Category Archives: photograph

Ambling at Alnmouth Bay

Alnmouth Beach, Northumberland.

by Mary Oliver

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall —
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

Just a couple of hours in early September, ambling along the sandy beach at Alnmouth  Bay, smelling the seaweed, watching dogs run and play, hearing the swish/woosh of the waves, sitting on a rock as the tide went out – all enough to lift my spirits. It is unmistakable the effect being beside the sea has on one’s whole being.

I wasn’t looking for anything, in particular, that day. It just seemed ‘good’ to stir myself and ‘go somewhere’ while I was having some quiet time/renewal time in August/Sept. My natural inclination was towards exploring the fields and lanes locally to where I was staying. On the day I wasn’t feeling 100% wonderful as I stepped out of the car, there are days like that. During the hours drive the exhaust pipe had broken and the sound of it vibrating against the chassis was both defining and concerning. This I could have done without.

However, it just takes a bit of ‘pushing through’ sometimes, in some circumstances, to let go mentally, emotionally and physically. This is spiritual renewal. There will always be ‘conditions’, inward and outward to push through. Not to reach somewhere else, some happier ‘place’ perhaps but when all conditions come together, there you are. Renewed! what a gift.

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In the Dark

Beautiful still evening
stars out
walking in the dark


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Upcheerings of The Season

An alternative Christmas Tree, Alston Cumbria.

Crochet squares sewn together, artfully, and configured into a Christmas tree.  Love the tippie star on top, also a crochet creation.

I do a bit of a dance around this time of year, the ‘holiday season’, with what to wish people when I send a card. This year I’ve been wishing people a ‘Peace Filled’ new year to come. I’m not shy about saying Happy Christmas or Xmas for that matter. Buddhamas? I don’t think so.

For me this time of year can do with as much ‘upcheering’ as we can all muster. Blasting light into the darkness for a short time is uplifting. Switch on the coloured lights, hang baubles on the bushes, and drape tinsel over window frames, pictures and mirrors. It doesn’t need to be artful, for me at least. That said, the room I live in sports only cards. Little room for anything else. Thank you to those who mailed a card.

If all the light and colour can reflect back into our own being and we can shine, all the better.

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Happy Buddhas Enlightenment

The altar at Throssel for the Buddhas Enlightenment Festival Ceremony.

We celebrated the Festival of the Buddha’s Enlightenment on the 6th December which came at the end of a weekend retreat with many guests here. Always a real pleasure to see people and to catch up during lunch. Rev. Jishin, one of the senior monks resident at Throssel, gave a talk titled “True Heart”. I love to listen to her, hope you get a chance to do that too.

On a personal note: Thanks to those of you who have sent emails asking if I’m OK since I’ve been consistently absent from Jade for nearly eight months! There’s a multitude of good reasons for not writing however when I look at them honestly, they amount to, mostly, excuses! Sorry. I got out of the habit of writing however habits can be changed. This TV interview with James Clear is a helpful ‘how-to’.

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Manifesting Buddha – Dharma Talk Audio

Happy Buddhas Birthday. On the Throssel Website you can find a talk I gave last Sunday following a ceremony to celebrate the start of a new Buddhist year.

I’m shocked to see it has been so long since I last did a post here. What happened? Life happened! Leaving me with little mind space for thinking about writing. Sorry folks.

Hat tip to the Reverend who took the photograph.

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