Sunday, May 26, 2013


" Friends, you already have great knowledge and clear understanding, whereas I am of no importance and have little wisdom. However because you dear friends, whom I cherish from my heart, have requested me, I shall give you this essential advice from my inferior and childish mind.

Until you realize ultimate truth, listening is indispensable. Since you cannot become a Buddha merely by understanding Dharma, practice earnestly with understanding. Avoid places that disturb your mind, and always remain where your virtues increase. Avoid friends who cause you to increase delusions, and rely upon those who increase your virtue. This you should take to heart.. 

Friends, the things you desire give no more satisfaction than drinking sea water, therefore practice contentment. Avoid activities that are said to be meritorious, but which in fact are obstacles to Dharma. Words of praise and fame serve only to beguile us, therefore blow them away as you would blow your nose. 

Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.
Do not be jealous of others' good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself. Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself, and purge them like bad blood. Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would. Since you cannot tame the minds of others until you have tamed your own, begin by taming your own mind.

Friends, there is no happiness in this swamp of samsara, so move to the firm ground of liberation. If you practice like this you will delight me, and you will bring happiness to yourself and others. I who am ignorant request you to take this advice to heart.

Extracts adapted by Vidyavara from Advice to the Heart, by Atisha. Trans. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.


"True study of the Way does not rely on knowledge or genius, cleverness or brilliance. Though it is a mistake to encourage people to be blind, deaf or stupid. Because study has no use for wide learning and high intelligence, even those with inferior capacities can participate. True study of the Way is an easy thing.

As I see it now, it is a matter of gaining the desire to practice. A person who gives rise to a real desire and puts their utmost efforts into study under a teacher will surely gain enlightenment. Essentially, one must devote all ones attention to this effort and enter into practice with all due speed.
There must be a keen and sincere desire to seek the Way, For example, someone who wishes to steal a precious jewel, must, at all times watch intently for the opportunity, adjusting to changing and shifting circumstances. Those who have this drive, even if they are stupid, will without fail gain enlightenment.

To arouse such a mind, one must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world. This realisation is not achieved by some temporary method of contemplation. It is not creating something out of nothing and then thinking about it. Impermanence is a fact before our eyes. We are born in the morning and die in the evening; the man we saw yesterday is no longer with us today. These are facts we see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears.

Life is indeed an uncertain thing. In this hateful world where death may come at any moment, it is absurd to plan your life, intrigue maliciously against others, and spend your time in fruitless pursuits. Because impermanence is a fact of life, the Buddha spoke of it for the sake of all beings. Think only of this very moment, and waste no time in turning your minds to the study of the Way. After this it is easy. It has nothing to do with the quality of your nature or the dullness or keenness of your capacity. "

Adapted by Vidyavajra from Shobogenzo Zuimonki by Dogen. Trans. Reiho Masunaga. Pub. Hawaii Univ Press

QUOTATION MARKS 38 ~ Patrul Rinpoche

" Listen up, Patrul, you dweller-in-distraction. For ages now you have been beguiled and fooled by appearances. Don’t let yourself get carried away by this fake and empty life. Your mind is spinning around about carrying out a lot of useless projects: Thinking about the hundred plans you want to accomplish. With never enough time to finish them, this just weighs down your mind. These projects, never come to an end, but keep spreading out like ripples in water.

You’ve already heard hundreds of teachings, But when you haven’t grasped the meaning of even one teaching, What’s the point of more listening? You’ve added up just how many mantras you’ve done but you aren’t accomplishing the visualisations. You get the forms of deities nice and clear, so meticulously arranged, forget about them. Your practice is stable enough but there’s no brilliance to it. You try to force yourself into a state of self-awareness, as if stabbing a stake into a target!

Giving teachings on meditation texts without yourself having gained actual experience through practice, is like reciting a dance-manual out loud and thinking that’s the same as actually dancing. Sooner or later, when your own actions contradict the teachings, you’ll feel ashamed. You beat your little damaru drum—ting, ting— and your audience thinks it’s charming to hear. You’re reciting words about offering up your body, but you still haven’t stopped holding it dear. You’re making your little cymbals go cling, cling— Without keeping the ultimate purpose in mind.

Worldly and religious work is the province of gentlemen. Patrul, old boy—that’s not for you. Just sleep, eat, piss, shit. there’s nothing else in life that has to be done. Don’t get involved with other things: Keep a low profile, Sleep. When you’re without any worldly or religious obligations, Don’t keep on longing to acquire some! If you let go of everything, everything, everything. That’s the real point! "

Adapted by Vidyavajra from Advice from Me to Myself, by Patrul Rinpoche

Saturday, May 25, 2013

CD REVIEW ~ The Knife ~ Shaking The Habitual

The Knife have always flirted around the edges of darker skies, making less mainstream uncomfortable music as a result. Their first two albums are quirky and scatological, style and content leap off at divergent angles with each track. There was always a pop sensibility in the background restraining the distorted vocals, often growling and grating on the surface from ripping your face off. It was only with Silent Shout that this aural violence and unease was momentarily tamed, becoming honed to a perfection that its taken a few years for them to escape from. Even then Silent Shout's apparent popular vein defied conventions, as was evidenced by the videos that often accompanied the music. You'll never find The Knife in front of a camera miming to their music, its always some bizarre surrogate puppet. So really, after the extreme left field electronic sound scape performance art of Tomorrow. In a year, we really shouldn't expect an album called Shaking The Habitual to be the usual Knife we've all got used to.

The music created here is as defiantly radical, perhaps musically more cutting edge than politically astute. Sharp probing edges lurk unforeseen within each lyric and musical situation it occupies. Sometimes it veers off into sharp cuts of noise making only to come back into focus, but still with an unsettling predator just off speaker. Musically this album seems to be occupying similar territory to early Cabaret Voltaire, before they morphed into industrial techno/disco. This albums opening is the relatively jaunty tropicality of A Tooth For An Eye, which is followed by the sonic edginess of Full of Fire, whose true meaning remains quite opaque. Even the video confuses, with a woman pissing in the street, couples bondage to cars, cross dressing lesbian pensioners and occupy protests splatter across its glorious nine minutes plus. It maybe trying to say something about people defying social conventions, but its too off-kilter to maintain clarity about its true objective. The Knife seem to make a habit, ironically, of defying their own conventions. They try to challenge the status quo on not just one, but all levels simultaneously, which is ambitious. Much of what we hear is the result of years of improvised studio experiments, which perpetually hover on a precipice between indulgent meaningless twiddling and ground breaking invigoration. Mostly, they succeed,.but don't always seduce you into believing what they've achieved is truly great music making.

Sometimes the album does steer to the deep but hits the pretentious button. They do take themselves and the purpose of their music with an often arid po-faced seriousness that seems to photo- fit the archetypal Scandinavian. But, hey, let me not complain when you have the magnificent drama of tracks like Without You My Life Would Be Boring or Wrap Your Arms Around Me  or Stay Out  Here, to deal with.


With the recent Scott Walker album Bish Bosh, and now Shaking the Habitual, 2013 has two artists who are still prepared to push the envelope until it almost bursts. In this age of X Factorised musack, we should really be very grateful that bands like The Knife can not only still exist, but can thrive.

QUOTATION MARKS 37 ~ Bodhidharma

" Those who seek enlightenment regard their bodies as the furnace, the Dharma as the fire, wisdom as the craftsmanship, and the six paramitas as the mold. They smelt and refine the true buddha-nature within themselves and pour it into the mold formed by the rules of discipline. Acting in perfect accordance with the Buddha’s teaching, they naturally create a perfect likeness.

To burn incense doesn’t mean ordinary incense but the five kinds of  Dharma-incense. First is the incense of morality, which means renouncing evil and cultivating virtue. Second is the incense of meditation, which means deeply believing in it with unwavering resolve. Third is the incense of wisdom, which means contemplating the body and mind, inside and out. Fourth is the incense of liberation, which means severing the bonds of ignorance. And fifth is the incense of perfect knowledge, which means being always aware and nowhere obstructed. These five are the most precious kinds of incense and far superior to anything the world has to offer.

Scattering flowers is like speaking the Dharma, it scatters flowers of virtue, in order to benefit others. These flowers of virtue are those praised by the Buddha. They last forever and never fade. And whoever scatters such flowers reaps infinite blessings.

The eternal lamp represents perfect awareness. Likening the illumination of awareness to that of a lamp, those who seek liberation see their body as the lamp, their mind as its wick, the addition of discipline as its oil, and the power of wisdom as its flame. By lighting this lamp of perfect awareness they dispel all darkness and delusion. And by passing this Dharma on to others they’re able to use one lamp to light thousands of lamps. And because these lamps likewise light countless other lamps, their light lasts forever."

Extracts adapted by Vidyavajra from The Breakthrough Sermon by Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine.

FEATURE 114 ~ Shrines made for A Lotus in an Ocean of Fire

Shrine created by Vidyavajra
Here are some photos of shrines made for this years Windhorse Celebration of the Buddha's Enlightenment.

Accounts Team Shrine

Shrine created by the Retail Team

Property Team Shrine

Tara Shrine created by Vidyavajra

Padmasambhava Shrine created by Ivan Trujillo

Padmasambhava  Shrine Created by Ivan Trujillo

Warehouse Shrine 

Shrine created by the Evolution Supply Team

Shrine created by the ADK Team

Stupa Shrine

Palanque Shrine created by Vidyavajra

DIARY 114 ~ Once a Ritual has happened

Well, Windhorse's ritual to mark the Buddha's Enlightenment having happened. I retire as Ritual Master for another year once again. Simultaneously satisfied with the result, but also relieved that thinking about it can now be dropped. At some point, sooner rather than later, I need to take time out from picking up this responsibility. Simply in order to recharge, reinvigorate and maintain a positive relationship with it. Otherwise I'll find it increasingly difficult to find fresh ways of connecting with it. At the moment the process of refinement over the last four years has reached its peak. A certain format is tending to automatically take its place. This is what usually happens, a particular normalisation process takes place, after the creative ferment. I'm aware that this form, is by no means the only way it can be done. My engagement this year has noticeably grown a stale crust around the edges. The predictability of this programmed structure feels creatively restricting. I'm feeling the need to throw it all up in the air once more, but first I need to stand back in order to obtain a new perspective on it.

My original aim was to re-invigorate collective rituals at Windhorse. This has to some measure been achieved, but whether this will have a life of its own has yet to be proved. To create a longer standing ritual tradition, it has to be able to survive without me being present. It feels my current role could be to create the conditions for Ritual Masters of the future to arise. Yet what is the best way of doing that? How do you make yourself obsolete? Do I remain in place to encourage and nurture this handover of responsibility or is the best way just for me to get out of the way? People tend not to step up to lead when an incumbent is still in the post, still in the way, so to speak.

Next week I do my final stint in Customer Services and move on to a decorating project at Abbey House. This will most likely take up the next three and a half months. What comes after that is somewhat vague at the moment, perhaps there maybe nothing further for me to do at Windhorse! Or it maybe that this is a point where I need to make a decision; to go part-time, to give more time to my own artwork

In this respect, I've already booked the Cambridge Buddhist Centre in October to hold a small exhibition of my artwork. This year I've been reviewing my old work, and preparing new work. This will no doubt consume my available spare time through the Summer and early Autumn. In the short term, this is what I'm wanting to do ~ to put more energy into developing and exploring ways of selling my own artwork. This is something I've never done before. There are many practical things yet to be organised. Such as getting my artwork photographed and to establish a web presence. This feels both exciting and intimidating. This is going to stretch and push at the edges of my comfort zone substantially. This may be no bad thing. A degree of tension has been released just by deciding to do this. It's as if my whole life has been about finding a way of coming to terms with satisfying my own creative urges and needs. I've been noticeably calmer and happier as a consequence. This maybe because I'm on the way to doing the right thing.


"When I was young, I used to think that the Way of the Buddha was nothing other than keeping the mind in absolute calm and quiet. I was always searching out dismal places and sitting there as if I was dead.  I was not able to enter into any activity of life at all.

Sometimes one is tempted to think that the life of calm helps us to progress even better than one had hoped, while the life of activity does not seem to help us at all. But one who is carrying on the life of calm, at sometime has to enter the active life, with its worldly business. They may find they lose all the advantages of the powers which they had attained in their quiet place of meditation. With nothing to show for their pains living the life of calm.

You must not think that this means that you should dislike or cease from trying to carry on the discipline of the life of calm, and deliberately seek to live only the life of activity. The less one understands and knows about - the active and the calm - the more careful should one be to value them both, they are two aspects of one uniform condition. An ancient sage said;  
The performance of true meditation must be still within the sphere where desires exist. From within the fires the lotus blossoms.’

If a lotus blooming in water, is brought too near to fire it immediately withers. Nevertheless, a lotus which comes to blossom within the fire has a greater and more delicious scent and is the more beautiful the nearer it is to the fire. A person leaving the calm of meditation coming out into the life of activity, will be like the lotus blossom which instantly withers when it is brought near to the fire.

A person remaining within the life of activity, is simple, complete and of one piece, they will not err to any degree. Raising up the source and origin of their own soul and mind, bringing to a final end all those roots of existence which tie us to the cycle of life and death. They are to be compared to the lotus that blossoms and becomes ever more beautiful and deliciously scented as it gets nearer to the fire.  If you ask, ’How can this be?’  It is because the fire is itself the lotus and the lotus is itself the fire."

Adapted by Vidyavajra from extracts in ~ A reply to a near retainer of Lord Nabeshima of Sesshu Province by Hakuin, Part of The Embossed Tea Kettle.Published by Crompton

DIARY 113 ~ A Ritual Happening

After months of meetings, developing and planning, the day of Windhorse's Celebration of the Buddha's Enlightenment arrived on Friday 24th May. At the beginning there's the discovering of the theme and the exploration of how that could be expressed, and at the end there's the carrying out and leading of the celebration day itself. Both of these things I find I enjoy and am engaged with.. In between there is all the making, refining and organising which, though very important to the success of any ritual, I don't get that much enjoyment or satisfaction from. That said I have been very relaxed about this years ritual and not stressing about it. It is my fourth year of organising and leading and I guess I've got the measure of how to do them now.

Each year I'm endeavouring to open this event up to involve more and more people in the making of it. This might be through people doing readings in the ritual, or encouraging the making of shrines for the event, devising practices for the period leading up to the event, or leading mantras etc. Leaving it up to individuals and teams to come up for themselves how they want to prepare for this highlight of the Buddhist festival calendar. At Windhorse, there has always been a tendency for practice periods to become warehouse focused, and the office teams can either be left out, or roped into things that don't work with the differing demands of office based schedules. This tends to encourage office teams to be passive recipients of other peoples devotion and practice, rather than tapping into and being able to find expression for their own.

As organisers we have attempted this year to encourage the office teams to devise their own collective practices. As a first attempt at doing this I think it went as well as could be expected for any new initiative, and shows promise for future events. Perhaps it would never have quite reached our initial expectations, which as ever proved unrealistic. This was a good first try which needs following up on. What happens next depends on whether a group of folk in the offices emerges to take this initiative forward, and plan collective practice sessions for the office teams etc etc. It would be counterproductive if every initiative were to come only from me  There have been some really heartening and inspiring ideas developed this year by both individuals and teams, who gave talks, created special shrines, schedules of practice and readings to lead them up to Buddha day. One warehouse team held an entire weeks urban retreat within their team.  

The theme of A Lotus in an Ocean of Fire is a rich one. With many ways in which the imagery and metaphors surrounding Fire could be explored. The focus for my own creativity went into the creation of the huge shrine backdrop for the Shrine Room, pictures of which you'll find elsewhere on this blog. This has transformed the appearance and sense of it as a sacred space. Turning up the gas from 3 to 9. I'm hoping that the shrine room will in future be used more frequently and enthusiastically.  The same words of the Buddha's Fire Sermon that are punched into the panels on this backdrop, were used in a video that Pedro Vidal and myself collaborated on as an opening for the mornings ritual.

The Buddha after his Enlightenment turned around to face the Bodhi Tree and felt gratitude arise towards it for sheltering him whilst his awakening came into being. In some respects he was also feeling reverence and gratitude towards all his past teachers, life and lives that had led him to this point. One of the themes of the morning was gratitude that the fire which his Enlightenment lit, has been passed on through two and a half thousand years of devoted practitioners. Devotion arising out of sraddha, and sraddha arising in part from reverence and gratitude as an essential part of its DNA. The mornings ritual evoked that lineage of fire through a sequence of readings, each containing practical advice from past teachers on how to practice effectively. Beginning with our own teacher Sangharakshita and moving backwards through the centuries until we reach the Buddha's own first teaching, his decision to teach, until we heard how he described his own Enlightenment.

My own favourite reading from the morning was from Hakuin where he describes the way our meditation and our daily life must become one and the same. Through the metaphor of the lotus and the fire, he described how the fires of practice and of Samsara are intimately interconnected. The fire of our practice has to blossom to such a high degree of intensity before it can match, replace or extinguish the Fire of Samsara. Only then would we realise that that perceived incompatibility of a lotus with a fire, is an entirely false one. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

CD REVIEW ~ James Blake ~ Overgrown

With his first album James Blake sketched out a rough plan for future exploration. Most tracks had the thinnest sliver of a tune erratically woven through them. It was only on Wilhelm Scream and Limit to your love, tracks he didn't write, that you saw glimmers of what might be possible. The experiments were sometimes like scratches across a blackboard with loped vocal lines. Not quite easy listening. It was also quite difficult to find enjoyment in his more cutting edge work, it was cool and didn't provide a thrilling trip, one was just never quite sure how to take it.

The austere electronics are still often sparsely applied, crossing over each other, in not quite counter point.
Blake's voice is soulful, but has a thin winsome fragility, that often breaks in mid phrase, swallows and warbles back into the melody line. The title track Overgrown, exemplifies this style at the start then mid track develops a lush wash of sound falling over the voice like a waterfall.


 Any connection he had with dub-step seems a somewhat irrelevant one these days. He hasn't lost his sense for experiment, its just become more focused and refined. Digital Lion, co written with Brian Eno, Retrograde, Take a fall for me and Voyeur take you on a fantastic unexpectedly diverse journey. To the Last, the penultimate track, with its chiming bell keyboard refrain is quite the most beautiful thing he's written. The final track, Our Love Comes Back, is fittingly a straightforward real tune  presented without much fuss and clickety clicking. Almost electro -easy listening.

CD REVIEW ~ Yeah Yeah Yeahs ~ Mosquito

I've come rather late to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Mosquito is I believe their fifth album. I first started appreciating their mix or art-punk with It's Blitz. The latter's disco strut did have its exultant excellent moments, but Mosquito strikes me as being an altogether different beast, their most coherent album yet. There really is not one duff, or uninteresting, track, no dip in the energy execution or quality. It opens with the gospel tinged Sacrilege.

This is followed on the album by Subway, about loosing ones ticket and ones lover, all set to the rhythm of a recording of a New York subway train. Then comes the albums title track, which I heard first on Later with Jools Holland, and it is one relentless storm of a track. Karen O sings speaks, in that edgy, sassy and confident manner, that made everyone else on the show look feeble and uncommitted  by comparison, Plus she was dressed to impress in a bright red fringed jacket. Knockout!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the sort of band that can only emerge from New York. Part of the Art-punk scene, their roots are so urban, influenced by street swagger and sleaze, rough and raw, whilst also possessing a flashy brash polish.  They're both Indie and Arty, a guitar band that loves to experiment, often to quite a wild and indulgent degree. So on this album there's Sacrilege with its touch of the aforementioned gospel, but also dub effects galore on Under The Earth, then rapping on another standout track Buried Alive. This bears an opening riff that seems lifted from Johnny Marr and The Smiths, that then takes off on a trajectory all its own. They'll probably never reach mega stadium popularity, as their style is too eclectic and unpredictable, but this is what I love about them. Mosquito is there most consistently satisfying offering yet,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

CONCERT REVIEW ~ John Grant, The Junction, Cambridge

I was, once upon a time, an avid concert goer i.e. when I was much much younger. These days, the huge expense aside, I only make the effort when it's someone I have a really strong affection for. So in recent years, its been Show of Hands, Nick Cave and Sparks, that I've checked out live. I find a pop or rock live performance can be a dispiriting affair. Often the musical sharpness and fullness of sound is diminished, if not sacrificed to energy and amplification. Sometimes it becomes patently obvious that the polish a performer exuded in the studio, they're unable to reproduce on stage. Those that do pull this off are rare. One band whom I felt exceeded live the excitement of their recorded output, was Ian Dury & the Blockheads. To this elite roster of excellent live performers I must now add John Grant.

He was ably supported by the Asqeir Trausti Band, whose christian name is pronounced like Oscar I think. Who mixes electronics sparingly with acoustic songwriting. An English version of his first Icelandic album is due out soon. One of the best songs from his short set was Going Home.

John Grant's 'bear' like physiognomy. one would think would have brought out every gay bear for miles around. But Jnanasalin and I scoured the Junction but no shaven-headed,  hirsute and lumberjack shirted men were to be found. Either John Grant's music has yet to tap into this gay subculture, or more likely, that their just aren't that many 'bears' in the Cambridge area. The age of his audience ranged from mid thirties to fifties, with a few borderline pensioners. There was a broad mix of genders and cultures present, from hetro~metrosexual couples, lesbians and gay men, alone and in pairs. Amply demonstrating the broadness of his appeal.

Though his songs, draw from his own life experiences, are confessional and often 'fucking frank' it became clear in concert what a universal vein his lyrics tap into. The fact that he's faced and keeps facing up to the painful facts of his life, provides an object lesson for audience identification. His stage presence exudes a strength, that even he doesn't fully realise he has yet, because he habitually dresses it up in veneers of sensitivity and vulnerability.This explains how his vengeful defiant songs about broken relationships with men connect with women. It was noticeable that it was the women in the audience who sang the loudest during Queen of Denmark, and Greatest Mother Fucke, waving their hands and punching the air. All that was missing was cigarette lighters and we could have been at an all night vigil for Reclaim the Night. His overcoming of his own conditioning and upbringing seemingly chimes in with everyone else who has had to do the same.

At one point, during a long soul-bearing preamble about the origins of the song Glacier, some bloke shouted 'Oh get on with it' only to be collectively told to shut it by a whole section of the audience. Evidently a John Grant audience feels he needs protecting, presumably to save him from further bullying and harm. I'm not sure whether that's helpful to him, though perhaps his own self-mythologising does make him seem like someone who needs mothering. There were constantly shouts of 'We love you John' as if he needed reassuring that he actually was.

Live, one is struck once more by the power of his lyrics, the audience was so still during Glacier, everyone attentively holding their breath, whilst listening to his softly soulful and supremely expressive voice. It is as good if not better live than recorded. His current band move with ease from the electronic dance themed to the seventies styled troubadour songs. It highlights that the transition to electronica on Pale Green Ghosts, his current album, wasn't quite fully carried through. Stylistically the mode from Queen of Denmark mode kept re-erupting into the synth mix, giving the album, stylistically at least, an incomplete or uneven feeling. The consistent quality of his songwriting however is what gives everything he does cohesion, even more so live.  This man is seemingly incapable of writing a lazy or trite lyric. On songs like Greatest Mother Fucker and I hate this Town, one does sense the emergence of a new John Grant, one who is able to gently poke fun at himself, as well as sending up his former lovers

His albums might suggest he's too introspective and self-pitying, and that a live performance might be too drenched in melancholy and poor me, to be really enjoyable or life affirming. Yet life affirming and uplifting was the overall impression this intense two hour concert has left me with. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

FILM REVIEW ~ What Richard Did

 What Richard Did, revolves around Richard, a sensible, but charming eighteen year old. A rugby player and a bit of a man's man, he's mature beyond his years A friend and rock to many of his friends who respect and love him. Then he meets Laura, his best friend Conor's girlfriend.  There is a growing attraction between the two and Richard gradually steals her heart from Conor.  Then at a party, drunk and letting his feelings of jealousy overwhelm him, he gets into a fights with Conor, giving him a good kicking. As Richard leaves he sees Conor staggering away, believing he's OK. The next day Richard finds out he's dead.

The script gently examines in detail his emotional and moral conflicts, whilst he mourns for his friend that he unwittingly killed, as the friends who know what he did, desert him. He lies to the police, but tells the truth to his Father. By the end of the film he strikes a lonely figure, alone with his guilt, with both his reputation and self-identity now in tatters.

The movie confidently takes its time to sketch out its central characters  The result is quietly compelling and unsettling, built around a terrific central performance from Jack Reynor. He's already won nominations and an award from the Irish Film & TV Award, so he is surely a name to look out for.

PROJECT ~ Windhorse Shrine Room Backdrop

After several months of banging, punching and assembling, the Backdrop I was making for the Windhorse Shrine Room was finished. Then it hung in the Abbey House Shrine room for a month, awaiting the begining of the Practice Period leading up to this years Enlightenment Celebration at Windhorse. This last Thursday came the day to move it, a procedure I was unduely anxious about.Bar a few minor bits pinging off which were easily repaired, the move and the installation went fine.

It really does look magnificent now its in its true home. The metal also complements and enhances the standing rupa. Unlike my previous work it came out pretty much as I originally envisaged it, with very little adjustments required to the vision. There were technical issues to overcome, but then there always are, and I was also learning what I wanted to do with working in tin. Something tells me this won be the last piece I'll be doing in recycled tin.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

FEATURE 113 - A Lotus On An Ocean Of Fire

The theme for Windhorse's Celebration of the Buddha's Enlightenment2013 is A Lotus In An Ocean Of Fire, that I'm in the middle of organising. This is this years poster designed by Jnanasalin