Tag Archives: Buddhism

My Little Saviours

Okay, time to reveal the source of the¬†‘challenges and opportunities’ (known to others as ‘frustration’ ūüėČ ) that I encountered¬†Tuesday night and Wednesday morning…

Here it is…

It looks so innocent doesn’t it?¬† Some might even call it ‘beautiful’.¬† Before it arrived in the post, I was even referring to it as the ‘Sexy Salsa’.¬† Now I just call it the ‘smartypants’ phone :-/

I thought it was about time that I embraced the new technologies of the 21st century and get myself an ‘android smartphone’ (I don’t have a clue¬†what that means!)¬† This upgrade (¬£13.50 p/m) is¬†actually cheaper than my old phone deal, so I should¬†add it¬†to yesterday’s¬†‘Big Budget Challenge’ post ūüėȬ†

Well, it turns out that the ‘smartphone’ is way too smart for me.¬† I didn’t have a CLUE how to use the thing.¬† I was chuffed when I finally worked out how to turn it on¬†after 5 minutes of fiddling…¬†but it¬†all went¬†downhill from that point onwards ūüė¶¬†¬†

The phone had automatically ‘synced’ with Facebook and my phone contacts list was then filled with the phone numbers of Facebook ‘friends’, rather than my regular¬†friends.¬† I pressed the¬†first name that appeared at the top of the screen to see if I could¬†edit it.¬† To my horror, the phone started calling the person… Esther in Canada!!!¬† It took me ages to work out how to end the call (because I’m so thick when it comes to new technology).¬† THEN, I accidentally rested my finger on the phone… and it started ringing Esther in Canada again!!! aarrghhhh!¬†

I gave up and decided to have another try in the morning.

M asked me if I’d read the manual.¬†¬†I checked the manual and no, it doesn’t mention how to make a phone call or send a text as it ASSUMES that everyone already knows how to do this.¬† The manual just talks about ‘Facebook Chat’, ‘Snap, tag and share’ and other things that I have NO clue about.¬†

I finally worked out how to send a text, but my fat fingers seem to press about 5 letters at once.¬† A 2 sentence text took me about 5 minutes because I had to delete every other letter.¬† I can’t wait to let my mum have a go (mind you, she can’t do worse than me lol!)

My second ‘challenge’ on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was an¬†attempt to move my blog to a new host.¬† My new hosting provider has a ‘1 click install’ which is described as being so simple that even a 4 year old could do it.¬† I’m sure a 4 year old probably could do it… but I failed miserably ūüė¶¬† It’s still not sorted, but I’m hoping that my wonderful tecchie friend ‘E’ will be my saviour on this one ūüėČ

So after a rubbish Wednesday morning (which¬†I’m happy to say wasn’t a complete waste of time as it’s¬†been a great source of amusement for my friends ūüėČ ), it was a relief¬†to leave the house, the phone, the computer, and go to teach my kids’ meditation classes.¬† ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

The kids were little stars¬†as usual.¬†Just watching them meditate filled me with such a sense of peace. ūüôā¬† Apparently,¬†Lil’ L and¬†some of¬†his friends had been meditating during playtime, before I’d even arrived at school.¬† It was a very chilled, rewarding afternoon.¬†¬†This carried on after school too.¬† I¬†sneakily took a¬†picture of Lil’ L meditating¬†in the garden…

And here’s a pic of¬†another 2 of his classmates meditating Wednesday evening (emailed to me by their mum).

Don’t they look so peaceful?

And finally, here’s a beautiful picture that another one of Lil’ L’s friends drew on Wednesday afternoon.

What a beautiful way to end a crazy day!  

I’d love to upload these images onto my new smartypants phone but that’s one step too advanced for me.¬† Maybe I’ll ask¬†a 4 year old ūüėČ

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! xx

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Filed under Buddhism & Meditation, General wittering

Have a star!

If you knew what I know about the power of giving,
you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.
(Buddha)

I can’t believe that I’ve been teaching ‘Wednesday¬†Workshops’ for a whole school year.¬† The time has¬†flown by!¬† I thought that it would be a nice idea to end the term with a workshop on ‘Giving’.¬†¬†It was a wonderful afternoon, with the children far exceeding my expectations in terms of their understanding and reflections of¬†the virtue of giving.¬†¬†

For the last meditation, the children imagined that they were wish-fulfilling jewels, giving everyone in the world something that would make them happy.  We then sat in a circle and imagined that we were giving the person sitting next to us something that they would really like.  I wondered if the children would pick some crazy gifts just for a laugh, but they were incredibly sensitive and, with no prompting from me, decided to give gifts such as diamonds, friendship, love and a cuddle!  

For our arts and crafts, most of the children chose to make mala bracelets to give to friends/family as presents, while one of the boys chose to make ‘friendship’ badges, which he was going to¬†give to the children in his class.¬†

All in all, it was a wonderful¬†end to the term¬†and I’m¬†incredibly proud of all the children.¬† I awarded¬†certificates in recognition of how well they’ve done in their meditation practice, and gave each of them¬†gold stars and a¬†treat ūüôā

A¬†baked treat that’s popular with¬†these children¬†is my¬†dairy-free¬†shortbread stars.¬† One time I made 40 shortbread stars for the children and within a couple of minutes they’d all been eaten!¬†¬†These stars are also popular in¬†our house as snacks and lunchbox treats for both Lil’ L and M.¬† Here’s¬†the recipe.

Sesame Shortbread Stars (Dairy-free)

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Buddhism & Meditation

Nut Kofta Kebabs… and fitting rocks into a box!

Fresh veg supplies are low in our house,¬†but last night I spotted a couple of carrots and some frozen peas and decided to make some vegetable couscous for our dinner.¬† For¬†a¬†protein and calcium boost, I¬†made some nut kofta¬†kebabs.¬† The two¬†went¬†really well together.¬† Lil’ L loved the dinner and described it as “yummy” and “scrummy”. ūüôā¬†¬†The recipe can be found here.

For his lunch today, Lil’ L¬†took¬†the leftover couscous along with a seeded pitta bread.¬†

Nut Kofta Kebabs with Vegetable Couscous

¬†Today, I woke up¬†thinking “I must revise!!!”¬†¬†I’ve got an important Buddhist exam coming up on July 12th and I need to¬†memorise around 140 pages of text.¬† If I don’t seriously start revising now, there’ll be no chance of me learning it all!¬†

A teaching came to mind that I heard last year which gave helpful suggestions on¬†how to¬†prioritise¬†activities in our busy daily lives.¬† I can’t remember the exact¬†analogy used, but it was along the lines of¬†“what’s the best way of fitting a pile of rocks into a box?” (rocks = tasks we need to accomplish / box = today)¬† Basically, we need to put the big rocks in first¬†otherwise they won’t fit!¬† I totally get this now as all week I’ve been trying to fit¬†revision in with the¬†million other things I need to get done.¬† Revision seems to get squeezed into the hour before school pick up, which is no way near enough time.¬†

So, today,¬†I decided to put the big rock into the¬†box first…¬†and did 2 hours revision first thing before I started to tackle¬†the smaller rocks.¬† I needed to go into Bath and buy¬†Lil’ L some bigger daps¬†(in Essex we call them ‘plimsols’) because he mentioned a few weeks ago that his daps were too small and I don’t want to stunt his toes¬†by leaving this rock any longer.¬† I realised I wouldn’t have¬†time to do any proper exercise today, so decided to “kill 2 birds with one stone” and run into Bath.¬† (Is there another saying¬†I can use instead of the killing birds one?¬†¬†I really don’t like it!)

I decided to try out the Adidas ‘running’ rucksack that M had bought me for¬†Christmas.¬† It’s got lots of straps on it and is meant to fit snugly on your back while you run.¬† I don’t think I did¬†it¬†up correctly though, as the rucksack kept bouncing up and down and chafing my neck.¬† In the¬†end, I ran along holding the rucksack down with one hand.¬† It wasn’t the¬†greatest running style, but I managed to get to Walcot Street in 18 minutes, which is quicker than the bus ūüôā

Still got a million things to do today, but at least I got the¬†big rock in (and a few smaller ones as¬†well) ūüėČ

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Filed under Buddhism & Meditation, Dinners, Running

Dharma 4 Kids Festival

This weekend we went to the Dharma 4 Kids Festival at the Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire.  We had a fantastic time there and met some wonderful people! 

The event was really well organised, with lots of fun activities including art, drama, football, table tennis, table football, snooker, bouncy castles, as well as fun sessions on Buddhism.   

Lil' L playing gladiators with his new friend

There were quite a few teenagers at the festival and it was great to see activities specifically targeted at their age group.¬† They even had their own teenage marquee!¬† In the evening, there was a karaoke disco party in the teenage marquee which was invaded by a number of¬†parents… including us.¬† I’m still not feeling¬†39!!

Larking about on the bouncy castle

I loved the¬†relaxed atmosphere at this¬†festival.¬† The place felt very safe so I was happy to¬†let Lil’ L come and go as he pleased.¬†¬†I think he really¬†enjoyed having some¬†freedom!¬†¬†At one point¬†I went¬†looking for him¬†to remind him that the¬†kids’¬†Buddhism session was about to start, only to find that him and his friends¬†had already taken themselves off to the meditation room.¬† That impressed me!¬†¬†

Kids session with Kadam Bridget

The weekend felt like a real break for us.  The cafe and shop were open throughout the festival, which was a plus point.  I loved the soya lattes served in the cafe. (M and I had lots of them!)  Luckily, there were enough breaks in the rain for the lunches and dinners to be served on the front lawn. 

Lunchtime and the sun's come out!

Lil’ L made some great new friends this weekend, which he’ll hopefully see again next year.¬† I spoke to some of the teenagers who said that they’d been coming to the festival for the past 5-6 years and looked forward each year to catching up with their festival buddies.¬†¬†I also made some great new friends and hope to see them again next year!

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Filed under Buddhism & Meditation