Lemon Marmalade

Lemons are selling at half price at the moment. Time for an experiment. Delicious!

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The ‘Black Hole’

This post has been republished a few times now. I love that this card from my father turned up within the last couple of years amongst some old holiday cards in the monastery stash, which were available to be recycled. I believe my dad found this time of year quite difficult although he would never talk about ‘low mood’ but would mention the ‘black hole’ and note it in cards or conversations to me. So he obviously noticed ‘something’ going on, as I do.

Yes, it gets dark earlier in the afternoon and light later in the mornings until Black Hole Day when the tide turns and the daylight gets longer, nights shorter. Slowly. My dad would mark the weeks when there was little change in the day lengths as The Black Hole. Not an easy time of year for any of us and many supplement with extra light.

From my late father’s card, 1988.

Happy Christmas holiday and new year. Hope you don’t have to do too much cooking. Hope the Black Hole is not sitting on your back – anyway it is nearly black hole day – 21 Dec Winter Solstice which is far more important than Xmas to me.

Note December 2020. Little did my father know that cooking for the monastic community is an honor and a privilege. Currently, I am cooking lunch each Saturday for the community which numbers around 20 monks and postulants.

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More Thoughts on Confidence – Video

Here is a talk given by Rev. Roland on the subject of Confidence. It would seem we both ‘end up’ in the same place, more or less, in terms of our thinking on confidence. Here’s what I had to say in a recent post titled Self Confidence.

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Attention/Effort – Not Two

The quote coming from William James seen below is from an article in Brainpickings It is well worth a read all the way through if you are interested in all things to do with habits.

I’ve been thinking rather too much about habit today, mental habit to be exact. Sitting down for formal meditation this evening I made a deliberate decision. In my mind, I thought, ‘I could think about what to cook for Saturday lunch, but I’m not going to’. It is amazing what making a deliberate choice can bring about…..

Just as, if we let our emotions evaporate, they get into a way of evaporating; so there is reason to suppose that if we often flinch from making an effort, before we know it the effort-making capacity will be gone; and that, if we suffer the wandering of our attention, presently it will wander all the time. Attention and effort are … but two names for the same psychic fact.
[…]
Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. Asceticism of this sort is like the insurance which a man pays on his house and goods. The tax does him no good at the time, and possibly may never bring him a return. But if the fire does come, his having paid it will be his salvation from ruin.

William James on the Psychology of Habit found on the wonderful Brainpickings website.

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Life is Not a Journey

Here is a 4-minute animation video with the voice and teaching of Alan Watts. Enjoy and learn.

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives