Thursday, 16 August 2007
Thank you for your note, good to hear from you. Right now I'm in Sutherland, the northern part of the highlands of Scotland. It's hard to believe that almost exactly two months ago we were together down on the island. It's looking like I'll reach Cape Wrath (a Viking word meaning 'the turning point' in about four days. There are a few pictures of the walk, knocking about. I've attached some. Hope they're ok.
Looking forward to seeing you when I head south again.
Monday, 13 August 2007
Hiya, hope the summer's going well and, if you're in the UK, avoiding this summer's rain. Right now I'm in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands and over the last few days the terrain has moved from mountains and trees - alpine style to huge open empty heather-covered open mountainous vistas. Often there's not a house, not a fence in sight. Although people are pretty thin on the ground (did you know that there are more people in London than in the whole of Scotland?) it's fantastic to be able to say that Scottish people are if anything even more generous and kind than English. When I get out my alms bowl, after a little bit, the food arrives. Yesterday a very simple girl put a sandwich in my bowl, looked at me and said, "Are you living in faith?"
"Yes," I said, "I am." And we smiled together.
Still a lot of miles to go. More later,
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Monday, 6 August 2007
I'm on the Island for a few days (leaving Monday evening) and am gently re-connecting with my friends here, hence this email. As you might have heard, I've received this wonderful new name, Palaka, meaning 'he who cherishes, nurtures and protects' - that's the very short version of the meaning! I have experienced a profound and inspiring time at Guhyaloka (which I believe has a website, so you can catch some glimpses of this place online, and maybe spot me in the shrine room photo if the new image has been uploaded).
On Tuesdays, while up in the Spanish mountains, I've been thinking about you and the West Wight group. Have you been well? Although I'm off to the North Island soon, I wanted to touch base, even electronically, while still on the same piece of land. I very much look forward to seeing you again.
You've probably already noticed that I've taken a new email address, too. Although I'll continue to check the old one, this will be my 'home'. The dh, by the way is for 'dharmachari', the title used by members of the Western Buddhist Order, meaning 'one who fares in the dharma'. That title is conferred as part of the public ordination that followed on from the private ordination where the personal name was received. I'll be in touch soon about the suggested get-together in Ventnor on the Tuesday after Bank Holiday Monday. A couple of friends from the London Buddhist Centre are visiting me then, and it seems a good opportunity for a bunch of us to get together. I'm thinking of probably something in the afternoon and something in the evening, so won't necessarily disrupt your meeting's routine.
Any news of the picnic?
With all the very best to you:
The web site mentioned is at http://www.guhyaloka.com, and no, Andrew isn't on the pics.