Thursday, 31 July 2008

Old Gaffers II

As promised, a better quality pic of Wilhelmina, Nicole & John's Dutch sailing barge.

See "More Travelling Buddhists" and their web site "Wilhelmina's Crew", also the original post, "The Old Gaffers".

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Dalai Lama's Mum in Freshwater

I was Googling for information on the West Wight and came across this piece in the Wikipedia article on Freshwater;

"In 1960, Dekyi Tseri, mother of the current Dalai Lama, stayed at the guest house of Sir Basil Gould's widow Cecily in Freshwater for six weeks. Tseri, known to Tibetans as "Amala", meaning "The Great Mother", was recuperating after a throat operation to remove a benign polyp performed at St. Mary's Hospital in London."

Friday, 25 July 2008

Olympics, Thirteen days to Go

Yes it's only thirteen days until China hosts the games of the XXIX Olympiad. The authorities are providing designated "Protest Pens". "We have already designated specific areas where people or protesters who want to express their personal opinions can go to do so," Liu Shaowu, director for security for the Beijing Olympic organising committee, said on Wednesday.
The zones, in three outlying parks, are away from the main venues where most events and medal ceremonies will be held. Chinese regulations require that all protesters apply and receive permission in advance and don't raise causes that the Chinese deem illegal, such as a free Tibet, all in all a really great way of bringing yourself to the attention of the authorities.
British spectators and athletes have been warned that they face arrest and detention by the Chinese authorities if they stage demonstrations.

The Foreign Office warned that anyone attempting to protest about sensitive subjects such as the occupation of Tibet or the repression of the Falung Gong spiritual practice is likely to face a hostile reaction. "British nationals should be aware that involvement in demonstrations or distributing political leaf-lets without application is not tolerated and they could be arrested," a spokeswoman said.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Power of Compassion - Tashi Lhunpo Monks

Last night (Saturday) I went to the "Power of Compassion" performance by the Tashi Lhunpo monks at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport and it was great to meet up with so many Buddhist friends from across the Island. This was the culmination of the monks five days on the Island. I missed the destruction ceremony for the sand mandala that the monks had so painstakingly constructed over the course of four days but was told by a friend from the wider Island sangha that the tide had been flowing and so the swept up sand had been sprinkled on the Medina to flow down to the sea! (if the tides not in then it's all mud next to the arts centre).

The performance was visually and audibly stunning, with rich brocade costumes and, in the confines of the Anthony Mingella Theatre, deafeningly loud Tibetan Dung Chens or long horns. The following short video of the skeleton dance (we're all bones underneath and life is impermanent - Buddhism 101) gives a flavour of the night.


My own favourite was the performance of mudras

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Monks and more Monks

I received an email from Daizan today to let me know that his web site has been revamped and is now up to speed. Check it out at the link above and I've also put it on the Favourite Sites list (I'm still running both the conventional Blogger list and the new "drop-down" list and would love comments as to which one people prefer).

The sand mandala being created by the Tashi Lhunpo monks in the Anthony Minghella Theatre at the Quay Arts Centre is progressing, with four monks now simultaneously working on it.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Tashi Lhunpo Monks come to Newport

Starting tomorrow (the 15th.) a group of monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will be in residence at the Quay Arts Centre, creating a sand mandala with a programme of dances and music involving colourful traditional costumes and ceremonial masks.

We will keep you informed of their progress up to their closing performance on Saturday the 19th.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

China's Attempts to stiffle Olympic Protests

In a disturbing report from TimesOnline we hear that Tibetan monasteries are being emptied as China jails monks in order to silence Olympic protests, many have simply "disappeared". Read More.....

In another story from the BBC has announced that it will show political protests if they occur during the Beijing Olympics, the corporation said yesterday, even if the Games' organisers attempt to censor official footage. Read More......

And while China is getting ready to "welcome" the rest of the World, the following "rules" have been laid down........

China is warning visitors to the Olympics they could be fined or jailed without trial if they breach rules on a range of offences including staging political protests.

A list of rules for tourists coming for the Beijing Games in the summer outlines a long list of reasons why they may not be allowed into the country at all.

Those banned will include anyone suffering from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or sexually transmitted diseases such as Aids, the mentally ill, prostitutes, and anyone with "subversive" intent.

Books, articles and computer files with content "harmful to China's politics, cultures, morals and economy" would also be banned, the rules say. Read More......

Saturday, 5 July 2008

What I Believe

"Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honour for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters or priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto." ~ Gautama Buddha

Kalama Sutta

Faith in Awakening

Wednesday, 2 July 2008