Month: January 2020

Dear Earth, will you be my friend?

We have a friend who moves slowly and who is a reserved deep-thinker – he had a beautiful mellow labrador for many years. When our little dog Aiko introduced herself to him when she was a puppy, she raced around him, jumping up inappropriately, running away and then back, and generally trying to get him Read More

Dear Earth, a confession of unfaithfulness.

Sweet Earth, this is a confession. When I write these love letters to you, I am unfaithful. A part of me is devoted to you, and another part is greedy for the praise I will receive for what I write. I can feel kindly towards this greedy part. It is trying to receive love in Read More

Dear Earth, in praise of wet afternoons.

In praise of finds on the wet forest floor: a snapped off squirm of pale root imitating a worm, a majestically spiked conker coat, a lime strip of moss like the sloughed-off pelt of a mini beast. In praise of the chance meeting of three dogs on the hill, strangers for a few seconds only, Read More

Dear Earth, this is for you.

At the end of our Buddhist services we often transfer merit. This means that we symbolically gather together all the peace, insight, consolation and joy that we’ve received from our practice, and we pass it on to those who might need it. The great thing about transferring merit is that, in the giving, we receive. Read More

Dear Earth, I am not in control of the universe.

Whenever I’ve got a problem, whenever I’m in pain, whenever I’m unhappy, I have to at least be open to the possibility that the reason for it is that I think I’m in control of the universe. It’s often that. ~ Russell Brand, from a video on Recovery Over the past few weeks, dear Earth, Read More

Dear Earth, we are not alone.

This weekend eighteen Buddhists from different traditions came together in your name, dear Earth. We are all members of Extinction Rebellion and we wanted to feel less alone. At the start of the first day I led an exercise where we all stand in a circle facing each other. Someone calls out a category they Read More

Dear Earth, I woke to a dance.

Our Little Dog was poorly last night, and so for the second time this week we counted the hours until morning. “And?” I hear new mothers and insomniacs say. I salute all those who function on little sleep. I am feeble when it comes to needing decent chunks of it, and sleeplessness leaves me feeling Read More

Dear Earth, are we a cancer?

The word is so loaded with anguish and dread, I hesitate to use it. And yet, we people have been likened to a cancer on your body, dear Earth, and the metaphor makes sense. We have plundered your resources, exterminated other species, and duplicated ourselves into craziness. I’d rather think of Others as the plunderers, Read More

Dear Earth, I was awake in the night.

After a heated conversation I was stuck awake with my brain fizzing until 3 a.m. Either that, or it was the big chocolate caramel brownie, and I’d rather give up triggering conversations than sugar so… I was triggered into a complicated combination of thoughts and feelings, including whether I was safe, and whether I was Read More

Dear Earth, why bother?

This morning I gave a talk here at the temple called ‘Introduction to Buddhism: Why Bother?’. In it I explained why I (sometimes) prioritise spiritual practice over watching Netflix. Life is often a whole lot of bother. Most of us are already stretched. It would be better for you, dear Earth, if I made my Read More

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