Monday, 29 September 2014

Responsibility



The Ho’oponopono prayer, which you can see cycling continually at the foot of this blog, is an encapsulation of Christian attitude: “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.”

It’s a traditional Hawaiian mantra that Dr Hew Len has taught people about. He describes its use as being for “cleaning”. He says any circumstance into which you introduce it as an intention is de-toxed by it. If you make it your mantra – your mind’s focus – it de-toxes your life. That makes sense, because it is in a nutshell the way Jesus taught us to think and behave. Every single thing we say or do should be able to be categorized under one of its four headings – I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you.

It intrigues me that “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me” are two separate clauses in it, not one. I’d have said they were the same, but when I think about it I can see they’re not.

Dr Hew Len recommends we pick up the practice of “cleaning” any person, place or event that comes our way by bringing the light of this mantra to shine upon it. He makes the interesting observation that we are responsible for everyone and everything that comes our way.

By that, he doesn’t mean “everything that happens to you is your fault”. People make this error of thinking about the whole idea of karma – they think it’s a kind of blame system: “You got yourself into this, right then; you get yourself out of it” or “You made your bed, now you’ve got to lie on it. Ha ha.”

But that isn’t it. Karma is what Dr Hew Len says – you are responsible for whatever comes into your life. That is to say, you respond to anything you notice or encounter, and the correct way to respond is your choice of “I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you” – or a bumper pack of all four. This is good medicine, good karma, because it ensures that you will get the best out of everyone and everything you come across. Furthermore the aura or radiance of your thoughts, your attitude, will affect whatever/whoever you meet; and if what it meets in you is the Ho’oponopono prayer incarnate, you wil bring healing and peace wherever you go, and life will lighten up around you. That’s what he means by cleaning it. 

One of the areas of life where this responsibility sometimes feels very serious to me, is in choosing where to buy my food. I’m sure you must know that humanity has been very careless, corrupt and cruel in its agricultural practices. We have pushed indigenous peoples off their land, degraded the health of the earth, spoilt the fields and the oceans, wiped out the forests, almost killed off the pollinating insects and imprisoned livestock animals in environments that make concentration camps look like holiday parks. That’s not  ‘I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, or thank you”, is it?

So, though I often get it wrong and take my eye of the ball and just act in total selfishness, I do try to put some work into exercising my responsibility and making loving choices when it comes to sourcing my food.

I have tried being vegan, and that really didn’t work out for me. For one and another reason, I’ve come to accept that we are inescapably part of the cycle of birth and death in our interactions, and what matters is not whether something lives of dies (including me) but the quality of attitude with which it is welcomed and loved in its earth-time.

So, when I source eggs or meat or fish, I do my best to search out food that has not been blitzed with organo-phosphates or anti-biotics, that I can eat without jeopardizing my health, and that has enjoyed a reasonable degree of happiness, freedom and natural life while it was running around on earth as an animal. I was going to say “as a living being”, but I think the meat or egg is still a living being – it’s just transitioning; the living being it’s about to become is me. I will reap what I sow. It matters.

With this in mind, I discovered with great joy a source of meat and eggs in the UK to be really proud of – Eversfield Farm. Take your time to poke around that website and check out what they’re doing. That the lambs are allowed to stay with their mothers and wean naturally onto grass. That the animals are not only organically reared and grass-fed, but are pasture-fed; which means that flowers and herbs have gone into their bodies as well as grass. That the pigs (rescued from slaughter at the closure of a nearby farm) are a flock, the boar with his sows, free-ranging and with shelter from the sun. That the hens are organically fed and range free in the pastures. That they sell chicken as well as eggs – which presumably means the male birds get a chance to live, to become chicken to eat, rather than being selected on a conveyor belt and chucked down a chute into a gas chamber on Day 1 of their lives because they aren’t female and therefore won’t lay eggs. And that the meat animals are taken to a nearby local abattoir for slaughter, reducing to a minimum the stress on the animal when its time comes to die.

Eversfield Farm has worked under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to re-establish miles of hedgerows – sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds. The old, basic rye-grass fields have been ploughed up and re-seeded with herb-rich pasture.

I tell you, that place is Good News – it’s a Ho’oponopono place, and I thank God for it. They sell meat all round the UK by mail order, which is a precious support in helping me live my life responsibly. Hooray for Eversfield Farm! Thank you, Eversfield; I love you – yes, I do.



Eyes


I have these really hooded eyes. My father’s were the same. I quite like them actually. Our new next door neighbours include two Sharpeis, and we definitely have something in common. Folds of skin.

When I go to the optician for my regular check, I have the Optimap scan done, where they photograph the inside of your eye. As well as my eyes being hooded, they have mega-long eyelashes (once black, now faded), so on the Optimap pics there’s always a ring of sharp spikes!

This last time I went, the optician spotted a tiny ‘event’ – a little bleed, not a carnival or a circus or anything – on the outer field of my retina when she inspected the photos, so there ensued a lot of peering into an eye dilated by drops etc.

And it’s amusing because the skin round my eyes has to be kind of held aside – like when the curtains go up at a theatre so you can see the play.

I said to the optician, “I’m sorry my eyes are so hard to get at – I think they must be a cosmetic surgeon’s dream!”

To which she replied: “You can get them done on the NHS if it gets bad enough.”

Hmm.

You know, I have never been renowned for my tact and diplomacy, but even I can tell that’s not the right thing to say to a lady about her eyes.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll bear that in mind.”


Our conversation slid gracefully into the mud at that point. What I mean is, it stopped.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Family


For those of you who are interested in my family, here is the smallest on Sunday afternoon. She is not doing anything clever or remarkable, just enjoying her orange ice lolly (popsicle). I like this child a lot.



video


And here she is evolving from her primaeval heritage glimpsed in the background. Mastering “The Stand”.







Oh my goodness, those terrifying eyes. It does run in the family.

Here’s her grandmother thoughtfully watching some other family members. “I love this photo,” says the Badger who took it, “Because it looks just like you really look.” Worrying but true.



And here I am with another child encountered this last weekend . . .


Gosh. He didn’t want to go on that red thing. No, sir.