Sunday, 22 June 2008

Talks by Ayya Khema

Since initial writing this post Ayya Khema's talks have been uploaded to Dharma Seed. All 474 talks are available at this link Ayya Khema Talks.

I have just come across a site selling audio tapes of talks by Ayya Khema. The price is $8 per tape including P&P but as this is a U.S. site I have no idea how that works for the rest of us. The site lists over 400 talks and if you would like a taster, one given at Gaia House in Devon, is in Mp3 format and can be downloaded for free.

Ayya Khema is one of my favourite Buddhist writers and I had some part in providing Mp3 talks of hers for the kalyanamitta site which is run by Bo Schafers the webmaster for the Buddhist Society of Western Australia site (right up there as one of my fave sites). So for anyone on the Island who is interested, I can provide 46 of Ayya Khema's talks on disc (if you don't have my contact details leave a note in the Comments below).

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Olympic Torch in Lhasa; Tibet, the Story that won't go away

So the Torch has been paraded through the streets of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa by the Chinese authorities. Pictures are hard to come by except from the state controlled Chinese media but this one from yesterday may explain the lack of protest.

Another factor was that ordinary Tibetans had been ordered to stay indoors and could only come out and cheer if they had been given a special pass! Read More..........

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to get independent news from Tibet is that the Chinese government rigorously controls access to the country. The following is quoted from the China Daily's section for visiting Tibet

"Papers required for foreigners for Tibet travel
Four pieces of information are necessary for foreign tourists traveling to Tibet, a valid passport, a valid visa, a Tibet Entry Permit (TTB Permit) and an Alien Travel Permit (PSB Permit). Those coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR must also carry these four documents. However, journalists and people that may be involved in political matters are not included in this, for they must travel to Tibet under arrangements made by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tibet government."

"Using Tibet for a propaganda opportunity such as the Olympic torch relay - while sealing it to independent investigators - is both unconscionable and reckless," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

For an in depth article on the Chinese crackdown read this excellent piece from the "Globe and Mail". It does all rather make you ask what are these wonderful ideals that the Olympics are supposed to represent and that have to be so vigorously protected from protesters calling for democratic freedoms.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

More on Meditation Techniques

I was checking the recent visitor stats for this blog and noticed one from San Jose, California with the referring URL of . I was intrigued by this and checked out the site. There, in an article headed "Meditation zeitgeist, June 16, 2008, A not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation" by Bodhipaksa, I found a link back to our previous post on "Meditation Techniques".

Wildmind is run by Bodhipaksa, a Buddhist teacher and author who has been practicing within the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order since 1982 and a member of the Western Buddhist Order since 1993. Bodhipaksa previously taught the course, Traditions of Buddhist Meditation at the University of Montana.

There is already a link to "Wildmind: Your online guide to meditation" listed under Favourite Sites (try out the new drop-down menu at the top of the slate blue column).

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Meditation Techniques

Last Tuesday we had a general discussion on the various methods of meditation, afterwards one of our members sent me an email, "I came across this link today. I like its honesty in describing what my meditation at least, is like, and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one whose 'technique' is rather shambolic!"

The link is to, wayward thoughts on the Buddhist way. Included in the post is a link to this video by Ajahn Sujato ...........

While I was putting up this video I also changed the "Video Bar" to show some talks by Ajahn Jayasaro who is from the Island.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Isle of Wight Festival

Well it's the start of the annual Isle of Wight Festival today and I've been googling around for any Buddhist connections to justify a post. The "editorial" policy here is to cover Buddhist items and then the Island if there's a Buddhist connection and then Buddhist related U.K. news that takes my eye.

So I here's a piece from the 2005 Isle of Festival when Faithless fronted by lead vocalist Maxi Jazz, a Soka Gakkai Buddhist played.

Maxi Jazz responds well to the Island. “I’ve never been here before in my life, and Jimi Hendrix played here, and it’s a really beautiful place. The crowd look really friendly. I don’t know if I’ve been on it long enough to realise that it’s an island yet, because I thought it probably only takes about ten minutes to get to the other side and we took forty minutes to drive to the hotel, on some of the wildest roads I’ve ever been on. The air is so sweet and you can taste it as you breathe it, its so nice”. Read More........

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Burma, "The Dirty List"

The Burma Campaign UK has just released the updated 2008 Dirty List, cataloguing those firms that do business with the Burmese regime. I provide the link for information and for all of you out there to use in the most skilful and constructive way appropriate for yourselves.

Monday, 2 June 2008

"The Old Gaffers"

Over the weekend it was the Old Gaffers Festival in Yarmouth, here in the West Wight. During these three days of free entertainment, Yarmouth's picturesque harbour was filled with more than 100 visiting traditional sailing, steam and motor vessels, including the cream of the Old Gaffers fleet. On shore there was a huge range of activities, including a French market in the Town Square, keeping the 20,000 plus visitors entertained from morning till night all weekend.

One of the boats attending was Nicole & John's Dutch sailing barge, Wilhelmina. Nicole & John from the Newport Soto Zen Group featured in a previous post about their cycling tour in Australia (there you go, tie-ins to the West Wight & Buddhists). There is a link to their blog "Wilhemina's Crew" in the favourite sites list.

(Sorry about the quality of the photos, must get myself a decent camera)