Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup and Wimbledon

World Cup and Wimbledon in the same week, not to mention the budget.

Horses panicking as flag-flying cars whizz past, and a drought in the North West. It all feels like Alice through the Looking Glass. The world's gan wud. We are more used to wellies than sandals in these parts. Farmers are complaining that grass does not grow and neither do crops.

This morning when I was sitting I remembered how the parable of the Prodigal Son was my favourite story from the bible. It's very similar to the a tale the Buddha told about a rich man looking for his long lost son. Only in my family I was the prodigal parent, never imagining that my spiritual home could be my ordinary, everyday home.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oil & Vinegar.

An old friend sent me a lyric, part of which was a quotation from Catherine of Sienna which went roughly like this:

"One day when I was sad I asked an old monk what his remedy for sadness was."
"Sing a favorite song", he said. Then he added "Oil always comes to the top of the vinegar."

Clearly he had encountered one of the problems of salad dressing which persist to this day, when we try to mix them. (I guess *Newman had the answer.) Anyway, ordinary daily life is often a bit vinegary, spiritual things are often soothing like oil. But look at the trouble oil has been causing lately. Ordinary life is full of oil and vinegar but it makes a good dressing.

As the dying lettuce leaf said from the depth of its bowl "I like to be well dressed".

NB * "Newmans Own" is a brand of salad dressing created by Paul Newman.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Hallo everybody. I need some help! In my kitchen there are some chrysophilla - like tiny flies that can't reach my wrapped up fruit. They came in with a houseplant a while ago and lived on the soil. Now in spite of being reduced too two gravel-planted cacti the little flies still appear. Does anyone know how I can get rid of them?

Years of tenzoing taught me to keep a clean kitchen so now that I apparently don't see very well, a blind friend told me once that she uses her sense of touch to feel if worktops and tables are clean...

I am so grateful to have had Zen training and a great teacher because I was shown how to live this short precious life. The Great Matter of Life and Death it's central to Zen. Sex, relationships, children, maturity and old age, sickness and death haven't changed much since the Buddha went AWOL with his friend. I met a glamorous death defying 80 year old in the States, who after many, many plastic surgeries was about to have the skin tightened on her hands to make them also look younger. Good luck to her, but it sounds like a losing game.