Monthly Archives: December 2009

may all who journey


Mindfulness in Plain English

Mindfulness is present-time awareness. It takes place in the here and

now. It is the observance of what is happening right now, in the

present moment. It stays forever in the present, perpetually on the

crest of the ongoing wave of passing time.

If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory.

When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade

teacher, that is mindfulness. If you then conceptualize that process

and say to yourself, “Oh, I am remembering,” that is thinking.

-Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

 

Advertisements

ruff


and would I know

the winter

still sliding down

silvering the window

soft whispers

smoke secrets

between

the kitchen fire

and all those winter fires gone before

each ghost arrives upon the gale

welcomed here beside the hearth

each breath of my own

rare and gifted by such drifters

may all who journey


‘No matter what we may investigate,

A single entity cannot be found.

And since there is no “one”,

Indeed there is no “many” either.’

from:

The adornment of the Middle Way

Shantarakshita’s Madhyamakalankara

with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham

translated by the

Padmakara Translation group

a non comerical xmas message (a bit of fun)


There is also a rival theory of the origins of Santa’s paraphernalia – hid red and white colour scheme, those flying reindeer, and so on – which is more fun, less commercial, more scientific and somehow more appealing ( possibly because it is politically incorrect). Patrick Harding of Sheffield University argues that the traditional image of Santa and his flying reindeer owes a great deal to what is probably the most important mushroom in history: fly agaric (Amanita muscania). Before vodka was imported from the east, this was the preferred recreational and ritualistic mind-altering drug in parts of northern Europe.

Each December, this mycologist, or fungi expert, dresses up as Santa and drags a sledge behind him to deliver seasonal lectures on the fly agaric. The costume helps Harding drive home his point, for he believes Santa’s robes honour the mushroom’s red cap and white dots. Commonly found in northern Europe, North America and New Zealand, fly agaric is fairly poisonous, being a relative of other more lethal mushrooms, the death cap (Amanita phalloides) and destroying angel (Amanita virosa). The hallucinogenic properties of fly agaric are derived from the chemicals iobotenic acid and muscimol, according to the International Mycological Institute at Egham Surrey. Ibotenic acid is present only in fresh mushrooms. When the mushroom is dried it turns into muscimol, which is ten times more potent. In traditional Lapp societies, the village holy man, or shaman, took his mushrooms dried – with good reason.

The shaman knew how to prepare the mushroom, removing the more potent toxins so that it was safe to eat. During a mushroom-induced trance, he would start to twitch and sweat. He believed that his soul left his body, taking the form of an animal, and flew to the other world to communicate with the spirits, who would, he hoped, help him to deal with pressing problems, such as an outbreak of sickness in the village. With luck, after his hallucinatory flight across the skies, the shaman would return bearing gifts of knowledge from the gods. ‘Hence the connotation of the gift of healing, rather than something from the shops, as it is today’, Patrick Harding says.

Santa’s jolly ‘Ho-ho-ho’ may be the euphoric laugh of someone who has indulged in the mushroom. Harding adds that the idea of dropping down chimneys is an echo of the manner in which the shaman would drop into a yurt, an ancient tent- like dwelling mad of birch and reindeer hide: ‘The “door” and the chimney of the yurt were the same, and the most significant person coming down the chimney would have been a shaman coming to heal the sick.’ So how does Harding explain the importance of reindeer in the myth? For one thing, the animals were uncommonly fond of drinking the human urine that contained muscimol: ‘Reindeer enjoyed getting high on it,’ he says. ‘Whether they roll on their backs and kick their legs in the air, I am not sure.’

The villagers were also partial to the mind-expanding yellow snow because the muscimol was not greatly diluted – and was probably safe- once it passed through the shaman. In fact, ‘There is evidence,’ says Harding, ‘of the drug passing through five or six people and still being effective. This is almost certainly the derivation of the British phrase “to get pissed”, which has nothing to do with alcohol. It predates inebriation by alcohol be several thousand years.’ Such was the intensity of the drug-induced experience that it is hardly surprising that the Christmas legend includes flying reindeer….

from: Can Reindeer Fly? The Science Of Christmas, by Roger Highfield

merry christmas to all

from Mary Hynes (fallon’s version) as read by liam clancy


lough lene

“Bless your poet then and let him go!
He’ll never stack a haggard with his breath:
His thatch of words will not keep rain or snow
Out of the house, or keep back death.
But Raftery, rising, curses as he sees you
Stir the fire and wash delph,
That he was bred a poet whose selfish trade it is
To keep no beauty to himself.”

and adapted by myself as good as ever expalination as to why i write

one of the things i love best about still being alive


lilly-gator ATP (all terrain pup)

one of the things i love best about still being alive is:

suiting up in that old 3/4 dark almost black green wax coat, slipping on the knee-high wellies (reinforced so nothing can pierce the sole) zipping up every zip, snap, hood, buckle etc and going out in the near dark of winter walking with the little jack russel for company – even when the rain is hard and wind is strong or maybe i should say especially when, like tonight the moon late rising one star amidst the breaking clouds, mud n bog n field n down along the grassy banks the lake waves like an ocean, occasional squawks of errant crows not yet settled for another winter night. nothing stops the little dog, she is an atv of heart and blood, through the hedge rows, along the rocky shore catching waves, like some mad moon in orbit she always returns to me and we walk until we find our way back hardly able to see, she knowing there’s some treat, a bit of old bacon or such, me knowing that there’s something sweet from the oven and that michelle and morgan have the fire tended and after a bit of washing up and maybe a cup of black coffee, i get the evening meal started and i suppose that’s more than one thing, its truly somethings i love best about still being alive.

and that coat you know, did you ever have one? you can go out in any weather and not mind, as if you sealed up every bit of whatever was and is good in your life and it settles all around you keeping anything cold or harsh or wet away – but you know not really away, because somehow you still feel every bit of weather and you really wouldn’t not want to feel each and every inch of it, but rather that magic of the coat is somehow it transforms even the most daunting winter night into something you can’t wait to experience?

4.12.oz9


and would I know

the winter

still sliding down

silvering the window

soft whispers

smoke secrets

between

the kitchen fire

and all those winter fires gone before

each ghost arrives upon the gale

welcomed here beside the hearth

each breath of my own

rare and gifted by such drifters

visible only in the smoke

audible only in the flame

I am never alone in winter

I am sending my own messages

tobaccos scented

whisky scented

seemingly pleasing

soon like crows

I will go

SOMETIMES IN THIS WRITING LIFE/3.12.0z9


SOMETIMES IN THIS WRITING LIFE

On the cherry wood smooth

As kisses table,

Quiet as dust between

The rafters, I spend hours

Wanting for nothing more

Than that dark French coffee

And these American cigarettes.

Between paisley shadows,

Where the chestnut floor meets

My cold feet I sweep

Afternoon’s debris

Into the fire

Just after sunset and stars

Soft in a glow of kerosene,

The black cat curls into my chair…


%d bloggers like this: