Friday, April 10, 2009
A few years ago, a friend I met while living here on Achill, taught me how to meditate. To cut to the chase, I had expressed an interest in meditation and buddhism, particularly Tibetan buddhism, and he had experience of a Zen buddhist monastery. He knew the 'techniques' to achieve a state of 'no thought', but warned me it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy, but it was immensely rewarding, and I continue to benefit now some ten years later, and still practice in my own humble way.
I have, over the years, acquired a couple of buddha statues, some malla beads, a few books on buddhism, and practised with varying degrees of intensity. Then, last year, an idea came to me to give something back. This little book of black and white images, of a buddha statue and some arranged natural objects, is the result - my attempt to convey the unity, balance, and harmony of mind achieved through the continuing practice of meditation. I hope it is beneficial. The book is dedicated to all sentient beings. It was published today. See link above.
Monday, April 6, 2009
My first full book of poetry, 'The Ordinary Miracle', is now published. Click on the link to preview and order. The official book launch will take place in late June/July this year here on Achill island. The Heinrich Boll committee have very generously offered to launch it at The Cyril Gray Memorial Hall, Doogort.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We have been busy here at River Cottage recently. The weather was favourable, so all lettuce, beetroot, radish, onion sets, spring onions, and shallots, were sown this week.
We are, and have been for many years now, members of Achill Country Market, where a range of plants, home-baking, eggs, crafts, and preserves are sold. Eileen is the Public Relations Officer and, as the Easter Market is fast approaching, she has been busy putting up posters all over the island in preparation. In addition, we have just this week started an Achill Country Market blog/website at http://www.achillcountrymarket.blogspot.com/ on which we will post all the latest news and events. We are anticipating a busy year as tourism on Achill island is predicted to be up on last year - see http://www.achilltourism.com/ for all information relating to staying here on Achill island.
Mark has been busy spreading gravel at Fuchsia chalet, our small studio/gallery/guest accomodation, which we are still developing.
Eileen paints in oils (acrylics) and uses at least a couple of sessions of a few hours a week on her painting in the chalet. She is currently working on three canvases towards entry in The Mayo Artists Exhibition in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, later in the year. Mark will enter framed fine art photography prints.
Mark is also using Fuchsia chalet for his writing and editing (see http://www.achillwriter.blogspot.com/). Upstairs, he has something of a garret with a writing desk by a window that overlooks the garden. He is currently editing a book of poetry and writing a full-length play for Phoenix Theatre Works, a Bellmullet, Co. Mayo, theatre company, who performed his first play, a monologue titled'The Quiet Room', last April.
While the weather is good we are busy with outdoor work; when it's raining we switch to painting and writing. It seems to work well for us, and there is never any shortage of varied weather here on the western edge of Ireland. In fact we are in the Atlantic ocean, connected by a road-bridge.
Have a lovely Easter, everyone!