I have just recently left a message for all my friends and contacts on Flickr to say i was taking a break from Flickr as it is becoming increasingly harder to upload my photos and at present only being able to see about 60/70% of other peoples photos along with a new problem of losing contacts whole details and photo streams,and other people have also informed me that they can't see my photos.It is a pity as i really liked going on Flickr and learnt so much and made good friends and i hope i can get back to it sometime soon.
I was reading an autobiography by William Seagal recently " A voice at the borders of silence" who as well as being a very successful business man,artist etc was a follower of Gurdjieff (whose teachings I followed for over 6 years before becoming a Buddhist) having met him through Ouspensky in America he continued to be involved with the Teachings right up to his death in 2000,he was a close friend of M De Salzmann (Paris),who took over from Gurdjieff after his death along with my teacher Rina Hands ( London). But what interested me about him the most was at the same time he was a close friend of D T Suzuki and with introductions from him spent long periods at Zen Buddhist Temples in Japan in the 50's 60's and later,even taking the Salzmanns over to visit.He seemed to be able to discern the qualities of both teachings without diluting either,a very remarkable man.
The air quality has been a bit better recently and we have had some lovely Spring days it was lovely to get out and view the Cherry Blossoms,Magnolias and various other scented plants . I have my scooter up and running again which is great for short trips and have had a few hours here and there taking photographs,sometimes in the parks other times in derelict villages or abandoned factories I have also been doing a bit more in turning some photos in to looking like paintings which i quite enjoy doing,you can see them here on my website under creative images.
We have just finished packing 6 large boxes to ship back to the UK it was a bit difficult trying to decide what stays here and what goes to our house (the house became ours last Friday 11th of April ) and you wouldn't believe the amount of paperwork involved itemising everything, proving none of it is eligible for tax or illegal etc....anyway it will be collected next Wednesday and transported south to go on a container ship, so from door to door it should be about 10 weeks.We still haven't booked our flights yet still holding out for any last minute reductions as at the moment the cheapest are about 800 each,what makes it so maddening is that if you booked it the other way ie from UK to China its a lot cheaper.
It certainly has been a very strange case with the missing plane but it seems now they think they have located the black box,I hope so and that they will be able to finally say what happened.Most people here think that the Malaysian Govt has covered things up and withheld information which is why some have been demanding answers and demonstrating etc. But it was a good point made the other week by a Malaysian Minister when he was questioned about what the Chinese relatives were saying as well as the Chinese Govt who up till then were also saying that Malaysia should be more open and transparent. He replied that it was strange to have China saying these things when they clearly are one of the least open and transparent countries in the world and that if the relatives were demonstrating against China and accusing them they would in all probability go to jail.
I was talking recently to one of the mothers of the students i teach about the missing plane and she just said straight away exactly what the Chinese Govt had been saying.It's like when i asked her what her thoughts were on the demonstrations abroad regarding Tibet and recently in Taiwan and she said she couldn't understand what was wrong with them as everyone knows they are a part of China.
There was a short holiday recently here in China for remembering your ancestors and tomb cleaning day and one part of it is that the night before the tomb cleaning day people go with copies of paper money and make their way to crossroads and draw circles on the ground and place the money inside, recite prayers and set fire to it.I went this year with Jun as she did some herself, it was strange to be stood at a busy traffic lighted junction and see people all around with these little fires going,yet at the same time it was quite nice to see,it reminded me a little of the last ceremony of Segaki (Hungry Ghosts Retreat) which is a week long retreat we hold in October at our Monastery.