent retreat for three days starting tomorrow. Why not join us by building in some extra ‘sitting still’ time into your day. Where ever you are and what ever you are doing there are generally places to pause if only for a few moments. Silence is generally associated with not talking and cutting down on the chatter can be a good practice in getting to listen to the chatter in ones head.

externally or internally
is not the absence
of sound.

For my good Sangha friend who has recently broken her leg.

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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.

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