Dharma Reflections

Application of the Buddha’s Ethics to end War

Application of the Buddha’s Ethics to end War Read More »

Twenty One Aphorisms on Love. To meditate on. So we do not deceive ourselves

Metta, A Pali word (language of the Buddha) means a profound depth of love/loving kindness/friendship, often depending on context.

He used the strongest possible language for those citizens in India of deep religious faith. In its deepest sense, he said metta ranks as a ‘Brahma Vihara’ – literally Abiding with God.

To the non-religious, he stated Metta is Immeasurable -has no limits, needs no measurement. In the same way, reality has no limits, no measurement in the expanse of things.

1.    “I love you so much and I need you so much” obscures love. Such neediness come from lack of love.

2.   Compassion confirms love with the purpose to reduce or dissolve suffering.

3.   Daily meditations/reflections on love and its expressions in daily life develop knowing the value of love.

4.   Dedication to what is beautiful and significant reveals an act of love transcending dynamics of praise and blame.

5.   Desires might get what you want but that does not mean you can give love to who or what you want.

6.   Experiences of authentic reality uncovers an extraordinary freedom from deceptions triggering wonder. There is love for profound experiences to enlighten our life and life of others.

7.    Know the support for love, which includes consciousness, interest, patience and a deep resolution to move through the storms of life, inner and outer.

8.   Love abandons domination of self-interest preferring to weather insecurity, instead of indulging in possessive behaviour.

9.   Love affirms life without the desire to get what we can from it.

10.                    Love bears little or no relationship to intense emotions.

11.                     Love confirms a sharing or giving towards the other while desire wants the other to come to oneself.

12.                    Love confirms that that we matter no more, no less, nor the same, as the other.

13.                    Love has the power to reveal truths, never seen nor known before.

14.                    Love moves beyond the contracted self to support the movement of love

15.                    Love reveals as an activity, not as a personal claim.

16.                    Love supports who or what is loved. It is indispensable for a wise and sustainable co-existence

17.                     Love triggers aliveness bringing us closer to the nature of things, inwardly and outwardly.

18.                    Poetry provides a legitimate resource to see into reality and expand our view.

19.                    Love includes an expansion of views contracted through projections. Love explores an infinite numbers of ways to confirm love.

20.                  Romantic love does not require presence of another but experiences of sensuality in the waking up of the senses.

21.                    Self-forgetfulness does not dissolve through self-love, self-compassion or self-help but reveals in a transcendent priority unbound to self.

Twenty One Aphorisms on Love. To meditate on. So we do not deceive ourselves Read More »

A Message of Appreciation to the Sangha, family members and friends My 80th birthday occurred on 22 April (Earth Day) 2024.

Last year, Nshorna (my daughter) said to me I need to be in Totnes (Devon, England) on Sunday 21-22 April. I agreed.

She then began to organise a secret birthday event and make the primary preparations. Martin Aylward (a beloved friend and Dharma teacher based in France) gave support to the organisation of the gathering. They contacted friends worldwide, who had attended my retreats, pilgrimages, courses, trainings and more It was quite an undertaking.

Photo taken at home noting 80 years in this phenomenal existence.

I did not know the location, nor time until my arrival in the upstairs hall of the restaurant/hotel a few minutes walk from home on Sunday afternoon of 21 April.  More than 50 were waiting for me. Some people I had not seen for decades were in the hall, plus photos on screen or short clips.

It raises the eyebrows to see the aging process with us all. We cannot hold onto a single day but we can find a freedom to move with the rhythms and changes of life.

The four grandchildren, Kye, 23, D’nae, 17, Milan, 15, and Joziah 8. were all there.

There was a big screen with hundreds of  rotating photos, taken of this wallah with others over decades – sent in by people.

Then the screen showed more than 70 one minute worldwide appreciations filmed on mobile phones, lots of presents, cards, books to read and literally hundreds of emails, texts etc. With vegan food, (some vegetarian) and a big birthday cake.

How did so many hear about the birthday?

Martin gave me a birthday card, which included the amount of dana sent to my account during this week. The sum took my breath away. I’m sure my blood pressure went up. It was worth it!

I spoke to friends in the hall, introduced all four grandchildren, saw a video message from my Judy (my sister) and her three children, Paul, Mark and Cathryn in Australia. Rhiannon (Nshorna’s half sister) also joined us.

I spoke for a few minutes to the group to thank everybody. I mentioned that  Rahula (the Buddha’s son), probably organised a similar secret event for the Buddha’s 80th birthday. People travelled from all over India to be with him in Kushinagara in northern India. Rahula had to tell the Sangha on their arrival that Gotama had just died some hours earlier on his birthday. A few unenlightened ones were probably irritated having walked a hell of a long way. Why couldn’t he choose to die a day later?” one might have asked.

I added that Nshorna brought my birthday event forward a day earlier, as she and the grandkids probably agreed I was looking older. Just in case….

I said to D’nae it is “quite tiring to be the centre of attention for a few hours. I’m glad it only happens once every 10 years.”

I enjoyed every minute with everybody and the magnificent metta (loving kindness/friendship/love) shared everywhere. My eyes were  often wet with soft tears.

I taught my first retreat in Dharamsala, India  in 1974. It has been an ongoing privilege to be a servant of the Dharma for 50 years and experience 80 years  on this Earth, including such a joyous day with the Sangha, via people’s presence and benefits of technology.

On Thursday, 25 April, I start the journey to the Waldhaus Zentrum to teach the annual retreat for a week starting on Friday.

A huge thank you for all your countless kindnesses.

Lots of love



A Message of Appreciation to the Sangha, family members and friends My 80th birthday occurred on 22 April (Earth Day) 2024. Read More »

What does the Dharma offer the West?

I spent 10 years engaged in exploration of the spiritual, religious and cultural traditions of the East, including six years as a Buddhist monk. The privilege of listening, reflecting and meditating upon a range of teachings served as the backbone for a transmission of teachings from East to West. …

What does the Dharma offer the West? Read More »

A Reflection on Dharma Teachings and Personal Dana (Donations)

I am in the 50th year of teaching Dharma (teachings/practices for waking up) having offered my first 10-day retreat in Elysium House in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, located in the foothills of the Himalayas  of India in 1974. …

A Reflection on Dharma Teachings and Personal Dana (Donations) Read More »

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