Well do I remember those cold winter days and nights when thousands queued silently to pay their respects to one of greatest figures of history.
And I remember the journey on the Thames barge, as if a salute by Royalty to a great Commoner.
To realize that was 50 years ago means we who remember him still have become a part of history.
‘Both sides of this conflict need to compromise’ John Kerry. By the way the USA paid for the bombs that did the damage in Gaza and will pay for most of the aid to rebuild it.
Billions of dollars that could have been spent constructively-treating malaria and Ebola for example.
Also bizarre seeing the commemoration of the centenary of the start of the ‘war to end wars’ by Britain juxtaposed on the TV news with pictures of the Israelis waging a ‘hightech war’ bombing Gaza installations and incurring heavy and predictable civilian casualities in the process.
The Shamarpa, Shamar Rinpoche (the Red Hat Lama), seen by his followers as the embodiment of the Buddha Amitabha ( a bodhisattva named Dharmakara translating as the Buddha of infinite Light) who passed on the 11 June leaves us. Behind are the teachings of a modern living Buddha.
Wish him well in the immediate task of seeking the next incarnation.
This very recent and very frank and direct recording posted earlier this year provides a fascinating interaction between a lama educated in the tradition of Tibetan buddhism who is a modern Buddha and the presentation style of high quality modern journalism in the form of Barnet and Freeman on Cutting Edge Consciousness.
To start with the Shamarpa explains the tradition preventing a monk or nun from representing themselves publicly as a spiritual teacher. He describes the traps and pitfalls that exist for spiritual teachers and how easily this position can be misused.
Some way into the recording there is a frank discussion about the traditional vows taken by Buddhist monks and nuns and why they are taken. The conversation leads on to the profundities around meditation, reincarnation, karma and enlightenment.
After the Shamarpa leaves there is further deep debate between the two journalists of the implications resulting from the interview.
This valuable teaching is well worth listening to carefully over and over again.
A report from the Pays Basque in 1950 by Orson Wells. The creator of Citizen Kane in his own inimitable style giving an early example of excellent film journalism. The conundrum of the origin and fate of the Basque people is with us now as it was then but against the background of the European Community rather than Franco“s Spain and the Second World War
A fascinating insight into how things change yet stay the same.
I will always remember going to an evening with Seamus Heaney in Glasgow 12 years ago. His spirit filled the hall floating on the poetry he recited. Not always easy poetry but based on experience and validated by struggle. The importance of tradition and having come from somewhere distinct, in his case Northern Ireland, was evident, but tempered by an enormous depth of humanity and understanding. A Nobel Prize and his numerous academic distinctions did not change him.