There are many different meditative practices to be found in Buddhism, Yoga, or even in your local Mindfulness classes. The Metta Bhavana is one that is taught at my local Buddhist Centre, and its purpose is the cultivation (‘Bhavana’) of compassion and kindness (‘Metta’).
You’ll find this porcupine-warming tale on many inspirational websites, and it has been widely shared on Twitter. It’s essentially a reformulation of Schopenhauer’s “Hedgehogs’ Dilemma”, which poses the question: how can we manage to live together and function as a family unit, a social unit or society, when we inadvertently hurt each other?
Continue reading “Fable of the Porcupine”
Dogsolitude_uk has just migrated to WordPress. There’s a lot of housekeeping to do now, involving admin user accounts, importing blog posts and sorting out a suitable development environment and coding workflow…
Renting your home is a demoralising Faustian pact in the UK. Due to a combination of the high house prices here and various broken relationships, I made my way through most of adult life renting my home. Here’s how owning my own home changed me after nine months.
Continue reading “On becoming a homeowner in England”
I stopped drinking a while back, mostly. I had a couple of G&Ts over Xmas with some family, and maybe a single glass of wine on other occasions, but other than that I generally avoid it nowadays. As I started to develop other areas of my life, I found drinking alcohol was making me feel crappy, mentally, emotionally and physically. So I just stopped (with that very rare exception of a glass of wine with family at Xmas or other events). Here’s what I found.
A couple of days ago I found this old blog of mine. I had completely forgotten I had it, as I must have been busy with other things over the last few years, but still, it was a nice surprise: rather like finding an old bicycle or computer in the loft that still sort-of works.
It’s the thing I love about web development: it keeps you busy and there are always many more things to learn.
This one actually made me laugh. Here it is, complete with typos and batshit capitalisation:
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONETORY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, D.C.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535-0001
Fax 0872 111 5935
Bank of Nigeria transferred 10,500,000.00 us dollars to bank of America in your favor as the beneficiary; bank of Nigeria used (secret diplomatic transit payment to wire this money. Secret diplomatic payments are only made if its Terrorist related. why must your payment be made by a secret transfer, if you are not a terrorist, then why did you not
Receive the money? Why did you instruct them to use a coded means to transfer your money? We have intercepted the transfer of $10,500,000.00 usd to you .we advise you to contact us immediately for directives on what next to do, as your money is In a suspense account in the bank of America, present to us your diplomatic immunity seal of transfer (dist) document
To prove this money is not terrorist related.
Failure to produce the dist document, we shall impound your money and prosecute you for criminal offense, but on the Contrary the money will be released immediately we receive the dist document. The dist document guarantees the following
60t your transferred money is genuine
61h you are empowered to receive the money without further scrutiny
62j your receiving bank account can either be in usa/uk/outside or anywhere you wish
Reply immediately with this dist document if you want to receive your transferred moneys we intercepted Respond within 24 hrs upon receipt of this mail
Assistant director in charge
James w. Mcjunkin
Robert s. Mueller, iii
Federal bureau of investigation
United states department of justice
Washington, d.c. 20535
Having done my present shopping early, avoided shops, turned the TV off and made plans to not travel anywhere, I found myself spending the Christmas weekend largely on my own in my cavernous flat.
It’s amazing what a difference the ‘No TV, Travelling or Shops’ thing makes to the whole experience of Christmas. I actually had a splendidly refreshing long weekend completely free of any kind of pressure to do anything. It was almost like having a week’s holiday.
Joolz and Mr Ian popped by on Christmas Eve, and it was lovely as always to catch up with them and set the world to rights about life, the universe and everything. After they tootled off I went back to my study, and woke my PC up to do a bit of gaming.
A while back I had downloaded Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and had got quite a way into it. After a good solid play through, I finally finished it at 1.30am on Christmas eve. And so to bed, a bit bleary, and still playing the game in my head. Boy I had some funny dreams that night…
Christmas morning I managed to get my guitar hooked up to my music software, Orion v8, meaning that I can now record live guitar playing through a variety of effects on to my tracks. I’ve yet to try it with vocals, but seeing as I cannot sing (and so tend to leave vocals to the Dogsolitude_uk Singing Robots) it’s a bit of a moot point.
I cleaned the kitchen and tidied up a bit, and did some weeding in the front garden.
I also went for a bit of a bike ride up past one of the country-ish areas near where I live. This is where I learned that a Barbour Moorland Jacket may be wonderful for dog-walking or generally traipsing around in the drizzle and wind, but it’s bloody dreadful on a bike. After a couple of miles I noticed a bit of a chill, and noticed that the jacket had started coming undone from the bottom as my legs pedalled, thanks to the two-way zip. I also accidentally reset the numbers on my bike computer.
Most of my relatives, when I called them, seemed to want to know if I was having Christmas dinner, and if so what I was having. I ate plenty (a quiche, honey-roasted parsnips and potatoes, a hot apple-and-blackberry pie were the more sensible things I consumed) but there seemed to be something a bit Samuel Beckett about making a Christmas Dinner for one, so I waited for ms rhapsody9 to come back before doing any stuffing etc.
Later in the evening, being a bit too full and rather too physically fatigued to do anything strenuous, I watched Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, the Father Ted Xmas Special, and a few episodes of Family guy. Later on, I booted up Steam and bought a sort of expansion for Deus Ex called ‘The Missing Link’. A bit of shooting and sneaking later, I tootled off to bed.
From what I can work out, a lot of people find Christmas to be a terrible time to be alone, and it truly must be dreadful if you want to be with your family or other half. However for me it was a much needed respite from the demands of the rest of the world, and a wonderfully refreshing opportunity to rest and recuperate that generally left me feeling cheerful and well-disposed towards my fellow wo/man.
Which is sort of the whole point, IIRC.