Friday, 19 September 2014

September altar

The home altar looks a bit cluttered at the moment due to a recent birthday. A new Buddha statue has been donated by a family member, which has been made by monks in a Thailand monastery.


Autumn is most definitely here.

This tree in Leazes Park near the Richardson Road entrance opposite the RVI, is starting to drop its leaves.

On reading "Entering the Tao of Sudden Enlightenment"

I am quite into reading books on the iPhone and this is what I am reading on it at the moment:

Entering The Tao of Sudden Enlightenment (& The Tsung Ching Record)
By Chan Master Ta-Chu Hui-Hai
Translated by Dharma Master Lok To
Edited By Dr. Frank G. French

"Tao" can be interpreted as "Way" and "Chan" as "Meditation".

“The Ch'an practicer should understand that past things are already past. If you do not think about it, then any thought of the past vanishes; thus, there are neither any past things nor any past mind. Furthermore, future things have not yet arrived; so if you do not wish for or seek anything, then any thought of the future vanishes; thus, there are neither any future things nor any future mind. Finally, present things are already present, so if you are just aware without grasping at or dwelling on anything and never let a thought of love or hate arise, then the thought of the present vanishes; thus, there are neither any present things nor any present mind. ”

Excerpt From: Chan Master Ta-Chu Hui-Hai.
“Entering the Tao of Sudden Enlightenment.”

What to do at the beach

If you want to go to the beach, check the tide tables and weather before you go. It's so much better to be able to get out on the beach instead of just looking out at the sea from the promenade, and also knowing how long you've got before the tide turns.
When we got to Tynemouth Long Sands, a group of wind surfers were getting their boards ready. There was also a group of Nordic Walkers.
I used to enjoy beachcombing, for shells, stones and other interesting items brought in by the tide.
Nowadays I prefer to photograph such things and leave them in place where they belong.
When at the beach it is very therapeutic. The mind goes blank and a calm state descends, save for a benign interest in the surroundings.
It is true that a change of scene, getting out of the usual routine, is good for the mental state. Also, being out in the fresh air and walking.

Surfers getting ready to play on their boards.

Looking in rock pools, some little fishes and a small crab scuttling.

Seaweed and a bird's feather.

North Shields and Tynemouth Long Sands

Seabirds looking out to sea on a roof at North Shields Low Lights.

The beach at Tynemouth Long Sands is fantastic.
I checked the tide was going to be out using online tide tables and the weather was good before planning the trip. It always seems more windy at the coast. You can see we almost had the beach to ourselves.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Vegan Store

I have been doing a declutter and decided to unsubscribe from most of the mailing lists I am on. However although I unsubscribed from vegan store's mailing list, I really like this company because the shoes and boots I buy from it like my feet, and I find out about new products.
So in a few minutes you will see a link added to vegan store on the right with the other sites I like.

Recycling for newspapers, clothes, shoes

Recently we have been saving our newspapers to take to
Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter. It is sorely needed for the cats and kittens at the shelter.

Nowadays a lot of people have kerbside recycling for newspapers, and while this is a good thing, it means people have less newspapers hanging around. Also due to the dire state of the local economy and high price of newspapers, less are bought. Also, more people look at their news on the internet and don't bother with the actual newspaper.
So if you have a stash of newspapers, consider your local animal sanctuary before throwing it away.

I also know that West End Refugee Service are in need of more clothes and shoes for their clothing store.
This is a service where users of the project can get some clothes to wear from what has been donated. For those who are destitute this can make a big difference. Warm and weatherproof clothes and shoes are particularly useful. If you have some clothes or shoes that you were thinking of passing on, then this would be a good place for them.

Leazes Park Flower Bed

Leazes Park is starting to look a bit autumnal now.
However the flower bed near the bandstand is still looking fabulous.

Himalayan Balsam at Ouseborough Wood

You can see its taking over.
Almost covering the "County Durham, Land of the Prince Bishops" sign (which shows the border of Tyne and Wear and County Durham).

I have seen this plant before and it does tend to monopolise. It is so big and it doesn't seem to want to share its space with anyone else.
More info here

This plant is not great news for biodiversityhowever on most of the leaves some little snails were to be found.

Ouseborough Wood

Ouseborough Wood is a small ancient woodland in the Gateshead district, not far from Beamish. Lots of information about the wood is available on the internet, with details of its industrial past, downloadable wallking guided and maps. Just search for Ouseborough Wood.
I'm experimenting with uploading the photos without shrinking them, as I have been told they have been coming out as too small. Let me know what you think.

Ancient woodland (top), and a bark pattern and moss on an old tree stump. Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood