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A mostly animal day

I travelled over to the Charente yesterday - a whole collection of things to do. it was a stunnungly beautful day, warm and sunny but not so uncomfortably hot as last week. All the sunflowers are out and they really lift my heart. What I wasn't so happy to see was the 'Pioneer' maize. The French government forbade the use of GMO ctrops but unfortunately too late in the season and some farmers had already planted it. The rearch findings on the effects of some of these crops are horrendous. It is not an exxageration to say they have implications for our health and our environment which may be irreversible and the political and financial pressure to use them is  colossal and unconscionable and I could smell the weed-killer that was being used.

In the next field I saw the largest hare I have ever seen. He was gorgeous. I wondered what effect the GMO crops would have on him and his habitat. Later on I saw an equally delightful young red(?) deer with his velvet antler buds.

I visited some old friends and their ageing dog was pleased to see me. The dog was present when I conducted some healing sessions for them. Any living being present during a healing session benefits and the dog immediately perked up. Apparently since then he's been shifting , er, wind! Obviously his digestion had been sluggish.

On to another visit where there were several dogs including some rescue dogs. Animals are very clear when they want healing. They come up, take what they need then go away when they've had enough. On this occasion two of them asked and one was quite specific 'Er, can you do something for this shoulder. It's a bit arthritic?'

On to another visit and another dog, a lovely animal clearly in considerable distress due to excema. The irritation was so great that it was difficult to get his attention and he was very wary. Again he showed me where it was irritating him most. This lovely dog is suffering trauma on a number of levels and it will take a while for him to be fully receptive, meanwhile I'm working with the owners.

Often companion animals who love us take on a certain amount of the pain and stress in our lives and when there is something amiss with them it is sometimes their way of drawing attention to the fact that we need help.

Sing, sing a song....

I sing alto in a choir called Amaryllis. The choir leader is quite exceptional and is really teaching me, and the others, a lot about voice quality. We sing in the old Knights Templar churches and ruins, very spiritual places. The French community, whilst rural, are avid supporters of culture here and we usually get a full church. Because it is so beautiful in the Dordogne we also tend to get a lot of high caliber visiting international musical and theatrical events. In Amaryllis our current programme is une histoire du chant sacré dans l'europe occidentale de la Renaissance à nos jours’. A history of sacred song in Western Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. The standard is very high. It is known as the best choir for miles around but I think some English choirs would look askance at us when we practice some of our verbal gymnastics at the beginning of each session. You can find out more on our website. I’m usually on the very far right, second row, if I’m in the picture at all.

Springing into life - I restart a blog

My spiritual friend Shantavira has told me I really ought to be writing a blog so here goes - a copy of the email I wrote to him.


Life seems to be moving at a faster and faster pace with all the ups and downs implied. I'm so glad you're editing Bhante's Mahabodhi editorials. I'd love to read them myself. It strikes me that they are a very important part of Western and Eastern Buddhist history.


Haven't heard anything from the Paris FWBO group for some time now. I think they were struggling a bit. They are over four hours' journey away so with my finances geography separates us as well. I still keep in touch with Karunavapi from Bristol.


I've teamed up with a French woman who works on healing with Tibetan singing bowls and gongs and we're doing a day here next week on sacred sounds when I will be introducing the idea of mantras and, of course, meditation.


I recently held an animal healing day which went very well. Oddly enough there were people of five different nationalities there (not planned), not to mention two dogs and a cockerel. :)


A couple of days later Tintin, my white cat caught a nuthatch, quite a rare shy bird. I managed to get it away from him and it flew up on the wall hanging to the wall paper. It was injured but not badly, however when I opened two windows for it to fly away it managed to fly into the third and knock itself out. It was lying on its back with its beak open and I thought it was a gonner. Nevertheless I picked it up and it clung to me.


Normally I put birds in a dark place to recover from the shock but this one wasn’t going to let me go. It sat without moving in my hand and I gave it some healing energy. Slowly it started to revive. It was quite an experience seeing it sit there. I’ve never seen one so close before and it was quite calm. It recovered and started moving its head and blinking. It was as if it was looking me over and summing me up. I sent waves of love to it. It just sat quite quietly in my hand without me holding onto it until it decided to go and it flew off successfully. I was so pleased.


Am having interesting debates with my doctor as to whether it’s their scientific approach or my healing friends who are giving me better health. I’m told my heart is stronger and the effort/stress test went fine but to ‘keep taking the tablets’, however they’ve already had to reduce the thyroxine so that’s good.


I've been feeling a dearth of intellectual stimulation, however, two friends of mine are organizing a literary festival some way from here and I'm going to be doing a brief overview of Buddhist poetry. I'll only have about 45 minutes so it will literally be a taster.


I also decided to do a course on dowsing with the group of magnétiseurs and radiéthesistes at Périgueux, lovely fun group of people, very sincere and it's very interesting although I'm not sure that it's going to be my forte. I felt I needed to mix more with like minds.


We're holding our Wellbeing Day again in Corgnac this year on June 16th.


We spent a very interesting day recently with a group called Colibri, who are encouraging ordinary people to take back their personal power. Everybody could put forward something for discussion. I put forward 'Avoiding the fears' and someone immediately added 'How can we live better together,' It attracted one of the largest crowds. As someone said, twenty years ago they would never have dreamt of discussing something like this. Hopefully I have sown a few Buddhist grains. It was a very inspiring day as people who had been brought up in bullying atmospheres realized that they were actually free to come or go as they pleased and that they had something to say. All of these things are in French of course.


I'm still putting food out for the birds. It's been so cold and wet and miserable. I get blue tits, great tits and coal tits. The other day I also had what I think was one of the warbler family, certainly not a tit family member. It was a small insect eater, rather indifferent green/olive back with slightly paler front and a hint of a darker cap. I know we get Dartford warblers round here because I've heard them. They're quite distinctive aren't they.


The oriole is also back although they are so shy you seldom see them but their rich fruity call is unmistakeable. I also saw a pair of hoopoes just up the hill from here the other day, and of course, with such exceptionally cold weather the cranes flew over more than once this winter. It really is a sound and sight that delights the soul, and of course it's one of the eight auspicious signs.


David and Katie are getting quite antsey as grandchild n° two is imminent. Grandchild n° one enjoyed his birthday the other day. He is now two years old. At least the two birthdays haven't clashed. David appears to be getting closer which is nice. I think he is being a better father than his father was able to be and I'm proud of him for that. It's lovely to see how affectionate he is with Daniel.


My little job proof reading appears to be coming to a close. Much as I hate to admit it, I'm just not good enough any more.


Paul is well, as challenging as ever. I'm trying to help him through the next stage as his short term memory loss is now quite serious.

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