This morning I was talking to Iain Robinson in Japan and he told me that 15 people had checked movingmountains today. This information has prompted me to start writing again after over a month of being off line. The reason for that is partly to give myself a break from computer work and partly because my new laptop, (Betty Five for those who read a previous posting), developed an intermittent fault soon after I arrived in Cornwall. B5 is now finally at the menders and B4 is back in service again.
From mid July through to late August I have taken the opportunity to generally rest, renew and relax while still continuing to move around and follow my schedule. From Cornwall to Somerset to stay in a small hut in the grounds of a retreat centre called Halsecombe House and then to southern France for ten days and now back at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland. You may wonder if it is possible to combine such activities with real rest and my answer is “Yes, AND it takes working at too”.
While practicing at Shasta Abbey in the mid 1980’s I wrote a Journal article about relaxing. The article was simply called “Renewal”. The gist of it was that one has to work at relaxing, it just doesn’t happen without some effort and preparation. In the article I talked about setting up conducive conditions for relaxation, for example a comfortable chair, a cup of tea, and a good book. There were a number of practical suggestions, one was to invite a cat into ones lap. During the time I was writing the article I was taking care of Max, a somewhat disreputable, yet lovable, tomcat. When not out on tomcat business he would loiter waiting for me to sit down. His grizzled face close up, often caked in blood from fights, gazing into mine was hardly conducive to relaxation however I learnt to sit very still and eventually I’d nap, and so would he. When I think about it now Max taught me a powerful lesson back then.
Published in memory of cats we have known, loved and cleaned up after.