Category Archives: Pictures

Dancing with the Tyrant

“It was Christmas and the foreign monks had decided to celebrate it. They invited some laypeople as well as Ajahn Chah to join them. The laypeople were generally upset and skeptical. Why, they asked, were Buddhists celebrating Christmas? Ajahn Chah then gave a talk on religion in which he said, “As far as I understand, Christianity teaches people to do good and avoid evil, just as Buddhism does, so what is the problem? However, if people are upset by the idea of celebrating Christmas, that can be easily remedied. We won’t call it Christmas. Let’s call it ‘Christ-Buddhamas’. Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. You may call it any name you like.”

My husband Alistair and I were meant to fly out of Portland today, heading to his family’s home in the highlands of Scotland. Like thousands of other Holiday travelers we fell victim to the “Snow Storm of the Century” (which by the way is the second one this decade). So we spent the day dancing with the winter tyrant who, it seems, had much to offer once preferences were put to rest.

Offline for a Couple Weeks

Am offline for a bit of a retreat so will not be posting again till after the 17th of Feb. Taking a break for the phone, the computer, the car, and yes, even the web. Should I survive . . . will post again in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you a short video for your Nobel entertainment.

Take the best of care and see you in a few weeks time,

Snow at Abhayagiri

Apparently parts of California are experincing their fair share of snow this winter. Here’s a few photo’s just in from Abhayagiri monastery . . .

Baby It’s Cold Outside

This year, for the first time since 1962, we had snow fall on Christmas day; a teaser for what was yet to come. A few days later the news forecasted up to 36 inches to blanket the Cascades. Knowing how much I enjoy tromping in the snow, my daughter Amy phoned to invite Alistair and I on a snowshoeing trek. Within twelve hours she and her partner Michelle bundled us into their car, shoved lattes and McMuffins into our hands and drove us to our frozen destination. The excitement was palpable. It took real effort on my part to try and maintain some equipoise.

Once we found the trailhead and strapped on our snowshoes we headed into the forested landscape. The climb was steep. I expected we’d catch our breaths and chatter once we rounded the peak’s corner, yet instead of conversation, everything muted; color softened and sound dampened. Even the songs of the birds seemed clipped of unnecessary gaggle. Enveloped in natures calm I felt cooled to the bone.

Mosier Hermitage Comes to its End

Tempatures dip and the rains return to carpet autumn leaves underfoot. The Mosier Summer Hermitage comes to a close. In seven days we’ll pack up the tents, fold up the blankets and send the monks on their way. It’s been a valuable experiment, I’m pleased how many folks took advantage of these venerables presence over these past three months. Maybe, with luck and a lot of good work, we’ll have a monastic presence here year round.