The Irish Sailor who didn’t know how to pray

Before becoming president, Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer. Often he used humour to get the attention of a judge whom he needed a favour.

On one particular occasion, Lincoln was anxious to get the attention of the judge, he announced: “May it please your Honor, I am like the Irish sailor, and beg your Honor to excuse me for this hurried interruption.”

The line worked. The judge asked Lincoln to explain his ‘Celtic sailor’ analogy.

Lincoln responded:

Well, an Irish sailor was overtaken at sea by a heavy storm and he thought he would pray but didn’t know [how], so he went down on his knees and said: ‘Oh, Lord! you know as well as meself that it’s seldom I bodder ye, but if ye will only hear me and save me this time, bedad it will be a long time before I bodder ye again’.” (The Log Cabin Sage)


For some reason, it reminds me of a joke where there is a great flood, and a very pious man starts praying to God to save him. A few minutes later, a boat comes by and the pious man – says “No Thanks. I have prayed to God, and he will come and save me soon”. The boat leaves. Another 30 minutes and a helicopter flies by, but again the pious man says “No thanks. God always listens to my prayer, he will come and save me.”

Another hour passed and the sea levels continued to rise and the man drowned. When he got to Heaven, he couldn’t understand why God didn’t save him, so St Peter enlightened him – who do you think sent the boat and helicopter?!

 

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Dig for Victory

No Deal Brexit – No Problem! Let’s dig our way out of this Brexit hole!

Who needs foreign imports when you can survive on home grown British turnips?

dig for victory

So in the spirit of make do and mend, I have been digging up my back garden and will be planting crops which will see me through to at least 2030.  Continue Reading →

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Sirshasana yoga posture

Recently, I have been learning how to do Sirshasana yoga (headstand).

It is known as the ‘King of asanas’ A yoga expert I.K.S Iyengar says if you only have time for one or two yoga postures – do this and other ‘inversions’ – where you put yourself upside down.

On Sri Chinmoy’s path, hatha yoga is not an important component – I did no yoga for the first 18 years on the path, but without being to cycle I have been seeking other ways to keep the body moving. This yoga also is a challenge, so you get a feeling of progress – self-transcendence.

As far as I know, the headstand is one of the posture Sri Chinmoy has specifically recommended.

“It is very good to do headstands or two or three minutes of asanas, Hatha Yoga exercises; only don’t do them for two or three hours. A few minutes will be enough.” Sri Chinmoy – The hour of meditation

headstandIt was quite difficult to do it at first.

It is best to build up slowly, not trying to get a full headstand but build up strength and control by slowly raising legs. For the first few weeks, I can only get up 70-90% of the way – I have long legs so maybe harder to balance!

It feels quite rewarding when you gain control and can hold the headstand. It is important to be able to come down with control.

I do it near a wall, but I don’t use the wall for control.

If I start growing back hair, you will know that headstands have a great benefit!

The other inversion yoga posture highly recommended is Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) I found this relatively easier to do. Continue Reading →

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I love coffee

Sri Chinmoy has written a book “My Tea and Coffee Experiences” However, a good friend who used to work as an attendant for Sri Chinmoy told an amusing story, which was not published in that book. He said Sri Chinmoy once felt the need to give up drinking coffee. So with a childlike enthusiasm, one evening he said to this attendant. “I have given up coffee.”

Sri Chinmoy paused and then added.

“Now I just need to give up cappuccino!”

Sometimes spiritual Masters like to show they have a sense of humour.

herbal-tea Continue Reading →

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Ganapati

Ganapati

We have a new statue of Ganapati.

Ganapati or Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom.

dec-gardenThere’s not much left in the garden apart from a few Brussel Sprouts (yum!) and some Kale. I have one or two lettuces under a cloche.

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Star Wars and a blast from the past

These days I rarely watch films. Unless I’m a captive audience on trans-atlantic flights, I tend to get bored half-way through or annoyed at some predictable storyline. To sound like an old codger – a lot of the modern stuff isn’t my cup of tea.

The other thing is that when I revisit things from childhood – the magic is usually gone. When I was a kid, nothing was greater than the prospect of Christmas. I loved Lord of the Rings to the point of religious devotion and I thought playing ‘Howzat’ Cricket with rolling dice and noting imaginary scores in beautifully kept scorebooks (plus working out all the batting and bowling averages of course!) – was the greatest way to spend hours and hours of time.

I spent literally whole summers playing ‘Owzthat’ against myself.

(In retrospect, I’m glad I had Howzat rather than the modern video games/screens. We did see computers come in but I was never that taken with them. I remember the family getting a BBC 32k computer. You loaded games on a cassette and it took three minutes to load ‘Chuckie Egg.’

But, sometimes it’s best to leave the past in the past. Your idea of perfection can’t stay the same as when you are seven years old. My rare foray into social activities as a young child was when we used to play teddy bear cricket with a wooden peg snapped in half for a bat and a small red ball. But, that’s another story!)


Anyway, the one exception to getting bored by films was watching ‘Star Wars’ I watched the film at the weekend and I surprised myself by really enjoying it. I haven’t seen the film for years and years. But, I think I enjoyed it more now than I did as a child. Maybe it helped that I heard my teacher Sri Chinmoy say it was a good film with a spiritual theme  (don’t know the exact words) Anyway it was great. A good film and I was suitably inspired to try and clear the mind and follow the way of the Jedi Master’s in their battle against darkness and ignorance!

May the force be with you!

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Picture of tree and thought for the day

autumn-iffley-tree

This is a tree in Iffley Village – part of my extended commute into town. It’s a beautiful time of the year.

I am currently reading a book on the “Alexander Technique” I like it because it encourages a moment of reflection before doing anything – trying to avoid bad habits we get into. In terms, of my understanding, it reminds me of Sri Chinmoy’s encouragement to meditate before doing anything. Continue Reading →

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