Friday, 25 September 2009

Palaka at Haylands Farm

On Sunday the 4th of October, Palaka is returning to the Island to lead a Dharma study day at Haylands Farm in Ryde. We will be starting at 10:00 a.m. and winding up at 4:00 p.m. bring vegetarian food to share.

The theme of the day is an exploration of the personal significances to be found and used in the symbolism of the '6 Realms' that appear in the 'Wheel of Becoming'.

Palaka says,

"What seems particularly relevant to me at the moment is the figure of the Buddha that appears in each of these realms (that of the gods, the titans, the hungry ghosts, the hells, the animals and the human realm - been in any of these yourself??). The teaching is that we can escape from the experience of emerging and re-emerging in these realms and that the escape is through the human realm. So a key question will be, 'How can I experience myself as more and more fully human?' In a way, the Buddha figures are answering this for us, offering ways towards experiencing more and more awareness. And so it's certainly not all about meditation! And it certainly is about the real significance of meditation and the 'spiritual life'."

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Ten Bulls, at the Source

10. In the World

Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees become alive.

Comment: Inside my gate, a thousand sages do not know me. The beauty of my garden is invisible. Why should one search for the footprints of the patriarchs? I go to the market place with my wine bottle and return home with my staff. I visit the wine shop and the market, and everyone I look upon becomes enlightened.

Never was I anyone but me, whatever I am, I give.

The bull is the eternal principle of life. The ten bulls represent sequent steps in the realization of one's true nature.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Creation comes to Newport

This coming Friday, the 25th, Cineworld in Newport will be showing "Creation" the story of how Charles Darwin prepares to write his revolutionary theories on evolution. As you may know Darwin is thought to have actually started work on "The Origin of Species" while staying here on the Island. This year is of course the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th of the publication of "On the Origin of Species"

Adapted from Randal Keynes' revealing biography, Annie's Box, Creation is a biographical film about the life of Charles Darwin. It tells the story of What happens when a world-renowned scientist, crushed by the loss of his eldest daughter, formulates a theory in conflict with religious dogma, it tells of a global revolution played out in the confines of a small English village; a passionate marriage torn apart by the most dangerous idea in history; and a theory saved from extinction by the logic of a child. It is directed by Jon Amiel and stars married couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin.

The film had its world premiere on September 10, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it was selected as the opening night Gala Presentation for later that evening, the first non-Canadian film since 1996 to be so honoured.

Although distribution was obtained for many countries around the world, no distributor has yet picked up the film in the United States due to the prominence of the Creation Vs. evolution controversy.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Note on Previous Post

The more observant among you will have noticed that the much vaunted "Jump Break" feature which puts a "Read more >>" link to the rest of the post isn't working properly! In the post below the insertion of the Jump Break removes the thumbnail display from LinkWithin and places the Read more >> link below it, right at the bottom of the page. That said, it still works.... it just doesn't make any sense.

I've been informed that Google are working on the problems with the feature but until it's sorted I will be unable to use it unless I get rid of LinkWithin, and as that is a far more useful feature it's no contest.

But we still have three new features as I've also added a "Bookmark and Share" facility so that individual posts can be shared over Social Networking sites. It can be found in the footer at the bottom of each post.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Three New Features

I've just added three new features to the site. To commemorate Blogger's 10th birthday they've released a whole crop of new widgets. The first that I went for is a "Jump Break" that allows for a "Read More" facility whereby a long post can show just a snippet and then a link to display the rest. Try it out and see about the other two new features here.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Dharma, A Poem and all Sentient Beings

Last week, at our meeting, we discussed the definition of "Sentient Beings". This varies from tradition to
tradition but, particularly in Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism, all beings (including plant life and even inanimate objects or entities considered "spiritual" or "metaphysical" by conventional Western thought) are or may be considered sentient beings.

Following on from that I came across this poem by John Clare that makes the point nicely.

All nature has a feeling

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There's nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

John Clare

Monday, 7 September 2009

Island Shanga Picnic, 2009

Yesterday, Sunday, members from all of the various Buddhist groups on the Island gathered together at the Botanical Gardens in Ventnor for our annual picnic. Although not as well attended as last year the event was still a great chance for us all to get together and have a fun time and even though the sun only peeked out occasionally we all stayed dry!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Buddhist Picnic, Latest

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we do have use of the Canna Room in the event of rain. Unfortunately if anyone is bringing their dogs along they would NOT be allowed in the visitor centre. That said, the weather forecast for tomorrow is dry, cloudy with sunny intervals and a temperature of 18 degrees! On that basis we will be using the meadow.

See you all then.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Atheists offer to care for Christians' pets after the Rapture

Here's something that I just StumbledUpon. From the Daily Telegraph 29 Aug 2009......

"It's a question that all animal-loving Christian evangelicals must address: who will look after their pets on Earth when the Rapture comes and they are taken up to heaven?

Now a group of atheists in the US have come up with a tongue-in-cheek solution, offering to take in the cats and dogs of "saved" believers in return for a small fee. The business idea is an irreverent attempt to cash in on the belief – widespread among US Christians – that the pious will be carried up to heaven by God in a sudden swoop, leaving unbelievers to endure the seven-year reign of the anti-Christ on Earth.

The venture follows the launch last year of a new internet service designed to allow Christian subscribers to send emails to non-believing friends and relatives after the Rapture. "

Read More......