The Seeker

In between times …is NOW.


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Sitting, Waiting, Listening

silencePrayer is largely just being silent: holding the tension instead of even talking it through, offering the moment instead of fixing it by words and ideas, loving reality as it is instead of understanding it fully.

Prayer is commonly a willingness to say “I don’t know.” We must not push the river, we must just trust that we are already in the river, and God is the certain flow and current. That may be impractical, but the way of faith is not the way of efficiency.

So much of life is just a matter of listening and waiting, and enjoying the expansiveness that comes from such willingness to hold. It is like carrying and growing a baby: women wait and trust and hopefully eat good food, and the baby is born.

~ Richard Rohr The Freedom of Not Knowing (Meditation 32 of 52) Adapted from unpublished recording


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Inside my mind: A human hunger

What’s inside our skull?  Is it our brain or our mind?
inside the skull 1

This is a real brain floating in liquid to keep it intact as a specimen and definitely it’s not mine.  Our brain is divided into two hemisphere and it contains billions of neurons.  The brain plays a very important role in our motor and sensory roles.

inside the skull 2

Our brain enhances our capacity for intellectual thoughts, planning, decision-making, survival and instincts based on past experiences.  It has the capacity to transcend beyond the intellect and delve into the realm of the unknown.

inside the skull 3

Without the brain; language, consciousness, memory, abstract thoughts, art, philosophy and religion do not exists.

inside the skull 5

The staggering complexity of a human brain as it begins to develop at infancy to adulthood remains a mystery.

inside the skull 4

Inside of my brain, inside of my mind, I have a human hunger that I cannot grasp.  Is God just a perception generated by my brain or is it wired to experience the reality of God?

Still no one can answer this to my satisfaction when it comes to science.  It is all a mystery.

“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead” ~ Albert Einstein.


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Threshold between Earth and Heaven

Threshold between earth and heaven

Threshold between earth and heaven

I know for a while again
the health of self-forgetfulness,
looking out at the sky through
a notch in the valleyside,
the black woods wintry on
the hills, small clouds at sunset
passing across. And I know
that this is one of the thresholds
between Earth and Heaven,
from which even I may step
forth and be free.

–Wendell Berry


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Receive the Joy, Queimada!

The night before we entered the Holy Site of Santiago De Compostela, we needed to be purified in order to be worthy and receive the joy of entering the Cathedral.  Little did I know, our fearless driver, Pablo, is a Warlock!  He prepared a potent concoction for us to drink so that we free ourselves from the evil we accumulated along the walk.

Fearless Driver: The Warlock

Owls, toads and witches
Demons, goblins and devils
Spirits of the misty valleys
Festering Crows and salamanders
Home of worms and vermin.

Evil guide who lies about slight inclines.

Scent of the dead
Thunder and lightening
Howl of the dog
Omen of death.

Naughty hand of the groping monk.

Sinful tongue of the bad woman
Married to an ancient man
Satan and Beelzebub’s inferno
Fire of the burning corpses
Mutilated bodies of the indecent ones.

Naughty Ian making fun of Garry the chub.

Farts of the arses of doom
Roar of the enraged sea.

With this bellows I will pump the flames of this fire
This looks like the flames of hell
And witches will fly away on their broomsticks.

And when this beverage glides down our throats
We will be free of all evil
Forces of air fire and water
To you I make this call
If it is true that you have the power
Here and now make the spirits of our departed friends
Join with us to share in this Queimada!

The Fearless Walkers

The walk my be over, the pilgrim continues….

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


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When does charity become a business

Haya, Pete.  Of course, I like you.  You know very well I welcome your thoughts and I enjoy publishing your comments.  I love hearing what you have to say about Science or Conscience on donating. Thank you.

Beggar at Compostela

You are not going to like me. I do not give money to charity, except on Poppy Day which we buy artificial poppies and the money goes to the armed forces and children’s charities.

I can hear people now saying “What about the starving people in Africa?” I say what about the starving, homeless and orphaned children in the UK, one of the richest countries in the world and 85,000 children were homeless on Christmas day.

I was stopped in the street by a very pretty girl who were collecting for a African charity and wanted me to sign up for monthly payments to the charity, I refused and said to her, but it’s nice you can give your time to stand on the street and do  this, she told me that she gets paid for doing this. There goes one of the reasons why I don’t give to African charities; I like to see where my money goes. For example if I agree to give £10 to her charity at least £1 will go on her wages, then £2 will go on admin, the Day-Glo jackets she was wearing with the charities name on, then £4 will go on the staff who do the admin, then another £1 will go to the War Lord who runs the protection who allows the charity ‘safe passage’ and will spend that money on guns which was one of the reason that caused the problem in the first place.

Charity shops are as bad, I was in the Heart Foundation charity shop just before Christmas, I do go in looking for a bargain and yes it gives to charity but it’s a ‘at home’ charity. Anyway my wife picked up a jersey and the price tag was £4.50, to buy that same jersey new from the clothes shop ‘George’ would cost £4.00 brand new……. I told the woman who worked the till and her reply was ‘Sir, it’s for charity’

These organisations get these items for FREE; they pay no tax, no rent, very little, no business rates, and have volunteered staff and people sent from the unemployed benefit office they still think that they can sell pre worn clothes more than the new price.

This is not the first time or charity doing this, a DVD selling in Asda/Walmart for £3 the charity shop £3.20. If they sold the free goods at a lower price they will sell more. In the town of Arbroath there are 7 charity shops in one high street, that’s a lot of old clothes. Some even break copyright laws by selling illegally copied DVDs and music cd’s, they say ‘oh we didn’t see it’ when it was pointed out.

So charity shops are and the charities they are supposed to represent are just trying to rip people off with lines like ‘We are saving lives of children’ ‘You could save a village from drinking dirty water’ ‘Our struggle to save the eye sight of hundreds of people in this one village’

In one of British charities employed a retired chief inspector police officer who would already been put on a huge police pension, his pay as CEO of this charity £70,000+ expenses.

I say no more.  It’s no longer charity, its multi million pound business.

Google ‘Head of British Charity pay’ or
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10224104/30-charity-chiefs-paid-more-than-100000.html


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Walking One Step at a Time

I met a man on a plane on the way to Spain.  He was en route to walk the Camino de Santiago as well.  Me, I was joining a group.  Him, he was walking alone to turn off his mind.  There are many that walk alone to be one with nature, to enjoy their own company or for whatever reason.  It’s safe.  Beside, we can learn so much from having quiet time.

When I booked the trip, I was willing to room with anyone in order to pay less.  There were a few of us that travel on our own but they prefer to have their own room.  The travel agent has no choice but to offer me a room just for me with no added cost.  Lucky me.

Walking the Camino covers at least 700 miles.  That is a lot of mileage and I prefer to focus on one step at a time only.  The next thing I know I made it to the finish line.

Most of the time, I was at the end of the line walking on my own.  One pointer I learnt from walking or hiking is that I make sure I can see the person in front of me then I will be fine.  At one time, I lose sight of the person because I was too busy absorbing the little things.  For example: an ant, a mushroom or a single rosehip. The singular beauty of each one of these stands out.  If there are more together, it’s pretty hard to see the uniqueness of the subjects.

Sometimes, my only companion is my shadow.  Actually, I’d rather be walking alone rather filling the void with useless talk that takes me away from experiencing the moment. In a group, the common conversation is the places that they have visited, how they are looking forward to their next trip, how exquisite the food was, and so on.  Look, there’s a fly by, I cried out to break the conversation.  A group of starlings dancing in the horizon flew by but they missed it for they were too busy talking.

Should I have lagged behind, one of the guides is waiting for me giving me the hand signal: the hand pointing down on the head asking me if I am alright.  And I give him the same signal that I am safe and sound.

Travelers leave some of their thoughts behind written in stones.  This one is so true.

z one (7)


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A Community: Local Public Market

Visiting the public market in a another country is one thing I include in my itinerary with or without the help of a guide.

Vendors by the Church

Here in Compostela de Santiago, before we enter the mainstream, the busyness of the daily specials greeted me.

Public Market at Compostela de Santiago

I felt safe knowing that a police officer was on the lookout for who knows I know not.  He was such an imposing figure at the dead centre of the market.

Police office on duty

For me, it’s much better to be in a down-to-earth environment rather than going to sterile mega superstores.  In the public market is where I met  local residents, local farmers, local fishermen, local food, and local vegetables grown locally.

Fascinating faces of Spanish vendors and buyers alike jam-packed the area.  One particular lady in black has a facial expression that I find beautiful.  The lines, creases and wrinkles on her face tell a story.  Yet, I refrained from taking a shot of here face so I settled for her backside.

Lady in black

Even though it was sunny, the air was crisp and cool.  The smell of fresh produce, baked bread, seafood and fresh kill permeated the entire area.  It was rather pleasant.

Of course, I must take a shot of living colours and inanimate objects.  Did I buy any of these objects as a souvenir? Nada!

This is what I call a community, such a spice of life.

Spice of Life

I wish I still know how to speak Spanish in order to converse with them.  Ask questions about what they sell or just simply find out how they are faring on such a beautiful country.  Mind you, I mastered one sentence: Dónde está el baño? (Where is the washroom?)

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