Utopia In My Back Yard

Hamworthy SunsetThe beautiful weather continues, and combined with the Bank holiday, it’s brought all the tourists down to Dorset this weekend. Hamworthy Park was heaving in the sunshine today, families having picnics on the grass, children making sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the sea, and everyone having fun.

Seeing all these people, and the shouting and laughter, is a big contrast from the quiet of Moriconium Quay. I seem to spend a lot of time on my own, and although I’m fine with that, I do find it very different from when I go into town or out when there are a lot of people about.

It’s been so warm here today, and although I’ve had the doors and windows open, it was too hot in the lounge this evening. So as the sun was setting, and the temperature dropping, I decided to go out for a stroll, in an attempt to cool down a little. There were still a few people about. A bunch of guys out for an evening bike ride and a couple walking their dog, but it was much quieter than it had been earlier.

By the time I got to the park I was almost alone, the hoards had gone and because there was little or no wind, the waves were lapping gently on the deserted beach. Looking out towards Studland, there was a beautiful crescent moon rising into a soft sunset. The contrast between the backlit jetty and the peach coloured sky was stunning.

There’s A Kind Of Hush

TranquillityWhen you are waiting for something, an answer, a decision, an outcome, it can be almost like the world is holding its breath.

Sometimes the World of Tranquillity can be a true blessing, a time to recover after a period of intense work for example.

Sometimes it can be be like the dying notes of a moving piece of music or the fading echoes of the most magnificent firework display.

Maybe the biggest difference between the two is whether you wish for Tranquillity or not.

If you do wish for it, Tranquillity can be the most restful of time, if not it can be like the quiet of the grave, peaceful but not something which you might actively desire.

And Relax … But Not Too Much

Peace And QuietLet’s just think back to Friday evening. The anticipation of a couple of days away from the office, maybe big plans, maybe just looking forward to the chance to recharge the batteries. But where is that time now? Of course you can remember what you got up to, at least most of it I hope, but it’s time that has gone and you can never get it back.

It’s just a simple example of the unending passage of time, something we take so much for granted, we often fail to remember how important it is. Because, although we have all the time in world through the process of reincarnation, to waste a single second it is to lack Wisdom.

If there is something you have been meaning to do, someone you intended to phone, but keep putting it off for any reason you can lay your hands on, you might have found the world of Tranquillity. It’s maybe not the worst of the Lower Worlds (Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Tranquillity, Heaven) but can mean that you lack the life-energy to drive you to get things done.

Get chanting, raise your life-energy and hence your life-state, after all, the weekend is over for another week.

Taking Time

Peace, Quiet And A Clear Blue SkyFor some reason, by lunchtime I was in need of some peace and quiet. Fortunately, the stream behind the office is exactly the right place to find such an environment, so while others sat and ate sandwiches or wrestled with the microwave, I took several long minutes to just stand and chant in the midday sunshine, watch the quiet waters flow past, and let my mind find its equilibrium as the trials and tribulations of the day drifted away with the lazy current.

If we are to deal with the challenges of every day life, it is important to take a deep breath, to inhale the quieter side of life, and release the stress that builds up inside. Next time you find yourself feeling agitated, stressed out, or getting submerged beneath the everyday strains that life puts upon us, find a quite spot, take time to stand still and just let those anxieties drift away.

Far from being a waste of time, they may be the most important minutes of your day.

Marvellous Monday

TranquillityHands up all those who never thought they’d see a post of mine saying that … but today has been pretty awesome too. Ok, so I’ve just had a perfect weekend, but this is Monday after all. But it has been a really great day, simply because there is a new calm over everything.

You know the calm I mean, at least I hope you do, when slowly everything starts to come together, to fit into place and there’s a soft and easy feel about things. At work, at home, in my practice, in fact in life, I seem to have turned some magical corner and tranquillity is the result.

No that tranquillity itself is necessarily a good thing. It can make us lazy, complacent, stop setting ourselves goals or making the causes for the effects we want to see. But the tranquillity that accompanies the calmness of a balanced situation is magical indeed.

Sometimes we have to go through a rough ride to reach the place we want to be. During the ride it’s tough, tranquillity is a million miles away and sometimes appears to be receding fast. But if you stick with it, learn from the pain and make the necessary causes, you will reap the benefits of the effects when they arrive. Today has been one of those days for me.

So stick with it. If you have confidence in your goals, remain determined in your quest and have the courage to withstand the pain, you too will see the benefits. It’s marvellous.

Tranquillity

TranquillityOfficially, today was Tuesday, but in computer speak it was actually Monday++. With the extra day off, the weekend just meant that the pile of work waiting for me when I got into the office this morning was 50% bigger than a normal Monday, and you know how I feel about them. So it was all hands on deck and the day passed without a break, ironically at break-neck speed.

So by the time 5:00 o’clock arrived I was in need of some peace and quiet. Fortunately, the stream behind the office is exactly the right place to find such an environment, so before diving into the car and setting off for MQ, I took several long minutes to just stand and chant in the evening sunshine, watch the quiet waters flow past, and let my mind find its equilibrium as the trials and tribulations of the day drifted away with the shining lazy current.

If we are to deal with the challenges of every day life, it is important to take a deep breath, inhale the quieter side of life, and release the stress that builds up inside. Next time you find yourself feeling agitated, stressed out, or getting submerged beneath the everyday strains that life puts upon us, find a quite spot, take time to stand still and just let those anxieties drift away.

Far from being a waste of time, they may be the most important minutes of your day.

Silver Linings

Salisbury CathedralIt’s Friday evening and the weekend is here. The drive up to Bristol started rather slowly. The rain we have been waiting for has arrived at last, and it was really pouring down as I set off from the office. Something told me that the journey was going to be difficult.

Driving up the A36 was going well, the rain stopped and the traffic was light, maybe my fears would be unfounded. Then I came round a bend a couple of miles outside Salisbury and saw a queue to end all queues.

The progress was painfully slow, no sign of the cause, maybe just the Friday rush hour at it’s worst. But then, coming over the crest of a hill, I was treated to an amazing sight. The magnificent Salisbury cathedral, across the fields, so beautiful.

I’ve seen the view many, many times, but tonight I was sitting in stationary traffic, so I had time to take a photograph. And although I don’t agree with all aspects of the Christian religion, they have given us some of the most amazing architecture.

So as with all challenges in life, every cloud has a silver lining. The trick is to keep an eagle eye open for it, and make the most of it when it appears.

Inside The Mind Of A Genius

da-Vinci-Exhibition - The Royal Collection © 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth IIRetail therapy has never been my idea of fun on a Bank Holiday Monday, so skirting the queues for IKEA we made our way through the very wet and windy streets to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, an exhibition of ten of the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, from the Queen’s collection is being shown, so we joined the back of the small queue and looked forward to seeing the work of a genius.

As we reached the front of the queue we were instructed to leave all food and drink with the attendant, told to turn off our mobiles, and informed that it was forbidden to take photos. These drawings date back to the mid 15th century, and although they are in immaculate condition, are very sensitive to light and humidity. Entering the exhibition hall, it took a few seconds for our eyes to become accustomed to the dim lighting, and to see the throng of people amassed to take in this amazing collection.

The drawings covered a range of topics. There were costume designs, diagrams for war machines, maps, simple sketches of items of nature, portraits and anatomical diagrams. Although the topics were very diverse, the style of drawing was very recognisable as that of the genius. Each line was carefully positioned, the density and touch exact and precise.

The museum provided every visitor with one of those flat plastic lenses, so each line, each rubbed mark, each nuance could be studied in detail. The most difficult part was viewing the sketches without getting in other visitors way, the room really was rather full and some people were more aware of their opaque nature than others, but it was all good natured and polite.

Being able to get so close to such amazing works was a real privilege. Seeing the detail of each work gave you the feeling that you were almost in the presence of the great man himself and gave a real insight into the way he thought and how he transferred those thoughts onto the handmade paper of his time. A truly incredible opportunity to get within inches of priceless antiquities. If you get the chance to visit you should grasp it with both hands.

Perfect Peace?

TranquillitySometimes the World of Tranquillity can be a true blessing, a lull after a period of intense effort.

At other times it can be be like the dying notes of a moving piece of music, the echoes of the most magnificent firework display.

Maybe the biggest difference between the two is whether you wished for Tranquillity or not.

If you do wish for it, Tranquillity can be the most restful of time, if not it can be as quiet as the grave, peaceful but not something which you might actively desire.

If you find yourself becalmed in a world of Tranquillity, chanting will raise your life-state and get the energies flowing again.

Contrasts

Hamworthy SunsetThe beautiful weather continues, and it’s brought all the tourists down to Dorset this weekend. Hamworthy Park was heaving in the sunshine today, families having picnics on the grass, children making sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the sea, and everyone having fun.

Seeing all these people, and the shouting and laughter, is a big contrast from the quiet of The Quay. I currently spend a lot of time on my own, and although I’m fine with that, I do find it very different from when I go into town or out when there are a lot of people about.

It’s been so warm here today, and although I’ve had all the doors and windows open, it was stifling this evening. So as the sun was setting, and the temperature dropping, I decided to go out for a stroll, in an attempt to cool down a little. There were still a few people about. A couple of guys out for an evening bike ride and a family walking their dog, but it was much quieter than it had been earlier.

By the time I got to the park I was almost alone, the hoards had gone and because there was little or no wind, the waves were lapping gently on the deserted beach. Looking out towards Studland, there was a beautiful crescent moon rising into a soft sunset. The contrast between the backlit jetty and the peach coloured sky was stunning. So I took a photo and that’s the image at the top of this post.

If you like it as much as I do, you can click on it and download the full size image. It’s big enough to use it as a desktop if you want. I hope it conveys the tranquillity of the scene and that some of that transfers itself into your life.

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