I am very happy for those of you camels who got to listen to James at the oasis this weekend in London. Refreshment on many levels… hearing the depth of the dharma expressed so clearly.
I’ve been on a kind of retreat for a while so my posting on this website is a little random but I wanted to share, particularly for those who didn’t manage to get to this talk, a link to talk James gave a long time ago, 2003, in Macclesfield entitled Anxiety and doubt.
‘Everything changes and gain and loss fluctuate without ceasing…therefore seeking happiness in outer objects or in mental objects is not wise.’ said the Buddha (Dhp, Finding Freedom) and this talk seems, among many other teachings!, perfect for these strange times… bringing calmness and clarity when applied.
Here also are a few practical notes:
As with the rest of us…that I will die is certain, when or how is uncertain, but for me it is not so likely to be from starvation.
I spend a little time with people who are overtly homeless or vulnerably housed…and am conscious of the varied feelings they evoke in others. Being ignored as ‘of no value’ is commonplace… as is receiving projections of others’ hatred and disgust.
I see that many food banks are struggling for supplies now as people, in their anxiety, are completely forgetting those who have nothing or not enough to live on…the numbers of whom is steadily rising and likely to increase rapidly. Some of these are people for whom the notion of self-isolation is completely meaningless – would that mean separate doorways?!
So with 24,000 currently, as a ‘tip of the ice-berg’ number for rough sleepers, and with 3,500,000 in fuel poverty in this country… if you have money to spare for a can of meat, tuna, fruit, vegetables, rice pudding, pasta or toilet rolls, coffee, tea, to put in the local food bank collection perhaps at the supermarket then someone in need will be on the receiving end…’Generosity will overcome meanness’ Dhp.
[The suggested items are generally welcomed but if you check on-line you’ll see what’s wanted and needed locally…stocks vary, as does what appeals in different areas.]
As it says in the Dhammapda ‘We are all guests in this world many people do not know this.
This world is not our true home and we only borrow what we temporarily have – so what is there to fight over?’
Well, clearly the Buddha didn’t know about Toilet rolls!!!
I was recently asked by someone currently travelling in Vietnam how to manage without toilet paper.
This is normal practice for many people in the world, often made hazardous by limited access to soap and handwashing facilities.
The bucket of water, jug, and left-hand swishing method used in many countries may take some getting your head around but trust me, it is entirely doable… thanks to Christine Lyschik who helped me with this knowledge in India many years ago.
‘Nice and easy does it every time’…these word of wisdom (JL) could be the sense that brings you round to James’ much more recent talk on equanimity Finding balance in turbulent times… and more refreshment from the dharma for enjoying this particular spring-time of your life!
Dhp – Dhammapada the first section of Finding Freedom.
Photo – Wikipedia
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|Attribution: Trish Steel|