Local, national, and world news was—as oft—less than perfect this morning, which left me with a momentary ponder about campaigning for a better world is wasted effort. However, serendipitously, I recieved a question about the vampire LARP I'm helping to organise, which will be run in a hall owned by Quakers, which in turn reminded … Continue reading Good Is in the Heart
Yamada provides a series of explanations and comparisons that help place the ancient Chinese text in a modern context. This book interleaves Koun Yamada’s translation of Wumen’s Mumonkan, a classic Zen text, with Yamada’s own lectures on each of Wumen’s koan and supporting comments. The book is divided into forty eight chapters, each covering one … Continue reading The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans by Wumen Huikai and Yamada Koun
I am currently helping to design a Vampire LARP set in the early medieval period; part of this is obviously considering how to handle issues of race. Which set me to thinking that the classical perception of race that lingered into the medieval period is in some ways better than the way the United Kingdom … Continue reading Different But the Same
Opinions differ on what influences people to a particular course (and whether free will even exists in a real sense). I incline strongly toward theories of it being a series of events and experiences—some unnoticed or apparently unconnected—that combine to create critical momentum. However, sometimes I look back and think that if I wanted to … Continue reading Not Excused
The United Kingdom's National Health Service was launched seventy-four years ago tomorrow. Nearly three-quarters of a century of free-at-point-of-service healthcare. Which is something worth celebrating. I have many reasons to be grateful to the NHS. But rather than talk about their excellent endeavours to fix things that had gone wrong, I decided to celebrate them … Continue reading Happy Burpday.
With Boris Johnson PM facing a vote of no confidence, the United Kingdom might move back toward decency and progress; which inspires flickers of joy. However, the decision lies in the hands of Conservative MPs rather than the nation; which inspires flickers of powerlessness. Fortunately—while the greatest power to make a better world lies in … Continue reading Early Days of a Better Nation
As many of you have probably also found, things have not been effortless here recently which betimes was a bit of a drag on the old noggin. So, it seemed like a moment to share something that brings me a small joy in case it sparked a joy in you also. Today, I have mainly … Continue reading Being Glad
One of the online communities I'm in is engaged in the discussion of the difference between preference for the familiar and prejudice. Instinctively, we recognise there is a difference but where it lies can be much harder to pin down. For me, the starting point is pre-emptive denigration. We all have preferences, both general and … Continue reading Will You Enjoy This Post Before You’ve Read It?
The Green Party Conference was last weekend, marked—among other things—by the first speech of Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsey as new Co-leaders of the Party. As the last forever years show, pretty speeches don't necessarily result in progress, but I found this one inspiring. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzuf9Ikv6eg I love the clear enthusiasm to learn the lessons of … Continue reading Green Joy
Whether it's people being shot in Plymouth, the situation in Afghanistan, the latest IPCC statement, or another global, national, or personal matter, there are plenty of reasons to feel humans aren't a great species. As that bleakness can grind one down, I thought I'd share a little Taoist-inspired pondering that reminds us the people we … Continue reading As the Prophecy Didn’t Foretell