Limitless Emotion, Not One Word

I haven’t posted for a while, but my heart and mind (and the minutes of the day) have been full.

Jeremy Logan has been leading the Heart Of Understanding Insight Meditation retreat here at Wangapeka. It’s one of my highlights of the year, and I think the secret is out as this year people travelled from as far away as Auckland and Wanaka to attend. We’ve been connecting with the simplicity of present moment awareness. Last night he shared the ‘Bāhiya Sutta’, which includes the well-known pithy teaching of the Buddha: ‘In the seen is only the seen. In the heard, only the heard. In the sensed, only the sensed. In the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself…. This, just this, is the end of suffering‘.

Feeling everything, but not making a story about every experience, brings a sense of grounded-ness in the present. This is when I realise that there is a LOT going on…

The retreat ended today, and the deep silence was replaced by joyful chatter… and singing!

Here are two exquisite poems by the Japanese poet/monk Ryōkan, expressing the richness of experience that goes beyond words. And a montage of photos and links to recipes from the last couple of weeks (scroll down!) There is still snow on the mountains, but also, spring is in the air.

Poems by Ryokan

A cold night – sitting alone in my empty room
Filled only with incense smoke.
Outside, a bamboo grove of a hundred trees;
On the bed, several volumes of poetry.
The moon shines through the top of the window,
And the entire neighbourhood is still except for the cry of insects.
Looking at this scene, limitless emotion,
But not one word.
Green mountains front and back
White clouds east and west.
Even if I met a fellow traveller,
No news could I give him


With thanks…

  • The ‘Heart Of Understanding’ biscuits are copied directly from My Darling Lemon Thyme‘s latest book A Year In My Real Food Kitchen. She calls them ‘chocolate dipped hazelnut biscuits’.
  • I’ve been learning how to make vegan meringues, thanks to the help of many people on this facebook page!
  • The Cauliflower Cake with red onion moons is based on an Ottolenghi recipe, from his latest book Plenty More
  • This is a home-made Ras El Hanout spice blend for a Moroccan Tagine – coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, salt and black pepper.
  • The Speckled Eggs and Lavender Brownies are inspired by a recipe by Butter & Brioche, although my brownies are gluten free



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