Category Archives: This and That

Personal Reflection

Materials from the monks cells were recycled....
Materials from the monks cells were recycled….
Here is an extract from a recent post I wrote for Field of Merit. The post gives an idea of what I have been up to this past week, as well as offering some personal reflections on busyness.

In daily life I’m accustomed to stepping on it, merging with the traffic and keeping going through my day – weeks, months and years if I care to reflect. Keeping one’s foot on the accelerator when it is wise, and necessary, to slow down and stop can be a habit which is hard to acknowledge. Let alone do something about addressing. Few of us can go from 60 mph to zero with grace. There has to be a measured slowing down which may be as nerve-wracking as our driving adventures of the past few days.
Field of Merit – from Fast Moving Traffic.

It has been a full week with more travel in the next two weeks.

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The Turning of the Year

Walkin' on the edge of the bay...
Walkin’ on the edge of the bay…

Such a lovely day. Spring is here and a sangha friend and I took the opportunity to go for a walk in the sunshine. We went on an outing to Arnside Knott. Little did we know at the time that it is a Marilyn a hill at least 150 meters high. Such hills have a rather close connection with the Monroes in Scotland which are mountains more than 914.4 m! Read on….and smile. What is it about us people wanting to climb to the top?

Some hill walkers attempt to climb as many Marilyns as possible as a form of peak bagging. Some radio amateurs attempt to operate from the summit of every Marilyn. As of the end of 2009, no one had climbed all the Marilyns in Great Britain; however, three people were only two short of completing them (because of the inaccessibility of the sea stacks on St Kilda and their protected status as part of the largest gannet nesting site in the world, maintained by the National Trust for Scotland). Two other people are only three short of completion. Wikipedia

Outings are special because they don’t happen every day. Today’s outing was especially memorable. Perhaps because the year has now turned. I can feel that in my bones.

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Help Build a Temple

Kwan Yin Loves Pie.
Kwan Yin Loves Pie.

One of the temples of the order I am part of has published a cookbook. No ordinary cookbook this one – Kwan Yin Loves Pie. I’m showcasing Grants Politically Incorrect No-Nonsense Pancakes. As an aid to memory, since the recipe calls for one of everything, Grant suggests singing/humming One-is-the-loneliest-number…. and other similar songs. And here is Rev. Master Koten on Chocolate Chip Scones

These scones are delicious as they are,
but the chocolate chips
bring them up to a
whole new level. Koten

Obviously this is much more than just a cookbook. More a window on the lives of those who gather around this temple. There is teaching on the important ingredient, love. I’d say the background smile coming through this book is as important.

One of the congregation members reports:The cookbook is a fundraiser towards getting some building done at Dragon Flower Mountain (Lions Gate Buddhist Priory’s rural temple in British Columbia Canada), which I know all are hoping can maybe start this summer (2013.)

The book can be ordered by email and paid for on-line. In addition the temple has generously posted a pdf version of the cookbook. Be sure to make a donation if you download the pdf. Every dollar counts.

I was just talking to one of the monks at the temple in deepest rural British Columbia letting them know I am posting this. Apart from saying a friendly hi I wanted to make sure somebody drove up the mountain to the ‘upper cabin’ to check email regularly to catch your cookbook orders.

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With Assurance And Confidence

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Neil Gaiman’s Rules for Writing From the ever wonderful Brain Pickings. Also watch Neil Gaiman.

Not bad advice I’d say.

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Build Your Own Hut – Bolt-hole

Wower! This looks right up my street.

Sunday 23rd September at 8.00 pm GMT. A new series with Kevin McCloud, of Grand Designs fame, starts off by building himself a bolt hole in the woods. Sound romantic? Read on….
Man Made Home Chanel 4 – this coming Sunday.

Kevin starts work on his hand made home by venturing into the bowels of London. With mains electricity and gas not an option for his bolt hole, Kevin hopes to make biodiesel for a lamp from the huge stinking ‘fatbergs’ that clog up the city’s sewers.

For the cabin’s structure, Kevin cuts down two ancient oaks, and starts putting together the wooden shell of the building.

He also experiments with a Wild West technique of splitting logs by gunpowder, and tries to make the whole cabin mobile because of planning regulations.

Is there anybody who could record the programs (four of them) onto a DVD please? Just drop me a line. Thanks 22/09 Somebody has offered thanks.

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