Friday, 10 February 2012

Meditation Group Day Retreat

Last Saturday the meditation group from Newcastle and the Teeside group met with our "Group Monk" from Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in the Quaker Meeting House in Monkseaton.
Despite the freezing rain we visited the Rendezvous Cafe in Whitley bay afterwards.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dharma Cloud

I have added a link (right hand side) to Dharma Cloud Trust, where there are most of the scriptures we recite and sing at the monastery and meditation group.

Terrapin Therapy

Jeff's mate Rob introduced us a few years ago to Terrapin Therapy, a South Sheilds based project he is working on with his collaborators. I found these videos on You Tube, would like to know how they are all getting on and if they are putting on any more live shows please invite us as I really enjoyed the ones we went to before we lost touch with them.

Composting Toilets

I read in last week's Guardian magazine about the problems caused by lack of toilets in Liberia. There is a charity called Water Aid which is working to there to help solve some of the problems. I found this video about their composting toilets. Composting toilets don't need water, and they also make compost! I can't find any Water Aid videos from Liberia yet maybe because they haven't been working there long, due to wars.

Winter flowers

I noticed these yellow flowers in the communal garden last week. The temperature had dropped well below freezing so they must be hardy. I am guessing some variety of crocus?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

A new Mattress

At the end of last year I was looking for a new mattress as my old one was lumpy and giving me aches and pains.
I wanted to buy one which did not have any animal products in like wool or horsehair.

Often these materials are sourced commercially from abattoirs where the animal carcasses are processed after slaughtering.
I eventually decided to buy an Imperial mattress from
Palatine Beds whose factory and showroom are situated in
Westerhope .
Jeff and I went to have a look at their showroom.
I was attracted that they sold mattresses which did not contain any animal products and also they offered me a discount of 20% off for taking away and recycling my old mattress. I also liked that the beds and mattresses are made in Westerhope and the factory has a positive discrimination policy in favour of  disabled people.
The salesman was not surprised at all when I said I was a vegetarian and wanted a mattress which did not contain animal products. He went to speak to the factory supervisor who came along to talk to us about what the mattresses were made of.
The mattress is very firm, much more supportive than my old one, and it took a bit of getting used to. What was unusual was there was no chemical smell. Usually I find anything new has an unpleasant chemical smell, which I am very sensitive to, but it did not. And after sleeping on it for over a month I can say I am completely satisfied.

If you want to learn more about why vegans and some vegetarians  don't use wool, horsehair, honey, fur, silk or leather, there are some very informative leaflets available to download from The Vegan Society.

Jade Mountains | Practice Within the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Jade Mountains | Practice Within the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Megalithic portal added

Added a link to megalithic portal, surfing megalithic sites from my desktop!
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