Today I lost a stone in weight…

My trusty old banger who I affectionately call the Bullet is my pride and joy. Along the way it’s been kicked and had windows put out, and at one point my ignition key snapped in half. When that happened I had someone repair it for me but because it had a computer chip in it The repair man couldn’t put another hole in it for me to put it on a key ring. As a result I’m forever losing it.

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This morning, as I was climbing into my car with work bag, two phones, house keys and all the other paraphernalia I realized my key wasn’t in my pocket…or the house…or anywhere else I looked for the following three hours. I’d hung washing out so checked my overgrown lawns, I’d packed a few things so reopened the boxes, I checked every room, both sheds, even all of the half filled packing cases and there’s dozens of them.

As my emotions flipped between terror and panic I finally decided to go make a coffee and do a bit of work and so put the kettle on and nipped to the car for my work bag. On the way I rather hoped for a bit of divine intervention but wasn’t hopeful after the foul language I’d come out with (and I hate foul language). But as I walked out of the gate my eyes for some reason went straight into the undergrowth even though there was nothing particularly gleaming. There in the grass…..

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Thank you my Lord, thank you.

As the rain passes I can feel the warmth of the sun…

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As an artist It’s quite nice for me to be able to occasionally showcase one of my paintings on my Home page. Right now at (yet another) time of change in my life I decided I wanted to post this one.

I first came across Buddhism in 1974 when I spent time in Thailand at a particularly vulnerable time in my life and for reasons beyond me I felt quite an instant connection. At the time I drank far too much for a 19 year old in an effort to drown past pains which had left me with no sense of identity.

For many years I tended only to rely on my faith at times when life was either painful or difficult but as I’ve grown older and more aware I’ve felt the need to also give back. When life is going well for me it’s important for me to give thanks.

For me Buddhism isn’t religion, it’s a way of life. It’s a simple belief that compassionate and kindness when given is returned, and that has been my experience. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me and very testing but as the rain passes I can again feel the warmth of the sun. Today I give thanks.

Bardo

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Life right now is very emotive. Two of my grandchildren are emigrating to Australia tomorrow and as I come to terms with that I’m just starting the last two weeks of my present job before moving to Wales to start a new job on 1st September. The paradox of saying goodbye to colleagues I’ve come to know and hello to others I need to get to know isn’t something I’m particularly looking forward to; as quite a sensitive person I’m going to have to work hard at keeping the lid on it all.

All around my house there’s packing boxes in every room, some taped up and others half full and so I’m feeling strangely transient while trying to lead a normal life. Spiritually I’ve already left one life but not yet started another; it feels like the (Buddhist) state of Bardo, the time between death and reincarnation. Thankfully I have a very strong faith.

The sun sees your body, the moon sees your soul

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I’ve never been fond of February, it has a tendency of leaving me flattened; oddly though – probably a survival instinct – my mind flies into some sort of creative kaleidoscope which can be very irritating. Irritating because sooner or later I find I have to sit down and record my thoughts either through a drawing or a piece of writing because with me they just won’t go away. That’s not to say that what I draw or write will be for public consumption; dozens of books of my little creations are still tucked away (for my eyes only) having served their purpose as cathartic therapy.

Recently some things have been particularly emotionally draining and as would be expected I’ve gone and found my (metaphorically speaking) best friend – my pencil. As I sat pondering what to draw I remembered something I once read ‘The sun sees your body, the moon sees your soul’.

I may be gone for some time…..

A soul-less place with no connection

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Today I went back to the gardens of remembrance at the crematorium to pay respects to my foster Mam Katie who passed away 40 years ago today. I’d made the trip many times before in order to see the book open with her name on the page but today was different. For some reason, maybe because it was raining I’m not sure, as I walked round the gardens I felt them to be totally soul-less and I felt no connection with my mother at all. Even looking at the book with her name in left me spiritually indifferent. I won’t go back. The fact I am sharply aware of my mothers birth date and passing date is enough for me to know she is always in my heart and I get more comfort on those days from my own reflections and private prayer.