Miraculous Activity

‘When I hear people talking about happiness I have no idea what they mean, but then, it’s not something you talk about, it’s something you do.  Bake pies, chop logs.  At a certain point, the …

Source: Miraculous Activity


Details of Turning Towards – a residential retreat at Wiston Lodge

Turning Towards

A Residential Retreat, Wiston Lodge June 8th to 11th.

At Wiston Lodge, Nr Biggar, South Lanarkshire, ML12 6HT


You are warmly invited to join us at our summer retreat from June 8th to June 11th 2017, guided by Dharmacharya Dene Donalds in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. We will gather as a Sangha of all ages to support our practice of Mindfulness. Together we will be seeking positive ways of living in these times of political uncertainty, upheaval, and climate change.

How can we make a difference to our lives in the world we are living in, in the here and the now? Together we can create a living community of inter-being finding ways to live together with compassion and insight. To explore how we can contribute to a sustainable and peaceful world.


We can make a difference to ourselves, our lives, and the world we live in.

We will practice together to:-


  • Find peace and energy within ourselves
  • Learn to listen deeply
  • Practice guided, working and walking meditations
  • Touch the earth,
  • Learn how to form Sanghas and communities of resistance


Wiston Lodge with its extensive grounds and natural environment, merging upwards to Tinto Hill, gives us the opportunity to deepen our awareness of Interbeing with Nature and with one another. The doors are wide open for all our friends and we hope that everyone young and old will feel nourished and enriched through the explorations of the practice.



For more information contact:

Meg Beresford on meg.beresford@gn.apc.org or 07835 362 774

Bill Crook on warmray@hotmail.co.uk or 01595 840838

Paul Dear info@tintomusicandarts.org


The UK Community of Interbeing is the network of people who practise and mindful living according to the teachings of Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh.

Web site: http://interbeing.org



Please fill in and return with payment to:

Border Collie Sangha

c/o Wiston Lodge, Millrigg Road, Wiston, South Lanarkshire ML126HT


Please tick one of the following options as appropriate:

□ Adult Lodge place at £165

□ Age 16-24 Lodge place at £150

□ I wish to apply for a camping place at £110


Shared bedrooms in Wiston Lodge and in the cabins


I enclose full payment of __________________


Please make cheques payable to ‘Tinto Music and Arts’

Payment by direct transfer is also possible. Details from info@tintomusicandarts.org


First name ________________________ Last name__________________________


Male/Female (delete)




_____________ _________________________________________________________________


Postcode ______________


Telephone________________________ Mobile _______________________________________


E-mail address (please write each character in the boxes below)




Can you offer a lift? If yes then your details will be passed on to those requiring transport.

□ Yes □ No

How many people can you take? ____Travelling From___________________________________


Meals will be vegetarian. Please advise of any other dietary needs below:


□ Vegan □ Gluten-free □ Other – please state________________________________________


Access Needs/ Enquiries:


Wiston is fully accessible but please let us know in advance if you have any concerns




Details for Public Transport/Driving at http://www.wistonlodge.co.uk/about/faqs



Distinguishing between Quantitive and Qualitative growth.

This is an article that looks closely at how we look at growth – how growth is and could be measured in sustainable and qualitative ways, ho w we might shape a different future that is not solely viewed in terms of economic growth. A good read with plenty of links and pointers. From the the Economic Design dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability.

Distinguishing between Quantitive and Qualitative growth.






About Time

Great blog post on time, being time and being in the moment. Love the use of Camus and Dr Who! Thank you Shundo!

Shundo David Haye

The  New Yorker provides me with regular intellectual stimulation, but I do sometimes get exasperated with the way that western intellectuals get stuck in their thinking. This recent article was a case in point (there have been several others, most of my reactions to which mostly moulder away in my pile of draft posts). It was informative about history, especially about St Augustine’s musings which I was not familiar with, and  I enjoyed setting the quote “There are three tenses or times: the present of past things, the present of present things, and the present of future things” against the equivalent in the Diamond Sutra, “Past thought is not got at; future thought is not got at; present thought is not got at.”

But when it came to this statement, “Either way, in considering the moment right here before us, we can never quite escape ourselves,” my response was…

View original post 348 more words

About the flowers and grasses

Sometime ago now I retired from teaching. On the final day my wife picked me up , I released myself from my tie and suit, put on some gear I was far more comfortable in and we drove across to Glasgow and South over the border to Ullswater and Glenridding.

We had wanted to mark the end of my time as a teacher by casting off and visiting friends and family in the south. But in my mind I had formed the idea of a pilgrimage – a trip to visit the burial places of my mother and father.

My mother died suddenly from heart failure Christmas Eve 1999, my father slowly declined through dementia and gradual physical frailty until pneumonia took him in January 2006.

We spent the night in a comfortable hotel room with a view out over the lake. As I stood at the window and looked at the lake, I thought about my father and his big sister Day. During the war Day had spent some time posted at Glenridding and my father as a young lad of fourteen or so had come to visit her. It was here he fell in love with the hills and mountains of The Lake District. He often recalled how he had hired a boat and rowed across the Lake to explore and climb the fell on the other side and, in later life, I walked with him in many of the places he had explored as a boy and young man.

In the early Spring of 2006 my wife, son and I had travelled South to meet my sister and her partner having decided that his ashes should be scattered in a place that he would have loved. We drove through snow and purple skies to Patterdale. We processed up a footpath and over a burn bearing my father’s ashes. Eventually we found a rocky outcrop on the hillside overlooking the path and with a view up the valley to the higher fells. We sat and took it in, supped some herbal tea and released some of his ashes to the wind.  I pictured him laughing and enjoying the gusts. The poem below reflects on these events –

North after the snow:

Grey,blue,black fells topped with white.

Purple grey clouds push up the lake,

There’s sleet and a crisp chill at dale head.

We begin our walk,

box on my back.

His grandson leaps, runs and hides,

hare-like, exhilarated.

Wind sears our faces.

Shining blue breaks the cloud.

Conversation burbles, dog meanders

We step stones at the beck.

Then a view up valley:

sheep pens, Scot’s pine, steadings,

sheer scree.

Figures process to cross gates,

and the blue white beyond.


We find an outcrop,

jutting over the valley.

Sit and sip blackberry tea.

I see him with

boots, stick and bobble hat,

panting and clambering up hill.



He had rowed the deep lake,

climbed sheer slopes,

gulped mountain air and been enchanted.

Never free of their lure, he kept returning.


I pull open the velvet and uncover the box.

His son, daughter, and grandson

astonished at the dry chalky ash.


A vision hits – white hair,

blown eyes sparkling, stick prodding.

The day we walked Caburn in the snow.


We tip the box and he soars out.

A spritely, guffawing genie, released to the fells.

Up Helvellyn with the wind behind him.

“Don’t you ever just lie down and laugh sometimes?

Just for the hell of it?”


On this pilgrimage there was no sleet or blue black fells. It was a warm but cloudy end of June day, trees in green splendour.  As we walked the path I remembered my father and  he was there in my mind’s eye keeping me company.

As we walked the path became less familiar, less how I had often pictured it, we became unsure of where exactly the  outcrop was, probably covered in bracken and grasses. We could not find it; but I knew we were in his resting place, I sensed his presence, I felt in touch with him, could picture him and hear his voice and laughter. He was there and he was in me. He is always in me  – time, as we followers of Dogen know – is time being – everything is present.

We drove South and, eventually, to Piddletrenthide; a small village in Dorset where my mother and father made their last home. As I drove up the rough chalk and stone track around the side of this last home, that led to the church and churchyard, I felt an overwhelming plunge into grief, loss and regret. My mother’s death had been sudden. She had left life amidst great dissatisfaction and depression. I had not been able to give her the support and help she was so desperate for – listening, kind words, advice had not seem to help her. I regretted not having been to her graveside since her burial. I was aware that my own anguish and feelings of failure in helping her had set up a barrier to revisiting this painful past.

Yet as I walked towards her grave my mood lifted. I searched for the headstone, chosen by my father, sister and I and then there it was. Grass had been cut between the graves and my mother’s was there – a bed of beautiful grasses and wild flowers. It was as if she was transformed, all sadness lifted. She was within them in beauty and peace, birdsong and flowers.

And there they are – at the  head of these pages – the flowers  and grasses from my mother’s grave. A lesson in flow,change, impermanence.





Posted in Zen