Monday, May 02, 2005

A Day at Throssel

It is now Wesak, the Buddha's birthday. He was born in 623BC.
Usually this is something of a flower festival when spring weather is much appreciated. The day started ominously at 7-00 am with a brattle of thunder followed by rain. But as the day wore on it got better and by mid afternoon we were basking in glorious sunshine, even at Throssel which lies high up in the West Allen valley in Northumberland and about 1400 ft. above sea level.
Quite a large congregation had gathered for the ceremony. Children are very much to the fore on this occaision. They play a major part in proceedings making their offerings of paper lotus flowers. We sang many chants, some ancient and some modern.
A lecture by Rev. MasterDaishin followed telling how to deal with the dragons in our lives, anger, frustration and so on by saying we should try to recognise these things for what they are and in so doing, puruify these negative feelings. He went into it far deeper than I can expound here. I am no Zen master and I won't even attempt to explain further except to say it did strike a chord in all of us.
The ceremonial over, we all had a delicious lunch, the food is always excellent at the monastery, during which we had chance to meet up with old friends and catch up on each other's news.
Later in the afternoon, on the way home, Chris' children wanted to stop off for a little walk. I suggested we stop at Ninebanks Youth Hostel, which we did. the walk was quickly forgotted when the two young girls discovered that goats are kept there. Pauline and Mike, the two wardens were only too pleased to see me again and it wasn't long before the all important kettle was on the stove and a brew in progress. It gave Chris a chance of a breather while Kate, Pauline's daughter took the two girls to see said goats. I spent a good two hours or so catching up with the local news and gannins on.
The afternoon wore on and all too soon it was time to return to Lancaster. It has been a good day.

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