Saturday, 30 January 2016

Bowie's Buddhist Funeral

Following David Bowie’s wishes, he had no formal funeral. Instead, his close family scattered his ashes following a Buddhist ceremony on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The singer was secretly cremated without any of his family or friends present, he told them he wanted to "go without any fuss" and not have a funeral service or public memorial.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

A Poem that I Like

"Hearing the Gibbons Call in Pa Gorge" by Wen Chao translated by Paul Hansen

As I lean
On my oar, gazing
At the cloud-line, purity
Emerges, deep and lonely,
From the Gorge.

When the mind
Doesn't have anything
On it, there's no sorrow
Inherent in repeated calls. They bear
The dew where every peak is distant,
Dangle in space where a slice
Of Moon shines

Hears it like this
Can finish a poem
By dawn.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

FULL MOON - Equanimity

There never was,
nor is there now,
nor will there ever be
anybody who is only blamed
or wholly praised.

Dhammapada 228

To receive unjustified criticism can be difficult. Feelings of indignation might arise and perhaps we think, 'I don't deserve this'. But what happens when we receive unjustified praise; are we equally quick to ask ourselves whether we truly deserve it? The reality is, throughout all time, everyone is praised and blamed, sometimes it's deserved, sometimes not. Thinking, 'this shouldn't happen to me', is like thinking 'I shouldn't have to feel the wind blow'. The wise response when we receive praise and blame, is to restrain the storyteller in our heads, come back into the body, exercise our best quality awareness, and simply feel how it feels; adding nothing to it and taking nothing away. Attempting to set up life in order that our preferences are always met, is to hide from reality. The Buddha's way is to receive reality.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

More from The Travelling Buddhists

The travelling Buddhists are off again; John and Nicole from the Newport Zen group have taken their trusty tandem off to Thailand and are beaming back lots of pictures..........

The view from their guesthouse.

A Buddha shrine flanked by two guarding bright cockerels. Apparently when King Nasueran was taken hostage by the Burmese, his invincible cockerels (he loved cock fighting as a little boy) secured his reputation (?)..

War Phra Ram

If you would like to see some more of John and Nicole's photos visit their website at

Friday, 15 January 2016

Lama Chime Rinpoche's Tribute and Prayers for David Bowie

Young David Jones was 13 when he developed an interest in Buddhism after reading “The Rampa Story” by T. Lobsang Rampa. Over the next four years, his interest in Buddhism and Tibet grew until he was visiting the Tibet House in London up to four times a week.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Fear of Emigrants

There really is nothing new under the sun. The news is full of stories of the New Year outrages around the main railway station in Cologne by middle Eastern gangs and now Swedish police face allegations of a cover up over mass sex assaults at the We Are Sthlm festival in both 2014 and 2015 by a gang of youths — reportedly mostly from Afghanistan.

In the years after the American war of independence there was a great fear of being overrun by mass European emigration.

"Federalists mistrusted foreigners in general and immigrants in particular, especially of the poor and non-English variety. Alarmed by the numbers of Germans, French, and Irish pouring each year into their cities and towns, Federalist politicians had proposed a ban on anyone born outside the United States holding government office, along with a twenty-dollar naturalization fee for immigrants -- no small amount at a time when an American farmhand might get by on six to twelve dollars a month (remind you of something the Danes are proposing to do?).

"In July 1797, Congressman Harrison Gray Otis of Massachusetts sounded the alarm on immigration in what became known as the 'Wild Irish' speech, warning that while he had nothing against 'honest and industrious' immigrants, the country could not afford to 'invite hordes of wild Irishmen': 'The mass of vicious and disorganizing characters who could not live peaceably at home, and who, after unfurling the standard of rebellion in their own countries, might come hither to revolutionize ours.' "

Friday, 8 January 2016

NEW MOON - Not The Way It Seems

Those who are energetically
committed to the Way,
who are pure and considerate in effort,
composed and virtuous in conduct,
steadily increase in radiance.

Dhammapada 24

Energetic effort can sometimes feel assertive and at other times feel yielding. It is by no means always clear in our practice what sort of effort we should be making. Exercising gentle patience, for instance, does not necessarily appear impressive, but might be exactly what is called for. If we push when we should wait, we might make things worse; if we wait when we should be moving forward, we could miss a valuable opportunity. Agility is an ally in practice when associated with right understanding and sensitivity.