Category Archives: Teachings

When Language Doesn’t Make Sense

This is for a mother and her widest family, who recently lost her son to a motorcycling accident. Tragic. And yet within infinite, unimaginable ‘space’ there is a field….

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Never Far Away


The autumn wind is blowing;
We are alive and can see each other,
You and I.

(Masaoka Shiki, 1867 – 1902). R. H. Blyth’s collection of haiku.

A leaf waves
in the Autumn wind
Then what?

Mugo….not a haiku

With very many thanks to Mark Rowan for the photograph and for sending  the haiku.

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Brain and Mind?

Somebody asked me yesterday are mind and brain the same thing?  Here is ONE answer.  Makes sense to me. Buddhism has quite a bit to say about ‘mind’.  We tend to say ‘keep your mind on the ‘job’ at hand’, and elaborate from there. 2004_04_029

For many people, the mind and brain are interchangeable. They use one word or the other to talk about the same thing: the organ in our skull that we use to think.

However, the mind and brain are actually two very different, but interconnected, entities. As a neuroscientist, this reality is the foundation of my life’s research and work: The mind works through the brain but is separate from the brain.

More from this source.

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We Offer Merit


Yes, lots going on in the world and in this country specifically. Massive changes with the Queen’s passing.

Lets us remember, let us celebrate (her life) and welcome our new Benefactor. Each morning at the end of Morning Service we offer the merit (our best efforts) of the service to the Four Benefactors (the first is the Queen/King) who make it possible for Buddhism to be practiced in peace in this country. (The other three are The Buddha, Our Parents and All People.)

Note: It would seem that blackberries are universally loved, appreciated and fondly remembered, too, judging by the record number of ‘likes’ and comments left on my Facebook page: Houn Mugo.

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Say Goodbye to Swithering

I saw this word in a BBC News item this very morning, what pray does it mean?

swither v. to be uncertain or perplexed about what to do or choose; doubt; hesitate; dither.

wither is a word that many Scottish people use without realising that it is a relative stranger outwith Scots and Scottish English. My spell-checker has in fact just proven the point, underlining both ‘swither’ and ‘outwith’, which have clearly bemused its limited lexicon. A number of stealth Scots words like these have so comfortably established themselves across all Scottish linguistic contexts, from the formal to the informal, that speakers may only become aware of their exotic character when quizzed about them by puzzled non-Scots. The Official Report of the Scottish Parliament (2000) includes former MP and MSP Winnie Ewing’s account of events when she uttered the word in the House of Commons: “The members all stopped and said, ‘I don’t understand’. I wondered what the English word for ‘swither’ was, and they shouted, ‘prevaricate’ and ‘hesitate’. Neither of those words is exactly the same as ‘swither’ … That illustrates part of the strange experience of speaking Scots”.

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I might suffer from Swithering. Another word would, could be, confusion. Which when recognized, I’ve found to great benefit, can be dismissed, said goodbye to. ‘Hello confusion (swithering) goodbye confusion’. Works every time.

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